Oh dear!

It has been a very long time, hasn’t it? Anyone reading this blog has probably given up on me. Oops.

The tri-season is over and I will return very soon to post a season review. I just have a busy schedule this weekend.

Have faith, kids. I will be back. :)

Jumbo January

Let’s start with the stats:

Swim: 11.34km / 4hrs 6min
Bike: 749.7km / 28hrs 14min
Run: 131.55km / 11hrs 46mins
Gym: 2hrs 25mins

Totals: 892.6km / 46hrs 31mins / 23 771 calories

It’s been a big month of training. The strength for me this month is that I haven’t been at work. It’s been a whole month of holidays, so getting in 46.5hrs of training has been easy. Actually, I could have done more – if I was not sensible.

I doubt I will achieve the same ‘training’ stats in February. Firstly, I’m back to work. Secondly, I have 3 races in 3 weeks, so there will be quite a bit of recovery going on! Races are as follows:

February 5 – Gatorade @ Sandringham Olympic Distance (1.5k/40k/10k)
February 12 – USM @ Geelong Olympic Distance (1.5k/40k/10k)
February 19 – Gatorade @ Elwood Sprint Distance (500m/20k/5k)

As always, my biggest fear/focus is the swim. 1.5k in open water fills my heart with fear. Right now, all I care about is getting out the water safely. Then I can worry about cycling 40k and running 10k!

So there will be race reports every Sunday or Monday for the next 3 weeks. Honestly? I’m really looking forward to the races. I’m terrified of drowing or swallowing too much water if the sea is rough, but I know I am capable of completing the distance in a good time. I have done some training sessions where I ride 40k and then run 10k, so I can do it. My training times have been pretty good too. Keep your fingers crossed that the sea conditions and wind and temperature are all good to me for the next few weekends!

Back under 80kg!

For however long it lasts. :P

And I raced today. Signed up for the XO Size race at Elwood. It’s format was an Enduro sprint, so basically swim-ride-run and then swim-ride-run. Effectively 2 mini sprints back to back.

The short story is that the weather was perfect, the swim conditions could not have been better (perfect isn’t a good enough word for it) and the wind was non-existent. Yes, it was that good.

The race itself was fun – but I went into it with that intention. Clearly, I got up early enough (shame on me for last week) and was at the venue by 6am. It really was a glorious morning. My wave was the last one to go, which sux because eventually, we were the last ones on course. Rather quiet on the road.

I wore my wetsuit for the first swim. The swim was crazy racing. Women 30+yrs all swimming over each other. I haven’t quite experienced that before. But yet, it was 250m of white water. I got kicked, nearly lost the goggles and had numerous hands grabbing hold of my feet – eww. But I made it unscathed, and felt pretty good coming out of the water.

In transition (the first of 5!) I skimmed off that wettie without a blink – thank you BodyGlide – and got going. I was on my bike easily and yes, I still do a stop-start mount. Sad, but there it is. As usual, I overtook quite a few people on the bike and covered my 10k in a smidge under 20min with an ave of 30.3kph.

T2 included a bloody long run with the bike. Not happy but I scooted through quickly and got out onto the run course without too much effort. By then it was getting a bit warm. Threw a cup or two of water over my head and covered the 2.5k course in 12mins, with my ave page a tad under 5min/km. Can’t be anything but happy with that.

T3 was the one I was dreading, along with the 2nd swim. I know from my aquathon experience last year that I find swimming after running very difficult. I need to be able to breathe freely, not every second stroke! I panicked a bit at the start. I managed to get my swim cap back on (it was optional) and still shove the Garmin inside it to get accurate GPS data. :) I was impressed.

The cool water was a bit of a shock (it didn’t feel that cold at 7am though) and I took in a bit of water but by the first buoy I was good. I didn’t put my wetsuit back on, so I swam just in my tri suit, which I haven’t done since 2010. It was a valuable experience because I had been so worried about it. My actual swim time (not including the running from and to transition) was about 5mins total, which was slightly quicker than the first swim (5:35min). It was far less crowded and gave me the opportunity to get in some solid swim practice. Getting up the sand bank however, was tough on the quads.

T4 was quick and easy without having to deal with the wettie. The second bike leg felt way more difficult than the first. In fact, my ave speed was 28.3kph, so yes, it was slower at 21:28mins. The long run into T5 was, well, long. And it felt it. Worse still, there was hardly anyone out on the course so it felt rather lonely. The run, however, was not so lonely. The public were out in force. I had to keep dodging cyclists and walkers and the two drunkards who were trying to cheer us on (but just coming across sleezy and scary).

I don’t think I’ve ever been so grateful to cross the finish line. Overall, it was a great experience and I had a ball. I placed 11 out of 17 in the F35-39 age group but today wasn’t about podiums. It was about restoring my confidence. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep much and I’m ready to drop, but I’m glad I did it. I’m also glad I took up the challenge of the different format. It helps to broaden the experience and quite frankly, with 2 swims, 2 rides, 2 runs and 5 transitions, there was plenty of opportunity for practice today. :)

Now, if only I hadn’t smeared chain grease all over the backseat of my car…

(P.S. I will post some pics when I have them.)

