Friday, December 22, 2006

My 2006

The easy way out- meme approach...

1. What did you do in 2006 that you’d never done before? A triathlon. Mountain Biking. Appeared in Court.
2. Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I don't know if I did. If I did, I'm not sure whether I kept them. Next year my resolutions are to train smarter, work harder, be a better friend, stay close to my best sisters, and become fearless
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Colleagues.. But I'm close enough to be thrilled!
4. Did anyone close to you die? No
5. What countries did you visit? Cook Islands
6. What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006? Balance, courage.
7. What date from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? None come to mind. And if none come to mind, there's none.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Kicking some work butt.
9. What was your biggest failure? Overtraining- saying goodbye to my marathon.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Nope
11. What was the best thing you bought? My wetsuit. I love my wetsuit. Digital camera. Laptop..
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? P. Absolutely positively P..
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? My own.
14. Where did most of your money go? Tri-gear, race fees, food.
15.What made you really really really excited? Life. I'm HAPPY
16.What song will forever remind you of 2006? Tricky, Run DMC (2006= the year of 80s singstar...)
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:a) happier or sadder? About the same- I was very happy then too! b) thinner or fatter? Sameish c) richer or poorer? Richer. Earn more. Have savings. Have not been entirely frivolous (though not very sensible either)
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Socialising
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Internet. Discovery. Crying
20. How will you be spending Christmas? Moving feast, with the famous five (sisters and partners) as constants
21. How will you be spending New Year’s? Margaritas on the beach
22. Did you fall in love in 2006? Yes.
23. How many one-night stands? Zero
24. What were your favorite TV programs? Grey’s Anatomy, House, Boston Legal, Biggest Loser, Vital Signs, Scrubs, DH…
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Umm. No!
26. What was the best book you read? All crap, but I loved 'em!
27. What was your greatest musical discovery? I still live in the 80s/90s music-wise. I have a new found appreciation for Phil Collins, but struggle to see that as a discovery. I learned how great Les Mis is for long runs!
28. What did you want and get? New BIKE, digital camera, a bonus
29. What did you want and not get? Abs..
30. What was your favorite film of this year? Inconvenient Truth, Thank You for Smoking
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? 24. We went mountain biking and had a party at a bar downtown. I can't remember what I did on the actual day. Worked?
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? A marathon, a plan for 2007/the "future"!
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006? So 2005.. Boring/sporty casual
34. What kept you sane? Exercise. Family. My honey (NOT in that order)
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Andy Potts. Hot!
36. What political issue stirred you the most? I remember being up in arms about something, but what? Climate change, a bit. Anti-smacking legislation.
37. Who did you miss? My mummy. Ben (colleague)
38. Who was the best new person(s) you met? I was glad to meet Katherine, and I think I met Bel this year too. I also "met" my blog reads and readers and they ROCK!
38. Side question…who would I like to get to know better? My baby sister
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006: Failing and getting back up says more about me than staying successful.
40. Favorite Memory of 2006? Falling in love with P back in January- the trip will always mean so much to me.

This may well be my last post for the year- we'll see! Am taking a paper notebook away with me to record workouts, thoughts etc, so will probably be a post machine when I get back. Til then, merry christmas, my friends! Thanks so much for the last few months of support and for letting me into your training lives. I will be doing the New Years tri so look forward to the first race report of 2007...

Monday, December 18, 2006

Since my last post...

Good things:

Appearing in court on my own for the first time (seriously small potatoes stuff, but fun)
Swimming in an outdoor pool at 6:30am
Finishing my 2500 endurance swim at a faster pace than my 1k "time trial" the other week
Getting unexpected and excellent work-related news last Thursday
Buying my Christmas presents to me (bike jersey, swimsuit, compression tights)
Finishing most of my present-buying
Choosing and trimming our tree with my sisters and my sister's boyfriend
Kicking Christmas off with a carol concert/singalong at the Town Hall
The warm feeling in my stomach when we started "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing"
Going for a run around the waterfront after work tonight
Wearing my cute dress to the firm function and being asked over and over where I got it (the answer- local department store, $47.99)
Staying on my strappy heels until 2am (not exactly a HUUUUGE night out, but me + strappy sandals....)
Summer food

Bad things:

Only having time for 35 minutes after work
Watching people swimming in the sea with jealousy dripping off me like sweat
HR training
The beginnings of pre-Christmas stress starting to get to me
Housework (in particular, making our "spare" room-- which is now known as the sport room and should be known as the tip-- inhabitable)

All in all, a happy few days :-) I love this time of year!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Too much splash and one fun dash...

I made it to Splash and Dash! Finally! (seriously- I've been meaning/trying/failing to get to one of these for, oh, two years or something!?) I finished work easily on time (after a pretty productive day) and the weather looked good too.

The race was a bunch of fun. The swim was pretty awful- at one point I thought I was coming dead last (I wasn't..), I was struggling to navigate and the start was much more crowded than my last two races. I splashed around and breathed atrociously for at least the first 500m of the 730m swim! I was pretty disappointed with myself after my swimming on Monday- I really need to learn to chill the f out in race swims! I also need to come to terms with the fact that other women who don't look fast are often better swimmers than I am! .

I stumbled up into T1 to the sea of discarded wetsuits and made a beeline for my shoes. Unfortunately my calves were cramping so badly that I couldn't put my shoes on. I was putting my feet towards the shoes, angling them in and then recoiling in pain. Ow! I could see P looking at me with concern and (maybe) pity (he always looks so shocked when I come out of the water! It's funny, but can be a little disheartening. I think he thinks I am one of the speedy ones, and he gets quite confused when I don't come out with the leaders Confusion turns to concern, then to downright worry "Why's she last????". I have now informed him that although some women who shouldn't be beating me are, the leaders, even in races like this, are NZ AGers, junior champs, Kona AG competitors and even the odd elite)and I decided not to run and to change my entry to a very pathetic swim only. No dash. I was about to climb out of transition when I decided to give the left foot one more go and it went in. Right followed suit and we were off.

It was great to be running, though confusing seeing people going the other way and not being sure just how far they were in front of me (2 lap course). I was also watchless, so had no idea how bad or not-so-bad things were. I felt like I was keeping a good pace, and only super fast guys seemed to be passing, so although I could see plenty of women ahead of me, I just wanted to keep working. I ended up passing a couple of decent bunches, including some men (who had started a minute before us, and on the way back the second time, I realised that some of the people "in front" of me were behind me. I didn't manage to take out Mrs Red Top, which is shocking, as she was in my reach for so long. I should have passed her at the 500m to go mark and let her be the driver on the way back. Instead I delayed, eventually saw the gap growing and couldn't find the kick to beat her. Grr. I think if I had passed and she had passed back my finish sprinter would have come out- next time Mrs Red Top. Next time.

Not sure of time yet. P thinks my swim was 16ish (yuck), and I finished at 6:55 having started at 6:21. So that suggests a good solid 4k run (18ish mins?), but we might be a minute or even more off. Official results won't have splits, but I should be able to figure some better guesstimates out!

Healthy eating went out the window again, when P surprised me with fish and chips on the beach. I could hardly say no, and they were PERFECT! (plus, given the race and the 600 cals I burned at spin this am, I'm ok calorie-wise)

Tomorrow is yoga. We have brand spankin new matching mats. Yay! R&R week has been a little lacking both in R and in R, but I still think it'll be about half last week in terms of time, especially with a cruisy weekend planned, and at much lower intensity so I am not kicking myself too hard yet. I feel awesome. Knock wood.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

PS- Tragic..

But I am way behind the times. I never be able to use, so now that I can, I am addicted. I have found some shockers, but I was stoked to find that my profile pic is 78% Anne Hathaway.. Woot!

OK.. sorry- that's just so sad..

Oops I did it again

Long ride. Overcast. Cautiously applied sunscreen to shoulders and face...

Not hands. Not legs.

Now that you've stopped laughing, tell me off! I need to learn!

So, as you may have figured out, the weather came through for us on Sunday and we got to ride. Yay! We only did about 45 miles though, and I think our ride taught us that we are not ready for a century (surprise, surprise!) As well as fatigue (not helped by poor nutrition and hydration...), we both struggled with the whole "3 hours on the bike thing" and our butts and arms were so over it by the time we got home. However, there is a lot to celebrate about this ride:

1- My technique? MUCH better. NO mashing on those gears. I cruised up the long hill easily, spinning all the way (without actually dropping too much) and even managed to keep up with P!
2- My mojo? Back! I got down the steep hill without wanting to cry. I practiced drinking. Baby steps...
3- My relationship with P? No longer jeopardised every time I clip in :-) I am finally learning to ride with him- we even practiced drafting! He's so patient- a saint!

So we celebrated all that (and replenished some of the 2000 odd calories I'd burned) by getting "brunch" (OK, it was 4pm) at a place in town renowned for massive brunches. I had the big vege fry up (I'm not a bacon fan so usually just have eggs or pancakes) with potatoes, kumara (sweetpotato), pumpkin, carrot, onion (YUM!) and spinach. It really hit the spot! I headed to the pool and did some sluggish drills- was so ready for R&R week come yesterday morning.

Yesterday we had another cracker day! (BTW Wes- the weather in NZ is weird at the best of times. It tends to rain a lot most summers, especially over New Years, and it never really gets REALLY hot, especially not in Wellington..But, as the saying goes, "there's nothing better than Welly on a good day.") I finished work on time and met my friend for a sea swim. She was running late, so I did some 150m laps of the first buoy, and was pleased to consistent times around 2:45- not great, but not bad. We did a 750ish m loop around the fountain (it's the route for my splash and dash tomorrow). She's been off training for awhile, so we went slooow and stopped a lot. Kind of a nice feeling, in an immature way. But I'm feeling really good about how things are going, and although the thought of spending nearly/at least/over an hour in waves and salt water seems mental, I can't wait til Jan 27th (especially if, knock wood, it's like yesterday!)

