Monday, April 16, 2012

dont you just love a taper

yes i am still here.  it feels like i have been away for ages.  i made it.  20 weeks of training and racing and now busselton 70.3 is less than three weeks away.  yesterday was my last really big day. i rode 120k in just over four hours.  it was a perfect day for riding too.  afterwards i thought i would lie down for an hour or so and instead slept for three.  it was really hard to then get up and head off to the gym to run 10k on the treadmill.  but i told myself it was the last thing on the build list and so i did it.  i am tired today and so very glad i have made it this point. 

overall i have been really lucky.  yes the low iron issue was fucking horrible and still being down after the infusion didnt help but i was lucky that i kept training and i think i have come out the other side stronger.  fingers crossed - i have no major injuries.  i do have pf in my right heel but it is manageable and other than that my feet have been really good.  i think i have put my legs through alot more work and they have held up much better than last year.  i dont think i could have done anymore.    the last two weeks were both 16 hour builds and my two last long runs went really well.  i surprised myself.  i did switch my shorter runs to the treadmill and this really helped. 

i keep all the numbers.  last year i only started my spreadsheet as a 15 week training plan while this year i had a 20 week plan.  the comparison over the final 15 weeks are -

last year                                  this year                                       plan
swim 86.8k  - 37.4 hrs           swim 90.2k - 36 hrs                     swim 106.7k - 39.5 hrs
bike 2402k - 86.8 hrs            bike 2522 - 87.7 hrs                     bike 2539k - 84.8 hrs
run 374k - 35.9 hrs                run 406k - 41.1 hrs                       run 472k - 45.1 hrs

so compared to last year i was quicker and rode more on the bike however while i ran more i was slightly slower.  somehow i managed to swim more and in less time.  in comparison to the actual plan i only missed a few swims, i pretty much rode the distance just not at the average speed planned (29 v. 30k per hour).  my running was down and this was due to the week of the City of Perth OD race followed by the iron infusion.  with everything that happened and the races i managed to complete this is a pretty good result.  the 20 week comparison is -

actual                                                 plan
swim 122.8k -  49 hrs                        swim 147.2k - 54.5 hrs
bike 3336k - 117.6 hrs                      bike 3206k - 107.3 hrs
run 499k - 50.6 hrs                            run 586k - 55.4 hrs

the total training time was the same for actual and plan - 217 hours.  so while i was down on the swimming and running i made up the time on the bike.  and this is a very good thing.  the bike is king.

while i do have the taper weeks to complete we all know that is the easy part.  someone last year told me as a first timer to really have fun and enjoy the experience and i am so glad i did.  you dont really understand what you are getting yourself into and the training is an adventure and the result just a plan to finish.  you dont get to go back and experience that feeling all over again.  this year has been tough and not fun at all.  i am just happy to still be here and now looking at having a good race.  i think i have a pretty good result in me but who knows what can happen on race day. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

karri valley long course race report 2012

i took friday off work as the event was saturday and karri valley is about 3.5 hours south of perth.  my legs had felt like crap all week and it seemed as though i just could not shake a build up of lactic acid from the hillaries race.  i had what my massage girl calls 'doms'.  delayed onset muscle soreness.  so i soaked in the bath, slept in my skins and skipped my shorter run - hoping for the best.  i was worried that i had gotten over-confident and would blow up in what was meant to be a recovery week.  this race is a 1.5k swim, 60k hilly bike and a 12k trail run.   

i got all my gear organised and drove down to bunbury early friday morning.  i decided i wanted to swim to loosen things up and the indoor 50m pool is only 5 minutes from my folks house.  it is meant to be heated but no way - it was friggin chilly.  managed an easy 2.4k.  said hello to my sister and folks and dropt the dogs off before heading down to pemberton.  i was staying at the best western in pemberton itself as the karri valley resort was beyond my meagre budget.  the room was incredibly nice and very comfortable.  pemberton is very quaint and located in a valley.  some serious friggin hills to be ridden - or push your bike up !

this race is in its ninth year and they try and keep it hard core.  they dont like using wetsuits, the bike is always very hilly (less so this year as they changed it) and the run - while on nice soft trails is also not flat.  one thing i really liked was the late start - 10.20 am.  a sleep in on race day !  being further south the weather is a major issue.  last year it was incredibly hot but that was very unusual.  it rained overnight and was spitting on the short drive to the resort.  you can only worry about what you can control so i just made sure i had a waterproof bag for my running shoes. 

