Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Check settings.

Boy, am I dumb. I ask, actually implore for all of you to remind me to make sure my settings are correct the next time I post how many kilometres I do.

After last Sunday's ride even though I was happy that I had ridden for close to two hours I was slightly disappointed that I had only managed to do 35km. I kept thinking to myself how could it be possible that in my 10km ride in the Enticer I did it in 22minutes - and it now took me close to 2hrs to do 35km. I know I feel stronger and faster so this just didn't make sense.

So I sent an email to TrailFlix for them to help me determine my distance and I was so excited with the response. I actually rode 28km one way, a total of 56km both ways and a distance of 35 miles. NOT KILOMETRES. What a dufus.

Need I tell you that I have just set a new PR in riding. I am now 4km shy of being 2/3's of the way to my 70.3 cycle leg. All because I set myself the goal of just trying to keep my toosh attached to the saddle for close to 2 hours. I cannot believe it. This is just such an awesome feeling. I wouldn't trade it in for anything in the world. And better yet, my back was not any worse for it.

Accomplishing this has made me feel strong. It has made me see things totally differently - like anything is possible. Like for all of my little problems along the way I still manage to succeed. What more can a girl want?

Tomorrow I intend on riding the hill x 3 times. I know I can do this.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

I'm out of the funk.

Thankyou all so much for your kind words of wisdom and I especially like the 'suck it up' one. I can get down pretty quickly when my back is involved. But after 2 days of sulking and alot of thinking I am back to my old self and have enjoyed this weekend. I have accomplished alot over the last 2 days both in the water and on land. And the fact that my back has not gotten any worse due to the activities has given me some much needed relief. I wonder if it's the effects of the oral anti-inflammatory's I am taking - I have a sneaky suspicion it just may be. Either way I did heaps this weekend.

Top Notch Performance and Health and Panthers Tri Club had their last free swim session yesterday and I wanted to make the most of it and learn some more skills in the water that would help me gain strength and speed. Wow, this session was hard - I know this because I haven't actually felt this spewy for a while. I think the last time I felt it was when I was training for the World Masters Championships last year. We did so many challenging drills but they were so much fun. Here's what we did:
  • 400m Fr/s warm up
  • 100m Rock n' Roll breathing every 10 kicks
  • 100m one armed R n' R breathing every 10 kicks
  • 100m R n' R breathing every 3 strokes
  • 100m sculling with arms out front for 25, Fr/s for 25
  • 100m sculling with arms below shoulders for 25, Fr/s for 25
  • 100m stroke tap. Have board between legs do a Fr/s stroke then as hand exits water it taps the board behind you.
  • 7 x 100m on 1:40
  • 4 x 25m deep water starts into a full sprint.
  • Then a relay race.
Now can you see why I felt like bringing up the sausage sandwich I ate after the swim. Probably not a wise idea consuming food so close to finishing a hard session. Lesson learnt.

Then this morning I decided to go for a spin with Aliyah along the M7 bike track. I went out with all intentions to stay connected to the saddle for 2 hours. I lasted 1hr 40min and cycled approximately 35kms. Felt like I had gone further than that, my legs were knackered by the end of it. But, in my journey's I survived my first magpie attack. The little critter dive bombed my head about 4 times, and if it hadn't of been for the sun being behind me and it casting a shadow in front of me I would have only heard the flapping of it's wings and not known its angle of attack.

I also have to take the bike back to get the gears checked or tightened. Sometimes they were going in and other times they weren't in the small chain ring so I had to do the majority of the ride in the big chain ring. Maybe that's why my legs feel so caned. Anyway, I had a great time and glad I got out into the glorious Australian sun.

Friday, August 27, 2010


Yesterday was one of those 'lightbulb over the head' days. Not for any one particular reason but for many small reasons. My brain was just firing random thoughts and funnily enough they were all making huge sense. Some were not good and others were like 'hell yeah' thoughts. So I will try to explain:

