Monday, 30 May 2011

So, the battle arrives..........

It doesn’t matter what happened for the rest of the week.  The focus was on Sunday.
The Showdown.
It was finally here.  Sadly, whilst it was still going to be an epic encounter, some of the combatants had mysteriously disappeared.  Dave was skulking off to do the 10 k’s instead.  MXWalker was battling a hangover (allegedly – he looked alright to me) and Anti-Sport was nowhere to be seen.
Fortunately, Mank was man enough to show and, if his running was as good as his running at the mouth, it was going to be a race of epic proportions.
But firstly, let’s take a step back and re-visit how all this come about.  Nearly 3 months ago, a challenge was issued for the “Southern Region BOP Half Marathon Invitational” to be held at the end of May as part of the Sri Chinmoy festival of running weekend at Williamstown.  After a dismal effort at WSTC Australia Day Enduro Tri, it appears Mank was trying to bring everyone else down to his level so issued the challenge to fellow BOP’ers.
Never one to duck a challenge, I soon signed up.  That was relatively easy.  Surely the training can’t be much harder??  Will give it another couple of weeks before starting……..
Shortly after signing up, this blog was started and my opposition was keenly interested.  Clearly my first blog was read and digested as it was soon after that the first official protest was lodged.  Apparently, completing a handful of HIM’s in circa 5hrs 30mins was grounds for disqualification as this was outside the qualifying time for the BOP invitational.  To qualify for BOP status I needed to be slower, however once clarifying that those times were from some time ago and that my last HIM time was a 6.47, I was accepted into the challenge.  Mank would rue the day!!!!
So, duly accepted it was time to get into the hard work – the sledging.  See, it’s not about the run at all.  It’s all about the sledge and I didn’t want to disappoint.  However, I also knew I was up against some sledging champions, and all proved this at various times over the next few months.  Anti-Sport proved to be a hit and run expert, Dave was a pancake focussed and Mank was the Champion of the “Grand Sledge”.  An example of which can be seen here -!/video/video.php?v=177267242328158&comments.
So, with less than a week to go the anticipation was building, as was the intensity of the sledges.  Several threads on Trannies were infiltrated by stealth with topics being overtaken by the upcoming challenge and clearly Mank was feeling the pressure.  Late one evening, obviously panic stricken and unable to sleep, Mank turned to poetry to try and keep on top of his rising anxiety, and this pitiful display was provided:

Ayto, Ayto, tall and fat
Dare not wear his Trannies hat
On Sunday when he comes to play
With Mank and friends down Newport way
Lest he be seen and treated to
A tag, the likes of which would bring
Tears to the eye of Cameron Ling

The bureau says its gonna be
Cold as f*ck, and hopefully
Raining hard enough to hide
The scene when Ayto's spirit dies
And Mank, who hasn't worked at all
While drafting off this butterball
Speeds to the pancake stall in time
To eat both Ayto's share, and mine

For a first up effort I guess it wasn’t too bad, but Mank was clearly feeling the extreme pressure.  Laughable really, considering the total amount of kilometres I had covered in training, however I’m not one to let the truth get in the way of a good sledge, so it was onto my retort:
The lead up was hard
The lead up was long
But Ayto is looking forward
to proving Mank wrong
You see, he has his priorities all amuck
Whereas I, well, I couldn't give a f@#k
The result of the race is secondary
The potential to sledge is what fills me with glee
Oh, and what a target is our fat friend Mank
He is, after all, built like a tank.

2500, I heard in the field
But only one likely to be killed
You see, I have this extemely cunning plan
to deploy on this lardy little man
This plan is to be done in three parts
To break him, in his heart of hearts
The first is to be done with the cut of my tongue
The second, of course, will be done on the run
The most important however, he says with a smile
Will be at the the inaugural pancake mile

Race day soon came around and it was a very early start.  I was up at 4.30am for a bowl of porridge and to get the gear ready to head off.  I was very conscious of ensuring that I saved plenty of room for the pancakes.  Guysy soon arrived for the trip down to spectate and act as official photographer for the day, to be able assisted by the Hardman, who we picked up on the way.
We arrived at Newport by 8am, and after parking made our way to the start line.  On the walk to the start, I gave Mank a call to see if he had left any pancakes for later.  He mumbled something however I believe that said pancakes made understanding him exceptionally difficult.  Eventually found him in the crowd, along with a few others including Tri Mel & Peter, who looked in exceptional nick and resplendent with a 1970’s era white headband.  Should look good in Kona too!
With barely 10 minutes to start, it was time to drag the runners out and pin the number on.  Nothing like being ready with plenty of time.
Stilling pinning the number on with barely 5 minutes till start time.

