Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Here comes "Le Grande Boucle"

So here we are just a few days away from this year’s edition of Le Tour. 

It’s one of my favourite times of year.  The anticipation, the excitement, who’s changed teams, who’s been on fire into the lead up, who are the favourites, and of course, how is Cadel?

I am unashamedly a huge Cadel fan and I would love to see him win this bloody thing.  Without opening up a can of worms and a debate on who is the best, I believe he is one of the genuine good guys of the peloton.  A guy who races clean and has earned all of his results through hard work, determination and sheer guts.  As I say, I am a fan!

However, I have also been disappointed with the lead up to the 2011 edition of “Le Grande Boucle”.  Once again, the event is clouded with the controversy surrounding drug cheats.  Once again, last years winner is still technically not known given the current issues surrounding Contador.  For mine (and yes I am completely biased against drug cheats), he should be banned.  No if.  No buts.  No maybe’s.  Gooooooone…….

The same goes for anyone who is tested positive for any illicit substance.  There should be no second chances and the bans immediate and lifelong.

But anyway, that’s just my view and I’m sure plenty of others have their opinion as well.  In the meantime, I look forward to the opening stage next Saturday.  I look forward to the tiredness.  I look forward to the middle of the night wind trainer sessions.  I look forward to talking about the previous nights stage all of the next day.  And hopefully, I look forward to seeing Cadel on the top step on the Champs-Elysees!!!

Anyway, my week got off to a good start with a sleep in on Monday morning.  Absolutely no reason for it except that I couldn’t be stuffed getting out of bed to head out on the bike in the cold, so it was important to make sure I watched the diet for the rest of the day to make sure there were no mini blow-outs!

This week had a couple of key sessions scheduled again as it was the 3rd week of a build block, all in preparation for Run Melbourne, and the other running events I have scheduled through until October.

The main session for the week was Tuesday mornings run, which was to be 8 x 2km intervals @ 11.00 per interval, which is goal race pace for Run Melbourne.  The session was to be conducted with race nutrition as well (ie, gels every 20/25mins).  Tuesday saw me wake up to it being bitterly cold, windy and raining.  No way was I going to run in that, so it was decided to head into work at 6.30, so I could knock off early and get it done that night.

Heading down to the track at 4pm, it was still cold (and I had the gloves at the ready) and the wind was blowing from the West.  Got out on the track for a warm up and immediately noticed the difference heading down the back straight (tailwind) to the home straight – this was going to be interesting.

Warm up completed it was into the intervals.  I was feeling good and I was needing to deliberately slow myself down to stay at goal pace (what a predicament!!).  Intervals were completed in 10.57, 10.51, 10.51, 10.50, 10.47, 10.45, 10.44, 10.41.

Not only were they all below goal pace, but they got quicker as they progressed.  This was a marked difference from 10 days earlier when I did 6 x 2km and they ranged from 10.47 to 11.04, each being slower than the last.  I felt comfortable with all intervals this time, breathing was under control and I felt I still had some in the tank.  Pleasingly, the dodgy leg was holding up and feeling ok too.

A total of 18km for the session in actual run time of 1.36, an average of 5.22 p/km including warm up and cool down.  Nice.

Wednesday morning was a recovery swim of 1500m in a leisurely 32minutes, followed by close to an hour of alternating between the warm and cold spas for some leg recovery.  I have found that between the spa sessions, compression gear and regular Myotherapy I am managing the pain that occurs in the leg.  Hopefully that continues right through to race day.

Thursday morning was the next key session for the week – again a run session.  As per the Coaches instructions, the aim was to do the normal Mooroopna loop consisting of 7.6km, approximately 4km out and 3.6km back, with the view to taking it easy on the way out and “absolutely tearing ass” on the way back.  Not sure which coaching handbook that term has come from but anyway, I’m game.

Took off as a group of 8 and must admit the pace felt slow, but hard to tell when it is so friggin’ dark (bring on the longer days!).  Got to the turning point and hit the lap button before commencing to “tear ass”.  Quickly the group of 8 was down to 3 as I was able to sit on the heels of 2 of the girls (Melissa & Carmel??) who are training for City to Surf and who can both run.

They were having a great old time chatting away, whilst I was sitting back there attempting to blow their ears off with each exhale.  I swear their hair was flying out in front of them with every breath!

