I had intended writing this blog post five weeks ago, on completion of Training Camp in Taupo, but a lot has happened and time has flown by. Here it is, the beginning of December and the ‘summer’ events have already begun.
Road Bike Trouble
In late October, eleven keen triathletes converged on Taupo for a training weekend with coach, Louise. We couldn’t have had better accommodation; the downstairs room became the ‘Rotorua ladies room’ with five Rotorua-ins, plus Rachel, who has just moved to Rotorua for work and is training for her first half ironman in January.
Saturday morning saw a 7 a.m. start with a ride around the western (hilly) side of Lake Taupo as preparation for the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge on 28th November. All was going well until, at 28 km into the ride, my bike locked up. It turned out that that the gear cable had snapped inside the shifter, so there was no chance of continuing with the ride. Fortunately we had two support vehicles on the road, and husband Andy picked me up and we went back to Taupo to find a bike mechanic who could fix my bike, ready for Sunday’s ride. There were major issues with my road bike and after working on it for about four hours, the bike mechanic replaced both the derailer and the right gear shifter. Although costly, I was pleased that this happened on a training ride, rather than during the Taupo Cycle Challenge.
The next day, was a race simulation on the Taupo Ironman course; a 90km out and back. It was a relatively good ride which I complete in just over 3 1/2 hours. This was followed with a 14km lap of the IM course.
New TT Bike
A few days later, we made the trip over to Cambridge to have my new bike fitted. On the advise of the expert, I chose the Cervelo P3. I’ve so far completed just three rides on her. They have all been 90km rides; the first on the Port of Tauranga Half IM course and the second two on the Broadlands Road course. I had already been warned that a TT Bike takes a bit of handling, especially in the wind. This has proven to be the case, especially on my two rides in Taupo. It is certainly quicker than the road bike. Yesterday’s ride on the Taupo course was 28 minute quicker than two weeks earlier. Both rides were in very windy conditions, and although difficult and not exactly enjoyable, they have taught me to handle the bike and have prepared me for whatever the Taupo 70.3 (this Saturday) brings.
Taupo Cycle Challenge
This was going to a good test of my improvement. I’ve learned a lot since November 2014, when I did this ride for the first time. Last year I didn’t eat or drink enough and although I had done plenty of bunch riding and hill riding, I didn’t have the strength or skill to push up the hills well. The weather was better than expected. The heavy rain did not eventuate and the only real headwind was the last 10 km back into Taupo. I experienced my first puncture around 90km into the ride, and was able to do the change in about fifteen minutes. A four minute aid station stop was my only other delay. With those stops I completed the 154km in 6 hours 10, 31 minutes faster than last year. Without the puncture it would have been a 46 minute improvement. Recovery from this event was almost instant. I was up early the next morning and headed across to Mount Maunganui to support friends in the Tauranga Tinman.
Taupo 70.3 jitters
It’s four days from this event, and Lake Taupo has not warmed much. Today it was sitting at just 16 degrees. It’s little comfort knowing that that everyone else will need to deal with the same conditions. My concern is with getting cramp in the cold water and not getting as far as the bike leg.