Saturday, December 31, 2011

IMWA Week 50 - Alis Volat Propriis

she flies with her own wings.  that is going to be my motto for 2012.  tomorrow i am heading out early on a  long ride to the beach. i am planning on enjoying it as much as i did last week and this will bring my weekly training hours past 11 for the week.  i had a bad day on wednesday and just slept.  i am trying to figure why some days are so much worse than others.   

anyway i have had plenty of thinking time and i have come to some conclusions.  firstly i love training.  i really enjoy it.  i dont know if it is so much the training or the fact that i just love swimming, biking and running.  i could train and not compete and i would be happy.  secondly i have decided that i really prefer the longer distance events.  when i first started out i entered every event around and raced alot.  most of them were sprint distance and for my level of fitness they were perfect.  i actually miss the casual nature of the events at the power station and point walter.  when it was just about finishing rather than where you placed.  what i have decided is that i really have no current interest in the shorter events.  and finally i read an article the other week about how if you want to track your progress you should focus on you and the clock rather than whether you get on the podium or what other people are doing.  the podium is no good because you might be racing a weak field (and i have medals to prove it).   other people take your focus from what you should be doing and you start thinking more about their training and what they are doing etc.  funnily enough the only comment to this article was to ask what chrisse wellington was doing ?  duh !  so this leads me to a realisation that i enjoy events more when i dont know anyone.  it is just me, the clock and my targets. so my goals for 2012 will be to set my own PB against the clock and where i come in the field will be irrelevant.  my results pages will change.  when it comes down to it i am not suited to the individual competitive nature of triathlon.  i just wanted to do it because i love the discipline and challenge, i love swimming, biking and running and i wanted to make new friends.  and maybe i like wearing lycra alot.  why can it not be that simple. and fun.  and just for the hell of it.  my training will reflect this new approach. 

my other big wish for 2012 (besides improving my time at busselton 70.3 and finishing at 140.6) is to find a new job.  i am either going to look for another senior role or i am going to think about going in a completely different direction.  i have to do something and i have to be serious about it.  i need to put in just as much effort on this as i do triathlon.  maybe i will win lotto.  wishing.  the other big issue is my house.  it needs work - nothing major but i am a perfectionist.  but i have decided that most things i can maintain for another year and once i have given my everything to the 140.6 i will promise to take time off and do it all.

so i guess that is it for 2012.  a new approach and a more relaxed view.  happy new year.

Friday, December 23, 2011

IMWA week 51 - no one said it was going to be easy

on the health front it is not the best news.  i do have low iron which has caused problems with my haemoglobin.  it is too low and trying madly to recover.  lots of immature blood cells apparently.  both are not low enough to warrant an iron infusion or blood transfusion.  while i should be happy about that i am not because i will have to let my body do its thing and that will take time.  so i am still taking a tonne of supplements and eating food that is high in iron.  i have to be careful that i dont eat too much and end up fat.  i have to admit that when the doctor spoke to me and said that nothing could be done i was not happy.  in fact i have been miserable ever since. 

i guess the only good news is that i will probably clock up close to 10 hours training this week.  it has been very hard and would not be possible if i was working.  being on holidays i can rest.  but i am not getting much else done and the house and garden need attention - badly.  yesterday was a very bad day and i was totally exhausted.  i am extremely positive person but this is testing me.

and then there is christmas.  i can hardly wait until it is over.  i have spent far more alone than with family so i usually am okay with it.  but for some reason this year it bothers me.  kym - you dont need to comment because i know if we were in same country it would be different.  being single should not make my family responsible for what happens to me.  since my brother was married 25 years ago he has spent every christmas with my sister-in-laws family. even when i have stayed over night xmas eve so i could see my niece and nephew i have never been asked to join them.  i tried going overseas at xmas time and that was fun.  mum and dad are on their own and after eating an atrocious meal (mum cannot cook) they just have a nap and watch tv.  although they have started going to my cousins house.  i really do not like her and it is probably mutual.  i would rather have my teeth pulled.  i have never had a big xmas at my house or cooked and prepared a xmas feast.  i have thought about it but i live two hours away and i dont think anyone would want to come here.    i will probably take the crisis bike (i do buy myself the most excellent gifts!) for a nice long ride to the beach and if i dont need a nap then i may get some work done in the garden.  ho ho ho !

Monday, December 19, 2011

i swim like a crab

now you all know that i love swimming.  loving something is not going to guarantee that you are going to be good at it.  swimming gets a bad wrap from triathletes and i cannot understand the endless whingeing because one of the reasons i love swimming is that it is not easy.  isnt this what triathletes are attracted to ?  it is hard and so you really have to work at it.  especially if you are not naturally gifted.  i think it is a challenge to be good at something that does not come easily.  like every aussie kid i learnt to swim at school and during the holidays but i dont recall good technique being the focus.  i never learnt to breathe correctly and when i did i spent years only breathing to my left.  i remember the day i finally started to breathe bilateral.   it was at this point that my technique should have been clearly evaluated because since then i have only reinforced bad technique.  

about two years ago i did the video swim analysis with paul at swim smooth.  the main issues then were the cross over with my left arm, putting the brakes on at the front end of the stroke, improving my catch and rotation and increasing my stroke rate.  sadly while i have improved my stroke rate and rotation and i did work with the paddles to correct the cross over i really havent made the big gains i should have.  too much focus was put on training for fitness and endurance.  however the positive is that the saturday swim smooth  sessions have made me so much more confident in the water and around people.  getting a leg, arm or whatever in the face is not an issue and it has taught me how to draft and how to think tactics.  i have to mention here that these sessions are golden.  i mean where else do back of the pack age groupers get to swim with a group that includes ironman winners and pros.  paul said that he always waits until everyone has rocked up to the session before he puts it together because what may work for one group will not always work for another.  this is what makes the session that much better.

so i went back this saturday for another analysis session with paul and it was excellent.  i love the feel of swimming.  i feel like i swim well and that is why video analysis is so good.  because how it feels and how it looks is not the same.   i struggled with the no iron thing and lack of air for the initial swim but the drills were okay as i used fins and the pool buoy.  it was amazing because the drills clearly demonstrate how it should feel compared to what you were doing.  especially the one arm or unco drill and my rogue left arm.  what i thought was straight was clearly not and i got to feel where the arm should be entering the water and it is so much further to the left.  the drills paul gave me will now be a part of every swim session.  i feel i have wasted the time between the video analysis sessions and so i will not let this happen again.  i have a renewed motivation.  i no longer want to swim like a crab. 

this time paul recorded the analysis session.  this is a fantastic tool.  it is long but extremely interesting and please just ignore my chipmunk voice.  i cannot recommend this process highly enough and paul is really just extremely good, knowledgable and a nice guy to boot.  did i mention he swam the english channel this year !   it is long but has some excellent footage and some surprise inclusions.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

