Friday, January 30, 2009

Cliffhanger

Straight from the movies (read: The Italian Job), just two days after a guy survives a death defying snowboarding plummet, this camper van got precariously stuck 170ft on a cliff in Colorado.
Once again, the driver Daniel Lyons survived the ordeal!!! But this time he did escape with some souvenir cuts and scrapes - WOW.
Wanna read the full story: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1131184/Pictured-The-Italian-Job-goes-Colorado-camper-van-sways-cliff-edge.html

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Laughter for the Soul

I may be on holiday but after falling asleep in the cinema and missing 30minutes of what I perceived to be rather a good film (well the the parts that I saw) me thinks I need more than a week off to recoup. Sadly I don't have any real time off until April so until then I vow to carry on laughing.
Is it crude? Yes of course it is ever so slightly, so apologies in advance, but it's nothing you haven't heard before:
TOP TEN THINGS MEN WOULD DO IF THEY WOKE UP WITH A VAGINA FOR A DAY...
10. Immediately go shopping for zucchini and cucumbers.
9. Squat over a hand-held mirror for an hour and a half.
8. See if they could finally do the splits.
7. See if it's truly possible to launch a ping pong ball 20 feet.
6. Cross their legs without rearranging their crotch.
5. Get picked up in a bar in less than 10 minutes ... BEFORE closing time.
4. Have consecutive multiple orgasms and still be ready for more without sleeping first.
3. Go to the gynecologist for a pelvic exam and ask to have it recorded on video.
2. Sit on the edge of the bed and pray for breasts too.
1. Finally find that damned G-spot.
TOP TEN THINGS WOMEN WOULD DO IF THEY WOKE UP AND HAD A PENIS FOR A DAY...
10. Get ahead faster in corporate America.
9. Get a blow job.
8. Find out what is so fascinating about beating the meat.
7. Pee standing up while talking to other men at a urinal.
6. Determine WHY you can't hit the bowl consistently.
5. Find out what it's like to be on the other end of a surging orgasm.
4. Touch yourself in public without thought as to how improper it may seem.
3. Jump up and down naked with an erection to see if it feels as funny as it looks.
2. Understand the scientific reason for the light refraction which occurs between a man's eyes and the ruler situated next to his member which causes two inches to be added to the final measurement.
1. Repeat number 9

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Power of Vision

Last week I caught up with my good friend Harro, a fellow runner and great swimmer he is a triathlete work in progress (aka: trying to convince him to come over to the dark side)! Anyway back to the story.
Harro is one of the most positive people I know, he runs his own business and is very driven to succeed. He credits a lot of his positive thinking to many books on the subject that he has read. I myself have never subscribed to the 'positive thinking section of bookshops' but we do share the same train of thought. And where he has applied positive thinking in his business I have applied it to my triathlon goal.
He brought to my attention a story from one of his books; Moving Mountains' I believe, about a female athlete who tackled an IM.
Now we all know an IM is 10% physical and 90% mental (that's my theory anyway) and this story proves just how true that is. The mind and how you control it and use it in training and on race day is vital to your success.
So if you feel training is a little behind schedule OR you just want some extra inspiration, click on the excerpt to enlarge and read this rather amazing story.

One Man Avalanche

Caught on camera by a photographer waiting to do a ski shoot these amazing shots show the moment a British Snowboarder danced with death and turned into a one-man avalanche.
Emma Says: Even more amazing than the shots? The guy emerged from this totally unscathed!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Coming Through...Slowly

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Nope. It's Emma. Faster than a speeding snail? Maybe, but probably not. I enjoy my Monday morning swim. With the last swim logged on Thursday I can't say I am raring to go, but I do look forward to it and yesterday was really solid. My quickest sets of 200's with pull gear EVER! and I was bang on consistent with Easy/Mod/Hard - more Brownie points.
It all starts falling apart not long after that, call me a lead balloon, rag doll, tanker, Robin Reliant, today I am going with snail-like.
I joined Denis at the Club @ 1-U for a change, fantastic 50m pool facility by the way. Worried about the water temperature I was pleasantly surprised not to turn into an ice cube. Starting off with my easy's they turned out to be hard, the moderates were more like hard easy and the hard's were even worse. An EXACT repeat of this time last week.
The arms no longer ache and feel hollow. I actually wonder if I am using my arms as I now have the sensation of being absolutely knackered, heavy breathing on turns but feel nothing in the arms.
I push when supposed to push and the time just gets worse. Oh well one length at a time and just plough, struggle, crawl, through.
The only comfort I have? I do know my swim isn't this bad. I am holding onto that thought or distant memory that it has now become because if I let go or lose it I think I will go to a corner sit down and CRY!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Cor Blimey!

