Friday, August 25, 2017

am i really ready for this ?

i am not going to make any promises here.  i feel like i am ready to get back into  my old life.  i miss being fit and i miss feeling strong.  i am not the same person i was so i have to find my motivation from another place.

i am back working.  i am doing some training.  the weather is improving.  i no longer  have the black cloud of family problems hanging over me.

there are no more excuses.  it is just up to me to do it for me.


Monday, January 2, 2017

Putting things back together

it has been awhile so it is hard to know where to begin.  well to start my dad passed away on 27 November 2016.  but i am not ready to talk about that.  i was made redundant at the end of August and i am still currently unemployed.  i was struggling with consistent training so i transferred from the 140.6 at busselton to the new 70.3.  dad passed away the week before so i didnt do that either. 2016 pretty much sucked for me and a lot of other people.

where do i start with work ?  the level of incompetence and stupidity was on a massive scale.  the lack of accountability and people putting their egos ahead of what is best.  not being heard is very frustrating. and if you are going to go into business then have some understanding of how to manage it and make a decision.  make the hard decisions.  i think in the end this was just a business with jobs for the boys. and the boys sucked it dry and made no apologies for it.  i stayed because at first it suited my ironman goals and training and i was getting well paid.  then i stayed because i felt for the remaining owner who was shattered by the end and learned a very hard lesson.  you also cross over to a point where you have to take into account what is due to you in redundancy.  then you cant leave.

i havent seen or spoken to anyone from work since and i really dont want to.  i took some time off after the event and then my sister came to visit and then dad fell ill.  by the time we had the funeral it was close to xmas so i havent looked for work yet.  the only thing i know is that i dont want to work for fuckwits again.  i have a few plans for this year and i am going to make 2017 great.  this might mean doing temp work and saving the dollars.  

so while there were a few sad days spent in my pyjamas on the sofa i have also been very busy.  my garden is looking well maintained again.  i have painted the gutters and patio.  i still have some white woodwork to go but it is minor.  i painted the window trims and the front door.  i pulled up the carpet in the front room donated a truck load of stuff to the good samaritans.  i painted both bathrooms and the two spare rooms and my study.  i finally fixed my bathroom taps and replaced the outdoor lights and fixed the indoor lights.  the one in the bathroom has not worked in years and now i cant believe i left it so long.  it feels like pure luxury. 

training for anything has been hard.  it has been very sporadic to say the least.  when i look back at the five ironmans and 7 half ironmans i did over a five year period i really dont know how i did it.    i feel like i have to rebuild my life and allow myself to enjoy training again.  one day at a time.

i like motivational quotes and i recently read this article which i am going to remind myself of on a regular basis.

Things you should give up if you want to be successful.

Give up on the unhealthy lifestyle - no more magnums and less carbs.
Give up the short-term mindset - short term habits become long term goals
Give up on playing small - dont be afraid to fail and dont be afraid to succeed
Give up your excuses - own your life
Give up the fixed mindset - who you are today is not who you have to be tomorrow
Give up believing in the magic bullet - overnight success is a myth
Give up your perfectionism - dont lose opportunities waiting for things to be right
Give up multi-tasking - choose one thing and beat it into submission
Give up your need to control everything - detach from things you cannot control
Give up on saying yes to things that dont support your goals - he who would achieve much must sacrifice much
Give up the toxic people - dont settle (again) for just any job
Give up your need to be liked - you cant make everyone like you.  i am a niche market.
Give up your dependency on social media and television - the trouble is, you think you have time. dont waste it.





Friday, July 1, 2016

what's up

seriously i told y'all i was going to blog more so here i am.  i am going to divide things up by categories.

training

slow i am.  and lucky that lycra does stretch.  so i am slowly back training and from here on in it has to be a consistent and regular process.  i have a plan.  i am doing ironman western australia at the end of the year.  then i made the momentous decision to visit relatives in melbourne and at the same time do ironman geelong 70.3.  so that is all booked and locked in.  the course looks great. nice hilly bike.  this will then allow me to do the dams ride in late april and not worry about busso 70.3.  i love it when a plan falls into place.  now train i must.

