Sunday, 22 November 2009

down under




i writing this from the back garden of our local hosts in Busselton, Western Australia. with large, immaculate lawns and an amount of garden furniture suggesting frequent out door socializing i can look over the neatly trimmed low hedge to the flat calm sea. between the hedge and the ocean is a shared foot.bke path which continues around the entire bay, and on the 5th December will make the route for the Ironman marathon course. which is of course our reason for being here, however this time i will just be watching. i have mixed feelings about this: aside from the small matter of an entry fee, there are many other reasons against doing a race so soon after Kona, and it is nice to be able to ease myself steadily back into 'proper' training now that we have arrived in a lovely location with great scenery and weather. but on the other hand, there is a very strong 'ironman' vibe amongst all the people that i have met so far, a definite sense of excitement and a feeling that i'm missing out on something that i really enjoy! i think it' s going to be hard come race day ( yeah, sitting here in this garden with a cold beer will be damn hard) and even more so in the days after the race, when there will be not much else spoken about, really giving it a good old rub in! i'll be a lonely soul out riding the roads that week!

But enough of the old gittery! we really have landed on our feet here. Our hosts, Neil and Lorraine - friends of Steven's mum from her china tour, but until tuesday total strangers to us - are have made us so welcome in their home, cooking for us most evenings and insisting that we keep our bikes in their drawing room (known as 'The Precious Room' - no children allowed!) rather in the garden shed, despite the white carpets! i' m gonna be finding out what they are taking and bring a large supply back for my mum - it's gotta be worth the excess baggage costs ;o)

Beyond this generous hospitality, the location of this place couldn't be better (although even in the time i've ben sitting here writing this, the sheer number of runners going up and down the bike path is beginning to irk me!). We are 2 minutes from a small but well equipped gym that i have joined, 2.5 minutes from the beach, about 15 min walk from the town centre, the pier and Goose cafe that is the habitual meeting place for most of the local triathlon club's training sessions, and 20 min walk from the swimming pools.

Russell, having been here last year for the race and arrived a week ago or whatever has introduced us to a few people and again, we have been made very welcome on the numerous activities of the local triathlon club. it really couldn't be easier - there are 3 weekly rides and 3 weekly sea swims with kayak support and if you're lucky, as we were this morning, dolphin entertainment at half time. the impression is of a very large club for a town of this size ( about 25, 000) but i think that actually its just that its a very active and social club, with a high proportion of it's members showing up for all sessions. mind you - in this environment you wouldn't really want to swim, or do much riding alone. once out of town, you can ride a long way on dead straight roads and pass nothing. no shops, homes or even much passing traffic. there is not even mobile phone reception far out of town, so aside form being boring, it's possibly a bit risky - there are wild things out there!!!

right, that's one runner too many. i gotta get up and out for my session now.

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