Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
I was then very grateful when Coach Vinnie advised me to enjoy the next couple of weeks. “Do something fun; as well as celebrating Christmas, celebrate the sport and remember what it is that makes it fun for you.”
Given a free reign (within reason I guess) to alter the training I did miss a couple of sessions. I overindulged waaay to much and still am – this I predict will go on until New Years Eve or until my freezer is emptied of sugary chocolate crap. Christmas Eve saw the usual bike run brick but without any intensity. Purely a volume workout and a pleasure to execute, Gadget girl Bee was on leave and joined me on the 60minute run afterwards which made a nice change. The evening ice bucket swim was replaced with a few of the guys coming over for drinks and sugar and board games.
Christmas Day I was cooking dinner, a late morning swim that was a struggle due to alcohol and too much sugar in the system the night before proved how much you (or I) can screw yourself up in just one night. It reinforces the concept that diet is SO important when training and racing to get optimum performance out of your body. My Christmas swim was probably 30% off the usual, it didn’t bother me, still very enjoyable and it was nice to do some exercise before reporting to the couch and TV remote and fridge for the afternoon.
NO this isn't me, I wouldn't waste so much chocolate, but the tummy is pretty spot on!
Saturday was back to normal training with a 157k ride on a rough bumpy road but with some very long flats (read 27k) to hammer. My goal on long rides is not to kill the session. The idea is to complete it strong, anything left in the tank on the return then crank it up. So Easy/Moderate is my tempo, keeping a steady ‘comfortable’ pace I avoided drafting at all times and just rode. Felt really good and posted a blasting brick run. Beetroot red from the effort, I was hot but felt great and very happy. With an estimated 30k to do Sunday morning I washed up, fed myself and returned to that indentation in my coach for the rest of the day. Any slight movement and the legs complained. Am thinking about moving the couch to the kitchen or even better the fridge to the lounge to aid recovery and save any unnecessary movement!
My Sunday run was not one I had been looking forward to. My first 2hr40min run for a few months this is something that will be repeated for the weeks to come. I started early and ran with Denis out and back for 20minutes then joined Bee and Randy. Keeping the pace comfortable – the idea is it should be a pace you can hold for a marathon (hmmmn) we did the usual route and then I coerced Randy to accompany for the little extra 30minutes at the end. Felt fantastic. I have absolutely surprised myself this weekend but will not let it go to my head. Instead I will log it to memory to remind me of what I can do when that bad week comes a knocking.
Fingers crossed it isn’t this weekend with a PD ride and New Year but you never know when the body is going to decide ENOUGH is ENOUGH! So my advice for what it’s worth; when you feel strong swim strong, ride strong, run strong. And when you feel knackered, swim, ride and run. Listen to your body, the next few weeks will get tougher and tougher, you will be asking your body to do things it doesn’t want to do, and you will question your actions and reasons for training and motivation will hit an all time low. Above all else when the body tires a strong mindset will trump your body’s complaints every time!
Friday, December 26, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
My legs are still hurting from last week. Muscle pain all week; I have never experienced this before. Ask me if I am in pain and I would respond by saying YES, everything. When I go for my first sports massage next week they going to be in for a shock as my guess is they won’t know where to start first! Until then I am dousing myself in Sloan’s analgesic rub. I have tried probably everything going and this one is non-greasy and really, I mean really, heats up your muscles and relieve’s the pain a tad.
Maybe I should try this to take some relief off my legs?
Bike: I like the bike, I love the bike, I am at one with George (well I am trying to become at one), and with 4 bike sessions scheduled each week I can honestly say that there is one part of my anatomy that is definitely going to become at one with Ol’ George! Ouch.
Run: The runs are the same number, just longer. This was to be expected. I am still not counting the K’s I would not dare although there have been times when tempted. The only numbers I concern myself with is how long is this session and what was my IM goal again?
