With the forecast high winds appearing on cue, today’s training was a little different from the planed schedule, but still provided us with plenty of challenge and actually the variety was welcomed. We began with a longer pool swim than we would usually have time for – most doing a 4km set, whilst Bob swam a full 90 minutes to make it 4.3km. Well, actually he only measured 4km by his Garmin …so of course those extra 300m don’t count !! Daz then drove us down into Puerto De Carmen, where it’s always a little more sheltered and warmer, for a 90minute run on the flat and paved surface. To accommodate our different running paces the workout was to run for 45 minutes, and then turn back. For most that 45minute “out” took them beyond the shelter of the town and onto the more exposed bike path passing the airport – they all came back completely caked in the sand that was being picked up from the beach in the winds. Daz and I , wise to this uncomfortable sand-blasting effect elected for a shorter run, turning back at the Hotel Beatrice.
As the wind dropped following lunch, we made an afternoon departure for a short local ride that would provide a good work out and the opportunity of our QOM climb, with repeats up and down the Donkey Track which is within a short distance from the villa in case we felt the conditions were unsafe. The verdict was that, although tough going, no one felt at risk from the winds, especially on that relatively sheltered stretch of road. So we made two ascents and practiced descending that beautiful winding road, before getting don to the serious business of the race. given the hasty recalculation of the handicap to fit this new climb, I was pretty pleased with how tight the finish was ( a perfectly calculated handicap would result in a blanket finish) – as you can see below.
One again I had the task of setting everyone off on their handicap start times – and then having to ensure that i made it to the top before anyone else did in order to record the finishing times. This clearly provides me with a lot of motivation and I had another good climb. The finish between Bob and Aine was very dramatic – she started 12 seconds behind him and he just managed to hold held her off!
Each position was worth 4 QOM points today …and the overall standings with one ride to go look like this:
Tomorrow’s final climb will offer 5 points per place, as as you can see – if Aine can get two places ahead of me, she takes the title.
Obviously, that ain’t gonna happen ;o)
Dave has provided his account of the day too:
“This morning started for us all with some level of trepidation… Last night’s weather forecast showed VERY strong winds so we were all a little unsure of how much we’d get done today. But as it got light we saw that at least our swim would be on, so we all dived in the pool for a brutal 4k session… Toughest and longest most of us had done…. Thanks Jo!!! All of us survived unscathed… A little battered by the winds, but all feeling we had earned our breakfast.
After the usual breakfast banquet it was time for our long run of the week, so into the van for the seafront. A quick synchronising of watches (just to make sure we hit the 90min deadline) and we were off… Beautiful run along the seafront… Some places dodging the tourists who mostly look at you bemused! Turn was by the airport where we received a wonderful ‘sandblasting’ courtesy of the gale-force winds! All of us made it back to the van in time and certainly seemed pretty satisfied to have got the long run under our belts… Hot and windy but the tailwind on the return leg was well worth the hard slog on the way out.
If you could ignore the gale-force winds, the weather was stunning – lovely and warm and not a cloud in the sky, so a very welcome break for a few hours this afternoon to recover and top up on vitamin D! Then of course dinner… And what a dinner Debs and Holly sorted for us… Debs described the jacket potatoes, baked beans and tuna as ‘basic’, but I think the fact it all disappeared showed our unanimous approval
In all another fantastic day… And now we have tomorrow’s Aquathlon to look forward to…. The big question on everyone’s lips…. Will Bob take longer getting his wetsuit off than it takes him to run the 5k??? 12 hours and we’ll all know the answer…”