Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Current State of Play...........

It's Easter. No religious celebrations here, just chocolate and training and family on the agenda. It's also 4 weeks tomorrow til Ironman. This morning was supposed to be a 160km ride. I say supposed to be, in that, yep you guessed it, I'm still in bed. The 4 day weekend was supposed to roll like this:
  • Friday
    • Sleep-in
    • River swim
    • Core and stretch
    • The kid comes home
  • Saturday
    • 160km ride
    • Go with the kids to mum and dads
  • Sunday
    • 2:30 walk from mum and dads
    • Golf day with dad
  • Monday
    • 100-120km ride
    • River swim
hmmm, so far I got the sleep in sorted and then wanted to sleep all day. Dragged myself down to the river for a 4km to the bridge and back swim. It was high tide at 1.9metres and the water was still flowing in our favour. The top of the tide was timed for the return swim to make life a little easier. A wind had picked up and that too was in our favour for the first leg. I wasn't in the mood. But as a distraction to get me going I took my camera with me. So here I am ready to launch....

My 'I'm just not feeling it today' face

I took the shot then tucked the camera down my top nice and snug and stuck my head in the water. Immediately I spotted loads of little fish and we were off. Big Gazza to my left. We headed North along the straight and all the while I was aware that Gazza wasn't far behind me. Hmmmm is he swimming well or am I having a shocker. For the last few swims I have not been able to use my legs to kick so that I don't irritate my ITB and today my legs were asleep. I gave them a kick and immediately regretted it. Not the ITB but the lower back ouch!

I pulled up a couple of times and rolled into a ball to stretch the back out. Wetsuits make you super buoyant and can make my back curve too much so it's a temporary relief to tuck up and stretch. Not good to do during a race though as it takes time away. Mental note to Sammi, check when your next massage is. We reached the letter box. That's at approximately the 1km mark. Next photo op......

The Letterbox (2km swim turn around point)

The letter box is a communication tower of some sort. And its the turn around point most days giving us a 2km total. My back was really tight and so Gazza stuck his thumbs into the hollows of my lower back through the wetsuit while I pulled my legs up and down to release the muscles. It worked at releasing my back and almost drowning poor Gaz. I decided to continue on and so we made our way round a bend and now heading west and towards the bridges I used legs again to kick without too much pain.

We made it to the bridges and decided at this point to pull out. My back had twinged a little and we both weren't in the mood to be honest to fight the wind and tide all the way home. We stripped the top end of the wetsuits off and walked back along the road to the car. Pretty poor effort but I had in mind the tides would be right for another attempt on Monday.

So already the agenda was starting to fall apart...........

I spent the rest of the day doing a little gardening and chatting with the girls, setting my bike ready for Ironman and lazing about. Stretch and Core???? forgot. Wow we are off to a flying start.

Saturday (this) morning I was woken up by Gazza at 4 AM!!!! geez. I got up and assessed, yeah I feel ok. Got ready, dressed breakfast, I don't feel so good, brush teeth, put hair in pony tail, wow I feel like crap, got the drink bottles ready and went back to bed. Gazza left me to catch up with The Onion Man and probably do the 160kms while I lay in bed trying to get back to sleep with the coffee I had just downed making me buzzy. And so the internal fight starts. Now you're down a ride, get up when you wake up and get 100 done at least swap the 100 for the 160 do the 160 on Monday when you have all day to do it. Wow you are going to be so under cooked for I.M etc etc....

ok, let's blog it out!

My heart just isn't in it folks. Coach, Megzy, Baby Bear have all pulled out. Gazza pulled out but I hit the roof and made him stay in. (but that's another blog) and with all of the ITB issues, I just get the feeling this is not going to be a good race. And I know even having that thought in my head is setting me up for a bad race. This is crazy. I am beating myself up for missing a ride. I feel like I am getting a cold and maybe I should just have a day off and stop giving myself a hard time. But with 4 weeks left....

And then my sensible voice kicks in. Nothing is going to dramatically change in your training now. You wont get any fitter than what you are now. But you can get there stressed, drained, injured and sick if you do not watch your actions now. Take the day off, or take the dog for a kind to yourself Sammi.

Maybe having one medal on the shelf is enough.........

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Maiden ride ends in Smashfest................

Picking up the story from when I entered Coach's house and here is Megzy grinning like a Cheshire Cat....she beckons me to come into the back room and there she was, leaning up against the wall all white, silver and gleaming sparkling new. A Cervelo P2. Coach and Megz have been married about 6 weeks now and this was her Christmas come, birthday, come wedding gift from Coach. She was a beauty and she was ready to roll.

We headed out into the early morning, still dark as the days are shortening. With headlights amped we aimed the beams at Megz as she mounted her new ride. We waited for her to take point. She lead the crew out in a long procession and we headed north along our usual haunt. Megz was ten foot tall and bullet proof.

We worked our way along the Sea cliff Bridge and Megz opened up and let the legs do the work and before long she was flying. Hitting the first big climb we dialled in the legs to a churn setting and worked our way up Bald Hill and then we stopped for our obligatory welcome to the team little bike photo.....

Me, H.G, Megzy (proud mum), Simmo and P2

Re-fuelled and ready to go we headed into the National Park. At this point I was feeling pretty good. I.T.B was tight but not unbearable and the first 25kms had rolled by comfortably. We had made it down into the bottom of the valley and now it was time to do 4 repeats of hills in aero bars. Coach had said don't go out too hard, stay consistent on the hill through each rep. Rep 1 easy, rep 2 no prob, rep 3 and suddenly the other girls were passing me by. I didn't worry, let them go. Heading back down I was caught up by Coach and the boys who had gone further up the road. A quick catch up and reporting in the my leg was now tight from hip to calf and Coach called it. One more up and then head on to Garie. Once at Garie a good stretch and massage and the leg eased again.

