Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Swim squad: tips (pet peeves)

Squad swimming is much better than normal pool swimming. You all do the same workout, and you don’t get people doing breaststroke in the fast lane, or aggressive pass-ers in the slow lane.

But it’s not perfect, and as a somewhat competitive, easily annoyed person, I thought I’d share some tips, and see if anyone else has anything to add (who knows, I may be doing something heinously annoying without even realising)...

-If someone is faster than you, let them pass. You don’t need to stop for them, but keep left and don’t flail around too much. Make it easy for them.

Even if that someone’s usually slower than you, they might be a much stronger kicker, and it might annoy them having you change to BREASTSTROKE kick so they can’t pass, then turning around super fast so they’re stuck behind you doing your slow, flailing kick again. Hypothetically.

Oh- and they will be especially annoyed if after all this, you decide to cut off half a length so you can beat them back at the end of the set.

- Don’t race the warmup. No-one appreciates being rushed, and no-one’s impressed. It’s a warmup. Same goes for DPS/easy sets.

-If someone is consistently passing you in the first few lengths of each set, let them go first on the next set. Yes, they can pass you, but it’s easier on everyone if you just start in the right place. Not Rocket Science.

What are your pet peeves?

Monday, May 25, 2009

A weekly rundown

Monday: REST (planned, but switched from Weds, as I was shattered after our weekend in Welly)

Tuesday: Spinning (strength)... The 8 minute standing intervals are a b*tch. But I can feel them working (at least that's what I'm telling myself!); 20 minute run (easy)

Wednesday: 15 x 100 swim test. Hard but good. Between 1:45 and 1:50 for all reps- could have gone faster I think. Was relieved that it was 15 x 100 rather than 1500 TT, as I'd been out of the pool for awhile!

Thursday: A wee run round the bays after work. Nothing really to report. Pace was 6:08, which is OK for aerobic for me, I think.

Friday: Swimming- 1200m w/up followed by 52 x 25 sprints, including all the medley strokes (yup, that's 1300m. Of sprints. Oh boy) Sprints were fun. I kicked on the backstroke sprints, but was about equal with the other woman in my lane for the free. The hardest part was the underwater sprints which totally wasted my legs. I made it to the second flags on the first one, but never got much past halfway on the others.

Saturday: 1 hour bike with Phil, followed by 20 minute run-off round (and round, and round) Victoria Park. Ride was lovely, but no idea of speed. We felt fast enough! We did part of my wee St Heliers loop, but my directions were terrible ("I don't know, you just go the way that feels right!") so didn't do the whole lot. Felt much better on the wee hills than last time- standing intervals paying off?

Carless weekend, so we had quite a big wander around Ponsonby/K Rd before tea.

Sunday: Lovely (and exciting) walk over the 'arbour in the sun. Was quite tired out after the evening and morning's wandering. I ended up riding inside (for 2.5 hours, not the scheduled 3), first to avoid the traffic buildup due to the Bridge protest (blimmin cyclists always causing trouble for the poor old motorists....), but also because I was worried that Phil had no cellphone so would be unable to rescue me if I fell off/got a flat/whatever, and because I don't really like being away from the husband for 3 hours of our meagre time together. I watched "Across the Universe" (again) and tried to do something (eg standing, one leg, spin, low gear) for the duration of each song.


Yesterday I was proud to be a temporary JAFA.

Today, I am ashamed.

It seems like every time I read the paper, I'm more aware that the country I love is not the country I try to believe it is.

I want to believe that Aotearoa New Zealand is about tolerance and support. About innovation. About standing up for what's right. About protecting the vulnerable.

But I'm starting to think I'm mad, and that this image is a product of my idealistic naivete. It seems that we're actually a bunch of judgmental, intolerant, selfish, brats, who whinge whinge WHINGE, and who don't care about much apart from preserving their own, individual, status quo.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I know, I know..

...The wedding's well been and gone... But I just got this photo from a friend of ours, and it made me so happy I had to share it.

Happy 3 and a bit months of marriage, Phillip!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Races! Races!

Paul has given me a few race options. Yay!

At this stage, I'm thinking about doing three events:

1- Contact Duathlon in Auckland on 28 June. Paul thinks this would be good to do, though I'm a little nervous about doing a sprint distance race and a lot scared of being last! Ah well- character building! And it's been AGES since I did a du, so it could be quite fun!

2- Okoroire Mid Winter Fun Ride (70k) on 26 July. Would be my first standalone cycling event, and looks fun.

3- Mizuno Half Marathon on August 2. Only a week after the ride, but Cambridge and Taupo are both easy to get to, I'll be riding easy(ish), and I'd really love to see where my half is at.

Any takers?

Sorry Paul & Art

..but I just can't pay $369.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday mundanity

- Wellington was pretty awesome, though windy.

- Running around the bays after the sun came out on Sunday was fantastically invigorating, if rather depressing in places.

- Elements in Lyall Bay really is fantastic!

- Most random experience? Had to be the bodyguards complete with squiggly earpiece thingies in Floriditas. In FLORIDITAS?! Seriously.

- Simon and Garfunkel tickets are on sale (again) tomorrow. Wish me luck, cross fingers, etc etc!

-This weekend is an Auckland-only, no driving, weekend. Phew!

- Apparently if I can run 6:15ks when aerobic, I should actually be able to pull out a sub-4 marathon and 23:18 5k. Who knows if that's true, but it makes my steady runs a little more bearable.

