Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Results from Hills Sprint Tri.

  • 12th out of 31 women
  • 4th in my age group
  • 750m swim - 13:13
  • 20km cycle - 43:07
  • 5km run - 27:44
  • Total time: 1:24:04
I'm a happy little vegemite.

Feelin' fine.

I am now onto Month 3 of my training programme for Port Macquarie 70.3 and feel so good. I never thought I would get back to the point of where I was prior to all my injuries and still feel like I have so much to more to give. Granted it's been a slow journey, however that being said - I can now safely see the path straight through to the finishing chute.

Yesterdays run really opened my eyes in more ways than one. I realised that running based on minutes versus kilometres is much easier for me. Something about counting down the kilometres plays real mind games with me. I also realised that I really like running in the rain - something about it is really cleansing (yes I shower in the usual way). My mind and body felt so refreshed and the usual thought's which clutter my mind (pain, fatigue, pain) seemed to not even be a blip on the radar. I also realised that's whilst I enjoy company during my swim's and rides, during my run's I quite enjoy the solitude. It gives me an opportunity to really stay connected with my body and analyse how I feel during every step of the way.

I have also realised that I never ever give myself enough credit about what it is I can accomplish. I always have this self doubt in every aspect of my life - not sure where this has eminated from but it is always something I have struggled with. Even with all the good things that have been happening I still think that something will happen to make it all come to an end. So because I know this is probably my most weakest attribute - when I feel it starting to raise it's ugly head I get down to the basics and pull out my trusty little book and find words or phrases that nourish my mind and enrich the soul. I found this one this morning:

"Whether you think you can, or you think you can't,
you're probably right"
Henry Ford.

So I looked at yesterday's run and said to myself outloud this morning - You can do anything. You can run, you just ran 7.8km in 45mins and it felt cruisey. You can be whoever it is you set your mind to be. You can be a good runner - all you have to do is have faith in yourself and the rest will fall into place.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A chink in my armour.

First things first. We have a winner. Yep, you heard it right here. And the winner was chosen the old fashioned way. The kids and I thought if it worked for those people all those years ago before electronics became the way of the world, then why should choosing my winner be any different. So we wrote all the names down and their corresponding number of entries, then cut them all up and scrunched them all up and shook it all about.
It was then time to pick the lucky winner. Taillah stood upon a chair and I had to reach up nice and high. No photos were taken of Taillah and I as we looked totally deplorable - hair everywhere, not a pretty sight.
We could become hand models.
And the winner is - drum roll please........................................................................................................
DAWN from Puzzle Pieces.
Will send you an email so you can send me your details. Fingers crossed you get it there before Chrissy - I hope you enjoy it all. Doing this giveaway was heaps of fun and will have to hold another one post Christmas as this will give me time to think of some new stuff to giveaway.

Yesterday I had my first proper distance Sprint Triathlon. By proper I mean the swim distance was correct, not the abridged version of the TriShave Triathlon. And although the official times are yet to be posted I do have a rough idea of the overall time 1hr 22min. I am quite happy with this time because it was quite a challenging event due to Mother Nature.

The wind had picked up before we started the race and the lake which is normally pristine was now looking slightly choppy like the ocean. The good thing was, the wind was blowing in our favour for the swim. The guys took off at precisely 5pm and us girls took off at 5:02pm. Before too long I had started reeling the guys in. Normally not a bad thing but there were feet and bubbles everywhere in front of me. At times it was actually hard to know where to go and it was then the sighting came into play. This is something I definately need to practice as it made me very tired. I could feel my arms getting heavier and heavier with every stroke.
Where am I ?.
I knew when I took off that only one other lady had taken the lead and I was hoping as the swim continued that no other had crossed in front of me. I knew there was nothing I could do considering I really couldn't see too far in front so I just had to hope for the best. It wasn't until I exited the water and made my way into transition that the race organiser yelled over the mic "second female into transition" that I got excited and felt good about the swim.
Transition 1 went well I think apart from the fact I am still not confident about having my shoes clipped onto the bike so I spend a bit of time then having to clip in once I leave transition. Never mind, another area I need practice and confidence in. As I headed off onto the first lap of the bike I was greeted with a horrendous headwind. I literally had to go into the small ring and middle gears to spin through the 2.5km distance of headwinds. My speed on this side was never more than 25km/hr but the effort used to gain that speed was up near the 9/10. I was hoping that the other side would give me some reprieve - and it did. I clocked close to 40km/hr and it was absolute bliss on this side.
So four times over, headwind and tailwind and it was onto the run. I struggled abit in transition and could not get my sneakers on. My feet had obviously swollen quite a bit in the heat and I was struggling to get them in. With a couple of hard shoves and a few choice words to boot, I headed off hoping that I would not need to walk. My legs were once again nice and heavy and those first 2.5km were very painful. I remember saying to my coach who was doing the race and who so kindly held back to give me support about how heavy they felt. She said "not to worry, they will come good".

And they did but I then developed blisters on the arch of my foot. My legs by this stage felt great and I had this searing hot pain underfoot. I also had this lady behind me trying to mow me down. I could hear her heavy breathing closing in and everytime she got too close I increased my speed and pulled away from her. This cat and mouse game happened about 5 times until finally she relented and dropped off - my job was done.
Not looking too bad.
Now what do you think?
Flat footed and low to the ground. A typical Barbie run when I am tired. Thank goodness this was the last 150m before coming through the glorious inflatable finish line. Nothing looks better.
I was also greeted by my beautiful family.

Coach was really happy with my performance and I was happy with how I went too. Now the arduous task of waiting lays before me. Will post times as soon as I get them.

This morning Elissa and I headed off for a recovery ride post race and it felt really nice just to get out and spin those legs even though the weather was totally questionable - cold and drizzly. We rode to Cobbitty and sat down and had a wonderful coffee and a feed for morning tea - mind you it was only 7:30am. It was so nice to just ride without having a set speed or objective to complete. We did 44km in about 1hr and 47 mins and felt really good when we got home.

