Saturday, 1 March 2014

20 days to go....

Had a reasonably solid week on the bike this week.  Tuesday was the local group doing a solid 55k around what we call the "Serpentine loop" around Sydney's beautiful  northern beaches and then late in the day, I did another 25k just following the pre Heffron race pack around Centennial Park while waiting to pick up my son from football practice

I was pretty tired on Tuesday afternoon, mainly due to Sundays ride, coming out in my legs.  I decided to let Wednesday be a rest day and then Thursday did the local "plan B"group McCarrs Creek with roll-throughs. Another solid 55k loop for me.  This entails trying to roll-through the front wheel of the peleton, and holding the pace, no matter if the road is level, down or up. Only 3 of us (me and Buzz being 2 of them) could go the whole way without missing a turn.  The ride starts easy enough, however as the legs tire, the temptation is to sit our a couple of turns on the front!!

Flew to Darwin after my early Thursday ride for work and got back to Sydney late on Friday night. With everything that is happening at work at the moment, it is sometimes hard to get a balance and keep the training up. On Saturday, Buzz and I were entered into a 4 hour MTB race at Awaba on the NSW Central Coast. The plan was for us to ride it as a full dress rehearsal for the AbsaCape Epic.  Unfortunately, as per many of our other races, we got rained out and the schedule has changed till 29th March, which is no good to us as we will be in Sth Africa!! I noticed the Hampton boys of Damo and Rusty did a 3 hour enduro in the You Yangs, just out of Melbourne, no doubt also doing a final hit up as a team before taking off. Both did really well and will be very competitve come the Epic.
Was raining Cats and Dogs all weekend

So it was agreed, even if wet, we would be out Saturday morning.  It was pretty wet with torrential rain in a couple of areas, however there was still a big group out with over 30 leaving Bike Addiction on time at 5.30am.
And even the Dog wasnt too pleased to
be out in it!!
These are handy little devices
when you run out of gas canisters
We did 80k with some solid sprint efforts and climbing and I felt good all the way, and really not in any pressure to hold a wheel at all.  Good for the confidence.After leaving the group, I went home and had breakfast, then put on some new dry kit and took off again in the rain, to make it a 150k trip.  I had 3 punctures this afternoon, as all the tyres go soft in the wet and glass makes more of an impact. Lucky I carry a little valve adjuster as well as some patches, because when you have 2 canisters, 2 spare tubes and have 3 punctures, it makes for a long walk home!!

I was pretty happy with my 152k hit out. Over 1500m of climbing and averaged over 30.5kph for the distance.  I felt pretty strong and it was going to be interesting going out on Sunday for a solid 100k with Buzz.

Sunday was dry (er) and we set a good pace.  My legs were toast and Buzz was looking fresh so I put the head down and dug in.  We went via the Club Race circuit at West Head which was very tough.  I knew I was doing it tough and this was further endorsed when we hit the 3k McCarrs creek climb, where Buzz managed to get away from me and put 75m on me going up the hill.  This was in stark contrast to the day before, where I dropped Buzz.

We finally hit Manly for some well earned toast and coffee, but not before the rain hit again and we got drenched.  The roads were full of water making staying upright somewhat treacherours and very difficult to see(and be seen) cars.

My training details

Interesting if I look at my training log from December to February 2014 and compare it to the same period in the ramp up to the 2012 Epic, the time and distance are almost identical, which is a good thing as I went into the 2012 Epic reasonably fit and I am (unfortunately) 2 years older now.  However if you look at the vertical metres climbed, I have climbed over 5000m more this year or around 12% more than the same period in 2012.

So hopefully it will all come good in a couple of weeks......we will see!

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