Final preparations done.....

I lost Mank in the crowd at the start line, however I wasn’t concerned.  I was confident that once the crowd thinned out and I settled into a rhythm, that he would show up.  Besides, whilst I might not have been able to see him I’m sure I could hear him skulking around.  A champion skulker if I’ve ever seen one.
Once out on course, I was pleased at the amount of support out there with plenty of people cheering me on.  Either that, or they were yelling at their kiddies to get out of the way or something.  Saw a mate Nico at about the 5km mark.  Well, he was at 7km as he was heading back by then and was moving really well on the way to a 1hr 27min half.  Shortly after that, Blew was making his way back north as was also moving well, finishing in 1hr 36min.  Absolutely firing as he heads off to Kona in a few months’ time.
Getting to the 7km mark, MXWalker glides by on his bike. He tells me he is too hungover to run, however he appears to be handling the bike and the camera sufficiently well.  He is, however, a great source of intel, and he advises me that Mank is actually behind me, however is looking strong.  I am still right on my predicted race pace (what an oxymoron that comment is!!) of 5.40min km’s, which will see me finish sub 2 hours (just).
Still going strongat about the 8km mark, but Mank is...........skulking.

Getting to the 10km mark, I start to hear………..what is that?  It sounds…………yes, it sounds very much like skulking.  Could it be?  It is then that I get the dreaded slap on the arse as Mank runs up to my shoulder.  WTF is this?  How is it possible this hairy little man is here running beside me?
We exchange pleasantries and polite conversation for the next 2km’s as we run pretty much side by side, with each of us at various times surging ahead by a stride or two.  We were just feeling each other out.  This was turning into something epic.  Thoughts of the infamous “Ironwar” were going through my head.  Could this showdown be talked about into eternity?  There was only one way to find out.
At the 12km mark however, it had all gone pear shaped as Mank moved ahead by several strides……..then several more……..then several more again and soon he was moving ahead until he opened up a break of about 80 metres.  I could see him up there, not moving away, not getting closer, just………..skulking.  Like a bit fat skulker.
It was now that all the negative thoughts were going through my head and I thought I am done.  I was starting to regret my decision to taper from 3 months out.  Surely I should have known better.  I’ve tried the 3 month taper before and it hasn’t worked.  What made me think that it would get me through this time?  Was I delusional?
As we made our way beneath the Westgate, these thoughts continued to plague me and as we made our way to the turnaround point I could still see that Mank had the 80 odd metres on me………and I was hurting.  My quads felt like jelly, my shins had what felt like 6 inch roofing nails being hammered into them and my feet, my poor aching feet………
However, what was this?  Does that gap appear to be decreasing?  I think it is as Mank was now only about 50 metres in front and appeared to be in trouble.  This was enough for my second wind, the head came up and the chest puffed out and I was soon flying at circa 6min/km pace.  As I say…….flying.
Rounding the corner at about the 17km mark, the Ayto cheer squad spotted me and gave pumped me up even further and it was at this point that Mank was only about 10 metres in front.  I would have loved to have completely demoralised my opposition by smashing past him, but sadly the best I could manage was a passing manoeuvre that took the best part of half a kilometre.  In a show of support, I commented to Mank to “Keep going mate – nearly there”, to which I received the response of “F@#k you, Ayton” or words to that effect.
The final turnaround was about 2.5km from home and was time to soak up the atmosphere and I would have……….if I wasn’t running scared.  I just wasn’t game to turn around and look as I was afraid I would see the skulker and he was just playing with me, ready to pounce at the last minute and take the chocolates.
So it was head down and concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other right through to the end.  I would like to know who the sadistic prick is who picked the course with the tiny little rise up to the back of the running track with about 400 metres to go.  It was literally only a handful of steps but it was enough to have me cursing the RD to hell and back.
Onto the track and around through the finish line for a solid effort of 2.05.13, with a surging, gut busting sprint to finish of course.  With just enough time to catch my breath, it was time to see Mank come across the line in 2.07.27.  So, after 21.1km it was less that 2 ½ minutes that separated us.  Makes for an outstanding follow up challenge!!  What say you Mank?
With less than 100m to go, it was time to play up to the crowd (that was left).

