Wednesday, 13 January 2010
The rest day feels like weeks ago and my mind and body are close to cracking. The only relief from the grind is the knowledge that we are only 3 days away from Bluff. I want to stop, rest, recover and recuperate but I will not stop until its done. I almost fell asleep in a cafe during the ride today. There was a fire and it was warm and I could have so easily curled up and slept till February. 3 days. Count 'em.
In better news, last night I managed to finally meet Bevan Eyles (from IMtalk) - a very nice guy and we had a good chat about Epic, Tri, life etc etc. For those who want to know, he is exactly like he sounds on IMtalk - bubbly, chatty and very personable. Bryan Rhodes also stopped by for a chat with the crew. We talked about his recent injury and racing career. Again, as is so common in this part of the world, a very friendly, down to earth guy.
This morning started with an 18km hilly trail run around the Sumner area of Christchurch. Stunning views and amazing scenery took some of the sting out of a very hard run. Lots of steep (walking/scrambling steep) uphills and technical downhills led to a real quad workout. As a guide the quickest Clas Bjorling has ever run this in training is 1hr 30min (Clas owns the IMNZ run record - 2.42ish, so is a pretty good runner!)
Needless to say it took us a lot longer than that. 1hr 55min for 18km is a long, arduous way to start the day. Breakfast and then on the road for a 151km ride to Geraldine. The day started with clear skies and a slight breeze. However the forecast(s) warned of a strong southern front. The Southerlies would be making a re-appearance. And apparently they would be bringing their relatives "Driving rains" as well.
Sure enough 30mins into the ride, the skys turned black, the temp dropped by 10degrees and for the next 5hrs we were all transported to Belgium for a flat farmland ride in head/side winds and driving rain. The farmland roads kicked up a slurry of dirt, soil, cr*p and dust that caked our legs and bikes. In Flanders they call this mixture "Belgian toothpaste". It gets everywhere.
The entire ride was a grind and at no point did nothing ache - the group mainly stuck together which led to a lot of surging and yo-yoing of pace and power - a very damaging way to ride as the spikes in power take it out of the legs. The weather and featureless scenery added to the general feeling of woe in the group.
All in all a tough day on the bike, and one that everyone is glad to be done with. For those who ran this morning as well, the general feeling is "shattered". There is something about running long that beats me up. Mind you, before coming to Epic camp, if someone had told me to run for 2hours and then ride 95miles I would have told them where to go. That we can do exactly that after 11 days of 7hrs training per day speaks volumes about Epic camp itself and the mindset it forces you into.
All i want to do now is sleep.
Tomorrow starts with a big swim (for me at least - i have to do the final 5km to get camp completion as tomorrow is likely to be the last swimming pool we visit) including the traditional swimming events held at every Epic camp: 400IM, 200m kick and 50m freestyle.
We then saddle up for another 150km to Oamaru.
No more running until Sunday for me - this is a very. good. thing.
POTD today is from the beautiful Godley bay - part of the trail run