Saturday, July 31, 2010

Productivity plus some....

"There's nothing like a degree of

success to help you become relaxed.
Even if it's only with the most trivial
activities, make room for yourself to
succeed from time to time"

Paul Wilson.

And that is just what I did. With my mind totally focused on nutrition over the last month or so and after my discussion with Rick, I thought if I am to really succeed at this I need to get into my fridge and pantry and get it totally straightened out and tidy. What do you think?
My fridge has always had loads of fruit n' veg but sometimes it has been a bit out of order and I haven't been able to get to what I want immediately. And other times things have been pushed to the back only to be found later out of date or squished to a pulp.
Call me slightly obsessive, compulsive - but order makes me happy. I want to be able to open up the fridge, pantry - and find what I need without too much fuss. I have tried to put everything that I will need on a daily basis at eye level and other things that are a bit of treat up high ie chips, kids snacks etc. I am happy now, order reigns supreme.

Whilst cleaning out the fridge I also came upon a tonne of apples which were slightly reaching their use by date. Mum had driven over one day with a box of apples, and even though we love apples, there was only so many we could eat before they all started to look a bit worse for wear. So those one's I peeled today with the help of my son Kurtis and we made stewed apples. YUM, it taste's so good, want some?
So, this morning I was chatting with Stephen (hubby), and we have decided that I will take on the published meal plans by Rick. Will send an email off to Rick on Monday as it now the weekend, and I look forward to getting started on a 3 month journey to eating right for me. How much fun is this going to be. I am not only in the right frame of mind for this, but I have now "made room to succeed".

Today I also did my usual workout which a friend of mine Sandi has written up for me. It is tough going but when I am finished I feel great. Sure things hurt and feel fatigued but they don't hurt in an injured kind of way, more like a "Holy crap - I have just found muscles I never knew I had" kinda way.

Here's what I did today:
  • 3 x 10 single leg squats
  • 3 x 10 functional steps
  • 3 x 5 secs hold on each leg bridge.
  • 3 x 12 single leg split squat
  • 3 x 12 lunges
  • 3 x 15 incline push ups
  • 3 x 15 dumbbell flys 3kg
  • 3 x 15 bent over dumbbell rows 3kg
  • 3 x 15 shoulder press
  • 3 x 12 crunches legs raised
  • 3 x 15 superset dumbbell twist 3kg, bicycle crunch
  • 3 x 15 ab alternate heel touches.
An extremely productive day and it will be finished off with going out to dinner. Wise choices will be made, don't you worry about that. I hope you have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Eyes wide open.

Yesterday morning I got to speak to Rick Kattouf finally. Rick has a heart of gold and looked up time differences between the states and here at home, and gave me the exact time I needed to call the conference number. Lo and behold we made contact and the next 40 minutes when by in a flash.

The first thing that caught me about Rick was his beautiful American accent. I absolutely love it, always have (my best friend is from Santa Cruz). I love it that much that if I hang around my best friend for more than a two day stretch I come home sounding All American. The next thing that reeled me in was his effervescent nature. You could just feel his enthusiasm for what he does over the phone, his personality is contagious.

We spoke alot about what had happened to me in the past with my diagnosis, and what I had gone through for the last 14yrs. He had a genuine interest as he asked many questions about what my goals were, what I was hoping to achieve not just in the forseeable future but for next year as well with my 70.3.

We then spoke about everything that he could help with, and believe me with the wealth of knowledge and experience that Rick has in the field of health, nutrition, fitness and human performance I could see how most of my dreams could come to fruition. He has many different types of plans ranging right through from custom coaching to published plans not only in the nutrition side but also through to tailormade sports coaching which encompasses nutritional intake as well.

With everything we spoke about, Rick has sent me off an email with all the critical information necessary so I can then speak to hubby. Lots to take in and consider and I just know that Rick is the right person for me. I felt an instant connection and I loved the fact that he showed genuine interest in me as a person. Your a gem Rick.

So after I got off the phone with Rick, I donned my cossie and headed off to the pool yet again. And even though I felt good, my legs were a bit crampy towards the end. Must still be residual effects from my good workout on Tuesday. Anyway here is the session:
  • 700m Fr/s Warm up
  • 4 x 200m Fr/s with fins
  • 10 x 50m kick with fins
  • 5 x 100m IM
  • 200m Br/s cool down.
  • TOTAL: 2700m
Today I intend to get on the indoor trainer and do an hours workout. Weather has been a bit crappy and it is still to0 dark outside to see if the weather will permit an outdoor ride. Fingers crossed.

Physio exercises continue strong.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Barb's a ning nong.


Got my times mixed up - nothing new and missed my telephone conversation with Rick. Will be definately speaking with him tomorrow morning at 0730 MY TIME. Thanks Rick for being patient.

