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

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

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

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

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

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

The Aftermath of A Small Success

The unicorn I call improvement

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

After such a bad week running, last week’s triumphant Wednesday swim session renewed my faith in the learning process. The elusive Unicorn that is Improvement has been glimpsed; I can allow myself to believe in its existence.

Later that same morning, as I stood at the treadmill all smiles and excitement and bragging to Shane about my new-found swimming prowess, one of the resident swimming coaches at the centre extended a kind invitation to give me a few pointers the next time I jumped in the pool.  I would simply have to show up a few minutes earlier than usual in order to catch him as he finished teaching his class, and he would watch me and give me advice before he left. Continue reading