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Training Log Archive: tRicky

In the 7 days ending Oct 1, 2016:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Adventure race4 68:24:21
  Road bike2 1:26:30 20.73(14.4/h) 33.36(23.1/h) 114
  Orienteering (urban)1 30:07 4.19(7:11) 6.75(4:28) 3828 /28c100%
  Total7 70:20:58 24.92 40.11 15328 /28c100%

» now

Saturday Oct 1, 2016 #


So apparently my Subaru is going to take a week longer than expected to repair, even though I never got a completion date in the first place, because I supposedly told them the wrong engine details. Mine is apparently an earlier model 2008 than they one they found for me so they had to get another one from the east. This is strange given I quoted the chassis number to the guy and he told me all my engine details so I'm not entirely sure how it is my fault. STechnic has a way to go to reach the low bar set by Subaru Wangara in the service area.

On another note, my medical finally got passed by the ADF and I seem to have been accepted into the forces even though I've not yet been to the OSB. Maybe I'm just that good they don't need to interview me to see if I'm suitable ADF material. Must have seen my results from China.

I also find it a bit odd that the duathlon organisers expect the first person to finish the long course at 10am (1hr 40mins after race start) and the last finisher 20 minutes later. Have they not run this event before? Las time I competed, the winner was <1hr and the slowest was a lot more than 20 minutes later.
3 PM

Road bike (commute) 38:28 intensity: (28:22 @1) + (9:37 @2) + (26 @3) + (3 @4) 15.47 km (24.1 kph) +62m
ahr:115 max:162 shoes: Giant TCR

I stupidly told Tash I didn't need her car to get to Metro today since it wasn't all that far so could take the bike. Of course it rained on me on the way there and so I was drenched before starting and with the cold and added bonus of the China race earlier in the week, it was never going to be pretty.

I also somehow managed to change the combination on my bike lock as I was attempting to lock it up and I have no idea how I did it.
5 PM

Orienteering (urban) race (Karawara) 30:07 intensity: (19 @1) + (10 @2) + (3:26 @3) + (24:46 @4) + (1:26 @5) ** 6.75 km (4:28 / km) +38m 4:20 / km
ahr:168 max:176 spiked:28/28c shoes: Salomon XT Wings asphalt/yello

I had a quick look at the map before taking off and figured #26 was a good stating point and got there behind Hadrien and Pete but they both ran around the fence whereas I cut through the oval and beat them both to #1. I had meant to pick up #30 on the way through to #3 but didn't and then had to add a bit of distance later to collect it between 29 & 28. Hadrien sat with me through the first eight but then we took different routes and I got one up on him.

Took what I thought was a good route around the rest, leaving off the big out and back to #6 in the dead end street and #21 later, which I couldn't think of a route to go and collect so had to get #14 instead. Sten outran me today as we had an identical distance but no surprise given my load this week, illness and my left calf tightened up quite noticeably with six controls to go so I limped home. I possibly could have outcrafted him had I collected #30 when I meant to but it would have been a close thing.

Really enjoyable course otherwise and one I knew could be well used for this style of close-knit setting, which Wayne employed well at City Beach last year. Means I started the year just the same as last year - sick and second.

Surprised at the turnout given what we were up against - AFL, Nationals and the rain: 42 entries with 54 participants, including 17 people participating for the first time this year and that's less than a handful down on both the events I set last year. Nothing spectacular but expected the worst.
6 PM

Road bike 10:31 [1] 2.77 km (15.8 kph) +4m
ahr:97 max:129 shoes: Giant TCR

Control collection because someone had to.

Road bike (commute) 37:31 intensity: (35:17 @1) + (2:14 @2) 15.13 km (24.2 kph) +49m
ahr:107 max:139 shoes: Giant TCR

Went home a different way just because I could.

Friday Sep 30, 2016 #


Well timed but then it was probably caused by being on too many planes and in too many airports over the past week and a half.

Thursday Sep 29, 2016 #


One thing to be said for the airline I flew with, they know how to put you up in style as a layover passenger. I had a choice of several hotels to stay at but had no idea which one to choose from so picked the first one, the H. J. Grand Hotel, which is 3.5-4.5 stars depending which website you look at. Included in this was a buffet breakfast and it was also the first time I got to drink milk in the whole China trip (I ordered a milkshake with dinner - shame the milk to go on my cereal was hot). Best hotel I've ever stayed at but then admittedly I don't normally stay in many given they're too expensive for my tastes with this one at $230 per night for a standard room.

