Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I will not race. I will not race

I have decided to do a duathlon as a practice event on October 1st. I will not race. That is my mantra!

The du is short. 2.5/12/2.5. It shouldn't take long at all. But since I will not race, my goal is to complete it in about 1hr, including transitions. This gives me enough room for 6 min ks on the run. If I am in T1 before 13, I am in trouble!

Here's the plan:
Run 1: 14:30
T1: take sneakers off, run out with cleats on bike, ready to slide in.
Bike: Slide right foot in before take off, add left while moving. (this needs to be rehearsed beforehand) Ride solidly but don't race.

T2: reverse of T1
Run 2: maybe push a little.. I will probably need to push by this stage even to do 14:30 again!

I will be running and riding with the slow old ladies, I hope. This will mean I don't finish last (I think). Also, the long course only starts 30 mins before me, so there will be people on the course the whole time. Oh- and P and my sisters will be there to cheer me, even though it's not a real race :-)

In other racing/non-racing news, I have planned out my 2006/7 season. My goals are about experience this season, not time. I know that time will become an issue whether I plan it or not! But I'm not going to set time goals. Maybe as the season continues. I thought I'd emailed it to myself, but it's not here, so it's coming.

Tomorrow I'm up at 5 to get to the one pool where I can practice 50m laps by 6. I'm excited about it, but the last few days have gone workout, work, work, work, work, volunteering at law centre, work, work, get organised for next day, try to turn brain off, sleep. I'm getting to bed on time(ish) for my early starts, thank goodness, but I've been at work past nine all too much recently, and trying to juggle the real work with the volunteer work I do has added a whole new dimension of stress. So, my 50s may well be very sluggish tomorrow! But soon they will hopefully be getting faster, as I booked my swimming lessons today! Yay- I can't wait!

Workouts this week have gone to plan so far- rested on Monday (Sunday swimming was good, but sloooow..still, did 2.5k, and am happy with that); gym on Tuesday (split my treadmill run - wasn't feeling it and really struggled through the first two 800/200s but the 2k at the end of the workout was OK); run this morning (not great, but was out there going up and down the hills for 35 mins or so..) I am thinking about doing 9/10k on Saturday with my friend who's training for *my* lost marathon. I am finally truly OK with the fact that I got her into this crazy idea (we were running our halves together last year) and now she is living my dream. Silly, yes. Immature, I know. But now I am just entirely excited for her and looking forward to sharing her last long runs with her! She's going to rock it!! Her half has gone down from 1:44 last June to 1:36 this year, and she's starting to place top-5 in smaller races.

Food has been OK. I have eaten too much chocolate. My favourite dark chocolate just came out with a dark mocha- crunchy coffee beans in a dark dark chocolate block. Oh so good. It's satisfying, so you only need a bit at a time, but it's going disturbingly fast, and P doesn't like the taste of coffee. Hmm. In my defence, my hormones are in chocoholic mode at the moment, so the choc fest should end soon. I ate at work lunch today, which was a bit silly really. Creamy chicken salad, mini bagels, all sorts of calorie dense foods. I haven't done too badly, considering the hours. I haven't done well, admittedly, but I could have done far worse!!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

My PBs

5k 22:04 (Loaded Hog 5k- 15 November 2005)
10k 47:54 (Manuwatu Striders 10k 2007)
1/2m 1:42:35 (October 2005- it's recorded wrong on the site, as my chip didn't work over the start mat- gutted!)
Marathon: 3:58:50 (Auckland Marathon, October 28 2007)

Triathlon (sprints):
Best average swim leg: 1:54/100m
Best average bike leg: 29kph
Best average run leg: 7:59 (New Plymouth)

Training achievements:
Top running speed: 5:48/mile (400m speedwork)
Top flat cycle speed:
Top downhill speed: 48.5 km/h (can't remember)
Top trainer speed: 67.1km
Swim 25m: <19s (4/02/07)
Swim 33.33m: 32s
Swim 100 yd: 1:28 (flippers!)
Swim 100m: 1:40
Swim 1k: 19:53 (17/7/07)
Row 1m: 6:44 (21/10)
Run 1m: 6:27
Makara loop: 3:25 (21 HARD miles)

I hope to update both sections regularly!

