Tag Archives: Half Ironman


24 Oct

24 October 2012 – Busselton foreshore, April 2010

One suitcase, one large Nike sports bag, one backpack, a cooler bag, wet suit bag and one bike…….I think I’ve packed everything. Well the bike isn’t packed – it’s still sitting on the wind trainer. Note to self – don’t forget bike tomorrow!

A batch of banana muffins made, tomorrow’s lunch prepared, snacks for the trip – all ready to be packed.

The car GPS (Garmin Nuvi) maps updated and charged. I have finally figured out where I was going wrong when trying to update (previously unsuccessfully) the maps. Tonight I figured it out! Yay for me!

Chargers for the iPod, iPhone, iPad and Garmin watch – packed.

Checklist for son #2 who is staying at our house while we are away to babysit the cat – done. Food to feed him for 12 days – bought.

Have I forgotten anything? I have been through my checklist several times. As long as I don’t forget one of my bags I’m right!

I’ve rung and double checked our accommodation booking – I’m not taking any chances!

All of this busyness actually serves another purpose – keeps my mind off the upcoming event!

I very nearly slept in this morning. Mr N has already started his holidays but I had another day of work to get through, plus one last training session. When the alarm went off this morning I had forgotten that Mr N did not have to get up for work. Twenty minutes later I realised that no, there was no coffee on my bedside table, in fact no-one else was up, except the cat who was becoming increasingly irate that no-one was up feeding her, given the alarm had gone off earlier.

I had a good session in the pool this morning. Amazing how focused you get in your training, the closer the event gets! Knowing this was my last swim session here before we leave tomorrow definitely ensured that I put all my effort into the ‘hard’ sections of the session.

Tomorrow we leave on our road trip and big adventure!.

“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” – Nelson Mandela


Oh my…..

4 Sep

When my new training program arrived in my in-box last night I quickly opened it, scanned the contents and got an inkling of what was in store for me. Then I closed it – no need to scare myself before bed. Today, I have been sitting looking at my just-printed training program for the next 4 weeks and its slowly starting to sink in – the next 3 weeks are going to involve a lot of hard work. I know that if I get through these next few weeks that I will be able to complete a half Ironman triathlon. Which is the whole point of it really, isn’t it. It’s just seeing it on paper and knowing what it will entail is just slightly frightening and a tad bit overwhelming at the moment. However I also know it will be a case of suck it up and just do it. It’s just every now and then I suffer the self doubts – can I do this?…what if I can’t do this?…..maybe I’m getting too old for this stuff………maybe I really suck at this…..those sort of self doubts.

And because I have a long hilly ride (with an emphasis on hilly in case I missed it!) scheduled for this coming Saturday last night I dreamt I cycled Coppins Crossing and every other hilly road in Canberra last night. No wonder I was tired when I woke this morning! But I bet that doesn’t count as training although visualisation is a useful technique and is meant to be as good as the real thing (I know, I’m clutching at straws. Coach says that dreaming of hill riding counts as ADDITIONAL training whereas I was hoping INSTEAD OF!)

Anyway, it was off to the gym for a weights session this morning, after a much-appreciated, and fortifying, black coffee (well, you try cycling every hilly road in Canberra overnight in your sleep!). I have noticed my leg strength has improved a lot – the leg press, lunges and hamstring curls were done with increased weights. Can’t say the same for push ups and triceps push ups though – they never seem to get any easier. However I also felt the improvement when doing seated cable rows and standing shoulder presses with a barbell – it must be all that swimming. Its gotta be good for something other than avoiding drowning.

And tonight I completed the first of 2 intervals sessions for the week on the bike. No problems to report, just tired legs;)

Tomorrow: the plan is to swim again and, maybe, go for a run at lunchtime. I’ll make up my mind about the run tomorrow…..no pressure.

“You must remain focused on your journey to greatness.” – Les Brown

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



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

It’s like riding a bike…..

19 May

Sunday, November 14 2010. That was the last time I rode my bike. It was as part of a team in the Tour de Femme, and from memory was a helluva lot of fun.

Fast forward to Saturday, 19 May 2012. My first time on my bike since then. Yep, 18 months later. Mr N got it out of the shed and pumped the tyres for me yesterday in readiness for this morning’s ride. I spent some time last night rummaging through cupboards looking for my cycling gear. My training program had me doing an easy 30min ride today.

This is the old girl (and no, we are not talking about the owner). I bought her when I was training for my first half ironman in 2003. Another long course event happened after that and then the big one, the ironman in 2004. She has done lots of kms. But she has been neglected since then apart from the brief period in late 2010 when I got her out and did some rides leading up to the Tour de Femme. I would love a new bike but for the moment she will have to do.

This morning I dusted off the cobwebs, looked very carefully under the seat and checked the tyres to make sure they hadn’t deflated over night. It was very chilly outside, about minus 2 so I was wearing several layers.

Note to self: get some bike booties as my feet get very cold.

Wavered between using the bike trainer or heading out on the road. The road eventually won and so it was that I headed out with trepidation. I had forgotten everything about riding but they say a skill once learned is never forgotten ie it’s like riding a bike! Well I was going to be testing that particular saying. Which gear lever for the front chain ring? Brakes? What chain ring am I in on the back?  Remembering that I am literally attached to my bike so must detach one shoe when stopping at lights. So many things to remember, to think about, to stay upright. There may have been a world record this morning down in St Kilda (12WBT) but there was a miracle right here in Canberra – I didn’t stack my bike! 😉

It was a short ride this morning – really to familiarise myself with cycling again. This is the start of many rides, ones that will be a lot longer than today’s ride. Once I made it home in one piece, I changed into running gear and headed out for a very short run – 3.3km which also included several 100m strides on the local oval.

