Hello, this is Your Mistake calling…

 

Will you be on the startline? email from Sunshine Coast Half Marathon

Is this email a coincidence or has the Sunshine Coast Half Marathon somehow got wind of my injury?

I am really trying hard not to beat myself up too much about taking on the ludicrous 26.94km trail run, which resulted in eternal glory but also an injury which may prevent me from taking part in the upcoming Sunshine Coast Half Marathon.

Boy, even typing those words makes my eyes prickle and stomach churn. I haven’t come to terms with the possibility of pulling out, yet. But I am still stumbling around in pain, only just able to walk properly, with no hope of running. So it is important to start facing up to it.

Needless to say, it has made me wonder if the trail run was a mistake and this is my comeuppance. Did I get greedy? Was it an utterly stupid thing to do?  Was the feeling of being ready based on anything other than hope? Continue reading

Surprise! Part One – Screw The Half Marathon

Matilda was surprised

Oh. My. Dog. What HAS she done now?

I have a surprise for you today.  Because I’ve written a race report that nobody saw coming… Even me, to an extent.

Admittedly, I started writing this ‘introduction section’ which I’m calling Part One a week and a half ago, with nervously shaking hands and shallow breath.  Because I had an inkling about what might happen and I wanted to document some of the crazy thoughts I had in the lead-up.

Even though I had no intention of sharing such information until today, just in case I chickened out.

Chickened out of what?  You ask.  Be patient, I reply, I need to build it up.

You see, I accidentally found a race I wasn’t ready for.  And even though I knew it was ridiculous, I couldn’t get it out of my head.  I woke up at 2am thinking about it, night after night after night.  As I sat typing emails at work, dramatic and crystal-clear visions of the race interrupted my thoughts ominously.  I had butterflies in my stomach and a tingling in my toes whenever I thought about it.

This accidentally-found race, I felt, was calling to me.

I must reiterate: I wasn’t searching for another race.  I didn’t need a ridiculous challenge.  Regular readers will remember that I was (am!) already engrossed in training for a momentous running race: in fact the Sunshine Coast Half Marathon was only 40 days away when I sat myself down to begin writing this prelude to the race report. Today there are just 4 weeks to go until that highly-anticipated event.

I already have enough on my plate.

And let’s not forget that I find comfort in sticking to the training plan I map out, which allows me to follow logical and progressively harder steps that I set myself to gradually reach bigger goals.  That’s the smart way to train.

It would seem ridiculous, then (and totally stupid, probably) to skip some steps and sign up for a 26.4km trail run, which would take me over 3 hours to complete this morning.  Ridiculous.

But, well…

Surprise!
Continue reading

I’m Riding The Unicorn, Don’t Worry

The unicorn I call improvement

Remember this?  The elusive unicorn that I call Improvement, with her fairy helpers

The deeper I get into this triathlon training, the less likely it becomes that exciting things happen on a daily basis.  That’s how it feels to me, anyway.

Maybe you guys would actually be really pleased to hear about the cycling I did on the spin bike at the gym for an hour, while watching ‘Millionaire Hot Seat’ and Channel 9 News on Tuesday night.  But I doubt it, so I don’t write about it.

Tonight I went to the gym where I did a bike ride and watched TV.  I watched that slightly weird smug guy Eddie Maguire quiz a bunch of people on the most random facts you could ever hope to not fill your brain with.  My favourite question required the contestant to finish the apparently ‘typical Aussie slang’ term ‘It’s London for a _______’ and the answer was brick.  Not a single person in Australia knew the answer to the question.  Then I watched Channel 9 News where they evidently haven’t heard of Syria or anything.  The top story was the weather ‘event’ that had passed 4 days prior.

But in spite of my training not being note-worthy, you should rest assured that I am indeed making some improvements.  In fact, the Unicorn That Is Improvement has been broken by my relentless pursuit of it, and I’ve saddled her up for a slow and challenging trek through this mysterious triathlon forest.

Take swimming for instance. 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

parkrun Round 2 – The Elusive Negative Split

Running

About 500 metres into parkrun round 2

Excuse me while my ego puffs out my chest in pride at how good a triathlete I am for knowing the phrase ‘the negative split’.

I really hope you guys don’t know what it means. I had no idea what it meant either, until a few weeks ago.

