Noosa!

The fam bam, post race

Post-race lunch with some of my favourite people (L-R Grandpa, Shane, Me, Mum and Blob)

A year in the making, there wasn’t much about Noosa Tri race day that I hadn’t dreamed about and played over in my head at least a hundred times before Sunday. Even the mundane and seemingly irrelevant details had at some point featured in my mind’s eye, as I’d excitedly imagined The Day I Would Become a Real Triathlete.

Finally getting to live through it felt very surreal… But live through it I did.

Yes, SPOILER ALERT, I survived The Noosa Triathlon 2016 and you are about to read the official race report.  ALSO SPOILER ALERT – it was amazing and I was amazing.  Now get a big drink (you may need a spare hour, this took me 4 days to write) read on and re-live the struggle with me… Continue reading

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

Noosa Open Day (Not A Race) Report, Which I Won

Ready to swim

Noosa Open Day Swim

I signed up for the Noosa Open Day Swim Series back in March, when I was still recovering from the near-death experience of my Mooloolaba Swimming Race DNF (which stands for Did Not Finish, just in case you missed my triathlon dictionary post a while back)

I have never been under any illusions about the dangers of someone who can’t swim very well (IE me!) entering a real-life ocean.  I’ve maintained a healthy fear of drowning in The Deep Blue since the day I first signed myself up for this triathlon career.  The DNF didn’t actually change that at all: I was as frightened afterwards as I was before, but no more so.

If you cast your mind back, you may remember that I returned to the sea with sharks and jellyfish and seaweed and stuff at Bribie, just a couple of weeks after the Mooloolaba failure.  Then I did some more Grimsey sessions.  I even managed the Straddie Salute Tri,where I did not panic and drown myself.  So I think we can agree that I haven’t developed a phobia of ocean swimming.  Things have been progressing well.

But – yes there is a but! – I haven’t been back to Mooloolaba for swimming.  At all. Shane and I did go for breakfast one weekend and it was a beautiful day with not a wave in sight… And I couldn’t bring myself to even dip my feet into the water.

So maybe I have a thing going on with the ocean at Mooloolaba.  And what I realised after the DNF is that Noosa is really close to Mooloolaba.  It’s practically the same slice of ocean.

And if you haven’t been following along at home, I’ve already signed myself up for The Bloody Noosa Triathlon 2016, which kind of requires me to swim 1500m in the ocean there. Continue reading

My First Trail Run – The WH@N Race Report

Wild Horse @ Night by AdiDwi

Wild Horse @ Night by AdiDwi

I do most of my run training in the late afternoon or at night time, so signing up for Wild Horse at Night (a race at night, as you may have guessed even if you didn’t read my previous post on it) seemed perfect. Except I had all day to get nervous. That bit wasn’t so perfect.

When I get nervous I turn into a psychopathic b*tch.  It’s unfortunate but true; My family suffers immensely.

I am sure there are plenty of you out there who really won’t understand why I might get nervous about a 16.5km trail run.  I know that for many people, this is the equivalent of ‘a walk in the park’ and perhaps a ‘fun event’.  Because the comments I got on the last post mostly used the word fun and even Grandpa said ‘it sounds exciting’ and that’s when I realised I was possibly alone in my fear of this event.

But don’t be too judgmental of my wimpiness – not only was this race the longest distance I’ve ever committed to running in my entire life, it was also my first outing on the trails since I was a schoolkid.

Just turning up at the start line was going to be a win for me.  For some reason, 16.5km seemed like a much more imposing challenge than 14km had.  Two hours of running (the time I expected to finish in) seemed like an almost impossible ask for my old-lady joints.

You may be asking why I even signed up for the event if I felt this way, but trust me when I say that the thought process when signing up for races goes something along the lines of ‘If I pay money to run it then I will deserve to complete it’. Zero logic or forethought is involved.

It got to the point yesterday where I had to tell myself that if I could just make it through to 4pm (when I could finally get changed and head off to Wild Horse Mountain car park, aka the start line) then I would have made it through the worst bit.  Yes, overcoming the nervousness and just turning up actually became a bigger mental challenge than running for two hours through treacherous trails with snakes and rocks in the dark.  Feel free to judge me for that.
Continue reading

Wild Horse at Night

Wild Horse at Night confirmation email

Another registration!

Thank you to the organisers of Wild Horse at Night (also known as WH@N) for providing me with the best blog post title I ever had. It sounds so romantic and dramatic, don’t you agree? Wild Horse at Night. NEIGH!! I particularly like that when combined with the previous post, the blog has developed something of an equestrian theme this week.  I should have themed weeks more often, I think.

Wild Horse at Night is a race I have signed up for, taking place this coming Saturday night. As the name would suggest to those of you familiar with the Sunshine Coast here in Australia, it is held on and around Wild Horse Mountain (which is one of the Glass House Mountains at Beerburrum)

Yes, this means it is a trail run – or a cross country run, if you are from the UK. Although POMs and ex-POMs (such as myself) should be careful if we use that phrase in other countries, because I used it myself in a conversation a few days ago and my friend thought I literally meant I was going to run across the country.

SIDENOTE: I do class myself as crazy but I seriously wonder how I must come across to others when people who know me think there is any kind of likelihood that I would attempt to run across the country of Australia.  For the record, the likelihood is definitely zero.

So anyway, what’s the deal with WH@N and trail running? Continue reading

Race Day Plan

Stradbroke Ferries

Boarding the ferry

Well I have had absolutely the polar opposite lead-up to tomorrow’s race, in comparison to the lead-up to the Bribie Island Triathlon (my only other tri!)

I started my new job on Monday and although I had been warned that my first week would be insanely busy, I was not really prepared for the impact it had on my sleep, my eating, even how much water I have been drinking. My ‘taper‘ was more of ‘an abrupt stop to all physical movement’ which was also not what I had planned.

So I am trying not to freak out about how badly set up I am for The Straddie Salute. Instead, I am concentrating on the things I will be able to control from this moment of arriving on the island – yes I am here! We had a great trip over and the weather looks absolutely perfect; the Triathlon Gods are shining down upon me. It is a relief to have not missed the ferry and despite the recurring nightmares, I was pleased to see our accommodation had not burned down last night.

My focus for today is to eat all the carbs I can find in the local restaurants. God help the other triathletes who might be feeling peckish. I am hopefully in control of this final rest up and going to bed at a reasonable time (sleep is not under my control)

Oh, and the race day plan. I am in control of that, and I am trying to put all of my spare thoughts into it.

So what is there to plan about race day?  Surely you just show up and do the things you have trained for!

Yes, there is that.  But as a regular reader of this blog, you know how I like to over-complicate most things. So bear with me. 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