In the afternoon we headed off to the TopNotch Christmas Party. I have since determined that after attempting an ocean swim, that this little fishy much prefers the confines of her fish tank. Yes, I am scared of the open open water. It's not the waves or the current that intimidates me, it is the fear of the unknown. I hate not being able to see the bottom and my mind was playing tricks on me.

I didn't totally freak out like "arms flailing and screaming like a lunatic" but rather this dread encompassed my body and if it wasn't for my innate ability to not be able to drown myself, I could have quite easily sunk to the bottom as my body became very heavy with fear. I remember looking at Elissa and saying "I can't do this, I'm scared". To which she replied "of course you can, don't freak out or you will have an asthma attack". I asked if we could do some breastroke and Elissa stayed close by my side. I then gained a little bit of courage and swam Freestyle and then swum like the wind back into shore. I kept imagining this surprise attack of a Great White or Bull Shark - and it scared the living daylights out of me. I promised I would own up to the "chink in my armour" for Alison. Here it is. You are braver than me Al.

But let it be known, the next time I tackle an ocean swim - it will not beat me. I will conquer this fear.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Entries are closed.

Thankyou all so much for entering Try a Tri's first ever Aussie giveaway. Entries are now closed. Stay tuned for the winner on Sunday at 6pm.

Absorb it all.

The last couple of days have been slightly hectic in Barbie World. With training, family, housework and life in general - I have not had much of a chance to just sit and smell the roses, but wouldn't have it any other way really. The one chance I did get was Wednesday morning, when I went to my best friends sister's home. We spent about an hour and a half just chit chatting over a cuppa and then taking a tour through her beautiful home. R & L are the nicest couple, really genuine people. And their home is just to die for - almost like something out of a Better Homes and Garden Magazine - actually I even think I suggested that they should get professional shots done and have it entered in one of their competitions.

They do all the gardening and landscaping themselves and once I show you the photos you will see just how beautiful yet totally relaxing the garden is for the visitor. Everywhere I looked was just beautiful, there was such an abundance of flowers and plants all doing their very best to try to out-show the other during Spring. Being in this garden made me appreciate all of life's little pleasures as my every sense was tantalised with beautiful aromas, textures, sights, sounds but most of all the sense of inner calm.
Modern day Secret Garden

Everywhere you looked was beauty.

Like stepping back in time.

Even the birds have a majestic view.

Sometimes it's the little things that make you thankful.

After spending a relaxing moment at R's it was time to head back home, I asked Susan if we could go the way I had ridden on Sunday just so I could see the enormity of the hills. I have never, ever been so gobsmacked as I was Wednesday. As Susan drove, I just kept looking back at the hill we were driving down and could not believe that I had ascended through that area. Wow, this was truly a moment of clarity. I am capable of almost anything.

That night I had track work and I felt better than last week thank goodness. This week it was all about focusing on form - especially when we were getting tired. I really am trying but it just still feels so very foreign. Our main set was a pyramid - 200m, 400m, 600m, 800m, 600m, 400m, 200m. I tried to maintain every 200m on about 1min. Inbetween each set we got about 30 secs break which was plenty this week - I felt really quite recovered and with enough strength to maintain it for the next set.

No sooner had we finished the main set and it was time yet again for another TT 1km. As I took off Sarah and I set off on a fairly good tempo. We held this for atleast 900m and then picked it up for the last 100m stretch. As I crossed the line and fell to the ground in exhaustion I heard the coach yell out a time and was sure he said 4:57. I was so bummed - how could I feel so tired and felt like I had given it my all and have crossed the line slower than my last PB of 4:50. But then Sarah walked over to me and said "how was that? " I said "7 secs slower than my last PB". She then said "what was your last PB", I said "4:50". She looked at me and smiled and said "well, you just did 4:47". WHAT!!!!! Instantly, my exhaustion disappeared and I jumped off the grass, which by the way was making me itchy as hell, and jumped around like a lunatic. I was soooooooooo happy. Another PB by 3 secs. This I could get used too.

And I know I have worked hard because my body aches like crazy today. Hammies, glutes, calves. Even my abs are sore - so much so I have to brace my abdomen when I sneeze. I also had to cut my swim session short by 800m yesterday as I kept cramping. So today it is off for an hour bike ride, nice and easy to see if I can shunt some of this lactic acid off. I have a sprint Tri tomorrow afternoon and not quite sure how I am going to make it should my legs get worse. Sitting still is just making them tighter.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Just perfect.

Training is continuing along nicely. Actually, even though I have days were I am totally wasted (muscle wise) I am loving every aspect of how I am progressing. I have this new found strength in my legs which is evident on my flat rides. Even the hill which runs up the back of my house which I initially had trouble climbing I can now do so seated. I didn't think this to be so after the Cobbitty ride, however I guess the only way to judge how far you have come is to do something you once thought hard and see how much easier it feels.

So that is what I did today. I took off for my Tuesday special. Only this time I didn't have intervals and I still managed to ride the same distance as I did last week. I maintained a steady, even cadence for most of the ride and didn't feel as fatigued on the rollings hills that appeared before me as I usually do. It was the perfect morning for a ride - no breeze, atleast for the first 20mins and then there was a breeze and it always seemed to be a crosswind or headwind - rarely a tailwind, blue skies, myself and Aaliyah.

The more time I spend cycling Aaliyah, I feel as though I am understanding how to manage the gears better, efficiency in peddling, and all in all just understanding how to use her to my advantage. I guess it's the same in any sport really when you are new to it, you tend to stuff up religiously because you are constantly learning. The more mistakes you make the better you get. I did make one mistake today - I looked down at my leg. In and of itself it doesn't sound bad but there was not much of a curb and so when I looked up I had already committed to rolling off it into a mound of grass and dirt. It's amazing how when you get scared you forget the simplest of things - like the brake. Thought's came flooding into my mind like "Holy crap" "Brakes" "Unclip" "Don't fall" - which to do first???? I think all of it happened simultaneously and I managed to save myself gracefully (no falling) - without anyone seeing me, most importantly.

