A New Helmet

New helmet

Happy Birthday to me!

I’ve been banned from cycling in social groups until I get some lycra, a punishment I have accepted with gusto because if ever there was a triathlon challenge that I knew I could conquer, it is the shopping challenge.

However, all purchases need to be factored into the household budget with a little bit of care, as it’s not very fair to expect the rest of the family to stop eating so that I can buy a new cycling jersey this week.  So, I am trying to maintain my philosophy of approaching triathlon with a level of commitment that is ‘within reason‘ and spread my spending out. Continue reading

Away With You, Nose Clip!

Nose clip

It’s as comfortable as it looks. Not very.

I have found it surprisingly easy to over-share personal information here on my website – for instance, just take a look at the picture of me in my tri-suit; that is not a picture any female really wants to share of herself with the world.  But for some reason I have embraced the honesty of the blog and I’m trying to show my triathlon training how it really is – hard, ugly, confusing, laughable and occasionally successful.

In real life though, I am actually like most human beings and quite insecure and over-sensitive in many respects.  Normally I actively avoid dragging other people into my meaningless life wherever possible because I assume (and hope) that no-one cares what I am doing.

Which means that I am not really used to my friends or acquaintances knowing every little detail of things that are happening in my world.  And therefore I am not used to people being able to step in and help without me asking them. Continue reading

I Can Run!

She Can Sweat

She Can Run! And sweat, evidently.

After completing my first pain-free 5km run, I was tempted to get straight back on the treadmill the next day and do it again. It was just so fun and exciting to be able to run comfortably.

Instead, I celebrated with a beer and rested my knees for a few days, switching my training to swimming for the next mornings.  The plan was to give myself the best possible chance of enjoying the same running experience all over again, because even though I had felt no pain during the successful run, I woke up the next day with slightly creaky hips – probably as a gentle reminder that I hadn’t run anywhere for 7 years and couldn’t expect to suddenly run everywhere.

And if I’m honest, a small part of me deep down was convinced that the whole thing had to be a fluke – so dragging out the rest period for as long as possible allowed me to enjoy the pretense that I could now run without pain. Continue reading

Banned From Social Cycling

cycling get-up

My current cycling get-up

In attempting to do my very first triathlon, I am not expecting to really ‘fit in’ with the usual triathlete mob.  I currently have no intention of joining a triathlon club or anything like that.  I am not the right size, shape, level of ability, level of dedication… And I like training at my own pace and doing my own thing anyway, so being a lone wolf suits me quite well.

However, as I proudly announce to people that I am now the owner of a road bike, I am surprised by the number of offers I get to go on training rides with other riders.  I get the impression that it is ‘the done thing’ in cycling world; you go on rides, next to each other.  I can only assume that there is a national shortage of willing participants if they are asking me to tag along – I mean, some of these fools have read this blog; they know what they’re dealing with.
Continue reading

My First Mash-Up

Mash

Mmm, sweet potato mash

I will admit to watching at least two episodes of the TV show Glee in my lifetime (but no more than that) and I was quite taken by their ‘mash-up’ songs.  Probably because a mash-up sounds so fun and well, gleeful.  Plus it makes me think of mashed potato which is the sixth main food-group in my own personal non-Government-endorsed eating pyramid (which looks more like a cylinder and also consists of vegetables, Chobani yoghurt, protein, porridge and sugar.  Maybe I will draw it and blog it one day)

And so it is with some excitement that today I bring you my first triathlon mash-up; that is, the first combination of two of the three sports I am attempting, mashed together into one glorious mess.  Continue reading

My First Mistake

She is an idiot

I may need to change the name of the website

I didn’t realise it at first, but I made a small mistake when I first signed up for the baby triathlon at Bribie. No, I don’t mean signing up for it in the first place! But… I may have lied to the event organisers. Oops.

In my defence, the website for the Bribie Tri Series is a bit confusing for the untrained eye, and my eye was certainly untrained.  I had literally just decided to do a triathlon 5 minutes before stumbling across the website, so I had no idea what I was doing. Continue reading

Research, research, research

studying

Studying

Once I had accepted the challenge of learning to run I tried to become a student of knee pain.  I really didn’t know much about leg muscles or leg movement but it only took about 5 minutes for me to find 30 different webpages willing to explain it all to me.

Reading through these websites went something like this:

Website: Runner’s Knee

Me: Yes.

Website: Impressive-looking anatomical picture of what I assume is a knee

Me: Impressive.

Website: Describes Symptom A

Me: Yes

Website: Describes symptoms B, C and D

Me: Yes!

Website: Describes Symptoms E, F and G

Me: Er no, not so much.

which made me realise that knee pain may differ quite a lot between sufferers… and be caused by a  combination of factors unique to each person.  Which in turn means that because it isn’t a one-size-fits-all pain, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all cure. Continue reading

Cleat is Not a Rude Word

Triathlon Bike

Say my name, say my name

A sure sign that I am not a real bike rider yet is that I don’t know how to pronounce the brand name of my new Merida bike.  I initially assumed Meh-rih-dah and thought I might call my bike Meredith as a kind of extension of this.  Plus I love that name. But the more I stare at the beautiful matte black frame and minty green writing, the more I think it might be Mee-rider – as in ‘oi, where’s me rider gone now??’

[EDIT: I have been reliably informed since this post went live that it is pronounced Mah-reed-ah]

So, the name is still a bit up in the air.  Please comment with your suggestions below (note that I have already considered and dismissed Lucy, Ursula, Lizzy and Blue)

Luckily, I can ride her without a name, so on Sunday afternoon I decided to prepare for my first proper bike ride. Continue reading

The Aftermath of A Small Success

The unicorn I call improvement

The elusive unicorn that I call Improvement, with her fairy helpers

After such a bad week running, last week’s triumphant Wednesday swim session renewed my faith in the learning process. The elusive Unicorn that is Improvement has been glimpsed; I can allow myself to believe in its existence.

Later that same morning, as I stood at the treadmill all smiles and excitement and bragging to Shane about my new-found swimming prowess, one of the resident swimming coaches at the centre extended a kind invitation to give me a few pointers the next time I jumped in the pool.  I would simply have to show up a few minutes earlier than usual in order to catch him as he finished teaching his class, and he would watch me and give me advice before he left. Continue reading

A Small Success

Felicity the Float

Felicity, my little leg float

Last week marked one whole month since The Great Pool Panic.  As has become my habit, on Wednesday morning I jumped into the pool for the first of my two swim sessions for the week.

I started by practicing my usual strong exhalation techniques and sinking to the bottom of the pool, but in a break from tradition, last Wednesday I decided to skip the breast stroke.  I’d been starting every swimming practice with a few lengths of breast stroke, but frankly I was fed up with it.  I likened it to borrowing the scooter off the kid next door, going for a scoot and calling it bike training.  So I grabbed my little leg float, wedged it between my thighs and set off freestylin’ it without a care whether I was crap or drowned. Continue reading