Got to the end and hit the button for a 39.45, only a 5 second improvement on last week.  What’s the go here??  Melissa showed me here GPS though and it revealed out to the turnaround was done at 5.25/km pace (goal pace – all good) and the return was done at 4.50/km (excellent).  A nice gentle 2km to cool down. I feel like this running is starting to come together.

Thursday night was also another key session, but swim this time – 2 x 1500m straight with Ruley wanting the second faster than the first.  The first was done, albeit with a fair bit of traffic in the lane, upsetting my rhythm a bit in 31.30.  After a 60 second breather, the second was started and finished in 31.42.  Disappointed that I missed the goal as set by Ruley, but feedback tells me he was still pretty happy with the result given I have done a couple of key sessions in the last 48 hours. I’ll take his word for it.

Friday was scheduled to be a normal P&W circuit on the bike, but upon dragging my weary self out of bed at 5.15 and poking my head out the door to see the frost settling and hear the wind howling just a little, I decided to take the soft option and crawl back under the doona……..

As Friday wore on, the dodgy leg was hassling me with some aches and pains, so was taking some Nurofen to try and settle it down.  Friday nights sleep was ordinary as the “Night Aches” were back.  I haven’t had these for 6 to 8 weeks and no amount of Nurofen could get on top of it so I woke up still with the ache in the leg.

I dressed and headed down for the run anyway, as 16km (for me) was planned with the running group, all to be done at goal pace so the aim was to finish in 1.28.  A large group greeted me there despite the cold and the dark.  We quickly headed off on the initial 14km loop and immediately I could feel the leg was going to cooperate.  I was sticking with the bunch at 5.10 pace, but was experiencing a fair bit of pain.

At the 5km mark, I just had to slow and give the leg a break and I found myself walking so I took the opportunity to turn the ipod on and was back running after a 60sec walk, albeit slower than to date.  By this stage the bunch had disappeared off into the darkness and I was bale to settle into my own rhythm and make my way back.  I was still determined to hit my goal pace and knew I had to be back at the start point by 1.17, so I was checking off against known km markers the whole way – it was going to be close.

I got back to the start point 40 seconds behind my goal pace, so I had to ramp it up for the last 2km loop around the lake to finish and I was able to get back to the start in 1.27.32, just sneaking in under my goal time, but the leg was sore……….

Home, shower and into compression then off to a meeting for the day.  Sitting around for the day didn’t help much but I tried to move around every now and again.

Sunday was a long ride and the boys had convinced me to drag the TT machine out.  The poor thing had been sitting there on the bike stand since Geelong 70.3 2010 – yes, 16 months since it had been ridden.  Although, I have kept up with cleaning and servicing.

Got to the meeting point at 7am in the thickest of fog, and it was cold to boot.  A total of 5 for the initial 30km loop, with another joining us at 8am for the 2 loop of 60km.  Once the sun did eventually break through the fog it turned into quite a pleasant day, however there was still a bit of wind to contend with and by the end of the 90 odd km, the legs knew.  After a quick breakfast and coffee at Friars it was straight to the pool for a recovery 2000m, done in 41mins flat.  The obligatory time in the spas was completed as well.

A bit of a grocery shop on the way home, and then the slow cooker was put on and that was dinner sorted.  Then for some serious couch time with the Blues looking to smash the Eagles back to the West.  Sadly, the Eagles didn’t agree with this scenario and my interest quickly waned and I was soon off in the land of nod.  Woke up just in time for dinner – beautiful.

Diet has been pretty good for the week, with no blowouts (and bugger all treats to be honest), so was expecting a good result on the scales on Monday morning.  Fortunately (unlike the Blues) they didn’t disappoint and the number flashing back at me was 103.2kg, a loss of 1.6kg for the week and a total of 16.8kg in 15 weeks.

So, the training for the week was:

Monday                       Doona time
Tuesday                      Run total 18km (inc 8 x 2km int @ sub 11.00), 1.36.40
Wednesday                 Swim 1500m, 32mins, Spa recovery
Thursday                     Run total 9.5km, (inc “Tearing ass home”), 52mins
                                  Swim 3000, (2 x 1500 @ 31.30 & 31.42), Total 1.03.12
Friday                         Doona time
Saturday                      Run 16km, 1.27.32 (5.30 race pace)
Sunday                        Bike 91km, 3.03, 30.0k avg
                                  Swim 2000m, 41.00mins

So despite a couple of rest days, I think the training is becoming a bit more consistent and I am particularly pleased that the running is coming along so well.  The leg is still of concern and I am back to Melbourne this week for the next stage of treatment so will see how that goes.

