In the words of the Pixies: “Where is my mind”. After months of months of training for the 2016 Absa Cape Epic and also being back at work seems to be catching up with me as the body and mind seems a bit tired and not totally focussed. It seems fatigue and the routine of getting up every day early is taking its toll (or the intake of minimal food to lose weight) as the routine of training and just working is testing the levels of commitment and discipline to stay the course towards the 13th of March.
Had a great start to the day as I send myself reminder emails at 3:30am and then trying to go to sleep again (Where is my mind?), only to be up by 5am to go to gym and the Threshold Crusher scheduled on the WattBike – the description says it all. It has been a week and a bit of things not quite going my way, but more of that later. Got to gym and raced to the WattBike section (The mass amount of 4 available of which 2 was non-functional on Tuesday and I had to ride without a monitor for power and time) only to be faced with only 3 WattBikes on the floor and to my joy all three were occupied. So, you are at gym, it is early what to do? Spin Bike is the next best (although these Spin Bikes and my Suunto Heart Rate monitor does not love each other in synching as on the monitor it spikes and falls all the time, 3rd world problem, I know) and so on ‘n hopped after adjustment my setup and sticking my Threshold Crusher notes to the screen, only useful for time in this exercise. As always there is a warm-up and 5 minutes in the dude on the 3rd WattBike is finished, not FINISHED by has done his 10/15min warm up and moved on to utilise some other gym equipment for its optimum usage.
Opportunity! Pause my watch and again race to the other WattBike. Setup done and still 10 minutes left for the warm up and then would you Adam and Eve it, Error whatever number: Sensor not connected – WTF (Remember – Will Train Frequently, no swearing). I do not believe this, so fiddling with the sensor cable and nothing is happening, restarting, resetting – nothing! Decision made and I stayed on the bike and will ride blindly with my trusted Suunto Ambit to guide me with time and riding on pure instincts on whatever Power Zone I think I am in. Did the 10mins remaining of the warm-up and moved into the first part of the Threshold Crusher, and then it happened – WattBike number 2 became free. Time for another quick decision and I quickly raced to bike number two to secure it before I fetch the paper towels to dry the pool of sweat that has already gather around WattBike #3.
Now this is where the mind finally lost focus. In my Virgin Active Gym we only have 4 WattBikes as I mentioned and you can only connect the PowerApp to one and in my excited stage I was rejoicing in knowing that I could track my ride and report back to coach Alasdair so that he could judge me. Boy was I wrong. I started chatting to the lady next to me on WattBike #1, really nice and we chatted about the Cape Town Cycle Tour and why she and her husband is not doing it anymore, me mentally not well in riding the Cape Epic, generally a nice conversation and throughout this I am on my phone connecting the PowerApp to the WattBike. It says a session is already running on this bike, do you want to restart and of course I say yes thinking it is picking up the pedalling I am doing now when the nice lady says, something is wrong, my bike is resetting and starting over…WattBike #1 is the bike that can connect…#Idiot. Numerous apologies later and explaining about the App I could finally try and focus on crushing my threshold. Where is my mind?
At this stage of the lead up one starts to question if you have done enough, are you fit enough and slightly stressing about the few remaining weeks ahead. It is imperative not to slack off now after all the hours of training and fine tune that fickle mind to be strong and push through the next few weeks.
Back to the last week, on Saturday I experienced a pinch puncture on my rear tyre (caught between rocks) and for the first time ever had to use a plug to fix it (Thanks for Rudolf for stopping and helping me as my riding partner Rob disappeared into the distance). Thinking everything was cool we continued on our ride and caught up with Rob at the Shed to enjoy a coffee and set off to the next part of the trails. Not quite smooth from there as the puncture was very close to a knob on the tyre and a few times the plug came loose when that knob obviously got forced open on the rough terrain. That was not all, as I firstly forgot to put on my heart rate monitor, then on the ride twice forgot to start my watch again after pausing it – where was my mind?
Being a weekend there was no way to change the tyre with bike shops closed in the afternoon, so the next day was much of the same when I rode with Willie, smooth sailing until you hit that certain area on the tyre. So after a frustrating weekend, new tyre was fitted and thanks to the patience of Rob, Rudolf, Craig and Willie on our rides. It was a good character test and preparation for the Cape Epic.
Now for you that don’t know what a plug is or how to do it; here we go (Plug it)
Keep watching this post and we will let you know how to follow the Mitas KTM Phat Boys (Thinus Crafford and myself) at the Absa Cape Epic