Thursday, April 28, 2011

well hello legs - where have you been ?

it is taper time and something strange has happened.  it seems that  i have legs and they are back.  i can swim.  easter was a great time as i nailed all my workouts but also slept and rested - alot.  i could feel my legs recovering just like they do after you have done something new or completed a big race.  i was happy.  and relieved.  my swimming had me stressed with dreams of me clinging to the jetty as everyone else swam by.  i am not tempted to do anything more than what is in my training plan so i am being good.
as a final note to my last post (for the love of triathlon) i think that once a person has determined why they compete and what motivates them other variances to consider are balance and focus.   balance is a hard one and purely by the nature  of triathlon it can become addictive.  we all have our limits and mine is wearing a sperm helmet (this will never happen) and peeing on myself whilst racing.  i dont think that i will ever be in a position that five minutes will matter that much.  i have learnt that it is very important to focus on yourself only.  you can listen and learn from what everyone else is doing and saying but when it comes down to it you need to make your own decisions based on what is best for you and not other people.  no sheep allowed.

things i learnt while training for my first half ironman

1. i didnt think the bike and run would ruin my legs so i could not swim well.
2. i would have a strong yoga/pilates/strength program to look after the body.
3. while this time it was only about building endurance and making the distance there should be some focus on quality sessions.
4. i need a stronger recovery strategy.
5. to have a better home routine (balance) and improve my nutrition (meals etc).
6. how much it is going to take to train for a full ironman.

things i need to catch up on after training for my first half ironman

1. i have two fat dogs who couldnt run 2k. bad me.
2. my garden is overgrown and sad.
3. the house needs a major clean (blinds, carpets - everything !!!).
4. i need to buy normal clothes.
5. i have to spend money on the house and not the sport.
6. i must apply myself in my new job

t.s. eliot wrote 'only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go'.  i can honestly say that after 20 weeks of training, with the skills and knowledge that i had, i could not have done more.  week 17, which was my biggest week and close to 16 hours of training, took me to the edge of what my body could handle.  i am pretty happy i went there.

Monday, April 25, 2011

lest we forget - anzac day

Dulce Et Decorum Est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep.  Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod.  All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas shells dropping softly behind.

Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! - An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime ....
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, -
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie*: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Wilfred Owen

* The old Lie: It is sweet and fitting to die for one's country.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

for the love of triathlon

for the last few weeks i have been quite conflicted about triathlon and what i want from it or what my expectations are.  this was because something did happen that i wasnt happy about and for awhile i felt kinda betrayed and let down.  but how can i be betrayed if the situation wasnt clearly defined or each person had different goals or expectations from the beginning anyway ?  and so while i pretend to work at work i came across this post that seemed to convey some of the same sense of conflict.

'so, as i reflect on this sport that has been a part of my life for the last 7 years...i'm beginning to ask the question: "what is this really about?" running, cycling and swimming is the easy answer. the enjoyment of setting personal goals, however lofty or simplistic they may be - and working towards those goals with excitement, passion, commitment and effort is another answer. the desire to be fit maybe - to get in better shape and have "something" such as a race to work towards. maybe it's a social reason - hanging out with friends and meeting new people while doing an activity that is healthy, fun, and competitive. and furthermore, maybe for a select few, it's all about the chance they'll qualify for a special race, get sponsored, turn pro, or win a prize. i suppose these are all good, and very personal, reasons to do "tris."

of late, however, i've noticed a change in the landscape. the tri community has become overwhelmingly concerned with gear, power, weight savings, customization, shaving seconds, body image, bike pricetag, and everything else 'semi-superficial' and materialistic that fits into these categories. don't get me wrong - there's a place for bikes, shoes, clothing, helmets, wheels, watches, races, competition and caring for your body...but are things getting out of hand? are most of us, especially those that don't make a living at this, spending way too much time surfing the web and shops for articles and the next gear trend? are we so consumed with our 'sport' that we've perverted the purity with which this sport, and its individual elements, were created and sustained for so long; and just turned it into our fad and hobby? as i rode the IMTX course this past weekend, i was inundated with fake and nauseating conversations about people's heart rate, mile splits, bike upgrades, next purchases, race schedules, food habits, jealousy, etc. i really just wanted to enjoy fellow athletes company, push each other to train a little harder, talk about life (and things that truly matter), and ride the course. i'm sure some of the good stuff happened, but it was sparse to say the least'.

