Friday, December 27, 2013

where to from here and missing toenails

merry christmas to anyone who takes the time out to read my not so exciting little blog.  i am still on holidays and really do not know how i will ever be able to go back to work.

so recovery wise things have been really good.  much better than last year.  i have had a couple of easy rides, ran a couple of 5 k loops and swam 3 times.  i went for a swim with a group from my triathlon club.  i have been a member for four years but have only tried to get involved a few times.  it was at a pool that is not that far from home but i had never been to before.  well that was a revelation as it is one of the nicest pools i have ever swam in.  the swim was easy and turns out i knew one of the girls from the triathlon course i did when starting out back in 2008.  

so besides the little bit of training i have been taking the dogs to the beach and working around the house.  most of the garden is re-done and the big stuff will be finished after the new year.  i am paying my gardener to do it so there goes my new road bike.  figured it was time to be a responsible home-owner.  by the time i go back to work i will have finished the painting inside as well so that only took me a year.  but the advantage of this is that while training for cairns i will not have to feel guilty about anything.

next week i am doing a sprint triathlon.  i am really looking forward to it.  it has been a year since the last one and this is at a course i have not done before so should be as close to fun as you can get.  my training for ironman cairns starts february 3 so i want to enjoy myself and do whatever i feel like until then.  i will build back up again so when i start i am at the right place fitness wise.  i am being so organised.  i have booked my accommodation and hire car for cairns.  i decided to stay at the same place as the rate of $132 per night for a fully self-contained apartment with ocean views was just too good.  

my toes were fucked after busselton.  i am going to post photos so be prepared as they may gross you out.  my socks solved the blister problem but the size of toe box could be causing this to happen.  i am not too concerned as i think it only gets this bad if i run 42k.  but it appears that a blister forms over the end of the toe and includes the toe nail.  so i think the toe nail will actually lift off.  last night i was soaking in the bath tub and so things had softened up and one whole toe nail just peeled away.  it was like something from an episode of criminal minds.  BTW i have now watched all eight seasons and feel lost without it.  anyway i have warned you but i do think the toes look worse than in the pictures and they have improved - i just couldnt get decent photos. as you will see i really shouldnt be wearing open toed shoes this summer but at least the little ones grow back a great deal quicker.

Now you see me ...

Now you dont !! Raw toe.

i have also purchased more pictures from ironman western australia.  a big tip if you do this is to search the lost photos as i found at least 8 pictures of me that had not been included and they were good ones.  i have quite a few favourites amongst this years.

I like this one as I am actually passing someone !

Still running with my thumbs up.

I am amazed i swam faster than all the people behind me !

Saturday, December 14, 2013

pictures from busselton

the beach - five minute walk from hotel

looking the other way towards the town centre

LOVE this medal

the wonderful bike already to go

swim practice at the jetty

the view along the run course

Monday, December 9, 2013

why i feel like i won

first up I have to say just how great this race is.  it didn't feel this good last year but for some reason I cant put  my finger on it just had a fabulous vibe.  maybe because it was the 10th anniversary year ?  anyway all the volunteers were just brilliant.  everything was so well run and organised.  from the swim practice sessions to the pasta night.  all the aid stations were excellent and the supporters out on the course were amazing. especially on the run course.  it is hard work being out there that long so it really is something that they stay and cheer all day.  and all the merchandise was good quality and cheaper !!  now that is amazing.

i had a quick warm up swim and then stayed back waiting for the start.  it was a beach start but with that many people some were already in the water.  just not as far out as prior races.  i was on the right side and well away from the jetty.  since all advice says to start out wide and just swim toward to the end it is amazing that so many start further in.  the reason for this is the bend in the jetty and if you follow the jetty on the way out you actually swim further.  the first 100m were a bit uncomfortable but then i got my groove and just kept swimming.  the water was calm and the best conditions i have had at busselton.  the water was clear and you could see the bottom the whole way.  it was really enjoyable.  i decided that i would stop every 500m or so and bring my knees up to  my chest as this would relax my back.  it seems that being horizontal for so long is what annoys it the most.  as i got towards the end there were a lot of people all converging at the turn around buoy that takes you across the end to another buoy before heading back in.  i rarely got touched and i never got swam over or had any bad contact.  from the look of some of the swimmers around me i knew i was swimming okay.  i was even passing a few people but i did notice that the current had picked up and it was going to be a little tougher on the way back in.  the only things that worried me were my calves feeling a little tight and cramping and my wetsuit rubbing on my neck.  i did not want wetsuit rash.  this had happened at the city beach swim so i had smothered myself in glide but obviously something is not working.  might be time for a new wetsuit.  i didn't do as much swim training this year and while i felt like i really wanted to push it i knew my stamina probably wasnt there and i had a long day ahead of me.  i got out of the water in 1.16.09.  i secretly wanted 1.15 but this was just as good and a four minute improvement on last year.  to be honest it was probably the conditions and not so much my improved swim skills however i don't care !!!  it was a PB.

i took over 12 minutes last time in both T1 and T2.  so sticking with my decision to make different choices this year i was only wearing one outfit.  the risk was the tri pants as they did not have anywhere near the padding that my bike shorts had.  because they have a narrow chamois cut they can rub.  i had forgotten to put extra chamois butt butter in my bike bag (the only thing i forgot) so i had some waiting with my bike.  so if anyone saw me sticking my hands down my pants that is what i was doing !!!  i was outta T1 in 8.37.  being wet makes whatever you do slow.

on the bike and focused.  my plan and goal was to come in under 6 hours without burning too many matches.  the wind was light and the weather cool.  we ended up with four seasons in one day but compared to the heat of last year it did make things a bit easier. 

the first lap went well and i was well above my average speed of 30k per hour.  i started eating etc after the first 15 minutes and really only had to worry about not getting caught up with other riders.  the course was pretty busy but this would spread out over time.  there really are some real wankers out there who just cannot leave their egos at transition.  the bike is all about holding a constant pace over 180k.  not going flat out over 90k and then flat lining.  you want to do the last lap close to the same speed as you did the first.  on my way out for the second lap i had to stop for a pee.  i didn't feel like it during the swim but decided i didn't want to stink all day either.  luckily the porta loo was empty so it was very quick.  the wind was picking up and it was during the second lap that i had a dark patch.  i don't know why exactly but i was feeling tired and knew i had a long way to go.  my neck was hurting and i had some niggles in the back of my left leg and my right knee wasn't feeling that good either.  and my tri shorts were starting to rub.  i then made the decision to stop at special needs and stick my hands down my pants once more.  i had included some aussie butt cream and really went nuts with it.  the volunteers were so quick i was out of there in a flash but i think that little break did wonders for me.  i also took two nurofen to ease the neck/shoulder pain.  at least my back was fine so the little exercise during the swim was well worth it.  my average speed was still at 30.3 and while this went up and down a few times it never went below this. 

as i headed out on the final lap i was feeling very positive.  the wind was back to being what you expect from Busselton so i decided that when i was with it i would fly and when i was riding into i would just pretend i was back on campersic road and it was another training session.  head down and just fucking pedal.  the course had spread out by this time so it was easier to have your own spot to ride.  when you did come across other riders they were going slow and you could see everyone was getting uncomfortable on the bike and were wriggling about.  those last 20k were tough but i just kept riding as i knew i was going to make my goal of coming in under six hours.  i knew i was capable it was just going to be a matter of doing it.  was i worried about my legs for the run ?  sure but i figured i suck at running anyway so i didn't have that much to lose.  bike time 5.56.28.  Woot Woot !!!!!!!  i am OVER the moon and this is amazingly satisfying.  11th fastest in my age group. 

