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My Convict Blog, Finally

GAZZA's picture

By GAZZA - Posted on 09 May 2013

Re: This ride meeting: 
Convict 100 2013
Position (Overall): 
Race Category: 
100km Male Veteran
Position (Category): 

I went into this race having no idea what time i was going to do as i wasn't here for it last year and had a shocker (for no apparent reason) the year before.
I knew i was fitter than previous years but having had a throat virus for about 4 weeks in the lead up i knew my training hadn't gone exactly to plan.
I arrived just before dark on Friday and set up camp with my riding Buddies from Manly.
Normally my Partner Martine cooks up a big pasta and we do a steak with it on the camp stove but i've learnt that a steak isn't really the best thing to eat the night before a long race ( I should write another blog on my mistake of having an all you can eat buffet the night before the National XC champs!)
Anyway, I opened my first beer and had the usual slating banter with the Boys before having dinner at The Fickle Wombat ( i should write a second blog on how dissapointing that was!)
Back to camp and although the group i ride with are regular podium placers in their categories, The strict rule is, If you camp and socialise with us, then you drink with us also. ( We have a game that the looser of the group at any Marathon is to host a BBQ for all the riders and their partners, once you've had the bbq then you're free untill everyone has hosted one!)
Anyway! 4 wines and two beers later and its time for bed.
Id always felt too full at the beginning of Marathons so decided to get up 30 mins earlier this time @4.30am and start my breakfast and hydration.
I grazed on my oats and sipped slowly on my drinks which seemed to work a treat as i felt satisfied but not full once i got to the start line.
On the line i was placed in the first (non Elite) group amongst some familiar faces of Doc, Brian, Dicko and Paul etc. It wasn't too cold this year so the arm warmers were off before the start and away we went down the road.
The pace along the road wasn't as fast as previous years which was comforting as my race plan was to warm up gradually instead of flying off like an XC race at the start.
I got to the Big hill in the first 20 or so riders and held a pace that i thought was reasonable given what was in store later. I found it amusing, yet also frustrating to see riders elbowing their way past and sprinting up the first part of the hill only to catch them up when they had got off further up the climb.
First hurdle out of the way, I had some gell and a drink and settled into a pace where i came across Brian and we rode, in sight of each other most of the way to the 50km feed station. Brian was strong and showed good power on flat and slight uphill sections but i kept him in sight most of the time.
At the 50km station Bri kept going but i stopped quickly to fill my pack. Helped By Hugh Flower from CBD, a few words of incouragement and up the slight climb i went. Bri was out of sight and i thought that was him gone for the day. I settled in with another couple of riders and headed onto the technical sections af the GRN.
I knew id be a little stronger than Brian along here and found comfort in seeing him in the distance knowing that he'd be keeping good pace which meant i was also.
Down Shepards Gully and towards the Bridges. Bri stopped for a refill and i kept going, riding the bridge and crossing with no worries (although the photo's show a hairy moment at the end of the bridge where my front wheel is right on the edge!)
I rode the road by myself and kept looking for Bri knowing that he'd catch me soon but there was no sign of him?
As i Turned up Womerah i looked back once more for him but nothing?
Womerah has always punished me in the past and it didn't dissapoint this time. I felt ok at the bottom but it started hurting my back the longer it went and i was getting more and more agro as i ground a lonely, slow, torturing spin to the top. I've only ever ridden this in the race itself and must practice it more before i race it again so i know it better and can aticipate whats around the next bend. Some of those pinches near the top are just soul destroying!
Anyway, once on the flat stuff at the top i found a second wind and ploughed on to the moster descent down towards the finish.
It's funny how your spirits are lifted when you know how close to home you are!
Across the final water crossing and to the line with a welcome beer shoved in my hand!
I was happy enough with my time as i'd hoped for around 4.30ish and suprised at how far off the podium id been.
In my head, before the race i thought "If i go well and get around 4.30 (a time that would have won three years ago) I might get close to a podium behind Dicko and Stu Adams?"
How wrong i was!
Everyone has REALLY stepped their game up this year and i've obviously failed to notice.
To have a winning time of 4.05 im my age group ( 40-50 ) is completely bonkers!
It was great to see all the Boys i started with come in within about 10 or 15 mins of each other. You've obviously been working hard and egging each other on with your training?
Anyway, Onwards and Upwards i hope? Back to the drawing board. I've just got myself a trainer with a power meter and have been playing with it a bit but now to step it up and get on a program i think? I've always trained by "feel". If i feel tired, i'll have an easy day.If i feel rested then i'll blast myself.
I'ts hard sometimes as i work for Myself as a carpenter and never know what my day is going to be like? Sometimes i'll have a real easy day and others i might be up and down ladders or steps a few hundred times on a 30+ degree day. Thats why i try to get up at 4.30-5am to get my training out of the way before work.
I'm hopefully going to get on a real training programme soon so watch this space. It'll either make me faster or i'll crash and burn???
Next races, Lots of Cyclocross, XC club races, 3 Ring Circus, Kowalski(spellcheck?) The Fling and The Cape to Cape in WA.
Well done to everyone and see you soon!
P.S. High point of the day, Beer at the end.
Low Point, Telling a bloke off for deliberately throwing a Gel wrapper and being answered with a "YEAH YEAH!"
I nearly punched him there and then.
You know who you are Mr Black and Orange race kit with a weird Telco name on it!

