Friday, December 31, 2010

the small section of my brain

i dont know exactly why but life seems really strange at the moment.  they granted me my most hopeful wish and let me go a week early from my job.  so i got an extra weeks paid holiday.  as you can imagine i immediately had visions of all the training i could get completed as well as catching up on a years worth of neglected chores around the house.  what i have learnt is that it is hard to shovel and distribute 3.5 trailers load of mulch whilst also trying to swim, bike and run in 35-40 degree heat.  it has me wondering how people who have physically demanding jobs manage to do both.  the garden looks great, the retic is complete and even inside the place seems less messy.  i am really worn out and yet the guilt is terrible.  it is 1.23 pm and i have done nothing - all day.  i have slept in, read my book and watched some mindless tv. 

the sensible part of my brain (it is a very small section) tells me that it is good to sometimes do nothing.  i am  racked by the guilt of maybe not making the very most of my time off.  did i train enough ?  did i work hard enough around the house ?  did i make the right choice everyday ?  

the other thing that is worrying me is my swimming.  it has sucked more than normal - even in the pool.  i have a 2.5k open water swim tomorrow and i think that the other small section of my brain is FREAKING out about it.  the course is 1.25k and i swam that last year.  so it is two laps this year.  it is going to be really hot tomorrow and no wind.  perfect conditions.  what is the very worst thing that can happen ?  i only do one lap ?  i get tired and have to swim to shore ?  i know it is all  in my head and i need to believe in me.   i can do it.

and maybe because i start my new job on tuesday and it is now a very real thing i am also secretly stressed about that.  i think i need to go do some ironing or something.  happy new year.

Monday, December 27, 2010

a sizzling hot christmas

merry christmas to all !  it has been a christmas of extremes.  snowed in airports, flooded towns and just plain hot.  i cannot complain because we got the best of the bunch - just hot.  today it is 40.  i am now truly living in my speedos.  so christmas day went like this.  got up super early and went for a 75k bike ride.  it was beautiful and quiet.  took the girls to the beach.  this was around the time that most people were heading home for their big christmas lunch.  after the beach it was home for a pasta lunch, a movie and a nap.  now you may be thinking that something is missing - namely a family.  while i would love to spend the day with family having a relative free christmas is not that bad.  i rang my sister who lives in portland oregon.  kym, thom and lucas - thanks immensely for bunnings g.c. and awesome hobo bag.  still trying to guess the secret surprise.  and the pig is now known as pete.  mum and dad are two hours south of here and were going to my cousins.  i would rather have all my teeth pulled.  besides dad worked early for my brother and after lunch they would have been home and in bed by 5.30 pm.     my brother had gone to melbourne with my nephew for the boxing day test match which  i bet they are really glad about.  my sister-in-law and niece went to her family which they do every year (this i have always found to be very sad).  so it was just me and the girls and a beautiful day at the beach.  and when you think about how bad it really could be then my christmas was sizzling hot.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Rockingham Triseries Sprint Triathlon Race Report

part of what i love about triathlon is that you learn something new everytime you pull on the lycra and no two races are ever the same - even if it is the same course.  in a nutshell i had a shocking swim, a decent bike in windy conditions and i think i ran as hard as i could.  compared to last year i set a new pb by just over 5 minutes.  1.22.26.  i am officially a MOP triathlete. 

i warmed up with a good short swim and it felt great. i dont know why then that once the race started i felt so tired.  it was a struggle and there were a few times that i thought i was never going to make it - again.  i changed my routine around for this event but that will not be repeated.  i will take my preparation a little more seriously.  i swam and had a ride on friday.  normally i rest the second day out.  i have always swam on the saturday if the race is sunday.  i rested saturday with just a quick test ride in the afternoon.  i ate dinner too late on saturday night and found it hard to eat sunday morning.  so i was pretty happy to be out of the water.  it was quite choppy out there so i was surprised to see that my time was slightly quicker than last year. 750m 16.59 (last year 17.21).

transition went well.  love the new numbered flags as it sure makes it easier to find your bike rack.  trievents have made some improvements.  the course is two laps and it was windy on the way out and a bit easier on the way back.  i had a bike fit earlier in the week and was a little concerned because although it felt comfortable while i was on the bike for a short period once i got off my lower back was fucked.  i didnt have time to go and get it sorted and figured over such a short distance it would be okay.  and it was okay until i went to run.  this bike leg is the first time i have really thought about tactics.  my arch nemesis was closer after my bad swim and we swapped positions a few times.  i kept reminding myself that i had to race my own race and i knew the arch nemesis must be pushing herself to keep up and would she have the legs left for the run ?  on the last lap i decided to push it but stay close and i past her a little before transition.  20k 38.20 (last year 41.41).

i flew out of transition.  i had my feet out of my shoes before i hit the dismount line.  helmet off, shoes on, grab the watch, hat and run.  it was hard to straighten up and my back was having little spasms.  legs felt okay though.  i knew arch nemesis was not far away and for the whole 5k i kept waiting for her to pass and then realised she was pacing off me and it would come at the end.  i was hoping for quicker splits but i felt terrible the whole way.  i should never have mentioned the puke at the finish line as that is what nearly happened and i dont know if it had anything to do with pushing myself the way i was feeling or more to do with what i ate and drank.   200 metres from the finish i had to stop running as i thought i was going to spew.  in that time (10 seconds) arch nemesis ran past.  i was sad but busy trying to feel better.  i did manage to finish strong and will just have to put it down to experience.  and being a pussy for not really taking it to the puke zone.  5k 27.07 (last year 29.11). 
total time 1.22.26.  Overall 79/162 Age Group 7/10 (lower numbers from last year).  arch nemesis beat me by 14 seconds -again.  last year total time was 1.28.13 so i was pretty happy with the result.  and at  least we made it onto the run course while the faster girls were still ON it.  but i would like a better swim and a faster run.  next time.  this youtube was just posted so i have edited to include it.

i stayed behind with the arch nemesis for the presentations and spot prizes.  more FREE shit for jeni !!!!  my number was drawn out again and i won a bikesure tri suit that fits perfect.  stayed tuned for the next event where i will model and test drive the suit.  it is part of my overall plan to wear a different outfit at each event so my arch nemesis and other competitors cannot keep track of me.  i have never had a trisuit before and i must admit they appear to be very comfortable.  it was a great day out and worth it for yet one more reason.  jenson button was racing.  i beat his girlfriend.  that counts for something right. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

shut up and swim

as you all know i have recently taken to swimming in a different pool - a 50m outdoor pool where i have to share a lane with the general public.  as far as pools go it is a nice pool.  i have a thing about trying out different pools.  this christmas break i am going to do a double swim.  in the morning i will go to one pool and swim 4k and in the afternoon i will go to another pool and swim 4k.  obviously i will eat humongous amounts of food in between the sessions along with a nap.  i am very interested to know what this is going to feel like.  it is a swim smooth suggestion.  but back on topic.

so my most favourite pool i have swam in is the north sydney pool.  it is located just under the sydney harbour bridge and next to luna park.  it  has an amazing history.  i was in sydney for work and staying within a 20 minute walk.  after busting out of the conference i raced over there at dusk and swam in 16 degree weather.  it was glorious.  here is a picture i stole off the internet earlier. 

i used to be one of the fucking idiots that turn up at the pool and think they can swim.  however my only annoying habit was sitting at the end of the lane too long. crazy to think that my whole swim session was 1000m and i do that now as a warm-up.  transgressing AGAIN.  these are the things that have pissed me off in the last two weeks -

