Friday, 2 March 2012

And as quickly as's all over.

So, bike was put into transition.  Our bike and run bags put into rego ready for tomorrow, and it was off home to put the feet up and an early night.

And then..........well, then the texts and phone calls started to say that Ironman officials had decided to cancel the event due to predicted weather for Saturday, and instead, host a 70.3 race on Sunday.

Shattered, devastated, pissed off.........they all come to mind initially.

I understand what race organisers have done and why and know that it would not have been an easy decision for them, but nonetheless, it leaves a very bitter after taste.

I'm not quite sure how I feel about it all at the moment.  I'm not sure if I will race the 70.3 on Sunday.  Getting the finishers towel and medal will all feel a bit hollow............I just don't know what to do.

I definately need to sleep on it.  I just........I dunno.......I'm at a bit of a loss.

Do you target another race?  Challenge Cairns?  Do you do nothing?

I just can't justify the expense of coming back to New Zealand for Ironman, so that target is gone.  Perhaps the 70.3 needs to be completed so at least I can say I did A race in NZ.

I dunno.............

So, the time has arrived!!!!!

So finally we arrive at race week.  As you may have noticed, it has been some time since my last blog.  Why, you ask?  Well, for no other reason than “life” got in the way.
This last year getting to Ironman has been an interesting one.  I have learnt heaps.  I have made a heap of mistakes.  But, I have also ensured that the important things in life weren’t compromised too much...........although, it actually took a while to truly see that.
Since the last time I have posted an entry there has been a great many things happen – some good, some great, some bad and some, well some have just been outright fucking terrible.
Along the way I have been able to enjoy some great times including marriages, births and other fantastic celebrations.  One such highlight is my little bloke, Regan, starting school.  One of the greatest things I have seen in my life was the smile on his face the morning he got up, put his school uniform on and trotted off to school.  Fortunately, he has remained as enthusiastic over the last 5 weeks as he has been on that first day.  I’ll be interested to see how long that lasts!
Another highlight was the wedding of my brother Rob, and his wife Erin just before Christmas.  A fantastic celebration with the whole family and the first time we had all been together in quite some time.  Unfortunately, it’s not too often that myself and all 4 of my brothers can get together, so this was an awesome weekend and great to have everyone, including Mum, together.
Unfortunately, there have also been plenty of lowlights as well along the way, and over the Christmas period we had 2 deaths in the family.  Firstly, and shockingly, just 3 days before Christmas my cousin Renee was murdered by her estranged husband, leaving behind 3 children.  Sadly, shortly after on Boxing Day, my Aunty Shirley passed away suddenly after a very short illness.
They say things happen in 3’s, and sure enough, late on Boxing Day I received a call from my Sister in law to say that my brother Greg had been seriously injured in an incident at work.  He is a policeman in the ACT, and after being called out to a job, was attacked and stabbed 3 times.  He now faces up to 4 months of work in rehabilitation after having the tendons in his hand severed.
All of this was on top of a general lack of motivation I was suffering anyway.  Why?  Who knows, but I think a combination of things.  A new job in February, only a month before signing up for Ironman, was probably not the smartest move as it has been a massive learning curve on top of the commitment required for Ironman.
Also, Jorja and Regan had been a bit out of sorts and I was conscious of ensuring that they were not getting compromised when I did have my time with them.  As a result of this, every second weekend (my weekend with them) was pretty much a write off from a training perspective, managing to get in an hour or so each day on the wind trainer or treadmill, but certainly no swimming.  A small amount of time on swim paddles or stretching was able to be fit in also.  However, only being able to train (especially the longer stuff) every second weekend certainly gets me to this point feeling very underdone.......more than normal!
Our race, the Shepparton 70.3, is also a massive undertaking by our club and requires a shitload of work to pull off successfully, so by the time I got to the end of November, I was tired.  Both physically and mentally  this was not ideal, as I had entered Emo’s Ultimate race in Wagga for the end of November (2/120/20) and I really wasn’t in the right frame of mind to be going and racing this.  I was tired and the training had dropped off for the 6 weeks or so prior, so wasn’t sure what would be in store.
Unfortunately, race day dished up a shocker weather wise with some of the windiest conditions I have ever experienced.  The 2km swim was in Lake Albert, a protected lake, however race morning saw a very healthy swell greet us.  The Northward leg of the swim (x 2) was terrible and felt like I was being pushed backwards.
Out onto the bike for the 120km ride and again, the wind was playing havoc.  The plan was to post a fairly reasonable bike time (for me anyway) with a 3hr 40m (easy) ride, which was totally doable based on my training to that point.  Arriving back into transition after 3hr58m, I was trashed totally.  The easy ride hadn’t happened, and it had taken significantly longer.  At times, heading into the block headwind, I was down to grinding out at a top speed of 18k/hr and this has just trashed the legs.
Sadly, my run was affected because of this and I finally crossed the line after 7 hours and 13 minutes.  This was well outside my pre race goal of 6.30 and had a huge impact on my confidence.
Not long after the Wagga Ultimate race was when the bad news started to hit (as referred to above) and, honestly, Ironman was the last thing on my mind – especially after the blow to the confidence at Wagga.
Once through Christmas and New Year, it was time to get back into some kind of routine, not only with training but also with work.  Unfortunately, work was all out of sorts also with some major changes around structure and job responsibilities and this was causing a fair bit of angst as well.  I just couldn’t seem to take too much of a continued to suffer.
Over the next few weeks in the lead up to flying out to New Zealand, training was done, but no where near what was needed.  At best, it was enough to get by but that was about it.  In the meantime, the diet was also suffering and whilst all my fellow team mates were getting leaner by the day, well, I was stacking it back on.  I reckon I am the only person I know who has put weight ON during an Ironman build!!
It was during the final few weeks (in fact 4 weeks from race day) after a long ride on a Saturday morning, that I pulled up sore with pain behind my right knee.  This got progressively worse over the next few days and I caught up with Ruley on Tuesday morning who advised I had strained the “Monkey muscle” and there was probably a bit of tendonitis to go along with it.
This didn’t really respond to treatment, either physio or myotherapy, and got to the point where I was limping whilst walking.  Suffice to say the last 4 weeks only had limited running.  In fact only four sessions in total.
So finally we arrived to the weekend prior to the race, which was packing weekend for a very early flight on Monday morning.   A swim / bike session on Saturday morning, followed by Saturday afternoon pulling down the bike and packing into the bike box – the first time I have had to do this.  This all went to plan, and soon I had the bike box packed.  Then onto the rest of the gear and supplies needed for an Ironman race.  It was soon evident that excess luggage was going to be an issue, so it was time to strip back all of the non essentials to try and pack as light as possible.  30kg’s sounds like a lot, but with the packed bike case weighing in at 25kg’s it didn’t leave much spare.
Finally done, and then alarm set for 3am Monday morning for the trip to Tullamarine with the boys.  The trip was fairly uneventful and we finally arrived in Taupo at about 8pm Monday evening.
Tuesday morning was the time to get the bikes into the shop to get built up and checked over and mine appeared to have travelled ok except for a slightly bent rear derailleur cable, which was soon fixed up by the bike shop.  It was decided that a quick check of the start of the bike course was in order, so 8 of the crew ventured out for a 20k ride to check out the route out of town.  Unfortunately, this was about the time the rain started and settled in.  The temperature dropped and made for a very uncomfortable ride, so it was quickly back home and into the showers.
Wednesday morning was a scheduled 30min swim for the crew, so down we go.  It is here that I should mention that I swim in a sleeveless wettie, and have done so since I had my shoulder re-co.  I have found that with my fully sleeved wettie, it fatigued the shoulder greatly and I just couldn’t get comfy.  Upon entering the water, I soon realised that this was potentially going to be a very.......very......very uncomfortable swim as the temperature of the water seems to suck my eyeballs from my melon and my balls into my throat.
After battling through the 15mins out I gladly turned for home and got out as quickly as possible.  After heading home for a shower and breakfast, it was back into the bike gear and we drove to the turnaround point at Reporoa to ride the return leg back into town.  Once home, another shower, lunch and then off to the expo where I walked around and around checking bits and pieces out, but in the back of my mind I knew I was always going to buy a new wettie as I just couldn’t see myself finishing the swim in a sleeveless.
After checking out what was on offer and listening on the spiels from the reps from Blue Seventy (which was what my last fully sleeved wettie was), Ironman wetsuits and 2XU, I finally made my decision and I am now the owner of a 2XU C2 Comp wetsuit.  The fact that it was a bargain at $230AUD didn’t hurt either!
Thursday morning was off to the swim start again to test it out and I can say, pleasingly, that both eyes and balls remained where they should this time.  Whilst still cool in the water, the sleeves made a massive difference and I should be able to get around the 3.8km with hypothermia.
Thursday arvo was back onto the bikes for a roll around the run course to familiarise ourselves with where we will be going.  Whilst there are certainly a few hills on the course, it was less than I expected, but will still be testing on the legs, especially after 3 laps.
Thursday afternoon was spent doing the tourist thing with a group of us heading out to check out some of the Jet Boats.  All I can say is if you haven’t had a go at these things, then put it on your to do list.  Absolutely awesome and the best 30 minutes ever.  The drivers are sensational and know every inch of the river and where they can go safely........and for the biggest thrills.  Photos to come in due course!
So then it was off to the carbo dinner and race briefing.  Now, we know that the weather has been pretty ordinary in Taupo over the last few weeks and the forecast was not looking great for race day.  However the race director provided us all with an update of the weather forecast, specifically stating that the low is due to head dead centre over Taupo on Saturday morning!!!
This is likely to bring with it persistent rain, winds to 45 knots and a top temperature in the morning of 16 degrees, dropping to 12 degrees in the afternoon.  However, the wind chill factor is likely to push the temperature into single figures.
He also went on to say that a special contingency meeting is to be held at 4pm Friday to get the latest weather forecast and make decisions on the race format dependant upon the weather.  The contingency at this point if unable to swim, is a bike/run combination with waves going off at 3 minute intervals.
I’m not sure how I feel about all of this to be honest.  I am not looking forward to the swim in these cold and rough conditions...........but, I haven’t come this far to only do 2/3’s of an Ironman either.  I won’t be coming back to New Zealand next year, as I simply can’t justify the cost.  But..........I don’t want to only partly do it either.
Add to this all of the logistical issues also with warm gear, special needs bags (which I wasn’t going to use) and the like, and it all becomes a bit unpleasant really.  I don’t mind if it rains all day like it did last year, but the cold and the wind will just make for a very unpleasant day.
So, after waking on Race eve it was back down the street to get extra bits and pieces that would be needed for race day – extra arm warmers, gloves, long sleeve run t-shirt, rain jackets etc, so a few of the crew met at 9am to have a scout around.
After looking for what seemed like hours, I finally cracked the shits and pretty much decided to go with what I had packed originally, thinking that everyone is going to be suffering the same and feeling miserable.  A new pair of merino arm warmers was purchased, as well as a long sleeve T-Shirt for the run, but that was about it.
Headed back to the house for the all important bag packing, before checking in the bike and dropping the bags into rego.  Even though I have been through the contents of each of the bags over and over, and I got The Fox and Nico to cast their eyes over the contents as we ran through it all 9as I did theirs), I still feel like something is forgotten, or in the wrong bag, or will be left at home or whatever.
Anyway, it’s too bad now.  It’s done.
So, I sit here now at 4pm on race eve, looking out the window over the lake where we will be swimming tomorrow and I can see how black it is.  I can see the cloud cover coming towards us, and I can hear the wind starting to build. But you know what?  Fark it.  I intend to have a good day tomorrow.  I intend to smile as much as possible.  I intend to thank the volunteers.  I intend to take the piss out of myself and others.  I intend to smack people on the arse and have others smack mine, but ultimately tomorrow, I intend to become an Ironman.
Good luck to all competing and hope everyone stays safe.  Special good wishes to the Shepp Crew.  It has been awesome to go through the year with you all and ultimately to this day tomorrow.
Hope you all have a great race
Stay safe

