Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sunrise Over Sea

I have had a great week so far. Got to keep that rolling on through to the weekend. But we are up to Wednesday night and so far so good. Energy is good. I have ticked all of the program boxes and sleeping well at night and the diet has been pretty darn good except for a small chocolate stop occasionally.

This mornings program said RUN - 50min - keep this nice and relaxed throughout short stops

I was awake before the alarm which is great and then dozed til the alarm went off. A bit hard to get up after that but I was so admit this week was going to be good that I shoved myself out of bed and dragged on my running gear. Stepping outside the day was warming up. A light dew on the ground and on windshields, and the grey on night was lifting to expose a cloudless blue sky.

I decided to head for the beach and run along the shore line. It was a beautiful day and it made the run all the more easier (along with the doof doof music booming in my ears from the ipod). I ran past the sea pool and along the beach, watching the surf break on the shore and the early morning surfers sitting in the morning salute to the sun position balanced on their boards.

Happily the body held it together again and I managed to get home without the ITB ruining my day, my mood and my bank balance. Avoiding a physio session this week has its advantages and disadvantages.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Re-set, Re-focus, Reap the Re-wards!

This week I will:

  • Stick to a clean diet (keep it clean, cals correct and timed across the day);
  • Drink the right amount of water to stay hydrated;
  • Have only one coffee in the morning each day;
  • Sleep deeply and wake rested;
  • Stick to the program Coach sets me and not miss one session;
  • Put my program first over other happenings in my week;
  • Use my Garmin to be accountable and give Coach the stats;
  • Stretch and roll and massage daily; and
  • Get up in the mornings and JFDI.......

Sunday, September 16, 2012


This week in review.......... Well, it's been a week of highs, lows, changes and frustrations. But at the end of the day I need to remember that I am always moving forward.

I'm looking forward to a new week with new highs, lows, changes and hopefully less frustrations. I'll get back to you shortly.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Husky Half Marathon - team event race review

You know the old one step forward, two steps backward.........well, I feel like I am living just that right now.

So rolling into this weekends race I had had some real gains with my swimming and bike. And even my run was starting to get some forward movement with me running about 6 runs with no ITB pain and starting to ramp up both in distance, time and intervals. I usually have to run a ratio of 4min run and 1 min walk so that I can reset the form and get going again in order to prevent the ITB flaring up.

I had also purchased a good pair of Nike runners and was feeling pretty darned good just quietly.

The gang rolled in to Huskisson ........ I took the pic

The Fitness Frenz

I thought I did all of the right things. Did my stretches, clams, warm up run. Set my pace light and easy and ran lightly. The first 2-3 kms felt great. The legs, heart, mental attitude was great. There was absolutely no pressure on this race as I was teaming up with a friend who would run a 1.20ish minute 10ks. So I cruised along enjoying the sun, sea and mild southerly breeze.

At about the 5km mark I started to feel it. That all too common tightening across the knee/leg. Here it comes. great! I stopped and walked. Ran and walked for another couple of kms. And then it was time to give in and walk/run til I got home. The knee was sore though the usual burning hadn't started yet.

Still, focusing on the positive here... Even with all of the walking I came in under the hour for 10kms. Very happy, but no I could have done so much better, frustrating.

Straight after the race and after I watched Big Gazza cross the finish line I headed back North and on to the workshop Coach had planned for the Crew. I had an 1:45min drive on my own to the workshop. So by the time I got there I was pretty low after the run. Coach met me at the door, saw the look and when I told him he swooped me up and onto the slab (as the workshop was at the physio rooms) before I knew it I had about 15 needles along my ITB.
The workshop was great, informative and interactive. I loved the discussion and being able to hear other athlete's ideas and training information. Later we hit the pool for a quick session with the focus on sighting, single arm drills and pool buoy, paddles and bands. Yeah.....
It was a great day really except for one lousy backward step.
This morning I was back on the slab with a leg and butt looking like a porcupine. Coach and I talked about the injury and my 'thing'. We all have our thing..... be it ITB, tight hammies, locked swimmers shoulder. It seems that mine is a propensity to tight ITBs. I knew this already. The plan is to make fortnightly visits to see Coach and get the ITB worked on. (My hip pocket just winced!)
Sooooo back to the drawing board....Coach says its a matter on trial and push, push, push the body to work out what it can handle and then back it off when we reach the threshold between work and recovery. I need to listen and be in tune with my body, coping, sleeping, stresses and start noting more accurately what is happening to the ol bod so that I can start to predict when we are pushing it to far.
Unfortunately, I think this weekend's run is out! buh. 


Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Good Dollop of Bad Medicine

I have long since given up on Motivation. (even though I just used the word in a previous blog doh!)In the past people have said to me..."How do you find the motivation to do Ironman and the training?" I don't think it is motivation that gets me up every morning, there isn't a little pink pill I take called Motivation and it certainly doesn't run in my veins freely.

Nah there is no plastic motivation here! It's just a pure "Just Fucking Do It" approach (it's my blog and I can swear if I want to, swear if I want tooooo....) and a strong desire to achieve something great in my life. To pack as much in as I can, to have a life that was/is truly inspirational, to look back and say wow I had a great ride and to be validated by my family and loved ones as an Awesome Chick who 'sucked the marrow out of life' - R.Williams, Dead Poet Society.

But of late I have been wondering where it? (this intangible thing) has gone. Did my desire dry up like an old sponge that once dripped with that much drive and energy that I could bottle it. Maybe I was motivated after all and now the motivation has gone. Hand me the needle! Or maybe I am tired and now that I have ticked the Ironman box, the desire, dream, hunger has faded to just a soft growl.

For the last couple of weeks I have laid in bed each morning and negotiated with myself regarding whether I should get up and train or roll over and snuggle into the covers of a nice warm bed for just a couple of extra ZZZZZs. Once the alarm goes off I dutifully get up and go to work and feel guilty and cranky at myself if I miss the session.

Truth moment....

I am the only one that can solve this problem and I know it. There is no secret Motivational Pill I can take to fix what ails me. There is no tap to turn on in order to JFDI. There is no program, no Coach, no training buddy or alarm screaming me to action. It is up to me to get up and get going again. Frustratingly heavy mind games ensue.

Negative talk...........

I'm too old; all the other girls (my age) stay home in bed (or in the words of Baby Sylvester..."all the other Pussycaths get to stay in bed!"); why do another Ironman just stick to the sprints that way you can have a life as well; there will always be tomorrow so do it then; if I sleep in today and skip the ride I can make up that lost run by doing two tomorrow; WTF! It's going to hurt, it's cold, I'm lonely, it's wet, wah wah waaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh......... Ugly ain't it?

ok then, well why do I want to do another Ironman? Wasn't I content with ticking that box? I guess not. Once bitten by the Ironman Bug it takes a hold of you and is like a systemic disease. It enters your body, mind and life, shapes and changes you till you know nothing else but train, eat, recover, sleep, work, physio/massage then train some more. If you want to talk to me...grab your runners and run with me. If you want quality time? foreplay rub this glute.

Yep, the drive is still there it's just hidden under a fucking poor excuse somewhere.

I just need to focus on what matters, my inspiration.....................


Oh there you are!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Being, Becoming and Belonging to the Crew

The Crew? What? Who are they? They are 'A' type personalities that come in many shapes and sizes. Oh yeah and ages. Mostly sub 35. With one exception. Yep you guessed it.....Me!

I met Coach when I was being coached by another guy. He was/is an amazing athlete, person, all round nice guy. Struck down by a car while out on a training/recovery ride with his Dad. He has been left with a brain injury and that was last June. I like to think of Coach often and send him my thoughts and hopes that he will one day wake up again and be able to at least hold his baby boy. He got me to Ironman. He never gave up on me, never judged, always believed in me, and my memory of him that I look back on with a smile and a tear over.. was on my final lap of the run at Ironman. He was running beside me, beer in one hand, punching the air with the other, totally drunk and high on life shouting....'You're gonna be an Ironman Sammi, keep smiling, keep running'. As his curls bounced about his head. He was right!

Throughout my training leading up to Ironman I worked with the team physio and together they communicated about my progress (like I was a real athlete or something). This tall skinny dude with a deep voice, huge grin and contagious laugh worked on me tirelessly and again never judged, never questioned my motivations and was always positive and shared his experiences and volumes of knowledge with me as I lay there for hours on the slab with needles poking out of both ITBs.

When we all realised that Coach was fighting the battle of his life we also realised with sadness that we were alone. We? As in the athletes that he coached. We all still wear his colours when we ride. But the team has scattered to the wind and most go at it alone now. I guess that Coach gave them enough information that they could go on alone. But for me I was still so totally reliant on him I needed the accountability, the wisdom, the direction and everything else that comes with having a coach in your corner.

So, I asked the team physio if he would coach me. A Ballzy move I have to say. He had a stable of fine athletes that he was looking after. The Crew! These guys and girls are winners. And then there's me. When I asked I said it in a cheeky moment, laughing so that if he rejected me I could fob it off as a joke and he would never know that I was serious and would be left alone. BUT!!!!! When I asked he responded with 'Yup, I'll Coach you.' Are you serious? My head and heart did a jumping high 5!.

