Surprise! Part Three – Smite Me

Techy stuff

The Elevation Map from last week’s race. The one provided on the website must have been from last year’s event I think, which was a different course. The Elevation gain was 339 metres, not 244.

I am smitten.  No, wait, that’s not what I mean.  I have been smited.  Yes, I think that’s more like it.

The Triathlon Gods heard me crowing and saw me strutting about my 26.94km run (is anyone going to back me up if I call it 27km?) and they decided I must be punished.

This CRETIN dost believeth that she hast becometh a runner!  We art angry!

-Triathlon Gods.  Yes they talk funny.

I spent the first few days assuring myself that I was merely sore from my epic achievement of running 26.94km, which is nearly 27km.

SIDENOTE: Yes I’ve taken to casually mentioning the distance as often as any conversation allows.  In Aldi this morning the man at the checkout said ‘that’s 93 dollars and 10 cents please’ and I replied ‘Sorry did you say 26 dollars and 94 cents?  Cos what a coincidence, that is actually how many kilometres I ran last Sunday!  Ha!’

So on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday – because my legs were ‘sore’ – I took gentle strolls and focused on my swimming to ‘let my legs recover’.

On Thursday I tried a bike ride and a short ROTB (run off the bike) which totaled 200 metres before I was doubled over in pain.

I pleaded with Matilda (an angel dog and therefore – logically – in possession of a direct line to the Triathlon Gods) to let me learn my lesson some other way.

But it was no good.

So it is time to announce: I am injured. Continue reading

The Happiness Assassination

Grandpa the devil

Me and Grandpa, the assassinator.

I have suspected that Grandpa is out to get me for a while now. And today I can present to you irrefutable proof that he wants me to be miserable.

Continue reading

So, Maybe There Is Something Wrong With Me?

mask-style goggles

My current swimming garb

Swimming.  Ah, the enigma.

I haven’t grown to love the swimming part of triathlon – yet.  I remain ever hopeful that the day will come; I’ve had glimpses of it to tempt me (see here and here) and the gossip among ‘the swimmers‘ aka the dolphins is that there is serious fun and enjoyment to be had.  So swimming love exists apparently, I just have to wait until I can stake my claim.

In the meantime, I have approached my swim sessions with something like unease and trepidation.  Especially the open water swims, which I frankly dread.

The feeling I get after a swim makes it all worthwhile, so I can’t go so far as to say I hate it.  Finishing a swim produces a certain feeling of relief that I can only compare to being at your in-laws’ for dinner then hearing your partner say that it is time to go home.  Cue: absolute ecstasy.  Except with swimming you’ve also done a workout, so it’s even better than that.

Plus, I simply can’t allow myself to hate swimming.  I have already set my heart on some stupid triathlons that require me to swim stupid distances in the stupid sea.  So I have to think positive, embrace the challenge and keep at it, because as humans we tend to believe that with practice and hard work, comes improvement.

And that’s the thing.  Where is my improvement?  Aren’t I overdue? Continue reading

Such A Show-Off

Chocolate cake from the Grimsey Brothers on Easter Sunday. Well worth the tortuous swim.

Chocolate cake from the Grimsey Brothers on Easter Sunday. Well worth the tortuous swim.

Happy Easter, Homies!

Don’t panic; I haven’t turned into an American hipster over the course of the long weekend (although I did have a nightmare in which a really rich potato with a toupee was running for president and I had an uncontrollable desire to vote for him, so…)

I’m still an average-Joe Queenslander.  It’s just that I was sitting here, staring at my screen ready to type and had no idea what else to write except ‘Happy Easter, Homies!’

Which is when I realised that I am trying to avoid a certain topic.  A topic that is actually unavoidable on a triathlon blog. Continue reading

Your First Triathlon

Mum and me

Yes, she can.  So can you.

I feel like a bit of a fraudster, passing on my advice for ‘your first triathlon’.

I mean, I’ve done precisely one triathlon.

But if you’re looking for advice like I was/am, maybe learning from somebody who is as new as you is the best option.  When you’ve done a few, I imagine that certain things become obvious, and you might assume they’re obvious to everyone.

So this guide to ‘your first triathlon’ is for the real beginner, and the one who is Type-A, needing to know every detail they possibly can, including the obvious.  This is for you, my friend (although the rest of you may read if you want to)

I have split the post into sections, because it is long – there is a lot of information.  If you’re OK with some sections of your triathlon journey, you can skip the parts of this post that cover those sections.  I’ve also made a special page on my blog where this post will live permanently, if you need to refer back to it – here.

Let us begin. 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

Half Way to Bribie

about to burst

Holding in a scream during a mini meltdown

When I signed up for my first ever triathlon at Bribie, I had just over four months until race day. This week, I have 8 weeks to go, so I am half way though my training.

In some respects, training thus far has gone better than anticipated: I thought that the pain when running would take the whole four months to resolve, so I am thrilled that I can now run quite comfortably.

I can also do freestyle lengths in the pool back-to-back and I have a beautiful bike that I actually love to ride. I never expected either of those things to happen, especially in just 2 months.

So we should agree that Trying to be a Triathlete is so far a success… except, I am a spoiled rotten human and I can’t help but want MORE! Continue reading

A Tale of Two Swims

Matilda the dog, swimming

Matilda offered to demonstrate some swimming to help me see how it should be done.

It was the worst of times, it was the best of times.  Yes in that order, sorry Charles Dickens.

Last week I did two swimming training sessions, as usual.  Ideally I should probably do more because swimming is definitely my weakest link, but I also have to squeeze in running, cycling, a mash-up session (which I have brought into the training mix earlier than I originally anticipated, following the disastrous first attempt) as well as strength training.  So basically I have found that for now, two swims is my limit.  Maybe when I’m good enough to do more mash-ups I’ll be able to increase the swimming because I’ll get my running and cycling done in one hit – stay tuned on that I guess.

[Incidentally, I did my second ever mash-up last week and the best way I could describe it would be to say that it was like I had turned into a chicken trying to climb a tree.  Leg coordination = non-existent. Approximate distance gained = negligible. Hilarity factor = medium. Oh who am I kidding, hilarity factor was high. There is muchos work to be done on this element of my triathlon training; it aint pretty.  Look out for a report after next week’s attempt.]

So anyway (last week, two sessions of swimming, stay focused Lauren) my first session of swimming was – how do you say? Sh*thouse. Continue reading

Time to Run Part 2, or The Meltdown

My Visit to Crazy Land

My brief visit to Crazy Land

I’ve clearly seen too many adverts extolling the virtues of Scholl’s gel inserts and the like, because in spite of the podiatrist’s advice that orthotics might not help my knee pain as much as I was expecting, I only took about two metephorical eggs out of that basket.  I still believed that everything would get better with insoles. Continue reading