In the meantime, stock the pantry, get some extra sleep in because here comes Le Tour……………..

Train safe

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

The Great Tim Tam Massacre......

So this week started off fantastically well.........after all, it was a long weekend.

What better way to enjoy a public holiday than to be up at sparrow fart, dress in ridiculously thin lycra and head out into the cold and the wind for the better part of 2 hours????

Fortunately, after braving the frost and the frozen fingers and toes, it was off to do what I do best - breakfast!  Once more it was off to Friars for some awesome coffee, breakfast and sharing of tall tales and talking, well rubbish really. After eventually prying myself out of the warmth and atmosphere of Friars, it was time to mount my bike for the short trip home and the opportunity for the freeze to settle in again.  Thankfully, a nice warm shower awaited.

I had organised to pick up the kids for the day as we we heading around to Hymie & Stace's place to watch the footy.  Sadly, it was only the 'Pies on the box so once more, it was me cheering on the 'Dee's whilst the rest of the snoozers were all cheering on those other filthy worms.  I really do need to look at working on a new circle of friends!!  It appears that the majority of my "friends" are Collingwood supporters and it really it quite, well, depressing really.

I should also add that I don't support the Demons (Go Blues!!!), but simply support whoever it is that is playing against Collingwood - even if that means supporting Port Adelaide!  Shocking, I know, but that's the way it is alright.

Whilst on the footy, and specifically the Queens birthday game, what is it with professional footballers these days who are unable to play on both sides of their body? (Yep, Didak & Davis - I am talking about you two snoozers).  I just can't that professional sportsmen, paid very good money to play the game, are more concerned about showing off rather than playing for the team.  The amount of times I saw the pair of them going for the impossible shot, rather than going off the left, was impossible to count.  Simply kicking with the left, either for goal or to pass to a team mate in a much more favourable position, is no where near as exciting though is it boys? You'd rather show off with the flashy stuff in front of you all-adoring toothless fan club camped behind goals.  Jesus!!  You shit me to tears actually.

Phew - rant over.............but i feel much better.

After managing to calm myself down after the wanky going's on of Eddie's boys, it was sadly back into the routine of work (Why can't every weekend be a long weekend?).  Tuesday morning was an early start down at the track with a crew of 13 others, who all braved the cold with me.  Once again it was cold, cold, cold and I was thankful I had grabbed my gloves.  Even with them, my fingers froze!  I think I must be turning into a pussy, fair dinkum.  i never used to feel the cold like this.  Maybe it's just a sign of my advancing years....

The track session was made up of 20 x 30 second intervals, with 30 seconds recovery, for a total run of 8km.  A quick Macca's takeaway coffee was my reward for getting out and braving the cold once more.

After work, and before a meeting that night it was a chance to get a quick session done at home, consisting of leg strength, stretch cords and core work.  A short, sharp 30 minutes but one that got me going and resulted in plenty of sweat!  My legs were still sore from the interval sessions done on Sunday, followed by the shorter one that morning, and this little session just added a little more soreness on top!

After a quick chat with Ruley, I was advised to have a bit of a rest day on Wednesday rather than doing my scheduled ride, so instead I headed down to the pool for a recovery session in the spas.  Some swapping between the cold and warm spas and then back home for a shower and into compression gear for the day (under my work clothes - wanky, but it works), had me waking up feeling much better on Thursday morning.

This was just as well, as Thursday was scheduled for the normal morning run, of just under 10km to Mooroopna and back.  Felt good on the run and we made it half way as a group of 8.  Shortly after the turn from home, we had 4 drop off slightly and I must admit I was feeling a bit nervous as I thought I might have been burning my bikkies a bit too soon, however I was able to maintain the pace, and actually build on it all the way home, finishing strongly for a a sub 40min (39.30) for the 7.6k loop.  A gentle 2km lap around the lake to cool down and finish.  This is still considerably slower than my PB for this loop, but it is still 5mins 20s quicker than when I did exactly the same run 8 weeks ago.

