Sunday, February 24, 2013

Goals for the Week.........

I have decided that this week I am going to write some goals down in black and white. Concrete them, put them out there in to cyber space in an attempt to keep honest and on track and accounatble to no one but me and the universe.
Diet, - Overall goal - to reach 57kgs
This weeks goal, not to stray off the diet.
  • I have written up my diet and kept the daily calories below 1200 and the protein, carb, fat percentages balanced.
  • I have shopped for all ingredients so there is no need to buy extra items accept for my daily 1 x latte on skim milk allowance.
  • I have made sure I have enough food, cals and timed meals so that I shouldn't get tired or wander off plan at any stage.
  • I have prepared all the meals so that I can grab and go.
  • Going to add water in here. To drink 250mls at each meal.
  • I have given myself a reward - small easter bunny on Sunday evening.
Program, - Overall goal - to be consistent in training
This weeks goal, to complete all aspects of the program as directed by Coach.
  • Coach has provided the plan for tomorrow and Tuesday morning. I have written the plan up in my diary.
  • I have set wake up times in order to allow enough time for each day.
  • I will set up equipment and clothes the night before so I am not delayed.
  • I wont let work or other non-related training issues take priority. Or I will plan around these if I cant avoid them.
  • I aim to write in my diary at the end of each day so that I am able to reflect on the week.
Other factors, - Overall goal, to limit and control other factors that can impact on my training.
This weeks goal, to record factors influencing training and stratiegies for overcoming them.
  • Diarise the following factors:
    • Sleep - quality of sleep (as this is always a sign of stress for me)
    • Fatigue - residual tiredness across the week
    • Body - injuries, rehab
    • Head - my attitude towards training prior to training
    • Stress - work stresses or others that impact on training
Ok, let's see how it plays out.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Finding my new MOTIVATION!

I stumbled across this clip on F.B this morning and found the motivation I needed for this week and possibly I believe, it may hold me for some time to come. It rings bells for me when in my previous post I talked about mentally prepping for races and training sessions.


This afternoon was an open water swim. Usually the girls in the group stay inside the relative safety and enclosed water of the harbour rock walls. When I rolled up to squeeze into my new Huub Wetsuit I discovered only 4 guys and me and Megsy and Hooly Dooly. The 2 girls decided that they would stay inside while Coach turned to me and said "come one Sammi" I had had such a stressful day at work, I had been flat out the entire day and I had rushed to make it to the training session and so I hadn't really had a lot of time to mentally prepare for the swim let alone head out into open seas. But I had watched this clip earlier in the morning and the effect it had on me had created an aura that clung to me all day like a protective cloak that was inpentrable. So when Coach said jump. I was ready. I launched in to the training with rigour and commitment. So vastly different from Sunday's race swim. I'm proud of myself tonight for setting aside the stresses of the day and stepping up to the task.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Let's Turn That Frown Upside Down...........

So, of late, the last few posts have been a whinge whinge whinge moment. And Yep, I think I have been entitled to have a moment of Pouty Bowdy as I grapple with frustration, disappointment and yeah, a little bit of boohoo-itis. That moment kinda sort of adds up to about 3 weeks but we all know this ITB bent has been rolling along in the background for well.......since 2007. But who's counting ;)
The reality is that there was never going to be a Husky Long Course in these legs this year and so letting 2013 slip by was the obvious choice. With a Cortisone injection planned for the very next day after the race, there was nothing left to do but find a silver lining. I hoped to be able to turn this into a learning moment and get back into the positive attitude that I pride myself for maintaining the majority of the time. With Big Gazza, Roberto and The Onion Man all racing and pretty much the entire AP.10 Crew out on the day also, I decided the first call was to self appoint myself to the role of Official Crew Photographer.
The second thing to do was to focus on what I could do and not what I couldn't and so as I could swim, I set some goals around that.
  • Make sure my sighting was as we practiced in training
  • Set myself up in the deep water start the way we practiced
  • Keep my form in the swim and cadence just like Coach said to
  • Find a pair of feet to draft off
  • And so the list goes on.
  • One I added for myself also was to stay in the moment.
And it is this last point that I think is where I found my lesson for the day.
Let me explain. The last few swims I have found I end up in my comfort groove, you know, the one you can do all day that stroke that is familiar and not a huge amount of effort just auto-pilot. And that is when my mind wonders off and I look at the birds over head, wonder what is for dinner, get distracted by the pretty fish and so on.
To further illustrate the point let me show you some photos of the day.
Ok, so this is me after a 2km swim. Relaxed, smiling, joking with friends, happy etc. And this is Coach at the end of his race. (granted he did the whole lot but....)

