Having covered 1000km in November and the expected 800km in December, I can say that I'm feeling reasonably fit. Annoyingly fit, even—when MLSP asked how my 70km ride had been on Sunday, I was able to cheerfully and honestly reply, "Refreshing". What a self-satisfied suck I am.
A month of pain
However, that self-satisfied grin is soon to be wiped off my face because the Audax Alpine Classic looms less than a month away and that recent 1800km has included very little in the way of altitude.
For although I have no worries at all about covering the horizontal 200km of the Alpine Classic, it's the 4000+ metres of vertical climb that's going to clobber me. And to add more to the fun, the [Mt Buffalo t] is closed so the Mt Buffalo checkpoint has been moved to Dingo Dell—an extra 300m of climbing right there. Woo. Hoo.
So one way or another, I'm faced with a month of pain: I must climb a lot of hills between now and Australia Day weekend, or there will be pain in abundance on Mt Buffalo's slopes. Actually, regardless of what I do, there will be pain in abundance on Mt Buffalo's slopes; I can only hope to minimise it.
But not the pain I was expecting
But now, I've struck a setback: I sprained my ankle yesterday doing a little post-Xmas tidying. Which just goes to show that no good deed goes unpunished. Yeah, yeah and being a smug, self-satisfied suck goes before a fall—quite literally in this case.
So just when I should be racking up extra miles and climbing some serious inclines, I'm lounging around taking plenty of RICE and a few NSAIDs. I've been a pretty good, compliant patient. I had no choice really, as I could barely stand yesterday, and I know that doing RICE properly is the fastest way back to being in a condition to ride. That said, I did put aside the "rest" component for ten minutes of gentle rolling up and down the street last night on the folding bike (accompanied by much eye-rolling from MLSP)—but that was more about psychological wellbeing than physical healing.
Now all I can do is sit tight and hope for the best. If I can heal enough to put near full force through the ankle within a week, I'm still in the with a good chance of making it to starting line in Howitt Park. But if it takes much longer than that, I reckon it's more likely that I'll be kissing goodbye to the Classic in 2009.