Wear and Tear

It’s either my equipment or me. I was going to moan about some of the more negative aspects of life at the moment, then realised I’d essentially be a whinging pom. I’ll leave the whinging to the Aussies I think and stick to the cost and effects of training at the moment.

I vaguely remember grumbling that having switched to full-time all of a sudden equipment seemed to be failing. I’d not really be so bothered, but the more it goes wrong the more I have to spend! Next week sees the bike go in for a service, it’s done the mileage and needs it. The service itself is cheap and having a real bike mechanic look over it gives peace of mind. It’s the parts though, new chain and brake blocks at the least. To be honest before I left I’d noticed some teeth on the chainring were starting to show signs of wear. A new chainring is a bit more than I’m budgeting for though!

Off the bike and the temperamental Powertap USB connector has gone from temperamental to deceased. I did partly contribute to it’s final state a few days of complete failure getting it to work drove me to hack it apart to check the connections. Those USB plugs are pretty neatly packaged I can tell you, you really have to hack at it to get in there. So now I ride with power, but can’t download or track the data. Frustrating, but not much I can do about it, a new cable is on the way from Wiggle (it’s cheaper and easier to import from the UK!)

Whilst I had my credit card to hand I ended up ordering a new pair of shorts as well. There’s a hole in the pair I crashed in, nothing too bad, but I’m not convinced my repair skills are up to the job. I relearnt to stitch up in the mountains when I kept sticking crampon points through expensive trousers. Sewing lycra though is a whole new game! I’ll give it a go, I’m not wasting a decent pair of Assos shorts over a tiny hole.

So there’s been a bit of spending I’d not really anticipated, but I’m fairly happy I’m still comfortably within budget. Life is pretty chap for me right now, outside of rent and food I spend maybe $4 a day! That’s the pool entry fee and I can sign up for a 6 month membership which will work out at less than $1 a swim the amount I go. Coffee stops on rides are rare and somehow I’ve yet to have to pay for one; my turn will come though. I’ve yet to indulge in that New York Baked Cheesecake I got so addicted to either. On my way back from the pool yesterday I was listening to an old interview with Jonathan Vaughters, Director Sportif of Garmin/Chipotle. He described the life of a procyclists as a bit like a monk, it occured to me that’s how I’ve been living the past 4 weeks.

Today is day 5 of my first big week. It’s early in the morning and it seems pretty clear that my mate is not going to the pool as was planned last night. I had some vague notion of tagging along for a double swim day, but looks like that won’t be happening. So far I’ve hit 24 hours of training in my first 4 days and I’m pretty happy with that. It didn’t start out easy, the 10k race sat in my legs for the first 2 days along with soreness from my road rash. Even now I’m getting twinges in my right leg more from the bruising than anything else. I’m having to be wary with running though, just in case the higher volume triggers any injuries. My right ankle was a little sore by the end of yesterday’s brick run.

Fortunately day 5 is a relatively easy day. Still my plans for the day add up to over 4 hours training, but no big cycle, no big run, no big swim so no problems! I need it right now both physically and mentally training like this gets on top of you. I remember back at Epic Camp how I found keeping the mental drive and remaining positive harder as the week went on. Funnily in a small way just going for more on my own has the same effect. This is where I’m glad for the timetable and plans, it helps get me out the door doing what I need to do. Otherwise I remind myself that this is my job now and it’s what I’ve chosen to do. I didn’t come here to slack about so I’m not going to waste my time, it’s not like I have anything else to do in the day (Ready, Steady, Cook?)

Next week is easier though, I can relax a little then, I’ll even have a whole day off! I’ll be indulging myself with some new Zoot race shoes. Yep, I caved in to that one pretty quick and checking the budget there’s room to buy them. So a new pair of trainers with enough time to try them out in the run-up to the next batch of racing. If I can get somewhere to try them I’m after some new race kit too. If that wasn’t spending enough I think I’ll treat myself to that cheesecake.