work

work really sucks and the pressure and anxiety at times is almost too much.  somedays i have to look at it like an ironman.  you know that feeling when you really want to just walk but keep telling yourself you must keep running.  and yet it is so tempting to just walk.  i just have to remind myself that if the shit hits the fan it will not be the END of the world.

house

i have finally de-cluttered my house and you can now actually walk into rooms.  this weekend the kitchen cupboards are getting an overhaul.  i am back to having to mow my own lawns again but at least it is winter and only weeds are growing.

qantas

well fuck me if qantas didnt just pay up no questions asked for my seat post.  i rang them to get a damage statement on the request of  qbe insurance and qantas says dont be silly.  send us the receipt and we will just refund it straight to your credit card.  no need to go through insurance.  i didnt even have to send a picture of the damage.  there must be a flag on my name.

pets

i have new pets.  i think i may have mentioned that my dad's cat jingles now lives with me and he is gorgeous.  he is quite the character and loves teasing the dogs into chasing him.  he has no fear of them.  at the moment we are having a battle about being allowed outside and i am winning.  casey girl is going strong at 14 although i think at times she is disgusted with me for getting cooper.  cooper was a rescue puppy and was first thought to be a staffy cross.  his mum was a staffy cross but as cooper has kept growing and then developed little whiskers it has become clear that he has wolfhound in him.  cooper is a super sweet dog and very entertaining.  he is going to be an awesome running dog.  he is a terror with casey but i think keeps her young and good company.  he loves to play tug of war and and destroying his toys.  he can be very destructive and this week ate my haviannas.  i should not have left them where he can get them.  we ran 2.5k for the first time last week but since he is only 7 months old and going to be a big dog i really cant let him run any further or too often as he is still growing.



Monday, May 23, 2016

my first (and last) DNF

Looking the part in Port MacQuarie
it has been too long since i have posted anything here so there are quite a few gaps in the story.  but most significantly i had my first DNF at any event at Ironman Australia and i am kind of okay with it.  i hardly trained for it and there are no excuses.  this is just another part of the ironman journey for me and  another lesson to learn and i certainly have no regrets.  

so i guess i better explain as to why i didnt train when previously i was a training demon.  well it seems it is true and life can actually get in the way of ironman stuff.  i was worn out from doing five ironmans in less than 3 years and thought that having a 12 month break between events would be enough. well combined with the problems at work and both parents going into aged care it seems i could not focus and when you train for an ironman you need to be able to focus on one thing.  training.  so i had some moments of great training but failed big time to do anything consistently.  you know before race day you can go back over your training and have confidence that you have done the hard work.  i didnt want to do that because i would have been freaked out by the lack of numbers.  i did look after the event and it was as dismissal as i thought.  actually it was amazing i did the swim and the bike.  i thought my swimming was consistent and while it was when you look at my running and bike it still wasnt great and i never swam over 3k.  i didnt do a single brick session unless you count the sprint triathlon at hillaries.  the longest ride was 5.5 hours and there were not that many and very few short rides.  not even close to what i would normally do.  i did a total of 13 hours running.  and four of those were two trail runs at just over two hours each.  you cannot wing an ironman.  i also discovered that i was struggling with running because i seemed to have developed exercise induced asthma.  the ventilin stopped the incessant over night coughing but gave me side effects instead and one really bad one on race day.  

pre-race port macquarie

i had three days free before flying to port mac.  i was so glad to be away from work.  i didnt think i would make it through those last few days and i was totally desperate to get away and i needed a break badly.  jingles the adopted cat went to the kitty prison and casey and cooper were dropped off at the doggie holiday camp.  then it was time to pack all the gear and get the bike organised.  new bike and new bike bag.  this time i took the derailleur off and used pool noodles to pack around the frame and more padding around the wheels.  i had the bike booked in for a service in port mac so i knew they would put everything back together for me.

this year i booked a later flight so i didnt have to get up at stupid o'clock.  drove out to airport. it cost me $132 to park the car so maybe in future it might be cheaper to catch a taxi.  both flights were okay and arrived around 5 pm.  luke bell was on the same little plane and our two bikes were the last to come out.  mine appeared to have survived the journey.  this year i was staying at the mantra quayside and this was an excellent decision.  it was the perfect location and facilities.  the room had a kitchen and was very spacious and best of all had a heated lap pool on the roof.  

