When I got to Italy I thought I was pretty prepared, but there were a couple of things I ran out of time to get before I went. One of them was a pair of compression tights. (These are super tight-tights that help clear lactic from your legs so you can recover from racing and hard sessions faster.) Nah, she'll be right, I thought... those things will be EVERYWHERE. How hard can it be?
Quite hard, evidently. We started travelling almost as soon as I arrived and I learned that people in Belgium and rural north-east France don't seem to have a pressing need for hardcore recovery garments... or maybe that was just in the medieval French village we stayed at at the top of that mountain. Boiled sweets and baguettes, yes, but tights - absolument pas.
When we got back to Italy for some training before the Spanish world cup and Giro del Trentino, I was struck by the vaguely amusing irony of needing recovery tights so bad, but being too written off from training to summon the energy to take the train into Varese to find some. When I did go, I found nothing. (This was a very painful and disappointing day; I have tried to block it out but my therapist says it's good for me to talk about these things)
If you drop into the 2XU store on Burwood Rd in Melbourne, say hi to Keitho for me, and give him a high five for being such a star. And check out 2XU's range of compression and cycle wear - I would wear it all if I could afford to! And if you are in the market for some recovery pants, I highly recommend these ones, although I do have to warn that it'll mean you'll have one less excuse why you didn't win...