Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Don't worry folks, I'm still alive

Don't be too alarmed people, but I am back on the line.  I think I have been inspired by the Olympics to update my blog, due to my lengthy absence may be best to do a month by month summary (hopefully I can remember that far back...)

The main thing I remember doing in February was the Kinloch Tri.  It was the second time I had done it and while I wasn't near as fit as 2015 when it was part of my IMNZ build up, it still went pretty well, swim and bike times were pretty similar just a bit slower on the run.  I had a niggly hamstring issue which I was very bad at looking after and it was particularly bad after this race and I vowed I would get on top of it.

Ironman spectating was probably the triathlon highlight of March, I had a touch of FOMO but am quite over the IMNZ course but it got me all enthused to look at other races.  For about half an hour I had convinced myself that I should do Ironman Cairns in June until I realised the logistics of it all wouldn't work.  The reason for that was the other highlight of March - I got a new job! So taking a new job and asking for time off less than 3 months into it to do an Ironman - probably not the best idea.
With my new job I spent the first week in Brisbane which was very new and exciting for running.  I was staying in the CBD so ran along the river most mornings and also used an awesome outdoor 50m pool which was about 1km from my hotel.  Australian's are awesome how into fitness and exercise they are - there were so many people out and about at 6am every morning, it was great.  Also helps that it is light and warm at that hour too.
What I discovered on that trip was that my hamstring got better the more that I ran.  I was still pretty uncommitted to doing my exercises but was running more since I didn't have my bike and it started to hurt less with each run - [insert thumbs up emoji].
Running in Brisbane

Swimming in Brisbane

Just hanging out

In April was the last triathlon of the season with the People's Tri in Mission Bay.  I had a new suit (after being hassled about my apparently retro K-Swiss outfit that I wore at Kinloch) so of course I needed to find a race to do.  It was actually quite a terrifying experience out on the bike, with a few hundred other triathletes of varying ability, and I was just relieved to make it off in one piece.  With about a hundred different races going on at one time, it is almost impossible to know who is doing what but I got a better idea once on to the run.  Approaching the turn around and I realised that I hadn't seen any girls yet and OMG am I leading this race?! Closer to the turn around and I saw there was one girl in front of me and another close behind who passed me at about 3.5km.  After the race I realised that the NZ Secondary Schools Champs had been on during the week which explained where all the fast kiddies were that would usually beat me.
In April there was also a work trip to Sydney where I got to run over the Harbour Bridge and another trip to Brisbane so more running there and not much cycling in general.
Running over Sydney Harbour Bridge

Marvin helping me learn about orthopedic implants

Running in Brisbane again

Romantic walk in Surfer's Paradise

I can't think of anything that happened in May so let's skip it.
That's right, I fell over


In June we had an awesome long weekend away in Kinloch with some great trail running in very chilly temperatures and I even rode my bike in the ridiculously cold conditions.
The following weekend I had a nasty bike crash on our Saturday ride when I hit an invisible rock and lost control of my front wheel.  I almost took Jared out as well but his superior bike skills shone through and his hanger snapped and rear wheel locked up but he didn't come off. I was left with a deep graze on my knee and a few other ouchies and surprisingly just a few scuff marks on my bike. That put a halt on training for at least a week and it took at least 4 weeks for my knee to heal.  It was a very uncomfortable couple of weeks.  I also got sick around this time, so all in all was pretty miserable.
Perfect day in Kinloch


The most exciting news for July was that we got a spa - yay! After many months of indecision we finally pulled the trigger and it is amazing.  Spas after training and before bed are amazing.
I also got some sexy new running shoes and made the decision that from now on ASICS DS Trainers are the only shoe for me.
I went on a work trip to Queenstown so more running in fun new(ish) places.
My life is complete

Getting the post windtraining leg lick/bite treatment

My Queenstown pool and spa

Running over the Shotover Bridge - note to runners: not very pedestrian friendly

The Remarkables looking quite remarkable

Running next to the Lake

DS Trainers are the only shoe for me

So now here we are in August, all caught up.  We did Taupo Half Marathon last weekend in the most ridiculous weather conditions - about 1 degree and raining/sleeting the entire way.  Warm up consisted of Jared and I sitting in the car with the heater on and heated seats on.  I still achieved all my goals though and felt I ran as best I could given the conditions.  I came in as 3rd girl (despite some rouge results which initially put me in 5th which have since been fixed up luckily) which I was pretty happy with and thankful for a weak field.  Now I am sick again (twice in one winter - WTF?!) but on the mend and looking forward to starting running again.
End of next week we are heading off on a South East Asia adventure to Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand and maybe will start to think about riding my bike a bit more when we return from that.
Not what you really want to see on the way to a running race