Monday, 26 September 2011

Ok, so it's into another "Race Week".

Right, so it's race week again.  It feels like only 5 minutes ago and I was here, but it was actually 4 weeks ago when I was only 7 days out from the Shepp Half Marathon.  This time, it's the Sri Chinmoy Yarra Boulevard Half Marathon that's only 144 hours away.

I generally like race week.  It's all about just kicking back cause you know you have done the work, keeping an eye on the diet and just enjoying a few steady sessions to freshen up a bit before race day.

Coming into this week though, to be honest, I felt like crap.  I had felt flat and tired for a week or 10 days or so and Ruley had been amending my program accordingly to try and freshen me up.  As a result, my stupid head started going into overdrive and I was worried that I hadn't done enough work, or the right key sessions, and that race day was gonna go all pear shaped.

Anyhoo.  The week started as normal with Monday as a rest day.  Even with the lighter weekend (as I had the kids), the rest day was scheduled as I had mentioned previously, I was still feeling flat.

Tuesday, I awoke to hear wind and rain belting down on the roof and that quickly decided the morning's session for me - a sleep in.  What was to be another of my favourite sessions (the 2km intervals), turned into an evening session with Ruley.  Now this was interesting.  You see, he is into his Kona taper, so he says "Come down and we will do a nice steady run/swim combo".

So after a nice little warm up jog (at 5.00min pace) that felt like a walk to him, we measured out 500m on the garmin, so we could do 500m repeats at race pace.  For Ruley, this was like 3.30 odd pace.  For me, it was supposed to be around the same pace we had done the warm up! Watching him disappear up the road, I pushed a little harder and ended up doing 4.24k pace for the first interval.  A nice gentle jog back to the start for another few intervals completed at 4.20, 4.13 & 4.13 p/km pace respectively.

It was at this point that Ruley said one more and then we would head in for our swim.  One of the disadvantages of being deaf as a post, funnily enough, is that you can't hear shit.  So, I heard Ruley say "last interval - let's smash it" and he took off like a scolded cat.  I was off after him and managed to cover the 500m in just a few seconds less than him, in what turns out to be 3.41/k pace.

When he turned around to see me so close to his heels (and he, meanwhile, barely raising a sweat) he was quite surprised and remarked that I was moving pretty quickly for that one.  In between dry heaves, I managed to get out "well, you said to smash it".  It appears, however, that this was not the case.  After all he IS on a taper and he had said "last interval - no need to smash it".  Fark!!!

Into the pool for a short sharp session with a 400m warm up, followed by 8 x 50's and then one of my favourites, the 400m TT.  I friggin hate this session, but it's nice to see the times coming down - albeit slowly.   This week saw another small improvement of 6 seconds, down to 7.19.  A little 200m cool down and it was all over for another day.