Training wheels are HISTORY

Last night I got a text from Bike Expert Friend, asking if wanted to ride with her today. I knew it would be a bit of a mess to fit in, but I REAALLY wanted to. There was just one problem- in the two weeks or so that I've had the new bike, I haven't had a chance to ride with cleats- I've only done one outdoor ride since then, and since we were going out to the Wairarapa yesterday, I didn't want to be farting around with the cleats in the morning. So today we met at a local carpark for me to practice. And I was FINE! I was freaked out at first, snapped at Phil and tried not to cry and give up. So we headed out on the road. It was VERY windy (well, around 50 km/h) and we were on the coast, but I was ok with going slow. My computer and my bike were having some communication issues, and I was riding without numbers on the handlebars for the first time, so I was set free from numbers. We came back through the evil suburb -in hindsight I'm glad we did - and I practiced traffic lights. There were a couple of teeny stuff ups in the traffic, but I handled them well. And the time I panicked and nearly fell I did manage to unclip in time. Bike Expert Friend was impressed with my clip-virginity loss and I'm feeling quite happy with myself.

The weekend has been good. As I said, we went out to the Wairarapa yesterday. It's wine country and yesterday was hot and gorgeous. I had more of those torrid bike fantasies, both going over the mountains to get there and driving through the country streets past the vineyards and the paddocks. We had brunch, shopped in cute boutiques, bought salami and fresh bread. Yum. We had my dad and stepmother for brunch today. I overdid it on the cinnamon buns and felt kinda carbed out until about 3:30. Yeah, there's a reason I've got love handles. Speaking of which, I've cheated a couple of times and looked at the scale. It ain't pretty (between 138 and 140. High scary body fat too.) I won't cheat again (I think...) Hopefully I'll be back where I like to be by November sometime.

Anyway, time for my favourite two hours- Sunday swimmin'!!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Dear Running...

I want to start this letter by telling you that I will always love you, Running. You made me the person I am today, gave me faith in myself, taught me to surprise myself. You taught me to work and, more importantly, you taught me consistency. Because of you I am strong. I believe in myself. I take care of myself. And I will always remember when we met. Getting to know you better every run- going further, faster, stronger. The pure elation of crossing my first finish line.

But lately, Running, things haven't been so good. We went too far, too fast. That chemistry that we had in the beginning? It's just not there any more. So we're taking a break. We tried to ease off a few times, just chill out, but now we're seeing other people. And I'm finding that Swimming and Cycling make me feel like you did in the beginning. Young, strong, alive- instead of old, slow and frustrated. I used to spot potential running routes in new places. Now I think of the places I want to take my bike.

But you'll always be in my life. Right now we're just acquaitances. I realise that I need you, and reluctantly, I stick with you- when I have to. But when I see you, I can't find the old you, or the old me. It just doesn't click. I hope that soon we'll get over the fear, the hurt, the nerves and be friends again. I hope that one day we'll be back to where we used to be- only stronger. But one thing I know running- you'll never be the only one for me again.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Aotearoa- part 1

Some comments and emails I've had have reminded me that as a Kiwi, I am a little bit unique (well, 1 in 4 million type unique....) So, I've decided to start posting some information about New Zealand. Let me know if you have any questions!

One big training ground
I live in Wellington, the capital city. It's on the bottom of the North Island, which is the smaller but more populated of the two major islands. Fewer than one million people live in Wellington, but it is a "city", regardless.

From a running/tri training perspective, Wellington is awesome (apart from the wind, which is horrible). The city is basically big giant hills, completely surrounded by the ocean. From pretty much anywhere, you can ride down to the waterfront and then just ride on flat, scenic roads until you're done (well, sorta…) My 70k ride last week involved riding down to the waterfront from my place, riding round the bays and then heading inland up the aforementioned long slow climb. Then I turned back. Probably about 20% hills all up, and quite a variety. But I could have done that 70k, and more, with no hills other than home-sea and back. Or, I could have gone crazy on hills all freakin day! I don't know much about training in other places, but I love the flexibility we have here.

