Mongolia Bike Challenge - The Last few days

1294278 10151808163568350 315759983 oMongolia Bike Challenge...the last few days

I don't even know what day it is as I write this, I just know that I no longer have to pedal my bike on Mongolian soil for the rest of our trip. The race is over.

How did I fare? Well to be honest it was a lot of hard work and fierce competition from up front and from behind. I finished 4th overall in the females yet I am pleased to say that my tolerance to pain and ability to come good improved a lot. My time gaps to Erin Greene who was a consistent 3rd the whole race became less and less. Do I wish I had another day to redeem myself? No way.

I am really tired, not just legs and body, but my mind just wants this adventure to be over.
So often in stage races its the survival of the day to day things that do your head in.

If you have done this kind of race before then you already know the rigmoral of the daily tasks.

  1. Wake up early to get to the pit toilet (or flushing toilets on two occasions) to beat the rest of the crowd.

  2. Get to breakfast right on 6am once again to beat the crowd and have enough time for your food to digest before racing at 7:30am

  3. Try to be enthusiastic about eating, think food is fuel.

  4. Get back to tent or ger and pack bags, get dressed, sort bottles and fuel out for the day, check bike again and tyre pressure etc...

  5. Be ready to race by 7:30am with bags loaded and last minute toilet stop

  6. 7:30am – Race. Try to get in the zone with zero warm up and coughing up yesterdays dust cloud.

  7. 8:00am – Bunch settled, racing legs and heart and lungs warm, pace feeling on the rivet but manageable now that the top end are in their own selection.

  8. Anywhere from 12:30pm – 3:30pm finish race. Hydrate.

  9. Upon finishing racing, shower, eat, hydrate, rest, have a light sleep, wash and dry any clothes. Check bike, clean bike and get any maintenance issues sorted with mechanics. Get bottles from feed zone crates, wash and refill and prepare for tomorrows stage.

  10. Once sorted, write blog, socialise and presentations at 6:30pm

  11. 7:00pm dinner, get in line first or last otherwise the wait is too long.

  12. 8:30pm brush teeth and put ear plugs in and go to sleep and get ready to do it all over again.

Since my last blog update we have done the 95km day and the 170km day and finally today, 91km.
I personally have found my hill climbing legs again, after so so many months of not being able to find them.
The different camp sites have been everything from challenging to quite comfortable.

For two nights we stayed down by a river with our gers made for us on river stones and dirt. Now the bonus and clothes and self all at once.
Last nights location was awesome – carpet lined gers with doonas and sheets, a restaurant with a bar and somewhere to buy a coke and chocolate bar. Oh and hot showers and flushing toilets.

1186335 10151614133426003 6320778 nIt would have been great to stay here another night but with one more stage to race, we had 91km to travel to our 13th Century Mongolian Ger camp.

We have a luxury suite high up on the windy hill.

In all reality its pretty special to be here, I would never have thought to visit this place, so the race has been great for Norm and I on so many levels.
We have met so many interesting people from all over Australia and the world and been open to just living each day as it comes.
Norm has really enjoyed being involved in the media team too - his dream holiday.  Take videos, photos etc...edit and upload with all sorts of trouble shooting along the way.

But you can probably hear it in my writing...we are ready to go home.  

Upon leaving, did I do everything I said I would do at the start?  YES, totally and 100% I gave everything.  I will leave having trained harder than I have in a long long time and I am looking forward to seeing what I can do with that new level of HURT on my return.

1186335 10151615563341003 1671182797 nSo now we must wash the bikes, pack them, wash clothes and pack, catch flight home and then I am off to Townsville for some R & R whilst Norm goes home for some Hard Work and catch up!
We are both stoked to have been a part of this journey, we never stop learning, never stop growing our experience base and acceptance of new people, new ways and getting to know a new culture.

For me this race was always going to be tough and with such impressive female competition the win was not my drawcard.  
Having the courage to pit myself against, having the courage each day to face the hurt and push through, having the courage each day to see if I could find a new level of tolerance when I could have just as easily decided to chill and ride tempo with a few new buddies.  
I have got to tell you in such a remote place and race like Mongolia, the expanse of the land, the speed of the starts, the knowledge of what laid ahead, yes, it scared me, but I knew that if I just put myself on the start line and stopped thinking about it and just did it, I would find that place where I could achieve my best.

Now its time to find the courage to revist the 24hr train of pain in October at WEMBO 24hr Solo champs, in 2013 a tough field awaits anyone gutsy enough to challenge.
For me now, its "courage building time!" and this I am certainly not afraid of.

"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear" - Mark Twaincourage quote mark twain1-680x544