Today has been uneventful. My "healthy eating" plan has not gone so well so far- the idea is to eat healthy as much as possible in the lead up to Xmas, so that I can indulge when indulgence beckons. That means no more useless junk at work! Vege nights at home are going well. Apart from the tofu, we haven't done vegan yet, but we have had some really yummy meals (a mexican salad with quinoa and refried beans, orzo and roast veges, vege frittata...) If nothing else, it's encouraging me to add variety to our diets!

Oh- and one more for Wes... "Knackered" means exhausted/shattered/stuffed/zonked.

And, because I have just uploaded heaps of pics, here's some I like!

Echidna cake for my sister's bday...

Pretty sunset!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Like a fish.

My next "A" event is a 2.8k swim in the Wellington Harbour. I'm fully registered and paid up (though where that training cap they promised me is, I do not know) and I started my "official" training for it on Monday. So far it's going well. I'm not swimming like a fish at all, and I have noticed my technique slipping since my lessons finished, but I am finding it easier and easier to knock off the distance. A 1.5k swim was one quite an effort- now 2k is easy, and 2.8 is fine. I'm also really loving it! I did a 1k time trial last night- took it easy, with a few harder efforts towards the end. My time (21:45) isn't exactly great (though I was quite happy to do it so easily), but it gives me some idea of where I'm at now, and I'm looking forward to watching it go down (below 20!) as I go through my training. Next trial will probably be in 3 weeks or so.

P and I still have not made up our minds about the Round the Mountain ride. It's on January 2, which is rather soon all of a sudden and we simply have not been riding long, in groups or outdoors enough! Something always seems to come up. Yesterday we spent 2 hours on our trainers watching James Bond in The Living Daylights because the showers and freezing southrlies started as soon as we got out the door! Hopefully we will get out today- last chance to enter before late fees. It looks ok at the moment, anyway and I'm sure we can get at least 50 miles in. However, doing just under a century in 3 weeks still sounds a bit chancy, however fun the ride looks!

This week has been a relatively big training week, Kate-wise. Luckily work was incredibly relaxed (too relaxed, almost) and I was able to do pretty much everything I wanted, when I wanted. I'm feeling great, though I was knackered on Thursday and my weights workout turned into stretching and ITB massage (partly because the bus was late and I didn't get to the gym until nearly 7). Monday I did 2.8k in the pool, Tuesday was weights and track (w/up, some drills and stride outs, 1k reps- 4:19, 4:25; 4:23- badly needing improvement there!), Weds was a 2k swim in the am and 90 minutes on the bike (about 15 outside before it got dark and the other 75 on the trainer in front of the telly..) in the evening, Thurs was the aborted weights workout and Friday was a well-earned rest! Yesterday, as I said, was a trainer ride and run-off, and the 1k time trial. Today we will hopefully get out for a ride, and I have 1800 of drills tonight, which hopefully my swimming buddy will join me for!

Good luck to Jodi, Lana, Wes and anyone else racing this weekend!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Race Report: Pre-Christmas Scorcher

I woke up today to the sort of weather that actually makes you want to leave the house! Unlike my previous tri (and du) race days,the sun was rising over the hills, the sea was (mostly) flat and there was a slight layer of cloud. We were running bit late, but the race start was delayed, so had enough time to warm up and muck around for awhile.

My goal for the (500m) swim was reasonably conservative; sub-10. One of the hardest things about sea swimming for me is not knowing where you are. I find it hard to pick off victims and pass them. I think I was a little conservative in the swim, and I really need to practice sea swimming more- I still do this awful hyperventilating style breathing and splash all over the place! Also- when the water is as nice as it was today, there's no hurry! Still, I was happy to see 9:29 when I came out of the water!

T1 was much better than last time. No idea on the split- 2:30ish I'm guessing- maybe a bit more when you include the run up the beach (which was slow- the beach is quite rocky etc and I am nervous about re-slicing that toe!) I mounted easily and took off.

I stuck to my strategy on the bike- keeping the legs moving and the gears average. I average a good speed for the first 5ks or so, passed a bunch of people up the hill (most of whom passed me back on the way down) and kept a good cadence up for most of the first half (though some sneaky headwinds got in my way coming up to the turnaround). A young girl came off her bike in front of me (drinking, I think) and I slowed and considered stopping. I kept going though, as there didn't seem to be anyone immediately behind me, and I wanted to get a marshall ASAP. Still- I felt incredibly guilty. Fortunately, the marshalls were not far ahead and I know they got to her very quickly. She was OK, but unsurprisingly very upset. The more I think about it, the worse I feel actually, but I honestly felt like I was making the best decision for the right reasons at the time. On the way back I realised that she was my transition neighbour and felt even worse. She and her mother seemed quite nervous, and she had been doing really well. Luckily, I saw her parents waiting for her on the way back so I called out to them. I hope it was the right girl, and that I didn't cause them a lot of worry for nothing.

I had my eye on a woman who had passed on the downhill. I think a problem with the ride was that there were not people immediately in front of me the whole time. I also used the woman as a pace-keeper and as an excuse instead of as a target! Instead of thinking, "Ha- she's slowing, get her now!" my brain said "Uh-oh. I'm feeling slow. But look, the gap is slowly closing. She's slow too. It must just be a hard bit. That's OK." No Kate, it's not OK. RIDE! I need to get that killer instinct! I have a teeny bit when I run, but the rest of the time, I cruise too much, especially on a nice day when it's fun to be on that bike. I also need to rethink my strategy. I kept it easy, but didn't drive enough, and saved my legs too much! I did pass her on the way back, but too late. She was not wearing cycle shoes (exactly- I should have passed her WAY back!!) and beat me into (and out of) T2. "Not for long, honey" I thought to myself (OK. Some killer instinct). Not sure how long the total bike. With T1 and T2 it was a little under 50 though.

I came out of T2 reasonably quickly (well, not TOO slow) and headed onto the run. A two lap run, which I was not happy about. I've done lots of 2.5k legs at that course but never more, so this was my first time having to do the stinky turnaround instead of crossing that wonderful finish line! You also have to run on a lot of gravel. I passed red and blue lady pretty quickly, but kept the first 1.25k easy. There's a bit of headwind on the way there, and it was disheartening seeing WAY more people going the other way than I had remembered seeing the other way on the bike! I think my first half was a little slower than I would have liked. I definitely prefer the out and back- going out on the 2nd loop I felt like I had much more to go than I would after the turn on an out and back 5k!! I started feeling much stronger in the second lap, about half way through the first 1.25k. But, again, I cruised a little. The only people passing me were little boys who I knew I couldn't keep up with. That's my other problem. If someone (male OR female) passes me and I judge that they look "better" than me I tend to leave them to it. That's a GOOD strategy at the beginning of a 10k, but not so smart in the last 750m of a 5k! I should have pushed MUCH more. I finished strong, but not with the mega sprints I have been pulling out recently. I really need motivation for those- either some other racer trying to pull away at the end, or a spectator giving me a kick. I saw 1:24:xx which was enough motivation to keep it under 1:25, but I didn't really need that, as I came in at 1:24:35. I felt pretty normal, not like after New Plymouth, where I was about ready to puke! Darn it. Work harder next time.

Not the best for perfect conditions, but a good race, more lessons learned and a fabulous experience. I have so much FUN in triathlons. And this one was so stress free. It was also the first tri where I have not done anything silly. Mounting and dismounting were smooth, no issues with clipping in and out, no chain problems, etc...

Every time I come into T1, I think, "I HAVE to do an Oly." Unfortunately, in between races, I tend to think, "I HAVE to do a marathon." I know I will do both, but this season they are mutually exclusive. I am planning one more tri in this series- 22 Jan, I think. I'm also trying to convince my honey to do the Du!! I could do the Oly then. I will have finished Round the Mountain and will theoretically have a lot of solid bike and swim training. I should also have enough time to get some running in between 2 Jan and 22 Jan. BUT, the 2.8k swim is only 6 days later. AND, I like the idea of doing the rest of the sprint series (there are two more after the Jan which I could enter) to see if I could break 1:20 (should be able to take at least 30s off the swim, 4 mins off the bike, 1:30 off that run) Arrgh. I'll put that it the too hard basket, and head off to brunch with my sister, who's starting her first big grown-up job (out of town) tomorrow.

Happy weekends everyone!

Footnote: There are no official results yet, but since my AG up until Feb is small and uncompetitive, I see my time would have placed me 1st, 4th, 2nd, 2nd and 3rd in my AG in the past few races! Yay for being 20-24 and boo for turning 25 soon!

Update: Checked prov results, and was second in AG (out of THREE-hehe). My T1 was much slower than I thought- I know I came out of the water at 9:29, but I left T1 at 13:59!!! Bike was MUCH better than I thought- bike + T2 were 43:50 in total! Run was worse than I thought- 26:44!! Appalling. Ah well, I knew I was cruising for some of it- but 2 minutes slower than NP, when I actually felt MUCH better. Need to pick up those run legs!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Time trial..

I warmed up for my time trial today by jogging to the track and trying to keep my HR between 146 and 156 (my target HR based on Maffetone's formula). It was surprisingly easy, and I spent less than 2 mins out of zone in total, which I was happy with. It was about 3.2 miles and I did it in under 30- that's all I know, but not a bad effort at my target zone.

