639 in 10...

In March I will be taking part in TransGranCanaria this is the first ultra event I plan to enjoy on the Canary Islands as part of my continuing efforts to raise awareness of muscular dystrophy. These events will be logged within the Project Canary blog but depending upon my approach to each event I may add some additional elements to the events.

My intention for TransGranCanaria is to incorporate it into a solid block of training fully accepting the implications of this on my 'race' performance.

To keep it aligned to Challenge 639 my aim to cover 639kms in 10 days, 82 of which will be on day 7 as part of the 'advanced' TransGranCanaria race.  As a result day 6 & day 8 are likely to be a rest or recovery days?!?!

Whilst it might be easier to simply focus on the 82km of Canarian trails that would probably miss the point of my efforts to continue to increase awareness of muscular dystrophy. Those affected by muscular dystrophy battle with its effects every day not just one day in seven.

Update 24/2/2014

The opening kms of this challenge have been pedalled. Initial impressions of Gran Canaria are that the climbing is more aggressive & tougher than in Lanzarote. Enjoyable but tough.

Today's kms are due to be ridden as part of a led group - I am hoping the pace is not too intense & the riding group are happy to enjoy the views.

The ride turned out to be very enjoyable. The set up at Free Motion Cycles is impressive & although I was shuffled back a few groups to match my current speed this was done very nicely & I ended up with a friendly group who rode at a pace that was well matched to my current fitness. I enjoyed some hilly Gran Canarian kms, albeit fewer than planned. Tommorrow I will reflect how this might impact on my 639 in 10 plans but right now I think a power nap might be in order ;)

 Update 25/2/2014

Another enjoyable, if challenging ride courtesy of Free Motion Cycles including an absolutely stunning climb which had everything including a coffee stop at the top.

Update 26/2/2014

I am now into Day 4 of this challenge & the kms are building in line with my plans. I am however increasingly unsure how realistic my target kms are after Trans Gran Canaria, but we will see just how 'broken' I am ;)

Update 27/2/2014 

Another ride with Free Motion Cycles, this one was advertised as a relaxed recovery ride, but included another climb of the type not available in the UK so whilst the kms were relatively few I finished the ride tired & feeling a bit beaten up. Tonight I am due to pick up my race number, timing chip etc for Trans Gran Canaria. I think Saturday will be a long, hard day ;) But that really is the point of these blogs, my body, however out of shape or condition I may allow it to become is capable of remarkable things because my muscles work. I do not have muscular dystrophy.

Update 28/2/2014

Today was taken as a rest day. This was both sensible & welcome. Sensible because I want to finish Trans Gran Canaria tomorrow & whilst I am comfortable to treat tomorrow as a stepping stone toward future events I really do want to cross the finish. A huge element of being able to complete ultra events comes from mental strength, to undermine that for the sake of covering a few kms today would have been folly in the extreme. I also need to be accepting of what my body tells me in the aftermath of tomorrow. I want to highlight what can be achieved with a body that adapts & repairs according to its design brief if it is treated with a modicome of care & respect. I don't want to advocate ignoring pain, or to create the illusion of being super human in any way, shape or form. At the risk of repeating myself these blogs are not about self- promotion, they are to highlight what most of us can achieve (if we choose to) & to increase our awareness of how fortunate this makes us.

Update 6/3/2014... closure

Since my last update I am pleased to report I secured a finish at Trans Gran Canaria, of which a brief write-up can be found within Project Canary. The following day I enjoyed a recovery walk & then was back on the bike for the closing 2 days of this challenge. During these rides I was certainly aware of my exertions over the preceding days but my legs turned the pedals & helped me reach the target kms & the coffee stops ;) The discomfort was helped by good company on the rides, beautiful scenery, & lovely weather.

Today, my legs are ache free & I know I will ultimately be stronger as a result of my efforts.

Again, the purpose of this post is not to give the impression I am super human. I am not. The purpose of this & other posts within Challenge 639 is to act as a reminder of the type of things most of us can achieve. Most of those I shared the roads & trails with in Gran Canaria will have covered more kms than me over the past weeks & months, many with far more finesse & speed. I hope they continue to be able to do so, for it is our good fortune that we are able to enjoy these physical endeavours.

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