Sunday, April 27, 2014

Trials and Tribulations.............

As she sweats and turns circles to nowhere her mind wonders to the thought of the day..... To Power Meter or not to Power Meter? That is the question.

After my windtrainer decided to pack it in finally, but not til we were right in the middle of a trainer session with the Crew did it decide that enough was enough and give up the game. I was left to ride with one hand on the brake to try and get some resistance happening. I am left with a decision to make now about replacing it. 

Option 1, use Big Gazza's windtrainer and never do a session together - I guess with him running now most of the time and only doing a 20min spin occasionally, it is definitely the cheapest option.

Option 2, buy a decent windtrainer replacement for around $350 - a lot of the Crew are using this little green machine and recommend it

Option 3, buy a bloody good windtrainer replacement, including iphone ant+ sync up and power meter incorporated in to it - Coach uses this one. Expensive, but the Ducks Nuts!

Option 4, buy a Power Meter and use Gazza's windtrainer - that way I can have the Power Meter out on the road and during races also.

These little guys cost around the same as the Wahoo wind trainer. Pretty pricey, but possibly the next step in my training. This leads me to my next this way over the top? After all, a self proclaimed, average 'Raggy Doll' age grouper like me, does she really need this level of equipment.

After a ride with my 2 Compadres, The Onion Man and Slippery, round the lake yesterday and doing some pretty good time trial efforts and working some hills, I think I am ready to go to the next level. Certainly Coach said he would be able to use it in my training. 

Also, another consideration. One of the girls that I only just manage to keep off my tail during racing (at my current status) has just bought herself a brand new Specialized time trial bike. She has been pushing an entry level bike at speed round the race course for a few years. In order to stay a step ahead now she has a lighter, faster bike, is to push the training to the next level. Especially now that we are competing same age group, same distance. Problem is I am at the older end of the age group and she is at the other end. 

I need everything at my disposal to reach my goals. Ha, I can justify anything.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

I Am The Walrus......................

I spent all day working on preparations. Not the party kind, but the life altering, earth shaking kind. Number one of the checklist of 'Get Sammi to Her Happy Place' was to go out and buy Tupperware. WTF? I hear you say. Yep, Tupperware! Kids, you can never have enough plastic containers and a variety of lids that invariably end up in a dozen different cupboards and you spend 20 minutes playing a 3 year old's game of match the lid with the right container. But yes, I bought Tupperware containers. I then went and bought my food for the week. Chicken, steak, broccoli, brown rice, oats, quinoa, egg whites the list goes on. 

Now, if you have read previous blogs, you would know that Big Gazza is the cook in our family. I have 6 left thumbs when it comes to cooking and still have no idea how to work our oven. It's rocket science to me, and I am no astronaut. I started prepping my meals and when Gaz couldn't take it any longer, listening to me spit and rant on, he came and gave me a hand. By the end of the cookout, I had 21 (yep 21!) little plastic containers filled with meals. Enough to outfit me for the week. I also had a pile of dishes in the sink that would take me another hour to clean up.

I spent the rest of the day relaxing. Zenning out in our little spot of paradise in the back yard. We finally finished the pond area and added a few more plants. Cause you can never have enough foliage. And with the sound of water trickling from the fountain, it wasn't hard to unwind and dream about the week to come.

There is no place like home, there is no place like home!
The week launched with a bang, sleep in, stretch and core! I love Monday mornings. The week progressed and I committed to the program and diet 100%. An interesting observation for me is that I am a cold turkey kind a girl. It's 100% in or give it a miss. Once I am locked in, there is no sugar or chocolate passing these lips, no session goes missed. It's being able to sustain this lock down for as long as possible that is the concern. If I waiver from the goal, just an inch, I'm finished. So I was in!
This forest and its trails have been a part of my life for over 40 years of my life
A trail run through the forest near my house. Wet, but a little touch of solitude and trail running, great for the soul. I hate running with an ipod outdoors, there is so much to hear when you are in the bush. Love it!

Open the flood gates
Tried for an outdoor ride on the bike one afternoon. Took myself down to Swamp Road, aptly named. The huge rains we have had over the past week made it impossible for a bike to pass. I headed home and thought of taking another route til I was caught in a huge deluge and wound up calling Gazza for a rescue pick up. I was a drowned rat by the time he found me and the little Cervi tucked up under a tree trying to stay dry. Not going to happen. Luckily it wasnt to cold yet and I was fine.

No the camera isn't blurry, this is what I actually see at 6am 
An early morning swim set at the local 25m pool. The Onion Man is the lifesaver at the pool and part of my Tri family. Good thing too. He has saved me so much money by letting me sneak in 2 times a week for the last year. No Roberto this morning, so it was an extra strong Sammi that jumped in the pool and stuck to the program and got it done. I do feel so much more comfortable in the water these days. The consistency may not be paying off in speed, but it sure helps for keeping the feel of the water.

Me, after 20mins.....Coach at 41kms (Melbourne I.M) FORM!!!!!!!
Another wet day found me pounding the treadmill. Always a fun session. At least you can control the intervals. I feel like I am ripping along at a great pace. But reality is so different. I would like to eventually get back to about 5 minute kms. But that is a long way away. I have to build up the fitness and endurance before speed even gets a look in. Not to mention the form. I'm getting there, but can only hold good form for a very short time. More strength and core work required.
Stopping for repairs as the sun comes up
And Saturday, what a huge day! I finally got to catch up with Coach to congratulate him in person for qualifying for Kona. Hugs for Coach and then it was hugs for Megzy too. There is a little glitch in the system. So exciting!

After a few words from Coach about his thoughts of the weekend in Melbourne and a couple of words from Skip and we were off. 6 girls in the group. A few mechanical issues for E.T and Katie. Both have brand new P3s. No, I don't want one. I love my little ride.

We headed.......yep, you guessed it. North! Into the Natio. I was dreading the ride and again started bargaining with myself. At one point I was pulling out at the end of the bridge, then it was Stanwell Park, then it was the bottom of Bald Hill climb. I was fighting the demons in my head and the tiredness in my legs validated the devil on my shoulder's argument. I fought him all the way up Bald Hill. I even pulled out of the climb halfway up onto a small verge so I could let the girls go pass me. Now on the back of the bunch I set the legs to my own cadence and not try to keep the lead and the pressure that goes with having the rest of the group behind me. I made it to the top and just about died. It never gets any easier! Well it does, but it has been a long time since that climb was anything but pain.

I thought of turning back for home. I knew I needed to get the kms up, so I even thought of riding home from the top of the hill. It would be a flat ride and would give me 100kms by the time I got home. But I limped on and followed the girls into the park. Of course, the obligatory piddle and photo at the top of the hill with 4 of the girls had to happen before we went on. Conrats Ironman Katie!

Ironman Katie, E.T, Hoolly Doolly and Me
We rode down into the park and I chatted happily with Katie and all was good. The boys went past us heading home and a little later, the other 2 girls. I took the gap and turned for home. Short of the Waterfall turn off, but a steady ride home with Bec and Deb kept me working hard. 

We rode pass the boys who had stopped for a flat and by the time they caught us we were all but home. 70kms would do fine. Coach rode up beside me, turned and looked at me, and said flatly, 
"I am the Walrus!"      Yes, yes you are.