Sunday, May 18, 2008

Two Peaks

Today P and I ran Scottish Harriers' Three Peaks challenge. I've been meaning to do some/one of these for the past three years, but this was the first time I've actually done it.

The gist of the event is that you start from the clubhouse in Mt Cook sometime between 8 and 9, choose a route that takes in one, two or three of the peaks for the day in the order of your choice. There are three events over the season, and the winners are those with the fastest times over all nine peaks.

Today's run took in the wind turbine (at about 450m elevation, I think); Johnson's Hill in Karori (300m?) and Makara Peak (400m). P, K and I decided to do the wind turbine and Johnson's and to skip Makara. However, looking over the Skyline walkway from the top of Johnson's Hill, Makara seemed a lot more fun than heading straight up the (aptly named) Gutbuster trail to the turbine. It's further, and includes a lot of climbing, but isn't quite as, well, vertical as the trip to the turbine. So, out to Makara around the back of Karori for us. It was a good run, a great piece of trail. I felt great up the hill to Makara Peak, and had a good time "spinning" my legs out on the downhill. Up through Karori was hard- we were all fading a little and looking forward to finishing.

We were out for 2:45 all up, and covered about 22(HARD)km. A great run and I'm looking forward to the next one!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Hard Day's Bike

I rode on the trainer tonight. First because, as we all know, I'm a big buckKAWK chicken and secondly because it was night and I have no lights.

Fortunately, I had company. Four loveable mop top Scouser lads (for the first half hour or so), and four long-haired weirdos, one barefoot, with fading Liverpudlian accents (for the second bit).

Since seeing Across the Universe for the second time (blush) on Saturday, I've been re-connecting with my neglected inner Beatles fan and re-collecting my long lost library of albums. Tonight I started with A Hard Days Night and moved onto Abbey Road. I found that the music helped me to enjoy the ride much more than a DVD does. I focussed on my riding, and incorporated the music into the ride, but I wasn't watch checking or waiting for it to be over anywhere near as much as usual.

The progression from early 60s rock'n'roll/pop to late 60s experimental pop/rock worked really well for the ride too. I started off mixing short high gear sets with hill sets (trainer has adjustable resistance) interspersed with short, easy spins. The songs on "A Hard Days Night" are all about 2-3 minutes long, so I never got bored and I got past the evil 30 minute mark (which in my opinion is key to trainer riding). Highlights of the first half mostly just involved hearing some of the less well known songs (If I Fell, I'm Happy Just to Dance with You) for the first time in years, and the first time on headphones (whihc really gives a new appreciation for some of the harmony... swoon).

The songs on Abbey Road are, by and large, longer and a little more intense. I was warmed up by this time, and enjoyed a challenge. I climbed hills during Come Together and sat back in awe during Something. I stood for the choruses of Maxwell's Silver Hammer, and hammed it up a little with no one watching. Oh Darling was the real highlight of the second half. I hit the verses hard and the choruses harder. In my top gear with my legs rotating frantically at 140rpm I pounded out "WHEN YOU TOLD ME, you didn't need me any more.. " My speed maxed out at 67 kph, and my heart rate nudged up to 180. Eek. From there I chilled out to Octopus' Garden, before finishing out the set with seven long long minutes of "climbing" to I Want You/She's So Heavy.

Clearly, this is a bit of a niche post. So, all you trainer riding Beatles fans out there- what are your favourite cycling songs? ;-)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A new leaf

Thanks all for your comments on my last post. It's good to know I'm not the only loony out there :-)

I'm going to make a real effort to improve my lifestyle generally over the next few months, and to work on making mySELF fitter and faster instead of just being bitter that P's getting fitter and faster.

So, as suggested by various awesome Kiwi commenters last week, I've started logging my workouts on Buckeye Outdoors. I've also started seeing a PT, who's key job is not to get me fitter and faster, but to get me hotter and buffer for a certain fabulous dress. But I'll be getting stronger on the way, which can only help.

I'm doing as many of P's planned half IM workouts with him as I can. We're loving doing our long runs and short rides together, and we've spent hours and hours on the trails and hills around town over the past few weeks. I've especially loved our pre-work long runs; 1:50 around Karori, Wadestown and Northland last Thursday, and 1:20ish around Ngaio the Friday before. We also spent a blissful morning cruising around Martinborough (heading out towards Gladstone) on Anzac Sundays (on bikes). I'm learning a lot of P's TI work, now that I'm being a little less bratty and actually listening to him. Today during our 2k swim (my first in AAAGES and it felt amazing!) we worked on my stroke and I actually improved.

P did a duathlon this morning (he was awesome, and so foxy- I can't believe he's mine), and took awhile for this Brave New Attitude to catch up to me. I saw all these buff people with teeny thighs and felt for the first time in ages like I wasn't good enough to join in. Like I was too big and slow to even try. Then I watched the actual race and remembered that I CAN do it, and even if I only do the short course in June, I WILL do it (PIP- join me???). And by the time we get to the Fathers' Day special on our last September 7th anniversary (our third), I'll be kicking the butt of the medium course and looking forward to the long one. And who knows, maybe my tree trunks will be looking more like saplings by then!

We're also working on our diets, and P is loving actually planning and eating real food. It's all elementary stuff, but it's easy to lose sight of when you're a busy yuppie, especially when you're coming home hungry from an evening workout. So we're focussing on Sunday planning again, choosing meals from the (WONDERFUL, INVALUABLE) Heathy Food Guide, grocery shopping, making a hearty Sunday night meal to start us off on the right foot and pre-preparing as much as possible for the week ahead. I'm trying to return to Low-GI ways, and working on my iron.

So, here's to a new leaf. Tonight it's a spinach one ;)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

...a bicycle built for two

No, we haven't bought a tandem..I think I'd like to get married before death (or divorce) doth us part!

I'm looking for advice/support from other tri-couples out there (and the rest of you). I've been a mega brat recently, as I (try to) deal with my weight gain/slowdown at the same time as P's transformation from casual indoor football player to buff and super speedy tri-geek. I'm jealous that he's swimming 100m as fast as I am, and burning the pavement with 3k time trials in 11 minutes. And that he can trip up hills like a wee mountain goat while I struggle along behind like an oafish heffalump. I know his success does not equate my failure, and that I should be inspired, not deflated, but I'm not quite there yet.

Am I the only brat out there? Does anyone have any tips for how to get my mind (and my behind) into gear?