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The Surf Coast 100, and other adventures

Posted on: Saturday October 26, 2013

I didn’t do any real specific training for the Southern Exposure Surf Coast 100. It’s a 100km, it’s a (relatively) flat course, it’s certainly nothing like the Otway Odyssey … what could go wrong?

What I neglected to consider is that, while 100km might make a delightful pre-breakfast jaunt on a road bike, it’s still a pretty hefty chunk of distance-change on a mountain bike. I also realised too late, just how much of a beating even a mildly rocky or rooty course dishes out. It’s a double-whammy, because everything’s fine if you stay above a certain speed, but it’s a slugfest below that. The combination mandates a minimum sustained effort if you want to survive (or at least if you want to enjoy your survival).

My first lap was pretty conservative. I would say I rode it like you ride a 24 hour race — thinkin’ about where you’ll be at 2 a.m. and playing the patient tortoise game. Not the way to ride if you want to lightly skim the root-tops.

By lap two I’d figured out that I needed to kick it up a notch, and did so. Everything got more fun. Switchbacks weren’t no thang. Riders in the distance got closer, then passed, then dropped. The trail felt smoother. Life was sweet. I eventually found my mark, a guy about the same pace, behind me and together we ate up a few of the slower 50k stragglers.

We crested a sustained climb, dropped down through some quick singletrail and then climbed a harder, switchbacked climb. About a quarter way up that climb I. Just. Slowed. Down. At the top I rode to the side of the trail and waved him through. I’d been hit by the man with the hammer. Bam.

I’d been drinking steadily, but with no get out of jail Gu I’d have to mope along to the end of the lap, getting kicked in the butt and hands at slow-speed along the way. Some guys I’d passed re-passed me. (Ouch.) My left foot, which had been aching, started to hurt — really hurt. I started to get a twinge in my vastus medialis, which turned into the threat of real cramp, which, by the end of the lap, had become a visible spasm on the upper inside of my left leg above the knee.

Not a big deal.

I rolled back into the feed zone thinking I’d take five to ten minutes out of the race to down a whole bottle of recovery drink, eat a Gu, stretch and then jump on and ride the race to completion. When I got off the bike though, I was shocked. Firstly at how much my left foot hurt, then at how Goddamn stiff I was — it was hard to bend down to release the shoe — and then how hard it was to stand up. Yikes. Either way, I drank, I Gu’d, I stretched and I got back on the bike.

I got back on the bike, rode down into the pit area and quit. My hands felt like I’d just finished the Odyssey. I felt spent and tired. It was Just Not Happening.

I had a number of possibly admissible excuses for succumbing to the dreaded DNF — a finishing status I’ve been quietly proud to avoid until now (one nasty little case of heat-stroke notwithstanding) — big, stressful work week, interrupted sleep, whatever. Now might be a good time to think about focussing on finishing what you start.

Anyway, I was pretty damn tired after that. Andrew also DNF’d with a bikeful of chain-suck. The guy I was chasing, and several guys I passed also pulled out. All in all, there were only 12 finishers in the Men’s Vets, but Dave managed to pull through and nab third (we didn’t know this until safely back in Melbourne).

Dave booked an awesome dinner at a sleeper of a Greek restaurant in Airey’s Inlet, where we ate duck and lamb with a local red and romanticised about hitting the hay early. Which we did, but Mae proved difficult to settle. Once she was down, Fee and I drifted off until Fee woke at about 1:30 to find Claire in the kitchen, coughing an awful wheezy cough. She said she just needed a drink of water, but 10 minutes later Fee woke me up to come and see Claire, who by then had the full stridor breathing croup going on. I called Geelong hospital, and on hearing her in the background said come on in. I called 000 and the ambulance was there ten minutes later.

I went back to bed to get some rest with Mae, but it was a while before I could get back to sleep. At 5:45 the phone buzzed with the news that we could go and collect Fee and Claire, which was good news, but the rest of the day was brought to you by Coffee, Coffee and more Coffee; and to be honest, I was pretty thankful not to have made the extra exertion to finish the race.

52.2km, 1,174m, 3:05h

http://app.strava.com/activities/93056482

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October 2013
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On the bike

CrossFit benchmarks

100 Burpees: 11:07 10:32
50 Burpees: 4:24
Angie: 30:47 (60 pull-ups only)
Annie: ---
Cindy: 13 rounds
Dianne: 39:07 (scaled)
Elizabeth: 24:47 (scaled)
Fight Gone Bad (3 rounds): 311
Filthy Fifty: 31:16
Fran: 10:31
Grace (35 kg): 4:25
Hangover Cure: 8 rounds
Helen: 11:10
Jeremy: 13:33
Kelly: 36:09
Linda (scaled): 1:17:04
Michael: 32:30
Murph: 54:17
Nancy: 17:30 (scaled to 35 kg)
Nate: 7 rounds (scaled)
Nicole: 3 rounds, 19 pullups

Row 1k: 3:26.3
Row 2k: 7:15.4
Row 500m: 1:35.7
Run 5k: 24:00

Weightlifting PBs

1RMs
Bench Press: ---
Clean: 70kg
Jerk: 70kg
Press: 52.5kg
Snatch: 47.5kg+
Squat (back): 102.5kg
Squat (front): 85kg (x2)
Deadlift: 130kg
CrossFit Total: 623

 

3-20RMs
3RM OHS: 55kg
3RM Front squat: 82.5kg (x5)
3RM Back squat: 90kg
3RM Deadlift: 130kg
 
5RM Press: 45kg
5RM Front squat: 82.5kg
5RM Back squat: 90kg
5RM Deadlift: 120
 
20RM Back squat: 65kg

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