IMWA Week 52 - bite me non-believers

so the countdown begins.  i have gotten over the enormity of this decision.  which is easy to do when the actual event is a year away.

in recent weeks i have tossed around the idea of getting some level of coaching.  as usual if i am going to do this i want to do it right and give it my best shot.  but as i suspected the ones who are interested just want your money and the ones you want dont want you because you are too old and slow.  you are not worth putting on their resumes.  i get it.  so one more thing i have to do on my own.

i have stumbled upon a very good motivating tool.  everytime i dont want to get out of bed or think it is too hard or i lose sight of the big picture i am going to think of all the people who have ever doubted me or put me down.  i know who you are and i have never been sure why you didnt believe in me.  i know people get jealous of other peoples  achievements and to put that person down makes them feel better.  satisfies their lack of whatever.  you really should just be happy for the person.  ANYWAY - i am going to think of your pussy-arsed attitude everytime these friggin legs are hurting.   

lack of iron update - rang today to get my tests results and the girl said that they were normal and no action was required.  well i didnt believe her so i asked if i could get a copy.  she could not email it but i could pick a copy up or have it posted.  so i drove 30 minutes in the friggin heat and crappy traffic.  receptionists cannot be trusted.  my haemoglobin is 'quite low' and the Fe studies are not yet in.  the doctor dude wants to see me again.  fuck.  this is bad because the principal function of haemoglobin is to combine and transport oxygen from the lungs following inhalation, and then deliver it to all body tissues, where it is required to provide energy for the chemical reactions of all living cells. carbon dioxide (produced as the waste product of these reactions) is transported to the lungs in the blood and is then released when we exhale. i need a normal Hb in order to swim, bike and run.  if it is due to an iron deficiency then i can get infused.  i am not sure what the plan will be if it is anemia.   

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

the girl has no iron

things are not good in jenez world.  the week following my long ride on the new crisis bike i became extremely tired.  i took a few days off hoping that this would solve the problem.  last thursday i went for a run but i couldnt make it around the block.  i was short of breath and just felt like crap.  the next few days i would plan to do something but then i would just bail on it.  saturday i rode 20k on the road bike and it felt like a 100.  i wanted to get off and walk the bike home.  so i slept thinking that this would solve all my problems.  i was worried that i had finally over trained myself.  then i would wake in the middle of the night unable to sleep and with restless legs.  sunday i only managed a 30k ride and it was hard work.  at this stage my last swim was a week ago.  i kept making plans to go to the pool (and i have done this all week) and then bailed out at the last minute.   i rested again and then headed out for a 5k run on tuesday.  i made it to 3.5k and i only just kept up with the fat girl running ahead of me.  i was now also depressed.  any exertion left me breathless.

so at this point i was very worried but after consulting google i had a pretty good idea what was wrong.  i have no iron or very low iron supplies.  all the symptoms are there.  i read alot about triathlon and this is one topic that doesnt come up often and yet it is so fucking important.  iron transports oxygen in the blood and in the muscles.  inadequate iron in the body can impair aerobic metabolism by decreasing the delivery of oxygen to tissues and reducing the capacity of muscles to use oxygen for the oxidative production of energy.  which in layman's terms means i am fucked.  it can takes weeks or even months to recover.  i would not wish this on anyone.  if you hurt your foot you might not be able to run but you can still bike and swim.  this does not let you do anything.

so today i went back to the quack doctor and it was determined that perhaps i should be a doctor.   i was sent off for a blood test to determine iron, HG, B12 and folate levels etc  - not that i can afford to give any of the stuff away.   as it turns out it was a bit of a task to get the blood out of me - very low blood pressure so they stuck me twice.  in the meantime i am now an expert on inadequate iron levels.  i am taking spatone everyday with fresh juice - vitamin c is the bomb for absorption of iron.  i am also taking tablets and drinking a daily berocca.  my diet has changed over night.  red meat every day - but very lean.  the tannin in wine and tea is bad.  lucky i dont drink tea :).  i have taken to drinking Guinness - to be sure.  it is quite interesting which foods work and which ones dont.  there are heme types (red meat, liver etc) and non-heme (spinach - depending how you cook it, beetroot etc).  then there are inhibitor type foods - tannin, calcium etc and of course foods that increase absorption - namely vitamin c.  bit if a dilemma when it comes to breakfast.  i have iron boosted cereal with yoghurt. 

the prognosis - i find out friday what my levels are.  if they are bad i will demand that i am immediately infused with iron.  this has risks but i dont give a fuck.  i must swim, bike and run.  they dont really know but i will not wait weeks to recover from this.  i REFUSE to allow this to happen.  the good news is that i feel much better today.  i will feel even better tomorrow as i go on holidays until the new year.  the bad news is that i will not race this weekend in the opening event for Triseries competition.  this is not what i had hoped for but i will not blow the whole year on one race.  i am learning to think of the big picture.  stay tuned. 


Thursday, December 8, 2011

i have gone and done it now

i know in the past i have talked about the various things i would like to do or the events i would like to enter.  and i am well aware that i dont always stick to the plan.  next year i was hoping to finish another 70.3 at busselton and then visit my sister in the states followed by another 70.3 at port macquarie in november.  this would then be followed by the 140.6 challenge cairns in july 2013.  so what has changed ?  mainly work is too unpredictable.  it is a big risk to hand over the cash (and there is very little of that), do the training and then not be able to travel/go. 

i had decided against ironman western australia because it would mean training through winter and in someways i wanted to be different and take a chance on another course.  but at 8.15 am this morning i found myself nervously trying to log on and register for 2012.  it sold out in less than an hour.  but i got through and i am doing an ironman in 52 weeks.  yah !  OMG.  fuck.  i have already had moments when i am crapping myself.  so why the change of heart ?  well firstly it is local - no travel and i know the course.  i will have two 70.3's under my belt on the course and completed the full swim course when i do the busselton jetty swim in february.  i think i will have enough stress without worrying about travel arrangements and flights etc.  i want to do a 140.6 in 2012.  it is the year of the dragon and i am a dragon so the planets are aligned.  i want to have it out the way before i am 50.  i will be 48.5.  i need to get this done. it needs to get ticked off the bucket list so i will know if i want to do more or will i be happy with doing lots of different events eg - xterra, mtb etc. 

the interesting part is that very few people think that i can actually do it.  when i tell people the response tends to be along the lines of 'do i understand what is involved (alot more than what they fucking do) and do i honestly believe that i am capable of doing it ?'.  it appears that i am one of a select few that believe i can.  i dont understand why anyone would think this.  so far i have not failed at anything i have set out to do.  this is a massive challenge but if i do the right training and get the preparation organised then i have every chance of success.  it is amazing what the body can do.  but i guess at least the most important person believes (me) and now i have a point to prove.  i am going to quietly go about my business.  i dont need negative people freaking me out.

this is really going to be worth a new tattoo.

