Thursday, July 28, 2011

This one helped.

And boy am I happy that I finally got it done. It was the one thing left on my training program before Yeppoon to attend to - and I finally got to tick it off. And it didn't feel as bad as I had anticipated that it would. I wonder if it had anything to do with the fact that the weather was absolutely spot on near PERFECT on Tuesday, well whatever it was it made for a perfect long run day.

It's not like I haven't done a long run before, it's just that it had been a while and with my silly niggles I was wondering if I was going to have to go to Yeppoon without doing one and wing it on the day.

As I set out I just knew I was going to NAIL IT. I could feel it in my bones. THe weather was absolutely perfect and there was nothing about the day that had trasnpired thus far that would make me think otherwise. So with Garmin, FuelBelt and Gels in hand - I set out to do my 1hr 45min run. And let me tell you there is nothing better than the feel of the sun on your body during a Winter's day.

The first 5km felt slightly ordinary - I don't think I averaged much above the 6:30min/km pace. Legs were kind of yelling at me from the previous night's Windtrainer class - thanks Zoe. But as soon as the blood had made it's way through every capillary in my legs - I felt this overwhelming sense of ease and it was as though my legs had decided to just take over the running and allowed my mind to just go along for the ride.

I think I was at the halfway point when I had this idea to see if my best friend Susan was still in town visiting her sister. I thought if she was maybe I could run all the way there and then maybe she could bring me back home seeing as we only live a couple of minutes from eachother. I struck GOLD. Susan was happy with that idea and I was ecstatic. I love doing point to point runs. Running back on myself can be a little disconcerting at times.

So as I made my way to our meeting point and I finally took the time to look at my Garmin I had ran 17.5km in 1hr 42mins - thats a 5:47min/km pace. That's unheard of in Barb's long run world. I wanted to do my own little version of the running man right there on the spot - BUT - it was peak hour traffic in town so thought best not. But inside I was pouncing around like a giddy 2yr old.

All I can say is thank goodness for good friends. Thanks Susan. We then did a spot of grocery shopping in amongst all the funny looks I was getting for my attire - I thought I looked fine but obviously wearing my Zensah calf sleeves in Coles Supermarket is not quite appropriate clothing. It was too funny. The lady at the front standing near the baskets looked at me up and down x2 and finally smiled when I said "Beautiful morning".

So with this run now under my FuelBelt - I can now venture to Yeppoon with my head held high in confidence that I can atleast finish it with a smile. I can't wait.

Monday, July 25, 2011

How can.

Two days be so completely opposite. Like chalk and cheese, oil and water - the list is endless. That's what's this was all about. Feeling absolutely devastated and sad one day only to arise the next morning and it be as though that day had never transpired. This roller coaster ride of training can be very confusing and probably more mentally exhausting then the actual training itself. Not just for the you but for the people around you too. Especially because I am such an emotional person anyway. God help me and those around me when I start training for Ironman 2013. I shall supply you all with a good decent pair of industrial strength ear muffs.

Saturday started off feeling pretty good with the swim set. Although I do remember saying to Louise before we even got in the water about how tired I was feeling, but you kind of get used to being tired - feels like it has been the norm for almost the last year. Sarah and I had a different start to our morning swim with a 10min dry land warm up and then it was straight in for a 1500mTT - 23:31. Twenty seconds slower than my last TT but I am always like that. If asked to do it again it would have been faster. Nevermind, the rest of the session went well with all of my 5 x 200ms being on a 2:45 which is how I like them.

It was then time for our routine brekkie before taking off again for our ride with efforts. And start off well they did, but by the 4th one my back decided enough was enough. I wish I could describe in words how it feels, other than it starts off feeling like you are standing too close to a heater and then the heater gets closer and closer, hotter and hotter till eventually you are sitting on the heater and you cannot get off. The heat and pain gets so intense I have no other option but to stop. It forces me to stop. And I don't know what comes first (kind of like the chicken and the egg) is it the pain that starts first which then causes me to lose form and it compounds the pain, or is it that I start to lose form which then makes the back start to hurt. My legs felt fine and strong I could have kept pushing but my back doesn't give me warming, it just decides when it has had enough and no matter how hard I try to ignore it - it always wins.