Because the sea's never far away (at least not where I am.. I guess it's up to *gasp* a half hour drive for some people), open water swimming is generally doable (in summer, at least). There aren't that many safe options, the weather and the water are both unpredictable, and we do miss out on lake swimming in this part of the country. I love going to places like Taupo and Rotorua and enjoying the lakes out there.

Running wise, there are some great road climbs around town, and some wonderful trails that I haven't explored enough, and look forward to exploring with Scottish (Harriers) next season. P and I are planning to do more walking/tramping ("hiking") this summer, so we'll do some exploring and I'll find some runs to tackle as I get stronger again. A lot of the bush near me is mostly pine, but in other parts of town there's a lot more native bush.

I mentioned wind before, and I can't describe my training environment without talking about the weather. Wellington doesn't do temperature extremes. It doesn't snow (though the wind chill can make it freeeakin cold), and our HOT is about 30 degrees celsius. It rains a lot and it's very windy. On the whole, it's good for training- I'd rather have the wind than the sun, or humidity.

Lastly, the tri community. We have one, which I think is saying something for NZ. I'm not part of it, so I can't really comment. The sport is growing (and fast!), but we certainly don't have any multisport specialty stores around! I do some of my training with a triathlete friend (who I know from high school), and there are quite a few multisporters in my running club. Generally though, I run with my running friends, swim with my swimming friends and bike with my cyclist friends (well, I intend to!) I was thinking about doing a training programme that's run by a local gym (which would probably help me meet like minded individuals), but I can't justify the $250 at this stage- not with swimming lessons, and all the bike stuff I'll need (not to mention tri stuff!) Hmm. Though now I put it in writing...

That's all for now. I'll take suggestions on future topics, or else I'll be back with another random installment sooner or later!

Torrid bike fantasies...

P and I spent Friday and Saturday visiting his family in Cambridge, a smallish town a bit more than half way up the island. It's a sporty town- the equestrian centre of the country (P's parents own a stud, and he's the only non-horsey one in the family), and home to a fair few NZ Olympians/World champs (rowing, cycling…) One of the streets has plaques (a la walk of fame) for each champion. Quite cool! There are also mosaics of the most successful racehorses on the footpath. I fell in love with the area, and unsurprisingly, spent the whole time wishing I had my bike. It's mostly rolling country roads- the uphills looked hardish but mostly short, and the downhills looked so fun! I'm hoping that we'll drive up there after Xmas so I'll be able to bring the (still unnamed) bike with me. I am so terrible with my exercise fantasies! Every place I visit I spend half the time planning imaginary routes to bike or run. If only I spent some of that time actually working out!

We spent Friday pretty much just hanging out- shopping in Hamilton (nearby city), checking out Lake Karapiro (the world rowing champs will be held there in 2010 or something), eating gelato… On Saturday, we decided to tackle the walk we'd looked at the day before (I say tackle.. I mean amble.. It was never going to be a big deal!) The weather wasn't ideal, but the walk was a lot of fun. A group is working on predator-proofing a big area of bush at the top of a hill (our main natives are birds and they are threatened by lots of introduced pests) and although we didn't see that many birds there (there were more at P's parents') the bush was absolutely alive (oh cripes, Julie Andrews moment...) We did a bit of running over the 90 minutes or so we were out- the fabulous undulations just aren't that common in Wellington and I love running down and up the other side. We also ran around the training track at P's parents', which wasn't too bad, if a bit sandy.

We got back early on Sunday and had a nice day mucking around with my sisters. Had a picnic, played games in the playground then went to the tennis courts (P is teaching me to play).