  1. I think that no matter what I do or how much I strengthen my core or how many injections I have, my back will always be an issue. Clearly, these second lot of injections have not worked. I can still feel my nerve upon laying flat on my back or bending over for any period of time. Did I think that I would be free from it all if I stayed really diligent with everything I was told to do? - YES. Do I think that it's not fair that this may just be the cross that I will have to bear? - YES. But upon reassessing my thought's before they spiralled way out of control, I started wondering what makes me so special to think that I should be free from any troubles, ever. People the whole world over have issues and drama's that they have to live with daily, I am not any more special then they are. I just have to accept and make the best of it. Accepting and embracing my condition is not failure, it is being smart. I am expending too much energy constantly fighting this battle and trying to win, maybe learning to show my aches and pains and show that I have my weaknesses is what it is all about. Showing my vulnerabilities to myself is what it's all about.
  2. I attempted another walk/run yesterday and although I felt good, I am starting to wonder if my attempts at this running thing are futile. I think this is my fourth attempt at trying to master the art of this sport and everytime I do - something happens. Maybe it's all about just trying to hang on - with white knuckle grip to my 70.3 dream and seeing it through and then that's it. I've not known anyone to have as many drama's as me when it comes to running. I mean it would be good if all Tri's were just 2.5km in run distance but they are not. I could stick to doing those but that's not what I enjoy. I enjoy the thrill of pushing myself, to see how far I can get. But am I trying too hard to realise a dream? And at what cost?
  3. Swimming, has and always will be my strength. Nothing about it bothers me. Even when I have just finished my hardest session - my thoughts are never negative. I am always thinking - gees I feel strong. I like knowing that others see me as competition in the water - I always have. I like knowing that when people hear my name in and around the pools they think 'man, she's a good swimmer'. It's a buzz for me and makes me realise that I still have it. I am still a force to be reckoned with.
  4. My cycling continues to get better. My legs feel more powerful on each revolution and I feel the benefits of having a new bike and attending spin class. When I look back to how scared I was on that first ride and how unable I was to maintain a good tempo - I realise I have come along way. However, I am also doing battle once again with wondering how my back will hold up over a long ride.
  5. Is it possible to be classed as both the 'tortoise and the hare' in any one race? What does that make me? A tortare. I told you I was having random thoughts.
I think somehow I had thought that when I started this journey that I would get to a point when things would just simply get easier. That all my consistency and determination in the running arena would one day pay off. That my back would just realise that I have done my time and just leave me alone. Maybe not. Maybe it's all about survival.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Even Steven's week.

Yesterday was the day for my second set of jabs. Today was my second attempt at tackling the hill and I am pleased to announce I did it twice. It's seeming that nothing is impossible with my new found love Aliyah. There is just such a connection between us that I find hard to explain. Maybe it's the fact that I waited so long to get her that has made every ride to date just supremely magical.

I no longer look at the hill as an unattainable goal, but rather I now see it as something I can conquer many times over. And the more I attempt it, I only imagine that I will get better at it.

Reviewing today's ride, the only thing that really sticks out in my mind is the fact that a truck tooted it's horn as it was approaching me. Was that to signal it's impending approach so I could hold on dearly when the gush of wind went past or was it to scare the living daylights out of me. Not sure, but I kind of got the wobbles when he did it as I was so not expecting it. Maybe that's why he did it, just to get a good old chuckle at the newbie (or as Macca likes to call it "Hubbard").

I also tried getting down into the drop bars - slightly awkward at first but I think I managed to look relatively comfortable in such a position. I couldn't hold it for long though as my back is still slightly tender. The injections haven't quite worked their charm this time around which is a bit annoying really. Anyhooo, complaining isn't going to make it any better.

So tomorrow is swim day and Friday is spin class with physio mixed in between it all. Got a phone call from Lisa today checking up on the outcome of my injections. She is so sweet, who else does that. Who else remember's that - I mean it's not like I am her only patient. I feel really blessed that she cares that much about me.

Anyway, looking forward to tomorrow. Looking forward to a good old fashioned swim.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Jabbed for the second time.

Since my last lot of cortisone injections about a month again - which happened to give me about 2 weeks relief, things have been steadily going back to the the way it has always been. That nerve twinge just doesn't seem to want to relent. So off to the the sports med Doc I went again, however this time I was not scared. I had the Emla patches ready to go on the work site and I was in the right frame of mind.

The ladies at the front desk know me now as the lady who has the needle phobia. Quite funny really, because I don't really have a phobia of needles, only the ones that are about 5cms long that go into my back. I mean really, what's not to be scared of. What happens if he gets and itch or worse still, he sneezes.....

This time I wasn't so lucky to come out unscathed. I had real trouble trying to get the patches on by myself and as such had to tape the things onto my back because I kept missing the area. So I think I missed the X marks the spot. The left side went well, didn't feel a thing. The right side was a different story. I felt the needle, anaesthetic and cortisone, not as bad I had imagined but nonetheless it was not something I was expecting. I was trying to stay relaxed and breathe through the procedure but I all I could do was feel my butt cheeks clench up. Breathe, breathe - find your happy place. And before I knew it, it was all done.