so wednesday was busy.  and just for the record the weather was pretty much perfect everyday except race day.  it sucked race day.  took the bike in to get put back together and checked over and then headed back to my room and changed before heading out for a run.  managed to get in a 60 minute run over the course and really enjoyed it.  the temp here was quite warm and humid. afterwards i headed up to the lap pool and swam for about 30 minutes.  felt really good and relaxed.  i then headed back to the bike shop to pick it up before returning to the town green for a massage that i had booked.  the guy worked really hard on some tight spots which i did feel for quite a few days afterwards but it was worth taking the risk.  very sleepy after this so home for soak in the bath before crashing.

tried to get up and go for a ride early but couldnt be fucked.  the weather and wind was forecast to be mild all day so figured i would go after checking in.  normally before any ironman event my nerves are totally shot and frazzled.  knowing i was so under trained you would think that my nerves would be worse but it was the opposite.  i was very relaxed and not worried at all.  i think with the lack of training the pressure for a result was no longer there and i could just enjoy things.  so i headed off to check in and get my race bag and any goodies i could score.  i also hit the ironman merchandise.  just cant help myself.  i picked up a couple of t-shirts for thom and lucas and some running gear for myself as well as a cycle jersey by zoot.  handed over the cash and headed home.  it was there when i was looking at my goodies i thought that what i paid was more than i expected.  long story short they had over charged me and so back i went.  turns out the items were more expensive than the tagged price but they still gave them to me for the tagged price.  told me some sob story about selling items in different locations and i was probably looking at the price in malaysian dollars.  all i know is that there is no way i would have paid $70 for a running shirt.  by this time it was almost lunch so i quickly headed out on the bike.  managed to cork my leg on the bottle cages and gave myself a nasty bruise.  rode out to mathew flinders drive before the rain decided to come so rather than risk a crash i turned around and headed home and back up to the lap pool for a swim.  i had organised to meet up with a girl from my triathlon club to swim at the practice session in the morning and then go for a ride so i needed to be in bed early. 

Swim Start
met fiona at 7 am and it was a little fresh but not too bad.  quite a few people out early for a swim and we had our wetties on pretty quickly and headed out.  the water temp was  good and headed down the course and felt very relaxed. probably swam out for 750m before heading back.  i really enjoyed this and it gave me some confidence that race day might not totally suck.

arranged to meet up with fiona for a ride shortly after the swim at her place which was at the top of the run course. managed to get on my bike without injuring myself and headed off.  weather was perfect.  we rode out on part of the course and onto mathew flinders drive which was great for fiona as she could see it and ride up it and not have the fear of the unknown on race day. we came back into town and rode out to the run course turn around at settlers point.  this was nice for me being flat.  fiona had to go and check in so we parted ways and headed back to my room.  met up again around 6 pm for the carbo loading night which was pretty average.  the entertainment and the food.

so the day before the big day and bike check-in. got up early and went for a short ride before another swim in the lap pool.  spent the day getting everything organised and making clothing and gear choices.  i had decided that i would go back to wearing proper cycling gear for the ride and fuck the transition time.  packed up the bags and headed of to transition.  quick trip to the supermarket and back to the room to do as little as possible.

the race

i slept quite well and only woke a few times.  felt pretty good and didnt have any of the headaches like last year.  bought different pancakes and they were disgusting so my first mistake was not eating enough.  walked down to transition and set everything up.  since my room was directly across from the swim start i went back to my room and made use of the un-smelly toilet and avoided the line up for the stinky loos.  headed back about 30 minutes before the start and got my wetsuit on and handed over my street bag.  i still wasnt nervous so i was really enjoying myself.  the weather looked great with very little wind and perfect temp.  water was calm.  fiona then located me so that was great having a friendly face to chat to and help calm her nerves.  it was the last i saw of her for the day.

as usual my swim started off badly, got worse then slightly better and i thought about quitting so many times and cursed myself for doing it and regreting every swim session i missed.  so much crap goes through your head.  the water was nice and a few people got in the way but otherwise pretty ordinary swim.  wetsuit annoyed my neck and i had put a tonne of glide on.  this is an issue i need to sort out and i used new goggle anti-fog which is not as good as my old one.  slight current assist on the way back and i needed it by then as i was getting tired.