1. people in the wrong lane.  the sign says to 'pick your lane based on your ability'.  it should say 'pick your lane based on your ability then drop down one level'. or maybe 'picking your lane is based on ability - NOT based on how many people are swimming in the lanes'.  i pick medium and then spend the whole session passing people.  if i go in the fast lane then i will stress that i am slowing down the fast people.  in reality the fast people are all medium and there are no fast people swimming with the general public. this is my biggest bitch.
2. i have seen things people should not have to see - underwater or above.  some people have bellys that look like jelly and move like jelly.  breaststroke is just not up for discussion.
3. it is a golden rule that if you reach the end of the lane and the person behind you reaches it at the same time and they are actually faster than you - then you let them go in front.  so to the loser guy who was not happy with a chick swimming faster  - eat them bubbles.
4. again to the boys - you do not speed up when someone is tapping you on your toes. it does not mean 'go faster'.  if you spent less time hanging at the end of the pool and more time swimming maybe then you would not get 'chicked'.
5. the aim of doing a lap is to swim from one end to the other.  there is no stopping for a breather in the middle.  do i need to say more ?
6. to the people in the adjacent lanes - if you are going to race me then lets make it a fair race over a distance greater than one lap or part thereof.
7. please realise that while i may not do tumble turns i do like to kick off from the wall at the end of each lap and feel like i am doing one.  the centre does have a spa or wading pool that will meet this need to just sit.  please be aware that this habit is not going to improve your swimming.  actually swimming will do that and i can attest to it.  and sitting in a spa with goggles on will look strange and slightly creepy.
8. and big, fat hairy old dudes - i am not interested nor am i desperate.  still having fucking nightmares.
9. to the couples that swim together.  why ?    
10. i am sure the pool attendants are there for a number of reasons including saving drowning people and  checking out the talent.  i have just never seen it.  and come to think of it this includes saving drowning people so that just leaves checking out the talent.  cool job.  

okay i am done. 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

third time lucky

i got the new job.  how lucky have i been.  some people cannot get one job and this is my third job change in one year.  in some ways i have not been lucky and  this is my last shot.  i cannot afford to change jobs again as it will truly fuck up my resume.   one job i do not even mention as it was such a short stay.  i dont feel excited - just relieved.  i am here until christmas eve.  i was hoping that they would pay me out claiming a conflict with my new employers but no such luck.  they were all nice about it and said i could still take the three days between christmas and new year as leave.  it will be wonderful to have a ten day break before starting the new job. 

as discussed in a previous post i had a tough week after the great bike ride so the following week i took it a day at a time and just relaxed about the whole thing.  so from an easy week to a blinder last week.  this is probably one of the biggest weeks i have ever had and the good news is that i feel good and more importantly my legs feel good.  i will admit to having a nap saturday afternoon and then again sunday.  maybe naps is what i am missing in my recovery.  i enjoyed the week and it is doable if you are organised.  

on all my runs i decided to use the virtual partner on my garmin.  this is perfect for me.  i am one of those people who if you give them a target or challenge then i will bust my butt to achieve it.  i also have trouble slowing down for the longer runs so this will enforce the right pace.  i love my garmin. 

i met up with the guy from my tri club that is going to be guiding the novice 70.3 people through their preparation and training.  i have a plan and his plan is quite different.  mine is longer and based around build and recovery every four weeks and three sessions per week for swim, bike and run.  the sessions are also time based.   his is all about volume and distance.  only two sessions per week for swim, bike and run but no build recovery - only a gradual  taper at the end.  i go from 2 x 10k runs per week to 2 x 15k runs and then 2 x 20k runs over twelve weeks.  this worries me.  the running always worries me.  my other concern is how to fit the second 90k bike ride in during the week ?  my dilemma is not helped by the fact that this guy has been competing for 20 years.  he must know right ?  i dont start the program until 24 january as my base is already pretty good so time to think.  my first step is going to be to check out my bike fit and i am doing this on wednesday. 

this week i am back to basic training in preparation for the first sprint triseries race at rockingham on sunday.  i really want to see how hard i can push it.  i know my arch nemesis will be racing.  i am thinking i need to run to the puke zone.  hopefully not right on the finish line.

Monday, December 6, 2010

the banana table at ironman western australia

what a great year for aussie ironman.  first we claim the double header at kona and today the two winners at ironman western australia - courtney ogden and kate bevilaqua - are both from western australia.  home grown winners. 

i drove down to my folks place late saturday afternoon.  they live in bunbury which is 30 minutes from busselton.   last year i was in transition so this year i decided to be part of a bike course aid station and  i was assigned to the barnard park aid station - about 500 metres out from transition.  another bonus was that this station would not open until the riders came back in from their first lap so we had time to watch the swim start.  last year it was really hot - around 35 degrees.  while cooler this time it was a little humid and the sticky aussie flies were around.  it rained for a short while and we heard the wind was at cross purposes out on the course. 

this year they changed the course around.  transition moved further into town and with it the finish line.  this proved a popular choice.  instead of swimming out to the end of the jetty and turning right this year they started on the other side and turned left at the end.  i love watching the start of the swim.  i also think this swim course would have to be one of the best and most challenging in the world.  you have to swim 2km directly out to sea and while it may be calm at the start further out you get the swell and it gets very, very deep.  in february you can do the busselton jetty swim as a stand alone event. 

the swim - dive in, swim straight out to end of jetty, turn left and swim back to shore.
 what is so hard about that !

your best friends

the pros start

prior to the swim start all the competitors cheered and put their hands together for the volunteers.  this was wonderful and continued on for the whole day.  without the competitors my day would have sucked.  sadly i was at an aid station that is run every year by the same people.  two of which turned out to be my cousin and her husband however this made no difference.  not only myself but any other newbie were certainly not made to feel very welcome.  there were a couple of very bossy people who were at cross purposes and we got told off for the most minor things.  it was very disappointing.  i finally lost it with one and told her to get a fucking grip on it.  we were not there to ruin a competitors day. 

i was working with two other newbies at the banana table.  we had to cut them up, give them a slit and then hand them over as the rider passed.  at the end of the day i was dirty, sunburnt and my shoulder ached from having my arm in the air holding a banana.  you had to run with the rider and some were moving fast.  i liked the ones that slowed down.  however my highlight was my super fast handover to patrick vernay and then kate bevilaqua.  they do not slow down at all but at least they know exactly what they want.  we didnt lose too many bananas and we did not assist in taking a rider out.  the table up from us was cola bidons.  bossy boots had young girls working it and one gave a very awkward and lazy handover to a competitor who was moving fast.  this caused him to lose direction, he veared off, lost control and directly hit the aid station table, flew head first over the top of it and a girl who was sitting there.  i was certain his bike and race was over.  it was a terrible feeling.  he got up and retrieved his felt bike.  the wheel was okay.  it must have gone under the table and the impact was taken by the stem.  he hobbled over to the shade, changed his tube, patched his knee and was back on the road within half an hour.  i dont know if he eventually made it but i hope so.  they took the girl off drinks.  the other weird thing was the set up of shade shelters out in the middle of nowhere that were never used. 