Sunday swimming was great (though I am feeling it today!) Two of my "swimmer" friends came along. I'm basing my workout around 300s at the moment (sometimes 3 x 100, sometimes 300, sometimes 6 x 50) and I got a good, varied workout in with some speed, some drills, some pulling and kicking. My swimmer friend taught me how to tumble turn so I practiced that on a few laps. I can tumble and turn now, and I love the seamless feeling between laps, but unfortunately, I can't kick off very well, so there is much work to be done!

On a random note, I was thinking about the number of people in the tri/running world who are worried about weight at the moment (it definitely seems more prevalent recently anyway). It's sad that this is the way we are. Our BMIs are healthy (and also likely to be an unreliable indicator of fat because of the muscle we carry). We are fit, fast, strong (maybe not as much as we would like to be, but compared to the average, even moderately active person…) We can finish sprints and 10ks, oly tris and half marathons, marathons, century rides, double centuries, half ironmen (even ironmen). We exercise daily (or nearly), doing strength, endurance, speedwork. We can run and bike up hills others struggle to walk up and we've often done a week's worth of workouts before breakfast! We eat well- our diets may not be perfect, but we're not living on fast food and cola like most of the Western world (and like many of us once did). Our quads, calves and shoulders are toned and our stomachs, while maybe not flat (I know mine isn't!) are defined. Yet we're unhappy. We want be leaner and stronger- so we can be faster, but we all know we want to look better in jeans too. It's sad. Now, don't get me wrong. I have to say that I think *we* are healthier in this respect than many of our peers- and, more importantly, that we are healthier than *we* used to be. I know I am. I'm just sad that it's still the case. My little sister's a recovering anorexic, and I want to be a good role model to her, but how can I, when I'm a size 6 (I think- not so hot on US sizes) and I'm scared to run in a bra top, or lounge in a bikini (though I'm getting better). I can't solve this, though I wish I could- at least for myself. [update- just came across a great post on Rachel's blog which says this oh so well.]

I was bad today and counted. I wanted to see what my new bircher breakie looked like and I got carried away. Having said that, I am pleased that I did it just this once. I feel like I am making the right decisions. Today felt like a good day, and the numbers support this: (as of 5pm)

Total: 1045 Fat: 31 275 28% Carbs: 132 444 45% Protein: 70 278 28%

Dinner should take me up to 1700 or so cals (schnitzel, roast veges, peas and beans). I rode for 35-40 mins this am, and am just planning pilates (if I get time- I'm so behind on housework) this evening, so I'm happy with that.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Just one of those (great!) days...

Yesterday was a GREAT day. It wasn't great workout wise (an average gym session, though better than last week's, and I had to miss the swim I was craving), and I ended up having waaaay too late a night (which messed up this morning's workout). It wasn't great workwise (I couldn't focus, and left at about 5:30, but am now snowed under and wishing I'd put an extra couple of hours in), and it wasn't great nutrition wise. But it was great, because I have great friends, a great boyfriend and I am really looking forward to a season of fun (and great) racing.

Anyway, we got home from work, and P said he had a present for me. It's a book on triathlon training, and I love it. I am actually finding that a lot of the knowledge floating round in my head is clicking into place- I'm really enjoying reading from cover to cover instead of just flicking between articles online and it really shows how supportive he is of me! We then went to visit the bike expert friends (B and J) who were going to change my pedals over and pump my tires up properly (we were having issues...) Left 3 hours later with my new bike fully serviced, with a pair of their *old* pedals on and a pair of B's shoes (hardly worn but traded in for a swish new pair). I'll be paying for the gear, and it is just secondhand, but I'm broke (yes, seriously. and not the kind of broke where you buy Jimmy Choos or spend all your money on cocktails... though I guess I'm also not living on two minute noodles and sharing a shoebox flat with 20 people broke), and investing in triathlon is expensive- even at this super low level. I don't know.. I just feel excited to have more of the stuff I need, and also to feel the support coming from the people around me.