Needless to say, I pulled off the draft line as did Jen (thankyou) and I shed a few (copious tears) behind my shades. Before everyone continued on they asked if I was okay and I told them to keep going for the last effort. When Jen and I eventually caught back up I was a de-shevelled mess. I think it's more the frustration of so many years of this issue that causes me to crack and cry. I feel like I do everything right - eat right, rest as much as possible, heck I am the fittest now than I have ever been in my whole life (even as a kid - and I was fit), and somehow it feels as though just as I get to the point of feeling absolutely fantastic my back goes "NOT TODAY". Ughhhhh, it makes me want to scream. But I guess I have overcome the hurdles it dishes out so many times that this time should be no different, however that being said I am always left with this lingering thought of "is this the time it knock's me on my A*** like the last time". It's a scary thought. I never want to go back there. EVER.

Anyway, by the time we made it back to the cars I was left with this aching bruisey feeling in my lower back but knew I still had some run efforts to do off the bike. It was meant to be 10 but I did 6 and the good news was that my back didn't hurt to run, it actually hurt to do the 1km walk more. When I got home, I took some Nurofen, had a very very hot shower and collapsed on the couch for the next 3 hrs till Elissa came over with some delicious Macadamia and White Chocolate cookies and Ice Cream. Mmmmm, perfect and thankyou for the great company. And thanks to my hubby Stephen, and the kids for mothering me when I really needed it. I also appreciate everyone's kind words of support when I feel down. You all pick me right up off the ground.

Then miraculously, I woke up without a single twinge (slightly bruised feeling) in my back. Mind you the dose of Nurofen and a nanny heat pack would have helped a tonne. I was totally gobsmacked considering I had not slept well and my usual morning routine after a bout like this is to lie there for a few minutes, sit on the edge of the bed for another few minutes and then try and walk. But not yesterday morning. I was able to move (slowly) but move nonetheless without pain. Another dose of Nurofen later with my breakfast sore to that bruisey feeling and I was good to go for my 5hr ride with the gang.

Sarah and I took off from the usual meeting spot at 8am after our much needed coffee. It was the perfect morning. Sunny, very brisk but absolutely gorgeous nonetheless. Sarah and I had a few close encounters with some very large dogs in the back streets and talk about 20km/hr to 50km/hr in a few seconds. Man, we were up and out of our saddle and peddling like absolute maniacs to get away from these beasts. By the time we met up with Louise, Andrew and Jen at Windsor we were well and truly warm.

This time we decided to head out towards the Punt, another new area for me so I was quite excited. It's amazing how you can only be a couple of hours from home but the scenery can change so dramatically. It's quite a beautiful part of the world. Nice rolling hills, a few uphill climbs which might I say for not being a climber whatsoever - I managed to tackle quite well. I even managed to surprise myself. My legs weren't hurting one bit and neither was my back, mind you that second dose of Ibuprofen that I took at the 2.5hr mark was probably helping. Whatever it was I was just so glad I was not having a repeat episode of the previous day.

I was so excited about going on this Punt. I have been on a punt before but never with a bike. It was a real special moment for me. In a strange way it made me feel kind of special. That I had managed to ride all that way with my own two legs and whilst everyone else apart from my friends who were also on 2 wheels the others were crossing over on 4 wheels. The looks we got as we offloaded from the motorists on the other side made me feel good. Kind of like "wow".
As we got off the Punt we stopped for a few minutes to have lunch and say "Bye" to Louise and Andrew. A few km's down the road Sarah and I said "Bye" to Jen and then we made our way back home. By the time Sarah and I had finished we did 108kms in 5hrs and took in some beautiful sights along the way with some great company. I can't wait to do it all again this Sunday. And to cap the day off Sarah and I ran off the bike and did 5.3km. With not long to go I am feeling slightly more at ease in that this next 70.3 will be something I can enjoy and maybe, just maybe do a little easier. We'll see.

Yesterday at my swim session with Jodie (my coach) from TopNotch I was quite happy with my swim efforts. I had 3 TT efforts. 600m, 600m, 700m. Done in 9:08, 9:10, 10:43 respectively. If I can stick to this with my 100's averaging around the 1:33 then fingers crossed I can hit a sub 30min 1.9km swim. However that being said - there is like a 150m run to T1 so my time may not be reflective of that. I will ask my hubby to time my actual swim.

So today I have my 1hr 45min run. Wish me luck.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Bucket list.

