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 -   

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

the pity party is over

sometimes life is just crap and even though i was starting to feel like a victim i refuse to let that happen.  basically they can all go and get fucked.  i am a good person and i will not let people feel better about themselves by making me feel like crapola.  end of fucking story.  that is unless i end up jobless and therefore homeless followed by having to sell my stock of lycra, goggles and bikes. 

so back to being glorious me.

i had a lame recovery swim tuesday. 
wednesday i ran an easy 5k.  it was good.
2.5k swim thursday.   it is hard to swim while crying.  told you it was a pity party.
rest day friday.
3.5k swim saturday am.  7k run saturday pm.
sunday - i really wanted to ride the roadie this week but the weather was not great and i ummed and agghhed and then rode the trainer while watching clash of the titans. men in skirts with big swords.  what more do you need to cheer up. 

the race details for the dwellingup 100 are out.  the 40k course appears doable.  i just want my finishers medal.  i am seriously hoping it is going to be alot of fun but slightly painful.  stealing a quote from another blog i read - the body is evil and must be punished.  love it.  my bruised knees are a dull yellow.  the other big issue is what to wear.  if i come off i dont want to ruin anything.  fuck i am a girl. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

don't do sick

last week was just bad and to be honest it has only gone downhill from there.  some bastard gave me some crappy bug and i just dont handle being sick.  i dont have time for it.  since the city to surf there has been no running and there has been no swimming.  i did not go to work on friday but slept and watched some  daytime tv.  i think i could get a job as a writer for the bold and the beautiful.  on saturday i drove down to dwellingup for a scouting mission.  i was in a bit of fog though.  i didnt take enough food and had to buy and eat a meat pie.  it had no meat.  then i could not find the start of the marringup trail and spent the first 30 minutes riding the mundi biddi trail thinking this is going to be easy.  the track is about 8k long and mostly single track.  when i did locate it i only had time to ride for a further 30 minutes.  just as triathlon really has five modes (swim, bike, run, transition and nutrition) mountain biking also has locating the trail as an extra skill.  i was very tired on the drive home.  not a hard workout so a bit concerning.  sunday i was up early-ish and in mundaring by 9.  did i mention that i had the pedals on the mtb changed over to clipless and i had my new shimano mtb shoes ?  a bit of madness really when the mtb cost $400 and the new pedals $100.  i have never been great at clipping in and out so i got the ones that are normal one side and you clip in the other side.  and you can tell the difference as far as pedal power goes so worth doing.  most of the time things went well but as i became tired i was having more and more near miss accidents.  then i am heading back on an easy part of the trail but with one decent gravel climb.  i stay clipped in and almost get to the top but the tyres just spin at the last moment and i crash past two posts.  my shoes come out and i give my knee a bash but stay upright.  i then notice a guy at the bottom pushing his bike up hill.  i head off and just as i am getting to a small hill i hear a bell to indicate i am being passed.  i assumed it was the guy but he never passed me.  i guess the hill got him and i have a nice little chuckle at this.  it was not to last.  just as i get back to the park where my car is i have to cross a road with an island in the middle.  i see a car on the opposite side approaching but think i can make it.  i get to the middle of the first side of the road and realise i will not make it and then forget i am clipped in and try to put both feet on the ground.  well we all know how this goes - badly.  i then realise another car is coming from the other side and i am almost taken out by mercedes on one side versus bmw on the other.  so there i am struggling not to fall over and just hoping that the guy was far enough back to not see this.  as i am about to hit the road my shoes come out and i somehow hit both knees on the pedals but avoid the bitumen.  i have matching black bruises on both knees.  this gives me no confidence for next week.  only positive it was a 30k ride and not a bad workout.  since then i have had an easy swim and 5k run.  i do finally feel like i am getting my healthy mojo back.

as far as work goes it is as bad as it can get.  i had to make the decision to talk to the kind folks at head office and in technical terms the shit has hit the fan.  alternative roles are being looked at and this has been extremely distressing.  to the point where it has been hard to even train.  no concentration.  but training relieves stress so i make myself.  i keep thinking why me, what did i do wrong, where did i go wrong.   but today i have realised that this has nothing to do with me.  it would have been the same for whoever took on the position.  there can be no regrets.  it is just another curve ball and lesson in life.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

a weird week

i dont know why but this week has been weird and in a fucked up kinda way.  and it should not have been.  i had a great run on sunday.  i had a PB by 12 minutes.  and i do feel a great deal of satisfaction and a bit more belief in myself.   

i have felt like crap since i woke monday.  i slept quite a bit before the city to surf.  more than i have for quite awhile.  and it was the nana naps where you cannot keep your eyes open.  felt great at the time and thought it would be good to be well rested although it was a bit strange.   i have not worked out since sunday.  three days of nothing.  my legs were a little stiff but they are fine now.  no swimming.  terrible headaches and sore body.  i just want to sleep.  it is 8.48 pm and i want to go to bed.

i think as you get older the ability to handle stress decreases.  i thought it would be the opposite.  maturity and all that.  my job of 4 months is not going well.  if you have been reading my blog you know the story so far.  the reasons it is not so good are valid.  i am well qualified and experienced at what i do.  i am being micro managed and thrown in the gen y basket of irresponsibility.  kinda funny if you know me but my self esteem is finding it hard to rise above the constant lack of faith.  and respect.  i did not work my arse off for this.  i have to reconsider everything.  i have to determine what it is that i really should be doing.  is it me or my choices ?  i googled my job sucks and and was actually led to some interesting articles.  not about resolving issues with people who micro manage or bully.  did i mention the bullying part ?  you would not want to be fat, gay, ugly or even smoke where i work.  so is it a bad career choice or is it just the company ?  they are always going on about company values.  does wearing a company logo create values or is when you dont make fun of ugly people. 

this just sucks.  i am going to bed.  it is 9.15 pm.