Wednesday was a nice little roll around with Team P&W.  Not sure what the crew had been into, but for some reason, this particular day it was on.  Right from the get go, it was off at a cracking pace even with a bit of wind to contend with.  Most of the crew were pulling some nice strong, solid turns.  A few had no choice but to sit on, but they all did a great job to hang in there.  Heading around towards the finish line, the pace was continuing to ramp up and with close to 5km to go, the Rabbit launched.

Sootie was on his wheel quick as a flash and I settled into third wheel.  Looking down at my computer I could see the speed hovering between 44 and 45km/hr............and it just didn't deviate from there.  I stuck my nose out into the wind a couple of times to try and pull a turn, but there was no way I was gonna be able to get over the top of the Rabbit, so it was tuck back in and enjoy the tow home. A total of 44km covered in 1.19 at an average of 33.1 (inc. the rollup to the start and home again).

Thursday morning was the normal "Little Runners group" tempo run which has now extended out to approximately 11.4km.  This has grown from what was originally a few years ago a 7.6km loop to Mooroopna and back, with various extentions over that time and building to the current run as mentioned out along the boulevard and back.

For me it was 57.58 for the 11.4km at an average of 5.06, interestingly the same pace as the Shepp Half mara nearly a month ago.  The difference was I felt like absolute crap!  3 days out from my next half mara and it just felt like hard work.  Splits were a bit all over the place, ranging from 4.51 (the last km) to 5.19 (km 5).  And of course, I pondered over this all day..........and the more I did, the more it did my head in.

Fortunately, a bit of a chat with Ruley set me straight a bit.  Apparently, one is not expected to run at race pace for every single run.  In fact, not only is it not expected, it is encouraged!  I know that I really know nothing about all this stuff, but it appears that the recovery stuff needs to be ultra conservative.  Even more than I think.  Probably explains a fair bit as to why I have been feeling so flat - every session for me is treated as flat out, so now it's coming back to bite me on the arse.

A suggestion from Ruley to take Friday off was met with a fair bit of gusto.  After all, it is taper week.

Saturday was to be a gentle-ish 45km on the bike, followed by a nice gentle 1000m in the pool.  Heading down to the starting point, a few of the other guys were all on a 90km TT session. It was my intention to just sit on with a few of those guys to get my mileage in and then head home.  The wind was a bit nasty and I found myself in a bunch of 5 as the rest of the crew were on their TT efforts.  Unfortunately, I found myself on the front for 60 of the 65km beside Ruley, who tapering or not, was still smashing everyone, so the ride turned out to be a touch longer, and harder, than I initially expected.  Fortunately, French toast and coffee at Friars soon rectified this.

Home for a quick change and then off to the pool for a nice gentle recovery swim of 1000m.  For this session it was broken into 5 x 200's which were completed in 3.46, 3.59, 3.51, 3.45 & 3.43.  It was only several short months ago, that I would have struggled to get anywhere close to 4.00 for each interval.  Technique still tends to be fairly ordinary, but strength continues to improve.  Surely I can just muscle my way through 3.8km??  Some quality spa time as recovery and then a solid carbo loading of Lebanese pizza for the upcoming race the next day. Not my idea, but Ruley suggested it, so it's gotta be good right?

So, Saturday afternoon was spent getting my gear together for the race the next day.  Given I was to be up prior to 4am and in the car by 4.30, it was important to have everything ready as I wasn't gonna be rooting around searching for stuff at that time of the morning.  Whilst I tried to get to bed early, it was about 9.30 when the light went off.

The alarm woke me at 3.50am and a quick shower to wake up and then some breakfast.  Into the car and on the way by about 4.30.  Last time I had travelled to Melbourne on race day I had left at 5am and only made the start line with about 10mins to spare.  It was my intention to get there with plenty of time to get organised.  Sadly, this was not to be the case.

Heading out of town, I plugged the address (Kevin Bartlett Reserve, Yarra Boulevard) into the Garmin and it started pointing me south, so generally in the right direction.  I stopped at Wallan for a quick coffee and then back into the car.  Estimated time of arrival according to Mr Garmin was 6.50am, so heaps of time.  hitting the outskirts of Melbourne, it was telling me to head left on the ring road.  Ok, I am thinking.  Edgars Rd, High street etc will get me there eventually.  It's all good - I know this way.

True to it's word, Mr Garmin delivers me to the Northern end of Yarra Boulevard and I find my way winding my way around it on what turns out to be a fantastic day once the sun had risen.  The million and one bike riders must have agreed, cause they were all out heading both directions on the boulevard.

So after following this bloody road for what felt like an eternity, it just..............finished.

I had no idea where I needed to go and by this time it is 7.15.  It was time to go "old school" and the melways came out.  Turns out that Yarra Boulevard is about a million miles long and split into a few different sections.  The northern end I found out later is known to locals as Kew Boulevard.

Shit, Shit, Shit........onto Hoddle Street, then Swan and finally I am at the right end of Yarra Blvd, but by now, all entrances onto it are closed.  Nowhere to park.  Shit, shit, shit!!

Eventually found a spot and it it now 7.48am.  Still not organised - haven't even pinned my number on yet.  Found an awesome volunteer who pointed me in the right direction and told me it was a 6 or 7 min walk to the start line. So, I am literally running towards the start trying to pin my number on.  Was also trying to scoff my dose of caffeine (via no doze) and put some anti chaffing cream under the arms.

Line up for a leak at 7.56am, walk out at 7.58.  Manage to get my back checked into storage and look at my watch............Shit, it's 8am and I hear the announcer say go!!!!  Jesus, all this way and I've missed the start.  I look around and see a few others standing around with blue race numbers.  It appears that the organisers are running a few minutes late and its the 10k's that have just started.

I jogged down to the start line, managed to get approximately 30 seconds of leg stretches done and then the starter got us underway.  I couldn't have cut it any finer!!!

The first part of the course was a little extender of 550m out and back to make up the 1.1km, followed by 4 x 5km loops along the boulevard.  The initial little spurt out to the turnaround point was fast and furious as people picked their way through the field.  I was no different, completing the first km in 4.50.  Over the next 25mins or so, I knew I was going to quick but.........I felt good.

As it turned out, a rookie mistake as I knew it would come back to bite me in the arse later on.  My goal pace for the race was 5.02/km which would see a target time of 1.46.30.  This would be a PB of 2.15.

I went through the 10km point in 49.30.  Unbelievably, a PB for me.  Admittedly, I've not run many stand alone 10k's and my previous was a few months ago for a Shepp Tri Club 10k of 52.20ish.  My previous PB was 50.50, run as part of the Shepp Half mara a month ago.

I still felt really good at this point and it was about here that I got my ambitions mixed up with my abilities and I started to think that perhaps a sub 1.45 may have been on the cards!!  Sadly, things went pear shaped not long after at the end of the 14th km, when for the 3rd time, I had just got to the top of the little climb that just seems to drag a bit.  You can't call it a's barely a rise.  But it just seems to suck it out of the legs.

To see it all in it's glory, you need to see the split times, as follows:

KM        Time       BPM
1             4.50       149
2             4.56       161
3             4.58       162
4             5.02       163       It was here I knew I had to slow down........but couldn't
5             5.01       166
6             4.55       167      
7             4.56       168
8             4.56       170
9             4.55       172      Still going far too fast, but just felt really, really good.
10           5.00       171      49.30. A 10km PB.  Phark you Chelios
11           5.01       169
12           5.05       169
13           5.08       170
14           5.07       171      Hmmmm, what was that?
15           5.13       172      Ouch........
16           5.14       172
17           5.20       173     
18           5.20       174      I want my Mummy
19           5.20       176
20           5.33       178      Now channeling Cliffy Young
21           5.32       178
0.1          0.31       182      Please just let me go home......