I guess my hours per week have increased by 20%, Sadistic Santana (aka Coach Vinnie) has forewarned me that “new feelings” good and bad are going to be visiting me, all too soon most probably. This hasn’t got me unduly worried as I went through some pretty low low’s over the past couple of months and survived. But it does have me thinking...could I feel any worse than I was (guys be warned you better hide all the sharp objects when I visit)!
I guess that’s it for this week. I did the Malakoff 12k run this morning sandwiched between a 30min run before and 30min jog after. It really bloody hurt, but I started at the back, gave it as much as I could and enjoyed myself. Yes, you heard me right. I had FUN!
With Christmas next week I am trying to figure out how I can do my training while remaining sociable. Luckily on Christmas day I have likeminded friends who want to train before indulging in a homemade Turkey dinner, so it shouldn’t be too difficult.
Cheers Coach Vinnie, the final countdown has now started...let me stay strong and help me stay sane!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Cute fluffy animals are springing to mind, dressed up in Santa hats. Not my normal posting material, but ah well, it's Christmas and I know at least one of YOU (no names, Gadget Girl - opps!) will appreciate this softer side of Emma :)
Numero UNO! All together....Ahhhhhhhhhh
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
So there you have it, I am either: MAD, BORED, SAD, or just can't bear the thought of not being able to put up another countdown timer on the blog! Probably a little of all three I guess!
Monday, December 15, 2008
Courtesy of Ironguides/youtube
With just one weekend left before Christmas, husbands, partners, boyfriends - basically the male variety of our species will probably have left buying a gift for their 'loved' one until the last possible minute - and then it will be too late, they grab at whatever is left on the shelves and on Christmas morning you end up putting your man in the doghouse for daring to NOT think outside the box.
Let this little vid remind you men-folk out there what NOT to buy your loved one! ENJOY.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
The week prior to Phuket (#9) flew past and gave me a taste of what a real taper should feel like. Not at all like the drop everything, stop what you are doing and rest method I had tried out before, the tapered guide started on the Saturday and gradually went into cruise mode by Wednesday before the race. I think my real problem during these ‘lighter’ times is reducing my food intake. I was naturally not as hungry as usual but I do like my food and can tuck it away even when full! This is something I really have to rectify as coupled with my pre-race tension; I seem to suffer with a lot of bloating 3-4days before a race. This could be due to extra fluids onboard, but most of it is jittery nerves with my stomach telling me it is full when it hasn’t even had a meal. So once I do put food in the feeling just gets worse! Still, you can’t afford not to eat so I guess I will have to put up with the bloating for now and just try and curtail my habitual ‘picking’ when not full-on training to at least try and go into a race at my magic number. We all have a magic number we want to be for a race and I have tried to get to mine all year and it has not happened :(
At the awards dinner in Phuket, Coach Vinnie had told me to go out Monday and do an easy swim, bike or run for 30min’s. I really intended to, I did. But on Monday I felt really awful. Not hung-over so much but the attack of sea lice bites on my body had left me feeling very uncomfortable, I was dog tired and every time I sat down throughout the day I just went to sleep – the guys can vouch for this!
With Coaches words of wisdom ringing in my head all day, I still intended swimming even come evening. “Make sure you do something and when you get back home don’t just sit down, veg out and do nothing else it will be very hard to get started again,”. So even though Tuesday was a rest day (as we were travelling back), the flight was not until late evening. On waking, with the rest of the house in silence I popped into the little lap pool and did an easy 30minute swim. I then slipped on my runners and did an easy 30min run. The first few steps hurt like hell, but once into my baby step stride I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Got back and was greeted with looks of disgust from Ivie and Randy and eventually Bee, when she got up!
