Tag Archives: triathlon

Four weeks to go, & counting

30 Sep

Pear tree blossomThe final four weeks to the big event. Gosh that’s come around quickly! It’s hard to get my head around the fact that this time in 4 weeks I will have completed a half Ironman triathlon, my first tri for 8 years. And I can’t tell you how many times in the past 4 months I’ve wondered why on earth I’m doing this. Why on earth am I subjecting myself to all this training; all those long rides, the endless laps up and down the pool with the pull buoy (the bane of my existence), the running off the bike sessions? Why? Can’t tell you because I don’t really know myself. I had this crazy notion of doing another one, to see whether I could do this again, now that I’m 8 years older. Definitely not wiser though – otherwise I wouldn’t be in this predicament!

I bought a black two piece tri suit today from 2xu. Whoah, those things are expensive! Also bought socks, cap and elastic laces. My shoes arrived in the mail from Wiggle the other day – Asics DS trainers. The bike is booked in for a final service and new tyres 2 weeks before the event. At some stage I am going to have to try on the wet suit, to see whether I can fit into it!

This morning I did an ‘easy’ hour ride. Well it should have been easy but I had a head wind all the way along Ginninderra Drive – from Ellenborough St to Kingsford Smith Drive. Then later this afternoon I did an ‘easy’ 10km – again it should have been easy but I struggled in the last couple of kilometres – ran out of puff and had tired legs. I am still experiencing DOMS from Thursday’s gym session which is really unusual because it wasn’t a hard session. Its taking me a long time to recover from training sessions this week which is starting to worry me, as the sessions haven’t been hard (its recovery week). So I will make an appointment to see the GP and get some blood tests done.

I really don’t need this 4 weeks out, though.

Tomorrow: the plan is, I don’t have a plan. I will see how I feel and take it from there. Besides I’m waiting, with bated breath, for my new training program! :)

“Jogging is very beneficial. It’s good for your legs and your feet. It’s also very good for the ground. It makes it feel needed.” – Charles Schulz, creator of Peanuts comic strip

Hamster on a wheel

25 Aug

Lately I’ve been feeling like the hamster on the wheel, continually go-go-going and I know it’s not going to end until that event on 28 October. This morning I was up at 5am to have brekkie before heading out on my long ride/run session. Fortunately the weather had vastly improved on yesterday though there was a wind blowing – not too strong but enough to be a hassle when riding into it.

6.30am and I was off, heading out to Federal Highway. I decided to keep riding until I had gone about 30km before turning.This meant that I encountered a few hills along the way, the last one before turning was a doozy – I didn’t think it was going to end. There seemed to be lots of traffic going both ways this morning – mostly cars heading out, and huge trucks heading into Canberra. I stuck close to the shoulder and hoped that i didn’t get sucked into the trucks as they went speeding past. The joys of on-road cycling on a highway!

Coming back into town there were cross winds to contend with, so at times it was an effort keeping my bike upright. Then heading back up Ginninderra Drive I rode into a headwind. What fun, not. I just put my head down and pedaled and tried not to get discouraged at how slow I seemed to be going, especially up the hill at the start of Ginninderra drive, coming off Mouat Street. Still I’m nothing if not determined (or stubborn, as some people would say) and eventually I arrived home (having done 66km) for part two of my session – the 4km run.

As usual, my feet were frozen and I ran the entire way with little feeling in my feet. As usual, the 4km felt like 40km. As usual, I was happy once I could stop! However surprisingly my pace has improved – averaged 5.24min/km today :)

I was hoping to fit in a nap sometime today but that hasn’t happened. I’ve had heaps of washing to get through – triathlon training means piles of washing. I had swimming gear, cycling gear, running gear and gym gear to throw in the machine (in several loads), hang on the line and then get off later in the day, fold up and put away. Plus there was the usual clean-up-the-house stuff to do that gets neglected during the week and well, someone has to do it. Also made pumpkin soup for meals during the week after training and when I can’t be bothered cooking.

Tonight we are going to the The Hungry Buddha Nepalese restaurant in Curtin. Looking forward to it! There are no yak steaks on the menu ;)

“Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

postscript: just checked my training schedule for next week – its only a 90min ride next Saturday AND no run! Yay! There would be a #happydance except I’m too goddam tired! ;)

Also I’m catching up with supercoach SpartaJen tomorrow morning – I can’t wait!