This morning I played with my bike- rode a bit and practiced clipping and unclipping on the trainer. I did a little bit of stretching and ab work afterwards- I was SOOO tired. I need to be careful- I think I can handle one good workout week, but need to take it easier the next one- especially when (as recently) work is busy and/or stressful. I don't like this at all, but I may have to go "hard" (read- pretty darn easy)/"easy" (read- depressingly lazy) for the next wee while. Tomorrow I have to get to work early so I can leave by 7 to go to the opera with my sister and have Friday off. I will see how I feel when the alarm goes off- work out for half an hour maybe, or else just head in. Yuck.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Imagine seeing for the first time...

First, a big shout out to TriSaratops, Wil, Pharmie and everyone else who was out on the Ironman course today, and also to E-speed for an awesome PR. I managed to track a little (a little too much, actually) of IM MOO at work, and even from the other side of the world, watching the results slowly coming through on a computer and reading online updates, it was amazing. Now for the rest of my post...

I'm ashamed to admit how long I had my last pair of goggles. Largely because I don't even know! But I've been meaning to replace them for awhile. The nose part has been getting more and more uncomfortable, and the leaking was starting to actually drive me bananas. So yesterday I finally got new goggles (it was a bit of a retail therapy day! More on other purchases soon!). Was at the pool for about 1:45. P plays handball on Sundays, so that's my dedicated pool time now. My sisters joined me for awhile, did some laps and then some aquajogging and pool running. It was a pretty easy workout, but I think I would have still swum about 2k all up. I'm ok with that. Hopefully I'll get my sisters to come along for the second half most weeks… I've also found out that I can get some group stroke correction lessons for cheaper than I thought, so hopefully I can do those soon! Once I've got through them I hope I'll have the guts to go along to Masters- they meet on Sundays (as well as Saturdays and Wednesdays), so it's perfect for me.

Saturday was a day of firsts. It was the first time I had ever ridden over about 35k (and 40k, 50k and 60k). I did just under 70 all up, with a couple of short climbs, a couple of longer, steeper climbs and a 5k gradual climb. Finishing unfortunately on about 4k of steep climbing. 70k's not much, but it was more than I'd done before, and I'm happy with it. It was also the first time I had ever ridden over 34km/h on a "real" flat (not coming off a downhill) and over 43km/h downhill (those speeds are a bit embarrassing, but remember, the bike ain't exactly a speed machine). I'm very very timid going downhill, but I was much gutsier this time, and I'm really proud of that! The long, slow downhill gave me a good chance to get my speed up a bit as the downhills around home are steep, narrow, and windy. I came home hours after leaving feeling pretty wiped, with some soreness in the knees, and it took awhile to remember how great I felt during the first three quarters of the ride. Hydration was defiitely a problem. I just didn't drink enough, for whatever reason. Silly. Company would also have been nice. But I have two cyclists friends who are getting far more enthusiastic about riding with a cabbage like me now that I have…drumroll please…. A new bike!

Meet.... I haven't christened her yet, as I've been making up my mind about whether to buy her. But now she's mine, and she needs a name. Suggestions welcomed.My last bike was Mike, though I've been riding a loaner all year. Again, she's not exactly the flashest ride. But the expert buddies say I'm getting a good deal and I'm excited! My best friend has recently been selling off all her cycling stuff, and I'm the lucky beneficiary. I wish it was because she was upgrading, but alas, she's just not into it. I bought some cheap pedals, as I don't have shoes yet, but we need to switch the pedals over and pump the tires up properly before I can ride. I can't wait! We are off to visit P's parents this weekend, but hopefully I get to ride before. If not, we're back early on Sunday, so I'm planning a shortish (40k) ride, and a walk/jog/run over this trail I've been eyeing up.

Soo, training for next week is:

Monday- trainer/ run easy 40min evening + abs
Tuesday- UB weights- row 1600, weights, run 1600 (or Pump)
Wednesday- VO2 max/speed/tempo workout + abs / easy run
Thurs- LB weights- run 1600, weights, row 1600 (or Pump)
Fri- no am workout- fly to Cambridge (maybe 2 rest days)
Sat- run/ride with Phil
Sun- ride, 40k + walk, swim 1600m (pm)

In other news, I have made a resolution not to count or weigh until post-tri, at least. Having said that, I fully intend to shift these pounds. I am going to allow myself to track, but not to count. I'll post my workout plans and actuals, and maybe my food. I'll also try to be more detailed about how I'm feeling and sleeping. Focus is on healthy choices, healthy life. No more secretly eating Oreos, or marshmallows, or any of that crap.

