The Other Land Of Flat Whites

FlatWhiteOz.jpgNew Zealand is not he only country that does Flat White coffee. Here is a marvelous example from the cafe with “the best coffee in Margaret River”. It was delicious and certainly did not make me feel I could question this claim. I’ve had it explained to me what makes a flat white but I’m still not sure. I know it’s not quite like a latte and definitely not like a cappuccino, it’s somewhere in between and for most of my moods is better than either.

I am quickly growing very fond of this part of the world. As is Jo since she’s already talking about coming back next year so she can race it and I can give it a go when fully fit. Busselton is so welcoming, everyone so friendly and our hosts Neil and Lorraine could not have made us feel more welcome. This morning Neil took Jo and I on a ride out to Bunkers Bay to his favourite breakfast place. Mum and Lorraine met us there. It was a really nice ride and the breakfast was awesome. We’ve not done breakfast here as we do in the UK because it’s so expensive. This was no different about £15 for a full english breakfast. Now it was good, very good, superb qualify but it was the sort of quality you’d expect from a good restaurant on an evening. Lorraine said that going out for breakfast was a big thing for locals. This explained it but it would be nice to find a cheap and cheerful greasy spoon.

I am starting to feel like I’m getting some form back. Some level of fitness. I reckon I’m executing the plan I had for Kona after Wisconsin but am doing it better. Last week I finally got a good weeks training  in, mainly aerobic and volume based and I’m feeling the benefits of it. I was a little tired Monday and Tuesday and limited myself to swims and gym. I tried a run on Tuesday but after 7 minutes felt so wasted I stopped and walked home. Given how little running I’ve done for 8 months and the quality of my running last week I concluded I’d just not recovered. Yesterday I did the run after a fairly long bike and a swim (more on this later) and I was running well. 67 minutes of running relaxed feeling just how I used to. Knocking the run on the head the previous day was the right decision.

On Sunday, Russell and I headed out on a long adventure ride. Nearly 200km out of Mobile contact with only one place for provisions. We cycled the first 100km with only 3 cars passing us but sods law was that one of those passed us just as a car came by the other way ! These 100km involved only two roads and virtually no change in scenery. It takes a real change in mindset to cope with this sort of riding. I was dropping off the pace, then catching up just to relieve the monotony. Wanting a pee was a welcome relief in more ways than one and it meant we got to take a photo of this Poison Swamp sign with an advert for kayaking. The only other relief on the road to Nannup was coming across a load of Emus including one in the road. It was just like a sheep only faster and more stupid. I like Nannup and the bacon, egg and barbie sauce sarnie was very welcome indeed. The road back was more fun but probably  purely because the sun had come out and we were heading home. I enjoyed the ride in the way you enjoy completing anything that proved a lot harder than you expected. I won’t be rushing to repeat it though.

One ride I have repeated is the Margaret River ride Jo and I did. Russ and I did it on Tuesday. It was tough on Russell as he was feeling shot and I was feeling great. After our coffee stop there’s a great TT section. I couldn’t help myself and blasted for about 20 minutes most of the time over 40km/h. My hope is to do this ride again on Sunday. This will complete another 30+ hour week and then I will rest. I’m not even going to say taper as it’s not really that. I’m aiming to build my aerobic base and then start the race rested. The figures look OK when I stick them in my plan and I’m encourage by Rogers performance at IM Arizona. He did Kona, had far from ideal training between but rested up and got 3rd in his AG, his Kona slot and I believe a PB. You just never know whats the right approach in this game but that shows that he’d not lost all his Kona fitness and that must be the case with me.

So to swimming. Jo and I had chatted about swimming over a beer last week. I said she had to get used to swimming at her target pace and she asked how I would do it. I suggested a session and after Scott confirmed it was a good idea we gave it a go yesterday. We did the following session together using Jo’s repeat times:

20 x 25m on 40s hitting your target pace

Recovery – enough to be ready to hit the next bit

5 x 50m on 1:15 hitting same pace


1 x 100m FLAT OUT.


5 x 50m on 1:15 hitting same pace


20 x 25m on 40s hitting same pace.

This proved a great session. The idea is to be swimming at the sort of speed you would like to hit the 100 on and ultimately swim that pace for a 400 and beyond. It was a fun session and I’ve written a couple of progression sessions for it. It was certainly tiring. For me I got to swim 1.6km at 1:12 pace and Jo managed most at about 1:22 pace. We plan to repeat almost weekly.

I’m feeling reasonably positive about this race now but with that comes a little frustration that my run fitness just won’t be there. Still as long as I perform better than Kona it will be a step forward.

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