Thursday night was a bit of a key session for me in the pool and Ruley had deliberately set this session for me as I had NEVER swum a 3km session. I have done quite a few 2.5k and 2.7k's, but the last one was over 2 and a half years ago, so I was a bit anxious going into it to be honest.  Not because I didn't think I could do the distance, but because the main set consisted of 10 x 200's @ 3.50, which was always going to be a stretch for me.

Nonetheless, I got into the pool and did the 500m warm up and then started into the main set.  The first 7 were done on target (or slightly better), however the final 3 saw minor blowouts of between 4 & 10 seconds.  Nothing major I know, but I was disappointed that I didn't hit the goal time for each of the intervals.  The cool down consisted of 300m free followed by 200m kick.  Total (actual) swim time for the 3000m was 1.03 and I'm not overly disappointed with that given there is still plenty of time to the race (and still plenty of work to do, I know).  I would love to get out of the water sub 70mins, so we will have to see how it goes!!

Friday morning was a sleep in - the swimming knackers me like you wouldn't believe!! Got through the day and it was off to pick the kids up for the weekend.  Had heaps planned with them for the weekend, but it didn't look like the weather was gonna play nice.  Once the kids got off to bed, it was onto the wind trainer for a gentle 60 minute rollover of the legs.  Nothing too confronting about that, except for the fact that even with a fan, I struggle with how hot it gets on the bloody thing!

Saturday was a busy day running around with the kids for their sport (Netball on Saturday's) and then off to the skate park before it bucketed down.  Ruley had scheduled a wind trainer session for today as well, however this was the first time it was a set session (ie - not just a rollover of the legs) and consisted of a 15min warm up, followed by20 x 60 sec interval in biggest gear available, followed by 60sec recovery.  60  minute session in total.

On paper, it didn't sound too bad.  However, as alluded to previously, even with a fan working overtime, I struggle with how hot it gets on the wind trainer.  Add to that the fact that Ruley is some kind of sadistic prick that is incapable of emotion, and shortly into the session I was cursing him for all I was worth.  Until this session I never realised that 60 seconds can actually be an eternity.........especially when your legs feel like they are made of jelly and are swimming in lactic acid, you have all manner of sweat, spit, dribble and various bodily fluids spraying within a 15 metre radius, and you sound like a Sea Lion on heat.

I swear Ruley has set up a hidden camera somewhere in my place and flicks it on to amuse himself when he has nothing better to do.  I can just imagine him sitting on the couch, surrounded by a pile of food, giggling his little tits off whilst he is watching me on the verge of spewing all over myself.  Sadistic........little........prick!!!

So, once finished and flopping onto the floor where I was unable to move for a short eternity, I got to thinking that I had just finished another key session that I'd not done before (similar to the 3k swim above), in that I had never done a proper interval session on the wind trainer.  I knew that I had not skimped on anything - EVERY interval was done for the full 60 seconds, every recovery was done for the allotted time, every interval was done at 100%. I couldn't have gone any harder if I tried, so that's another one chalked up.

Sunday was full of good intentions, with an early start with the kids as we headed down for the Shepp Tri Club Cross country run that had been organised.  Even though I had dressed to run, and my legs were somewhat sore (and that was the excuse I used) I wasn't sure the kids would would be able to amuse themselves whilst we were doing laps of the 2.5k loop, so I opted not to run.  A good turnout saw 19 people do the run, so we were happy with that.

We scooted off to Auskick and had just got started when the rain came down and it was promptly called off.  The kids decided that it was time for morning tea and decided that Macca's was the best venue given the cakes on offer, with the added bonus of the playground.  Coffee for me, so it was all good.

Given I had not done the cross country run, a 10km treadmill session was the fallback option............unfortunately, the best of intentions were not enough to see that through!  It all started to go downhill when the kids didn't finish their muffin and cake for morning tea and, well, it seemed such a waste to just throw them out.  Really.......it did.

Heading home we stopped and got some new paints and bits and pieces as the rain was still hanging around so we needed to find something to amuse ourselves for the afternoon.  Whilst a little bit of painting was done, the main source of amusement for the kids was food.  Firstly, a huge bowl of popcorn was produced and was promptly knocked off by the 3 of us.  Various bits and pieces were dragged out of the pantry at various stages before Jorja struck the mother lode...........a fresh, un-opened packet of Tim Tams.

