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 !