Sunday, April 29, 2012

Ok It's Goal Setting Time

So it's 7 days to Ironman Australia 2012. Hubby is entered this year and as I sit writing this, he is in a quiet frenzy packing his bags, writing out his checklists, cleaning his bike, checking his nutrition and fluffing about Oh and asking a million and one crazy questions like "Sammi do you know where my goggles are?" Where they always are babe! I answer and return to my writing. It's his first one. Yes my man is an I.M Virgin and it shows. Ha, all the angst and nervousness of the unknown. Trying to predict everything that may or may not happen on the day and hoping he has considered and prepared himself for it all. That was me a year ago. And I remember it like it was yesterday. Except I wasn't anywhere near as anxious as him. Yeah I know I'm lying!

In 7 days and at this time he will be out on the run. It will be dark and the street lights will be on. He will be running and it will be cold and silent perhaps in his head and the inner drive to bring him home and into the arms of loved ones (me) as Mike Riley calls his name is all he cares about right now. Times can go to hell. It's his first I.M and finishing has become what it's all about.

As I watch him titter about I chuckle and know that this time next year, it will be my turn again. Number 2 for me. My I.M cherry was taken last year and now I want to do it again just to make sure it wasn't a fluke.

Dear Mike, this is a personal invitation from me to come back to Ironman Australia in 2013 to say my name again. Hope you can make it. Cheers Sam

So, how to get to the starting blocks come May 2013. Goals, got to write some quantifiable goals.

So here they are (repeated from my Goals page) with a few extra details:

2012 Goals

01. Sign up for Ironman 2013

That's pretty important. This could all come undone if I can't get in. Last year the event filled up in 2 hours and the site went down 6 times. It's tricky. But hopefully now that I.M Melbourne is a goer it might be a little easier to get in.
02. Complete the 12 week body transformation diet in June, reach my race weight and with good nutrition and maintain it.
Currently hovering around 64kgs, I have done the calcs and I need to be (would love to be) closer to 57kgs. Less weight to carry over distance x power to weight ratio = a faster Sammi (and a cuter butt to look at for the dude running behind me).
03. Follow Coach's weekly plan for reaching the Ironman May 2013
Sammi got Coach! Yep Alex (AP.10) and I have been working together since before I.M 2011. He is a physio and helped me get back on the road after a series of ITB issues. Now he is signed on for Coach responsibilities (poor man) but its a great combination and I have loads of respect for the guy. Consistency is key! and it's often where I fall down. It's up to me, Coach can write all the plans he likes. It's me who has to get the work done! I'm up for it.
04. Compete in a race each month as listed in my race schedule

I guess this one is up to Coach as well, but I would like to use this goal as a gauge for my progress and also to get rid of the nerves a bit. Nerves manifest in me as "I don't want to do this race, let's just stay in bed" Pretty lame. I'd rather be feeling nervous but thinking "Let's just get this started already I'm good to go"
05. Compete in at least one sprint, oly, and half, throughout the year

Again I think this one is about judging progress and getting the heart rate up a few times. Improving previous times, and having some critical events to lead into I.M.
06. Compete in the half marathon in Sydney and finish it under 2hours
This one is going back for improvement on a previous race. To run the race more controlled, deliberate and thought out rather than getting caught up in the crowd on the day. Its about controlling the nutrition also and looking for a better time over the hills. No walking!
07. Participate in the KTC Duathlon series (if there are no other critical races on that day)
Every club race I opt out! I find a reason, marshaling, injury, sleep in. I never seem to get there. Its about consistency, setting goals and meeting them. Making a commitment to myself and keeping it.
08. Run 5kms under 24mins consistently and work on getting faster
This one is about upping the speed to a point of comfortable consistency and being able to achieve a predicted and desired outcome. So I know I can do 24mins occasionally. Fastest time to date is 23mins and some change. I want 24 mins to be the norm.
09. Run 10kms under 1 hour consistently
Same as above for the 10. Consistently faster over time with the norm being a sub 1hour (these aren't off the bike btw, but I would also like to aim so that they are off the bike)
10. Stretch and do my core/strength exercises
Recognising that Sammi doesn't work without this. I want to be stronger, leaner and fitter, but I want also to be defined (muscular in a girl way) and un-injured. This means consistent rolling, stretching and taking care of the "just as important" stuff too. Core and clams Sammi....core and clams...get it on.
11. Do more brick sessions
This one came about after last race. I came out of the water in top 10. So the swim is improving (even though I felt like I had no power in the water) so I can do a good time amongst my peers. BUT by the time it came to running up the bank, along the grass and over the blue timing mat I had been overtaken by 7 (yes count em folks!!! 7 other girls in my age group WTF!) Obvious answer here....more brick sessions.
12. Ride more hills over winter - need to get stronger on the bike

                      Climb Matthews Drive (Port Mac I.M course)
                      Climb Stanwell Park Hill
                      Climb Macquarie Pass
                      Climb Gun Club Hill
                      Climb Rec Park Hill
                      Climb Kangaloon Tourist Road Hill