wasted shade

the banana table

cola table that was hit by a competitor

my day had started at 4am so by 1pm i was knackered.  it had really slowed down so i headed off.  i was glad to get away and  i will not be volunteering  there again.  body marking the men will be more suitable.  i walked over to transtition and took some more photos and walked back along the run course.  one runner thanked me for my efforts and that made my day.  the competitors were truly wonderful and some of them extremely funny.  one guy asked for a hamburger every time he came past the banana table.  another decided he would only speak with a jamacian accent.  forgot to mention we also had the naughty corner (penalty box) across from us and it was very busy all day.  one girl rode past crying her eyes out.  i dont know why.  anyway i loved being a part of it and took some great tips away for what to do and what not to do on the bike !  btw - kate bevilaqua's finish is a classic brave and desperate crawl.  guts and determination.  she did make it back later in the night to welcome in the final finishers too !.

team bikes in front

miroslav vrastil - pro


Sunday, November 28, 2010

a week in the life

it is monday and i am back to work polishing a turd.  before strange images flash through your mind i am not talking about an actual turd.  in my loser job where i spend more time trying to look busy than actually being busy (i know some people would like this type of job however i am bored shitless (more excreta references)) the enthusiastic consultants like to tick off boxes however  they are not too concerned about quality.  the data is a turd and i am being forced to polish the turd.   they finish in three weeks and then who knows what will happen.  i have ten days off over christmas to think about it and i can HARDLY wait.  i have a second interview today for my third job this year.  hope it is third time lucky. 

i started making some big changes this weekend.  i cleared out alot of things at home and i was ruthless.  less clutter less work is my theory.  i want to get the house and garden in order so over summer and leading up to Busselton 70.3 i am not sidetracked by domestic crap.  i will cover off the big issues over the christmas break.  ironing is what really shits me.  it fucking multiplies while i am not looking.  maybe one advantage of always wearing lycra.  i noticed i could open a t-shirt store.

i have made a momentous decision.  during the week i am moving to swimming in a big persons pool.  this is hard for me as i am very attached to my pool.  i have watched that black line over 30,000 laps.  i will still swim saturday mornings but the week night swims were just too crowded.  the squads have grown and they were pushing me to the outside lanes and it was like swimming in a washing machine.  but i also think that my swimming is either going nowhere or backwards.  i am not pushing myself and i need to get out of the 25m pool.  i will not have my own lane but at least for the next month i can stop by a great 50m outdoor (but heated) pool on the way home from work and get in a good workout.   i may even think about joining my tri club for a tuesday night session.  i need to take everything outside of my comfort zone and if i plan on swimming 2.5k open water in january then i need to get serious. 

my legs are tired.  really tired.  i tried to include the 106k bike ride as a normal training ride and this did not work.  not with a 12k run a few days before and one day recovery.  i push it too far too quick but worse i never have recovery weeks.  only forced recovery weeks when i realise i am too fucking tired.  after the bike ride i had monday as a rest day.  tuesday turned out to be a rest day as well since i had a job interview.  wednesday i wanted a long run but that turned into a tired 5.30 pace 5k run.  thursday i went to the big pool and swam 2.8k.  really, really  bad leg cramps.  no matter how many shotz i drink or pretzels i eat.  this is a worry. friday i left work early and did a brick workout.  22k bike at 28 avg pace in windy conditions then a 3k run - again at 5.30 pace.  saturday i swam 3k in the morning hoping for interval runs in the afternoon.   it was hot.  the mind was willing the body not so much.  i thought i would switch to an easy 7.5k run but it turned into a walk/run 3.5k suffer fest.  my calf hurt and even my knee played up.  so following my golden rule when something hurts i made it back home and put my feet up.  then managed to give myself ice pack burn to the calf.  solid effort.  so i am comforted by the fact that at least i will still ride my two loops for a 90k ride sunday.  i am on the bike by 6am and into a wind that threatened to blow me off the road.  i made one 45k loop and went home.  my legs were fucked. 

so this week i am taking it one day at time.  i have my first meeting for my 70.3 training plan (maybe this will sort out my highs and lows).   i need to be down in bunbury saturday for an early start as a volunteer at Ironman Western Australia on the sunday.  so it is probably a good week to take it easy and then amp it back up in time for rockingham. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

the great (bloody) bike ride

lemon myrtle is what i will remember from this ride.  it was all you could smell.  i love this event - it was fun, it hurt a bit and while not a race you do compete against yourself and i improved on last year.  it is a brilliant ride around the river with great views, decent hills, a wonderful atmosphere and closed or controlled traffic.    last year i only had my new bike for a few months prior so the 53k was a challenge.  i remember seeing the teams and groups of the 106k riders flash by after their first lap as we were waiting to start.  i was a bit nervous (as usual) and i think there were probably about a dozen girls out of the approx 540 signed up for two laps.  everyone was really friendly and i started in a group at the back of the pack - 25-30k range.  i thought about getting with a group but i spend all my time riding alone that i worry about not knowing the 'rules'.  coming over the freeway the first time i did work with a bunch of lone riders that seem to come together to minimise the wind but other than that i was on my own. 

the first lap was excellent.  it was easy to ride with everyone being more experienced. you didnt have to worry about people doing risky stupid stuff.  when you came around for the second lap - unless you had beaten the start of the 53k folks - you then had to manage alot more riders who were slower and riding in loose packs all over the road. 

everyone talks about the mosman park hill.  i had no fear last year as i had no clue what they were talking about.  when i first came to it and saw the carnage of people hopping off their bikes i wasnt quick enough and had to climb it as i had no idea how to unclip going up hill.  still dont.  my overall goal was to climb it both times and to then finish the ride.  it is not that big.  really.  the first ride up i changed gears, stayed on my seat as long as i could and only when i had to stood up and rode.  sure the heart rate went up and i needed more air but it is quite doable.  i was surprised when the guy riding next to me on the first lap stopped as soon as he came to it, unclipped and pushed his bike up it.  on the second lap my legs felt okay, i had eaten and i stuck with the same approach.  there were people everywhere pushing their bikes up.  one guy said to me - as i am climbing - that there is no shame in walking.  i am sorry but that is bullshit.  to not even give it a try.  to just give up.  it was not impossible.  i wanted to call him a girl but the girl was doing okay.

last year one lap took me 1.53.28.  this year my first lap was 1.45.51 and my second lap 1.51.03.  i was really happy that my second lap was still faster than last year.  you can check out the details at garmin.  and according to garmin not quite the advertised 106k.  my moving time varies to allow for the one minute stop to refill the drink bottle.  the volunteers were amazing.  this year the results do not have any detail other than your lap splits and overall finish.  i was 434 out of 540.  so i beat a few guys home.  but then again it isnt a race but just a great bloody bike ride.

