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Athlete Blogs: Helen Beattie – What’s an inheritance, Mum?

Awkward questions…

“Well, son, it’s not something that you’re going to need to worry about…” I’d not 10 minutes before made an outstanding purchase of a second set of Zipp wheels. This followed a rather rush-of-blood-to-the-head purchase of #BMCTimeMachineHouston:

screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-4-59-38-pm

 

That happened after unexpectedly winning the national time trail on my road bike, which resulted in an email from UCI saying, “Do you want to come race in Rottnest?” In 36 hours, I’d gone from thinking it was a ridiculous idea, and definitely not going, to having purchased the bike. Never say never, and never live to regret. And don’t worry about leaving your kids an inheritance!

This was a change in direction from road bike racing, having mainly completed things like Le race, The Milford Classic, and the Alpine Classic – big, long hilly races. That phase was preceded by a 37year-old, mother of two, deciding on a whim to buy a road bike, which was preceded by a really sore leg (TFL and ITB… Oh yes, and glutes…) from running. And I was “never going to race, it’s not my thing…” I work full time, I raise kids, my house must be tidy. Biking was always meant to be a smallish hobby. Herein, my 2 ideals diverge.

My kids are actually amazing – they are totally supportive and really proud of me, despite the inheritance issue. They never grump about me heading out the door to train, and they are the best #cheerleadingkids in Dunedin! They are part of a team of people who are amazingly invested in my journey, which is something I’m taking a while to get used to.

Data Geeking

So once I got passed the not racing phase, and engaged a little more seriously, I found @fitlab, and #SuperCoachSteveBale. Steve crunched a bit of my data, Strava-stalked a few women and we had a bit of a chat about the idea of going to the UCI World Championships at Rottnest Island, Western Australia.

I’d been working with fitlab for a while, having lactate testing done, tracking data (power, cadence, heart rate etc) and generally becoming a little more accurate (read “obsessive”) about my approach to cycling. I am continually marvelling at the process of tackling cycling from a more scientific perspective, and that I can do this. I’m not a pro, but a mum-to-2, and it makes me go faster. It is so cool to see the push on the pedals translate into power data, and enable Steve to predict my form. I say “my” and “I” but in fact, my principle is pretty much to follow the instructions given to me by Steve on Cycling Analytics. I’m very good a following instructions, and entirely type-A, so it’s a match made in heaven. I capture power through a really cool device called PowerTap PowerCal by cyclops.

I didn’t think I could justify a power hub or crank but did this dinky little device converts my heart rate to power through some whizzy algorithm. Steve and I recently checked it out against his PowerTap hub and found it to be amazingly accurate, possibly reading 5W less than the hub, if that. This gave me faith – I had wondered if the power I was pushing was really real!

helen-beattie-training-plan

 

And all that information lead us to think going to Perth might be a bit of fun, and quite a lot of pain.

#sufferfest and #pleasure

So I did go – and it did hurt, and we did OK. I learned that little people pushing moderate power can still generate more w/kg than I can, throwing out 300W+. I discovered that some corners do need brakes. I learned that quokka aren’t as cute as they should be.

helen-beattie-with-quokka

And I say “we” a lot – because the other big thing I have learned, and am still overwhelmed by, is the incredible generosity, support, enthusiasm, and energy invested in my journey by so many. @Torpedo7, Ben and Devin, Steve, Croydon, Meg, Harris, and my dad. All my other family, my fabulous friends, who were all yelling, cheering and shouting at screens, and sharing the moment.

It was truly awesome. Indebted. Overwhelmed. Amazing.

And I thank you all, more that you can imagine (and apologise for being really annoying about the details and possibly, (jury is out) being slightly high maintenance…).
@Helen.torpedo

 

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