Extreme Excitement

Walking the dog

Extreme excitement whilst walking the dog

I spent a lot of time feeling very nervous and unsure in the lead up to the baby Bribie Island Triathlon (see here, for example) and I have an inkling that things will go down in a similar fashion when we get close to the Straddie Salute Triathlon 2016.  The nerves, as you know, are already kicking in.

And when writing a blog, you write about your feelings (may explain why I seem to have more female readers than male, because FEELINGS are generally terrifying for the male population) which means that, the closer we get, the more likely this blog will reflect my feelings of uncertainty and anxiety.  Sorry about that.

So as I walked Matilda the dog this morning and said to myself ‘I just can’t wait for the Straddie Salute to be here!’ I decided I should make some effort to blog about these moments of extreme excitement.  You know: share the good feelings as well as the ‘bad’ feelings.  Just in case some of you were starting to get the impression that this triathlon gig is all about stress, fear and nervous poops.

SPOILER ALERT: It’s only partly about those things! Continue reading

Straddie Nerves Kicking In

swimming poool toilets

The glamorous life of a triathlete

Now that I have no silly swimming races with which to distract myself, the unavoidable disaster that is  looming closer by the minute is The Straddie Salute.

I signed up for this race just before Christmas, as a way to bridge the massive gap between my baby Bribie Triathlon (300m-10km-3km) and the Olympic distance Noosa Triathlon coming in October (1.5km-40km-10km)

And suddenly the Straddie race day is only 7 weeks away on Saturday!  Which means THE TAPER is only 6 weeks away.  Which means PEAK WEEK is only 5 weeks away.  Which means it is time to FREAK OUT.

Let me explain. Continue reading

For Blog’s Sake

sketch-1457673347759.jpg

Blogging is an interesting hobby.  It’s kind of weird to write what is basically a private diary on the internet, for any Tom, Dick or Harry to see.  I’m often surprised – no, mortified – at the people I like and respect who mention they read one of the posts on my blog.  I immediately want to run away and delete the entire website.

But I am glad that my sister persuaded me to start writing this rubbish down; it has really helped to keep me on track.  We all know that keeping a diary is therapeutic – well, keeping a blog is therapeutic too and also makes you accountable.  Knowing I have a blog to write means I can’t get away with just doing some training and then blocking it out of my head when it all goes to poop.  I have to sit down, relive it and lay it out in writing – to go down in history.  As a result of this, I think I have learned more from my triathlon mistakes than I would have done without a blog.

Yet another advantage of blogging is that I am able to go back over the past workouts I’ve done and see how much I have improved – or not, as the case may be.  Sometimes I’ll read an old post and find I’d forgotten nearly everything that happened.  So it helps to keep the memories alive for me, which will hopefully be very rewarding in years to come when I have returned to normal life.

So if you’re embarking on a new adventure, I would definitely recommend starting a blog (or at least writing a private diary, if you’re not in to over-sharing)

Although in saying all of that, the hobby of blogging can also be an exercise in insanity. Continue reading

Starting Out

shiny

Sweating makes you smile

I did once promise to do a post on how I started out exercising, and now that one of my greatest supporters (and friend since I was about 5 years old) has joined a gym, I decided it was high time to share some tricks with you! Continue reading

Your First Triathlon

Mum and me

Yes, she can.  So can you.

I feel like a bit of a fraudster, passing on my advice for ‘your first triathlon’.

I mean, I’ve done precisely one triathlon.

But if you’re looking for advice like I was/am, maybe learning from somebody who is as new as you is the best option.  When you’ve done a few, I imagine that certain things become obvious, and you might assume they’re obvious to everyone.

So this guide to ‘your first triathlon’ is for the real beginner, and the one who is Type-A, needing to know every detail they possibly can, including the obvious.  This is for you, my friend (although the rest of you may read if you want to)

I have split the post into sections, because it is long – there is a lot of information.  If you’re OK with some sections of your triathlon journey, you can skip the parts of this post that cover those sections.  I’ve also made a special page on my blog where this post will live permanently, if you need to refer back to it – here.

Let us begin. Continue reading

Phase 2 Training

Nice medal

Are medals and necklaces interchangeable? Can I wear a medal out to dinner if it goes with my outfit?

I have received my medal and t-shirt from doing the virtual race in early January, in aid of Project Semicolon.  The t-shirt is not really my ‘thing’ but I absolutely love the medal – it is so glitzy and heavy!  I am looking forward to taking part in more virtual races this year, and thereby supporting more charities in a small way as I go about my training.  And getting lots more glamorous medals.

Incidentally, if you love Harry Potter, check out this virtual race running club!! I might sign up for one of theirs later this year.

So anyway, on with the blog.

I have spent the week since completing the Bribie Triathlon Short Course in a bit of disarray – still training every day but very haphazardly.  In Phase One training (leading up to Bribie – i.e everything I have done thus far) my focus in training was simply getting more comfortable and going further each time.

I knew from the get-go that I could manage a 300m swim (although it would have been breaststroke at first) and I am pretty sure most humans over the age of 12 can manage a cycle of 10km.  I could have walked the 3km run if needs be.

What I mean is, my training was pretty basic.

