100 Kilometres of Ineptitude – The Moreton Bay 100 Ride Report

happy bike rider

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

Surprise! Part Three – Smite Me

Techy stuff

The Elevation Map from last week’s race. The one provided on the website must have been from last year’s event I think, which was a different course. The Elevation gain was 339 metres, not 244.

I am smitten.  No, wait, that’s not what I mean.  I have been smited.  Yes, I think that’s more like it.

The Triathlon Gods heard me crowing and saw me strutting about my 26.94km run (is anyone going to back me up if I call it 27km?) and they decided I must be punished.

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.

But it was no good.

So it is time to announce: I am injured. 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

Soggy Mash

Wet

A bit wet.  IE Soggy.

Yesterday was Australia Day – a special public holiday here in Oz, when we passionately celebrate our beautiful land and the wonderful Aussie lifestyle, whilst simultaneously feeling guilty and ashamed of celebrating and partying on the anniversary of the first landing (aka the first invasion)

We are a complicated nation.  And we’re not super good at picking dates for national parties.

Anyway, once again the gym was shut for most of the day, opening only between 9 and 12. Before commencing triathlon, this would have meant either working out in the heat of the day or swapping my workout entirely for a simple walk with the dog.

Now that I can run and cycle, I no longer need four walls and equipment to get hot and sweaty! And I had an excellent plan. 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

The Flat Tyre

flat tyre face

Sitting on the side of the road with a flat

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…

I got a flat tyre the very next morning. Continue reading

Bike Maintenance

smug face

At 99 Bikes North Lakes for a Bike Maintenance Class. Feeling pleased with myself at my organisation skills.

So it turns out that I can’t drag Shane (my partner) behind me on a little bike trailer to fix any flat tyres or bicycle issues that crop up in my triathlons.  Primarily because he is refusing to do it.

Sad face.

Which means that I had to commit to learning yet another skill for triathlon training – bike maintenance. Continue reading

Rookie Lessons

bike grease

My bike loves me so much she kisses me on the leg as we ride. But her mouth is dirty.

I’ve been cycling on the road for just over a week now, and am enjoying it immensely.  By acting confident, I have gained real confidence and I feel as though I belong on the road just as much as everyone else.  I take pride in being a courteous cyclist, helping to enhance the good name of road bike riders everywhere.  I make sure to keep as far left as possible, I ride safely, I don’t do anything that would scare my fellow road users.

I actually feel more comfortable on the road than riding on the path, where I always worried I’d suddenly run over some pedestrians as they stepped out of their front gate.

I know I have the telltale ‘rookie’ signs, of grease on my leg (see above) and a distinct lack of lycra.  Thankfully I do have a pretty helmet that matches my bike, as well as very nice clippy shoes, but that doesn’t really make up for my ‘rabbit hopping’ up and down on the bike when I start trying to pump my legs extra hard.  Apparently the pros pump the legs and not the neck, but for some reason as a newbie I find bobbing my head up and down in time with my legs makes me go quicker.  I’m trying to stop this; the more time I spend on my bike, the more I will improve.

Conversely, the more time I spend on my bike, the more likely two ‘not-so-good things’ become.  The first is that I will get an extremely sore bottom, lose the dare set by The Other Lauren and buy some cycling shorts.  The second is that I will fall off the bike.

Apparently this morning, the Triathlon Gods decided that I had spent enough time on the bike to warrant the ‘Likelihood of Things’ to become 100% guaranteed. Continue reading

Cycling On The Road

Arriving home

Arriving home after Friday’s ride. Not dead.

One of the ways in which my brain has changed since commencing triathlon training is that when driving along roads I am constantly assessing them for bike-ability.  I watch how narrow the bit on the side of the road gets, I create imaginary routes around dodgy-looking sections, I ‘tut’ like an old woman at the rubbish strewn across bike lanes, and of course most importantly I take mental notes of where there are coffee shops that I might stop and refuel at.

I have also been paying much more attention to other cyclists I see on the road – how are they going to navigate that treacherous-looking intersection?  How do they go right at a roundabout? How do they know where to park themselves at the lights?

In my head I have asked these cyclists so many unheard questions that I think I have come up with their unheard answer by myself. 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