… Or something like that. I am just reading Steve Gurneys Autobiography, and that is one of his sayings. If you have doubts, don’t think you can than that is what will happen, if you think strong then you will be strong. And he is right, I have to say lately I have been having really negative thoughts, especially about running. Just running 5K at the moment seems like a monster, I have no idea why only a couple of months ago I was running (well, shuffling, stumbling, walking really) 60K.
What’s happened since then? Answer: My negative thoughts about running, this morning I went for a run thinking “strong” thoughts, and I tell you what it worked… but back to the run later.
This is a blog about a little adventure down south. The reason was to observe the Challenge, give me a understanding off what it would truly involve, if I would ever want to. Plus I just needed a “away” holiday, and camping by a lake seemed like a good idea.
Dairying in a Dessert
Left home early Thursday morning, stopped off at my parents in Tekapo to pick up a tent. On the way to lindis pass I observed the bazare activity we find our selves these days. Diary farms in the middle of the Mackensie Basin. I am fairly certain that mackensie Basin was given “Dessert” status in the last 20years or so. So what seems like a good plan? Put a farm that requires a lot of water in this dessert… of course there is a lot of water that can be grabbed out of the canals in the hydro scheme up there… there is heaps of water really… but still it seems against the laws of nature to put something that just shouldn’t be there. And where do all those cows go in winter, it would be blimin’ chilly.
.. Thats my rant for the weekend, just blows my mind
So Wheres the Swim?
So I am going to LAKE Wanaka, to observe the Ironman distance race and prehaps particpate in one the day before. So apon receiving this information, both my parents ask me, “So wheres the swim?”
So I am a sarcastic SOB… quite frankly it is a MacLaren traight, so no one is surprised at the Scarcasim that can droul out of my mouth. However, apon this question I was stumped… STUMPED, I tell you, I had no ready and unwhitty reply to that one… All that came out was “In the LAAAKE… where else in the river?”.
Ok, they were thinking that prehaps it would be in a pool, the reasoning behind it, Wanaka is glacier feed, just like the lake they look at every day, and there is no way in hell anybody would be caught dead in that lake (Ok, there are the odd insane people in the middle of summer).
Well for whatever reason, the southern glacier feed lakes are slightly warmer than the high country ones. Maybe its because they don’t have the Glacier flour that gives them that really blue color (well it makes them look very icy cold). Actually I don’t know if they are in fact colder, I decided to test that out on my way home and put my feet in Lake Pukaki, it was warmer than the last time I stood in it, back in October, but I don’t think I would be planning to dive head first into it.
Oh that brings me around to swimming in Lake Wanaka. On Friday morning, I decided to scrabble into the wetsuit and test out the waters… and blimin’ heck it was cold. Though it didn’t take long to get used to it. I also went for a longer swim this morning, after about 40min I was getting Ice cream headache, so probably double caps or neoprene would be the plan.
Oh but it was nice to swim in a lake… not getting that awful taste of salt water in your mouth, if fact you can drink it when you get thirsty … well I didn’t actually try that… You don’t have to worry about scary beasts of the deep, plus you can see the bottom, though this is a bit golish when you see the seaweed (lakeweed??) below.
I feel a bit of a fraud
So I planned to do the 3:9:3 race on the Friday, the purpose was really to “feel” back into a tri and pratice the transitions. However, earlier in the week I was looking at the race info and realised that the trophy race, instead of being a Olympic distance, was actually half of one. Well I thought I should probably do that. I didn’t enter because late fee already applied, so might as well do it on race day.
Well on the Thursday when I arrived I went for a bit of a spin on the bike. I felt like crap, I then crawled into my tent and went to sleep at about 6. I woke up still feeling lathargic. I decided to go for a swim then run and see how I felt. The swim went ok, the run was even ok, but when I finished I felt like I could sleep for a week. So I went had a nap. Still didn’t feel great. I even thought maybe I just wouldn’t do the tri… but then I thought bugger it and went and entered the 3:9:3. The race started at 2.30, so it was a unusal time to race, plus it was starting to get warm.
