Since arriving back at the AIS base after our adventures in France and Belgium, we've had a couple of recovery days and then a couple of big days on the bike. We really enjoyed our day off on Tuesday, the day after Ronde de Bourgogne - 1hr of easy riding followed by much longer sitting at the cafe having lunch and coffees in the sunshine. It's a tough life, this cycling business. But when Macca and Marv told us that we would be having Wednesday off as well, well, that got us suspicious.
Our suspicions were justified when our training program for the rest of the week was posted on the office door on Wednesday arvo. 2 days later we found ourselves flat out on the couch, unable to rouse the energy to walk further than the fridge. What happened? Where did the last 2 days go? I remember something to do with double sessions, hill attack efforts and Marv using the phrases '4hrs with mountain passes' and 'world of pain' far too close together for my liking. I feel like I am reliving my uni years at college, only this time the person passed out on the floor is me and I'm not even hungover.
What happened was this: Thursday: 1.5hrs ergo in the morning, with 20 sprint intervals. Shower. Eat. Stretch. Coffee. 2.5hrs on the bike in the arvo with 4 power hill climbs (try racing up a hill when you have to stay under 60rpm). Shower. Eat. Stretch. Bed. Friday: 3hrs in the rain climbing up Basso, a col nearby that Ivan Basso cuts his teeth on. No wonder he's so damn fast. Motorpace. SE. Home. Change. 1hr ergo with 2x15 min SE efforts. Shower. Stretch. Eat. Eat. Eat. I normally don't write about training sessions here, but this time I'm just damned impressed we made it through. Kirsty and Lauren had wisely skipped town and left Carlee, Shara, Spratty and I to fend for ourselves. Tomorrow is a recovery day (otherwise known as How-many-episodes-of-The-Wire-can-I-fit-into-a-day Day) and Sunday we do it all again. And, truth be told, it is damned fun.
This week in Varese has also given us time to spend on more important things in life, like raising our pet penguin, Iggy. My sister Cathy sent me a toy hatching egg from Australia. You put it in water and over a week or so it hatches and grows into a penguin. I think I can safely say that no hatching egg toy has ever received quite so much attention and care as Iggy... but I guess that's what happens when all you have to do all day is ride bikes.
...Did I mention important gelati research? Raising a penguin, riding bikes and eating gelati. It is a busy schedule.
That's it from me for now. Enjoy the Giro stage tomorrow - they go up the Stelvio, one of the notorious mountain climbs in Italy. We'll be tackling it in July at the Giro Donne.