As I continued on my ride I rode up next to this gentleman who I had passed about an hour earlier in the ride. I don't know what possessed me to stop next to him and introduce myself other than I was having such a nice morning I thought "Why not". I found out his name was Alan and he had only recently gotten back into riding because he had spent the last year nursing his wife whilst she battled a horrible illness - unfortunately she passed away in September. He used to be a cyclist in his early days and you could see he must have been a great cyclist cause he had those cyclist legs - big quads and defined calf muscles.

I spent about 10-15 minutes cycling beside Alan just chit chatting and was so glad to have met him. A really nice guy just out enjoying the morning like I was. Not sure what he thought of some chick coming out of the blue and introducing herself but he didn't seem bothered by it - rather we were both enjoying the company during our journey. As I took off I said "nice chatting and hope to catch up again" and he smiled and said "likewise".

So I am pleased with my morning ride - my day was done and dusted by 1030am and I had 53km under my belt. Amazing, a year ago I would have scoffed at the thought of getting out of bed for a ride, now nothing can hold me back from it.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cobbitty is mine.

What an awesome weekend. I mean it helps having had most of the week off due to whatever it was that decided to invade my body and produce a gastric bug for a day. But this weekend was just too cool for words......so I will stop now.........hahahaha, nahhhh, will keep going.

Yesterday I headed back to the pools for the TopNotch Swim session and smashed out a 3.6km swim. What made it even better was even though I didn't feel 100% due to lack of energy, I still managed to do my main set of 12 x 100m's between 1:20 and 1:23. No sooner had we finished this set we did a 100m recovery swim and then backed it up with 3 x 100m's flat stick with a 2 minute rest between sets. I am happy to report I did each 100m in 1:14, 1:14 & 1:16. I was really happy with how I went. But by the end of the 2nd 100 I really thought my lunch was going to pop up and make a surprise visit.

The whole time I was swimming I couldn't help but think of today's ride. This Cobbitty ride has been revered as a tough ride, and if you can conquer Cobbitty, then you could pretty much do anything. Well I am "pleased as punch" to say that I did it, and it did not beat me. And I spent the morning with 3 friends to boot. Who all encouraged me every step of the way.

I started my morning at 0430 (bright n' early) as Elissa was getting to my house at 0530 so we could ride in to meet Cloe and Kate at 0630. The 12km ride in to the meeting point was a nice warm up ride for what lay ahead. Elissa and I had time to chat about how we were going to tackle it, and what we would possibly do should they not turn up. We even had the gall to contemplate a coffee pit stop in amongst it all. But no sooner did that thought cross our mind - up popped Kate first and then not too long after Cloe.

Off we set into the wild blue Cobbitty yonder. What lay ahead for me I could only imagine. I was scared and excited all rolled into one. As Kate and I chatted we got onto the topic of flat tyres and how neither of us had had to change a flat. Well guess what? The discussion of flat tyres should be avoided at all costs much like the word "Voldemort". Within ten minutes of our discussion I heard this almighty pop and a horrible clanging sound. I had a flat thanks to an almighty nail embedded in my rear tyre. Once again Cloe came to the rescue. Thankyou. The nail however had left a doozie of a V shaped tear in the tyre and I spent the remainder of my ride with my fingers crossed hoping that the second tube would not get punctured.

Now what can I say about this Cobbitty ride other than it's hard. The hills in it I can only compare to the Kiama ride. And believe me my mantra for most of this ride was "You did Kiama, you did Kiama". I couldn't even take photo's for fear of rolling back down some of the hills. They were just long, slow, steep, grinding hills and I only managed to walk for 100m on the last tough straight incline. The other stoppage I had I won't class as a stop because my feet didn't touch the ground. I rolled up to a metal guard rail and just hung on for about 90 secs and tried to make my heart rate come back to normal. It was tough. I am still totally gobsmacked as to how Cloe and Kate could talk going up these hills. I was trying to suck up as much oxygen as possible and would not even dare relinquish any of it. Maybe one day when I am fitter.

We stopped at two little townships to fill up our drink bottles and I can't explain how good it felt to actually rest for about 5 minutes in each pit stop. As we were heading back it felt nice to head down a nice steep hill and not have to pedal once. Actually I spent most of it putting on the break as I could see myself exceeding the 60km/hr from the Kiama ride easily, and this road does have alot of traffic - so I was a bit scared of being smooshed.

On the way home Elissa and I gave ourselves a High 5 because we were so damn proud of ourselves. Cloe gave me a call later and said how proud she was of us and our efforts. This means alot coming from someone who I aspire to be like and she is just the nicest person to boot.

I am now an official Cobbity-ite. This is too cool.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Things I am thankful for.

After my previous hiccup in training and my much needed rest yesterday, I started thinking about all the things I should be grateful for and how focusing on negative only serves to do one thing "make you more negative". My personality type although driven and determined (which is a good thing), can also serve to make me feel like a bit of a failure if I don't reach my desired goal or stay within the realms of what I think is acceptable for me. I wonder why it is I do this to myself. Nobody else expects or requires that I perform to a certain level, in fact all of my friends (yes, you all included) only ever tell me how great I am doing. So with that in mind, I made a list yesterday of all the things I should be grateful for.
  • A healthy body and spirit (mind is getting there).
  • A loving and supportive family.
  • Friends who encourage and enable me to succeed.
  • The ability to see, hear, talk, feel, love, desire, trust, believe, create.
  • To be free in every aspect.
  • The ability to give all my dreams and aspirations a good chance to succeed.
So as I focused more on the things that I should be grateful for, the negative and down thoughts just seem to dissipate.
"Nurture your mind with
great thought's"
Bejamin Disraeli
I am also thankful for having a great coach. I rang Jodie yesterday and told her how I was feeling and she brought up a really good point. I felt the same thing in Week 3 of my last month's training, so as of next month instead of having a monthly programme where it's 3 weeks on with 1 week recovery - I will now have 2 weeks on 1 week recovery till my body adjusts better. I mean really it's all about getting to my 70.3 goal healthy and strong - not to keep having periods of complete fatigue. I think this is going to help immensely. Thanks Jodie.

