Archive | August, 2012

Dusting off…..

31 Aug

Well I’ve picked myself up, dusted myself off and I’m back on the treadmill of life once again, or, in other words, I was back at work today. It’s also my rest day so no training….again, today. I’m hoping I can manage the long ride tomorrow – which is only 90 minutes instead of the usual 2 1/2 hours I’ve been doing lately, being as it is still recovery week.

What is it with me and recovery weeks anyway?  I always seem to come down with something as soon as I take my foot off the pedal. Same thing goes with holidays too.

I need to do something as I’m starting to go stir crazy from doing nothing for the last few days.  Admittedly I haven’t actually felt like doing anything either…up until now. Even today I’m still feeling blah on and off but fingers crossed tomorrow I’ll be feeling fighting fit and raring to go…..or not!

We went out for lunch today to Cafe Barocca – a farewell lunch for a work colleague who is moving to another section next week. I had been looking forward to having my pumpkin soup and bread roll topped with avocado for lunch but instead ended up having char grilled chicken and roasted mediterranean vegetables. Guess what I’ll be having for lunch tomorrow! 🙂

Tomorrow: the plan is to do an easy 90 minute ride and then later in the morning catch up with good buddies for coffee – really looking forward to that!

“Do, or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda, Jedi Master

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On the up and up

30 Aug

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Not 100% but slowly improving. The jack hammers in my head have departed….finally. I can breathe! Woohoo! 🙂

“Winners take time to relish their work, knowing that scaling the mountain is what makes the view from the top so exhilarating.” – Denis Waitley

No go

29 Aug

Still waiting for the antibiotics to kick in – I haven’t felt any difference yet. But then again I’m not a patient person either 😉

“The human body can do so much, then the heart and spirit must take over.” – Sohn Kee-Chung

Sneason

28 Aug

Its sneason time = Sneezing season, sinus season (as I like to call it). Whatever, I’m not overly fond of this time of the year. If you have never suffered hay-fever or sinusitis then you will have no idea what I’m on about. But if you do, commiserations because it sucks big time. And right now I’m in the thick of it – my head feels like a brick, my face aches, hell even my gums do as well. Its hurts when I lift up my head, when I move, when I lay down….in fact it just hurts full stop. My last bad attack was just over 12 months ago so it’s an annual thing with me. In fact it was the reason I missed City to Surf last year – we were in Sydney for the event but I spent most of the weekend in my hotel room trying to dull the pounding in my head and face.

So peoples, I’m off to the doctor for drugs. Thank god it’s my recovery week – perfect timing.

 “It’s not that some people have willpower and some don’t. It’s that some people are ready to change and others are not.” – James Gordon

postscript: now taking horse-tablet-sized doses of penicillin, prescribed rest and I can go back to work on Friday. The doctor said “read my lips….R.E.S.T! This means no running, cycling, swimming, going to the gym, going for a walk, going to work, doing housework, anything. It means R.E.S.T!”  He does labour the point rather, doesn’t he! Anyone would think I don’t listen to his advice 😉

Recovery week

27 Aug

This week my training backs off slightly which I fully appreciate, as the last couple of weeks the training has been starting to get quite full on. So I get to have a bit of a breather this week before the next 4 week block begins and which I’ve been warned will be heavier.

This morning I went for my 1.6km swim (the only one this week!) and I must’ve been in my zone because I didn’t even realise that another squad had taken a couple of the lanes, pushing more and more people into the other lanes. It’s a sure way to encourage lane rage. And ‘that’ woman was in my lane this morning but I managed to keep well clear of her until at one point we ended up at the same end at the same time. I politely asked if she wanted to go ahead of me…twice…and she totally ignored me. In fact she didn’t even acknowledge me. So I had to take the risk of starting before her and hope that I didn’t get mown down again. Fortunately I didn’t and after that brief episode I didn’t bump into her again for the rest of the session.

I’ve also been suffering a bad headache since mid-morning which seems to be centred on my sinuses, so I’m passing on my afternoon run intervals session at the gym. 😦 I can think of nothing worse than my head bouncing around at the moment – way too painful. So thank goodness it’s my recovery week because I don’t feel so bad about missing this session. Fingers crossed that I will feel ok for tomorrow’s weights session.

“If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” – Bruce Lee

Counting down

26 Aug

Its nine weeks today to Port Macquarie 70.3 triathlon. 2 months, 1 week. 63 days. Whatever way you look at it, time is marching on. And between now and then there is still a lot of work to do. And I’m trying not to stress about it too much.

Which is why it was great to catch up with Jen, my wonderful coach this morning. To touch base, to talk about the course (ie the hilly bike course), and what is in store over the next 9 weeks (hmm, a lot more time on the bike and something about introducing intensity on those…ahem…runs off the bike). Besides it’s always nice to catch up with Jen, just because she is a lovely person 😉

And of course we had to have a macaron with our coffee 🙂 (as you know this is all part of my finely tuned, nutritionally balanced triathlete’s diet).

And later in the day, I did a 10km run which was not only highly enjoyable (did I really say that?!) but also invigorating. I really do love running the day after the long bike sessions. I always expect that I will be tired but I find that I run strong, that my legs feel really good. I can’t explain this phenomenon but enjoy it nonetheless. Now if can get the same effect from those runs straight off the bike I’d be a very happy woman 🙂

Last night’s dinner at The Hungry Buddha in Curtin was great and really tasty. For entrée, I had pakora, followed by Khasi Ko Masu (curry of tender boneless goat flavoured with fenugreek, cinnamon, tomatoes, coriander, bay, ginger and garlic) and pulao rice (saffron rice spiced with cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, bay, cashew nuts and peas), and Kheer for dessert (rice pudding flavored with cardamom, raisins, saffron, cashew nuts, pistachios and almonds). There were lots of gluten-free dishes to choose from.

