Last Saturday I completed the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge – a 160 km ride with an elevation gain of over 1700 metres, most of which occurs in the first 90 km. I had a fair idea what to expect and I had certainly done enough hill training over the previous months. The weather threw everything at us: crosswind (mostly), headwind, tailwind, sunshine and icy rain. The last 40km was tough. My muscles were screaming and my ‘sitting bones’ were getting very sore. However, I was thrilled with my time, (6 hours 39 mins) as I would have been happy with anything under 7 hours.
The ride took more out of me than I initially thought. I felt more tired after that ride than after running a marathon, but there was no muscle tightness the next day. On Sunday I went for a 30 minute recovery run and was surprised at how heavy my legs felt and how slow I ran – a walk would have been just as fast. My heart rate shot ‘sky high’ during the recovery run and it took 2km for it to settle back to normal. On Monday the tiredness hit me, but was largely fixed by a 1 1/2 hour nana nap after work.
Onwards and upwards. I’ve entered the Rotorua Half Ironman and have just over a week to do enough lake swimming to feel confident about the 2km swim leg of the event. I’d like to get in few swims in the lake, but the weather is not obliging. I can’t see the water being much warmer by 13th December.