Monday, November 22, 2010

i have done it !

it is official.  i am registered/entered for the busselton half-ironman - may 7 2011.  i am extremely excited.  this is a massive step for me and the reality of the committment and task ahead probably has not yet sunk in.  this will change once the real training begins !  i cant think about anything else.   whoo hoo. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

i wonder

i wonder what it would be like to score the dream job.  to get the role that everyone wants.  i worked for  a company for five years and thought it was important.  it is complicated but i know my self belief is out there somewhere.

i wonder what it would be like to compete in triathlon and be 20 years younger.    i also wonder what it would be like if i had never smoked.  you cant go back and i think that things come to you in life when you need them but still.  i have to wonder. 

i wonder what it is like to act your age.  how are 46 year olds meant to act ?  i keep thinking i should be more mature.  some people my age start to think about retirement.  fuck that.  i have too much to do.  is that a mature approach ? 

i wonder what it would be like if my family called to ask me what i was planning for my birthday or what i was doing for christmas.  if i wasnt single would this even occur to me.

i wonder what it would be like if i met mr right.  i know what it is like to meet mr wrong.  i have met him a few times over.  and he is not a nice person.

i wonder what it would be like if someone had your back.  no matter whether you are perfect or full of imperfections.  they are always on your side.  what would that be like.

i wonder what it would be like to not have to worry about  money.  we all wonder about that.

i wonder what i will do with all my personal stuff after i am dead.  do i just burn all my photos, sell off my possessions and have a big pre-wake party.  will anyone be alive to attend.

i wonder what it would be like to win.  not just a race or money but to win something special.  to have something really good happen.  to come out in front.

what bought this on ?  i dont know - i have just been wondering.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Power Station Super Sprint Race Report

Abandoned Power Station

my first triathlon for the year and fourth time i have completed this course.  the super sprint is a 1000m swim, 30k bike and 6k run (however my good friend garmin clearly shows the run as 6.42k).  my last run was intervals on monday, swims on tuesday and thursday  and no bike.  so a much lighter five days training, no alcohol and a couple of good nights rest.  i am not a fan of events on saturday as you are usually pretty busy on friday and dont get to rest up.  however i managed to leave work early to pick up my car - it had been at the smash repairers for two weeks and so nice to have her back.  anyway i was getting seriously nervous.  this happens most events.  not knowing how things will pan out and if things will go well or not.  the drive is when i am at my worst.  as soon as i arrive i am fine.  as soon as i get in the water to warm up i am even better.  it makes it hard for me to eat breakfast.

i arrived early and got the prime spot at the end of the racks.  at these events they are never numbered so first in best spot.  it was cool and would be a wetsuit swim.  the wind was okay.  caught up with a few girls that i raced with last year and had not seen since april.  they were all doing the basic sprint (400, 20, 4).  one girl i knew, elizabeth, was with me.  there were a 104 in the super sprint of which only 16 were female.

the swim.  the water was cool but after awhile you adjusted - especially if you had a wetsuit.  i had tried it on the night before and had broken into a sweat.  i dont know why people worrying about getting it off - that is the easy part.   the water was nice and clear.  it was a straight swim north, turn around a buoy, swim back and around another buoy to shore.  it seemed to take for fucking ever.  i have a problem with accepting the fact that i have to keep swimming.  no walls, no turn arounds.   i had a few people get in my way and that slowed me down but then again broke up the constant swimming thing.  i did manage to swallow water and that gave me a thirst.  i got out of the water with a few pretty fit looking guys so i guess i didnt suck that bad.  i was dissappointed but this is what happens when you do not train in the same environment that you compete in.  Time (includes T1) 20.53.  8/16

Transition is further south. This shows the excellent ocean swim conditions and part of the bike and run course.  Ignore the red circle.  I forgot my camera.

the bike went well.  way too many people on a small course.  five things i remember.  i had a strange ache in my right leg just above and to the side of the knee.  i drank all my water that had a gel mixed in.  i felt hunger pangs.  for the whole 30k i exchanged spots with a guy from the mandurah tri club (and it turned out we were parked next to each other).  i finished in front.  when i get back to transition some little novice numb-nut had put their nasty $50 mountain bike in between  my spot and elizabeths.  not actually on the rack as it was too small but on its stand.  i wanted to pick it up and throw it.  so this took time away from me, caused my bike to fall off the rack as i decided to move the nasty mtb completely out of both our spots.  i would not be happy if my bike was scratched (seems to be okay).  but i should not complain.  at least my bike wasnt stolen but more on that later.  Time (includes T2) 1.03.24.  8/16

i didnt wear my garmin for the swim or the bike but as mentioned i had it for the run (i started it from where my bike was in transition - not the timing mat).  so the official course is 6k which, according to the results,  i did in 34.32 or 5.45 pace.  based on the distance being 6.42k then my pace was actually 5.22.  garmin says it was 5.29.  i felt good on the run.  the guy having a spew at the beginning was a little distracting.  i managed to eat a gel and i did lose some moving time (as per garmin) when i walked through  the aid stations - i was thirsty.  this and the drama in T2 made a difference at the end.  11/16.  still losing spots so more work to be done but this was a good run and an improvement on last year.  the pain in my leg on the bike didnt impact my run.

my total time was 1.58.49.  woot !  under two hours.  9/16 females.  and my plan to outlast my age group is coming together.  i came second - out of four.  i was beaten for first by 1.20.  so i have another medal.  again it has to kept in perspective.  the real competitors were on the original start list but didnt show.  training for ironman i guess.

i went home happy but the guy who had his cervelo and bag stolen did not. when we were in the water trying to figure out the course i remember talking to a guy about how these events have relaxed guidelines.  it is nice but it can also be frustrating - who knows if we really swam 1000m and other runs have been short but i like being able to choose my spot and i can keep all my gear in transition.   the triseries events are different and are strict on closing and opening transition and no bags or outsiders allowed.  when i came back in from the run i went over to check my bike and two guys were dashing around saying one of their bikes was gone.  at first they thought someone had taken it by mistake.  i know my bike well and unless it was the exact same bike i would know if i took another bike in error.   the email that went out states that someone dressed as a competitor went into transition and calmly walked out with the bike and bag.  a planned attack.  the organiser seems to think that if we are marked it will not happen.  my number always comes off under a wetsuit and it is easy enough to complete your disguise by adding a number.    i think the rules will be different at the next event.

then there is elizabeth.  i first met her at my second triathlon.  we have competed at quite a few events together and she was fast.  then she got slower and now she is terribly slow.  i had not seen her since may and she has put on more weight.  and still wearing the same tri suit which was scary.  she came in last - overall, for the whole event.  we were waiting for her so the presentations could commence.  i would not be competing if i was her and if i was i would have quit.  she stuck with it and i have to give her kudos for that.  i didnt see her on the bike and thought she had quit after the swim.  then i saw her on the bike but it was ages before i saw her on the run.  i hope she finds her way back to the person i first met.

this was fun and i think a pretty good start to the season. 


Monday, November 8, 2010

chunky monkey

you may have noticed that i have changed the template for my little blog.  i also uploaded pics from past races and included them in the race results page.  this was a brave move for me.  if you have a look you will notice that at the start i am very chunky.  i am currently almost 8kg lighter than when i started this journey.

weight has only been an issue for me twice in my life.  when i first left home and went travelling my life style changed.  i wasnt playing sport. instead i was having a good party time.  my weight got up to 63.5k or 10 stone.  i know that this is not the end of the world but for someone who had been skinny all their life this was bad.  i had fat arms, a gut and my face was chunky too.  i hated it.  people said they didnt notice so it was strange to be in your own private hell and it not be obvious.  i am 175cm tall or 5'11.  people were not going to feel for me when i was actually in the correct weight range for my height.  i dont have a big frame and i will always be more comfortable being thin.  my normal weight was around 55 kilos. 

so what did i do.  well i moved towns and changed what i was doing.  i rode a bike everywhere, i didnt have a desk job and i turned vegetarian.  i was into my surfie chickie babe phase.  i was living in a surfing town and fat chicks were not cool.  i was 19.  by the time i left kalbarri i was 52 kilos.  this was not good and i will admit i was borderline anorexic.  i was swimming everyday and the food menu went like this - breakfast was low fat yoghurt and half cup muesli, lunch was two ryvitas with skim milk cottage cheese and tomatoes and dinner was watermelon.  watermelon only has 14 calories per 100g and is very filling. 