I really do like him as a doctor, not sure if he can say the same about me as a patient. I am not one of those painful whingy whiney patient's but I talk alot, and my nerves make me talk more. I wonder if he wishes that I had a MUTE button.

Anyway, this morning I do feel better. Not 100%, but better than yesterday. This time it hasn't been as effective, but I am still staying positive and trying to stay focused on all my exercises and maintaining the fitness, which is of utmost importance.

So, today is another bike ride - of course. What else did you expect. Have a great day all.

My first walk/run back in forever.

Walked up to the chemist and back to get my Emla patches for my cortisone injections this afternoon. Two kilometres is all I did and apart from twinges in my back, my legs feel great.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

What a glorious day.

Today just couldn't get any more magnificent - blue skies, slight breeze, deliciously warm sun and the beckoning of the M7 bike track - which of course I heeded. How could I pass up an opportunity to ride, on what I can only be classed as the best Winter's day ever. Mel and I decided to just ride with no particular destination only that at the 45 minute mark we were to turnaround and head back.

So off we set chatting along the way and when some of the hills required less talk that is what we did too. It's not that the hills are hugely steep they are just a constant gradual incline to the point that your wondering when you will finally reach the top. The good thing is that once you reach the top there is always a decline, and boy - do I let it rip. I love the feeling of freedom I get as the wind is whooshing past my ears, I feel so alive. But I am sure those thoughts could quickly change should I get the wobbles.

As I pedalled strongly, I continued to play with the gears up hill and down hill to get a really good feel of all the different ranges this beautiful Aliyah has. And even though I felt some of those inclines in my quads - I know I would have felt them more on my flat bar roadie. Clicking in and out of the cleats feels like second nature, I don't even find myself thinking of it as I come to a stop. So in my mind this means this bike and I were meant to be.

The one thing I can't find myself getting used to is the pain in the nether regions. At what point is this meant to feel better? Any ideas of time frame would be much appreciated. I keep hearing the more time spent in the saddle the easier it will get, but heck - it hurts.

But I won't complain too much, today was a great day. We covered 26km - so not a great distance but this was Mel's first time of the bike track. Next time we go for longer - can't wait.


Yesterday was a day that I will remember forever for many reasons. Firstly I got to have my first short ride with 'Aliyah'. I must admit I was extremely nervous, and if I had to pinpoint the reasons why, I think it was because:
  1. She is brand spanking new.
  2. I was taking her out the road.
  3. What happens if I couldn't clip out of my pedals on time.
  4. The whole gear thing is new to me
  5. What if, what if, what if........
So the only way I know to get rid of nerves is to just stop procrastinating and just do it. So on went the shoes and out the door I stepped for my first momentous ride. I clipped my right foot in and started on my merry way and found that the left foot found it's position really easily - I didn't even get the 'death wobbles' in the process. And as I continued to pedal away, I quickly realised that this bike was awesome. Even on my bumpy bitumen road she was smooth - or maybe I was just so enamored that I just didn't pay attention, highly likely.

As I continued on the 8km home loop I once again was faced with the infamous hill and knew that at some point I was going to have to figure out my gears - so I probably had about 500m to do so. I remember Macca at Panther's Cycles saying "be confident when changing gears, give them a good tap", which is what I did and I got it mastered - no probs. The hill still felt challenging but I don't know, something made me feel invincible, and even though I was panting harder than any canine I know, I made it up the hill with Aliyah.

On the home stretch I decided to go and vote so I stopped by home and thought to myself I will just get dressed and drive back up. What was I thinking? I have a brand new bike that is beckoning to be ridden, so I got back on and rode up only to realise half way that I forgot my ID - so back home I went. Back up the hill I went and to the local public school to vote in Australia's most messed up election ever - well that's my opinion. When I got to the school I felt like a movie star - 4 volunteers (guys) where drooling over Aliyah. I couldn't take her in with me so I entrusted her to one - but made sure I gave him the look of you 'touch you suffer serious consequences'.

All in all as I was riding home I kept thinking, this has got to be the best bike ever made. The colour's are to die for, she is so light and I can't hear anything that is out of place. Just silence. She is awesome.

Today was also memorable because I got to meet Amanda, misszippy and her gorgeous family after her 35km bush run in the mountains. I wouldn't have missed this opportunity for anything in the world.
As Amanda ran passed me I yelled out "Go Amanda" so she could see I was right there, cheering her on. When she finished and had her timing chip taken off and she had a drink , she walked over and I gave her a big hug to welcome her to Australia, for finishing such a tough race, and for being a great bloggersphere friend.