I am also grateful for that the fact that Tryingatri has reached 104 registered followers. Who would have thought. I certainly never did when I first started this journey. Thankyou to all who read, comment and share in my ups and downs. You guys are awesome.

I am also thankful for the fact that I got to watch "Dumb and Dumber" yesterday for like the 1000th time. Nothing makes me laugh as hard as this movie. This movie was my husband and my first date. I could not stop laughing in the cinema, nor talking back to the screen. Poor Stephen I am sure was wondering what the hell he had gotten himself into. Something else I am thankful for, he has stuck around for 16yrs. I must not have embarrassed him as much as I thought.

What are you thankful for?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Flat out knackered.

Yesterday arvo was nothing short of "BLAH". Both physically and mentally. I just couldn't get it together. I felt really flat for most of the day and now know that this my body's way of saying "Barb, take a chill pill". Unfortunately in true Barbie style I didn't listen and tried to go the one extra step, and now am wishing I didn't.

As much as I love track and everything I do, last night was just so hard. My legs felt heavy, almost like walking around with a couple of gumboots on filled with cement. At first I thought it was just that feeling you get when you are warming up, but as the session progressed I got more and more tired and my legs got even heavier. I even had to take puffer x 2 which is slightly unusual. This then had such a negative effect on my psyche. Most people would be happy with running a sub 5 min 1km TT, but because it was 9 secs slower than my last attempt I got a bit peeved. Mind you, if I really wanted to look at it on a more positive note - this was after 10 x 400's.

The 10 x 400's were meant to be on 1:50 with a 30 sec break inbetween. But this was not to be. It gradually got worse until the last 4 were on 2:20. I just could not keep up with the pack, they are just so strong and fit. Everything I hope to one day be like. I know it will happen, but being impatient me:


Anyway, when I got home and had a shower my left foot started to feel a bit achey and tight. So when I looked down I kind of was a bit shocked to realise how swollen it was. This is the ankle I twisted ever so gracefully (NOT) on my first ever bush walk over a year ago. What do you think? Ghastly, I have a cankle!!!!

So I strapped it and elevated it and I must say it is not much better this morning. But then again neither is my other ankle. I think this could be fluid retention - a totally negative side effect I have been left with after Steroid treatment for the flare - up of arthritis. Two summers ago anyone would have thought I was suffering from elephantitis my ankles were that big. And I also had "pitting oedema" to match. So today I will just wear my compression sox and try to keep my legs as elevated as possible to remove some of it. No training today.

So as not to finish this post on a downer, my Giveaway entrants list is growing. I am so happy. Keep the entries coming for Barbie's first ever Aussie giveaway.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

30 Seconds To Mars - Closer To The Edge

Hey Q:

You inspired me to post my own song. I heard this the other day. Thanks :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Aussie Giveaway - Tryingatri's first.

Did you miss me? This has probably been the longest I have gone without writing a post. I don't really know why, other than I got caught up doing a million and one other things. I totally missed Monday's training session altogether as the weather was just ridiculous and I used it as a rest day and nursing my other child who had tonsillitis. But, I am now pleased to say that there is no-one left in my house who is sick and I finally got a child free day today and took full advantage of it and went for a 2 hour ride and a 15min run off the bike. I can't even begin to explain how good it felt to just get out and ride or do anything for that matter without thinking about how quickly I had to get back to give meds or come to terms with the fact that I was to have another day of no training.

SO whilst I was out riding doing my "Thaing", I was thinking about all the wonderful emails I had received in the last 48hrs or so. Some had to do with saying thanks for my photos that I took at the Nepean Triathlon, others had to do with more writing opportunities in regards to getting our club recognised, and another had to do with interest in regards to our Aquabike event - the first ever Aquabike event held here in Australia by Panthers Tri Club.

This email was definately something to write home about. You see, this email came from a lady in South Australia enquiring about Aquabiking. How exciting is that!!!! I was so intrigued about how she had heard from another state about our Aquabike event. So I emailed her and she has replied that she found out through Google Australia after typing in "Aquabike Australia". I can't even begin to explain the enormity of it all. This could, if all goes well - fingers crossed - Nationwide. I will keep you all updated in it's progress.

So now onto Tryingatri's first ever giveaway. Are you excited????? I am. I wanted this giveaway to be totally Tri related but it seems going "Aussie" is how it has panned out. It has a little bit of everything. So I hope you like. I will quickly explain each little prize and it's significance.

  • 2 sets of earrings by Kurtaiky. My daughter made these in Aussie colours. I love them, not only cause they are made by my Taillah, but because they are just cool.
  • Aussie swim cap - so everytime you wear it, you are reminded of ME.
  • Panthers Cycle Drink Bottle - because these guys rock. I love my local bike shop guys. They are always helping me out - no matter what. Dave said to say "there's a message in the bottle"
  • x 2 Panthers Cycles stickers.
  • Australia headband. So when your sweatin', it'll be the Aussie band that wipes your brow.
  • Australian towel. Every Triathlete needs a towel, this one will definately stand out in the crowd.
  • x2 "Hands off my bag" tags. Make sure no-one touches your precious Tri goodies.
  • Paw Paw ointment. I swear by this stuff for dry lips, boils, scratches - and i am thinking it would help in the chaffed nipples dept for you blokes.
  • Aussie thongs in a Size 8. No Aussie is complete without a pair of thongs.
  • Penrith Valley Nepean Triathlon Swim Cap. This is my one that I wore just the Sunday gone. Think of me when you wear it.
  • A small satchet of Chamois Butt'r. I do believe this is an American brand but this Aussie Gal loves it. So, I thought I would share its wonder.
  • A little book of inspiration - whenever you feel a bit low, close your eyes and open up to any page for some guidance. I love this book.
  • Any Aussie bag to carry all your goodies in around transition.
  • Not shown (Panthers Tri Club sticker). Of course i would add something of my Tri club here. Panthers Tri Club Rocks.

