There were moments where I was not inept, such as when taking this photo with the beautiful ocean behind me. Nice shot.
Well, maybe I wasn’t inept for the entire 100km. Because I was on the bike, and if we have learned anything since I bought my road bike in October last year, it is that the Triathlon Gods have blessed me with ‘larger’ upper leg muscles. Big old lumps of muscles that are terrible for those really cute kick shorts they sell in Lorna Jane (because my muscles create the illusion that I am bursting out the bottom of them like the un-incredible hulk) but fantastic for cycling, thus giving me some kind of natural ability to pump myself along roads as though I have been doing so for years.
Frankly, I’d rather be able to cycle well than look good in kick shorts, so I am happy with this deal. The Tri Gods done good.
So yes, although I am mostly inept, and I signed myself up for a 100km bike ride (by the end of which yesterday I swore I would never get on a bike again) it wasn’t all bad. Here’s an overview: Continue reading →
This CRETIN dost believeth that she hast becometh a runner! We art angry!
-Triathlon Gods. Yes they talk funny.
I spent the first few days assuring myself that I was merely sore from my epic achievement of running 26.94km, which is nearly 27km.
SIDENOTE: Yes I’ve taken to casually mentioning the distance as often as any conversation allows. In Aldi this morning the man at the checkout said ‘that’s 93 dollars and 10 cents please’ and I replied ‘Sorry did you say 26 dollars and 94 cents? Cos what a coincidence, that is actually how many kilometres I ran last Sunday! Ha!’
So on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday – because my legs were ‘sore’ – I took gentle strolls and focused on my swimming to ‘let my legs recover’.
On Thursday I tried a bike ride and a short ROTB (run off the bike) which totaled 200 metres before I was doubled over in pain.
I pleaded with Matilda (an angel dog and therefore – logically – in possession of a direct line to the Triathlon Gods) to let me learn my lesson some other way.
Stradbroke Island and a resident kangaroo (can you see him?)
One of the draw cards when signing up for The Straddie Salute triathlon was the location, and arriving at the island yesterday was everything I had hoped it would be.
I should admit that if you had asked me my opinion in the 12 hours before arriving, I might have screamed various swear words at you and dramatically lamented how difficult it was proving to pack bags for a triathlon and a four day weekend on an island with limited resources. But once the panic was over, it was overwhelmingly a positive thing to have a ‘destination triathlon’; the island is stunning and has a different feel to the mainland, which put us in holiday mode instantly.
As we drove the 20 minutes from the ferry to our accommodation I paid attention to the roads and felt reassured to see that they were lovely and fresh-looking, completely free from potholes and loose gravel (a possibility that had been haunting me for weeks)
Unfortunately my dread returned quickly as we travelled up and down massive hills. I was… well, gobsmacked. For some reason I had told myself that sand islands are quite flat, even though I have been to other sand islands and they weren’t flat at all. Straddie is not flat at all.
I had been planning on taking it easy on the bike and maintaining happy, under-worked legs that would be ready for an epic run. But the more I thought about those hills, the more I realised that taking it easy on the bike was a physical impossibility. By the time I went to bed last night I’d had to modify my Race Day Plan:
New Plan: This will hurt from beginning to end and you will continue to move forward until the hurting can stop. Which is at the finish line.
You may already know I love Aldi. If you didn’t, you do now. I really like the smaller size of the shops and only having one choice of, for instance, mayonnaise. It makes the boring grocery shop much quicker and simpler for my impatient and confused self.
And the weekly specials! I do love popping in to get the week’s food and grabbing a new sleeping bag, wireless doorbell or 3D printer at the same time. I don’t need a 3D printer (does anybody) but everyone knows the rule that says if you buy it with your groceries it’s just part of your weekly sustenance requirements. We have to eat. We have to buy groceries. Supermarket purchases are basically free.
So I could probably end this post here – you’ve seen the picture above so you can figure out the rest, right?
Well OK, I can’t miss an opportunity to report back on triathlon training progress. So yes, the Aldi buyers in their infinite wisdom realised that there was a growing need from one of their most loyal shoppers. A growing need for a bike trainer. And so they did deliver. Continue reading →
I made it all the way to Redcliffe on my bike, finally.
I didn’t do fantastically well at the first Grimsey’s Adult Swimfit (the open water clinic) I attended a few weeks ago. Although I did survive it -and the jellyfish stings – and the only way to get better at swimming in the ocean is to do more of it. Which seems terribly unfair, if I’m honest.
The main point I clung to was that even though it was horribly hard work, I did better with Grimsey than I ever would or could do on my own.
So the day after the Bribie Island Triathlon, while I was still on a high from not drowning or getting eaten by a shark in the Bribie passage, I signed up for the next clinic, due to take place this morning.
And last weekend we heard the awful news that Fiji was suffering through a deadly cyclone.
Seemingly unrelated, these events. But no.
Since Wednesday the TV and radio news have been excitedly reporting that the colossal winds in Fiji were eventually going to have an effect on our own island paradise. The main message was that the Eastern seaboard of Queensland should expect to experience freak waves and rip-tides all of this weekend. Beaches would be closed. Surfers from all over the world were scrambling to fly in to Queensland and tackle the deadly waves.
Surfers are so weird.
Indeed, yesterday morning I awoke to strong gusty winds that blew all our doors shut and dried my washing in 0.3 seconds. I quietly panicked all day, wondering whether Grimsey has a mother who hounds him about not doing unsafe things, or whether I should get my own mother to ring him. Until finally at 7.00pm I received an email and text message from Coach Grimsey – the session was cancelled.
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.
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 →
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 →
After reading yesterday’s blog post (particularly if you read it in combination with any other post I’ve ever written) I’m surprised nobody emailed me with a first draft of today’s post written out, ready to use.
Because obviously, obviously, after attending a workshop on how to change a flat tyre and deciding that I don’t need to invest in a flat tyre repair kit just yet…