Thursday, July 26, 2012

Chasing Down 90

So, this week has been a little brighter. Lots of changes happening that's for sure. New job! for starters. Back to the 9 to 5 routine I guess. One bonus was getting through the best part of winter and being able to do my training in the middle of the day and mostly when the day is at its warmest. Of course we have the August winds to contend with yet and so I'm really looking forward to stepping out into gale force winds at 5am. Not! But it has to be done.

Coach has put in a huge week on the program and I have been working through it all steadily and trying not to think too far ahead. Just one session at a time. I find if I do start thinking about what's coming I can scare myself out of action. Better not to engage the brain Sammi and JFDI. hey! And that was the approach I took this afternoon when I got home from a quick shopping spree and pulled on the bike nicks. JFDI and don't over think it. The set: 90kms maintain good form, finish strong.

I headed out into a beautiful blue day and a light breeze, though lifting. Tried to distract myself with other thoughts than what was happening with the legs and ticked over the first 20kms without too much concern. I know where the halfway point is.....right where you have the option: turn right and you continue on your way and get ever so closer to the 90 or turn left and take the easy way home and only get 55. hmmmmm Don't over think it! turn right! and so I did. Turning right takes you up the cat 4 climb. I was tired from the 40kms I did in the set the day before and so I did have to stand on the pegs rather than sit and spin over the hill but I made it up the climb without losing form and getting to puffed.

After the cat 4 there are some nice meaty rolling hills before a long flat section and then you guessed it....another option. Turn right will get another 10kms turn left will take you home with maybe 65. Hmmm TURN RIGHT!!! and so I did. Up another couple of hills and through some stunning country side. Checking the odi I find I am still chasing another 20kms. Nuts! One more time. Turn right takes me home with 70, turn left for an out and back will give me the 90. Oh crap! Left we go.

I am so lucky to have countryside like this to train in.

With the wind at my back I cruised through the beautiful countryside and in the time trial position made some good gains on the average speed for the day. At the turn - around point I braced myself, yep, the breeze had lifted and was now a nice head wind buffeting the legs just when the cookies were just about all eaten. I pushed on. Along a long straight, up a short nasty hill and down a long descent that can see you hit 60kmph. And yep, one more glance at the odometer and to my dismay I was still down 1 louzey kilometre.

Now some folk might think what's one kilometre? But us folk who work hard at this thing called triathlon know its 1km that you will never get back. It adds up over time until suddenly you're 20kms down and way down on your fitness and not ready for racing. It also is the mental game. More importantly! its the ability to push yourself and tick the box when everything on the body and in the mind is screaming STOP!!!! for crying out loud!

So, one more time, go straight gets one more km, turn left takes these tired legs home with 89. GO STRAIGHT SAMMI!!!!!! and so I did. I punched on into the headwind and by this stage I was starting to groan. My husband laughs at me when I do this but he can tell when I have reached my limit and have completely emptied the tank when I start to groan intermittently. The noise just comes out by itself. And there aint no stopping it. It's definitely not a sexy moan like Sam Stojur, it's more the death bell of an old walrus.... but hey, that's me! Finally, the 90 ticks over and I hear the Garmin on my wrist trill out the illusive last kilometer and I know all I got to do now is get home. With about 100m to go I head into a round-a-bout. I have right of know where this is going hey! Yep, there's a little black car on my left heading at me. I'm already on the round-a-bout with nothing coming from the right so I'm good and yep, this little black car continues to hurtle through the round-a-bout without stopping. I slam on the brakes (luckily my head/body was still working as I was so tired) 'P' Provisional Plate young driver. She didn't even look my way. I reckon I was a metre off her open window when I screamed "HEY" right at her. She looked shocked as she saw me and then continued on her way while I directed some subtle hand signals at her tail lights.

Just get me home............ And I rolled in with my 90 under my belt. Done!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

First Mountain to Fall

So one of my major goals for 2012 is "not to be scared of hills anymore" basically what this means is that hill climbing on the bike has been a constant concern for me. Descending is fun and I can belt down hills no dramas. But when it comes to climbing, I doubt my strength and so worry about climbing or I plan the trip so that I circumnavigate any mountains.

To be a good rider you got to climb hills and one way to get stronger on the bike is to do the hills. And one of the biggest hills is smack bang in the middle of Ironman and we have to do it twice!!!!

So my aim is to ride the hills. So when Coach set the program for this week and said 60kms hilly and stay seated at all times and maintain good form....I knew I could no longer avoid the hills.