Thought I would also give a quick recap of my workouts yesterday for which today I am a bit sore from. Sore in a good way though, my back doesn't hurt one bit.
  • 3 x 10 single leg squats
  • 3 x 10 functional steps
  • 3 x 5 secs x3 bridge alternating transferring weight from each leg
  • 3 x 12 single leg split squats
  • 3 x 12 long leg lunges
  • 3 x 15 incline pushups
  • 3 x 15 dumbbell fly's using 3kg dumbells
  • 3 x 15 bent over dumbbell rows 3kg dumbbells
  • 3 x 15 shoulder press 3kg dumbbells
  • 3 x 12 ab crunches legs raised
  • 3 x 15 superset dumbbell twists, bicycle crunches
  • 3 x 15 ab alternate heel touches
Then I decided to head to the pool and just relax. Managed a 1500m session nice and easy. I timed my first 500 just to see my time doing it nice and easy and I did it in 7min 20secs, this is 50 seconds faster than the time I did in my Open Water Comp last year. I felt good about that. So this was my session:
  • 500m Fr/s
  • 5 x 100 Fr/s up for 50m, Bk/s down for 50m
  • 500m easy Br/s
Good day overall yesterday apart from my blunder.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Navigating the food pyramid for a healthier me.

I've been thinking alot lately about my diet since my husband got diagnosed with high cholesterol, and what I can do to make not only our family's diet better but also mine to help with getting a fitter and healthier body. The saying "you are what you eat" couldn't be more true. Now if we look at the food pyramid below:
The bottom part of the pyramid which is the largest states you should be eating more veggies, beans, lentils, cereals, bread, fruit and nuts. I love my veggies & lentils - and I eat a tonne of those but the rest are slightly put aside. It's not that I don't like fruit, but in winter I struggle to eat a cold piece of fruit when the weather is equally as cold. And the only real nuts I like are almonds but I always seem to forget to buy them and when I do, I can't stop at a handful. Bread, not a big fan unless I am eating a sandwich - must be multigrain though.

Next level up is the meat, fish, chicken, eggs, milk, yoghurt section. Meat, I love but have trouble digesting it. So I tend to only eat it once or twice a week at best. Absolutely love chicken and what the chicken has to offer, and have been focusing on buying the best quality - free range chooks and eggs around. My brother in law manages a chook farm and I get 30 eggs a fortnight. YUM. They are the biggest eggs and so orange yolked - delicious. In terms of the dairy section - I have not had milk since I was about 2 years of age. Don't like the smell or taste to have it on it's own or even as a milkshake. But I can add it to things in cooking, but this still doesn't amount to having the required daily amount. Thank god for supplements.

The top section I probably don't really need to mention because I don't use margarine at all for myself and I only use olive oil sparingly in the cooking anyways. Sugar is probably my only "naughty", but I compensate by using raw sugar.

The one thing I know I don't do is drink enough water. I drink alot of coffee - 4 to 5 cups a day and I really should stop this. This is only serving to dehydrate me more, and considering the body really needs water to function correctly - I am really doing it an injustice.

So last night I served up the yummiest dinner - Butter Chicken and Salad Corn Wraps served with a spread of hummus. What do you think?
It was so very yummy. And the kiddlets just loved it, even my fussy youngest son who ended up devouring 3 rolls worth. But my quest for supreme nutritional intake has taken me one step further. I have been listening alot to a Triathlon podcast by Chris Elmore on TriTopics and his friend Rick Kattouf from Team Kattouf speak alot about nutrition and how to use it to enhance your sporting performance. So I sent an email to Chris and Rick a couple of days ago and today I will be speaking to Rick personally about the possibility of having a coaching plan for my nutrition. I am so excited. Rick's credentials are amazing and if I can even just have a smidge of his expertise in the sporting arena I will be an absolutely happy woman.

Will keep you all updated.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Happy, Happy, Happy.

Just got back from physio and Lisa is so happy with my single leg squats. Actually I think her words were "I'm impressed". Great, this actually means I was doing my exercises properly and they are working. WooHoo. Her following words were "Up on the bed and lets loosen these glutes and your paraspinals". Oh ohhhhhhh, noooooooo - those cold beads of sweat started to ooze out of every pore again. As Lisa presses her thumb somewhere deep into my left glute I have this absolute eye crossing, breath taking, butt breaking, shooting pain that radiates somewhere down to my knee. Holy crap that hurt, but as she sticks to her guns on that position it finally eases off. Ohhhhh bliss. But just when you think she has given up, she tweaks that thumb to another spot and "holy mackerel" there it goes again. Oh well, she is doing her job and for that I am thankful.

Next up on the agenda is some gluteal stretches which always hurt but feel nice and then she showed me some exercises that I need to do at home for the following 2 weeks.
She wants me to do these bridge exercises and focus on squeezing my butt cheeks tightly and turning my core on. She wanted to add the variation of raising one leg like so:
But it was a no go. Everytime I tried to raise that leg, my hamstring on the leg that was down would cramp. Lisa stated that my glutes and core were not supporting me at all and that my hammies were doing all the work. So for now she would just like me to do the bridge and just try swapping weight from leg to leg making sure that my pelvis stayed centred.

I also have to do this functional exercise which mimics the way I should be walking. So I have to take a step forward and roll through the walk into a slight lunge and then push off. All whilst maintaining my pelvis in a forward position. I have a real funny swagger when I walk and it just shows lack of stability. So need to get my walking right before I can run.