The time trial was less successful. I took off too fast (waaaay too fast) and was gasping before I was halfway round the first lap. I'd never run on the track before and I didn't really know how to get the right pace. I *think* I did about 1400m in the 6 minutes. Not quite what I had planned, but there's room for improvement and I think it's a reasonable indicator of where I am for training purposes.

P and I decided it was too gorgeous and sunny to go home and cook (plus we had errands to run and wouldn't have been home until after 8 anyway) so we got some woodfired pizza , salad and strawberries and sat on the grass. Ah.. I love summer.

PS: For Aleks- this is the view from my house of my run on Saturday:

We ran from our place down the hill and along the coastline past the airport in this pic. In the second pic you can see the trail we ran along, and the coastline you follow back round towards our place.

Monday, November 27, 2006

A perfect run

On Friday night, P and I agreed that we would not leave the house on Saturday until it was tidy. We didn't have any plans apart from some shopping and a vague intention to go for a ride (my "schedule" suggested two bricks this weekend in the lead up to next week's sprint). But Saturday morning dawned clear, sunny and beautiful and I knew I had to be part of it as soon as possible. So I mapped out a 7.3m route and started getting ready. As I was debating ipod or no ipod I had a Eureka moment. What's better than music on a "long" run? That prevents boredom without interfering with the experience? Company!

So I jumped on P to wake him up and invited him out. I may have downplayed the distance a little, but he seemed enthusiastic. Anyway, the run was perfect. We ran out around the bays and over the Maupuia track- my favourite place! It was early enough that it wasn't hot, and somehow our pace managed to fit just right. Usually we're a little out of sync when we run. We tampered a bit with the route, and went up some extra hills at the end, so we could push a downhill finish instead of having to finish on the up! I ran fast for the first bit of the downhill but pulled back a little when I got scared! But still, finished strong and fast. We bought choc-ice blocks from the dairy (I almost fainted from the stale air inside after pushing down the hill and being out in the sun for too long) and then wandered back home. Our stats are a little off, but I think we averaged roughly 9 min miles, which is good considering that we had to walk down from the trail back to the road as it's quite treacherous!

Sunday I had planned a long walk with a friend, but the weather had deteriorated and was looking pretty awful at the time we'd planned to leave. A little disappointing, but the silver lining was being able to fit a swim in, and have a lot more time to catch up on that housework. I was pleased with myself for doing 2500m in the pool- that will be small potatoes once my swim training starts (next week!!) but is still a good effort for me now. Time not so good (not sure exactly), but the suggested workout involved a lot of rest and a lot of technique. It also had 600m or something of straight kicking- not something I'm used to, but it wasn't as bad as I anticipated! My stroke has improved so much, and I was able to decrease my stroke count during my cool down. Yay!

We met at my sisters' place on Sunday evening for a thanksgiving dinner. We have been meaning to have a thanksgiving celebration for so many years now (since we came back from CO in 1988!) but this is the first time we've done it. We made candied sweetpotatoes (my word those are weird!!) and I tried my hand at my first pumpkin pie (which, served with gingerbread ice cream, was really good!) We also started planning our Xmas and our summer holiday. It's really feeling like the festive season now! I'm so excited.

As you can probably tell, I am still feeling great after last week. And after to sinking to new lows weight wise (131.2!), I have managed to regain all that I lost (thanks to a dinner out with P on Saturday and unofficial thanksgiving dinner on Sunday). Hopefully I will be able to start losing the fat for real now- I'm feeling very flabby indeed and can't wait to hit the weights tomorrow. This week is mostly a weights/cycling week and spin class this morning was fun, if not the best workout ever. This instructor tends to run the class more like an aerobics class than a cycling class. Today we did a lot of very slow, mostly out of saddle, climbing on very high resistance. My HR was reasonably steady and I felt pretty good. Good enough for a fast 6 minute run-off at the end (1.4km, 6:51min/m). I have to do a 6 min track time trial by next Tuesday for this season's track programme, so hopefully will be able to do at least 1.4km in that. Most of my speedwork to date has been on the mill, so I'm not really sure how I'll go when I don't have that external motivation (keep moving or fall off on my butt) spurring me along. We shall see!

Hopefully will be doing some mini races this week- 5k tomorrow and a splash and dash on Weds. I hope I don't get too discouraged if I bomb out in the 5k. I'm thinking about just doing the 200m swim on Wednesday- I don't want to be dead last!

I am feeling OK about my running speed and endurance at the moment and thinking seriously about finishing this season without doing an Oly, then training for Rotorua (the closest we have here to Boston!) in April. I'm thinking 6 weeks of AeT base training (using Maffetone) and 6 weeks of marathon specific training. I won't expect too much of myself, so I think that balance should work. I guess I am feeling inspired by everyone's training logs and race reports! I am also learning that I don't need to get the time I want to achieve my goals. I will still be a marathoner, whether I finish sub 4, sub 5 or whatever! Tri-wise, I'll have 2 more sprints after next weekend's, as well as the century ride and the 2.8k swim, and I think that's a good enough first tri season, even without the Oly.

Anyway- hope everyone out there is feeling happy today :-)

Update: Life's so easy when you finish work on time! I was out the door before my secretary tonight, on the early bus home and in the door by 5:30!! Amazing. I made tofu and vege stir fry for dinner, made lunches and packed for tomorrow, finished most of the cleaning we neglected over the weekend, spent too much time online, read some of my book, did some ab work, watched some bad TV... and it's still only 9pm (nearly bedtime!) If only it was always like this...

Thursday, November 23, 2006

I am an athlete.

This means that I am the only person who went on yesterday's "Amazing Challenge" not limping around in agony today. The only one who could keep running for more than 3 minutes between check points.

And after that? A bike ride with a short run-off.

Whatever doubts I have about myself and my abilities, this reminds me that I am, indeed, an athlete.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Body type..

I just read this post of Tammy's. I fit pretty squarely into the mesomorph category, and checked it against this quiz. But I was sad to see that the list of famous mesomorphs was Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone and most MR Universe Winners! So, basically, I am a MAN!!

(Fortunately I did a bit more googling to find some female mesomorphs. I found a LOT more men, but found some women, including Demi Moore, Daisy Fuentes, Lucy Lawless and Madonna. I'll take that. I also found the following quote, "when it comes to athletics and physical stamina, nothing beats the mesomorph." Hmm. I think there's a bit of endo in my meso! And apparently mesos show more criminal tendencies. Right)

Bike to work day.

The last two days have gone from awful to average to awesome.

Tuesday I had an early meeting. I wasn't sick anymore but I was still pretty knackered, even after the 12 hours' sleep. However, everything I'd been working on got done, I got to have (and, remarkably, enjoy) a fancy lunch with (nice) clients for the first time in ages and I got a great, ego-boosting reference from my boss for a scholarship I'm never going to get. I finished work on time, had a relatively stressfree volunteer shift, and got home to a warm dinner. P and I had time for a half hour walk (on the trails near our place) after dinner then I settled in at home to read a new (trashy..) library book. We got our bikes and stuff ready for bike to work day, and got an early night.

Bike to work day was OK. The breakfast was pretty average, and I wasn't a fan of the ride in, though I will do it again- I need to keep at it to gain some much needed bike confidence. I handled my downhills far better than I have at times, and worked on spinning on the flats and staying calm in traffic. I also handled my ego far better than usual. P's confident, strong, fast. That's OK!

I got most of my work done in the morning and was able to to spend a guilt free morning on our summer clerk retreat. Running and walking around town in the sun, in casual gear and walking shoes, a picnic lunch and even winning the "Amazing Challenge." Hmm. Much as I love my job, that beats drafting evidence and researching antitrust.

I wasn't that excited about the ride home, especially after 3 hours of running around and climbing hills in the morning, but I kept it easy- easy gears, reasonable cadence... The hills were hard (HR hit the 180s), but I kept at them, and felt good. I picked up my ipod and headed out for a short run-off. I wanted to go forever and I felt pretty strong, but I was conscious that I had done a lot already, so I kept it to a fun, easy-paced mile.

And what now? Why, all new Simpsons followed by Scrubs. Pasta with chicken and parmesan, salad and warm bread. A cold, well-earned beer (doesn't match the pasta, but matches my day and the weather). This is the life!

(THEN I'll hit that housework!)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


We're actually starting to have some weather that resembles spring, and I've gone and gotten myself a bout of food poisoning during a mad crazy work week. So instead of taking my bike out when I got home last night, I went tp bed and slept for 12 hours. And I've lost 2 lb already, so it'll be awhile before I will have enough calories in reserve for a decent workout.

Sorry for whining. Believe it or not, there have been times in my life where training has just sailed along, obstacle free and I've been happy, upbeat and positive!

But although I don't want always to be negative on the blog, I do want to be honest- I'm not superwoman (obviously) and if someone less experienced than me (ha- yeah right!)is reading this, I want to show my training for what it is; silly struggles and all, instead of a journey that's all awesome runs, kickass hill climbs and sailing from training PR to training PR.

Update: fortunately, it was just a 12-hour thing and I'm much better now. I was pretty screwed yesterday, but today was fine and I am finally through the work month of hell! Tomorrow I am commuting on my bike for the first time and then spending the first part of the day on the summer clerk retreat. Yay!

Sunday, November 19, 2006




Louis Garneau



Also- if anyone has any comments on sizing, please let me know!