Wednesday Sep 28, 2016 #

Adventure race race (XTrail) 6:24:21 [2] **

Trek 2km
We got an escorted walk back to TA from here - which was lucky because I misread the map due to the roads being covered by two control circles - (we later found out we were the last team to go through this TA even though there were still two others out on course) but in bike shoes because our promised crate with shoes in it was not there. Somehow even in the final 2km we still had to stop so that was a poetic end given that seemed to be all we did all race. The last three teams (the Tiger team we'd been encountering on course and the WA team all finished within 20 minutes of each other). I downed most of our bottle of champagne in celebration and felt very happy about it.

So we did enough to have a time that would have put us in 17th place out of 28 teams but were unranked so didn't come anywhere really, other than to be the 1st (and only) unranked team. All the others below us appear to be listed as DSQ for a variety of reasons, the main one being not reaching a cutoff in time - there was no leniency for the fact the race started a half hour late! After we'd cleaned up it was 8am and Trev and I decided to just hold on for breakfast at 8:30 but next thing I know I'm waking up and it's 9am and neither of us remembered laying down to sleep.

AR is a weird sport. Before the race I was worried what would happen if I lead my team astray or got us lost. During the race I just hated the whole experience - either the terrain, my teammates or the biggest one being the shit maps. Afterwards however I just wanted to go back and do it all again. Strange.

So would I go back to China to race? Probably not. The organisers did a great job, went out of their way to help us and everything was provided for - hotels before and after, all meals and transport (other than flights to and from China). Every single CP was manned, other than one on the lake.

My grievance comes from the airports and airlines. We had one flight cancelled and one delayed that caused most people to miss their connection. My bike almost cost an additional US$200 because the policy was not clear even though I had a letter confirming my luggage was all paid for. Security and check-in procedures were total BS. Finally I almost had all my Ay-Up batteries confiscated because the airport security at my final transfer decided I had too many. Ridiculous really, they have some kind of aversion to having any electronics on a plane even though the entire country is addicted to mobile coverage and they're possibly even worse than here with all the screen staring. I even had some dude at the airport try and sell me an iPhone for US$500.

Tuesday Sep 27, 2016 #

Adventure race race (XTrail) 24:00:00 [2] **

A short section to break up the two bike rides. We weren't told to bring figure 8s as part of our gear but did get told to bring four caribiners and two slings, which we then only needed two and one of respectively. Thankfully since 90% of the field hadn't brought them, the organisers were forced to provide descending equipment. They could have easily provided a rope for safety to save us the hassle of bringing slings (which I ended up losing one of).

I hadn't noticed (along with almost the entire rest of the field) but the map had changed just prior to CP 25 from 40m contours to 20m contours in the middle of the map so this section looked freaking mountainous whereas it wasn't but then I think even the 20m contours were incorrect because we were supposed to climb up 200m to the abseil and I reckon we'd have been lucky to climb 20m.

MTB 57km
Final ride home. Mel decided that since it was the homeward run that it'd be easy but I looked at the map and decided otherwise with another hike-a-bike looming. I tried to get them to move it on to make use of the remaining daylight but once again it was a struggle and this should have been a fast transition given we all still had our cycling gear on and only had to change our shoes. >30mins later and this was a 'good' transition according to some.

We didn't totally nail CP 27 after the photography helicopter flew overhead and Trev took off, leaving Mel miles behind again and me struggling to catch him to tell him about the track junction we'd ridden past that I wanted to turn down. When I did finally get him to stop over a kilometre later, I decided it was fair enough that I get to yell at him but then decided to take the next junction instead - fortunately there were about four mapped routes (not necessarily actual routes) to get there - but after we missed the next one hammering away from a pair of dogs that decided to chase us, we eventually ended up taking the longest of the four. It worked out alright though because we found the CP with no problems, unlike some other teams that either took ages on that leg or didn't find it at all, including the WA team.

27-28 we also mucked up with dodgy tracks drawn once again and ended up in a little town south of the one I thought we were in so we rode around that being lost for a while before heading out of town and figuring it all out. 28-29 was total BS and the mapped 'track' I think was only drawn on there to make us hike our bikes through the ravine to the CP, even though there was barely a trail at all and nothing in some parts. We ended up being both in and above the ravine at points and had to hike our bikes over rock surfaces that easily could have landed us in the bottom of the ravine. I had decided at multiple times through here to give up, go back to the previous CP and ride the long way to the finish, missing the last CP on the way and that's where we found the Tiger team that did exactly that but Trev convinced me to go on and I actually found the whole situation quite amusing whereby our options were to give up and take the penalty or potentially continue on, blow past the cut-off and get a DNF ranking for what I said was trying too hard.