the swim

the swim is held in a fresh water lake with the only wildlife being trout and ducks.  the water temp was 20.4 so it was only just a wetsuit swim.  the water was cool but okay.  towards the end my feet became a bit cold but otherwise i loved the swim.  it was a two lap course and while i didnt really settle until the first buoy after that it was just awesome.  i really stretched my wetsuit out so i could breathe properly and that felt fine.  it rained quite heavily during the second lap and i loved it.  i dont know what my time is for the swim and when i do it will have the 600m run up hill to transition included in it.  i really am expecting a good time so i will be disappointed if it sucks.  

the bike

i took my giant road bike.  i havent had the crisis bike long enough to be comfortable riding it on extreme hills and even more uncomfortable doing it in the rain.  this turned out to be a very wise decision.  the course is two 30k laps with the first 15k to the turn around very hilly and a bit easier on the way back in.   as soon as i got to the first turn around it started to rain.  then it poured pretty much the whole way back in and then back out again.  it was pretty hairy going back down those hills on very wet roads.  some people had some serious gonads.    the only positive - it wasnt cold.  just very wet.  the sun came back out as i made the last turn and the roads dried out pretty quickly so i was able to ride the downhill with a bit more reckless abandon.  i dont know why but my lower back decided to become very painful 30 minutes into the ride and stay that way until i got off the bike.   i forgot to stop my garmin in transition so i think my ride was around 2.25.   

the run

it is a 4k course and i had three laps ahead of me.  you head out of transition and up a small hill before turning and running along side the dam wall of the lake and heading up a trail.  this did climb upwards and while it wasnt that noticeable you knew you were working harder.   you then turned around and headed back the same way and then north past the resort chalets and back up another trail before turning back the same way and running down towards transition for a final turn around and a climb uphill.  i hated that hill.  the first lap i felt like shit.  i felt better for the second and hung on for the third.  during the last lap i even passed some stragglers.  amazingly i ran consistent 6 minute kays unless i was running up the hill past transition.  i was surprised by this.  in the end i really enjoyed the trail experience and it felt great on the legs and feet.

wrap up

i need to learn how to multi-task peeing.  i had the required pee during swim warm-up but since we had to wait until the last short course swimmer was out before we got in and it was beach start i needed to go again and that meant peeing while swimming.  this never happened and then while it was raining i thought it was the perfect opportunity to pee on the bike.  but no that never happened so during the run i kept looking for a big tree but that never appeared.  in the last 500m i got a terrible stomach cramp and wasnt quite sure how i could keep running.  but it past long enough to let me cross the finish line and straight to the porta loos.  and this is why i forgot again to stop my garmin.  duh.  a very big positive is that i now have race experience in the wet and something i no longer have to worry about. 

i really enjoyed this race, the distance and the location.  i loved the swim and the course was interesting, beautiful and challenging.  i will be back next year. the only complaint i have is against the people who had finished and had packed up and were leaving while people were still out on the course.  this is not normally an issue but i felt it was unfair that the people yet to finish were having to run around the competitors leaving and the course was basically being over-run before everyone had finished.   it did not look good.

back at my room i organised and cleaned up my wet gear, had a nice warm shower and pigged out on left over pizza.  there is nothing better than cold pizza after a race.  i was asleep by 9pm and up again at 5am.  packed the car up and headed off to busselton for a two hour recovery ride.  i really wanted to stay in that nice warm bed.  the weather did not look good and as i rode the busselton ironman course it became clear that it would be quicker if i walked the bike.  it was 90 minutes of hell riding in what felt like gale force winds.  i hope race day is never like that.  i felt worse after this than the race the day before.  then a quick stop in bunbury to pick up the dogs and then back to perth.
results are in.  in my age group i was 5/8.  overall females 60/80.  swim 33.12. without the 600m run to transition this is a pretty good result - for me !.  bike 2.21 and run 1.16.33.  the bike includes T2.  total time 4.10.48.  these country events are strange in that they attract a very fast field and alot of unknown names.  must be the longer distances on offer from city races.  and the first clue is when you come into transition and your bike stands out !