Saturday, March 13, 2010

Riding The Wave

Training camps are a bit like our surf swim sessions out here. You head out from the beach full of energy and optimism, working hard but feeling good, ducking under the waves as they roll towards you. Finally you emerge on the back side of the break in the open ocean, enjoying the swells as they roll by. Then it’s time to swim back to the beach. Sometimes your timing is perfect, you catch the best wave and ride it all the way into the beach, sometimes you try your hardest but just miss the good ones and have to swim it in without the help of a wave. Other times you go for a big one and realize, a moment too late, that you aren’t going to make it and have to let the power of the wave have it’s way. Sometimes you make it out with little damage, other times you get smashed hard into the sand and aren’t sure which way is up! No matter how you get back to the beach, you turn around and do it again.

My camp here in Noosa has been a bit like that. Ups & downs and a few smashings. I’ve had some epic days out here. One day, while doing hill repeats solo on my bike it started to pour. As soon as I finished my workout, the rain stopped, epic. The only other person out there was a local who I would pass going the opposite direction every 10’ or so and wave at. We ended up riding together a few days later, again in the rain, and bonded over our rain/hill riding day.
Corner 7 on Noosa Hill:
Then there are the epic workouts that you wish someone else, even a stranger, was there to witness. In the driving rain & wind I headed out on my scooter to a quiet dirt road to run my intervals on (I’m sticking to softer surfaces here, since my bones are prone to stress fractures!). I got there soaked, cold and not very motivated. I managed to pull myself together and had a fantastic workout witnessed only by Red, my scooter! Another epic one.

My legs covered in sand post run.
Then there was what I call the ‘Misery Loves Company’ workout. Mile repeats on a sandy track in the national park, complete with wild Turkey’s running around. We were all in this one together, in the pouring rain, slugging out mile after mile—but this time, no camera--I couldn’t have done it without my fellow training mates out there suffering too! I also had a chance to return to that gravel road, with Heather & coach Paul, and in the hot sun we toughed out a long tempo run while Paul provided the aid station, again epic.

Along with these epic days, there were also the smashings, a swim where I thought I might drown if I didn’t have a pull buoy, a 4 hour ride where I had to ingest way too many Power Gels just to keep the pedals turning in the gale force head wind that appeared the last few kms! These days make you stronger too, mentally & physically.

Anyway, training has been going well for this time of the year, and it looks like cyclone Ului that has been causing the torrential downpours is almost gone…I also finished my first race of the 2010 season…the Splash & Dash 4 Ca$h! Unfortunately, I finished second to a young Aussie whipper snapper, but it was good to get a short race in before Mooloolaba next weekend, I haven’t raced since September last year…almost forgot how! More on the upcoming races later.

That’s all for now!

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