i was lucky this only lasted a few months.  i went out, got pissed and was seen eating a late night vegie kebab and things went back to normal.  i stayed around 55-56 kilos for years until i decided to quit smoking - the first time.  and as it happens i put on a few kilos.  then i got a job that was just full of bad habits.  i was working in automotive and most office meetings were outside - smoking.  so not only had i gained weight but i was also back with the evil habit.  six years later and here we are.  i stop smoking and start swimming.  i was 62 kilos. 

swimming made me very hungry.  it makes me eat more than any other activity.  i would come home after a saturday 3k swim and eat six crumpets with honey drizzled all over.  it was fucking awesome.  then i signed up for the triathlon training course.  i bought new scales and discovered i was 65 kilos.  action was needed.  i knew by then that running and biking would be easier if i was lighter.  i stopped eating like a trooper, cut out all the fat and  reduced my carbs.  i gave up pasta.  i threw out the margarine.  i went back to eating cottage cheese.  i ate a lot of fruit salad.  i still eat this way most of the time.

it took a few months but i got lighter.  i feel better and it does make a difference when you run.  i am no longer a chunky monkey.  it hasnt been without a price.  i have had to buy new tri shorts, new bike shorts and new running skins.  baggy lycra is not a good look.  i now hover around 57-58 but i would like to be around 56-57.  my next goal is to get a bit more muscle, flexibility and strength while staying at the same weight. 

when it comes down to it you have do what is right for you.  not anyone else.  i have always been skinny, slim, thin - whatever and i like it that way.  noone may notice the change but when you do it for you then that doesnt matter.     

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

grab the budgie smugglers - summer is here !

i friggin love summer.  the cold is so de-motivating.  i think i have mentioned my dislike for winter before and it will probably not be the last time.  today it is going to be a glorious 36 !!  i wanted to find a hot pic of some dude who should be wearing budgie smugglers but i am at work and cannot be seen to be searching for speedo porn. 

my training has been going okay. i am tired and i have been experiencing soreness with my calves running past 7k.  otherwise i did have a positive on sunday.  last week and up until today it went something like this -

monday - rest
tuesday - 2.4k swim
wednesday - rest (this was bad)
thursday - 7k run
friday - 30k bike
saturday - 3.4k endurance swim, 30k bike
sunday - 60k hilly bike ride, 4.6k brick run
monday - 5k tempo run
tuesday - 2.2k recovery/drill swim
wednesday - MASSAGE

the positive was the run after the hilly bike.  i went back to one of my favourite rides around point walter.  there are three average hills and it is a 20k loop.  it can be windy and it was.  my shoulders have been great on the bike because i have been concentrating on relaxing them.  i had noticed that i tense them up and this is bad.  because of the wind i spent most of the time aero or hunched over the bars and after 60k things started to hurt.  i changed into the running gear and headed off.  the first part is downhill which is great at the start but tough at the end.  it was also straight into the wind.  my legs were tired but felt okay.  i ran the 4.6k at 5.20 pace.  this just made me feel warm and fuzzy all over.  with less run training i was getting concerned.  it appears my speed is okay but what about my legs over longer distances ?  i have ordered some compressport calf socks and will see how they go.  i am going to look like a real knob.  i did order the sexy black tattoo ones.

i signed up again to be a volunteer at ironman western australia.  it is the same course as my busso 70.3 event (of which the registration date is out and i am very excited but also EXTREMELY fucking nervous that i get signed up).  last year i was in swim transition as a volunteer and swore that next time i would do the male body marking :).  but i have decided instead that an aid station will be fun and it is in the main area and not out on the course so i will still feel part of the action. 

that's all folks !

Sunday, October 31, 2010

a dead snake, farewell to the mtb, cairns 2014 and butt biting sharks.

okay so it is wildlife season here.  aside from the dive bombing magpies other creatures are about.  i hate snakes.  really hate them.  i know that they are not trying to hunt me down and they are just trying to defend themselves but i cannot go past thinking that the only good snake is a dead one.  and i rode over one on friday.  lucky i was clipped into my bike because otherwise i would not have remained on it.  it would have been interesting to see what my heart rate peaked at in that moment.  it had been run over, it was brown and about 1.5 metres long.  and being dead it was a good snake.

i sold my mountain bike.  i didnt think it would sell straight away.  ebay is a wonderful thing.  i got a good price and it has gone to a good home.  the cash is the start of the trek mtb fund. 

i have never thought that completing a full ironman distance event would be on the cards for me.  but lately when i think about how far i have come this line of thought is changing.  not one to rush things and i seriously need to do my first 70.3 before getting carried away thinking about anything else BUT i got an email  this week about a new event and i think this would be an excellent mid-life i am turning 50 crisis activity.  so Cairns here i come 2014.

there is a reason why i do not enter the first open water swim of the year.  it is still too early in the migration of ocean going critters, it can be bloody cold and a few years ago a diver was taken in the area of the event.  today the swim was cancelled and this link explains why.  i have my first triathlon in two weeks.  a 1000m swim, 30k bike and 6k run.  it will be the fastest 1000m i have ever swam.  i will be on the inside with hopefully the slower more well built swimmers on the outside.  i may paint my wetsuit bright orange.  and i want the dude who pulled the sharks tail swimming with me.  this was one very lucky girl.

have a great week !

Sunday, October 24, 2010

jedi report 24/10/10

back to the jedi report and the week in review.

i have noticed that when i have a super busy training week then the following week i crash and burn.  the previous week i broke the 10 hour barrier.  on the weekend alone i managed to swim (3.8k), bike (30k) and run intervals (5.5k) on saturday and sunday i did my 45k loop TWICE.  so i kept this in mind all last week and i was tired.  i rested monday, swam 2.5k tuesday, ran 9.5k wednesday, swam 2.5k thursday, cycle 30k friday, ran a fast 5.5k saturday (no swim which is  EXTREMELY rare) and a repeat of the 45k cycle loop for a 90k bike ride yesterday.  so while i was short a few hours i did maintain a reasonable level.  now to increase it back up again this week.  i was hungry all week.

not much else has been happening in jenez world.  work still sucks and i am looking, looking, looking.  i am feeling much better about myself since i cut off all contact with the dysfunctional and nasty people.  they were all truly horrid and i am still dumbfounded as to how badly they all treat and think of one another.  i realised the other day that with this instability i have been unable to even think about taking time off.  i cant plan a holiday.  this  MUST change.

i have been having a fire sale at ebay.  it is amazing what people will buy.  i cleaned up my mountain bike and will put it up for sale.  i have decided that i will buy a better mtb going into next winter.  i am not going to go crazy but just something decent that i can rely on.  so all my ebay earnings are being accumulated into the triathlon and equipment fund. 

the only other tidbit of excitement is that my triathlon club (that i am too insecure as a paranoid newbie to attend) has an experienced person who will be running a novice 70.3 program starting in early january.  you train alone but receive assistance with the training program, nutrition and overall progress, advice and tips etc.  this will be perfect for me.  hopefully it was also mean i may have someone cheering for me on the day.  sounds like i need to grab the violin and play me a pity tune.  i sent off an email and i am in.  apparently i have a good base so kudos to me.  i didnt mention that my times suck.

a big hello to all my followers in the ukraine - dobriy den !!

have a great week !

Monday, October 18, 2010

50 facts about me

1. I have never drunk coffee. I don’t like anything that is coffee flavoured.
2. I was born in Perth – Scotland. My parents were on a very long working holiday.

3. I love diet coke.

4. The last time I got really drunk was at the John Mellencamp concert November 2008. He only played about five hits and the rest was from his very depressing album life, love, death and freedom. What else was there to do ?