There is nothing wrong with me - I promise. But as I was driving to my ART session this morning I was thinking about all the things I wanted to do in my life from this point forward. The thoughts came flying in faster than I could keep track and they were absolutely exciting. And I would like to see each of them come to fruition. So here goes - putting it out there into the Universe.
  • Velodrome - I have been stuck on this idea for a while now and can't quite shake it. After watching my friend Macca compete, it is something I really want to try. There is nothing quite like the sound of those bikes going around that track - the roar and vibration of the track underfoot is amazing. I think somehow my love for the sport is because of my Grandad's gene's. He used to ride at the Velodrome in Uruguay and was National Champion in his day.
  • Write a book - I know I have this blog, but I would love to write a book, a column even. I couldn't think of anything better than to write for a living. To be able to write and express yourself in my eye's is cathartic. And if it is able to shed some light on a situation for just one person then what could be better. You just never know how your word's or thoughts could influence another human being.
  • Cage diving - For those of you who know how afraid of sharks I am, this may come as quite a shock but it is something I want to do. Talk about coming face to face with with your fear. But I would also love to swim side by side with a Gray Nurse Shark and a Beluga Whale. I have seen documentaries on both and have wanted to since then.
  • Meet Chrissie Wellington and Mirinda Carfrae - these 2 women are amazing. The strength, determination, ability, tenacity and courage is beyond anything I can begin to comprehend. To spend one day learning from them would be my dream - mind you they would have to stop me from giggly like a BIG girl first. "Oh, Hi, what's your name?" My response ""
  • Two week Cattle Droving experience - How much fun would that be? Watching the movie "Australia" and seeing all those great Australian Getaway deals has made me yearn to be out under the great Australian skies. Having a beautiful camp fire every night and just being at one with nature. Awesome.
  • Meet Alexander Popov, Geoff Huegill, Ian Thorpe, The Mean Machine, Cindy Lou FitzPatrick - ahhh, my dream. What AMAZING swimmers. Imagine sitting down to a great dinner with the likes of these people. Past and present legends all discussing their love for one sport. I would just sit and listen and take it all in.
  • Go on Dancing with the Stars - I love dancing. As a child I did Ballet and as an adult I did Tap and Funk. How much fun would it be to get all dolled up and learn a myriad of dance steps and get twirled around that floor like some princess. I think out of every sport I have tried in my life - dancing apart from swimming was the one that felt most natural.
  • Ride my bike - from Sydney to Melbourne with Elissa. Something we had been discussing for ages. What an amazing way to see our beautiful coastline.
  • And try to get on the AMAZING RACE with Sarah. Keep your fingers crossed people. Can you imagine! What a way to see the world. Another one of my dreams.
  • Oh and last but not least - visit the Maldives. Have you seen how white those sands are and how blue that water is. HEAVEN.
So what's on your bucket list? Do you have one? If not - get cracking on one. You may just surprise yourself with the things you get to do and see.

You can't crack me.

Mother Nature. Atleast not all the way. Yet you do make it ever so challenging to get my butt out there. Each element on it's on - cold, wind, rain, I could deal with but stick them all together and I am using every cell in my body to stay focused. And sometimes I win and other times as you know, you win. What I am asking for though Mother Nature, is that atleast for the next 2 Saturday and Sunday's you please PLEASE just give me moderate weather so I can atleast feel that I have done my job in preparing for Yeppoon.

I feel ready for the swim, I feel totally ready for the swim. Yesterdays swim session cemented that for me. However, I now just need to be able to transfer that feeling into the open water. I would be ecstatic to hold my 1:20/1:25 per hundred in the open water however reality is - for me atleast, that I need to work on OWS more often and stay out of the pool in order for that to happen. So that is my goal for this upcoming season - to get Open Water ready. One session will be in a pool and the rest will be at the lakes. Anyone want to be my training buddy?

My running is well - moving along. Not quite where I want to be but I will take where I am at. I still have a few good weeks of training left so fingers crossed hey. I am still doing all my core strengthening stuff at home as per Jodie and Nick and attending Core & Strengthening class with Sparta PT. I feel as though I can feel my core muscles becoming more engaged now. Now I just need them to behave when I am running and riding.
Blue Steele visits Sparta PT.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The things you learn.

