Sunday, 20 November 2011
The final countdown
I felt strong on Saturday's 5 hour ride, of course the tailwind on the way back helped. I had my first encounter with a snake right in the middle of the freeway bike path. Luckily the cyclist in front threw some pebbles to get it moving out of the way. I was attacked by a magpie again on the way back, I was in aero position and it pecked my back this time, instead of my helmet. Fortunately, there weren't any scratches or wounds. Well, it would be a while before I pay another visit to the freeway bike path, so there won't be any more standoffs with magpies for some time (or so I thought...)
I was surprised with how my legs held up for the 30 minute brick run. I ran along Mounts Bay Road foreshore, passing the Swan Brewery towards UWA Boatshed and back. I think it has been more than 6 months since I last ran on that path and it was good to bring back some memories, as it used to be my ONLY running route. I did 6.8km with an average pace of 4:25.
On Sunday morning, I had a run of 1 hour 55 minutes in the books. I started off well, just under 4:30 pace. With about 35 minutes left to go, I slowed down to a 5 minute pace jog. Ended up logging 25.1km, which was part of my initial plan to do at least 25kms. The magpies wouldn't give me a break, I had one swooping down on me towards the final few minutes of my run. This is the first time I've experienced a magpie attack in our neighbourhood.
To say that I'm better prepared than last year is a bit of an understatement. With Bill's guidance, I've been training injury free. I have logged over 300kms of riding for 4 weeks of my training, with many weeks in excess of 270kms. Last year I only did a couple of weeks of riding over 200kms. Last year I was bogged down with shin splints and could barely do any running, I was only running one hour per week, even in the final weeks leading up to the race. Whereas this year, I've clocked over 40kms every week apart from the easy weeks, with a few in the 50s and one just over 60km.
Of course all this doesn't count as what matters is how I pull up on race day. The next two weeks of taper will be crucial, to keep myself healthy, eating right and getting as much recovery as possible. Good luck everyone!