Before the Beijing Olympics a quartet of potential Gold tipped medal winners of the Great Britain squad stripped off and took part in an awesome AD campaign for Powerade sports drink (http://teamtrihard.blogspot.com/2008/08/tickle-your-fancy.html). So successful was the campaign it appears that Rugby internationals have been tempted to go down the same path.
This is great news for female rugby fans - of which I am a huge one! These tasteful shots reveal the powerhouses that rugby players are. Or in my terms, amazing bums and legs, haha! Girls please enjoy. Guys, please make note!
These latest shots taken were taken by Alan Clarke.

England international Paul Sackey

England international Steve Borthwick

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ironguides Journal WK16

112 days gone and just 33 to go. Wow, when I look at it in days rather than weeks the elapsed time since I started really hits home. The time left also hits home, but I am reminded of that every day – there is no escaping the ticking clock.
But I don’t feel my training is a race AGAINST time. I feel fit and healthy. I don’t feel ready...yet. But I don’t feel behind or ahead. Actually I have no clue where I am supposed to be, I leave that to the experts. Trust and do as you are told, give each session an honest effort and come race day you will have the assurance that you have given yourself the best possible chance and shot and not cheated yourself by thinking, if I had done this, or that. And don’t let’s even go down the path of “what if”. That is not in my vocab!

Thanks Shazley for this picture. I am smiling once again - LOVE IT!


So to this week, torturous? Not really, it’s very weird. Monday swim was solid, but come the evening I had back-pedalled my way to WK1 on the turbo. My knee was hurting slightly and my legs were saying NO MORE! Tuesday swim was similarly tanker-like and thinking that the week was paved out before me as a long nasty affair I then shocked myself with an awesome treadmill run. I had to change machines halfway through because one got so wet and slippery!
Every morning since WK1 or 2 I am always very apprehensive to move my body when I wake up. Lying very still in bed listening to the alarm I know it is time to get up and get wet. This is what I go through every day when that alarm sounds. It takes less than 30seconds to do this rather unscientific assessment, but like most of training these days, it has become a daily ritual, because EVERY SINGLE DAY, I feel this way:
First of all I tentatively stretch. This used to be a sublime cat-like stretch but these days it is more reminiscent to that of an old lady. Straighten one leg, then the other and check everything is working and no cramp is coming to visit. Discomfort? Check. Pain present? Double Check. Eyes open? Check. Ready to now move to edge of bed? Check, Check. And Groundhog Day starts all over.
With the midweek madness done and dusted the weekend approached. The long hot hilly Broga Loop ride was LONG, SCORCHING and HILLY, BUT very enjoyable. (It is the group I ride with that makes it enjoyable, not the hills – I am not THAT mad). Ridden at a volume pace (this is all the legs allow these days) it was great fun. The post interval brick in searing heat? Lapped it up. It was a real taste of what we are in for come race day. For someone with a rather odd aversion to any form of cold it is no news that I prefer the heat. I would not dare say that I excel in the heat – I am human and not a camel after all, but I do prefer heat over rain and cooler climes. Having said that I finished my run beetroot red and was nicely hosed down in the car park, I would like to say ala a race horse but there is nothing about my running that could liken me to a thoroughbred! Stubborn ASS (read: Donkey) is much more like it.
The loooong Sunday run is never a fun time. The end of a long hard week, basically I do what the legs will allow. It is uncomfortable, never easy (then again training never should be easy, else you are not training), and never particularly fast or slow. I don’t get hung up on how quick I am going on these runs. I try to leave my EGO in bed, for there are no medals to be won on training days.
When I came home this morning I sat down, feet up and nodded off within minutes. Everything was and still is throbbing. If I get up it is a slow and painful struggle. I am not exaggerating here, and would love to read that you guys are having similar training pains.
With one weeks holiday from work next week (CNY) I am looking forward to completing training and just basically resting. The trouble is while my body is good for nothing other than shuffling, my mind will not rest. I get SO bored doing nothing. I know I need to rest but just sitting still I am going mad and eating probably waaaay too much crap – AGAIN. A good friend said read a book. I do try, but I can’t concentrate for more than a few minutes and then my mind goes AWOL, same with watching the tennis or a movie. How I am going to handle free time next week I do not know.
I am going to try my best to sleep and rest, but me thinks the only thing I can concentrate on for more than a few minutes is writing. So in advance, my apologies, as there could be a few lengthy posts coming next week. If there aren’t, you know I have finally succeeded and the mind has switched off long enough for the body to rest.
As always, waiting in the wings with my taper is Coach Vinnie of Ironguides. I have no clue what it is or when it is coming. I am pretty sure we have two more BIG weekends coming before any changes are indicated. Boy oh BOY; am I looking forward to that DAY!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Gong Xi Fai Cai!