Yesterday I learnt a few things. Not just about myself but about people in general. Everyone has such a unique story to tell. A story which if captured in words could leave you spell bound for hours like some intense novel which captivates and pervades your every waking thought. I love listening to people's life stories, their experiences, their up's and down's. How they have struggled and overcome adversity - it is a true testament of the human spirit. Yet because we are so busy in our own lives we often miss out in sharing in those moments. And I think everyone's moments are worth acknowledging. It is what makes us all such unique and special individuals.

I finally got to see the Port Macquarie Ironman Doco on ESPN yesterday and to say that I didn't shed a tear would be a MASSIVE lie. Not only because it brought back so very many memories for me, but listening to people's stories and seeing the footage of everyone's struggles and how they overcame them made me feel ever so proud to be a part of this amazing sport. There was even a story from a member of our club, Kane Towns- and I urge you - that if you haven't seen the documentary, to please find a way to watch it. I am in awe of the story and their life and of those I share the PTC banner with.

I also learnt that people of all shapes and sizes, race and religion are truly remarkable individuals and worthy of so much more than we give ourselves credit for. And I can't speak on behalf of you all, however if we are anything alike - the self doubt rides high. The If's and the But's come thick and fast. The human spirit and drive needs to be nourished in order to function at it's peak capacity, actually it thrives on it. And I have found that by surrounding myself with those who have "my back" and pick me up when I feel less than capable - I truly am capable of anything. My family and friends nourish every aspect of my soul. I am sure that every person out on that field had someone barracking for them personally and if they didn't, they had the masses rooting for them. What could be better.

I realised yesterday when I did my Tempo run that all the self talk about being a 5min/km pace runner and drumming it in so I can try to believe it almost came to fruition yesterday. I did an 8km Tempo run with Jodie and averaged a 5:15 pace. I was ecstatic. Yep, sure it hurt. Actually it hurt quite a bit BUT I did it. My average pace is getting faster. And I will keep searching for the elusive moment when running feels easier. This will not beat me.

So the next time you go out for that Swim, Bike or Run and those little inner voices creep in and make you think "oh, I can't do this" - just remember that you are capable of far more than you actually give yourself credit for.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

This is why......

You shouldn't eat a massive meal before you run. I mean really, you think I would learn my lesson. But somehow a good meal can never be passed up - even if it means enduring the rhythmic peristaltic contractions of your lower colon. And it really doesn't tell you when it's going to start, it just kind of creeps up insidiously. Firstly you get that heavy bloated feeling and then BAM, full blown contractions which can at times bring back horrid memories of childbirth. It literally brings me to a grinding holt - ahhhh, why do I do it to myself. And it always happens when there are not toilets around.

Nevermind, I still got to enjoy a good trail run with Sarah, Cloe, Johnny and Gary. I think I am getting better at it too. I am trying to focus on lighter footsteps and relax my upper body so as to fall into the step. I am never going to be a graceful runner but if I can atleast lesson the impact I make on each step then I can possibly run for the rest of my life, but I would settle at this point being able to run for the next year. I was happy to have completed a 10km trail run in 1hr 5mins. Always good to run with faster people. And it was at the end of another long Saturday.

This morning it was back up at 0330hrs - not normally an issue but in Winter and the cold it makes it so much harder. I was very tempted to turn over and go back to sleep but guilt always gets the better of me as does the drive to make every session count.

‎4 x 100m F/s - F/s scull
200m Fr/s drill
5 x 200m F/s fast pace - 10 secs rest
6 x 100m Fr/s Negative split - 30 secs rest
4 x 100m Fins - 50 Hard - 50 Easy
10 x 50m paddles on 60
4 x 50m kick on 1:30
100m easy

Not a bad session this morning. I definitely didn't feel as strong as I did last week but it definitely wasn't my worst session. So for that I am grateful. Then after the usual great breakfast of Greek Coffee and honey on toast, it was time to head out on the bike into a a morning of cloud and drizzle with Sarah, Louise, Andrew and Jen. It wasn't as bad as first thought - yes it was wet, yes it was cold but a "burden shared is a burden lessened". We ended up riding for just under 2hrs and did 47kms. Nothing about the ride was hard. it was just a nice cruisey pace with loads of laughs and chatter. And tomorrow I get to do it all again - well the ride part that is. But first I will be going to watch the club Duathlon and taking photos. Clair - have fun on your first Duathlon. "GO YOU GOOD THING". You will have an amazing morning.

