One weekend down, one to go

yah, am now on rest for 1.5 days, and holiday! sweet. I have to say recovery is my best discipline, I am superb at it, now if only I could add it into my race…

Boxing day saw me up nice and early, and on the bike heading towards Ranigora. I had mapped the ride out and it was only going to be 160K, somewhere along the way I needed to make up 20K along the way somewhere. It started out as a nice morning on the bike, hardly no wind, and still overcast. I could tell in a couple of hours the Nor’west would come up, I was just hoping that it wouldn’t come up till I was heading down old west coast rd.

I had my new aero drink bottle on the bike. When it was fall, made handling the bike a bit different, especially when standing and climbing, almost lost the bike under me. I had a pertum multi hour bottle and a spare water bottle, the plan was all I would need the entire time was to fill the water bottles.

I just failed to have enough of the pertumaum. I was trying to sip the pertumam every 10min, didn’t work though. Half way down old west coast road, I was out of water and stomach was heavy from lack of food. I have got a bit ahead of myself…

Anyway, loburn to ashley gorge is damn boring and I just couldn’t wait for the first hill to come my way, was so happy when I saw a hill. The wind had picked up by then and in sometimes was quite gusty, almost got blown of the road at one point. Though strangely by the time I got to oxford the wind had died down. Now at this point I took a wrong turn, I don’t actually know how. I have never come into oxford from the ashely gorge direction, maybe I just got turned around. I was making my way away from Oxford, at a nice clip of rate, think this is easy. Then it started to seem wrong, this wasn’t quite right, but it didn’t click to I got to a sign pointing to Christchurch, and called the road Tram Road. Crap, bloody F#&K. I stopped at the side of the road for a few minutes swearing at myself.

Do I just keep going and make up the distance elsewhere? No, I decided, I’d probably made up that 20K I needed if I headed back to oxford and get on track. It was a slow graft back up to Oxford, and I got emotionally upset with myself. which quite frankly seems a little daft. But I eventually got into Oxford and back on track. Now I probably should have stopped again and filled up the drink bottles, but I just didn’t want to stop there again…

Once I reached old west coast rd, I was flying, tail wind and down hill. It was a hot day, and I quickly went through the 2 water bottles I had collected in the first time through Oxford. The plan had been to turn of at Chattertons road, and make my way home from there, possibly by passing Lincoln, but I didn’t need to do that this time.

I did contemplate stopping a couple of times and just knocking on someones door, but my personal shyness prevented me from doing that, and even jumping a fence and finding a water trough in a paddock. In the end I decided the closest port of call for water was West melton or Yaldhurst, West Melton was a little out of the way so I decided head down and get to yaldhurst. I not sure what the people at the petrol station thought of me, buying a bottle of water and a bottle of coke, and proceeding to drink half the water bottle at once. Anyway, I felt so much better after that, made my way to halswell and over the downs. Was amazed that my legs were still going along at the same speed they had first thing in the morning. I was just under 5K to short, but just wanted off the flippin bike.

I tried to come up with every excuse in the book for not doing the run of the bike. The good thing about a coach, you have to justify yourself, and nothing I came up with seemed remotely decent. So off I set a 20min slog around the block. All in all just under 7 hours with stops to complete.

Legs felt surprisingly ok this morning, as I headed off for a 60min Open Water swim. The water was a bit choppy, a guy got there just after me, took one look and said, nah he ain’t get in that. Waves don’t particularly bother me, so off I went. Though after doing 2 laps, I just wasn’t confident to do a 3rd by myself in those waves so called it a day.

