Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I was late to swimming today

But I went.

Swimming takes a lot more commitment than my other activities. It's on at set times on set days. I need to pack a whole bag of food and clothes and shower stuff the night before. I need to blowdry and straighten my hair in the changing room.

So, it can be a bit hard to get back into the swim of things (oh yes, I went there...) after a hiatus. After a few missed sessions, I feel like everyone will point and laugh, and like I will splutter away in the back. I forget how good it feels to plow through the water. How wonderful it is to stay afloat in a churning sea of kicking legs.

But now I remember. And going on Friday just got 100% easier.

Monday, September 28, 2009


Yesterday's ride was awesome, and a relaxed run around St Mary's Bay and the Marina in the 7pm daylight was a delight.

Getting my dear Eric outside and up some hills was exactly what the doctor ordered!

I'm ready for another week, and as per the coach's instructions, I'll follow my fun, and follow my gut. And, to save my own sanity, I'll suck it up and actually go to swimming!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I'm not feeling very awesome at the moment.

My race performances have been disappointing (there are good reasons- but aren't there always?), and I'm not exactly kicking ass and taking names in training either. Today's E2 effort was downright pathetic!

The next few months are full of uncertainty, life-wise, for reasons I can't go into, and I suspect that's rubbing off a bit on the triathlon thing.

Preparing for a race that may never happen is a bit confusing- trying to decide whether to pull the plug or just keep on truckin', wondering whether to care. I'm trying to go with the flow, but- DUH- I'm so not a flow kinda gal, and living in a constant state of "temporary" is getting old fast!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Shades of grey

Is anyone else utterly totally over this dreary, grey, wetness?? It's sapping my will to live!

Well, not quite. But it's definitely affecting my mood and motivation. I'm dragging myself out of bed. Reeeallly draaaaggggggging myseeeeeeeeeeeeeeelf to work out, and cursing the cloak of wet fog for keeping me stuck on the hated trainer. Tuesday's 12k run thatwassupposedtobehalfanhourbutwasn't (*hiding from Paul*) was great fun, but the rest of this week's workouts have kinda been more like chores.

I'm also busy but not MAD BUSY at work, so I'm not making plans for evening fun, but I'm getting home early enough (between 7:30 and 9pm) that there's no excuse for my major underachievement in terms of housework, photo projects, superfun cooking and reading. Well, there is an excuse, but a crappy one- it's called "home internet"!

I think things will turn around soon- either the weather will pick up, or I'll adapt! Time for this gorilla to get a grip :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A legendary PW

I shouldn't have done it, but I did, and it was awesome- apart from the whole being sick thing. Finished in 2:00:20, which was bloody annoying (especially since the start line wasn't chipped, and I had to wait 30 seconds at a set of traffic lights), and a PW, but holy cripes, what a fantastic race! I was sicker at Taupo, I think, and ran that in 1:54, so shows that the Legend is a challenging course.

Phil crushed it, of course, running his first half- on a bloody hard course!- in 1:34:xx. Now- THAT'S legendary!

Friday, September 18, 2009


Following on from my previous post, it's time to come up with a new term that allows all us recreational endurance athletes to identify ourselves in under three words- and preferably under three syllables!

Now- I don't have any problem with anyone else who's kinda like me using the phrase "endurance athlete" to describe themselves. It's just I have a problem using it myself. It feels more than a little wanky. And if no-one else agrees with me, at least I know Britt and Rach do!

There's triathlete. But that also sounds a little like I think I'm Kieran Doe. Plus, I'd like to feel like I could identify with the plain old runners, cyclists and swimmers, the MTBers and the multisporters too.

So anyway- let's get to work. Leave a comment with your best suggestion, put the word out on your own blogs, and see what we come up with.

To get the ball rolling, here's my first, not-so-awesome suggestion: athlite.

The line

Figuring out where the line is between lazy and exhausted, off-colour and unwell, sniffly and flu-y, sore and injured, is one of the hardest damn things about being an endurance athlete!

There should be a separate number on the scale or the Garmin for these things!

(PS- Does anyone else hate calling themselves an athlete? I need a new term!)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Boo and bullfrogs

I have now had THREE, yes THREE, rest days in a row to try to recover from a not-too-bad-but-could-get-worse-unless-I-nip-it-in-the-bud-now cold in time for Saturday's legendary race!

What is it about me and half-marathons this year???

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Three Volcanoes

Today Phil and I had a 2.5 hour bike ride on tap- a nice change from the four hour monsters we've had over the past few weeks. But of course we couldn't just get out and ride; no, we had to go and do something mad like riding up three of Auckland's volcanoes.

