Saturday, May 28, 2011

the race is done - now what ?

it has been close to three weeks since busselton and much has happened.  busselton was the last event of the triathlon season and i have been out of sorts since.  getting back into training has been up and down.  last week i ran the hbf run for a reason 14k funrun (report to come) and that was just hard work.  then i have struggled with the flu this week and felt guilty about everything i am not doing.  i never planned for post busselton.  as a final farewell to the season here is me finishing at busselton.  the commentator says something about the curtain closing.  he has no idea what it means and neither do i so i dont know if he was talking about me or another competitor's bio.

it was my birthday last week.  i am now 47 and feeling just friggin fantastic.  i once again purchased myself a most awesome gift.  i dont know how i do it but i always seem to know what i would like and i have to admit - i think i have outdone myself.  check it out - i am gonna have me some fun over winter.
isnt she pretty !

yesterday my dog casey girl had to go to the vets for her yearly health check etc.  she had to get on the scales and it was very sad and embarrassing.  they know it is not all fur but 32kg of fat dog.  so i have decided to take action.  today both casey and molly dog will have an official weigh in.  i have written up a training program for them to follow.  yesterday we had a trial run to see where their fitness level is at.  using mr garmin we walked to the oval as the warm up followed by an interval session of 400m x 2 with 1.30 RI.  the walk back home was the cool down.  well the first lap was okay although towards the end i was pulling casey.  she chose to roll on the ground and lie panting for her 1.30 rest period.  the second 400 casey just quit half way and sat down in protest.  casey is nearly nine years old or 63 in human years so this is going to be a gradual process.  molly dog is three years younger and probably carrying less body weight for her size.  their diets are pretty good so there is not alot to be gained from any changes - it will be all about the running.

my other new project is food.  i suck at cooking.  i dont really -  i just dont have the patience to cook well.
my diet has been up and down and for some reason i currently hate salad - i LOVED salad.  maybe i ate it too much.  but food in general has been weird.  i am hungry but there is nothing i want to eat.  i am over vegemite so my salt levels must be back to normal.  so in the spirit of julia/julia i have purchased jamie olivers 30 minute meals book and will cook one meal plan each week and report back on my progress.

since this blog is all about the swimming it is time to talk swimming.  i will admit that i have struggled to find my swimming mojo.  when i changed pools i lost my direction and went from something that was very routine to being all over the place.  i need to get my consistency back.  one of the best things i have done is join the swim smooth training group.  swim smooth are located at claremont pool which is about 50 minutes from home.  the session i attend is all about open water and drafting skills - perfect for me.  so while it is in the middle of the day and can kill off time for other things i do - it is so worth it and so much FUN.  it is wonderful to be able to train with other people and they are a great group.  check out the swim smooth website.  i have to mention here that paul and co. are currently training to swim the english channel in approx 7 weeks time - AWESOME.  and to put things really into perspective one of the guys swam to rotto a few weeks back as a training session - that is a 19k one way open water swim.  now while he was there he didnt go to the pub and put his feet up.  instead (i am guessing)  he had something to eat before turning  around and swimming back.  AMAZING.  i will let you know how the channel swim goes. 

now i gotta go and prune the garden and be a responsible home owner.  by the way - my new job is going okay but i dont want to say too much too soon.  it could be good. 

chow baby.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

2011 busselton ironman 70.3 race report part two V2

the race

i cannot believe i slept so well.  i woke around 4 but managed to have another little nap before getting up at 4.45 a.m. and working through my stretching moves.  i could still feel the ache in my butt but everything else felt good.  i did try to eat but could only force down two bananas and one pancake. this was not enough. my gear was all organised so with ac/dc blasting from the stereo i was on my way.

parking was right next to transition so it was a two minute walk to the bike. it was still dark and it was cold but no wind. i set up transition in the dark and had a quick chat to the girls next to me. setting up was quite easy as i had been over and over in my mind what i wanted or thought i needed. it was then fantastic to see the familiar faces of silke and pip and have a quick but nervous chat to them. i was the nervous one but it was manageable. i had not freaked out - YET ! i then headed off to the port-a-loo and into the main tent to get my wetsuit on. i tried to eat a shotz bar but only managed to finish off my sports drink.

the swim

my open water swimming has pretty much sucked this season so i was crapping myself with worry but i was also looking forward to it because it is busselton and it is the jetty and well known for being one of the best open water swim locations anywhere.  the course was straight out on the right side of the jetty for 850m with a short swim across and then straight back into shore.  i walked across to the start and the ground was freezing cold on the feet.  two waves which included the pros went before mine.  i had a quick warm up and the water was chilly but not freezing.  it had a bit of swell to it and was quite stirred up.  i wished pip and silke good luck and we each headed off to start the journey.  i was to the right and at the back.  the horn sounded and it was race on.  for the first few minutes i struggled to put more than three strokes together before popping my head up.  self confidence is the belief in your ability to execute and i had that moment.  the one when i seriously thought i cant do this.  but just as quickly i remembered everything i had done and remembered to focus and breathe.  with the swell it was very topsy turvy in the water.  i concentrated on getting to each buoy marker and soon enough i was at the first turnaround.  i was getting my rhythm the further i went and even swimming into the sun didnt slow things down.  when i turned at the last buoy i was on track and picking people off and swimming past them.  the only thing i was worried about was the  wetsuit rash that was developing under my left arm and near my right elbow.   before i knew it i was standing up and hearing the dude call my name and the time.  right then i knew the day was going to be a good one.  target time - 40 minutes.  actual time - 39.30. 