So basically this is how it goes. All I need you to do is:
  1. Become a follower (if you are not already) 1pt
  2. Tweet, FaceBook yadda, yadda, yadda (let me know here) 1pt for each
  3. Pass this giveaway on in a post on your blog (let me know) 1pt
That's it. Entries close my 26th November at 6pm and the winner will be drawn my Sunday the 28th 6pm. Goodluck

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Team Nevermet ROCKS Nepean Triathlon.

I have always been a fairly self sufficient kind of athlete having come from a swimming background. But if I ever had to choose someone to be my buddy in a team event, it would be Aaron. You see up till this morning Aaron and I had never met. We had simply communicated through emails and text messages after being hooked up through a mutual friend Cloe. And I really could not have asked for anyone better to be my buddy. We had said a couple of days before that we would meet up at our Tri Clubs tent before the race and get to say HI in person.

So upon driving in this morning I was really excited, not an unusal occurence for me, but for some reason I didn't have those usual pre-race nerves. There was something strangely calming about knowing I had only one leg to complete. That's not to say that I wasn't going to give this my all, but it now meant that I didn't have to try and conserve my energy for the other two, nor totally freak out about the fact I was going to possibly die on the run leg.

Upon arriving to the tent there were some team members there already getting prepped and sorting themseves out. The camaraderie amongst our team mates is awesome. No-one is ever short of a supportive word or equally a bit of sledging, it's all in good jest though. Before I knew it Aaron had turned up and we made our way to transition to rack his bike. Cloe had found us a fairly good spot which was close for me to get to him in T1. I left him there after some chit chat and said "see ya soon and goodluck".

It was about now that my nerves did finally kick in. My stomach started doing flip flops and my mouth got really dry and pastey. I needed water, lots of it and my best friend did her best to supply me with drinks of fresh water from her bottle. By the time my race was ready to start, it felt like the temp had reached 26 degrees celsius and that was at 8am.
No sooner had the previous race gotten in the water to start, I quickly jumped in with my coach for a bit of a warmup, but it felt more like a cooling down (just what I needed).
I started trying to figure out where I should position myself, you see some of the guys I was going to race against looked fairly tough and I simply didn't want to get smashed over.
And as the race kicked off I took off as fast as I could so as not to get caught up in the whitewash. I could see some guys to my right and some guys to my left who were doing the exact same thing as me, and it wasn't long before two of them closed in quickly on either side and one swam straight past me. Then so did the other - awfully close though I might add.
I thought I saw some others pass me and I was getting a bit frustrated but decided that there was no point trying to hang on and get totally spent trying to win, this was afterall my first 1km competitive swim. The swim just seemed to go on forever, everytime I looked to my right I thought "I'm sure I have seen that marker before". So you can imagine my joy when I finally reached the final bouy which signalled a right hand turn into the final 30m to shore.
I was so excited to have finished, not because I had had it, but rather I think I did my best and gave it everything I had. My job was done and I think I gave my team the very best advantage I could. It was now Aarons turn to fly the "Team Nevermet" banner. I gave him a pat on the back, wished him luck and watched as he ran off into the horizon out of T1 with his bike. This was really exciting.

I only caught a glimpse of him on his bike leg and set my sights firm on trying to get some good shots of him on his run and make sure I gave his as much encouragement as possible. It was a stinking hot day and the mercury had risen to 34 degrees celsius by the time he started his run leg.
I really felt for him with this heat, but Aaron is a total legend. He smiled everytime he spotted me and would give me a thumbs up. So when I finally spotted him coming through with only 200 metres to go I ran beside him and took photos as I went. I wanted him to know that I was so happy to be part of this team.

When Aaron finished I gave him a big hug and thanked him for being an awesome buddy. We scored a couple more photos and then we went back up to the tent and replenished some much needed fluids and sugars.
Aaron was really pleased with his times and I sadly could not give him my times as I did not have a stop watch, but as I got home and jumped on the Nepean Triathlon Website I was really shocked to see that race results were already up. So here it is:
I do believe we did exceptionally well.

I didn't get passed by as many people as I thought. I must have been imagining those other swimmers. Aaron, I am so honoured to have had you as my buddy. Should you ever wish to do another team event, please do not hesitate in giving me a call. I think we make an awesome team.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Guess what I wanted to be when I grew up

Yep, from the tender age of 4 I wanted to be a prima ballerina. Nothing else made me feel as good. My mum said I used to prance around the house doing Pirouette's and Grand Jette's until I would fall down in a heap saying "I feel dizzy". I used to love wearing my Tutu and having myself all prettied up, however I recall screaming like a banshee whilst getting my hair slicked back so tight you would have thought I was being murdered. I mean really - who needs to invest thousands of dollars in a face lift when you have ballerina bun's that do the same thing.

I even loved ballet more than swimming - oh shock horror. I hated getting up early and always smelling like chlorine. I hated always being cold and wet. I hated the fact that all my friends got to sleep in whilst I endured kilometres after kilometres of winter swims in an outdoor pool. Ballet on the other hand made me feel like a girl, not a fish. That was until my ballet teacher decided that my shoulders were getting too broad from swimming. Take a look at me, I did get much broader than that, but she was one tough teacher.

I was her star pupil and had been picked out during one of my examinations as a potential candidate to go to the Royal Australian Ballet Academy. And because of this she would really drive me hard during my 4 nights week training. Mix that in with 11 sessions of swimming a week I was one exhausted little individual. After 5 yrs of ballet and at the mere old age of 9, I gave up ballet and focused my attentions on swimming.

Anyways, the point of this post was to highlight that even though my dreams had changed, my zest for being the best I can be has not. I want to try my hardest the same way I used to as a child, only this time in the world of Triathlons. My drive and determination has not left me, it has only been intensified x 1000 as I have gotten older. I am not wanting to prove a point to anyone else other than me. We all have things to prove, things we want to achieve, dreams we want to fulfill and demons we want to lay to rest. My demon is the 12mths of hell I went through with my back. Triathlons saved my life and sanity. The people I have met throughout my journey have spurred me on to bigger and better things. I can't thankyou enough for all your support. I truly feel blessed.

