Sunday, January 30, 2011

This is it.

I am officially a mother to 3 high school children. YEP, you heard me right - my youngest is finally in high school and I am feeling old. Where has time gone - I still see them all as my babies. It's only when they stand next to me and my twin son is looking at me in the eye's that I realise that they are all growing up and I am heading into a totally new chapter of my life.

So needless to say today was spent finalising all the odds and ends for first day back of school tomorrow. Are the kids excited? Well the twins are but Kyle is nervous - and rightfully so. But I have all the faith in that it won't take him more than half the day to settle into a new routine. He will still be at the same school just obviously in high school and all it's new rules. So it's an early night for all tonight as 6:30am will beckon the teens out of bed - oh I am so looking forward to the moans and grunts as I wake them, NOT.

Tomorrow also signifies NO EXCUSES for not training. Not that I ever really have, it was just a bit harder to fit everything in with the kids at home on holidays. And now that they are all at school I have the whole day to fit everything in again - and I am going to need it. With officially 90 days to go to my first 70.3 it's time to GET CRACKIN'.

So I made the most of today's recovery ride and squeezed in a nice 60km in just over 2hrs. This mornings temp was a total contrast to previous mornings, it was really brisk. Almost felt like a cool Autumn morning when I headed off at 5:30 to meet up with the girls. Luckily this time I wore my headlamp to shine a light on my dark ride. No chances of hitting anything this morning. I managed to tackle some of the hills seated and in my aero bars - this equates to strength for me and is part of my training program for these next coming weeks. Oh hill repeats - how I am scared of thee.

I almost forgot to mention that I did a 500m Fr/s time trial and did it in 7:14 - 8 secs faster than my last time trial in October 2010. Very happy indeed.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Hot, steamy, sweaty.

No, this is not the beginning of some raunchy Mills & Boon Novel but rather the only words I could use to describe yesterdays bike ride and how hot it has been for the last 3 days or so. From the moment I step foot outside to get to the meeting point I could feel heat and moisture in the air - wish I had a humidity gadget to see just how thick the air was with moisture.

I drove to the usual meeting spot, only my 3 person ride turned out to be just me as one had slept in (everyone's allowed a sleep in) and the other had a mishap and thought their helmet was in the car and it turns out it wasn't - hate it when I forget stuff, she was quite upset by it as she was looking forward to a good ride and I was looking forward to a good chat on my recovery week Zone 2 ride. Nevermind, next time.

So as I set out on a cloudy but visibly humid morning it was instantly noticeable just how much moisture there was in the air. Within minutes I had a slight film of what could have been passed as sweat only was too early on in the piece to even be sweating. As the sky got lighter I could see in every direction a hazy mist - much like stepping into a greenhouse I would think.

I was lucky in that I didn't have to do intervals as even cycling at a nice slow pace made me sweat absolute buckets and I was having trouble keeping up with the fluids. Bugs where becoming my best friends and deciding to get up close and personal or even sacrificing themselves to be protein shots for me. GROSS. After retrieving a few from my eyeballs I decided it was high time to put my sunnies on.

It was about that time I heard the swooshing of some tyres coming up beside me and then a "Hey Barb" - WHAT THE???? Look over my shoulder and its Darryl. What a lovely surprise, we cycled together for a bit had a chat - as I just love to chat and then it was his turn to head home. Coming back home I caught sight of Jeremy out for his ride too - I am so lucky to know so many wonderful people. So I completed 44km in just over 90 mins for my Zone 2 ride and felt great.
The last 2km was bit fast for Zone 2 but was fun.

I have also made 2 significant purchases over the last 2 weeks - one I have with me and the other I should be getting soon. What do you think?

Getting shortly
I have with me.

Hoping both will help me get a little more speed when I am in a race. I would even be happy with a minute less in my Sprint Tri's. Even if I'm not any faster I am going to feel fabulous. And it all matches with my bike and uniform - it's all about matching with me. I got these off 2 friends from the club and I have had a wonderful deal done on both - how lucky am I?

I also have taken alot of my medals, ribbons and trophies from my younger years out of storage. Decided it was high time to show those babies off - not sure why I had them in my cupboard in the first place.

Wish I had of realised back then how good I was, maybe I could have made it to the Olympics? One of my ribbons had me doing my 50m Free at the age of 9 in 39 secs. I think I could have been something great.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tricky situation.

