Seriously, this thing of having every weekend filled up with some form of physical activity is really beginning to become the norm. Frankly, I’m enjoying it.
Friday started off with a mini triathlon at the local gym. Mini because I didn’t have time, and wanted to fit in all three triathlon disciplines before the weekend was over and this seemed like the only way to do it. So, I did 20 minutes of cycling, 20 minutes of hill treadmill running and 20 minutes of swimming. I felt great afterwards too.
The family and I then made our way towards Sun City for the CANSA Lost City Cycle Challenge. I had entered the 66KM Road Cycle race taking place on Saturday morning. Saturday, bright and early we were at the start to support some of my mates that had entered the 115km race. A tad too far for me, for now at least.
Being a newbie in the cycle road races, I was placed in the last group of riders. This is also the group of unseeded cyclist I believe. I however, was on a serious mission to not be in this group again for my next bike race. We headed out 5 minutes early and it was on. I was on a mission and focused. It was mostly flat for the first 33km, with a breeze keeping us on our toes. Add to this the traffic that we were sharing the bulk of the ride with. At times the vehicles passed us way too close for my comfort. My hat off to the truck drivers that went out of their way to make sure we were safe when they drove past us.
While we cycling, rider 3273 whoever you are 🙂 thank you for making my ride so interesting. He was the rider that pushed me to explore my limits. If I relaxed during the up rides, then suddenly I’d see him pass me. I’d then pedal harder, and it was my turn to pass him and have him chase me for a while. I’d get comfortable, then I’d see him pass me once more. During one of the up rides I recall turning to him and saying ..”come now lets pedal” .. this camaraderie that started about 1km into the ride followed us throughout the race. The last 5km were climbing, my legs were now feeling the work they had done the last 60km. I thought I’d left my “friend” behind, when suddenly he passes me! dammit! As he passes me he shouts “nog ‘n bietjie” if you don’t praat die taal (speak the language like me).. he basically told me “just a bit more” .. meaning not long before we are at the finish line. Oh no you didn’t mate 🙂 ! LOL! I think that’s just what I needed to hear. I had to dig deep. I’ve heard many athletes mention that to finish the last few kilometres of a race, it can become a mental game with yourself. I know this now for a fact!
I had to dig really deep, my mind kept saying to me that we are almost at the finish, I’d already cycled more than I’d ever in my life. So relax and enjoy the scenery! My heart was telling me, 3273 isn’t a strong climber. If I find the power in my legs I will pass him. 1km to go! I pedaled. I dug deeper. I also wanted to beat the time hubs had predicted I’d probably complete the ride in .. 2h50, but I also wanted to prove to myself that I could beat that time and complete the race. Roughly, 800m to go I passed him. I didn’t rest until I crossed the blue timing mats and heard the beeps.
Got my medal and waited for the family to join me. I’d not only cycled the furthest I’d ever done to date, but I’d also beat the time hubs had predicted by about 20 minutes. Official time was 2h37! I’m extremely happy with that time. Amidst the crowd I found 3273, I went up to him and thanked him for making the ride so interesting and fun. Happy that he too enjoyed the ride and our tag passes. Well done stranger! See you at the next event!
Overall, my assessment is that my fitness levels are definitely on the up. I’ve become loads more confident on the bike, which was a major concern for me. I now need to keep up the bike training as I do with the running and swimming. I’m extremely happy that I didn’t cramp once!! I’m not quite ready for #5150AfricanChamps yet… but if I continue to follow the weekly training schedule from @coachderick from the DareToTRI team I have no doubt I will cross that finish line within the allocated time.
A special thank you too, to my family for the support this weekend and Tony for all the changes and recommendations on my bike!
To end this entry off .. here’s a little interview hubs recorded as “roving reporter” of the day, before I raced off yesterday morning .. enjoy .. 🙂