 I see a huge difference here folks! What I see is not physical... cause it's obvious we are  at different ends of the spectrum. What I see, is a point of difference in the mental approach to the race and for that matter training as a sum total. To further illustrate, read on....... Coach is a fun guy. That's him photo bombing Pezza. He is bigger than life and seizing it with both hands. In this photo the Crew is gathered and chattering on about the day, stirring each other up, fussing with gear etc and Coach is in amongst it.

But then he checks his watch, pushes the ear pieces of his i-pod deep into his ears, cranks up the volume (I assume) pulls out a banana and quietly moves to a chair away from the Crew and facing a blank sign. Why? What's going through his head? The Crew accept this easily and don't bug him. It's time to get his race face on. He stands up after a while and in a calm voice says "Ok team, today I think we should"........we wait for some last minute pearls.........."Do a swim......then a bike.......then finish it with a run. What do you reckon? Get your hands dirty!"
In other words, if you don't have it now, forget it. Nothing he can say or do will change anything. You have to trust you have done the work, trained true, been honest and communicated with him over the preceding months. We head for the water. High -5 from Coach and it's on.
I settle in the water. It's cold! Colder than I expected anyway. I find a position on the line, float on my stomach as it is a deep water start, siren wails and we are away. Dig in a few hard strokes and sight for the buoy regularly and stay true on course. Round the buoys I head and after the third buoy I notice there are no feet to jump onto. The speed demons are about 10 metres or so in front of me, then there is me. I can see a few red caps if I turn and look back but no one next to or close to me. I am in the lead of the second bunch. Nuts! But ok, keep grinding. ohh look at that pretty school of tiny fish.... Hmm, paddle boards are now replacing kayaks I note....probably Christmas presents... SAMMI!!!!!!!!!! Stay FOCUSED.
I have other thoughts too. "Well, I'm just doing the swim so this race doesn't mater if I go slow. NO!That wasn't the race plan. My lower back is complaining too and I notice I don't have any drive through my kick....this is going to be a slow time. etc etc etc.
Now, check this face out.
I assume here that he is not thinking about if the pink band on his wrist matches his eyes. There is determination, pain, exhaustion, belief, commitment and I would guess a good dollop of hunger and drive mixed in there too.
So where is mine?


The finish shute and behind him is Jono and his family from the Crew celebrating and cheering him on. Even in the finish shute there is no letting go.
So, back to the first two pictures...........

When I race, there is always a part of me that somewhere deep down isn't in the moment. It says, 'it's ok, we aren't competitive, we are just here to have fun, look at the pretty fish all you like cause we aren't serious we can pull out anytime, no one will care, you're just an average age grouper with out a shot so just smile and have fun."
It's a flat out excuse for not having the balls to dig deep and hurt and push myself beyond where my head says "That's BAD!"  It's not having the faith and conviction in my body and the training to confidently say, and truly believe, that I know my body is physically up for the job. It can do this. The only thing holding me back is me, and my ability to be stronger than my own mind when it signals to my body that I should stop or something might possibly go wrong. I have not got the ability (Or perhaps drive/want to push myself to a place in the back of the Hurt Locker) even though I say I can do it.
My learning moment out of this weekend is to turn that entire thought process around. Otherwise why the fuck would I bother getting a Coach and spending money to have the best support and advice I can get in order to do this thing. Somewhere there is a gap. And I think it is a mix of Fear of Failure, Self sabotage, Excuse ladened bile. I do want to do the best and be the best that I can be.
So make the magic happen Sammi.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Yet Another Whinge Blog..........

Sorry folks, but yep......I need to get this stuf off my chest cause it is holding me down. So read on or not, it doesn't matter, I just need a WaaWaaaa Woes is Me moment.

So, its my baby's birthday in 2 days time. 26! Damn where do the years go. That last statement alone makes me sound old. I am turning into my Mother. Oh nooooo. The Kid wont be home on her birthday. I have no idea what so ever about what to buy or do for her birthday. And to be dead honest, I haven't given it a lot of thought because I have been so caught up in me. I'm either bloody selfish or I get so easily caught up in what's happening in my immediate (within my own arms length) world that I don't stop and look outside the metre wide cocoon I have woven around myself.

This is true in other aspects of my life at the moment as well. ITB, ITB f*cking ITB is all that I hear in my head. It's like someone hit the repeat button. Jeez.

I rolled into physio yesterday. Yep, I got my day wrong and turned up early without an appointment. Coach threw a few needles in anyway. Cause it's all about me! pht. But here was Mel and Kel and Lil Dog all laying on various slabs throughout the rooms. It was like an AP10 reunion said Coach as he worked. See Sammi, you're not the only one who has something to work on. Lil Dog (get this) her body gets tighter when she STOPS!!!!! Geez I'd like a little bit of that. She has to keep moving otherwise she gets issues. Me, if I move I get tight. lol. So anyway, it was calming (I think that is the right descriptor) to know that I'm not alone, this is the price you pay for wanting to push your body outside its comfort zone and This Too Shall Pass!

