Friday, 20 June 2008


Sunday 15 June 2008.
Epic Camp, day 8

We’re already on the last day. Some of us may also be on our last legs, too, but I certainly don’t want it to end. I’m still leading Scott in the points competition (which I would never have believed a remote possibility at the start of the camp!) so wrench myself out of bed for an extra-point 50 min run. I bumped into Mike who was up doing the same thing. We both understood that this was a run to be done in private though – I reckon I covered about 4.5miles in the 50min!
This was immediately followed by our last points challenge – a 5km uphill race. I felt pretty confident about this, due to my size and prior hill running events that I have done, plus my long warm up. Unfortunately, after a characteristically fast start, I realized that 5km uphill would take a long time and would be hard work. Especially on the swollen knee that I’d been carrying around with me, and started to fell really quiet uncomfortable. This might have had something to do with the generous quantity of wheat-beer that I drank the previous night! I slowed the pace, and was gutted that practically all of the guys just cruised on up past me. Including Russell who’d decided that an in-bed warm up was the secret to success, literally just clearing the duvet as starters’ orders were given! It was pretty miserable, and I was thankful that it was short and over soon. I sulked a bit in the car back down to breakfast – especially as there was talk that the committee were not going to credit my 50min run as a separate point.

I was determined to try ad do one of the points swim sets that I really liked the sound of: 3km swim as 12 x 100IM/150free. Funny swim strokes are certainly not my forte, but there were not set times and having completed the 40IM the other day, I knew tat I could do all of the strokes for more than 25m. The issue would be the cold water – most of us were wearing wetties for the outdoor pool sessions, even so I was always coming out of the pool cold after an hour. The ‘Epic Committee’ let me know that they would not allow this set in a wetsuit (a massive U turn, as I’m sure that’d It’d been ok’d previously!), so I was going to do it just for fun. I soon realized that the decision not to credit the session in a wet suit was ludicrous as it was virtually impossible to swim butterfly with your shoulders trussed up in neoprene!! I called it a day for fear of drowning, and finished my 3k swim with a set of 400s on 7min (it was supposed to be 6:45 but that didn’t last long- again, I blame the beer!)

There’d been ma lot of banter about the flat 100 –ish mile rides back from Bolzano to Verona being a fast paced chain to pull us all home in 4 hours or so, and as we set of on the cycle path, which apparently covered the entire route, the pace certainly wasn’t shy. Again, for me it was a question of finding a good position in the line where the concertina effect of the slowing and starting again were minimized , and hanging on in as close to the wheel of the biggest guy I could fins. I generally chose Randy for this, a broad build and an experienced cyclist too, so he tended to ride nice and consistently. Being on a cycle path, however, there was a fair amount of slowing and stopping as we negotiated turns and other cyclists. After 90 min or so we stopped for a pee break, Steven had been pulling the front along at 24 mph, and I when I asked if we could perhaps slow the pace just a little, to enable me to breathe occasionally, there was a general murmur of ‘that would be nice’….but the result was an increase in speed the next time that the group had to slow, an attempt to shake some of the slower riders. Most of them hung on, and by tales told that evening received a really good work out clinging onto the back of the StevenGordo train – which they were buzzing about. For me – maintaining that effort was just a bit more than I could cope with (90min at HR over 150 already) so I dropped off the back and decided to enjoy the final day, riding a solid but more sensible pace. There was headwind, which made things a little harder on my own, but the route was all down hill and mostly on a well- marked cycle path, so I kept my head down and my efforts up and enjoyed my own reflections on the week that had passed. It took me 6 hours to arrive at our hotel in Verona, the last few miles a bit hectic as I was unsure of my route and anxious about not having much time to pack my bike up before enjoying the evening. It was rather rushed, and result in Steven and I being rather late for supper -but wee didn’t miss much h- that hotel’s restaurant was so piss –poor that a group of us headed into town to celebrate surviving the camp with pizza and beer in the old town square.

Training stats at the end of the 8 day camp:
Swim: 26km
Bike: 670 miles over 8or 9 major passes
Run: 87 miles
Total: 65 hours

Phew. I’m beat - this blogging thing really takes it out of ya…

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