I have had some ups and downs and frustrations with race prep — so much to do and so little time. And I find myself wasting seemingly valuable time fixing small things, but even small things seem important in this logistically challenging race.
For example, today I spent 3 hours buying little pieces of tubing, fixing it to my kayak, going back to the store, buying new pieces of tubing, calling Tim Pearson for advice, and then finally configuring a decent drink system. This is after several hours of brainstorming over the last week. Here it is:
The idea is to keep the weight off my back during the 4.5 hour paddle by having my drinking water in the boat instead. But it has to stay put, not get in the way when I enter, and not fall out “if” I should flip. It also has to connect quickly at the run-to-kayak transition.
Then there were new carbon racing wheels for my bike that had to be set up with my cassette from my “non-racing” wheel. Thanks to Martin Flinta’s contact in town I’ve loaned these from Scott Molina, who has won several Ironman Hawaii races (good kharma with these wheels?).
Then I got a time trial helmet from Adam Milne (Andreas Mathisen may recognize number 46 on the helmet form last year 🙂 Hard to see in the picture, but it’s one of those funky arrow-shaped lids that will save me minutes (?!) when biking solo into a tough headwind (or at least that’s what they tell me…)
I had a meeting with my support crew to discuss logistics and go through all the food bags for each section and each Transition Area. Greg Scott and Tim Farrant are experienced racers and I’m in good hands with them. Even Simone Maier of Team AXA-adidas will be supporting me, as will a doctor I just picked up on the team — Dan Tartaglia (who’s also a good cook :).
I’ve had two massages in the past 5 days, which has really helped my recovery after my intense 5 days of training in the mountains. I put in four 5+ hour training days over five days and needed some recovery. Ytta, the Danish massage therapist here in town is fantastic ! (Thanks to my mom for treating me to these massages with a late xmas present !)
Today it was time to mix in some short, but intense training. I pedaled out to the Tai Tapu time trial, a 16 km course (out and back) that the locals have been racing every Tuesday for a couple decades I think (?). It was a good day to test some of my new equipment — the wind was blowing hard which means holding 35 kph was tough on the way out, but I reached 50 on a few stretches coming home, as this graph shows (the last 23 minutes was the race).
I snuck into the top 10 of the 38 riders there and felt pretty good about it (results: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Canterbury-Time-Trial-Association/250916344952513). I threw on my running shoes and had a steady 30 min run afterwards and my tempo and leg speed felt really good.
I managed to drop 2 kg over the last months of training, which was my goal. Hopefully that will help me over the mountain with a little less effort on Saturday. My data points aren’t too consistent and they are produced by three different scales, which I’ve used on three continents (Europe, US, and NZ), but it gives a rough idea of my weight 🙂 … oh, and that high outlier — that was the morning after too many beers with Jari and friends in San Diego 🙁
Leaving for West coast in 36 hours. Race starts in 72 …