After a drink, a bit of a chat and the obligatory photos it was time to hobble across to the pancakes stall.  Wasn’t much of a race as I don’t think that either one of us was in the mood for anything quicker than a slow hobble.  Despite the significant talking up of each other’s abilities in the lead up to the race, it is sad to say that 2 pancakes with maple syrup was the limit for the both of us.  Clearly some work to do in this area.
All mates again at the end..........I think.

So that was the great "Southern Region BOP Half Marathon Invitational”.  Was a heap of fun with the whole lead up and the numerous sledges.  I would like to say the race itself was fun, but I am just not made for running.  Was great to catch up with the guys and have a bit of fun though, and special thanks to all those spread around the course and cheering us on.
As for the rest of the week, due to a few early starts with work, it was very light on for training as follows:
Thursday                             Run 7km, 39m 57s
Friday                                  Bike 44km, 1hr 25mins, 30.9k avg
Saturday                              Swim 2km, 40mins 27 sec
Sunday                                Williamstown Half 21.1km, 2hr 5mins 13 sec

As a result of this light week, the official weigh in this morning came in at 109.0kg, a loss of 0.5kg for the week.  Nothing spectacular, but still moving in the right direction.
As for today, well, all I can say is that I hope Mank that your legs feel exactly the same as mine today.  After getting back to the car, I got changed into my compression gear (yep, tosser I know, but it works ok!!) and then 2 hours in the car to get home.  I then headed down to the gym and spent nearly an hour in the spa.  Got home and back into the compression gear and guess what – it’s all done shit!! 
I barely managed to get up the stairs at work today………and coming back down them was even worse.  Myotherapy appointment tomorrow will be interesting.
Anyway, look forward to the next BOP challenge.  What’s it gonna be?  And more importantly, who’s gonna man up and have a crack???
More importantly, it is now time to move on the next great battle - Otter V's Dwarf at Cairns next weekend.  Who will prevail? Who will need a space blanket? And who might possibly expire? Look forward to seeing the results next weekend.
Train safe

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

So, it's all about consistency right?

Yep, at least that's what I hear.

You see, I've yet to display any and we are now down to roughly 280 days till race day.  Hmmmmm, and with us still a week away from Winter.  The next few months are gonna be interesting.

So, what happened this week.  Well, after the sad news from last weekend there was plenty of talk amongst the locals and we are still shaking our heads at how easy this all happened.  A lot of the bunches are getting a bit gun shy with the onset of the dark and cold, and rightly so.  The pace has dropped off in our bunch as well as the others, the sprints are not contested as hard and a little bit more space is being taken between wheels.  Unfortunately, it's still not stopping the crashes with another few (thankfully) minor crashes in the various bunches this week.

This week has been a bit of a write off to be honest.  Work continues to be busy and a variety of early morning starts means that I wasn't able to get out and get scheduled training done Monday or Tuesday.  Evenings are absolutely no good for me between my nights with the kids, Tri club commitments and other volunteer stuff that I do.  In fact, I haven't had an evening free for over a month so unfortunately missed morning sessions will not get made up of an evening.

Wednesday night saw the Shepp Tri Club AGM being held and I was again voted in as President for another year.  I'd like to think it's because I am doing a top job, but in reality there is no other numpty silly enough to nominate for it!!!

Fortunately,  given my jammed packed evenings, Ruley has had me thinking about doing some various strength and core work along with the normal Swim, Bike, Run stuff.  The advantage of the stength and core work is that it can be done virtually anywhere and in a minimum of time.  I have tried to be good and do the leg strength stuff he has prescribed however I must admit, it gets forgotton more often than not.  Obviously this has something to do with my advancing years.

I thought I would have a go at the core work instead to see if I could do any better at that.  Ruley had written down a list of various core exercises to have a go at including plank, bridge and something called the bird-dog.  Wasn't quite sure what this was all about, so I turned to that interweb thing for some advice and googled the first exercise - planking or something.  Not sure if this is right, but below are a couple of examples of me doing these core exercises.  They seem to be doing me the world of good.

Not sure if this is the right kind of plank, but I think they are doing me good.

This is a much more advanced plank.  I really felt the burn with this one.

