Monday, February 21, 2011

when real life interrupts

i am a positive person.  sometimes being on your own it can be hard to remain positive as the only voice telling you that it will be okay is your own.  in this situation it can also be difficult to keep things in perspective - some things are just not that fucking important.   sometimes we forget we only get one shot at this life and there is no do over.

my mum has a disease.  we only found out this week and while it is not immediately life threatening it is very serious.  the reality that your parents are not going to live forever and to find out why is quite confronting.  my mum's mum lived to 99 and was incredibly active up until the last few years when her mind went off with the pixies.  she quietly passed in her sleep.  because of this we simply assumed it would be the same for her daughter.  i am worried about my dad as he becomes responsible for more than his beloved garden and cat.   how do you get your parents to make the right the decisions for themselves when they are the adult and not the child.   

then there is my shitty fucking job.  which the only important thing about it is the bills it pays.  would it be the end of the world if i just got up and walked away ?  people are assuming that i am happy settling for second best.   i called the recruitment agency and expressed my concern and they were surprised since the feedback they have had is that i am doing a great job.  a great job doing fuck all.  yesterday i got so stressed out i gave myself a headache.  i think that some experiences have chipped away at my confidence and i no longer have the ability to stand up.  insecurity is eating away at my soul.  i feel the same at races.  i dont compete hard.  before i would not hesitate to shirt front some girl in a hockey game and yet i get all upset if someone swims over my feet.  what the fuck is going on ?  when will the real me come back. 

i want to make plans.  i have been hanging in limbo for too long.  i will be glad when the next two races are done so i can concentrate on training.  i am going to run the hbf fun run two weeks after busselton - dead legs or not.  i am going to do the half marathon at the city to surf this year - you get a free t-shirt and a bigger medal so it has to be done.  i am going to fly to sydney two weeks prior and do their city to surf fun run.  if busselton goes well and all the variables fall into place i am going to visit my sister in july 2012 and do the rev3 portland long course (70.3).  this year is the the first year for the event so quite a few variables right there.  i need to buy a new mtb as i will be going back to dwellingup this year.   i nearly had it until i had to borrow from the triathlon fund to keep the car happy.  brakes do tend to be useful.  so only thing better than having a plan is when a plan comes together.  gotta remember the plan.  i feel better already.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Hillarys #1 TriSeries Sprint Triathlon Race Report and Other Stuff

hillarys, hillarys and hillarys.  that is how many times i will complete this course this year and they will all be one after another.  hillarys was the first triathlon i ever did.  i have now completed the same distance four times at this course.  i also did an enticer distance that first year.  it is the only course that has not changed so aside from wind conditions i can compare results. 

so another big week of training going into this event had left me with tired legs.  by sunday i had ran 22k, cycled 100k and swam 6k.  my arch nemesis silke wasnt racing as she was on cricket duty but pip (who will now be known as speedy girl) was there.  i noticed being on my own at the cottesloe race was nowhere near as much fun and sometimes it is just nice knowing someone else is out there.  

the bike course is relatively flat with only two turnarounds requiring 3 laps for just over 20k.  the run is 2.5 out and back.  the swim is an ocean swim and can be extremely deceptive.  the wind plays a massive factor here and will be ranked as either calm, windy, fucking windy or cyclonic. 

the water was 25 degrees and looked very calm.  i have become a bit of a princess about the swim.  i am spending more time avoiding people, losing my concentration and expending unnecessary energy rather than just getting on with it.  and now i have developed a bit of a phobia about stingers.  you could see them again and one arm got attacked.  out to the first buoy was okay and then a bit of a chop hit which then became much worse on the final turn to shore.  this swim was just lazy and pathetic.  S 17.33.

T1 was ridiculous and i dont know what i was thinking.  first up the grass has not been looked after and coming back to the bike my feet were covered in beach sand and black dirt.  i dont care that much about my shoes but i didnt want to ride with sand rubbing everywhere either.  i think because i was being a pussy about that i got my routine out of sync.  i tried wiping my feet on my towel then stepped on my goggles with one shoe and heard a crack.  you know i love my goggles so i had to check that they were okay and rub the dirt off them.  then i took my bike off the rack and realised i didnt have my fucking helmet on.  so i put my sunnies on then my helmet and then realised that my hair was poking out too much so re-adjusted my helmet again and finally made my way out.  T1 2.55. 

so the rating for this event on a wind factor was windy.  the first lap was great as the guys were still getting in from the swim but after that it got a bit crowded and a few accidents happened.  i dont understand how as the course is not technical.  i always seem to be riding at my own special speed as i never seem to be around people.  one girl stopped by for a chat as she could not remember how many laps she had completed.  the bike is when i feel my dead legs the most and it is just hard work. B 41.22.   the official timing has both T1 and T2 included in the bike split.  however thanks to mr garmin i can now split them out.