So things are definately looking up in the Hughes world. I can swim and bike to my hearts desire. So guess where I am off to tomorrow - the pools of course.

Another tid bit of info, a friend of mine on this wonderful blogger world misszippy is having a wonderful giveaway. A great pair of Ryder's sunnies - jump on over an check it out - you just never know. I will also hopefully get to catch up with her when she makes her way to Aus in the next couple of weeks. Looking forward to it.

So in the meantime, I shall keep rolling with the punches and feel great that everything is coming good.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Little bit of this and that!!!

Well today is Day 3 post injections and I feel good. Lower back is not sore, just still feeling muscular tightness for which I am still working on my flexibility. I am also on Day 3 of my exercises which Kevin has given me. It is only single leg squats 3 x 10 reps 3 times a day and I must admit I am holding my posture alot better. I no longer drop my hip on the leg I am standing on but rather I squeeze my glute and turn on my core muscles and this is helping me maintain my posture alot better.
My hip/groin tenderness is close to non-existent, I am so happy. Finally the uphill climb injury wise is stabilising, and I finally feel I am moving full steam ahead into the light.

Also, during these days where I am doing little exercise I have been doing alot of reading. And I came across the Toyota U.S Open Triathlon 2009 results and as far as my swimming is concerned I am not far off in the rankings for my 1500m swim. The Top 5 girls times are between 19:59 and 21:07. I did my 1500m in 22:48, so I am quite pleased with it. I know, I know Triathlon is a multisport event, but atleast I have one leg that's ok. Now it's time to get the other two working at an okay level. I will never be a fantastic runner nor a sprint cyclist but maybe, just maybe I can get them to a level where they will not let me down too much.

I would also like to give a "SHOUT OUT" to one of my friends Andrew C. on Daily Mile who is competing in the M7 marathon today. I know you will have done an awesome job Andrew and what a great accomplishment. I look forward to hearing all about it and hearing what your thought's were during your run.

Physio tomorrow, I wonder what it will bring?

Friday, July 23, 2010

What a find!!!

Just found the best site "Swim Smooth" after reading Triathlete Magazine. It is a 3D animated guy which shows the correct swim technique from absolutely every angle imaginable. All you need to do is follow the blog "Feel for the water" which gives you absolutely great tips and advice for swimming, articles and training. Also"Like" them on Facebook and download Mr Smooth to your desktop.

The 3D download is awesome. A fantastic birds eye view of a swimmer with every angle accounted for. You can even see how to breathe correctly and correct hand placement down to the fingers. I am gobsmacked. CHECK IT OUT and become a follower.

I figure we can all use whatever help is out there.

Morning update.

Well this morning I am pleased to say the sciatic pain is still non-existent and other than some tenderness in the area from the shots which Kevin said is normal, I feel fine. Last night was the first night in almost 14 years that I had been able to sleep on my back without suffering intense pain trying to then turn on my side. And I can assure you I was extremely hesitant to roll over but to my surprise "no pain". So just to celebrate the momentous occasion at 0135 am I rolled over again and again with a smile from ear to ear.

My hip/groin pain (Enthesopathy) is only slightly there and I think that's because I had my first dose of Fosamax and I have been resting too. So thing's are looking positive. I also did my first set of exercises given to me by Kevin this morning and I will do a boat load of stretches as well as I feel super tight.

So I am happy to report I feel improvement. How is everyone?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Quit fussin' woman.

So I woke up this morning bleary eyed and quite apprehensive after a completely restless night. Did my usual routine with the kiddies had a shower and got my hubby to put on those Emla patches where the doctor had marked with permanent marker 2 days ago. I really need to learn to settle down the brain, the closer the time came the more my mind went into overdrive and the more somersaults my stomach did. Truly not a good pattern to get into, this could induce chest pain, arrhythmias. What a drama queen I am. The waiting is what gets me. But if my last SI injections were anything to go by I was in for a doozie.

So anyway, I toddled off to the specialist with my husband as my support network and personal hand holder (squeezer) and waited for the inevitable. Kevin invited me in and could instantly see the look of sheer panic and he was quick to reassure me. He had mentioned previously that no-one has complained afterwards and after having had the injections, I can see why. The guy is a legend. He has been blessed with an awesome ability to give injections with needles about 5cm in length and not have it hurt one bit.
I can't even begin to tell you how good I feel. Within about 10 minutes my sciatic pain settled and the dull ache in my lower back was all but gone. I know this is the effect of the anaesthetic injected in with the steroids so I will have to wait till it takes full effect in the next 3 days. But so far so good. Kevin gave me one exercise to do 3 times daily till I see Lisa. And on Monday the fun begins. BRING IT ON. I am looking forward to the challenges that lay ahead as this will make me stronger.

I am a woman
on a mission

"Gabrielle Cilmi"

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Show me some love.

I'm nervous. Tomorrow is D-day. I am getting those injections into my SI joints and although I have total faith that this is going to work, I am still "scared outta my pants". If you have seen the size of those needles than you will know the depth of my fear. Lucky thing though, the doctor gave me a prescription for some Emla patches. These are topical anaesthetic patches which take about an hour to work and once active, stay that way for about 2 hours. This should essentially numb the area whilst the needles go in but I will still feel the solution until the anaesthetic inside the solution kicks in.