The next few days found me completing the program as set by Ruley, at least until Friday night anyway.  I had been looking forward to Friday night for quite sometime as it was our annual presentation night.  A great night was planned, and it didn't disappoint.  The highlight of the evening was having the opportunity to listen to our guest speaker, Stephen Foster.  It was great to hear Steve speak about the early days in the sport and he gave a presentation with plenty of photos of some iconic races and plenty of legendary names of the sport.

In fact, I got quite inspired and commenced carbo loading immediately.......375ml at a time.  I continued carbo loading until about midnight, when, with just a dozen or so hardy souls remaining, we decided to continue to loading at the pub and quickly made our way there.

And so it continued until about 3.30am where I finally made my way home..........completely (carbo) loaded.

Upon waking Saturday morning it was clear that I had a problem with my hydration strategy as I awoke with a raging thirst.  It is apparent this will require some more practice before IMNZ.

I was due to pick the kids up at 11am and we headed down the street to grab some lunch.  Despite my best intentions to make sure that sessions were completed over the weekend, Saturday was a write off and the majority of the afternoon was spent on the couch for some reason.  I think it had to do with the core exercises completed earlier in the week......

Sunday was not much different as we awoke to a cold, wet and miserable day.  Clearly it was too cold and wet to get on the wind trainer.  So I didn't.

Despite all of this, or should I say the lack of training sessions, and my copious carbo loading I was still able to manage a minor weightloss for the week.  An official weigh in on Monday morning say me come in at 109.5kg, a substantial drop of 0.1kg.  I know.  Awesome, right?

For the record, training for the week was as follows:

Monday                        Sleep in
Tuesday                        Work appointment
Wednesday                   Bike 43km, 1hr 22min, 31.4k avg
                                     Swim 2000m, 41min 15sec
Thursday                       Run 10km, 53min 25sec
Friday                           Bike 44km, 1 hr 25min, 30.8k avg
Saturday                       Hung over
Sunday                         Too wet and cold

So, as I mentioned at the start of this weeks post, consistency appears to be a bit of an issue.  Although clearly I am getting plenty of core strength.

Very confident that this coming week will be much more consistent.  And of course, this week also culminates with the Williamstown Half Marathon BOP Invitational.  This is an event not to be missed and will be one of those iconic events that you will tell your grandchildren about.  The showdown is about to happen - Ayto v's Mank v's Anti-Sport.  Winner takes all (the pancakes, that is).

Unless, of course Dave manages to finish his 10k race before us and goes all Cookie Monster style at the pancake stall.......then there will be hell to pay.

But there is always some Filthy Ronnies on the way home.

Train safe

Monday, 16 May 2011

So, a metre matters right?

