Saturday, 16 June 2012

Aintree Lodge Again!

The years pass so fast. This is my 6th pre-race dinner for the Freedom Challenge. Twice as a Ride to Rhodes rider and fourth time as a Race Across South Africa competitor.
This year I have no pre-race objective or strategy save that I must get to the finish. My physical condition has declined in the last month due to a lingering virus and I have no real idea of my physical capabilities. Tomorrow I will just ride my bike and let my condition dictate my strategy.
I was originally supposed to start on Monday 18th but requested a start a day earlier to allow me to get home a day earlier. Trevor Ball (RASA 2009 and 2010) was wanting to ride with me on monday. As it turns out he was here a day early. Hearing my change of plan he is now starting in the morning with me. Right now he is fast tracking his bike preparation and packing. Going to be good fun tomorrow. Weather looks to be a tad too warm but better than rain.
Please fasten your seat belts and remain seated, flight RASA 2012 is preparing for takeoff!

Monday, 11 June 2012

Is this really such a great idea?

As I lie here under a fluffy duvet with the electric blanket cranked up to 'roast' the idea of getting on my bike in the dark every morning and heading out into hostile weather seems like such a dumb idea! And yet, this time next week that's exactly what I will be doing. The 3rd batch of Freedom Challenge 2012 riders have just set off from Pietermaritzburg and I hope the weather is warmer there than it is here in Gauteng where the mercury is hovering around zero. I really don't like getting up in the cold. Zero is probably going to be considered a balmy start to the day on the trail. Reading the chit chat on the twitter feed is interesting - those waiting for their start batches are divided into the excited novices and the worried old hands. The weather looks like it is going to be horrendous this year. Having said that, I have always found the anticipation of bad weather to be worse than the reality on the day. Let's hope it plays out that way this year.
I am not in the condition I was hoping for fitness wise but must dig in and make the best of what I have for the first few days. After that we are all broken and your start condition no longer matters. I have a very fluid race strategy at the moment. In the cold and dark early mornings a 26 day strategy, dashing from one warm fireplace to another, seems optimal. When the sun is up and there is no wind, chopping 10 days off my predawn strategy seems like a good idea. Then the sun goes down and 26 days seems like such a push!
Sunlight, albeit a little pale, is poking through my window. Time to face the world again.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Less than 2 weeks to the start and I feel terrible

Just started a course of antibiotics as I have lost the battle of trying to out stare the dose of lurgy I have. At least I have enough time to recover before the race starts. Can't train but with less than 2 weeks to go it isn't a major set back. Haven't had a solid ride since last week. The ride this past weekend had me puffing like an over laden steam train on a steep incline. Was supposed to be a short easy paced ride, which it was except it felt like I was sprinting for the yellow jersey up a Tour de France mountain stage climbing finish - dead legs and heaving lungs.
Will this affect my race strategy? Nah! Going to ride until I drop every day. Might just drop a lot sooner than expected. It is going to very interesting for me and the race followers to see how that pans out.