My stash of giveaway stuff is growing. I got so excited I kind of went crazy, I think you guys will

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The rains are here.

Yesterday's rains were totally ridiculous. I haven't seen anything like that for a while. We had a mixture of hail, torrential rain, gusty winds, lightening & thunder and whatever else mother nature could throw at us. I remember when I was younger, this seemed to be the usual occurence during the warmer months, however because it happens so infrequently now, everyone is flabbergasted.

My main concern was that I was not going to be able to do track last night. I didn't want to miss out on another opportunity to get better at my running and the chance to learn something new. Who would have thought running was going to be my new love. Especially after everything I have gone through with all my injuries and back concerns.

Sure enough when the rains stopped, the sun came out in full force and it was now not only wet but the mugginess was almost a little too much to take. You could almost feel it rising off the ground. So when the time came to leave for track and the fact that I had not heard anything otherwise to state that it had been cancelled, I was so excited I got dressed, waited for hubby to walk in the door, gave everyone a big kiss goodbye and rushed out the door.

As I was driving there I was preparing myself for the inevitable "the grounds are too wet and we need to cancel tonight", so I was thoroughly surprised when I arrived and it was all good to go. Track just needed to be altered, that's all. We were going to do hill repeats. Never done these before and might I say I quite like them even though they nearly killed me.

The loop we had to do was about 600m in length - 300m up and 300m back down. We started off with a 1 loop nice and easy followed by a further loop at race pace which I did in 3:20. Then main set which came up next would test me beyond all measure. It was 5 x 600m loops, up hard, back easy jog with a 30 sec break between each set.

The humidity had me totally wringing wet soon after the warm up so having done this mainset my singlet was now dripping as well as fleckled with mud all up the back. We then followed it up with 4 x 200's at race pace with a minute break inbetween. I was totally spent. Had nothing left to give but so glad I gave it all.

This morning I woke up feeling refreshed and my legs weren't sore at all. That was until I tried to swim - and then the cramping began. I was meant to do a 3.7km swim but dropped it to 3.4km. Not too much of a drop in distance but nonetheless my legs were protesting from last night's hills.

I am pleased with my performances to date and keep my fingers crossed daily for future success in everything I try.

I was also thinking about doing a Giveaway but have no clue as to what to Giveaway. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. And no being silly - no I cannot give away a car!!!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Nepean Triathlon

This coming weekend has got to be the biggest weekend for Triathlon's in Sydney's west. The Nepean Triathlon started it's humble beginnings back in 1982 and has grown every year and is known as a race not to be missed. The main race consists of a 1km swim, 30km bike and 10km run. The weekend also holds the Enticer events as well as the Berry Rickards Swim Events which consist of a 500m, 1km and 5km swim held in the main lake.

I will be participating in this weekends activities in a team event and of course the leg I am partaking in is the 1km swim. I am thoroughly looking forward to pushing myself for the 1km as I know I won't have the other two legs to contend with, so I can sit back and cheer on my buddy Aaron. However, next year I will do this event. All of it.

My aim is to hopefully give him a pretty good lead by sticking with the big guns in the water. Having never swum this distance in a race before I know it will be all about starting out fairly hard and giving myself some good space in the water if possible, and then just finding a good rhythm and sticking to it - hopefully having some left in the tank to give it one good last hit at the end.

Jump on this link and watch a bit of last years Nepean Triathlon.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A new personal best.

Don't really quite know to put into words about how excited I am. I think I have mentioned on more than one occasion in the last 2 posts about how my "mojo" has been missing due to family illness and all. So to have done what I did today has me so happy I could only compare it to the number 10. HUGE.......

I headed out the door saying to my children "mum will be back in 30 mins, just going to the end of the street and some and coming straight back. I have my mobile with me". They both looked at me and grunted (like usual teenagers) and continued staring at the TV whilst wrapped under their blankets.

So I donned the earplugs and listened to music from my phone and headed out the door in what was meant to be a 5km aerobic run, the one which I was meant to do yesterday. I started off thinking I was going too fast so I slowed down the pace to something which I classed as an aerobic pace. I was able to sing to the tunes blaring at me through my phone so I thought this was a good measurement of aerobic capacity. I intentionally did not take a watch because this is meant to be aerobic - no timing allowed.

As I came to the turnaround mark I assessed how I felt, and apart from being hot and bothered my legs felt great - so I continued with it and it wasn't until I had about 500m that I started to really feel the heat and humidity. It was at that point I walked for about 50m as my head started to feel kind of funny (a bit light headed). As soon as that feeling passed I started running again and made it up the dreaded little hill that signals the END.

I know I said this was not to be timed but I looked at my mobile and it said 9:28. I left home at 9:02 - this meant I did that run in 26mins. I did my 5km run in 26mins WOOHOO. Let me hear you say it !!!!! WOOHOO

How cool is that????

So, because I was feeling awesome I decided to jump straight on my indoor trainer and do my session for today. It was meant to be a 2hr outdoor ride but I did the intervals indoors instead.
  • 10 mins warm up in small chain - cadence of 90
  • 6 x 6min upper zone 3 efforts in big ring - still a cadence of 90, with 5 min recovery between.
  • Total time : 1hr 16mins
Need I say I was totally dripping with sweat yet again. I would say today was a totally eventful day. Can you feel the excitement?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Enough already.

Okay, I have just about had enough of this "cold bug" that keeps cropping up around my home. Just when it looks like everyone is just about over it BAM someone else come's down with it and starts the whole vicious cycle all over again. We (the family - not I) have had sinusitis, throat infections, swollen lymph glands, sneezing, croup ARGH. And as a result of that my pharmacy bill has risen exponentially on antibiotics, puffers, nebuliser, decongestants, you name it.