Problem is that it is going to pass after this weekend and not before. You see this weekend is not only my kids birthday but it is Husky Long Course. This time last year I was in exactly the same place. No lie. Chasing a Cortisone injection, only able to complete the swim and wasting a whole heap of money on entry fees. grrrrr Focusing on the positive. I am fitter, leaner, faster and so the list goes on. So I guess I am not exactly in teh same place....just pretty darn close. But I am also filthy, pouty, shitty and just all round pissed off that I am not chasing down my goal of improving my running.

At my present trajectory I am going to have a repeat of my first Ironman. An unknown run. Will she run, will she walk for 7 hours? This is not how I wanted this to play out. I wanted to work on my run all year so that I could actually run the marathon. FUCK!

ok, so once this shitty weekend has passed. Monday will see a new day and a new forward step. Monday I get the shot and we once again start rehabbing the itb/knee so that just maybe by May I can run. Then it will be all about the mental strength and ability to get through the marathon. Again.

It is disappointing as this is not how I see myself. This is not the goal I had planned, this is not what I had imagined. BUT!!!!!! It is where I want to be. I am in the right place. I will find a marathon in these legs and I will be ecstatic that this journey to I.M 2013 yep it wasn't easy, but I jumped every hurdle along the way, rode the roller coaster with both hands in the air hollering my mighty YAWP and I will reflect in rapture over my accomplishment. AND this year most importantly............I will be sharing the day with sooo many wonderful people that I have met along the way.

So today I am going to remind myself to look out beyond my own reach and see.

I am falling in love with Thoreau

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Prattling moments......

I complain every now and again to my husband that he prattles. He talks incessantly about random things. He can string totally unrelated things together in one long dialogue and all he needs from me to be happy is the occasional 'uh huh' or 'that's nice dear' and on he goes.

Sometimes this prattling can drive me crazy and sometimes it has saved me from myself. A long hard run or ride can be saved from the pain when he starts prattling. Running pass people's houses can lead to comments about gardens, plant choice, colour of houses to where would you like to retire to when we finally decide we are too old for triathlon anymore and so it goes on....

So, here is my prattle for today. As that seems to be where my mind is at.

Damn I.T.B not allowed to run again as it is too sore. I should just bite the bullet and hack the bone. In other words let's get the I.T.B release surgery so that we can run. Clocks ticking and I am running out of time, age wise. Geez I am getting old. Check out those old photos of me 10 years ago though, I was soooo fat. Gee I have come along way. Shame I am now so much fitter, slimmer but older I think I look better than what I did 10 years ago. I certainly can run circles around my old self....if I could run. I am soo pissed at the moment cause Coach said no ride today. The girls will be at the turn around point and I am stuck on the ground. I will do a core work out at least. I need to do more work in the gym. My month long challenge (Thanks Kirk) is to get in the gym more and strengthen all over, particularly core. If I work on core at least I can be doing something productive and positive towards rehabbing this itb. I'm hungry what's for breakfast? I gotta eat cleaner. This eating chocolate is outta control and you know it is Sammi. You should set a weekly challenge to get it right. Hell you're that bad at the moment you need a daily challenge. Ha, the diet isn't that bad but if you want to lose that couple of kilos and trim up those legs more you need to get stricter on the diet. I hate my elbows. What is with elbows? It's like God took left over scrotum skin and decided as a laugh he would stick it on elbows. I hate my elbows and the back of my arms. I have large triceps and the "Fadoobada" to go with it. You know that flabby stuff. Well, get the in to the gym and get going on that. Where are we going to fit this damn treadmill? There is no room left in the gym (single car garage converted to a gym) it will have to go into the spare bedroom. Yeah that will be sexy. Oh well, it's the only option for now. I wonder if that treadmill sold on eBay last night? I'll put a bid on it I think. My hair needs a cut. It's long and the chlorine at the pool is raging war on the ends. Maybe I will go up to A-Mart and check out the treadmills there and get my hair cut. hmmm after breakfast, I'm hungry. You gotta clean up your diet arghhhhhhhhhhh I'm prattling!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Goal setting for 2013.........

Well it's February already and I realise that I haven't set any goals for 2013. Perhaps it is because I have Ironman looming or perhaps it's because I haven't had my yearly coffee catch up with Coach. But most likely it's because I have just allowed myself to tick along and not really focus on anything other then the day and what is on the plan.

So in review....last years goals looked like this:

  • Wollongong Oly Tri - March 11 - DNS - couldn't run
  • Husky L.C Tri - Feb 19 - Swim only (DNF) had to pull out as I couldn't run
  • Dextro Oly Tri - April 15 - Completed but a woeful job on the day
  • Sutho2Surf 11km run - July 22 - DNS - couldn't run
  • Harcore Adventure Race - Aug 26 - A day of fun. Did not complete the course
  • Blackmores Half Marathon - Sept 16 - DNS - couldn't run
  • Pinkies Tri - Oct 6 - 2nd place
  • Port Mac 70.3 - 8th place
I have decided that I have wasted a lot of money entering races that I have not been able to start. SO this year I am not entering til the last minute. Mind you most entries go to a good cause at least like a charity or surf club so not that bad I guess. But still the point is let's not get too far ahead of ourselves. One day at a time one step at a time.