Right here, right now

5 Aug

This song by Fatboy Slim brings back memories of Ironman 2004 at Forster/Tuncurry. They were playing this while I was waiting very nervously for the swim start and was wondering what the day would bring. Well 13 hours and 2mins later I would finish as an Ironman, but I didn’t know that at the start of the day! And why am I bringing it up now?

Because today I sat on my bike on the windtrainer for 2 hours of solid cycling and all sorts of things go through your mind when you’re madly pedalling but not going anywhere! The 2 hours was a mixture of short hill and long hill repeats, 20 sec sprints and steady state cycling and it was hard and sweaty work. Also with about 30mins to go I was starting to have issues with my bike seat. There was lots of strategic manoeuvring on that seat trying to find a comfortable position.

Later I met Ruth and Mr B for coffee at Kingston & Co, our new favourite coffee place. It was so good to see these guys again and we spent about an hour and a half catching up on all the goss. One of the gifts they brought back was this beautiful little owl – isn’t she gorgeous! I love owls, along with frogs, dragonflies and butterflies.

So a great day has almost come to an end. Back to work tomorrow :(

Tomorrow the plan is: swimming in the morning and running intervals at the gym after work.

“Fear is probably the thing that limits performance more than anything – the fear of not doing well, of what people will say. You’ve got to acknowledge those fears, then release them.” – Mark Allen, won 6 Ironman championships

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s see how far we’ve come

9 Jul

So the training roller-coaster starts again for another week – another week which takes me closer to the main event – the Port Mac 70.3 triathlon in October. Its 111 days away (15 weeks yesterday). Seems so long but I know from experience that the time will fly and before I know it, I will be standing on the starting line early Sunday morning, 28 October. So much to do, so little time!

Actually that’s not quite right – I have the time and I am following a program and each week brings me closer to being event ready for the big day. Even just looking back over the past 2 months of training I have improved. Two months ago I hadn’t ridden my bike in over a year, nor had I been in a pool for that length of time. Now I’m cycling 40-60km outdoors plus doing a couple of sessions on a stationary bike each week. Each week I’m swimming a couple of kilometres. And my running – well that happens regardless. I’m also doing 2 weights sessions a week for strength and endurance. Sometimes it’s good to look back to see how far we’ve come because it’s so easy to get bogged down in training day after day after day.

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” – Robert Collier

 

Saturday sleep in & other stuff

23 Jun

A sleep in – its something I look forward to all week. The one morning when I don’t have to use an alarm, I can get up in my own time, make breakfast and have coffee while reading the newspaper, all whi9le still in my pj’s.

However, it doesn’t mean that there is no training. Oh no, that gets pushed to the end of the day. Today it was a leisurely 8km in sunny but chilly conditions this afternoon. I did get a few looks from the walkers who were rugged up in thick woolly jumpers and jackets and I was wearing shorts and a singlet! Fortunately I warm up relatively quickly when running….except for my feet. The rest of me can be quite warm, but my feet will be ice blocks or have no feeling…..which makes running rather interesting.

Then a little later I went to the pool for a 1.2km swim session. There were still quite a few people there and there were about 4 in my lane. We seemed to sort ourselves out after the first couple of laps and kept out of each others way after that. Just the way I like it! It was a really good swim – I felt strong and could grab the water today which really helped with speed. I seem to have good or mediocre swim sessions – today it was a good one. Win!

I also had a long overdue massage this morning, which was bliss. And my massage therapist noticed that I am more balanced in the body which is probably due to the cross-training as opposed to just running, which was what I was doing when I last saw her. She also noticed that my quads are feeling stronger which has probably something to do with the cycling. So all’s good.

And even better, my yurbuds arrived today! These earphones have been developed by a marathoner and triathlete and have patented ear-lock technology and are designed to fit your ear. So this means that they should stay put and not fall out while I’m running – a problem I have with my other ones. I tested them this afternoon on my run and they were great. They were really comfortable and you don’t even notice them. And not once did I have to fiddle with them to make sure they stayed put.

I watched the Port Macquarie Ironman on TV this afternoon. I was interested in seeing what the course looks like given that I will be doing the half ironman there at the end of October. Its still a bit too far away to start getting nervous about. But I will need to train for hills on the bike – there seems to be a few of them and one not too far out of transition.