Forgive my lack of knowledge on Chinese culture, this is probably as close as I can get (pretty bad huh?). I know it's a Japanese TV show, but since it's based on the Classic Chinese Novel 'Journey to the West' I am posting this clip for CNY.I grew up watching Monkey Magic in the UK.

A ridiculously crazy badly dubbed show? Abso-bloody-lutely. But there was something about this bizarre show with it's freaky magical hero's (piggy scared the hell out of me) that was addictive. Loved it! Still love it. This brings back some great biscuit munching after school day TV memories :) video

Churning up the Tarmac

On our return leg this morning I knew that S.Sam was out and about somewhere behind us. He didn't see us but we saw him. Head down, churning up the tarmac like the true tri-con he is! Good on ya Sam, I hear the training is going VERY well.

Great Morning

Friday mornings are usually quite lonely for me. A bike session is scheduled which alternates between turbo at home watching the likes of French & Saunders and Blackadder and the road. Well I have not been able to get onto he road as I won't go solo - really not safe, and the other guys quite sensibly say, with quizzical looks on their faces: 'but we have a long ride tomorrow!'
Well Randy is off to Phuket tonight with his beloved Ivie for CNY, so I cornered him early in the week to join me for the interval 'road' session. Not really looking forward to getting up so early but I knew the time on tarmac would pass sooooo much quicker than time infront of telly.
In bed, it was gone 10pm and I get a text from another rider - Terry. Where ya riding? I told him the plan and said that it would involve hoicking our bikes over the barrier of the KL-Putrajaya highway when time beckoned (something I am getting quite used to these days). See ya there, he said!
And so from one sad, turboing Emma to 3 on the road. This mornings ride although I have been running on empty most of the week was super cool. It makes so much difference when you can train with your buddies - so when you have the chance and if the schedule allows - DO IT. It's very tough knocking out the training on your own and brings home what we are all doing this for when in a group. IT IS FUN. The pain, yes well I think we have heard enough about that - it won't go away if you want to get better so just ignore the bloody damn thing!
Cheers Guys, loved this morning. I have just awoke from a very deep slumber and now I think I can start the day!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Think You're Tough?

I thank my lucky stars that so far in life I have been blessed with a pretty good health package. I am not talking about a medical package, I am talking about my general health. Something I and probably you (read:healthy able bodied people) take for granted. I sincerely doubt that I acknowledge this fact enough, but when you read about someone close to your age that has been dealt a bad hand in life, my EIA (Exercise Induced Asthma) seems very, no, extremely, insignificant and a mere 'bump in the road' that I have had to overcome. I have no idea what I would do or how I would handle a life threatening illness, accident or tragedy. I would hope it would make me stronger and teach me once again to never give up...on anything.
At 29years of age Kristen McQueen, was dealt a really bad hand. Like many others before her and to follow she never gave up and refused to admit defeat to her life threatening illness. Instead, against all the odds she went on to excel and to LIVE.
So you think you are pretty tough because you signed up to do an IM? With limbs intact and in good working order and clean bills of health the significance of what we are preparing for pails somewhat when faced with the reality of someone who truly has earned the title of fighter/survivor/champion/Ironman (IRONCHICK).


Heart of a Champion: Kristin McQueen
Courtesy of ironman.com, by profiler Matthew Dale
Kristin McQueen steadied herself on the indoor spin bike. Round and round she pedalled her legs, not so much to break a sweat, but to build her confidence. McQueen had undergone brain surgery six weeks earlier to repair nerve damage and the surgery impacted her balance.When the instructor called for the cyclists to get out of the saddle for jumps, McQueen left the comfort of her seat … and nearly toppled over. McQueen spent the rest of the session in the seated position. Later, McQueen, 29, graduated to her first ride near her home outside of Chicago. Scratch that. Call it her first attempted ride. “Within 20 feet, I made friends with the curb,” jokes McQueen. Last June, McQueen joined friends for group rides, which proved to be eventful. Like the time McQueen and Heath Meyer got lost in Madison, Wis., slowed down to ask directions and McQueen pulled a face-plant.“Oh honey,” joked Meyer, “you are pathetic.” Says McQueen, a physical therapist, “It wasn’t a long ride if I didn’t fall off my bike.”
Did we mention that McQueen was diagnosed with thyroid cancer 5½ years ago? That she has undergone three surgeries to remove cancerous tumours, has undergone chemotherapy twice and that her three brain surgeries were caused by reaction to radiation?
Last September, barely three months after her third brain surgery, McQueen completed her first Ironman, finishing Ford Ironman Wisconsin in 14 hours, 12 minutes.
For the full story click on the link:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Saving Grace

