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27 Jul 2009

Week twelve

This is my last full week of training (next week I will be doing all those things that proper athletes do like tapering, carbo-loading and mentally focusing) before the race and as such it has been a good one. Highgate is perfectly positioned on it's bloody great hill (hence the name) for a really decent bike loop and lets you make the most of an evening's session with it's punishing ups and downs to really blow out the legs. The plan asked this week to go the longest yet in my strongest discipline but having only several hours to spare of an evening I decided against taking this literally and pushing out a 100 miler on the bike. After all I have cycled 85 miles on my own in one day before from Milton Keynes to Leonard Stanley in the Cotswolds, surely that distance wasn't called for? Instead I pushed as hard as possible on the hills and generally kept the tempo as high as possibly where traffic allowed, scaring both an old lady and a mallard in the process.

On Wednesday I faced my fears and returned to Hampstead Ponds to get one final open water swim in before the big day. My best man Terry was on hand to join me on the swim and between us we clocked up a fair few laps of the pond. We weren't alone and before too long there were at least six other wet-suited tri swimmers plodding around and around in circles, we comfortably outnumbered the regulars wearing nothing but a speedo and a smile. We spent the whole time discussing the distance around the outside markers and having been quite well educated in the complexities of counting, numerical guesstimating and maths in general, Terry was pretty close. It turns out you can swim 360m in total around the outside, and given our cutting of one corner I completed just over 2,400m in total, admittedly stopping now and again.

On Friday evening I watched my artist friend Pip Greed (aka Phil Marsden) perform on the 4th Plinth at Trafalgar Square as part of the One & Other 100 days of live art exhibition. He was brilliant, holding the crowd beautifully by quickly drawing personalised sketches and then delivering them via paper aeroplane; he finished to raucous applause. After an early night (1 week now without booze) Jessica and I were on the road by 8am, on our way down to Excel to check out the venue. Jesus. The dock is big! The water is dark, God it's all so BIG! I rode the bike route, doing the first dual carriageway stage only once due to multiple lane merging and hot Limehouse Tunnel smoginess but couldn't keep much momentum going what with the the ridiculous amount of traffic already on the road. I noticed several others doing a similar thing and made sure I took note of the ups, the downs and the turns along the course. Although I knew the rough route in my head actually riding it will hopefully give me an edge on the day as I know exactly what to expect and where the smooth 'nail it' sections will be. Although I missed the final portion repeats my total mileage clocked 35 and on getting home I immediately changed into trainers and hit the pavements. I stuck it out for 30 minutes and was pleased that although feeling tired my legs knew they could cope.

I am now on 1 week and counting.......

1 comment:

ANDREW said...

will you update your blog with a summary of your performance? Just for completeness?