Monday, February 25, 2013

Happy Ironman week!

Now that race week is upon us and Ironman is starting to occupy my every thought, I have dusted off the words of Hurricane Bob to share with you all and hopefully inspire and bring a smile to all the stressed out Ironmen out there.
So strap on your goggles, clip into those pedal and stride it out - here is Bob's 140.6 reasons to do an Ironman.

»001. Makes everything else seem so SHORT.
»002. The 3 week taper before the race.
»003. The 4 week recovery after the race.
»004. I've done one, so now I have to do it faster the next time.
»005. As much Pizza as you can eat.
»006. So that when the car runs out of gas, I can still get away from the Police under my own power.
»007. Beats watching the new Survivor, Big Brother, or anything else on TV.
»008. For all the times you heard someone say "I'd do one of those ... I just can't swim."
»009. The Finishing Oval at Lake Placid
»010. Steve King's accent at Ironman Canada
»011. Mike Reilly's hoarse voice still bringing people home at 11:30pm
»012. The Massage Tent - anywhere.
»013. St. Lynda is waiting for me at the finish.
»014. So is my mom...
»015. ...and so are Lynda's parents.
»016. Chalk on the road.
»017. Easy rides and runs the week before.
»018. Finishing your last workout and smiling because you know "I'm SO ready."
»019. For everyone who as ever asked you "Why?"
»020. For the teachers in school who told you you'd amount to nothing.
»021. To silence the one voice inside your head that still believes that bunk.
»022. You want to test the endurance limits of the music collection in your head.
»023. The "Bier Mile" at IM-Europe
»024. Spectators looking up your name and cheering as you plod past at sunset.
»025. Where else can someone ripping off your clothes in public be considered a benefit of a big race? (Wetsuit Strip)
»026. Miles in the Run
»027. Want to see the world and eat the food in each country, guilt free.
»028. So you can answer "One." When people ask "How many days does that take?"
»029. To wave at the scuba divers.
»030. To backstroke at the TV helicopter.
»031. Cards in your special needs bags.
»032. Cards in your T1 and T2 bags.
»034. CHICKEN SOUP AGAIN! (Yes - it's worth 2 by itself)
»035. The Adirondacks of Lake Placid.
»036. The view from Richter Pass.
»037. Alii' Drive
»038. Main Street Penticton.
»039. Driving the bike course in a caravan of friends.
»040. Valet Parking and Catering ... all day long.
»041. You might get on TV
»042. I want to laugh at the former cool (now fat) kids at my 20th High School Reunion.
»043. The Marines at the race formerly known as Ironman California
»044. Takes as long as having a baby, nearly as satisfying, only without the morning sickness and the 21 years of bills that follow.
»045. Flying with a bike case makes business trips seem EASY.
»046. Sharing a smile with people wearing the finishers T-shirt the next day.
»047. Knowing that as you step in the water on race day - YOU MADE IT THIS FAR! Now just get home.
»048. How many people can say they did anything for 12,13, 14, 15, 16...hours?
»049. The "Hot Corner" at IM-USA
»050. The wristband that somehow becomes your favorite fashion accessory.
»051. So that when you tell your grandchildren stories about what you did when you were young...yours will be true.
»052. Main Street Lake Placid
»053. High fives from people you don't know.
»054. The Sponge as a fashion statement
»055. Coke and Chicken soup - the ultimate power cocktail
»056. Knowing that after the gun goes off, you don't have to worry anymore.
»057. First Place and Last Place get the same amount of cheers.
»058. Walking to the start with Heather, Lothar, Thomas, Jurgen...
»059. Getting lapped by Heather, Lothar, Thomas, Jurgen...
»060. Getting lapped again on the run by Heather, Lothar, Thomas, Jurgen...
»061. Making the turn for home.
»062. Because MolybdenumMan doesn't trip off the tongue in quite the same way
»063. If Judy Molnar can, dammit, so can you.
»064. You might get to run with Alexandra Paul!
»065. High fiving Daryl Haley, and going backwards 5 feet.
»066. Sunset over Skaha Lake on the run.
»067. If Randy Caddell can do it with just his arms, you can certainly do it with your legs.
