When nature calls

Nature called me yesterday but I didn't listen.

Showers had been forecast all weekend and when I woke up to a relatively clear sky I knew I should get my long run in yesterday rather than putting it off until Saturday as I have been. I just couldn't though. I made every excuse in the book - it will rain, I'm tired, I should go to work early... but really, I was just being lazy.

So this morning when I woke up again to no rain, even though the sky was ominous, I knew I there were no excuses that would cut it.

I got ready quickly, maybe too quickly, and set off towards the city along the bike path.

Nature called again today about 4ks into my run. This isn't the first time the Athletic Powerhouse has been in this dilemma, and to this day KKB still asks me which is "the poo house" every time we're in the vicinity of where I relied on the kindness of strangers for a comfort stop a couple of years back.

There weren't many options for relief today though so I kept going as best I could, racking my brain for a solution. Closer to the CBD I remembered a gym just up from the river so took the appropriate exit.

I'll admit it, part of me was hoping they would refuse me entry, not being a member and all, just so I could have a bit of a rant about Fitness First right here on the Triathlete Chronicles. But most of me was ecstatic when they signed me in and directed me up the stairs to the Ladies.

Even with this major win, mother nature had the last laugh. I was still a good few ks from home when a downpour saw me drenched from head to toe, punishing me for scorning her the previous day.

You really can't beat mother nature.

Not another one!

Yes, another picture of the Glasshouse Mountains... (yawn...)

I couldn't resist stopping to take this on Sunday's long ride. Mt Coonowrin is one of the most remarkable and distinctive of the Glasshouse Mountains and I was surprised at how close it was when I rounded a corner somewhere on Old Gympie Road.

The ride itself - 144ks from Petrie through Dayboro, Mt Mee, D'Aguilar, Woodford, Peachester, Beerwah and back through Caboolture and Narangba to Petrie. A couple of nice climbs and, at the bottom of Mt Mee, a pinchy climb that, I was told "is more like a punch really...".

It was a bit full on but with a warning like that I was expecting something killer...

Although it was a long day, it was a good guide as to how the big day in France is going to feel, though I suspect France's ride will be a little more vertical...

Only one month to go...

I know, the Tour and Alpe D'Huez Triathlon aren't till July. What I'm talking about is the Winter Solstice.

Every year at this time I eagerly await it, the shortest day of the year. It means that, even though it doesn't get warmer yet, at least it starts getting lighter.

This year, according to Wikipedia, it falls on the 20th June, so there's literally only a month to go...

Cadel Cheer Squad

In preparation for our pilgramage to the slopes of the French Alpes to cheer on Cadel Evans in the Tour de France, I've designed a couple of shirts with the Design'O'Matic at Remo General Store.

Check out Cadel 08 and Evans 08 designs.

You can even buy one if you want...

Death Defying

Yesterday was a huge day which started at 4.05am with a feeling of apprehension, and ended at around 8pm, hoping I hadn't caught my death (as my Nana used to say).

The early rise was to drive for an hour to meet friends at Tamborine Village at 6am for a 115k ride up Mt Tamborine and then O'Reillys. It was a pretty tough day in the saddle - and with just over 2000m of climbing all up, there were some killer descents without much protection that gave me cause to think just a little bit about self preservation.

I was looking forward to a Hoodoo Gurus gig at the Doomben races that afternoon, and kept myself occupied wondering what they might play... so during the tough bits of the ride Death Ship kept popping into my head - a song about love gone wrong, but also just a little bit of hope.

After a hectic afternoon we got to the races not long before the Gurus took the stage at 5pm so I found my spot at the front of the stage and waited eagerly.

They got through The Right Time, I Want You Back and Waking Up Tired but at some stage during their fourth song, Death Defying, the rain started. The song ends with the words

If there's one thing that I've learned
It's the point of no return
And if that's to be our fate
Now's no time to hesitate

Collectively, it seemed that the other fans and I thought this was a good omen - and that they would continue despite the apparent dangers. We were all drenched... it was past the point of no return for us!

Ironically, it seems the health and safety folks thought that the rain did in fact make now the exact time to hesitate. The gurus were told to leave the stage in fear of electrocution. Alas, the Hoodoo Gurus would not be defying death today.

Lucky for me I'd already done my share of Death Defying on the slopes of two of Brisbane's best hills... and it seems on waking up this morning (yes, tired) that my fear of my death of a cold is not imminent either...

AndyCamp Day 3

Day Three was the doozy. 117ks of solid climbing, refer to the bikely route for details.

Between the 35k and 75k marks the profile is distinctly uphill, and lumpy, so with an overall elevation climb of 500ks - there is much more climbing than that. I am happy to admit now that I was at breaking point at about 74.5ks. Finally though I spotted the sag wagon waiting ahead, with the driver there to cheer me up the last hill. Yes, the LAST hill!

The next 20ks was almost for free - a very nice downhill right through Peachester to Beerwah. From there it wasn't far home and I was grateful for that!

AndyCamp Alpes Edition for me was 307ks of riding over 3 days. I've never clocked this kind of mileage before, so I am well proud of my effort.

The photo - yet another of the glasshouse mountains, this time a northerly perspective from Mary Cairncross Park.

AndyCamp Day 2

Day Two of AndyCamp had another 120ks scheduled - see the bikely route.

I knew fairly early on that I couldn't face it all, so had a plan to turn towards home at Kin Kin and do a nice easy 70ks with the intention of saving my legs for Day Three. I was satisfied with my efforts both ways on the little climb between Pomona and Kin Kin - and such beautiful scenery as well to keep me occupied.

After cycling back to Tewantin three of us went into Noosa for a fantastic breakfast (the thought of scrambled eggs was the only thing that had got me through the 35ks home) and then laid on the beach for the afternoon. It was all I could do - with just under 200ks in my legs over the last two days, I was too sleepy to move! At the end of the day I felt quite rested though, and thought I just might be able to handle Day Three.

AndyCamp Day 1

The Alpes Edition of AndyCamp started with a 120k ride from Yandina through Kenilworth, Brooloo, Imbil, Belli, Cooroy and back to Yandina. Check the bikely map and elevation.

There was lots of climbing, most significantly in the stretch just before Cooroy. We rode along the ridge of a range that just kept going up! The views were, if not spectacular, quite pleasant and certainly beats most of the rides around the Brisbane 'burbs!

Although I felt pretty good through most of the ride, I had this little voice in the back of my head wondering how on earth I was going to back this up for the next two days...? But I concentrated on the task at hand and just kept riding.

One day down, two to go...