For the first time in a looooooong time, we are ALL in the same place. Lucy rolled off a plane and into Auckland a couple of days ago and we are right back into the team trainings. We had a sweet training session planned out this weekend, a trail run and a mountain bike through the woods out at our home turf in Muriwai. However mama nature had other plans – and dumped a torrential storm on us last night. Although there was a part of us all that wanted to tackle an outdoor train come rain hail or shine, the wiser of us (ie, Billie, the more experienced adventure racer of us), pointed out the risk of injury and jeopardising our ability to race at our best, also keeping in mind that rowing nationals are a week away.
So to try make up for the lack of cooperation from the great outdoors, we decided to do back to back spin classes at the gym on Saturday afternoon, and a wee run to get the legs feeling good and warm. Our goal with this training session was to have maximum time moving, with minimal breaks. The aim was to simulate the endurance and muscle fatigue that we will be experiencing on race day – obviously we weren’t biking or running for twelve hours straight (thank goodness), but being continuously active for three hours was a good way to give ourselves an idea of how our muscles and minds would cope with the longer distances and time put in. The hardest thing was that the spin classes we did were both the same releases - so it was a little boring the second time around.
We also took hold of this rare moment of togetherness to organise who would be carrying what, and what kind of nutrition and hydration we would be organising for race day. We’ve divided up the race supplies in accordance with our strengths. Billie, the paramedic among us will have the first aid kit and survival gear, Andy, the baker and team mom among us will carry some delicious nutritious snacks to keep us fuelled up along the way. Dani, the only one with (some) map reading skills will be in charge of the race map and race notes, the only risk with this is she might herself get lost with them. Or lose them. But we feel it’s a risk worth taking – and at least one of us will finish the race! Lucy, the queen of buying waterproof phone cases in the hope she can make her electronics lifeproof (note: “lifeproof,” is yet to be proven as “Lucy-proof” RIP iphone 4 and RIP iphone 5), will be carrying the team phone and the survival blanket. We will also all be carrying an adequate supply of water, electrolytes, and food as well as the compulsory items such as whistles, head torches, and warm clothing.
We’ve planned out our food for race day, and everybody knows the best part about endurance racing is that its an excuse to eat whatever you feel like post race so we’re excited for post race pasta, and pizza, and potatoes, and chocolate, and bread, and peanut butter, and you get the idea.
We will be eating a protein and carbohydrate rich meal on Friday night, and a waking up early enough on Saturday morning to eat a decent but not too heavy breakfast before our 5:30am start line appearance. For breakfast we’ll be thinking along the lines of porridge, yoghurt, or maybe eggs.
We will be preparing all our food at home prior to race day, to ensure we’ve got good whole foods going into our bodies, and not exposing ourselves to wild sugar highs and lows, or too much processed food that may upset our tummies. Andy is going to bake us some cheese and chai scones for our carbohydrates, and some muesli slice for a bit of fast acting energy should we need the boost. Lucy will prepare some raw protein balls to give us some longer lasting bite sized fuel. We will also carry scroggin, and Dani is going to cook up some delicious mini vege and egg fritatas to keep our bellies full and our minds alert.
We are both super excited and ridiculously nervous for race day, but have full faith in our abilities to power through the race course and come out, maybe not on top, but mostly alive. We all know that endurance racing is largely a matter of the strength of your mind (and your quads), and all of us have some pretty powerful mind over matter powers within us which we know how to dig deep and use when we most need it.
We look forward to checking in with you all post race, and letting you know what wild things happened in the bush along the way.
Til next time
The Adventure Squad