Here I am 2 months or so into this little adventure, and despite my flippant musings in this blog, I am trying to take the whole thing seriously.  I know what has to happen between now and next March.  I know all about the amount of work involved, the sacrifices, the lack of sleep and the taper tantrums.  But sometimes things happen that just put things into perspective and make you realise that Ironman, whilst an important and fulfilling part of your life, is really, well, not that important at all.
Indulge me for a moment whilst I tell a story.
Jodie Ridges was a wife to Scott and a Mum to four beautiful children.  She was a daughter, a sister, and a friend to many.  Yet, sadly, Jodie was taken far too early due to an accident when she was knocked from her bike and seriously injured.  Jodie had spent the last 15 months in Melbourne in a coma.
Jodie was faithfully tended by Scott and the rest of the family; however this was extremely difficult due to the distance between here and Melbourne and the need to try and keep the routine as normal as possible for the kids.  After a series of setbacks with Jodie’s health, Scott made the heart wrenching decision to turn off Jodie’s life support several weeks ago, and she passed away last Friday.
Her funeral was today.
I am not trying to lay blame here.  The driver of the vehicle was charged and the case has gone through the relevant process with the punishment handed out.  However, one needs to stop and think her for a moment.  This accident has not just taken one life.  It has significantly impacted on at least 5 others and has had some kind of impact on many, many others as well.
And why?  Well, simply because someone was a little bit blasé………wasn’t paying quite enough attention.  What a price to pay.
For the record, I had never met Jodie however my thoughts are with her family at this time.
Sadly, this happens far too often.  Tragedy again struck in Shepparton on Saturday when another local cyclist was struck and killed by a vehicle.  This time, Peggy Allan and 3 friends were out riding at approximately 11am and had stopped on the side of the road to repair a puncture.  (Allegedly) a vehicle has come around the bend and has struck Peggy.
Again, my thoughts are with Peggy’s family and friends, particularly the 3 who were with Peggy at the time and will need to live with that experience for the rest of their lives.
Please, I urge ALL road users to be vigilant and have a little care for all other road users.  A metre really DOES matter.
As for my week, well it really does pale into insignificance in comparison to the families of Jodie and Peggy.
Due to a combination of commitments with work and with the kids, during the week I wasn’t able to get out Monday, Wednesday or Friday, which all happen to be my normal bike days.  I did, however, manage to get out for my scheduled Tuesday & Thursday runs, as well as fit in swims on Tuesday & Thursday evenings.
The weekend was going to be a fluid one as I was heading up to my Mum’s place in Wagga, but I packed all the gear just in case.  Unfortunately, training wise Saturday was a write off with heaps of family wanting to catch up and the bike was left neglected.  The plan was then to get up early and get 50 or 60km done before heading out with the family for breakfast.
So, getting up at 6am I stuck my head out the door and with visibility down to less than a metre due to the fog, and on the back of the news about the accident at home in Shepp, I have got to admit heading out in that type of weather held absolutely no attraction for me at all – particularly on unfamiliar roads.  After a great brekkie, I did pull my head in though and pulled the gear on for a run and ended up doing 14.5km.  Felt good too.
So for the record the weeks training was:
Monday                               N/A
Tuesday                               Run 6km (inc. 8 x 1min intervals), approx. 40mins
                                                Swim 1750m, approx. 40mins
Wednesday                        N/A
Thursday                             Run 10km, 54.15mins
                                                Swim 2000m, 44.20mins
Friday                                    N/A
Saturday                              N/A
Sunday                                 Run 14.5km, 1hr 23mins

I have pulled my head in from the previous week’s blowout and made sure that I have kept a close eye on the diet, and despite the lighter training week, have still managed to drop 1.9kg for the week, with an official weigh in of 109.6kg.  A total loss of 10.4kgs in 8 weeks.  It’s amazing what can happen when you pull your head in!!
Just a matter now of putting consistent weeks together, both training and diet.  Having said that……….it’s only Ironman and it's really not that important in the scheme of things.
I’ll also be making sure that I’ll be kissing the kids goodnight and telling them I love them as often as possible, every night I see them.
Take it seriously………….but keep it in perspective as well.
Stay safe everyone

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

So, Two steps giant step back!

It all started at the end of last weekend; when after a big weekend on the river with some good mates in the canoes and getting home, unpacking and doing the washing I started to feel, well, crap actually.

Spent a few hours Sunday afternoon on the couch and steadily felt worse and worse and by dinner time I realised that I was heading into full blown “man-flu” territory. My contacts were making my eyes feel woeful so it was out with them and then pretty much it was off to bed.
Before lights out I got the bike gear ready, more in hope than anything and when the alarm went off at 5.30 it was quickly dispatched and reset for the more reasonable time of 7.30 when I dragged myself out of bed and off to work.

Wandering into work, the ladies in the office had plenty of advice to give but sadly, no sympathy. Amazing considering that this was by this stage the full throws of man-flu complete with runny nose, annoying cough, sore joints and a pounding headache. Couldn’t they see how close to expiring I was? So I sniffed a little louder, coughed and groaned loudly…………still no sympathy. Tough crowd!

Not long after clearly my weak and serious condition was noticed and the girls told me they thought it was best if I headed home for the day to rest up and get well. I reluctantly agreed, even though I was keen to sit at my desk and plough through the workload, I could see that they were right. I may or may not have mentioned that I thought I might need someone to come home with me to ensure that I was looked after however it appears that all the phones in the office must have rung at once as everyone appeared to be busy……….

As I gathered my things and wandered out of the office I’m sure I heard someone say that they hoped I felt better soon…………..or it may have been something along the lines of “thanks for passing your friggin’ bugs on tosser” but I’m not sure as I was somewhat delirious by this stage.
The day was spent on the couch feeling sorry for myself and no one to answer my little bell, even though I continued to ring and ring and ring. Whilst I was feeling pretty crappy, at the least the diet was going pretty well with nothing consumed since lunchtime on Sunday.

