Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Early Morning Goal Setting.............

Well, its the last day of the year. And it's the last early morning too. Can't sleep due to a tight back from Saturdays long ride, I think. I'm such a Rookie. So, its as good a time as any to write up my goals for 2014. And here they are:

2014 Goals - Going in Hard This Year

01. Clean up the diet.

  • To get off the sugar, once and for all
  • Stay on a healthy, clean and realistic (athlete's diet)
  • Write it up - it helps me stay on track, focus, plan and prep better
02. Stay true to the Program.
  • Find some consistency
  • Get up in the mornings and just Fucking DO IT!
  • Finish work and just Fucking DO IT!
  • Keep writing up the program each Sunday and set my mind right
  • Keep recording in my diary, it keeps me focused
03. Talk more to Coach~Push in.
  • I am one of 12 athletes in his stable, stand out from the crowd
  • Be honest, truthful, clear, thoughtful, consistent
  • Try my hardest at each session
04. Strength Work.
  • Set a program for strength training (overall)
  • Go to the gym regularly 3-4 times per week
  • Do more core work
  • Stretch religiously
  • Always do the 1/4 squats and Clams before a set
 05. Racing.
  • Olympic World Championship qualifiers for 2015
  • Ironman 2015 ~ either, Melbourne 2016 or Busselton 2015
  • Elite Energy series - Olympic 2014
  • Push harder, no excuses of it's just for fun, you know what you have to do!
06. Iliotibial Band.
  • That bastard goes again and we are hacking the bone!
  • All goals fall aside til after the op
  • Keep doing strength work, clams and squats
  • Plan an op in the winter if it continues to niggle throughout the summer
07. Mind and Attitude.
  • Stay focused by staying true to the goals
  • Remember to have fun
  • Rest and recover when needed
  • Make it a lifestyle choice, an obsession rather than a chore~you chose it, remember!
  • Enjoy racing - be serious about racing and be competitive 
  • No more i-pad in the mornings
08. Weight.
  • Get to race weight and Fucking stay there!
  • No more self sabotage
  • See myself beyond a figure on a scale
  • Don't make excuses for my actions and choices
  • Be consistent, organised and prepared
09. Swim
  • Keep the nippers off your heels and become a hunter
  • Do the swim exercises religiously - fit it in!
  • Find a way to keep swimming through winter - Kiama is open again
10. Bike
  • Ride the hills, hills, hills
  • Push harder during races
  • Catch up to where you left off
  • Ride with the boys more
11. Run
  • Work hard, if it blows we will cut it
  • Do more flat work, drills and intervals
  • Do more trail work for strength
  • Get back to Wednesday morning runs
And now I'm off to bed.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Goodbye 2013, hello huge training weekend........

So as the year draws to a close blah blah blah........

It has been an interesting year. Ironman number 2, tick. Seems so long ago now. A cold winter with hard sessions and too many roll overs. Too much weight packed back on and a wonderful holiday with friends and Gazza in Canada/Hawaii. A loss of focus lead to a runaway triathlete. Vertigo meant a bench seat for 10 weeks and the itb continued to be its cranky ol self, though the grumblings seemed less frequent. Time marches on and distance seems to have made a difference, there is a coldness now that has settled and I am content. Many new friends and faces to challenge me going forward. Some nipping at my heels, some I need to chase down, exciting and all keeping me honest and focused. 

With the last weekend of the year came a huge opportunity for a massive training weekend. Coach talked me into joining the girls for a ride. I was worried as I had only been doing the 2 hour spin sessions he had set me for 10 weeks due to the Vertigo. He said do 90kms and turn back on my own, while the rest of the girls did 'The Loop' 110kms. We headed out and the legs were good. I made it up Bald hill (1km @ 14%). The pace was comfortable and when I reached the turn around point for me, I decided to continue on. I was worried Coach would be cranky, but I felt strong and more importantly, my head, for the first time in months, was in the right place. I knew it would be good for me, my attitude, my confidence and the list goes on, to enjoy the girls company and do The Loop. And I did. We came home comfortably and safely, the fat lady started singing about 5kms out and I was very happy. Ready to go again. Look out 2014.

The next day was an open water swim. A huge crowd had gathered when Gazza and I rolled in. Some huge names in the mix too. I opted for an in-harbour warm up, while Skip, Bangers and Lil Dog went out side the harbour into huge surf. My left shoulder felt tired after some big sets in the pool during the week and I wanted to have a happy session. So we warmed up and then set into the swim. It's a very inspiring feeling being in this group. It makes you want to achieve more and lift your game.

Me, on the left and the rest of the AP.10 Crew - good times!
After the swim we headed North to Audley. Having ridden through here only the day before, it was nice to stop and set up a picnic under the trees. But first it was a run. Well, for me, it was a forced march. I set off but I could feel the itb was cranky, and I had pushed it doing the extra kms on the bike. So I erred on the side of caution (something I am going to have to stop doing in 2014) and walked with the Doctor. 9.5kms later and a hearty conversation it was time to relax, enjoy a moment with the Crew and reflect. It's been a good year. Not all that I had hoped for, but a Good Year!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

And Racing.............

Canberra was always going to be a team event. When Roberto and The Onion Man announced they were heading down and invited me along, I was there of course with my buds. Big Gazza in tow for the run, I signed up. I was anticipating a swim/bike for me and run for hubby. In the end my mate Skip rose to the occasion for us as the vertigo took hold and I couldn't ride. And step up she did. After a 150km ride just the day before, she did another 90 for us. What a champion! The Onion Man finally managed to finish a race after a series of unfortunate DNFs due to stomach issues (including I.M in May this year) it has been heart wrenching watching him pull out after vomiting continuously and at I.M ending up in an Ambo. So when I watched him cross the line at the end, there were whoops of joy from me and tears from his girl, Ness.