So rather than attempting to follow the totally non-existen track, we dropped down into the ravine and followed that instead. I had loads of motivation now even after having only an hour of sleep in the previous two and a half days so just decided to get on with it, rounded a corner and saw a light on top of the ravine ahead. Went on and found a checkpoint marshal there, who must have been sent on to find us because he was a good kilometre or so away from the CP but he sent me onto it. Trev told me to go and get it and come back to let them know but after a few hundred metres I decided that leaving them again was a bad idea so went back to wait at the top of the cliff but from my vantage point it looked like they'd actually gone backwards from where I last saw them and our guide had also disappeared but I quickly realised he'd gone down into the ravine to carry Mel's bike for her. The marshal told us where the control was but I got him to take us there anyway because I was totally sick of this CP by now.

From there it was a fast downhill (with either completely incorrect contours or an incorrect track) into another ravine that had a track running through it that crossed the river multiple times. We got a lot upset with this section and after going for a fair while, Trev convinced us we'd gone too far whereby we got out the yellow communication brick and fired off a message asking where we were. After 15 minutes we had no response and were getting cold so decided to move on, at which point we rounded the next corner 30m away and saw the bloody transition at the same time we got a message on the brick telling us the TA was 200m away. Bollocks.

Monday Sep 26, 2016 #

Adventure race race (XTrail) 24:00:00 [2]

Trek 47km
Started on the next trek in the early hours of the morning and we were back down at lake level around 1400m and the next CP was at 2500m so it was a climb up and up and up a rather uninspiring track to the highest point of the race. Both the others faded on this leg and I was left to lead from the front so led us in the wrong direction a couple of times, including missing a rather innocuous track junction of the lake road (I thought it was a driveway) then decided to go on an unmapped track further up the hill before the one we wanted and went around 100m along that before realising it was not right based on the contours around us that I could somehow make out in the dark.

Got to CP 11 in the light and that was cold then headed off for the next one. Didn't see any other teams in the process until we got near it and found Thor's team again, who'd wandered off course a bit (as we did also because the maps were shit but not as far off course as one other team I heard about that thought the unmapped track they were on was the mapped one that in the end didn't exist) and we got CP 12 together. Followed that with a long valley descent that contained more tourists and horses than recognisable features before we got near to CP 13 and completely fucked that up, losing Melody in the process and causing the first shouting match of the race between Trev and Melody. It was my complete failure at reading contours that cost us the first bit of time, then losing Melody that completed the disaster and cost us 1.5hrs in the process.

Pressed on to the village of Hemu with a Real Sprint Map (draw to ISOM) for the tour about town that I nailed, the only thing I did get right all event. Did the noodle making challenge, which had replaced the previous yurt building challenge, and had time to sit out our 2hr mandatory stop so slept for a bit. At least I think I slept because I laid there for a while not really sleeping and looked at my watch and suddenly it was an hour later. Some teams got penalised here for leaving just a few seconds short of the 2hr mark, think the penalty was double the time you were short +2hrs so it was worth it to get it right. Short walk to the next TA with Julie joining us for that bit.

MTB 96km
That ended most of the trekking and there were no more paddles so it was almost entirely on bikes from now on. This was where I realised just how slow some of our team was at transitions, despite one of them professing to being a former triathlete and having fast transitions. Took us 1hr 5mins for a trek to bike and I was waiting around doing nothing for a good 20mins of that, even though I had the added difficulty of organising the map board. This was made worse by the ride up the bitumen hill for the start of that leg for about 1.5km and Trev getting a flat tyre, asking if we'd each brought our spare tubes with Melody saying that no she hadn't so Trev sent me back to get it from her bike box so had to ride the hill twice, thanks for that. I got my lambasting from Trev shortly afterwards when I rode up a hill without them since I didn't realise Mel got a mechanical and they both stopped, after which time I passed a junction so given they hadn't seen which way I went (I had thought they were right behind me), they sat around and waited whilst I sat around at the top of the hill and also waited for a while before going back and then getting yelled at. Nice team harmony we have going here! Turns out there are only two ways to do things when racing with Trev - Trev's way and the wrong way.