Damn, I didn't realise they were even in the cupboard and now here they were sitting in front of me..........wafting up with their delicious chocolaty smell.  Surely, one can't hurt can it?

Reaching into the pack it was easy to justify given I had pushed myself to the point of regurgitation the previous night.  Very quickly however, a glance at the packet I realised that one had turned into four.................and the great Tim Tam Massacre of Sunday was complete.  There was only one reason why the massacre had stopped at four - simply, the kids had polished off the rest!!

My first indiscretion in over a month.........but an indiscretion nonetheless.

So, the training for the week was:

Monday           Bike 60km, 1 hr 57mins, 30.6k avg
Tuesday           Run 8km Inc 20 x 30sec intervals, 30 sec recovery).  Total 54 mins
                       Leg strength, Stretch cords, Core session - 30 mins
Wednesday     Spa recovery
Thursday         Run 9.5km (in 7.6k @ 39.30), Total 53mins
                       Swim 3000m (inc 10 x 200's at 3.50/4.00), Total 1.03
Friday             Bike (W/Trainer) 60mins, approx 30km
Saturday         Bike (W/Trainer) approx 30km, inc 20 x 60sec intervals, 60 sec recover, total 60 mins
Sunday           Chomp, Chomp, Chomp

So, apart from my indiscretions of Sunday I felt that I had had a pretty good week, particularly with the couple of key sessions that I felt I had done pretty well.  Overall, the diet had been pretty good as well (alright, EXCEPT for Sunday........I got it), so I was pretty disappointed to see 104.8kg flashing back at me on Monday morning, a loss of only 0.3kg for the week.  Having said that, it is still over 15kg in 14 weeks.  Still a solid result so far.  More importantly, I can not only see the changes with my clothes, I FEEL fitter and I'm definitely running faster.  All good signs so far, and the legs are starting to toughen up as the weeks go by as well.

Hopefully, there are no more Tim Tams to lead me astray.........

Train safe

Monday, 13 June 2011

So C’mon Man-Flu……..Do your best!!