Saturday, November 18, 2006


This week has been CRAZY! But it reminds me that:

a- Work IS important to me. I love it, I'm (quite) good at it (well, I hope I am).
b- I CAN balance work, training, and life. It just means skipping housework...
c- Trying to spin after a 2 workout day starting at 5:20 and finishing at 2am? Maybe not so wise!

Am just about all caught up on reading and commenting, but not quite there yet :-)

Hope y'all have great thanksgiving breaks, and good luck to everyone who's racing!!

PS- Guess which budding triathlete turned up to an open water swim skills seminar at the WRONG beach? The weather was pretty nasty, so I decided it must've been cancelled. Unfortunately, it was not really going to be safe for me to swim alone, so I put my wetsuit on for 2 measly laps of the nearest buoy.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

What next?

So- my tri on Saturday was a disaster. But it's only a disaster if I live by numbers. If I throw my embarrassing time and awful placing out the window, I can remember that I achieved one of my 3 time goals. That I rode faster than I have before. That I rode the downhills (almost) without fear. That I passed lots of people going uphill. That I had one of the funnest hour and forty minutes EVER.

I'm taking this opportunity to revisit and refocus my goals for the season. I've been doing a lot of thinking about what is best for me to do this season and next, and I haven't actually made up my mind yet, but here are some thoughts...

Short(er) term goals:

I have two events coming up that I will be focussing on for the next 2 1/2 months. (I also have a sprint tri and a there are a couple of quick mid-week races I might do- after work 5ks, Wednesday night splash n dash, but I will not be training "for" these) The big events are the Round the Mountain ride on 2 January 2007 and the Lighthouse Classic swim on 27 January. This means that my programme will be about cycling and swimming for the next 10 weeks. I am feeling a little sad about the running, but I am also feeling very excited about the swimming and riding! I will also be keeping up with lifting and core work. I loved my gym workout this morning, and was so happy to feel the muscles again!

I have taken a swim training plan from the event website and have tinkered with it- I will be doing two sea swims a week, and will cut volume down every few weeks. Basically, I will do one session of endurance, one of speed and drill training and two sea swims each week (sometimes one sea swim will be part of a splash and dash). Over the summer holidays, I will just do what feels right- we'll be by the beach, there's a swimming pool nearby...

3 or 4 sessions per week. One will be dedicated to technical work/confidence building- including hill-climbs and descents, standing in my shoes, cornering, etc. P will help me with some of this. One midweek ride- either outside (top preference), on the trainer or a spin class. To build volume, we may do a spin double some weeks. One or two weekend rides- either one biggie or 2 smallies. We'll see!

Long(er) term:
I am still deciding whether to do an Oly. A marathon next season? A half-IM in the 2007/8 season? On Saturday, I felt like I would have been far better suited to an Oly than a sprint! I was just finding myself at the end of every stage! But, my goals for ME are all about sticking with things I don't like or that I'm not good at. Especially things I want to be good at! So, maybe it would be better for me to stick to short distances- work on the sprint this season, and the 10k next season? But then I look at posters for the Rotorua marathon, and all these great endurance events. Should I just accept that I'm more inclined to endurance? There are actually much bigger life decisions I need to be making at the moment, so those may have some bearing on my decisions!

One of my challenges, as always, will be avoiding overtraining. I had a free consultation with a physiologist who read me like a book. I have tinkered with my programme to accommodate for things like Xmas, summer holidays, etc etc. I am also ensuring regular rest days and low volume weeks. I have also bought a cheap temporary fix HRM to make sure I take care of myself. This schedule will require more organisation than what I have been used to for the last couple of months, but I have been THAT person before, and since P will be doing the weights and cycling with me (and maybe even some of the swimming!!!), we will be able to support each other.

Sorry for the random post. I'm just trying to get all these things thought out!

Oh and two random things:

1- Thanks for the advice re: trisuit. P's been looking for one for me for ages (we can only buy Orca and Zoot here, but one of his nerdy hobbies is finding bargain sportswear online..) but I was loathe to have either of us invest any more in my tri until I knew what I wanted to do with it. But now I know I want to do it, and that I never want to waste that much time in transition again! Do you think it's safe to buy online? Does anyone have any suggestions re fit?

2- I've found in my races that my feet go numb while I'm riding, and take awhile to warm up on the run. I'm guessing this is something in my cycling technique, but I'm not sure what. Any comments/advice? Thanks :-)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Back part 2


I hereby promise to post pics of every sunburn this summer. I challenge myself to make this the last!

Race report- by the numbers

(oops- ripping of Jodi's post ideas again!

Argh. Numbers.

I am NOT going to let them destroy me. So I am not going to link to them, and I am not going to discuss them. But some highlights:

0: Number of course maps available at the race site/in race pack. I had been emailed a map but it was at my home address and I didn't get it until Friday morning. Should have printed it. Relied on there being a map in race pack or an information desk at the site. Hindsight.

1: the number of times I got completely psyched out by a local athlete's description of the ride. BIG hills. SLICK windy descents.

1: number of bike computers that stopped working on race morning

1: the number of spare bike computers we had sitting in the car (P's bike came with the same computer that mine did- a useless piece of rubbish, but ah well)

1: Number of times on the bike course I hit the ground. I called out to someone who was having trouble on the side of the road and forgot to keep pedalling. Oops.

2: Times I cried over the course of the weekend. Number one: sheer frustration at not knowing where I would be riding or running. Number two: let's just say I need to do a LOT of work on riding with P.

6: minutes spent in T1. I ripped my race number, struggled with bra insert in race vest, dropped stuff. This led to a rather panicked exit.

Wetsuit off..

Ooops- this inner support business is TRICKY...

And we're STILL in T1...

And there are 3 more in that series, before I mount my bike. I'm bored just posting them!

6: minutes spent at the side of the road on the second climb after losing my chain, and my mind.

Several: the number of decent climbs on the bike course, the first one straight out of T1.

(Just) Sub- 8: average minutes taken to run a mile. Happy with this. The site gives me 24:53, so I'll go with them, but my calculations said it was a little lower (still over 24 though). I hope that I can lower it as my fitness gets back up to scratch.

14: degrees celsius- the minimum water temperature for running the swim. I was very concerned that the swim would be cancelled and SO relieved when it wasn't.

15: degrees celsius- the water temperature on race day (it was fine- didn't bother me at all)

16: minutes spent in the water. Not great, but not a disaster either. Should be sub-15 next 750!

17: average age of the winners of my event (next time I read "family friendly, participation focussed, suitable for first timers" I'll remember to translate it to "NZ under 18 championships"… Nice. They could at least have put the kiddies in a different category!)

26-27: average speed (kph) while riding the bike. Not too embarrassing considering the hills. Could and should be much better.

50: maximum speed on the bike (wheeee!!!)

100: minutes on the course in total (yuck)

Off the charts: my HR back on the bike after the chain was fixed!

Countless: the number of times I thanked my lucky stars for P, while wishing I had friends racing and my family there to support me too.

All the numbers and all the stress and tears aside, I had an AMAZING time on the course. I swear I loved every minute of it!

Other random things I made a note to blog about:

- little kids holding their hands out for high fives as I sprinted down the finishing chute (thanks to P for making me kick it!). Such an awesome feeling.

- the tape recorded haka played at race briefing. Is it that hard to find a primary school kapa haka group in the Naki (too all of you non-Kiwis-- well, all of you-- the answer's NO)? And surely just prior to the start would be better than just prior to the RD's speech?

- the winner of the cup race was the first girl who P ever kissed. He didn't know she was a triathlete! (not the world cup race, just the Kiwi one).

- getting a high-5 from this HOT guy as he won the men's ITU World Cup race. Watching the World Cup race was AWESOME. I loved watching their cycling- especially watching the groups on the steep descent back into the transition area and the next loop.


- I need to chill the f*ck out. I was SO stressed out pre-race. Not pre-race nevres or excited anticipation. No, all consuming, frustrated, teary, snappy stress. I'm not sure what the cause was, though I think nutrition and hydration contributed. The late race start also didn't help- I love the early morning adrenaline and race day buzz! I also didn't even think to listen to my power songs, which we'd especially loaded onto P's MP3 player on Friday morning. Same applies to getting back on the bike after the dramas in T1 and after the dropped chain

- I need to do a LOT of work on the bike. Technical work. From now on, I'm riding up and down the hills near home at least one morning a week. I'm also going to change the pedals and do some technical work while unclipped to get some more confidence. However, I did ROCK the second half of the ride. I was comparatively confident on the downhills, embraced the higher speeds I was finding, took corners in my stride. Etc. I'm dwelling on the negative, but I came off that bike feeling amazing! I also unclipped uneventfully at T2, for the first time!

- Riding rollers is very different to riding Welly's big mother hills. Much more fun, yes, but it also requires much better planning shifting-wise. I made quite a few silly mistakes with gearing!

- If nutrition is the 4th discipline and transition is the 5th, basic bike maintenance is the 6th. Stop letting P take care of the boy stuff.

Anyway, I've learnt some lessons, and I've done some soul searching. Next post will discuss my goals and training plans for the rest of the season...Maybe some more pics too!

Back :-)

I had a great weekend in NP and a LOT of fun on the course, though the race was not technically a success!

Will hopefully post full report with lots of pics soon :-) Thanks for all the good luck wishes everyone!

Friday, November 10, 2006

I'm off!

I composed a big post yesterday at work but forgot to email it home. Oops!

Anyway, just a quick post before I leave for New Plymouth...