+ 0.4       1.59       182  (according to my Garmin the course was 3.87m long)

Total time for 21.1k was 1.48.00 @ 5.07 average.  Also an average of 169 bpm.

So, as you can see, at the 10km mark I was 58 seconds in front of goal pace.  Doesn't sound like much, but it was enough to make me pay later.  Effectively, it means I lost 150 seconds over the last 11.1km, most of which was in the last 7km.  A good pacing lesson if there ever was one.

The good news???  Well, it was still a half marathon PB for me.  Albeit, only just beating my Shepp half mara time by 45 seconds.

The best part of the day was the awesome pancakes put on by the Sri Chinmoy guys.  Suitably replenished, it was then into the car and off to the Kew Recreation Centre for a bit of a soak in the spa and a shower before the 2 hour trip home.

Arriving back home to Shepp at 1.30pm, I was just in time to get down to the park for the end of our club's season launch and catch up with a few of the guys.  A chance to share a few tall stories and have a few laughs.  It was about this time that a few of the guys thought I might have still been a bit amped up!  I must admit, the trip home was my own little "house party" in the car with the ipod smashing out some awesome tunes, and on reflection, I realised that during my rush to get to the start line I have inadvertently dropped a bit more of the caffeine dosage than normal - in fact, 33% more than normal.  Ooops.  So, I may have been talking a bit fast..........

Back into the spas for a bit more recovery time with a few of the guys and the traditional Sunday afternoon coffee.  Probably the last thing I needed, but was good to catch up with the crew.  As for the overdose of caffeine, it clearly works as I felt invincible for the for half of the run.  Just need to get it to last for the second half LOL

Eventually came down off my high and got to sleep.  Woke up Monday morning somewhat sore and I guess this is to be expected given I went a little harder than expected.  Weigh in this morning was 97.5kg, a loss of another 0.5kg, and a total of 22.5kg in 28 weeks.  And this was with a post race celebratory KFC binge on board!!

So, whilst it was still a PB for me over both the 10 and 21.1k distances, it was still good lesson learnt in pacing.  Hopefully, I can put what I have learnt to good use in 2 weeks time when I front up for the half at Melbourne mara weekend.

This time though, I'll be travelling down the day before to make sure I make the start line with a bit of time to spare :)

Train safe

Monday, 19 September 2011

Is there such a thing as "Free Speed"?

So, after weighing in at 98.3kg on Monday morning it was time to consolidate on this and make sure that another 2 or 3 kilo's dropped off before my next half marathon in 2 weeks time on Sunday 25th, the Sri Chinmoy on Yarra Boulevarde.

They say that weight loss is free speed.  By "they" I mean Ruley.  He tells me that every kilogram lost is equal to (conservatively) 3 seconds per kilometre.  Technically, this means that since I have started on this little program I have gained a minimum of 66 seconds.  Funnily enough, my average time per kilometre has decreased by about a minute.  For a weirdo, that Ruley is pretty smart..........

So even though I didn't end up doing the Kinglake ride (see my previous entry for details in need), I was still knackered and the normal Monday rest day was scheduled as normal.  I did, however, end up doing a 20 minute swim cord session in the evening.  It's amazing how much sweat this short, sharp session can drag out of you!

Tuesday morning it was back down to the track early for the normal 2km interval session.  The aim for this session was to try and improve on times, down to 9.20 per interval from 9.40/9.50, and if the legs are feeling fresh to do 8 intervals, up from 7 the previous week. A quick 2km warm up and then it was into the first interval. Bearing in mind this first interval was being done prior to 5.30am, the brain was still a bit fuzzy, and I wasn't able to do my maths as well as I should have.  Subsequently, glancing down at the Garmin and seeing 4.17/km pace, I thought I was behind target of 4.10/km.  You see, at 5.30am 4.20 and 4.20 equals a 2km interval of 9.20 apparently!!!

Suffice to say this first interval knackered me and I struggled to maintain pace throughout the remainder of the session.  Ruley turned up at 6am, and when I told him what had happened he said to pull the pin after the 6th interval and warm down.  "Gladly" was my response!  Total session of 17km in 1.41.

For the record, my interval times were 9.05, 9.16, 9.22, 9.16, 9.27, 9.17.  Pretty happy with that considering the cock up at the start and only 2 intervals over goal time by 2 and 7 seconds respectively.  Some 16 weeks ago, these intervals had a goal time of 11.00 and were blowing out to circa 11.30!!

Tuesday lunchtime was a short, sharp swim of 1400m consisting of 400m warm up, 8 x 50's @ 50secs, a 400m TT (@ 7.25) and a 200m cool down.  Tired for this one, but pleasing to see a slightly better time for the TT than last week.  Tuesday evening was a 30min legs and core session.  How much fun are these sessions?? I always know I am going to wake up the next morning and will be feeling the muscle soreness in the abs and legs.

To top off Tuesday, it was off to Myotherapy for my regular fortnightly session.  The awesome guys at Shepparton Myotherapy look after me like no other and make sure that I am able to get out and get all of my sessions done.  Normally I see Monique, who would not be out of place in a torturers chamber given her sadistic pleasure in seeing me squirm as she buries her thumbs into my ITB's or hip flexors.  Alas, she was away on leave for a couple of weeks and had offered to book me in to see Kirsty instead.

At least I thought I might get a slightly easier session given that Mon was away.  Unfortunately, Mon had neglected to tell me that Kirsty is the owner of THE toughest thumbs in Australia.  I reckon Mon must have worded her up and told her to make me pay.............and Kirsty didn't disappoint!

As I sit here a week later, I still have cup marks up and down each side of my spine, all over each quad, and covering both calves.  I have had a fair bit of cupping in the past, including that unpleasant technique of dragging the friggin things up and down the thigh to try and loosen up the ITB.  I can say that I have never been marked like this before, not have they ever lasted this long.  In addition, Kirsty made good use of "the toughest thumbs in Australia" and enjoyed digging them approximately 2 foot into my hip flexors, closely followed by my ITB's down near the knee, and to top it all off, the abductors.  A week later and I still have spots sore to the touch.

I never thought I would say it, but..........please come back Monique!!!

After that little torture session, Wednesday started off with a nice little roll around with Team P&W of 45km. A bit over 1.20 for an average of 31.5k/hr.  Was great to get out with the crew and talk a bit of crap and hang shite over each other. Wednesday PM was another 20 minute Swim cord session. 

Thursday's tempo run was due to be a steady effort out for the first half (5km) at approx 5.10 pace, then a balls out TT home to get a bit of a gauge of where I am at presently.  Having spoken with Ruley though and telling him I was still feeling a bit flat, he said to play it by ear and see how I was feeling once I got started.  So heading off to the turnaround point, average pace was the 5.10 as targeted.  Unfortunately, once hitting the turnaround point, the legs had nothing.  No drive, no power.  So it was a plod home again at the same pace.  A total of 11.4km in 58.42, average 5.09/km.

Thursday PM was a scheduled 3000m straight swim, the first time I had attempted this.  All other long swim sessions had been broken up into smaller sets.  Managed to get into a nice rhythm, at least as much as a rhythm as a spaz like me in the pool can, and punch out a 60.49.  Would have been nice to see a 59.xx, but that will have to wait for another few weeks I guess.