This goal is all about getting stronger on the bike. I want to be stronger. I want to ride with the boys (in my gang) and keep up comfortably. I can keep up now but it's a hard ride. I want it to be the norm. In my limited understanding of strengthening on the bike I know you have to ride the hills. There could be other strategies also. But I'll check this with Coach. But for now I have a bucket list of hills that I would like to conquer. So the hills are listed also. Most importantly is the I.M course hill done twice in the ride. It's a BITCH! with a Pinch at the top. Last time I had to walk it twice. I am not sure if I will gain more by riding it twice or getting off again and walking up it as it was a chance to stretch for a moment. But knowing I could ride it if I chose too is the point!
13. Increase my average riding/cruising pace from 28 to 31kms per hour
Again it will be a good indicator of my strength improvement on the bike if I can ride consistently at this pace. Also it would increase my time over the I.M course.
14. Attend run training to improve run form
The girls that I do run training with have arranged a new run coach to train us. He is a level 4 run coach and his son went to the Olympics so he knows his shit! I have run twice with him so far and he says I have great form and so I am sold. Flatery will get you everywhere. Better run form means less energy over distance means Sammi can run faster and longer. Let's get it done peeps.

So those are my goals to get me to Ironman 2013. I might add to these over time and I have a coffee date with Coach to discuss my goals vs his goals for me so some may get deleted or modified and I'll add his when he tells me.

Do you have any goals?

Please feel free to share them with me/us. Inquiring minds ned to know, and if I have missed details or something in my goals please feel free to drop me a comment.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dextro Energy Triathlon - Sydney

What an amazing opportunity; swim the harbour, ride the bridge, run the city all thanks to a free entry provided by Dextro Energy. For me, my race didn't exactly go to plan. Basically when the gun went off I found there was no fuel in the tank and suddenly I was in Struggle Town population ME! I tried hard to focus on the job at hand, getting the nutrition in, not going out too hard, keeping the cadence high but in the end it came down to.... find a happy thought and hang on to it. So I settled for enjoying using Sydney's iconic Opera House as a sighting reference in the swim, ooo'd and argh'd over the view off the Harbour Bridge and soaked up the atmosphere from the crowd cheering the athletes on.

Yellow arow = Me
At the end of the race I caught up with Alex and stepped into a scene from the movie Kungfu…. He asked me how my race was. I told him it wasn’t the best. Aah Grasshopper…. he said, you have had a rough month in other aspects of your life, emotionally, mentally and your stress levels have been through the roof. He then explained how all the bodies systems are inter related and that overall health and well being had a gigantic effect on how you perform as an athlete. This was a huge light bulb for me the way he explained it and made 100% sense…. Thanks Alex

So what did I learn from my weekend racing in Sydney…..(Zen moment here) that life and training needs to balance and if at some stage it doesn’t, cut yourself some slack there will be other races! And in the mean time, enjoy riding the ‘bridge’!

The end of an amazingly inspirational and scenic ride over the Harbour Bridge
The run was so hard. Atleast the form is still there at this point.

All done.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Throwing your hands in the air doesn't mean you fail....right?

But I do feel like I have failed. I am walking out on 16 years of faithful service at work where I love my job and I love the people I work with. I have been in a position where I have helped so many people with their careers and all in the name of putting children 1st. See, I work for a large organisation who manages child care services. I head the HR department. I spent time working with the children too, but now I recruit passionate people to work with children

Now I am leaving and have made my decision. A whole heap of boring mindless crap is unfolding and it is such a sad way to say goodbye to a place I love. BUT that all aside.......this is effecting me more than anything ever has before.

So, today I threw my hands in the air and admitted that I needed some help. During my lunch break I found myself walking to a medical centre and taking a number. I spoke to a little Indian doctor who seemed to take a genuine interest in me. I expected some uncaring doctor who spends their day giving masses of scripts for colds to greet me. But here was this lady asking me questions, suggesting blood tests (in case menopause has begun - JOY!) 46..could be.

I ended up with a script for some anti depressants. So there it is. I fail.

I have always believed that when you have a flu, you should fight it as long as you can so that if you beat it then you get stronger and better able to fight the next cold. If you don't get better than maybe a course of antibiotics will act to help strengthen you and fight the illness and then you will fight on your own again another day.

For so long I have been strong and fought every hurdle that life has put up in front of me. Little hurdles and mountainous hurdles have, over time, strengthened me so that I have a strong coping ability. I have had people comment on how relaxed under fire I can be. Or if they know me better than they know the challenges I have faced and know that I am stronger for having faced them square on.

With all of that in mind........I still feel like I have failed myself. Anti-depressants! My sensible me knows it's just a moment in time and 'This too shall pass' as my tattoo on my arm reminds me everyday. But I still feel like a part of me has lost the battle and has curled up and is hiding in a corner somewhere. I am out of character, quick to temper, teary, unmotivated and tired yet not sleeping.

So as I pop the little blue capsule into my mouth for the first time ever in my life. I swear to myself that it is just a crutch, an antibiotic to help me strengthen my body, my mind and my emotions and find a way to get over this hurdle.

13 days to race day. I can't even guess how this is going to play out. But I am backing myself in racing and in life. I believe in myself and 'this too shall pass'.