5. It took me 10 years to get my commerce degree part-time. This included going back and getting my TEE (final year high school).

6. I love to travel. My scorecard is USA (3), England (1), Ireland (1), Scotland (2), China (1), Hong Kong (1), Singapore (2), Thailand (3), Malaysia (1), Indonesia (4), New Zealand (1), Japan (1).

7. I love golden retrievers. Jesse Dog was my first and her ashes are at our favourite beach. I still miss her.

8. I like chocolate but I don’t love it.

9. I am a West Coast Eagles supporter.

10. I don’t wear matching underwear.

11. I am a lazy cook.

12. True Blood is the brilliant. Porn with a plot. Before that it was Lost and Six Feet Under.

13. I played hockey most of my life. When I was younger people thought I had potential. I didn’t.

14. Best live band is/was Powderfinger.

15. I don’t eat mushrooms.

16. While I do use good skin care products I do not wear make-up. I get my eyelashes tinted and only ever use lip gloss.

17. I have never broken a bone.  Unless you count a fractured hand (hockey).

18. Meat has to be well-done. Cremated. It cannot be still mooing at me.

19. Icecream is divine.

20. I love the colour blue.

21. I have only ever owned four cars.

22. I have a tattoo (doesn’t everyone ?).

23. I can only drink milk if it is flavoured.

24. While I smoked didn’t inhale pot in my surfie chickie babe hippie days I have never touched anything else. Okay so I did mushrooms once in Thailand but that is organic (they were totally disgusting to eat - even in an omelet smothered in tomato sauce).

25. I own over 400 c.d.’s.

26. Favourite item of clothing is my 501 levi jeans.

27. I do not like long fingernails.

28. I remember where I was when John Lennon died.

29. I am very loyal.

30. I have never had anyone really close to me die.

31. Buying my house was the best decision I have ever made.

32. I wish I could sing.

33. I will never go ski-diving.

34. I have tan lines from riding the bike and this looks strange when I am in my speedos.

35. I love being Australian.

36. My middle name is Anne so my initials are JAP.

37. I mow my own lawns.

38. The hottest men are swimmers. 

39. I do not have an I-Phone.

40. I do not want to be cremated in case they find a cure for death.

41. I am a very light sleeper and a cricket farting will wake me up.

42. I was the captain of the school team Red in Primary school and we won the athletics carnival that year.

43. Facebook is lame.

44. I am a dysfunctional middle child.

45. There is a person in my office who whistles and it really annoys me.

46. I love Lush.

47. I cut my finger and had stitches before a major hockey carnival and my mum made me wear a condom on it to keep it dry.

48. When Grease (The Movie) came out I was not confident enough to wear Olivia’s black pants. Now I not only wear them in public but I run in them as well.

49. I want to know if we all go to heaven how old are we when we get there ?

50. I would love to own a book store that also has a wine bar.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

aussie aussie aussie oi oi oi !

We Aussies are slightly sports mad. We love to win. We always think we are the underdog. We have such a big country but so few people in comparison to other countries. So per head of population we are the underdog and that makes winning even more special. I haven’t looked at the stats but I think we have fewer people involved and competing in the sport of triathlon than many other countries. But look at what we have accomplished. Look at Kona this year. What a fantastic result – go Chris and Miranda (and Crowie you are still hot). And we dominate the ITU Olympic Series – especially the women. I look at the level I compete against in Perth and these girls have all worn the green and gold at world championships events (and won !). Something in the water perhaps ?

The Commonwealth Games just finished in Delhi. We won a trazillion gold medals, a zillion silver and a million bronze. You know something is not right when we are dominating in the track and field. I don’t want to take anything away from our athletes who are world beaters and I still like the fact that these games give all athletes a go. But it is slightly embarrassing when even you are sick of your own countries anthem. We beat India in the men’s hockey final 8-0. There is no fun (or glory) in that. My favourite moment was watching the S9 swimmers compete (they are missing limbs or classified at different degrees of disabilities). They swim much faster than me. Amazing.

In posting my prior race results (still a work in progress) I noticed a few things. I am actually slow in transition. It isn’t because I piss fart around (love that term). I keep things simple with no fancy gear. I am slow because as soon as I cross over that mat I slow down as though transition is time for a little rest. This must stop. I can gain at least two minutes here. I also noticed that in comparison to the other girls my best leg is the bike. I always move up the field on the bike. So while I love swimming in reality I have to focus on the bike. It will be worth it. I have to be able to back it up on the run as well. I think about when I first started this adventure which was not quite two years ago and I have learnt so much. I was so green. Still a way to go but I am now at the stage where I can start making my training count. I need to make sure there are clear build and rest weeks and that the training is focused and has a goal. My other learning curve is nutrition. I headed off for a 90k bike ride yesterday after having a banana for breakfast. Even though there is a lot of bugs flying around and I have eaten my fair share this is not enough. I did take two energy bars and felt so much better once these were scoffed.

Friday I managed to get a quick 60 minute bike ride in after work. As I was heading back it was near dusk and I was passing the golf course when a kangaroo came bounding along and was racing alongside me. I think he was out for a long run at an easy pace of about 26-28 km per hour. It was wonderful.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Race Schedule for 2010/2011

i have posted my race schedule for this season.  the advantage i have in planning this years races is that i did pretty much all of them last year.  the biggest disappointment is that - in some cases -  two events are on the same day.  and quite a few open water swims are on at the same time as triathlon events.   then i was really looking forward to doing the three olympic distance events and 'going long'.  but the bunbury event is on the same day as the great bike ride and the point walter event is just not on the calendar at all.  that only leaves the city of perth event and i hate swimming in that part of the swan river.  but i will just have to suck it up (just not literally).  bummer about the bunbury one as that is where the folks live and i may have attracted a cheer squad.  i wont bother with the left bank triathlon as the bike course is too compact and far too many novice and fun competitors out there at the same time.  the swim was poorly managed as well.  i will be doing the hillarys course three times but it is an okay course and if windy can be quite tough.  i loved the cottesloe event and this will be a sure thing again.  there are a few more open water swims that i will probably do but that will be on a 'how do i feel' basis.  then there is the biggie.  busselton 70.3.  what this year is all about.             

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Champion Lakes Duathlon Race (and Medal) Report

this was not a race i planned on doing.  as we all know running is not my strong leg.  rather than having the slight advantage with swimming - and this is only slight but gets me on the bike sooner and then it is catch me if you can on the run.  and as my running improves this is going to get harder for the slow swimmers but good runners.  i am only talking m.o.p.  but i digress.  so starting with a run i am behind from the get go.  this was a 5k run, 21k bike and 2.5k run.  and at my least favourite course which is actually turning out to be my luckiest course.  go figure.

so this week i didnt back off the training.  had a brick session on tuesday and this proved to be a good idea.  swam 3.2k saturday and rode a quick 30k.  early to bed.  saturday the weather was glorious but the forecast was for wet and windy sunday and this was spot on.  it pissed down the whole way there.  i even missed the turn-off and had to double back.  when this  happened i seriously  thought about going home and back to bed.  this was only going to be a good training session anyway.  but then again i thought a race in  bad weather would be even better training.

but the rain stopped and it stayed away until the event finished up.  this was the first time i would be using my garmin in multisport mode and it was a bit distracting because i kept pressing the start/stop instead of the lap button. and it didnt tell me pace on the run and i didnt like that.  training races are great for sorting stuff out.  last year i did the pinkie triathlon but now i am a super ubber athlete this event is more me.  and now i have a third place medal finish to defend.  you read right.  i placed in my age group.  also it was the state duathlon championships so i actually got two medals.  i know. it is un-fucking believable so let me explain how this happened.   