This year so far is:
  • Husky L.C - Feb 17 - hmmm can she run 21kms again? I hope so. It would be nice to be able to complete this race. I did 2 years ago. We can do it again.
  • Ironman - May 5 - I will finish this race! But gee I would really love to be able to run the marathon.
    • My goals for Ironman:
    • Swim - If I can improve for time on the swim  that would be great but last times time was pretty fine in my books. So I would be happy with a repeat of 1:09:00.
    • Bike - I would really like to push a lot harder than what I did first time. The goal last time was to finish. This time I feel I can take 30-40mins off my time. Last time 7:10:00. This time 6:30 to 6:40 would make me a very happy camper.
    • Run - Here is the big ask! Last time 5:27:00. This time I want 4:30:00 That's an hour faster.........That's a huge ask. But to do that I need to sit on 6:30 pace for the entire race. Not undoable at this stage of my training.
    • Overall time. Last time 13:50 and change. This time under 13 hrs please.
In the meantime I need to start looking at life beyond I.M 2013. I am thinking of talking to Coach about I.M Melbourne.......and then Canada!  But with both feet back on the ground. Let's focus on winter training and strength work in the legs and all over fitness/strength. Improve running without injury. Maybe pick a duathlon series. Stay tuned..............

Saturday, February 2, 2013

No rest for the Snotty....

Thursday morning I had an 'uh oh' moment as I lay curled up in bed slowly waking up to greet the day. Big Gazza is a kind of spring in to your day, wake up chatting and ready to play kind of guy. Where I am more your ease on in, kind of rub the eyes don't talk to me til I'm fully awake with a coffee in my hand kind of girl. Yep, we are a match made in heaven. So as he was chatting about the day and what I would like for dinner??? Hell Champ we haven't even made it to breakfast yet, but yeah turkey steaks sound fine grrrrrr. I was doing my best impersonation of a dead ant....with a sore throat. ohhhh nooooo swallow......yep still sore back there. Crap!

So, Thursday afternoon and we are standing in the water, wetties on and ready to hit out into huge surf (in the harbour) geeeez. Well, to coin one of the sayings from the Crew, Get your balls out! and that was what it was going to take to make it through this set today. Coach's orders, 4 times round the boats non stop. I figure that was maybe about 1500m. We had a solid hit out into waves and punched through peaks, taking air swings and then rolling down into troughs as we sighted for buoys and avoided swinging boats at anchor. We kept a watchful eye out for the surf boat crews who stay to our right, but you can never assume they can see you so always a good safety tip to know where they are. I worked hard through the 4 reps and came in with the rest of the Crew feeling like I had given it a good shot. Again the mind had floated off a bit. I need to work on not drifting off. Need to stay in the moment and keep the intensity on. I find I can slip into an easy rhythm that I can do all day but not good on race day. We finished the set with some shorter intense reps out and around a boat that was just off shore and then a couple of easy ones to finish and it was home time. I was shattered. I drove home barely able to keep my eyes open.

Wollongong Harbour on a calm sea

Friday morning was a groundhog moment. Yeah turkey steaks sound great and that sore throat is still there but now I have a sticky sweat happening and I have a massage booked for 7am. Bugger. I lay on the table with a tissue catching the run off. Gross but true. I got home, showered, popped more cold and flu drugs and went to work. A loooooong day! Got home and went to bed. Thankfully it was rest day.

So this morning, being Saturday, is long ride day. I woke up, no Big Gazza. He was in the gym with Roberto pounding out a 3 hr wind trainer set. The rain was pelting down and the wind was up. Too miserable for riding on the roads, so it was on. He had left me to sleep thinking I was too sick to train. I rubbed my eyes, swilled a coffee, pulled on the nix and pinned the hair in a messy ponytail, put my dressing gown back on and made my way out to my bike. The boys were surprised to see me and even more surprised as I climbed aboard the Little Cervelo, dressing gown still on and started peddling. I warmed up enough to lose the dressing gown and 3hrs of snotty, hot, sticky wind trainer and 91kms later and I was done.

I could not have bared the thought of seeing the boys do the session without me and the guilt of not having got it done, even though I was legitimately sick. I kept thinking of some advice I had heard...if you're sick above the neck train on. If you're sick below the neck, rest. So in the end it was done. And with the rain still pelting down I have no guilt about sitting on the lounge resting for the day. Get it done Sammi! Got it done Coach!