Since Sunday we have been back and forth to the vet a further 2 times with Milo. He has developed quite a severe lethargy post snake bite and had extremely swollen neck and back leg glands. He has since endured a further 3 injections (2 antibiotics, 1 cortisone with vitamins), a urine test, temp taken which he hates (wouldn't you) and a set of bloods. The vet will be testing for damage done to his liver and other organs as well as testing for other things.
He has been off his water, only drinking small amounts (however still peeing) but his appetite has improved. He no longer likes the dry kibble-I think it takes too much energy to try to chew it all up so now he is loving the "My Dog" brand. He is however loving being inside all day and having his stomach constantly scratched and head patted. The concerning thing for me is that he is no longer a pup, he is 12yrs old. It's like asking an 80yr old man to pull through and be his old self again after having had seizures, a cardiac arrest all whilst having overcome a lethal snake bite. Not sure if he will ever be his old yappy, run around crazy self again. I guess all we can do is wait and see what the blood tests show and go from there.

So inbetween all of this I have still managed to continue with my training even though the km's have dropped off due to being in recovery week - still doing 2:1. On Monday I had my usual Windtrainer Session with Eliza - this was a great one. We basically had to to do inetrvals in the big ring and biggest gear and slug it out for 3 x 8min - others had to do 4. My cadence was never more than 66 for each set and let me tell you my legs were burning. I was also sweating buckets. Loved it. I also managed to keep my form for the entire sets which I was really happy with as that is the one thing that I get picked up on.

Then yesterday I just had to do a 2hr Zone 2 ride. Oh the joy of doing 46km in a nice easy gear - just perfect really. Elissa joined me on this ride and it was good to chat for pretty much most of it. I really love getting up early in the morning now - I used to hate it but have now seen how much more I can get done in the day. I can also see the benefits of not having to be out in this horrendous Summer sun during the middle of the day. Yesterday's temp was in the mid 30's and today is going to be close to 40. Thank goodness I am not training today as it is my youngest son Kyle's 12th Birthday today. HAPPY BIRTHDAY my gorgeous boy. I love you soooooooo much.
Lucky Kyle, for the rest of his life he will continue to enjoy having the day off on his birthday as he shares his Birthday with another very important day - AUSTRALIA DAY.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Hills -0, Barbie - 1

Superset Saturday was not to be yesterday. After last weeks attempt at trying to hammer 2 hard sessions back to back and failing miserably on the Sunday, I asked if I could leave it and do it once a month. I hate giving up on my training but I know my body too well now and know that if I push it too hard that I will eventually crack from the strain.

So yesterday morning I decided to treat myself to a pedicure - oh the joy. Why had I not found this magnificent experience before. I was in absolute heaven - not sure if the girl was as she scraped away at my heels, but I was lapping up the attention. Whilst my feet were being pampered the seat I was sitting on was giving me the best and most intense massage I have ever had. The whole time I think I only opened my eyes once and I do believe I had a cat nap. When it was all said and done I walked out like I was on a carpet of clouds - and my feet looked stunning.
Fresh as a daisy.
Then yesterday afternoon it was time to give it all I had in the pool. I had given myself a treat and some respite and now it was time to flog it out - no excuses allowed.
  • 300m warm up
  • 900m worth of drills
  • 100m Fr/s
  • 5 x 400m Fr/s - not sure of my times but I think I was pretty steady in pace
  • 6 x 50m Fr/s stroke count
  • 50m cool down - had nothing left.
My eldest son Kurtis decided to come join me at squad yesterday and for his first ever swim session he totally kicked major A!!! He swam 2.3km - the young lad is amazing and I am so proud of him. I must admit, he slept really well last night and he did say he had a headache yesterday afternoon - but that's to be expected with all that funny breathing us swimmers do.

Then this morning it was on for young and old. I left home at 0530 to meet up with the girls for our bunch ride. It was still very dark and I was really at the mercy of my night vision to see where I was going. I hit a couple of things - not sure what - maybe those cateyes. Upon arriving to my destination it was still dark. Reminder to self - get a headlight.
There is a kangaroo in this picture staring at me.
As the other girls pulled up for our ride the initial plan of riding to Picton was re-thought, and it was decided to that we would do Cobbitty loop and then Greendale loop, some decided to do s shorter ride. Not any easier but the distance is slightly less. As I set off I made a pact with myself that if I needed to stop today on the Cobbitty loop, I was only allowed to do it once. So with that thought firmly implanted I was good to go.

There were 7 of us girls out on the road - totally awesome. Each of them extremely strong and driven. As we set out one the girls got a flat tyre - it got changed and we headed off only for it to flat again the poor thing. But within minutes it was changed again - great team work I say and there were no flat tyres for the rest of the ride.
As we made our way to Cobbitty Road I remember saying to Sarah, we should have a gel right about now, we will need it. Elissa - who had been on holidays made her way back and said she would meet us at Greendale for the next set of hills.