Tomorrow: the plan is to swim in the morning and then run intervals on the treadmill after work. It’s the start of my recovery week which can’t come soon enough!

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can.” – John Wooden

 

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!

Go with the flow

24 Aug

ImageSometimes I wish there were tides in the pool and that I was swimming with the tide….continuously (yes, I know it would mean this particular tide would have to change direction every 50m but work with me on this). This morning it felt like I was swimming against the tide….continuously…..and it was not helped when for 900m I had to swim with a pull buoy as well. It wasn’t my speediest or smoothest swim session due in part to tiredness (Friday is normally my rest day but I had it on Monday this week) and also probably due to the weights session I did yesterday, which not only focused on hammies but also shoulders and arms. Using a pull buoy means that I had to do more work with my upper body and sometimes that’s just hard work.

Plus I was also encountering some mental resistance this morning which again I think is attributed to tiredness. Knowing when I first got into the pool that I had to swim 1.8km this morning just seemed so insurmountable that I felt like giving up before I even started. Not good. So I took it a lap at a time (ie 100m). It did help that my session had an easy/hard lap every 300m so I could split up my swim into these more doable chunks. And I just tried to go with the flow – relax, breathe, stroke, relax, breathe, stroke. All well and good until it came to using the pull buoy – then it became, relax, breathe, stroke, balance, PULL! It always feel awkward using a pull buoy after swimming without one because it feels like I’m going nowhere – short choppy strokes and wobbling all over the place. And then I have a light bulb moment – use my arms and pull through the water. Doh! I have to admit there were times during the latter half of the session where I was tempted to toss that pull buoy and continue swimming without it, figuring who’d know (well I did have a particular coach in mind) but I just couldn’t do it. I battled to the end of the session with that stupid pull buoy and felt a certain sense of achievement once it was done.

Tomorrow: the plan is to do the brick session – a 2 1/2 hour cycle followed by a 20 minute run. If the weather is anything like today I will be on the wind trainer – fun, not 😉

“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results.” – Kenneth Blanchard

 

Thursday thoughts

23 Aug

Well so much for the Olympics effect – the gym was really quiet this morning! Not that I mind, it means easier access to the weights and machines I require. No having to keep an eye on the popular machines to ensure you can make a beeline for them as soon as the current user has finished. No having to shuffle the planned exercise routine around to accommodate what equipment is available. Let’s hope the same goes for the pool tomorrow.

The wintry weather has returned. During the night, about 3am, I was woken by thunder and lightning. Plus it had been raining since early evening so I had been lucky with my late afternoon run. And I’m glad I hadn’t gone with one of my initial thoughts yesterday of moving my run to this morning, instead of the gym, as I would’ve been running in the rain. At 5.30am that’s not a lot of fun. And today, it has been drab, grey, damp and chilly – definitely umbrella weather. I am hoping that Saturday morning will not be like this (but then again I don’t want a frosty morning either!) for my long cycle/run session.

The work birthday morning tea went well. The Stephanie Alexander lemon tart went down a treat with everyone. And Mr N is happy as I only took half of the tart to work – the other half is sitting in the fridge at home! Also, everyone had either baked or purchased gluten-free items so nothing was off-limits for me…..which is a good…and bad thing! Still I do have a long bike interval session after work today so I will have worked off some of the extra calories. All part of my finely tuned, nutritionally balanced triathlete’s diet!

“Don’t limit your challenges – challenge your limits.” – Author unknown

postscript: 4 minute hard efforts on the bike go for a very,very, very long time. Like f.o.r.e.v.e.r. Just saying…. 😉

This morning’s lung buster

22 Aug

Isn’t it amazing what an early night and 8 hours of sleep can do. 🙂 I woke feeling so much better this morning which was great as I had the first of 2 swim sessions for the week today. Normally I swim Monday mornings and on the weekend so showing up at the pool on Wednesday was a new experience for me. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect – whether there would be other squads training (apart from the usual swim squad that is there every day – gotta admire the commitment of those kids), whether Wednesday is a busy or quiet morning, who shows up (keeping a watchful eye out for ‘that’ woman). It looked like most of the regulars were there at least. By the end of my session I would have to say that Wednesday is a reasonably busy morning in the pool. There were about 5-6 people in our lane alone but amazingly there were never any hold ups or having to wait for someone to get part way down the pool before taking off on my next lap.

I decided to do the shorter of the 2 swims this morning so it was a 1.2km swim which included 3 x 100m hard efforts at the 300m, 600m and 900m mark. In theory there was meant to be a rest period after the harder sessions equivalent to half the time it took to swim the 100m. But that never eventuated. To go with the flow of the other swimmers I had minimal breaks at the end of each 100m, including the harder 100m efforts, but I swam a recovery lap (active recovery) after those harder efforts so I figured it would equate to the same thing as standing around (passive recovery). The session ended up being a bit of a lung buster this morning which was great because it blew away the cobwebs and it was what I needed. So while I may be dialling down the intensity in my running and cycling at the moment because they rely on my legs, which are still recovering from the weekend’s efforts, I can go gangbusters in swimming. That’s the beauty of cross training!

And I went for a short 6km run after work. It had been a lovely day and this afternoon was still warmish and made for pleasant running. A good way to end the day. 🙂

Tomorrow: the plan is to do a weights session int he morning and the second of my bike intervals session after work. I think I’m going to need it as we’re having a morning tea for a work colleague’s birthday tomorrow! As I type, there is a Stephanie Alexander lemon tart baking in the oven – all part of my…ahem…finely tuned, nutritionally balanced triathlete’s diet 😉

“The water is your friend…..you don’t have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move”. – Alexandr Popov