Monday, December 5, 2011

a crisis bike and a rotto swim

i feel like crap today and have done for the last week or so.  train one day feel like shit the next.  i am over it.  i did not think i would make it to work today but here i am.  went and had my echo cardiogram last week and will find out the results tomorrow.  they did say at the time that everything looked normal. 

i have my new bike.  now you would think that this would be a time of much excitement and celebration but for some reason i didnt feel great about it.  i felt guilty and a little embarrassed by it.  when i gave it some thought i realised the guilt is because in these troubled times spending that much money on a bike just seems irresponsible and excessive.  this purchase broke the triathlon fund completely.  then i realised that in some ways the bike is my mid life crisis.  it just feels a little ridiculous that a 47 year old middle aged woman should own a bike like this one.  like the guy who goes out and buys the sports car that is totally age inappropriate.  but perhaps the difference here will be that i will ride it and i will make sure that it is used for the purpose it is intended.  hopefully i will do it justice.  in the meantime this bike will be referred to as the crisis bike.  i have had the seat changed to a fizik (part of the deal and the one in this pic is ugly)  and over the next few weeks i will slowly lower the bars as i adjust to a more aero position. 

i had a few short rides during the week but yesterday i took the crisis out for a much longer ride and in hot and windy conditions.  it was friggin  awesome.  i really thought i would struggle and be a bit scaredy cat being aero but it was so much easier riding into the wind and the cross winds were okay.  i also thought that i would be uncomfortable after my first 45k lap.  this bike fits me better than my roadie.  my shoulders never ached once.  they always ache on the roadie.  i think the seat needs to come up a fraction.  this bike is fast but sometimes it feels faster than i can ride it so i need to do the work to do it justice.   yesterday i surprised myself just how quickly i adapted to riding it - i thought i would have to change bikes for the second lap.  i would not recommend someone buy a bike like this without experience and without owning a road bike as well.   i rode 90k and i love my crisis.

This was not the location of the swim ! Pity.....
on saturday i got the fast ferry over to rottnest island for the rotto swim thru.  an open water 1600m (or one mile) event put on every year by a local surf club.  speedy pip talked me into this and while i didnt have the best swim the beer was awesome and the company excellent.  i cannot believe this was only my second visit to the island.  what a wonderful place that most west aussies know as a second home.  it was very hot and the flies were sticky little bugars that did not taste good.  the water was quite cool and i was having a bad day.  i did not feel like swimming.  i was not well.  i was in the third wave with an estimated time of 30 minutes - which i did do last year at the cottesloe classic mile.  no wetsuits allowed - or if you did wear them you were not eligible for the cash prize.  it was my favourite deep water start so i was well adjusted to the temp by the time the hooter went.  it was choppy from beginning to end.  normally you think that if you have it rough one way you will get a break the other way.  no such luck.  i went off course a bit and wasted too much time sighting.  it was fucking ridiculous.  i would swim 20 meters and then check to see if i was any closer.  after the turn around i gave myself a few scares swimming through seaweed and thinking jaws was coming to get me.  hard not to when we have had two fatal attacks in the last few months.  it took forever to get close to the groin and the last turn.  by then i realised that i was not making any effort and had not given any thought to actually applying some sort of open water skill.  a few times i had a very feeble attempt at drafting but the feet just swam away or they were even slower than me.  in the final section to  the beach i did remember to use my legs and i actually sighted in what for me was the correct technique.  i have to stop making excuses and yes the swim was rough, the times were slower than normal and i wasnt feeling great.  i dont think i gave it my best effort and that is what pisses me off the most.  i think i can do better but i need to believe i can.  for the first time i actually felt light headed and weak in the legs when i stood up out of the water and it was like that for awhile after.  it really wasnt my day. 


Sunday, November 20, 2011

bunberri classic od race report 2011

this was a great day out and i had an awesome time.  i was a little worried with my training and recovery / repair time and i did not feel like i was fresh and full of beans.  i felt under done and under prepared.  this was going to be my second race at the olympic distance.  i was very concerned about the swim and everyone was having a great fun telling me shark stories.  my plan was to swim fast. 

i drove down to bunbury late saturday and had a terrible nights sleep.  kept waking up all the time and even when i may have been asleep it felt like i was awake.  i really cannot complain about the bed as it was mine and i gave it to the folks so i could sleep in it when i visited.  it is just way too soft and i paid for it on the bike. 

it was so nice only having a 15 minute drive to an event.  weather was going to be great although the wind was a bit fresh.  dad came down to watch and this course is perfect for the spectator.  you can walk down and watch the swim or move up to the boardwalk and get a birds eye view.  the bike course is six laps so you see everyone ride by on a regular basis and the run is two laps.  

i was amazed that i felt good before the swim.  none of the usual i think i want to throw up vibe.  got my wetsuit on and headed down to the beach.  it is about a 300m walk.  had a chat to dad and then moved off as i was in the third wave.  had a bit of a warm up and the water was murky and a little chilly.  the girls looked like serious competitors - probably having a last hit out before busselton ironman.  it was a waist deep start and i started at the back.  damn it was a fast start.  the front girls just took off.  this was one of my better starts and first back in the open water since may.  i still struggled to breathe and took a few moments trying to relax and float for a few seconds.  i made a real effort to breathe out strong but no matter how hard it was still quite shallow.  it was quite choppy on the way out to the first buoy and then easier back in for the first lap.  by the time i turned for the second lap i was breathing fine and trying to find someone to draught off but i kept swimming past them or they were terrible at keeping things straight.  i saw one girl turn at the middle buoy and it would have been quite a swim to get back on track.  during the last section i targeted people and picked them off.  i was really enjoying things.  raced out of the water, yelled out to dad and had a nice chat with a girl during the long run back over to transition. 

struggle to get the wetsuit off.  onto the bike course for six laps with a headwind on the way out and with the wind or a cross wind on the way back in.  i dont think my legs are fresh after cape to cape and riding 90k every weekend prior probably did not help either.  but i thought i would just put my head down and pedal.  i could feel that my lower back was going to be a problem and i hoped that it would hang on until after the bike.  during the last lap it was incredibly painful and i kept trying to stretch it out and telling myself to htfu and it would be okay once i got off the bike.