The swim was only 300m up the shore. It was a tough little swim, I tried to tell myself, relax take long big strokes, but didn’t work and I got out of the swim tight chested. The bike was 4 laps around a 2K course, that weaved it way through the centre of Wanaka. There were 2 big straights, probably about 600 & 800m, the rest was tight cornering. The first lap around was fun, I just put the power down, bugger it and go I thought. By the 2nd lap we were lapping some of the slower people. It got a bit tricky around the corners, and the 3rd and 4th laps were slightly mahemic. I had blown my other women competitors out of the water by 2min… I was rather ashmatic in the last lap, I told myself gotta get my inhaler out of my tranisition bag in tranisition, of course I forgot, and was already off on the run by the time I remembered… ah well, just concentrate on breathing in and out and get a rythmn going. The first lap was a bit hard, but by the 2nd I was probably jogging it out a bit.
I have developed the habit of taking things a bit easy… any way it took me a whole 17min something to run 3k! Came in 2nd.
So the reason I feel like a fraud, this was a race for beginners, it was kinda funny being in transition with all these nervous first timers around me. I wasn’t a beginner, I should have been in the trophy race and coming mid pack…
Also the tiredness I had been feeling seemed to have disapeared after the race.
Macpac – Built to last
At the spring challenge, I remember Nathan going on about Macpac(the sponsor) and how there products last decades.. yeh yeh I thought…
For the weekend, I had borrowed my parents Macpac Olympus tent. I remember when they first got it, I couldn’t have been much older than 10, so it is about 20 years old. On Friday night, it absoultly rained buckets… I was rather worried I was going to get a bit wet… but I stayed bone dry all night.
The highest paved road in the land
On Saturday, while the challenge athletes were away on their bikes, I decided to get on mine and conqueor the crown range. The day wasn’t looking to great weather wise, so I pack my rain coat, and because I didn’t know how long I’ll be I pack enough food for a over night trip… my pockets where looking a bit full…
Anyway off I headed up the cardorna valley, after about 50 min I passed snow farm, this is where athletes go for altitude training, not sure how high it is, but must me fairly decent. It didn’t feel like I had been climbing much. There were a few undulations along the way. After cardorna township it started getting harder… then it started to rain… then it started to rain really really hard. I think I was probably about 10 – 15K away from the top. I didn’t want to be descending in the weather. I decided to play it smart…. by the time I got back I would have done a 3hr ride enough for me, so it was time to turn around. The crown range isn’t going anywhere, I can go back another day and do it.
It was fast going back down to start with, but then I hit a head wind in the valley floor… bamn, even though I was still descending I was going slower then when I had been climbing. I was working on that descent and was well pleased to see wanaka. Unfornulty to get back to my tent I had to go about 2K down part of the challeng cycle course. It was rather embrassing to have people stand up and cheer me on, I had to apologise and say I wasn’t competiting. I almost considered getting of and walking back.
The Challenge Wanaka
The Challenge started at 7am, so I wandered on down and got there 10min before the start, it was still drissly and cold. But before long they were off… with not much to do while they were out swimming I wandered around trying to decided the best place to stand. I wanted to see the pro’s go trough tranisition, so I went and stood opposite the tranistion near the bridge. I noticded a lot of the athletes were wearing the CEP compression socks when they came out of the change room, all I could think it must be blimin’ hard getting them on while wet. Went down to the swim get out and waited for Rachel to come out and then come past on the bike.
Now I had not much to do, so headed up to the crown range. Once I got back I headed over to run. The pro’s were already well into the run, saw Gina come around the half way mark and then the first of the men to finish. I waited for Gina to finish, then I decided to go back to the tent and have a nap. I was feeling really knackered. The plan was to have a couple of hours sleep, come back and watch Rachel finish. But when I woke up it was already dark and I had been woken by the fireworks. I was decidely pissed off at myself. I don’t know why I was constantly tired all weekend… could it have been the altitude? I think Wanaka is at 600m.
Did the weekend sway me in any direction
So do I want to do it myself? After reading Rachel’s blog, maybe not. In wathcing it, all I could think is I wouldn’t want to finish the bike after the pro’s have finished the whole thing. That is just my pride talking though. I have a inkling and after watching and getting a idea of what happens, I know I could do it if I put my mind to it. Do I want to put my mind to it? Ummm not sure.
Back to that run
So while watching the challenge, I was reading Gurneys book. This morning, I just told myself postive thoughts while I went out for that run. I felt strong and happy, it was hard at times to keep the postive thoughts going and keeping the negative away, hadn’t realised how much negative thoughts I have during a run.