Coffee and me are becoming one. I am falling off the wall as I type and still have to go do a torturous run session in T-minus 120minutes after a tanker-like swim session this morning. I feel back at square one and it is only the beginning of the week. Reliably informed that this is all perfectly NORMAL it is still VERY VERY hard to handle. And so instead of scowling I am going to smile and laugh.

video

I love this clip, if you haven't seen it before use the worst of your imagination to figure out where the milk comes from. And if you have seen it before...ain't it GOOD!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Ironguides Journal Wk15

Well I am officially three quarters of the way through training. There are 39 glorious, pain filled, angst ridden, and nail biting days left before we tread water waiting for the gun before we swim, get burnt on the bike and scorched on the run. I did this last year and as I type I am trying to recall why I am doing it again?
Oh that’s right. Last year I had the most fantastic time of my life. A door opened. The light bulb went off. I found my passion, I had a dream. Ok, I shall stop there before I burst into song or sound too much like Oprah! I was chatting to a fellow training buddy this morning online. He, like me last year is going for IM for the first time, it is also his first triathlon (I think) – it seems there are also crazy male versions of Emma out there (Hoooray!!) The only difference being he is a rather good cyclist, where as I had only just figured out how to unclip!
Me thinks he is going through some negative thoughts right now. Thinking about the mountain it is he has paid to climb. The only words of advice I could give were motivational as I still know squat about tactics and the sport. And so this is what I said. Swim, Smile, Bike, Smile and then keep Smiling on the run right until you cross that finish line. Have no goals only to finish. Enjoy the experience and forget about the pain. If your head says I can, the body will follow.
Not much I know, but the advice I was given last year was pretty much the same. Don’t give yourself goals. The only goal is to finish. I was warned of a tough nasty day. I tell you, my so called motivational training buddies painted a pretty nasty picture. I took the advice all on board and prepared for the worst. So I was pleased as punch when on my last 10k of the run I realised I hadn't hit the wall of doom and gloom I was forewarned about and was having a fabulous day.
So it may or may not happen. Think about it too much and the worst probably will. You cannot control your competition, you cannot control the elements and you cannot control the sea lice munching on your skin, punctures on the bike and the heat on the run. And to a point you cannot always control the body (read: peeing on the bike!). You can control the mind though (so long as you are hydrated). The longer the day goes on the harder this will be but positive thoughts I believe work wonders.
I am in the midst of struggling with those positive thoughts right now. Every day is becoming a real struggle and most days I feel I am making giant leaps backwards, rather than forwards. I am also starting to realise how for the past year I have dedicated my life, my thoughts, my sleep, my body, my spirit, my everything (opps, another song coming on!) to this one goal.
My mum always said; “Emma, don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. Well mum, it seems I have, I am pretty darn excited and scared about it all at once, but what the heck, if you don’t take risks in life then you are going to coast along with those two words “what if” echoing in the back of your mind. And we all know that I do not go to the "What If" school of thought. My school these days is one of No Regrets. And while this ‘No Regrets, Ironguide Method 7day-a-week’ school is tougher than an elephant’s bum I do believe 15weeks in, that this is a style of learning I have learned to love.
It has made me stronger both mentally and physically. I will now admit it, I am officially 4kg heavier than this time last year. I get in all the same clothes so no FAT comments please. Or else :)
Having a coach in the internet wings is a real blessing, thank you Coach Vinnie for your words of wisdom. I don’t need a kick up the butt, but I do, like most people need encouragement and wisdom. And so from my coach to close friends, thank you for your support thus far. It is, as always, but perhaps not always shown, greatly appreciated.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Race Report Pacesetters GE 30k run

