For the last six months the writing has been on the wall … The three years prior to that It has been flat out working to help get Christchurch repaired and rebuilt often long hours and stressful interactions. What was decidedly exciting about the project is at the beginning it was unprecedented, there was so many learning outcomes to happen, the shakes continued, the project got larger and more complex. With few true firm guidelines we operated long hours ... It was exciting time, the first year was an adrenalin rush, it was exciting!
Fortunately working for Fletcher support was and is there with monthly Professional Supervision, to give us an outlet and discuss workload, issues, etc. One which was raised for me at Christmas time was burn out, the signs were showing working long hours, training for the Kiwi Brevet, juggling family commitments, thoughts about ongoing work once this project has finished.
The Christmas break came and went to quickly, riding the Otago Rail Trail, I struggled with staying warm on the cold wet day not usual for me, but is an indicator when you are fatigue staying warm is hard, on returning to Christchurch had a few days off training then a 600 km training then it was back to work early.
February rolled around, I completed the Kiwi Brevet in my goals set pretty happy pretty exhausted, again on the fourth day I had got wet and hypothermic and ended up calling it a day after 90 kilometers, it took ages to warm up even after a big meal and hot shower but once the event had finished it was straight back into work, still plenty of families wanting, needing to get back into their homes, greater pressure from our client (EQC aka The Government) to have a higher completion rate with lower complaints.
Still in the weekend I would go for a ride 60 kms and be totally wasted the next day I was struggling to get over the fatigue from the Brevet … but was I … I also was not sleeping well often waking during the night for an hour or two thinking about work. We were checking out the body physically, went and saw the GP who referred me to the Cardiologists all the test said that I was doing great … some might say a fine specimen … some might not!
The resulting repairs from the earthquake has changed peoples conversations, go and sit in a Café and listen to the conversations … once it would have been discussions about the weather or the rugby but now it is all about “how is you house repair is going or not?” There is no escape from it!
Come the middle of June, another visit to the GP to discuss the ongoing issue, he said two weeks off work, get away from it all! Go and chill out
Work said give us your work phone and Ipad and off you go.
So I threw a few items into the car and headed to the North Island, taking a few toys with me, as sitting around doing nothing would really send me over the edge!
Into Wellington catch up with a friend over dinner … it was great to see Jo and how excited she is about her new job. The following day a drive through to Napier, stopping along the way to have a cuppa with some close friends Ralph and Sandra, then onto mum’s in Napier.
Chilling out in Napier, I had a couple of rides into the quiet country side, not quick, not hard, stopping for coffee, enjoying the sun, no meetings, no time schedules. Caught up with another old paddling buddy Steve, told a few lies, all the usual things, old mates do!
I had been eating well, sleeping superbly, life was starting to flow back into the body.
Still staying with family can be difficult, after all they are family!
So I shot through to Taupo, one of my favourite places in the world I have spent months of my life playing and at this time of year it is totally chilled out. Arriving I booked in to the Mountain View Motel the owner Kunio Onishi is a keen mountain biker himself.
I spent the rest of the day chillin, drinking coffee walking cleaning gear, it was a beautiful day! I had not ridden my mountain bike out at the Craters of the Moon for 14 years and was keen to get back, so grabbing a map I sat down and looked at it … lets be sensible you don’t have to ride it all in one just aim for 60 -90 minutes!
Over the next two days I had two fantastic rides there not pushing myself along speed wise or testing my skill level, just good old fun. These tracks are well designed well graded, the soils drain superbly so can be ridden quickly after it has rained without tearing up the track. That evening I went to the pub to watch the Allblacks England test.
I decided to stay another night and catch up with friends Jo and Crunchy who live locally and have been on two of the Southern Alps Cycle tours with me. Crunchy had ruptured his Achilles and is on the mend, hoping to be back for Novembers Tour, meanwhile Jo had been out road racing.
With Rotorua only an hour away and some of the best mountain biking in the world, still with four days to get back to Wellington to catch the ferry south again. I cruised the next day through to Rotovegas!
Paying my respects to Huka Falls along the way … as you do being a paddler! There was a pretty good flow pouring through that morning it was sunny … I had just had nine nights of sleeping through all night, getting 9 to 10 hours of sleep a night.
Once in Rotorua, I check into the Alpin Motel they have a good reputation with mountain bikers and are close to the tracks. Speaking with a paddling buddy we arranged to hook up for ride and catch up at 4pm once Matt finished work.
So at this point I am feeling generally fresh, starting to recover.
I was starting to think about next summer’s challenges, choosing some events which would be create a bit more balance.
My longer term goal is to ride the Length of New Zealand - Aoteraroa Brevet, when I turn 50 in 2016. So having some goals for 2015 and how that would help move towards 2016 was churning through my mind …
Option One was to go back and do the Kiwi Brevet in reverse.
Option Two was to do some triathlons there were three which are on my list to do … Rolf Prima Half Ironman , The Marlborough Sounds Half Ironman and the Motutapu Xterra race.
The pros would be that option two would be less racing about 18 hours in total as opposed to 60 hours; quicker recovery because of the shorter racing volume; tri’s keep my whole body better aligned and tuned, the tri's would be a good freshening of the mind.
The cons would be going into the length of NZ Brevet with less experience.
This is where I had got to on Monday the 23 rd June 2014 ...