into transition and i dont know how long i was there but it would have been a good ten minutes. when i got out to my bike and saw how many were left i realised i was behind already.  this was a new position for me.   so begun the ride to hell.  i dont know what it is about this bike course but one day i will nail it.  i was determined to enjoy the ride at a manageable pace and do the easy things right like hydration and nutrition.  with a lack of time spent aero i knew my neck/shoulders were going to hurt and while i had stretched my back during the swim it was highly likely that towards the end that would hurt too.  i had some heat rub with me and before i got on the bike i had a few puffs of my inhaler.  the first 45k was okay.  the roads were just as bad and there was little wind.  it was spitting a little bit but nothing to worry about.  i cant remember alot about the first 90k.  i know my neck etc started to hurt and the heat rub improved things.  i know it started to rain as i rode into town for the turnaround but it was just light rain.  it was on the way back out that the real rain came and the gusty wind and then more biting cold rain.  you could see this huge front of rain coming across the ocean towards us.  i wasnt too worried.  done it all before so i figured i would be okay.  just keep going.  i knew i was at the back of the field.  there were far more asian competitors than i normally see.  while swimming and biking is not there best leg i have to admire the way they get through it and then can run and run well.  a few of the guys had no idea how to ride the hills.  i do remember on the first lap that i took chances going downhill.  i needed every bit of free speed but once it started raining i wasnt game enough.  it was very nerve racking going down some of these hills on those roads and even going up my back wheel had a few little spins and sliding.

i saw caron and then pete and it was nice to have company.  i was tired when i got to the final turn around.  i couldnt feel my hands or my feet.  they were so cold.  my neck was killing me and i had taken everything and done everything i could to help it.  i realised at this point that something was wrong with my mouth.  it had started to feel very strange when i went to have a drink and the inside of my mouth was very dry.  it was the strangest thing ever and i knew that my lip and mouth was puffed up like a friggin blow fish.  the only thing i can think of was i had a reaction to the ventilin.

This was taken a few hours after the race.
The inside was worse.
after pushing my bike up mathew flinders drive i didnt think i was going to be able to get back on it. i was fucked.  seriously. all i could think about was getting back to transition.   i had nothing else on my mind.  it was while i was riding the last couple of hills one of which is short but so fucking steep and all i wanted to do was not fall off my bike that i knew i probably wasnt going to head out on the run.  it was still raining and i realised the ride last year was a walk in the park compared to this.  my two longest rides ever have both been at ironman australia and i broke the record big time this year.

there is a difference to the pain you feel when you are pushing things but you have trained for it and the pain when you havent trained.  this pain was miserable.  and it wasnt just the body but the mindset.  i think  my body could have gone on after a sit down in transition but the mind wasnt interested at all.  and the body will only go where the mind leads it.  the mind controls the pain and not only had i not trained my body but my mind and heart wasnt in it.  i chose not to walk a marathon in the mud and rain. i dont see anything redeeming in it. there is no fun in that and if i am going to do anything i would rather do it well than very badly.  i think of all the people who keep going no matter what and stagger across that finish line with 15 minutes or less to spare and i didnt want to be one of them.  i didnt want to finish the race that badly.  i saw the medical people and they had no idea what was wrong with my mouth but said i could continue if i wanted to even though i was shivering my butt off as well.  if this was my first or maybe second or even third i might have gone out and tried to finish at all costs.  but it wasnt and i knew i had no one to blame but myself.  i thought about the medal and the towel and the feeling of not quitting and then i thought of a hot shower and the left-over pasta in my room and i handed over my timing chip.  it is the strangest feeling ever.  knowing when to call it a day is hard.  you lose a certain amount of perspective and that is what can keep you going but i think i knew all along that it was going to be a long shot to finish.  the weather certainly had not helped and maybe things would have been different but you need to train to survive bad conditions and i barely did enough to handle a good day.  7.5 hours is a very long time on a fucking bike in the rain.  this is called the ironman journey.