My swim was ok. A head full of negative had been pushed aside the moment my toe hit the murky, brownish green algae filled, fresh water slime that is Lake Burley Griffin. Treading water for 10minutes warming up and waiting for my start eased the stress and I finally donned my 'work' hat, or so I thought. Hooter sounded and we were off. Being part of a team means two different types of scenarios. Teams of average guys and gals who can't for some reason do the whole race, e.g like us, or they aren't up to training and can only manage sections of the race. While others are crack guns and the team has been put together with competitors who are fast in their respective section. So I wasn't surprised when the two guys next to me had left me in their wake within metres of the start. I hit out hard for a while and then settled in to the grind of a 1.9km swim whilst sighting off the Carillion for the first turning buoy.

If it weren't for the icky water and the worry of swallowing some it and the pain in my lower back from my Huub wetsuit being so buoyant making my lower back over extend, I think I really would have enjoyed the swim. Checking out the sights of hot air balloons over head and Parliament House in front of me, once again I allowed myself to disappear into my thoughts instead of staying focused. grrrr. I think enough is enough, using the excuse that 'it is just a fun event'. With the Crew all doing extremely well in their respective races at the moment, it is definitely time I pull my head in, step up to the mark and have a decent crack at a race!
A romantic picture (not mine) of the Carillion - reality is Murky brown sludge to swim in
I was pleased with my run through transition though. My back was screaming by the time I pulled out of the water and when I hit the 600-700 metre run to where Skip was waiting patiently, I was very determined to run the entire length. And I did, over taking a lot of team swimmers as I ran. Woohoo. I ran to Skip who was shouting my name. We did the timing chip exchange and she belted off into the distance. Done, I slowly walked back to where Gazza had been waiting to cheer me on. I was pleasantly surprised that there were still team swimmers coming out of the water. yeah!
Big Gazza, Me, Roberto and The Onion Man
In the end, our team finished 10th in the mixed teams. The Onion Man finished. Roberto too, but lame due to a hip flexor problem which he refuses to get treatment on, he is so tight with his money! And even though AP.10 had an athlete finish 2nd place overall, I think the winner on the day to me was Lil Dog! What an amazing champion she is. She pushed herself to the limit, beat my time in the swim, had a great bike ride and then in the run, found another gear and smashed one of our other team mates. Skip and I were whooping and shouting and cheering her on, but honestly I don't think she heard us at all. She was so focused on the job. Skip and I sent Coach updates on her progress and then at the end she ended up in the recovery tent, totally spent. Yep, I think I can learn a lesson or two from L.Dog. She is amazing!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Of Podiums and P.Bs............

And it's only the beginning of the tri season and already the AP.10 crew are pulling on their team shirts and climbing up the podium stairs. Some crew members are runners while others do triathlons, so 'we' are seen at lots of different sporting arenas. Including my own husband representing the team in Canada earlier in October.

It's hard to put words around how I am feeling about this. Don't get me wrong. I am so proud and ecstatic about my family (cause that's what we are!) achieving and reaching their goals. Just yesterday one of our own was belting out his first Ironman and we were all cheering him on from across the other side of the continent. I feel honoured to be part of the Crew and as the 2nd longest standing athlete in the family I feel a special glow, as I have been able to welcome and see them from the start til now and have witnessed first hand their progress and development.

But, and there is a but, possibly more a butt! But yep, there is a but. I feel.......not intimidated, as we are each competing against ourselves and I am a lot older than most of the Crew so there is no way I would be competing against them. But I guess I feel the pressure to perform. The pressure to perform.....hmm. What does that mean?

Everyone is doing so well, that the moment I finally step out and decide to actually race, there will be an added pressure. I have no doubt that everyone in the Crew would embrace me where ever and what ever my result gave me. It is the pressure that I give myself that is the problem. (hence the BUTT- head) Not wanting to disappoint, wanting to be good enough, be respected, wanting to make Coach proud, wanting to make myself proud, wanting to do well, wanting to beat the shit out of my competitors. Hey, I never said I wasn't competitive!

These are all normal thoughts, I'm sure. I have talked to others who feel the same as me, not wanting to let Coach down and to represent the AP.10 Crew well. I just have to channel these thoughts and energy into my training. I can't dwell on the fact that I may never get a P.B or climb a podium. But I can be true! True to the program, true to myself and Coach. Honest in my delivery, and stick to my goal.

Get fit and strong. Not race again until I know I can do the job and feel my itb will hold me. Having said that though, I am racing this weekend as part of a team. I think Coach is going to ride for us and Gazza will run. No pressure to walk on water at all Sammi. arghhhhhhhhhh

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Please remain seated...........

until the ride comes to a complete stop before disembarking.
We thank you for your cooperation.

I went out for a brief ride yesterday on the road in my street and a run this morning for 8kms. The world has finally stopped spinning from the Vertigo. Still a bit spinny at times when I'm lying in bed, but at least I can look over my shoulder, look down and up again and not have to hold on to something solid to stop me from careening off kilter. What a horrible few weeks it has been. Still, I have not had any nausea with it so that is at least one good thing. In the meantime, the treadmill has been getting a good work out and so has the wind trainer. Pool swims and ocean swims continue to be ok. However, I got held up at work last Thursday night and missed the harbour swim. Nuts! I hate how work gets in the way of my Pro Triathlete career......

Hopefully, life can return to normal again now and I can get moving forward. Other good news is the knee/ITB continues to stay steady and is not giving me any burning or crankiness. I have clammed my little heart out, but I know this is something I just need to keep on going with. Such is life.

Time to book in for treatment session this week and maybe catch up with Coach about reviewing my strength program. Time for a change up and hopefully more positive improvements.