so i am on my third lap and heading into wind.  i come up next to a person i knew and just as i got my wheel in front two other riders come up as well as the officials on their motorbike.  they call my number and one of the two riders for drafting.  i was shocked and really didnt understand whether i was getting a warning or a penalty.  i had no idea what the other two riders had been doing and had not heard them behind me.  we had just turned a corner 20 metres back.  i thought that perhaps i had got a warning for taking too long to pass the guy next to me (who did not move back at all and i have to mention is good mates with the official who pinged me).  i was not happy at all.  i do not draft and do not like it when i see people doing it.  if i took too long to pass then fair enough.   i probably did not have the legs to do it quickly enough into the headwind and that could have been my mistake.   but i was not drafting.  when i tell people it feels like i am trying to convince people i am innocent but no one believes me.  your honour - really i didnt do it !!

this really upset me.  i slowed down and i lost time and then i did not know if i had a penalty or a warning.   for a moment i thought my race was over.  strangely after the incident i never had anyone around me again and i never past anyone either.  it was very quiet and lonely and my back was killing me and i was still fretting about what to do.  some more officials came by - different ones and i had a chat to them.  confirmed that i serve the penalty at the end of the bike.  more time lost.  at the end i stop at the dismount area and the official starts my two minute penalty.  i had a chat to her about the rules and even though i asked it ended up being longer than 2 minutes.  she told me that one guy gets caught all the time and he just figures it into his race time.  so wrong.  anyway this is a lesson learnt to be aware of your surroundings at all times.  you might be doing the right thing but it will not always look like that.

so finally onto the run and this is a nice course.  a 5k loop around the inlet and the scenery changes quite a bit.  i enjoyed running over the wooden walk way.  first lap people were still out there finishing up their second lap so it wasnt quite so lonely.  as i came around for my second lap saw dad and yelled out.  the legs felt good and i was on track to run the 10k under 60 minutes.   i slowed down a bit at the 6k mark but picked it up and came in at 57.42.  i was very happy with this.  i even ran past three people and no one ran past me.  for awhile i thought i was dead fucking last but as it turns out there were quite a few people behind me.

so even with my bike problems i managed to come in under three hours at 2.59.28 - just !!  my swim time was 35.27 and includes the 300m run to transition and T1.  i take too long in transition so my swim was probably close to being under 30 minutes.  the official bike time is 1.26.18 and includes my penalty and T2.  my garmin tells me my bike moving time was 1.19.12  and total time 1.22.22.  so my penalty was 3 minutes and not 2 as required.  there were five in my age group and i came fifth.  90 seconds behind fourth and 9 minutes down on third.  i can take comfort that if this did not happen my bike result would have been encouraging.

i am extremely stoked with my results.  i think it has more to do with just where i am at.  to be able to race at this distance and be comfortable - who would have ever imagined that !  and this was a fun race regardless of my penalty.   i am now taking this week off.  the only training session will be with mr swim smooth on saturday.  i am really enjoying the break too.  i have to attack the garden this weekend.  then it will be two weeks of solid training, a taper week and then the first race of the TriSeries events.  whoo hoo bring it on !!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

being happy when you dont have it all

while i try to keep this blog about triathlon and any associated/related events i  believe that triathlon is a lifestyle and not a hobby so life will overlap.  i promise that this particular post is triathlon related but there are some steps to be taken to get to the point.

a few things lately have combined to make me start thinking over some serious topics.  to name a few - my parents are getting old, my job really sucks and i have recently spoken with friends i have known for a very long time. 

i have realised (and accepted) that there are a number of things in life that i will never have or experience.  i will never have a family.  this is incredibly sad but i will not let it define my life.  i will never talk about it.  what is the point ?  talking about it will never change it.  i do not want to be one of those women who are eternally sad and never move on from the disappointments in life. 

i will never have that flash car or a great big home in an expensive suburb.  what i do have is mine and i have worked hard to achieve it.  i earn a reasonable income and i did that through hard work and sacrifice.  i have never relied on anyone else.  i could sell my house and buy an apartment in subiaco and then have better options for working in the city.  my life would change completely.  but then i wouldnt get to share my life with my molly dog and casey girl.  i would be incredibly self-centred and selfish. 

my friends i have spoken to recently are older than me - 5-10 years and are now moving into retirement or reduced working hours. they talk about travelling around australia or the trips they have planned overseas.  retirement has not even occurred to me and i feel like my life is just starting.  i will probably never be able to afford the type of trips they have planned but i think travel is for the young and i have been lucky enough to do my fair share.  and fuck it - i had huge fun.  you cannot have that sort of fun with a middle age spread butt.  it is hard to explain but when you are young the possibilities are endless and nothing is off limits.  getting older you think more about comfort and food.  i am eternally grateful i travelled young.

when it comes down to it life has to be about experiences.  you cant take it with you.  i now try and put all my resources into life experiences rather than collecting objects that in the end will just be sold off or thrown away as part of my estate. i dont get photos printed anymore.  i have all i need at home and i do not want one more thing i have to dust.  i need all my money so i can buy those life experiences - travel to and enter races, swim the busselton jetty (which i have entered) or be part of a biking adventure.  those things you can take with you.  i want to have completed my bucket list.

all this could change if i won lotto.  i have heard you need to buy a ticket and maybe i will do that.  then i could buy that big old house and travel to china and adopt a million kids.  in the meantime i will stick with what i cannot afford and have sold my soul to the devil to own.  i am completely aware that this will not make me any faster.  training will make me faster.  but i do have a tri suit to match and i am going to look smoking hot.  seriously -  if i was a guy i would have one major hard on.  i am going to be eating noodles for the next month but what an experience.

she will be all mine.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

which is the best photo ?

i usually do not like photos of myself.  most of the time i just dont look the same in photos as i do in person.  triathlon and event photos can be pot luck.  mountain bike photos are difficult and most of the time they set themselves up at a difficult spot and i really dont want a picture of myself pushing the bike.  however i think these photos are excellent and not just because i happen to look okay for once.  they have been taken by someone who has given it more thought and skill than the normal weekend hack photographer.  i really want to get these printed and was thinking of perhaps getting a decent size one.  however for different reasons i cannot make up my mind which one i like the most so since the voting gadget did not work leave a comment and let me know your choice !

day one - thru the bushes

day three - action jeni

day four - geographe bay

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

cape to cape mtb western australia 2011

i survived, i conquered and i loved every painful minute.  and this report is a bit overdue !  it was four days of amazing trails, beautiful scenery and great people.  the margaret river region is in lonely planets top ten regions and i was reminded why.  my parents had a house on molloy island and we spent most of our holidays down there.  i had forgotten how lucky we were - didnt realise it at the time though - teenagers.

spring and the wildflowers were amazing !
this isnt going to be a race report because it wasnt a race.  it can be if you want it to be.  the elites race it for money and the yellow jersey.  but for most people it is just the personal challenge and i like that.  i decided that the first three days would be for the experience and with the final stage more suited to my road skills and endurance i would try and give that a serious effort - hoping i still had the legs !    