do i agree with this point of view ?  i think if someone believes that the equipment is going to help them achieve their goals and they have the money to do it then that is their choice.  basically everything comes back to what motivates you to be a part of the triathlon community.  something has to make you want to get out there and do the training.  for me it is the challenge and the enjoyment of setting personal goals  and working towards those goals with excitement, passion, commitment and effort (bit of plagiarism  there but that describes perfectly how i feel).  if i decide that a better bike is going to help me do that (rather than hard work) then that is my choice.  and anyway i have always confessed to my love of mr garmin as well as being a girl who loves to shop her passion.  the pursuit of the latest and greatest gear doesnt bother me as much as the person who wants to win at any cost or that it is all just about the winning.  this is not why i do it and so being pushed into that environment makes me unhappy and uncomfortable.  i am not saying it is wrong if that is your motivating factor.  i am just saying that i dont want to be a part of it.  the only person i want to compete against is myself.  and this expectation is just as personal as the writer above who wanted his experience to be more about your 'fellow athletes company, to push each other to train a little harder and to talk about life (and things that truly matter) and to ride the course'.  i have to agree with this and would seek out this environment anyday rather than one that focused on the 'bling' and the 'winning'.
i read the following comment and it really summed up how i want to feel come race day  - you are never better than yourself, so be the best you can be, both mentally and physically on race day.  treat the day like a celebration of all the hard work and sacrifice and you can't go wrong.

have a great easter. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

camp jeni training lockdown - the final weeks

this post is a record of the last few weeks of training leading up to taper time -  it is the final three weeks until busselton and if you havent done the training then you havent done the training and nothing is going to change that.  i have no idea how i am going to go.  all i know is that i have given myself a really good shot at being able to have fun with it and maybe get a result that will reflect that effort.  in doing the training i have learnt a great deal and that will take up another post.  but in the meantime i will focus on me and what i have to do.  

week 7

i really feel like i have just about broken the back of this thing. i am much stronger on the bike, getting the running done but it is still a fight in the pool.  next week is recovery week which i am sooo looking forward to.  i swam 6.5k but this included an open water group swim session down at cottesloe with paul from swim smooth.  18 months ago i went through the swim video analysis process and my stroke did benefit from it.  i decided i needed to be pushed and challenged and i needed to swim with my peers.  so i am giving up my early saturday swims and swapping it for a bike ride with the local guys (maybe) and a later swim session at claremont pool.    by the way i did spend all morning chasing everyone else.  i rode 201k with my sunday ride at 105k in under 3.5 hours.  i stayed aero 90% of the time and rode at an average speed of 29k.  this is good.  and i felt good as well.  my running was a problem.  i have been struggling with my feet once i get past 15k.  the week before i had a niggle in the side of my calf and my feet turned hot on my long run.  and i am running it too fast still.  i ran 9k tuesday morning and while my legs were tired it was okay.  for my long run i decided to complete it by running around the footy oval two minutes from home.  the guys were training and the lights would be on.  each lap was 600m so i did 28.5 for just over 17k.  i did this at an average pace of 6.08 per km - still too fast.  at about the 8k mark the balls of my feet really started to burn and tighten up.  but i kept at it.  when i got home it was two bags of ice in the bath and more ice for the feet.  to cut a long story short my feet - especially the left and not so much the right continued to play up - even swimming and riding so i canned the saturday run and went to the physio on monday.  in the meantime the self diagnosis via google was giving me nightmares.  turns out that after 15k my calves and feet are fatiguing and kinda collapsing.  this is straining the plantar fascia and tightening everything up.  i had a great foot massage followed by my normal full massage (that girl is evil) and woke feeling pummelled but better.  i now spend my work time rolling my feet over a tennis ball.  i also have $200 less in the bank courtesy of a new pair of brooks and a visit to sports fever.  the asics will still be good for runs under 10k so i will not be wearing the most expensive gardening shoes ever.  and the good news is that i can keep running.  total training time was 12.65 hours which was on track with my training plan courtesy of being ahead on the bike while short on the run.   

week 6

recovery week. 

