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Preparation for this race was abysmal, with 3 weeks overseas without a bike or even a hotel gym to work with. Got into Sydney at 6.00 am Wednesday after an overnight flight, so dealing with jet lag and lingering gastric problems from some dodgy seafood in Singapore. Quick spin on Wednesday after a nap, then up to Ourimbah for a couple of laps on Thursday, because I hadn't been there for a few years. Felt OK, so got my entry in. Went for another spin on Friday morning and felt really flat. Put it down to the fact that it was really cold and started raining just after I went out.
The last time I rode Ourimbah was 2 years ago for the same race.
Today was freezing cold, but somehow that made me less fatigued.
Enjoyed every single lap. I finished 2 seconds after the 4 hr mark, if I didn't go for a toilet break after the 1st lap I would've had time to do a 7th lap.
Coming in at 9th place for my age category(30-39) I was stoked, best results in a race so far !
I really need to learn to descent faster though, I was able to overtake guys when the trail goes up up but on the way down the guys I overtook would overtake me
I’m going to indulge in this write up because it turned out to be significant!
On the way home from the race Liz told me she had something pop up on Facebook saying today was exactly 12 months since my first ride after my big accident – I was off the bike for 95 days. Today was also my first podium result in a race.
So back up a few days, I was training ok and knew if I finished top 6 today I’d secure 3rd for the series with 1 round to go. Then I came down with a cold… The last 3 days I’ve struggled to get out of bed.
It was a cold morning and I was coming off a hectific few weeks at a new job and carrying a cold so not much training for the last 2 weeks.
@ahein and I teamed up and decided late that we'd just do the 4 hour. A very good decission that made it a fun day rather than a hard slog. We agreed that I'd head out first, a decission I realised would possibly have me doing 4 laps... Into the first lap with the cold air and still a bit sick I felt like I was riding with about 70 lung capacity. Pushed through it though a happy with the first lap just under 40 minutes.
Having some connection with the Hunter Valley, I have been keen to give the Port to Port a crack since its inception.
This year is it's third and I finally got around to entering it, but could only make it for the first two stages. Having completed them now, I think I would have only lasted the first two anyways!
I went into this completely underdone but was riding with an old mate who had come over from South Australia for it and so it was a very social affair. I wont post times or position and the like - suffice it to say I was very much towards the rear on both days.
You guys don't know me, but I keep a blog on my website and thought I would share in case anyone was interested - ridingforcancer.com
Saturday 30 April 2016. Back to the scene of my hardest day on the bike - the Convict 100.
I attempted the Convict last year in when it was scheduled in August. At that point, I'd only been riding for a handful of months and my longest ride prior was 3 hours and 90km... on the road... That never bodes well for a mountain bike race 100km long, that's expected to take up to 5 hours.
As much as I enjoy the Convict I was in 2 minds whether to enter this year. Since completing the Pioneer, and then wrongly deciding to race the Willo a couple of weeks later, I've not really been motivated to train or race. 9 days in UK/France over Easter, and 60 hours of travel in a short time frame, was hard on my body and I returned from that trip feeling very tired and jetlagged.
After being without a mtb for 6 months my new trek arrived the week before the convict, so what better place for a first ride then a race. I've been keeping fit on the road bike while the mtb was on order, however after the bobbin head classic I came down with shingles which kept me off the bike for 4 weeks.
The Convict is always a race I look forward to. It was my first 100km race in 2012 and one I have done every year since. For me it’s a benchmark of my progression, and one of the few races where I know my race times off my head!
With a new bike this year I started putting the pressure on myself a couple of months out. Had I made the right decision changing bikes? Would I be quicker? Was I as fit as last year? Each year I feel I am at my peak for this race, so the pressure to repeat the performance seems higher each time.
Last year was the first Convict I missed in its 11yr history due to injury so this year was my first attempt in the reverse direction – we did climb Jacks Track in the first year of the event but it was a different course then (harder!). I estimated this direction would be 20-25mins slower so my aim was sub 5:30.
The weather forecast was for 10-20mm rain so I added some weatherproofing to the bike and decided to carry more weight in the Camelbak rather than on the bike but when I arrived it was light rain and warm so I didn’t wear any of the wet gear I brought along.