1- Taper week was actually a taper week, pretty much. Work forced me to take it easy exercise-wise (I did a great spin class on Tuesday and a fairly easy swim on Wednesday, but missed my planned run on Thursday because I had a client meeting...) but it hasn't exactly been a week of rest and minimal stress. Ah well. My eating has been OK- I hit a low weight earlier in the week so have worked on keeping my good calories up since then.

2- Weather is amazing here this morning! I wish I wasn't leaving- especially knowing that the weather in NP (which is usually better than here) will not be great this weekend. Ah well. Strong winds and showers are forecast for Saturday's race, but I hear that "strong" has quite a different meaning in NP! Here's hoping. I'm also hoping that the jellyfish that invaded the NP harbour a couple of weeks ago have decided to go home!

3- I am REALLY looking forward to racing. I snuck out for an 8 minute run this morning- just to make sure my legs still worked! I have gotten over the "it's just a sprint" feeling that I think had been lurking throughout my training so far. Yeah- maybe it is just a sprint. But it's my FIRST proper sprint. It'll take me 1:30ish, which isn't much less time than a half marathon takes me. It's OK for this to be an "A" race, even if I don't achieve what I want to (solid swim, 27kph average on the bike, run under 25). So I am amped. I am looking forward to struggling into my wetsuit, cramming my swimcaps on, slipping my goggles down. I'm looking forward to testing the water, then starting in a mad rush (from what I can see, we're starting with the men, all in one wave??!!), getting beaten up my flailing legs, swimming madly offcourse, spluttering in the salt water (no rose tinted goggles for this newbie!). I'm looking forward to dropping stuff in transition, to hobbling out of T1, clipping in smoothly (can't be too pessimistic here) and heading out on the course. I'm looking forward to tackling the winds head on, to forgetting to reset my computer, to nervously approaching the turn arounds and to freaking out about whether I'm drafting, to cruising back into T2, unclipping uneventfully. Looking forward to lacing up my running shoes, pushing those brick legs out of transition and picking those beeyatches ahead of me off one by one (yeah, right)! I'm looking forward to kicking it over the finish line, seeing P cheering me on, taking photos.

4- We found out last night that some friends of ours will be in the Naki for the weekend too. Yay! Hopefully P will find some spectating company. It seems that NP is really getting into world tri festival spirit. It's been hard to tell whether it's a big deal or not- lots of Wgtn triathletes barely knew what I was on about when I mentioned where I was racing, but it seems that it should be well supported. I am excited about being involved in the atmosphere of a big deal race!

5- My toe is still a bit of a pain, especially during swimming. We'll tape it up heaps tomorrow anyway. I have to make sure I really mangle it on the run- I'd rather end the race with a bloody toe than a munted calf, and I am already feeling myself using my lower legs to ease off the toe. Silly. It doesn't hurt that much, but it's irritating.

That's all for now folks.. Have great weekends and I look forward to posting a race report when I get back!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The stupidest injury ever

(I don't remember doing such a stupid pose, but of course that's what my honey caught!)

As I mentioned, I had a practical tri seminar, preparation for my first real sprint next weekend. Basically, we got practical tips from a couple of ironmen, and practiced transitions. I got to wear my new wetsuit for the first time, and I loved it! I'd never been swimming in a wetsuit before, and I really noticed the buoyancy. I loved that my feet were freezing while the rest of me was comfortable!

As I was getting out of my wetsuit at imaginary T1, I noticed a red mark on my white towel and realised that I'd cut my big toe somewhere in the water. Yuck! It didn't really hurt, but it was bleeding quite hard for a small cut.

This cut is turning out to be the stupidest injury ever. It's just little, but you don't realise how much a big toe does until it's not doing it or until it hurts to do it. Grr. It's mostly fine while biking (P and I took the twinnies out for an hour or so after the seminar- was loving the easy downhills and feel some mojo coming back) but it throbs when I stop, as well as whenever I wear any kind of shoes for more than an hour or so. Stupid thing. I could feel it moving during my swim tonight, and ended up dedicating much more of my workout to pull! Ah well- it's really no big deal. It's just funny that such a STUPID little cut is making training so much less comfortable.

This week I'm tapering, apart from the 5k Wednesday evening, which I'm hoping will be a bit of a wee comeback. I think tomorrow will be a rest (I wasn't feeling well today- dizzy spells and dodgy tummy), Tues and Thurs will be weights, Weds is the race and Fri will be an easy brick before we travel up, I think. Nice. Work will be messy again, so my challenges for the week will be getting enough vitamins and proper food in, getting enough sleep and minimising stress. I'll have to keep asking myself the question (especially wrt to training), "Will this HELP me race on Saturday?" and also, more importantly "Could this HURT my performance on Saturday?"

Hope all the NYC racers have a great time, congrats to IMFL peeps, and hope the rest of you had great weekends of training, racing, resting and so on!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Happiness is a long run!

(OK, OK. My run wasn't "long", per se. Maybe 8.5 miles or so. But "long" fitted the song better than, say "evening")

I was working late (again) on Thursday and arranged to meet my friend for a run break. The weather was perfect (apparently we're on a 7-day cycle, nice weeks, Saturdays gradually getting worse, Sundays turning to custard- wtf??!) and we ran slooowly around the botanical gardens and then around the waterfront. I ran the last 2.5mi back to my office by myself and it was HARD to pick up my pace. I was running at tempo run effort and was sitting around or a little under 8:30s! Mental. But I think it was because running slowly, and up some beastly hills, for an hour does take it out of you and I'm prouder of myself for keeping the pre up than I am disappointed with the speed. I was thinking about trying to sub-24 in a 5k again last week, but realised I have the corporate challenge this Wednesday, so that'll have to be my time. The course was a bit short last year, but not sure about this year- we'll see.

In other running news, I cranked out a mile on the t/mill Thursday morning after my workout in, wait for it, 6.27! I was running at 10mph for the last minute, and when the mill switched to cool down mode (this one goes down far more slowly than the other type at my gym, which pretty much go straight to walking pace) I actually had to stand on the sides gasping. But woohoo! I wasn't expecting to hold 15kph (about 9.3mph) the whole way, let alone ramp it up to 16 at the end!

Am thinking about my goals and plans for the next few seasons. My oly distance tri is late in the season (late March/early April). The marathons I would want to do are either late May (too soon after the Oly) or late September (apparently too close to do an Xmas half-I). ARGHH. Depending on career stuff, am sort of thinking about finding a mid-year mara in Aussie! Or I could stick to plan and get super fast in the 10k.. But the lure of the marathon is strong.

Anyway- better start getting ready. Am off to a practical tri session this morning and need to get everything ready. And hey- it's clouding over!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Week in review..

FIRST.. a huge congratulations to my buddy and training partner A who finished the Auckland marathon in 3:50. It's her first, has a hilly first half and the weather in Auckland today includes the huge gusts that have been all too common across the country.

I'm so proud and jealous. I wish I'd been there with her as we planned! I definitely know I'll be doing a full one day. It may not be able to be Rotorua, as I want to do my first Oly about a month before, and I may not do it til 2008, but I will do it!

On to me- this week in review:

Wednesday: So much for "no excuses." I slept in soo late! But then I did something right. I knew I couldn't work out at lunch time (too busy) and that I had to get to Dad's after work. Then it hit me! I worked out a route to Dad's (very hilly) and arranged to meet a friend to run part of the way with me. Then I begged my wonderful boy to carry my stuff to the car for me. Poor guy was completely laden! I did about 3 hilly miles before meeting C (some fabulous downhills as I was running late) and we then jogged (yup, definitely jogging..) about 4.5 miles to her place. Dad's is another 2.5(ish) miles from there, so I picked up the pace as much as I could. I was shattered by the end- so many hills and the last fifteen minutes or so was a long uphill slog. Anyway, felt great!

Thursday: Did an easy weights workout and some indoor cycling. Was taking it easy on the legs after the bigger than planned run on Weds. I had to work late, but knocked off at 8 so I could spend some time with P before he left. We got Nando's (yummy healthy chicken) and then went to Wendy's (not the burger place) for ice cream. I ordered green salad with my pita (though I didn't hold the mayo..) and got a small chocollo (89 cals) instead of a big yummy sundae. I feel like I am gradually starting to find my right mindset again (though the weekend puts paid to that...)

Fri- P left early on Friday morning, and when the alarm went off at 5:25, I rolled straight back over and went to sleep. Oops! I don't know why I have been so tired this week! I worked late (again), and then caught the train out to the Hutt valley where I was house (and cat) sitting over the weekend. The house is about a fifteen minute walk up the hill from the train station, so I hoped to be home by 10. Unfortunately, I completely missed their driveway and ended up adding an extra 40 minute loop. I was actually pretty exhausted by the time I got in! I played with the cats for a little while, read some of a trashy magazine, then marked a few exam papers before bed.

