Happy Holidays everyone. Its best been a memorable Christmas for me down in Australia. I grew up in Houston, Texas so I'm accustomed to having warm weather around the holidays, but 95 and sunny was a new one for me. The McDonald family welcomed several of us into ther home for the holiday and I was very grateful for the invitation. I definiltely like the idea of wearing flip flops and hitting golf balls on Christmas afternoon. That's pretty much the exact opposite of last year when we spent the afternoon building a snowman in Crested Butte on Christmas day. The day after Christmas brought Boxing Day and Marilyn had arranged for a group of us to ride out about 110K to the town of Mt Beauty. From Mt Beauty we had a 30K climb to the town of Falls Creek followed by the descent into town and a picnic lunch at the park.
The gang was pretty groggy from all the festive Christmas cheer, but we still managed to get out of bed on time to make the rollout. The pace to the base of the climb was mellow and social (this was to be a good thing) and soon enough we were in Mt Beauty. Most of the crew stopped for a good helping of snacks, but I opted to keep things light since I wanted to TT the climb.
We got rolling again and I pretty much started to drill to it for the next 30K of the ride. The climb had some breaks in the first 15K, but the last 15K was a constant grade and it even kicked up a bit for the final 5K. I was starting to get a little foggy in the final 15 minutes, but I was committed to the TT so I kept pressing until I reached the summit parking lot.
One of my favorite things to do is TT climbs (both riding and running) and this was definitely a beautiful and challenging one. Its nice to take a break from Colorado and actually have some air to breathe while climbing.
So all that was pretty tiring, but we all decided that we needed to get more tired so on the 27th (next day) we headed to a small town about 110K away from Albury to do the Lake Bannella Triathlon. Its a unique event simply based on the fact that it begins at 5:00 p.m.
Having to start so late in the day was a bit of a challenge for me as I'm more of a 8-5 type of guy when it comes to training, but I managed to get my head in gear around 4:59. I had a couple days out of the pool prior to the race so going hard for 750 meters was tolerable.
Hopping out onto the 20K bike? Man my quads were burning. Fortunately Blake passed me early on and I was able to key off him even though he was slowly putting a couple secs/K on me the whole way. The run that followed didn't feel any better, but I kept it together enough to finish just under a minute behind Blake. I don't get to race like this very often and I had a great time doing so.
We had dinner at a local pub and eventually made our way home around 10:00 p.m. that night. It was nice to have a break from waking up at 3:00 a.m. to do a race.
Now I think its probably time for a rest day as I've managed to stack a lot of stress on myself over the last week.