"Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another."
Walter Elliott (From 'The Spiritual Life').
The second week of big miles ‘block training’ had me start with an entirely open mind. No expectations in terms of kms or climbing, or anything for that matter. I would wake each day, train most of the day, and recover before the next. This week would not have the days known by name or number. They were a blur, and I hung on to finish with just under 1,000kms - Still healthy, but tired.
To start the week would be an overnight 350km ride, and the first few hours were ridden in heavy rain and strong winds. The ride ended with dry / calm conditions, and the comment was made that the ride had been "brutal". (I suspect that should be a capital 'b'). I also drove after the ride, and have made a note not to do that again. My efforts were left on the track, that's for sure. (Note to self: 4 days may not be enough time to recover for an overnight ride after riding 1,200kms over the space of a week).
I got home. I slept.
The following 2 days were recovery rides of just over 3 hours. So far so good, and then back into it. I rode up to Otaki and everywhere in between for a 175km outing, and the following day had 6 hour of Aka's repeat hill climbs. Then the enforced 'Rest Day'. A 1 hour ride, with the only effort being me helping an elderly woman put her rubbish bin back upfront. Seems like the Kapiti College 'Late Start' left a few of our secondary school student a tad bored.
Then back to the Aka's. I could hardly believe I was at Friday already. Aka's repeats up and down the hill for a full 6 hours. Blissful. Again and again. I finished and needed willpower to cycle straight home. But I did. A special day where you finish the 6 hour ride and say, "What's next??" at the end. What was next was very clear - If you can call the Metservice referring to the approaching storm as a 'Weather Bomb' as "clear".
In a very rare moment of objective thinking, combined with restraint and a non-emotional approach to the day out…I decided to stay warm and dry inside. "Stay healthy" I thought. The fire was lit, and a sleep in followed, with several DVD's to follow. I rested up, and frankly wasn't too pleased about missing the training, but made whatever hay you can while the sun is not shining.
The last day of the week saw me awake tired and fatigued. I got out the door and returned 2 hours later. More sleeping would follow. More resting. More recovery. I had ridden a big week despite the quiet ending, and February had seen me cover more than 2,500kms. The base miles were done.
I'm not sure if the training is making me a better person, but I can see it is certainly making me stronger - mentally and physically. This journey. This journey, of racing and times and efforts needing measurement beyond my comfort. This journey is almost done. This final journey.