We had a great afternoon spent chatting over some yummy coffee's and hot chocolates, whilst our kids - who got on like a house on fire, enjoyed hot chocolates and spiders (like a root beer float). This will be forever etched in my mind as a wonderful memory. Can't wait to do it all again, only next time I will be in the States. I hope you have a wonderful and safe trip back home Amanda and family.
What a day. I am happy.

Friday, August 20, 2010

My eyes are dry.

Why I here you ask? Well, I cannot peel my eyes away from staring at my new baby. Everything about it screams style, speed, endurance and performance. I even woke up last night to a thump in the still of night, and had to check on the bike to make sure it was still there and not being knocked off by some Cannondale enthusiast. And once awake do you think I could go back to sleep - not a chance. I lay awake for the next hour rolling over names in my head that would give my baby justice.

Yesterday was a day I will always remember and I am sure the guys at Panther's Cycles will also remember it too, for much different reasons. I had been waiting to get my bike for months and my anxiety over to having to wait and finally reaching this day was probably more than I could handle. I was like Mt Vesuvius - ready to explode (actually I think I did). The guys were in front row seats for my spectacular show and could hardly believe their eyes - I'm sure. My pupils became fixed and dilated and I could feel a massive rush of adrenalin course through my body. I was finally touching my bike, MY BIKE. This had no-one else's name on it apart from mine.

As the adrenalin dissipated and my normal bubbly self returned and manic Barb left the building, I was able to finally get focused on the task at hand. Getting fitted - and stupid me forgot to take my bike shorts in. So, much to Macca's dismay, I was going to have to be fitted in my jeans. It worked, I just rolled my jeans up, excused my hairy legs (it's winter) and we got started. First the seat, then the bars and everything else. I got a workshop on how to change a flat, take off my back wheel and put it back on again, how to use the gears and how to sit on my saddle properly. 90 minutes later and I was good to go.

Few things have to added and changed - like my saddle, the white one is a male specific seat and I have my female specific SelleItalia, so I will be getting that changed today. My son will get the white one on the GIANT. I am also going to get a bike kit with all the little bit n pieces should I get a flat out on my many road rides which I will now be definately doing.

So back to naming my baby - the first thing I did this morning was start searching for names, and I came across a name which resonated immensely within me. It is a name that not only demonstrates courage to stand alone and be brave, but it also describes the journey that I have been on. So it is with great honour I present to you:

(Hebrew - to ascend, to rise up).

I look forward to a wonderful journey with Aliyah. A true bond which will only grow over the years and the paths we share together.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My baby has arrived.

I think it's impossible to describe how excited I am. Words elude me right now. Will have a post very shortly describing the buzz.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Surround yourself with
those who believe in you
and who will help you
achieve your goals.

"Lisa Marie Yost"

Since I started writing my blog at the beginning of the year, I have always wanted to turn it into a hard copy to one day possibly, hopefully inspire others to maybe undertake the same path that I have in reaching their dreams. Yes, maybe helping them get to their first ever 70.3 or hopefully encouraging them to look at any goal they have set and just going out and getting it. I mean really - we are the master of our own destiny and sometimes all we need is just the words of a mere human being to make us realise that we too can do it.

My friends always say to me that I have courage, I think of it more as "if I don't make the step myself who else is going to take it for me". I believe in putting it out there and the universe will take it on board and help you to reach your goal. So that's what I am doing. Good things will happen, I know they will. It may not be today or tomorrow - I mean I haven't reached the conclusion to my blog yet, but if I make the necessary connections now, things will come good.

I have learnt so much so far and know that there is still so much to learn, but I hope to impart some of this knowledge to others who feel that either it's too hard or that they are not worth it. Everyone is worth it and everyone has it in them to do good and strive to the best of their ability.

I look forward to this journey with great enthusiasm.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Gotta see where your going?

I never thought much about sighting before I started focusing on Triathlon training. Actually, that implies I thought about it atleast once, when the actual truth is that I never thought about it at all. I mean really what was the need, I had goggles and the pool water in which I trained and competed in was always crystal clear. And I think the few times I did do open water swimming as a child, I always just stuck close to my brothers and they guided the way. Now as an adult and having competed in an open water competition and having done my first triathlon I see the importance of learning correct sighting technique whilst still maintaining efficient forward momentum.