the event was  well organised.  the volunteers were brilliant (i am going to run out of descriptive words so sorry about that).  the supporters who came along - cheered and encouraged everybody - and drove to the various vantage points were awesome.  the trails were so well marked there was no chance of getting lost.  on the trail everyone watched out for each other and people did not hesitate to stop and give assistance.  there were some cowboys but if you positioned yourself at the start then they would be chasing the elites and not near you. 

the timing was basic.  everyone had the same start time but you got logged in at the finish.  since i always started at the front of the back of the pack i gave up five minutes everyday.  on stage four i pushed forward and had a better start.  so my time versus my garmin always has a difference.  i also never stopped my garmin.  so when i took time out to get food, take photos or when i crashed (this is not an official crash since it wasnt my fault) it is the variance between actual time and moving time.

my bike went great.  the chain came off on the third day and i started having trouble with it being slightly out of sync when in the lowest granny gears.  i dropt it in to the avanti guys after the ride and for $30 they were meant to fix it.  started off the next day great but then went back to how it was.  at least the chain stayed on and no break.  i had my tyres quite spongy the first three days.  with hard surfaces on the last day i pumped up both tyres - the back quite hard and the front a bit softer.  it worked a treat.  each day they had washing facilities that you could use and the line moved pretty quick.  i would have preferred to use my gear and wondered if the squirt lube they gave you was the issue with my chain.

my accommodation was okay.  next time i am going to get something a little more up market.  but margaret river was perfectly central and the main boxes were ticked.  i had a washing machine for filthy bike gear, a kitchenette for food prep and a very comfortable bed.  a spa bath would be awesome.

one thing with mountain biking is the hunger.  you need good solid food - especially after or you can turn FERAL.  i ate huge.  i think i trimmed down a bit but only dropt a kilo.  my butt attracted some attention so maybe there was more going on ?  details later.  pizza, burgers, chicken, sausage sizzles, red bull (it did give me wings) and banana sustagen shakes got me through.  this was the only area that i had a problem event wise - details later.  another thing is the dirt.  i have never been quite that dirty.  everyone would finish the days ride with a unibrow of dirt and grubby legs.  i looked like i had really thick mascara as well and crap all over my face. 

everyday i caught the bus back to the start.  i was thinking that the event would be easier if you had a support crew to drive you around but then you would not get to meet all the fantastic people i got to meet while waiting for the bus to leave or during the trip.  it was slow in the double decker bus but it was fun and part of the whole experience.  you never had to wait too long and i dont think any of us were in a rush to be anywhere else - unless it involved food !

for the four days there were 541 riders - somedays there were more and some less but 541 completed the full four days.  i came in at 479.  last year i rode maybe half a dozen times before dwellingup.  this year i probably had ten training rides along with the kalamunda race from hell and dwellingup again.  based on this level of experience and it being an event and not a race i am stoked.  as a female you can enter in the open category or masters.  i was in masters and 26 girls finished the four days.  the most in one day was 39.  the open category had 31 girls.  so from 541 riders only 57 were female. 

my camera is a very cheap one so the photos are average.  if i get some spare cash i really, really want a gopro camera.  i have included some youtube clips and my garmin links.

stage one - cape leeuwin to hamelin bay 39.86km

cape leeuwin lighthouse - the start
at the start the race director gave us a serious warning about the number of snakes that had been seen on the course and advised no petting.  i hate snakes but figured there would be alot of people riding in front of me scaring them off.  after a traditional aboriginal welcome the cape to cape for 2011 was underway.  

i knew we had a couple of big hills in the first 10k and they did not disappoint and i always forget what goes up must come down and there were some pretty scary downhills.  as expected the countryside was just beautiful and we rode through a variety of forest trails, salt bush tracks, beach and limestone outcroppings.

as expected i was crap on the technical stuff but rode past people on the uphill and flats.  some guys gave me some pointers and i really started to try and put them to practice.  deepdene beach was a 1.5k walk pushing your bike.  it was unrideable.  a couple of guys stripped down to their shorts and went for a swim.  it was tempting.  near the salt bushes the track narrowed and you really didnt know what what was coming and it was downhill.  a guy hit a rock and came off.  damaged his hip and the paramedics had to climb in and carry him out. 
cape leeuwin

this felt like a compact course that had everything.  similar to the dwellingup course.  by the time i got to the finish at hamelin bay i was still coming to terms with the ride.  i really had not expected the first day to be so tough.  it was a hot day and starting late i did not hang around at hamelin bay afterwards but got on the bus as soon as i had washed the bike and eaten.

nutrition -
3 gels, 1 powerbar ride bar, 1 shotz chocmint bar and 2 litres water with 2 nunns.

stats - 532 riders.  official time 3.26.11 garmin time 3.22.21.  masters 17/33.

sun was in the wrong position but you can still see the trail of people

stage two - hamelin bay to xanadu winery 62.42km

another warm day and a long ride ahead.  both day 2 and day 3 were a bit bunched at the start but it didnt take long for everyone to spread out.  we headed straight into boranup forest and this was truly beautiful.  it was single track but the most fun and enjoyable single track i have ever ridden.  it was a  very narrow trail surrounded by trees - almost encased as you rode through it.  after this i started thinking better thoughts about single track.  the massive karri trees  are just amazing.    

after boranup forest it was fantastic back trails that were hard but fun to ride.  hills to climb, soft trails to really get some speed up and race through.  sometimes you really felt like a kid just out tearing up the tracks.  some sections were really exposed and the sun was hot.  this was probably the hardest day - being  long and having  every type of track.  as we worked our way through the back trails we came across four water crossings.  three you could ride across but one you had to carry your bike and walk through.  the cool water actually felt great on your feet.

as we got closer to the finish the track became easier and very open.  the sun was shining and the wind had picked up.  i knew i was getting close as i rode through the leeuwin estate winery.  this is probably one of the most famous and most beautiful.  just about every well known musical artist has played at this venue.  i started passing quite a few people and we were not done with the hills either.  the approach to xanadu made it feel like you were never going to get there.  the ride from the entrance must be 2k at least but i was zooming along and finished hard.

my future bottles of wine at leeuwin estate

finishing at xanadu was friggin brilliant.  they had the BEST food.  margaret river burgers and spanish paella.  it was a good price and easy to get.  i will never forget that burger.  it was a different story at the night function but i was back at my base eating a large pizza and in bed by 8.30 pm.  great day but felt a bit dehydrated.  i dont think i was putting in enough electrolytes with my water so had a bit of a sun headache.

nutrition - 4 gels, 1 powerbar ride bar and 2 litres water with 2 nunns.

stats - 536 riders. official time 4.42.41 garmin time 4.39.56  masters 21/34.

