Like I said, everything seems to fall into place on this trip. On Saturday, I rolled out for what I thought was going to be another solo 130K (80 miles) ride in the rain. I pushed back the negative thoughts stemming from not really knowing where to ride and the lack of company. Within the first 2 miles, a group of triathletes rode by me. Hmmm...if there is one thing I've learned on this trip is how to make the first move. I rolled up to the sole female rider in the group (Rachel) and asked where they were going. She responded by saying she was unsure but that they were riding 5 hours or so. Perfect. But first, they had to go pick up one more person. As we rode, I noticed one guy wearing a Team TBB kit; and I immediately knew my next move to further insert myself into the group. I would name drop Jocelyn Wong and see what his connection is to Team TBB. After dropping Jocelyn's name, another rider (Adam or Ads) said we are actually picking up one of her teammates, Bek Keat. NO FREAKIN WAY! It was Bek Keat who set me up with my place on the Gold Coast, and I did not expect to see her because she was supposed to be at a training camp in Thailand. However, she was back here because a good friend of hers was tragically killed in a bike accident last week, and she came back for the funeral. And just like that, I found the Aussie version of my Kona crew. Bek is so much like Bree, and like Bree, she has a posse of really cool triathlete friends. Immediately, I had rapport with everyone and we were joking, teasing, and laughing like old friends. Also, as you all know, I love riding the big ring, and I usually ride with a cadence of 65-80 rpm's. Many coaches and friends have tried to teach me to ride with a higher cadence, and I tried but failed. But I was with my own kind today. Bek and Adam (or Adzee as we call him) ride with a low cadence too and we all immediately bonded around this. There is a method to my madness of low cadence riding, and Bek confirmed everything I believe to be true. If you want to know, email me. At one point, Bek turned around and called me San Fran. NO FREAKIN WAY DEUX! The day before I left for the Gold Coast, I rode with this Aussie in Sydney named Jason and he kept calling me San Fran. And then Bek calls me San Fran (just like Bree called me PM or Pinoy Monster). I'm known as San Fran now on the Gold Coast. Later that afternoon, Bek and I went for a swim. And guess who comes walking up to say "Hi", Olympic gold medalist Emma Snowsill, and the fastest non-drafting Olympic racer of all time, Craig Walton. Craig is so freakin friendly and Emma is really really shy. I was on cloud 9. This was so similar to my Lance and Chris Lieto sighting on Kona. Like I said in my last post, it's so cool how my experiences on the Gold Coast parallels that of Kona.
In April, I'll be turning 39 years-old. The last 34 days of traveling made me realize that I still have much to learn about life and about myself. I'm definitely enjoying all the new things I'm discovering. For example, I may not be as fast as when I was in my mid-twenties, but I certainly am more fit. Never have I done this much volume in my life. In three days, I've ridden 345 km (214 miles) and ran 52 km (32 miles)--and in six days, the totals are: swim (14,000 m), bike (505 km or 314 miles), and run (93 km or 58 miles). I can't help it but to think about Charisa and Ian. I think it is these two that got me to want to go long again. Seeing their work ethic day in day out, and the amount of volume they do, I did not think I would be able to handle the same volume. In the last three days, I find myself out training and thinking damn, I'm doing what Charisa and Ian do. In five weeks, I've only had and needed only one day off. I think Oprah said your 40's are the best years (not sure how I have this tidbit in my head), but I'm thinking that 38 and 39 will be unforgettable. Oh, as I was finishing my ride today, Michellie Jones goes flying by in the opposite direction. This is definitely Kona.
70.3 Liuzhou Race Story
2 weeks ago