that is me with the pink cap still on.
the bike

i was so excited to be on my way.  the weather was perfect and had warmed up a bit with a slight wind.  i took too long in transition but i will worry about that another day.  the course is two laps and well known for being flat and fast and the perfect opportunity to set a pb.  i was a bit hungry coming off the swim so i had a gel straight away.   heading out on the first lap i settled pretty quickly and tried to get into the consistent pace i wanted to maintain over the 90k.  it was quick getting out to the aid stations but then seemed to take forever to reach the turn around.  i was drinking consistently and i had decided to eat my shotz bar in between the gels.  strangely enough i started to feel the need to pee - this was new.  it was a quick ride back in with the wind behind you but i knew payback would be coming on the second lap.  while the course was busy it wasnt crowded and even though12 metres is a big gap to keep between you and other riders it was manageable.  the dudes on the motorbikes were out there doing their thing.  while the wind slowed you down it didnt reduce you to a snails pace or kill your legs.  i spotted an empty dunny and before i knew it i was off the bike and sitting down for a much needed pee.  again it was quick out to the aid station and then forever to the turn around but once in this area you were protected from the wind.  at this point my feet were a non-issue.  for the first time in over a month they were not burning on the bike.  instead my lower back was hurting.  i chose to ignore it because i knew that as soon as i got off the bike it would go away.  i flew back into transition.  i had been tracking my speed and i knew it was looking good.  just as i dismounted i heard my name and looked up to see my brother.  this was not the only thing that was totally awesome.   target time - 3 hours.  actual time - 2.58.51.

the run

now for the hard part.  i was stoked to see that my brother had moved quickly over to the run exit and he happily reminded me how far i had to run.  my legs felt good, my feet were okay and i wanted to give it my best shot.  the course is three laps of 7k and goes out along a path and along the beach and then back down geographe bay road.  the advantage is you can see everyone either on the path or road.  it is also great for supporters and the locals who had set up party central in their front yards.  they were brilliant all day.  the first lap was hard.  i had started to feel like i had too much to drink and eat on the bike and i had a toilet stop on the first lap of the run and then decided to not have anything until i really felt like it.  i have never been a big drinker while running anyway.  as i headed back into town i started talking to denice who just happened to be running at about my pace next to me. this really took my mind off things and we stayed together for about 7k.  once back into the main area i saw stuart (brother) and he cheered me on again.  it seems such a short moment in time but that support really keeps you going.  at an aid station denice decided to have a short walking break and i kept going.  i had a gel and some water.  by now my legs had started to hurt but my feet were okay and my calves felt normal.  i couldnt believe i was doing it.  at the end of the second lap i yelled out to stuart to make sure he got his butt over to the finish line.  then batman went by on a skateboard.  wtf !  wonderwoman wasnt far behind.   what i remember from the last lap was me constantly talking to anyone who would listen,  me telling my legs to shut up, the wonderful magic elixir that is coke and the locals amping up the music.  the closer i got to the finish the faster i could feel myself running.  i had mr garmin with me so i knew my pace and i knew how far i had to go.  i remember realising that i was about to finish my first half marathon - the furthest i have ever run.   i started what i thought was sprinting about 500 metres out.  i was so excited.  i didnt know my total time as mr garmin didnt have the swim and i couldnt work it out in my head because at this point i was mathematically challenged.  target time - 6.00 minute pace or 2 hours 6 mins.  actual time - 6.14 pace or 2.11.48.

 the finish

so many thoughts go through your head.  i had always imagined myself having a good cry but i was just too happy.  then i was worried my photo would show a sad face because when i saw the time i forgot that it included the 35 minutes from the first wave start and i felt my smile fade.  just as quickly i realised it didnt matter - i had finished and i had ran the whole way.  IT WAS PRETTY AWESOME WHEN I FOUND OUT MY TIME - 5.59.47.  after i was handed some water i heard stuart yell out.  i remember saying to him that i couldnt believe i ran the 21k.  he said he couldnt believe it.  i think he was a little surprised.  then i got that much awaited medal and it is beautiful.  how fucking awesome.  at this stage i have to say how grateful i am that my brother came along to cheer me on.  he did a great job being at every crucial point and until you have been a competitor it is hard to express just how important it is.  my dad did make it for the swim and bike but headed home before the run.  that is a story for another day.  