so am i going to make the same decision as last year and try to go back to port mad for a third attempt at redemption ?  no fucking way.  i am doing busselton at the end of the year and compared to this it will be awesome and i am really looking forward to it.  then i am going to enjoy getting back into the shorter races and doing different events and some serious bike rides.  at this stage i have no plans to do the 70.3 in may.  i doubt that i will do busselton IM again at the end of 2017 but i am going back to port mac in 2018.  the event is licensed until then and you never know it could be my last chance to give the toughest course in australia a proper crack.

i am feeling good about getting back into training.  i have had a good break.  i got this photo and framed it and it is on the wall next to the race number i never wore.  i had to put one second in for the run so it would generate.  this is to remind me every single day of my one and only DNF.  the background is the rain coming towards me from the coast.  normally you would see ocean.    and i am looking forward to blogging more.





the weather after race day was magnificent and these are some pics i took of the course the day after. and believe it or not qantas managed to damage my bike again on the way home.  fuck you qantas. somehow they pulled the seat from the seat post.  at this stage it appears that only the stem needs to be replaced. but hey according to qantas that is what insurance is for,  









Thursday, January 28, 2016

a decent swim and a podium dq


i pretty much suck at open water swimming.  i am pathetic and i think i have made that quite clear through previous posts.  i think i have had like three swims that i was happy with and this was one of them.  i have always promised myself that one day i would grow a pair of balls and get out there amongst it.  sadly this wasnt going to be one of those times.  i have swam at sorrento three or four times and have always enjoyed it.  i love the australia day swim as they get such a great crowd and the weather is always stinking hot.  quite a few people were swimming from squads so it had a real friendly atmosphere about it.  

i found cobie who swims in the same lane with me at squads.  while cobie was putting tubes of sunscreen all over herself i got my wetsuit on. the stingers have been extremely bad this year with people having to pull out of some events so i was feeling pretty good about having the wettie. they had various distances swimming and our all female 2.5k wave was one of the last to go.  the water was crystal clear and perfect temp.  we swam out to the start buoys and i was right behind cobie but then she moved forward and i stayed at the back of the pack because i am weak and have no balls.  
then we were off.  i started okay and didnt feel too bad but then i went through the normal this is too fucking hard, i am tired and why do i put myself through  this phase.   i kept going as usual and was just hoping to get to the first turn around pretty quick.  i got caught up with some people at the first buoy where we turn and head out to sea for a further 50 metres.  it was about here that i got stung a few times on the chin and face.  didnt hurt too much so i kept going.  the current kept pushing me further out so i had to constantly correct and head back in.  about half way along here i got  stung pretty bad.  one got me on the mouth and the lip and then another wrapped itself around my neck. that stung.  one of the guys on the surf skis saw me and came over and i had a little chat and relaxed for a bit and then went back to swimming. 

i got a little excited when i saw some buoys as i thought these were the turn around buoys to head back closer to shore and i actually turned before realising it was too soon and i had further to go.    so off i went in the right direction.  by this time my stings had settled down and i was feeling pretty good swimming.  i then began to notice i was passing people and was swimming past some of the male 2.5k swimmers who had started in the wave ahead of me.  i thought fuck they must be slow.

then i was at the turn around and not far to go until the final turn and straight back into shore.  i was using a pretty decent kick by now and going with the wind so it felt quick.  finally crawled out of the water and up the beach to cross the finish line.

got back to our spot and cobie had just come in ahead of me.  i was feeling the neck sting by now and cobie had been attacked in quite a few places.  we decided we wouldnt hang around as cobie was an invited vip to the wa swimming tent and i was her vip guest and we could have stayed for a feed.  we told a few people we saw on our way out that they could collect our medals but only as a joke.  it wasnt until later in the day i looked at the results and cobie had come in second in our age group and i was right behind her in third. and yes there was more than three swimmers.    mine doesnt count because of the wetsuit but considering i basically swam right through the whole pack and had a little rest on the way then i did okay.  this was a huge pb for me and just shows you what consistent swimming can do for you.  last year i swam 51.48 in a wetsuit but the conditions were a lot more lumpy.  this year i swam 45.59.  that is almost six minutes quicker and at 1.50 per/100m pace.  now if i could only get my shit together at the start !