Yeah I'll coach you he said. Are you sure? I mean I am hardly a winner. I am an average age grouper and well past my prime with not much room for massive improvement as far as I am a late starter, no athletic background to speak of other than horse riding, rock climbing and sailing. But we had worked together for over a year and had a great relationship that was comfortable and easy. He responded with 'You have the right attitude. I can work with you.'            Sweet............

So Coach and I have been in this nutsy relationship now since December 2011. He is such a huge part of my life now. Sunday nights is program night. He emails me my program for the week and I dutifully read over it and ask any questions before setting off into my week. Texts, emails constantly across the week as needed and just a Howdy occasionally to check in with me. Physio sessions continue every so often as my ITBs have a tendency to tighten up over a few weeks and no amount of rolling and self massage can get deep enough. And then there are training days where we catch up either for a swim or of late, a ride. It is so amazing to have this guy around. Yeah I have some Coach love flying here...but it is out of respect for the time and attention he gives me. Yeah I pay the $$$$ to have him do the job. But he ain't the type of dude to take the money, shell out a copy of a generic program and then ignore me or leave me hanging.

Coach disappeared overseas for a while to work with the Aussie Olympic Triathlon team in prep for London, but every Sunday night my program rolled in. While he was gone I worked hard on a number of aspects of my training, diet and life in general. So that when he returned and I went to see him he noticed. He saw the weight loss (6.5kgs who wouldn't) but he saw the training and he saw the attitude was even more focused and positive.

Saturday long rides with the girls in the Crew have earned me some respect and a feeling that he knows I am deadly serious about the training and about Ironman 2013. While May next year is miles away, I have a feeling it will be here before we know it. There is work to do. And the motivation (even though its cold windy and yucky most days still) is up and ready to go. It is an amazing feeling being a part of a stable of athletes and holding my own. I belong in the Crew!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Backing it up with an Adventure Race

So after my huge day riding with Coach, Roberto and the AP.10 crew, I backed it up with an Adventure Race. It was decided a while back that my husband and buddy and another were going to do the race but at the last minute it was down to two and well....I got the call.

So another early morning and we were off driving to Windsor in NSW. We dropped off the bikes and went to register. About 25 teams and 13 in the mixed teams. We later learnt that only 7 mixed teams competed on the day.

It is most important during these events to look like a team....

Me, Mel and Gazza
1st leg was a run and so we headed off towards our pre-plotted course and the field scattered.We trotted along comfortably ever aware of my cranky ITB and found our first checkpoint fairly easily. We continued on finding each number in turn and then......we got lost! Well not really lost but we went into the bush too soon and hunted for a checkpoint that was actually about 500metres off to our right. We wasted time here but hey we had all day.

Finally ticking off all of the run checks we headed out on the bikes. OMG - I would rather take on round-a-abouts, hills and cars than ride with a tree and rocks and branches and mud holes everywhere. I think I held up the team as I screamed and 'oh shit' my way round the course. With Gazza on compass we navigated our way round slooooooowly.

Me and my bike 'Muddy B'
Finally made it to the kayak leg after totally losing track of time and any sign of our competitors. Three up on a kayak is a load of fun and throw in some mud. Lashings of mud and you are in for a great ride.
Pretty as a picture and in total unison
We ticked off all three checkpoints out on the river and headed back to the bank. Dragging ourselves up out of the mud proved tricky and Mel and Gaz ended up stuck and sitting in the mud while I managed to get out of it with out a drop of mud anywhere.

WTF - very appropriate here
Ok, so we knew we were dragging the chain, so we opted not to complete the next run leg. Our plan was to have fun and that was exactly what we were having and no one wanted the Westpac helicopter and the dogs out searching for us. So back on the bikes and heading for home. But wait! There's more....... A creek crossing.

Gazza entered the water first, held onto the rope, hiked his bike over his head and waded through. He got to the other side and dragged out the camera as Mel and I headed into the water. It just kept getting deeper. The bottom was thick oozing mud and at one point I was up to my pits and hanging on to the rope with all my might.

Mel exists as I sink deeper and deeper

What a struggle but what a laugh. I had a great time. Its not very often adults give themselves permission to get down and dirty and muddy. So I lapped it up.

Onward and ok, another hurdle. Gazza's bike gets a puncture..... 2kms short of the finish line and we are rapidly running out of time for the cut off.

Gaz with his puncture and Mel finding another checkpoint
With Gaz running beside his bike and us girls riding up huge hills we finally make the finish line....

It was an amazing day. One I didn't expect to be as crazy and as long as it was. ok so 8 teams went into the woods. The first team completed in 3:45:00 and we may have done it in 8 hours. But boy we made it look good.