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Going round and round…

30 Sep

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Tonight was our first run session as part of the triathlon program. And it was being held at the AIS track – awesome. At the later time of 7pm – less awesome. I am a morning or lunchtime runner so lacing up my shoes and switching on my Garmin in the evening does not really do it for me. However, that’s when our run session was scheduled and so I duly showed up, running late again. Everyone was jogging their warm up laps on the track when I arrived. I had seen a group running outside the stadium and wasn’t sure if that was the novice group. I was trying to look for familiar faces, any familiar faces. However I was directed to another group inside the stadium…the ones that were heading out onto the track.

We ran a couple of warm up laps and my dodgy hammy was holding up ok. Hopefully I would get through the session. This was my first group run session since I tore the tendon, waaay back in May last year (16 months ago). So I was feeling just a tad nervous. Plus most of the group are are younger. A lot younger.

After the  warm up run Gary took us through several stretches before some drills. Everyone would take off like a lot of startled chickens and head for the other side of the grassy patch, leaving me in their wake. This was not looking good. However amazingly (I say amazingly because this goes against my very nature!) I refused to get sucked into keeping up with them, figuring there was still a 2km time trial to do.

And then there was the time trial. There we were, lined up on the track for a group start. My only thoughts were to run carefully, ignore everyone else and get through 2km without doing an injury. And we were off – some took off as if they were running a 100m sprint but most seemed to start conservatively given their efforts in the drills. I tucked in behind a couple of people and started off at a steady pace.

I did have a strategy of sorts – run steady for 3 laps and then, depending on how I feel, start picking up the pace slightly over the last 2 laps. I focused on all I had been taught at Clinic 88 regarding my posture, core and stride. I would focus on the person ahead and try to overtake them. And just run smoothly and comfortably and enjoy the balmy evening. It really was a lovely night weather-wise. The wind which had been gusting all day had dropped off, which was a good thing. I had had visions earlier in the day of having to battle strong head winds during the run.

And after 10mins it was over. I had completed my 2km time trial. 10.03min – can’t complain with that.

I missed the first bike session last Saturday as I was sick with some horrible vomiting virus. Getting on a bike just didn’t seem like a good idea at the time.

Next session on the program: an information session presented by a nutritionist/triathlete tomorrow night.

Here I go again…

22 Sep

Ever get a feeling of déjà vu? Of…what goes around, comes around; or here we go again….?

That’s how I felt tonight as I sat through the information session for the Bilbys novice triathlon program.

There was the “#%%* what am I doing here” feeling as well.

So I’ve gone back to basics and have registered for the novice program. I feel like a rank beginner anyway. I can’t run (well it’s not great), suck at swimming and doubly suck at cycling. So in my mind that makes me a rank beginner!

Tonight entailed a brief overview of what we should expect over the next 7 weeks, some thoughts and experiences from graduates of last year’s novice program and an introduction from each of the coaches. They emphasised the friendliness of the club and to not compare yourself to anyone else (something I am guilty of), and to focus on your own goals.

At the end of the session I saw a friendly face, someone I knew. Not that she is doing the program, her husband is one of the swim coaches. And then after collecting my Bilbys drink bottle and t-shirt I headed home, trying to quell the nerves that are starting to bubble up in my stomach.

Pour first training session is on Saturday afternoon: bike skills.

2013 in review

31 Dec

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,100 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Sydney Coastrek challenge to help end avoidable blindness

15 Nov

My next challenge will be the Sydney Coastrek 28/2/14-1/3/14. As if I haven’t had enough of walking! However, I will be doing this as part of a team with 3 other amazing women.

On 28th February and 1st March, we’ll be trekking for many hours along Sydney’s beautiful coastline between Palm Beach and Coogee Beach all to help restore sight to people who are needlessly blind.

Our team of four, Skinny Flat Whites, is participating in the Wild Women on Top Sydney Coastrek, in support of the amazing work of The Fred Hollows Foundation.

Did you know that 4 OUT OF 5 PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND DON’T NEED TO BE?

SO PLEASE SPONSOR MY TREK and help end avoidable blindness! Together we can make that difference!

Please click on the following link to make a donation to a very worthy cause:
CJ’s fundraising page

Thank you
:)

TREKKING TO RESTORE SIGHT

20131114-223509.jpgThree-quarter of needlessly blind people on this planet are women and girls like H’Nhi. Your support will help to restore their sight and give them a second change in life.

The packing dilemma

28 Oct

It is the day before I leave for Sydney, before heading off to New York. And true to form, I still have an empty suitcase. Why? Because I keep changing my mind about what to pack. I’m procrastinating. I can’t make a decision.