i started off at what i thought was an easy pace.  i didnt want to turn my legs to crap straight up.  but there were alot of fast folks out there.  the run is out and back and the turn around just changes depending on the distance.  the course is flat, boring and windy.  after the rain it was also humid.  time 26.22 pace 5.16.  my quickest 5k in a race EVER... it seems i am very quick in transition.  well compared to a girl in my age group.  she was next to me and i got ahead of her twice in transition - then stayed in front in the last run.  i have no idea what she was doing.  T1 1.29.

the bike was hard work into the wind.  not much else to tell except on the third lap i had this little wippet drafting off me for the whole section into the wind.  i gave him a little lecture on the rules of triathlon.  time 45.12. 28k avg.  T2 1.21.  

my legs felt okay off the bike.  compared to the brick in the middle of the week i was impressed.  not much to tell other than i was glad when it was over.  not nice running into the wind.  i thought it would be slow - felt like 6 min pace.  but happy to see 5.36 pace for 13.45 time.  total time 1.28.13.  okay so in all reality the time is not anything other than middle of the pack.  but who cares - i won medals.   

so maybe a few people did decide to stay in bed.  but isnt it all about who turns  up and performs on the day !  in my age group i was 3rd out of 7.  actually i was 3rd out of 5.  yep two stayed in bed.  but the two who beat me actually came 4th and 6th OVERALL.  they were 20 minutes quicker than me - 12 minutes came from the runs.  i was 49 from 70 overall female.  okay so not quite middle of the pack.  but remember i have two medals and my plan to outlast everyone is coming together.  i just have to get past the 45-49 group as it is the MOST competitive.  i am expecting alot to drop out once they hit 50.  

the event was the WA State Duathlon Championship and is also a round of Triathlon Australia’s National Duathlon Series. the event is a qualifying race for the Australian Team for the 2011 World Duathlon Championships.  this is hysterical.  with my time i will not be waiting by the phone. hence the two medals.  one for general age group and if you are a member of Triathlon W.A. and placed you won the state medal as well.      

i have not had fun swimming at this course.  stinky brown water.  but i am lucky.  last time i won the polar heart monitor in the spot prize.  this event i win medals and another spot prize !!!  wtf !!!  it was only a $30 voucher but who cares.  free stuff is cool.  great training session and being on the podium  (under any circumstances) is very motivating.  

now i am going to see if i can my beat my taco eating record.  

Exhibit A and B Evidence


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

back on the road

training has been pretty good this week.  it did help being a public holiday on monday.  thursday was a short swim due to the super swim they had on for the squads and i forgot about.  i had to swim in lane 6 and i will not even bother next time.  wednesday was meant to be a long run but i was tired.  saturday was a good day.  i was hoping for an interval run session but settled for a pretty good 5k run.  my 60 minute time trial was slightly more than an hour but i am working on that.  for my long ride on sunday i wanted to ride close to home but a different route.  i am so sick of my golf course loops - even with my friendly roos.  so i did the newly invented whiteman park loop.  i dont like gnangara road so i will only ride it very early in the morning.  too many trucks and tradies.  beechboro road was great to ride down and at an even steady pace, a very smooth and wide shoulder.  marshall road wasnt so great.  really rough.  then lord street was very narrow for a bit before getting a wider shoulder and the smoothest bitumen ever.  this loop was around 27k.  i then decided to ride down towards west swan and do my old loop through the vines.  back to the start made it a total ride of  45k.  if i could do this twice i would be a happy girl.  my shoulders were starting to pinch so i stopped, snacked and stretched before doing the west swan portion of the vines loop again for a  total of 70k.  i was averaging around 28-29k per hour but i have dropt off the pace (as you will see !!!).  this is my new focus -  i want a 30k average over 90k.

spring is here and i just love it.   there are quite a few people getting out on their bikes and there seems to be some strange code of acknowledging that we are both on bikes.  i am trying to decide if i should just give a nod of the head or a little wave.  or keep the smile that probably looks more like a grimace or is an attempt at conveying the 'this is great but hurts a bit' look.  after this ride i watched the world championship race at geelong.  cadel put up a great fight but thor won.  i saw the finish of the womens event the day before.  i dont know about testing for tainted meat but they should test to see if the winner was a girl ! 

have a great day !

Thursday, September 30, 2010

the good things

i always look at the positive.  the glass is always half full.  i believe that all the curve balls are there to make you stronger and a better person.

this week i started my new role within the company that i work for.  i was transferred to head office and this is a good thing.  the drive has turned out to be okay although it will make training a bit more of a challenge.  i have learnt many things about the people i was working with and none of it is good.  i will always think that people are good and it is up to them to prove me wrong.  i cant live it any other way even if that doesnt always work well for me.  these people are BIGOTS.  it can head fuck you if you are not careful.

training has been up and down.  i try to clear the brain once i walk out that office door.  i have missed my road bike and went for a ride sunday and monday.  it was a long weekend and this was a very good thing.  but i struggled.  the first ride was only 40k before my shoulders muscles cramped.  then monday i headed out earlier and made it to 65k before the pain was too bad.  i need time on the roadie badly.  on sunday i got to catch up with my local friends but i did miss getting a pic of big boy.  i am going to make it my mission.  i have mentioned him before.  he is the one so big that you could make a handbag out of his boy bits rather than just a purse.

Check out the one behind the tree !

See the Momma with her Joey !
As close as I could get.
the racing calendar is now out and i have decided what events i will do.  last year i raced just about anything that was available.  some events are not happening this year and some clash so that has been disappointing.  i will post my final list soon.

i received my latest order from amazon and read a wonderful book - once a runner.  to quote - it captures the essence of what it means to devote your entire existence to a single minded (running) pursuit of excellence.  i have to order the follow up book - -again to carthage.  i am now onto bowerman and the men of oregon.  i use to read constantly.  quite often i would have two or three books on the go.  but for a year i have read nothing but tri/bike mags.  i have had the girl with dragon tattoo on my side table for months.  i cannot get into it at all.  i love reading.  maybe reading books about swim - bike - run will get me back.  books are a very good thing. i love amazon and the aussie dollar.

thursday i was going to the physio about 6.30 and driving down reid highway between altone and beechboro.  then i see this burnt orange coloured holden hsv ute driving toward me on the wrong side of the road.  there was a small hatch car in front of me that it would have hit first.  i slow down and hit the horn.  the guy swerves back onto his side of the road just before missing the little hatch and flys by me.  but the hatch had actually slowed pretty much to a halt and although i had hit the brakes i slammed straight into the back of them.  fuck.  it was loud and it was a shock.  i had not been expecting it.  i thought the whole front of my car was gone.  glass was everywhere.  but i knew we were lucky.  we hadnt hit the idiot in the hsv and my airbag had not gone off.  i reversed back and got out.  the little hatch had no hatch anymore.  all the glass was their back window.  i could not believe how good my car looked !!! the girl driving was really upset.  she had narrowly missed a head-on only to be hit from behind and they were not expecting it.  their car would be a write off.  mine will take 10 days to repair and it cost me $200 excess as the accident becomes my fault.  the reason why my car looks so good is that i hit the car in front with the strongest part of the car.  go mitsubishi.  i hope this is the last of the not so good things. 

