Post-Holiday Blues

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It was like Groundhog Day – I am at the Tokai Mast, I am again at the Tokai Mast, and again, and again, and again…

So back to the grindstone we go as work started for me today. After a relaxing holiday, sweating and grinding the gears on the bike, trying to stick to the professional training plan from coach Swen Lauer as far as possible, it’s now back to reality of working and training. It was fantastic to not be woken by an alarm everyday (not to say that it wasn’t freaking 5am everyday anyway) to be up in time to train before work, it was fantastic. I suppose all good things must come to an end and I haven’t won the lottery so back to the office and the everyday routine.

December is a crucial month in Absa Cape Epic preparation and I’m proud to say that I stuck it out, no matter how painful and long it got. Even during the Groundhog Day phase as the Tokai Mast was visited on numerous occasions (9 times in 8 days (5 rides)) I kept myself positive and focussed on reaching the top. At least some game watching was involved during the mast rides, saw a snake, dassie (did you know it is called a Hyrax in English – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyrax), baboons, Verreaux’s Eagle (Witkruis Arend), snails, ants, squirrels and homo sapiens all while carrying my light body up the hill in mostly granny gear. Forgot my helmet on the day I had to do it thrice and sported a nice head band tan for my efforts.

Now take 5 hours in the sun and then remove the sweat band...

Now take 5 hours in the sun and then remove the sweat band…

The words of Karl Platt; “eat less, train more” as advice to riders at the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Route launch still rings in my head as I somehow trained more and ate more to still be above the 110kg mark. It’s like my body just don’t want to make me less of a man. Stubborn fat, get off me now! Or was that traditional food over Christmas at home, or quality the lamb I bought from TheFarmersDaughter (https://www.facebook.com/TheFarmersDaughterSA) or the only 2 beers I had during the break at the Ferreira’s, not sure but a fat war has been declared!

But seriously it is crunch time now and next week I take on the Attakwas (http://www.atta.co.za/), 121km of gruelling mountain biking. I sit here in fear not knowing what to expect at Atta, and this week in Cape Town weather wise, it looks like training will slightly hampered with miserable weather, just like the Monday Blues of being back at work.  Now this past Sunday I did 126km on my Mountain Bike on the road, but from incompletion of Atta in 2013, I know it will be ten times tougher – Judgement Day is around the corner.

I think the toughest part of all this training has been the reluctance to make social appearances. The problem being that I have two rubber arms and normally when there is a social occasion there is beer, and ice cold beer is good. So, be safe and stay away which is not good towards your friends and family. It does take a lot of sacrifice and discipline to train for the Absa Cape Epic and to my friends and family, please understand this commitment and my social reluctance from time to time. I need my beauty sleep and alcohol and fatty food free lifestyle for now. But on a positive note, my couch has given me permission to be out and about, other than on the bike. See you soon.

Wishing everyone a fantastic and healthy 2014, to everyone doing events they have been training for (Chantel) all the best, I know you will do well!

Here is to an adventures (with one ‘s’ as an adventuress is: A woman who seeks social and financial advancement by unscrupulous means – and that’s not me) 2014

View from the Tokai Mast on a clear day - no helmet required

View from the Tokai Mast on a clear day – no helmet required

Top of Chapman's Peak, nearly halfway through my 126km ride this Sunday

Top of Chapman’s Peak, nearly halfway through my 126km ride this Sunday

Planes, trains and automobiles…well sort off

Uhm, had to try a selfie

Uhm, had to try a selfie, well half a selfie

Now spending a lot of time riding on your own training for that ridiculous 8 day stage race you do encounter some strange things on and alongside the road. For instance one gets to witness a lot of the wildlife that inhabits the Cape area, but not always the ones we see on a day to day basis, like riding in Constantia and you see this shape lying in the road and you start to s….. yourself, only to be relieved (excuse the pun) to see that whatever snake that was it no longer is alive to slither up your bike.  Then riding this morning up Black Hill you spot a furry eight legged shape (I go slowly up hills as gravity works against me and thus have time to look around, if you were wondering about that) of a formerly alive Bobbejaan Spinnekop (Any idea what this is in English anyone – Baboon Spider?).