Tomorrow – I will be cycling to Mt Ainslie in the morning for the monthly vets run (my 100th!) and then cycling home afterwards.

Week in review

3 Jun

Sunday – finally I have a chance to sleep in, and I make the most of it. I love a slow leisurely start to a Sunday morning which drives Mr N crazy as he likes to go, go, go. He paces, gets fidgety, is in and out of the house like a yo-yo, tries to hurry me along. But me – well, its go, go, go all week starting at 5.30am so to lie around until 9am, then get up and have a leisurely breakfast while reading the Sunday paper is something I really look forward to.

Weather-wise it was an improvement on yesterday so later in the afternoon I went for a 10km run. I was also trying out my new shoes for the first time and it was blindingly obvious that my old shoes lacked any sort of support at all! So note to self – buy new shoes more often and rotate use of shoes. One particular route I had originally planned on running including a crossing over a storm water drain. However yesterday’s run put paid to that idea because when I got there I discovered the path over the drain was under water and given I was wearing my brand new white (very white) shoes, I wasn’t getting them wet and revolting so soon. So I backtracked the way I came and headed down the alternate path going through Florey towards the lake. Otherwise it was an uneventful trouble-free run done in about 57 minutes.

So now for the week in review, which was all about recovery from a horrible virusy thing, ie a bad head cold.

Week beginning:

Monday 28/5: still sick – no exercise

Tuesday 29/5: bike – a 40min wind trainer intervals session

Wednesday 30/5: gym – weights session

Thursday 31/5: run – 8km

Friday 1/6: gym – weights session

Saturday 2/6: bike – 54min windtrainer session / swim – 1km – easy intervals

Sunday 3/6: run – 10km

Totals for the week:

Swim – 1km

Bike – 1hr 34min (wind trainer)

Run – 18km

Monday

28 May

Today I made the decision to stay home and rest and recuperate and try to get over this stupid head cold.

No exercise again today. I briefly considered getting on my bike on the windtrainer at some stage today but even the mere thought of doing it was enough for me. And I’m smart enough not to push it so I quickly shelved that idea. Tonight I am getting out my cycling gear in anticipation of doing a cycle session in the morning (on the windtrainer) but I can’t say with certainty that it will happen. I will make that decision when I wake up. Patience. Something I’m slowly learning. And not judging myself against other people’s expectations. :)

“I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!” – Dr Seuss

Gurgle, gurgle, gurgle…….

15 May

It was my first swim today in over 12 months so I was feeling a little apprehensive. Also, it can be hard to get motivated to change into bathers (swimmers, togs) at 5.30am when its minus 5 degrees outside. Sub zero temperatures and swimming just don’t go together in my books. Surprisingly (or at least I thought so) the water wasn’t cold when I got in but then I was focused on getting in and getting started before I was stampeded by the masses for their early morning swim. It has always amazed me the number of people who actually swim throughout winter, by choice :) Well, yes, I know I’m swimming or will be swimming throughout winter, and it’s not like someone has a gun to my head and making me do it, but that’s different. Swimming is not my favourite past-time but given that it is part of a triathlon it forms part of my training!

First 50m – wow, it’s not so bad. I’m swimming, breathing, not sinking. Moving through the water well and stroke is good.

Second 50m – has the lane got longer? I’m sure it wasn’t this far on the first lap. Not moving through the water so smoothly.

Third 50m – omg, this is hard work. Arms are hurting, running out of breath, not going anywhere. Resembling a broken windmill – arms flailing.

Fourth and final 50m – keep going, keep going, keep going, the end is not far away, breathe. Forget about style or form – just get to the end. Breathe.

And that was just the warm up!

However I am happy to report that the session did slightly improve from here on in and the main set wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be. Yes, there is work to be done on my endurance and pace but on the whole today I am just glad that I a) got in the pool, and b) completed the session. It can only get better from here on in.

I went for a 6km run at lunchtime today. It was really pleasant running in the middle of the day, in daylight, with the sun shining. It also gave me a chance to get away from my desk and out for some fresh air. The down side – I was starving hungry all afternoon. 

