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

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

I’m Riding The Unicorn, Don’t Worry

The unicorn I call improvement

Remember this?  The elusive unicorn that I call Improvement, with her fairy helpers

The deeper I get into this triathlon training, the less likely it becomes that exciting things happen on a daily basis.  That’s how it feels to me, anyway.

Maybe you guys would actually be really pleased to hear about the cycling I did on the spin bike at the gym for an hour, while watching ‘Millionaire Hot Seat’ and Channel 9 News on Tuesday night.  But I doubt it, so I don’t write about it.

Tonight I went to the gym where I did a bike ride and watched TV.  I watched that slightly weird smug guy Eddie Maguire quiz a bunch of people on the most random facts you could ever hope to not fill your brain with.  My favourite question required the contestant to finish the apparently ‘typical Aussie slang’ term ‘It’s London for a _______’ and the answer was brick.  Not a single person in Australia knew the answer to the question.  Then I watched Channel 9 News where they evidently haven’t heard of Syria or anything.  The top story was the weather ‘event’ that had passed 4 days prior.

But in spite of my training not being note-worthy, you should rest assured that I am indeed making some improvements.  In fact, the Unicorn That Is Improvement has been broken by my relentless pursuit of it, and I’ve saddled her up for a slow and challenging trek through this mysterious triathlon forest.

Take swimming for instance. 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

Moving On and Lessons Learned

should have known better

About 20 minutes before the start of the race, mum took some pictures of me warming up

We all know that I am a bit of a baby.  I put my brave face on for Saturday’s Mooloolaba Ocean Swim failure as much as possible, but at about 3am on Sunday morning (the day after my big DNF) I woke up and cried.  It finally dawned on me how scared I had felt and how much danger I’d been in.

I suppose when you need to talk yourself into doing something scary, you turn off the voice of logic and reason in your head.  Then at 3am the next day when it turns itself back on again, you have to go through the emotions of what happened.

pre-race

The pre-race photo.  Brave face enabled.

After tears and fears (and rocking back and forth in the corner for a little while) I managed to pull myself together and had a good day on Sunday not thinking about swimming too much.  The things I feel now are 1) a pride at having had a roll of the dice and maintaining my composure – not panicking! 2) an eagerness to improve and 3) a quiet confidence that the swim in my upcoming Straddie or Noosa races can’t be as bad as Saturday’s was, because they only require a ‘once out and back’ swim rather than the M-shaped course I tackled at Mooloolaba.

Granted, there will be further to swim (once I get out past the waves) in those races, but my experience on Saturday was that I could have kept swimming quite happily in the deep blue ocean – it was the breaker waves that got me.  Even faced with the same rough conditions, if I only have to go once out and once back then I should be alright.

This coming Saturday, I am going to do a short 500 metre swimming race in the passage at Bribie (the same slice of ocean in which I did my first triathlon).  And I’ve signed up for the next Grimsey’s Adult Swimfit, on Easter Sunday.  Yep, I’m getting ‘back on the horse’ so to speak.  And yep, I feel a bit apprehensive (deep down) which is why I knew I absolutely had to do these things. Continue reading

Time to Freak Out

Go Away World!

This is me trying to suffocate myself or something

So the triathlon is on Sunday and I am trying really hard not to think about it, frankly.

But at 3am, when I usually either 1) lie awake regretting that dumb thing I said four years ago or 2) sit at my laptop typing my next blog post, it is hard to not let my mind wander straight into the arms of Triathlon Remorse.

It’s like the hot darkness of the living room breeds fear.  I listen to the possum in the roof having its nightly rave (because apparently if possums get their hands on rat poison it’s like the equivalent of ecstasy for humans or something) and my stupid brain starts THINKING.  Of all the things for a brain to do!

It doesn’t stop until I reassure myself that hopefully I will crash my car into a flaming wreck on the way to the race and everything will be ok.  And finally sleep takes hold.

So what am I so worried about? Continue reading

The (Mis)Adventures of Frogwoman

the Adventures of Frogwoman

The start (and probably the end) of my comic strip-writing career

The complete true story of the daring exploits of the one and only Frogwoman!

(Yes, I totally borrowed that from Superman issue 1)

Recap: A cretin on the East Coast of Australia, determined to push her mental boundaries and physical limits, Frogwoman had begun life as a normal human but morphed into a disgusting monster after torturing her ego to an extent from which it would never recover.  And after buying some hilarious-looking frog goggles.

Believing herself invincible, and fancying that she had become ‘the champion of the oppressed’ – the hero of sh*t athletes everywhere – she was unaware that her feeble attempts at (dun dun duuuun) TRIATHLON TRAINING had taken over her life, until one day she could no longer return to the simple, humble beginnings she had once known.  She would forever be… FROGWOMAN 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 Caloundra Report

King's Beach

King’s Beach at Caloundra

We had a lovely weekend in Caloundra as planned… but did I triathletise* the weekend as planned?

*Mirrium-Webster Dictionary’s** definition of triathletise: verb, patent pending, p.p triathletised.  To make changes or refine a product, event or method in order to incorporate wicked triathlon skills – namely swimming, biking, or running. Examples “Lauren triathletised her workouts” and “you can triathletise this by wearing a swimming costume and doing it in a pool” and “watch me triathletise the bejeezus out of this”.  See also: Triathletisation, the action of triathletising something.

**Not a real dictionary

Well, did I?  The short answer, is no. Continue reading

A Friend Indeed

My coach

My swimming coach, who could also give me tips on being a more glamorous triathlete I think

When I first wrote about The Great Pool Panic on Instagram (where I started this blog) one of my friends, Kirstie, left a comment foolishly volunteering the information that she is a qualified swimming coach.  And, she said she would be happy to give me tips some day to improve my stroke.

This week, I sat on top of her until she agreed to bestow her knowledge upon me. Continue reading