I’m going to structure this in 2 parts, what I learnt and what I did… theres probably a cross over
Friday night, we gathered together at Oakridge resort and did the normal intro and what group you were in. I was in group 1, still not sure if it was the stronger group or not, I think they were fairly randomly assigned.
I got up nice and early on Saturday morning and headed to the Kitchen (I’m staying at x-base backpackers. actually rather nice room with en suite and pretty cheap. Only downside nowhere to park the car). Turns out the kitchen doesn’t open to 7am, that didn’t quite work because I was supposed to be in the pool at 7am. The only food in my room was some muffins and V. So that turned into my first breakfast and headed to the resort.
The first session was in the pool, it was a rather icy morning and the pool was outside, lets just say getting in and out was a bit of a mission. The session was taken by Fi, and we did a session set out by Sam. We also did a few drills and technique tips, I got a few tips out of it.
Then we had a theory session, that Sam took. I think one of Sam’s advantages is that she understands the work/training split that us everyday age grouper have to cope with. She worked and raced for several years before going fully pro. Unlike other pros out there that all they have ever done is race. She gave a few interesting tips etc
Then it was the dreaded run session, I felt so slow and fat compared to the rest of the group. I had until this point thought my running had been coming along ok.
We headed out at a jog for about 20min. Then went through some drills, and then some did some efforts. Sam says she doesn’t do much, “just run for a hour” she’ll add in some efforts or try and do a negative split. After been left behind in the efforts, it was time to run back to base at a pace we wanted. unfortunately there was a big damn hill on the way back. I thought I had been getting better at hills, but that one killed me.
Then it was a question and answer session, dinner and a movie of Sam. I was feeling tired after dinner so missed out the movie. I have to give Oakridge Resort ups for providing the location of the camp, but we waited ages for our dinner and wasn’t really worth the wait.
Due to daylightsavings changing over, we were back in the resort in the dark. Our group had a core session to start the day, it was taken by Val Burke, and I learnt a whole heap of interesting facts.
Then we had our long bike, we started with the half loop out from wanaka, my group got to do it in reverse (or the direction the course will go next year). The weather didn’t start very co-operatively, it was raining, but at least not cold. The wind was blowing, and as the weather cleared the wind just got worse.
So we had a strong wind to start into Hawea. Sam wanted us to do the first hour easy, 2nd moderate, 3rd Moderate Hard. But the first hour we were also to do big gear up the hills, this was to make the legs hurt early on. But with the wind it was really hard to manage these levels, because once we past Hawea, we were flying on the way back, and the false flat up by the lagoon that everyone curses was awesomely fun going the opposite direction, with a false flat.
We past the other group at this point and they were groveling along in the opposite direction, felt rather sorry for them (but chuckled slightly because I wasn’t doing it). But I was sure they were chuckling at me once we reached the State highway that takes you back to Wanaka, I was groveling. We were all to be back at the show grounds at 12:30, so I still had 40min, so I headed 20min out towards hospital flat, this was the worse part of the entire ride, I was barely moving at times. I came back in half the time it took to get out there.
I had got alot respect of the guys in my group, I was the only girl to keep up with the faster guys, and got a few comments about my thighs?? Something along the lines of having big ones… I sure it was all supposed to be positive. When we got back to the showgrounds everyone else was there, looks like they had cut the ride short. All our shoes were nicley laid out for us
So was a slick change over, unfortunately we at to run around a rugby field for 20min, doing 20:40 efforts. Holy crap that was hard. Concentrating on keeping the cadence and technique going well and going around and around. Sam said it was good for our mental focus. But she does 3hr wind trainer sessions, so there must be a point where success breeds madness.
Then we were back at the pool (after a rather fast lunch) doing open water swimming practice. We practised starting in groups, the faster guys starting behind so they had to swim over the slower ones. Practiced sighting and swimming around bouys, it was all good stuff, but was getting a bit tired and over it by the end.
Finally, a final theory session on race day preparation, and covered quite a bit on mental preparation.
Its now 8pm Saturday night, and I am knackered. The wind on the bike, truly killed me, though strangely enough I didn’t have any issues with the chip… maybe I just accept it now.