monday - at physio and massage.
tuesday - with new shoes and a nice and easy 5k run
wednesday - 40k on the bike - good.  nearly got taken out by two kangaroos - bad.  dinner with old friend and staying up past 9.30 pm drinking wine - very bad.  missed my swim too.
thursday - 15k run in new shoes was excellent.  average pace 5.55 per km.  i have given up trying to slow down and so i just go with the flow.  the grass is helping the knees out but i think it is making it harder on my calves and feet.  i have done 90% of my running on hard surfaces and the course is hard so i may just go back to it and see how the knees go.  damn this running is confusing.  went to the doctors this morning and my toe is infected.  i could feel it while running but  i could put up with it.  i am on antibiotics so good time to give up the wine.  i am hoping that nothing more happens. 
friday - bike 30k and no swim - very bad.  still trying to catch up from wednesday and driving around all week to physio, job interview, new shoes, doctor and then leaving my mobile at home and having to drive 30k return trip back for it. 
saturday - my last saturday state swim.  easy 2k threshold.  have my 100m sets down to on 1.40.  the speed is there but it was tiring.  little nap and then off to swim smooth session.  i was a little off the pace but got the work done.  i am a push-over when things get rough but this session is going to be good for me.  home again for another little nap.  quick 8k run that i think i pushed too hard.  last k was on 5 min pace.  it is better running on pavement.  i think i fucked up running on grass.  live and learn.
sunday - see waroona cyclosportif report.  feet burned most of the way so lots of ice and massage when i got home.  total training time 10.5 hours.

week 5

second biggest week.

monday - yay for rest days.  wearing my new masseur sandals to work.  just made an appointment with podiatrist.  gotta fix this problem.  and btw - got a new job.
tuesday - at the physio by 7 am. and alana totally killed my feet and calves.  so much pain but feels much better.   went out to run and knew the long run wasnt going to happen.  my feet and calves were stiff from the morning physio.  another bad decision ?  no i cut it short at 10.5k.
wednesday -  up for my two hour ride and felt like crap for the first lap.  really depressed about my feet.  i could feel them warming up.  leg was a bit stiff but pulled it together for second lap.  work sucked and i started to feel worse through out the afternoon.  decided not to swim but to take some time out and rest the feet.  i think alana may have got carried away.  i think the antibiotics for my toe make me feel like shit.
thursday - so i dont completely fuck up the second biggest training week i have decided to miss a swim this afternoon, take a day out and do some yoga and save the long run for friday morning.  my feet feel like they are recovering from a  huge workout so the extra time will be great.  yesterday was a really bad day. 
friday - okay so we all know what happened last night when i was terrorised by drunken aboriginals. it was horrible and being out running this morning helped clear my brain.  i decided to do my 4k circuit and with each lap see how i go.  i was not going to run on grass at all - not when it probably caused the problem.  so out the door at 5am and first lap in my brooks shoes.  second lap in my asics and you can really feel the softness.  third lap back to brooks and my feet and legs are feeling okay.  fourth lap back to asics and now i can tell the difference.  being a soft shoe it can be deceptive as to whether there is any benefit. while the brooks are not as soft they are better to run in. i was glad to get the brooks back on and around my shorter 2.5k lap for the final stage.  i was running late for work but still took the time to get in the ice bath for 10 minutes.  besides who cares about work !  after work i finally made it to the pool and managed 3k that did focus on upper body rather than the legs.  for the last half hour i was the only one in the pool and once they turned the lights on i no longer felt like i was swimming in a dark cave and it was fun.
saturday - recovered quite well from yesterdays run so headed straight out on the bike.  i decided to get the long bike in so i dont have to ride after tomorrow's triathlon event and in case of rain - which was being forecast.  it was a hard slog for 90k and very windy on the second lap.  home just in time to organise a few things and make a smoothie before out the door and off to the podiatrist.  $374 later i really am no more the wiser.  seems like my  feet are not neutral but do pronate and i need orthotics blah blah blah.  i have a slight case of shin splints and my calves are probably contributing the most to this problem.  also i have weird lumps on both of my feet that have always been there but apparently are not normal.  who knew !  my health fund did contribute $200 so i can still eat for the rest of the week.  the appointment ran over so i missed my swim smooth session.  i stopped by terry tyzack pool and it was a truly beautiful afternoon.  i had a lane all to myself and the water was just perfect for a measured 3k swim.  then i went home and napped before getting my gear organised for tomorrow.
sunday - see the sad hillarys race report.
total training time - 12.25 hours which was short 45 mins but i think the racing effort made up for it.