I was supposed to be heading to a breakfast meeting for work on Tuesday however woke up feeling just as bad so sent a quick text message to say I wouldn’t be able to make it in to work. Flopped back down on the pillow and next thing it was 11am. Pretty much the only activity for the day was to move from bed to couch. Fortunately, over the course of the afternoon I felt progressively better and by dinner time I felt well enough to head out to a scheduled meeting at 7pm.

By the time the meeting was finished, having not eaten apart from some dry biscuits since Sunday lunchtime, it’s fair to say I was now hungry. And therein…………..the binge started!!

After a month and a half of being very vigilant with both exercise and diet, the wheels had now fallen off the wagon and I found myself standing in Macca’s. Thank Christ for 24hr filthy Ronnies!!!! A large big mac meal and a Fillet of fish thank you VERY much Ronnie.

Unfortunately it did not stop there, as after an awesome sleep, it was back to Macca’s for breakfast. Oh, and dare I say I didn’t ride on Wednesday as I was still ahem, recovering.
I’m not sure about anyone else, but I can be a bit farked in the head sometimes. You see, if I don’t get my training done and dusted first thing my diet for the day tends to go out the window and I think to myself that “It’s ok – start fresh tomorrow”. However, if I DO get my training done I think to myself “I am NOT going to waste that session”.

So this is why I now found myself starting in the queue at Filthy Ronnie’s eyeing of the sausage and egg mcmuffins, hash browns and hotcakes. Given the day had got off to a bad start diet wise, and my stupid head, the day went downhill from there with all manner of chocolate, refined sugar and other copious amounts of crap being consumed over the course of the next 8 hours or so.

The only positive thing going through my head was a quote from Sunnygirl on my facebook page saying “Don’t worry Ayto – macca’s will kill off any of those nasty man-flu bugs”. Thanks Lisa! I wasn’t gonna take any chances, so it was off to try the new smoked Angus burger (quality, if you must know).

Thursday morning was also no training as I needed to be around at the kid’s house at 6am to sit with Regan whilst Jorja was dropped off to school by her Mum for her school excursion to Melbourne. Off to work without brekkie, so by the time lunch came around and given my man sized appetite there really was only one way to satisfy this – one large serve of Chips and gravy………and a coke zero (watching those calories after all).

Sadly, a similar theme carried over for the remainder of the week until such time to pick the kids up Friday night for the weekend with me, when it was time to pull my head in and make sure there were some decent meals prepared for all of us. Not before it was too late however and I am sure that this kind of carbo loading is enough to even make TGL go crying back to his Mummy!!

Saturday (normally a wind trainer session for me on the weekend I have the kids) was absolutely flat out with kids sport (Netball for Jorja) and then down the street for the kids to pick out their Mums Mother’s day pressies, some time at the skate park, some colouring in, dinner, bath and then bed. All this means that I feel into bed pretty early as well without getting said wind trainer session done.

However, Sunday was scheduled as the day to get back on the wagon and pull my head out of my arse. I was under strict instructions by the coach to turn up for our clubs Mother’s day fun run to complete the 5k option so Ruley could get an idea of where I was at. To date the only discipline I had completed a time trail in was in the pool.
As well as the 5k, there was a 2.5k and a 10k option, so after dragging the kids out of bed and heading out, I was pleased to see a total of 16 competitors turn up for the runs. The kids were quickly given jobs as marshals and they had a ball doing that.

I was eager to see what the result would be, as I had not run for 10 days and had virtually done nothing (but eat) for a week. However I was also a bit apprehensive as Ruley was also running the 5k option. As the course was 2 x 2.5km laps there was the very real possibility that Ruley could well be finishing his second lap as I was finishing my first! I was determined to not let this happen……..or I hoped at least.

At the gun, Ruley was off like a jack rabbit and before we knew it had made it to the first corner and was soon out of sight. I was also moving, but more like a jack rabbit minus legs, stuck in a trap, with myxomatosis……….I was slow but steady. lol

The rest of the field had started to spread a little and I kept the head down and made my way back towards the start finish line for the end of my first lap, sneaking sly glances back over my shoulder for the sight of Ruley but in the end, I had no need to worry. I had completed my first lap in 13min and change. Ruley only managed to finish in 16.10…………yes, smashed him with 3 minutes to spare!!! Now just to finish the last lap LOL

The second lap was more of the same however noticed there was some slowing in the pace until a kilometre to go when I was able to push it up a bit to a shuffle and finish STRONG, in 26min 50sec. An average of 5.22 per kilometre.
Whilst till trying to catch my breath Ruley was in my ear talking about expected improvements of 3/5sec per kilo of bodyweight and goal times and threshold and something or other. I tried to pay attention, however I was more concerned with trying to draw air in via every available orifice before I collapsed and passed over, leaving my kids to have to drag my phone out of my cold lifeless hand and ring their Mum to come and pick them up.

