Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Big Jo training 25 July - 31 July


Had a catch up with Coach Haydn about my swimming this week and now have a few different things to work on.  Unfortunately I am about to become one of these people that I like to make fun of who use all kinds of paraphernalia all at once like fins and paddles.  I have already had to become a person who uses a watch instead of the clock but only because the GI has such crappy clocks in such dumb places that I can't actually see them when I am in the pool even with contacts in.  But if it makes me a faster swimmer I'll do it.
Only did 2 swims this week due to a reshuffling of sessions because of the race in the weekend and I ended up having to cut my swim in favour of my long run.


Took it quite easy early on in the week in preparation for the big race in the weekend.  For the newcomers to my blog - me and 5 of my cycling buddies did the Solo Race of Six Friends which is a style of racing known as a Gentlemen's Race for those people who know what that is.  Bascially you have 6 people in a team and a course which is revealed about 15mins before you start, you are given directions and it is unmarshalled but with a few check points along the way.  It is handicapped and teams leave at 2-3min intervals.
A frosty start
 I was the token female in our team to get us more of a handicap. 
What are you doing Neilio?

Roy's Rebels looking sharp thanks to BMW sponsorship
 I was a bit concerned about this race with my current bike fitness but a last minute change in team mates took the pressure off a bit.  We got off to a good start, passing about 3 teams in the first half hour and getting through the gravel sections unscathed.  I was quite worried about the gravel but it turned out to be ok, pretty hard packed in most places and some very large ruts, they told us about 10% would be gravel but I think it was a bit more than that, some of these sections went on forever.
Gravely gravel

Uphill gravel

J-rad checking that Joanna Razzell is still on
I got a lucky break with a couple of punctures in our group on one of the big downhill gravel sections which meant I was able to cruise down at my own pace while they fixed the punctures which I think saved my legs quite a bit.
We regrouped after the punctures and started making some good time but unfortunately had a major stuff up in the navigation department and ended up 8kms out in the wrong direction with no option but to turn around and head back.  We had been team time trialling it with Uncle Roy on the front averaging between 35-40km and it was very sad to have to head back from where we came. I think it definately broke our spirits a bit.
Check in point
First check in point - still riding with gay abandon

Stuck behind Neilio in the gravel

J-Rad and Neilio

The Serottica in action

Uncle Roy the stalwart
Once we were back on course (with an extra 16km in our legs) we got to the nastiest hill of the day which maxed out at 18% gradient.  To add insult to injury the last 50m, which was the steepest part, was gravel - ever try to ride up an 18% hill on gravel?! There were a lot of causalities and I believe that more than one person in the race had to get off and walk.  I think one of our teammates was pretty close to this by the looks of the photos and one unnamed member of our team managed to get a bit of tow from our supporters car...
Some major suffering going on

Whats going on at the bottom of the hill?!

Happy little pace line

We then took another wrong turn which could have been very bad for us but luckily our supporters were onto it and managed to wave us back.  Tempers were getting a bit frayed at this point but we got back to the finish the shortest way possible and ended up with about 12km more than anyone else.
Despite our problems it was a great event and had a certain spirit to it which no other race I have ever done has had.  We were very lucky with the weather for this time of year, I think that the vibe in the team could have been a bit different if we had kept taking wrong turns in the pouring rain...
Sums up the spirit of the race
Hopefully Amy Taylor and Mike Little don't mind me stealing a couple of their photos...


A bit under 50km for the week with a long run of 25km, it has been a very long time since I have run that far in one go!  I even had to take a Gu with me.  I had to do this run before work mid-week which is definitely not a usual time for me to run, especially that far as well.  But it generally went ok, not quite as quick as the week before but still a decent pace.  I won't do my next long run until next week at our Aussie training camp so it will be slightly more exotic than my usual route. 
Leggies have been holding up ok, one calf and one shin have been a bit niggly and sadly my massage lady is in France (how rude!) but I have been managing ok.  I will be very glad to see her when she gets back.


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