I have also increased the Vitamin C intake and disinfected my house to the point of stupidity. My house constantly smells like a Eucalyptus Cough Lolly. Maybe this year was their year to get sick, last year they all went by unscathed and it was I who was sick. It just makes it difficult to follow a strict training regime when you seem to have sick people calling on you and having days off school. Lucky I have the best mum in the world who came and minded my youngest whilst I atleast got my swim session in:
  • 3 x 300m - 1st Fr/s, 2nd Pull Bouy, 3rd with fins
  • 4 x 200m Fr/s tempo coming in on 3:00 leaving on 3:20
  • 10 x 50m Fr/s - odds under 40, evens over 45, leaving on 1:00
  • 8 x 50m scull for 25m, Fr/s for 25m
  • 200m Fr/s easy concentrating on kick
  • 400m Fr/s every 2nd 50m hard
  • 200m cooldown.
Felt nice to get out and clear the illness cobwebs before they take hold of me. Nothing a bit of fresh air and chlorine won't fix I say. Although the first two sets really were a bit hard, I was still suffering from a bit of yesterdays lack of oomph. But by the end of the session I had just about all of my energy back.

I was planning to do my 5km run this afternoon but we all of a sudden got hit with a hail storm and lots of thunder and lightening, so that kind of canned that idea. And then when it all stopped it was time to pick up the other 2 from school and the afternoon onslaught began. Will do the 5km run tomorrow morning if the rain holds out and then I will be hitting the indoor trainer for my 2hr ride.

Gotta make the best out of any situation otherwise my training may start to suffer.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


I woke up this morning to fairly decent skies even though we have been having rain on and off for a few days now. However, as I made my way to the meeting point the sky got darker and darker. Not because it was clouding over but because the fog had decided to hit and it was getting thicker and thicker. You literally could have carved it with a knife. The sun had been masked by a blanket of thick, dense fog and I was not sure if this was okay to ride in.

I knew at some point it would lift but didn't know when - it was almost like heading into a scene of "Sleepy Hollow". No sooner did I arrive so did mel and she kinda looked at me as if to say "What the". I knew exactly what she was feeling. Only her nerves were amplified tenfold as this was her first road ride. I tried hard not to show any nerves even though I was somewhat feeling a bit edgy about riding in such adverse conditions. But as Cloe and Elissa arrived we all just banded together, put our rear bike lights on and headed off into the pea soup.

About 20 mins in, we started to see blue skies and feel the warmth of the sun on our skin. Nothing feels nicer when your hands and feet are almost frozen stiff. It was nice just cruising alot and taking in the beautiful landscape and smells of the morning as the world is still asleep. Wouldn't swap this experience for anything. What i would swap though are the smells as we head closer to the dairy farms. It's kind of a thick pungent odour that just gets stuck in your nostrils, really off putting.

The roads were still wet from the previous nights rain and as we headed into a formed line , you start to feel the inevitable splatter from the rear wheels of the person in front. I wish I had windscreen wipers on my sunnies - they were fleckled with mud all over. So was my face - all of a sudden I had freckles. Our backsides on the otherhand had a distinct brown stripe straight up the back from butt cheek to middle of shoulder blades. Hilarious.

As we headed through one of the towns and started heading up a very small hill I lost concentration and forgot to support my core. As I pressed down with my left leg I got an extreme sharp pain in my lower back which made me feel a bit sick to the stomach, so I pulled over. Lucky I had my trusty little purse with medications in it and took a does of Nurofen straight away and headed off again. Within 20 mins I was okay, but it did make me realise that not for one minute can I become complacent about maintaining my core in a switched on mode. Lesson learnt.

The remainder of the ride went well I think apart from me not having enough "oomph" to get up even the smallest of hills. I would have to make my gears go smaller and smaller till I eventually dropped to the small ring and went through the same process. Don't know what was going on. I do like riding with Cloe, she would pull up beside me and tell me what gear to get in and push me on up the hill. Her words of encouragement really got me through a few hills. We even got into a good drafting line and held a pretty decent pace for a while. It would have made for a cool picture I think, we were all down on our Tri bars.

My friend Mel was an absolute legend today. I couldn't be prouder of her even if I tried. We ended up riding for 3 hours with some pit stops along the way and conquered 70km. My back I am pleased to say is okay. Slightly tight but nothing too major - nothing another dose of Nurofen won't fix I should think.

Challenges make us stronger.
They push us to try harder.
They allow us to be brave.
They offer us courage.
They engender hope in us.
And sometimes we go farther
than we ever dreamed possible...
just by believing that we can.

-Ashley Rice.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

So freakin' cool

Do you ever have days where you wake up and don't expect anything great to happen and then all of a sudden you get to the end of the day and feel totally surprised by what has just happened? Well today was that day!!!

It started off like any other Saturday, the usual housework and catching up on a tonne of washing - I am sure my clothes breed like rabbits. It never seems empty - drives me batty. So anyway, will stop commenting on my laundry drama's - this blog isn't called Trying a Laundromat.

So this afternoon I headed off to the pool for the TopNotch swim sessions, and what lay ahead I can only class as awesome. I was feeling like "this can't be happening". How can I finish this set and still feel good. Yes I was a bit tired (cardio wise) but I still felt strong in my body and that had me totally stoked.

We started off with the usual warm-up and then we did some drills focusing once again on form, so there was alot of sculls and rock n' roll type drills. Love doing this makes you really focus on how you catch the water and drag it from the moment your hand hits the water till it leaves just at your hip.

We then had a 100m time trial. Jodie was then going to use this as a gauge on our main set times. As I started off I really just tried to focus on nice long strokes and a really hard kick. I was hoping that my time would be as good as the effort I put into it and I was really surprised - 1:12.
I just did a 100m Fr/s 8 secs slower than what I used to do as a teen. Not bad I reckon. If I keep working at it then I should hopefully get it under the 1:10 in the not too distant future. Woohoo.

After that TT my main set was 12 x 100m leaving on 1:45 - catch was Jodie wanted me coming in nothing slower than 1:25. This kind of had me a bit scared as I was not sure if I could hold out for 1200m at that pace, but I once again proved myself wrong. I did my first 100 on 1:18 and realised this was not going to be a pace I could maintain so I slowed it down a bit and really focused on nice, long, slow, powerful strokes. Then remaining 11 I managed to hold between 1:20 and 1:23 - nice and steady times, and although after each 100 I felt slightly breathless, I was pretty much raring to go come the 1:45.

