Tuesday, August 17, 2010

And Finally

So here I am sitting at the airport. Waiting for a 1am flight to Manila. Such is the life of traveling peasant class:) Finally I have time to write some thoughts down. Actually, finally I have time to collect my thoughts. The past 10days has been a blur and today was manic from the alarm. I like to keep busy, but sometimes you need to come up for air right?
So it is race week. Last year I was in great shape. The swim was problematic but the bike and run were strong and I was looking forward to racing the inaugural Cobra 70.3. It was fantastic, a great time. And I told myself I will not miss out this year.
But as the time has crept closer I know I am not health and fitness wise where I was. 5 weeks into some solid training, I have not yet had the needed 'day off'. But it is looming, it is looming this week. YIKES!
Bad timing yes, I feel in need of a rest, to recoup and regather and instead I am off to race.
Oh ok so I tell myself just go for training and hope it will be a solid day. But I still want to win. It's in my nature. So long as I can give a good effort I will be happy. I will smile, I promise :)
Last year post race I really, I mean REALLY let my hair down. Well this year I am thinking more about October 9th rather than August 22nd and I fully intend to ride my bike on Monday morning before it gets driven back to Manilla. I also intend to have an easy swim. Then on Tuesday another swim and a run.
This is what I intend to do. There may be pictures published that prove Emma was unable to carry out the above. I hope not. I am trying to have my focus head on but I will not lie, it has been hard.
What do I want out of the race? Camsur and Kona? To be fit enough to race well and enjoy the moment.
More soon, I hope.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Take a look in the mirror

So another week has passed. It's been a bumpy ride through no fault of anyones except my own. I know my head is my weakest link on a number of occasions. How then in a race situation it becomes one of my strongest links I still have yet to fathom that :/
I would say I am chugging along at the moment. Nothing fantastic and trying not to think about it. Trying not to look at the watch. In the pool things are still going pretty swimmingly but I was suffering a couple of weeks ago with serious pain in my shoulders - I thought this was the swimming. Oh how wrong was I.
You see, I was getting painful shoulders when riding too. So painful that staying in aero was really uncomfortable. So from someone who can stay aero for hours at a time and think nothing of it suddenly i could hardly go for 10minutes without having to move and relieve the discomfort.
To top that off my knee started hurting.
Alarm bells started to ring.

So I checked my seat. In the past any position other than absolutely level and problems would start. So when I saw it was pretty darn tilted I thought well there ya go. Problem sorted!
On my next ride though after a while the pain started again. Weird? I tightened the seat. I chugged through it. I put up with the pain but in the back of my mind I was thinking of an injury I may be causing. Shoulders I can handle but knee pain, effects the run.
So I checked it again. It had tilted again. Next time I rode I took the multi tool with me and as soon as any pain started I checked it. Yup sure enough it had moved. Crap. What's wrong?
The seat is over two years old. It was pretty darn gross. Seen plenty of miles and been on the receiving end of many 'on-the-bike pitstops' - if ya know what I mean!
So I changed the seat and the clamp. Still not convinced but thought better give it a go. Well, thats all it took, still no clue what was wrong with the old one but now I have a nice new black ISM. No more shoulder pain, no more knee pain just rather a little discomfort in the nether regions - if ya know what i mean (still seasoning the baby in)!!
Well, my ride on Saturday with Jens well and truly christened in the ISM seat. I have never ridden a mountain bike but George looked like I had rode him on a MTB course not the road by the time I got home on Saturday. 
I felt pretty ok when I set out. Head was clear, body not unduly tired, was looking forward to a good effort. Jen's is way quicker than me on a bike these days, he is just a gentleman. But even he was surprised when he waited for me to catch up. I apologized and said thanks for waiting. I feel ok ya know, but this is it, this is all I have today, I told him. He looked at me in surprise. I said I know...it's bad!
It was so bad that doing a negative split was not hard to achieve. How was I going to do my afternoon session  hmmm?
I was in a battle of I MUST train, against but you just witnessed what happened on the bike...maybe it's a warning? I emailed coach. I  waited for a reply. I then had to email for an explanation of the reply. As good as I am getting at editing and deciphering I really didn't get this one!
I then went to the bathroom and looked at myself in the mirror. Even though the body was not screaming its usual fatigue my face was another story entirely. Red eyes and huge dark rings - I looked like ****. Ok thats it. Leave it I decided.
So I had a GOOD rest and got up this morning looking forward to a swim and long run. I really enjoy my swim sessions now. It is monotonous but I enjoy the fact that I am now able to challenge myself. I feel like I am really working when in the pool. Gasping for breath I am able to get my heart-rate high - I KNOW I am working and it feels good.
Out the pool, change and a long run. I decided against music today. Don't know why, just wanted to hear mys own rhythm. I ran for two hours at home over a very hilly route. Finishing at 10:30am, I was doing my warm down walk and felt great, rejuvenated. Everything hurt but I had such a buzz, this is why I do it, for the buzz, knowing that I can just go and run and be thankful for these small things.
I catch myself complaining quite a lot of late. And I really shouldn't. I really do not have much to complain about. I work in an environment I love to be around, I get to swim, bike and run every day. I get to feel alive when I train and the pain and fatigue reminds me that I am lucky to have the choice to do this.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Pretty Bad Blogging

I have plenty of excuses as to why I have not blogged for nearly 2 weeks. But I am not going to go into details, but teamTBB do have a new World Champion in the form of Caroline Steffen aka Xena who won the ITU Long Course World Championship last week - same race Simon did.

This week I retreated from the world, did my training (am very pleased to report I am getting stronger day by day and the endurance is coming back). And then I did my work. And some more work. And then a little melt down. And then a BIG melt down. And then some more work.

That pretty much sums up the week. I am as anal about work as I am about my training but I must learn when good enough is GOOD ENOUGH. When you have 101 things on a 'to-do' list, note to self : do it, don't fanny around and move on!

So I am now entering my 3rd weekend of phase two training. Two weeks ago I was all snuffled up and moving slowly very slowly. I am still not quick but the thing to notice and remember is that as the endurance comes back and you get fitter you can complete the sessions with a good effort but then not be totally on the floor trying to recover for the rest of the day :)

I have a new seat on George - story and pictures to come about that episode. I also have a new sticker on George - rather RUDE, pictures to come on that too. I also have another pair of NEW Avia waiting for me to start walking quicker than I have of late - the old ones melted on the last track session.

Jen's reminded me last night, well not reminded me I just heard him utter the words - 9weeks. Susshhh! I said. Plenty of time, actually this may well be one race I will be able to peak at the right time for. The Philippines on the other hand...erm, we are just gonna have some fun over there. Gawd knows I need it!