Or witnessing a couple in passionate embrace whilst riding up Constantia Nek, very passionate, fortunately this is a family blog and I did not stop to take photos or video, I just kept on peddling. On the side of the road at 5:20am, really?

Ever been so close to a Hadida that you could bite the tip of its tail feathers with your mouth and its feathers tickle your nose. Well I nearly was, fortunately wearing lycra (still hate it) saves you some grace as last week when riding through Simon’s Town the Hadida appeared from nowhere over my left shoulder, hovering in front of my whilst screaming out their familiar voice. I nearly sch… myself and fortunately the Shimano XT brakes really works well.

But that’s not all having to dodge cars, and experience and witness reckless and stupid drivers on the road one is bound to have a close encounter at some stage. (touch wood it never happens and since Johan, my brother-in-law got hit I started riding with my medical aid card and is extra cautious on the road, but just one mistake by a driver…) Well this morning after exploring a new climb in Dal Park, only to be chased by a dog again (It was downhill and these legs were peddling super-fast) and barked at by some loose mongrels I eventually returned to a road more traveled in Hippy Valley (You know, where the Ferreira’s live – Sun Valley) only to nearly swerve over the pavement when suddenly a dog barked loudly in my right ear. F#@$#! My heart nearly stopped. It was a dog on the back of a bakkie that clearly does not like cyclist. Or is this bad dog experiences due to the fact that I was wearing my Lance for Live bib short again, mmmmm.

What I’ve come to realise on my training rides is that one sees so much of what the world is about and that squirrels and Guinea Fowl are stupid animals. I love the squirrels and am really sad when I see one ran over in the road, but they should start to think on their feet! If something bigger is approaching you at speed, GET OUT OF THE WAY! The same for Guinea Fowls, but they seem to scatter a bit quicker than the squirrels.

If a do the coastal route through Kalk Bay, I love the smell of fresh baked bread when I cycle past Olympic bakery (having dodged about 3 to 4 Golden Arrow busses by now) knowing that as part of my training diet the bread would be a no, no. The price one has to pay.

I think I saw more wild life on my rides than I saw hiking by Silvermine Dam. Just kidding, ever have the opportunity to go to the dam, please do. What an amazing spot.

Silvermine dam

Silvermine dam

I suppose back to training in the am following Coach Swen’s plan and I’m sure to encounter many different things on my journey, especially those funny dressed joggers. Like the man from oriental origin this morning that looked like he was wearing a sports bra – still confused about this one. (Hopefully I haven’t offended anyone).

Here’s to the rest of the journey and Vik see you on the next hike. (‘Punishing’ the kids by taking them up Lions’ Head) Just kidding, looked like fun.

 

 

 

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Click on photo for Facebook Gallery of my Silvermine Walk

Back on the damn bike ;)

It has been a fantastic week! No training, no exercise, nothing! Just being lazy and of course working and supporting at FNB Wines2Whales race. Supporting fellow KTM riders Johan Labuschagne & Yolande de Villiers and spending time with my sister (married to Johan, which meant I supported my brother in law as well) driving from water point to water point with Dirkie and Henties (Yolande’s husband). Always good to see the De Villiers family from Oudtshoorn and FNB Wines2Whales has become some sort of a tradition. Well done to Yolande and her partner (Jennie Stenerhag) who won the ladies at W2W. Johan and Gerrie Beukes just missed out on the podium finish 4th in the Vets category. But enough of that now…and the race guys had it easy anyway – NO MUD!

Congratulations to Yolande de Villiers and Jennie Stenerhag winning the ladies category at FNB Wines2Whales

Congratulations to Yolande de Villiers and Jennie Stenerhag winning the ladies category at FNB Wines2Whales

When my alarm went off this am I did not really feel like going riding as I enjoyed the week of

Johan at water point 2 stage 2 heading for the amazing new hanging bridges on track

Johan at water point 2 stage 2 heading for the amazing new hanging bridges on track

sleeping a bit later every day, immensely. But hey, apparently I’m doing some 8 day mountain bike race next year so I better get my arse lighter and in gear. So scrambling to get everything right off I went and the body ached and moaned at me, why am I doing this again? But as the ride progressed and I was climbing up Black Hill I was actually enjoying being out on the bike again and for good measure on the way home I threw in a Boyes Drive Climb. Better get the intensity up!