Wednesday, similarly light exercise, a turbo and run, even though I feel ok my legs tell me otherwise once I start asking them to work. Despite the run being a harder discipline than the bike (for me anyway) the bike legs seem to take longer to recover. That hollow feeling keeps coming back, and the lactic discomfort when warming up, those first 5/10minutes are nasty, nasty, nasty! I managed a wetsuit swim in the evening and a FUN ride on Thursday morning, (yeah for Malaysia and all her lovely public holidays!!)
It is Friday as I sit here typing this up and I have a rather fuzzy head and another very bloated stomach from overindulgence at the TTH Christmas Party last night. Will I manage anything to day? I predict not, but tomorrow is a 160k ride and there is a new plan on the horizon.
Cut to Sunday: My long anticipated Saturday ride was cut to 4hours (under instruction). To ensure a ride with the guys I decided to drive 20k out to a meet point, park up and go from there. After getting lost and severely annoyed I parked the car and set the bike up only to realise no helmet! Extremely ticked off cannot begin to explain my mood and annoyance at self. I went home and later in the day paid my penance at TBB with a 2hour; yes 2hour turbo session where my heart rate was way higher than usual due to the frustrations I was taking out on the trainer, once finished the shop had almost turned into an indoor swimming pool.
While everyone was out enjoying themselves at the annual Chin Woo Biathlon I quietly put in my 2hour Sunday run. It was not pleasant and this I predict was due to my snacking of late on peanut butter – more about what/how/why later – stupid, stupid, stupid.
Anyway the week with all its ups and downs is in the bag. Apparently it is quite natural to have a moody lull after the high of a race, with that in mind I would like to say I am raring to go, but with the new Ironguide plan still pending I am rather anxious of what I am going to be tackling over the final 10weeks. On hearing that one of Coach Vinnie’s age-group athletes just finished IM Bussleton in 8hrs26min (8th overall) I am experiencing some serious confidence issues and asking myself a lot of questions. Okay so the time was for a guy but still 8:26!!!
The first 10weeks went well, painful, yes, difficult, yes, but they were productive I found out a lot about what I can endure when at rock bottom and at the end of the day it yielded results.
Thank YOU coach Vinnie – I am at your mercy – throw me to the lions and I will endeavour to come back at you roaring!
Friday, December 12, 2008
Anyway, I shall not prattle on today, my head is still sore, my tummy very large and my internet connection has been cut-off so I better go out and pay the bill OR go have a cup of coffee in Starbucks and hook up for free so I can post this – that sounds more like it.
It was a fabulous night, plenty of laughter and the perfect way to wind down after Phuket before we start cranking it up again next week for the final phase of IM training.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I have decided to write the events of the race and the “holiday” in a diary of sorts. So bear with me. The race report will come but not before a brief summary of the events of Friday and Saturday.
The hills Simon, Sam and Randy speak of are in 3 stages. Short steep inclines with a short break in-between, enough for you to bring the heart rate down a wee bit before the next attack hits you. Lucky for me the hills are short enough for you to climb out of the seat (my favorite style). So with Sam and Simon in front I just followed their lead. When they got out, I got out and when they got to the top, by George, I was there too just behind them. Not half as bad as I thought and I rode home happy, loving the fast surface of the road knowing that once the hills were out the way I would be letting rip on the tarmac.
An athletes breakfast was thrown together of Spanish omelets, fresh fruits and yoghurt once we returned. Great company, good food I was still feeling kind of calm – very odd! We went over to registration for 11am and also checked out the competitor board. Never have I felt so little. There are expats everywhere and they all look really BIG & STRONG. My confidence was starting to take a steep nose dive and even with Randy telling me they probably just look good and have nice clothes and gear it still didn’t help. I thought I was fit and strong well if I was – what the hell were these tanned goddesses with 6packs on display? On seeing that last years winner in my age group was there some of the pressure went away. Unless there were any other dark horses or she had a bad day, I didn’t concede the race there and then, but she was an element out of my control so I just tried to forget about it. After registration a dip in the ocean and then the lake was the order. I got attacked by sea lice in the sea and then algae in the lake. Felt ok, not that pleasant but I have put up with worse things in life.