Ruley talking, just breathing!

Fortunately I recovered reasonably quickly and loaded us all in the car and made our way to Auskick, where my little bloke broke my heart just a little more by pulling on his Tigers jumper. Fortunately, Jorja looked awesome in her Blues jumper and mended that break somewhat.
After Auskick, I dropped the kids back to their Mums so they could spend the day with her for Mother’s day and it a quick trip home to get the bike gear on and head out. Called past Fee’s place to pick her up and it was out for a loop. By this stage (nearly midday) the wind had come up and was blowing fairly well by now which made the whole length of Boundary road into a bloke headwind and we struggled to maintain 28km/hr. Turning west into Mitchell was slightly better but was still hard going, but managed to get an hour and a half on the bike and knew it by the time I was finished.

So, where did this week leave me in the search for continued weight loss?

Well, in true Biggest Loser fashion, after many weeks of good, solid weight loss the whole thing came screeching to a halt and the scales protested loudly when I climbed on board this morning, for a readout of 111.5kg………..a gain of 1.0kg.

Funnily enough, this is less than what I thought would be the case so I was somewhat surprised. Subconsciously, I think that falling off the wagon this week was part of a grander plan. You see, we are now only 3 weeks out from the Williamtown Half Marathon BOP invitational, as evidenced by the package that arrived this week.
I have very good designs on taking out this prestigious event, and I will be endeavouring to do my utmost to best Mank, Anti-sport et al in just a few short weeks.
I really should just confirm that to win this coveted event, you do have to come last right?

Watch for the race number on the 29th! might have to wait a while!!

So training this week is a very short list:
Sunday Run 5km t/t – 26min 50sec (5.22 per km)
Bike 43km, 1hr 31min, Avg 28.7k

Official weigh in – 111.5kg. A gain of 1.0kg (Surely worthy of an honourable mention in Rattie's post IM Biggest Gainer competition?)

Legs are VERY sore today, but I guess that’s what you get for doing nothing for 10 days or so and unfortunately the left knee is still proving troublesome. Funnily enough, the run did not seem to bother it much at all, but was quite painful on the bike. Will find some time this week to check out my cleats and bike position to see if this is contributing to making it any sorer. Hopefully, I am able to get it sorted soon rather than it continuing to be troublesome over this whole Ironman campaign. 10 months is a long way to go carrying a pain in the arse injury!!

Finally thought I would share the feedback I got from coach Ruley after Sunday’s run, whereby I received a text message stating “Great work today and exceeded expectations. Tell’s us there is a FOP engine currently on a BOP’er chassis. By Christmas it will be a FOP engine on a MOP chassis”.

Gold Ruley!!

Train safe

Monday, 2 May 2011

So, Let’s go for a paddle.

This week was a bit hodge-podge due to the extra long Easter Weekend.  I was fortunate to have or see my kids on 4 of the 5 days of the break and we made the most of it by doing heaps of fun stuff.  They have both decided that the best place in the world is the skate park and they have a ball on their scooters!
Tuesday was organised to have the kids for lunch, so it gave me the morning free to get some training done, so I headed down to the track to meet the runners group for an interval session.  The only question I have is why?  Why 6am? On a public holiday? 
Surely a public holiday is a great excuse for a sleep in and the session to start at a reasonable hour……but sadly no.  At least it was all over by 7am and I was able to get coffee, head home and do a few hours study before picking the kids up just before lunch.
Sadly the day was over before too long and it was back into the (short) working week.  I was still suffering from the lingering cold I had picked up from the office and was still feeling flat.  Also, the left knee is still a bit sore with the suspected tendonitis so I decided to skip the longer run scheduled for Thursday morning and swim instead.  Then it was back on the bike on Friday morning for a ride in awesome conditions – no wind, not too cold and the perfect amount of sledging.
That brought us to Friday night and the weekend got off to a perfect start with the Blues beating the Swans in Sydney for the first time in 18 years.  Go BlueBaggers!!!!
Whilst the game was on I was busily packing some gear for a weekend away on the river.  A group of 9 blokes had organised to spend the weekend paddling approximately 40km from about 10km South of Mitchelton winery through to the Goulburn Weir.
Getting up early Saturday morning I decided to jump on the scales out of interest and was pleased to see them sitting on exactly 110kg, down 1.9kg from the previous Monday’s weigh in.  Interesting as I had missed my run sessions.
So, loaded up the car and got going early to meet the rest of the blokes and off to the river.  We arrived and were in the canoes by about 9.30 for the first stint of 10km or so.  A few of the guys hadn’t been in a canoe before and it took a bit for them to get the hang of it, but we made it to just past Mitchelton Winery where we had a break and something to eat.
Back into the boats for the next stint to Tahbilk winery.  Upon arrival we found that Rob (the tour organiser) had everything set up and a feed on the BBQ.  Once lunch was finished Rob gave us a bit of a talk on the history of the river and the surrounding area and then a quick tour of the winery.
I took the opportunity to have a crack at one of the kayaks before we started off again, something I haven’t tried before and had a ball.  They are a heap of fun!