stage three - xanadu winery to colonial brewery 51.34k

i honestly expected day three to be the hardest but
it  probably had the best trails and the most fun. 
we were a bit bunched at the start but the tracks
started off amazing and only got better.  the scenery was just stunning.  narrow trails, soft forest floors, winding descents, tough hill climbs.  my legs and butt were feeling okay and i was really getting confident on the bike and having some awesome fun.  that was until i came off my bike.  i was climbing a hill when i felt a push from behind and a guy had put his hand on my butt and gave me a push as they do in tour de france or any road race.  and that is fine when you are aware of it and are on a predictable track. 
we had a bit of a laugh and the guy moved on.  i was a bit annoyed because i dont need help climbing but never thought anything else.  i stopped to take this pic and sneak off for a pee break.  then i was again climbing a hill - not really difficult but in a section that had a changing surface.  sand, gravel etc.  i was really enjoying myself and thinking how well i was doing when from nowhere this guy is behind me again and grabbing my butt to give me a push but instead manages to tangle our bikes and pull me over onto his bike.  so i landed quite hard and had flashes of broken bones and triathlon season ending injuries come into my brain.
my leg hurt bad.  especially my left knee.  quite a few people stopped and everyone was great.  i paid out on the guy.  i think a few people who saw it paid out on him.  i felt bad for him afterwards but it was a really stupid thing to do and he knew it.  the pain eased off and after checking the bike for scratches i was ready to get going again.  it wasnt until later i realised i had two sizeable bruises on my left leg, my left knee was quite swollen, my right shin was bruised, my wrist and neck hurt and i had pulled my right arm.  i did manage to get some ice on the knee and shin later.  ouch.  this is what happens when you have a great butt.
i did have some nurofen plus and maybe that helped but i felt okay and once i settled back down i had the best day ever.  the weather was cooler and the course just friggin brilliant.  the pines track was the best single track, the most fun and i just LOVED it.  it was beautiful.  so peaceful and quiet and the lillies were stunning.  i get why everyone raves about this place.  the rest of the tracks leading into the colonial  brewery were winding and mostly soft.  i was even jumping logs and stuff and  really hooning along.  there were a couple of big hills towards the end and i was do my thing and coming home strong and passing people along the way.  i had a red bull and it gave me friggin wings.

the only complaint i have from the whole four days was the lack of readily available food at the colonial brewery.  i have to mention they did get rave reviews for the evening function but the support to riders at the end of the race sucked.  i have mentioned just how hungry you get and i was on the verge of turning feral and rugby tackling someone for their pizza.  the venue is beautiful but they did not have any extra food vans and you could only order from the menu - gourmet menu.  $20 for a medium pizza or $26 for a steak burger.  so vilma and i line up with our unibrow dirty faces, grubby legs, no shoes and camel baks still in place.  in front and behind us in the line are some very well dressed ladies who couldnt make up their friggin minds and  i was not happy.  after 20 mins we then find out that it would take at least an hour before the food was going to be ready to eat.  fuck that.  i ate a sportsbar and all my emergency snake supply and luckily had a pack of puresport recovery drink mix.  i had finally got signed up for a massage.  due to the amount of people you are only allowed 15 minutes.  10 minutes in and the last bus decides to leave. as it turns out i wouldnt have got my pizza anyway.

nutrition - 4 gels, 1 powerbar ride bar, 2.5 litres water with 4 nunns and a red bull.

stats - 585 riders. official time 4.19.47 garmin time 4.18.34  masters 23/38.

stage four - colonial brewery to dunsborough 68.83k

yesterday i increased my water and electrolyte intake and it worked.  i did not feel dehydrated at all and i also bought along another red bull for another set of wings.  today was long and i was going to really push it and no photos unless it was extraordinary.  the tracks were hard and open and we travelled through private properties and back trails.  i passed quite a few people and i knew i was further up the pack than in previous days.  by the time we got close to dunsborough my legs were rooted and my butt aching.  i was really starting to feel it.  my hands as well.  four days with a death grip was starting to hurt my left hand especially.  i need to learn to relax my grip.  then came the last 5k through meelup park.  this was extremely technical and on gravel.  it would have been very easy to have a major spill - especially considering just how tired i was.  but i took my time and made it over jumps and around logs that i never imagined doing before.  i was exhausted, hot and i really wanted to get to the finish line.  you finally come out of the park and down through a grassed oval to the end of four days of fantastic riding and awesome surroundings.  and the best sausage sizzle supplied by the ladies and gents of the dunsborough country club.  i ate two and they hardly touched the sides going down.

nutrition - 5 gels, 1 powerbar ride bar, 2.5 litres water with 4 nunns and a red bull.

stats - 501 riders. official time 3.57.31 garmin time 3.56.17 masters 17/39. total official time 16.26.10.  4.24.07 behind the leader of female masters.  8.02.58 behind overall leader.

this is an extremely long blog and was just as much an endurance effort as the race itself.  but i loved every minute of it all and really hope that i am able to go back next year and do it all over again.  it did take me awhile to recover - not just from the four days riding but the crash was harder on me than i first thought and i struggled with intense pain in my left hand for two nights.  my hand would go numb with no feeling in my fingertips and terrible pain.  the only thing that helped was getting up and walking around.   since then i have been back on the road bike for a couple of  long rides, in the pool doing my thing and back up and running.  now to focus on triathlon.  i have my first race in 2 weeks !!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

i am in !

yah !!!!  i am going back to busselton for 2012 ironman 70.3 !!!!!  i worked myself into a nervous wreck waiting to sign up for this but i am IN !!!  this is going to be interesting - my race schedule for the year (2011/2012) is now final.  i am only going to do the triseries events and the longer course events at bunbury and karri valley - two courses i am yet to do so that will be fun.  i am so excited and now i can relax and enjoy the next four days of riding.

this is friggin AWESOME.

