9.5 days away, heaps of time. No worries. I just took 3 months off work for this day. No big deal.
I can handle the pressure, I love this part: The taper. Finally I feel light on my feet and full of energy. After months of crazy thoughts that conclude on negatives and sometimes positives ideas, I’m now maintaining a confident and positive approach. It is easy all I do is not allow any negative thoughts to enter my head. I am buzzing at the thought of how close it is, it gets my heart racing.
I’m really fit. Just sitting down I can drop my heart rate to about 40BPM within 20seconds. I’ve been wearing a heart rate monitor all summer. I hate it. It has left a lovely tan line and itchy Eczema marks. It is sweaty and chest restricting. But with my main man Cam Durno who has been Coaching me since October it is a requirement. Sessions are focused around Heart Rate zones and I have soaked up a whole lot of quality training. Yes now I have a coach. I should update my Bio I suppose.
I spent all of December in Wairoa, Hawke’s Bay on the farm. The sun there is the hottest in the country by far. So many days in the mid thirtys. Long runs on the exposed farm land hills were tough sessions. The Wairoa river is always flat so an excellent chance to get a month of technique training in the K1. Waikaremoana and the Ureweras were an excellent as a training ground too. I spent a little bit of time doing some club races with the Gisborne cycling club. Loved the long rides by myself around Mahia peninsula stopping only at the dairy for a Oslers Bakery steak pie before heading home.
New years day I made the trip south, gorged myself on the incredibly addictive beer batter fries on the Blue Bridge Ferry and did a massive training day in Blenheim the following day. A practice ‘longest day’. Cycling on the Marlborough flats, running up Mt Robertson and kayaking the Wairau. It was here the symptoms of my cold began. I finished the drive to Canterbury that day where I was to reside at my Aunt’s & Uncle’s home in West Melton for a few weeks. I spent the next two days in bed with sleepless nights and a heavy fever. The fever lasted about 10 days. It didn’t help that I trained through it. A run over goat pass included dunking my head underwater a few times to cool the overheating head. Ahhh bugger.
I paddled the Waimak quite a few times and watched it get lower over time and scrap the bottom off my precious battleship. Eventually I got my energy back and the fever left me. But plenty of remnants of flem and snot.
On January 17th I competed in the Greymouth MountainMan race. It has been set up to sequence the same in stages as Coast to Coast but shorter. Idea was to treat it as practice for the real day. I felt good and confident in the morning. The day went nearly perfect. I nailed my nutrition and raised the intensity where I would want to. I was however slow, really slow. I placed well back. No speed work and perhaps the leftovers of the fever. Disappointed with the placing I got but reminded myself to be patient and took good points of learning from the day.
Three days later I moved to Lyttelton Harbour at my Grandparents home, where I stay till race day. Further from Arthurs Pass but an excellent training location. The water 20 meters from the front door and trails to run on everywhere. I’ve participated in some cool bunch rides, Tuesday Worlds from Princess Margaret Hospital and Sunday rides from Homebase in Shirley. All commenting on my sweet new ride. It is a beaut of a bike, so fast to ride and finally I have a nice wheelset! Thanks Giant Bikes and Torpedo7 for your support.
I spend most of the spare time doing maintenance on the bikes, and the kayak. At least 10 hours this week has been spent on repairing my foot block/ steering system which snapped last Friday 1 HOUR INTO THE WAIMAK. Lucky then and not in the race. Also time sanding down the boat, filling the deep scratches with resin and putting on a fresh coat of paint. Fresh set of tyres on the bike which are wearing in this week. Recovery time in the neighbours spa, and some proprioception work on the tight ropes at the confidence course and rocky stream in the park across the road.
Things are running smooth (including wheel bearings and the bottom of my boat). Getting organised ahead of time for once. Counting out 10 band aids is annoying for compulsory gear, I do need to find a long sleeved paddle jacket still (mine is short sleeved) and I haven’t got a support crew that are capable of running up the hill for the kayak transition with me yet!
Apparently I have been ‘seeded’. It is an honor to be recognised. Very cool. However I don’t like it really. I prefer to not be mentioned before the event. However that’s what I get for not winning the race the first year. Now I’ve become a familiar face!
There is now an App which you should download – Free. Live updates of the race all days with GPS tracking too. Search “Speight’s Coast to Coast’ in your App store. Or try clicking here Andriod OR Apple
Countdown is on. I would love any support on the day. If you’re in the area try and visit me on the day! A cheer always helps. Otherwise yelling at the digital screen is good enough too :D. Here’s a map of the final ride route if you are going to be local.