50kms in the bag. Now its time to head along an undulating course across the top of the cliffs and head down into Bundeena. A long descent with a drop into town and we stopped and checked out the water before turning to climb back out of Bundeena. OMG! Where did the power go? Suddenly there was nothing. The hill scared me and for a split second I thought I couldn't do it. I pulled on the reserve and climbed out, but the legs were shot. No power, no drive. I laboured back up the ascent and just as we were reaching the T intersection I heard a horn toot. I put my hand out to acknowledge the car as it passed assuming the toot was to let me know he was coming. Suddenly this old Mercedes roared pass me and almost clipped my hand and almost hit the girls in front of me. It scared the begeeberz outta me and there were tears. I had just hit the bottom.

The sensible voice in my head pulled me back out of the dark and I checked my nutrition, way down. I crammed calories and fluid in as quickly as my stomach could handle. All too late. I struggled down the descent into Audley. Usually the climb out of Audley doesn't phase me, but today my head filled with self doubt. We started the climb, Simmo in front, me and then Megz (H.G had headed home only needing 90kms) suddenly I heard a voice in my head scream "I can't do this, I'm going to crash, get off and walk." WTF!!! since when. There was a small verge and so I pulled in. Megz called out as she went by to make sure I was ok. Yep, I just need a sec. Com'on Bowden WTF! A moment later with my song singing in my ear and my saying ringing as a base beat I started to climb once more. I needed to remember that I am strong, I am fierce and I will 'bloody well walk out of here!' and I did. But I was trashed. I limped along the highway with the traffic flying pass me and crawled into the garage station. Once there, I downed a Boost bar, loaded my bento with lollies and a spare water bottle with coke. Now take me home legs.

With the instant sugar lift I managed to get back down into the National Park and then I really hit the wall. Megz was my Hero of the day. She stayed in front and held the pace while I took up my official position as Mayor of Struggle Town. Every now and then I'd break into song...wont you take me to Struggle Town...etc and she laughed. My head was there, my attitude ok (now I had kicked my butt) but my legs were shot. Sometimes you just have days like that, hey.....

And then it happened!

With 100metres to go. Riding side by side through a round-a-bout a car came up on our left. At the give way sign he didn't stop, didn't hesitate just rolled through. I shouted 'he's not stopping'. to Megz we both veered to the right. With me slightly ahead all I heard as I rolled through was the crunch of carbon fibre and bike and body hitting the bitumen. Oh Megz. I couldn't look back. But had to. And there she was standing, now running back to her little P2 laying lifeless on the ground. She picked up her fallen steed now mangled, wheel buckled where the car's wheel had rolled over it, forks smashed, handlebars twisted.....I joined her in the middle of the round-a-bout.

Uninsured, he stood there in the middle of the road glaring at Megz, saying he wasn't even going to stop. Police called. Coach came screaming to the scene. It's just a bike Megz as long as your ok, its just a bike he whispered and hugged her. She looked up at him with heartbreak in her eyes. But I loved my little P2.

Monday, March 4, 2013

No Chocolate For YOU!...My Week in Review

It seems, I guess like most, that when you set yourself some goals you start off with all the best intentions, strong, firm in your conviction, energised to meet your goals and then........shit happens! And it does, that's just the way it is. So, one needs to pick up their game start a fresh and carry on. Don't they Sammi! Ok, I may be being a bit harsh on myself, I did record my stats and on the whole the numbers were good. Sleep good, tick, body improving, tick, head (attitude towards training) good, tick...But here we are.....Monday morning and after a woeful night sleep of approximately 4 hours, I'm ready to try again. Meals are set and prepped, plan is the transparent day by day one while we aim for upgrades and the checking in on the rest of Sammi as a whole is in place once more. AND!!!! Just to add some extra's 8.6 weeks to IRONMAN 2013!

I'm off to do a weigh-in. Back in a second. Brace yourself, there might be tears!

Ok, I'm back. You want the good news or the bad news? I guess the good news is that I remained the same weight so no backward step. After a week of high stress, missed meals, replaced meals with crap food, missed sessions due to work and late nights working etc I have not gained any weight. The bad news....I haven't lost any weight. But I can live with that. 60.9 is way better than where I was prior to last Ironman.

My focus is more on getting the work done. My plan this week past was a day by day affair. I get a days work to do from Coach, I then feed back to him how the itb (knee) held up and then he sets the next day based on that. The awesome news is that it is definitely getting better everyday. The crap news is that I didn't get all of the sessions done. Work had me travelling 100kms away from home and this ate into my own time and so I missed the open water swim. Maybe not such a bad thing in the end as the weather has been horrible. Wind, rain and high seas means the water quality is terrible at the moment. No sense getting sick. Silver lining moment here ;)

Here's to another week of commitment. Trying  to eat clean and healthy, sticking to the plan from Coach and getting the work done. I just hope this week there is some work to do. I really don't feel like I am getting much done. Though last Saturday I got permission to hit the bike again. 3 hours is definitely a step in the right direction. Like Coach said, "it" is all still there we just need to scrap back some of the dust that has gathered over the past 3 weeks while the knee had a chance to recover.