Monday, October 17, 2011

cape to cape western australia is just days away

only three two days until the adventure begins.  i dont know how i feel - excited for sure and looking forward to getting away from the city and work.  my legs are not great and i have really backed off the workouts.  i am hoping they come back to me real soon.  i am not worried about any stage of the event - but i am worried about having four stages back to back.  for the elites this will total 10 hours or less of riding time over four days - a sprint really.  for me it is an endurance event that over the four days will probably total around 15-16 hours.

just part of the stuff one needs to ride a mtb

i started getting organised a few weeks back - ordering shotz/gels, got the bike serviced, spare parts and tools, waterproof jacket etc. i dont want to spend anymore money aaghhhh.  it is amazing how much gear is required.  i am so glad i decided not to camp.  anyway i started putting it all together yesterday and friggin hell there is so much stuff.  mountain biking burns the calories so i have to make sure i have plenty of food and drink.  pre-race, during the race and post race.  it can get pretty rough out there so i need to carry tools and spares.  the weather doesnt look good - rain is forecast for three out of four days and it is always colder and wetter down there than here.  so i need clothes for all conditions.

stage one - cape leeuwin lighthouse augusta to hamelin bay 39.86 km

the event starts at the cape leeuwin lighthouse which is situated at the southern tip of the capes region where the indian and southern oceans meet.  we start with a tough 4km climb before heading into the forest west of augusta.  at the 7km mark we reach heartbreak hill - a tough 1km climb that (apparently) has recently been graded.  we then ride through private farmland before reaching the stage highlight - deepdene beach.  depending upon the elements the beach ride of 1.5k can either be a breeze or unrideable.  once off the beach there is a series of back tracks through cosy corner where some finals hills will test the legs before reaching the finish line at hamelin bay.

stage two - hamelin bay to xanadu winery margaret river 62.42 km

stage two begins with a road climb before heading into boranup forest and 25km of amazing track featuring every type of trail imaginable. sections of the trail include emu's, vincent, tunnel run, three rocks (not more fucking rocks!), lord of the rings, donovan, and the quarry.  this stage has spectacular scenery and once out of the forest we head north towards the vineyards of margaret river.  there will be backtrails (hope i dont get lost and the elves hold me captive) and water crossings that could vary in depth.  apparently the chances of reaching the vineyards DRY is very small.

stage three - xanadu winery to colonial brewery margaret river 51.34 km

who doesnt want to ride from a winery to a brewery !  this is the toughest stage and coming on day three will be the challenge.  it is also the charity day where we ride for people on the transplant waiting list - cool !  the stage starts with a ride through the cape mentelle winery before entering the rails trails or pines of margaret river.  this is a 30km mixture of single trail and disused fire breaks and will offer the best technical riding of the event.  my nemesis.  yah. 

stage four - colonial brewery to dunsborough 68.83 km

traditionally this is a fast stage but it is also long.  we start by riding across a series of private properties before connecting with the rails trails north of cowaramup.  this is a mixture of farm tracks and back roads.  this will suit me being open riding on hard tracks.  however once we reach dunsborough a technical finish awaits.  the final 5km runs through meelup park which (apparently) bought many riders undone last year.  once the pea gravel and boulders (what ! fucking BIG rocks this time !) have been negotiated we will see the blue waters of geographe bay and cape naturaliste.   

this is a map of the walking trail but it gives you the
overall picture.

i am staying at a nice (hopefully) b&b in margaret river.  at the end of each stage my bike gets locked away in a secure compound (for $10 per night) and i catch the event bus back to the start.  i drive home for the night before heading back to the previous days finish line to then start the next stage.  margaret river is very central and  the longest drive i will have is at the start on the first day in augusta which is 50km away.  

i hope to take plenty of photos and while i will not have internet access i will take my laptop so i can write up a stage report every night.  while i chill out in my compression gear and refuel on pasta (sob ! no wine).   my goal is to really enjoy myself, meet plenty of people, soak up the scenery and location and FINISH all four stages.  i would also like to see if i can locate my sense of humour.  i feel like i have lost it recently and dammit janet i just want to have fun.

 wish me luck !

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

the realities of open water swimming

i swim at this beach for training as well as open water swim races and triathlon.  my saturday swim group from swim smooth was down there the last two saturdays.  i didnt go because i believe it is still too early in the migration of the whales and the sharks that follow them along the coast.  wearing wetsuits would only assist in making us look like a pack of seals. 

when i heard that a swimmer was missing at cottesloe i said straight away that a shark had taken him.  they reported he swam everyday so he was a strong swimmer but even if he got into trouble they would have found him pretty quickly.  no one saw it happen.  he was 300m off shore which is a fair distance.  what is strange is that shark attacks in perth have only happened at cottesloe and not any other beach.  might have something to do with the reef. 

it must be terrible for his family. they have accepted that it was a shark and that he died doing what he loved.   for the rest of us it is scary and  frightening to let your imagination run wild.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

growing a pair ...

i have always wanted this blog to have a positive vibe and to never be a place to bitch and moan.  but for the last few months and maybe more my life has not been going to plan and while i have alluded to issues i have never come right out and talked about it.  well this is my blog and i am going to start telling it like it is.  time to get something outta my head and off my chest. 

first up i love triathlon.  i am mad about it.  i love competing, i love talking and reading about it and i love watching it.  i am a big fan of the sport - both the itu and ironman.  it is a passion.   however i am not very good at it and i think at 47  i am not going to get much better.  but that is okay because i am not doing it to be the best.  i am doing it to be the best that i can be.  i do it because it is fucking hard.  i do it because sometimes it scares me.  i believe triathlon makes you a better person and that is what i want.  call me naive sometimes but i realise that what motivates me is not going to be the same for everyone.  some people are in it just to win.  not to get the best of themselves but just to win.  that is how i see it anyway and it is okay.  there is nothing wrong with wanting to win.  i guess it is how you win that matters.  i grew up playing team sports so i may have developed a different outlook.  one where you watched out for team mates and you helped them out and you didnt win as an individual - you won as a team. 

so when i started this adventure and since i have met some really great people who are positive and wonderful individuals.  but i have also been disappointed and this is what i want to get off my chest.  at the beginning i was always catching up with this one girl at each event.  we are in different age groups as i am five years older but we are pretty close in abilities.  so we became triathlon friends and it was fun.  i always knew what races i wanted to do and i had a plan.  sometimes i talked my friend into doing the same events.  it was even more fun to have company.  after that first year the only race that i finished ahead of my friend was our first olympic distance at point walter.  most races played out with me out of the water  first, ahead on the bike and then i would get past on the run.  my friend even said that at times i helped motivate her to run faster and that is fine.  i could tell where i was in a race knowing where she was so it worked both ways.  and remember we are not in the same age group.    

then last year it became a little more serious.  i knew i wanted to do busselton 70.3.  it was all i had thought about since the year before.  it was what i thought about during every run, every bike and every swim.  i talked my friend into doing it.  i said we were ready.  i had my races picked out and my training plan ready.  if you have followed this blog then you will know that my season races didnt go well.  i was always competing on tired legs.  my friend came in before me at every event.  i was now behind on the swim and the bike.  but i had a bigger goal and that was busselton.  i am a competitive person and at times it was difficult knowing you could get a better result if it wasnt for the training.  but i kept reminding myself of the bigger picture.  having people beat me all the time wasnt as bad as just being disappointed in your own personal result.  i wanted to run faster than i had before - not run faster than someone else.    i wanted to have that swim that i know is in me.  i wanted to have that fast bike split and see the improvement. 

