The 14km Run

A brain snap occurred

That face you make when you come up with a much better plan…

We all knew that the run I planned for Thursday (yesterday) wasn’t going to happen.  Because that is life.

I ended up doing a bike ride session on the indoor bike at the gym instead (for various reasons – namely that I got home a bit late and then my elderly neighbour came over to see me about a problem with her phone and it took me a while to understand the issue as her English is not very good, which also meant that she failed to understand that I really didn’t care about her phone or that I needed to go for a run, which resulted in lots of hand signals and a charades-style discussion about fishing – yes, fishing – before I realised it was dark and Shane banned me from going out in the pitch black)

SIDENOTE: For interest’s sake, I’ve been documenting my completed workouts on the same calendar as I put together and posted a few weeks ago, so that when we get to The Straddie Salute tri you can see just how wrong and off-schedule my training goes – almost every day.  I think it is good to see the reality of how you can adapt and go with the flow.  Stay tuned!

BUT the run needed to happen this week, because I will then have 4 weeks to practice it and have it down pat before THE TAPER starts for Straddie.  So today had to be the day.

SIDENOTE AGAIN: For those who are new to my super-dooper triathlon lingo, according to trainingpeaks.com, ‘The taper is the controlled decrease in training load required to bring an athlete to that pinnacle of a focused mind, and a body that has shed all fatigue and is fresh to go’. I can’t wait! Continue reading

Straddie Nerves Kicking In

swimming poool toilets

The glamorous life of a triathlete

Now that I have no silly swimming races with which to distract myself, the unavoidable disaster that is  looming closer by the minute is The Straddie Salute.

I signed up for this race just before Christmas, as a way to bridge the massive gap between my baby Bribie Triathlon (300m-10km-3km) and the Olympic distance Noosa Triathlon coming in October (1.5km-40km-10km)

And suddenly the Straddie race day is only 7 weeks away on Saturday!  Which means THE TAPER is only 6 weeks away.  Which means PEAK WEEK is only 5 weeks away.  Which means it is time to FREAK OUT.

Let me explain. 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 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

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

5 Days Til Race Day!

He can't fix me

Feeling pretty dubious about my fourth Physio appointment

So Jake the Physio inspected me at lunch time today and advised that my brand-new back pain is caused by a strained joint, around L4 and S1.  Which wasn’t a groundbreaking revelation because I did it whilst straining my joints, trying to pick up some wood that was far too heavy for me to lift.

Was it self-sabotage?  No, I genuinely thought I could lift the wood – and I threw an epic tantrum when I not only failed to lift it, but collapsed to the floor and had to crawl back to the house in pain.  I phoned my mum in tears to complain about the unfairness of my stupidity.  Why couldn’t she have endowed me with smarter genes that knew not to lift heavy things 7 days before a race?

Anyway, I knew my back felt really really bad, so I had been ready to hear a really really bad prognosis.  But then Jake said ‘strained joint’ and that sounded pretty mild to me and I thought everything would be OK.

Plus, even though I couldn’t bend over and had to roll out of the car to get to the gym, I had been able to cycle, run and swim in the 36 hours between injury and Physio appointment without the pain getting any worse.  No better, but no worse either. Continue reading

Grimsey’s Adult Swimfit

Suttons Beach

Suttons Beach at Redcliffe on Jan 31, 2016

My blogging habits are the stuff of great mystery… and will remain so because it is a very boring mystery that no one would care about.  But today I can reveal that I usually follow a fairly un-magical blogging routine.

Knowing what training sessions I have lined up each week, I generally have an awareness of what to expect in each of them: what challenges will be playing on my mind; how I am feeling towards the session; etc etc.  So I lay down the ‘skeleton’ of a blog post in draft form a few days (sometimes weeks) before I am going to post it. I write in my calendar which post will go live on which day, and make a mental note of what pictures to take when the time comes, to accompany my verbal spewage.

These opening sentences you’re reading now, where I set a scene or give you the background info to help you understand what craziness I have landed myself in, are the best bits to get down early in order to ensure I’ll be off and typing at lightening speed when I get the time.

Even with ‘surprises’ like getting my first flat tyre, I had known in advance that I was going for a long ride that morning, so I had some of the information already written down as a jumping-off point when the big day arrived (although the nitty-gritty turned out very different from what I had anticipated writing the day before)

What I mean is, each day I have the bare bones of a post ready for details to be added after the event.

But today’s post on Grimsey’s Adult Swimfit is different. Continue reading

Physio Session 2

Emergency!  Emergency!  Buy New Shoes!

Emergency! Emergency! Buy New Shoes!

Just over a week ago my new Physio, Jake, banned me from running but promised he’d have me ready to run at Bribie.

So when I turned up for my second physio session on Friday, I was fully prepared for more needles, more pressure points and more running ban.  We’ve still got 3 weeks until the mini Bribie Triathlon.

Indeed, an hour of the same physio talk and tests ensued – there was jumping, hopping and twisting of my legs.  Jake got his extra-thick needles out and did some more dry-needling – actually, a lot more.  And it was really painful.  I wished he would switch to acupuncture instead.  Dry-needling is more of an archaeological dig for injury fossils inside me than just a few strategic pin pricks like you get with acupuncture.  There is a lot of ‘rummaging’ with the needle tip once it’s inside and boy is it painful.  Especially when he hits a nerve (yes that happened)

But then, as a magical surprise just as I was about to leave and make my next appointment, Jake announced that he was happy for me to go for a run.  Well he called it a jog, but we all know that sounds much less serious than a run and what is the technical difference? I don’t know so I always claim a run, never a jog. Jogs are for wimps.

Anyway, I stared at him.  Really?  Yes, just take it easy, wait for at least 24 hours from now and don’t do more than 4km.  Stop if you get any pain, but if you just feel a bit tight then you can keep running, he said.

I took this to mean that I am the best physio patient he’s ever had and I have healed at a speed that even Superman would be proud of.  I patted myself on the back and hurried out of the office to plan my first Recovery Run. 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

Christmas Swag

Socks with unicorns on them

The Unicorn that is Improvement Socks!

As heavily predicted, I did receive some triathlon-related gifts this Christmas.  It was rather lovely and made me realise how my life has changed when I’m actually pleased to receive bike-related paraphernalia for Christmas as opposed to expensive candles, books and dresses.  If anyone had told me last year that I’d be requesting lycra for Christmas, I would not have believed them, but here we are. Continue reading