My Blog

Wombat 100 - A fantastic race & a great reflection for me.

23 April 2012

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Its funny how my benchmark changed so damn quickly!

One moment I was not going to Italy to do this 24hr at Finale Ligure, planning on getting faster at shorter races for no other reason that “to get faster” and do something different and then the next moment I am going to Italy for the 24hr race.

So this weekend just gone, rocking up to the Wombat 100km, I had mixed expectations.

My lead up had changed now, add load, add duration, be tired, work hard, work long, there is a 24hr race to build up to in 4 weeks!

Only a few weeks prior I would have been trying to peak for this race. I still was planning to smash it and see what would happen, but the big picture was now much bigger.

The 2 weeks prior to this 100km race I had done some pretty big rides, some intense ones too. Including a 100km MTB ride and a 40km XC race at the You yangs in the one week. Pretty quickly I got the sniffles and the whole body aches going on. Operation chilli, ginger, lemon, honey & garlic stopped that progressing further.

Last week was a funny week, feeling a bit overwhelmed, a bit cranky, a bit on the non healthy side, sleeping in, not riding until late in the afternoon when I would feel my best and then all of a sudden on Saturday, the day before the 100km, I felt great. Phew!!!!

So there I was, just so relaxed now about doing a 100km MTB marathon as training for my 24hr quest in 4 weeks time.

I love it! How many people are out there doing that?

Its just so amazing how your mindset can change. A couple of weeks ago I would have thinking about how much 100km was going to hurt and that I best taper etc...but now I was thinking, “just go as fast as you can for 100km, eat drink and be honest to yourself, ride fast, fight for every meter, never stop thinking about finishing, never lose the moment, start training the brain to hurt x 4 of this!” CRAZY!!!!!

 

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As I got to a sign yesterday that said I was at the 90km mark, I must say I had two conflicting thoughts, “yes 10km to go, thank goodness!...and Oh my goodness, I will only be ¼ of the way through my race in 4 weeks time, I think I may need some voltaren and caffeine around now.” 

All the while there are hundreds of riders out there doing the same course as me for many different reasons. Sure there are those at the pointy end pushing every ounce of the being to podium and win prizes and cash and do their best for STRAVA segments (hehehe ;)' and there are those who are out there to prove to themselves despite previous best efforts that they can in fact finish one of these 100k'ers. 

On the weekend I was there with a bunch of girls who all had varying degrees of experience, fitness and goals for doing their race.

One was on a single speed, doing it for her good self and the love of the outdoors and pushing her physical being to whatever level she could. Two were doing the 50km – smiles all round, going as fast as they could because...well just because they can! Another had never done a 100km before but had done a 6hr enduro solo, now it was a free weekend and a race that looked doable so she was in and succeeded with a massive smile on her face. Finally there was one who had struggled and been tormented by previous failures to achieve her goal of finishing a 100km mtb race, it was an internal battle that had to be won, a rite of passage to the next stage of her self discovery through mountain biking. And then there was me, loving to be riding fast, pushing for a podium, using it as training for a 24hr race, fine tuning my mental training as well as my technical skills...a lot going on!

I just love it when I finish and get to have a hot shower, change into some clean clothes and realise that what seems painful and unrelenting does end, but we shouldnt wish it to be over so quickly, rushing off in our cars to nick off home, catch a flight, drop into the cafe before it closes, get home before its dark...etc..etc...

Sure – our pain is over and we are all cosy and comfy, but this is one of the first times I have hung around, watched the riders coming in up to 3hrs after I have finished. Watching the organisers and volunteers packing up, track marshalls coming in with bunting and signposts, the free beer and water being handed out slowly drying up and getting way too warm.

Yet still another rider comes in, his wife and kids waiting to give him a hug, he sculls the free beer with contentment in his face, gets off the bike cramping and we (our group of girls) clap and cheer. 

We - Francesca, Bec, Sarah, Tracey & self were waiting for our friend Corinna, to come over the line. We knew it was her greatest goal to finish this race and we sat around on the grass, talking, singing, clapping in other riders, just chilling with the sole purpose of being there for Corinna's triumph. There was never any thought that she would not make it, we were all focussed on sending out good vibes, willing her home.

At 2:52pm I SMS'ed her, Corinna, how you doing? She messages back, I am 12km from finishing, I hope you are all there? I message back, yep, bring it home baby, go hard or go home!

About 50 minutes later, she comes through, smiling and tears and so so happy.

What am I trying to say?

In your quest of life, remember that others are on a journey too and its just as rewarding to appreciate this as it is to strive for your own amazing heights.

I know yesterday was a timely reminder to me to immerse myself and not to distance myself from others who are not on my journey, we can still travel along the same path and have double the fun.