Friday, July 15, 2011

And the countdown begins

With 30 days to go till Yeppoon it is time to start the official countdown. I did it with Port 70.3 and so the trend shall continue for Yeppoon. Thirty days out from Port I was almost having a conniption. I think 30 days out I got a sinus infection that almost made me feel like my head was going to implode. But, 30 days out from Yeppoon and there is no sinus infection in sight - knock on wood. Thirty days out I was questioning my ability to get through the race at Port - but 30 days out from Yeppoon I am not - even though I have had a few hiccups along the way.

It is quite exciting feeling the change within me. Having never been an overly confident individual in my abilities, more so I tend to underestimate and down play what I am capable of, I feel really excited about heading to Yeppoon. It is almost as though I am relaxed. There is no stress, no drama, just a knowing that this race is going to be fun. I am really looking forward to the warmer weather too. The cold is driving me nuts.

And talk about cold. Wednesday was absolutely atrocious. I think Penrith recorded it's coldest day in like 20 something years. It didn't hit much above 8 degrees celsius the whole day. I was meant to do an outdoor ride but being school holidays and all it made it impossible. My youngest stayed home with me whilst my twins headed off to play mini golf with their buddies. On the return home from dropping them off - Kyle and I hired some DVD's and a PS3 game and some lunch. I then set to doing an indoor trainer ride.
And then "Hey Presto" I wasn't cold anymore. If anything I was dripping in sweat in no time at all. Loved it. i felt nice and strong too. But nothing beat how I felt yesterday in the pool. I did my 500m TT in 7:12. My aim is to get closer to the 7min mark and to hold that pace in an open water setting too. God know's I am not the best open water swimmer. Oh well, just another thing to focus on and to get better at. That's the great thing about this sport - there is always something to improve on - with 3 sports rolled into one it's inevitable.

I have also continued to stay quite focused on my diet and have managed to put weight back on - which is good. I had continued to lose weight after Port and felt probably not as good physically so I feel much better now that I am at my ideal weight. Another good thing about focusing on your diet is that you get to experiment with your meals and get adventurous.
What delicious healthy meals have you come up with this week?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Could it.

Get any colder? I hope not, however I fear this may not be the case. With still half of July and all of August to go I am dreading how much colder it could possibly get. Bike riding and running in this kind of weather is really hard work, not just on the mind but on the body. My nose goes a beautiful shade of cherry red as do my cheeks and even with thermal gloves on my fingers could still snap off, but then there is always that fine line of how much to wear because obviously as you start to work harder you heat up. I am gradually learning this fine art.

Monday night at windtrainer with Eliza was quite cold. Lucky it didn't take long to heat up and before we knew it we were stripping off. I love looking at the steam rise up off everyone during the winter months - looks really cool. My set was 3 x 8mins at race pace with a 3min easy spin and then at the end of the set I had to do a nice easy 3 lap run off the bike. Legs felt good, not heavy at all. My hammy didn't even bother me at all which I am so thankful for - mind you I have been behaving so why would it.

Then yesterday I did my first run in over a week. And of all days to choose to go out for a run - I had to choose the coldest day ever. Even inside the home with the A/C on I was still freezing. Oh well, what doesn't kill you will only make you stronger or atleast thats what I keep trying to tell myself. As I stepped outside I knew we were in the sub zero temps. My car and every blade of grass was covered in frost. I had immediate goosebumps - so much so I resembled a plucked chook - hilarious. I quickly started my car and set off to get the hose to wash off some of the frost. Well, when no water came out I thought "oh there must be frost in the hose, I will just give it a bend to try to loosen the ice crystals in there". Hmmmmm, that didn't work. I ended up with the nozzel in my hand and about 15cms of hose. The damn thing snapped in half - with the cleanest cut possible.
I haven't laughed that hard in ages. It was the funniest thing ever. Anyway needless to say I could now not use the hose to defrost the windscreen. Heading in to meet Susan at the CC the temperature gauge did not get much better. And as Susan and I set off to run face first into the rising sun we were trying to absorb every little bit of warmth we could get. I haven't felt that cold in ages but within 30mins of running I was toasty warm. The same couldn't be said for poor Susan's fingers. They were a lovely shade of "Beetroot". At the end of the run we were both nice and warm and had completed 10.4km in an hour. I was very happy indeed as I had absolutely no pain whatsoever in my hamstring. Not even a little twinge. WooHoo.

I think I should be good to continue my training as per normal now till Yeppoon. Not long to go.