Friday morning was scheduled to be a brick session with a 20min run off the bike.  Unfortunately, my old mate Foss found out on Monday they he had been made redundant.  As a result, he wouldn't be in a hurry to head home after our ride and get ready for work, so it was decided breakfast was in order.  I organised with Ruley to do a bike/run combo that night instead on the wind trainer & treadmill.  Was great to be able to sit and catch up with Foss (and co) and I know that being the great bloke he is, that he will be back in emply very, very soon.

It would be nice to say that it was a nice gentle roll around the Team P&W loop, but it wasn't to be.  A very mild morning of 8 degrees and a pleasing tailwind for the majority of the ride made the pace very hot and the last little section saw a few falling off the pace.  Heading into the final sprint, I found myself rolling to the front and sadly, being left high and dry with no one left to roll around me.  Head down and pushing hard to try and cover the last 1500m or so, only to have 2 pull around me with about 100m to go after enjoying the ride on my wheel.  Had to settle for third and some French toast for Breakkie.

Lunchtime was another short (recovery swim) of 1000m broken into 5 x 200's and covering the distance in low 19mins.  A few minutes in the spa's to give the legs a bit of recovery and then it was back to work.

After picking the kids up on Friday and getting dinner and bath's out of the way, it was time for a story and then kids off to bed.  Turning the footy on, I stepped onto the Wind trainer for a 20min rollover of the legs to warm up, followed by a 20min treadmill session.  I was under strict instructions to keep it nice and gentle, so settled into a very leisurely 6min/km pace.  Even with the fan on, it was unpleasantly warm!  I now know what Peter has been going through with his heat sessions in the lead up to Kona!

I must make special mention of my old mate Princess this week too.  Not for any particular reason, but simply for that fact that he has been a bit precious about not getting a mention prior to this.  Does this satisfy you now Princess?

Given it was my weekend with the kids, sessions had been scheduled on the wind trainer and treadmill, but again after speaking with Ruley and the legs still feeling flat and tired, the high intensity sessions that had originally been scheduled were changed to nice steady brick sessions consisting of a 40min wind trainer and 20min treadmill.  This same session was done both Saturday and Sunday.

The aim of these changes were to try and freshen the legs up a bit so that I can get back into it again this week with Yarra Blvd scheduled for next Sunday, and then the Melb Half Mara 2 weeks later.  Interestingly, the treadmill gives me a heap of pain in the lower legs, specifically in the right leg where I get the pain from the compartment syndrome.  I don't get the same (level) of pain when running on the road or the track.  What's the go with that????  Clearly, it must have something to do with changing my technique with on the treadmill in comparison to running outside.  Anyone else experienced this?

Sunday night was another Cords/Legs/Core session of 40mins.  It's amazing the difference that the cords have made in a short time.  I really noticed this during the 3000m swim on Thursday.  I didn't get anywhere near as much fatigue in my shoulders as what I have in the past and hopefully this will continue to improve as the cord use becomes more consistent.

So, the sessions for the week were:

Monday             PM Swim Cords, 20mins
Tuesday             AM Run 17km (2km ints), 1.41.47 @ 5.59avg, 158bpm avg
                          Lunch, Swim 1400m (inc 400m TT @ 7.25), 27mins total
                          PM Core/Leg session, 25mins
Wednesday       AM Bike 44km, 1.23, 31.5k avg, 141 bpm avg
                         PM Swim cords, 20mins
Thursday           AM Run 11.4km, 58.42, 5.09avg, 158bpm
                         PM Swim 3000m (straight), 60.49
Friday               AM Bike 44km, 1.19, 33.2k avg, 139 bpm avg
                         Lunch Swim, 1000m (recovery 5 x 200's), 19mins
                         PM Brick, W/T 20mins, T/M 20mins
Saturday           AM Brick W/T 40mins, T/M 20mins
Sunday             AM Brick, W?T 40mins, T/M 20mins
                        PM Cords/Legs/Core, total 40mins

A total of 14 sessions for the week!!!  Albeit, some were only short sessions of 20mins or so, but the aim was to freshen up a little after being a bit flat. Hopefully it has worked and we will find out come Tuesday morning when it's back down to the track for another big 2km interval session.

The diet has generally been pretty good, but I still need to work a bit harder on portion sizes.  And bread remains my achilles heel.  I need to get all the bread out of the house I think, otherwise I end up just churning through the whole lot far too fast.

Monday morning's weigh in saw 98.0kg on the readout.  Only a nominal drop of 0.3kg, but again have noticed a big change in body shape.  Have had to update the wardrobe with a few bits and pieces of late.  A total drop of 22kg in 27 weeks so far.  Hopefully, this trend continues.  After all............they say it's free speed!

Train Safe,

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

So, here's to my best decision.......EVER!

More on that  decision a little later, but believe me.........It truly was.

After dropping the kids off on Father's day, it was time for the regular clean up after those two whirlwinds had been around at my place.  Finally got to have a sit down and settled in to watch the new series of Underbelly.  Anyone else watching it?  I'm enjoying it at this stage and look forward to the rest of the series.

Monday was my regular rest day, so it was an enjoyable sleep in to a luxurious 7.30am.  It's nice to wake up with the sun shining in the window as opposed to well before sunrise!

Tuesday was back down to the track for, what has become, the regular interval session consisting of 2km intervals.  this tends to be a reasonably long session as well as the reps have continued to increase, along with the goal times coming down.

This week, Ruley had scheduled 7 x 2km intervals @ 9.50 per rep.  This goal time is down from 10.25 just a week or two ago, so its starting to get much tougher to see consistent performance improvements.  The session also includes a circa 2km warm up and cool down.

Ended up completing just shy of 19km in a total time of 1.46 (inc. recovery periods between reps) at an average HR of 155bpm.  It's interesting to watch the changes in this as I am getting fitter as well.

After completing my warmup, it was into the intervals and clearly I was feeling ok........or my pacing is just so shithouse.........cause I was done in 8.56!  Nearly a minute faster than the goal time.  I was worried this would bite me in the arse later but not much I could do about it now.  Subsequent intervals were completed in 9.24, 9.36, 9.44, 9.34, 9.28 & 9.19.  This averages out to 4.43/km with an average HR of 162bpm.  Obviously pretty happy with this session as it was on average 12 seconds faster per kilometre than goal and pleasingly, the last few sessions were a couple of the fastest, so there was no fade at all.  Nice.

Tuesday lunchtime was a short sharp swim session of 1200 metres consisting of 400m w/u, 40 x 50m efforts followed by an all out 400m TT and a cool down of 200m.  Ruley was keen to find out where I was with the swim as it has been less than consistent of late, hence the TT.  I was able to complete this in 7.29, which is nearly 30sec faster than my previous best time, and a fresh target for Ruley to use for subsequent sessions.

Wednesday morning was a sleep in due to a very late night the night before attending a meeting, so as a result the bike session was completed on the wind trainer, with just a steady 60mins to give the legs a bit of recovery after the hard run the day before.

This was followed by 20mins of stretch cord exercises.  In the words of Brian "The Bristle" Taylor.........Wow Wee!!!  Man, can those things get you going.  You certainly know you have been doing something the next day with those friggin things.  I'm sure that they are making me stronger, but you must look like an absolute tosser standing in the loungeroom doing this stuff..........well, more of a tosser anyway!