Yes, unfortunately this week saw me go down with a bout of the dreaded Man-Flu.  Started to feel a bit ordinary late last weekend and awoke Monday morning deciding the best thing to do was to stay snuggled under the doona.  The extra couple of hours snuggled in the warmth I was hoping would help to knock this bit of a bug on the head.
Come Tuesday morning however, it was starting to get serious – Man-Flu is not to be taken lightly, so I was hoping that the girls at work were ready to dole out sympathy and compassion in copious quantities.  Walking into work and sniffing dramatically to grab their attention worked a treat…….but unfortunately it had the opposite effect to what I was hoping, as they all scurried over to the other side of the office with shrieks of “Don’t give it to me”!!!!  Hmmmm, getting the attention I deserved might be slightly harder than anticipated.
However, not to be put off, I sat at my desk and got started for the day whilst making a show of laying out my various cough lozenges and tissues, and interjecting periodically with the odd low moan. Eventually, Simone asked if I would like a coffee and promptly put the kettle on.  Sadly, that was as far as it went and I had to make my own cuppa.  So, I limped to kettle muttering under my breath about sore joints and the like.
Feeling somewhat guilty for not having followed my program as set by Ruley, I went home and did the scheduled 6km run, including 18 intervals of 30 seconds on / 30 seconds off (at 17km/hr).  This was done on the treadmill to keep out of the cold; however I should have also made a point of turning the heater off!!  By the time I realised the heater was still on, the session was just about over and I thought I may as well try and sweat this bastard out.
Wednesday morning was a scheduled ride with Team P&W, however I had woken up feeling even worse, completely blocked up, thumping headache and sore all over.  I wasn’t gonna let this friggin’ thing beat me though so the plan was to sit on the wind trainer for a couple of (gentle) hours.  After just getting warmed up, said wind trainer gave a little squeal and then became a bit, well ummm, difficult.  A nasty burning smell saw me glance back just in time to see the flywheel, with axle still attached, work its way free from the body of the unit and plonk itself on the floor.  Clearly I was putting far too many watts through the thing and it just couldn’t cope!!!
So, it was back onto the treadmill for just a walk to keep things ticking over.  A nice gentle pace, but a total of 2 hours and 13km covered
A bit of breakfast and off to work, however I was slowly sinking lower and lower and I could feel the Grim Reapers frigid fingers reaching for me.  I must have looked ordinary as Deb told me I “looked like Shit” and Fee told me “I sounded very ‘special’”.  Death’s door was only inches away and I was sinking fast.  It was time to call it a day and I headed home just after lunch for an afternoon of serious snoozing and recovery.
The crew at work assured me they would check in on me to make sure I was ok, and eventually I did receive the odd text or two, but sadly, no one would answer the little bell when I rang it.  The text’s were comforting though.  Things like “hope you are ok sook” and “stop being a pussy and get to work”.  Makes me happy to thing I have the girls in the office looking out for me.
Overnight, it was looking quite grim for a while.  It was entirely possible that the Man-Flu was starting to get the upper hand and I could actually expire here. Eventually I fought my way through to see the sun rise over the horizon once more.  Whilst I was more than happy to head into work and earn my keep, a string of text messages to my ever compassionate workmates revealed that they preferred for me to stay at home and recover completely, or at the very least “stay the f@#k away from us”……….or something.
So Thursday was spent having a little sleep-in (or was it more like a coma???).  I was so man-flued it was hard to tell really.  After quite a few hours on the edge of the abyss, I was determined to kick this thing in the arse once and for all, so I slowly edged my way back from the light, and returned to the land of the living.  Sadly, it was not in time to make it into work……….but nonetheless, I was on the path to recovery.
Still not feeling 100% Friday morning, the Team P&W ride was once more abandoned.  I have survived Man-Flu before (just barely) and I knew that you must respect this fearsome beast.  One more day to recover fully was required. Disrespect it at your peril!
Given I had been on the verge of death all week; I’d not had the opportunity to see the kids, so it was arranged to catch up with them on Saturday.  After picking them up, it was decided we would go out for lunch and quickly decided on the pub, where meals were ordered.  Surely, a chicken parmi, chips and veg would finally kill of this bug once and for all??  Couldn’t hurt to try anyway.
After dropping the kids off near dinner time, I headed home and set up the new wind trainer given the old one unceremoniously died a few days earlier, and spent a touch over an hour working up a sweat.  Fortunately, this one was able to last the distance……
Sunday’s run session was one I was not looking forward to, so I spent several hours lying in bed with the TV on contemplating how I was going to be able to dodge it, only to realise that there was no way that Ruley would let me get away with it.  So I dragged myself out and got organised to head down to the track for a total of 6 x 2km intervals (to be done at 5.30m pace).
It was at approximately at the second lap of the 5th interval when I finally reached the conclusion that Ruley is an evil Mutha F@#ka and I was positive that he was sitting somewhere watching me attempting to do these ridiculous intervals and laughing his skinny little arse off.  Yes, I had finally worked out what was going on in that demented little brain of his.  His goal was to get a middle aged, balding, fat man to run around and around and around in circles like a farking idiot, all in the vain hope that he might actually get faster at this prick of a sport……….and he had succeeded.  So I guess, who is the idiot???
Anyway, like all those tough sessions as soon as they are over they don’t seem all that bad…..until next time anyway.  After lunch, it was off to the pool where a lazy 1000m were completed (and only because Ruley was at the pool swimming laps) so I had to at least make an effort.  Then it was off to the spa’s for some recovery, swapping between the hot and cold spa’s.  The obligatory coffee afterwards that made it all worthwhile.
I was looking forward to the scheduled ride for Monday morning and the day off for the long weekend, however upon rising and sticking my nose outside I realised how cold it actually was. A quick check online told me it was -0.4 degrees, and I could see the frost starting to settle onto the ground.  Dragging out practically all of my bike gear I dressed accordingly – 2 x pairs of knicks, 2 x undershirts, 2 x jerseys, 1 x wind-vest, 2 x pairs of socks, 1 x booties, 2 x pairs of arm warmers, 1 x pair of leg warmers, 1 x pair of knee warmers, 2 x pairs of gloves and a partridge in a pear tree.
It was cold.  Pulling up to the rally point it was apparent that there are at least 10 other locals as crazy as me, and upon heading around onto Ford Road, another lunatic joined us in Princess Chaddy.  However, I can clearly understand why the Princess was out this morning as it was his first ride on his new stealth machine that was a present for having turned geriatric the day before.
Once the sun was up, it really didn’t get much better as patches of fog kept the temperature hovering around the freezing point.  Fortunately, my tongue was getting a workout and I was able to generate a bit of body heat from the tongue flapping, which helped to keep my thoughts from my frozen fingers, which I believe had snapped off into my gloves close to an hour before.
Heading back into town and straight to the coffee shop for the regulation telling of tall stories and subsequent sledging.  It is a sad state of affairs however, when the same amount of time is spent at the coffee shop as it is actually on the bike!  Nonetheless, a solid 60km done in heavy air that felt like treacle.
The tall tales are running rampant after this morning's ride.......