week 4

peak week - the biggest seven days EVER

monday - rest but a trip to the physio and a visit with tim who stuck needles in my calves and it hurt like hell.  you could feel the muscle twitching.  put ice on it as soon as i got home and the bruising is not too bad.  slept with my compression socks on.
tuesday - calves and feet were feeling pretty good until i went running.  but i did for 8k and it went okay so one less run to do.  had to race off to the shops then organise my gear, eat some food blah blah blah it never ends.
wednesday - up early and out for my two hour ride. came as close as i ever have to being taken out by a car.  arrived at work later than ever and who really cares.  hit the pool at 5 for a 2.5k drills session.  then home for more chasing my tail kinda stuff.  i cant remember what my dogs look like.
thursday - i think i went to work.  luckily podiatrist appointment cancelled as orthotics did not arrive as i did not get out of bed for my long run  so planned to run it at night but right from the beginning nothing felt good.  even the traffic was really pissing me off.  so after 3k i decided to try again in the morning.
friday - up at 4.45am and out running by 5.15am.  in the course of running 5 x 4k laps i decided i wasnt going to work and i would call in an annual leave day.  i wont lie - this 20k hurt the whole way.  much more than last weeks 18.5k.  i still ran it at an average pace of 6.10 min per/km.  too fast but it seems that is my pace.  by the start of the fourth lap i knew that if i did go to work i would be in pain all day trying to sit at that desk.  but it was all cool and once i was done and had stretched it out  i was in the coldest ice bath i have ever taken.  i had left the water in from the previous day so it was cold to start and then i added 2 bags of ice.  if i had balls they would have snapped off.  then i got into bed to warm up but also slept for a few hours.  i felt good when i woke up so i went  to the pool and swam 2.5k before going to the podiatrist to pick up my expensive inserts.  in bed by 8.30pm.
saturday - out by 7am for a 40k ride.  then home to pig out and have a nana nap.  i am also having constant icing sessions with my feet, using the tennis ball to loosen things up, wearing compression gear and constant stretching.  this is working.  my feet are feeling better.  it is hard work.  meant to go to a swim smooth session but i didnt feel right so went to terry tyzack and swam 400 set sessions for 3k.  only two more workouts to do.  home for more food shopping  and sleep.  in bed again by 8.30pm.  wild times.
sunday - it wasnt meant to rain until later in the day.  on the road by 6.30am.  saw my other triathlete training strangers out on the road.  i wonder if they think it is an ugly and boring course.  at the end of the first lap it had started to rain so i stopped at home for my second drink bottle and a change of top.  it continued to rain.  i have never cycled in the rain before.  not happy about getting the bike all messed up.  feeling okay at the 92k mark and the rain had stopped so went for a shorter lap and a total ride of 120k.  i was hungry the whole time and even grabbed a peanut butter sandwich when i had the drink stop.  need to make sure i eat well BEFORE i workout.  only one more thing to do.  i had a nap and watched some tv before mopping the floors and cleaning the bike.  then i ran 10k.  i had been breaking in my orthotics an hour at a time but i needed to start running with them.  so i ran with them for the first 2.5k and they are really heavy and take up ALOT of room.  apparently this is normal.  so i ate more and slept more and here i am.  i am slightly stiff and sore but my feet have survived and i have a massage booked for tonight.  i think that is gonna hurt. 
total training time - 15.51 hours swim 8.1k cycle 220.3k run 41.22k

welcome to taper time !

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Hillarys 2# TriSeries Sprint Triahtlon Race Report

this was the last event in the five race series and somehow i have managed to finish them all.  this wasnt the hardest but i wouldnt say it was easy either.  my result sucked and i was really disappointed.  could i have tried any harder - probably not.  in the few days prior i had put in some hard work and friday was a 18.5k run in the morning and 3k swim after work.  saturday i rode 90k in the morning and then swam another 3k just after lunch.  i was secretly hoping for massive thunderstorms, lightning and hail for good measure but all i got was wind.  i you read this blog you will know that i have given ratings for the wind at this course and i am gonna go there and say it was at the top of the scale which is 'fucking windy'. 