T2 was done in 7.58 so another PB.  the most time was getting my compression things on and my injinji socks.  this has been the BEST discovery of all time.  no more fucking blisters.  the wonderful volunteers lathered my up with sunscreen and i had also had the biggest pee ever so i was feeling good.  i had eaten really well on the bike and with the cooler conditions the hydration was also easier.  did i mention that it did start spitting with rain on the bike.  like i said four seasons in one day.

so i headed out on the run.  my biggest challenge and where i could really lose the most time.  this year i did all my long runs and most of my shorter ones on the road.  i was hoping that i had some toughness built up.  my right knee didn't feel great so my plan was to run as long as i could and hope that it didn't get worse.  last year this was where i basically fucked up the most.  i didn't have a plan and i flipped flopped and got overly worried about not being able to pee.  i again found i didn't want to pee anymore and after two toilet stops i just didn't worry about it anymore.  i also decided that no matter what the pace i would always run but i would walk every aid station. and so for 42.2 kms this is what i did.    i can be buried with my medals knowing that at least once i ran the marathon.  it hurt.  my legs got tired and i had various aches and pains.  i suffered some more sweat rash and grabbed some vaseline at the aid stations.  my knee held up and was fine and my feet always felt great.  at different points i chatted to different people and that kept my mind off things.  i suffered but after awhile i knew that i wasnt going to quit and that i was going to keep running. this was the biggest thing i learnt from last year.  it is actually harder to keep going if you start walking.  you need to keep running.  i think the hardest part was from around the 28k mark to 32k which is probably normal for most people.  each lap you received a wrist band and it seemed that it took ages until i got the second one. each lap seemed different from each other.  on the last lap the wind was terrible but as i headed towards the finish line about 3k out i knew that i was going to come in under 5 hours for the run.  for most this would seem pretty average but it was a massive improvement on my part.  my friend daniel from the pool was out on the course as he knew other people doing the race and he had yelled out a few times.  on my last lap he yelled out again and thought it was only my third lap.  i had been through and got the precious last black band so i screamed out that i was finishing and all the supporters cheered me on.  it was awesome.  i was so excited that i had ran so much better than last year.  i came around the last bend and the crowd was the usual yelling and screaming.  daniel had found his way to the finishing chute so i gave a high five and then just ran down the finish chute.  once again i didnt hear them call out that i am an ironman (damn i will have to do another one !!). i was so excited to see my finish time and i didnt want to give up a second.  i was totally excited to look up and see 12.23.57. You fucking beauty !!!!  i ran a 4.54.45 marathon which was an improvement on last years 5.42.11.  this meant that i had improved on last year by almost 80 minutes. i really felt like i had won.

was it the training ?  did i have more miles in the legs ?  were the conditions overall easier ?  does experience count ?  probably yes to all of those variables.  but i think above all it is believing you can do it and having the determination to then do it.  everything is relative.  some people feel like they won just by finishing.  it is by exceeding your own goals and expectations that you will feel like a winner.


becoming an ironman for the second time

I have been very quiet with my reports for the last few months and even with the lead up to Ironman Western Australia 2013.  Work was chaos and I was tired.  My family are going through troubled times and the stress has been pretty bad.  Almost to the point where I felt like I needed to just walk away.  And amongst all this I was trying to train for my second ironman and falling short most of the time.  This of course just makes it  all the more stressful.
After last year I was really disappointed with my result.  I have always believed that I had a decent race in me but aside from a couple of 70.3 races and parts of races I think I have always under-performed.  I am not talking about competing against other people because basically I don't.  I compete against myself because at this point in my life that is more important and relevant.  so I said awhile ago  that this time I would do just about everything differently.  I did however use the same coach who gave me  an 18 week program that took into account my fitness level and what I wanted to achieve.  there was a lot more repeat hill climbs, shorter but more intense trainer sessions and the running was all on the road and slower paced for the long runs.  because this time I wanted to be faster on the bike and I wanted to run the WHOLE marathon. 
in the lead up to arriving in Busselton I was tired, stressed and not very confident.  however my taper felt great and no matter what sessions I had to complete I felt fresh and quick.  the bike was awesome, swimming was easy and I had to hold myself back when running.  BUT I didn't get carried away as I started to think that maybe I had peaked too early.  while I had a great training plan I hadn't always followed it.  the weather fucked things up and the key is consistency.  I had even missed some sessions and I mostly only swam twice a week.  maybe this is a hint that I shouldnt take it all so seriously.
i arrived in Busselton on Wednesday and unlike last year my choice of accommodation was awesome.  the room is just beautiful with a nice little kitchen and a massive bathroom with a SPA !  this will now always be my choice of where to stay and worth every penny.  i don't know why but i think the stress just gets to me sometimes i felt really sick that night and really thought i was coming down with something and that i just wanted to spend Thursday in bed.  instead i went and checked out the merchandise and bought my stash of ironman gear.  this was easy considering the huge improvement on last years choice.  i then went to the shops and got some supplies before returning to check in.  this year i decided i wanted to go into the race lighter and i had dropped a few kilos down to 56.  i think this helped on the day.  after that i returned to my room for a spa bath, a very bland meal and bed.  best decision ever.
on Friday morning i headed down to the jetty for swim practice.  they have surf lifesavers and the water is patrolled.  i found out after that the helicopter had spotted a 2m tiger shark heading toward the jetty just as i was getting out.  then i just bummed around.  drove out to dunsborough and bought some soaps. i left my swim cap on them again so i had that lovely smell during the swim.  then i went to the bakery and pigged out.  that night was the welcome and pasta party.  it dragged on a bit but the food was great and they had some super stars to interview - namely luke bell and andreas raelert. 
 by this stage i was getting very nervous.  i thought after one ironman i would be done with this but in fact i think i was much more nervous.  it was hard to eat and hard to relax.  my body did not feel great.  Saturday morning i took my bike for one last ride down to the jetty and then i went out for some last minute supplies.  i  put all my gear together and checked the bike in around 2pm.  even now i can still feel the nerves playing up.  i really have no answer for this.  that night i went to the restaurant next door for some pasta before getting into bed by 8.30pm.   i hardly slept.  i woke about four or five times and i could not get my mind to turn off.  i did have a little nap earlier on in the day so this may have helped make up for the tossing and turning.  by 3.15am i was pretty happy to get up and get a move on with things.   

i got a great parking spot and then set things up on my bike.  spoke to pip and alanna before the race and wished them well.  then i went off by myself, got my wetsuit on and headed down to the beach.  i felt terrible but took comfort in the thought that once i got going the stress and nerves would go away.  i was right.  i will be back with the final race report. 