As we started the inevitable ride I started to get nervous, however I envisaged getting up those hills as a strong competent cyclist. After the first 2 hills which are steep but shortish Sarah comes up behind me and said call me "The Mountain Goat". I have never laughed so hard in my life - for her first time up Cobbitty she nailed it.

I managed to not stop once going through those hills thanks to a little mantra I kept repeating in my head "you will not stop, you will not stop". For every pedal revolution this is what I repeated and before I knew it I was at the top - panting heavily but at the top nonetheless. Sarah was hot on my heels and smiled the whole way.

The stop at Silverdale was just what we needed - refuelling on a KitKat for me and refilling our drink bottles. Susan had to head home at this point and we continued down the hill to catch up with Elissa for the remainder of the hills.

The remainder of the ride was tough but no-where near as tough as Cobbitty. We had a really good opportunity to chat and laugh as women do - but when my time came to turn off home I can say with out a shadow of a doubt that I was ready to go home to a wonderful shower and a nana nap. Before I ate I weighed myself and was pleased to see that I only lost 1kg in weight on this 4hr ride. I must have refuelled appropriately on this ride.

I rode 100km today in 4hrs - not bad for a Sunday morning.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Its time to squash some demons.

This wonderful little package arrived in the mail today and no sooner did I open it my stomach did a total backflip. The Cole Classic 2km Ocean Swim was my way of getting over my fear of the unknown, and by unknown I mean what I cannot see beneath me. I am okay with swimming in the Regatta Centre as there are no sharks or stingers but the Ocean leaves so much open to the imagination - and mine seems to go off on a tangent quite often.

My daughter who was in the car with me at the time said "Mum aren't you scared", to which I replied "Of course, but there will be hundreds of other swimmers with me". She ruminated over that sentence for a bit and then said "But Mum, your a fast swimmer so that means you will be out the front on your own". I was left speechless and with this horrible image in my head:
Daaaa -da, daaa-da daaa-da
All I could here was that horrible tune from the movie as Jaws moves up for the kill and the swimmer is none the wiser. Mind you my form would be much much better than the girls in the picture. Wrists are totally bent way out of whack and head is too high in the water.

As my imagination once again spiralled way out of control I tried to focus on something other than the fear of what lay beneath. I mean really what are the chances! With that much commotion, sharks will be the furthest away possible - surely. And if I should get into trouble all I need to do is raise my hand and someone will be there as there will be a tonne of Surf Life Saving Members on inflatable rescue boats, rescue boards and rescue ski's - so I think I should be good.

Either that or I should replace the Jaws theme song with the Rocky theme song and beat the living crap out of whatever bad thought comes into my head.

Please consider sponsoring my cause:
NETS - Newborn and paediatric Emergency Transport Service
It's on the top right hand side of the blog.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Tyre changing 101

Well, I did it again. After vowing to never say the words "flat tyre" after my last flat tyre, I got another flat today. Lucky though - I didn't realise I had a flat till I got home and took the bike out of the car and as the back tyre made contact with the ground - the usual bouncy nature was replaced with a thump.

Before I go on to explain my attempt at changing the tyre I will have you know I rode really well this morning. A few of us set out for a 2hr ride at 6am and from the get go the pace was on. I managed to attack the hills again as best I could after last night's track session (which I will go on to explain a little later) really took it out of my legs. The other thing that was bothering me again was my back - always on the left hand side - can't it just ever give me a break.

On the way back the tempo really started to pick up again and right at the end Sue and I decided to hammer it home. The last bit has a decent and then it is flat to the truck stop - it was here Sue and I managed to gain a maximum speed of 52km/hr and hold it to the end (not far), but enough for it to burn the legs and for me to be giddy with excitement. During this time I tried to really focus on the full pedal revolution as I was told that I pedal using my hamstrings and therefore drive the bike on the upstroke.

Somewhere in that last stretch I heard a bit of a POP and thought that sound belonged to a passing car - but I was wrong. Lucky it was a slow leak. Needless to say today I had my first tyre changing experience - and believe me I spoke to myself every step of the way to make sure I did it in the right order. Anyone would have thought I was performing brain surgery. Here are some photos - PROOF of my adventure.

Flat tyre

Inner tube out

Nasty critter No 1.

Nasty critter No 2

Partially inflated new tube

Tube in, wheel on - Hey Presto

It actually wasn't as hard as I had imagined it to be. I guess my next ride will be the test to see if I have done it properly. During this experience I actually had to do most of it sitting down as my legs were/are extremely sore from last night's track.
  • 1.2km warm up
  • 3 x 800, 800, 400 - all 800's done in under 4mins
  • 2 x 1km efforts - 1st - 4:58, 2nd - 4:55
  • 400m cool down
Good thing about last night's track is that for once I did not get defeated - I actually won this argument with myself.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Safe and sound.

