With the cancellation of Epic Camp Jo and I decided to a little road trip down to Wanaka for the race and then have a small holiday afterwards. We had thought of doing our own little Epic Camp but without the motivation of other campers I’ve found that I’ve seen the race coming close and started to err a little on doing less rather than training hard right in to it.
On Saturday we drove down from Christchurch. I did my run by running to collect the car whilst Jo headed to the squad swim. I dropped Jo and her bike off at the top of Burkes Pass whilst I drove on to Twizel and then rode back to her. The views of Mount Cook were awesome. On Sunday we did a 130k round trip riding to Mount Cook village and back. What a beautiful ride with Mount Cook centre view the whole way getting ever bigger until as we got real close we couldn’t see it due to other mountains in close proximity. I felt utterly terrible ALL day on the bike. Jo was dropping me without any effort whatsoever. A cookie and a bar of chocolate at Mount Cook didn’t do it. A large coffee, afghan cookie and packet of sweets seems to help a little. Jo wondered whether she’d given me the decaf coffee this morning by mistake. I still went for my run but wow was I off form.
This sort of thing makes me realise how tour riders can have a crap day one day and ride superbly the next. I didn’t juice up unless you count swigging a litre of “whole” milk ( a misnomer if ever there was one) made more “whole” by adding 200ml of cream to it. Anyway… it meant Monday morning when I rode from Twizel to Lake Hawea via Wanaka I felt awesome. I was going so well Jo reckoned she must have somehow missed me in the car and turned round and went back 20k before realising I must have been ahead.
It is truly beautiful country down here. This is my fourth visit to New Zealand and I must be into my eighth month here in total and it’s only now we’ve come down to this part. I could spend a lifetime here I’m sure and not grow bored. The mountains are so enticing … make me reminisce about years ago when all my holidays were spent fell running / walking and climbing.
Today I headed with Dave and Douglas to Wanaka to swim in the Lake. We’d heard a lot of scare mongering about how cold it is. Well… it’s the coldest I’ve swam in a long while but then again I’ve been chasing the sun for a few years now. It’s certainly not the coldest I’ve ever swam in and once I had my breathing under control I thoroughly enjoyed the swim – the view with every breath was out of this world and the water was soooo pure. I do wonder on race morning whether it will take a time for my hands to warm up on the bike. Swimming tomorrow earlier so we will see.
Then we all headed out for a ride on the course. The chip is rough on the roads but again not as bad as you’re lead to believe. Well… it is bad compared to a lot of roads in Europe, but for New Zealand it’s not OTT and for sure you just get used to it and it becomes the norm. Ended up riding just over 90k taking in all the hilly parts of the course and doing some pretty solid intervals. Feeling a little excited about the race now. Just need to check out the run course tomorrow.