This weekend was legendary. It had all the makings of a strong training weekend where only the strong survive. I wasn't certain it could be done, and whether I could do the training - that made it exciting. The wife and the boys had left me to go visit the family in Cape Town and I had the house, and lots of recovery time, all to myself. The house was unbearably quiet but I focused on what had to be done. Saturday was 125k's on the bike at Ironman pace - 33 kph, Sunday was 75k's at Ironman pace followed by lots of running above Ironman pace, under 5 minutes per kilometre.
While packing all my grub and drinks for the ride, I noticed the smarties I had taken were marked "Hawaii". I don't believe in coincidences. That fired me up and kept me honest for the day ahead. You'll notice the time too. Leaving for a 6am bike ride is so much more bearable than one that starts at 5am. And the mornings are getting shorter so best to ride pre-sunset, instead of pre-dawn.
We survived both days in pretty good nick, despite facing a few unexpected encounters.
Alby and I nearly got mauled by a pitbull on our first run interval down my road. I had gone into ninja mode and was preparing to climb a pile of bricks to escape the hell hound while Alby had gone for another strategy - outrun his younger brother. Thankfully Grant called out in his exemplary Joburg accent: "HEYYYY, get inside. China, you need to put a leash on your horse!"
We had goosies for the next ten minutes and had to keep our heart rates under control after the free pitbull-induced-adrenaline. The rest of the run was uneventful except for a few limpet mines as the hammies.
My mom promised me home-made gnocchi for Sunday lunch. That's her doing her magic. Gnocchi (kind of like potato dumplings) are my favourite food in all the world.We even cracked open a bottle of champagne. That's because it's good to be the King. ;o) To be honest, it was left over champagne from my dad's birthday but was still pretty tasty.
After my afternoon kip (lifesaver), I headed off to church for Palm Sunday. On my way over, the sun was setting over Johannesburg. I was driving into the looming storm. Rain drops like apples were starting to hit the road and I was soon driving up a river. Joburg has plenty of monkeys' weddings, i.e. the sun is out while it rains. These were the last few pictures before the sun went under and the heavens opened its deluge. There's something about the rain that cleanses the soul.
One more solid week to go before Ironman taper,