Training, Holidays and other stuff

It has been a mixed start to the year. A little homeside unrest, a missed race (due to an unexpected sleep in), extra race to make up for it and planning for my first Ironman 70.3 (which hasn’t been finalised/decided yet: Shepparton, Port Mac or Canberra?)…

2012 has had a rocky start.

The only constant and reliable point in my life right now has been the training. I can control that, I can manipulate times, distances and intensities and I feel free and right when I’m training. It’s saving my sanity and keeping me fit and healthy (so I can tackle the rest of my life).

Not sure how often I’ll blog but I intend to post more often than not, so stay tuned kids.

You live longer once you realize that any time spent being unhappy is wasted.
-Ruth E. Renkl

Win #2

Last weekend was race 2, at Elwood. Again – thanks to Melb’s stupid weather – the swim was cancelled, so we had yet another duathlon, a 1.4k run, a 20k ride, and a 5k run. The wind was horrendous but luckily I train in that kind of wind, so while it slowed me a little on the bike, its overall effect was not too bad for me.

Yes, I came first, again. :) I had to work bloody hard for it though. Overtook my last competitor 1km into the run. The run hurt, although I had wondered why it hurt so much until I looked at my pace. Sub 5min kms is quick for me. I didn’t feel quick, let me tell you. The second half was straight into the wind. Flat out it was a horrid run. I mean, it blew me all over the place! I haven’t quite disliked running so much before. I was very happy to see that finish line. The photo of me crossing the line shows the pain on my face.

I felt pretty smashed afterward though. Last week was a huge training week, so to round it out with a race meant Monday was painful. I hurt all over. I went to swim squad thinking the weightlessness would help, but ahem, coach had no such intentions. She belt us up with sets and sets of fly (yuk). Having competitive squad swimmers doesn’t help, either, lol.

Basically by Tuesday, I had hit the wall. I didn’t train – let’s call that December’s rest day. (I’m not serious. I think) I ate like a pig both Monday and Tuesday. I will be amazed if I haven’t put on more weight. I seem to be spiralling back up at a rate I can’t explain. Unfortunately, when I’m that tired, I eat badly. I crave sugar and fat. It’s very bad stuff. I got back to running today, which felt really good. It was a nice, cruisy run even though it was quite quick (5:13 pace) and my HR suggests that it was exceptionally hard work (ave HR 188bpm!).

So this is recovery week. Easier pace, slightly lower speed, less volume. Probably about 6-7hrs in total. Yes, that’s a recovery week!

Long time between drinks

Life has been so busy, but that’s really no excuse. Since my last post, I’ve competed in the first triathlon of the season. It was sprint distance and “should” have been a 500m swim, 20k bike, 5k run but Melbourne’s weather put on a great display of flooding rain which flush goodness knows what from the Yarra river into the bay. So they cancelled the swim and replaced it with a 2k run. I love running, but I wasn’t very happy, until I could smell the ocean. Blech, can you say sewer? At that point I was very thankful that I didn’t swim!

So this season I am not racing in my age group. Instead, I am racing as an Athena athlete, which is women over 70kg. Realistically, there is no hope of me ever going sub 70kg. Trust me. There’d not be a lot left of me to race with. Not that I’m super skinny, I just have a lot of muscle bulk and so when I registered, I thought stuff it, why not take the option while it’s there. And considering I’ve been hovering closer to 81kg for the last few months (imagine annoyed face right here)…

For an official race report, go here.

Overall, my race went really well. A little slow in transitions but I suspect this race was about blowing away the cobwebs and finding my feet again. I just hope the swim isn’t cancelled next race (Dec 15)!

I placed first in my group, which I was very pleased with :) Now I need to focus on getting the swim right and then killing it on the bike and run. Easy, right? (sure…)

 

Still here

Just busy – run off my feet busy. Life is just chugging along. After next week, I will be a lot less stressed by work, which will be good for my training and even better for my waistline.

First triathlon is in three weeks. I can hardly wait – how crazy is that? :P

Anyway, rest assured that I’m working hard and getting the kms in.

Recovered

My post-HM week has been a surprisingly big training week. Went for a recovery swim on Monday and I felt so good it turned into a bigger training session than expected. My recovery run on Tuesday felt fan-bloody-tastic. I thought a bike ride and a swim on Wednesday might have been a bit too much but, turns out, it wasn’t. :) More cycling on Thursday, running on Friday and a nice long 3hr bike ride on Saturday and I felt really good.

In truth? I’ve felt ridiculously good this week, post-HM and all. Too good, really. My 11k run this morning was a bit of a thump back to reality. Tough stuff. But tired legs from yesterday’s ride may have had something to do with it.

Anyhoo, I have school camp this week. Back on Friday and highly likely there’ll be not a drop of training this week. It should do me some good. I hope.