A little fun was had in the open air shower after the swim practice, S.S (aka Sean Connery) was in fine form. Back to the house, out for Lunch, back to the house again for some faffing about and then out to the race briefing. I met Coach Vinnie for the first time. Afraid I didn’t have a lot to say; if not antsy before, now sitting in the briefing I was getting really wired. Straight after briefing we walked over to the carbo loading and although not really hungry the food was very appetizing and I managed a couple of plates. That however is a drop I the ocean compared with the 5 that Bee tucked away. I say tucked because after spending quite a lot of time with our very own Gadget girl this year I still to this day do not know where all that food goes. She eats like a horse and yet stays as slim as slim can be. AMAZING BEE. I am very jealous.
Back to the house AGAIN, final race preps were being made by Sam, Randy and Bee; I had already done mine and so bid everyone a rather quiet goodnight and snuck away.
It was about 9pm at this juncture and I thought no way on earth will I sleep. BUT I DID. AND LOTS OF IT. Woke at 3am, popped to the loo and then managed another couple of hour’s kip before I got up at 5ish.
Before putting on my shoes I had to shake my new lodger out. It seems whilst staying in the house a family of frogs had moved into my belongings and on race morning a huge frog had secured himself in the dank dark, cavity of my bike shoe. YES I know my shoes are smelly – tell me something I don’t know! Anyway I didn’t mind as once I ousted him I told the others it is supposed to be good luck and I would need all the luck I could muster!
We left the house at 5.45am to get to bike check-in for 6am. Other riders were on the road out as we left and there was an eerie silence. Dark, no chatter, no drafting, eh up this sounds like a Wednesday morning ride! Except it wasn’t. Once at the transition area the place was a-buzz of activity. My little old ticker started doing major flips and somersaults that could probably have gotten me into the GB gymnastics squad!
When I racked George I didn’t realize you were supposed to go odds and evens to create more space. My Neighbours kindly informed me of this, probably whilst looking at my expensive bike and aero helmet thinking amateur, got all the mod cons and she doesn’t know what she is doing! Did I give a shit? NO. I even admitted I only started riding last year and this was my first year in Tri. They couldn’t keep the smiles off their faces at that point!!!
Went off for numbering and then before we knew it, it was time to get the boat over to the start line. Once on board, that eerie silence returned coupled with a feeling of impending doom, it was like a boat load of prisoners being sent to the guilotine, not a boat load of fit individuals about to participate in one of the most well-organized fun triathlons on the yearly calendar.
We met up with Carmen and Ivie and John on the beach, they snapped photos and gave out good wishes, I tried to stay calm but really at this point I was not doing well. I went off on my own for a dip, collected my thoughts and then went and stood in the pen. Sam wished me good luck as we stood waiting for the gun. Just as well my goggles were on otherwise he would have seen me tearing up!!! YES I was emotional, on tenterhooks and basically just trying to keep it all together and focus in the job in hand. I walked away and stood on my own. Ivie actually got a few pictures of me at this point and I think they perfectly show how I go into my own little world. Thanks Ivie.
The SWIM – 0:38:07
The first Litmus test of my swim, I had spoken to Coach Vinnie at the carbo loading about my reservations regarding how to approach this. "Stay left, hang back a bit, and get them in the bike," he said. I probably didn’t stay as left as I should have but as each race has passed I have noticed I panic less and less about been knocked about. I felt strong in the swim and sighted ok. Exiting going up the mound and ducking into the lake was not pleasant and there was a traffic jam on entry. Once swimming I took probably the straightest line I have taken all year. It was that straight that as I kept sighting the sailboat. Yup, there it is, stroke , stroke, look up, yup there it is and repeat and repeat until I looked up and was about to hit the bloody thing smack centre – opps. I could have swum underneath (haha) but decided to go left and round!
