Monday, April 29, 2013

Her Hands are Sweaty.............

Monday! Time to get up, stop yawning. Weigh-in day. Start of a new week and a realisation that there ain't no more I can do but wait for Sunday to roll around.

Looking back over my shoulder to last week and there was Thursday. A special day in Aus as we recognise our fallen and Kez was right there in amongst it with her swag of medals. An ANZAC dawn service for her and then a march in Sydney. Proudly wearing her own medals and her Great-Grandfathers. A proud day for the whole family.

Who would of thought my kid would turn into such an amazing young lady. Well, you wish for the stars when it comes to your children don't you. Times goes by so quickly.


My dad (family name Dood) also returned from Scotland during the week after visiting my Grandma. All the arrangements for the funeral and where to scatter her ashes are sorted now. He said his last farewell to her and on behalf of all of the family told her we loved her. and then he had to come home. It has been a tough journey emotionally for me. I am very lucky in that I have never lost anyone from my family. It's a new emotion and it tears at my heart as I battle to work it all out in my head, but my head has no place in this process. My Grandma and I were not close as she lived so far away, but she lived here in Aus for a time and so I spent lots of time with her when I was little. She is me and I am her. I am told I am the image of her. I am named after her and I have been given so many gifts from her.

Training this last week.....Gazza and I checked with Kez and as she had plans for after the march, she excused us from going up to watch her, knowing that we had the last lot of training worked out for the public holiday. A 50km ride in the morning with Gazza, Roberto and the Onion Man before heading in to town and meeting the AP.10 crew for an open water swim. We headed out into smooth seas and while I watched the schools of fish beneath me in the depths of the harbour we practiced our sighting, drafting off each others feet and deep water starts etc. It was a glorious day and I felt great to be a part of such a wonderful team environment. Coach has picked people to train who are all very relaxed and have the right attitude. (his words)

The Crew, and that's me 2nd from the left.
So, that was the view as I look over my shoulder. Now as I turn and look forward. It is time to place my toe on yet another black line. The start line at Port Mac Ironman. I have that excited nervousness. My bum It's like the hackles on my back run down to my tush and the tingle I feel is the adrenalin starting. I am as ready as I can be. Packing hasn't started yet of course but visualising has. In true Sammi fashion it will be a last minute pack. But I have seen it in my minds eye so it wont be hard to pull it all together and I have my checklists.

So as I move through my week I have only a couple of thoughts....stolen captions from various places. Words and thoughts that motivate and remind me of the why.

You can do anything you set your mind to.

Ironman is like fighting a gorilla.
You don't stop and give up when you get tired.

For - Keryn, Dood, Grandma, Gazza, Me....

This too shall pass. (So live and breath in the moment knowing the good times and the hard times will disappear in time)

Weeping like the rain
Whispering your name
Long to be reunified
Believe the sun will rise
When I reach the light
I will see you on the other side.........of the black line!

And so, the next blog will be a post race debrief. In the meantime though.......

I am off to pick a fight with a Gorilla!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

2 Weeks to Go BABY!!!!

What a huge week. Massive last chance training week in prep for Ironman. Yep 2 weeks today at this time (hopefully) I will be done....actually checking the time its 6.32pm. Maybe we better give it a couple more hours yet. lol..........

Yesterday it was torrential rains and screaming winds. The program was meant to be a repeat of last Saturday's huge ride (See previous blog) but with the weather being flat out dangerous, the text message came in from Coach gathering the Crew for an early morning wind trainer session in his protected undercover backyard. I rolled in a little late and the rest of the gang were setting up their trainers and bikes in a semi circle. Me in my dressing gown snuggled up nice and warm joined the sweat fest, very quickly losing the extra layer. But before that, Coach snapped the shot below.....

Yep, that's me in the dressing gown, asleep and warm. ah, all in fun. And we had some great laughs as the 3hr session unravelled. Lots of hard work done, but in balance with good advice, passionate athletes and many laughs. And for something truly different yet still bonding the Crew together.....we dismounted and hit the flat packs. We all took allen key in hand and built cupboards, mounted shelves and put up hooks and helped Coach and Megzy with their homemaking for a while. Good times!

