The train ride up to Beerburrum is long however you cut it. Especially with 125km in the legs for the week (knowing that there are another 20 some ahead), and with rain drizzling dully outside the window. I was completely engulfed with self-doubt and negativity as we rattled Northwards: ex-blisters - will they go septic? niggles - will they get worse? What am I even doing, I should be in bed, recovering.
However, as soon as I hopped onto the saddle it all started to fade, as I encountered that familiar and beautiful rhythm of spinning out the legs. Maybe the weather isn't so bad.
Arrived at the Mobil with minimal navigational difficulties, and waited around under cover. By 6pm there were about ten of us gathered, and we set off into the darkess and lashing rain.
Firstly, it was onto the grass next to the highway, and then came the trail. Or puddle, I should say.
It trumped the most soggy and rutted path that I could imagine. The two resounding feelings were surprise and despair.
The sand and clay underfoot were a slippery mix, and I was soon questioning the decision to wear racing flats on this run; the decision to wear flats for the 100 miler.
It took an incredible amount of mental focus to stay on the trail, to stay upright.
Kato, Brett and I fell in together, a little bit ahead of the others, and managed to sneak in a climb of Wildhorse before rejoining the group. We set off on the little loop, then managed to get a bit lost, before miraculously meeting the others at a crossroads. We cruised to Wildhorse, put in another climb, and savoured the view at the top. It was then just a short jog along the road back to the Mobil.
In all, a very, very casual 20km in about three hours. But it was just the wakeup call that was needed.
The back 50km of the Glasshouse course has left its imprint on my consciousness. It will be hard and long, and mentally draining, despite its lack of an incline. It will take everything that I can muster to finish. To finish strong.
Suzannah then kindly gave me some food and a lift home. From there, it was out to Peter's going away party, and then into bed at 1am.
So, training for the Glasshouse 100 is over.
This final week has involved:
23 hours of training in total, with
145.57km of running with 2,850m of gain,
110km of cycling, and
two gym sessions.
In the four weeks between recovering from Flinder's and finishing training, I've managed 84:24 of training, including 419.83km of running, 583km of cycling.
Why the gloating about stats one may ask? It's really just for the sake of self-confidence. So that I can look back knowing that I did basically as much as could be done.
The niggles on my right side have perked up, but I'm not really that bothered. I'll be doing little to nothing for the first half of the week, jogging lightly on Cootha over the weekend and then doing very little the next week.