Raynard Tissink Triathlon Coach
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WEEK 5

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Training only got underway on Wednesday this week after travelling back from Lubbock, Texas, on Monday, and a day off to recover from the long drive (and the race on Sunday). First session back after the race was a 150km ride, and unsurprisingly, the legs felt heavy and tired. Somehow I managed to drag my weary body to the top of the mountain staying within sight of the group of guys I was riding with, and it was with great relief that we started descending after nearly 3,5hrs of climbing.

But the relief was short lived. Within the first few miles of the descent we came up on a slow moving vehicle (an old beat up, dark blue 4x4 that I was about to become very intimate with), who started weaving across the lanes. We were cautious at first, not knowing his intentions, and after some time it seemed as if he had realized we were there was moving over to let us pass. Paul Ambrose was in front, and he tried to make the pass when the vehicle suddenly swerved back towards him. A bicycle’s brakes are not very effective at 70km/h, but he slammed on his as hard as possible and started weaving out of control. I was just behind him (and a triathlon bikes brakes are even less effective), and thinking he was going to crash in front of me, I swerved left onto the other side of the road just as the driver decided it was time for him to turn left into a small dirt road. Some of the worst accidents are the ones you can see happening, but there’s nothing you can do about it. This was one of those.

For what seemed like minutes, I was hard on the brakes, I could see the dark blue car in front of me and I could see the road coming to an end. As I hit the dirt road, there was no more control over my bike, and still travelling at a fairly brisk speed, I had to choose between ditching myself onto the ground and risk sliding underneath the car, or just plain smacking into the side of this solid immovable object. I chose the former, and although the outcome was rather painful, it turned out better than expected. My bike ended up underneath the car, but I was fortunate to come up just short (guess all those crashes off the dirt bike came in handy), with a fair amount of road rash to my hands, elbow, knee (more like a big hole), hip and ankle, but thankfully no major injuries. After a few choice words to the driver, I dusted myself off, retrieved my bike (also still in working order), and finished the last 1,5hrs of my ride. A close call that could so easily have derailed a whole year’s plans, narrowly averted.

The rest of the week was actually quite good. Not in comparison to Wednesday (because that sucked), but in general, compared to how I’ve been feeling since I arrived in Boulder. An old training partner from my days in Johannesburg, Freddy Lampret, has come to spend a few months in Boulder, and since he’s been here we’ve managed to fit in a few interval sessions. Slowly but surely the altitude is becoming less of a problem, and slowly but surely the legs are starting to show a little bit of form. Not much, but some. The cuts and bruises have not been much of a hindrance (save for a bit of sweat running into the wounds and burning like hell), so all in all, it’s been a pretty good half week of training. One more week like this (minus the crash), and I should be back on the road to full fitness.

Raynard

Annah Watkinson - Race Report IM Brazil 2017

After a great first year racing in the professional category in 2016, I was amped for the 2017 season. Feeling stronger and fitter and more in the "right head space" - I had done some great training over December spending many many many (and many more) hours on the bike - I loved it. My swim was starting to click, I was starting to understand the phrase "feel the water", and my running was strong

READ ONAnnah Watkinson - Race Report IM Brazil 2017
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