This is just too cool. I always thought that even though I was an okay swimmer, I never really thought I could improve much more. But this is proving to me otherwise. I am feeling like I have so much more to give and the more I train I really think my swim times will continue to get better and better. I am terribly excited.

Friday, November 5, 2010

It's all happening.

I couldn't help it. Before I knew it out came the credit card and I found myself signing up for another Triathlon. Another Sprint Tri on the 27th November. The only difference with this one is that the swim distance is the correct length versus what I did on Sunday. This one is 750m, so may just have to play the swim leg slightly more conservative. But I still have another 3 weeks of training so maybe I won't have to at all. Also this will be a good stepping stone for the club race which is held on the 17th December.

The only down side is that I wont really be able to compare the swim times to see if I have improved from the previous one, but I am hoping to see some improvements in my bike and run. After all, this training is working wonders, so even a small improvement in each leg is a great improvement overall.

So I headed back to the pools yesterday for my second month of the 70.3 training. I really liked this session. A good mix of sprints and distance stuff was to be enjoyed in 3700m. Here it is:
  • 500m Warm up - 300m of this was drills
  • 10 x 50m Fr/s on 1min stroke counting
  • 200m easy Fr/s
  • 6 x 250m Fr/s - 3 with paddles, 3 without with 20 sec break between sets
  • 200m easy Fr/s
  • 5 x 100m Fr/s sprint first 25m on 1:40
  • 200m easy cooldown
I felt great but the pool was slightly gross. There was hair and bandaids and some leaf litter, so it was bit of a game of dodge em's. All in all came out of the water feeling good, not spent at all.

Today I did my regular spin class - 45mins of hard, fast and furious paced action. Dripping from head to toe is how I finished. The great thing was that I got to spend my 45 mins with my close friend Mel, Amanda from misszippy1 who stars on this Spinervals DVD and whom I had the pleasure of meeting her and her family when she made a trip downunder. It was so cool and surreal.

No sooner did we finish the DVD it was off the bike for 5km aerobic run to flush out the legs. I felt really good, my legs were just ticking over nicely and I was actually able to hold a conversation. This is a huge change from previous runs before starting this program. My cardiovascular system must be getting accustomed to the demands I am placing on it.

So you all recall that I have been asked to become the Media and Public Relations Director for Panther's Tri Club, well today I had my 3rd article go in the paper. Here it is:
How cool is that. Hopefully I get another article in The Press next week.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Right on track.

Running has always been my enemy. Even as a kid when we used to have to run as a warm up for swimming I would complain and complain and complain. It just never felt natural - that pounding would always make everything hurt, even on young bones. But since I found this awesome world of Triathlons and have embarked on a new training regime with TopNotch, I seemed to found a love and thirst for wanting to better my running - in every aspect. To conquer all those past demons which held me so firm in their grip. And last night I did it. I think I may have finally found my running alter ego.

Last night's track session was fantastic. It really could not have gone any better and I was super impressed with how I am progressing. It's not by any stretch the accomplishments of an elite athlete but to me they show me that even at the tender age of 36, I still have alot more left in the tank.

This is what we did;
  • 800m warm up
  • 4 x 200m run throughs
Then onto the main set:
  • 2 sets of 8 x 200m on 1 minute with 30 sec recovery. I did them all on about 55 sec
Then this is where I got totally excited and scared. Chris said we now had a 1km timed effort. Effort? What did he mean by effort? His effort or my effort? I soon found out he wanted it at a pace faster than my 200m pace. As I started walking over to the starting line I could feel those usual thought' s start to surface. All the self doubt and panic. But within and instant a very stern voice crept in my head and said "FOR @*#T SAKE, YOU JUST DID A SPRINT TRI, THIS IS A PIECE OF CAKE".

So off I went. I really had no clue about my pace only that the speed I was running at felt good, so I kinda thought I was not going to get a good time. With the last 100m Chris yelled "Barb, go for it, whatever you have left". So I did, I sprinted. My time effort for the 1km was:
I could not believe it. I have never done that pace and still felt strong afterwards. Now I know I shouldn't get too excited - it's not like I could maintain that pace for too long - JUST YET. But I know it won't be too long before I can maintain this for a 2km stretch, then 3, 4. The skies the limit. This is cool.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Back into the swing.

With my first Sprint Tri completed and still happy with my results, there was no time to rest. Actually I got one day's rest, but not for me. My son and daughter were both at home with head colds so I got stuck indoors being Nurse Mummy. Poor things were sounding like Mr Snuffleupagus from Sesame Street. So they are now on antibiotics for throat infections as well - fingers crossed my immune system fights off the dreaded bug. Can't have that interfering with my plans.

So with both still at home yesterday requiring TLC and my thoughts flying around the fact that I needed to get a 2hr bike ride in I decided to get on the trainer - Killing 2 birds with one stone. I was half tempted to sit on that trainer for 2 hrs, but that droning humming sound of the wheels spinning for two hours would have done mine as well as the kids heads in. So instead I peddled my little heart out for 1hr15mins. During that time I did 6 x 5mins Zone 3 efforts with a 5 min recovery inbetween as well as a warm up and cool down phase.

The time I spent on the trainer was probably the most uncomfortable I have been in a while. Not for any other reason than the bike I have on there was my Giant with a male specific saddle. Talk about being sore. I don't know how you guys tolerate such a hard seat. I was jumping from right butt cheek to left butt cheek the whole time - I even resorted to sitting on a cushion. Couldn't stand it.

No sooner did I finish off I jumped and out the door for a 10min run. Nothing fast or furious - just something to get the legs accustomed to that odd sensation of running on bike legs. Couldn't wander to far away from home for obvious reasons but my training for yesterday was done and I felt good, apart from the sore undercarriage.

I am really liking how my body is adjusting to the training. Everything is feeling nice and strong and recovering really well. Fingers crossed it continues this way.

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