Tomorrow its the YMCA of Canberra half marathon, starting at 8am. Here’s hoping for some nice weather and that it’s not too chilly first thing in the morning.

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.

A dull, drizzly day

5 May

I woke to a foggy morning……correction, I was woken to a foggy morning! Ruth was greeted with a very bleary eyed CJ when I answered the door this morning. Seems like the suggestion to run sometime after 8am really meant 8.10am! However after a coffee, I was ready to face the day & we set off on a 8km run down the main street and along the foreshore – similar to the run I did yesterday. It was a very pleasant way to start the day and it was great to have company for a change.



After a shower and breakfast Mr B dropped us off at Zen cafe in town for a coffee while he registered for tomorrow’s event. We were amazed at the size of the coffees. They were super-sized cappuccino! But alas, it was all about quantity, not quality. We do, however, have several other cafes to try before we leave Busselton. And we did have a pretty good take away coffee down at the triathlon site later in the day (& a delicious gluten fee date slice to go with it)



We checked out the expo, as you do, & I bought a great running cap & cool socks, as you do! We also saw some amazing tri bikes. It would be very easy to buy into bike envy but I’m trying very hard not to! You could spend some serious dollars on equipment. Actually, when I think about it, triathlon is an expensive sport! And there are so many gadgets available these days. Think I’ll stick to the KISS principle! However I do like the idea of the waterproof MP3 player – ideal for doing those endless laps following the black line 🙂

The weather deteriorated as the day wore on and by the time the kids tri started at 4pm it was really miserable – wet and cold, and then the wind picked up as well. However the kids toughed it out and there were lots of smiles as they swam, cycled & ran in their event. And there were some very cute little pink & purple bikes in transition!


WA bound

4 May

My day started at 4am to get ready for an early morning flight to Melbourne where I would catch a connecting flight to Perth then drive to Busselton, a 3hour drive south of Perth. So it was going to be a long day. Most of the trip was uneventful 😉 Perth airport was hectic – people coming from and going to the mines, others with bike bags and boxes – a dead giveaway they were doing a half ironman this weekend in Busselton, and the V8 Supercars were in town so there were race teams that had just flown in.

Eventually I got my hire car & was all set to go once the information was put in the GPS….except there were no WA maps – zip, zilch, nada, nothing. Omg how was I going to get out of Perth without my GPS? Full on panic attack – not pretty. Let’s just say, thank goodness for very understanding and helpful friends. I eventually was on my way, heading down South Western highway in my teensy Nissan Micra. A quick stop in Serpentine for a much-needed coffee and then in Pinjarra for some apples. Finally I arrived in Busselton just after 4pm (WA time), checked in & caught up with Ruth and Mr B.

I headed out for a late afternoon run (#156) down the main street heading to the foreshore where I ran for a little way along the cycle path before heading back along Bussell Hwy. All up it was about 6km. Later I had fush & chups for dinner, while Ruth & Mr B had pizza. Now to bed – its been a very loooong day 😉



Holiday time!

2 May

Today was my last day of work before holidays. There was a very brief nanosecond just before I fully woke this morning when I thought oh crap, what have I done! Why on earth have I registered for a half Ironman. But that thought evaporated just as quickly. I’m excited – I have a goal that is really worth getting excited about. It’s a challenge, I acknowledge that, but I’m up to it. I love pushing the boundaries!

This morning’s run was a short sharp 4km as I had a lot to do. It wasn’t as cold as it had been other mornings, and that probably had something to do with the rain that came later in the morning and hung around for the rest of the day.

So now its last-minute packing which I hate. I am so indecisive when it comes to packing for a holiday. So many ‘just in case’ clothes go in the suitcase and yet I know that I will tend to stick to wearing a few favourites. I really wish I could travel lightly but that is a skill that has passed me by!

It will be a very early start tomorrow – my flight leaves at 6.30am. I better get organised 🙂

Decision time

1 May

I had been tossing and turning all night and it wasn’t just my running wounds that were keeping me awake. I had been playing with the insane idea of doing another triathlon, and not just any tri, but a half Ironman. Part of me (the sensible part) kept saying you don’t have to, you’ve already done it, no need to prove yourself, think of all the training you’ll have to do through winter, remember those horrible swim starts……Then the illogical, sometimes silly, totally mad part of me (the part that really should be committed) would pipe up and say, time to push the boundaries, get out of your comfort zone, maybe you could do another Ironman, you can do this……..

And as a couple of people will attest, I asked for advice as to whether it was possible to train for a half Ironman in 6 months from no swimming or cycling base………..and goddam, they said yes! What’s a girl to do?! After thinking about it a bit more today, I finally came to the conclusion this evening that now is as good a time as any, and all going to plan, maybe, just maybe, I might aim for the Ironman again next year. There must be one more in me! And there is only one way to find out. So JFDI!

And also I won’t be alone. I have friends doing this event as well. And girls (& guys), we’re gonna rock Port Macquarie! 🙂

Two more sleeps and I’m heading off to WA to spectate at the Busselton half Ironman so that should get me in the right frame of mind. Because when I get back, its training time!

And yes, I did do run #154 this morning – a 10km easy run.