Thursday was another run session, and for the first time, another interval session.  This time (and for the first time also) Ruley had scheduled a session of 1km intervals and with another tough goal time of 4.35/km.  Certainly a tough goal time for me anyway - I'm not built to go that fast, but I am enjoying pushing myself.  So the session was a total of 10km over 57mins inc. recovery periods.  After a bit of a warm up it was into the intervals which were completed in 4.17, 4.17, 4.13, 4.16 & 4.18 at an average of 168bpm.

Jesus, did these little puppies hurt..........significantly more than the 2km repeats I have been doing to date.  Imagine taking a nail, then hammering it into your own snoz until you can hammer no more.  Even then it is only just getting to be a slight discomfort in comparison to 1km intervals. 

Interestingly, these times were significantly quicker than the scheduled goal time averaging about 19 or 20 seconds per kilometre quicker.  Sadly, Ruley asks for feedback on all these sessions and I know the sadistic prick is rubbing his hands together itching to set a new goal time for the next session of 1km repeats..........I can't wait!!!

Thursday finished off with 20mins of leg & core strength and on tired legs this was an interesting little exercise.  How much fun are one leg squats???

Friday was scheduled to be another tough session with a longer bike session than normal with an extra 2 x 10min TT efforts on the bike.  I put this out to the rest of the bunch advising that it was my intention to go out earlier than normal and after a bit of a warm up, hook into the TT efforts.  Rolling up to the starting point at 5.20am I was somewhat surprised to see 6 of the crew there ready and waiting to go.

After rolling out the road for 10 or 15mins or so, I explained to the boys what the plan was - head South for a 10min individual TT effort, a 2min recovery, then turnaround and head back towards the starting point for another 10min individual TT effort.  Sadly, they are all a bunch of numbnuts and wheel suckers and apart from The Rabbit going up the road and Sootie having a bit of a crack, the rest all sat on for their "effort". 

For my own efforts, I was please to cover 6.00km in the first 10min effort (well, 10.04 to be exact) at an average of 35.5k/hr.  After a 2min recovery, it was into it for the return effort and I covered the same distance in 9.54 for an average of 35.8k/hr (which was into a slight headwind).

Unfortunately, rolling back towards the normal starting point for the bunch I realised how much it had taken out of my legs and I knew I was gonna be in for it over the next 40km or so.  The kids in the bunch didn't disappoint and fired it up for the Friday Flog.  Ended up completing a total of 60km in 1.51 at a 32.4k average.

Rolling into Friars for the normal Friday morning post ride breakfast, it was time for tall tales, coffee and a feed.  Once my breakfast arrived, and despite being hungry, I just couldn't eat..............I was simply too tired to eat LOL.  I managed to force it in and have a coffee.  And of course, tell plenty of tall tales.

Friday PM was a solid swim session of 2500m in a pyramid session - 100/200/300/400/500/400/300/200/100.  Not pleasant (for me anyway) as I simply hate swimming, but another one chalked up and hopefully it will all help out come race day.

Friday night was another late night with a work function at Benalla with the annual business awards.  Not getting home till midnight, and into bed by 12.30 didn't help for the session scheduled for Saturday.

You may recall that Saturday was due to be the long run from Violet town to Strathbogie, totalling 33ish km with a fair chunk of it uphill.  However, we just weren't able to get it sorted logistically as Ruley was on call for work and being a point to point run, I wasn't overly keen to turn around and run back to my car!!

Therefore, in it's place a session consisting of a triathlon was scheduled consisting of 1.5/45/14.  Unfortunately, I awoke Saturday to a fairly windy day.  Climbing out of the pool in 30ish minutes, it was then a quick change and out on the bike and what was gonna be tough.  Heading East for the first 30mins or so, it was then turning South and straight into the headwind.  Whilst I know I am not the most slippery of creatures on a bike (yes, my CdA number is impressive lol) it was exceptionally tough heading into the wind and it was not unusual to see the bike computer sitting around 23/24km/hr...............and it was sapping the legs considerably.

Climbing off the bike after 1.33 for the 45km (avg 29.0k) I was knackered!  How the hell was I gonna get through the next 14km??  Pulling my runners on, I had decided my run was going to be an out and back - I can't cut it short if I run 7km from home!

Hitting the road, the first 2km were done at circa 5.30's, but shortly thereafter the wheels feel off and soon 5.40's became 5.50's and from the turnaround point at 7km, they averaged around the 6.00 pace for the trek home.

I have never felt so bad in my entire life.  The weeks training had been a reasonable big one, at least for me, and the few late nights for meetings and work hadn't helped, but even so I was rooted.  I had followed all of Ruley's nutrition guidelines for the day, which was all part of experimenting around getting that right as well given my previous attempts on my own had been very ordinary, and most of the day I just felt fairly yuck!  I felt like all of the nutrition I had consumed was all just sitting there on top of my gut and sloshing around.

Finishing up the run in 1.21 (for the 14km) I managed to get myself inside and honestly didn't know where to put myself.  I ended up getting my shoes off and sitting on the kitchen floor, within arms reach of the fridge where I was able to drag out a bottle of coke (full strength) and get some of that into me.  I wasn't able to eat for the rest of the afternoon, but did finish off the 1.25l of coke!  Considering I normally don't drink the stuff (well, full strength at least) I did pretty well lol.

Overall, the entire session was finished in 3hr25min.  Not the longest session I have ever done, nor was it done at the highest intensity I have ever done, but on the back of the big run week for me, it just totally sapped me.  I got my stuff together and headed down to the pool to spend some time alternating between the hot and cold spas.

I was heading out for fellow IMNZ entrant Hayley's 30th birthday so it would have been nice to get a bit of a nanna nap in, but it wasn't to be as the rest of the afternoon was spent picking up the our Tri Club bike trailer and loading it up for the next day's Kinglake ride.

So this brings me to my greatest decision ever!!!  Heading out for dinner and sitting there not able to eat my meal properly as I still felt shithouse, I realised that there was no way that I would be able to get through the Kinglake ride on Sunday.  This was particularly true given the weather forcast of a top of 12 degrees, winds to 25k and 90% chance of rain.

So, after a quick chat with Ruley just to check to see if I was being soft, I pulled the pin!!

In hindsight, this is definately THE BEST DECISION EVER.

The guys who did go has since filled me in on their day and their descriptions of "worst riding conditions ever" and "I've never been so cold in my entire life" and the like, have completely vindicated my decision to be a soft prick and stay in bed on Sunday morning.  In fact, it was almost Sunday afternoon by the time I actually got going for the day!!! 

Only getting as far as the kitchen for breakfast and then plonking on the couch and waiting for the footy to start to watch the Blues smash the Bombers.  Overall, it was a great Sunday!!!

So, what does that mean was done for the week?

Monday         Rest day
Tuesday         Run 18.8k inc. 7 x 2km intervals, Total 1.46
                      Swim 1200m, 22.58, inc 400m TT @ 7.29
Wednesday    Bike (Wind Trainer) Approx 30km, 60mins
                      Stretch Cords, 20mins
Thursday        Run 10km inc. 5 x 1km intervals, Total 57min
                      Legs and core strength, 20mins
Friday            Bike 60km (inc 2 x 10min TT intervals) total 1.51 @ 32.4k avg
                      Swim 2500m (pyramid session), 53mins
Saturday        Triathlon
                      Swim 1500m, 30mins
                      Bike 45km, 1.33, 29.0k avg, 140bpm avg
                      Run 14km, 1.21, 5.54 avg, 152bpm avg
Sunday           Rest day

In terms of diet and weight, that has all being going well since pulling my head in again and jumping on the scales on Monday morning saw 98.3kg flashing back at me.  This was a loss of 1.8kg for the week and a total of 21.7kg since entering IMNZ 26 weeks ago.  Yep!  26 weeks already.  That means there is less than 6months to go till race day!  Holy Crap!! 