Keeping dry in the spa

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Tauranga Half Ironman

Let's be honest, Tauranga Half was a bit of a flop.  I wasn't expecting to set the world on fire and I certainly didn't.
The day before the race we were faced with solid rain and gale force winds - I have never done a race where they have cable tied the bikes onto the racks until now.  My race pack got so wet walking from registration to the car that my number sticker wouldn't stick because half of the backing paper come off with it.
Lucky for us the rain stopped overnight and we were faced with an overcast but rather breezy morning.
The swim went well, a bit aggro at the start but good once I found my place and I came out of the water in a bit over 32 and half minutes which is a good time for me.
The bike was a 40kmph+ average on the way out and 30kmph (if I was lucky) on the way back.  I wasn't using power so am not sure if I over or underextened myself but the level of effort seemed about right.  With the size of a field a shadow of it's former self there were no giant packs like we used to get.  I remember last time I did it getting stuck in a bunch that was so huge people were riding 3 abreast.  There were small bunches and a few times I had people around me but maybe the lack of people on the course explains the slower bike times. I got locked in a battle in the last 20km with another girl who seemed to take exception to me being in front of her so in the end I gave up and let her take the front thinking I would catch her on the run (spoiler alert: I didn't).
The Tadpolemator running smoothly thanks to  new rear derailleur, cassette, chain and chainrings...
I thought my bike time would be about 2.35 including T2 - try 2.39 excluding T2.... Hmmmm.
Onto the run and my trusty Garmin was not playing the game and couldn't connect to the satellites. I crossed paths with Jared at about 1.5km and as I had seen him walking when I was coming in off the bike, I knew it was not his day.  So I did what any good wife would do - asked if I could use his Garmin.  He was most obliging so we did a swap and I could finally see how fast I was running.  My Garmin of course starting working fine once I gave it to him.  I ran pretty steady for the first 7km but then started to lose it around the Mount base track and once I got back onto the road couldn't pick it back up enough.  Cut a long story short I didn't really enjoy the run, got slower as I went and was glad to see the finish.  Run time was 1hr42 - not the worst time in the world but had thought under 1hr40 was achievable.
Check out the giant Garmin
The less we say about Jared's result the better.
I came 3rd in my age group (the 35-39 AG by the way, I am 9 months away from turning 35 and almost pulled my entry when I realized I would be in that AG) - I looked at the small start list the day before and thought a win in my AG shouldn't be too hard so maybe I was being punished for being cocky.
On the bright side we had a fabulous long weekend away with some great company and weren't even put off children after spending 4 days with a 2 year old (in the throes of potty training) and a 5 week old.
Now Jared is preparing to ride from Wellington to Auckland in mid February so I have been keeping him company on the bike, my hamstring has been a bit niggly since Tauranga so have just done some short runs and I bought a new pair of togs to make me want to keep swimming.
Until next time tri-fans!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

2015 Review

While 2015 may not have been my most successful year for blogging (I can count my blog entries on one hand and one finger) it was successful in many other ways.  So after being inspired by my superfast USA friend Amanda, I bring to you 2015 in review.

2015 was probably the least triathlon focused year I have had since 2008.  Not sure why, I kept ticking through with moderate amounts of training but hardly did any races.  In fact when I count back I only did 3 triathlons - a sprint, an Olympic and an Ironman (at least I covered all my bases...), one half marathon, and a handful of O'Hagan's 5km races.
On the non-triathlon side I had two awesome overseas holidays (without bikes), got engaged and got married, which might explain the lack of triathlon focus...
So overall it was a pretty good year.  Here are a few key points:

Best triathlon moment:
Running sub 3.30 at IMNZ, this was quite an achievement for me and even topped setting a new Ironman PB on the same day.
Woman on a mission

Best triathlon related purchase:
My favourite ASICS jacket which was $70 well spent to get me through winter running, and my Under Armour t-shirts (from the kids department of course) - perfect fit and super comfy.

Best nutrition find:
These delicious Moon Bars, gluten free for people that way inclined and taste delicious. My fav is Date and Pistachio.
Nom nom nom
Best training adventure:
This is a toss up between and epic run we did from Paihia to Russell featuring two ferry rides, the Boxing Day swim to Rangitoto and off road run, or my pre-wedding Hen run.  The Rangitoto swim was awesome but the run not so much after we got lost and did an extra 3.2km over a pretty un-runnable scoria and rock trail.  At least we'll know the way for next year.
All smiles at the top of the volcano

Post swimming

Pre swimming sunrise

The running of the Hens

Best non-triathlon moment:
Well I guess this would have to be getting married, or it could be getting engaged since I never thought any of it would ever happen.
Say cheese

Best new friend:
Mr Daddy Long Arms
Marvin has the longest arms in the world

Coming in for a headbutt
Blogging more in 2016 isn't one of my goals but I am doing Tauranga Half Ironman this weekend so I am sure I will do a race report soon.  Other than that no set plans for 2016 so the world is my oyster :)