Friday, December 6, 2013

an ironman is NOT fun

if i have ever said that i have had fun doing any type of triathlon then i would be lying.  they are not fun and a full 140.6 ironman is at the top of the non-fun list.  this applies whether you are fast or slow.  whatever the speed they are not fun but i guess this can depend on your definition of what is fun.  i think there are certain parts of a triathlon that i enjoy.  i can enjoy the swim and i can also enjoy the bike.  i dont think i have ever had fun or enjoyed the run.  so why do i keep doing it ?  it is all about the challenge and doing something that makes you uncomfortable.

this subject came up because i was tracking a posting on a chat site.  a girl asked the question about what training she should do three weeks out from an ironman when she had done very little training prior to this.  i will admit that i am a type A personality and if this had been me i would have withdrawn - whatever the reason for not being able to train.  there is no way i would put myself through it and certainly not if it was my first ironman (which it will be for her).  the response varied from withdraw and save yourself a whole bunch of misery and perhaps further injury etc to the rest who said go for it and that being at the back of bunch is so much FUN.  so this begs the question of what exactly is it that you would say (being out there for 17 hours) is fucking FUN ?

i follow a few triathlon chat sites and there is a distinct difference between the australian sites and the american ones. the aussie sites have this attitude through all of them that she will be right mate whether you have done the training or not.  it actually can be very misleading but i get it as it a very aussie attitude.  while the americans sites have more type A personalities and are very serious.  i dont think i have ever read an american  race report that includes how little they trained but what the fuck i still gave it a go !   they all seem to train their butts off and i dont think fun is ever mentioned.

i went back today and read over my postings from busselton last year.  what a fucking newbie i was. probably still am.  i got the impression that i was slightly too serious, too scared to take a risk and when it came down to it not very tough at all and i crumbled at the first sign of pain.  i know the main goal of the first one is to finish but to me (reading the report) it just feels like i had a really boring race.  so while it is not going to be FUN i want to enjoy this year but i will even give that up if i means i will finish with a time i can be over the moon about.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

you are going to have to suffer

all the best things in life come at a price and whether you are prepared to pay that price is the BIG question. over the last few weeks i have come to the understanding that i can be weak.  i dont really like to suffer or perhaps i am not prepared to suffer to really get what i want.  maybe i dont want it that much.   i like to think that i am a little bit tough but deep down i know that might not be true.

your fitness level allows you to train to a certain amount and volume.  that base fitness along with your age and your body's ability to recover also play a big part.  this has a huge impact on the level of suffering you can endure. coach ironman told me i needed to learn how to suffer in training and that the experience would benefit me on the day.  some of my long rides have been tough WINDY rides and this year i have spent time in the hills doing repeats.  it is always the first and the last climb that hurts the most.  but it is the running where  you can really suffer.  all of my long runs i have done on the road and only when i have felt my foot or calf play up that i have switched to doing some shorter runs on the treadmill.  this week i ran further than i have ever gone for a long training run.  did i suffer ?  you bet.  did i learn anything ?  you bet.

then on sunday i gained a whole new perspective on suffering.  it was the end of my biggest week and this session was my longest ride with a 5k brick run afterwards.  i knew what was coming because the week before i had ridden in 30 km/h winds but without the scorching heat.  i headed out at 5 am and the first two hours were reasonable.  i ride around the swan valley and hills which is well known for being exposed to some terrible howling easterlies.  i have one section of road that on a bad day is just not ride able.  this was one of those days. after three hours i arrived back home to fill up my drink bottles.  i can carry four and they were all empty.  i added ice to the new bottles and this was nice for the first hour.  i was worried as i would be out for longer this time and it was getting hot.  i would need to be careful.  the last 90 minutes was the worst experience i have had on a bike.  my gels were pretty disgusting.  it was 39 degrees out and the wind was gusting and around 30-35 km/h.  the heat actually makes you sleepy as well and you need to stay focused.  a car pulled out in front of me and that woke me up.  i called them plenty of names and that felt good.   i completely understand why people quit and why some do not finish an ironman.  i thought a great deal about why i was still pedaling away.  it was crazy really.  i had no answer other than i needed to do it and the thought that this would benefit me on the day kept me going.  as i got closer to home i thought that there was no way that i could possibly run while at the same time knowing that i would.  being so hot i decided to step under the cold shower for a few minutes before i threw my runners on and headed out the door.  fuck it was hot.  by this time it was well after 1 pm.  the hottest part of the day.  my legs felt okay so that was a bonus.  i ran just over 30 minutes and then straight back under the shower.  i was fucked and my worst day and longest ride ever was over.  

i rested up on the sofa.  i was thirsty but not that hungry.  i think i had a nap.  i got a few things organised and then had dinner.  i did not sleep well.  my legs were aching and i probably had a bit too much sugar still trying to work its way out of my system.  in the morning i had to get up and drive to bunbury and the reason for this was keeping me awake.  i really wish i could have slept like the dead.  family is meant to be the people you can trust and rely upon the most.  sadly my family is completely fractured and there are those who do things for themselves and without another persons best interests at heart.  money is the root of all evil and it is frightening how it so easily causes people to lose all sense of what is right and what is wrong and the lengths to which they will go to achieve their misguided goals.  in the past i did not understand people who had not spoken to their brother or sister in years and quite often had no idea even where they were.  that is no longer the case.  now i know why.  

Thursday, October 24, 2013

lessons learned

so here i am.  6.5 weeks away from my second ironman and i dont know if i am ahead of myself or chasing my tail.  i remember after my first ever 70.3  i was so determined that my next one was going to be perfect and i was going to smash my time.  as it turned out i suffered getting the training done with low iron and on the day the weather was crap and the swim a nightmare that set me back over 10 minutes and while i had a great bike to make up the time it didnt pan out like i had planned.  i knew before that day that you have to keep in mind that there are just some things you cannot control. and still, even after that, i keep thinking that my second ironman is going to be so much better blah blah blah. so this is a reminder that anything can happen on the day and  there are no givens.