The aim of the game is to still move forward right! But unfortunately what I noticed when I first started trying to use this technique in the Tri Club squad sessions, was that my lower limbs dropped slightly in the water and I felt like I slowed down heaps. I also fatigued quickly as it it not an easy thing to perfect and when I got tired my arm stretch started to shorten to - totally ineffective. We would do sets of 100m with the first 25m consisting totally of swimming with our head out of the water and the remaining 75m being Fr/s. I also noticed when I would swim at the other pool that the water polo squads also used this technique so I have been making sure that I try to incorporate this type of swimming regularly.

I think I have gotten better at it. I don't feel fatigued and I tend to maintain the same head height throughout the 25 m. I was also reading in an article today from active.com about the differences they have found in beginner triathletes and elite swimmers when using the sighting technique. My aim will be to mimic the elite swimmers technique so as to maintain a much more proficient style in the water over the course of my 1.9km swim course in the 70.3 next year.

So even though this was never a blip on my radar, sighting now holds a whole new meaning. Do you use sighting techniques in your training?

Panther's Tri Club Swim Squad

I woke up yesterday half expecting to feel in immense pain from the previous days spin class, but lo & behold no pain was to be felt. Not even a little bit of tightness or discomfort anywhere. I am extremely impressed in how my body held up and this has given me a renewed sense of motivation. It's not that I had lost any of my "mojo" but I was wondering if this new activity would make me aware - and not in a good way - of what level of fitness I was at. I am happy with how I am progressing in the leg strength department and feel the massive benefits of my weight training, swimming, cycling and physio exercises. I am not going to pretend that it hasn't been a long slow arduous journey especially in the running department and it's extended hiatus, but I can finally see some really good progress being made.

I especially feel this strength in the pool, even though I felt strong before I am now able to maintain those harder longer sets with much more ease. My kick stays fairly consistent throughout which is great when my arms start to fatigue. The Tri Club "Panthers Triathlon Club"that I am a member of held a squad session at the local pools with TopNotch Performance & Health Coaching. What a great session, I learnt drills I had never learnt before and found out that with all of the people that had turned up I was the fastest girl there. That's not to say that that is how it is, maybe the fastest girl didn't turn up but for that hour and a half I wore the badge of honour. Quite a humbling and slightly embarrassing experience as I was asked to perform a couple of the drills to show the other squad members.

This was the session we had:
  • 300m Fr/s Warm up
  • 3 x 100m no arm Fr/s kick with fins
  • 3 x 100m one arm Rock n' Roll with fins
  • 6 x 50m Fr/s counting arm strokes - 30, 29, 28, 28, 30, 31
  • 10 x 100m Fr/s on 1:45. I did them all on 1:20
What a great afternoon. This will be held for free for the next 3 Saturdays and I look forward to attending all the sessions and learning as much as I can. They will also hopefully be holding other sort of sessions such as a swim session directly followed by a bike ride or track session. Sounds like fun.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Get excited and enthusiastic about you own dream.
This excitement is like a forest fire
- you can smell it, taste it, and see it from a mile away.

Friday, August 13, 2010

I love the SPIN



Can you tell the difference, other than the first one has a slight look of trepidation about it, and the other has a "oh yeah, I rocked it" feel about it.

I attended my first spin class today and I must admit even though I was terribly excited about it, I was extremely nervous too. I felt like I was going to a race and I don't really know why, other than it was just "first time jitters".

So as I got there and signed up I met the instructor and I held up my learners plates. He was very helpful in helping me set up my spin bike and explaining a couple of things about the 45 minute class that lay ahead. He said in a fairly matter of fact way "today's class will be about 7 songs long with alot of fun stuff mixed in". And naive Barbara was like "Oh cool, can't wait", that was until the lady sitting beside me said "It's hard, and you could possibly have trouble walking tomorrow". Okay, I thought to myself, how hard could this be. I have done alot of hard stuff but really looking back now, this was quite hard. Fun but hard.

