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!