did the usual stuff setting up and catching up with everyone was fun.  i have been lucky and met some great people this year.  i wasnt too worried about things and managed to get my wetsuit on without pulling holes in it or ripping out any black chunks.  i was feeling rather trim so i had my svelte bikesure tri suit on underneath.  the water was quite cool and while it looked calm i knew what would really happen once we reached that first buoy.  which i did quite quickly and i could see that i was just behind the lead swimmers by 10-15 metres.  but the wheels well and truly fell off once i turned around to swim across and then back to shore.  i was knackered.  no matter how well i was breathing i was just tired and trying to swim against a current was sapping all my strength.  i actually got pushed further out to sea and off course trying to get across to the turn around buoy.    on more than one occasion i thought about getting a lift back with the surf lifesavers.  end result was that this was my worst swim EVER and it makes me VERY sad and i dont want to talk about it.

so i take my time in transition and since they took down the numbered flags whereby you could locate your rack and bike it wasnt too hard.  i guess it was that friggin wind again.  nothing really went wrong - i just didnt rush. T1 3.13.

i felt good on the bike but the lap heading out was pretty much straight into the headwind with occasional gusts that were really strong and if you were caught unaware slightly dangerous.  i slogged my guts out for the 20k and managed to make up some time and pass some people.  time - 43.24.

i decided to try out my brooks running shoes and that meant socks and shoelaces so again i didnt rush things.  i was surprised to see anna at the same time as i thought she would be off and running.  we usually finish within a minute of each other so maybe i wasnt the only one having a bad day.  T2 2.10.

my running legs and rhythm felt good from the start and this was the best part of the day - i know - this is weird for me.  heading out straight into that friggin wind was a nightmare but coming back was great.  my calves did feel tight and i lost 30 seconds on the run when i stopped to stretch a bit but my shoes felt great and the feet were okay.  my pace each km was 5.36, 5.39, 5.55, 5.32 and 5.18.  i was feeling good coming home.  and yes i stopped around the 2.5k mark for that stretch.  because of my calves and feet i remember telling myself i was running too fast and it wasnt worth it and i needed to slow down.  i didnt have a problem doing that.  in the swim i had no choice and that is why i am upset about that result. time - 28.09.

the wrap up is that this year i have had to choose between racing the short course fast or training for busselton.  with my level of base, age and inexperience i could not do both.  so i chose busselton.  i finished 11th at this race.  there was only 2 minutes between myself and 5th place and i have beaten all the girls in that range on quite a few occasions.  so is it a positive that after all my training i was only a few minutes off the pace or do i take it as a negative and let the history books show that while others got faster i became slower ?  will it make me a better person that i have to suck it up and just think of the bigger picture ?  what will happen if all this doesnt pay off in busselton ?  will there be enough wine to drown my sorrows ?


Thursday, April 7, 2011

terror in the night

last night was a twilight night of terror.  i was in bed early and fast asleep at midnight.  i know i was dreaming about running and it was on my mind as i had to get up at 4.45 am to get in my long run.  it was nothing specific but i remember i started coming awake as i heard people outside and the sound of running feet.  in my sleep haze i thought it was people trying to get me out of bed and out running and they were yelling at me to get a move on. 

then my dogs started barking and casey girl was really going for it.  then i realised that more than one person was banging on my front door.  i have a security screen/door and then my actual door which has two locks.  thank god for the security door.  i then realised that there was a group of people outside and they were yelling and screaming and really hammering at my door.  molly dog had run off to hide.  it is hard to convey but this was loud and it was aggressive.  i was too scared to look outside and i thought if i pretended no one was home they would go away.  dumb idea.  i didnt turn any lights on either.  then i heard one of them screaming to call the police and since the pounding on the front door was only getting worse i decided i had to. 

so then i run around trying to find a phone.  i trip over the dog on the way into the kitchen just as i remember the phone there is a useless hands free screen phone.  then i head into the study and grab the handset and call 111.  WTF is that number ? i could not remember the number and was confused between 911 from american television shows and what our emergency number is.  BTW it is 000.  so i get through to the police and they are aware of my address and they are aware of the situation.  it seems the people outside my front door are well know to the police and live further up the street in a homeswest (government - my tax dollars funded house) and i dont care about black or white - these people are trash.   the police informs me that a car has been sent and that i should just relax.  this really pissed me off.  he may have known these people but i could only assume they may have been armed and they may have been dangerous. 