»068. Easier than Eco-Challenge.
»069. Got rejected from the astronaut corps.
»070. Got rejected by the Marines.
»071. Crashed out of the Blue Angels.
»072. Makes US Navy SEAL training seem like a good idea.
»073. You enjoy the smell of chlorine in the morning.
»074. You've had enough with your current social life.
»075. For the love of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream!
»076. Your friends are watching on the web.
»077. You need to prove to your mom that even if you get on the bike right after you won't catch a cold.
»078. Helicopters over Kailua Bay.
»079. Roadies think you're nuts.
»080. Masters swimmers think you're nuts.
»081. Your running club KNOWS you're nuts.
»082. So that you can master the left-handed bottle grab (IMAus, IM-NZ).
»083. Morning swims
»084. 3 hour breakfasts after the morning swims
»085. The Underpants Run
»086. Laughing at people in the Underpants Run.
»087. The Hog's Breath Cafe Breakfast Special at IMC
»088. Glowsticks
»089. Cowman A-Moo-HA!
»090. Because Winston Churchill said I can't ever give up.
»091. The 12-step program to make me stop hasn't been invented yet.
»092. Any National Anthem, before the start, anywhere.
»093. Knowing that when you wake up at 4:00am, the next time you go to bed you will be VERY different person.
»094. 6 miles, 10 minutes - straight down to Keene.
»095. Yellow Lake done - 12 miles downhill to go.
»096. Because you've always wanted to see how many CD's and towels it would take to ride the whole IMC course on the CompuTrainer
»097. Makes your next marathon just a nice morning run.
»098. To make your Boss jealous because YOU have a life that doesn't involve the office.
»099. Because the longer you're out there, the less per hour it really costs!
»100. Being there is way better than watching on Pay-Per-View
»101. Finding yourself in the middle of your doubts ... finding a new meaning of being scared.
»102. Finding out that you're far stronger than those doubts a few miles later.
»103. Falling in step on the run and making a friend to the end, without having to say a word.
»104. A fried breakfast the day after.
»105. Watching people headed home while you're headed out, thinking "I'll be there soon ..." and they cheer for you.
»106. Understanding why that is as your cheering for people headed out when you're finally headed home.
»107. That feeling of ice cubes in your hat on a hot run never getting too cold.
»108. Telling folks with flat tires "It's a long day - hang in there!" and seeing them breathe and smile for a moment.
»109. Hearing people cheer you up while your changing a damn flat tire.
»110. Rolling into T2 knowing that no matter what - you can't have a flat sneaker from here on in.
»111. Having someone catch you, and hold you up when you can't do it anymore.
»112. Miles in the Bike.
»113. The IV's feel SO good the next day.
»114. To see if it really feels as good to do as it does to dream.
»115. To see if it really feels as good the second time.
»116. And a third...
»117. And a fourth...
»118. To try and finish in daylight.
»119. To try and finish before midnight.
»120. To try and NOT get stung by that (#*@! bee this time.
»121. Your kids already think you're a hero - prove them right.
»122. Your wife doesn't...but you might prove it to her, too.
»123. An M-Dot Tattoo would look swanky on your ankle.
»124. 5000 Volunteers - all for you.
»125. Hearing them say "You're almost there!" all day long.
»126. Being nearly almost there - for real.
»127. CHICKEN SOUP! (It's been awhile)
»128. Quiet hugs before the start.
»129. Kissing her goodbye, and promising "I'll be back later..."
»130. The first time you think "Holy crap - I'm doing an Ironman!"
»131. Beating back the voices that say "Holy crap - you can't do an Ironman!"
»132. Mile 26.
»133. That moment when you KNOW you're going to make it for the first time all day.
»134. Entering the oval.
»135. Running down Lakeshore Drive.
»136. Running down Alli Drive.
»137. The Finish Line
»138. The first step after you cross the line and think "Oh, My....God....!"
»139. The Medal
»139.6 Because they said I can't
»140.6 Because I say I can.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