Food for today:

1- porridge with protein powder, apricots, almonds, linseed. Skim milk. Plunger coffee
2- cruskits. Carrot w PB. Yogurt (strawberry custard flavour)
3- pizza pocket, salad w spinach, cucumber, tomato, lemon gelato
4- diet coke, mini wheats with milk
5- basil/ricotta ravioli w broccoli, green beans, tuna, pinenuts, olive oil, parmesan; salad (as above); bread
6- wee bit of dark choc (probably something post-run too)

Not a great day, but we'll get there! Right, off on my run!

Update: back from my run. It went well, though it's much colder than I'd realised! My feet were actually numb for the first 20-odd minutes. I felt slow, but not sluggish (though the big bowl of ravioli didn't help!) Measured my pace when I was on the flat for awhile, and I was around 8:40-8:50. Not wonderful, but OK. I stopped to walk the "big" hill home. I didn't want to, but the rational Kate beat out the other Kate. Overtraining is hard to deal with. I'm ashamed with myself for walking the hill, even though I know it was a rational decision, and that I could have done it (could have done it easily, in fact). I still feel like a copout. In fact, I'm ashamed that I was only running for about 30 minutes and not 50. I don't know if "ashamed" is the right word, but I'm sure some of you understand. Anyway, I ignored the evil voice of guilt and shame in my head and walked with pride.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Here comes the sun!

I am feeling all happy and life-loving this afternoon. For no real reason, except that I have everything to be grateful for and not much to regret. I've found my journey harder recently, but one of the things I'm feeling grateful for is the ability I have to overcome all obstacles (and that a few extra pounds and some training issues are the worst of my problems! Knock wood!). Also, it's been a great day and it's a Friday, and I spent half an hour this afternoon having a guilt free and absolutely delicious gelato from a café at the waterfront. I've just taken a picture of my view, and it really doesn't do today justice, so I'm going to leave it!

There are some big clouds over by the hills on the other side of the harbour, but it's been sunny for most of the day, and the sun's just starting to set now. The water is so so still, and there are a few small sailing boats and some kayaks out there. I'm so glad I had a bit of fresh air! My unpredictable week has ended, and our mega meeting this morning went well, so I'm feeling mostly on top of my job. I like this feeling. But wanna know something bad? I'm looking out at that view and my legs are twitching! I wanna run! (and I can't… not only would that interfere with my workout plan and be against all the rules, at least in week 1, but today is bar admission day and I have drinks starting in 5 minutes…)

Workout-wise, the week was a success. My harriers club exercise challenge goes from Sat-Fri, so I always get confused, as personally, I'm a Mon-Sun type. Either way, the work-week was a success. My swim this morning was nothing special. It was pretty crowded, I was nervous about getting to work on time, and I wasn't sure I'd be able to get a hot shower (there have been some major gas issues here recently, on which I cannot really say much). So just did 1000, as planned. I do not like the 33 pool- the 25 is far far better. Hopefully this means I won't be completely useless in a 50! In a 25, I love doing sets of 20- easy, but I get bored so much more quickly in the 33, and I still have to do 45 laps to get a decent workout it. Then again, the 33 I swim in is usually far busier, and more likely to be full of wave-making energetic swim squad teenagers. I am so envious of them- they seem less neurotic than the average teen, and they're so disciplined. I like the idea of my future kids swimming competitively. Though it is quite all-consuming. I don't want them to miss out on football (soccer) and cricket and tennis and rowing and track! (I will be such a bad mother, my poor will never have time for anything… Oh man.) Oops, random train of thought.