the banging on the front door stops and i look out between the blinds.  the police van is there and i see three people who are obviously very drunk being lead away.  finally peace.  i really didnt know what to do then.  i had some water and got back into bed.  i read my book for awhile trying to relax again.  got back to sleep but it was restless.  i was kinda glad to get up for my run and made it around the neighbourhood for 18.5k.  very happy about that and only one more super long run to go.  

this morning i was on the phone to homeswest.  i refuse to accept that i have to live with people that have no regard for their neighbours and will give no second thought to terrorising people.  imagine if it had been ethel next door ?  she is a pensioner and even with lou home they are defenseless.    i have no problem with anyone who is doing the right thing and needs a helping hand.   but it pisses me off when people are given a nice house to live in and they choose to not only destroy and trash it but then to make everyone elses life unbearable. 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

waroona cyclosportif 80k ride

in a bid to keep training fresh i decided to sign myself up for this ride thinking that not only would it be a good training exercise (it has hills) but i would have fun, get out of my comfort zone and enjoy the day. bicycling western australia put on these events which are team rides and although they are timed they are not races. you can sign up as an individual and they assign you to a team based on your ability. as it turned out they only had one team of individuals so it was a real mix. i was the only girl.

taking into account that i live in the swan valley it was a 1 hour 45 min drive to waroona which was tedious. the race event started at 9.30 so at least i didn’t have to get up before dawn. met up with the team and luckily we started up front and so even if we came last it would not look like we did. bonus. 

pretty quickly the ‘team’ disbanded. three guys rode off straight away never to be seen again. one kilometre in you start climbing the first hill and it is a good one. i have attached the link to mr garmin and you can see the elevation and course below. while we were climbing the rest of the team stayed together. as soon as we went downhill the guys next to me or in front just drifted away. the law of physics states that whatever is heavier and has a big fat belly will go faster on the downhill. so then i would catch them on the climb until we reached more of the downhill section and they were gone. one guy i kept in sight and eventually past and never saw again and two other guys stayed at the back and i don’t know if they finished. it would have been nice to ride as a team (a hell of a lot easier !) just for the experience but you really need to be close in ability or at least understand the no 'i' in team principle.

this was a tough race ride. i haven’t ridden any hills in 3-4 months so the legs felt it. at some points i didn’t know if i could keep going but i just let my mind wander and kept the legs turning and before i knew it i was over the hill. some of the downhills were a tiny bit scary especially when my eyes watered over and i could not see. being on your own you do get to people watch and it was interesting to see the make- up of some groups and how well they worked together. the wind let up after awhile but it was never really that bad but then the heat kicked in. the race event is not closed roads and a couple of guys nearly ended up kissing the front of a car. we were slowly riding up hill and they were coming downhill fast and around a blind corner when a car behind us decided they were sick of waiting and overtook on a double line. if it had been thirty seconds earlier it would have been nasty. being a group ride and a hilly course i rode pretty much off my aerobars which actually gave me a really sore lower back on the right side. once i started using my aerobars  it went away. interesting.

the course was excellent, the views scenic and the marshalls did a great job. my biggest criticism is the lack of support on the course. maybe this is the way it is but there were no re-fill aid stations. i had two bottles and my food was perfect but by the time i was done i was dehydrated and thirsty. and even then i had to wait till i could get inside the hall to ‘buy’ a drink. the entry fee included a meal (no drink) and if you arrive at the back of the pack everyone else is already seated and well into it. i think the people who finished after me may have gone hungry and thirsty. i still find it very strange that no drinks were provided but maybe that is a triathlon expectation. it seems like as soon as you cross the finish line after your run a drink is thrusted into your hand quickly followed by a piece of fruit or more drinks. it also seems like the protocol is to change out of your cycling gear before entering the food hall to claim your meal. it does make sense but who knew ? i don’t think it was necessary for the guys next to me in the drink line to make jokes about it. anyway all i wanted was water and more water and all i got was one bottle of water and a lemon soda. they had run out !!! since the last thing i wanted was a hot roast beef or turkey roll i got in the car and drove home.

for me this was a fun and challenging race ride – although more than my training plan had required for a recovery week. it was a long drive home and i only got back around three so it didn’t leave a lot of time for my sunday nana nap.

there are another four races events over the winter so i will look forward to riding again as an individual team member.  i will be prepared.

p.s. i did manage to beat home 11 teams - including two female teams.  yay for me.