Sunday, March 23, 2008

On Fire

You'll have to excuse this post as I blow my own whistle a bit. I've worked hell of a hard this season so far and it has come off this weekend and I was on fire not just becasue of the sweltering heat. Well this weekend saw the third of the UCI Israeli Cup events and probably my best so far this season. I must say that I've been preparing really hard and working most cold mornings to get the hours in. Ofir my coach has also really helped fantastically with everything as well as the team trainings twice a week. Everything just came together to culminate in a brilliantly executed run on what to me was the most difficult race of the year. The climb in the beginning was long, steep and crazy with some slippery sections. After reaching the top completely over heating becasue of the 30 degree heat, I could only manage to take two deep breath's while gearing up and then the technical descent that went up and down on some really tight corners and little sharp climbs.I was loving it though although I had a bit of a rotten start only managing to get to the top of the climb in fourth behind my rival who was just in front of me. I tried to regain my composure and get the heart rate down becasue the start really was a little crazy with the other guys flying. So from about fifty meters off the front I started to work the descent with my technical skills and the fact that gliding beneath me was the perfect machine, a Specialized Epic S-Works. Basically a full blown racing beast with BRAIN technology, put simply it only works when you need it to work.

By the end of the first lap I had made my way back up to the front lying just behind the leader saving some energy for the climb that was coming up. It's amazing how much pressure you release sitting on someones wheel and letting him take you around. It also puts more pressure on them to choose their line and try to push a bit harder. After getting out of the single track i made my way to the front and didn't look back. I had plenty of power still left and put in a big dig to the top of the hill increasing my lead by a few more psychological meters. Ido was with me by now but I decided to not wait for the end but opted for the mid race push, especially after the climb it would test the fitness. I managed to drop him and he actually fell out the race completely after that, in the end not even finishing.

The rest of the race I tried to concentrate on the five meters of track in front of me and pushed hard all the way. The last lap saw the last challenge come in on the start, about half way up Dav put in a big effort but just as he was coming onto my wheel I stood up, geared to a bigger gear and put all those interval trainings to good use. Good might miss Johnson. I made it to the top with ample distance and basically just push all the way to the end. The heat did make things difficult but I was absolutely loving the ride becasue it was so technical. In the end I came over the line a minute ahead of Nir who eventually finished in front of Dav, unfortunately he got a puncture at on one of our rather nasty pieces of volcanic remains jutting out the ground. We all shared a well deserved beer after the race and enjoyed the first days of summer. So all in all it was a great day and the best way to start the summer marathon series that we'll be getting under way. As for insight which might help, I started drinking protein powder mix after tough workouts. Not to bulk up but rather to recover. Last week I was far from home and didn't take any with. I think this had something to do with my rather lack luster week last week. Yesterday I remembered to stick some in my bag and today I feel fine. So it may not be connected but the only big difference other than the trek across the country was also the missed protein to aid recovery. Hope it might help.
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