Saturday- alarm went off at 5:45 so I got up and got my swimming stuff on. I managed to do some more marking on the train, and while waiting for the bus and made it to my lesson a little over half an hour early, so did some easy laps to fill the time in. My lesson went well- my bilateral breathing is improving SO much, and I think my stroke is getting longer too! I am finding that breathing every stroke (I mean every) is a really helpful drill for me, even if it is incredibly dorky looking. I then came home (to my real home) to sort out the stuff I needed for the next day's du. I needed to get new screws for my cleats which of course no bike shops sell. So I had a cup of coffee, put some laundry on and looked up this hardware shop that would apparently have what I needed. I was thinking I'd finish marking one box of papers, then pick up the next bunch and head back to the Hutt. BUT the stupid hardware place closed at 1pm which wrecked that plan. So, put laundry out and stuck what I needed for the next day (clean sports bra etc!) in the drier, packed everything up and headed downtown where I got the screws, bought some hardware (!!), did some marking, popped into work and got some food for the evening. It doesn't sound like a busy day when I set it out, but it really was! I found it really hard to walk everywhere again, especially carrying probably 20lb worth of stuff! I've really been spoiled by P's car. I finally got back to the house at about 3:30, I think. I did some more marking, hung out with the cats, then went for a great little run before dinner. I wanted to explore the area as on my unplanned detour the night before I had seen heaps of trails coming off the road. I stopped and played in a playground for awhile, did some chin ups on the bars (I'm improving!!) and played on the swings. I love swings! I did a few pick-ups and fast hills and then raced up the driveway when I got back to the house (it's a real b*tch!). Was super excited to find Love Actually on TV, so kept it on in the background while I finished off this set of marking (I've done 120 of about 320). I made it to bed pretty early (10:30ish I think) and fell asleep not much later! It was a rough night, and I woke up quite a few times. Luckily one of those times I was able to wish A luck for the marathon! It did mean that I read some texts without digesting them including one from P telling me that he had won the auction on the bike he likes! It's the one that's better than mine but about the same colour, so we really will be twinnies! YAY! He got a great bargain too!

Sunday- I got up early to get ready for the du. My friend's mother came over at 7 to bring me home. I woke up feeling uncertain, and thought (not for the first time) about whether I should call to cancel my ride. A run around the Petone foreshore was sounding great! But I decided I should stick with it. Until I got home and in bucketed down. I was not excited about racing, when all I really wanted was a decent brick, but most of all, I was not excited about riding there and back! I am still nervy about the big downhills and I knew that riding back up in the rain after racing for 90 mins plus would not be fun. So I called Mum, got her to justify my behaviour and piked. It really made me aware of how reliant I am on P, both for motivation and for transport (again, it's time to drive). Also, it's reminding me how I need more tri friends! If I'd known people I knew would be at the race, I would have been more inclined to go. I really need to shift my attitude. But then again, this season is about fun! And I had LOTS of fun doing my own du. I ran into a woman from my club on the first run, so she kept the pace moving (although we were chatting). I then rode for an hour on the trainer (first time I've ever actually done an hour nonstop- usually get bored or have "core" stops), while watching the Lion King. I dashed out for the second run with just cycle shorts and a singlet. Rather cold, but enjoyed it.
I then caught up on some of my weekend chores, hung out with my sisters, and went into work where I found that SEVEN pages of a twelve page document I'd been drafting until 9:30 Friday night had disappeared!! We never got them back, so instead of doing what I intended to do on Sunday, I stayed until 11pm redoing it!

Monday- I decided to make this a week of evening workouts, as work will stay crazy- a couple of biggish cases at critical stages. If I can't get home til after 10 or 11, I'm not going to do what it takes to get ready for morning workouts away from home (breakfast, lunch, dinner, shower stuff, work clothes...generally half an hour to an hour of prep time all up), so it's better for me to take an hour out during the evening to do something. On Monday I went to the outdoor pool for a short swim. It was fantastic! I was only sharing the (33yd) lane with one other girl, and I just did one of their easy suggested workouts (mostly OK, apart from one armed freestyle.. how?) I went back to work with a real bounce back in my step. Had some delicious strawberries for dessert and got to look good when my boss came back in quite late to finish some things off. Left at 11, which meant I was only barely asleep when P got back from Melbourne.

Tues- finished work early and ran home with my friend, then back downtown where I met P. We had burgers and kumara chips by the beach (in the car as it was freezing)- a great welcome back date. Now I'm finishing this off and deciding what to do in the morning. I'm hankering for another run, but may cycle instead. We're picking up P's bike after work. Yay!

Speaking of the trainer, I'm thinking about getting a CTS dvd- not all of them are available here but should be able to find something online. Any suggestions?

Weight loss is going OK. My average weight has gone down over the past two weeks, and the downwards trend has been consistent. Lowest weight so far, 134.8! I'm getting used to counting cals- now the plan is to try to make those cals better ones!!

Anyway, better get to bed. I'm alive, and stressed but happy. I'm grateful to be able to fit even 30-40 minute workouts in!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


The weekend stayed wet and gross (understatement- it's winds of over 100kph and severe weather warnings all over the place...trees down all over the show too). Yesterday we went to a spin class (good workout, but I think she spent waaay too much time out of the saddle) and checked out some bikes for P. The one he likes is lots like mine (but better), so if he ends up with that we'll be twins!

I then remembered what it feels like to be bored. In a "nothing to do" as opposed to a "doing something boring" way. It was cold and wet. P was out nerding it up with his friends. The house was (mostly) clean and I didn't need to start dinner for a couple of hours. I was banned from my trainer (meanie boy.. oh, ok, thanks hon!) and I felt like slapping Mari Winsor even more than I usually do (sorry Mari.. I do like your workout!) I had no books to read and there was nothing on TV.

It was so strange! I am so used to cramming everything into two days and being go go go all day. It wasn't just the extra day this weekend- I also had far less on (no races, no "long" workouts thanks to the weather, no scheduled workouts with friends/groups...) and the weather really did make a difference. Anyway, it was kind of worrying to feel like I'd lost the ability to amuse myself, but on the other hand, exciting to realise that my inner couch potato is well and truly gone. I can still relax, but I don't think I'll be "lazy" again. In the end I got up and started dinner and lunches for today a bit earlier than planned. That led to some fun extra cooking (divine pumpkin fritters which I can't wait to make again and some squid rings). It was nice making dinner in a relaxed, non-hurried way and to be able to feel like I'm a good live-in girlfriend, feeding my man! Silly, yes, but although we usually eat proper meals, it's nice to have three courses all truly home-prepared. Tonight I'm continuing in this vein of domesticity by making P's favourite mac n cheese.

I've been thinking about my results from last week. On the whole I'm not best pleased. I'm happy with the weekend, where I think my blowouts were quite controlled, but not the rest of the week. I ate way too much JUNK, succumbed to far too many temptations. In fact, I didn't really resist anything. I have forgotten how to behave like a motivated person, and I'm eating like someone eating normally, not someone watching her weight. I'm not saying I should be denying myself everything, but one treat a day should be enough! Workouts are the same- I'm just not pushing enough! I'm taking it easy, having fun and I want to push it up a little. Take this weekend. It rained, and what did I do? I switched to indoor workouts (shorter in duration and overall "burn") and hid inside like a little girl. The old Kate? She would have been out running in wet weather gear and loving it! I need a more structured programme and no more excuses. So, tonight while P eats his mac n cheese, I'm having pasta with tuna and a little grated cheese (and a lot of tasty greens). I need to not eat like a man!

Tomorrow's a trainer workout/run in the morning- no matter what!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

I hate boys.

Why, you ask?

Because they're stronger. Faster. Better. And it drives me mad.

Today I went to the gym with P. I jumped on the erg and was stoked to watch my time per 500 quickly dive below 2:00, to 1:59 and then 1:58. I really feel like my rowing's progressing. P decided he'd like to give it a go too (his second time, ever). Gave him some pointers on technique and he was off. 2:10. 1:58. 1:51. 1:48. NO Fair! I finished my first 1000 in 4:10 and was so chuffed! P, barely working, finished his in 3:54. I just hate being a girl sometimes. I realise it's all about power and that women just aren't as powerful or as fast as men, but I do hate that I can't outrun or outrow him (well, maybe in a marathon). I know it's actually great. I have this wonderful guy who helps me in my training, and who inspires me to work harder (there's no way I would have *sprinted* the last 500m of our run on Friday if I'd been alone. And today I broke my rowing mile record by 15 seconds. Sah-weet! But still. It's hard when I do all this training, and then he can do the things I've achieved without even trying :-(

To continue on this slightly negative note, labour weekend has really let us down. It's supposed to mark the beginning of summer (the outdoor pools open!!) I had hoped that this weekend would include a long easy bike, a medium distance (8-10m) run and an open water swim, to break in the new wetsuit (the evo. Yup, I'm cheap, and may regret it, but I can't afford to spend any more on tri than is absolutely necessary!) Lots of gelato, sun and chilled out glasses of wine. What it has (and will continue to) involve? Rain. Storms and wind. Heaters on inside. Warming up fast to stop from freezing at the gym. Indoor workouts. Elliptical training. YUCK! Admittedly, tomorrow should be better- we're planning a spin class and I'm hoping to have a quick swim in the outdoor pool (which opened today!) afterwards. The weather may be awful, but I love swimming outside in the rain and the weather means there will be far fewer kids around.

Oh well- every cloud has a silver lining. I had a nice evening out last night. Dinner at a vegetarian cafe followed by a chick flick and a hot chocolate. The nasty weather has meant more time relaxing with P in front of the heater, and it's made it MUCH easier to finish our chores. It's made it easier for me to track my meals in fitday and to track a woman I know as well as the Kiwi Pros at Kona. Sad to see Cameron Brown falling to 8th but pleased to see Jo Lawn at 7th. A woman from my club is competing in the 50-54 group. Solid enough swim and bike, and she's running 8:12s so far. Go Michelle!

Friday, October 20, 2006

The numbers...

The numbers from Naenae are in:

Time: 1:12:33 (crikey- I've never been so far out before, given I started timing at the gun!); no splits available
Place: Category (F U35) 9/22; Gender (F) 19/70; Overall 93/184

These aren't great results. It's probably the first race where I haven't placed in the top 50% overall (ok, ok, it's close..), and to only just be in the top half of my category is a worry. I'm used to running, where I've always placed reasonably well. Ah well. Anyway, I'm not pleased but hey- this wasn't about winning, or even doing well. If it was, I would not have killed my legs on Saturday, I would have warmed up properly, yadda yadda.

