Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A bit of this and a bit of that.

Kind of don't know where to begin. Leaving it so long between posts has me forgetting what it is I have actually been up to. I haven't lost my zest for writing it's just I have been finding it hard to actually sit and write. And then when I finally do find the time and the right headspace I find myself in this very predicament - a fumbling fool. 

Firstly I think I should say that The Cycling Cerebellums Organisation is going so well it is hard for me to contain my excitement. We got our Team Kit and I have to say it is absolutely AWESOME. Check it out.
How cool do we all look. I think I said it about a hundred times out on our first training ride last Saturday. Which might I also add was just about the most fun I had had in ages. I had been doubting myself for quite a while and the closer to the training ride we got the more nervous I became. But I didn't have anything to worry about. Everyone's words of encouragement got me through that 97km ride and at times we were absolutely smokin' it. I felt so fast. Haven't felt that fast in ages or every really - what a great feeling. Riding in a pack sure does help alot. It also helps riding with a great group of people - the time just flew by and before I knew it we were back at the Coffee Club enjoying breakfast.

I noticed that everywhere we cycled we got stared at. Pretty awesome feeling. 

I have also decided that I need to make massage my new best friend. My back has been starting to feel weird again and I think it's because of tight muscles. So, massage every Thursday is on the agenda to keep it all soft and supple - thanks Kristen - you have hands of gold. 

I have also begun using my foam roller everyday and getting into my glutes, quads, hammies and calf muscles  in order to stop them from stiffening up again as well as incorporating Yoga on a Monday night into my FEEL GOOD ABOUT ME regime.

And I am all about keeping me feeling good. So as of today I am going to make a solemn vow to myself to make my blog a part of my life again on a regular basis. Writing is cathartic for me and I HAVE felt lost not doing it as often as I used to. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Clean Bottle Review and Giveaway

Two words that seem to go together like water and oil - chalk and cheese - cyclist and triathlete....In all reality how hard is it to keep your bottles clean.
Nothing worse than waking up early in the morning , all bleary eyed to go and fill the bottles up with your favourite electrolyte drink to find that you have once again stored your bottles in the dark drawer only to find it has somehow grown a plethora of micro-organisms in the base, spout or rim. Now I can see you all cringing and getting the shivers but I know I am right. Why? Well I know what kind of a clean freak I am and how hard I work at getting those bottles to shine. But no matter how much i soak them in hot soapy water and then let them air dry - they still seem to want to produce those friendly little critters in the bits I just can't seem to get to.

That was until I was given the opportunity to test out the Clean Bottle.

I absolutely without a smidge of a doubt think this bottle is awesome. Upon first glance I thought to myself, it looks like an ordinary bottle apart from it's ergonomic shape. However, upon closer inspection and much to the females delight - I saw that this bottle came apart from both ends. I shrilled, yes shrilled with delight. I shrilled only the way a woman can when her life is made easier.
If you are a clean freak like me - you can see how this is every clean-a-holic's dream. no more trying to get into the bottom with a bottle brush - those day's were over. My time was going to be better spent figuring out which hill to climb next.
There is absolutely no part of this bottle I cannot get at. I will literally get a soapy sponge and give it a whirl on both ends of that bottle, rinse, give it a shake, let it air dry on the window sill  - and Bob's your Uncle - I have a clean bottle.

It fits in my bottle cage as safely as my other bottles and comes out just as nicely too. My fear when buying bottles has always been "Will I struggle getting that puppy out of it's cage". But not this one. It slides right on out without any effort whatsoever and gets back in without any effort as well. Saves me of having to think of too many things at once. Lord only knows breathing, changing gears, breathing, getting out of saddle, breathing, pedaling requires more thinking than I care to think about. And if I add battling with my bottle to the mix, I could very well fall off my bike. The Clean Bottle has been a real nice compliment to my cycling kit  and shares the drawer well with my other favourite bottles. There is no jealousy amongst them.
I also like the fact that when I go to have a drink I aqm not getting a measly dribble into my mouth. There is a good exchange of liquid and air which means I get an adequate mouthful of drink when required. And if I need a little extra the bottle is flexible enough to allow me to squeeze that extra bit when I need it. What more could I ask for.