(Pictures by Jason Lee & Tey)
Last year was the first time I have done this race. In training for IM back then as I am now the outcome was unreal. I felt great and had a super run. This year I told myself be happy if you equal the time. WHY? I was told to go slow, volume only. If you have been following my waffle you will be aware that certain parts of the body are starting to get quite knackered, and so a 'volume only weekend' warning was issued on Wednesday night. The morning started with a jolt! Here’s what happened:
I had agreed to be driver and carpool with KK, Chris and Randy. Pick Randy up at 4.55am and KK and Chris at 5am. Sounded simple enough. After the Saturday 200k ride and brick run it was 5.30pm before I sat down and ate. Bed beckoned pretty soon after and so I set my alarm and went to dreamland. The next thing I knew I was woken by my phone ringing. I put it on speaker (reception in my dungeon home is crap) and saw that it was 4.57am and Randy on the line. My first thought was OH no, what's up with Randy, maybe he is sick and can't do the race!!! This dialogue followed:
Me (sleepily): “Hello”
Randy (full of beans): “Hello, where are you then?”
Me: I’m in bed.
Randy (disbelievingly): What?
Me: “I’m in bed,”
Me: Pause....
Me: Penny starting to drop...
Me: “SHIT what’s the time? SHIT, SHIT SHIT SHIT. Sorry, sorry sorry I am on the way NOW”
Whilst shouting this out to my phone I had jumped from the bed to the toilet (yes my loo is next to my bed, haha) still yelling out sorry to Randy and that I am on my way (He long since hung up, I hope). Multitasking, I had a tinkle whilst removing my skins and putting my shorts on. Brushed my teeth, flattened my hair, threw my bra top on, rolled deodorant under arms and pulled on my teamTBB race top. Banana from kitchen, shoes on and out the door.
On the way to my car my phone started going, what the? I pulled it out to realise my alarm was going off! Now here are two amazing facts:
1. I knowingly set my alarm the night before for 5.05am, thinking to myself plenty of time. Where my brain was at I do not know, I believe we became disengaged sometime on Saturday afternoon.
2. It took less than 8minutes for me to get ready and out the door – how about that then – FOR A GIRL!!!
OK, so drama over, they all had a laugh at my expense and undressed state when I picked them up. On the way to the start I started cursing again. I forgot to take my medication, which is a concoction of Gingsana and my Asthma prevention – opps. Oh well, relax I told myself, enjoy, and remember VOLUME only.
I knew this was going to be difficult to adhere to and boy was I not wrong. Going slow or just slower than normal is easy. But the mind can play nasty tricks on you. I started questioning my ability, especially when training buddies zoomed by asking what’s wrong. With some rather painful legs I started out running with my two new bodyguards aka, Neil and Arron. Then Randy caught us up and I gladly dropped to his pace. I mean come on. One GIANT Neil stride = 3 Emma steps! So it was to be Borneo marathon relived as I said to Randy that’s it you’re stuck with me now!
He kept telling me to go off if I wanted; Randy was not having a great day either. I really didn’t want to, even after 15 or 16k when I started feeling good, I didn’t feel that good. And so out came the promise.
Me: “Randy, we will finish together. If I don’t I will give you RM50!”
Well we all know I don’t have RM50 to throw away, it made Randy smile for a little bit as he dropped his pace again thinking I wouldn’t slow - I thought we were on the verge of having a walking competition!
I am pleased to report I won the bet, although I didn’t win anything apart from the fact I did what I set out to do. Complete the race knowing there was still 12k in the legs, a painful 12 probably but it was there and I was in good spirits!
Well done to everyone, some notables who are readying themselves for IM: KK – awesome race, he snuck up on us at the end and the three of us finished together. Simon, ‘amazing pulled it out the bag again’ Cross, had a super duper race. Randy (tough day), S.Sam (scorching run), Carmen (flying), Chris (happy and pain free), Disco Dave (after 200k ride, brick run AND a football match the day before I mean come on!) And a special mention to Gadget girl Bee. She wanted a PB and by Jove did she get it. Fantastic race Bee, well done.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Hang ON

Scarily I feel OK. With a slight alteration to Thursday and Friday training from Coach Vinnie I was assured without a doubt I WILL feel terrible today - well I don't!
Now I am really worried and so predict that the weekend will be all about just hanging on for dear life. I hope I am wrong, I have been known to be wrong more than once in my life (no retorts please).
So will it be tomorrow or Sunday when I fall apart? Not quite sure but if I were a betting kinda gal I would say tomorrow could be the unraveling of Emma.



Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Waiting to Fall

Lately I feel a lot like Humpty Dumpty. Just sitting on the wall waiting to fall off, again! The week is going by surprisingly OK. My body really hurts in places you couldn't imagine and I have a constant weight over my eyes, which makes it difficult keeping them open to see where I am going!BUT. Whatever dilemma's come my way, I am making a concerted effort to smile. For the good of myself, my spirit and my friends. So even when you're having a bad day and feel like Humpty Dumpty about to fall. Find a soft place to land and SMILE - it makes the world of difference - I believe am almost likeable :)

Smile, it's Wednesday!