Back home, and on went the compression socks. I had asked for some for xmas and had received 🙂 I really, really, really didn’t want to go for that run, tried to think of a reasonable explanation why I didn’t go. But I knew nothing could come between me and the long run for the week. So off I headed, I was supposed to try and simulate the wanaka course as much as poss, so decided to follow the river. It has some off road tracks occassionally, and then on the way home diverted up a couple of hills. Was glad to get home and know I could rest until Tuesday. Now just got to get through next weekend, which is somewhat the same, but harder… Jeezzz

Now I will continue to lie on the coach and watch Bablyon 5 (if you don’t know or don’t understand what I am talking about, I pity you  🙂 )

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I just don’t know what to wear

I am in a dilmea, actually I have 2 dilmea’s. 1 is nutrition, I think I have changed my plan about 10 times in the last 6 months. In the end I have concluded that prepetuam works for me and that I should just stick with it as much as possible. However, I have never worked out how I can carry enough with me. My latest plan is to have a bottle between the aerobars, which has water and then have a multi-hour bottle. However, I ordered the aero drink bottle from probike kit (when I ordered my race tyres) about 1.5 weeks ago and still isn’t here. I just hope it arrives before xmas, otherwise I might miss out on practrising on my last 2 long rides…

Cripes, thats all I have left 2 180Km rides, then thats it, taper time… yikes, oh I digress.

Right back to the main dilema… what do I wear? I have a tri suit. It is incrediably comfortable, but it does up from the back, which makes it a arm twisting exercise getting it done up ( I have little confidence that I can pee on the bike, so I am sure I’ll have to stop to go to the toilet at least once). I have another one, it does up from the front, I could just use that, but I don’t like the shammy as mubch… But recently I have been thinking…

I have always planned to put a cycle jersey over the top, mainly because I am concerned about sunburn. My arms and legs are hardened up to the sun, a layer of sun screen and I am sure they will survive a day in the baking sun, but my shoulders and back are a different matter. I want to cover them up as much as poss.

So why don’t I just wear some tri shorts, I could just have a sports bra on for the swim, thought a little concerned about the run up from the water. Then I can just throw the cycle jersey on in the change tent, and then for the run swap for a t-shirt… I really don’t think it will waste much more than 30 secs really… Hmmm I shall ponder further…

A Weekend in Windy Chippy Wanaka

Last weekend we headed to wanaka for a intensive training weekend. The plan was train on and cover the entire course. For which we did. In our training group was Andy, Shane, Nades, Geoff and myself. All of us except for Geoff are lining up at the start line come January 16 for Challenge Wanaka. We are all trained by complete performance, Nades being the odd one out with Richard as coach, the rest of us have Jo. They had colluded and given us the same training for the weekend.

The plan was to get out of chch and down to Wanaka as quickly as poss come Thursday morning. But the trouble with groups, the larger they get the longer they take it prep time… well we eventually got out of the City and on our way. I travelled down with Andy and Shane. They both work for Wespac Rescue Helicopter and as part of doing Wanaka is to help raise money and awareness for the rescue helicopter, check out their diary here.  They had the rescue truck to take us down in, i was warned early, that while they weren’t working and didn’t particularly want to have to. If their was a accident on the way down, they would have to attend.

Well such an incident did not occur and we eventually got down to wanaka. We had a couple of short training sessions to do that evening. We decided to do them together as it would be easier. So we jumped in the water with apprehension. But it was a gorgeous evening in Wanaka and the water surprised us all by being fairly warm. After the frosty sea water at the moment Wanaka was feeling awesome. After the swim we changed into our trainers and went for a jog around the lake. I think after the traveling, the cold water and straight into a run caused my Asthma to show it ugly face. I struggled along trying to get some proper air in. Normally once I warm up it passes, but it didn’t want to pass. I was quietly shitting myself. What if it was the slight altitude? What if I can’t adapt to it properly? I turned around early before the others and eventually got my head sorted and got my breathing and rhythm sorted. I think that is why I don’t like running with others, I find it more difficult to relax into a decent rhythm and concentrate on my rhythm. Anyway by the time I got back to the truck I was feeling better, though it still hadn’t been a comfortable return trip.

Day 2 – Just Brutal

Jo said to try to do the swim, bike, cycle together. But the logistics of getting all the bikes and gear down to the lake and secure didn’t quite work. So we all just headed down to the swim. The lake was once again like glass and we established a course that was probably about 2K’s. I loved it, I could have stayed in the lake all day, and was seriously considering it, rather than having to get on the bike.

