Swimming at Lightening Speed

extreme excitement

Extreme excitement at swimming super fast

If anyone other than my Grandpa is following along with the training calendar I posted a couple of weeks ago (unlikely) you will know that this morning’s session was to be a one kilometre swim.  And for once, I was able to actually stick to the plan – and a 1km swim is exactly what I did.

The idea behind the 1km swim is that I have a 1km swimming race a week tomorrow (Saturday 12th March) and I just wanted to have the confidence of swimming that distance comfortably in the pool, to assist me in maintaining a positive mental state in the race.  Because I have pooped my pants a couple of times, thinking about the 1km swim with sharks and jellyfish and seaweed and thrashing arms and legs that is only a week away. 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

The Physio Appointment

Physio's Office

The Physio’s office

Since hurting my hip the week before Christmas, I’ve been running less and less.  And then even less again – in the past week and a half I have relegated myself entirely to ‘running’ on the elliptical trainer, which hopefully maintains my heart and lung’s ability to run when the time comes, but doesn’t really make up for the fact that my legs can’t run for sh*t.

Initially I was adamant that the new pain would go away of its own accord, because it clearly isn’t related to my (now perfect) running form.  Surely.  It can’t be, because my form is seriously so perfect.  I figured it was just a little ‘overuse injury’ that I had probably caught early enough to just rest and let get better.

I don’t know if I didn’t rest it enough, but it did not go away.  Each time that I attempted to run over Christmas, the pain came shooting back through my right hip and now I have it 24-7.  That’s all the time, for those of us that hate numbers.

One of the interesting affects of writing a blog about one topic (ie, triathlon) is that some people seem to think that is all I do: blog and train.  I guess it’s easy to forget I have to do actual paid work as well.  Oh, and wash myself and make food and walk the dog and do the laundry and whatnot.  So I’d just like to point out that if physio offices were open at 6am, I’d probably have been there on Monday morning.  But alas I had to wait until I knew I had more than a 20 minute lunch break to waste on a doctors appointment.

So don’t panic – I wasn’t trying to sabotage myself or give up running or find a way to give up triathlon entirely by not fixing my hip pain.  I think I just need to quit my job and divorce my family so that I’ve got a reasonable amount of time to dedicate to this crap.

Until I get around to that, bear with me.  I generally get there in the end. Continue reading

Another Event – But One For You, Too!

Virtual Race time!

Go to http://www.swimbikesell.com/collections/virtual-race/products/new-year-new-hope-virtual-race-any-k for details

I kind-of-sometimes hate the internet for its lies and negativity and spin and uncontrollable takeover of all that is good.  But I also kind-of sometimes love it for the communities it builds, the happiness, sharing and opportunities it can provide.  Oh, and the shopping.

I wouldn’t have this blog and your support if it weren’t for the internet!  I wouldn’t have discovered some of the races I’ve signed up for next year.  And I’d probably still be running with knee pain.

Today, I learned about another amazing thing that the internet does, and it has put one mammoth big tick in my ‘love the internet’ box. 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

Thanksgiving

Baby picture

Baby Lauren aka She Can Try, with mum

It was Thanksgiving in America over the weekend (I guess, because Instagram was filled with pictures of Turkeys and pumpkin pies and people with smiling faces)

So I am naming this post Thanksgiving because I have something special to be thankful for, and I don’t mind jumping on an American holiday with a fantastic name.  In fact, I think we should consider renaming Christmas Eve (not Christmas Day, don’t panic) to Hopegiving.  Or New Years Eve to Startafreshgiving.

When I started this triathlon journey only a couple of months ago, I knew that finishing a triathlon was an impossibility for me.  I knew I would have to change physically and mentally to withstand the requirements of a proper triathlon, which I will be doing in October next year (please note that I keep thinking it is November next year and I have been saying that aloud to lots of people, but that is just some bizarre internal wishful thinking and I apologise for misleading you – the Noosa Traithlon is definitely in October 2016)

To say ‘triathlon is impossible’ was true for me – I could not swim, I did not own a bike, and I could not run.  I thought I was starting from scratch, but I have slowly come to realise that I did have some advantages behind me that would help me towards making it all ‘un-impossible’.  Like my weight-lifting, which I wrote about yesterday.  And my champion eating skills, which I will write about tomorrow.  And my family, which I am thankful for today. 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

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