Volcano 1: Mt Eden
Mt Eden came more quickly than I was expecting. One minute we're rolling up College Hill (that's right suckahs- I just roll right up now!), the next we're making a ghastly sharp right turn and heading straight up. But once we got over the first few horrible meters, the rest of the climb was pretty easy! Or maybe I'm just hardcore!?!

We forgot to take photos at the top- d'oh! But the views are quite spectactular, and worth the (anticlimactic) climb!

The way down was Not So Fun. White knuckled braking (I actually had to hold my front brake in my drops because holding from the hoods was not getting the brakes in enough), cattle stops (one that was too wide to even attempt) and trying to re-start on a steep steep steep decline! I was relieved to get to the bottom, and I don't think we'll be bothering with that one again!

My "vanquishing Mt Eden without even breathing hard" (poetic license....) pride took a blow when we turned left up Landscape Ride on the way to One Tree Hill. It was one of the steepest roads I've ever climbed! Seriously- my cadence wasn't working, so I can't use that as a reference, but my speed was somewhere in the 8-9kph zone. i.e. the "Tarawera Rd after the rest of the Rotorua Half IM with screaming knees, hammies, quads, glutes and calves" zone!!

Volcano 2: One Tree Hill

Wow. What a RIDE! Live in Auckland? Got a bike? GO THERE NOW. Your legs may never forgive you, but your sense of achievement makes it all worth while.

I hadn't been to OTH (is that what the cool kids call it? they do now!) for years and the wee lambies gambolling around the road on the sunny day made me smile. The wall alongside the road, and the people milling around all over the place made me feel like I was riding in le Tour. Just, you know, slower. And more puffed. The climb starts out innocently enough, but when you get to the "top" there's an extra wee loop to the summit (and actually, an extra wee-wee loop on within that). Approaching the first just-one-wee extra loop is like riding your bike straight into a brick wall. But instead of smashing head on, leaning back on your back wheel and riding up it. Sorry if I'm being all pansy-assed about it, but THAT HILL IS INSANEO STEEP. Luckily, it eases off a little towards the end, so you finish full of pride and enthusiasm. And also, able to talk in sentences, which helps. Though to be fair, the sentences I was going for were pretty short. Such as "WOAH" and "holy freaking mother of all that is holy". Phil was pretty impressed by my climbing skillz- he was struggling enough that he didn't think I would make it. Well, I showed that doubter who's boss!

Speaking off that doubter, here he is. In all his "I'm an awesome climber and barely broke a sweat. Actually, I climbed that in my mega big chain ring" glory.

Again, down was not so fun. But there was something about the vibrancy of the people people everywhere that made clutching at the brakes and travelling at 12 kph seem like an OK thing to be doing.

Things got a bit muddled after One Tree Hill. We took a wrong turn and we realised we didn't have any sunscreen on. So we spent a bit of time trying to get back on track, and another bit of time riding round in circles in Onehunga trying to find sunscreen. Fun (Not).

To get to volcano 3, we headed from Onehunga to the shared path that goes around the Manukau harbour. It was OK, but not a patch on the Northwestern motorway path.

Volcano 3: Mt Wellington

The lead up to the Mt Wellington climb was probably the highlight- lovely leafy suburban streets, after a good few minutes of riding through industrial areas and waiting at stop lights with no bike sensors. The rest? Not so great.

The start of the climb itself was bloody steep. I seriously doubted whether I could do it, but decided to be awesome instead- cos I am- and just freakin nail myself until I reached the top. Unfortunately, a giant big cattle stop halfway up the steepest bit put an end to that awesomeness. And it was rather difficult trying to get started again on the insane-o incline. But eventually, I remembered that I could still be awesome instead, so I executed a stellar hill start and made my way to the summit. Except, unlike the other hills, at Mt Wellington you cannot ride to the summit, so we stood at the carpark, and snapped a few shots.

What with Rangitoto looking so gorgeous and the sun shining so brightly, we decided to detour home via Glendowie, not just St Heliers. Unfortunately SOMEONE who shall remain nameless decided he didn't trust my navigation skillz (maybe fair enough, I had sorta kinda gotten a little lost trying to find Glendowie on Friday...) and took us there the yucky way instead of the gorgeous roller coaster route I'd envisioned. Luckily, he then missed our turn, which meant we took the roller coaster in anyway, and then explored a new way back to the bays, where we got Movenpick. Well, he got Movenpick and I got a distubring coloured slushie from Starmart.

Then we rode really really fast around the bays in our aero bars until we got home.


Wednesday, September 09, 2009

So, I guess I should blog, huh?

Not a lot to say, really.