We headed back (after every one else had got their morning coffee… addicts) to the house and got ready for the bike. I knew that this was going to be hard, but how hard I had no idea.

Lets back up a few months… I have always known that wanaka bike course was hard, it was hillier, windier and chippier (is that a word?) than Taupo. Doing this course was going to be hard. No matter how hard people tell you it is, I don’t think you will ever appreciate it to you do it for your self.

Geoff, the true cyclists of the bunch, called the ride “Brutal”, the hardest 140K’s he’s ever done. This helps your enthusiasm, Not, especially when I know the wind was ugly but not as bad as it was for last years challenge. Lets prey for a quite day.

So we started by heading though Wanaka and out to Cromwell. The boys took off early, climbing out quicker than I wanted to force my HR too in the first few minutes of a ride, so I let them go and hang back for Nades. She was quite happy on traveling along by herself, so I just got into aero and off I went. There was a slight head wind on the way and the chip was probably slowing my speed by about 2km/h, but I was feeling good. I stopped in Cromwell and grabbed some water. I was looking forward to the ride up the other side of the lake… that’d have to be a tailwind right?

The boys had stopped just over the bridge, so we all gathered up again and headed off. This time towards terrace corner (or for the non Germans Tarras Cnr).  I ended up sitting about 300 meters behind Shane and I could see Andy and Geoff off in the distance occasionally. They were not getting away from me, which surprised me a lot. But it did do something for morale when you were groveling along, not getting very far, but then they weren’t getting away from me, so they were struggling just as much as me.

Things didn’t get much better at Terrace cnr, the head wind just got stronger and we all were still groveling along in the low 20K/h. I was just hanging out for the bridge, once we got there I knew we had a turn off, but it just seemed like a good mile stone to get to. But that turn off did not bode good things.

There was the largest climb of the course and then a most bizzare road. It is the roughest chip ever but down the middle of the road is a smoother section. So there we all were in a line going down this smoother strip. I caught Shane in this section, he was in a bad patch at that point. I was glad to see the down hill and Hawea Flat. Not that, that really was good, the head wind was just horrible. So I just battened down and kept the rthym going, I eventually caught up to Andy and Geoff. Andy said he had been going through a bad patch and that he felt better once I caught him. Aggh, he picked up the speed on me, but at least he knew where we were going, I had no idea.

We eventually reached Hawea and stopped at the diary for coke and Chips. I had been hanging out for that coke. I probably sat around for too long, because once we got going again the legs were stiff and had nothing. But we finally had a tail wind for the first time that way, and there were a few awesome descents on the way, unfortunately there were still a couple of climbs to do, and the boys got away from me on the climbs.

But was glad to finally get to the house and change into the running shoes and head of. I was not feeling that great on the run. I think I needed drink more at the end of the bike, I was feeling very queezy half way through the run.

But then the day was finally over, then it was eat dinner, bed and contemplate if we could just change our entry and do Taupo instead.

Day 3 – Just Awesome

Saturday was another swim, we did exactly the same as the day before. However today was choppy out there. It was good to experience the difference between the flat and choppy lake. I was not feeling as fast as the day before, but afterwards I was feeling much better recovered for it.

Then it was a ride over the first 40K of the bike course. The legs were a bit stiff and first few climbs felt hard. But I took it easy enjoyed the view and just enjoyed the day.

Then we were off to do one lap of the run. Nades had leant me a pair of her CEP socks. I have to say my doubts about their effectiveness have been well and truly chased away. I was feeling strong and good all the way around the outlet track. I got to walk up the hill at Gunn Road. No that doesn’t scare me, or worry me. I am used to running events with big hills in them I suppose, and enjoyed the walk, a nice break. The road back to wanaka is a bit long and boring. I tried to make my way through the ticky tour of streets, that is the last part of the run. I think I followed the course the closest of anyone in the group. The others missed turn offs or just took short cuts… jeez

I was feeling great after that run, I couldn’t belive how well I had been running after the last few days of effort

Day 4 – Homeward bound

We had a short recovery swim before packing up and heading back the way we came. Wanaka, we’ll be back in 5 weeks.