I would have guessed it was something to do with doing box splits, because I used to attempt to do those when I was a little girl at gymnastics and not only did I feel very negative about the groin-tearing sensation they induce, but I always got very negative reviews from the gymnastics teacher (Colin) about my box split achievements. So negative split totally makes sense in that situation.

But no, ‘the negative split’ is not about box splits.

A negative split is an athletic achievement whereby you complete the second half of your event in a faster time than you completed the first half.  So for instance, when running a 10km, a negative split means you ran the last 5km in less time than it took to do the first 5km.

Who cares? Absolutely nobody, unless they are infected with some sort of disease that makes them want to be some sort of athlete – particularly in my case, a triathlete. Continue reading

Just Call Me Jack

running in paradise

Running Straddie!

Stumbling along on this triathlon journey, I have become something of a ‘jack of all trades’. And yes you guessed it; a master of none.

I can now proudly swim without drowning, bike without coming last (or first) and run without losing my place in a crowd of fellow runners.

My slight improvements have been consistent but not outstanding in any of the three sports required. But now that is about to change.

Because it is time for me to become a master of 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

The Trial Tri

mail

Receiving very exciting mail. I Have DEFINITELY WON!

After receiving confirmation in the mail (totally unexpectedly, mind you) that I had “DEFINITELY WON” lots of money, I took the plunge and quit my job.

I told my boss where to stick it and decided to dedicate a small portion of my first day of freedom to a trial triathlon.

What is a trial triathlon?  Well of course, it’s the swim-bike-run mash-up malarkey I’d been planning on doing prior to my next tri, to make sure I have my transitions figured out and that I can actually survive something close to the distances I need to be able to do. Continue reading

Food Glorious Food

The girl in the magazine doesn't actually look like that

It’s all a trick.  (image from Pinterest)

It has surprised me that triathlon magazines, websites and social media accounts etc spend so much time discussing what to eat or not eat – beyond simply discussing what makes good fuel or not.  Not naming any names, but certain sites talk about diets and food with a blatant focus on fat-shaming and food one-upmanship.

Which is a shame because I think we could have kept the two things separate (triathlon and food guilt)

There are so many websites dedicated to making you feel bad about eating certain foods (I reckon you could name any food type and there will be a website claiming you should never eat it) that it seems unnecessary for triathlon sites to get involved in the foray.

We could simply have stuck to swimming, biking, running, shopping and racing.  With maybe some ideas of foods that help or hinder said training.

But no, I find myself bombarded with pictures of green smoothie bowls (WHY is it in an effing bowl?) made with home-grown kale.  Which frankly looks far superior to my giant bowl of Cocoa Pops, because of course it is superior.  And the smoothie pictures always have a smug caption beneath them, along the lines of ‘I managed to gulp down half of this delicious elixir before my 792 kilometre bike ride this morning, but it was just so filling I had to save the other half for when I returned!  I wont be needing any dinner tonight!’

To which my response is ‘Eff you, mother-effer’.

So I thought I’d weigh in with my own thoughts on eating.  They’re very random and possibly controversial, but it’s my blog and I’m just being honest.  Leave your hate-mail messages in the comments and I will take them on the chin.

DISCLAIMER: I will not claim to have all the answers on eating right all the time.  Because I clearly don’t!  But I also don’t care: If you want to eat right all the time, in my opinion you may be insane and this is not a post for you. Continue reading

On Sundays We Are Fit

beautiful

Arriving at Redcliffe on Sunday morning

Ah, remember the days when a Sunday Session meant a few beers (or more) in a sunny beer garden?

In my quest to become a triathlete, many things have taken on new meanings. For instance, ‘a short bike ride’ now means anything less than 90 minutes, ‘I’m going for a run’ is no longer the punchline to a joke I’m telling and ‘doing the laundry’ means untangling 20 pairs of sports socks, 7 pairs of leggings, 2 pairs of cycling knicks, 3 of running shorts, 9 sports bras, 10 fluorescent-coloured lycra tops and a swimming costume, whilst holding your breath to avoid the stink.

And so it is that, thanks to triathlon, the phrase Sunday Session now involves less beer* and actually refers to training sessions of a Sunday nature, which means that they are a bit longer, or require a special journey to get there, or are conducted in a group I can’t catch up with during the working week due to clashing schedules etc.

*I won’t claim zero beer is involved in these new Sunday Sessions, but there is definitely less beer. Continue reading