So good things about the class:
  • Instructor- great guy but a saddist. He loved hearing me grunt & moan, and would just smile.
  • Small class size. There was only 7 or 8 of us. Didn't get all hot and stinky.
  • Music. Good mix of high end tempo stuff. Really good to keep your cadence up.
  • Intensity. Good mix of intervals, sprints, hill climbs interspersed with recovery periods.
  • Bike seat. Not too hard or too soft. Just right said "Goldilocks".
  • Cardio. I felt like my chest would explode at times. My jugular vein was pumping so hard I could feel the blood swooshing in my ears.
  • Legs. I am proud of them. They held up really well even though at times they pretty much were pushing such a hard resistance it felt like they were barely moving.
Things I didn't like:
  • NOTHING, I loved it all. What's not to love about a good workout. I challenged myself on yet another thing and came up trumps. I know I may ache tomorrow but I have found another love "Spinning".
Thing's to improve on:
  • Posture. When I am hill climbing I lean too far forward when I am out of my saddle, so I need to be a little more upright and closer to my seat.
  • That was really the only thing he said he could see that I was doing wrong.
This is definately going to be my Friday ritual. I love it, can't wait to do it again.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My new cossie.

The speed at which my cossie was delivered was just sheer amazing. Thanks Jo from Speedo, you rock.

My style.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Second time around.

After Sunday's hill climb I decided yesterday to go out and do it again, only this time I wanted to do 2 loops. And guess what, the second loop did not happen. My legs were cactus from Sunday and I barely made it up the hill the first time. I struggled big time and was sucking up alot of O2 in an attempt to make it up the top without getting off my bike. It worked but boy it was hard work. I finished the loop and as I was passing my home something in me said just to try for the second loop, but I knew that if I did I would be disappointed with the outcome - so I veered left and went in my driveway and retreated gracefully.

I retreated to a nice hot shower and loads of stretching as well as my usual daily routine of physio stuff. You know, I'm a little confused - even though I feel like I am getting stronger and more in control of my exercises given all the work I do, it's not the same with my stretches. Doesn't matter how much I stretch or for how long I am always supremely inflexible. It's driving me totally nuts and even Lisa shakes her head in disbelief as she can see how much effort I am putting into my exercises, so she knows I would be the same in the stretching department. Not quite sure what else to do.

So physio today proceeded like it usually does - me squeeling like a big baby and Lisa having a giggle because of all the noises I make. I should get award though because today I found out that "I, Barbara Hughes, have the tightest glutes she has ever felt in her physio life". I have knots on top of knots and with all those knots I have formed my butt. Everytime she goes to touch one of those knots I see stars, Mother Mary and all the saints. We were laughing today saying maybe they need to supply physio clients with a shot of valium or some scotch to ease the pain. It's just horrendous, I think I would go so far as to say I would prefer to give birth again. My poor little toosh is battered and bruised again.

And over the last 10 tens my back has started to play up again and I can feel the twinge of sciatic nerve pain rear it's ugly little painful head. With everything I have at stake here I will not let this take hold again so I have re-booked myself back in with the Sports Medicine Doctor for my second lot of shots. And this time I am not scared, I am ready - bring it on.

I have also been in search of a really good training cossie, but the knee length style. I absolutely love how they look and it also comes with the added benefit of not having to shave as often. I know "women's business" but it's truly annoying. The girl from the Speedo Shop in Bondi has been truly helpful an sent me an email with an image of the cossie. What do you think? It's row three and I will have the black one thanks.
Fingers crossed I get it by Friday as I have a swim session booked for Saturday with the new Tri Club coach. Gotta look the part.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Yesterdays ride in a pretty picture

How cool is this site. I always wondered how other people got these fantastic images of the ride they have done, and now I have my very own. When I had a look at the data it said it was a 6% incline which means nothing to me. All I know is when I stand at the beginning of this hill and look up it's pretty high. Enough that if I was driving I need to drop the car to a lower gear - enough said.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A great day.

Today's Duathlon was not a big affair by any stretch of the imagination but gee's it was run well. I went not only to watch but with the hopes that I would help out but when I got there they all seemed so well organised I didn't even put my hand up, and with that I was left to take in everything and learn.

Today's Duathlon was a 2.5km run, 20km bike ride finished up with another 5km run. And the top guy and gal did it so easy I was left standing there with my mouth wide open. The speed's at which they did that 20km in I can only hope to one day reach. Awesome is all I can.

Whilst waiting inbetween run legs and cycling legs I got to chatting with a lady who is hoping to become the club coach. They are hoping to add a new dimension to coaching within the club by doing track work, actual transition training, mounting and dismounting from the bike and swim sessions. Sounds awesome. As of next Saturday they are holding 3 free swim sessions which will include stroke correction and actual squad work. I look forward to it as I believe you can always learn something new.

When I got home I decided it was time to bite the bullet and get my backside on the bike and hit the road. It was time to overcome my fear and ride the 8km block around my home. The 8km loop includes 2 main roads and one awesome hill and alot of traffic, but I think I chose the right day to do it. Being the weekend meant less traffic and the best time to overcome my fear.

