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

A Half Marathon, or She Does A Stupid Thing

Don't panic

Don’t panic until you have actually read the post, mum.

When I commenced this journey of triathetising myself and my life, I felt confident that the running portion would be my favourite part of the sport. Dare I say it? Ok yes, I thought that running was the easy bit.

Regular readers may remember the reality check the Triathlon Gods cast down upon me, which helped me to realise that I could not run for sh*t.  Really, I look back on those early days and marvel at my naivety; back then I never expected that simple cockiness could earn spiteful lesson-learning from the now-dreaded Triathlon Gods.  Imagine how much easier this sport would be without an ego!

Anyway, even though I should have known better, I clung to the notion that once Jake the Physio had fixed me up and made me pain-free, I would be a running machine. My lesson would be learned: I would not be cocky.  I would be able to run again.

Even in my baby Triathlon (aka my first triathlon, aka the tester) when the run truly sucked and I briefly experienced a truth – that physically being able to run might not be enough, I felt sure that I would eventually emerge to be a natural runner.

Because my mum was a fantastic runner. Surely that counts for something? I basically grew up thinking I was from a family of running people.  And once upon a time, years ago, I did a 10km run with my sister. Granted, I couldn’t walk for three days afterwards, but I did it!

And let’s not forget of course the fundamental, underlying, omnipresent reason that I thought the running side of triathlon training would turn out to be alright, which is that I am actually a complete moron. 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

Final Ramblings

You train so you can tolerate it

Found this on Pinterest

It’s no secret that I am swinging violently between 1) feeling sick and fearful of the race on Sunday, and 2) being super excited to finally put my training to the test and see whether I’ve got what it takes.  Sometimes I am experiencing both extremities at the exact same time.

I have struggled with the blogging this week because of it.  I just can’t make my mind up what I am trying to say – am I sh*t scared and whingeing?  Or am I absolutely stoked and spreading positivity?  I am both.  I am neither.

This morning I completed my final training session – a swim that started hard and fast, and then progressed into breast stroke and enjoyment, in a last-ditch attempt to convince myself that I love and adore swimming.  It kind-of worked.

I will take the dog on a walk tonight but tomorrow’s schedule is complete rest and relaxation (aka cleaning the house and mowing the lawn)

Side note: This morning my swimming cap did not pop off my head, for the first time in about 3 weeks.  I was overjoyed.  The swimming leg has been (and probably always will be ) the hardest part of this sport for me.  Sometimes when I imagine myself stumbling out of the water at Bribie, after completing the swim part, I get tears in my eyes.  Because even envisaging it feels like overwhelming, pie-in-the-sky stuff.  I am not ashamed to say that I will be trying to make a deal with the Triathlon Gods in the lead-up to Sunday, to give me some kind of a break in the water. 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

The (Mis)Adventures of Frogwoman

the Adventures of Frogwoman

The start (and probably the end) of my comic strip-writing career

The complete true story of the daring exploits of the one and only Frogwoman!

(Yes, I totally borrowed that from Superman issue 1)

Recap: A cretin on the East Coast of Australia, determined to push her mental boundaries and physical limits, Frogwoman had begun life as a normal human but morphed into a disgusting monster after torturing her ego to an extent from which it would never recover.  And after buying some hilarious-looking frog goggles.

Believing herself invincible, and fancying that she had become ‘the champion of the oppressed’ – the hero of sh*t athletes everywhere – she was unaware that her feeble attempts at (dun dun duuuun) TRIATHLON TRAINING had taken over her life, until one day she could no longer return to the simple, humble beginnings she had once known.  She would forever be… FROGWOMAN Continue reading

Oh. My. Triathlon God.

Grimsey's Adult Swimfit

A blessing from above

The Triathlon Gods have finally pulled through.  It is a miracle.  Perhaps they finally agreed that I have suffered enough.  Or maybe King Kirk had a word with them.  Or maybe they saw me riding the Unicorn that is Improvement at a galloping pace towards the finish line of Bribie and decided that I am finally worthy of their affection.

Whatever the reason, I am sure that only their divine intervention has brought me to Grimsey’s Adult Swimfit.

WTF?? I hear you cry.  That is exactly what I thought.  Do not be afraid. Continue reading

The Comeback Report

Christmas dinner at mum's

Ah, thanks for the memories, Christmas.

After two glorious weeks of mostly fun and relaxation interspersed by minimal amounts of triathlon training over Christmas, it was then gloriously fun although not at all relaxing to get back into my proper triathlon training this week.  I guess when you find training that you love, it’s easy to look forward to it and enjoy it, especially after a well-earned holiday.

January is a tough month for those of us with nothing but first-world problems to contend with.  Faced with 12 months to struggle through until we can have more pavlova and drink beer every lunch time again, it feels like we’ve got to run a work ultra-marathon 12 times over before we can even dream of having more fun.

The reality of over-spending has sunk in.  My two precious weeks of holiday that I didn’t even want to take (but was rudely forced to) have flown by.  And worst of all I have got to go to bed at a reasonable time and stop taking naps in the middle of the afternoon.  I miss my late-night ‘Scandal’ marathons (For goondess’ sake Olivia, FORGET FITZ!!) Continue reading

Night Swim

Tonight, we swim

The sun sets over my street. The pool was calling me.

I normally get my swimming, biking or running (which is currently elliptical training due to hip pain) done in the morning and then focus on strength training at night, but with only a month to go now until the baby Bribie Triathlon it is time to pull out all the stops.  I will still do strength training when I can, but running, cycling and swimming may now appear sporadically in the PM time-frame as well as the AM.

For instance, today felt like it would turn into the perfect night for a swim.  It nagged at me all of this morning.  I could hear the pool calling my name.

Get your butt down here, Loser!  It called.

This bothered me more than usual because I agreed that I really wanted and needed to do a swim tonight instead of strength training.  But I didn’t have a swimming costume.

Get your naked butt down here, Loser! The pool taunted.

I’d planned to buy a new costume a bit later this week, because I was at the point of feeling sick at how much I was eating into my savings over Christmas and my monthly pay is due in just a few days.  (Thank you esteemed employer, I do hate you know we have our ups and downs but pay day is definitely the only reason I keep putting up with your crap an up)

This morning, though, the idea of ‘later in the week’ seemed like such a long time away.  I couldn’t decide whether I would feel more sick about spending yet more of my savings, or about ignoring the pool’s call and missing an opportunity for a good swim.  I had to choose one. Continue reading

Still Swimming

Back at the pool

Don’t give up

Despite the extreme regret after my ocean swim at Caloundra, and contrary to my predictions, I have not actually died of embarrassment; I am still here.

And after a few days of stewing it was time to get in the pool and set the record straight on my swimming abilities, because one bad session does not define me as a swimmer.  I decided I needed to simply absorb that day into the melange of days that is my Triathlon Training.  I am in the middle of a long, slow haul to the finish line of my first triathlon.  I am not done yet.

I will admit it wasn’t easy; I didn’t want to go to the pool.  I tried to find excuses not to go, and I don’t normally struggle with that.  After years of working out, not going to the gym is like not cleaning my teeth – the dirty sensation looms over my head all day.  When I’ve been to the gym, I feel energised, ready to take on the world.  I knew this to be true.  But I did not want to get back in the pool. Continue reading