Running Cairns

the real world

This photo was not selected for use on Instagram

Those who follow my escapades on Instagram may remember that when I visited Cairns just over a month ago, I was in the throes of running deprivation due to injury and I had to make do with some casual strolls along the Esplanade, which was lovely but close to useless for triathlon training.  And that made me feel bad.

So when I discovered I had miraculously recovered and was able to run, I knew that last week’s trip to Cairns would be much more successful. Continue reading

A Post About So Many Things, but also nothing

Kyle Chalmers gets gold

Watching the Olympics any chance I get – including at the Brisbane domestic airport. And yes I cried when Kyle Chalmers put this medal on.

One of the strongest memories of my childhood is standing in the kitchen having an after-school snack of apple and cheese with my mum and sister, singing-yelling the anthem of the Barcelona Olympics (surely one of the best Olympic anthems ever?) and watching Sally Gunnell in the hurdles. The northern hemisphere summer was in full swing – I remember hazy golden rays beaming through the window behind us and birds tweeting in the trees outside.  Although in saying that, all of my memories of English summer weather feature hazy golden rays of sunshine… And that obviously can’t be true because English weather is shit, so maybe I added the rays of warmth and light to the memory, for effect. Continue reading

Surprise! Part Two – The 26.4km Blow-By-Blow Race Report

The map of the course

I took a photo of the map provided at check-in, just in case I needed to refer to it on my journey.

I apologise for the delay in this race report, it was delayed when I vomited everywhere in my bathroom and had to lay down for an hour or so before I could face cleaning it up.

First things first, I was wrong about the Flinders Tour trail run course being not hilly. It was really bloody hilly.

Secondly, I was wrong about my body loving trail runs and not getting sore after. I am really bloody sore and I feel like crap.

Thirdly, I would like to sue whichever member of my family had the original idea to move to Queensland. Because yesterday it was 33 degrees outside and I am pretty sure that today was about the same. And we’re supposedly in the middle of winter! This was an issue because I always run faster in the cold so I am blaming the State of Queensland and its incomprehensible weather for how slow I went in the race.

But yes, despite some obvious problems which I will provide further detail about below, I made it. I am alive. The 26.4km loop was conquered. At this point in time I am saying I will never do it again, but I guess we will see how I feel when the afterglow sets in properly. Continue reading

The Pavlova Made Me Do It

Crocs and stingers

Townsville. Where Shecantry will not go swimming in the sea, thanks anyway.

To those who follow me on Instagram, I must apologise. I promised to blog about the run I did in Townsville on Monday morning as soon as I got home on Tuesday AND IT IS NOW FRIDAY so I suppose I am officially fired as chief blogger.

In my defence, I have been getting deep and meaningful, thinking about my spirit animal. I think I am going through a hippy phase, brought on by all the meditating I inevitably end up doing on my runs.

If you are like me and struggle to do the whole ‘ohhmmmmm’ thing but you kind of know that meditating could be good for your poor frazzled brain, maybe give running a go. I think there is something about the rhythmic pounding of the pavement and sound of your hot breath heaving in and out. Or maybe it is the faintness and lack of oxygen getting to your head that makes you hallucinate that you are meditating. Either way, it seems to leave me feeling more at one with Mother Earth or something.

SIDENOTE: Individual results may vary, etc. You probably should never take anything you read on this blog as advice.

So anyway instead of blogging I was thinking about my spirit animal and hoping it might be a dog, because just like Matilda the dog who features heavily in my writing, I think I am soft, cuddly and pretty cute. I also love food and sleeping.

But interestingly, the more I pondered the various possibilities, I realised my spirit animal is not a dog. Nor a wolf or bald-headed eagle, both of which might seem appropriate to a badass triathlete.

I couldn’t ignore the evidence:

1. I am soft and sweet on the inside.

2. Sometimes a bit hard and crunchy on the outside.

3. I am a bit fruity, sometimes a bit nuts.

4. No one can tell if I am really Australian or not.

5. You either love me or hate me.

So… My spirit animal is apparently a Pavlova.