Time to pull the finger out and make sure every session counts from now on...........except for Kinglake.  Best decision EVER!

Train safe

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Ok, so it's been a while.

Since my last blog, of course............Get your mind out of the gutter.

Upon finally finding some time to sit down and have a bit of a look at my blog, it appears it has been nearly a month since the last time I was able to put some thoughts together and provide an update.  I guess it goes without saying that the last month has been somewhat busy between spending time with the kids, work and study.  And I'd be lying if I didn't say that I was also somewhat lacking in motivation there for a while.

No reason for the latter.  Just one of those things.  I had a race coming up (a bit more on that later) and I had plenty to train for as I was keen to knock a decent amount of time off my last Half Mara performance, and even though I HAVE been busy, it was also just a little easy to use that as an excuse to either miss a training session completely, or cut it a little short.

Fortunately, the motivation is back again and I have been able to put together a decent Half Mara at Shepp, as well as a couple of strong key training sessions.  Well, strong for me at least.

So, since the last time we spoke the training sessions have been reasonably light on, with only 21 sessions completed over the past month totally 418km of bike, 123km of run and sadly, just 3.1km of swimming.  As I said, motivation was a little lacking.............

Of course, as a direct result of this lack of motivation and lack of consistent training, the weight loss has somewhat stalled as well and I have been hovering between 100kg to 102kg.  Having said that, early last week (and no coincidence after some more consistent training) I managed to breakthrough the ton and saw the scales sitting at 99.2kg on Thursday morning (1/9) - a nice way to welcome in spring!

Despite still being a fat bastard, and the lack of discipline over the last month or so, I am really happy with the way my running has been progressing.  All of which culminated in the Shepp half marathon on 28/8. I wasn't quite sure how it would go as my mileage was a bit lower than what it should have been, despite all of Ruley's best intentions and him setting a program that would deliver me to the line with the best chance to knock 4 mins off my Run Melbourne time and break 1.50.  Sadly, the ummm, execution wasn't the best and I stood awaiting the starters gun not knowing what I was going to be able to achieve.

Before we knew it, we were off and I pushed the start on my Garmin.  My pace band was on my wrist for a 1.50, so I had all the tools.  It was just a matter of doing the work.

Fortunately, the Shepp track is a nice flat one and also one that I have run what feels like a million times so I know all of its little nuances and milestones.  Knowing exactly where you are at all times helps so much with pacing and this can be seen in my splits for the day.  Funnily enough, even though I got away to a good start and feeling pretty good, after 4km I hit a 2km patch that was just hard, hard work.  My times were really affected, but it was just really hard going.  Fortunately, this was only short lived and I was back on track from kilometre 7.

At least, until kilometres 17, 18 & 19 which is the part of the course where you actually run past the finish line and out to the turnaround point for the final time, before turning for home.  This time though, my times were affected dropping between 7 & 12 seconds a kilometre on my average pace for the race.  Doesn't sound like much, but it felt like half an hour each kilometre!!

Run splits were as follows:

1 - 4.58
2 - 5.02
3 - 5.08
4 - 5.03
5 - 5.09
6 - 5.04
7 - 5.06
8 - 5.13
9 - 5.04
10 - 5.01
11 - 5.04
12 - 5.05
13 - 5.01
14 - 5.01
15 - 5.02
16 - 5.01
17 - 5.16
18 - 5.18
19 - 5.13
20 - 5.09
21 - 5.10
0.3 - 1.26  (according to the garmin the course was 21.3km)

Total time 1.48.45 at an average of 5.06/km.  This represents an improvement of 5.06 since Run Melbourne just 6 weeks ago and 17.06 since Williamstown half mara 12 weeks ago.  I now have 3 weeks to go to the Yarra Boulevarde Sri Chinmoy half marathon and I am keen to see how much more I can knock off there.  goal time is 1.46.30, so it means another 135 seconds - just 6.5 seconds per kilometre.  Doesn't sound like much!!  We will see how it goes!

I pulled up surprisingly well after the race with minimal muscle soreness, at least in comparison the the last 2 half's I had run.  It is amazing how much of a difference it makes when you don't have to get in the car and drive 2 hours home.  An hour after the race had finished, and having been home for a shower and a feed, I was soaking the legs in the cold spa at the gym.  Made the difference between being able to walk up the stairs at work or not on Monday LOL.

This last week was a scheduled recovery week, so after a sleep in Monday, it was off to the pool on Tuesday morning (first time in, well, too long) for a lovely little recovery swim of 1600m, made up of 200's.  Christ, I hate 200's!!.

Tuesday night was a scheduled 20mins on the Wind trainer to warm up and flush the legs, followed by a 30min run.  I surprised the hell out of myself by knocking out 6km in 30.35.  I felt really good and not like I had run a half marathon just 2 days before

Wednesday was a nice little roll around with the Team P&W crew in the cold.  I was colder than normal given I had elected to just wear the knee warmers in lieu of the full leg warmers.  This is something I do every year from the first day of spring.  I refuse to wear full leg warmers once winter is finished.  Only problem was I was a day too friggin early...............and didn't the crew let me know about it.  A few of the Friday floggers decided to go off prematurely and head up the road, even though it was only Wednesday, so I was left to roll around with the rest of the bunch. A bit of fun to be had at the end as the pace ramped up and I decided to chance my luck and try to go off the front.  Took the rest of the wheel suckers a while to round me up, but we eventually all rolled across the line close enough to be able to throw a blanket of all of us.

After a chat with Ruley, Thursday mornings run was to be a proper recovery run as a bike TT was scheduled for Friday.  So a very steady 8.0km trot was completed in 45mins.  According to Fee it was very much a tempo run as she is battling a few demons with her run at the moment.  Just a little lack of consistency for her at present, but she is back on the case and will be punching out some good times again soon.

Friday's bike TT was a scheduled 30km of the half ironman course with a 20km warm up (and 10km cool down), so it was an early start at 5am.  A chat with Quik Chik Stace the previous evening revealed she was keen to come out and sit on my wheel for the duration.  Mounting the bike at 4.50am, I was thinking I was just pharking insane...........quite possibly, because I am.  But I was pleased to see that Stace was a the starting point, and she had managed to recruit fellow Quik Chik Meags.

Setting off, we rolled around nicely on 30's for the warm up and back onto Channel road for the start of the TT.  The route we took was slightly longer so the warm up was actually 28km - all good though.  Turning into Channel Road it was down onto the aero bars and into it.  Stace and Meags had settled in on my wheel and whilst it was still dark, I settled into a reasonably conservative pace with the view that I wanted to stay strong right through until the end.

This went to plan and as it got light enough to finally see my bike computer I could see we were sitting between 36/37km.  Turning North back towards town (into Archer Road for those that know the course) I still felt good and strong and pushed hard through to the finish with the last 5km or so done at 38/39k.  A total of 28km of the course done (less the section down Kialla Lakes drive and around Gannaway) in 48.50 at an average of 34.0k/hr.  Very, very happy with this result as I still felt a bit of residual fatigue in the legs from the run on Sunday.  More importantly there was no fade in the ride either.  Coffee and breakfast at Friars was a great way to finish the session.