- We're spending Christmas in Seoul with my baby sister and London with Phil's "Best Man" (and others). WOO!!!

Friday, May 15, 2009


We're going to Wellington tomorrow! Only for 2 days- we arrive early Saturday morning and leave on Sunday evening. But, nonetheless- yay!

I have two runs scheduled- 90 on Saturday and 60 on Sunday (I'll probably do it the other way round). Right now I'm trying to come up with a wonderful plan that covers all my favourite running spots- though I don't think that'll be possible, especially since we won't have a car.

We're staying in Northland, so I'm thinking of a hilly suburban 60, taking in some of Tinakori hill, and a Round the Bays 90 (even though the forecast isn't promising me the perfect Wellington day I had in mind)

It's not only running that's hard to decide- where will we eat?! We're going to Elements with our photographer on Saturday morning (PS- planning our album- WOO!), and having dinner with friends on Saturday night. I'm thinking maybe Olive. I'd like to do lunch at Wholly Bagels if we can. Oooh, and a coffee at Mojo... Oh, I can't wait.

Have a great weekend all!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Type A-

I have a confession. I’m not really a type A. More like a Type B+/A- if I’m lucky.

I care quite a lot about the things I do, and I am a pretty big fan of achievement, whether it’s work, money, exercise, weight, grades or whatever. But I’m missing that drive that most real Type As have- I’m a bit slapdash, easily burnt out, kinda lazy and a king procrastinator. In fact, most of my success comes from natural ability, and is nothing to do with hard work.

I enjoy my job, and I get a kick out of working hard and doing it well. But I don’t want to put in the hard yards required to seriously advance in my field.

I like not being fat, but I definitely don’t like being thin enough to forego chocolate, red wine, cheese and the odd cinnamon bun from Snickerdoodles in Oakura (seriously- that place is worth trekking to the ‘Naki for). I don’t think life would be any better if I looked hotter in a bikini, though I do think a little bit of discipline would be worth it if it helped me ride up Tarawera Road a leetle faster than 9km/h!

I like being organised, and I feel incredibly satisfied when I go to bed after a good meal, with the chores all done, lunches ready and “leftovers” in the freezer. But I don’t like it enough to sacrifice my Sunday evening Phil time, or my chillout Monday West Wing DVDs.

I like running and triathlon, and I LOVE getting to that place where I can knock off a 12-14 hour training week and feel awesome. I love races and time trials, and running up giant hills. I love it enough to wake up early every morning (ok, ok most mornings), and enough to dedicate a good chunk of weekend to my training. But I don’t quite love it enough to turn down invitations for it, or to squeeze 3 hour rides in before 9am on a Sunday.

This is OK now, I can just about keep on top of most things without flipping out too often. But what about one day in the not-near but not way distant future when we have kids? I’ll still need these little achievements, but I’m going to need to say goodbye to that chill-out time. I guess I should start practicing Type A now?

PS- I have a major sense of deja vu about this post, but I can't find an earlier version, so apologies if I'm repeating myself

Monday, May 11, 2009

Not so awesome

After starting my training with Paul with a real burst of energy and enthusiasm, I've been finding it hard to keep at it for the past couple of weeks. There was the thing with Eric, but a lot of it's just been that ordinary mixture of work deadlines, work drinks, family occasions, rain, darkness, tiredness, rain, chores and general interfering miscellany. My sleeping patterns have suddenly changed from "generally good" to "nightmares with twice-nightly wakeups" and that's thrown me more than I'd hoped it would.

The other obstacle is Phil's injury. He's been my number one training buddy for the past year, so training without him is a bit sad, especially now that weekends are our only time together.

This just feels like a blip, and I suspect that things will look up soon. After our weekend in Wellington this week, we're staying in roughly one place for awhile, which I think will help. Plus, I'll soon have Eric back, and Phil is getting back into the swing of cycling pretty steadily (knock wood).

Anyway- this week is all about spinning and swimming, and going to Wellington (woo!) and lots of running. Onwards ho!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Small things

What's been defining my week this week?

Not my poor bike lying alone in bike-intensive care.
Not an exciting career landmark.
Not the surprise visit from my husband last night (though that was by far and away the BEST thing this week)
Not envying all marathon racing blog buddies

Nope- it's my poor toes. On Monday, I wore fins that were too small for 800m of fartlek kick and 600m of backstroke drills. My poor toes were cut to shreds which makes walking, swimming, running and wearing work shoes incredibly, irritatingly painful. It's such a little thing, but it's made quite a difference.

New Plymouth this weekend. Yay!

Monday, May 04, 2009


Well, after the little funeral yesterday (threw a piece of front fork into an overfill bin at Titirangi Beach- which, btw, is GORGEOUS), and the little death notice today, it seems that Eric will LIVE. Just needs new front fork and new saddle. Lucky I didn't have time to deliver a tearful eulogy!


Sad news in the Cornfield household. Yesterday at around 11am we made our way to Maraetai for a long ride in the sun. I needed to go to the bathroom, and our usuals in Mt Eden were closed for repairs, so we thought we'd pop into Westfield Broadway and grab some muesli bars while we were there.

We turned in to the carpark, heard a sickening c-RUNCH and both realised at the same time what had happened. The roofracks are ruined, Eric's seat was twisted about 90 degrees, and his poor left carbon fork broke in two.

RIP, Eric the Strada. We will miss you.

Kate, Phil, and Derek-the-Strada