Another camp has come and gone…I now find myself in Tokyo, Japan trying to kill the time during my 9 hour lay over. I left Krabi 24 hours ago and am now staring at the final 13 hour flight I have left till I am finally home and can start to do some final race prep training before I take part in my first race of the season, Ironman St. George.
After reading my last blog, The Doc encouraged me to write more stories like the last, which I really enjoy doing but it ‘s honestly very hard sometimes to muster the energy to sit and write when you are cooked from the heavy training that goes on in camp. But here I am 24 hours removed, staring out the window of Narita Airport finding the energy starting to come back, anticipating the depression that I might face when I get home and realize camp is over. But its just 5 weeks till the start of the Swiss Camp. In a perfect world, I think I would heed Docs request and spend 11 months out of the year in camp but I would need to rob a small bank to fund such a block of training so at the moment I settle for 2months here and 3 months there as I keep taking steps up the mountain I now find myself on. Yes I do believe I am well on my way now, up my Everest I continue to go, maybe even slightly ahead of schedule but aware that a false move or two could set me back…
So as I sit here staring at the cold rain that is falling outside, I suddenly find myself already missing the heat of Thailand and reminiscing some of the stories that unfolded over the last 2 months. Once again new friendships were formed as some newbie’s have come aboard and the old friendships continue to get stronger with each passing camp. There were also the usual sweat, tears, and laughter that make the camps so memorable. But the one story that is most memorable is probably the long ride that James and I went on a few weeks back.
After six weeks of doing mostly the same 150km or 95 mile loop for our long ride, James and I decided we were up for trying a new route that Doc had highlighted on the map in the bike room. So after a quick glance at the map we decided, no problem, we head out the usual way, make a right on the 1002 or something like that, then the next right, then 1 more right and we are back on the 4 and nearly home. Cool!!
Now keep in mind that James and I are pretty similar in that we are like most men, we don’t like asking for directions, we are both happy to just keep heading in the direction we think is right and eventually we will find our way. This is great because we don’t get fussed when we get lost, we just roll with it. Back in February when we spent 2 days in Singapore, we got lost every time we came out of the subway, it was hilarious…We just laughed, scratched our heads, and couldn’t figure out why we kept getting lost.
So back to the ride, we head out, figure it will be around a 4.5-5 hour ride. We are both pretty wrecked from the long week of training and in particular the track session we did the day before, oh yeah the one where I found myself struggling to keep pace with Zali, Doc’s daughter, as he stands by trackside laughing, telling me to just carry on even if I have to walk the last 8kms. “He,he,he life’s tough mate!” he says but as I glance over we both have a mutual understanding that as bad as it hurts in training, it ain’t real world hurt…
It’s a great day for a long ride though, clear blue skies, at least 40 degrees C, so well over 100 F, another great opportunity for us to really suffer. We get to Kow Phenom and make our turn as planned but shortly there after we get a bit confused, we see signs for the road we are looking for but then come to the next intersection and there are no more signs. I want to go straight, James wants to go right. He says, well if we go right, at least we stay with in our 150km box so we can’t get lost. O.K. I agree and we go right.
There are kms signs on every road in Thailand so we know exactly how long it is to the next town or highway. We carry on, it really starts to get hot by 3.5 hours or so and we are both looking forward to getting to the 4 and only having 20-25kms to go. Finally at 120kms or 77 miles we get to the main road…. oh wait there are no signs. Great! Well, which way. I think we go right, I say. James agrees but we decide to be wise and ask which direction to Krabi. We stop at a local road side shop, James goes in while I grab some ice out of the cooler that was the size of a hot tub, I could have taken a nap in there. He comes out with this shit eating grin on his face, Bro, they say Krabi is that way…Pointing in the direction we had just come from. No way!!! That can’t be, I respond. So James comes up with the brilliant idea of going to the 7-11 to ask for directions, There is always someone in 7-11 that speaks English, he claims. Sure enough we walk into 7-11 and there was a very nice Thai Lady that was very anxious to practice her English and help us out. Oh yes, she says, Krabi is that way, not too far, no problem, I go all the time on my motor bike. Where you go Ao Nang?? Oh jezz!! Yeah not far ON A MOTOR BIKE. We were 120kms away, maybe 115 if we took this short way she pointed to on the map.
So what do we do? Do we get a taxi? we had already been out there for 4.5 hours now. Should be ride some and then get a taxi? Or should we man up and ride home? First things first, we load up on food and drink. Oh sh#t, James I only got 200 Baht left. He laughs at me and says, well looks like if I take a taxi I will be seeing you at home, he,he,he!!
After enjoying some cookies, a hot dog, a few cokes, and some donuts we carry on. There were some moans, some laughs, a bit of the blame game, and some serious talk, but mostly it was James and I, heads down taking turns at the front, leaving each other alone with our thoughts. As the time passed and the sun got lower in the sky, the temperature dropped and I found myself really enjoying the adventure we were on and my legs actually felt way better than they had a few hours before.
Finally after 7 hours of riding we made it to the 4 and we were heading home!! Wow, what a day, an epic day if you will. In all it worked out to be 230kms or 145 miles in 7hours and 45mins of riding. When Doc heard what we had done he simply said, F-ing Imbeciles. Ha,ha,ha we got a head start in our preparation for our trip to Alpe d’ Huez this summer!! And the best part, I had 20 Baht to spare!
Hope you enjoyed my favorite story from Heat Camp 2010!! Stay tuned for more stories from Batman and Robin that I am sure will unfold over the next few months as we tackle the Swiss Alps….
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