So after the injections I pretty much have to rest till I see physio on Monday and as a result of my limited activity over the next couple of days I squeezed in another swim session last night and a nice easy indoor trainer ride today. My swim session went as follows:
  • 500m Fr/s warm up
  • 10 x 50 Fr/s kick with flippers and board
  • 4 x 300m Fr/s catch up with pull bouy
  • 200m Br/s cool down
Then today's trainer was 12km's in 30mins with 4 x 2min sessions in the aero position. I still only have the flat bar roadie so I improvised and put a cushion in the centre of the bar and leaned forward onto it. It did the trick.

Wish me luck guys for tomorrow. This is STEP 1 in Barb's transformation in becoming a force to be reckoned with - or so I like to think.

Things I would like to own.

These are some of the things I would love to invest in. Can you see a familiar theme throughout them all?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Could it have always been that simple.

I do believe I have just spent the last 14yrs of my life in a complete fog. Going from doctors to specialists and back again being treated for a condition which they had no idea from where it originated from. I have endured scans, medications - some with horrendous side effects, injections and mental anguish in the hope that whatever the specialists were doing was going to help. But guess what it never did and it would come in waves.

So fast forward 14yrs and I have a new physio and new specialist and I have come to find out that I needn't have gone through any of that if they had of soley focused on my core and stabilisers. Basically the inflammation in my Sacroiliiac joints came about (from what he believes) is the laxing of my muscles, joints and ligaments during my twins pregnancy, due to the effects of oestrogen on the things I have just mentioned. And because the SI spaces are not smooth but rather jagged they have grinded on themselves and caused the inflammation. And as the inflammation continued and progressed the less space and more rubbing/friction happened and we had a revolving door effect. So as the pain progressed one always compensates and holds themselves differently, things tighten up, other things give way and you end up with muscles that are not supporting your skeletal structure whatsoever.

Also my abdominal muscles were severely stretched obviously due to a twin pregnancy and to this day when I do a crunch or situp I have a ridge that travels directly from around belly button to top of stomach which shows they have not meshed. Now as a result of all of this the following things have happened to my lower body:
  • inadequate core strength
  • inadequate stabilisers
  • extremely tight muscles in back and legs
  • continued irritation of SIJ's
  • resulting injuries
  • inflammation of ligaments
  • the list goes on........
SO, with all of this to play with he strongly believes that he can help me and for this I am greatful and am going into the next couple of months with extreme excitement, anticipation and nerves.

This coming Thursday I am booked in for Cortisone injections into my SI spaces. The aim is to reduce the inflammation and pain and get focused (really focused) on improving my core and stabilisers. I know I have been doing all my stuff at home but when things hurt you don't give it your all. So thats where the injections come into play.

I am then booked into physio on the following Monday and he will have a letter for me to give to Lisa with everything that he wants me to do. If after 2 weeks the pain returns he wants me to come back and see him and it may be another round of injections followed by continuation of physio. He made a really good analogy in regards to the injections and inflammation. He said its kind of like trying to put out a bushfire, you cant just use the hose once and turn your back and walk away. The embers could re-ignite and you have your bushfire happening all over again. He see's the injections and inflammation in much the same light. As the inflammation settles and I become pain free I am able to work my back, core and stabilisers more and they are then better able to support me and my back. Make's sense.

So, I also mentioned the groin pain and he tested me for muscle pulls, or hip problems and it is pretty much neither. I have Enthesopathy in the right lateral side of my symphisis pubis. He was testing all my muscles and ligaments and then he touched that part of my bone and I almost touched the roof. "Easily fixed" he said, I have to take one tablet a week of this medication for 4 weeks and it will reduce the inflammation. Pretty much a drug they use for osteoporosis. Mum is not on this anymore so I cant even scab some off

So all in all, even though it all sounds doom and gloom in terms of needles, I can see a light. A bright light and for that I am eternally optimistic. I can't keep going the way I am or I will never see my dreams come to fruition.

So I am going to "DNS" [did not start- my] , can't DNF myself cause I haven't even started the next 2 runs. And yep, that includes my Half Marathon. Small price to pay I think for my health and ability to complete the bigger picture.

Nothing is impossible
to a willing heart.

"John Heywood"

Monday, July 19, 2010

New Purchase

Damn I love my new goggles. They are appropriately named the "Missile" by Vorgee. Sleek, silver, hydrodynamic and actually pretty good on the old purse. Ever since I was young and competing I had always gone for the smaller type goggles - never really had much choice back then. With the multitude of goggles on the market nowadays I have always been a bit tempted to go for the newer designs - clear lens, wider fit, larger lens for better peripheral vision but I guess you have to stick with what you know. I think it would be good if you could product test before actually buying as these newer designs - if actually better, are more expensive and it would be such a waste of money.