Overnight the horrid weather left us and Gazza and I woke to a beautiful blue day. We had a last chance run/walk to do. So with a ring circuit in the plan, Gazza headed East and I headed West. We met part way round and then Gazza spun round and back tracked, and then doubled back to me. He ended with a 16km run and then joined Stryda and I for the rest of the walk home. A glorious day and a nice chance for a family portrait.

At the end of a busy day and a huge week, we are finally on the home stretch and now its rest week.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

of oily rags and wet sails..........

A hard day out on the roads today. Six and a half hours riding time for 155kms. Hill after hill and the descents were sweet relief on the legs but still couldn't rest. Just keep spinning, just keep spinning.

I headed out with Skip, Megzy and H.G. No Coach just two of the boys, the rest of the crew are recovering from Ironman Melbourne. Coach gave me my instructions and we headed North and up!

Once at the top of Bald Hill and into Helensburgh, Skip and I headed out for our repeats. Skip chasing four and me five. Talk about a mind fuck! The first interval was hard as I was watching the odometer the whole way so I knew where the turn around was. The second and third intervals were a total fight of will versus poor attitude (getting a lot of that lately). With Skip being a much stronger rider than me she was heading home on her fourth interval as I was heading out for my fourth. Alone now, but with other triathletes still on the road there was still company. It seems that every triathlete heading to Port Macquarie Ironman was out training on the same road as us today.  I made it back to the starting point, end of number four.

I was in need of water so I pulled in at the fruit market, very conventently placed.... and also bought a coke and a banana. I stuck the banana in the back pocket. I wanted to save it for the turn around on the fifth interval...a kind of celebratorary meal I guess. I downed a little of the coke and then pushed off to start the last set. Funnily enough the last set was easier to get into than the rest of the sets. I guess the brain had given in and obliginingly stopped grumbling while the legs got to work. I headed out, the sun was up now and the roads were empty. Wow, I'm the last man standing. Am I that slow?

There is a loop playing mercilessly in my head these days "I don't want to do this........" An internal battle rages as my stubborn side counters with "Hell we don't fail Sammi and we certainly DON'T QUIT~!" To be totally honest I do want to do this......Ironman. but, I am still so undercooked. I guess I know that the day is not going to be what I hoped for so I mourn a lost opportunity, but also...its going to bloody hurt like hell. I guess no one goes merrily into the hurt locker. It's about the strength and tenacity to see it through that makes the difference. I am just not so sure I have that strength in me. hmmm self doubt. I think that is normal.

I finished the ride working hard all of the way home on little more than a mouthful of warm, sticky flat coke and 20mls of Dextro gel. It was hard going, but now sitting here of course I am satisified with my ride and effort...the pain far behind already. oh except for a sting every time I pee lol.

Friday, April 5, 2013

So undercooked; I'm RAW...............

Last blog I mentioned a cold that has been lingering around in the background. Well, it's moved to the foreground and has knocked me off my feet for 3 days now. Oh no, what was meant to be the final big weeks on the program where precious long rides and runs were meant to happen, have been exchanged with sleep, lay down, rest, recover, sleep some more.

I went off to bed tonight as I was shattered, slept for a short while and now I am totally awake. Lack of exercise I figure, or the drugs I took for the cold have woken me up. Anyway, my head is going a hundred miles an hour about Ironman of course.

Desperately trying to find positive thoughts such as:
  • I had a great ride last weekend finishing strong on a 166km ride
  • I know I can swim 4kms
  • My ITBs have calmed down completely, no pain what so ever
  • I have done the Ironman before I know what it takes mentally to get it done
  • The new set up for the bike (nutrition) worked really well
  • I have not run a step in over 5 months - just walked
  • My consistency has gone so I am worried I am losing fitness
  • I am just worrying about everything too much

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Morning Quickie.........

I am about to hop on the scales. I have a very strong suspicion that it isn't going to be good news folks.

The diet has been way off and while I ended up with a big weekend of training, equally it was a big weekend (week long) of eating.. The chocolate fest was huge and has been for about 4 weeks now. Hmmmm

It's time for a quick reset and set some goals for this week. Before I hop on the scales so there is no going back should I just sneak in with a weight loss or on par.