The WA team and one of the Chinese teams caught us here at the first hike-a-bike (dunno why they're so prevalent in ARs because they're total shit) and I decided to stop miles short of the control because the contours looked wrong but then they got better and we found it. The downhill on the other side was semi-fun on the goat trail, then we had to cross a couple of rivers without the aid of tracks and I put my faith in Dave because I seriously had no clue where to go and didn't want to be out there all night lost, more so given it was now raining. We got through to the next CP and found a hut to camp in because Mel wasn't going to make it. Holed up here with four other teams and some people slept although I didn't because there were three people (including Trev) snoring and I cannot sleep through that. The WA team took off first before it got light or stopped raining but Trev was having none of that so it was after 8am before we eventually got going.

Next section was all on an actual track with CPs to collect on the way but no route choice at all and Mel and I spent most of that time watching Trev disappear off into the distance on the rocky descents, which is ironic given he'd yelled at me earlier for disappearing and Mel did crash on one of the descents when he was nowhere in sight. After that long, rocky descent (in which my map board decided to not remain level) was a long, muddy climb in which our bikes got covered in filth and we lost heaps of time waiting for Mel (who was now thoroughly sick with a chest infection) to fix her bike on multiple occasions and/or change in and out of gear. Trev tried towing her but she mustn't have liked that because she succeeded in breaking the tow rope and we had no spare. Got through to the TA and ropes section after a long, long time.

Sunday Sep 25, 2016 #

10 AM

Adventure race race (XTrail) 14:00:00 [2] **

I'm going to do the abridged version otherwise I'll be here all day and I have stuff to organise.

So Julie retired from the race before we even began because she got sick after working herself up into a state after realising we were going to be far too strong for her, so we got permission to start as a team of three, unranked. We were all of the view that we'd rather race unranked than almost definitely not finish.

Trek 54km
All the distances I measured were shorter than the race specification but who knows. First trek was straight up from ~1400m to ~2000m and we of course went the shortest, steepest route to get there. Map was 1:100,000 with 40m contours and looked pretty scary and the CP description were photos of the control site so not entirely helpful in many instances and in fact the first photo was a picture of the temple on top of the hill so we went to the temple rather than to where the photo was taken of the temple a good 100m away. We were in the bottom 1/3 of the field by this control.

See-sawed with the Estonian team, who I'd blacklisted from the bus ride after the four of them took up eight seats between them whereas the rest of us were crammed on holding our bags. Took a poor route to the second but hard to read the detail with the contour interval, then nailed the 3rd, this time see-sawing with another Tiger team and Thor's team, both of which we'd go on to see all race. We all made a meal of #4 and allowed several teams to get past, including the WA team, then it was fast going around the last two (which some teams decided to short-course on). Kept up a good pace and had a village turn out to offer us food as well as some crazy guy running along with our team.

Kayak 34km
We made the executive decision to skip the CP at the north end of the lake - that would then make the paddle 23km shorter albeit with a 12hr penalty - due to the fact we were paddling two doubles with only three people so tied Trev's boat to the back of ours but after a test paddle, we decided to go and get it anyway. Enjoyed the paddle out there in the duck but then it got cold and lonely on the way back and we really struggled to get through. First CP we didn't have to get out of the boats but the second one we did and got cold very quickly although I warmed up back in the boat with the spray skirt. It was really hard matching Melody's paddle rate that went something like paddle-pause-paddle-pause.

Got to the end and got cold again whereby I felt like shit but we had to carry the boats 200m and that near on killed me, to the point I felt physically ill and had to lie down whilst I had others wrap me in a space blanket, give me hot water bottles and pour warm water down my throat. Fingers and toes were all thoroughly frozen so hard to get my warm gear on but I soon recovered and we made our way on with minimal other fuss. Accidentally left my long climbing sling attached to the boats that one of the volunteers untied for us but I never saw it again.

Fingers were stuck to the insides of the paddle gloves that's how cold it was and the nerves seem to have died in them as they are still tingly almost a week later. I know from experience it'll take weeks for those to heal up. It was also at this transition that I realised I'd packed Tash's black pants rather than my own black hiking pants and this was making it hard to put them on given they didn't fit me. Luckily I'd made a decision at the previous TA to transfer my O pants from the end of the previous trek leg to the next one because they'd probably be more comfortable otherwise the only thing I had to wear were my rather non-flattering white thermal pants for the entirety of the next leg. I really don't know why her pants were in my clothes drawer.

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