Anyway, my new goggles may make me look like one mean machine when I have them on but it's a totally different story when I take them off, I have this whole "Dory" thing happening. My eyes from the intense suction are kinda bulging a bit but I would prefer that then having water leak in and irritate me. And even though they have reflective tint on the outside they are surprisingly clear to look through. Minimal tint on the inside means I could use these for the open water swims and not have to swap for a totally transparent lens. I like hiding behind my goggles and giving the illusion I know what I am doing ( and so my competitors cannot see the fear).

So with another 2.1km swim session under my cossie I am feeling good today. My stroke feels really strong and at this rate with all my swimming I should have shoulders like Arnold Schwarzenneger.

  • 1000m Fr/s warm up
  • 10 x 50m Fr/s kick with flippers and board on 45 secs
  • 5 x 100m Fr/s - 1:16, 1:18, 1:22, 1:19, 1:23
  • 300m Br/s cool down
Tomorrow is my appointment with the Sports Medicine Doc. I am compiling a list of questions to ask and hopefully he can answer them all.

How was everyone's weekend?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Stay focused.

Last night after acting like a sooky la-la for the last 2 days I finally slapped myself upside the head and decided enough is enough. I am constantly telling people to "keep moving forward, it's how you overcome the obstacles that matter, stay strong, you will overcome this" and I have not been listening to those words that come so freely out of my mouth. I need to start listening and obeying what I preach. Yesterday was a day where I could feel myself slipping back into that negative frame of mind, the one I had when I was truly in the thick of things with my illness (bilateral sacroiliitis). And if I got to thinking about things really honestly, this was only going to serve to catapult me back down that same road. And there's not a chance in hell that I will let that happen again.

So I woke up this morning, put my cossie on, rubbed down my legs with liniment, got in my car and drove my "slightly sore arse and legs" to the pool. I am not going to be that whingy, whiney person you all want to run away from. This blog was started to help document my journey to reaching my first Triathlon and beyond, not to be used as a place where I just blurbbed out negativity. So, I hereby promise to stay upbeat and stay focused.

When I got to the pool I felt so at home. I dive in and it's like I was meant to spend the rest of my life in water. It is just so easy, I love it. I don't have to think, analyse or force anything. I will aim to make sure everything else feels easy like this, including my mind set. My session in the pool today was all about taking it easy. No speed work today just doing distance type stuff.

  • 400m Freestyle Warm up
  • 600m Fr/s kick with board & flippers
  • 500m easy Br/s
  • 500m Fr/s with pull bouy
  • 300m Fr/s catch up.
I was reading an article today about tips for a fast open water swim. I hope this helps for all of you who read my blog and who are in the prime of your "on season". Goodluck with all your races this weekend.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I'm trying.

Staying positive sure is hard. I am always trying to look at the positive side but it's getting harder everytime I get something else that flares up. I just don't think it's fair is all. So today in another attempt to get my body up and running I shouted myself to a massage. The shop I go to "Mary's Acupuncture & Massage Clinic" is awesome. The last time I attended the clinic I had a young lad massage my shoulders, neck and back. That guy has hands of gold. I come to find out today that he is the owners son. Today though he was not there and I had another lady. Although she was not as firm, she did happen to go to all the spots that hurt the most. I didn't even have to tell her, it was as though she sensed exactly where I needed it most. When someone has that innate ability to sense ailments you know that they are gifted and I entrusted my body to her.

Whilst I was getting massaged the oil she was using was having such a calming effect on my senses. I could feel all my tension dissipate in this enveloping warmth. Not to long after my back started to feel this odd mixture of heat and coolness. This oil was absolutely awesome and I wanted to buy some. So I did.
This stuff sure has some kick in it - 3 drops is all it takes for whatever it comes into contact with to heat right up. I think the bottles cute, looks like a little brandy bottle - one you get in the bar fridge of a nice hotel. Note to self - dont drink this.

Anyway, I dont feel much different after the massage, relaxed but that deep seated ache is still there. My back keeps catching at times and my quads and hammies still feel odd. Can't wait for the appointment.

I have also started reading this book "Way of the Peaceful Warrior" by Dan Millman. I hope to have it finished in the next day or so, so I will let you know whats it like.
Off to swim tomorrow. I cant tell you how much I am looking forward to it. I hope you guys have an awesome weekend.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Rest - who needs it - ME

"Frustrated" is really not the word I would like to use to describe how I am feeling right now, but I have to keep this clean. Once again things are a bit tender this morning. My right groin and ligament behind my knee feel bruised and tight. Even more so after my easy spin on the trainer. I did 20km in 50minutes and I came off feeling a bit worse for wear. Things just feel tight and a bit inflammed and I am now more than ever needing answers.

Something in me says its my condition, flaring up all over again.

So anyway, tomorrow I am going to treat myself to a much needed massage and see if I can think of something other than whatever it is that is going on physically with me. Come Tuesday I hope to have some answers as I see the sports med doc and I am hoping he will send me for an MRI of my lower back and lower limbs.

Sunday is swim day. Here's to things feeling a bit better.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

You gotta follow this.

I have met a really good friend Patrick via this blogger world and would love for all of my readers to follow not only his blog "The Road [A Multi-Sport Blog]" but also his new athletic apparel company "Endurance Athlete Project" aimed at the endurance athlete - hence the name.