I had a ball, the traffic didn't bother me even though I had two absolutely massive trucks go past me and rattle me with the wind. I felt in control and just enjoyed the weather and the fact that I have just done something I thought I couldn't. I was so proud of the fact that I tackled that hill and didn't have to get off my bike. GO ME. I think I must have done the loop fairly quickly because my husband was totally gobsmacked and said I was hooning it down our road.

I can't wait to do it all again tomorrow. Hope the weather holds out.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

"Rolling buffet"

After yesterdays mammoth headache and my inability to go for a bike ride I decided to make today my spin day. I also wanted to test eating something other than chews whilst on the bike and see how my guts held up. So my son made me a Peanut Butter sandwich and cut it into slices for me. I had my whole little table beside me set up with a 500ml bottle of Gatorade, a 300ml glass of water and my PB sandwich. I also had my DVD player setup with "Bloodsport" in it to watch. I absolutely love Jean-Claude Van Damme and admire his prowess in martial arts but the one thing he can't do is act very well. Nevermind he is a great fighter.

I lasted an hour and consumed everything and one startling observation is that with all that I consumed in the beverage department I hardly let out one drop of sweat. This is a wake up call for me in the hydration department - I must have been so dehydrated already that my body needed every last bit of fluid I put in. Maybe that was the reason for my headache yesterday, actually I think it was for sure. I have been trying hard to drink more but I guess not enough. I need to drink more fluids everyday. I need to make sure my pee is dilute all the time.

Another piece of observation is that eating on the bike did not make me feel sick. I thought that maybe I would feel a bit pucky - but nah, feeling good. It actually felt good to eat something - the PB is a bit dry in the mouth though, maybe I can mix and match each little cube - one with PB and the other with vegemite for the salt component. Food for thought.

I managed 26km in the hour and am happy with the outcome. Looking forward to the Duathlon tomorrow. Will see if they need assistance when I get there. Thanks BDD for the idea.

Friday, August 6, 2010

What a cracker.

I hate waking up with the beginnings of a headache. When this happens doesn't matter what I do or how quickly I get the pain relief in, I can pretty much be guaranteed a whopper of a headache that I will just have to try and manage till it relents. So after 2 lots of paracetamol and a dose of ibuprofen I can now open my eyes and feel some relief. However it leaves my head feeling like a big bag of marshmallows - all soft and gooshy.

I am a bit disappointed because today I had all intentions on actually getting out and riding my bike, we had another glorious day of sun and I was hoping to take the bike out on the road. But it was not to be, so today I will call my REST DAY.

I tried to think what it was that had caused my headache and the only thing that I can think is that I have had 2 fairly intense sessions in the pool this week and my shoulders and neck are feeling quite tense. Maybe I am due a massage.

This coming Sunday I am hoping to go see a Duathlon held at the lakes. Wish I could do it but for obvious reasons I can't, will have to be content to watch and cheer everyone else on. Hopefully tomorrow I can go for a ride.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Solid session

This is what was staring back at me this morning when I got in the car to take the kids to school. I wouldn't think much of it if I was going to come straight home, but that was not the case. Today's session involved a rectangular object which held gallons upon gallons of water. Good thing though that it was sunny, so that made up for it in a way.

We had a couple of regulars missing due to illness (gotta love winter), and their presence was missed. However, those that remained kicked out some awesome sessions. Mel, did a whopping 2km session. 2000m from someone who not that long ago thought that she would struggle with 300m and now she had energy to burn after 2k. I am proud of you Mel - well done. That deserves a gold medal award:
My session today was a little varied once again. What is that saying "variety is the spice of life". I think swimming is one of those sports where you have to keep on trying to mix it up a bit because a) you can run the risk of it becoming stale/boring, and b) by not challenging yourself with other strokes or varying distances you wont really see a big improvement. I don't want either to happen, I have too much riding on this. Big dreams lay ahead and I want to give it my all. This is what I did today:
  • 500m Fr/s warm up
  • 12 x 50m Fr/s with 45 sec rest. I did them all on about 35 secs
  • 300m kick with flippers. (50m Fr/s, 50m Fly)
  • 4 x 100m IM with 40 secs rest
  • 200m Bk/s
  • 200m Fr/s finger trailing
  • 300m cooldown
I feel strong, now I have to transfer that strength to my legs. I shouldn't complain, they are feeling stronger too. I can now do the single leg bridges which about 10 days ago I couldn't - so that means I am gaining strength there too. But I would be happier if things would mend a bit quicker.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Divine, divine, what more can I say.

