A few days ago I came down from 1,808 metres above sea level. Thirteen days of training solo - I took myself on a mini training camp to a hotel in the middle of nowhere near La Molina in the Pyrenees.
Why did I choose to isolate myself for almost two weeks? Because I like the training and to escape the heat of Girona, where I call home. I find it a good way to clear my head and focus only on my training. I’ve done altitude training a bit in the past and I’ve also been to the same place two times before so it almost feels like home. I actually spent seventeen days there before the Olympics last year.
Luckily my Hitec Products teammates introduced me to Snapchat in Sweden the week before this, so I almost felt I had their entertaining company up there with the frequent posting of silly photos each day.
So I did mention I wanted to escape the heat, and surely I did. It was a mere 15 degrees throughout the days, if I was lucky. And one day riding the 22km hill back up to the hotel I was chased by this massive black thunderstorm coming over from Andorra.
Eventually it started to pour down, thunder and even some small hail. At this moment I was most worried about my iPod getting all wet, but it was about to get worse.
With 5km left the clouds had blown in over me, and the sky just threw down this massive golfballs of ice. It took me about ten-seconds to take in this weird moment until I realized it hurt more than any effort I had done throughout the day. I looked around in panic while the road was all iced up and ended up just jumping off my bike, throwing it on the side of the road to climb the rocks and bushes to seek cover.
By then I had some bloody cuts on my legs and was forced to sit watching the hail balls make the road impossible to ride or drive on. All this in now a fresh 7 degrees, soaking wet, and with far from enough clothing on...I was sat in short bibs and jersey.
Finally being able to ride back up to the hotel I discovered yet again why wearing a helmet is very important. I found some cracks in my helmet from the ice blocks which fell from the sky, I was just glad it wasn’t my head...
A long warm bath later I was recovered and down for dinner by 20.15 just to see Sylvain Chavanel be stood on the phone outside the hotel in bike kit, still out on his training ride. I was pretty happy I wasn’t the one to descend that mountain at that hour, but he probably avoided the hailstorm at least.
In between hailstorms and training rides there is still a lot of time to be killed in the hotel room. I found myself starting up a new TV series that I had been recommended; Suits. I’d say I’m pretty much sold, and I got through the first two seasons within my first week.
Harvey Specter, will you marry me?