Both Patrick and his business partner Big Daddy Riley aim to produce garments such as Triathlon suits both one and two piece, running gear, cycling gear, swimsuits, performance wear and casual wear. The company is still in the early design process but I look forward to seeing the release of their garments and being one of the first to purchase some items from them.

I did win a shirt via Patrick's blog and I must say I wear it all the time. I love what it stands for. Check it out:
So if and when you are surfing the internet world and come across the logo - remember my friend Patrick owns it. This company will be huge. I know it.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Nailed it.

I have just come back from yet another fantastic workout. I spoke in the last entry about having entered in a virtual triathlon challenge through Daily Mile. Basically you can only proceed through to the next leg if your one of the top 6 - I think. Anyway my aim was to just swim the 1500m as a bit of a TT to see where I am at in regards to times for the longer distances. I haven't timed myself for a 1500m so I was happy to just complete it in about 30 minutes and maintain my form throughout the whole process.

So I got in the water feeling pretty good, water temp was nice - possibly a bit warm but who's complaining, it's winter in Australia. I set my stop watch and I was off. The first 500m felt a bit slow, arms felt a bit heavy and my breathing was a bit laboured. I also had to contend with some lady who decided that my lane was the one she wanted to do side stroke in and flap around in. My only other choice had 3 other women doing pretty much the same. Argh, this was supremely annoying.

Soon after she left and my swim became alot smoother. I settled into a really good pattern of breathing every 3 strokes and each of my strokes became really long and effortless. I was gliding, gees it felt good. I finished up not breathless at all and I had to do a triple take of my time. I did my 1500m in 22min 48 secs. I could not believe it - at this rate I could see myself doing my 1.9km for my Half in under 30mins, give or take a couple of minutes due to weather, nerves, people, water currents. But still, having not swum this distance in one hit like this since I was a child, I was really happy with my time.

This could potentially get me at the front of the pack for exiting the water and entering T1. Which I think is a total bonus - I can find my bike easier, have less people bowling me over, exit on my bike without a million other wheels all doing the same thing. I am liking how this all sounds.

Am I sounding slightly competitive?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Take 2 on the run.

Today was another brilliant day. Brilliant because it was another glorious pain free running day. I find it amazing how I have healed up. I thought this was going to be a more drawn out process and that my body would struggle with the return back to running but this old gal is holding strong. I still stuck to the 6 x 1 minute runs with a 4 minute walk period inbetween and I did a total of 5km in about 37 minutes.

My route is a mix of flats and some inclines which off course is followed by declines but there is always something beautiful to look at near home. Country living is awesome. The air is always so crisp and clean and the sounds of cows, goats, dogs barking in the distance (oh wait - are they my dogs?) is always a welcome distraction. As for traffic, not too bad really. Maybe one car every couple of minutes drives past, that is until I hit the busier more used road at the top and then it's like "watch yourself".

But once again I finished up feeling nice and strong, a little tight but nothing my usual stretching wouldn't help. Then last night I did my usual strength workout.

  • 20 back swings both legs
  • 20 side swings both legs
  • 20 backward lunges both legs
  • 20 butt raises
3 x 15 of each with 3kg dumbells:
  • Lateral raises
  • Bicep curls
  • Shoulder press
  • Tricep extensions
3 x 20 of each:
  • ab crunches
  • bicycle crunches
  • sit ups with 3kg dumbell
Then 3 x 1min plank.

It s a great workout and I finish feel totally had, but I love it. Tomorrow is pool time. Will go with the kids again and whilst they play I want to get in a 1500m straight swim. I have entered a virtual Triathlon and step one is to do a 1500m swim in the fastest time possible. Here goes.

Monday, July 12, 2010

When life gave me lemons, I made lemonade.

I woke up this morning feeling awesome after my first run/walk yesterday. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING hurt. I didn't even have any tightness which I was half expecting. I had been given a fairly big hurdle and I overcame it. My persistence in taking it so very slow has paid off and I cannot wait to get back into it. The feeling I got after yesterdays run was "too much" for words. I remember saying to Susan yesterday that most people would have given up by now with everything that I have gone through in the last year, but I have come way too far to give up.

I am consistent with my stretches, even thought they still hurt like crazy. I religiously take my Neway's supplements because I know they are helping me with my energy and muscle repair. I try with all my might to maintain a positive frame of mind and look at every obstacle that I overcome as nothing more than that "an obstacle". It does not define who I am or what will be instore for me in the future.

Exercising everyday is my life and now that I can mix it up again and get back into my proper training I will do so with so much excitement but also with a little bit more restraint. And no two consecutive days of running or cycling. Atleast for now.