I’ve entered myself to ride the EAI Val de Vie MTB Challenge on the 24th and better keep in shape. Can’t go and disappoint Victor Gardiner by not being in top shape at one of the events hosted by the new company he works for (See Vic, no names named for the All Speed Go event)

And then the following week of for some altitude training at the Magalies Adventure where I will hopefully be Having Proper Fun again as guest of the hpf guys. So the pressure will be on to perform and I do think I need to arrive a wee bit earlier in Gauteng / North West just to acclimatise. My slender body needs all the oxygen I can get. But seriously, I am lying if I’m saying I’m not nervous about riding the 2014 Absa Cape Epic, because I am! In the words of Karl Platt: “Eat less, train more”, but I need my food. I digest again, sorry digress again.

Dirkie wanted to see whales again like in 2012, thus see turned from the ocean and faced me with the camera..

Dirkie wanted to see whales again like in 2012, thus see turned from the ocean and faced me with the camera..

See you on the trails and soon I will be following my training programme again,

Always good to see the Hurtenator, here with myself and Henties. War stories off the bike from Marius

Always good to see the Hurtenator, here with myself and Henties. War stories off the bike from Marius

tailor made for me by Coach Swen Lauer, legend! (Does anyone know how to get your resting heart rate, I never rest, please help as the coach is looking for this)

Till next time and then I’ll give some feedback on doing a VO2 Max test – eish!

This moment made my W2W Race - Mad Cherie the photographer always in good spirits!

This moment made my W2W Race – Mad Cherie Vale, Newsport Media photographer, always in good spirits!

Crunch time as W2W approaches

With less than a month the W2W it is literally crunch time, and no, not doing crunches, although that might actually also help, but fine tuning the months of training as the base building was done a long time ago it’s now pushing hard for the next 3 weeks. In the words of German rock band Scorpions – “No Pain No Gain!”

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Trainer partner and house guest Willie du Plooy and myself racking up the miles on the road bike last weekend

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Great to see Chantel Rall on top of Suikerbosse training hard for 70.3 (And yes Thinus, I am still not smiling on photos)

 

Having swapped the mountain bike last weekend for the road bike, as my house guest only had a road bike it was back on the mountain bike this week again. Over the weekend Willie and myself did about 80km on Saturday and Sunday respectively. It was good to see Chantel Rall (Follow her Blog) on top of Suikerbosse training hard for that Ironman 70.3 next year. Keep it up Chantz – #Respect.

So back on the mountain bike before work, up early and on the road chasing sleeping Hadidas, squirrels and stupid Guinea Fowl – really. If a mountain bike travelling at 20km/h bike approaches a Guinea Fowl and you are the Guinea Fowl, what would you do…? Fly, fly, fly away, up, left right to avoid approaching disaster…BUT NO! Keep on running (yes running, not flying) directly in the path of the approaching 29er wheel. Stupid Bird! (No animals were harmed during this training ride as the animal loving cyclist reduced speed and the stupid bird eventually veered left of the way). Stupid Constantia Guinea Fowl!

As normal I digress, in this phase of training it’s important to maintain and work in some tough sessions to build up strength, but make sure you have a balance. I blame my mate Jaco Maritz for the doubled sessions I did Wednesday after work for a ride with 591 meters of climbing in 28km (Price Drive and Zwaanswyk) and then 40km this morning, just because we went to the Toad and he still went to gym the next morning. Well should I blame Jaco or The Toad on the Road for not going riding Wednesday am…

The view from the top of Price Drive, hard work to get there, but worth it

The view from the top of Price Drive, hard work to get there, but worth it

Anyway having been committed throughout the winter with sustaining my training, spending hours and hours in the gym and on the bike building up to FNB Wines2Whales, I sincerely hope my partner is as ready and committed as I am to have loads of fun at the Adventure.

PS: All my clothes are too BIG for my and hanging on my body…I might have to source a female shopping companion to go clothes shopping – any takers (ha-ha) 😉

Huge Motivation

Huge Motivation