06 February 2009

EC NZ '09 - Day 4

EC NZ Day 4 (and rest of Day 3)

First - some other catching up on stuff…….
Mighty Might Jo Carrit has a knee problem since day one and has really struggled with what to do since then. Like the onset of any over-use injury its hard to know for sure how much you can train while you treat it. She has a very big year planned and that includes time off from her job in London so she can train and travel as she likes so this is a critical time for her as she doesn’t want to jeopardize here year which includes IM NZ, IM Lanzarote and Kona among other events. So far she’s sat out some of the cycling. I’m hoping she’ll not get too down about that and keep her big picture firmly in the front of her mind.

Ian from N. Cal has found the pace kinda crazy. He’s mostly here for the cycling so isnt’ all that interested in playing the points game but hopefully we’ll entice him out for some running and swimming. I hope to get a chance to catch up with him at some stage soon to see how he’s feeling.

Dell from the U.K. called it a day at the 200km point yesterday and that seems to have been a wise move as he’s back out there today and looking good.
Dave Langley from Brisbane is my roomie tonight and he just told me “so far so good”. He hasn’t missed a beat and seems to be handling everything just fine. He’s got IM Aussie (Port Macquarie) coming up as well as a possible IM W.A. and my bet is he’s gonna take at least an hour off of his IM PB as his prep for this camp has gotten him off to a great start to the year.

KOM – Chris looks to have a good lead there and I think only Bevan; when fully fit; would be able to challenge him on any climb. Bevan hasn’t been riding much (bit of an under-statement!) but has been running and he teaches group fitness (aerobics, Pump, Spin classes) for a job so I think he’ll keep Chris honest on the KOM’s.
Bevan has also started putting some podcasts up on this Epic Camp website so you can hear some interviews with the campers.
We’ve got the biggest climb in the country on tap tomorrow – Takaka Hill – so that should start to make the KOM pecking order a little clearer for the rest of us.

The food! – A very big THANK You goes out to our super support crew for preparing us fabulous, plentiful food.
Also – a plug here for Em of “Em’s Power Cookies” fame. She’s supplied us with the most fantastic healthy snacks. Yummy stuff Em!!!

Because we are sticking to the rule that stipulates you have no more than 12 hours to complete all of your training each day and because the ride yesterday took so long we made a ruling that people could make up the swim or run if they missed it to get the end of camp bonus for completing a s/b/r every day. I chose to run before that long ride as I really can’t expect to be doing any extra runs. We have a 2-hour run on Day 4 on the Heaphy Track, an Aquathon race on Day 6 at Kaiteriteri enroute home and a 10km at the end of our Tri on Day 8. So lots of solid running coming up.
OK – on to Day 4 – Nelson - Collingwood

The plan was to swim or run (or both) in the morning before breakfast then ride the 130km to Collingwood with a race over Takaka Hill enroute.
There were a few 6km swims done and some very impressive swimming by Heath who cranked out 10 x 200 on the 2:40 for 3 extra points. I barely managed 20 x 100 on the 1:30 for 2 extra points along with John, Tara and Chris. It is nice to swim outdoors but that pool isn’t exactly a fast pool.
I also managed a 200fly after that for a bonus point and of all the things we do on this camp that is one of the things I’m most happy about getting out of the way. I’ve still got the 1km of bands only to do and that’s going to be a struggle for sure.

Lots of people ran this morning. Dave and I found a nice bike path that was built on an old railway line.

The ride to Riwaka which is near the base of Takaka Hill was very civil with Mike sitting off the front with Heath for quite a long time.
After a stop for drinks I attacked right off the bat to get things rolling and the hammering continued right to the top.
As expected Chris and Bevan pulled away quite quickly and Bevan won with Chris a close second. The battle for 3rd saw Heath and Lou gradually pull away at about the ½ way point with John, Piet, Tara, Steve and I staying in contact. John, Steve and I nearly caught that pair at the top with Piet and Tara suffering a little further back.
The rain continued to fall lightly all the way up and down the other side which kept it cool on the way up but pretty damn cold going down. I wish it would have been clearer as the view from the top looking down on Golden Bay is spectacular.
Good to hear there were no crashes when we assembled for lunch in Takaka. Since it was only 30km from there to our accom in Collingwood we cruised.

Once we arrived in Collingwood it started to clear up and a few people went out for some extra points, some went out to get the make-up swim done.
By this time the sun was high in the sky and the U.V. index was at Max. Sitting there at the end of this little island slowly turning purple with a few cold Epic Ales was just as good as I had imagined when I was thinking up the route for this camp. On a great summer day this part of the world really is magic.
Needless to say I don’t remember a hell of a lot else after that except that we made it to the pub and had lots of laughs telling stories of days long gone by……….