I was totally spoilt today with beautiful warm weather, zero wind, great food and great company. Spring had arrived early and I was going to make full use of this glorious day. I started off by doing my usual physio exercises and then my strength program written by Sandi.
  • 3 x 10 one leg squats
  • 3 x 10 functional steps
  • 3 x 10 sec one leg bridges (I can do these now)
  • 3 x 12 one leg split squats
  • 3 x 12 lunges with 3kg dumbbells
  • 3 x 15 incline pushups
  • 3 x 15 dumbbell flys with 3kg weights
  • 3 x 15 bent over dumbbell rows 3kg weights
  • 3 x 15 shoulder press 3kg weights
  • 3 x 12 ab crunches feet raised
  • 3 x 20 supersets dumbbell twists/bicycle crunches
  • 3 x 20 ab alternate heel touches
I then got to spend a wonderful three hours with a dear friend chatting over a yummy lunch. Always good to catch up with Cath, she is always good for a laugh and a debrief. There is never a silent moment between us.

Feeling like I still had energy to burn this evening, I jumped on the trainer and did a quick 16km and am now ready to have a shower and hit the sack. I hope you have all had a wonderful day too but I'm ready for bed. See you all in the morning.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Swimming clears the mind

Swimming always brings such clarity to my mind. I use it as a bit of an escape, place to sort things out when the real world feels a bit too much. There's something cathartic about the mundane black line, the swooshing in the ears, the in out breathing sound that one makes. Brings focus back to the things that really matter or solutions to the things that puzzle the mind.

I used today's workout to get rid of some feelings that have been pestering me. I tried to put all of that negative energy into getting a really good workout and it worked.
  • 300m Fr/s Warm up
  • 300m, 200m, 100m Fr/s increasing speed
  • 300m - 25m kick with flippers, 25m Fr/s with flippers
  • 200m Br/s hold the glide
  • 3 x 150m Fr/s 1:10 rest
  • 200m Fr/s finger trailing
  • 200m one armed fly with flippers breathing every 2 strokes
  • 100m Fr/s cooldown.
I felt strong, really in control of all of my strokes. This session was written up for me by my older brother. He too will be competing in the 70.3 with me in May next year and as such we are sharing our workouts. Well, I am sharing his workouts, atleast for now. When I have an established pattern I too will be imparting some knowledge his way. Well, here's hoping I will.

Still not able to figure out what I have done on my end of this blogger world. My layout on my end is still stuffed, but glad to hear that all of you can't see the mess that is on my end. Will have to wait from blogger themselves to see if they can help.


My blogger layout has gone mad. Driving me nuts. All my stuff from my side panel has gone right to the bottom. When I go onto layout it says everything is the way it should be but then when I go to design it is all in HTML jargon. I am so mad.

Will see if my friends son can come and help reset it. Otherwise not sure what to do. Do I have to start all over again?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Bagged a bargain.

Today's weather was absolutely beautiful and the family and I decided to head into the city and take full advantage of the sunshine. We made our way into China Town and enjoyed everything it has to offer. I absolutely adore Asian cuisine and have been spoilt two days in a row with it. Last night was Thai cuisine and I ordered a delicious Sizzling Beef with loads of chilli. The funny thing about this was that as they served it up on the hot plate and it started to sizzle away, it let off that much steam with chilli into the room everyone had an absolute coughing fit. Too funny - I couldn't stop laughing.

Today was a much more sedate affair and I ordered Beef Briskette with greens in a clear broth. Absolutely delish.
Stephen also decided to have this soup and the children enjoyed Honey Sesame Chicken with Fried Rice. After lunch we decided to head Paddy's Markets and do a little shopping. That place is so jam packed with stuff your brain gets a bit overloaded and it's hard to focus on any one thing in particular. It's just rows and rows of clothes, electrical, sporting, shoes, plants, homewares and loads of other things. But the one thing that did get my attention were the sunglasses stall. I have never owned a pair of cycling sunnies because they have always cost so much. But today I found 2 pairs for $20.

They are obviously not designer brands but they should do the trick for a while. One thing they do have is UV protection. Can't wait to wear them. I was going to go for a ride tomorrow but it seems our August winds have arrived right on time. If I was to get on my bike in this wind I think I would be blown backwards.

How was everyone's weekend?

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