One of the few nice sunny days.
another assumption that i made was that the training would be easier since i had done it all before.  i think it was foolish of me to think that training for an ironman would ever be easy.  last year the weather was actually very good and i made the mistake of thinking it would be the same every year.  it has sucked this year.  if it wasnt raining then it was foggy, blowing a friggin gale or still raining.  and the most important thing is consistency and you cannot get that when you are having to change sessions around.  i feel like i am only just starting my training when in actual fact it is getting close to the end.  i can feel myself getting fitter but i still have doubts.  i am in the middle of a recovery week before my two biggest weeks start so now is the time to get it right.  
Dead snail from riding in wet weather.

i have learnt more about myself going through this the second time around than the first.  i have discovered if i really am that determined or motivated.  not to mention disciplined.  i need improvement but i think that is what attracts me to this sport.  i am not a naturally gifted triathlete.  i think i am a natural athlete in that most sports that i try i do okay without too much effort but i do not excel at just one thing. perhaps that is why i thought triathlon would suit me.  what i like about ironman is that it generally keeps everyone honest.  if you dont do the training there is nowhere to hide.  gifted people can sometimes rock up and smash a sprint or olympic distance race and maybe even push it at a 70.3.  but ironman will find you out. i have one thing working to my advantage.  this is not my first ironman and i have everything to gain and nothing to lose.  

the weather over the next week looks very good so i am getting excited.  about training and about the race.  i am going to be the most disciplined and organised triathlete.  i am going to get the job done.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

i smell a rat

the current update is that training is going okay.  things have improved but it is hard work.  i am just going to give it my best as that is all i can ask of myself.  i feel guilt, disappointment and frustration for lost opportunities and the fact that i keep repeating the same mistakes.  but i have to just get over it and move on. scary to think it is only eight weeks away.

i am not a fan of facebook.  i like twitter as it is a great way of keeping in touch with people without being too in your face.  i started this blog because i thought it would be fun and a great way to track my journey.  i also thought it would be a great way for friends to keep track of what i was doing.  while it is available publicly on the internet world for all to see i dont tell everyone i know.  if i want people to know i will tell them and if i dont want people to know then there is a reason for that.  there is a difference between reading my blog because you are interested in me and what i am doing and reading it to either mock, laugh, spy or just be a sticky beak with no genuine interest in my life or triathlon journey.  and that is why some people are told and others are not.  it is quite intentional if you are not told.  why am i writing about this ?  i post to twitter whenever i post a new blog so anyone on twitter that follows me and my blog would know.  i recently discovered that someone on twitter who was following me was also only following two other people - both of whom are related to me.  the user name was sshhh @betternottell.  this tells me that the person knows that what they are doing is wrong.  spying on people via social media is pathetic and at the same level as those people who are trolls.  i dont know if they found this blog but if they have they now know that i know and they probably know that i have a fairly good idea who they are and that if i wanted you to follow me on twitter or facebook then you would have been invited and that if i wanted you reading this blog then i would have told you as well.

i dont want to hide this blog away but i have changed my twitter set-up.  i cant stop people being who they are.  spying or hiding your identity just supports why you were not told in the first place.


Friday, September 6, 2013

where the bloody hell are you

i have been testing myself to see how long i could go without posting to my blog.  it has been quite easy for two reasons.  ironman training and not having anything to say unless it is about ironman training. the sad thing is that the training has not been going well.  the weather does not help.  this year just seems wetter and colder.  i dont feel like i have the same amount of energy or focus.  i have had constant problems with my back.  it is okay when i am actually training but it feels like crap when i wake up.  as long as i remind myself that it will feel okay once i get out of bed then i am good.  otherwise i just dont feel like getting out of bed.  i even bought a new bed which was like sleeping on a board but i have now adjusted and i think it helps.

each day just seems to blend into one so it is hard to think back and remember anything that happened which is remotely worth mentioning.  i thought my garmin 310 had died and was stressed out by that.  it wasnt picking up current or average speed on the bike but seemed to be working fine while running.  i googled it and tried everything to locate a solution.  in the end i happily decided that i must get a new one and went online and bought the 910 (which i secretly wanted all along).  the next day i was in my local bike shop and happened to mention it to mark who told me it was the battery in my duotrap sensor.  apparently the sensor on the bike is read first and gps second while on the run the garmin looks at gps first and foot pod second. who knew ?!   so a $2 battery fixed the problem but i had already forked out $400 (this includes the quick release).  fuck it.  i will sell the 310 on ebay and enjoy my new toy.  now you have to admit this is pretty fucking exciting stuff.

did i mention i am training for an ironman. when sleeping i dream about sleeping.  i love sleeping.  and eating. i really love eating.  i bought two pairs of asics kayano online from the states.  you can no longer ship any asics internationally anywhere.  my sister is coming home in october (which is FANTASTIC) so she is bringing them with her.  i paid less for two pairs than you would pay for one pair here.  major fucking rip off. 2xu is an australian brand but i can buy any of their gear cheaper overseas than i can buy it here.  anyway i am really looking forward to getting my new shoes as they are in sexy hot colours.  i am determined that even if i am a crap triathlete i will still look good while being crap.  

well i gotta go and head to the pool.  i  may have forgotten to mention this but i am training for an ironman.

Monday, July 1, 2013

risking more than others think is safe

if you read my last post you would know that i have signed up for IM Cairns 2014. this means that i will be doing two 140.6 ironman events within 12 months and/or two 140.6 events six months apart.  why am i doing it ? two main reasons.  i want to know if i can do it and do it well.  this means managing my recovery and training so i arrive at the start fit and healthy.  the second reason is that time is finite.  i will be 50 next year and who knows what will happen.  i dont want to keep doing busselton every year and i am not going to wait 18 months to do another ironman.  i dont want to play it safe anymore.  i want to take  a calculated risk.

training for busselton starts in a few weeks.  currently i am doing sweet fuck all.  i need a good rest and i am taking it.  the plan and training programme for busselton is not going to be anything like last year.  before it was all about survival.  now it is about performance.  it is very liberating to finish an ironman.  you know you can go the distance and so the choices you made before no longer apply.  the race plan will not be the same as last year.  everything will be different.  the only thing that will remain the same is my bike.  damn i love that bike.  right now it is stripped and at the carbon repair guys workshop getting scratches and chips fixed.  some are natural because i ride the bloody thing alot but two others appeared  to have happened while in cairns.  it might have been when it was transported from T2 to T1.  i might have mentioned before but the aerobars received a big knock and the derailleur was knocked and a screw came lose.  tiny little one. it will be like new so i am excited.  it had quite a bit of wear and tear after only 18 months.

awhile ago a triathlon website posted a question asking whether you had an m-dot tattoo and if so what it meant to you.  for the people who had a m-dot tattoo or a tattoo is was quite interesting as they answered the question asked.  however for other people it seemed that they ignored the question and just gave their opinions on tattoos in general or what they thought of m-dot tattoos.  i am just like other people and give my opinion on other peoples choices all the time.  i shouldnt because it has nothing to do with me and it doesnt impact me what other people do (if it did then it would be a different matter).  even in my last post i commented about a couple who wore their triathlon australia racing gear everywhere they went and another couple who didnt train and didnt finish.  it is none of my business if they waste their time and money or look silly.  after busselton i went and got two tattoos.  each one is on the inside ankle.  one is a blue m-dot and the other is the chinese symbol for year of the dragon.  probably two tattoos that people will find the most ridiculous.  and yes it is the symbol for the year of the dragon and not soup.  so to answer the question what they mean to me ?  that is not that easy.  i look at the m-dot and i find it hard to explain what it means. it is not easily described.  the year of the dragon is easier as that relates more to who i am and where i fit in the universe.  i was born in the year of the dragon, i did my first ironman in the year of the dragon and it was also the year of the water dragon.
so the m-dot is blue.  it is also blue because i hate red and prefer blue.  simple as that.  you dont get an m-dot to tell other people you have done an ironman.  most normal people have no idea what the symbol means.  some people have restrictions on when you qualify for an m-dot tattoo.  like you should only get one when you have done kona.  that is ridiculous.  if that is what the tattoo would mean to YOU then that is what you do.  i just know that when i look at it i feel pretty good about myself and it reminds me why. i did something no-one expected.