It used to be Monday, now Wednesday is notoriously a bit of a buggar. Not to worry though, during a home turbo session last week Blackadder kept me entertained and Rowan Atkinson has once again come to my rescue today. I grew up watching these guys on TV but I was just a babe in arms back then (haha) and never really appreciated the great comic humour and writing they were putting out there. I do now! Great Stuff. ENJOY!

video

Monday, January 12, 2009

Ironguides Journal WK14

I haven’t been hounding Coach Vinnie with questions of late. I follow the plan and have learnt that some days are going to be good and some days are going to be bad. When you have a bad one, don’t worry; carry on and keep the faith for tomorrow is a new day. When these bad days come round I am also trying to smile and not go into deep dark moods as it is really not fair on my ‘very understanding but probably fed up with my mood swing’ friends. I am not sure how other online coached athletes communicate with coaches, I guess everyone is different. I know he is there if questions arise and basically that’s all I have needed so far. I definitely don’t need someone to prise my butt out of bed every morning and drag me to the pool, although sometimes I do sit on the edge of bed for a few seconds pondering, luckily momentum and the dream takes me forward and into the bathroom to start a new day.
With few heavy weeks left to complete before the taper kicks in I have been looking through some motivational IM clips to post for everyone to hopefully draw inspiration from. There is one clip in particular that simply mirrors my own reasons for doing this. Criticised for perhaps being a little too vocal at times about chasing a dream, it made me think about how I have approached training, the race I am targeting where it all started and lived the past 12months with everyone knowing my goal - it is no secret. I am afraid that is the only similarity I have with the superstar in question, but it just goes to show that what drives the pro’s is and can be exactly the same as what is driving YOU, they will just get there quicker, and with a lot more finesse and style! But their reasons prove they are human after all (well most of them). Chris McCormick epitomises a guy who wanted something so bad and never ever gave up trying to achieve his dream.
I have been handed a golden opportunity few age groupers ever get. And that is to train consistently without interruption and with a proven Coaching Method. I am ever grateful for the guidance of Coach Vinnie and Ironguides as well as the support from TBB KL and teamTBB and as the day’s countdown I am certainly not thinking about NOT achieving my dream in IMM, but if it all goes pear shaped will I give up? In a simple word the answer is NO. I will just keep on trying, if only to find out how far I can go to get the best out of this body that admittedly has started chasing its triathlon dream rather late! If that means never qualifying, then so be it. But I will never give up. I will chase that dream. Because when you dare to dream (whatever they may be) you then will truly know what it is like to be ALIVE.
video

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Weekend Round Up

As the BIG weekends are now in full force I feel a roundup is necessary for me to sit back and assess with words what if anything has been achieved.
I will fib you not, Saturday and Sunday are two days that I was not looking forward to. It has been a very tiring week. Throbbing legs, wanting to fall asleep in the pool on Wednesday night (thank God for the wettie keeping me afloat), etc etc.
I awoke Saturday morning with thoughts of the previous morning’s turbo still in my legs. It wasn’t pleasant. Oh well see how. My legs felt surprisingly pain free but that could all rapidly change. To sum up it was a tired but blinding ride made very enjoyable by the larger than normal group, I think 12 in total. A very EASY out in part due to mechanical (puncture) problems on S.Sam’s side enabled the group to poodle along at a leisurely pace. With only one goal in mind I set my focus on Perez and told myself even though you feel tired and have had no rest if you can do a strong Perez it will confirm that I am getting stronger and quicker even though there are many days when sluggish and snail-like are perfect adjectives of which to describe my disposition!
So without actually really hammering the hill, I did attack Perez but knew reserves were there. We were after all going to Titi and I knew the return leg was worse so did not want to burn my bridges. Pretty happy with the outcome; on November 22nd I did 26:06. Yesterday I posted 25:29. I was stoked with that little victory. It boosted the confidence no end and reassured my inner demons that I am on the right track.
The brick run has become something I actually enjoy these days. The sun came out, the tarmac heated up and I lapped it up - I was even smiling to myself at one point, a real smile I tell you - not a grimace! Will probably fall apart in the Sunday run but we will handle that hurdle tomorrow, I told myself.
This morning’s run; did my little warm-up with Bee and Randy and then for some reason I picked up the pace and went (for me) pretty quickly. Actually it is the quickest I have ever run out; legs and hips hurting (pretty normal stuff of late), but breathing in check. The downside is I shaved 7minutes off my out time from previous weeks and so knew I still had 1hr27mins to run on the way back. Slowed it down ran, bitched and laughed with Randy – very pleasant. IN the bag DONE! NICE ONE :-)
Tomorrow is another day where this mad case of dejavu will start again!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Something New