Monday, July 11, 2011

I have found my way.

Back to the keyboard of Blog World. Oh how I have missed thee. I promised myself way back over a year ago that I would never go more than a few days without posting and have the last two posts failed miserably at that. Not sure why I have neglected to get on here other than the thought has crossed my mind but I have just not had the right words to come up with to make a post that was worthy of publishing. But I guess to those who read my blog - you probably enjoy reading my antics and get quite a giggle out of some of the stories I tell - or better still I hope I connect with you on some level that makes you realise that if a housewife from the west can give it a go, then so can you.

This last week has been all about "mothering my hammy" and taking itsy steps to ensure that it behaves - and it has. There is no pain, some slight tightness but overrall, the old girl is behaving. I am stretching diligently and icing post activity and if yesterday's bike ride is anything to go by - I think I am GOOD TO GO.

Wednesday I went for my first test ride to see how the hammy would pull up. Paul and I did laps around near the Coffee Club at a nice easy pace and although my hammy didn't hurt, my back did. Damn back - it always tells me when I haven't done any exercise. but Paul stuck by me making sure I was okay and he sheltered me from the horrific winds which came howling down the roads in every direction imaginable. Paul is such a great friend, and not sure if I mentioned it before but Paul and I used to swim squads together at Guildford Aquatic Centre. It is such a small world. But so glad I have re-united with him and his beautiful family.

Then on Thursday evening I did more Core and Strengthening Class with SPARTA PT. I love coming to this class - not only is it heaps of fun but I get to spend it with some great people. Thanks for making the classes so much fun Jen.
I have had 2 really good swim sessions - both of which I have felt so strong in. The first was with Sarah on Thursday - we did some longer sets and we both came out quite happy from the session. I was happy to see that I was able to maintain a nice form throughout and hold my pacing really well. It's amazing how your body know's just what to do - especially when it finds a sport that it feels so comfortable in. Sure things hurt but it's a different sort of hurt - it's not one that makes you want to stop but rather that pain empowers you to keep pushing because you know you are getting better, fitter. The same cannot be said for my running. I am sure I was meant to grow gills - being in the water feels like being home.

The second one was with James at Nepean Aquatic Centre (NAC). If you haven't had a chance to get to this pool - then I suggest you make it a "To Do". It is a really beautiful swimming pool and the water is so clear you can see from one end of the pool to the other. I love it. This was our set:
  • 3 x 200m - 50 Fr/s, 50 Bk/s, 50 kick, 50 Fr/s
  • 4 x 100m Fr/s descending time on 2:00
  • 8 x 50m Fr/s with pullbouy at ankle on 60secs
  • Then 3 sets of the following:
  • 200m Fr/s firm on 4:00 - I managed to do - 2:55, 2:50, 2:45
  • 4 x 50m Fr/s with paddles on 60 secs
  • 4 x 100m Fr/s - 25m sprint/ 75m easy
  • Then:
  • 8 x 25m kick with 10secs rest
  • 100m easy cooldown
I felt amazing on Saturday in the water. My strokes were really long and controlled, I love feeling like that - brings back memories of my childhood when I was a really good swimmer. Makes me still feel like I can tackle almost anything.

Then after finishing the swim - the gang was at it again for a ride. I was unable to do the efforts so I sat back with Macca (who I hadn't seen for ages) as Sarah did her efforts from the program with Louise, Nikki and Andrew. Sarah is on fire with her program. Yeppoon is going to be an amazing day for her. But towards the end of the ride I decided to have a little go and hang onto them to test out the hammy and it behaved. Thank goodness. It is not allowed to misbehave - not after all the "molly coddling" I have been lavishing on it.
Then yesterday I did another amazing ride - only this time I felt on fire. Wow, I felt so very strong and ended up riding for just under 2.5hrs hours. And now that I have passed the hammy test - I am back in full swing with the training. I can now join Sarah on the remaining long rides so we can both make it to Yeppoon feeling strong and confident. Thanks guys for sheltering me from that horrendous headwind on the M4. If I hadn't of been able to slip stream behind you my feeling of STRENGTH could very well have been replaced with feelings of BLAH.

So bring on the remaining 35 days till Yeppoon. I'm excited. I am off for another PT session with Jodie today. No running but more strength and core work. The more core strength I get the better. I am surrounded by great people who all want to see me stay healthy and fit. Thanks everyone so much.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

What a weekend.