Friday, June 21, 2013

a 70.3 race report from cairns

this race is quite different from any other 70.3 that i have done.  not that i have done alot.  there are hills and it is an out and back one lap bike ride, it has different transitions and the run is a point to point run.  it is also on at the same time as the 140.6 ironman.  while i had lofty goals of keeping my finish time under six hours the standard for this course is to add 15 to 20 minutes.  the cut off time for each leg and the overall finish time is longer too.  

so i woke feeling okay and had none of the nausea i had felt during the night.  i think the ravioli i ate was just too rich for me.  i did the usual things to get ready and pretty much just had to throw everything in the micro car and i was away.  the roads were very wet so it had obviously rained overnight and the wind was mild.  i hadnt bothered to look at weatherzone before leaving as i figure i cant do anything about it but worry more.

i found an excellent car spot about 100 metres from the finish.  this is the bonus of being early.  into transition and i quickly set up my gear and pumped up the tyres.  dan mcpherson (dancing with the stars etc) was directly opposite from me.  i kinda felt for him as people constantly came up to him and it must of been distracting.  if you want to get into celebrity spotting the day before i had walked past chris mccormack and then saw pete jacobs in the toyota tent.  i saw them all later as a blur when they past me going the other way.   

once i was happy with things i made a final visit to the ladies, got my wetsuit on and dropt my street bag off at the tent.  from transition the swim start is about 800m at the end of the marina.  it is wave starts and you need to be organised as you have to get down a small walkway and then stairs into the water.  i saw quite a few people miss their starts.  i relaxed by talking to anyone and everyone around me.  it was fun.  i wasnt nervous but i certainly wasnt focused or excited.  i like deep water starts so i was happy to swim out and wait.  the water was fresh so not too warm and it was not even close to being murky like the swan river.  it certainly wasnt crystal clear but i liked it.

my swim was just a non-event.  i never found a good rhythm but i didnt struggle.  my goggles fogged up and i took the time to roll over and rinse them out and they were fine.  normally i do this at the start and forgot.  heading out was  the easiest part as the current picked up and there was a bit of chop on the way back in.  it was nice to see the big hills with every breathe.  i was glad to be out of the water and disappointed i never got into the swim. the run to T1 is LONG.  my swim time was 40.59 which is average for me and pretty much sums up my swim.  the quickest swim in my age group was 32.08.  my T1 time was 7.18.  fuck.  the fastest T1 was just over 5 minutes.  i was quick getting the wetsuit off then grabbed my shoes and helmet and was straight out the tent.

the roads were wet for the first part of the ride as you weave your way through the back streets before getting onto the cook highway.  one thing that i will complain about with the event is the team competitors in the 70.3 - especially on the bike.  i dont think alot of them bother to read the athletes guide and do not understand drafting and have absolutely no clue what blocking is.  i got into this huge argument with a girl riding for a team.  just before reaching the funny loop you do at smithfield she was drafting off my back wheel.  i could see her shadow following me.  i was yelling at her to fuck off.  i dont know why in this race that i became so annoyed by this.  she would then move out and ride in the middle of the fucking road.  so i was yelling at her for that.  i did not want to get stung by the officials.  the surges in speed annoy me as i know i am burning up my legs for no reason.  i like to keep a very constant pace.  anyway she finally fucked off up ahead and i was glad.  but karma is a bitch and about 20k from T2 i flew past her as she looked like she was struggling to stay upright on her piece of crap road bike.

cairns love their roundabouts and you go through quite a few.  the road surface is also varied.  some sections are wonderful and others you are riding like your bike is a jackhammer.  this was a new experience for me.  in this race i saw the most bike crashes ever.  and strangely enough they didnt involve other people or cars etc.  people just came off.  one looked like a girl just rode down a ditch and totally destroyed her bike and another guy hit a barrier and was clutching his shoulder.  people need to ride to their abilities.  the other notable thing was the amount of girls who had tri suits on that i could see their arse crack.  not that i am looking at these things but they generally are what you see up ahead.  are they not aware that these things wear out ?  i was going to mention it to them and then thought why spoil the fun for the guys.  but seriously girls - check the arse of your trisuits before any races.

part of the plan for the bike was to make the most of the wind on the way out.  it had picked up and i needed to fly over the flats.  the hill section starts just after ellis beach.  your ride over rex's lookout and then a further 5k before turning around and coming back.  so the real hills or what i would call rolling hills start around the 50k mark and go through to the 65k mark.  you ride some with the wind and some into it.  the view is outstanding.  the part through the rainforest is wonderful and cooling.  i loved this bike ride.  the downhills are nice and winding and easy.  the climbs are steady and dont kill your legs.  unless you are like some fucking idiots and want to race up the hills pushing your biggest gear.  i knew that at least with the bike i had the put the miles in at  training and those hill repeats paid off.  once through the hills you were back to exposed highway and the wind and it was nasty.  just another day riding down campersic road.  i just put my head down and let the bike help with the work.  the trek loves a head wind.  and it was made easier by being a true head wind with very few crosswinds.  that 25k was one of the hardest i have ever ridden.  i knew the longer i was out there the more speed i was losing.  i sat about 20 metres off the back of a guy in trannies gear and worked my butt off to make sure he did not get any further in front.  i came in at 2.59.45 per my garmin at an average speed of 30.4.  i was very, very fucking happy with this.  the official time is 3.00.26.  i dont like this as much.  in my age group i had the 10th fastest bike split.  this was awesome.  the fastest bike was 2.39.39 (smokin !) and the second a further 10 minutes back at 2.49.08.  i did have a good bike.