I'm not sure what this weekend holds. I was going to find myself a fun/creative brick, and I still might, but if it's like this on Sunday, definitely a long ride with 2-3k run… I'm doing some thinking/planning about getting myself back on track nutrition wise, without falling into bad (for me) habits, so will update on that when I get a moment.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Back on my feet

..for about 25 minutes. I did my first run for a couple of weeks or so yesterday morning- just took it easy and ran a short loop from home. A bit hilly (impossible to avoid here) but it was good. Rode my trainer after that, and found it was much easier with the warm up! Moved my LB weights from this morning to this evening- it was our 1 year anniversary and we went out for breakfast (I was also surprised by a beautiful bunch of flowers at work! Roses, daffodils, tulips and lilies- I'm very very lucky!)

Work is unpredictable at the moment, so we couldn't guarantee time together tonight. Luckily, I finished at about 7, and P and I went to the gym together afterwards. Warmed up on the treadmill as planned- just increasing speed for a mile. Did it in 7:19, which isn't exactly fast, but enjoyed the speed towards the end. I really hope it's coming back to me! Always good working out with P- the time together is good, and I miss my workout buddies!!

So, so far this week has gone to plan. I've resisted the temptation to add workouts, and am even thinking of taking Saturday off so that we can have the day out we planned last week (and so that I can avoid going down the old road again).

On a completely different and fairly random note, I've always liked the way AG divisions are used so much in overseas races. I love that it separates amateurs from elites, and divides people into manageable categories. Even though the races I've done here are small by US standards, I'm usually in F19-35, and usually competing against lots of fast fast women! Today was the first time I'd heard of the Athena/Clydesdale categories, and I think it's awesome! Though I was surprised to see that the qualifying weight is 150lb for an Athena...Seems low to me. Oh well.. Either way, I think it's a neat idea.

Tomorrow morning I'm going for a swim. I've got a big meeting at work, and a good friend and some colleagues are being admitted to the bar, so it'll be a busy day. I'm looking forward to my swim! I really miss the pool...

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Tri training- week 1

This week- rule is no more than one workout per day. May add extra swims or do a couple of 5ks if I feel like it later on. Also, may add/switch yoga/pilates in there somewhere. Working on getting all areas in, and getting enough rest!

Monday- bike on trainer, abs
Tues- strength: UB (warm up run, seated row, dead lift, upright row, shoulder press, lat raises, hammer curls, tricep skullcrushers, rowing erg)
Weds(planned)- bike (15) run (15)
Thurs (planned)- strength: LB
Fri (planned)- morning swim (1k-1m, prolly)
Sat (planned)- brick 90 mins or so(TBD)
Sun (planned)- rest, maybe swim in the evening

P and I have coordinated our standard training plans- main focus is on mornings for me. Will try to keep away from the 2-a-days for the time being....

So far this week's workouts have been good. Cold's mostly gone- yay! I really liked riding the trainer in the dark with my ipod, and watching the sun rise (sort of.. watching it come up, anyway- we don't really see it from our place). I took it a bit too easy at the gym this morning. Weights were just too manageable. So yeah, things are picking up. Let's hope they keep picking, and don't go crashing again. Will start morning HR monitoring...I know I have to. It's just not what I feel like at 5:30 at the moment.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


C and I had pancakes today.. So I'm posting my pancakes from Drexel's now. Yum. Today's- too much, and too sweet.
Am trying to decide whether or not to buy C's bike. Good price, and decent bike. I would rather have my own than CB's, I think. Hmm.. (I know I moan about being poor, but I do have savings, and a bike is the sort of thing I don't mind spending them on).

Swimming again...

This morning I went for my swim before meeting C for a walk. C can't walk (bliswayter) so I am glad I got the swim in. I enjoyed the walk there and back too. Anyway, my first length (33 1/3 m pool) was 33! This is a huge improvement on the 37s and 38s I usually see. Admittedly, I didn't see 33 again. Breathing was hard, so I included lots of kicking and so on. I mostly managed to breathe on 4, but not always. I really need to get bilateral breathing down- my right arm does not come out high enough, and I think that's the main problem. Any good tips for drills? I also need new goggles.. And a pull buoy, as one of the pools I swim at doesn't have them.

