With one week to go and starting my taper towards the big day, I was concerned that I wouldn’t have a riding story to tell. After last week’s epic adventure where my mental strength was tested just as much as my physical, having two days in a row where I rested seemed a little pedestrian. When I’m doing a lot of training volume, I feel my body attuning to the load. However during recovery is where the magic happens, where adaptation to toil and effort occur. By the time Wednesday rolled around and I was coaching the tri club, I was beginning to feel quite spritely, even managing to sprint onto one of the faster boy’s wheels as he flew around the track. Thursday again was slated as a day off. However, I spent the day immersed in the realities of foreign correspondence as Semester One, Year Two, started. I consider being able to go back to university to learn and stretch the mind, a privilege.
I enjoyed a fun Friday river loop with the girls, even deciding to give Highgate Hill another crack. No PBs this week, but still a lot of fun.
On Saturday, Liz had organised a meet up for some climbing at Mt Coot-tha. Another rider, Kym, picked me up along the way, where we enjoyed pleasant conversation. It was dark and I rode ahead of Kym towards the base of Mt Coot-tha, trying to find the sloping bit of bitumen that allows you to ride from the path onto the road. Above me, the wind whistled through the gum trees and I heard some rustling. Imagining that it was likely a bush turkey scurrying away, I gave it little thought. Suddenly, I heard a whirring noise and a loud thud as something fell from the tree landing on the tip of my front wheel. Immediately thinking it was a branch I braced myself for the worst. Surprisingly, I kept rolling. Over something squishy. I turned back, horrified. Had I just killed something? It turns out that it was a brush tail possum who seemed rather indignant that his graceful landing had been thwarted, and who was now making a hasty getaway! Immediately, I wanted to inform everyone I knew that the fabled “drop bear” in Australia really did exist…only it was a possum.
The possum incident had me marvelling at how something so random could take opportunity away. I was relieved that I had kept my bike upright and that both of us received a fright, but thankfully no lasting damage. And the ride? Lots of fun – the pacing was challenging but I think I learn something new every time I ride.
I finished the weekend with a hundred kilometres, again marvelling that I would have to do that again and then some, next Sunday. This week is all about getting ready, bike is being serviced tomorrow, I’m investing in a keep-my-gooch-happy cycling kit and I’m booked into have a massage. Knowing what’s in front on me on Sunday makes me feel nervous. This isn’t an ordinary ride and with temperatures forecast in single digits to early teens and potential rain, it’s one that I’m going to approach with respect. My goal is to complete the ride within the allocated time period of thirteen hours. After doing this with only one functioning hamstring in 2015 in 13:07, I’m hoping that surgical repair has worked its magic this time round! Looking forward to checking in on the flip side! Thanks for reading and supporting me in this journey.