Go hard and blow early - Day One
Man, what a day. I knew my prep over the last 3 weeks had been far from ideal, but I guess I was hoping that some of the form I had from before the lay-off would see me through. Guess again...
The morning went without hitch. I opted for the pre-breakfast run to the pool to get the 50minute run out of the way. Scott led and kept the pace easy. The swim was a 1 km warm up then a 2 km time trial. I had little intention of smcking this and managed to sit on Brandon's feet the entire way.
The scheduled ride was out to Akaroa and back (from Christchurch) - largely flat with some hills at the end where we would have some 'king of the mountains' points up for grabs. I blew on the first 'King of the Mountains' points climb about 4 km into it and suffered up the last 3km. I clearly wanted to believe that I was in much better condition than I actually am. Thinking that it was homeward bound after that I hadn't reckoned on then repeating the climb from the ther side ... which was longer and by this point a bit of a slog. It was all I could do to stay upright at the end! After the second KoM we had a time trial which hadn't been measured but was estimated at between 25 and 40 km. 43km later, going as hard as my tired legs could take me (which wasn't very hard) we stopped and everything cramped up. By everything I mean my glutes - OUCH. We finished the ride back into Christchurch and tagged on to make it up to 180 km for an extra point.
Here's to a few days of pain and riding myself into fitness again!
Day 1 totals
We started the day with a 6am swim. The twist was that it would finish with a 400m individual medley. This is invariably highly entertaining - several of the guys here can swim IM, but most of us can't. The butterfly is a killer if you've never done it. Luckily we were in a 25m pool so there was well needed resting taken at the end of each length. My breaststroke's pretty ropey too so I didn't fair so well. I had done 1 km with bands to earn an extra point in the warm up to make up for it though.
Post swim, Bev, Mark P, Clive and I headed out for a run pre-breakfast. A good move as I knew I wouldn't feel like it later. The ride was looking like it was going to be long. The first 150km was deadpan flat and there was a good tail wind. We could have taken it easy, but Clive dragged out the pace... we were sitting around 40kph for a lot of it, then Brandon decided to kick off between 100-150km and the group splintered. This was, I'd like to point out, effort for the sake of effort - the ride to lunch was not for points. After lunch we rolled out to do 90 km of undulating terrain with 2 KoMs. I looked at my odometer at 180km and wondered why I was time trialling out to the bottom of another climb. After the first climb, the wind became a nightmare headwind and the pace plummeted to dead slow. I was absolutely spanked by this point but the last 40km were done with Johnny and Scott. We took turns into the wind which meant that at least I didn't think about bailing. At least it wasn't raining!
Looks like Tara Norton (our only female on the camp and pro) might be in for a chance at the yellow jersey. She nailed Gordo on the second climb, and has been putting in stirling performances in the pool and KoMs. Bev's been taking all the KoMs so far, but Paul (a Brit living in Rotorua) has been giving him a run for his money.
Day 2 totals
Swim 3km (1 with bands)
Early run with Clive and Tara at Lake Takapu as the sun came up was a beautiful start to the day. The ride set out early and the pre-lunch 90km went by on the flats and pretty mild. I was feeling good... but this all changed after lunch where I fell to pieces heading up to the KoM, which actually more like 30km flat out to the bottom of the pass where I got dropped and crawled over the top. It was about 70 km to the next aid station after lunch, and by then I was well out of water and feeling pretty bad. The last 50km was easier, mainly thanks to Clive, Albert, Tara and a LOT of coke. By the time we hit Wanaka there was about an hour to chill and eat before heading into town to do the local aquathon. A '600m' OW swim took the quickest 20minutes to finish, so we think it was more like 1200m+, into a 4km run. It was quite a painful experience - the arms didn't want to turn over, legs were unresponsive. It was great fun. Johnny took out the overall win, probably ticking off a couple of local guys who had assumed it was in the bag. Tacked on another few kms to make up the run distance minimum after the race to get my double run points.
I'm a little sore. Tomorrow's an easier day - last year I used that to fit in a 2:30 run but I'm thinking I'll give it a miss this time! Still waiting for the conditioning to come back... I might be waiting a while.
Day 3 totals
Swim 1200m open water (or more)