The last six months have been quite tough for me, both physically and mentally. The start of 2011 was off to a great start with Otway Odyssey, Solo 24hr Championships and Alice Springs Enduro all completed with big dusty and muddy smiles. Other fun events included James Williamson Enduro and Capital Punishment. I also got hooked on the NSW Chocolate Foot enduro series, taking out second place at the Mt Annan 7hr round.
Things were looking great, and with no hesitation I signed myself up for the Scott 24hr solo. And after discovering that this was a qualifier for World Solo 24hr champs in Italy, with flights included, I had my heart set on winning that race.
I put in a mammoth training effort and it looked like it paid off. I was sitting quite comfortably in third, following Courtney’s wheel around the ups and downs of Mt Stromlo with the utmost determination. Nine hours in, somewhere in the dark twisty sections waaaaay out of back of Stromlo, I came in a bit hard on the simplest of corners and had a stack. Unfortunately for me, three previous shoulder dislocations and surgery had weakened the joint enough for my little stack to land me a fourth shoulder dislocation and a fractured Gleniod (basically the shoulder socket). Shinny went on to win the race and a damn fine job she did. I was so proud of her I even helped her, sling, fracture and all, to take her stinky shoes off so she could shower for presentations =)
Over three months on spin bikes and loads of physio and I was back! The feeling of whizzing around on the bike through the forest was hard to beat, and I began planning my calendar for 2012. With Worlds completely out of the question, I turned my focus to the Easter 24hr national solo 24hr champs. Majura! Yes! This is where mountain biking all began for me, plus, it is at my back door step, so why not?!
Again, after a second mammoth attempt to rebuild the fitness I had lost since October, I began training like a crazy person. I was feeling fantastic until one afternoon I started feeling dizzy, and shaky. Then it happened again later that week. And again. After getting some tests done, the neurologist confirmed that I still had epilepsy, which we thought had simply been a childhood thing I grew out of. I was pretty saddened to be told that I will have to take medication for life to keep me ‘all chipper’. But, on the other hand, there is nothing more satisfying than rising up to the challenge.
SO… as the challenge of all challenges, my just-as-crazy partner Seb and I plan to ride the Tour Divide next year, and this blog will be the forum for all our human-powered adventures on route to getting fit to ride the Rockies!