Milo is finally home. After his near death experience he is back home where he belongs - as though nothing ever happened. And much to our delight there are no complications from his encounter with the common brown snake. No sooner did he get in the backyard to say HI to Bella and Moose he was out marking his territory and the cheeky little bugger even christened the area where he killed the brown. It was like his way of saying "See, you didn't get me - but I got you". I am sure he was a cat in his past life with 9 lives as he has had some close calls - Milo is a risk taker. The only thing the vet said was that he may be a little flat for a couple of days but other than that he will be back to his old self - hopefully no more snake killing for this 12yr old Foxy.

Some more good news for the day - I hit a new distance PB. 12.06km in 1hr 10mins and I am pleased as punch. This sort of feeling just cant seem to get any better - I really don't ever want it to end. These feelings (even those that you experience out on a run that are painful) make you want to keep going further, faster, harder.

How do my legs feel this evening? Mmmmmmm, sore but that's ok - the poor things I don't think know what has hit them over the last 4 days - I have totally flogged them silly. Yesterdays Windtrainer session added extra sting as well.

Looking forward to tomorrows track session.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Flat out - I'm done!!!

So yesterdays superset took every ounce of everything out of me today, and it hit me with quite brutal force. I really should learn to not bite off more than I can chew - but when I feel good I just want to go with it because I never know when things are going to go pear shape again. And pear shaped they went today.

Members from the Tri club all met at the local Coffee Club for a group shot (I am hoping to get an article in a Tri Mag about our club) and then we all set out for a morning ride just as the sun was starting to get a bit of sting to it - 6am. There is nothing I like better then doing a group ride - the camaraderie between us all is fantastic. I even got to spend some time out the front of the pack - slightly daunting but exhilarating. As we continued the ride some of the boys took a different-harder route and some turned around as they had a shorter ride planned for the day. Was nice to catch up with them.

I felt strong and ready to rock this Cobbitty ride - but at the same time had some hesitancy as I knew what lay ahead and my back was starting to give me some grief. So we did a bit of a stop and I was able to take 2 Ibuprofen before we headed off for what I can only describe as an extremely challenging ride both mentally and physically.

Heading up through Cobbitty we realised we had lost 2 - one of the girls got a flat and Shane being the gentleman that he is held back to give her a hand. As we were waiting for them a few familiar faces passed us bye as they too were going to tackle the infamous Cobbitty loop. As Shane and Kate made their way back to us we took off again and it was here that the fun (not) began.

Initially I tackled those first 2 hills without too much problem - back was sore but tolerable. I was even thinking to myself how well I had done. But then with every rise there after things just got worse - I got slower, back got more painful and then I fizzled. I told one of the girls that I would meet them all at the top as she passed me and just thought I would plod along at my own pace - 9km/hr. I stopped twice this ride through Cobbitty which was more annoying then you could imagine, but there was nothing I could do. I stopped, lent over my Tri bars and just rested and sulked. Yes, I was feeling sorry for myself as I walked my bike up.

But no sooner did I start my walk the guys which had taken off for their harder ride rode up behind me and asked me how I was - I really just wanted to cry - but held it in. They stuck by me and I got on my bike and made it up the hill to meet everyone at the rendezvous point - Shane made his way back down to find me but didn't see me in the boys pack - but thankfully was told before he too had to do the hill again.

The next hill I died again only this time I was assisted up by Drew - he literally pushed me up - Thankyou. From that point on I was good - in pain but good. I even got to draught off another member - what an awesome feeling it is to get a free ride. I am really appreciative of everyone's help - without you all I think I may have turned around and headed back down the hill. Need to get my headspace into the game.

As we made our way back down the mountain I was all for just heading home, and told all that is what I was doing - but made the decision to ride back to the car with Kylie as the others were continuing with a longer ride. From that point on the 2 things that hurt was my back and undercarriage, but the company was lovely.

Reaching the car was like heaven - and seeing 2 smiley faces at the end made me feel better. When I finally made it home all I wanted to was have a shower and collapse on the couch and that is just what I did after eating lunch of course. My back is still sore so will have another dose of Ibuprofen before I head to bed. I have refuelled with a really good dinner - ribs, salad and pasta with pesto and loads of water. How was everyone's weekend?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Talk about busy.

I wish I could somehow put into words how busy I have been over the last 3 days. Some of it has been GOOD busy and some NOT SO GOOD busy. So we shall start off with describing Wednesday's track session. I had a bit of a bone to pick with myself for piking out in the previous weeks 1km efforts, so when I was faced with another set of 1km efforts - I dug my heels in good and proper and made sure that I completed it without too much fuss.

I actually felt alot stronger and definately much more consistent in my times even though I still went out a bit harder on my first 1km.

I am lucky that I have a friend who matches me if not pushes me to try and push for better results - thanks Sarah, we really make a good team.

Then Thursday morning I backed it up with a 90min group ride with some friends from PTC. Was quite a nice ride actually - fairly good pace held for the majority of it and even though I was meant to be doing intervals through this, it didn't feel right to just take off on each set so I instead attacked the hills. We managed to ride 44km in the 90mins holding a pace of 27.5km/hr.

Thankfully Friday was my day off - my legs had totally had it from 3 consecutive days of workouts based on my lower limbs and I have needed them rubbed by dear old hubby - thanks Stephen.

Then this morning was SuperSet Saturday. Not sure if this will be a regular deal, but let me tell you I am stuffed. Not sure if it's the fact that I had to wake up at 3am to get to the pool which was quite a distance away - or if it was the fact that I swam 1.9km, then cycled 62.3km and then backed it up with 4 x 1km run efforts - but the outcome is still the same -

The swim was broken up into
  • 100m easy Fr/s
  • 300m worth of drills
  • 15 x 100's Fr/s leaving on 1:40.
I managed to do each 100m on and around the 1:20 mark - not bad considering the pool was hot like a bath. So hot that after each 5 x 100's we were actually allowed to stop and cool down under a cold shower. Thank goodness for that - my head felt like it was going to implode.

No sooner was that finished I had a quick rinse down got dressed in my bike gear and we headed off for a 2hr bike ride with some 10min intervals mixed in. Only this time I totally sucked at the hills - I had nothing to give and dropped off again - but when the flats came I totally hammered them and was able to keep up (drafting of course) behind some of the fast ones. During my ride I was happy to see some familiar faces from the club out on the road - they were doing a 120km bike ride and where making it look easy.

Riding back to the car I started to get nervous as I knew I had 4 x 1km run sets. I am pleased to say that I totally nailed them - FOR ME. Each 1km was done in
  • 5:01
  • 5:03
  • 5:10
  • 5:14
I was done for the morning and had done a SUPERSET.

When I got home I had a shower and after lunch was about to settle down for a nap on the couch when my husband walked outside to the sound of our Foxie barking. He was so proud of himself - he had killed himself a common Brown snake. One of the most venomous snakes here in Australia.
As my husband was proceeding to dispose of it I noticed Milo's back leg - there was a bit of blood of it. As we brought him up onto the decking I had a better look and noticed a light brown droplet near the area - I knew he had been bitten. So I quickly bandaged his leg and told Stephen that we needed to get him to the vet, by this stage he was already panting quite heavily.

Within a further 2 minutes as we were preparing to get him to the vet he had lost control of his body and could not walk - it was at this point he started to seizure - OMG, I couldn't believe we were losing our dog. As soon the seizure finished I picked him up and started to rush him to the car and he stopped breathing - there was no pulse either. He was limp and all I wanted to do was hug him and hold him tight - but I instead laid him on his back and started CPR.

My daughter was rubbing his face and yelling at him to wake up and my other son was crying - but within a few brief moments he made a funny moaning sound and he turned his head and focused his eyes on me - I couldn't believe it - he responded but no sooner did we get him into the car he had another seizure.

My husband rushed him to the vet were they were all on stand by with the anti-venom and believe it or not within 10mins he was sitting up on the table. We know he is not out of the woods and he has to stay at the vets under close observation till Monday - but even the Veterinarian has said he is one lucky dog. It's a rarity for one to survive a Brown Snake bite. For a 12yr old Fox Terrier - he is a trooper.

My daughter however keeps going outside to check on the other 2 dogs - I fear she has been quite shocked by the whole experience. I think she will feel much better when he is back home where he belongs.


I think its time for beddy byes as tomorrow is another big day. Please keep Milo in your prayers.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Who? ME!!!!

1. Thankyou TRI714 for choosing me to receive this Stylish Blogger Award. I feel so very special and hope that what I am about to divulge will not make you regret having chosen me..... I shall try to keep it clean and somewhat interesting.

2. Now I have to share 7 things about myself: Hard considering I already tell you guys everything, so now I have to dig deeper into the deepest, darkest recesses of my mind.
  • I am slighlty - Ok ALOT Obsessive Compulsive. Mind you I have relaxed from being COMPLETELY driven by cleaning. I mean really I don't have the time now, but it got as bad as wiping down my kitchen bench quite a few times in the hour some years ago. Didn't have much control of who I was back then and that was my control.
  • If I was to meet anyone in this whole wide world it would be a tie between Chrissie Wellington and Mirinda Carfrae as I think both women are absolute legends. My dream, goal, aspiration and who I dream about being like in this Triathlon world are these two women. I would even go so far as to say I would be even happy being 1/3 like them.
  • Things I hate about myself - my long GO-GO gadget neck and being flat chested. It's no secret - take a look at the photos - I have more pectoral muscle than most dudes. Would I change this - NO. I used to think about changing it, but this is what makes me ME.
  • My most favourite flavour in the whole wide world is Salt n Vinegar. Whether that be in chips, rice crackers, salad - I will lick it all off before actually eating the chip. The more condiment the better. When I was a kid my oldest brother and I used to eat a bowl of finely diced capsicum which had been drenched in it. Our lips would go white as the amount of Salt n Vinegar would burn our lips.
  • My diary is my life. I write everything in it to keep me organised. Without it I feel lost.
  • I totally look forward to doing some form of training everyday and even though I may complain, whinge and whine - after it is all said I done - I am totally stoked.
  • My biggest accomplishments in my life has to be without a doubt finding my husband and becoming a Mum. Even though at times I am pulling my hair out (as I type) - everytime I look at my 3 children I see 3 fantastic humans who really are good hearted individuals.
3. Pay it forward to 15 blogger friends: I hereby Christen thee a "Stylish Blogger".

My job is done. Thankyou for reading - hope you found it slightly insightful. I definately enjoyed trying to find things to disclose.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ask me how I am!!!

Go on - ask me!!!! Cause right now I will tell you I feel AMAZING, tired but amazing. I am pleased to say I conquered my first long run of 1 hour and I managed to run 10.28kms. How cool is that!!!!!!!

When I set out this morning at 0650hrs or there about's - I had no idea of what lay ahead, other than just getting it done.
Pre run
And to be quite honest I was slightly anxious for a couple of reasons. Firstly the last time I ran 10km was in May last year and no sooner did I finish that run I was injured. Secondly, I had set a bit of a bench mark for myself and ran that 10km in 59mins and couldn't imagine running it this time any slower with the training I have been putting in - I would be supremely annoyed if that happened.

So as I set out with IPod in tow - with 100 pumping songs - I was ready to make this run. I kept saying to myself - "it's not about the distance Barb, just make the time", but to my surprise when I got to the 30min mark I felt surprisingly good. My average pace was about a 5:50 mark, so nothing lightening fast (not that I ever am) - but I felt like I could keep going. I think the rain was helping in keeping me feeling refreshed. It was initially a fine drizzle but halfway in and I was absolutely soaked. The stares I kept getting from motorists was priceless.
As I made my way home all I kept thinking was - "that wasn't as hard as I remembered it". The only thing that really bothered me for pretty much the whole run were the blisters on my feet from the club race. I had heavy duty Bandaids and tape over that and the blisters still rubbed - PAIN. But by the time I finished I think the excitement made me forget it all. I had done my first long run - beat my previous runs distance - and felt really good to boot at the end of it. What could be better.
Post run
Then this morning when I was on FaceBook my thoughts turned from my inner self to all of those poor people suffering in Queensland with the most devasting floods ever. The last time people had seen anything of the sort was over 30yrs ago. These flood waters are engulfing towns like nothing I have ever seen - lives have been lost and lives turned upside down. Please keep them all in your prayers and pray that this ends without further tragedy.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Too cool.

The last 3 days have been without a doubt totally eventful in the training and racing front. I am really happy with the progress I have made and am looking forward to further improvements. It's amazing how a little bit of improvement makes you want to keep going at getting better. The taste of personal success makes you want to keep going striving for future successes.

Last week being my recovery week had me doing a 30 min aerobic run on Friday. I started out the run with good intentions however 3/4's into the run it was cut short due to the coming across the neighbours son all bloodied up after coming off his motorcycle. His Uncle was there however being the nurse at heart I had to ask him to be laid down as he had sustained a blow to the head and lost his lower canine tooth. He was making sense but still I insisted on him going to hospital. The remainder of the run was good and overall I maintained a 5:10min/km pace and felt good albeit sweaty upon arriving home.

Yesterday had me back at the pool for more TopNotch sessions. To be truthfully honest I have been slightly neglectful of my swimming since the kids have been on school holidays so I was slightly nervous of getting back into the pool under a coaches supervision, but it wasn't as bad as I thought. And to my surprise with all the sessions I have missed I still had strength in the pool.
  • 400m Fr/s Warm up
  • 600m Drills
  • Ladder 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 400, 300, 200, 100 - each 100 on 1:45
  • 100m backstroke
Then this morning after the worst nights sleep ever I backed it up with a club race. Opening my eyes at 5am this morning was just the pits - if it wasn't my dog barking overnight, it was the cats fighting keeping me awake - I was close to muzzling them all. After a coffee and a porridge though I was good to go. That was until I opened the door and had a look at the weather - overcast skies and drizzly.

As I got closer to the lakes it got more wet but thank goodness the ambient temperature was perfect.

The usual pre-race jitters are always present causing me to talk and laugh more than I usually do - atleast it makes the walk to race start seem somewhat less daunting. In the water I initially positioned myself near the front but after my last experience and being over run by the fast guys I held back into what I thought seemed like the second row. Will have to hold this position more often as I felt I had more arm and leg room to start the race off in - and as the starters call went off I was able to find my tempo much quicker and work my way through to the front pack. I exited the water 14th with a time of 11:26. Two minutes faster than my last Sprint Tri on the 27th November - and truth be told I didn't feel as though I was really pushing myself either. It's a really nice feeling to not be breathless as you come out of the water and start running to transition.

Coming out of T1 was probably the most awkward I have been in ages. I just couldn't get my shoe in quick enough and the more I tried, the more I stumbled - oh well - them's the breaks. I remember hearing Mel scream out "Go Barb" as I took off up the first little bridge - and then the rains started. Initially it was a mild little splitter splatter and then it got quite heavy - mix that in with the back wash coming off the guys back tyres as they zoomed past me - and I was blinking like a maniac. Not sure if I had visible grit splattered all over my face but I sure could feel it. The remainder of the bike leg felt much the same as always - me peddling like crazy and only maintaining about 28/30kpm. I am happy with it but being the ever impatient me I want to go faster - I want to go fast like everyone else who zooms past me. Maybe if I throw a lifeline to the back of one of their bikes it will make me faster - a girl can dream can't she. I did go a little faster - 2 mins actually - I did the 20kms in 41:09.

And the run, well I thought I actually went faster - but I was actually on my average pace - so no great improvement to speak of only that the last 2.5km felt good. I actually felt like I fell into a better rhythm finally - 28:04.

I know your all probably sick of hearing it by now but I swear I am part of the best Tri Club in the world. All I can hear during each of my races are the club members cheering me on. They are each trying to race to the best of their ability and each have a smile for me or a word of encouragement to get me through. LOVE YOU GUYS.

So with 16 weeks till my first ever 70.3 - I think I have enough base mileage to see me through the next 4mths of intense training. I am scared but excited and looking forward to accomplishing the biggest goal I have ever set myself to do. I feel confident. I can and will do this.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Urban Hotels triathlon 2010

How funny do I look trying to find the wetsuit strap.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

You just gotta believe.

This is something I have to keep telling myself. I often fail to be my own biggest supporter, when things get tough on the track I try to find excuses as to why I should slow down or even QUIT. It's not until I have the support of someone who pushes me to go that bit harder that I then realise I have it within me to do it.

That's exactly what happened yesterday. It was the first track session back for the New Year and we were asked to do 4 x 1km sets with 15 secs break between sets. The aim was to stay consistent in our approach and I was asked to try and hold a 5min/km pace.

Well, the first 1km I did on 4:42 and boy did I feel that. I was pooped - totally knackered and was wondering where those 15 secs of rest had gone as I took off again. Then it hit me like a sack of potatoes across the head - DEFEAT. As my body started to hurt I became mentally weak and that 2nd 1km effort was shameful. I told Chris I was feeling spewy - I wasn't lying, I really did feel spewy thanks to the noodles I ate 90 mins before, but if I was mentally tough I would have totally overlooked it and pushed through that feeling. So consequently that 1km effort I did it in 5:23.

Thank God I have a coach who I think is starting to realise my personality and knows that when I start to feel uncomfortable he needs to push me yet support me through that as well. So Chris joined me on my next 2 efforts. Within those 1km efforts he just kept giving me positive reinforcements " You can do this, I know you can, physically you are capable, can you do this mentally". Those were the words I really needed to hear. To know that my coach saw something in me that I often fail to see in myself. I am glad he asked me the question too if I was mentally prepared - it made me try, it made me get "shirty" with myself and made me question why it is I give up on myself during my run sessions. The next 2 efforts were much MUCH better - 5:07 & 5:10. And even though I felt very tired at the end of it I did feel proud of my efforts. Thanks Chris - you helped me get through the mental slump.

On the way home I heard this song and just had to share it. You have probably all heard it before but I just thought it was really appropriate and needed to realise that I have it within me.

Then this morning whilst on DailyMile I across this article that one of my friends had posted on the Queen - Chrissie Wellington. I cannot get over how truly inspirational and remarkable she is. I love how she states that "anything is possible and that your limits may not be where you think they are". Reading her article made me think that I definately have more to give. I know I am never going to be a Chrissie Wellington but I can and will be the best damn Barbie I can be. I just gotta believe.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Life feels good - at times

Yesterday morning, I headed off for my usual run only this time it wasn't as I remembered. The runs I did a couple of days before felt effortless, better and I felt light on my feet, yesterday however was a totally different ball game. Mind you I should have known better than to leave for a run at 9am. Bad idea.

The humidity in the air was so thick - and within minutes of setting out for my run I was already glistening. I was constantly on the search for shaded areas but that just seemed to intensify the humidity. Luckily along the way there were fresh water fountains to refill your bottles - I just kept filling my hands up with beautifully fresh water and dumping it over my head.

I had many stops along the way and although this was meant to be a 40 min constant aerobic run - I just didn't have it in me to hold a steady pace for too long. So for the first time in a while I really, really listened to my body and adopted a walk/run strategy for most of it. Along one of the trails I came across this sign and thought to myself "How appropriate". That was pretty much what I was needing at that stage - A

Upon returning home I quickly stood in front of the A/C and tried to drop my core temp. All I could hear was the swooshing sound of my heartbeat resonating in my ears and I felt slightly lightheaded, but within 10 mins I was good to go and we all went to the tennis courts and played a few sets.

Later that evening we all headed to Stephen's cousins house for dinner. I had the best time - we got to ride on the back of the ute and take in all of their beautiful surroundings. We only just missed the birth of a calf by probably no more than an hour - it was so cute and frail and had only just found it's gorgeous little legs to stand on.

I was in awe of the property and truth be told if the kids weren't on the back of the ute with me I would have asked to have gone flat stick, it was so exhilarating. I just loved the feeling of the fresh air rushing past my face and not having a care in the world.

There is nothing better for the mind than being close to nature and enjoying everything she has to offer. My senses were so alive and free - makes me wish I could always live that like.

After enjoying a wonderful ride we all enjoyed a great dinner and then headed back to the apartment for our final night in Port Macquarie. I am so sad to say GOODBYE, but I know it won't be forever. Heck, I will be back in less than 5 months time - and I WILL have completed my first ever Half Ironman. That is something so terribly exciting - me, Barbara - a long distance triathlete. HOW FREAKIN' COOL.

I also wanted to share with you all my progression since starting any training of any sort since becoming ill. I am so happy - actually extremely proud of ME.

I hope everyone has started their New Year with a BANG.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Living life and loving it.

Everyday just keeps getting better. If this is a taste of what 2011 will bring - then I say
Of course the first day of 2011 was going to be a total rest day. We all didn't wake up till atleast 9:30 after having headed to bed at almost 1am New Years Eve. We all saw the New Years in as a family after having dinner with Stephen's Cousin Julie and her husband Darren. We had a great feast, a few drinks and lots of laughs.

I half expected that the resort we are staying at would go off as soon as midnight hit - but it was really quiet. A few crackers went off , a few random cheers - mine included and that was it. It was kind of a welcome change - the kids were tired and we were constantly tapping at them to stay awake for the last 20 mins or so. As soon as New Year hit we all cuddled and kissed and they pretty much headed off to bed.

Then yesterday we headed off out towards Laurieton and had lunch by the water. This place was just the most beautiful place to be. I don't think I have ever seen water so blue or clear. Just such a pristine area.

We feasted on yummy fatty fish n' chips - what else would you eat at the waterside. Kyle had found himself this sea sponge - actually more like a colony of sea sponges and everytime he pressed one part it would squirt water at him - hilarious. So as any inquisitive child - he kept pressing.

Upon heading back to the resort it was once again back to the pool - my kids just love the pool. It's quite a task trying to get them out.

Then this morning it was off for another bike ride with Nicole and some of her friends. I didn't feel too bad today - even though initially the first few hills once again made me beg for mercy. This time we headed out for a much flatter route and in a much different direction. There were so many cyclists out on the road and I even saw another PTC jersey on my travels. Not sure who it was - it was a girl but couldn't quite make out who.

There were a couple of times I dropped off along the flats as they picked up speed and just zoomed off. But they all waited for me for which I was eternally greatful.

And the best bit was that I got to have a coffee stop at the end of it all. Life is hard. I returned home to an empty house and with 60km under my belt. Stephen had taken the kids out fishing with Darren and I think we are having fish for lunch. Taillah has caught herself 6 so far - that's my girl.

The boys have caught themselves one each so far. Looking forward to it. Grilled fish YUM

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