It’s easy, says everyone.
Just pack the bare essentials, says everyone.
Travel lightly, says everyone.

Fine.
But it’s not easy.
I confess I’m the world’s worst packer. I cannot travel lightly. It’s a genetic thing. Well, ok, I might be exaggerating a touch but I’ve had years of packing stuff…just in case. I start off with the best of intentions – the bare minimum but then a little voice pipes up and says, maybe you should throw in that top (or jacket, or dress, or pants, or jumper), just in case.

I’ve also endured years of I told you so’s, the alleged voice(s) of reason, the raised eyebrow, and also a million and one reasons why I don’t need to pack so much…from everyone.
You know, suddenly everyone is an expert and their way is the best way.
Which of course frustrates me no end. It’s a bit like people giving advice on how to taper, how to train, the best way run a marathon, etc. Which is fine if I’ve asked for advice.

And also I was at work today. So it was hard to get in the right headspace for packing. I know I’m going on holiday but it’s hard to get too excited when I still had meetings, last minute emails and other work things to do.

So either tonight (hasn’t happened yet) or tomorrow morning there will be this frazzled woman madly throwing all sorts of clothing items in her suitcase, hoping that somehow she will get an outfit out of it once she arrives at the other end!

Worst case scenario? I guess I’ll have to go shopping in New York! At least I have a shopping buddy. :)

There were no more long walks after Thursday’s cortisone injections. After a quick poll I was quickly made aware that doing a long walk on the weekend was probably not the wisest thing to do. So instead I did a weights session followed by a 45min xtrainer intervals session at the gym. And I’ll do the same again tomorrow…maybe. Then that will be it until Sunday 3 November 10.55am when I start the NY marathon.

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Aaaargh!

9 Oct

WordPress keeps crashing tonight. This is, hopefully, third time lucky.

My first entry was an eloquent piece on whether plodders have a place in a marathon? I had recently read a New York Times article addressing this question. Well you will have to take my word for it as the application crashed and I lost the lot.

Anyway I wasn’t sure whether to feel offended, amused, angry or a mix of all these emotions after reading this article.

Apparently walkers, and slow runners, are ruining the marathon’s mystique and disrespecting the distance.

“It’s a joke to run a marathon by walking every other mile or by finishing in six, seven, eight hours,” said Adrienne Wald, 54, the women’s cross-country coach at the College of New Rochelle, who ran her first marathon in 1984. “It used to be that running a marathon was worth something — there used to be a pride saying that you ran a marathon, but not anymore. Now it’s, ‘How low is the bar?’”

Arrogant? Elitist? Has a point?

“…more than half of the people at a marathon are just overweight and “trying to get a shirt and medal … looking to one day tell a story about the saga and the suffering of their 11 minute pace ‘race.’”

And this in the comments section: “The marathon has become a circus, no doubt about it. I have no problem with people plodding their way through a course in 6 or 7 hours. Of course, they shouldn’t be given the same medals and acknowledgment as someone who busted their buns for months in training and completed it in four hours.”

I’m sorry? I’ve not busted my buns in training for months? Those bruised toenails, the shin splints, the endless hours on weekends spent walking…if that’s not training then I don’t know what is. I have trained as hard for this event as I would’ve if I’d been running. Of course I’d rather be running but that’s not going to happen. And be damned if I’m going to travel all that way to watch on the sidelines. No siree. I will be out there plodding for 7 hours. And bloody well proud of it.

Today I spent 45 mins on my favourite machine, the xtrainer. It’s always hard backing up after legs day at the gym. And tomorrow is more leg work, along with arms and shoulders. Followed by the xtrainer again on Friday. And then a 27km walk on Saturday. Fun times :)

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The object of my attention

2 Oct

This morning, while on the xtrainer for 45 minutes, I spent an inordinate amount of time focussing on a pair of calves in front of me, and not of the bovine variety.

And strictly speaking, while I appeared to be focused on this pair of calves, I wasn’t actually ‘focussed’ on them, if you get my drift. I was looking but not ‘looking’.

I find when I am engaged in a monotonous activity, ie 45 minutes on a xtrainer, I might look like I’m staring at something ahead of me but actually I am zoning out. So it’s not that something in my line of sight has captured my attention, it’s usually because I’m a million miles away, lost in my thoughts, or immersed in the temporary discomfort of 30 second intervals, always a fun activity, says no-one ever.

So there I was, slogging away on the xtrainer focussing on the pair of calves in front of me – belonging to a guy on the xtrainer in the row in front of me. Nicely muscled and not too hairy now that I come to think of it…not that I was paying any attention. Really. Truly.

It just made me realise the things we inadvertently do when we’re focusing on something else. Normally I wouldn’t be so fixated on someone’s calves!

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