There’s another name for a weekend ‘break’ at the home of a friend who’s about to do an ironman…it’s called a training camp!
The main purpose of the visit was for the Melbourne Marathon festival on the Sunday.
Loren (Iron-girl) and Ryan were both pacing the half marathon.
The thought of:
a) doing a half marathon;
b) being required to run at a steady pace; and
c) strapping a tonne of balloons to my back…
didn’t really appeal.
Well, actually the balloons massively appealed, but the rest not so much. So I signed up for the 10k as part of the masses.
The weekend began with some sightseeing on Friday. My first trip to Melbourne was for the Aus open in January and we only had a day exploring the city so there was still lots to see!
First stop was Science Works. We were twice the height (and 5 times the age) of the average visitor. It didn’t hold a candle to the science museum in London….although I wouldn’t recommend doing that…open flame, chemicals, not pretty.
Then it was time to collect our race packs from the MCG. This was the finishing line for the runs, a pretty epic setting!
Next up on the sightseeing agenda was a visit to TRAPT. An escape room-come-bar. This is concept that I thought of years ago, before the first escape room came to London. But as the crew of Apollo 12 will tell you…no-one cares about 2nd place.
My nerdish love of puzzles is what prompted me to get involved with The Enigma Room when I got to Sydney. TRAPT was excellent. It was Ben’s first puzzle room and we played the PrisonBreak room. We escaped with seconds to spare. Melbourne has stepped up its gaming game recently with Zero Latency, a VR game, which I haven’t tried but have heard rave reviews of.
I also just saw news today that a version of The Crystal Maze will be opening in London soon! I’ll have to play it when I’m back.
After all this excitement we had some afternoon drinks on the river at Ponyfish Island and then dinner on Hardware lane with Ben’s cousin Sam and his girlfriend Emma.
All in all Friday in Melbourne involved 10k of walking which was the perfect lead in to….
Saturday Cycles!! Loren’s dad, David, has a group that he regularly rides with so we were up bright and early to join them. It was a very civilised pace for the first 50km or so but then we made the turn back towards town and the race was on!! It was as much as I could do to hang on to their wheels back to Werribee! I loved the chase, and it was awesome to be out in the countryside after all the urban cycling in Sydney.
Loren, Ryan and David had been out riding for an hour prior to the group ride, and still had an hour or so to go afterwards. I made the executive decision that I needed my legs to actually work the next day for running, so headed back to the house with Ben where I spent the rest of the day relaxing on an inflatable tortoise in the pool 🙂 and chatting to Loren’s mum, Mechelle.
Ben and David went to the RAAF museum. After being dragged (sorry…happily taken…) to every plane museum in NZ, and most in Aus, I was very happy that Ben had a plane buddy. As was Mechelle, who said that David’s been wanting to go for years but she’d never gone with him. Worked out well for everyone!
Sunday was an even earlier start than Saturday as we had to be in town by 6am pre-race. We parted ways with Loren and Ryan as they went to get ballooned up and sat in the MCG whilst waiting for our start wave. Ben and I were discussing running paces, and he expressed surprise “Oh but you won’t run 10k in 45 minutes…” which was a helpful catalyst for my determination throughout the run to come in at 45:26, only 30 seconds slower than my PB from back at We Own the Night in London. Next time I’ll have to get him doubting that I can do it in 44 🙂
I ended up running side by side with a random guy for about 5km and we just fell into step and without saying anything both spurred each other on. It was great to cross the finish line and then congratulate each other!
We also popped into Shadowfax vineyards and had a BBQ with Loren’s friends and family that night before an early flight back to Sydney on Monday.
Despite the fact this post is a few weeks late, it’s actually perfect timing as Loren has her first ever Ironman triathlon this weekend in Busselton, WA. You can check out her tri-blog here.
I know she’ll smash it after all the incredible training (and I feel like I burn quite a few calories by proxy being her friend….)
(Promise we do hang out occasionally without doing sport!)
This weekend I’m off to Tasmania, where I shall balance out her healthy exploits with a LOT of eating and drinking. I’m especially excited for the Bruny Island food tour on Saturday!