6 days till race day and the Ironmen have descended! The average BMI of Puerto Del Carmen’s hotel population halved over night and the ‘ if you can read this, you’re too sober’ T-shirts replaced by those proudly proclaiming finishes at various M-dot events. The super efficient La Santa crew has already erected the change tents and grandstand finish line seating, sign-posted the bike route and marked out the swim course. It’s not great for the nerves, I can tell you!
But, I’m now approaching that point where there’s not much to do but accept that you’re training input is over. It’s all down to attitude and bike cleanliness now. I say ‘approaching’ that point, since I’m still in my last cycle of bike-focused training – session are a little shorter than during the last two 5-day cycles but certainly no easy rides. From Tuesday I really start easing it back – a pretty short taper! It’s a little frightening how tired I feel at present, not helped by an uncharacteristic difficulty in sleeping, but also very exciting to be exposed to this hard-core assault on the lack of bike fitness that I brought to the island 3 weeks ago. Through the fog of fatigue, a fitter me certainly seems to be emerging, and my confidence in a decent race performance is returning.
It’s been a great 3 weeks; we’ve had good weather and a constant turn –around of company whilst out here. I found a very good a reasonably priced lifters gymnasium, and eventually managed to blag my way into free use of the pool at the ‘posh’ Farionnes gym. We have great beach access for sea swimming and a spacious hotel apartment so three of us, kit and bikes have lived comfortably together. The hotel staff are friendly, though they rarely bother to clean our room (cant blame them – buckets of sand daily!) and we quickly came to appreciate the buffet evening meals, especially on BBQ night! I’ll be happy if I never see another slice of cold meat or hard-boiled egg, the unwavering daily breakfast selection, again though!
Some stats to reflect the 21 days since our arrival:
Training hours = 110 (5hr10min per day)
65% on the bike (1015miles)
13% swimming (pools and sea)
7.5% in the gym
Calories consumed = 78250
% of which had boiled eggs = 5%
Lost toenails= 2
Lost pairs of flip- flops = 0 (I found them again - in Steven’s cupboard)
In all, regardless of the outcome of this race, it’s been a decent training trip and we’d certainly do it again. Having paid for the accommodation, including virtually all of our food, when the pound was somewhat healthier that it is currently (and I was earning some of them!) it’s been a cheap month of the good life. Though if there was not a race on the horizon I would certainly have had to factor in a beer allowance. Mmmm…Beer.
The folks arrive tonight and the training load get a lot lighter from tomorrow onwards.
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