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

A Bike Race. Only Kidding. Kind Of.

At Redcliffe

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.

So, today would be a bike ride kind of day instead. Continue reading

Night Swim

Tonight, we swim

The sun sets over my street. The pool was calling me.

I normally get my swimming, biking or running (which is currently elliptical training due to hip pain) done in the morning and then focus on strength training at night, but with only a month to go now until the baby Bribie Triathlon it is time to pull out all the stops.  I will still do strength training when I can, but running, cycling and swimming may now appear sporadically in the PM time-frame as well as the AM.

For instance, today felt like it would turn into the perfect night for a swim.  It nagged at me all of this morning.  I could hear the pool calling my name.

Get your butt down here, Loser!  It called.

This bothered me more than usual because I agreed that I really wanted and needed to do a swim tonight instead of strength training.  But I didn’t have a swimming costume.

Get your naked butt down here, Loser! The pool taunted.

I’d planned to buy a new costume a bit later this week, because I was at the point of feeling sick at how much I was eating into my savings over Christmas and my monthly pay is due in just a few days.  (Thank you esteemed employer, I do hate you know we have our ups and downs but pay day is definitely the only reason I keep putting up with your crap an up)

This morning, though, the idea of ‘later in the week’ seemed like such a long time away.  I couldn’t decide whether I would feel more sick about spending yet more of my savings, or about ignoring the pool’s call and missing an opportunity for a good swim.  I had to choose one. Continue reading

Impulse Buying

comfy

Like your favourite old leggings – my tri suit is hideous but sooo comfy

As regular readers will know, the unending shopping is my favourite leg of the sport of triathlon (even though my wallet hates it)

I shop online a lot because I can do it at 6 o’clock in the morning or 10 o’clock at night, which is handy when I need to fit in as many training sessions as possible.  At this stage of my triathlon training (with mountains of work in front of me) I am only really leaving the house to earn money, swim, bike or run.

Shopping online, especially on auction sites, often means you have to buy on impulse: you can’t touch the item or even see it properly sometimes.  You have to be prepared to take a bit of a risk, which adds to the fun I think.

Some of my impulse purchases have turned out to be fantastic.  Namely, the cycling shoes I bought from EBay secondhand – which I purchased before I even had a bike, because they seemed perfect for my needs and my budget and I decided I’d use them eventually (a week later, in fact)

Unfortunately, some other purchases have not been quite so successful. 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

Banned From Social Cycling

cycling get-up

My current cycling get-up

In attempting to do my very first triathlon, I am not expecting to really ‘fit in’ with the usual triathlete mob.  I currently have no intention of joining a triathlon club or anything like that.  I am not the right size, shape, level of ability, level of dedication… And I like training at my own pace and doing my own thing anyway, so being a lone wolf suits me quite well.

However, as I proudly announce to people that I am now the owner of a road bike, I am surprised by the number of offers I get to go on training rides with other riders.  I get the impression that it is ‘the done thing’ in cycling world; you go on rides, next to each other.  I can only assume that there is a national shortage of willing participants if they are asking me to tag along – I mean, some of these fools have read this blog; they know what they’re dealing with.
Continue reading