I am busy busy busy at work, and just barely managing to make it through each week and still feel in control of my life (it's so much easier with a house elf/husband). But just barely = managing, so we're still ALL GOOD!

Basically, "just managing" means getting home between 9 and 10, getting stuff together for another set of yummy, healthy, balanced dinners and lunches, working for an hour or so (I have a LOT of articles to read), sleeping, and repeating. This is going to be life as I know it until Christmas, so I need to make healthy habits NOW.

Training is fine. Basically, although I am frustrated by not being faster and thinner, I know that I am looking more athletic, that I am riding so much stronger, running with much better form, and swimming very comfortably and consistently.

Our four hour ride in the Waitaks on Saturday was stunning, I never faded and climbed strong the whole way, and my legs were just fine for an afternoon walk and for Sunday's 1:30 trail run. They are not so fine now after an hour and a half of panting up hill and clambering down over rocks and roots and logs! We have become complete offroad pansies! But two lots of yoga and a leg loosening fairly-swift-but-still-aerobic 10.5k run yesterday evening are helping with that!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Self flagellation

I don't know why I akways want to punish myself by reading through my archives.

It's not that I cringe at the writing (it's not anything special, but it's no better now!) or at my gormless naivete.

Nope, it's quite the opposite. Back in the day, I freakin' rocked. I was ten lbs lighter (and still thought I was fat). My easy pace was a 9:00/mile, and I was busting out 7:00s in my speedwork sessions. I had blog buds galore, and sometimes got 20+ comments on my posts.

How have I been doing this for so long, and improved so little? Is it all that ten lbs?

Early rising WIN

Another complete (work)week of early ups in the bag. I definitely think getting up EVERY day helps, so I'm going to keep getting up to do yoga/start work early/do housework on my rest days.

This week was a little harder, as I don't think I was home before around 9pm all week, so it's been home, make dinner, eat, make breakfast and lunch, pack bag if necessary, clean a little, work a little, read a little, sleep and up at 5:15.

This was so much easier when I had a house-elf (husband!), but I got through it by:

- eating a lot of corn fritters (batter in the fridge, cook for 2 minutes, scoff down)
- staying only barely on top of housework
- drinking plenty of lovely coffee

We're doing a 4 hour ride in the Waitaks tomorrow, then a 1.5 hour offroad run and a short swim (partly so I can learn to dive- eek!) on Sunday. Weather is supposed to be OK (touch wood), so should be awesome!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

LEGEN (wait for it, and I hope you're not lactose intolerant because the second half of the word is...)


It's no secret that Phil and I are complete freakin masochists when it comes to hills. So it should come as no surprise, that instead of a nice, safe, redemption half-marathon, we're going to be doing this.

Oh yes, it is going to be LEGENDary.

PS: See below for my weekly recap, which sat in drafts for a couple of days before being posted.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

A recap

Well, I am well and truly recovered from my illness, and then some.

Last week was a clean sweep, with early starts every day (including a 5:45 wake up on Saturday, and a 7am stroll through Ponsonby on Sunday), and 11 hours 30 of training (plus 45 minutes of yoga).

I managed to fit this into a week in which the work, and the non-work work stuff, started ramping up, and into a weekend jam-packed with sister and FBIL fun. Somehow, everything managed to fit together, and fall into place. A relaxing weekend the previous weekend and lots of planning helped!

I feel amazing.

Here's what the week looked like:

3200 technique swim, including 12 x 50 "eggbeater" sprints. Ow!
5k run after work

(bircher for breakfast, leftover blackbean quinoa salad for lunch, and white bean and sausage stew for dinner)

A muggy 55 minute pre-work run

(porridge for breakfast, carrot salad wrap for lunch, leftover stew for dinner)

3400m swim, including a "1200m" time trial that wasn't so awesome (1250 in 21:59)

(muesli and yoghurt for breakfast, catered lunch at work, more leftover stew for dinner- lucky I like it!)

60 minute strength workout- outside, to practice standing on the way up College Hill

(porridge for breakfast, sushi [my lunch treat for the week] for lunch, and a rather pathetic grilled cheese tortilla for dinner)


(no comment on the food side of things!)

Up at 5:45 for a 1:30 run with Phil around Herne Bay

(we went to Circus Circus for breakfast, had chicken rolls picnic style for lunch and Mexicali Fresh for dinner- YU-U-UM!)

Four hour ride through Papakura, Clevedon, Kawakawa Bay- a real toughie, with wind, rain and hills galore.

(french toast with berries, bananas, pears and yoghurt for breakfast, a PB bagel on the bike for "lunch" and a big eff-off plate of delicious mac'n'cheese for dinner)