the bonnet, front and side panels will be replaced.  the side ones are all squished up.
after the prior rear end  i have two smashed up number plates.  time to get personal.

back window of little hatch was all over the bonnet and this is some of what remained to clean up.
anyway i am alive and this is an extremely good thing.  it is just a car but a good car.  dont drive a small car. 

the AFL grand final was on last weekend.  and collingwood did not win.  this is also a good thing.  but then again st kilda didnt win either.  a friggin draw and we do it all over again this weekend.  i thought only the irish did a replay.  go saints.

and then there are these two.  my sanity check and best friends.  they keep me real.  a VERY goood thing.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Dwellingup MTB La Grande 40k 2010 Race Report

i survived.  the mtb survived.  and i have my finishers medal.  it was a HUGE amount of fun but not just slightly painful.  it was very painful.  but in that good way.  it is the hardest thing i have done to date. and i truly loved every moment.  am i converting to mtb racing ? no - but i will be back next year.

i read quite a few race reports and alot of people go into the what i ate and when i pooped detail.  lets just say i had an easy day friday but didnt take things too seriously.  had a great 1500m swim time trial in the morning workout.  chilled out and was up early saturday.  dwellingup is a 90 minute drive away.  i had organised all the gear for emergencies and the days requirements the night before. 

Dwellingup Oval
the 100k race was due to start 30minutes prior to the 40k.  they would do the 40k loop before coming back to the oval and past their special needs drop off before heading out on a final 60k loop.  they had three cut off times that they had to meet. 

Start of the 100k Classic

The Tail End of the 100k Competitors

all i knew was that i wanted to finish the course and without hurting myself.  they tell you to self seed for the start and therefore if you are a beginner do not start up front.  this becomes an issue when everyone hits the single track.  so i was up the back.  we did one lap of the oval before hitting the road.  then after about 1k we hit the tracks.  the course was designed and put together by four guys who are mtb lunatics.  they actually cleared some track and this was evident.  they were also called many names by competitors throughout out the day.  sadistic was the common thread.  the course was brilliant.  i have nothing to compare it to but it had everything.  if you were not climbing then you were going downhill and that was no easy thing.  some sections i cannot imagine anyone riding it on the bike.  mountain biking is a whole other skill level  and i was reminded throughout the day.  what got me to the finish was a decent level of fitness and maybe the years as a kid riding a bike. 

the first really tough part was big bertha.  a massive hill which apparently the elites would have ridden straight up.  for most it was a chance to meet people.

Going up.
Looking back down Big Bertha.
i took a camera along for the journey.  it was a cheapy i bought and it was fun taking the time out to try and record the event.  some folks had cameras attached to top of their helmets.  that would be great vision.

the first sections were mainly fire track and gravel.  gravel going up hill and gravel going downhill.  some tracks had these big rocks jutting out and it wasnt until the last moment that you would spot them.  if you hit a big one at speed you would probably take a trip over the handle bars.  i had my camelbak with about 1.5 litres of water and two shotz dissolved.  i had the usual repair and first aid kits.  i also had 750ml of water with a gel mixed in.  i then had another two gels and two energy bars.  i consumed all but one energy bar.  i should have eaten that as well. 

Murray River Crossing
last year this was flooded and they had to alter the course.  after this we headed into the more technical part of the course.  and naturally it began with another hill.

slow and steady

Back to pushing.

the next part of the course had a sign saying w.o.t.  this meant wide open throttle.  for the experienced mountain biker maybe.  for me it meant concentration and hard work.  while the hills were not like big bertha it was all single  track that was up and down with twists and turns.  you would be confronted by two trees only just far enough apart for the bike to fit but you would have to navigate this on a turning and bumpy trail.  i came off.  the bike just came out from under me and i landed on my side.  my one and only time but it took some skin off the knee and i think i banged the ankle and bruised a finger.  the funny part was my hair got caught in the zipper of my camelbak and some guy had to rescue me.  i saw images of me having to hack my hair off.  shortly after this i hit a tree smack dead in the middle.  i wasnt going too fast but it was funny.  i had a major attack of the giggles.  what else could you do.  so while you were glad the killer hills were gone this was so hard.  up and down, round and back.  i didnt clip in once.  too fucking dangerous and not worth the minor gains.  this was also the most beautiful part of the course.

Easy Part

another up and down.

Just a beautiful spot.
i didnt get any photos of the really technical parts.  it was just too hard and i had to concentrate.  after we got out of the w.o.t section we figured we would get a break.  there were no breaks.  it was straight back into more fire trails that were up and down more hills and then some technical single track thrown in.  i stopped at one point to eat and have a chat with fellow competitors.  we all agreed the course creators were sadistic and the event should have been called the 40k mtb push. we then had some downhill gravel which is still tough work as it had course changes at the bottom of the hill and you could not go open throttle or you would fly past the turn off or come to a nasty stop. 

straight up a muddy climb
i didnt see anyone ride this steep but short hill.  by now we figured there would be no more tough stuff and it would be an easy last 7-8k home.  fools.  we did have one section on the road and downhill with serious speed but that was the one and only bitumen adventure.  back on the track and i realised that it seemed familiar. it was part of the track that i had ridden on my scouting trip.  then a sign said killer kenny.  bastards.  another hill that was like big bertha but not straight.  it turned and turned and turned again.  at this point i was pushing the bike and talking to a fellow competitor.  a guy who was pushing a very expensive bike and there i was with my trusty cheapy.  who by the way was shaking with every bump and felt like the shocky suspension things had failed.  by now my legs were knackered.  my back hurt and i was very tired.  i did not know if i could face another climb.  there was some more technical stuff and then we popped out on the road.  i took off from the dude with the expensive bike.   the road was nice but it was (naturally) up hill and into a head wind.  being in the scrub all day you do not feel the wind.  i knew from garmin it was another 1.5k to go.  i could see a guy up ahead and just kept working my way.  i passed him and then i could hear the loud speakers from the oval.  i was going to make it.  i was starting to feel a little emotional.  it was a moment to cross that finish line.  i managed to go hand in my timer and collect my finishers medal - along with a couple of bananas and some lollies.  i was officially rooted. 

so the result.  total time 3.34.22.  this is quite quick for me as i never stopped the clock and took time out to eat.  Overall 251/328.  Gender 35/48. AG 12/17.  i did finish 30 minutes (or an hour as they started 30 minutes before us) before the winner of the 100k event came home.  he took an easy 4.08.48 to complete the 100k course.  i cannot get my head around this.  the fastest 40k was 1.42.33.  fucking unbelieveable. 
then i drove home and decided the sore body needed this -

Epsom salts and a lush bomb.
once having soaked and relaxed i also determined that the body needed this to recover.  i had burned 2000 calories so i felt a little peckish.  i have not eaten fettucine carbonara in over 12 months.  i only used light cream and light parmesan.  and it was still friggin awesome.  and yes kym - that is a turkish delight and i ate that in about three bites.  it is a glass of wine in the bath shot.  in bed and asleep by 8.30 pm. 

as i write this just about every muscle aches.  it feels like i pulled the muscle that runs along your spine.  my knee is okay, my ankle has a good shiner, my arms hurt and shoulder is stiff and the finger has a good black colour starting to appear.  i feel great.  i am so glad i did this.  it is the hardest thing to date.  in comparison triathlons are easy.  i will do it again.  it will cost me as my bike will not survive the pounding.  for anyone wanting to up their fitness and bike skills then mountain biking has it.  amazing sport and i am happy to have survived it so far.  and i cannot forget to include the course as brought to you by garmin -