T2 was strange.  you were directed to your spot to rack the bike and then you had to run around the very end and come into the tent the longest way around.  by the time i ran all that way then got my compression socks , a blister pack on one toe and my shoes on i had chewed up a further 7.51.  so from a standard 6 minutes for both T1 and T2  in prior races i had taken over 15 minutes.  my swim and bike were pretty much on track but i now needed to make up 10 minutes on the run.  this was not going to happen.  the quickest T2 was 4 minutes so i swear some of us were made to run the wrong way.

from what i have read most people do not like this run.  i loved it.  you start out running through some back streets and the neighbours are all sitting out the front with beers - watching the lunatics run by.  you then come out on yorkeys knob road.  this still makes most adults giggle.  you run towards the beach before turning back around and running back out onto the cook highway.  this is probably the only section i dont like as you are running to nowhere and just past cane fields and banked up traffic.  you were no longer running directly into the wind and while it rained a little bit it was hot and humid.  my legs were feeling alright but i wasnt running at any great speed.  i didnt drink enough on the bike and that is something i really need to stop doing.    i loved the fact that there were aid stations every 2k so i just kept running between each one.  not a lot of people were passing me and that was strange.  my left calf felt tight and i quickly stretched it a few times.   as soon as you turned onto the cook highway you were running into a headwind.  this lasted for almost 15k.  you had cane fields on one side and mountains on the other.  not a lot of supporters around but the odd few made up for it and were loud and fun.  i had two gels, water and coke.  i sadly made the mistake of eating some watermelon and this gave me the worst stomach pain or stitch i have ever suffered from.  i tried the macca thing of shoving my hand into my ribcage, i tried walking a little bit and i tried burping.  after about 3k it finally receded but that was not fun at all.  i like the point to point run as you can judge where you are at.  in  a course with multiple laps you dont have an idea how far people have run and you are always talking about how many laps you have to go.  the further i went the better i felt and i actually ran past a few people. amazing. this was not my quickest half marathon and the wind played a huge factor.  it was fucking horrible.

i finally turned off the highway and you come around a back street onto the very end of the esplanade.  i think it is about 3k from there and it takes awhile before you start seeing more people.  by this time i was tired and really wanted to walk.  everyone kept telling me not much further so i must of looked like shit.  you can be the judge.  the last kilometre is awesome.  all the restaurants are packed and people everywhere.

the finish line feels disappointing as if there are no people along it.  one side is for VIP's and that seemed empty but wasnt.  the finish line is so wide i think it gives you the impression that no one is there.  i managed a sprint to the end, was welcomed back home and very happy to get that medal.  run time was 2.24.41.  my best is only 2.11 so it was not a total flunk.  the quickest on the day was 1.44 with only three other girls in my age group coming in under two hours.

i limped off to the recovery tent and this is where USM let themselves down.  recovery had plastic cups of water, electrolytes and bananas cut in half.  that was it.  where were the muffins, icecream or choc milks ?  guy next to me said that if i was lucky maybe they would give me two pieces of banana.  busso 70.3 has the best food in recovery of any event -hands down.  i then limped off across the mud and waited to get my finisher singlet.  at least that is pretty cool and actually fits.  that is a first.  i then grabbed my street bag and headed back to the car.

in between transition and the finish line area they have excellent shower and toilet facilities.  my bike was being transported back from T2 but wasnt due to arrive for another hour or so.   i had a quick shower and threw on some fresh clothes.  i then hobbled over to mcdonalds and ordered some disgustingly delicious food.  it tasted like that at the time anyway.  i sat out front watching 70.3 competitors come home.  just as i finished i got to see the leaders of the 140.6 come through. luke mckenzie was in front followed by tim berkel and then macca.  they stayed this way until the end.

i tracked down my bike, grabbed my run and bike bags and headed back to trinity beach.  as i drove along it was getting darker and you could see the 140.6 runners starting their long journey to the finish line.  i couldnt believe that amongst them were a few 70.3 stragglers.  what had they been doing all this time and why were they still out there ?

my final wrap up.  at the time you always feel like you are giving it your best. i dont think i did on the swim.  it was a lazy effort.  i made up for that on the bike.  i worked hard on the run but came up short in the legs and i think a few more longer runs during training would have helped.  considering the course and the fucking wind my overall time of 6.21 was respectable.  i lost nearly 10 of those minutes in transition alone.  this race made me realise just how much easier busselton is.  and mandurah for that fact.  i like challenging courses and this is certainly one that can be.  the swim has a current and can get very choppy.  the bike is spectacular but can be hideously windy and hot or dangerous when wet.  i love it.  the run is a mental battle.  it is the perfect place to run a marathon.  the 140.6 starts quite late so you can expect to spend time out there in the dark.  just as well that this appeals to me as i have signed up to do the 140.6 in june 2014.  nice way to celebrate being 50.  either that or i am a lunatic with nothing better to do.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

a lost adventure in cairns

i finished work on friday and had until tuesday to get myself organised to fly out.  i still had some training sessions to do and along with getting the house organised this kept me busy.  on monday i drove down to bunbury to dropt the dogs off at my folks place.  they were going to hang out there for the week.  they would love having company all day long.  i basically turned straight around and drove back to perth.  boring four hours i will never get back.  once home i had to get serious about the packing.  i was ocd worried that everything was going to weigh too much so i was really stingy on what i was taking.  it took me a few hours to pack the bike as  every section was wrapped in black rubber.   finally i got to bed.

at the time i thought flying out at 5.30 am was a good idea.  that was until i realised that i would have to get up at 2.30 am to allow for getting to the airport and checking in etc.  as it turns out everything went according to plan.  the bag and bike were okay and easy to manage.  the weight of both was a few kilos under.  the only problem was after arriving at the airport i was totally convinced i had left the air conditioner on.   blowing nice warm air and heating my room for the next seven days.  i worried about this the whole time and was a waste of energy as it turns out i had turned it off - or perhaps never turned it on in the first place. 

the flight to sydney was great as the plane wasnt full.  short stopover and then into a smaller plane to cairns.  it was packed and i felt like a sardine.  from start to finish it took about 9 hours to get to cairns.  the bike appeared to have survived the trip and i picked up my rental car. cairns is a very easy place to find your way around.  you just go up and down the cook highway.  i was staying at trinity beach at a resort called coral sands.  it was friggin awesome.  the apartment was as big as my house and had everything.  it was directly opposite the beach and the short strip had a tavern, italian, indian and thai restaurants.  the biggest problem i had was getting my bike (in the bag) up the stairs.

i am going to keep the actual race report as a separate post.  wednesday morning i got up as early as i could and started putting the bike together.  i needed to get a 60 min ride in and the tricky part was going to be where to ride as i wanted to stay away from the cook highway.  in the end i did a few loops going from trinity beach up to the next beach.  also managed to get quite wet as some showers came down.  i then headed into cairns to get supplies and have a look around.  being in cairns is like being in an episode of lost.  you are surrounded by large green hills that are quite often covered in mist or clouds.  the weather is warm and a little humid.

the town centre is quite nice and you have a wonderful esplanade that runs along the beach.  some areas are a bit dodgy and you can see it is a real mecca for tourists - especially the foreign back packer.  on the way back to the resort i stopped at smithfield shopping centre and got all my supplies from woolworths.  this saved quite a bit of money and the prices were basically the same as back home.  had a wonderful afternoon nap before going for a final 20 minute run.  managed to get wet again.