Monday, October 26, 2015

Welcome to Spring

It has been 2 months since my last post so I thought it was time for an update. As the title suggests, sping is now upon us so the weather has improved slightly. It has been warmer and sunny at times but horribly windy for the last couple of weeks.  Not much rain though so we have made it out for a few long rides.
In my last blog I was considering entering the Auckland Half Marathon which I did thinking I could run a decent time since it is quite a fast course.  I was very motivated and even wrote up a little program.  Even before I entered I was intermittantly suffering from dead leg issues whenever I tried to run, bike or swim (with kicking) hard which was a bit annoying - my legs felt they weren't getting enough blood or oxygen to them.  I tried getting a few massages but that didn't help, I wasn't really training much or very hard so couldn't put it down to overtraining.  After a very depressing long run where I tried to do uptempo but could run any faster than 4min30 pace on the flat, I made an appointment to see a sports physician. Turned out I was horribly iron-deficient and anaemic despite becoming a full on red meat eater over a year ago.  I had iron injections a year ago when my iron got very low but (as I discovered when I saw my blood test history recently) that iron had been reduced by half just before Ironman NZ this year and by the beginning of October there was not much left in the tank.
So when I said I felt like I wasn't getting enough oxygen to my legs that is basically what was happening since there wasn't enough haemoglobin to go around.  Not ideal Half Marathon training. So I started on the iron pronto and had a whole barrage of blood and poos and wees tests to see why I lose so much iron.  The good news is that I am absorbing the iron tablets and my haemoglobin has gone up so I am feeling much more normal but it is all a bit late for me to run a good time next weekend. So once I stop the iron we will just need to monitor it more closely and do more investigations if it drops.
It is very puzzling because I have always had issues with iron but I didn't eat red meat, and now that I do eat red meat it hasn't seemed to make any difference so there is obviously something going on.

Kona watching on the NEW carpet

Saying screw you old carpet, I'm windtraining inside (mainly because the garage was full...)

Finally we have a vege garden

Apparently this is comfortable

Proof that I eat meat
We are now T minus 13 days until the wedding of the year which is very exciting.  I am very excited about my pre wedding Hen run which is as good as it gets for a Hen's party for me.  I have had so many people seem horrified that I am going running the day of my wedding which I don't get. If I need to be worried about falling over or hurting myself before my wedding at what point am I supposed to stop doing things?! Shouldn't I stop riding my bike or crossing the road at least 6 weeks before to allow for any injuries from those activities?!  People are funny.
It will be run with military precision

Anyway.  I gues next update I will be a married woman!! And then my blog title will be wrong, hmmmm.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Hibernating for Winter

So it looks like I have pretty much just skipped through winter but I have actually been quite busy training for a new event - a wedding! That's right, I will no longer be a Bridget Jones - phew.
I have discovered that I am an anti-bride (although I always had a feeling that would be the case) but even planning a teeny-tiny wedding takes a bit of time.
Here is a quick month by month recap:

Our much anticipated USA trip - Yosemite, Death Valley, Grand Canyon, Route 66, Las Vegas and Hawaii, good times all round topped off with an engagement on Waikiki Beach - doesn't get much better than that! Yosemite was a highlight, we did a bit of hiking and running in some amazing scenery and slept in a bear proof tent cabin.  Running on the Las Vegas Strip was a bit of an experience as well.
Came home full of enthusiasm for treadmill running after using hotel treadmills so bought one for ourselves.
Yosemite we love you


More Yosemite 
Death Valley

Big respect for all the Badwater 135 runners, I could barely walk form the car to here

Vegas baby

The Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon and wildlife (and Jared)

The bright lights of Vegas

Long live the buffet

The blue skies and white sands of Hawaii

The month of the deathly illness.  Someone came to work with a horrible cold and it spread through the office like a wildfire.  It was just a cold not flu but it was a bad one and took me out for a couple of weeks.  Jared contracted it too but to a lesser extent.  Once that was over training resumed as normal depending on weather.  We had a burst of enthusiasm at one point and planned to ride around K2 at the end of August but fortunately that plan got vetoed after Nick contracted a much more severe deathly illness and wasn't going to up to it.  I was quite relieved because we had only managed one long ride of just under 4 hours which would have made a 200km quite painful.  The weather was really quite crap most of the time so we spent a bit of time on the windtrainers.
Once I was well again I resumed my weekly long runs home from work and even managed to score myself a running partner - we discuss our impending weddings and solve the problems of Auckland transport.
A rather chilly ride

Starting to get desperate

Yoga time at the zoo

The weather hasn't much improved so riding has been a bit hit and miss but running has been pretty consistent.  I should mention I got heaps of cool running gear in the USA which makes winter running much more fun.  Under Armour is huge in the States and the Las Vegas outlet store had a whole side of kids gear where I went a bit nuts.  I had a moment of enthusaism the other day while driving over the Harbour Bridge and thought I might do the Auckland Half Marathon although at $112 for the entry I became a bit less enthusiastic.
Oh and the biggest news of August is getting a new car! The Silver Bullet has been retired and replaced by the LGM (Little Grey Mazda).  The LGM does seem to be quite a bit smaller though so not as convenient for normal size bikes to fit in the back but they don't normally get transported in my car so not too much of a big deal.
Getting trendy

Cat in a box


Jared making friends