For a couple of years it has been a dream of mine to complete the Coast to Coast. I bought my kayak, and then it sat in my garage for 2 years as I was too scared to get my Grade 2 kayaking certificate. Last year I found a paddler in Dunedin who could assess me, and spent the whole of the year trying to master the river. How hard could it be? Very hard apparently. And quite scary. I swam in freezing cold Grade 2 water numerous times whilst trying to manage rapids, bluff turns and rocks. Apparently there is only two types of kayaker. Those who are upside down, and those who are about to be.
About two months out from race day I realised that I had no clue how to ride my road bike in a bunch, and joined a bunch of old fellas in Mosgiel for their weekend rides. This was also difficult as they were very fit, fast, and kept yelling at me for 70km to ‘get on the back of their wheel!’ This helped me enormously during the event as riding in a bunch takes a lot less energy than slogging away by yourself, but mentally it was very difficult to go at someone else’s pace.
After pushing myself to learn these two skills I managed to enjoy the race and keep positive. On day one we ran 2.4 km, biked 55km, and ran over the 30km Goat’s Pass. The Pass is extremely technical terrain, with multiple river crossings, until you eventually climb up a water fall and over the Pass. Luckily, I had lots of practise doing weighted ‘step ups’ from the gym, so this helped me over the larger boulders. On the second day I cycled 15km, kayaked 70km and then finished with a 70km bike ride into Brighton Beach, Christchurch. Head wind all the way. Although I had kayaked twice down the Waimak already, on race day I couldn’t seem to keep in my kayak and ended up swimming four times!
Importantly, I wouldn’t have dared tackle the C2C without Cross Fit, and the support of the community at the gym. Every time I turn up at the gym and look at the whiteboard I think – Holy crap! Can I do that!?! And then I do. This has given me an enormous sense of achievement, and also confidence that I can achieve the goals I set myself. I also think as a female, when you are standing on the start line with 200 other fit looking males, and a handful of females, you might doubt your abilities. However, that is just like a standard workout at Cross Fit – competing against all different ages and builds, and I have seen a lot of females kick arse at our gym on a regular basis. So standing on that start line I wasn’t intimidated by the other athletes. I was just there to do my thing. I might not be as fast as the other athletes but I was just as capable of finishing the race! And with everyone’s support I did!! !
Strength: Back Squat
Warm up Sets
1 x 10 @ 30-40%
1 x 8 @ 50%
1 x 6 @ 60%
3 x 5 @ 75%
MetCon: AMRAP x 15
15 Box Jumps 24/20′
30 Wall Balls 9/6kg
15 CTB Pull Ups
Extra Competitor Work: 3 RFQ
7 Single Leg KB Deadlift each leg
7 Behind Neck Push Press (AHAFA)