Up Against It

Training is hard. Some days I love it, these are the days when I thank God for my health, sunshine, nil wind and a good coffee at the end. Most days are not like that. My day generally starts at 4:10am for a 4:30am start time. I prepare everything the night before; even my breakfast. Otherwise, I generally frustrate myself by not knowing where anything is when I wake up. 4:10am is early. If you are ever going to talk yourself out of training, it is generally within 5 minutes of waking up. It’s best not to think, just do. Otherwise it is too easy to jump back in bed believing you will make it up the following day. Doesn’t happen.

Originally, I thought I would build up from around 250km per week (6 months out) to around 500/600km per week come departure date. However when serious people get involved, people who know what they are talking about, plans change. Hence, I had to double my weekly average overnight, and the intensity. Gary Land (Pro Fit Bike) advised 600km+ per week, made up of 100-120km per day at 85% heart rate. I don’t know how many people have tried to ride 100km+ at 85%. It’s not easy. I think my best to date is around 83% over 100km. So currently, that’s my training routine, and though I am not hitting the 600km mark, I am at the moment hitting around 500km on average.

The best thing about finishing training, other than the coffee, is seeing our little 19 month old, Sierra at our door. She always greets me with a smile, “cuggal” (“cuddle” in Sierra speak) and “Daddy” as she reaches for my sweaty helmet to try on. The thought has crossed my mind on more than one occasion (almost daily) that this is the same picture I will hold and look forward to when I complete this journey. Whether I achieve this record or not, whether we hit our funding goals or not, I will be looking forward to coming home. Originally we thought my wife Chantelle and Sierra would be joining the team for this journey, but since planning this event we found out Chan is pregnant with number two on the way! It was a surprise, but good. A 14,000km trip, 400km/day, in a car, pregnant with toddler in tow would be harder than what I am trying to attempt. Hence Chan, Sierra and Bub number two will be staying at home.

All of this training is to try and increase my chances to make the journey. I don’t want to have any “if only” thoughts when I depart come March 2013. The odds are stacked against me as it is, so I have to try and do whatever is necessary to lower those odds. A good friend of mine, who punishes me every time we train together, currently has me at odds of 200-1. In other words, he believes it is impossible. He started at 100-1, but we had a pretty hard event where after 220km and 5000m of climbing I began to fatigue badly. So his odds doubled overnight. We have placed a small wager on my failure or success. A $1000 donation if I succeed. If I fail, apparently I have to ride 10km around our local training circuit wearing an outfit Borat made famous. If you don’t know what this is, keep it that way. He is a very cruel man. But this all adds to the motivation to train and I am sure when things get tough (and they will) I will remember this little wager. Even more-so, I will be remembering my little family at home. This gives me huge motivation to get home fast.

What am I thinking?!
Day 7: Ouse to Hobart
  • $795,000
  • Raised since 2008
  • 9
  • Countries cycled
  • 479
  • Participants
  • 34,700
  • Kilometres cycled