These things are heaps of fun!

Althought they are also hard work!

Once everyone was back in the boats we had to make our way downstream to the Nagambie Lake, a total of about 25km for the day.  With another quick break and something to eat we made it into the Lake at about 3.30pm.  A quick coffee and then loaded up and off to the spot where we were camping for the night.
After collecting some firewood and getting the fire going then rolling the swag out, the BBQ was fired up again and another feed was quickly on the go.  Considering I have done bugger all paddling before I felt ok.  My arms and shoulders were feeling good however my ankles and hip flexors were suffering from sitting in the boat all day.
Rolled into the swag reasonably early and then up early again to get organised and back on the river as we had approximately 15km to get to the weir and we were planning to be there by 11.30am. Again, upon arriving Rob had the BBQ fired up and it was another feed.  It seems all we had done for the weekend was bloody eat!!
All up we had covered about 40km of the river in about 6 hours of paddling.  Not a bad effort considering the river is quite “dead” at the moment as there is bugger all water getting let through the weir, so there was next to no current to enjoy.
Had started to feel a bit crook again on the trip home just from the cold that has been hanging around for the last few weeks and once getting home had to get my contacts out as my eyes were killing me.  Not unusual that they start to play up when you get a bit crook but even after taking them out, felt progressively worse and my eyes got irritated and sorer than normal.
Woke up this morning and skipped the bike as my eyes were simply too sore to get my contacts in again.  Ended up going to work, but only lasted a few hours before being told to piss off home, so did exactly that and flake on the couch for the afternoon.
I did jump on the scales this morning and was expecting a good number after the Saturday morning weigh in, so was slightly disappointed to see 110.5kg on the read out.  This is still a loss of 1.4kg for the week, but was disappointed not to be under 110.  Not surprising though considering that over the course of the weekend virtually every meal considered of 9 different kinds of BBQ animal and the odd egg!  Typical camping fare…….
So, the weeks training consisted of:
Monday                Bike 60km, 1hr 53mins, Avg 31.6k
Tuesday                Run 6km (inc 15 x 30s intervals) Approximately 40 mins
Wednesday          Swim 1700m (inc 4 x 200m), approx. 39mins
Thursday               Rest
Friday                    Bike 44km, 1hr 22mins, Avg 32.0k
                             Swim 1700m (inc 12 x 100m), approx. 39mins
Saturday               Paddle approx. 25km, 4hrs
Sunday                 Paddle approx. 15km, 2hrs

So a great weekend in all and in the 7 weeks to date, a total loss of 9.5kg in all.  Struggling to consistently get every session done every week at this stage, but Ruley has been awesome working out a program that suits me and fits in around work and my time with the kids.
Looking forward to knocking this friggin’ cold on its head once and for all and getting some regular running in. I am amazed at how quickly I have come to enjoy the running again and now I am missing it since the knee has gotten sore.   All good though.  On track at this stage and I am pretty pleased with how the weight is dropping off.
Now just to get through a full working week!  Gonna be tough after the last few weeks of short ones.
Special mention to all those who competed up at Port Mac yesterday.  Some awesome results on what was a tough day by all accounts and I enjoyed some of the photos posted on Trannies and facebook.  Great job to everyone.
Train safe.