On approaching the finish of the swim the algae and slimy weeds were everywhere. I kept swimming as long as I could whilst stroking through the muck. When I finally exited up the ramp I probably resembled some sort of green sea monster. DID I CARE? NO. Did I stay and wash it off under the shower like all the other wusses? Do you really need to ask that question? I actually finished the race with seaweed still attached and stones inside my suit – don’t mind the seaweed but how the stones got there I do not know!
T1: Into transition and out again. It is never going to be great until I sort out the shoes on pedals thing. So let’s leave it at that for now.
The BIKE – 1:42:47
The hills are all done and dusted by kilometer14. My dilemma was, do I take it easy out and up to the hills making sure the legs have plenty of power?, OR, do I warm up a bit and then just get in my stride and go and not think about it?? Hmmmn, well once I got on to the road George stayed in the small chain ring for all of 2minutes. I didn’t kill my legs at all, on the contrary I am so used to pushing big gears now and having a slower turn over I just don’t think about it. This style allows you to naturally go faster on the flats and rolling stuff. When I got to the hills I dropped the ring went into the smallest gear and over took a bunch of women and fit looking guys. It was fantastic, I am pleased to report NO ONE overtook me except for the last k coming into transition where I start to slow down and think about the next leg.
I lost a whole bottle of hydration on one nasty bump that someone with a load speaker was supposed to be warning us about it. He though was having a nice chat and forgot to warn me. Over the bump and out pops my Gatorade in my nice hammer drinks bottle! This was at K 15 or 16. Luckily it was a cool day and already very well hydrated I knew if I just kept calm I would be picking up two replacements in less than 10minutes. At the time I wondered if the mishap was going to be the start of some nasty bad luck to come but I am pleased to report it wasn’t. The bike leg went beautifully. Coach Vinnie sought me out on the airport road with motivational shouts, (thank YOU). I loved it, the road was fast and I felt fast. And my legs felt fresh as a daisy. My heart rate was the lowest it has ever been when pushing hard and my cadence was very low….Avg 79!!!! It worked for me.
The RUN – 0:54:07
As mentioned already the weather was very kind to the athletes. The heat doesn’t really bother me; searing heat would slow me down but not as badly as others. I saw Simon, Sam and Randy on the run. And only Sam I thought was in chasing distance. Covering mixed terrain of tarmac, trail and a golf course the run was scenic but personally not something my legs enjoyed. I DO NOT like running on grass. The first one k stung a fair bit but once into my stride I realized after so many weeks of running with no knowledge of distance that I was punching out a pretty good pace. On target for 51mins at the half way point I have no clue where I slowed. As I say – not liking the grass. I overtook one more lady in my group on the run – did not realize this at the time until coach Vinnie informed me after crossing the line.Results:
Simon’s race, an amazing blinder: 3:01:05 as Swim 0:33:43, (1:34) Bike 1:35:37, (1:13) Run 0:48:59
The all too familiar Simon Cross post race finish pose - is he an attention seeker or did he TRI-HARD!
Randy’s race, absolutely fantastic – I could not catch him today: 3.15:46 as Swim 0:30:36, (2:03) Bike 1:45:35, (1:19) Run 0:56:15
Sam’s race, blitzed his field and took his 4th LPT title in 3:16:33 as Swim 0:35:16, (2:00) Bike 1:42:11, (1:38) Run 0:55:30
Bee’s Race, always with a BIG smile on her face as 3:56:45 as Swim 0:53:26, (3:09) Bike 1:55:44, (3:07) Run 1:01:22
BIG THANKS to everyone who yelled out my name and cheered for me. I know I don't acknowledge it on the race but I do hear you and it helps! Thanks also to Ironguides and Coach Vinnie for his support over the weekend. Didn't get his picture but he is real and his instructions DO WORK! Also to TBB for sorting George out and teamTBB for there ongoing support. Cheers, GUYS. 80days to GO.