So today I cycled on the trainer and felt great. I didn't go hard and I increased the time by another 10 minutes. So I rode for 40minutes and did 15.3km. Nice and easy and it felt good. The last 2 days have been awesome.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

"A little ray of sunshine"

I woke up this morning with unbelievable excitement, today was my first day back running. I went to bed last night thinking that I was going to have to postpone as rain had been predicted for the whole of Sunday. But as the skies started to lighten, I realised that there were patches of clear sky and the sun was shining through. This was definately a good omen, or atleast that's what I was telling myself.
The clouds were still looming as I approached the run site but I knew they would hold out for me. Today was my day and the rain god's were going to hold out for me, I could feel it in my bones "no pun intended". I was quietly having words with my hip and groin, my shins and my knees and telling them to behave. For them to cut me some slack, I have been behaving and now it was their turn to reciprocate some niceness. After all I have been looking after them like a new born baby.

Susan and I started off with a nice 5 minute warm up walk, so far so good. I know, what's a 5 minute walk and why is she saying so far so good! But I was reading into everything today, looking at how I walked, placement of feet, torso and core and making sure I was doing everything right. As I took off for my first 1 minute run I had this brief thought flit across my mind of picking up the tempo from where I left off. WRONG. This had to be slow, very slow even though my body felt good.
As we ran along the dirt track I was amazed at how smoothly I was running. And as a result of not feeling any pain I got to admire the scenery along the way. I love this track, its quiet except for the chirping of birds, ducks and water hens. Oh and of course the incessant chatter of two women. This track is exceptionally beautiful in the summer, all the trees shade this path and it makes for the most magical run ever.
Anyway I finished up having done 6 x 1min runs at a very slow pace and the remainder of the distance we just walked. What a great way to start my Sunday. As we finished the clouds came over and it started to rain. I had been blessed today, not only because of the sun that shone while I ran, the good company I had, the beautiful scenery but also because I finished with absolutely nothing hurting at all. My hip and groin feel fantastic.

I got home stretched and iced everything and now its just a waiting game to see if all pulls up okay overnight. But so far so good.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

What are some of your pet peevs?

I do alot of reading. Heck, the one thing I have learn't since becoming a member of the Triathlon world is that "the more you learn, the easier things will become for you and others around you". There is always a wealth of information at your fingertips in cyberspace, some things that are useful and other things that are down right ridiculous.

Whilst on FB this morning I came across an article posted by in regards to Triathlon Etiquette. The Top 10 list is awesome, simplistic yet so common sense it's not funny. The Triathlon I competed in in March was by no means a massive event and so I did not experience the flailing arms and elbows in the swim component - mind you I am lucky enough to be a good swimmer so I was out the front. But it got me thinking about when I was younger and doing open water swims with the Surf Life Saving Clubs and how it used to get a bit aggressive in the water. My strategy was to swim on the outskirts even if it meant swimming a little extra. It did save me a black eye, squashed nose, cracked rib.

I can understand how things get a bit CRAZY in the water. There could potentially be 100's of people all hoping to get prime position, clusters of people who have the same swimming ability, a swarm of arms and legs all moving in the same direction trying to get to the one exit point. But after listening to one of my friends who is a middle of the pack swimmer say she was struggling to get air as she was systematically grabbed at and dragged under - I think some people just don't think about their fellow competitors welfare. I am all for trying to do well but not at someone's expense.

SO, I would have to say that even though I am a total novice, my one pet peev would be unsporstman like behaviour. When I was doing the bike leg I was smiling at everyone, encouraging, letting people know I was going to pass them. I feel better knowing I have gotten to the finish line without having intentionally hurt anyone along the way.

Whats your PET PEEV?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

For the past couple of months my husband has complained on/off of not feeling too crash hot. But like most men he just put off going to the doctors. For one reason or another it was not really a blip on his radar to get it looked into. I love my husband dearly but working is his number one priority (apart from us) as is bringing home the "bacon" so we can all enjoy life. Like I said, I had been on his case for months about getting a blood test. Well he finally succumbed to my constant ranting and raving and thank goodness for that, his cholesterol is through the roof.

I have somehow taken this as a bit of an attack on my expertise in the kitchen. I know, silly, but I am the one that cooks in our house. I always thought I cooked healthy food. I only use olive oil - and sparingly at that, I don't cook with salt, I only ever buy wholegrain bread and brown rice. I need to sit down and go right over the household menus and go right through the pantry with a fine toothed comb as the doctor said he has 3 months to try and lower it. Time to get supremely focused.

If it does not lower then possibly it is genetics. I think his grandfather passed away from a heartattack and I don't want the same thing happening to my husband. So, if medication is what he needs than so be it, but first things first - DIET. And exercise - yes, he will get cracking on some exercise. Daily, regardless of the whinging and whineing, I will get him walking or running, intervals on my bike trainer - whatever it takes. At the end of these 3 months if it hasn't budged, it has not been through lack of effort.

Yesterday my daughter woke up with an inflammed right middle knuckle - sore to touch. She hasn't hit it, knocked it, there are no bites on it - nothing I could see. So I took her to the GP today and he is testing her for Rheumatoid Factor due to my history with arthritis. He is not sure what it is and feels it could have been a bite from something, but just to be on the safe side he ordered bloods to be taken. I have just about everything crossed on my body for it to just be nothing. My heart would just break into pieces if it shows up with something. My kids are my absolute life.