One of the hills on my bucket list is Rec Park Hill. It's a long steep drawn out hill but luckily has plenty of verge so no dramas about traffic. I decided I had all day and I was going to put the demon to rest and tick this hill climb off the 'to do' list. And it was a beautiful day to do it to. Sunny, blue skies for ever and no wind. I headed out and hit Mt Terry, Cat 4 climb and rode on to about 20kms before heading back the way I came and attempting Mt Terry from the South side which included Rec Park Hill.

Well, I went at my own pace as I was alone. Makes sense but often when I ride with others I get caught up with trying to keep up with them and then blowing a gasket rather than going at it sensibly. I am happy to report that I survived! Tick.....

Now on to the next Mountain......

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Spring Approacheth

Headed out on a glorious winter day yesterday for a 40km bike ride. I rode south west and into the countryside. There was a slight breeze which was lifting but punching into it felt good. The legs were tired, or more specifically my quads were complaining from the sprint work we had done at the running track the day before, but after a while of me ignoring them they quit their whining and decided to warm up and do the job.

I passed lazy cows (the dairy kind) laying in the padocks chewing their cud all heavily pregnant with spring calves. Magpies were warbling high in the trees, another sign that spring is approaching. For now they are happy observing us targets from a distance, but soon enough our glorious spring days will become thawt with terror as these sweet sounding birds turn into ferocious bombers.

There is nothing funnier than watching someone get swooped by a maggie until it's you being swooped. We have names for these little pests when they start their antics.

Stalker - the dude who flys from light pole to light pole seeing you off his territory.

Swooper - the maniac who dives at you only to pull away at the last second.

Striker - the nutter who actually has the balls to take a lunge and ends up ripping your best cycling jersey, damn him! and,

Slammer - the kamikaze terrorist who actually thinks it's ok to use his entire body as a missile and slams a scud straight into you. He gets up shaking his head and flys off meanwhile the poor cyclist is in a pile on the floor and wondering if he can glue carbon fibre back together.


And now we have another name to add to the list. This one is only a discovery from late last year. My husband was riding by himself and heading home down a hill that is notoriously defended by a crazed maggie who we all know as Slammer. Well, hubby is hurtling down said hill, keeping one weary eye out for Slammer. He has to brake as the lights at the bottom of the hill have turned red. He hears the familiar swoosh of Slammers wings as the flying menace sets hubby up in his cross hairs.....Hubby does the flailing of the arms hopelessly in the air which only serves to spur Slammer on even more... "Challenge!" and then hubby feels this weight land on his head. He thinks at first that he has been whacked across the helmet. Hubby looks at a car parked next to him and the occupants of the car are wetting themselves with laughter. In the reflection of the glass window hubby realises that Slammer has now become Squatter and is perched on his helmet still. Claws gripping through the air vents and now he starts to peck at the plastic attempting to poke through the vents. Hubby flails both arms now as he has stopped at the lights and Squatter begrungingly flys off. The nerve!

So for now as spring approaches I enjoy my last days of peaceful riding to the sounds of songbirds knowing that all too soon I will be running the gauntlet of winged hell. But for now let the days get longer, the sun stay toasty and warm, the breeze stay soft at our backs and the flys??? well that's a whole other blog!

BTW, the Latin word for magpie, “pica” is also the term for the weird psychological disorder, where sufferers eat non-nutritive substances such as nails, glass, buttons, dirt etc. The origin for the word comes from the belief that magpies eat and collect almost anything and especially have an eye for shiny things. WEIRDOS!!!!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Getting Back in the Game

So, before I left for my Tasmania trip I hurt my back. Pulled a muscle while I was packing my back pack. It's been two weeks since and three physio sessions and I am getting back to feeling good. Still a bit tight in the mornings or if I do too much lifting etc. But I made the bed yesterday and all good.

Running was an issue as my hip was out of line and it was catching on the forward movement. After a bit of work I can now run again. So swimming has been the main focus and bike riding. Easing back in to full training will take about another week. In the meantime though I have a 10km run this weekend.

The run is a sanctioned 10km race and so Coach hoped I would do it as it would give some valuable information regarding heart rates, mental attitude, perceived exertion, preparation etc. Now it will be more about how did I cope. Shame! Last night I jogged for about 30 minutes and everything went fine. But casting my thoughts back I realise that I haven't done a long run since the day I ran with my running buddies out to Windang Bridge return. That was maybe four months ago. Oh crap! This is going to hurt.

Got to stay positive though. Not go out to hard. Keep the water going in and just relax and enjoy the day.