Of fun, laughter, hard work and a little drama.

Saturday morning apart from being one of the hardest swim sessions I have ever done since doing swim squads as a child, it was quite possibly the most fulfilling too. I remember walking in - my usual 15mins early and looking at James as we were standing at the side of the pool and saying "So, what's on the agenda for this morning". To which he quite casually replied " 3 x 1500's". To say that I now have a bruise under my chin because my jaw hit the floor that hard is no word of a lie. Oh ok, well the bruise is, however the look of "What the" quickly followed by "Your kidding right" is no word of a lie. James simply smiled and said "Off you go. 3 x 100's warm up". I was quite possibly staring down the barrel of my first major "fail" in the water. I was scared. But I was here now, and it would look silly and gutless if I said I couldn't do it. So I dove in and got started on the warm up.

First up was a timed 1500m Fr/s. I gulped and thought "oh boy, here we go - this is number one. He wasn't telling a fib at all". So as I set off I tried to just stay focused on form. Not speed or time but my form the whole way. Nice long, slow strokes trying to milk each stroke for what it was worth. I wanted each stroke to have purpose as I have noticed that when I get tired I short change my stroke and start getting very choppy. So whenever I felt myself getting tired and ineffective in the water I went through my own little checklist and corrected that which started to slip. My first 1500m I came in at 23:50. I was happy. Tired, but happy.

Then it was time to put our paddles on. 15 x 100's leaving on 1:45. Five with paddles, 5 without, 5 with paddles. By the time I hit the last 5 with the paddles on - believe me I was in sheer survival mode. I am not even sure my Fr/s looked like Fr/s anymore. I could feel the paddles starting to slip as I was obviously not using them correctly. Nevermind, number 2 was done and I was hoping that with just over 20mins left of the session the third 1500m was not going to happen. WRONG.

The last 1500m's was another timed effort. Oh holy mother of Mary. I was speechless - yep - Barbie was well and truly lost for words. This was news worthy. I had no energy and so when I was asked to set off again I did so expecting a massive flunk in my time. This last set really made me have to did deep. Not just physically but mentally. I was having to pull harder than I ever have and was starting to get very tired. When Kate drew closer to my feet I was happy to let her go past and I hung on for dear life. As I got to the end I looked up at James and he said 23:20. Oh yeah, even though I felt like I was going to die and my heart palps were coming thick and fast I still managed to swim 30 secs faster. WooHoo. With the cool down at the end I swam a whopping 4.9km that morning.

Then Sarah, myself and Louise Mackinley (4 time World Ironman Champion) before heading off for our bike ride sat down for a yummy and well deserved breakfast and delicious Greek coffee.
Sarah, myself and Louise.

Going out for a ride with them was so much fun. The chit chat never really stopped unless we were doing our efforts. And even still there was still a bit of laughter going on. Louise was giving us really good pointers and was telling us great stories - thankyou so much Louise. And thankyou Sarah for another great training ride. You are smokin' the training young lady. With 56km under our belt on the ride it was time to go home and have a rest before heading back out to do a trail run. The trail run was adventurous. There were lots of dogs to be seen but the one's that stopped Sarah and I dead in our tracks were off lead and one was very confrontational. Sarah and I grabbed a stick - I was ready to climb up a tree and Sarah was definitely the braver one shooshing it away in a very brave voice. I on the other hand refused to make eye contact and got ready with my fight or flight response to head up a tree in a split second. Very funny now when I look back.

Sunday was a great day apart from a sore hammie. I have a little tear which should heal but am having 2 days rest at the moment and have had my bars put up on my bike again to take the load off of my hammie - thanks Dave so much doing that for me so quickly. Your the best. The ride was great - I went with Joey, Kristy, Sarah and Louise and enjoyed another morning of laughter and stories. Sorry for some of the stories Joey. Rather girl focused so I hope we didn't scar you too much.
Then yesterday I was treated to some ART therapy. I was seen by Nick from Spectrum Health and had my body moved and rubbed and bent into positions I never thought possible. He was able to feel the small tear and and he worked on releasing all my wonderfully tight muscles in my glutes and hammies. Seems my back and core are still an issue even with all my training. Nevermind. It will come good. I am positive.

So looking forward to my nice easy ride tomorrow - thats if the winds let up. There has been some gail force warnings issued. So, how is everyone?

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