I was very good this week and took 1 1/2 rest days- no workouts between the race and Tuesday night, when I just had to run. Work was crazy, I was late to an appointment, and when I finally got there I just didn’t have a clue what to do. I volunteer at the Community Law Centre, where I give advice to refugees and other immigrants about their immigration issues. Mostly we are helping people to get other members of their families over to NZ to be with them. It can be pretty emotionally draining, and I always feel a little out of my depth away my normal life in a big, safe, corporate law firm. I grabbed a protein bar on the way home, then dashed in, laced up and headed out. Ten minutes jog, 3 X hill reps (picked a too short hill and hated it…), jog down to the waterfront and around the bays (slooowly) for about 2 miles. Then braced myself and dragged myself up the hill back home. I did OK. I didn't feel as strong on that hill as I used to, but I only stopped once, and I wanted to at least 10 more times! I am so glad that running is becoming my stress relief of choice again. Though the beer we shared while cooking dinner helped too!

I spent the run planning my training programme for the standard distance. I accept that I have to keep taking it easy between now and then (boo), but it helps to know that some good training, especially for running, is on the horizon.

On some other numbers, I am using fitday again, and weighing in daily. I know why weighing in daily is "bad", but I like being able to see trends, rather than just my arbitrary weekly weights. I just want to lose 5lb- all of it fat! My body is so mushy at the moment. I liked it firm! Summer's coming! Today's weight is 138.2. I want to be 133 by Xmas.

Oh- and the last lot of numbers..

Orca Evo: $289 - 15%
Orca Sonar: $439 - 15%
How much I sold the cellphone I won on Tuesday for: $185

Which wetsuit? I can sorta afford either, but money is tight and I can't really afford a wetsuit at all. I still need a new bike computer and various other stuff too. Should I use the bonus money from the cellphone to justify an upgrade, or should I just be glad that it'll now be easy to pay for my wetsuit?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Naenae Triathlon- race report

Today was a whole heap of fun. I think I could learn to like this triathon business! Got up at 6:20 this morning, and forced a bowl of oatmeal (with strawberries, almonds and canned peaches) down. My appetite has been so screwy recently- not at all like me- but I managed to finish it. I did some stretching, took my bike out for a couple of minutes then woke P.

I b*tched and moaned most of the way to the race. We forgot to take good tunes with us. I was tired, my tummy felt funny. The weather was pants, I wasn't in the mood. Poor P, it must have been like travelling with a 3 year old. Arrived out at Naenae and queued to register, still not in the mood. Definitely the closest I've ever been to flagging a race, but I didn't stay at home last night, wake P up or pay thirty bucks to chuck it in! Race briefing was uneventful. I couldn't hear much, but it didn't seem like I missed anything important.

Run was OK. I wasn't running strong, and was passed by some people I shouldn't have been passed by. But felt like I was in about the part of the pack where I belong (near the back of the men, middle/front of the women). I spend so much of my training and racing with men in their early 50s! But they're great, and always so helpful, friendly and wise! The first mile or so was an eternity. I must have looked at my watch about 4 times before I'd been out ten minutes! Was happy to see P and a couple from Harriers at about 14 minutes and hoped this meant I was not too far from transition. By this time, I was happy. My pace felt good, although my legs were struggling too much for a 4k! Did a big, happy, two-handed wave but P didn't catch that. Transition was just over 5 minutes from that point, and I was pleased to hit the cones at 19:37 and to be well at my bike by 20:00. Yay! That's sub-8. Not much sub-8, and not the time I should be getting but you know, I'll take it! Lesson learned: Don't kill legs the day before. Push hard!

T 1 was quite good! I clipped in fairly quickly and rode off. My speed til the first turn around was between 28 and 31 kph. Not spectacular, but passed the mountain bikes and a few of the faster ones. Was fun having a semi-decent bike and being able to pass people who'd passed me on the run :-) After the first turn it got windy and my speed slowed by about 5kph. Yuck. We rode back past the swimming pool/transition area and I gave P another big wave, but a big car passed me so no pic. I was feeling really happy. Thanking marshalls, shouting out thanks to my supporters. It was fun! Seeing P and my harriers friends gave me a short burst of speed, but that didn't last long, as I was about to hit the real wind. I'm not sure what the speeds were like, but it wasn't fun. The side wind was the worst- still adjusting to the lighter bike and I hate that feeling where I think it's going to blow over. I rode slowly into the wind, and it seemed that every time I got to shift my gears up, I'd hit another gust. I got passed a couple of times, but apart from one couple I passed everyone back. I'll never know, but I felt like I definitely passed more than passed me on the bike. Finally, we hit the tail wind. Sailed over the overpass (a little nervous, so slowed on the turn) and enjoyed watching the (now fixed) computer edging up a bit as I rode along the next flat. Before I knew it, I was coming back towards T2, so I started unclipping, but try as I might, my left (normal unclipping) foot would not budge. As I turned towards the cones, I gave up and took my right foot off. I stopped in the dismount area, and pulled to the edge, but couldn't for the life of me get unclipped. Eventually I realised that the shoe was coming away from the cleat, and that I was going to have to take the foot out of the shoe instead. Oops! Unfortunately, I didn't pick the smoothest way of doing this, so I kinda capsized. I guess the marshalls weren't allowed to help, but it would have been easier for him, me and the panicked ambulance officer if he'd just undone that velcro. Anyway, I unvelcroed, picked myself up and headed into t2. I wasn't happy with my bike time. I could have gained a minute or so by being less timid, and a few minutes by riding stronger and better. It'll come! Lessons learned: work on dismounts, buy new computer that measures cadence.

In T2, I realised I might have missed something in the briefing when I started running towards the pool and the crowd of spectators started yelling "wrong way!!" Ooops. I felt a bit stupid, and I'm sure it was obvious enough that no-one else stuffed up, but I sort of think it might be smart to actually include this sort of info in race instructions. Like: "After dismounting, run through T2 and then instead of going through the main pool door, run through the carpark, along a path and through the back door you've probably never seen.." Maybe? Anyway, bare feet and brick legs made the short run harder than I expected. We all climbed in at the shallow end and headed off. There was a bit of awkward politeness in the swim. People sort of waited at the end of the lanes (we basically zigzagged across the 6 lanes, so no flip turns etc) and it was a bit of a mess. I was quite zapped. I breathed a LOT and couldn't really manage to use anything in the way of smart technique. The pics show my legs trailing behind me, which is what it felt like. Ah well! I stuck with freestyle and did OK. I saw P as I swam, and tried to wave. He didn't see, but I loved being able to give him a big happy wave even though I was swimming. Got passed by a couple of people but couldn't be bothered swimming any more aggressively, though I worked quite hard and when I finished, I was stuffed. Lessons learned: I was glad for my "endurance" training in the pool. It's hard to swim fast when you're tired and there are people everywhere.

My finish time was 1:12:04. Quite a long time between entering T2 and getting out of the pool! But well within my vague goal. Yay! No official results yet. I suspect I'll be somewhere in the middle of my age group. It wasn't a great race, and I didn't win the bike spot prize, though I did get a voucher for 15% off wetsuits in my race pack! 15% is a decent amount off a wetsuit, and I'm in the market (need one before my tri in November).

Overall lessons learned:

1- The things that make me nervous about triathlon (transitions, looking like a dork) are not a big deal. I know I learnt this at that du, but I'm feeling it so much more now! It's OK. I've got so much time to get good at transitions, and who cares if I make a dork of myself when I can't unclip? Sure, it would be better not to, but it WILL be OK...

2- It's fun to race! I'm definitely taking it less seriously than I took running races. I know I'll be more focussed as I improve, and I know I'll be disappointed if I don't do well in my next sprint, or in my first Oly, but I am loving just having fun.

I spent the rest of my day shopping with my sisters, and buying things I can't afford. It was great.

Cool- P just flicked on the TV and the women's ITU World Cup race (in Hungary) is on ESPN (yes, it was awhile ago). Nice timing! I'm really looking forward to watching it LIVE in a few weeks. They've come off the bike, and man they're looking fast coming into that run! Such amazing bodies...

Anyway, I'm off for a massage and then to sleep. YAY. Not in the mood for work tomorrow, but ah well!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Gale force northerlies??

Weather forecast for tomorrow (Naenae) is not looking great. Gusty? Gale force? Nothing funner than biking into gale force head winds! Ah well, it happens.

Am not particularly enthusiastic about tomorrow at the moment. Last week was a reasonably hard week at work, and although I did take that rest day, and another, I'm fairly wiped. I've also had some stomach issues which has made getting in calories more of a chore than usual! Running for two hours today may not have been the best move, but I had good reasons, and I won't regret it even if my performance is impaired tomorrow.

I joined a friend for the last 6 or 7 miles of the 24(ish) miler she did today. When I met her she'd been out for 3 hours or so, with at least half of that runnning into impossible winds. She was amazing. Absolutely knackered when we met, she was strong up the hills and finished sooo weell! She's absolutely going to rock that marathon! Anyway, she said at the end and on the way that the company made all the difference, and I'm so happy to have done that. Then I joined the Scottish Harriers for the last group run of the season. It was good to be back with the club, though I did run with a pack down (I'm not sure what pace they train at, but most of these women would race about a 25 in a 5k, maybe a 1:55-2hr half..) I talked to a lot of people about my overtraining experience etc and am looking forward to next year with the club. It was hard to balance training with A with training with the club, but I really have missed the support, as well as the pack runs!

