Monday, September 20, 2010

Small Miracles

2 small and one bigger miracle last week.

Tubeless Tyres

Was playing around on the BMX track when I noticed some stan's leaking from the very flat tyres. While pumping it, i could hear the air escaping. The wet goo even marked the spot for me. Plugged it, pumped a little and off i went. Aaaah the miracle of tubeless !

Teak Place

Those lovely little bridges and other fun-things at Teak place!! Can't ride there and not feel good about life afterwards.

Finding the missing paddles

A bigger miracle: After Swazi X we found someone else's paddles in our boat. Both pablo and my split paddles were missing and after some posts on various mailing lists I gave up on ever getting it back. A few weeks ago there were some desperate pleas from Team Swazi Moto, who lost theirs too. One of them was one of the unfamiliar paddles that ended up in our boat. Mike Richardson collected it from me last week Monday. He didn't have ours, so i thought it was the end of it. BUT Tuesday I got an email from mike - he located the paddles in Pietermaritzburg - they might be able to get a lift to the Fish Marathon, from where we just have to arrange a lift back to Jozi. THANK YOU Mike for phoning around and locating them for us - i knew you were still looking for your other paddle as well, but thx for doing the extra bit to find ours as well :)

oh yes and i managed to stay in the k1 for 2 laps on Emmarentia on Saturday, without tipping over. does that count as another miracle? :D 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sunday's Sprint

To Quote a face-book friend (Erik) : Heidi and Stephan must be the King and Queen of Gauteng-AR at the moment. The Kinetic events are always fun - and sunday was no exception. We ran a bit, cycled some VERRY pretty and uncongested singeltrack, got lost a little bit, found a lot of controls without stephan's help, zig-zagged accross two dams cos the kayak just wouldn't go straight, almost fell off the obstacles at the finish, and laughed a lot.

Dawn on one of the bike legs (lifted off big baboon's site)
Zu's grin was just as wide - now who won't want to race with girls with smiles this big??   :D

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Post-race Depression

I've Googled it; it seems that post-race depression sometimes occurs after a big event - you've trained so long for so hard, juggling work and family commitments with training for race day - then you reach your goal - and suddenly you don't know what to do with your time - mission completed, and your life seems empty.

My personal totally unscientific theory goes more like this:

You have a tube of happy hormones in your brain. You go run or cycle a stunning piece of singletrack, or smell good coffee, and the happy-hormone-tube is being squeezed a little bit and you go on a little high. You go do a nightride on gnarly singletrack with gauteng's coolest crowd, and you drink hot chocolate with friends afterwards, and the tube is squeezed a little more and you glow with endorphins (or serotonin, or dopamine, or whatever causes this high) for days.

The total stock of happy-hormones in your brain is now less, but you operate off the released happiness while you sleep or work or drink good coffee or clean your bike, and over time it replenishes itself, so there's always stock when something squeezes the tube next time.

All working like nature intended.

The problem come in if you squeeze the endorphin-tube too hard without giving it time to replenish.

e.g. you go do Swazi Xtreme. You sleep very little, but you spend time with some of the best navigators you'll ever meet - you cycle in the dark, you trot on a dirt-road while talking to buddies in other teams as they pass you,  you catch up with other team's seconds at transitions, you paddle on pretty rivers, hike in a kloof, carry your bike over gnarly downhills,  find controls in unexpected and pretty places - and you use up a lot of happy-hormones. Then, while you're still on the high, you have 3 days to sort out the bike-issues and light-issues that broke on Swazi, get your adventure gear clean, get in the car - and start squeezing the tube again as you cycle down into the Baviaanskloof, as you catch up with friends along the way, as you plan where the controls for an adventure race might be, as you manage to get up the mother of all climbs without putting a foot down, or fight the sleepmonster, or almost get blown off your bike by a very temperamental sea-wind, or reach a checkpoint and can sleep for 4 minutes, or get to cycle some awesome dual-track at night by the dim light of your headlamp, or hear the sea, or cycle into Jeffereys bay 230 kms later - you're on a high, and the happy-hormone-stock in your brain totally depleted.

Like an empty toothpaste tube, it won't matter how hard you squeeze the tube. Empty is empty.

You'll just have to wait it out.

Eat some chocolate, email some friends, go buy pink flowers at the nursery for the friend's newborn-girl, drink some good coffee, go watch Evita at montecasino - even dine at Melrose Arch with some Ausie-friends that you haven't seen in years - but don't expect it to release feel-good feelings.

Lie awake for hours at night, search for company on the hub at 3 in the morning, sleep late every morning - till 12 on weekends, and 10 on weekdays (luckily your work allow that) - get a cold, play mindless computer games. Go find a paddle shop so that you can replace the paddle that went missing at SwaziX. Have a haircut, eat some chocolates. Bleh.

I went for a ride to Albert's farm on Sunday afternoon - first time i've done anything since Transbaviaans - all on my own - and the singletrack was pretty and dry, a little dusty - but lots of happy people at the botanical gardens, the downhill into delta park fun as ever - and i think the happy-hormones finally replenished. Managed a run as well on monday afternoon ... the sky is blue, the Spruit smells of jasmine, and I'm doing a sprint with Dawn & Zoo Cookie on Sunday - life is good again!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Been getting some grumpy questions about whether i'm EVER gonna update my blog again - so here it is :)

Yes, i did Transbaviaans - 3 weeks ago already.
How was it? long!
230 km on mostly gravel - but must be some of South Africa's prettiest gravel roads - with those huge rocks both sides of you as you drop down into the kloof. Then it opens up, some river crossings, some forests all around you, some farmhouses in the distance, a climb, another climb, some in daytime, lots at night!

Still haven't caught up with missing SwaziX sleep, so I struggled to keep awake during the small hours of the morning - the most technical part of the ride was trying to cycle a straight line with closed eyes.

It was also an emotional experience - the last time i was in that kloof was when i did the race with Hans Wolfaard (he of the Libia plane crash 4 months ago) - so I kept remembering where we stopped last, or what we did when we were at a specific transition.

I had some of the best team mates one could wish for (thx Adri, Leon, Ducttape and supersecond Nicolien)

Was great to see Elsie & x-D&D-er Sybrand, Breedtsnek-nightriders Denise & Zoo Cookie, and some hubbers (spud and buddies) out there - also my adventure sprint (and ride-2-rhodes) buddies Dave & Dawn

Was great to see Etricia, a cycling buddy of the time when i was still a George-girl, at one of the control points - and she looks exactly like 15 years ago!

Very well organised, checkpoints very well stocked with potbrood, hot chocolate, coffee, jaffels, sosaties and jungle bars. It's a long drive down, and even longer back  -THANK you nicolien for getting us safely home - even though you slept as little as we did the previous night

anyway - it's a long drive there - but very much worth it - maybe just not the weekend after SwaziX :)