I have decided to do my first tri on October 15th. It's a reverse sprint(ish), with an indoor swim (6 x 50). I'll practice swimming in the 50m pool the weekend before, or whenever I can fit it in. The run is only 4k, and even in the state I'm in, I should be able to start off in an ok position (and then watch as everyone passes me on the bike and in the pool!) At this stage, goal is 1:15... (4k run, 18k bike- I think- 300m swim)

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Improving again?

This week has had highs and lows. It's been a bit messy training/exercise-wise but I am happy to have done what I have, and I have also been slightly less obsessed than I am wont to be.

Went swimming on Thursday with two friends from work, and it was lots of fun. They're much better than me, but I'm ok with that. I had the worst (pretty much the only) foot cramps I've ever had, so didn't get many metres in, but enjoyed it. Took bike in for servicing, which meant riding it down the hill and then through 6pm traffic (just in the suburbs, but I am such a timid rider!). Managed to loosen up a little on some of the downhills- stopped braking. Timed a few 25s on Thursday (lanes too busy to guarantee solid 100s, or even 50s) and found that I was fairly consistently swimming 26-28, with a few 25s thrown in. This is good for me! I probably did only about 900m total, because of the feet.

Ended up swimming with sister (J) on Friday. She's a new swimmer, so we took a break and did some aqua jogging part way through. What a way to spend Friday evening. Anyway.. timed a few random 25s again and saw heaps of 24s!! Have never seen a 24 before (I've probably done it, but I only started timing recently). It feels great to be improving at something again. Next stop, 1:40 100s! I am looking forward to improving my cycling and my lifting again, and then improving my running again.
After the swim, we met up with P, S and F and got gourmet wraps (had pumpkin and cashew iskender- yu-u-my), then went home to play Cranium (one of P's bday presents, which we hadn't had a chance to play). It was a bit easy, but tons of fun. Felt a complete idiot when all of Austin Powers' catch phrases slipped out of my mind! But at least I seem to be a proficient playdough sculptor.. Did about 1k. Not much, but was trying not to count or care!

The one problem with the swim is that it seems to have re-activated my cold. Ended up pathetic and droopy on the couch at about 11. Embarrassed now. J came back just after they left to give me a present! Nothing super exciting, but it's a cute cuddle rug blanket thing- lime green polar fleece with geese printed on it. I love it, and I love that she bought it, and chose to give it to me. I forget that my little sister is a grown up now, and can take care of and inspire me.

Today was hard- the cold came back with a vengeance and I was pathetic again. P and I went to the book fair and the library, then drove out to Petone. Had a curry for lunch (pretty average, but definitely hit the spot..), and finally discovered La Bella Italia.. Can't wait to go back there to buy dinner party ingredients or have a nice meal. Even thinking next week, for our anniversary! P bought me a wooden Pinocchio eggcup- nothing like a spontaneous gift to lift your day :-) Coffee also helped to lift me up (who knew I was so dependent!!??!) and I was much chirpier by the time we got home. Picked up my bike and hunted round the bike shop. God I wish I had the funds to do this thing right! But easy does it... P is getting excited about mountain biking. I'll give it another go, and will work on my fear of the downhill! When P went out I rode the trainer while watching Friends (followed by Eight Simple Rules and That 70s Show- class...). It was fun to experiment with some intervals etc, and mixed some ab work into the work out. Man I'm porky! Must start doing core/ab work religiously again! Unfortunately, the bike computer can't be put onto the back wheel, so I have to keep myself honest. Something else to think about...

Another thing I'm thinking about is the Garmin 305. Not buying it, but asking everyone to contribute in lieu of Xmas/Bday.. Will keep chewing over that one.

Anyway- tragic as it is to ride, blog and do housework on a Saturday night, it's about the only chance I'll get and I have dishes overtaking the kitchen! Tomorrow I am meeting C for a long walk and will also be checking out her bike. I have a feeling the frame is too big for me :-( Am thinking about a swim beforehand (not meeting til 11) but we'll see.