Anyway some news just given from physio is that I can get back into walk/running. I will start this Sunday as my introduction into getting ready for this Half Marathon. I can't wait - but believe me I will go into this with the reigns on. No sprinting, or galavanting around like a prancing pony. Nice and slow it will be.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Reminder to self: Check pool program

I am keeping up with my swimming as you all know, and have been really lucky to almost have the pool to myself on most occasions. There has been "maybe" 10 people sharing it with me which has meant that I have been lucky to get a lane to myself . Last night however was a different ball game altogether. Club Championships were on as well as everything else you could think of.

The main pool was a frenetic hussle and bussle of parents, children and time keepers. It brought back a tonne of childhood memories - some good, some not so good. There were learn to swim classes in progress as well as aqua aerobics enthusiasts splashing away to "I feel like a woman" among many other tunes which added to the buzz in an indoor pool. I could hardly hear myself think.

As I was getting ready to jump in my lane, one of the timekeeper/parents said "I'm sorry but we are closing lanes 1 through to 6, you will have to jump into either 7 or 8". That was fine until I realised how many of us were expected to jump into 2 lanes. I have definately been spoilt and was a bit "miffed" I had to share. Not that I showed it - I politely smiled, and inside said everything I wish I could have said outloud. But I quickly slapped myself upside the head and reminded myself that this is a "public pool" and I HAVE to share.

So, I started swimming and soon realised that the program I had set for myself was going to be difficult to say the least and I should just "go with the flow" today. So I did a 1km warm up and the rest was broken up into sets of 25's and 50's. Some with flippers and board, others without. Some of it butterfly and others breatstroke. All in all I totalled 2.5km and got out of the water feeling okay about what I had achieved despite the circumstances. I would have much preferred to have done my set session but I had to make do. And once again I finished off in the spa/sauna. The cold water thing isn't bothering me at all now. I jump under like it nothing at all and I come out feeling absolutely revitalised. You should give it a go.

So another thing I realised yesterday is that I have less than 300 days to go to my Half Ironman. I am officially in the "200's" and when I saw this my stomach did a gut wrenching somersault. Holy crap, you would think I would be more scared about the fact that I have less than 80 days till my Half Marathon and I am so going into this undercooked, but 200 and something days till my HIM gives me the jitters. I mean it only feels like yesterday that Michael Jackson died and that was a year ago.

All will be good. SETTLE PETAL.

Friday, July 2, 2010

My butt feels good.

I did another naughty but it's all good. I am just checking to see where I am in my recovery process. I don't like tempting fate but I do like to see where I am so I can feel like the rest I am having is not in vain. So I got on my bike trainer and just did a real easy 20 minute spin. And by EASY I mean super easy. There was nothing fast or hard about this spin and it felt great. I am so "hanging" to get back into some form of routine, it's driving me nuts. But I can understand why I needed this rest.

That afternoon I invited my best friend Kimberly to the spa/sauna and we both enjoyed a full hour of just relaxing and cooking/basting ourselves. I think she really enjoyed it as her last year has been tough and it was nice just to see her sit back and just think of nothing other than herself. It was nice to just sit and talk about things other than Triathlons and injuries. We spoke about the old days when we were studying nursing back in "94" and how our lives have changed. About how much our kids have grown and whats next in our lives. I had a really enjoyable time. Kimberly and I are never short for words or laughs.

The following day was a total rest day, the kids and I slothed around in our pyjamas all day and just watched DVD's in a pretend campsite we had set up in the study. We ate yummy popcorn and drank loads of fizzy drink and I totally disregarded anything healthy for once. I was licking the salt off that popcorn one grain at a time and just relishing every morsel. Delicious. We ate lollies and chips - my favourite Salt n Vinegar could not go down quick enough. For lunch though I made a yummy tuna, egg, snowpea and rice salad with whole egg mayo. It went down a treat. The kids and I had a ball and later that night I dumped the comfort of my bed and my husband and slept out with the kids. Well, I didnt actually get to sleep, I cuddled the whole night with all my kiddies.

Saturday morning after practically zero sleep I put on my swim cossies and went to the pool for a swim session. 3km to be exact and I must admit I NAILED IT. I felt so strong and invincible. Every stroke I took came through that water with intention - a sheer feeling of power. I felt myself gliding through the water like it was nothing and it felt great. This session I planned on giving it my all - my head was clear and focused and I knew that I needed to harness how I was feeling and make the most of it. So I did.

  • 1km Easy Fr/s Warm up
  • 10 x 50m Fr/s kick with flippers on 40 secs - 15 secs rest
  • 8 x 100m Fr/s on 1min 20sec - 30 secs break
  • 8 x 50m Br/s at 80% effort - this was tough
  • 300m cool down
And of course I finished off in the spa/sauna again - I swear by this treat.

As I was walking out of the pools one of the lifeguards whom I see all the time gave me a nice compliment and I walked out feeling really good about myself. I still had it. I don't often get compliments like that from strangers and it made me feel nice. Thankyou Mr Lifeguard.

Your hard work will be rewarded.

"The path to a dream is paved with sacrifices and lined with determination. And though it has many stumbling blocks along the way, and may go in more than one direction, it is travelled by belief and courage and conquered with a willingness to face challenges and take chances" Barbara Cage