thursday i was up at the crack of dawn as i needed to catch the boat across to green island for the quiksilver open water swim.  drove into cairns and parked my little car not far from the marina.  checked in and received my swim cap.  i was doing the 1.5k while there was a 3k swim.  it looked like most people were using it as a training session.  the ride across was quite rough and the weather did not look great.  grey clouds and wind.  i met some very different people on this trip.  firstly the couple i sat across from were doing the 140.6 ironman.  when we got talking it turned out i had read the girls blog from the previous year.  she had attempted the 70.3 but got hit in the head during the swim and half way through the bike pulled off the course.  people can do what they want but this couple pissed me off.  she was a big girl and claimed to be a very good swimmer.  both were quite proud of the fact that they had not done all the training.  i asked her what her longest ride was and it was 110k.  i told her she would suffer but good luck.  as it turns out she had a 1.40 swim and never made it out of T1.  not sure about him but a total waste of an entry spot.  then there was a couple that i saw at various events throughout the week.  and every time i saw them they had on their triaust green and gold triathlon outfits.  WTF ?  they were both built like tiny stick insects and probably in the 55-65 age group.  did they have one of these outfits for each day ?   there are knobs in every sport and again each to their own.  i know people dont understand all my choices either.

we finally arrive and the wind is a little less on the island but conditions are choppy and it is not going to be a nice easy swim where you get to check out nemo.  what i also didnt realise was that most people would be wearing wetsuits.  it would have been great to swim in mine and give it a stretch.  so i did not get to see any reef.  the water was stirred up and very choppy.  it looks great in the photos but it was not an easy swim.  it was a 750m course so two laps and you had to run around a flag before re-entering the water.   i went okay but it was nothing to write home about.  the last section back into shore forced me to breathe to my weakest side as it was impossible to breathe to your left without getting a mouthful of water.  time 34.18.

afterwards i sat and chatted to the really nice folk i met.  they shall remain nameless just in case they read this blog.  i was booked to come back on the 12 pm boat and this worked out well as i had no enthusiasm to go explore the island, snorkel or sit on the beach.  once back i headed off to the merchandise tent to see if i could contribute to the queensland economy.  once again i was bitterly disappointed.  they had one shirt that was 70.3 and the ironman generic stuff was either ugly or didnt fit.  so i headed home for some food.

i am yet to figure out what triggers my wonderful colourful visual migraines but as i was lying on the sofa my vision started to go and i was seeing the usual kaleidoscope of colours.  i immediately took 4 nurofen and some aspirin and thought that being thursday it should be okay.  while these light shows are not terribly painful they can make me feel like crap for a few days afterwards.

i didnt feel great waking up friday but at least no work outs to do.  i headed into cairns early to check in and it paid off as the line was reasonable.  the race pack included a back pack so that was a decent score.  how many towels and t-shirts do you really need ?  bit bummed i bought a new back pack before leaving home though. the expo was similar to many others and i wandered about and managed to distribute some cash on bargain items.  then i headed off for the 60k drive to port douglas.  i wanted to check the area out as well as the bike course.

the drive was worth it but i was not feeling great.  got to port douglas and it was all very nice but i couldnt find a parking spot and just could not be bothered.  so i just turned around and drove back.  the course was going to be a challenge - especially if the wind kept up and/or it rained.  but it was not overly difficult.  the course is stunning and just as i expected.  got home and had a nap.

one thing i had discovered is that the little hand pumps really do not pump up your tyres.  no matter how big the muscle behind it.  i didnt want to rely on other people so i bought a proper pump.  a very light one that would pack well to go home and be good for future trips.  i went for a short ride in the morning and then lay around and slowly got my gear together into the run and bike bags.  around 12 i packed up the car and went and checked in the bike and dropt the bags off.  i had a walk around transition but by now i knew the area quite well.  headed home for another rest up.  around 6  i walked down to the italian place and ordered dinner - takeout.  it was ravioli with garlic bread.  i had the lasagna earlier in the week and it was excellent.  set my alarm for some ridiculous hour and went to sleep.

dont know why but i woke in the middle of the night and thought i was going to throw up.  i got up and had some water.  this was not good but i just tried to go back to sleep and not get stressed.  the race report will come later .....

on monday i slept in and just enjoyed not really having to be anywhere or do anything.  i wasnt looking forward to packing the bike up but i got it done.  i was due to fly out at noon tomorrow so there was no rush.  i went back into town and had a magnificent fish burger and beer at a tavern along the esplanade.  it was a public holiday so there were alot of people around and it was a great atmosphere.

i really enjoyed cairns and i loved the area.  i was disappointed that i didnt get to see and do more but i just didnt have the energy.  by the time i finished my training, got away from work, packed up and dropt the dogs off i was too tired for the holiday.  that seems really lame but i just didnt want to do anything.  and that is not like me at all.  i am the one who must see all the sights.  the only other negative was the bike.  while it made it over okay there was some damage coming back.  i flew back via melbourne so maybe those baggage handlers are not as good as sydney.  i will go into details in another blog.  overall it was great but not awesome.  it was a fantastic experience to travel to an event and it will prepare me for the future so in that regard it was worth it.  i met alot of great people and some strange ones.  i got exposed to a different triathlon crowd.  everyone talks about their triathlon clubs as being like family but in WA it is not like that. i have always felt it is elitist and this trip didnt convince me otherwise.  i even met the president of my club.  he was standing behind me while waiting to get the finisher shirt.  i didnt know who he was and he didnt know who i was.  i understand the club has 500 members but that shouldnt stop people being friendly when you turn up to a training session or function.

stay tuned for the race report !

Friday, May 24, 2013

lets talk about cairns

just over two weeks weeks till race day.  or 10 days until i get on the plane.  my training has not been stellar but the plan was always to just go and enjoy it so that is what i am going to do.  i have done all my big rides and runs so i am quite confident that the race and distance will not be an issue.  however this is my very first event where i do not drive to it.  so while i am okay with most of my gear i have been a bit stressed about the bike.  but that is also coming together so i have relaxed a bit more.  

the swim

this is also the first time that i have been involved in a race where they give you warnings on the marine life.  they are listed in the athletes guide as follows - 'you should be mindful that waters in Far North Queensland can be  home to crocodiles, sharks, stone fish, oysters and barnacles on rocks, stingrays in shallow water, stingers and box jelly fish'.  triathlon australia have changed the rules applying to this race to allow everyone to wear a wetsuit.  we swim in shark territory here so i am not too worried about that.  stonefish are only a problem if you step on them and they are usually only found around rock pools.  it was a stingray that killed steve irwin but i think these are the bottom dwelling ones and you just need to shuffle when walking in shallow water.  crocodiles are a bit of a worry as they take you deep and save you for dinner later - once the water has made you nice and tender.  stingers and jelly fish are dangerous but not always deadly and they sweep the water prior to the race so hopefully there will not be alot around.  otherwise the only really notable thing is that the water is actually not going to be crystal clear blue.  the swim is in a bay or tidal flat area and is more murky and brown than anything else.  i have been told it is very much like the swan river.  the swim goes off in waves and we start prior to the 140.6 event.  one lap for 70.3 and two for 140.6.

the bike

this course is why i am doing the event.  

i have included a link.  the first part of the ride is pretty normal streets etc but then the great views begin.   we ride to a turnaround point while the 140.6 competitors will continue on to port douglas before coming back to the turnaround and going back up to port douglas for a final time.  so nice and easy out and back.  i am really looking forward to this.