during the swim i just wanted to be on the bike and when i was on the bike i just wanted to be running. T2 was uneventful and an improved 1.42.

my legs are getting used to running off the bike.  this felt hard the whole way but i am amazed that my last two runs have held up.  speedy girl passed me on her way back in and she was way ahead.  another girl who i am usually within 30 seconds was ahead of me by a few minutes.  the last kilometre i felt like i had a rythmn and i knew it would come close to being one of the quicker km splits.  i managed to pass someone in my age group and then hold off another by under 30 seconds.  my splits were 5.36, 5.34, 5.39, 5.37 and 5.30.  average pace of 5.34.  R 28.14

total time was 1.31.46.  i have never finished this course under 1.30.  AG 7/14, Gender 120/174 and Overall 427/512.

a comparison of my past results are below -

Virgin Race Womens 2009 - wind factor calm          S 17.10  B  54.46  R  35.18  T  1.47.14

2XU Womens 2010 - wind factor fucking windy      S 17.36  B  49.04  R  29.04  T  1.35.46

Race 2# 2010 - wind factor windy                           S  14.46  B  47.35  R 27.46  T 1.30.08 (so close)

Race 1# 2011 - wind factor windy                           S  17.33  B  45.59  R  28.14  T 1.31.46

there are a few variables with each race but i think i can take sundays result as a positive.   the week leading into the next race is a recovery week and i will be setting  myself a target. 

stayed around with speedy girl who had a podium finish for second in her age group.  yah pip !!  we didnt pick up any free swag in the spot prizes.   

since sunday is the day of long rides and the race was only 20k i was short about 60k in my training plan.  i was thinking of riding later in the afternoon but when i got home the wind seemed to have backed off and it was a nice cool 26 degrees.  so before i got settled i washed the salt water off, put on a change of lycra, filled up the water bottles and headed out.  had some good tunes on my ipod and in one of the bottles i had placed my secret energy drink.  i had two laps of 30k to do and it was hell wind for 15k on the way out and flying all the way back.  i surprised myself when i managed to turn around and do it all again for the last lap.  this decision turned out to be a wise move because by 3 pm it was nasty wind. 

later on i settled back with a glass of wine to watch the biggest loser.  i love this show.  i want  to get myself a commando.  it is not fair that the fat people get to have all the fun.  it was the right decision to vote damien off.  it was bad thing the red team did and a shame because damien needs all the help he can get. 

i slept well :).

Sunday, February 13, 2011

eat, sleep, train

this is my life.  everyday sleep, eat, train, work, train, eat, sleep.  repeat.  i feel like i never stop. i am constantly washing lycra.  the week is okay as long as i dont plan to do anything else.  i want to be in bed by 9 but 9.30 is a struggle.  organising meals is a challenge.  i am so sick of eating the same things.  i have stopped drinking wine. 

i met with a guy who looked at my bike set-up.  he lowered the seat a bit and moved it as it was not level and crooked as well.  explains why i got lower back niggles on just one side.  he re-set my cleats and i need to buy (yet) another stem.  went for a ride this morning and it felt better.  not perfect - just better.   last week i put new boots on it, upgraded the lights and had it serviced.  for the same price i could have bought a pair of manolo blahniks.

i changed my garmin band over to the new quick release version 2.  it is a great deal more secure and it uses the original band.  i love how i can see it easily on the bike.  it does sit up a bit higher on my wrist and i will probably still tape it when i swim with it.  it is easy to get off the bike and click it onto the band for the run but i dont think it will be easy to do it the other way around coming off the swim. 

work still sucks but i am going to persevere until after busselton.  they do let me come in an hour late one day  a week so i can get my second ride in.  in the meantime i hope i dont get fired for falling asleep at my desk.  this is the second time i have worked  where there is someone in the office who is a very, very large person.  a contender for biggest loser.  what i would like to know is why you never see them eat anything more than a sandwich.   

i read this excerpt from a triathlon race report and for some reason found it to be hilarious.  i literally had tears rolling down my face and was making choking noises trying to contain myself whilst i was meant to be analysing some boring crap (yawn).  i love my goggles too.
Bike - Thought my goggles needed to be aired out, so took them on the bike with me. Saw some others out there that found leaving their goggles behind was just too heartbreaking as well, so felt ok about that. I loooove my bike and my HED's, especially the first bit on the good hotmix and the 800km wind behind me - wheels were singing and I felt like I was averaging about 925km/h. Went from being 191 overall to 86th - oh yeah!! Even with 2 pee stops. This is where my gains end.

