Coach Ray’s Suffering: Back to Work

Follow me on my Half Ironman marathon training and #100DaysOfTri journey’s concurrently. Here is how my week unfolded.

Now that I’ve committed to running the Buller Marathon, that is where my training is focused.

Although I’m taking another weeks leave next week to spend time with the kids, this week I was back into the rhythm getting things sorted and ready for 2017.


#100DaysOfTri Day 73

I went for a bit of a blat in the local mountain bike park with my partner. We rode to Silvan forest then climbed up Alpha.  It looks like there is an extension and this track goes further up the hill now. As we were pushed for time and had a few things to do, we left exploring that for another day and instead zipped down and across and did my favourite DH track Goliath. The track is dry and dusty and really raw at the moment.  I barrelled out a Strava PR and headed home for dinner.


#100DaysOfTri Day 74

It is now time to get serious with some specific strength building in my legs. The session involved running hard up hill (in this case Gentle Annie in the Wither Hills) for four minutes, then jogging back to my start point. I’ve used this location previously for this session. When I’m on form I can get up to the park bench at the top in the four minutes. Today I was 50m shy on my first rep and even further away for the subsequent reps.


#100DaysOfTri Day 75

After being demoralised a little by not hitting my old targets yesterday (demoralised could be a bit strong, I never expected to hit them), I went for a wee jog around one of my favourite runs in the Wither Hills: Quail Stream Loop.  Only cruising I hit four Strava PRs. Not sure how that happened but it was a good run on a good day.


#100DaysOfTri Day 76

Another Thursday rolls around and another set of Yasso 800’s to do. This time it was 8 reps on the track. The first two were good with them both being under three minutes but the others faded a little (2:59, 3:00, 3:05, 3:04, 3:11, 3:11, 3:12, 3:07). It was a stinking hot day and a gale force wind was blowing (actual extreme weather warning from the Met Service).


#100DaysOfTri Day 77

I finished a long week by knocking off work slightly early to go and get a good run in. Once again I headed to Wither Hills intending to do the Mt Vernon Traverse. Parking at the Rifle Range carpark it was already 28°C with a very strong wind blowing. There has been a fire bug lighting fires in the Wither Hills in the dry, tinder conditions we are experiencing. Although no fires had been lit since New Years Eve I was very conscious that as I was going up the summit on a hot, dry, windy day, if a fire was lit it would race up there quickly and I wouldn’t have many places to go to get out of the path of the flames.

I followed the path as it undulated it’s way around the base of the hills until I got to the Mt Vernon Track which I ascended. All the way up to the Mt Vernon Lookout, after a quick drink of water and a brief chat to the German tourists there it was onward to the summit.

Mt Vernon Look Out
Mt Vernon Look Out

Onwards up to the summit, where here I got a great view.  I couldn’t stay for long as I had plenty of running left to do. Dropping back down from the summit I got back onto the traverse track and followed it all the way across the ridge line as it undulated across to the Taylor Dam Lookout.

Mt Vernon Summit
Mt Vernon Summit

A stinking hot run today as I dropped down from the Taylor Dam Lookout, to the Rotory Lookout and descend back to my vehicle.


#100DaysOfTri Day 78

With my partner joining me in Marlborough this weekend we took our bikes up the Wither Hill’s Mountain Bike Park. Slightly further south from where I have been running earlier in the week. We ground our way up in the heat on the tracks that were like asphalt they were so dry and then enjoyed a dry, and dusty descent down Pamploma.  My dropper post was playing up and it wouldn’t stay locked in position, which became challenging when trying to climb with the seat dropping and then when going over a drop off it decided to extend back up. We did two runs through and then enjoyed an ice cream at the dairy on the way home. Unfortunately the fire bug mentioned above struck again about the time we finished up our ride and it involved a sub-division getting evacuated. I hope this person is caught soon.

#100DaysOfTri Day 78 #mtb #coachray #qwikkiwi #tricoachnz #tricoach #tritraining #tritrainingnz

A photo posted by (@coach_ray_nz) on


#100DaysOfTri Day 79

Today we headed out to White’s Bay, with the intention of riding the White’s Bay Loop and then heading back up and riding Double Eagle DH track (which is a double black diamond). My dropper post was giving me more and more problems with it not locking in position and dropping every 5 seconds or so. My frustration levels were climbing massively!!! Once we got to the start of Double Eagle, I was keen just to head down and call it a day. So off we went.  Now this is a challenging track. Although all the big drops and gap jumps had alternate (read: chicken) lines for me to take a couple of these were pretty challenging too. Overall we rode most of it but missed a couple of technical sections and I had to bail whilst attempting some as well.

Just as my dropper post was annoying me on the climb by dropping reasonably frequently, it also annoyed me on the downhill by extending when I least wanted it to. Like when I was about to go off a big drop. Another time I was going down a steep slope and had my weight right back over the rear wheel and it extended literally punching me in the guts!!

We got to the bottom and commenced our climb back to the vehicle. Although Rach is a more technical rider than me and always leaves me behind on the downhill, any uphill I have the fitness and physiology to ride comfortably while she is maxing out. But today with my seat constantly dropping and I was getting very frustrated and angry, she literally rode away from me. This didn’t help my frustration levels!!! Anyway we got back to the vehicle and decided to call it a day, get my dropper post sorted and return another day to do the White Bay Loop track. So off to the beach we went.


Here is a link to last weeks Coach Ray’s Suffering:

Coach Ray’s Sufferings: Happy New Year


Previous weeks of Coach Ray’s Suffering can be found here.

One Reply to “Coach Ray’s Suffering: Back to Work”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.