In reflection

I was not a positive person the end of day 2. I was hoping my memory would suddenly be lost. But now that I have a few days perspective, I am glad we did it. I know what to expect and I know that I can do it. It has however given me a much more realistic idea of how long it will take me. As I discovered with SI half, if I am realistic in my race plan then I will feel a lot more comfortable and less likely to give up, unlike Auckland half where I put an unrealistic time on myself and just gave up in the end.

So what I have concluded.

Swim: I can still be confident of a 65 – 70min swim even if it is reasonably choppy

Bike: I was hoping for at least a 6:30. Now that was way too optimistic. I think the bike will likely be closer to 7hrs. However that is very weather dependant, if there is no wind, you never know I could be faster, if there is  a head wind than I could easily add 30min to that.

Run: 4:30 – 5 hrs was my initial thought. It took me 2:13 to do 1 lap, so assuming I stick to the same pace on both laps, than yes 4:30… yeh Nah that isn’t going to happen. The run has given me confidence however that I will be able to run the majority, but I will probably end up closer to the 5hrs.

Well that takes me in just over 13 hours. I would be ecstatic with that.

Its On!

No way I could let Richards team win. Sorry Nades, was quite happy jogging in to the finish, until saw Richard egging you on. That wasn’t right. My coach was behind waddlying her way around (she is almost 7months pregant, not bad going), so couldn’t have a unfair advantage given to the Richard team. So it was on in a sprint finish.

Santa Run, kinda fun, you even get a santa suit  out of it. Well a santa suit that is already pretty much broken, with a skirt that meant I was running 1 handed so it didn’t full off. Plus it was the hottest thing to run in on a hot Nor’Wester day. I hope you get the point, it was a damn hot run.

We’re off to Wanaka in the morning. A training weekend, not much off a holiday really. Friday is going to be tough, a swim, the long part of the cycle course and a short run. Saturday is going to be painful, a swim, short part of the cycle course and then a lap of the run course, with a bit more thrown in for good measure. Phew hopefully I make it back in one piece 🙂

Not a day for the record books

I woke up with a headache, and was close to feeling like I might just throw up. It was early, so I got up and got caught in the excitement of the Football world cup draw. OMG how can they make a most boring procedure, well almost, addictive watching. Was actually feeling better after that, so decided to head to Cosair to join the tri club swim.

Boy the water just isn’t getting much warmer, I went and did 1 lap. I considered getting out after that as I was feeling a bit woozy, but told myself not to be so silly and went did another lap. Turned into a fairly decent swim. Then I headed home, had a secound breakfast, got ready for my ride for the day. Then I get a txt from client saying there was a problem on Blackcaps. Crap! logon to the computer, put up a temporary fix and headed for the ride. Trouble with sports sites, they like having their key stuff happen over the weekend. The finacal sites are much more work week freindly.

I had a 2.5 hilly ride, plan was short bays + summit and then maybe the downs to finish. Started off ok, got to the kiwi in just over 25 min, which is pretty good for me when I wasn’t even trying. Got caught in the back of the feild riders on the harbour ride on the way to lytellon. I have to give all the back of packers repect, most were looking absolutly shattered. I passed 1 girl at the top of Rapaki and said “Thats the last hard hill”, to which she responded “Really??” like she hadn’t done the course before. A few moments later I thought Crap, if she doesn’t know the course than maybe I gave her false hope with Evans to come. Going up Evans was interesting, I felt like I was just going really fast overtaking everyone, I think I might even feature in some photos… Really wished I had gone the other direction at that point.

Anyway I started to feel really crappy along the summit, and I just couldn’t face any more time on the bike so just headed straight home. I did drag myself out for my 20min run and that went reaonably ok.

But this afternoonn I have been lying on the coach nursing a crap headache and trying to fix problem on blackcaps. Right hopefully a good nights sleep and tommorrow will be a better day.