Wednesday, 16 November 2011
One week on from finishing, the reminder being my feet are pretty numb in places, i have a random selection of bits falling off and every now and then i struggle to remember something particularly simple. All the joys of sleep deprivation i think. Thankfully my bike reappaeard on Tuesday no thanks for Pacific Blue, well done Mrs Slater for her A-Grade thinking and going to see when she was at the airport anyway. Not sure how they managed to give her someone elses luggage but I am not complaining as it is squirrelled away at home waiting to be rebuilt for the weekend. WHAT did I just say ? Yep I want to get out and do some more exercise, mainly to make me feel a bit more buzzy and justify that second large G&T that i seem to be partial to. While ARWC was hard work I can;t let all that fitness go to waste so will start to tick along again. Next target - probably Karapoti seeing as the pinny is once again on the line and the trash talking has started. I'm hoping Barryn races on his drop bar frankenbiek as that might give me a small chance.
The washing machine has been working overtime and apart from a few missing items (the odd sock, some overtrousers, my Oakleys which i lost during the brain fade sand dune bash bike ride) everything seems to have survived. I keep thinking about the race and the fun bits and the bad bits all munge together into one fog. It was too long for my little brain, somewhere around the 400km range seems to be a bit more my style. GODZone should be a fantastic race and I recommend anyone with any interest in an expedition race to go for it - it's local, you don't have to fly or deal with airlines and excess baggage, its unsupported, kayaks are dealt with (announcement soon I believe) and it also is in the most wicked landscape. I seem to be talking myself into it - almost......
Sunday, 13 November 2011
Man it was hard, that was the longest, hardest race I could ever imagine. I'm proud we finished as a 4 and made the hard decisions. Regrets, always, but you can;t change history. I've definitely never been that confused for such an extended period in a race - sleep deprivation and navigational challenges. My personal snafu was on the bike/dune push where my brain simply would not believe that we had to ascend a 10m high sand dune then push in an arbitrary line sort of N/NW to intersect a 4wd that miay or may not be there. That really pushed my brain that one. Anything sand related stumped us a bit. The team were great and I take my hat off to them for persevering and getting to the finish as a 4, ranked, on the full course. YEah we had to miss some CPs but that's life - we did it, we knocked it off. Not sure I'll be seen out there on another long one to be honest - time and motivation to suffer like that is at an all time low. Maybe I am getting old. Now is the time to heal, relax and focus on the positives - Team Bridgedale Socks NZ Finishers ARWC2011 Tasmania - Woot Woot !!
Thursday, 10 November 2011
Monday, 31 October 2011
Sunday, 30 October 2011
Saturday, 29 October 2011
Thursday, 27 October 2011
Monday, 24 October 2011
evening off to support the All Blacks. The new team t-shirts have
arrived to distinguish us from the other teams with less comfy feet.
Unfortunately we let slip our greatest secret weapon - bbq tongs. I bet
no other team carries a set. A good night was had, just! Which obviously
means that if we harden up, make our tackles and hang in there for the
full 80 minutes we will do well at the Adventure Race World Champs ....
5 More Sleeps
Sunday, 16 October 2011
It's all about the journey, Jerome is the man for journeying with. Best teammate ever - positive attitude, very rarely gets phased and maintains group harmony even when cooked. You need someone like that. Everyone is different and has different foibles. Jill is unstoppable, goes and goes usually with a smile. Dave trucks along displaying his normal grim humour and determination. I whinge a lot but am really enjoying myself. I sometimes even laugh you know!
So the journey is a long one, along the way we'll probably do 5 marathon distances on foot, we'll bike the equivalent of 2.5 times round Lake Taupo and we'll likely climb (and descend) the equivalent of Everest and a half over the race. Oh and of course we'll paddle what are in essence large inflatable rafts from Wellington to Masterton and back to Martinborough. Whereupon we won't have a glass of wine. No, we will sleep where we can , when we can, normally huddled together to keep the cold away for an hour. Or we'll cram 4 sweaty, minging, people into a 2 man tent which is always an enjoyable experience. 10 minutes sleep can feel like the best thing ever. Unless someone (not naming names Jerome...) has a "Russell" moment and uses a foil blanket whereupon you lie still seething for half and hour listening to him snoring. Then get up, get back on your bike and promptly fall asleep.
We'll laugh, we'll really really not laugh sometimes, sometimes we'll be a wee bit lost, usually we'll know where we are. We will eat anything and everything. A shop will be like some sort of miracle and a decent coffee is almost something that reduces grown men (Dave) to tears.
The strangest thing about it is that I am massively looking forward to it as usual. Not sure what that says about my state of mind generally.
Monday, 10 October 2011
Experience of the last 3 races has shown me that there is absolutely no way you can be overprepared. Details, details, details are the things that make the race run smoothly. All that time training, all the money spent on gear, trips and the race itself - we owe ourselves the best run at the race. Sadly that means busy brains in the weeks before the race.
What sort of stuff am I talking about ? Well, last year I, the organisation freak, managed to kill my lights on the first leg paddle - saltwater and Silva L1 LED lights do not a good bedmate make. I had no spare light available for the 100km mountainbike leg - at night. Jerry thankfully had something but of course that meant we were already compromised - Day 1, Leg 1 and I had made a massive F&^%&$% up of it. Saying that, Jerry had also lost one of his trekking shoes in the paddle as well ! That made me feel better and a good trade was made as I have the same foot size as him and use the same shoes!. This year - waterpoof lights !!