10 days until IMNZ...


I have diligently been working on my new way of swimming starting with my kick and head/breathing position.  Hopefully I no longer look like a tadpole searching for food on the top of the water followed by a duck looking for food underneath me.
Can't say I have noticed that I am swimming faster but hopefully I am swimming better which will mean faster over a long period.  I did the Kohi swim last week and while my times there are usually slow I was maybe a bit faster compared with the people I usually exit the water with.
Nothing to do with swimming but a photo of a happy doggy.  She did run laps around the pool while I was swimming so maybe that's why she needed a nap

Last week was a huge week on the bike of 15 hours BOOM! This was due to a little trip down to Taupo to ride what was supposed to be the full bike course.  I started out with gay abandon (as I do) but quickly felt that the leggies did not feel so good.  I pressed on hoping they would feel ok and while my power was ok I just felt really wasted and after about an hour my back started to hurt from being on my bike which never really happens.  I got to the end of the first lap 14 minutes slower than in our Pain and Suffering Camp the week before and feeling exhausted and dejected.  Sadly Davo had already been and gone so I swapped my bottles and headed out again.  After about 10 minutes I came to the realization that I just couldn't do it anymore, all I wanted to do was lie down on the side of the road preferably in the fetal position.  I think I was having a physical and mental meltdown.
I made it up to the racecourse where I knew there were some nice grassy bits to lie on and saw Davo circling around the intersection.  Turns out he wasn't having the funnest time either so after a brief discussion we decided that one lap was enough.
Pretty disappointed in myself for giving in to my mental demons, yes I was feeling like crap but once the little voice said "it's ok, stop and have a lie down"  then I was gone mentally.  I know that physically I could have done the second lap but it would have taken a long time and I would have hated it and being so close to Ironman I don't want to thrash myself when I am not feeling good BUT I shouldn't be so weak in the head.
Time to revisit "The Triathlete's Guide to Mental Training" before next weekend I think.
I am not so concerned that I felt so bad riding - it was a bit close to the long ride from the previous weekend and on the recovery day in between was a not so recovery-ish ride trailing behind a former world record holder/Olympic champion who didn't stop talking and hopefully couldn't hear me puffing.
We did a 6 hour ride the weekend just been and I felt much better despite sitting on my bike for 6 hours which I hopefully won't be doing next weekend.
Taddy meeting it's identical twin
We had a nasty accident on our group ride on Saturday where there was a bit of confusion about going or stopping for an orange light resulting in Darreene stopping and Adrian smashing into the back of him at about 40km/hr.  There was a lot of blood and a front tooth in the middle of the road which I dutifully picked up and washed off and Dildo the dentist shoved it back in.  I feel so much closer to Darreene now knowing that I have handled his tooth.
The fallen Ninja.  I then got accusing of snapping photos like an Asian tourist
Two weeks before Ironman seems to be a bit of a witching hour for triathletes so it was a lucky escape for Jared and I and we will not be riding with the group this weekend.
Powered by Marmite sammies

Running is going well yay!! My little groin issue seems to have gone and I have managed to progress my long runs nicely.  I was very resourceful during last week's long run when I started to develop a blister on the side of my heel.  I had just had a Gu so I tried to put the empty Gu packet down the side of my shoe which worked for about a minute and had then moved down into the shoe leaving a sticky trail of choc-mint goodness as it went.  I was just coming up to the Kohi yacht club so thought I would see if there was a first aid kit where I could grab a couple of bandaids.  There was some housewifey exercise class going on upstairs so I let myself in and had a look though the kitchen to see what I could find.  Not sure that I was supposed to be in there but runners in general are pretty harmless (just a bit weird) so thought I would get away with it.  Couldn't find any bandaids but did manage to find a latex glove which I anchored under my orthotic and then pulled up to stop the rubbing on the side of the shoe.
Look out MacGyver.
Ran the remaining 14km with minimal issues apart from looking like I had some condoms stashed in my shoe.  But I was running so fast no-one would have seen anyway ;)
You never know when you might need a condom. so I keep them in my shoe

Looks a bit bleak but was actaully a nice run along the Waikato River trail

How's that weather looking Taupo

Saturday, February 9, 2013

3 Weeks til IMNZ!!

So I managed to pull myself out of my post 70.3 depression and get on with life and with Ironman NZ training.
After my horrific swim I decided to seek a new opinion on my swimming so contacted Andy Mackay from Boost Coaching to see if he could help me.  It actually took him about 7 months to contact me as I originally asked for his help in May but used his junk email address and he didn't discover my email until the beginning of the year - I had just assumed that he thought I was a lost cause and couldn't help me.
So he watched me swimming from all angles and we identified some problems - some I knew were there and didn't know how to fix and some which I didn't know about.
So I now have a few things to work on and my little brain gets a bit overworked as I swimming along trying to think about my head position, my kick, where my hand is leaving the water, where my hand is entering the water and how far have I swum.
Brain overload.
But hopefully something will work in the next few weeks and I can pull out a semi-decent swim in Taupo.

We went down to Taupo to train on the course last weekend and to get a preview of the pain and suffering we are going to experience in a couple of weeks.  In the previous years we have had a three day training weekend to spread out the pain and suffering but this time we decided to do it all on the same day.  Fun.
The swim was nice, the lake was calm and not too cold.  Hopefully the same conditions on race day.
The bike was a 120km solo effort where I spread myself all over the course loosing a bottle, the lid off my tubes and tools bottle and then subsequently my tyre levers.  Take home message = tie everything down.
The run was supposed to be 24km but was shortened to 21km due to not having any aid stations or support and not wanting to die of dehydration and/or heat exhaustion.
When then popped over to Kinloch to watch the Elites race in the Oceania Cup.  Just watching them made my legs even more sore.
Overall the day went pretty well and was a good rehabilitation for my confidence muscle which was quite badly injured at the 70.3.

Now just need to get a couple more long bikes and long runs in and hopefully I shall be ready to roll on March the 2nd.

The job situation is quite grim at the moment (anyone out there want to give me a job? I think I would make a great PA...) so I am taking a few days down in Cambridge with Coach Poo to get in some decent training and hopefully get the chance to ride the IMNZ course again (because it is so fun).