Tuesday, April 19, 2011

XC land, and some racing

The first week of holiday was certainly one of the busiest. Between greetings and meetings with friends and loved ones I scooped a few runs, and even managed to ride a good old tractor (with the latest 7 speed shimano tourney) courtesy of one of my friends. One of my findings is that training in the early morning is somewhat of an unknown thing on my homeland.

I´ve been coping with the effects of the new body clock and waking up at the usual 5.30 am even when going to bed at 1.30 after a couple of vinos. Anyway, going out for a run at 6.30 or 7 in the morning I came across only one early morning walker in one of my 4 days out. most people, it seems, like doing the sporty bits in the evening hours.
Me, I prefer the morning. Dawn in the pampas have a different kind of drama when compared to the coastal NZ sunrises. there´s nothing but plain uninterrupted flat land for thousand of kilometers to east, west, north and south.
It was a good week on the weather front and it was my second time training in a mtb. I can´t say I loved it, but it wasn´t bad either. I think that with a better fitted bike (this one was too big and it hurt my back) it will be a great experience. The temperatures are around the 6 to 9 degrees celcius.

my mate guille and I 
What was not part of the holiday was the Duathlon I raced yesterday. It just happened that the provincial duathlon circuit was being raced in my home town. A friend of mine told me and I said why not. It is not often that you can race with home crew, and not very often at all that there is a big race coming to town. The distances were 5km run 20km mtb (rural bike, as there is no mountains around) and 2.5km run. Only tiny problem was that the race was at 11am and I had a family reunion/b-day party starting at 10pm the night before. Luckily I got my priorities right and went to bed at 6am after having had the best 80th birthdays party of my all times and enjoying every bit of the organization that my mum and untie had put so much effort in (my  untie/godmother baked all sort of pastries for a whole week). I woke up happy, and that is very important when you´re going to race for fun.
first out of T1
suffering on the run
As I was the first one up I did little noise and left to register myself for the duathlon. I downed a whole bottle of sports drink to replenish and hydrate, and ate one banana. The body was badly slept, badly stretched and a couple of kilos over race fitness, but I was determined to have a great day out. We started last after the teams and women, and as the race started I knew my running was not going to let me down. The first run was  two laps on an off road circuit, I was in the group of 5 heading the field. After the first 2km a guy surged and I stuck on. After that we hit a head wind section and my legs seemed to be better, I told the guy to draft off me and I tried to make some more distance between us and the second group. He was happy to stay there and I had no problems either. He told me we could work together in the bike and I said we´ll see what my legs have to say about that.
I was first off T1 thanks to not having to change shoes. The second guy cougth me 500m into the bike leg and I stayed with him for 1km or two. Then we hit a headwind and he put 150m on me with no sweat. I was happy tailing for another 5km until I started to note a niggle in what scientifically we know as ass. The niggle became pain by km 6 and I started to slow down big time and stand on my pedals to try and loosen up the area. nothing seemed to work, but I kept going and by the turnaround at 10km I was passed by a group containing 2nd 3rd and 4th, as well as another group right after. It did not go, but I felt better by km15 and managed to stay in touch with the last group passing me. I think I went from 2nd to 12th in that period. The group I rode with for the last 5km contained the first woman, who was waaaay lot better mtbiker than I am. I hit T2 wondering how the big knot of muscles in my gluteus would react to running.

Happily the molesty was not bad and I was running at a decent pace in no time. Unfortunately the damage was already done and I ran out of real estate to try and get any better. I finished a honourable 7th and got given crap by my dear wife, who said that next time I take her out to the races during holiday I better get a podium.
training the day after, 
When I woke up before the race, the bike I was going to use broke, and I had to go and ask for someone else´s at the race venue. It took only 1 minute between the anouncer telling everybody of my case and me getting a new bike for my race. The guy even lubed it and cleaned it for me. That is confirmation that the triathlon fraternity is the same here than it is in all the other places we´ve raced.
going back home in my sister´s bike

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Home Sweet(s) home

What a busy week!,
The day that was (Saturday 2 April) was a great day out. We had amazingly clear skies and no winds, the ride was long and tiring, but a nice thing to do. To top it up, on the way back we saw this

After that I had a week with 2 exams at uni. and after that a 16000km trip to small town Argentina (photos soon). I´ve been now enjoying the hospitality and the two things I miss the most, bread and pastries in all their varieties and combinations

I managed to go out running a couple of times (in two days) and got hold of a bike, so we´ll probably have some fun as well as R&R.

not a lot more happened.... but watch this space http://www.geoffswim.blogspot.com/ as my mate Geoff is getting a step closer to crossing the cook straight!

Friday, April 1, 2011

On yer bikes

In typical valen style, I organized a social bike ride to the Coromandel Peninsula for Saturday morning (190km, give or take a tenner)

this comes on top of revision week for two test at uni, and crazy week at work trying to leave all nice an tidy before a 3 week break from everything.

will have a report and some photos tomorrow night, for now, I am a happy man on a Friday afternoon, waiting for a great day out on the bike,

have a great weekend,