1 Kilo up!
131 Days to race day
1 day no alcohol
So I wake up this morning knowing that I have to leave relatively early so that I can get in a decent ride and then relax for the rest of the day. I want to do at least 80km so decide that I will do a ride that I first did when I arrived in Wellington to one of the peaks of Makara where I normally go Mountain Biking. From memory it is around a 65km ride so I will have to extend it somehow when close to home. I did want to go along the waterfront but being a typical Wellington day, it is windy, very windy!!!. Wind of 46km/h and gusts of up to 80km/h are going to be a nightmare if I go around the exposed waterfront so will stick to the gullies and hills around Makara. I begin the ride. The road to Makara is an inland road that is not well used so there was no cars to worry about which was lucky as the wind was causing havoc with my bike. I normally stop just before a long climb up to the top of Makara but decided that I was feeling good so would keep going. As mentioned in my previous blog, I feel that I have now begun my preparation for my half ironman. There is no stopping in the race so why practice stopping. I get to the base of the climb and am feeling surprisingly good. As I start climbing I am looking for more gears however quickly realize I am no longer riding a Mountain Bike and already at the top of the chain ring...the climb is going to be a tough one. As I start weaving my way to the top, I am still feeling really good and know that the top is not far. I hit the top and make my quick decent down to Karori road to begin my ride home.
As I am nearing the city, I take same different turns to extend the ride a little more before hitting the main road back home. As I look down at my watch I realise that I have only achieved 32km. The ride home will be 15km maximum so it is going to be way short of the 80km ride I wanted to do. I decide that the only thing to do is turn around, head back into the city and begin the ride around the waterfront all the way to Owhiro Bay, right to the end of the coastal road. I start riding around the coast and quickly regret the decision to do this due to the horrendous wind but know that I have to get the long rides under control and then start tacking on longer and longer runs after them to get me ready for the 20km run after the 90km bike. It seems that no matter what direction I am going, the wind seems to be blowing in my face and when I say blowing, I mean virtually stopping any momentum of mine moving forward. There is a point that I am looking forward to around one of the bays when you hit a Trig Station or some kind of marker just off the road and at this point the wind which has been in your face for around 30 minutes usually stops. I hit the point and the wind stops...for a second! Somehow, despite me changing direction the wind is still in my face. I continue to ride along the bay road before hitting one point that I know is going to be hell. Just after the airport near a place called Lyall Bay is a straight stretch of road that runs parallel to the runway and on the other side is the surf beach. It always has a head wind and today did not disappoint.
I continue along the bay and get close to the end of the road before the long climb back into town. I am starting to feel tired all of a sudden and although I have been eating, I know that I have one banana left and still a long ride home. I climb up Happy Valley Road which is basically a 4.3km long climb back into town. I know that there is a bus stop just after the top. The perfect place to get off the bike, have a drink and my last banana but my thoughts of not stopping for the whole ride hit me and I realise that I will have to keep going. I am halfway up the long climb and I feel thirsty even though I am drinking regularly and I am now very hungry. Not good signs, I have not been eating and drinking enough even though I may think that I have. The second part of my training has just begun...nutrition. I reach the top of the climb and I am shattered. I stop at the bus stop and get off the bike. Forget the no stopping idea. My back is sore and I am starving. I eat the banana in no time and take a big drink. I don't stop for long before I descend back into town. I finally hit the same point I had been when I turned around, 36km earlier. I have now completed 68km and will get to around 80km before I am home. The ride home is going to be tough though, one massive hill, a lot of little hills and of course the hill of death to finish it off.
I begin heading up Ngaio gorge. A long steep climb that takes you from sea level up around 120 metres. I am half way up and am starting to really tire. I reach the top and begin the up and down climb to home. I am past the point of hungry now. I am starving and know that I am getting to the point of "bonking" which is the cycling term for 'hitting the wall'. I somehow make it to the base of the hill of death but it has been a struggle. I know that as soon as I drop off the bike I need to put on the Vibram's and go for a warm down run. That warm down run was going to be around 5km, but it has just been shortened to 1km. I hit the base of the "hill of death" and somehow find the strength to pull myself out of the saddle and begin the climb. All I can think about is food. I know that we have some fresh rolls at home and so my favorite sandwich is on the cards. Ham, cheese, cucumber and salad cream. I begin to worry about the fact that I don't think there is any cucumber at home. My perfect sandwich will not be perfect but it is food. I won't eat that before I go for the run so need something instant. Victoria came home with some Dunkin Donuts that other day. Is there a chance that the glazed one is still there??? All the thought of food has not only made me even more hungry but it has passed the time and I am now nearly home. I make it home and Victoria is downstairs. I come through the door and say to her "I need a favor". Victoria says "What do you need". I say "I need you to make me a roll and when I say make me a roll, I mean that you have about 8 minutes to make it". I open the container where the donuts where and see a glazed donut staring back at me. Before Victoria can say to me, "that is for your sister in law," it has already been engulfed by some sort of digestive osmosis. I put on my Vibram's and run around the block. I am hurting and as I continue to run I begin to think about how the hell I am going to do a 20km run after a 90km bike ride. But my legs start to loosen and the donut has done its job. The sugar has been sucked straight into my bloodstream and I am feeling much better. I come home have lunch and love the fact that I have had a good weekend of training despite the fact that I can no longer move my legs.
Below is the graph of the ride. The dark points are the hills that I have gone up. The blue line is the speed and the green line is the cadence (how fast I was peddling). The important one is the heart rate. No matter that I was not eating, the base fitness is there and my heart beat is even. I have also included the Google map showing the ride around Wellington. Got to love that bay ride, especially when the wind is blowing in Wellington.