Christmas Swag

Socks with unicorns on them

The Unicorn that is Improvement Socks!

As heavily predicted, I did receive some triathlon-related gifts this Christmas.  It was rather lovely and made me realise how my life has changed when I’m actually pleased to receive bike-related paraphernalia for Christmas as opposed to expensive candles, books and dresses.  If anyone had told me last year that I’d be requesting lycra for Christmas, I would not have believed them, but here we are. Continue reading

Impulse Buying

comfy

Like your favourite old leggings – my tri suit is hideous but sooo comfy

As regular readers will know, the unending shopping is my favourite leg of the sport of triathlon (even though my wallet hates it)

I shop online a lot because I can do it at 6 o’clock in the morning or 10 o’clock at night, which is handy when I need to fit in as many training sessions as possible.  At this stage of my triathlon training (with mountains of work in front of me) I am only really leaving the house to earn money, swim, bike or run.

Shopping online, especially on auction sites, often means you have to buy on impulse: you can’t touch the item or even see it properly sometimes.  You have to be prepared to take a bit of a risk, which adds to the fun I think.

Some of my impulse purchases have turned out to be fantastic.  Namely, the cycling shoes I bought from EBay secondhand – which I purchased before I even had a bike, because they seemed perfect for my needs and my budget and I decided I’d use them eventually (a week later, in fact)

Unfortunately, some other purchases have not been quite so successful. Continue reading

A Reality Check

don't panic

It’s not what it looks like, don’t panic

Swimming in the ocean for the first time was a bit of a wake-up call.  It is vastly different to swimming in a pool (obviously) but I also realised it’s not something that is easy to practice.  You need people around, you need to know you’re safe, you need to know a course, which changes depending on the tides… it’s not a case of simply showing up and jumping in to swim straight lines between ropes.

At the Noosa Triathlon in October next year, I have to swim 1500m in the ocean.  Not only is this further than I have completed in a pool (so far) I don’t even know how I would attempt to practice it in the ocean – that would be dangerous.  So apart from clocking up some serious laps in the pool, I decided that I had to come up with a Plan for OWS. Continue reading

My Wallet Hates Triathlon

internet shopping

Goodies bought on the internet, delivered by the postman

So far, my favourite thing about triathlon is the shopping.  Even buying a hideous lycra suit has been a joyous experience, particularly in comparison to my futile attempts to improve the triathlon vehicle I am building (that is, my body).

Subscribers to this blog may remember that I mentioned a few weeks back that Google had lied to me insofar as it promised me that having a functioning human body and being prepared to spend 50 bucks on a triathlon entry fee were all the attributes I needed to qualify myself as a bona-fide triathlete.  If you missed it, I proved this to be Google-branded lies and deception here, here and here (well, everywhere really)

Unfortunately today it is my sad duty to inform you that another great lie is circulating on Google regarding triathlons.  Continue reading

The Camping Triathlete

my packing

Yes I am taking a suitcase camping

The only time I ever think to buy magazines is when we’re going on some kind of a holiday.  It has become a kind of tradition and these days, no matter how long or short, it just doesn’t feel like a holiday without a few magazines to flick idly through as I sip a beer and stretch out in the sun.

We’re taking the dog camping for a couple of days this weekend and as I walked into the newsagents last night to get my magazine haul, the one that caught my eye was, of course, Triathlon Magazine.  I’ve never read or bought this magazine before and I was quite excited to spot it in my local newsagent.  There is even a story about the Noosa Triathlon course!  I don’t know what secrets I may find out from this article but I am pretty sure it will make all the difference to my race, so thank you in advance, Triathlon Magazine. Continue reading

The Noosa Triathlon 2016

Triathlon problems

I am hooked on the silliness

Let’s recap: In September I put my name down for my first ever triathlon at Bribie Island, scheduled to take place in February and for which I need to be able to swim 300m in the ocean, bike 6km on crowded streets and then run 3km with wobbly legs.  Having trained for 7 weeks now, my progress towards being able to do any of these things is marginal, although I can at least confirm that I will look hideous while attempting it.

So when I heard that the tickets for the infamous 2016 Noosa Triathlon would be going on sale on the 19th November at 11am and you had to be online at THAT VERY MOMENT if you wanted any hope of securing one, I decided to clear my schedule and be ready. Don’t ask me what the exact thought process was; I simply don’t know. Continue reading

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

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

A Change of Plan

Salad or Pizza?

If you plan on having salad, be prepared to change your mind

You know when you go to a fancy restaurant and you tell yourself that you are going to choose a nice, healthy salad for your main course… but as soon as you see the menu you have an epiphany, that actually your whole life up to this point has been meticulously planned by some Higher Power to lead straight to a delicious wood-fired pizza with a large side of chips?

Yeah, well that kind of ‘change of plan’ is exactly what just happened to me.
Continue reading

Time To Run

She Can Try running

The third-cousin-twice-removed of Usain Bolt and a short white chick

With my road to swimming excellence mapped out in front of me, it was time to check on the other two skills I’d be requiring for my first triathlon. I’d started with my worst skill, so I thought that next I’d boost my confidence with my best skill of the three: running.

Technically, I think I could survive the running portion of any triathlon without fixing my knee and hip pain. I have survived a 10km race before, although I couldn’t walk for 3 days afterwards.

However, it’s possible I have the physical fitness to actually be GOOD at the running component; it should be my strength. It would also be nice to know that at least one part of the triathlon would be enjoyable (I laugh at this joke as I type)

I started to have visions of myself making up some of the lost time from swimming with a super-quick sprint to the finish line. Think Usain Bolt crossed with a short white chick. Or that person’s slightly slower third cousin twice removed. Continue reading