Antsonline's picture

Wankers that just throw litter - jeez it pisses me off.
sure, stuff can fall out of jerseys - that is part of having an event and a clean up, but intentional littering - very average.

On a ligher note - it sounds like a fun ride, and also a very sociable one - with all these guys around.
It really just goes to show how much fun the XCM series would have been this year - had it happened - the placings would have been SOOOO close going into this season break.
Still - perhaps next year.

Sounds like by then - what with a power meter and some coaching - you might be turning things up a notch!
BTW - my beers were very nice. A pleasure doing business with you.

Brian's picture

Well done GAZZA. It was good mixing it up with you but I didn't see you pass me at the bridge (not that I had anything left). I'm in your category next year so it should be good.

GAZZA's picture

Ants, I think a few beers were a small payment on my behalf!
Just an update on the silent auction and a sign of of the times obviously but I never got one hit for the Garmin!
I blame the Strava app for smartphones as a lot of people use that these days to record rides.
All good though as I'm glad it never sold once I'd broken the 500 that I got from you!
Top tip for Garmin users, don't put the Barfly garmin mounts on an offroad bike. Sooner or later you'll smack into a tree and smash your unit!

xmas's picture

.... 4:32 is a cracking time!!!

Well done.

morrisan1's picture

Very good mate!!!, you really did good I would not have been able to do that time . You have been improving a lot
, your next races sound like the same for me except for the cyclocross ones Smiling

jp's picture

After 4 wines and 2 beers the night before, I wouldn't have made it to the start line!

Well Done, great effort.

GAZZA's picture

If you knew me, then you'd understand how much I've practiced over the years to reach that level of drinking fitness!
Plenty of Hydration in previous days helps a lot also!
Jorge, look forward to doing battle with you! Eye-wink

mediocre's picture

Not planning on doing Husky mate? I'll have to settle for chasing you round Yarramundi!

If you break your other Garmin, I have a shiny new Magellan 105 lying around that won't upload to a Mac...

Fatboy's picture

Well done Gazza!

I'm heartened to hear you can do 4.5hrs after a few drinks the night before. Makes me think my routine of staying off the wine for a few days before each event is ridiculous. I recall a lecturer at uni some years back referring to a study that basically said if you drink regularly then stopping around exam time has an adverse effect on your system and basically you should just do what your body is used to doing. Naturally I always studied with a glass of red or 2 after that Smiling

If I caught someone deliberately littering I'd dob them in at the finish. I recall a few years ago the Rockstar boys had dodgy bottle cages and kept losing their Endura bottles all around the course. Luckily they were usually labelled so I suspect a couple of event organisers may have spoken to Dwight about getting better cages for their team bikes! I did notice a number of bottles around the course at The Convict on smooth slightly uphill sections which seems an unlikely spot for them to fall from their cages...

GAZZA's picture

As long as you're well hydrated I can't see a big problem with a couple of drinks.
If it was one of Hugh Kingstons events then I might have dobbed him in. I know Hugh makes a big fuss about crap behaviour like that and rightly so!

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