the wrap-up

i was really surprised how little i saw people i knew.  i saw silke heading out from T1 and then once on the bike.  i saw pip fly by on the bike and she yelled out on the run - looking good as she headed for home.   i saw silke again on the run and passed her about the half way point.  at the end it was wonderful to see everyone finish but it was also a very personal and emotional time.  in between stuffing food and drink in our mouths we madly discussed events before heading off to family and friends. 

then it was all rather strange.  stuart had to go so i went and packed up my gear and stayed to watch other competitors bring it home.   i then decided to head back to the resort as my legs were starting to seize up but i still planned on returning for the melt down party.  on the way home i bought a bottle of wine and some bath salts.  after lugging all my gear up stairs i filled up the spa, poured a glass of wine, did a major fucking happy dance and never made it to the party.  next time.   and without a doubt i will be back next year.  i totally get why people love this event and course.  AWESOME.

i know people compete in 70.3 races all the time.  but this was extremely important to me, it meant alot so to then achieve your goals is one fantastic and satisfying moment.  i actually believe in myself now.  and they say you never forget your first time.

p.s. at this stage i would also choose to do the event again rather than write this race report once more.  so blogger people dont fuck it up.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

bad blogger

blogger has been bad.  i spent hours putting together part two of my race report - with pics and all.  and blogger has gone and lost it.  they had issues and the post has reverted back to a two paragraph draft.  not happy jan.  i am hoping they will restore it and they are working on it.  so we shall see.  stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

2011 busselton ironman 70.3 race report - part one

so you know i finished and you know the time and i am pretty friggin happy.  when i headed off for this event i was satisifed that i had put everything i had into the training and now i can also say the same for the race.  hindsight is a wonderful thing but i have no regrets at all and that feels awesome.  it all came together.

race week

had my final massage monday night and mel got a little carried away working the calves and they ended up a  bit sore.  ran an easy 5k tuesday and it felt okay.  went for a 30k ride wednesday morning and had planned a p.m. swim but canned that in order to pack.  it is in my nature so i had a list of everything i needed for every conceivable event so it took awhile to pack it all up.  at this stage my feet were still burning up on the bike but not too bad on the run.  felt like i was walking on pebbles all day wednesday.   the constant massage, icing and restriction was doing my head in.  it felt like i was getting niggling problems all over.  managed to get on the road by 8.30 am and after stopping by to say hello to gweeds i was in bunbury by 11.30.  dropped the dogs off and chatted to ma and pa before heading off (as the rain started) to busselton.  checked into my room at the abbey beach resort and it was awesome.  nice big spa in the bathroom.  but in my rush to get all my crap upstairs i was pulling my suitcase up and tripped and landed on hard tiles on one side of my butt.  it hurt.  so more ice and more worry.  i could not believe i was so stupid.  the resort had an indoor 25m pool so i swam an easy 2k to make up for the missed swim.  while my stroke felt strong i could feel my butt hurting, my feet playing up and my shoulder was feeling weird.  WTF !!!  so back to my room and i filled the spa with a bath bomb and epsom salts.  in a very cosy and comfy bed by 9pm and i slept like a friggin baby. 

registration day

when i woke and sat up i realised my butt bone on the right side hurt and had not healed overnight.  good news is my feet felt okay but got the ice packs out and went through the routine - again.  put some nurofen gel onto the butt cheek, dressed for a ride and headed out the door.  it was fresh but no wind and no rain.  rode down to the jetty and the water was like glass.  hoping it is like this tomorrow.  only planned a 20k ride so turned around and headed home - i wasnt the only one out and about either.  my feet only burned a little bit so more ice packs.  the calves had improved and felt normal for once.  got changed and drove down to the venue and the expo.  i wanted my been there, done that and got a hoodie to prove it.  i had a big breakfast but was still hungry so i drove to dunsborough and the BAKERY to grab some lunch and seriously got the best ever chicken, avacado and salad roll and a massive cinnamon roll topped with icing sugar.  it was friggin glorious.  then after a little rest it was back down to the venue with the bike and the check-in.  this was really quick and easy and i loved all the goodies.  the towel is awesome and while i am not over the moon about the t-shirt at least it  is a good quality reebok running shirt.  back to the resort and a quick 15 minute swim to chill out.  butt was still hurting.  had an early dinner before heading back down for the race briefing at 7.30 p.m.  it was all pretty standard and i was glad to get the last thing out the way so i could get back to finalising my gear and getting to bed. 

up to this point i had had different moments over the last week of feeling sheer panic to then being extremely relaxed.  i had surprised myself by sleeping well the previous night.  when i felt myself getting anxious i made my sensible self have a few words with the neurotic self.  this seemed to be working and i slept well again.  all the gear was organised, the food was ready, the feet and butt had been iced again and there was nothing more to be done.  the forecast was for fine weather but a chance of strong winds.  out of my control so nothing to worry about there.  so now the only thing left to do was to swim, bike and run.  part two tomorrow !