What the? Continue reading

Mother Nature Vs City2South

Radar image

It is raining a bit

I am really pleased that I have a race tomorrow, to force me to do some goddam exercise. I have done close to nothing all week, which is most unlike me. Sometimes life just gets in the way and your usual routine is a physical – and literal – impossibility.

So I am pleased, except that on Thursday I started getting messages from my crew (ie, Grandpa) that Brisbane was going to be in for torrential rain this weekend. I was travelling at the time and hadn’t seen a weather forecast for about 4 days, so I told Grandpa he was a bloody liar and hung up on him.

I do not like to run in torrential rain.

Then I arrived back to Brisbane with this weird wet stuff falling from the sky and had to decide on a new approach. I love running in the rain, I told myself. It will make me a badass, and none of my family will want to come and cheer me on (which usually makes me feel guilty, especially for an unimportant training race such as the City2South) Continue reading

parkrun Round 2 – The Elusive Negative Split

Running

About 500 metres into parkrun round 2

Excuse me while my ego puffs out my chest in pride at how good a triathlete I am for knowing the phrase ‘the negative split’.

I really hope you guys don’t know what it means. I had no idea what it meant either, until a few weeks ago.

I would have guessed it was something to do with doing box splits, because I used to attempt to do those when I was a little girl at gymnastics and not only did I feel very negative about the groin-tearing sensation they induce, but I always got very negative reviews from the gymnastics teacher (Colin) about my box split achievements. So negative split totally makes sense in that situation.

But no, ‘the negative split’ is not about box splits.

A negative split is an athletic achievement whereby you complete the second half of your event in a faster time than you completed the first half.  So for instance, when running a 10km, a negative split means you ran the last 5km in less time than it took to do the first 5km.

Who cares? Absolutely nobody, unless they are infected with some sort of disease that makes them want to be some sort of athlete – particularly in my case, a triathlete. Continue reading

Race Day Dedications

Matilda the dog

Pick me!

A few weeks ago I had the idea that I wanted to get some masking tape to stick to my bike’s handlebar, so that I could write myself a little motivation message to look at when I tackle the longest part of my triathlon – the cycling leg.

When I first thought of it, I was imagining that I’d need this reminder at Noosa, when I will attempt the mammoth Olympic-distance triathlon I began dreaming about last September.  It’s going to be a tough race, probably in the middle of a hot day, and will demand about 4 hours of effort from me.

The little message I’m planning on is very simple – it’s a short dedication ‘For xxx’ with three names of special people I will think about when the going gets tough.  I’ve chosen the names because I feel sure that the thought of them will spur me on – but I’ll show you who they are when we get closer.

As the idea became a steadfast commitment, I realised I could also incorporate a race day dedication on the handlebars of my bike at the Straddie Salute triathlon.  And I immediately knew who I wanted to ride for. Continue reading

On Sundays We Are Fit

beautiful

Arriving at Redcliffe on Sunday morning

Ah, remember the days when a Sunday Session meant a few beers (or more) in a sunny beer garden?

In my quest to become a triathlete, many things have taken on new meanings. For instance, ‘a short bike ride’ now means anything less than 90 minutes, ‘I’m going for a run’ is no longer the punchline to a joke I’m telling and ‘doing the laundry’ means untangling 20 pairs of sports socks, 7 pairs of leggings, 2 pairs of cycling knicks, 3 of running shorts, 9 sports bras, 10 fluorescent-coloured lycra tops and a swimming costume, whilst holding your breath to avoid the stink.

And so it is that, thanks to triathlon, the phrase Sunday Session now involves less beer* and actually refers to training sessions of a Sunday nature, which means that they are a bit longer, or require a special journey to get there, or are conducted in a group I can’t catch up with during the working week due to clashing schedules etc.

*I won’t claim zero beer is involved in these new Sunday Sessions, but there is definitely less beer. Continue reading

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

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