the run

the event is set up with two transitions and it works like an ironman for the 70.3 as well.  we are given bike and run bags and we use the change tents.  T2 is 21.1k away from the finish line at T1 so it is a point to point run.  apparently most of the run is through the cane fields so not that exciting until you get closer to cairns and the esplanade.  strangely enough i am looking forward to the run as well.  i dont know why but i feel like running.

so while i have no lofty goals for this race i would like to keep my under six hour 70.3 finish time intact.  i flyout on tuesday and flyback the following tuesday. i have organised a rental car as i am staying 20k out of the main town area.  i am not sure if this is going to be great or not but the resort is totally beautiful, right on the beach and i have a one bedroom apartment.  i can sleep and do fuck all.  i have also signed up for the green island open water swim on the thursday.  i wanted to organise a trip to the great barrier reef but i wasnt keen on the tourist boats.  it would also be a really long day and i didnt want to wear myself out.  it is a 1500m swim over the great barrier reef.  you can swim or maybe race and check out the fishies etc at the same time.  the boat takes you to the island and returns at 2.30pm so after the swim you can explore the island or just do nothing.   check it out !  i am going to make sure i have a nice clear pair of goggles.

Green Island Great Barrier Reef

Thursday, May 16, 2013

it has been awhile ...

okay so i have been a bad blogger AGAIN.  and this is just going to be a bunch of random things.

  •  molly dog is still alive and doing well.  we have been able to defer chemo as her cancer has not progressed and her quality of life at the moment is still excellent.
  • it was my birthday yesterday. next year i move into the 50-54 age group which you think by process of elimination it would be easier to improve on my placings.  nope - i get to compete against the girl who won kona in this age group.
  • i upgraded my phone to a samsung galaxy 4 and it has become my best friend.
  • the top five things i think about when riding my bike are -
    • what can i eat when i get home.
    • will i have time for a nap.
    • i hope i dont get hit by a car, truck, kangaroo, pedestrian or a mad bitch on a horse.
    • i really need to update my ipod playlist.
    • my butt, legs, back,shoulders, feet, something hurts.
  • i am going to cairns in 3 weeks.
  • my training for cairns has sucked.
  • i was addicted to sons of anarchy and now i am done with that i am addicted to game of thrones.
  • i have told people that if you do the training for ironman then on the day it is not so bad.  i do neglect to mention that the training is not easy.
  • my front garden is beautiful.  the back garden is an overgrown nightmare.
  • i love coconut water.
  • macca and pete jacobs are racing at cairns.  i will be participating.
  • i need a holiday.
  • i signed up for an ocean water swim around the great barrier reef.
  • this is it. i have nothing more to add.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

back to karri valley 2013

last year i was at the pointy end of training for busselton 70.3.  this year i was still trying to recover from a five hour race less than two weeks ago when it was time to head down to pemberton again.  i had really been looking forward to getting away, staying in a hotel and sleeping in undisturbed the day after.  

i had friday off from work so had the car packed up and the dogs ready to go early in the morning.  i always forget just how far pemberton and karri valley is.  drove down to bunbury and dropt the dogs off at mum and dads.  i didnt stay long and really just wanted to be on my way.  i always seem to think that pemberton is just 30 minutes down the road from bunbury but it is more like 90 minutes.  this trip it seems my luck had run out.  just after bridgetown a rock flew up from a truck and hit my car and by the time i reached manjimup two cracks were slowly creeping up my windscreen.  i stopped at manjimup and checked that my windscreen wasnt going to implode on me before continuing on.  i was very happy to reach pemberton and check in to the hotel.

i unpacked the car, got my gear organised for tomorrow and then headed down to the restaurant for dinner.  quite a few people around but i quickly ate and headed back to my room and veged out watching tv.  asleep by 9 pm only to be woken around 2 am when murray (a local piss head idiot) decided to make a huge scene outside and was lying in the middle of the main street yelling and screaming.  murrays mates arrived in a  van and were trying to get him up and into the car.  at one point he fell to the ground like he was a tree that had been chopped down.  i am surprised he didnt injure himself.  his friends were kicking him to see if he was conscious.  finally they got murray into the car and all was quiet again.  if i didnt need to sleep i would have found this funny.

the race start was around 10 am so it was a special treat to be able to have a bit of a sleep in.  i headed out with no enthusiasm for the day at all.  it looked like the weather would be okay and the rain would stay away this year.  did all the usual crap and racked my bike and set up transition.  seemed to hang around forever for the start.  chatted to the girls next to me and also caught up with alanna.  finally got through the race briefing and put the wet suit on.  headed down to the lake and warmed up while the sprint race go underway.  this there were two waves - open and then everyone else.  i thought it would be brutal but it turned out to be fine.

the fresh water was a bit chilly but i soon warmed up and found my rhythm.  it was strange.  as i sat off the back of the pack it looked like everyone else was swimming very wide of the buoys.  i was gaining on people as i came around every buoy.  it is a two lap course and i felt much better on the second lap.  very few people got in my way.  i really hate swimmers with thumping kicks.  it is annoying and disrupts me and i should get over it.  i felt my feet and legs getting a bit chilly towards the end and as i came into finish i had trouble standing up.   my legs felt weird and the troublesome back did not want to straighten out.  i got up like an old woman.  as i ran the 600m back to transition i had these sharp stabbing pains in my lower leg.  fark.  i had to walk and figured it would not be a problem unless i couldnt ride my bike.

i really love riding my bike.  it truly has become my favourite thing.  this course is loved by all the long time old school triathletes.  it is hilly and perhaps has only a few kms that you are not either going up or coming down.  the run is on trails and is not flat either.  it took me the first 30k lap to warm up and on the second i was really having a great deal of fun.  i love my trek and it loves cross winds.  i passed a bunch of people on the second lap who had either gone out too hard or just didnt have the endurance.  so while last year it rained the whole time this year wind was the big factor.  i was really happy with this ride and came in about ten minutes quicker.

the run is what it is.  i was thinking most of the way about why i suck at running.  am i just too old ?  did smoking for all those years just do too much damage ?  am i soft and not willing to suffer enough ?  as you get older you are meant to slow down so why do i expect to get faster ?  on my third lap the winners of the race (who are a couple i think ?!?) were also back on course doing a cool down run.  the female winner has won a couple of ironman races.  they were running faster.  bwhahah.  i felt pretty good on the last lap and had a few good kms.

in the end i finished about a minute quicker than last year.  just over 4 hours for a 1500m swim, 60k bike and 12.5k run.  i also let go of whatever was pissing me off.  i didnt hang around afterwards and headed back to the hotel.  i sorted out my gear and got organised so i didnt have to do it in the morning.  when i went down for dinner the two girls i had been chatting to earlier in the day were also there.  the girls are just like me.  back of the packers just trying to improve and have fun.  i really enjoyed my time with them and hope to see them around again.

i had a great sleep in but it was still a long drive home.  aside from cairns 70.3 in june this was my last race of the season. since then and probably beforehand i have become the queen of inconsistent training.  but that is for a whole other blog.