I finally went for my Friday afternoon massage today. I have been looking around for something good but not expensive and a place right near my office was recommended by Marianna. She hadn't used it herself but said she knew of one or two triathletes that do.
The place is run by partially blind men and women. I have heard that the partially sighted are very good at inflicting pain, I mean giving massage. Costing RM35 for one hour what did I have to loose? Definitely not my dignity, so just RM35 I guess!
Anyway, I found out that I am rather tense and tight in the shoulders (tell me something I don't know), I also found out that my body after months of training is in quite a bit of a knotty mess. I am hoping that these can all be PAINFULLY ironed out in the next 5weeks and have booked a session for Sunday afternoon after my long run.
Will it help for tomorrow's ride? Probably a little late for that, the report will follow:)
If anyone is interested in trying the place, it is in USJ10, Taipan. It is nothing fancy so don't expect frills and piped in music and scented candles. Aircon - check. Music - Easy listening radio station. Privacy - individual rooms. That's about it, what more do you need. And while they may be partially sighted believe you me - they will find your problem areas, then again anywhere on me is a problem at the moment!

Need Motivation?

We have seen the images a thousand times but I never tire from from them especially when I have lactic legs AND A LOOOOONG hilly ride and brick run to do tomorrow (I may well be requiring the assistance of a tow).
This gives me gooses bumps, gets the stomach doing some butterfly flips and gives me some heart pumping motivation to let me know that I AM ALIVE!

video

Countdown T-minus 49.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

It Is This BIG!

I have it on good authority that the unfortunate man who suffered a rather humiliating mishap on the ski lift was rather well endowed. Apparently his pet kitten has come forward to help give his master some dignity back after the cold exposure kind of shrivelled it up. And so while he may not have a nice butt, the kitten says...

Southern Exposure

Man left dangling trouserless and upside down after Vail ski lift mishap
Courtesy of
Mail Foreign Service
These pictures show possibly the most embarrassing thing that could happen on a ski lift. A skier at Colorado's luxury Vail ski resort was left suffering from a double case of exposure after a freak accident left him dangling upside down and pantless from a ski lift. The man - who has not been identified - boarded the high speed lift in Vail's Blue Sky basin last Friday morning with a child.

'Snow' worries, I'm ok: The man dangles helplessly from the ski lift

But unfortunately, according to reports, it appeared the chairlift's fold-down seat was not in the correct lowered-down position - causing the man to partially fall through the resulting gap as he attempted to board the lift.
He was prevented from plummeting to the ground below by his right ski, which became jammed in the ascending lift. Whether he will be grateful for that fact or not remains to be seen.

The unfortunate man is rescued by Vail staff

With his boot remaining securely in its binding, his pants appeared to have also been caught in the lift as he fell - leaving him utterly exposed.
The many tourists in the crowded ski resort promptly whipped out their cameras.
He was stuck in the undignified position for about 15 minutes before Vail personnel were able to back the lift up and rescue him, according to The Smoking Gun website.
Emma Says: Where to start? I think the man and his tackle has suffered enough humiliation for one day from the hands, I mean the assistance, of rescuers and on site camera snappers. I am afraid I can't even give points for a nice butt - sorry!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Last Night & this Morning = OUCH

My Tuesday evening treadmill session started off an hour late due to unforeseen circumstances. Doesn't sound like much but when the body gets used to a scheduled sleep and training pattern, it can throw you.
I was already feeling worse for wear yesterday lunchtime after my swim. With the run complete due to the later time my energy levels were really lagging. I got off the machine with a severe attack of the munchies. Luckily a packet of salted almonds was tucked away for emergencies. They worked and kept the pangs away until I got home but the legs were on empty and I knew there was probably not enough time to rest and re energise to give Wednesday morning a decent effort.
Woke up this morning and my premonition was spot on. It is the first time I have headed out the door in 14weeks knowing that it was going to be volume only. The session is scheduled for 2hrs30mins, we usually go over this time and so my rule of thumb is give or take 15min either side. This morning however going along the KL-Putrajaya highway I decided to stick to it. Why give myself more pain then necessary? And so at 1hr 15mins I stopped on the highway, got off George and pushed him to the divider where I noticed the storm drain! Lifted George and then myself over trying not to fall on my arse in the cleats and then pushed him to the 'correct' side of the road to start again. Anal, Yes. But today very necessary. Posted my brick run, not too bad, but then 7-11's are aplenty in Kota Damansara and I used them as a quick 100PLUS pit stop today with relish.
Swimming later on, how it will go, I am not expecting much. Will turn up and see how. Pretty much how I sense the rest of the week is going to pan out actually - yep, it's another one of THOSE weeks :)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Ironguides Journal WK13