I knew that I had had a good week diet wise, with nominal treats (well, apart from those 2 beers on Friday night for Princess Chaddy’s birthday) and I had pulled my head in a bit further in terms of serving size, however I was still surprised when I jumped on the scales prior to the ride and it screamed back at me 105.1kg.  This represented a loss for the week of 2.9kg and a total of 14.9kgs in 13 weeks.  Hopefully this trend continues.
So, training for this man-Flu interrupted week was:
Monday                                               Doona Snuggling
Tuesday                                               Run 6.0km, 40mins, including 18 x 30s on/ 30s off @ 17km/hr
Wednesday                                         Walk 2 hrs, 13 km
Thursday                                             A life and death battle
Friday                                                  The slow journey back from the light
Saturday                                              Bike (wind trainer) Approx 30km, 60mins
Sunday                                                Run 6 x 2km intervals, 1 hr 5 mins (at 5.25min pace)
                                                            10.30, 10.51, 10.51, 10.44, 11.01, 11.10
                                                            Swim 1000m, approx. 20 mins

Hopefully, we can get a full week in, sans Man-Flu and start to get a bit more consistent.  Would be nice if we could get some nice warm weather to go along with that.
Oh, and it would be nice to get some sympathy from the girls and work too……………
Train safe

Monday, 6 June 2011

So, just a couple of days recovery right?

Righto, so after the smash-fest last weekend it was time for a recovery week.  Shhhhh, don’t tell Mank, but I really didn’t have a choice – I was sore.

