Monday, 20 January 2014

Karen writes: SRAM Tour de Hunua

Saturday, out of bed early, off to Clevedon for the annual Tour de Hunua bike-ride.  No nerves this time, I knew what to expect having done this event last year. I did however look rather wistfully at the Tri-Maori triathlon being setup at Umupuia as I drove by, the sea looked gorgeous and an event involving a dip in that seemed a much more appealing prospect than a long, hot, and hilly ride.

Driving onto the dusty paddock at Clevedon, lots of cars, lots of bikes, no Kate, she had her own training plans for the weekend and unlike me she is sticking to her plan.  I parked, got the bike out of the back of the wee car and reassembled it with much re-checking of the levers and nuts, I have this paranoia that I wont do the front wheel up and it will fall off going down a hill.  Hang around, talk to the man next door, hang around, visit the toilet.  Now every race has it's disadvantages and advantages.  This event is SO heavy on male competitors that the queues for the portaloos and the men's toilet are very, very long.  The women's toilet however has almost no queue at all, this was because of the roughly 1: 7 female to male ratio.

What can I say about the ride itself?  The course is spectacular, but hard. You leave Clevedon straight into hills, big hills, there are a few flats, but then always more hills to trick the unfamiliar. A number of people who rode past me commented that it was a "hard ride", I kept to myself that there was still harder to come.  I spent much of my time by myself which is never good for motivation to push hard, and I rode (or wandered) for 4 hours 47, which was about a minute slower than last year.  I had exactly 4 people behind me out of nearly 500 by the time I finished, but I finished feeling like I could keep going.  Yep, I'm definitely at the back of the pack, but I felt good...BIG TICK...this was the confidence booster I needed to prove to myself that I am nearly as fit as last year.

Sunday, out the door early again, I ran 23km with a bit of walking (laziness rather than anything being wrong), a bit short of what I wanted to do but I was still pleased with the effort, it was an effort on 'tired legs' after all. The only thing of interest was while dawdling along the main road I saw something shining in the drain, oh, someone had lost their flash Samsung 4g mobile phone in it's nice Otter box.  It was too big to go into my waist bag so I had to carry the thing for another 15km which was a bit of a pain and must have looked odd, but when I got home I was able to ring the owner who came and collected it with great relief. Turned out a wallet I had found on that road the week before and dropped in at the police station also belonged to him, he'd left phone and wallet on top of his car before driving off. Such things do make a long distance run more memorable.  Anyway, I'm now entering week 6 out from Ironman. The plan (as always likely to change completely) is Monday another bikeride and spin, Tuesday swim, Wednesday run, Thursday off, Friday Annual leave for a big bike-ride, Saturday swim, Sunday big run.