So the next time you go to clean your bottle - just ask yourself this one question "Will it ever be as clean as the Clean Bottle?". And if you even have the smallest doubt then I suggest you get yourself the easiest botle to keep clean.

GIVEAWAY: If you would like to enter a drawing for a chance at winning a Clean Bottle of your own, comment below or on Mike Neifert's Blog Review on Open Mikey. Additional entries up to 5 per person can be obtained by tweeting a link to this post with his username - @openmikey - and Clean Bottles username - @CleanBottle in it. You can also go to Clean Bottle's Facebook page and comment on their wall - just say "Open Mikey sent me. I want to win a Clean Bottle". If you do all of these things you will have a total of 5 entries. The drawing will be on February 22 at 5am CST. A BIG thankyou goes to Dave and Jesse at Clean Bottle for making this contest possible.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tri Peak Performance

Exerts from SPARTA PT and Tri Peak Performance - courtesy of Jen Brown, owner of Sparta & TPP.

  • Regardless of your sport - injury is the ultimate limiter of performance.
  • It limits how hard you can train.
  • It saps at your energy and will.
As an Age Group Triathlete you have many challenges.

  • You don't have the time money, money or access to health professionals (like massage therapists and physios) that professional Triathletes do.
  • You don't have the time to do all the things you know you should be doing - so things fall through the cracks.
Jen recently conducted a survey and found that 85% said that strength & flexibility was important, if not essential for people who participate in sport. And for core training it was over 95%.

It is little wonder that the survey revealed the 2 biggest challenges faced by most age group Triathletes were 

But it doesn't have to be that hard or take that long.

Tri Peak Performance is a fully online 6 week training program to help you time poor triathletes incorporate strength, core and flexibility into your already busy schedule.In a members only section, each week you will get 3 new videos showing you short, fast, effective and triathlon specific, core strength and flexibility plus a video to  explain what we are doing this week and why. 

Each of these programs takes you 15mins or less and requires no equipment.

As a bonus you will also get :
  • a series of videos showing you triathlon specific exercises which require equipment
  • written PDF programs
  • another series of videos showing you how to use a foam roller for myofascial release
  • support via Skype with Jen and online training buddies.
Registrations will close 6pm AEST on Saturday 18th February with the prgram kicking off the following Monday.


If I didn't have Jen living so close I would definitely purchase this program. She really does know her stuff. Jen will help you reach your goals and hold you accountable for doing so too. Her goal is to make your goals become reality.

Proceeds from TPP will also go to helping the CYCLING CEREBELLUMS. A charity committed to helping out children with Neuromedical & Neurosurgical conditions.Myself and ELissa are directors of this awesome organisation. We are thankful to Jen for being a great person and friend.

Monday, February 13, 2012


Is all mine. Yep you heard me right. That big old scary hill and I have become acquaintances - FINALLY. I don't think we will ever become real friends because I know that everytime I will get to the bottom - IT will do everything in it's power to defeat me. 

Wednesday morning I joined the group again. Paul came along too to help me tackle that nasty hill at the end. As usual because I felt good I took off like a bull at a gate. And tackled the beginning of the Greendale hills with much gusto. But as I approached the hill that runs up past the dairy my usual flop happened and I dropped to the back of the line very very quickly indeed.

I really should learn to not smash myself early.

And things only got worse as I hit Chain-o-Ponds. But you got to give it to me, I'm a persistent little bugger. I get moving those legs over as slowly as it was - they helped me up the hills and before to long I was back in the comforting arms of my Northern road and the pack. Thanks for all your encouraging words everyone.

As we made our way back onto the M4 I remember saying to Paul that I was nervous. What happens if I have to stop? What happens if I can't make it? Jen, Trish, Paul and Nikki were heading up Lappo to help me. I couldn't let them down or me for that matter. So as I started rounding the corner and my gears started shifting to the smallest they could possibly go I whispered to myself "This is it. Whatever you do. Keep those legs moving and don't stop". Easier said then done. 

As I made my way through that first little bitey bit and crossed over Lapstone's exit - I had to stop at the first little emergency stopping bay. After all I was facing an EMERGENCY - my heart was about to propel itself out my mouth and my legs were going into meltdown. All I wanted was a few seconds to breathe, and that's just what I did. Jen stopped with me and then followed me the rest of the way up the hill until we caught up with the rest.