Training can get monotonous but if you get creative with it and break it down it’s really not all that bad. I believe even the nastiest session Coach Vinnie could conjure up is possible; it’s just about how you choose to approach it. Luckily for me I have been introduced to The Method way of thinking and training that structures sessions in a way that helps keeps my mind stimulated and challenges the body, leaving me with little else to worry about. When you get into the groove you find doing the time a pleasure. It’s comforting knowing that you have done exactly what is required of you, nothing less, and nothing more – even if I am feeling well I am NEVER tempted to do more.
Upping the run mileage for IM training is the one discipline that for me fatigues more than anything else. Knocking out high K’s week in week out, one is reminded of what part of the body is really going to hurt come race day. Compared to last year’s training when I was running 60-80k’s a week (periodic training back then); the run intensity was always the same. Different location, different conditions and terrain but the output, yup you guessed it, the same. This is great when you run with a group of people as the boredom factor has no chance to seep into your mind, but what about if you are training alone? There are a couple of runs in the revised plan that at first blew my mind. But after my initial induction phase, the new runs and extended turbo sessions are training me to break a long solo session into modules and focus hard for each individual effort. So what if I have 40 intervals to complete on the bike or 12 on the treadmill or 17 in the pool? I have found the key is to basically not even think about the volume but just focus on one interval at a time, be it 30seconds, 1minute or 5minutes. Pain and discomfort is always going to be a factor in these sessions but the modules are short enough to work hard with enough rest to recover and then work hard again. Say you have to run hard for 5minutes. It’s only 5minutes. Some days I look at it as five sets of 1minute, other days it’s 300 seconds (that one always sounds good), but most days when I feel good it’s just 5minutes of hard work before a little rest. Then you start the game all over again until it’s done and in the bag.
This is a theory I am hoping to apply to race day; never to think about the end and when or what time you will get there in. Of course we have a golden ‘dream’ time but the day itself may well deliver many curveballs that will toss that dreamtime out the window. Instead, I aim to swim as well as I can, ride as strong as able and then God willing nail that run. And when it comes to THAT run I will not be thinking about 42. It’s just 4 laps, that’s it, nothing less and nothing more. Some of it, perhaps all of it will hurt. I won’t be looking at the watch either or thinking about time because at the end of the day it won’t help, it won’t make me go any quicker.
Langkawi is without a doubt now occupying my thoughts. For the past 10months I have been training to gain much needed triathlon experience and to improve on all three disciplines. The months have flown by and now time is running out all too quickly. With Feb 28th just a few short weeks away, butterflies and anxiety are becoming all too familiar when I let my mind wander. But that’s a good thing right?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Weekend Round Up

My first PD (Port Dickson) since September and my longest ride since starting Ironguides training I don’t believe I had ever done a brick after a 200k ride before and certainly not an interval brick. I was trying not to think about the run that was waiting when we started out in a nasty downpour from Mega Mall on Saturday morning. Two groups set out, the earlier group leaving at 6am and the 2nd group at 6.30am.
Whilst getting a chemical peel from the pelting rain ripping the skin from my face going down the KL-Putrajaya highway we all arived at the toll sodden. There was no option of turning back (not in the vocabulary) but we all secretly hoped conditions would improve. Well they didn’t, and the sun never showed his face although we all still finished with a tan line?? On the way back after having a great out ride the heavens’ opened again. For me this was really the last straw.
You have heard it before, but I will say it again I really don’t handle cold conditions well even though I am British! The last 1 ½ hours were agony, calves and quads tingling I could hardly turn the pedals and was scared to move my hands from the bars for fear of falling off. I started having a good old chat to myself and focused thoughts on hot chocolate, hot buttered crumpets and a roaring log fire. Just get back, not far to go, just get back, run, shower, wash bike and then you can eat and sleep.
When I got off the bike I was unsure of how the legs would take to running, so imagine my surprise when there were no repercussions, no sign of cramp. Loved the run, blasted it, well, as much as you can after 200K. Sitting on the bike in the wet I get very cold, but running, that warmed me up big time – better than a hot shower.
The Sunday run all 2hours and 40minutes was slow and painful. I had the company of Randy and rocket fuelled Bee to make it a little more bearable but there was a subdued air, it seems the ride had taken it out of everyone and it was as much as we could do to put one foot in front of the other. I still managed to crank it up a bit at the end and even if just for a few minutes it was good for the soul.
Hopefully next weekend will deliver some dryer conditions, baking hot would be nice. Not everyone’s favourite but personally I would choose a furnace over the cold any day!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!

A bit belated and it is not because I have had a hangover since Wednesday. Lets just say I have been resting and trying to ward off the lurgy that I sense is trying to overtake my body and probably brought on from the overdose of chocolate that I am now pleased to announce - is GONE.
Anyway - Happy New Year to one and all!