I’m Not Dead

Matilda the Dog

I like this picture of Matilda The Dog

I’m still alive!  But it has been a bit dark in my triathlon brain.  There has not been much room for jokes and lighthearted blogging tomfoolery.

I’ve been pondering my existence.  As in, how useless is a human being that can’t run without warming up for 20 minutes?  What kind of caveman would I have been, if at the first hint of a delicious wild boar racing past my rocky abode I had to stop and limber up while the rest of my clan starved to death? Would I have been a caveman vegetarian? How did I make it through evolution, along with whichever of my ancestors cursed me with these non-natural runner genes?  Do I actually deserve to be on this planet?

And so on and so forth.  It has been challenging, but challenging in a way that was totally made up in my head.   Continue reading

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 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

City2South Race Report, or My Quest to be Mates With Ronda

Medal

The benefit of running over triathlon-ing is getting a medal at the finish line!

As I ran around the house yesterday morning, trying to get ready for my epic trek into the city, I stubbed the little toe on my right foot. You know how it goes; I kicked the lounge chair that I have successfully walked past approximately 927 times a day for the past 7 years and which has not moved more than a millimetre in that time.

It hurt like a mother-effer, as all toe stubbings do. I performed the mandatory doubling-over, followed by swift sucking in of breath through my teeth. When I was satisfied that I wasn’t going to vomit, I continued with my preparations.

About thirty minutes later, I realised my toe was still throbbing and was starting to hurt more as time wore on. I tried to touch it but that hurt too much. I stared at my toe.

‘Don’t you be broken, you useless flap of bone and skin’ I warned.

‘Too late,’ it may as well have said.  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

You’ve Got What It Takes

anzacday

In the lead-up to the Bribie Tri I thought that I wrote about freaking out over the whole thing A HELLUVA LOT (see here for example)

So I thought it went without saying: I thought everyone would simply know and understand that I have also been freaking out about the impending race at Straddie.

But then I got a message from someone I won’t name, saying that they were considering pulling out of the same race (in a fortnight’s time) because they weren’t ready and they were freaking out.  As though they were the only one.

Clearly, it seems that in trying to keep the blog a little more positive and light-hearted this time around, I have done a disservice to the three or four people who occasionally stop by and gawk at the photos of how terrible I look when ‘tri-ing’.  Because apparently it may seem that my massive ego is carrying me through this ‘Tri number 2’ process as though on the wings of a confident, calm and powerful eagle.

So, dear readers, pull your chair closer to your computer monitor and let me tell you a little story.

SPOILER ALERT:  There are no eagles carrying me through this godawful and terrifying process. Continue reading

The Stupid Swimming Race

smiling

At the pool, smiling peacefully as I begin the final training session before my race

Of all the things I have signed up for, and of all the things I am planning to sign up for – oh my goodness you guys are going to think I have gone absolutely batpoop insane when I blog about some of the things I am planning for the future – the stupid swimming race has got to be the absolute stupidest.

By a long, long way.

One kilometre more stupid, in fact.

I don’t know what I was thinking.  Well, actually I do – I was devastatingly unaware of the existence of the miraculous Grimsey’s Adult Swimfit when I signed up for the Mooloolaba 1km Ocean Swim.  I thought that entering a swimming race would be the only way for me to practice swimming in groups around buoys in the ocean.  Google had really let me down on that front.

Always blame Google.

I sat at my computer, a few hours after my first Open Water Swim session with soon-to-be-ex-Coach Kirstie.  It seems so long ago now.  It dawned on me that swimming in the ocean is my own personal equivalent of wrestling with bears – there is a high likelihood of death, nobody enjoys watching it much less doing it, the cruelty factor is high, it’s entirely pointless, and let’s not forget there is a high likelihood of death.

Yep, I know I mentioned it twice.

So what to do, when you have already signed up for a triathlon that involves a 1.5km swim in October but your new coach is moving to Tully and Google tells you that you have no other way to practice ocean water swimming?  Of course, you sign yourself up to do two thirds of the required triathlon swim distance 7 months beforehand.  Yes that’s right, sign yourself up to swim one whole kilometre, seven whole months before you actually need to do it.

Of course that’s the answer – if you have no actual brain cells left from your bear fight. Continue reading

A Half Marathon, or She Does A Stupid Thing

Don't panic

Don’t panic until you have actually read the post, mum.

When I commenced this journey of triathetising myself and my life, I felt confident that the running portion would be my favourite part of the sport. Dare I say it? Ok yes, I thought that running was the easy bit.

Regular readers may remember the reality check the Triathlon Gods cast down upon me, which helped me to realise that I could not run for sh*t.  Really, I look back on those early days and marvel at my naivety; back then I never expected that simple cockiness could earn spiteful lesson-learning from the now-dreaded Triathlon Gods.  Imagine how much easier this sport would be without an ego!

Anyway, even though I should have known better, I clung to the notion that once Jake the Physio had fixed me up and made me pain-free, I would be a running machine. My lesson would be learned: I would not be cocky.  I would be able to run again.

Even in my baby Triathlon (aka my first triathlon, aka the tester) when the run truly sucked and I briefly experienced a truth – that physically being able to run might not be enough, I felt sure that I would eventually emerge to be a natural runner.

Because my mum was a fantastic runner. Surely that counts for something? I basically grew up thinking I was from a family of running people.  And once upon a time, years ago, I did a 10km run with my sister. Granted, I couldn’t walk for three days afterwards, but I did it!

And let’s not forget of course the fundamental, underlying, omnipresent reason that I thought the running side of triathlon training would turn out to be alright, which is that I am actually a complete moron. 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