Monday, June 22, 2009

Hard hard days

Today was long and hard. We started with a brutal portage with thick sticky mud followed by another similar one.

It was 5 hours of hard labour covering about 23km. In between we got rained on as well.

From the end of these two portages, was another 74km of riding in slippery mud. I soon dropped off the back slipping and sliding and protecting my dodgy knee.

I find with this event that I stay locked in the moment which keeps me turning the pedals over and not getting too overwhelmed by what still has to be done.

After a little dorp called Roussouw, I got hailed on. It stings. But I kept my new mantra going: it is what it is.

A wonderful descent brought me to an emergency support station called Moordenaarspoort. When I saw the other guys there, I felt relief that I wasn't at the back anymore.

This was at 17.00. I figured I could do the last 40km in about 2,5 hours. It was dark quickly but I felt that I was on an adventure on my own - no one around.

Unfortunately I had run out of water and food so when I lost the route and asked the farmer for help, I realised I was really really buggered. I could hardly string 3 words together. I still had another 14 to go.

Gerhardt and his wife made me tea and an avo sandwich. He offered me a lift which meant a time penalty tomorrow. This was already past 8pm so I called the race director and gladly accepted. The others arrived after 10.

The time penalty means I can only leave at 9 tomorrow which has one benefit. Maybe I can shake this cold I have but it does screw up our schedule. So we will have to re-strategise.

This race is very hard. But so far I am coping but it takes its toll.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device


  1. Hey Fi,

    I hope you got my SMS. This knee is really worrying me. I cant work out if you are overcompensating for the current injury and causing another.
    As I said in the SMS, try moving your saddle and testing by riding for a little while. Check where the improvements happen. Then work on narrowing the problem down. You can also do the same with your cleats. Another recommendation is to get rid of as much weight as possible (I am sure that you cant really do much better though...)
    Another possibility is to take a day off. I know this is not what you want to do but it may be the only option...
    Let me know what the outcome is...

  2. the whole office on this side is cheering you on - good luck!