It is only 10 days until Challenge Bahrain, my final race of 2014 and so a good time for a quick update from Perth. It’s my fourth week here in Perth; my fourth time here but my first time here training. I’ve been impressed. Perth is a city that likes to be active and likes to be active early. I’ve been out riding at 5:30am feeling pretty pleased with myself and soon realised I’m probably half an hour behind the general curve ball!
I arrived in Perth in good time to race Mandurah 70.3. Unfortunately my bike took a battering during the journey so I wasn’t able to get out for a ride on it until the day before the race. Not ideal but, who am I kidding?! The real issue was my light to non existent training between Kona and Mandurah. There’s only so far Kona fitness will take you and I’d stretched it too far. It was definitely a wake up call! You can see my thoughts on the race in witsup.com post race here: http://www.witsup.com/video-mandurah-70-3-pro-chatter/
I decided to bin plans to race again In Aus and instead put my head down and train for Challenge Bahrain. A shame in some respects as my experience of Ironman Asia Pacific’s race organisation was excellent. However, it meant I got time to hang out with my sister and get to know Perth from a new perspective….
1997: I was here as a back packer picking apples (and cucumbers and courgettes and eggplants)
2007: Still lawyering, I came out to spend new years here with a group of great friends.
2012: A flying visit to see Katie post Ironman Melbourne.
2014: Training (and cricket, and coffee and working out how an SSB compares to an SBS …or something).
A change of scene and a change in training has been a great antidote to the post Kona funk I found myself in back in October. The change has been as good as a holiday so rather than feeling jaded at this point in the season I am enjoying sessions that are different to those I did over the summer and I can approach them feeling mentally fresh.
Swim Smooth: I have been swimming with Paul Newsome in a small group following the Swim Smooth schedule most weekdays and I love it. Yes. I said LOVE it!! My swim mojo has wavered a little in recent times so I think the combo of a new approach, beautiful 50m pools and the challenge has revived my mojo. It’s a good group including Nick Baldwin, Emma Pallant, Kate Bevilaqua and Guy Crawford. Oh…and we swim in the river. Where bull sharks apparently live. I don’t love my fear but so far I’ve sucked it up. No bite marks yet.
My bike and run sessions have looked a little bit different too. More trainer rides so I can lock into the extra gear I will need for Bahrain. I threw myself into a 50km time trial a couple of weeks ago and will do another this coming weekend. I have a secret love/hate feeling about time trialling. It feels very pure: reaching that high level of discomfort and learning to keep on pushing through it. Unlike in the UK the routes aren’t on dual carriageways but quiet, challenging routes.
Aaaaand it’s not all been all swim, bike and run. Katie and I went to our first ever cricket game: thankful to Pierre and Colleen for educating us on the rules (and esp Colleen for letting us know it’s okay to take your kindle!). There’s been a fair bit of coffee drinking (predictable). A spot of SUPing. Experiencing a ride or two with the Hall Women’s cycling group – I excelled at the 10 sec sprints….
Less than a week and I’llbe in Bahrain. This is going to be a cracking race bringing ITU superstars, 70.3 superstars and Ironman superstars together on the same start line. Make sure you tune in here: