Thursday, June 30, 2011

Haulin' Ass

That's me this week and it's really only the beginning. Not liking my chances at feeling strong for the remainder of the week or even into Week 3 I might add. However, as my friends keep telling me "No pain, no gain".

Monday morning I had my first Personal Training session with coach Jodie. The hope is that she will be able to critique and improve my form not only in my run but in other facets of my Triathlon techniques. However, the Monday just gone was all about going for a run and then finding some hills so she could show me the technique I need to use when doing hill repeats.

We initially warmed up with about a 3km warm up and then it was time to tackle some hill repeats. And believe me, 4 was more than enough. The hill was only about 200m in length but was quite steep and the aim was to keep the same speed and form for all of them. Good in theory. However, come the 4th one and there was absolutely nothing pretty about it. All of a sudden it was like system shutdown. Core off - check, strong arms off - check, legs barely lifting off ground - check, make it to the top and heave - check, Lactic acid threshold reached - check. Wow, talk about being totally knackered. Anyway, making back to the gym wasn't too bad - the legs recuperated and then it was time to do some core work. Thanks for a great hour Jodie - hope I wasn't too painful.

Then Monday night it was back to the Windtrainer session with Eliza for some more strength work. It was much like last week only this time we had to do 3 x 9mins grinding big ring, hardest gear you can hold with a cadence of no more than 65 again. My legs were tired but not too bad, I was still able to talk and giggle through the class. We then cooled down with 3 laps of the oval. Sarah and I paced eachother quite well with the same tempo run and funny enough we wore almost the same clothes too.

Tuesday it was back out on the road for a run with hill repeats. This time my best friend Susan mentioned a stretch of road not far from the oval which has a good incline and is just over 300m in length. I was meant to do 8 but could only hit 6 - my left hip started to feel a bit dodgy and I had had it. In total with warm up and cool down plus hill repeats I ran 10.8km but by looking at my face you would have thought I ran 50km.

Yesterday was fairly ordinary. With totally trashed legs and a restless night's sleep - so much so I totally ripped the bed apart in my sleep, I had to do a 2hr ride with hill repeats. Not happening Jan. I had nothing and if it wasn't for my friends helping me along the way keeping me going - I would have liked to have gone home and back to bed. Thanks so much guys. I think I look a bit better this morning - atleast the luggage which had occupied the space underneath my eyes have disappeared a bit - leaving me only with a few handbags. The best bit about the ride was the coffee afterwards. Gees that hit the spot. I still managed to ride 44km in 1hr 40mins but it could have only been 10km if I had of had my way.

Well today is another day - and it is swim time and I am really looking forward to it. Lets see how this session goes.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Week 1 DONE

And what a way to finish the week. I was in two minds about this weekend. Mainly because it heralded the beginning of an 8 week program which was going to hurt AGAIN. And I don't mind the pain, but I hate the anticipation of what awaits me. I always imagine things to be a million times worse and really never give myself credit for what I am capable of achieving - even after all the things I HAVE done. Ya think I'd get it by now.

So with Saturday being the beginning of a long tough weekend, it was time to hit the pool at 5am. Yep, you read right - 5am. I was not feeling the love at 3:45am when my alarm went off - and whilst you may question the necessity for me to get up so early considering I only live 25mins away, I am a creature who likes to eat breakfast before a workout and as such need some time for it to digest. So, I have to grin and bare the early rise in order to feel slightly more functionable for a session.

So this was the swim set and not in it's correct order. I have enough trouble trying to work out what it is I have to do when I am being told let alone 45mins after the swim when I log it on Dailymile.

4 x 100's Free - Up breathing every 5, down breathing every 7
4 x 100's kick
4 x 100's Fly,Free
4 x 100's Free and Bk/s
2 x 200's Free on 3:30
400 easy Free
6 x 50's Bk/s, Br/s
4 x 100's Free with pullbouy at ankle

So I finished feeling relatively good but now needed to rush and get things prepared to go and watch the kids play their tennis comp - which might I add they are absolutely AMAZING. I am such a proud Mum. Well when they finished their comp and had to then do an hour's training session, I left them with Stephen and Mum and got on my bike and rode 52km's in 2hrs and made my way back home. It was a good time to start breaking in my new saddle, however I had forgotten how sore things can get in the nether region - so I spent a bit of time with my bum in the air. Anyway, I still got my sets done but with a bit of a grimace on the face. It will get better, it always takes time to break things in when they are new. This is my new baby.
Then by the time I got home all's I had time to do was shower, eat lunch, put my feet up for a bit and then off I went for a run with Susan. Oh boy this was tragically slow - but I was so tired. Nevermind it was only meant to be at a Zone 2 pace, and well I think it was borderline walk, but 6.7km got done and my Saturday was done. I ended up seeing some of the boys from the club Paul, Bob and Ryan and gees they make running look easy. So graceful and boundy they were.

When it was finally time to rest my weary head and body I don't even think I remember my head hitting the pillow. I was STUFFED, but knew I had one more day to go and I was really half way through the weekend. And I could do this.

Sunday morning I woke up at 5:30am - yep, you guessed it - 2hrs earlier to eat breakfast and get ready. I really love the peace and quiet and the chance to just gather thoughts and prepare for the day ahead. However as I headed out the door at 7am I was greeted with a FROSTY -2. It was so cold that the skin on my cheeks hurt. I drove to the Coffee Club and ordered my Long Black and waited for Sarah to turn and then had another as she had her Hot Chocolate as we waited for the fog to burn off. It's amazing though how many people were out and about exercising - some even in singlets.

So as Sarah and I headed out we knew we were going to be in for a hard ride with hills and Dave from Panthers Cycle's had told me of an ideal location to head to - Bents Basin. Oh boy, as we headed out there I was already hurting - not just in the legs but in other parts and so there were a few pit stops along the way. Chamois Butt'r and I are best friends - that stuff is GOLD.
As Sarah and I were nearing the top of one of the hills at Greendale, we passed a lady running. We said HI and thought nothing more of it till we hit the top of the hill. Well we got off and thought this prime photo opportunity and then the lady comes bouncing past and say's "beautiful morning". I said "Wow, you made it up here fast" and she said "Not bad for a Grandmother of 4 and 60". Sarah and I looked at eachother as our chins hit the floor, and we were both speechless. We both could not believe it and let her know how in awe we were of her. She said her fair wells and bounced away and Sarah and I just shook our heads. I want to be like that when I am 60 - heck I'd be happy to be like that at 40.

We continued on our merry way and finally made it down to Bents Basin. The whole time I was heading down there I knew we would have to come back up and I was dreading it - my legs were already toast. So we made another stop, had a quick bite and then headed back.

Heading back wasn't as bad through Bent's Basin, it was more once we hit Chain o Ponds that I started getting quite fatigued again. Sarah was a total trooper doing all the hills in aero as instructed by Coach Jodie. After 70km and heading back to the Coffee Club we still had a 20min run off the bike to accomplish and with that done - WE had just done our first week of Yeppoon 70.3 training. I was so glad to be done. Sarah, you are a legend and one tough chickey babe. Yeppoon is going to be a breeze for you - I look forward to seeing you smash it to bits.

When I finally got home at 1:30'ish Stephen and the kids had a beautiful lunch waiting for me. I was so hungry - all I wanted to do was stop the Mr Whippy Icecream van down at the river on my way home and eat a Choc Top - but I didn't. I came home to a yummy BBQ with roasted vegies instead. I have the best family.

And so Week 2 begins.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

And it has just started.

Well Week 1 of my new training program has started. The hope is that I will be up to par (or atleast where I was at Port) for Yeppoon which is in another 52 days. Doesn't leave myself and my coach Jodie much time. So, because of that we have started this program with all guns ablazing. And believe me I am feeling it. However, that being said - I am ticking all my boxes - SO FAR, and happy to be back out there.

Monday was my first double session. A nice easy run - 5km, and felt good to be ticking those legs over. Then Monday night was my usual windtrainer session. Gee's I missed everyone, but there were a few of the regulars missing. The session was a tough one - slow, grinding and painful with sets of 7mins with a cadence of no more than 65 with 5min recovery x3. But I really liked it. Was good to see that I was able to keep form.

Then Tuesday it was back to my Long Run Tuesday. Obviously not as long as what I was doing before Port, but needless to say I was happy to score my first 1hr run and 9.5km. I was able to share the morning with my best friend Susan, her sister Melanie and their Dad.

Then yesterday was a mixed bag of feelings (physically). I had to do a 2hr bike ride and although I started off feeling full of ZING - within 40 mins I was ZINGLESS. I just could not keep up with the group and made the decision to turn around and head back to do my hill repeats. My wish is to one day be as strong as those who I ride with on a Wednesday. Their strength leaves me gobsmacked - and they can speak while keeping that pace too. I was just hanging on for dear mercy. Nevermind. There is always next week.

The hill repeats were well what can I say? HARD. PAINFUL. Yet I was PROUD of me for not giving up. Jodie had asked I find a hill that was about 600m in length and to go do out of saddle hill repeats - 10 of them. So I decided to hit Mitchell's Pass - just the bottom section as it is steep enough for me. To say that I wasn't scared would have been a lie. I am totally hopeless when it comes to hill climbing - however I keep hearing that they will make me stronger - so I just had to do it. I wasn't able to do all of them out of the saddle - however about 80% was done that way and when my legs fatigued towards the end of each hill I sat and grinded my way to the top.

On one of my downhill recoveries I saw a familiar face - Brendan. Brendan was the gentleman from the club and owner of Blaxland Day & Night Pharmacy and the gentleman responsible for my gift voucher. It was so nice to see him and thank him face to face as I was unable to on Saturday night. Thankyou once again - it was much appreciated.

So after doing all my hill stuff I clocked up 11.8km - 5.9km worth of climbing. And this morning although my legs are sore they are by no means dead. So I am now off for my first proper swim. Wish me luck. I think this one is going to hurt - ALOT.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Oh what a night!!!

I had been looking forward to this night with great anticipation for months. And more so for the last 3 weeks. It was the Panthers Tri Club Ball for 2011 and this night was going to be BIG. I was going to get all frocked up and get my groove on. But I was also totally freaking about about putting my slideshow together as I wanted it to be just perfect for everyone there on the night.

The Committee had worked so hard to put this night together and boy did it come together beautifully. Every aspect was without a shadow of a doubt - simply perfect. It was great to see everyone enjoying themselves and mingling and just enjoying the night which had finally brought the season to a close. And I must admit - not that I am biased AT ALL, but I think our club is a good looking club. Everyone looked amazing.

My afternoon started off with making my way to Jennie and Paul's. They had kindly invited Stephen and I to stay the night and Jennie was also doing my hair. My hair turned out amazingly and I felt stunning - like a movie star. Thankyou Jennie.
As we made our way there, I knew my feet weren't going to last long in those heels. Being in them for just 20mins was already hurting. But for the purpose of the night I was willing to endure the pain - and let me tell you - there was and still is pain in my feet. Heck, I don't even remember having this much pain doing the 70.3. But it was well worth it.

As we arrived at the Club we made our way up to the Glenleigh room, it was time for me to get the DVD to Cloe and then start taking as many photos as I could. I didn't want to end up missing people but sadly I did. I hope they were able to get one's of themselves.

The table decorations and the whole layout of that room was so elegant. I haven't seen anything quite as beautiful. And as people started to make their way in it was such a joy to see their faces. This night was for them, for all of us. To celebrate a great club, great friends, great times and a great year.

And as the time approached for my slideshow to start I started to get really nervous. I so badly wanted everyone to enjoy it - it was my way of showing the club how much they all mean to me. How proud I am to be a part of it all and how much I appreciate everyone's welcoming arms - for I have never felt so embraced. I also wanted it to be a way for people to remember the year, not just the races but to have a real vivid recollection of the year that was. And for our family and avid supporters to be thanked as well.

So as the slideshow started my eyes were on everyone. I wanted to see what their reactions were. I wanted to see their faces light up - and they did. I could hear people saying things and smiling and Oooo'ing and Ahhh'ing. It was priceless. Just the reaction I wanted.

I have to thank from the bottom of my heart Elissa for loaning me her computer with the program to put it together and helping add the music to this slideshow and help cutting it onto a DVD. Without you Elissa, I don't know what I would have done.... That program is amazing. Elissa won the "Rookie of the Year" award. Congratulations my dear friend. And thankyou to all for emailing me photos and videos.

As the slideshow went on from focusing on individual athlete's to their families, then our Juniors it, then touched on our Ironmen who have either made it to Kona or who have qualified to go to Kona this year. I was given footage of Bob by his wife Kristen and knew that this was a highlight and integral part of the year. It had him crossing the finish line and as he did he pumped his arms in the air - the look of pride in his face was without a shadow of a doubt PRICELESS. I hoped you liked it.

I also had a sneaky surprise for Joey and Kristy. You see Joey proposed to Kristy at the finish line of Port Mac Ironman. This had to make an appearance on the slideshow as well with some other added footage I was given by his best mate Tim. The look on their faces when this played was UNREAL. I loved it. Just what I was hoping for.

Then as the night progressed the awards started and I was snapping away taking photos of each of the recipients. When the photos get put on our club website I will post a link for you all to see. There will also be a youtube link to the DVD to watch. The it came to an award for the Panther of the Year. Drew was talking and I was waiting to take a snap shot of the slide of the person whom we had discussed should be getting the award. Then all of a sudden MY name gets called and a photo of me comes up on the big screen.
To say that I was FLOORED is the understatement of the century. I think I almost dropped my camera. Everyone started clapping and I remember looking back at everyone and just seeing smiles and clapping and hearing people cheer. I remember seeing my husband and all the table I was sitting at standing up, but to tell you the truth I was staring through eyes that were filling up with tears. I have never been so overwhelmed. I can't even remember what I said but know that I am so proud to have been awarded this position. I love my position within the club - and I love PTC. You are all amazing individuals and I feel truly blessed to have you all in my life. I look forward to spending my prize money this Thursday. Hmmmm, what to spend it on. Will have to think, but I am in dire need of winter clothes - so that may be the go.

The remainder of the night went by beautifully. There was alot of partying to be had and my feet are still killing me. When it was time to retire home - well back to Jennie and Paul's, Paul made the yummiest coffee and it was time to sit and watch a DVD which a good friend Clair had made for me. It was all about my journey since entering the Tri World doing my first Enticer in March last year to my first ever 70.3 in May.
I loved it - thankyou Clair. It means so much that you took the time to do this for me. You are a special soul. Have watched it now 4 times and think there may be a 5th coming up shortly. And I didn't realise I was having my photo taken as I was watching it - Jennie.
The following morning Stephen and I got spoilt rotten by Jennie and Paul. We had the best breakfast laid out for us. Thankyou so much guys. You made our stay so welcoming - Stephen and I appreciate it immensely. Paul won the "Encouragement Award". Congratulations. You deserve it.

So it is now 2 days post ball, and I am still smiling. I even went out for my first 5km run back since feeling a bit BLAH and it was good. Got to get it all happening again as Yeppoon is fast approaching. And being the ever photographer I am - I had to get a photo to commemorate my comeback.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Be gone.

To the the "low headspace" and the "physical fatigue". I hadn't wanted you around in the first place. You tried ever so hard to take a hold but it is with extreme jubilation that I say farewell to thee.

The last week was for me by far the toughest. Harder than any training session I had done. Harder than any race I have gone in. Atleast when you are training or racing you have an end in sight. The end of the tunnel is there and you can see it you just have to work to getting there. But when you feel so down in all sense of the word and really don't have a reason as to why - it is hard to stay focused in trying to stay in control.

Your mind is really good at playing tricks on you and makes you question your strength and resolve. The fatigue which is associated with it all feels downright depressing. I should have listened when my coaches, family and friends kept telling me to take a rest. But I felt so good and physically I felt on top of the world. However I guess my slump hit a month late and when it hit - it hit HARD. Even if I wanted to get out there - I just couldn't. And the more I tried to analyse why it was I was feeling the way I was, the worse I felt.

With all my sulking and momentary seclusion from the world I came across this really good piece of literature sent through from my coach. Everything on it is what I was and am still to some degree feeling. Click here to have a read. I have never been good at listening when people tell me to stop and rest but it seems I have no other alternative for now.

So now I am being forced to rest. I have had 90% of last week off and now all of this week as well and in a way even though at first I saw it as a complete imposition - I am now relishing in the rest. I have gone for some leisurely walks, spent some serious time catching up with my family/friends and have just come back from a wonderful night away in the hills with the family.
And we also got spoilt to some good food. I love cooking.
Have I missed training? Initially yes (like crazy) and then the need to train fizzled. But I am so happy to report that I am feeling the need to get back into it from deep down inside each and every cell. I am longing to get back out with my friends on the roads and tracks. I am yearning for that camaraderie and feeling of mateship.

I need to make sure I behave for this week as I have Yeppoon to train for and I need to be fighting fit for it. It seems the old Barb is resurfacing. She couldn't hide for too long.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Free your mind.

"Surely there is grandeur in knowing that in the realm of thought, at least, you are without a chain; that you have the right to explore all heights and depth; that there are no walls nor fences, nor prohibited places, nor
sacred corners in all the vast expanse of thought"

Robert Green Ingersoll

Monday, June 6, 2011

It couldn't possibly be.

Could it? This late in the game? Surely not! But not sure what else it could be. Could this post race slump happen so many weeks after an event? As it has never happened to me before after a swim event it has me quite stumped. For the last 3 weeks it has been and on again off again saga - one minute I feel okay and on top of the world and then the next I feel sad, tired and lacking of enthusiasm.

This has me very worried considering that as of next week I start my training again for Yeppoon. When I think back to how I was feeling for Port training - enthused, ecstatic, bubbling with excitement - this is NOT how I am feeling at the moment. Right at this very moment I feel - NOTHING. Actually, I lie - I feel overwhelmed. Engulfed would probably be a more fitting word.

This feeling seems to be having negative side effects on my emotional well being. I am normally a happy, cheery person who can tackle a million and one things and still come out on top, and somehow at the moment I feel like everything is coming on top of me. And it's probably not - actually if I was to look at it with non-judgemental eyes, it really isn't but it is the feeling of treading water that I don't like.

I like waking up and knowing that I am on top of everything and that I am in control. However, when I wake up feeling overwhelmed before the day has even started - that is not a good thing in my books. I think I need to cut me some slack and know that it's okay to not feel 100% all the time - day in and day out.

I was even working on a little project which I was excited about and have decided to not go ahead with it at the moment as it would just be something else to think about, and if I couldn't give that 100% the way I do everything else then I would feel disappointed. So, it is on hold. Till I am thinking clearer and back to being Barbie.

But I am still left to wonder - is this a delayed POST RACE SLUMP?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

On the road again.

Oh how I have missed my blog. It has been a full week since I last posted and that has never happened since I started in this Blogger world. It's not that I haven't had anything to write about - God only knows that to not be the truth - it's just that life has gotten so busy. And not really sure with what. I guess life just has a way of picking up the tempo for a bit to see if you have what it takes.

I am still doing training - and by training I mean not following a plan yet, but I am still getting out most days and enjoying just being out there. For instance - last Sunday I went out for our regular chick ride. It was good to be out with Cloe and Elissa and just enjoy the ride and eachother's company. I managed to get a little snap of us out on our ride:
We ended up riding just a little over 52km that morning and even though I didn't feel too crash hot as I have been giving my legs quite a workout I still was able to hold a reasonable pace. If I can still talk and laugh then I know I am doing good.

Then on Monday was our regular Windtrainer session with TopNotch. There was to be no run off the bike that night - talk about torrential downpour all day. It was a complete shocker. But the session was really intense. We ended up doing 4 x 10 mins set broken up into - 5mins small ring easy gear high cadence over 95, then 5mins big ring, gear which will maintain cadence over 95. I haven't worked that hard in ages. I mean I am normally quite quiet when I train(I know hard to believe) - but I don't grunt or make any kinds of sounds but Monday night had me sighing in pain on the very last set. Talk about burning legs. PHWOAR.

Then Tuesday I spent the morning enjoying a really nice swim with Susan and Melanie. Both are training for the new Tri Season. Melanie is going to tackle her first Triathlon - this is very exciting indeed. During this swim session I ended up swimming 2.5km broken into sets of 250's. Some of them were straight Fr/s whilst others were with pullbouy, paddles, flippers, Bk/s. I also got to use my new goggles - the Vorgee Tomahawk. I love the name - they sound fast. Better still they match my Tri suit.
Wednesday I headed out with the girls again for the usual bunch ride. What a great bunch of woman they are. We were also joined by one of their husband's who I found out knew my husband. What a small small world this is. I ended up riding 62.5km and loved every minute of it. And the best bit was that the rain held out right up until almost the very last minute when I got sprinkled on for a mere 5 mins.

Then yesterday I joined Genelle, Kristen and Bec for another trail run. This one hurt bad. I ended up running just shy of 12kms in 1hr 17mins but let me tell you - there was one hill in amongst it all that had me walking quite a bit. But with all my walking and lagging behind the girls would track back and collect me and make sure I was okay. Check out the elevation. This was by far the hardest challenge for me not just physically but mentally as well as that hill and road never seemed to finish. But I did it. And a year ago I never thought I could run - now look at me - I am a trail runner. How cool is that. I can see some new goals starting to appear.
How could I also forget to mention my first strength and core class with Sparta. I had an absolute ball. Haven't laughed that hard in ages. Aside from working very hard there were moments of complete hysterical laughter. Check this photo out:

This is me doing my very best impersonation of a Space Invader crossed with a crab and Sarah trying to shoot me down with the VIPR. Can't wait to go again next week.

Today is my rest day and I am heading out to find myself a dress for the PTC end of year ball.

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