I was super impressed with Meag's ride also.  She has stuck it out and made sure she was still on the wheel at the end.  Nice work Meags.

The weekend was a couple of those super shitty sessions on the wind trainer and the treadmill as I had the kids for the weekend.  Glad to get those shitty sessions out of the way.  I know they are making me stronger, but I am sure that Ruley is some kind of sadist that gets off on putting me through this suffering.

Apart from that, a super weekend with the kids for Fathers day with a heap of time spent at the skate park, various parks and a mega session at the pool on Sunday afternoon.  I'm sure the kids slept well last night because I did!

Looking forward to this coming week and the program Ruley has set for me.  3 massive run sessions scheduled including a 2km interval session (totalling 19km) Tuesday, a 1km interval session (totalling 11km) Thursday and gulp, a run Saturday from Violet Town to Strathbogie, totalling 33.2km.  For anyone who has completed the Fruit loop ride, you would also know that this route takes you up a number of hills, including Harry's Creek road, a steady climb of about 14km!!!!

On the back of this, I am heading down to Kinglake on Sunday for the 120km Kinglake ride.  I am tipping I will be looking forward to my rest day next Monday.

So thats a bit of an update since the last Blog.  Hopefully things settle down a bit and I can get this done a bit more regularly from here on in.

Oh, and for the record Monday's official weigh in was 100.1kg - sadly a minor blowout due to the attention of the kids from father's day and the resultant fry up for breakfast and the father's day mud cake......ooops!

Train safe

Friday, 5 August 2011

So study and training does not mix!

Ok, so it appears I may have told a little Porky Pie last week.  You see, after the last abbreviated update I promised I would "do better" next week.

Ummmmm.............No.  It appears not.

It appears that when one is a Dad, decides to start training for an Ironman, takes on a new job, new job involves an accelerated study program, plus having a life to live means that sometimes there is simply not enough hours in the day.......and sometimes some things need to take a backseat.  Unfortunately, this blog is one of those things that needs to be fit in around many, many other things.  My apologies.

So last week (25th/31st July) did not start least from a training point of view.  My current study has a block of 6 assessment tasks all due on 3rd August and, as a result, there have been a number of very........very late nights to try and get the work done in time.  Monday & Tuesday were spent with the head in the books putting together all the bits and pieces needed for these bloody assessment tasks.

I managed to get out on the bike on Wednesday morning and I picked an absolutely bloody ripper for it..........given it was -2.8 degrees.  Yes, that's right.  Minus!!!

Holy Crap.  Was it cold???  I had so many layers on there was practically nothing left in my cupboard, including 3 pairs of gloves and my fingers still froze.  My toes weren't much better despite the 2 pairs of socks and 2 pairs of bootie covers.  Took until about midday before I could feel my frigging nose again!!

Wednesday night was a session at the pool of 2000m, including 8 x 100m intervals.  Out of the pool in 40 minutes, but took me about 2 hours to get out of the joint after chatting with every bloke and his dog.

Thursday morning was back with the regular running group and a huge crew of 16 turned up despite another cold one.  A positively balmy -2.3 degrees this time!  Managed to get just under 10k done in 50mins and was able to negatively split the loop by nearly 2 minutes.  Felt good, despite a very sore adducter that was giving me some grief.

Friday morning was back out on the bike again and it looked like summer had finally arrived.  it was exactly 0 degrees!  A quickfire loop with the regular crew and then back to Friars for the traditional Friday morning breakfast and tall tales.  It was then back to the pool after work for what was to be a 2000m time trial.  Unfortunately, Friday night is not the best time to try and do time trail and I found myself drifting off half way through and just plodding.  Finished the TT in 40.21 and was probably 2 or 3 minutes off what it should have been.  Meh.

Saturday was a scheduled 10km run TT. Ruley is keen to try and get some updated times across all disciplines given it has been some time since we put down some base times, hence all the TT's!

Given my new Garmin 310XT still hadn't turned up, I thought I would do the smart thing and take my mountain bike with me and a) warm up on it by b) measuring the loop I was planning to run.  Super smart hey?  So, after riding the loop twice and coming up with 1.97km each time, I measured out an extra 150m to ensure I made up the distance for a total of 10km.

Bit of a warm up and then it was launched into it.  I was keen to try and break 50mins but knew that it was going to be a bit of a stretch.  Was expecting to see a 50.xx in all honesty. I was feeling ok and coming up to the 1km point I had marked when on the bike, glanced down at my watch which read a first kilometre of 3.59.  WTF????  I knew I had dosed up on caffeine before heading off, but this was insane - I can't run that fast!

Finished the first lap in 8.16.  Clearly, something was very, very wrong.  Apparently it was my MTB speedo.  Fark it! So now I wasn't sure how far the actual loop was and I was all over the place with my pacing.  The 10k TT was ruined.  Ended up doing 6 laps which I am guessing was around 11km in 56.xx.  Got home and had a bit of breakfast then it was off to a working bee at the Tri Club. 

This was followed a short, sharp 1000m at the pool and some quality time in the recovery spa's and sauna.  A bit knackered so a quality nanna nap on the couch completed the afternoon.

Sunday was a club duathlon, so out there early to assist with set up then official starter, time keeper & photographer.  Once finished and packed up it was time to get home to change to get ready to head out on the bike.  Unfortunately, the wind had picked up by this stage, but at least the weather was nice and warm at about 15 degrees.

The plan was to do anywhere between 85 & 105km dependant on how the legs felt, so settled down onto the tri bars and started to get into a bit of a rhythm.  Feeling pretty good i had decided I was going to see how quickly I could pull out a 90km time trial and I went through 30km in 55mins.  I kept pushing and went through 50km in 1.31.  Still feeling pretty good I got to 65km in 1.59 and it was around about here that I thought I had hit the wall.  It was no coincidence that I had turned North and into a block headwind and felt like I was going backwards.

Eventually turning West at the 80km mark I tried to keep the head down and push through the last 10km.  Ended up passing through 90km in 2.47.xx and rolled the last 2km home feeling like I had died........except that my gooch was on fire!  Ended up averaging just over 32k/hr for the ride and was pretty happy with how it all went.  Must admit though I was knackered and it was very early to bed Sunday night.

So training for the week was:

Monday                                     Rest day
Tuesday                                     Study day
Wednesday                               Bike 44km, 1.21, Avg 32.1k
                                                 Swim 2000m (inc 8 x 100's), 40.23
Thursday                                   Run 9.5km, 50.40
Friday                                       Bike 44km, 1.25, Avg 31.0k
                                                Swim 2200 (inc 2000m TT @ 40.21), total approx 45mins
Saturday                                   Run approx 11km, 56.55
                                                Swim 1000m, 19.51
Sunday                                     Bike 92km, 2.52, 32.0k avg

Despite having some very ordinary dietary choices thanks to the crappy study schedule, I was pleasantly surprised to see 100.2kg flashing back at me when stepping on the scales on Monday morning, representing a total of 19.8kg over 20 weeks.  Still on track at this stage, and half way to my goal weight, so all good.  I think it might get significantly tougher from here on in though!

So, with the majority of the assessments now out of the way hopefully there will be no more late nights going through that crap.  what is particularly scary though is that I am now only a bees dick away from being qualified to teach in the TAFE sector.  Scary!!

Train safe