The main reason I went to this run today was because of the mini prizegiving to celebrate our exercise challenge (their real prizegiving is tonight). Got a bottle of wine for a spot prize and a cute certificate the organiser had made for us. She'd scrapbooked them personally for each of us, trying to incorporate bits of us into them. Really sweet :-)

I also had my first swimming lesson this morning. I felt incredibly uncoordinated, but I did feel like my roll and my stroke speed had improved by the end of the lesson. I also learned a few things about swimming that I didn't already know, despite way too much time spent reading about stroke and technique and so on. I really hope the lessons will help me!

Anyway, tonight I'm taking it easy. P's out, and I've got grilled cheese, popcorn, chick flicks and strawberries. Will stretch and get a good night's sleep! Look forward to posting race report and pics tomorrow!

Monday, October 09, 2006

It's not my fault (aka "rest day")

It's not my fault that the evening of my rest day was sunny, clear and still after a day of cold fog.

It's not my fault that I finished work on time.

It's not my fault that I was cold all day and ate to warm up, and thus, was buzzing with energy to burn.

It's not my fault that dinner was over by 7:15 and that it was still light when P left at 7:30.

It's not my fault our bus passed someone running up *my* hill.

It's not my fault that there was nothing on TV.

It's not my fault that my ipod was fully charged.

It's not my fault that my legs, completely unbidden, carried me off the couch and into my room; got me changed from trackies into polypro tights, black running shorts, sports bra, singlet, polypro top and cap.

It's not my fault that my feet snuck into my (detested) adidas running shoes, laced up and headed out.

And it's CERTAINLY not my fault that the random route I took around the suburb led to an enticing little hill, perfect for running up and down...

So much for my rest day. But, I figure I don't get that URGE to run as often as I used to, and I want to indulge it, in case it runs away again. And, I can take a rest day later this week, right? I also compromised, by jogging to cool down and then doing some walking after I'd warmed up and done 4 hill reps (2:09, 2:06; 2:06; 2:05) Oh my god. My spaghetti bolognese was not sitting well. It's an evil wee hill. Starts flattish, then gets steeper and steeper as you climb. My first rep was a mess- started fast and strong, then had to gasp the whole second half. It's deceiving, running up short hills! Looks like you're nearly there, but only because of the absurd gradient!

My ipod made good company, and I played my power songs for the last rep. I love having such a random selection of music on my runs! (Eminem, N'sync, Live, Songs from Les Mis and West Side Story, Gwen Stefani, Offspring (woah, nostalgia trip), Fat Boy Slim, S Club 7, The Finn Brothers, Queen.)

It reminded me about my theme song for this season- Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now." The song is perfect for my first season. Although what it's actually about is far less wholesome than triathlon, it's all about speeding along (I'm a shooting star leaping through the sky/ like a tiger defying the laws of gravity/ I'm a racing car passing by like Lady Godiva/ I'm gonna go go go there's no stopping me) and (duh) not stopping. Most importantly, it's about letting go, rocking out, and having fun (Don't stop me now/ I'm having such a good time/ I'm having a ball), and I think that's the MOST important thing about this season for me. For too long exercise has been about losing weight, about training and improving, and although the fun has always/mostly been there, it's never been number one.

Speaking of "don't stop me", I did get back on the bike yesterday. It was a perfect day, and I'm not going to let my stupidity and complete uselessness waste a perfectly good day! So did a "brick". Not a proper brick, but a run/bike, since that's what I'm doing this Sunday. I was nervous on the bike, did a lot of braking round corners, and was superduper prepared for every traffic light. I spent a fair bit of time unclipped and just riding along with my foot on top of the pedal. Oh well. I also have tried to do some positive visualisation, so now I see myself riding around that evil corner well. Thanks for all the comments. I knew I would be back on, and I recognised the vicious "lack of confidence" cycle. And I've remembered other goals of mine over the past couple of years- relinquishing control (occasionally) and learning to keep at things I'm not good at (not a favourite.. I've always been good at enough things that I haven't had to!) So, this time next year, I'll be screaming downhill at speed. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

How the mighty have fallen

(literally and figuratively)
So, yesterday I was buzzing over the awesome spin class, and the crazy speedy(by my "now" standards) run off. I was ready to smoke this tri! Today, I am not.
My easy bike ride with P turned into a ride with the Bike Expert Friends when they texted us at "An Inconvenient Truth" (good movie) last night. I was pretty amped about riding with them again, and was glad that P would have some people who actually know what they're doing. But it all went (literally) downhill from there.
P and I rode down the hill to the swim shop to check out wetsuits. I haven't ridden the new bike (man it needs a name, but right now, if you can't say something nice...) "seriously" downhill before and I was a little nervous. I was agitated the whole way down. Uncomfortable, riding brakes, etc etc. Just not feeling it. We then met up with Bike Expert Friends, who suggested we ride back up the hill and down the other side. I was a little nervous- last time I rode uphill with one of them, I really sucked, but the uphill was OK. I was too nervous to get out of the saddle though, so stayed in the whole way up. Then came downhill. I hate it. I'm so nervous. I just hate it, though I thought I was improving. Seriously, I even hate RUNNING downhill, I'm that much of a freakin' control freak. I let everyone go ahead and worked on gradually easing off the brakes. Apart from some w*nker accelerating up the hill on my side of the centre line, it was OK, most of the way. Then we neared the bottom. I ended up leading, but asking Bike Expert #1 to take over, as I don't like traffic much either. The bottom of this hill requires a sharp left turn (we drive on the left) at a somewhat busyish intersection- you keep going down and hit another intersection, then a roundabout in reasonably quick succession. It's a lot of fun for someone who's not me! So, Bike Expert #1 was leading, and I was following her. And then I realised I wasn't "following" her, so much as rapidly gaining on her as I sped up coming towards the corner. I gripped my brakes a bit more and then screamed, "I can't stop!!"
Then I lost control, crossed two lanes of traffic (in front of a car going the other way to that I intended) and rammed my front wheel on the kerb.

Then I fell.

It wasn't a bad fall. The bike's fine (ish) and I'm fine apart from a couple of minor bruises and shattered confidence. I don't know why it's affected me so badly. I've fallen before, though not for awhile, and not clipped in (not that that makes a difference, by the time I hit the ground, I was unclipped- I think "panic" mode includes unclipping for me) and more importantly, not in traffic or going fast downhill. My falls have never involved a severe loss of control, and have never involved doing things I'm nervous about. We walked to the local bike shop to by a new tire (could have done a temporary fix, but I needed a new one and it's not far off) and then continued on our way. P and I stayed on the (windy as all heck) flats and it was fine. Gears were a little bit dodgy, but so long as I stayed in my big ring, I felt OK! Then we headed up a small rise. I rode up well, stayed strong and got my gears sorted in time to get down the other side with minimum panicking. Until I heard my front tire start chugga chugging. I decided to pull over at the top, but as I neared the top of the rise, my tire made my mind up for me, and I heard a loud PSSSSHT. I expleted, not for the first time and stopped. No biggie, we changed the tire and started to laugh about the day we'd had (there'd been another drama when we lost one of our party for ten minutes or so). Then, clipped in and started heading down the other side.

Except I didn't. My legs didn't pedal and I toppled. The typical topple, that I somehow managed to avoid my first and second times with the clips. Picked up, decided I was walking (again) and headed on.

All I can say is that I made it home in one piece. But I had minor panic attacks and dribbles of tears at most of the traffic lights. My HR was elevated and I couldn't be bothered moving my bike, so I cruised along at an embarrassingly low cadence in a stupidly high gear. P and I walked the hill home (he was riding a beast of a slow bike and, having grown up somewhere very flat, had never ridden uphill on a road bike until today- legend for getting UP our hill the first time!!) where we replenished our blood sugar with tea and chocolate biscuits. 4 hours since we'd left, and we'd done under 40k of actual riding!

At this point, I have some thanks (I'd like to thank the academy...) The woman with the station wagon who offered to drive me home, post crash. P and the experts were great. They were encouraging, and made sure I didn't feel stupid. They told me I handled the crash well, and repeatedly reinforced how proud they were of me for getting back on (etc etc).. Platitudes, maybe. I'm still embarrassed, but grateful.
No thanks to the dude in the white car who freaked me out pre-crash, and to the woman in the bike shop who reluctantly changed the tire and did it wrong (pinch flat).

But here's the problem. I'm still shaken. P and I drove out to Naenae to drive the bike and run courses for next week. Every time we rounded a tight corner, I felt my chest tighten and my HR quicken. Every time we neared traffic lights, I worried about stopping on time and not falling. In a car! I could feel myself riding, and I was freaked. I flashback to the first crash all the time, and worry.

Unlike my other crashes, I can't take a lesson from it. The first crash (a couple of years ago- first ride since I was about 8) I learnt "don't try to ride up proper kerbs, even if they look like driveways". This crash? I learned "yeah, I don't ride well downhill" and "don't ride nervous." Great. But somehow, don't ride up the kerb is an easier rule to apply to my rides than don't ride nervous.

I'm deliberately posting now, while I'm still feeling it. I'm hoping that tomorrow will be a new day. I probably won't ride. Maybe inside. But I kinda want to run. I will be back in the saddle. I'm glad to have had another crash to remind me that sh*t happens, crashes happen, and I can get back up, with just a bruised elbow and a dented ego. But I'm kinda scared, and yesterday I wasn't and I wish I could go back.