Friday, April 13, 2012

P2A - it's on!

Just two days out now from the Paris to Ancaster 60k off-road cycling race, and I'm getting stoked!

First a quick shout-out to my friend Chris: not only was he kind enough to hook me up with some free nutrition to try out, he went out of his way to get the free product to me before Sunday's race. This year's Paris Ancaster adventure is brought to you by Endless Endurance, Cambridge's only dedicated triathlon store, in conjunction with eLoad gels!

Endless Endurance
Go check out his stock!

Chris is a triathlete himself (as well as co-founder of the Fletcher's Meadow Cross Trainers and Cambridge Multisport Club), so he knows the value of quality products on which you can rely. He's constantly expanding the lines he carries, brings in hard-to-find items (currently the only retailer of First Endurance nutrition in the tri-cities), always provides free shipping with no minimum order, and has amazing sales from time to time. Follow the shop on Twitter to be kept up to date!

With two days left before the big day, I've actually started to taper just a bit. I'm not really going to be racing, but since this will only be my 8th or 9th outdoor ride of the year and definitely the longest time in the saddle since last summer, I figure I can use all the help I can get!

Being pressed for time last night meant a shorter run anyway, but my legs were feeling pretty peppy so I let them loose to see what would happen. It would appear they've made a full recovery from Around the Bay, as I ran just under 4.5km at a 5:19/km pace - far from true speed, but only 10sec/km off of my all-time 5k PR pace. I wasn't going full-out, either, so it would appear that I might just have some snap left to work up for the Mudpuppy Chase 10k that's now just three-and-a-bit weeks away. Good deal!

I did a shorter swim (1,600m) last night as well, in the interest of getting home a little earlier to get some extra sleep. Of course I got talking with one of the lifeguards after I finished, and ended up being on deck until 10pm anyway! Noone ever said I was terribly bright.

Still, tonight is my regularly-scheduled night off (date night!), and I'm actually starting to feel pretty energized for P2A. I'm sure the copious amounts of carbohydrates I've been ingesting are assisting with that - again, I need all the help I can get, since me entering a cycling race is akin to bringing a rubber chicken to a swordfight! Apart from my usual carbo-loading favourites of Bulk Barn pie filling and basmati rice (not together, you weirdo!), I've just found what may be a new staple.

Don't let the cute koala fool you - this box is full of crack.

I'm a big fan of Nature's Path - they make quality products from simple, organic ingredients and provide delicious foods for people (like myself) who are gluten intolerant. I've been a fan of their Crispy Rice, Mesa Sunrise and Peanut Butter Panda Puffs cereals (the latter being all Dave Roche's fault), their waffles and their  crispy rice bars, but until last night I hadn't tried Koala Crisp. It's GNAWESOME! Amazing cocoa-chocolate flavoured brown rice crisps; like a gluten free love-child of Rice Krispies and Count Chocula. I could see myself eating a truly disturbing amount of this stuff.

The forecast is predicting rain starting Saturday afternoon and running right through to Sunday arvo - I don't know how race director Tim Farrar manages to arrange lousy weather for the race every year.  At least it looks like it will be in the 10-20c range, rather than the near-freezing temperatures with bouts of snow we had last year. All the better to take on the new section that's been added; only P2A would replace a stretch of paved road with 1.2km of double-track farm lane for 2012. See you on "the Prenderlaan"!

2011: I'm not as cold and muddy as I look - it's actually much worse.

Armed with a bit of rest, a lot of CHO, and my 12-27 cassette installed on Snorky (my Norco CCX-SL cyclocross bike), I'm ready to take on the mud again!

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