It's all the little things that count - this is 700km, possibly 6 days. Sanitation and health are two key things - keeping your hands clean when eating and not sharing bugs with the rest of the team. So having settled on what bum cream to use (vaseline mixed with nappy cream by the way ...), small bottles of hand cleaner, wipes, anti-everything sprays, Nuun tablets - you name it. Then we get down to gear. Oh. My. God. Gear - where do you start ? Well we start with luggage allowances which mean we have to be quite efficient in what we take. We also know that there is a finite amount of gear we can spread around boxes and trunks. Key things - best quality gear we can get means light, quick drying and comfortable. Anything on top of that is a bonus. Good rain gear is paramount - thank you Earth Sea Sky in ChCh who make the BEST wet weather gear and first-layer gear you will find. Designed and made in NZ so support local. Warm comfortable feet with good sock - TICK, thank you Bridgedale Socks. We choose these socks as they are the best by miles so this year we are very lucky to have LOTS of socks. Good drybags thank you Seal Line. And of course FOOD - we learnt a valuable lesson last year and that is that not every race means we can use the same food. Everything we had we didn't want which was a bit annoying at times. This year we are onto it - I'm saying no more so as not to show our hand. However, as always our friends at backcountry Cuisine have given us access to their amazing dehydrated meals and we'll be munching on our favourites every day - porridge, muesli and yoghurt, roast chicken, thai chicken NOM NOM NOM. Amazing how good you feel after a proper meal. That stuff is already in tassie - you see, preparation is everything.
So why then am I contemplating building a Corflute bike box 3 weeks out ? Who knows....
Sunday, 9 October 2011
training plans), we headed out for a paddle, trek, paddle around sunny
wellington. Harbour trip first, out round Matiu/Somes and over to
Eastbourne, then a trek behind Eastbourne (the bush tracks in there are
one of wellingtons best kept secrets) before paddling back to Kupe. A
solid 5 hours and back in time for a kip before the rugby.
Friday, 7 October 2011
on to race specific training. One of our race strategies is Speed
Toursim, making sure we get as much local flavour out of our travels.
Where better to practise than in Wellingtons hidden gem - Karori. Much
maligned by ignorant Wellingtonians as having poor weather & traffic
issues, Karori is in fact a high altitude mountain biking nirvana. Once
above the cloud, and if suitably dressed to prevent shivering, the views
and single track are stunning. We restricted our mtb tour to 3 kms of
my house, so started with Wrights Hill (Deliverance, or Salvation for
the Wimps - Me? a wimp!), then into Makara Peak MTB Park for a look at
the route for Sundays PNP MTB race and out via Zacs and varleys, along
Skyline to take in some different views then down into the cemetary
across to the upper St Johns Pool track to the Scout Den, and a final
sprint up Wrights Hill. Back down the Burrows Ave track (now legal to
ride) before heading home for hot soup & bread. All is well.
Tuesday, 4 October 2011
They are also pushing Tassie as a tourist mecca in case we have time and/or energy t explore after the race so check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ik0ce-eH9Cs
Saturday, 1 October 2011
headed out on the Big Coast circuit. From Petone, south and east round
coast to the Wairarapa. A road section from Wharekauhau up alongside
Lake Wairarapa to the Rimutuka Incline. Over the incline and through
Tunnel Gully to the Hutt Valley, and down the berms back to Petone.
Sounds a straight forward 130km ride. Just to spice it up we invited
Barryn, Trevor and Samara - you know, just to keep the pace honest!
The pace line got a little streched at times but there were moments of
respite, like when Jerome broke his bike just avoid going any further,
and the coke stop in Upper Hutt. It was the best conditions any of us can
remember for the trip which normally involves cold, wind and rain. There
was a 30km head wind up the Wairarapa but that was generated by
Barryn and Trevor. The section from the Orongorongo River to Wharekahu
is in good condition and mostly rideable except for the soft sand.
AND we got back in time for the rugby. It was a great night in Wellington
to be Tongan. Colin was home alone with whiskey and ipad for England
Scotland game. The updates dried up after 60 mins but we think he is ok
Monday, 19 September 2011
Sunday, 18 September 2011
Spot track can be found here (for all sessions actually) : http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0Tvpqi6dAiS7Qf328OJvFK6oHW18y8QqG
Monday, 5 September 2011
This week of course is Rugby World Cup - awesome to see then new All Blacks sign up near the airport and of course my first game on Sunday night - South Africa v Wales. Go the Leeks. Going to be tough to fit training, work and rugby in !!!.
Friday, 26 August 2011
Wednesday, 24 August 2011
of NZ distributor Ampro, securify.co.nz has rebranded as Team Bridgedale
Socks NZ. We are really happy about it and so are our feet (we've all
been wearing Bridgedale socks for years, including the last 2 XPD
adventures). To celebrate we had a little training outing from Jill's
place in Petone, cycling up to Tunnel Gully and then walking up Mt
Climie to enjoy the snow. Not that we think Tasmania will be that cold,
but after Threbo we just like to be prepared for all conditions.
We are: Jill Westenra, Colin Slater, Dave Rudge and Jerome Sheppard
(and for the next 10 weeks to be addressed as Queenie, Percy, Nursey and
[DR] I wasn't in country when I was named Nursey - I hate my team! AND I
am not in the photo.