Our first week on the Aussie Challenge could be classed as cruel if I was not voluntarily putting myself through it. These are the numbers; 406km, 450km, 451km, 471km, 400km, 402km and 491km, a total distance of 3,071km (an average of 438km per day). If I make it through the first week, I’ll end up at a place called Pamayu in the Northern Territory, on the Stuart Highway, heading to Darwin. Have you heard of that place before? I tried to Google it and found nothing! No information. Then I tried Google Maps and could not see a single house, not even a pub! I did however see a huge road train and I went to street view - the place looks desolate. In a little over three weeks’ time, apparently all things going to plan, we will be there. Can’t wait!
I planned the first week with the long kilometres for a couple of reasons. If I know myself well enough, generally speaking, if I just aim for the minimal amount when doing something, I will fall short. If I aim high when setting goals, I give myself a better chance. Currently, the record is set at 377km per day; if I have any chance at all I need to set my sights on something unrealistic. If I achieve “the impossible” in the first week, I should be in a better frame of mind to believe I can achieve the overall goal. It also provides a greater buffer in case things go wrong – which they may. Or, I will fall in a heap.
This week has been a better training week. My body is in a lot of pain right now, which is a good thing. However, part of the pain is from a leg kick that was delivered by a rather big man to my upper thigh. I was invited (set up) to a cross-fit class by a “friend”. I was set up to train with this ex-army guy with a powerful kick. Agreeing to do this class was not the smartest move by me, but it did bring a laugh from my “mate.” I had done 150km on the bike that same day, so the legs were feeling it before we started. However, it feels good to know that the majority of pain is from training. I am going to rest for the next few days, recover and then hit it hard again for one last training push. Then that is it, nothing more I can do.
One area I have been wanting to blog about for a while now is the Aussie Challenge team. They are just as much part of the journey as I am, just as committed, just as passionate and in some sense (based on some of our meetings) a little loose also. Without this team nothing would be done, they have literally done all of the logistics (Popey - legend), media and research. I have been freed up to simply train, turn up to meeting and answer reporters’ phone calls, who mainly ask question, “why on earth are you doing this???” I don’t even bring food to our pot luck dinner meetings. On my knicks (cycle shorts) I have a lot of inspiration words and text, one of the words is “team,” because whilst the main purpose of my ride is to benefit vulnerable children, it is the backstories; the friends, family and team members that are an inspiration to me also. So, I ride for children who live in abject poverty, but I ride also because of our team.
From the team: It's our absolute pleasure. Thanks for being an encouragement to us. We can't wait!