i read a great deal,  i have done alot of research and being a newbie i have spent a lot of time learning everything i can.  i love doing it and i dont mind sharing what i know.  at the start my friend and i discussed what would be required for a 70.3 race.  then during the season we caught up a few times outside of race meets as she wanted to discuss my plans further.  at this point i started to realise that i was probably being pumped for information but i truly did not mind helping out.  why would i ?  we were friends right.  then i found out that my friend was doing things and not mentioning it.  things that you would talk about.  still i told myself it didnt matter and it wasnt important.  i will be honest and as busselton approached this started to do my head in a little bit.  i was confused about why i was competing and wondering why i didnt have this mad drive to win.  win what though ?  i just wanted to finish my first 70.3 event. 

so the race comes around and after everything was said and done and written about here i had a truly great day and an awesome result.  all the hard work, training, bad results, no support, money, falling asleep while reading another tri book, sore feet, fear, doubt  - it was worth it.  i could not get the grin off my face.  it was one of the very best days and a highlight in my life.  it felt fantastic to  look at where i had come from - a pack a day smoker.  however i finished ahead of my friend.  and since then things have not been the same.  i am not a complete dummy and i can tell when a persons attitude to you is different.  this is very different.  i have given it time but nothing has changed.  i love this sport and i am really proud of my result at busselton.  i dont want to feel bad about it.  we should be celebrating.

i guess the other factor that needs to be considered is each persons perspective.  i considered this person a friend but my world consists of a very small circle.  i dont have a family and most of my friends do not live in perth.  so while i may look at her as a friend the reverse is that i am probably just seen as an acquaintance. 

i recently finished reading macca's book and i like what he has to say and that he is not afraid to say it.  he has these insights and includes comments that i think sums up how i feel -  'íf you dont have the passion and love the process, if the results are all that matter to you, then there is no depth to what you do.  there is nothing to pull you out of the dark hole when you fall in.  training, surpassing limitations, developing strategy, finding the strength to endure the suffering is trans formative.  you become a better person when you manage to do something as insane as swimming, biking and runing 140.6 miles in the same day''.

while reading back over this i noticed that i was hearing my brothers voice in my head.  clear as a bell and  he is telling me to friggin toughen up and grow a pair.  and he is right because when it comes down to it i am not the one with the problem.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

champion lakes duathlon race report 2011

this race was kinda disappointing.  the folks just didnt turn up. i dont know if there was alot of other events on or what but the numbers were small.  it is well run and the course - while flat is still challenging with the wind and heat.  my age group 45-49 is usually one of the most competitive and this is the state championships for long course duathlon.  so why did only four girls sign up in my age group to then only have two show up and compete.  there is no swim ?  that has to be a bonus for some.   then they had new timing chips attached to the back of your race number which then malfunctioned.  they resolved it pretty quick but the girl who came second to me is showing as a dnf.  so now it even looks like i had no one to compete against and won totally by default.  it was funny last year when i came third but this is just embarrassing.  but now you do know who i am - i am the state duathlon long course champion in the 45-49 female age group.  just remember that and be very afraid.

now to the race.  no rain this year but only just as black clouds hung around for awhile.  it was hot and the cross winds were annoying - you never got a true tailwind.  i havent run much in the last few weeks and my training has been all about the bike.  i didnt rest up for this so the legs were going in tired.  this is probably more a 'c' race or training day.  the first 5k run started fast and i hung on for the first 2k running 5 min pace.  my legs felt okay.  they felt terrible the day before and i had slept in my skins which had really perked them up.  so while my legs felt good my breathing didnt.  i had my heart rate monitor on for the first time in a race and i was surprised to see later that i wasnt racing in the red zone - even though it felt like it.  by the 4k mark i had slowed down and just wanted to be on the bike.  besides being hot and windy you can actually see how far you have to run and that does your head in a little bit.  i wont look next time and will focus on the ducks.

i think i was hoping for a miracle on the bike and while i did pass quite a few people and it got me closer to the middle of the pack i wasnt going to break any records.  i did feel good and even with the crosswinds i enjoyed the bike.  with the lower numbers the course was easier and you didnt have to watch out for the maniacs. 

at this point i could have quite happily called it a day.  the second run was a short 2.5k and the first k was very slow but after that i got back on a normal and easy pace.  my goal for this race was about training and really showed that while you may log the hours nothing beats race fitness.  i suffered a bit on the runs and it was good reminder that i pretty much suck at this but more about that in a later blog. 

after the race i discovered i was in first place but actually didnt believe it.   so i hung around for the presentations and i was hoping to score some free stuff in the spot prizes - no luck.  it also gave me a chance to catch up with another friend who also came first in her age group.  then i headed home to bask in the glory of being a state champ.  as for the result i was first in run, first off the bike and first in the second run.  my only other competitor was obviously last.  i was faster than last year.  that is actually more impressive.

Monday, September 26, 2011

i am a weed

driving to work the other day and while waiting at a set of traffic lights i found myself gazing at a bunch of weeds. i dont know why but it occurred to me that i am a weed.  not just any weed but a weed like this one.  it had the most amazing flowers.  which is great but it is still a weed. 

it is magpie season.  this brings back memories of trying to swat them away with my hockey stick walking home from school.  it is not too bad being attacked while you are on the bike. as long as you see them coming (the shadow can give them away) and you are wearing a helmet.  you usually move out of their zone pretty quick too.  wouldnt like to get caught out when running.  they are the smartest bird and actually recognise people.  apparently they only attack strangers.

this week there has been two shark sightings around the busselton jetty.  one (a great white apparently) was seen trying to grab a free feed out of someones crab net.  they closed the beach.  we are coming into the migration season so not a good time to go swimming.  i read the other day that during the attack that occurred down port kennedy the shark was seen swimming off with the victim in his mouth.  fuck.  i am not reading this shit anymore. 

it is only 27 days until the cape to cape mountain bike adventure.  a few days ago i suddenly realised (i think after reading the course description) that this is going to be four days of very hard riding.  i need to get some miles into these legs.  my training goal has been to get my base hours up to 10 per week in an average build week.  generally i have done this.  i have been riding to work a bit and got in 200k this last week.  this week i want to ride three days in a row.  60k friday, 40k mtb saturday and 100k sunday. 

i am really excited about this adventure.  i changed my mind about camping.  too much to worry about so i booked into a nice bed and breakfast in margaret river.  i have also decided against attending the functions at the winery and brewery (friday/saturday night) as i will need every little bit of rest i can get.  stage 1 is 40k with a 4k hill climb to start and a 1.5k ride along the beach at low tide included.  stage 2 is 60k, stage 3 - which is meant to be the most challenging is 50k and  stage 4 is another 60k.  i hope to get some great photos along the way and will right up a blog report as i progress.

casey girl is at the vets today getting a disfiguring wart removed from her pretty face.  a $480 wart.  how expensive are these vets.  gotta go pick her up. 

have a great week.