After finishing the “race”, and I use that term very loosely, I changed into compression gear as I have found in the past that it really helps.  Generally, I will wear for the rest of the day and overnight and it was no different this time.
After getting up and showering for work on Monday, I pulled on my other pair of compression tights and wore them under my work gear, again sleeping in them Monday night.  Surely a full 48 hours in compression would help with the muscles soreness, right?................Lies!!!!
I can’t remember being this sore after an event.  I’m sure I have been, but time fades the pain.  Fortunately, I was booked in for my regular Myotherapy session on Tuesday afternoon.  Unfortunately, Monique is some kind of sadist who takes great pleasure in telling me (and anyone else who listens) how much of an idiot I am.  Whilst it may be true, it’s not really necessary to tell everyone is it?
I regularly tell Monique that she is in the wrong game.  I believe her vocation should be one where she dresses in PVC, pulls her hair back in a bun and furnish a whip.  Nonetheless, Tuesday afternoon she was at her sadistic best and, despite her assurances she was just “going easy”, she successfully had me on the verge of tears for the better part of an hour – And I pay for this privilege!!!!
Whilst it was mainly my quads that were sore, when Mon started work on my calves, then bugger me!!!  Hello Houston……..we have a problem!!!  We found sore spots on my sore spots.  So whilst I was squirming around wishing for all this to be over, I’m sure Mon was sitting there with a smile on her face and thinking “You Idiot!!”
I know that the best way to get rid of all of the crap out of the legs is to stimulate blood flow (as it Myotherapy didn’t do that anyway) so it was decided a nice easy walk was in order with Guysy, who is recovering from a groin injury.  A solid 6kms in 50 minutes.  I must admit I felt a bit better after walking, although I still wasn’t up to my normal ride with the bunch on Wednesday morning.
In the meantime at work, the girls were having a great time watching me walk up and down the stairs, sending me on various wild goose chases for various bits and pieces and generally hanging shit on “the old man” in the office.  Thanks for your support ladies!!!  You will get yours in due course, I promise you……
Thursday morning was a scheduled run, however as per Coach Ruley’s advices I was told to take it easy (as if I wasn’t gonna anyway) and just do a little walk/run.  So it was off to the Little Running Group as per normal, however Guysy and I headed off for 3 laps of the lake instead of the normal run over to Mooroopna and back.  Guysy is just gradually easing back into the running, so of the 3 laps of lake (totalling 6km) we probably only ran about 200metres per lap or so.  Was significantly colder walking than it normally is running.
Thursday night (a rare spare evening for me) I decided to make the most of it, so flagged gentle tap around on the bike with a few of the guys.  In the end it was just The fossil and I who made the trek around the toaster loop for a nice 50km, at an average of 31km.  Pretty happy with that on tired legs and not bunch to draft off.
Friday morning was a write off as I had to be in the car by 6am for a 9am meeting in Melbourne.  Given I was going to be in Melbourne anyway, I finally had the chance to make an appointment at the Olympic Park Sports Medical Centre (OPSMC), following my referral from my GP.  My leg has still been hassling me, ironically enough, ever since I had my shoulder re-co just over 2 years ago.
To fix the shoulder the surgeon took a hamstring graft from the right knee.  After surgery, I experienced numbness down the outside of the shin, from knee to ankle, for the better part of 12 months.  Nothing so unusual with that following surgery, but the numbness was accompanied by a dull, aching pain in the 3 or 4 inches or so above the ankle.  The pain would come and go and there was nothing in particular that would specifically bring it on, and it would range from just a slight dull ache to a sharp, stabbing pain at other times.
There is also no rhyme or reason to when it would happen either, with it happening at times whilst running or riding, or at other times simply whilst lying in bed.  Obviously, since getting back into (semi) regular training over the past 3 months or so, the pain has been getting steadily more consistent and sharp.  So, after bamboozling my GP, he has referred me straight down to OPSMC for them to check me out.
So, 3pm Friday morning I met Dr Lari Trease, who spent a bucket-load of time with me, poking and prodding, asking questions and having me do about a million calf raises trying to actually bring on the pain.  Murphy’s law, but nothing worked………….
Finally, after what felt like a millennium of hopping up and down on one foot, the leg started to play up, albeit only on a slight scale to normal and Lari was able to pinpoint a few spots – sufficiently enough to dig her fingers in and subsequently squeeze a few tears out of me.
Checking out my feet, the first thing she noticed was that they are flat……..dead flat (Thanks Dad), and promptly set about taping my feet from the back of the ankle right up to just behind the toes, to try and create an “arch”.  Feels weird and she asked me to ensure that I ran over the weekend to see how I went with the taping.  It appears that some orthotics will be part of the solution, at the very least.
Still not quite sure what was going on, Lari walked me next door into their imaging area and slotted me in immediately for an MRI, which was promptly done.  Then it was back in the car for the trip home and to pick the kids up (slightly late) for the weekend.
As promised, in between Netball & Auskick, Skate park, colouring in and time at the park, I did my Saturday run on the treadmill, for a total of 6.5km before I nearly expired from the temperature in the lounge room after the kids had the heater running all morning.  Sunday I managed to fit in a 60 min session on the wind-trainer followed by 3km on the treadmill (done at 5min pace).  Finished the weekend with a very sore leg.  Now I’m awaiting my phone appointment with Lari tomorrow (Tuesday) to discuss the results of the MRI.
So, after starting the week with very sore legs, I finished the week………well, exactly the same way!!
Sessions for the week were:
Tuesday                                               Walk 6km, 50mins
Thursday                                             Walk / Run 6km, 45mins
                                                            Bike 50km, 1hr 40mins, 30.0k avg
Saturday                                              Run (treadmill) 6.5km, 45mins inc warm up
Sunday                                                Brick – Bike (wind trainer) Approx 30km, 60 mins
                                                            Run 3km, 15 mins (@ 5 min pace)

Official weigh in this morning was completed resulting in 108.0kg flashing back at me, a loss of 1.0kg for the week so still heading in the right direction.  So that’s a total loss of 12 kg in 12 weeks.  At the rate of 1kg per week, and with 50 weeks between the start of this program and the race, is it possible to race at 70kg???  Haha, doubtful, but if I am sub 90kg I would be extremely happy.
All this depends on fixing a dodgy leg of course.  We will see what happens tomorrow.
Train safe