Run - Passed by 102 people on the first lap - how embarrassing.. Only another 12 on the second lap, then I must have had a quick snooze, cause ended up back at 262 overall in the end.

then i saw this picture and lost all control.  it probably is not that funny.   and  maybe i just needed a good laugh.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Cottesloe Ocean Triathlon Race Report 2011

this was one of my favourite events last year but this year i did not have fun.  the only positive i got out of it was a pretty good 6k run on tired legs and we were all done by 8.30am.  there were alot more people and the organised chaos was annoying.  no security which surprised me after the bike theft at the power station.  the volunteers are always great but just not enough of them and i am sure that after the swim they moved the timing mat so it could become the finish timing mat.  i didnt mind the casual nature of these events before so i dont know what has changed.  tired maybe.           

the swim annoyed me because we went before the guys in one wave and then the guys came a few minutes later - also in one wave and completely swam over the top of everyone.  two guys swam over me and seemed to be in their own race.  a guy next to me decided to take a break and do some back stroke and cut me off at the same time.  once out of the water it was a 100m run on bitumen to the bike - gravel, rocks and all.  ouch, ouch and ouch.

out on the bike course we then had to contend with the massive pack of novice riders.  i like to see people having a go and we all had to learn but the timing should be better.  people were drafting or would speed up when you were passing or a big no-no would try to overtake on the left.  i was not having fun.  except for the little hill.  that was fun.

by the time i got to the run i wanted to go home.  but i figured i was almost there i may as well finish and as it turns out i had a good run and was the only part i really enjoyed.  i am going to request for all my final races that i have an * next to my name with the words 'in training for busselton 70.3'.  the run was 6k this year instead of the usual 5k.  i dont know why it wasnt standard.  maybe because at 6k there was a shelter for the volunteers.  i was quicker in every leg than i was last year so at least i can take that away.  this is a pretty dull race report but that was the kinda day it was.  i still remember how much i enjoyed it last year so perhaps my expectations were too high.  home by 9.30 am and my training done for the day.  i cannot complain about that.

Results - Time 1.33.11 Swim 16.30 Bike 44.03 (Includes T1 and T2) Run 32.38 AG 6/10

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Cottesloe to Swanbourne Ocean Classic 2.2k

i love these events and  i love swimming at cottesloe.  i like that they are just about having fun, getting out there and participating.  i never want to go to any of these open water swims and feel like i have to  race.  because then i will stop going.  i like that i am supporting the local surf clubs.  what i dont like is the bloody stingers and they were out in force yesterday.  i could see them floating about and tried to quietly glide over them.       

the forecast was for very windy conditions and the bougainvillea scraping over my roof all night kept reminding that the forecast was going to be accurate.  but we got lucky and the wind was blowing in the right direction.  water was flat and swimming north we would go with the current.  for the first kilometre you could feel it helping you along and then it dropt off.

the swim was a mass deep water start in line with the pontoon at cottesloe that somehow had been painted in the colours of the swanbourne nedlands surf club.  i think everytime i am at cottesloe it is in different club colours.  with 485 people swimming it was quite a group.  as usual i was at the back and probably gave away 20-30 metres.  but i had a great start right from the beginning and felt very comfortable.  i was so comfortable that by half way i was using the same stroke combination that i use in the pool.  i have never done that before.  usually i am breathing every stroke to my stronger side - the left.  now i was swimming bilateral and breathing every third stroke.  and swimming straighter.  i could actually concentrate on my technique.  that was until about half way and then i was hit by stingers.  at first i wasnt too worried but then i got stung more and more and i could see them in the water.  one got down inside the right hand side of my speedos and that hurt.  both arms were hit and then my back.  but i just thought about the things i could control and kept my stroke going and focused on the wonderful reef i was swimming over. 

most of the time i avoided  people.  that skill will come.  i did have to swim past a bunch of guys that didnt give an inch.  i dont know why i expect people to be polite.  but you would know these guys if you saw them.  they probably swim together every weekend and are big and burly.  probably my age.  if they get in a pool they are that guy who swims past and wacks you in the head as their stroke no longer has nice high elbows.  they probably are ex-surf lifesavers and still swim to rotto every year.  they are not quick but they get there. 

so much of what we do is all about confidence and this swim did me no harm at all.  remembering it was current assisted my time was 40.01.  that is 1.49 pace per 100m.  not bad - not bad at all.  got my t-shirt and walked back to cottesloe.  this was a fantastic start to the weekend.