Water - got to during 250mls at each meal and more during workouts and more if I remember throughout the day. I might get some berrocas or lemon just to put some flavour in the water.

Food - Stick religiously to the meal plan. I have worked out my calories and meals to the last micro nutrient. I know what to do, get it done!

No - say no for a change instead of yes yes yes! Yes is always inexplicably followed by a big dollop of guilt . So why say yes!

Stress - recognise stress and deal with it another way other than eating chocolate from the charity box. Should save a few dollars too.

Monitor - my energy levels staying on the healthy eating lifestyle. I have a feeling that I would have got up for the 160km ride after all with a better attitude if I had not have eaten so poorly.

Cold - this cold that has been sitting in the background all week and was also what kept me in bed on Saturday. Might just go away if I stick to the plan and eat healthy.

ok.....two secs while we check the scales..........

Yeah no surprises here team.

Scales are up. 62kgs. 1.2kg weight gain.

So this week is a huge week on the program. Coach has some huge sessions planned. I am sure I can reasonably get the weight back under control by eating to the plan and the training will do the rest.

I'll get back to you shortly.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Slippery railway lines and Wet Sails..........

Ironman; if you didn't know it already, let me share with you a little secret I have learned along the way. IT CAN SCREW WITH YOUR HEAD!

After I blogged that I was going to have the day off, I got up out of bed and limped around for a while, aimlessly wandering about the house with no real direction. And then as if I turned into a robot, I started prepping drink bottles and pulling the hair back into a pony tail, bike gear on and before I knew it and before the brain could actually register what I was doing and put out a thought to stop it, I was out on the road.....Little Cervelo was making it's way down the road and the legs just turned circles. 110kms later and I had to call it a day. Family time was calling and while I had fallen short of my intended 160kms, I felt happy that I had the ride done and had another chance at the 160kms on another day.

Golf game saw a fun day with the kid and her partner, Moom, Dood and big Gazza..

Score read out time.

A relaxing night with the family and a stretch and core and I am now back on track.

Sunday sees a second game of golf and a better putting game from me. Then its home, grab the dog and it's time to pound the pavement. a 2:50min walk and 17kms later and I have another box on the program ticked. Head for the river and get the 4km swim done.

Great day for a walk - I live in a special place.

Monday, D-day. Time to get the 160km ride done. Word from Coach "Get it done!" ok Coach. Up and out the door by 7am. It's a grey and wet day with a slight wind. We pick up Roberto and we head North for the bridge. We ride through puddles and rain showers but it's not too cold and I have a big jacket on, puffed up with air I feel like I have a parachute on.

At the 90km mark we are heading South again on our way to drop Roberto off at home and we ride over some railway lines. I watch as Roberto's back wheel skids on the wet lines. I ride over them safely and then behind there is a crashing sound of carbon and body as Gazza hits the road.

I look back and there is a car bearing down on him, but luckily it stops just in time. Gazza is on his feet quickly and pulls his bike with him off the railway tracks. We stop and for a moment I think he is in serious trouble as his elbow is bloody and his favourite nix are shredded at the hip. He hobbles to the side but luckily he can move his elbow and wiggle his fingers. After a few minutes he decides he can ride on and we limp home, saying goodbye to Roberto at 100kms and homeward bound. We roll in finally at 110kms and I make sure he is ok. And then, I have 3 choices.....continue on, hit the wind trainer for the last 50kms or give up for the day. The later is not an option as Coach's words "Get it done!" ring in my head. And with 2 near misses with cars and a tumble for Gazza it is very easy for me to call it and stay safe on the wind trainer. Without too much thinking I slip on my helmet and step back out into the road. With my ipod and little speakers tucked in my crop top so I can hear the beat but still hear the traffic, I start peddling North once again. Before I left home I had smashed a banana piece of raisin toast and an espresso and with renewed vigor and a determination to get it done, the legs get to work.

166kms later, 2 x hits on the Strava leader board and a negative split, coming home with a wet sail felt awesome.....BOOM!