I’m Not Dead

Matilda the Dog

I like this picture of Matilda The Dog

I’m still alive!  But it has been a bit dark in my triathlon brain.  There has not been much room for jokes and lighthearted blogging tomfoolery.

I’ve been pondering my existence.  As in, how useless is a human being that can’t run without warming up for 20 minutes?  What kind of caveman would I have been, if at the first hint of a delicious wild boar racing past my rocky abode I had to stop and limber up while the rest of my clan starved to death? Would I have been a caveman vegetarian? How did I make it through evolution, along with whichever of my ancestors cursed me with these non-natural runner genes?  Do I actually deserve to be on this planet?

And so on and so forth.  It has been challenging, but challenging in a way that was totally made up in my head.   Continue reading

The Happiness Assassination

Grandpa the devil

Me and Grandpa, the assassinator.

I have suspected that Grandpa is out to get me for a while now. And today I can present to you irrefutable proof that he wants me to be miserable.

Continue reading

Data-less… And Happy?

Geddit?

It’s about time

Following on from my rather pathetic whining during the Wild Horse Mountain 16.5km race and throughout the ensuing report, it is time to answer the million-dollar question that literally hundre Grandpa has asked me:

Why don’t I just buy myself the infamous fancy Garmin watch that measures distance as well as time?

Well the answer is complicated, because in case you hadn’t noticed I am a complicated soul.  Turn your brain on and try to keep up because before unleashing this blog post upon the world I re-read the dribble and counted approximately 8 instances where I contradict myself or make no sense.  Brace yourself… Continue reading

The Ongoing Goggle Saga

In my swimming hat and goggles

The first goggles

Since I started swimming in October last year, I have had 6 pairs of goggles.  That’s nearly a pair a month – and in some of the early months, I estimate that I only went swimming about 8 or 9 times.  I’ve had more re-use out of paper cups than some of the goggles I’ve tried.

Needless to say, buying 6 pairs of goggles is adding up to serious dollars.  My first pair (pictured above) cost only $7.99 from KMart but I soon realised that you can’t swim for long in such cheap goggles – I started to get black eyes from the pressure (presumably because the padding around the eyes is not very effective) and at one point I had a small cut under my left eye from where the plastic was digging in.

 

frogwoman

The third goggles (I broke the second pair before I even took a picture)

So the quality of the goggles had to go up, which of course meant that the price tag also had to rise.  I paid $50 for one of the pairs of goggles (the ones pictured above that made me look like the evil fiend Frogwoman) but they lasted a matter of days before they broke – or rather, as Shane points out over my shoulder – before I broke them.  Which frankly I maintain was the goggles’ own fault – I wasn’t being particularly rough with them.

I knew the goggle saga was spinning out of control when, as I was shopping in Myer last week wondering whether to buy myself a new perfume, the voice in my head said:

‘Gee, a hundred bucks on perfume, Lauren.  That’s like, your next 2 months’ worth of goggle purchases.  Just not sure you can justify that.’

Yep.  When you are measuring your other purchases in terms of number of goggles you could buy with the same money, you need to sort some shit out. Continue reading

A New Tri Suit

after the swim

After seeing the photos of myself dressed like a blue sausage running around the Bribie Island foreshore on the day of my first ever triathlon, I had to let my burning eyes heal for a few weeks.

And once I could see properly again, it was clear that it was time to consider a new tri suit.

This purchase had been on the horizon for a while, especially since I discovered that I can’t go to the toilet in my beautiful blue tri suit without dislocating my shoulders and elbows to allow them to contort around and grab the zip, located on the back.

Plus, the suit was just slightly too see-through for my liking.

A not-very-interesting fact about me – I hate belly buttons.  Even typing the words makes me want to gag.  Often in the middle of a heated argument, Shane will taunt me with the threat of sticking his finger in my belly button unless I concede defeat.  It generally works.

When I realised I could see where my belly button is through my blue tri suit (there’s a dark shadow there basically) I wanted out.  Immediately. Continue reading

Training With Gels

Endura Gel - Raspberry and Grape flavour

My gels of choice

You may remember that my report on the Bribie Island Triathlon included a mention of the very glamorous moment that I had a little vomit.  Honestly, this sport of triathlon is just perfect for ruining any image you had of yourself as being sophisticated and lady-like.  You should totally try it.

Anyway I thought that the ‘issue’ was caused by a number of factors – including nerves, swallowing copious amounts of seawater, prolonged jiggling up and down and trying an energy gel for the first time.  Which was a silly thing to do, by the way – never try anything new on race day!  How many times do I need to say it!

