The demons of Saturdays ride were still in my mind over the last few days and I was really looking forward to my ride to get some kind of confidence back in my cycling legs. My running and swimming have been fine the whole time, just that 1 pesky ride that had been playing on my mind.
A 3.5hr ride with 7 x 20min efforts was on order and out to the Queen K I headed. Fully loaded once again with my nutrition and hydration, I had my usual warm up and then started the efforts.
Making my way along the Queen K, ticking each effort as I went I was starting to gain confidence that I really did pack my cycling legs for this trip. Calculating how far out I would get and trying to work out if I had a head/tail or cross wind influences where you turn around. Being caught out previously on this trip I didn't want to got 1hr 45min out and over 2hrs back!!
Getting to Kawihae (the usual drink stop) I still had 5min to go in my last effort and 10min before I needed to turn back. I started the climb towards Hawi and felt really really great. Finishing this effort, I turned back to the drink stop filled up and headed off again. Unfortunately for me, the end of my last effort was going to be the same as the start of my next one..... UPHILL. You have to climb out of Kawaihae in either direction, so heading back to the Queen K, I started my effort a little conservative as I know now that if you go too hard early, you don't make the end!!
Back onto the Queen K, I was feeling great but knew that there were some sections of the return trip that really sort you out if you haven't had enough to eat or drink.
Just finishing my 5th effort these two guys rolled up to me and we started to chat. Discovering that they were from NZ the accent was not too strong we struck up a good conversation until I had to start my next effort. Once I began this, I noticed a little gap behind me (they said that they would just sit on my wheel) and then something that I never expected to happen, they just rode passed me and off into the distance. Confidence shattered just like that! I thought that I was going ok until this. Maybe not?!? What have I done wrong?? Why can't I sit with them?
Not trying to let it destroy my ride, I continued on my merry way thinking that I would catch them, nope, gonski! Ok, new thought process...This is the World Champs, I am only going to be a mid range here and who are these guys?? They could be UBER cyclists and can't swim or run. They were a bit older than me, so at least that they are not in my age group!
Ticking off my 6th and starting my final effort, my legs were still feeling ok, I had lost a little of my top end power, however the road back has more inclines than declines so that is expected. Getting towards the end of my ride and passing many a cyclist along the way, who did I see and was catching? The 2 NZ guys. Ok, my legs must be going well, maybe they were fresher and didn't go the whole way out as me.
Anyway as I caught them, the words, "Where the f*** did you come from?" were said. I had a little smile and said that I was just about to finish my effort. A coffee invite was also thrown my way and due to the fact that I was running off the bike, I declined and headed back to the apartment.
Getting back into Transitions (apartment) I had a reasonably slow change, made sure that I ate and had a drink before my 40min run. Legs feeling good, the entire was out and back.
I must say that it was one of the hottest days that I have trained in here to date and to get 119k's in on the bike and 9.6k's running gave me a big confidence booster.
The afternoon entailed a massage. I had organised a traditional Japanese massage to get the body going without too much trauma. Below are some of the photos and tools used.
Yes a mallet and block (apparently good for straightening out triathlete shoulders that are hunched over!)
Above: Pain in order!
Above: Pain being inflicted
The massage was amazing and I felt really great following. Booking another 3 massages before the race along with taper should see me in tip top condition.
A few more pics below!
Above left: Carla about to receive the mallet treatment
Above right: Impact into my lower back.
The pain was not intense, however you did know that you were getting some. Post massage I was once again reminded to do some core work... OK OK, maybe after this race I will look into getting a core program happening.
The next two days are lightish days and with a reasonable weekend, the time is drawing ever so close.
PS....can't wait to catch up with Billy & Gail, their flight was delayed due to the weather back home, but am hoping that they arrive today!