Believe me I was happy to see everyone at the end of that hill. But practice makes perfect right? The rest of the way home was great - even though it absolutely teemed down on us as we made our way back down Mitchell's Pass. I know it's dangerous and all but I was having a blast. And there was really only one way to finish off such a fantastic difficult ride and that was with a great cuppa. Nothing tastes better and it surely cures all ills.

I will continue to meet Lapstone on a weekly basis. It won't finish me off - that I promise you.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Cole Classic 2012

This time last year I entered the Cole Classic without any pre-conceived idea of what an ocean swim was like. I was all excited and very new to it all and just saw this as another step towards achieving my goal of my first Half Ironman.

This year I had a few failed attempts at ocean swimming to overcome and although excited about the prospect of doing this swim I was also hesitant in the fact that I could make it a habit of signing up and failing yet again. And I did not want this to be my reality.

I was pleased to say that I had an awesome night's sleep the night before and woke up fairly late for me - which is a real change of pace. Sarah came to pick me up and we made our way to Manly Beach with alot of laughs and giggles as only girls know how to do.
Now for anyone who know's what Manly is like with it's parking, it can be hard at the best of times to find a spot let alone when there is an event as big as the Cole Classic to contend with. Parking can literally drop to zero spots. But lucky us, just like last year we found a spot in almost the exact same spot - could this be a lucky sign? I think so.

This year the swim was an out and back from Shelley Beach due to big swell coming in on Manly. And believe me I was happy to find this out. The weather was absolutely perfect on Sunday. Bright blue skies, beautiful and toasty and slightly fresh water. Mind you if you had of seen me get in for the warm up you would have thought I was stepping into the Antarctic.
We caught up with Paul, Jennie, Louise & Andrew before our race, did our warm up swim and then before we knew it it was time for the start. I also caught up with Spot and Sarah as well from Bondi Fit who have helped me with my ocean swimming. It was nice to have Paul come over to the side and wish both Sarah and I luck and give me the support I needed.
As I lined up at the start line my mind started doing its normal thing - racing at 1000 miles per hour. Can I do this? What happen's if you fail again? Why do you do this to yourself? But as the hooter went off and I made my way to the ocean, I thought to myself  "Stuff it, what have you got to lose. Atleast your trying". And with that I tacked onto Sarah from Bondi Fit's feet and hung on for as long as I could, which was only about 300m. As she swam away into the deep blue yonder she left behind her a mass of bubbles which slowly dissipated into nothingness. Much like what Marlin saw as the boat took off with Nemo.
And with that I was on my own till Sarah my friend popped up beside me and said HI inbetween breaths and gave me a wave. I felt safe again and just tried to hang onto her for as long as I could. As we headed back to the turn around and into a mass of oncoming waves I remembered Paul's words "Nice long strokes". I tried, I really did but with the swell and current I really wasn't getting anywhere fast and it seemed the turning bouy was on my right hand side for ages.

But I dug deep and kept pulling out big long strokes and then made my way home. With every wave I swam over I could see I was getting closer to the finish line and was feeling very proud of me and all that I had accomplished. I not once felt sick or scared in there and knew that this could very well be MY turning point.

Coming into shore I manouvered my way over rocks and there was no running at the beginning, just a very dainty walk so as not to fall over. But then once I hit the sand I tried to run up it but all I could get out was a slow waddle and then I saw Spot. He took what I hope is a shot of me looking chuffed with myself and then I crossed the line only to hug Sarah at the finish line and hear the congrats from Paul and Jennie as they came over and gave me a hug. I also saw Sarah K and she can 2nd.

I was smashed - TOTALLY. But free of any defeatist attitude that was left within me. I then saw Lou cross the line in style and then caught up with Andrew, Joey and Kristy at the end. Everyone did really well. We finished the Cole Classic. Some in the Top 10, some with soldiers wounds, others as angels in the swell. But all of us accomplished a huge deal that day. We swam 2km at the Cole Classic with over 4000 other participants. ANd I really don't think it would have been possible without all of my family and friends support.

My time was 38:09. Three minutes slower than last year but I really couldn't care less. For me I felt like I swam 10 minutes faster because of what I accomplished. I felt like Super Woman. Now it's time to get back on the band wagon and keep pushing myself.


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