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 →
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 →
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 →
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.
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.
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 →
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 may already know I love Aldi. If you didn’t, you do now. I really like the smaller size of the shops and only having one choice of, for instance, mayonnaise. It makes the boring grocery shop much quicker and simpler for my impatient and confused self.
And the weekly specials! I do love popping in to get the week’s food and grabbing a new sleeping bag, wireless doorbell or 3D printer at the same time. I don’t need a 3D printer (does anybody) but everyone knows the rule that says if you buy it with your groceries it’s just part of your weekly sustenance requirements. We have to eat. We have to buy groceries. Supermarket purchases are basically free.
So I could probably end this post here – you’ve seen the picture above so you can figure out the rest, right?
Well OK, I can’t miss an opportunity to report back on triathlon training progress. So yes, the Aldi buyers in their infinite wisdom realised that there was a growing need from one of their most loyal shoppers. A growing need for a bike trainer. And so they did deliver. Continue reading →
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)
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 →
Yep, that’s when you know you’re a real triathlete – when you have voices in your head telling you to go do a 1km swim with sharks, for fun.
Oh, and in case you missed the point of the blog – you should totally do a triathlon, too! Honestly it is the best. I mean, who doesn’t want voices in their head? Especially voices that tell you to go swim with sharks! If this sounds irresistible to you, there’s no need for a doctor, just go here to read some pointers about having a go yourself.
Seriously, the best. I would not lie to you.
So back to the dreaded, god-awful, terrifying race. My spirits were lifted slightly when I saw the course map – two 500 metre swims with a turnaround on the beach (as per the map above) rather than a straight-up, flat-out 1km. This seemed like an immeasurably good thing because I’d know when I got to the half-way point (there is nothing worse than thinking you’re half way and then realising you’re actually only a quarter) and I would also be able to see my mum and get some support in the middle of the race.