In fact, most people I spoke to about the race felt that the gel was mainly to blame for my tummy trouble.  But I usually have an iron stomach that can handle all sorts of gone-off milks and whatnot (apologies to those who have dined at my house, but I tend to treat ‘Best Before’ dates as ‘Buy Me Before’ dates and ‘Use By’ as ‘Begin Using By’)

So I don’t know if it was the gel’s fault.

The thing I do know is that I should train the way I plan to race – which means incorporating some gels into the longer training sessions that need it (sometimes forgoing my beloved Sesame Snaps for a gel) Continue reading

Bribie Island Triathlon Race Report

Smiling

The finish line at Bribie Island Triathlon

So here it is!  This post is loooong.  Get a drink first.  Maybe get two.  If you can’t be bothered reading: I survived it.  If you want to know the juicy details, well read on…

The Lead-Up:

I decided that the day before race day I would just stay home and act normally, cleaning the house and mowing the lawn. This didn’t get off to a great start, because it was frankly very weird to wake up without an alarm clock going off – I simply woke up naturally and went and sat on the lounge chair with a book.  Yes, an actual reading book that you read when you have a thing called leisure time.  The dog looked at me as though the apocalypse was probably coming, and went to hide under the bed.

She was kind-of right.

From my triathlon research days (they seem so long ago now!) I had heard of the term The Taper – used to refer to the rest period prior to a big race – so I knew people speak of it with a mixture of hatred and fear, but I thought they were all triathletised fools who couldn’t appreciate a well-earned rest when they finally got one.

Until yesterday, when I suffered my very own Taper Day fear and hatred (note that The Official Taper for a proper triathlon is around a week, not a day!  How will I cope?) and I practically had to tie myself to the chair to prevent myself from rushing out the door for a quick run to the pool, where I thought I might try a 4km swim and then run back home to do a 70km bike ride.

Because what the hell was I thinking, that I could take a day off from training when I was about to do the ultimate training the very next day?!  It seemed so illogical!

The panic that bubbled just under the surface of my skin was quite frightening. I hadn’t done enough training. The training I had done was not good enough. I was too heavy to reach maximum speed on the run – I needed to lose 37kg within the next 3 hours. I hadn’t practiced clipping in and out enough lately. I needed to check my goggles and cap still worked.

I was on the brink of a breakdown. So at 10am I went shopping. 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

Physio Session 2

Emergency!  Emergency!  Buy New Shoes!

Emergency! Emergency! Buy New Shoes!

Just over a week ago my new Physio, Jake, banned me from running but promised he’d have me ready to run at Bribie.

So when I turned up for my second physio session on Friday, I was fully prepared for more needles, more pressure points and more running ban.  We’ve still got 3 weeks until the mini Bribie Triathlon.

Indeed, an hour of the same physio talk and tests ensued – there was jumping, hopping and twisting of my legs.  Jake got his extra-thick needles out and did some more dry-needling – actually, a lot more.  And it was really painful.  I wished he would switch to acupuncture instead.  Dry-needling is more of an archaeological dig for injury fossils inside me than just a few strategic pin pricks like you get with acupuncture.  There is a lot of ‘rummaging’ with the needle tip once it’s inside and boy is it painful.  Especially when he hits a nerve (yes that happened)

But then, as a magical surprise just as I was about to leave and make my next appointment, Jake announced that he was happy for me to go for a run.  Well he called it a jog, but we all know that sounds much less serious than a run and what is the technical difference? I don’t know so I always claim a run, never a jog. Jogs are for wimps.

Anyway, I stared at him.  Really?  Yes, just take it easy, wait for at least 24 hours from now and don’t do more than 4km.  Stop if you get any pain, but if you just feel a bit tight then you can keep running, he said.

I took this to mean that I am the best physio patient he’s ever had and I have healed at a speed that even Superman would be proud of.  I patted myself on the back and hurried out of the office to plan my first Recovery Run. Continue reading

Gear Up!

frogwoman

It cost me real money to look like this.

Post-Christmas Poverty, screw you.  My employer has once again topped up my bank balance, and I have refunded the savings account from which I stole too many dollars, so I am in the heady nirvana moment in time where I don’t owe any money.  And before the next bill arrives tomorrow, I rushed out and spent every dollar I could on more triathlon crap.

But wait; before I update you on my new gear haul, let me tell you that this morning after my long bike ride, I decided to do the closest thing I can manage (while I am banned from running) to constitute a mash-up – I took the dog for a walk.

I was sweaty and yucky from cycling, but as I flew around the corner and entered my street for the bike leg ‘home stretch’ I knew I would just have time to fit in a walk before work if I was quick.  So my transition had to be super-fast, just like in a race.  And I was sweaty and tired, just like in a race.  Perfect, I thought. Continue reading