Monday, 4 February 2013

Karen writes: Longest week...again

Longest bike-ride of 160km, that was a hard one on a hot, dry and windy day. I didn't stick to the nutrition plan, stopping for flavoured milk and extra water twice, and not being able to resist some date/nut balls the lady at the fruit and vege shop outside Clevedon handed me.  Using the salt capsules instead of electrolyte drink seemed to work, at least I didn't feel sick like I can after a while drinking the sweet stuff.  Anyway the ride was ticked off, am on the downward training slope to Ironman now...if you can call two more rides of 140km really going down.  One thing to break up the ride was offered by my usual trick of finding strange things on the side of the road.  I found a pair of clamps that builders use, each about 2 feet long, I couldn't leave them there.  A bit of manoeuvring and inventive use of my jacket and I ended up with something that looked like a parcel rack over the back wheel, I couldn't ride like that for long though, the metal bashed the back of my legs so the clamps got dropped off via a detour to the Clevedon police station, much to the amusement of the lady behind the counter.

Longest run on Sunday of 31km, on legs that should have felt tired but strangely enough didn't, the brain was the stumbling block, that and finding enough water to keep going on such a hot day. The run was a lesson in exercising in the hot weather, I made my first mistake by deciding that I wanted to run in the cooler bush so I headed for the Whitford forest, initially straggling along the main road with the hot surface and the dust and cars and I got there the two gates were padlocked and there was a sign saying "forest closed, fire danger".  Oh.  A lady was there waiting for some mountain bikers to come out, "oh just go in round the edge of the gates" she said, I thought "do I really want to a) get accused of putting the forestry at risk by going where I'm told not to, or b) risk myself in the event of some mountain biker striking a spark in the tinder dry undergrowth?".  That was easy, I turned around and made my second mistake of the day, I headed back to the road, up a hill, down a big hill, up another hill, over the stile, along the cow track to the Maraetai forest and found a sign, this one hand painted, saying "forest closed".  Ok.  Then it was a long and dry trek back to the main road to make up the full distance on the unlovely tarseal but I eventually did, and there were a surprising number of other mad people out running in the heat too.  Then it was off to the Clevedon jazz, wine and food festival for a few more hours in the hot sun and a good excuse to eat icecream with not the slightest feeling of guilt!

I need to do a big swim, I mean a really big one.  I am happy with the cycling, just need to be more strict with myself about practising nutrition for the day, I'm pretty happy with the running on the theory that I can always walk, but I have barely done any swimming, less than one swim a week and the longest was just under 3km.  If I can get a good long swim in this week I am sure I will feel like I am almost ready...just over 3 weeks to go!