I had assumed that I could stick to the same type of training (monitoring my confidence and capability each week, adjusting as necessary) for Phase Two.  But by Wednesday this week, I realised that would not be the case. Continue reading

Final Ramblings

You train so you can tolerate it

Found this on Pinterest

It’s no secret that I am swinging violently between 1) feeling sick and fearful of the race on Sunday, and 2) being super excited to finally put my training to the test and see whether I’ve got what it takes.  Sometimes I am experiencing both extremities at the exact same time.

I have struggled with the blogging this week because of it.  I just can’t make my mind up what I am trying to say – am I sh*t scared and whingeing?  Or am I absolutely stoked and spreading positivity?  I am both.  I am neither.

This morning I completed my final training session – a swim that started hard and fast, and then progressed into breast stroke and enjoyment, in a last-ditch attempt to convince myself that I love and adore swimming.  It kind-of worked.

I will take the dog on a walk tonight but tomorrow’s schedule is complete rest and relaxation (aka cleaning the house and mowing the lawn)

Side note: This morning my swimming cap did not pop off my head, for the first time in about 3 weeks.  I was overjoyed.  The swimming leg has been (and probably always will be ) the hardest part of this sport for me.  Sometimes when I imagine myself stumbling out of the water at Bribie, after completing the swim part, I get tears in my eyes.  Because even envisaging it feels like overwhelming, pie-in-the-sky stuff.  I am not ashamed to say that I will be trying to make a deal with the Triathlon Gods in the lead-up to Sunday, to give me some kind of a break in the water. Continue reading

5 Days Til Race Day!

He can't fix me

Feeling pretty dubious about my fourth Physio appointment

So Jake the Physio inspected me at lunch time today and advised that my brand-new back pain is caused by a strained joint, around L4 and S1.  Which wasn’t a groundbreaking revelation because I did it whilst straining my joints, trying to pick up some wood that was far too heavy for me to lift.

Was it self-sabotage?  No, I genuinely thought I could lift the wood – and I threw an epic tantrum when I not only failed to lift it, but collapsed to the floor and had to crawl back to the house in pain.  I phoned my mum in tears to complain about the unfairness of my stupidity.  Why couldn’t she have endowed me with smarter genes that knew not to lift heavy things 7 days before a race?

Anyway, I knew my back felt really really bad, so I had been ready to hear a really really bad prognosis.  But then Jake said ‘strained joint’ and that sounded pretty mild to me and I thought everything would be OK.

Plus, even though I couldn’t bend over and had to roll out of the car to get to the gym, I had been able to cycle, run and swim in the 36 hours between injury and Physio appointment without the pain getting any worse.  No better, but no worse either. Continue reading

Time to Freak Out

Go Away World!

This is me trying to suffocate myself or something

So the triathlon is on Sunday and I am trying really hard not to think about it, frankly.

But at 3am, when I usually either 1) lie awake regretting that dumb thing I said four years ago or 2) sit at my laptop typing my next blog post, it is hard to not let my mind wander straight into the arms of Triathlon Remorse.

It’s like the hot darkness of the living room breeds fear.  I listen to the possum in the roof having its nightly rave (because apparently if possums get their hands on rat poison it’s like the equivalent of ecstasy for humans or something) and my stupid brain starts THINKING.  Of all the things for a brain to do!

It doesn’t stop until I reassure myself that hopefully I will crash my car into a flaming wreck on the way to the race and everything will be ok.  And finally sleep takes hold.

So what am I so worried about? Continue reading

Represent!

I Tri T-shirt

Triathlete T-shirt. This way I don’t need a tattoo on my forehead announcing it. Yet.

I got this t-shirt for Christmas, but I didn’t wear it straight away.

There is something about declaring your sporting commitments publicly, such as wearing a t-shirt that states ‘I Tri’, that means you have to be ready to represent and be an ambassador of your sport.

I don’t look like your average triathlete; I look like I spend most of my days sitting on the couch watching re-runs of Friends and eating chocolate ice cream.  Which is why I knew I’d make a good triathlon representative and that it was worth waiting until such time as I was ready to take on that responsibility.

Yes, I dare to think that I might inspire other crazy weirdos to have a go at this sport – because I am part of a minority of un-athletic, un-talented morons doing this for fun, as opposed to the generally intimidating triathletes you might normally see or hear of.  I have visions of some other average joe lunatic standing in the checkout queue at Coles, noticing my t-shirt and asking me a question about triathlon.  And me, enthusiastically telling joe how terrifying and challenging yet ultimately achievable it is, before he or she scurries off to sign up for the Bribie Island Triathlon that very afternoon.

I will be kind, welcoming and encouraging.  Average Joe Lunatic’s world will be a better place.

So, I knew I had to be ready to represent seriously.  Therefore, I didn’t wear my t-shirt straight away, even though I was swimming, biking and running – and tri-ing – really hard.  I was definitely a triathlete, I had no issue with that.  You don’t have to enter a race to be a runner.  You don’t have to publish a book to be a writer.

But I wanted to make sure that I could wear my t-shirt with my head held high, ready to answer questions if needs be.  I waited patiently for that time to come, thinking it might be after the finish line at Bribie. Continue reading