Mother’s Day

13 May

No chance for a sleep in today as I had to be up for a 9am breakfast reservation at our local restaurant. However I did get a coffee and the paper to read before getting up, as well as a couple of gifts – a Darrell Lea chocolate bag and a Lorna Jane voucher – oh the irony! And I was greeted with an overcast and bitterly cold morning, the wind just cutting through me once I stepped out the front door.

Breakfast at Rocksalt was a mixed bag this morning – the food and the service was a bit hit or miss today. My first coffee, a cappuccino, was beautiful – creamy with just the right amount of ‘fluff’ and coffee. Perfect. Our food, when it finally came, was lukewarm and we got the impression it had probably been sitting for a while before being brought out. I had poached eggs, smoked salmon on toast and Mr N had poached eggs and bacon with toast. Then while we were drinking our second coffee we were told rather brusquely that we had to be out in 10 minutes before the next guests arrived. Not happy :(

I left my run for later in the day hoping that the weather might improve. Silly idea! Eventually I changed into my running gear and stepped out….into rain. Too bad, too sad – I was out there so I would just keep running. The rain didn’t last long and I quickly warmed up and in the end it wasn’t a bad run. Mind you, I seemed to be the only person outdoors!

I watched the Melbourne Ironman on TV this afternoon – so inspiring. I would have preferred more focus on the age groupers but it was still motivating stuff to watch. Memo to self – hunt out DVD of the 2004 Forster Ironman – think its time to look at it again! I will also keep an eye out for when the Port Macquarie Ironman will be televised – now that’s one I am really interested in, particularly the course!

I got my first training program tonight -woohoo! And it doesn’t look like I’ll die in my first week! (thanks Jen) :)

Busselton Ironman 70.3

6 May

20120505-222440.jpgWhat an amazing day! From the swim to the finish of the run, it was a day of challenges for the triathletes & there were many amazing performances, not least that of Mr B who was doing his first half ironman distance.

During the night some of us were woken by heavy rain, strong winds, thunder and lightning. It was not looking good for the half ironman. I had set my alarm (or so I thought) to go off at 5am to give me time to shower, get ready, have coffee and breakfast before we left at around 5.50am. Instead I woke just after 5.30am. It’s amazing what one can do in a short space of time! I managed to do what I had originally planned to do in about 50mins, in about 15mins!

It was still dark when we made our way down to transition. The spotlights were on and people buzzing around focused on the task ahead. There was a breeze blowing but transition is in a sheltered area so we didn’t realize the how bad the wind and waves would be until we made our way the beach. Every now and then you could hear a tyre burst and you could only hope the owner of the bike was in the vicinity when it happened and had the opportunity to change it before the start of the event.

Once we were down at the beach we could see with our own eyes the full extent of the wind and the waves. It was really choppy by Busselton standards and it did not look pleasant at all. My heart went out to those newbies and others who were not confident swimmers. It was going to be tough out there. And judging by the times, the looks of the competitors when they made it to shore and the stories later, it was very tough and challenging out there. So well done to all those who did it – it was an awesome effort in very challenging conditions.

When Mr B had finished his swim and headed out on his bike for the 90.1km cycle leg, we also headed out on our run. The plan was to do around 5km, then watch him come through at the end of his first lap, do our second 5km before watching him finish the bike leg and start the run leg. All went to plan until Ruth came a cropper near the end of our second 5km on the footpath. Ouch! Amazingly, her visible injuries ended up being a grazed knee and elbow. It could’ve been a lot worse.

Once Mr B had finished his cycle leg and headed out on the first of 3 run laps, we went in search of a coffee and something to eat! By this stage we were very hungry. We grabbed a coffee and a very tasty gluten free date slice and then headed back to watch the runners go by at the end of their first lap. Some runners were cruising along, making it look so effortlessly easy, others were doing it hard. The sun had come out from behind the clouds by now and it was very warm out there.

Each time Mr B came past he was smiling which was a positive sign! If he could still smile then it can’t be too bad! And finally he was running down the finishing shute – very exciting! He had done it – he had completed a 1.9km swim in horrible conditions, a 90.1km cycle & a 21.1km run. And he was still smiling at the end!

Tonight we went to the dinner and presentation. The food was great and plentiful. We also had wine. The presentations were after the meal. There were some truly amazing times posted by age groupers and professionals. There were others who had competed in every Busselton half ironman event. All in all it was a great night and a fitting end to a truly amazing day.

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