Monday, September 15, 2014

In the Meantime........

So much has happened lately, its hard to know where to start. But I guess a great place would be to lay on a little Coach love (as you know I do occasionally) but what the hey!. Here it is.
Well, a while back Coach went off to Ironman Melbourne for a great race and landed a Kona World championship slot at the roll down. It was a tough race for him and we all whooped and hollered for him, me from 1000kms away through the IPad as we live streamed. He arrived home to the announcement that Coach and Megz were expecting their first baby, due when? The day of Ironman Hawaii. So Kona 2014 was put on the backburner and while Coach was elated at the news of a baby coming, the bottom lip quivered just a little. On a roll, and never one to be down about anything, he readjusted his lens and found a solution....Segway here.....hanging out with the Crew and Coach, I find I am surrounded by people who will always find a way, they never say can't, wont don't! Anyway, with a new goal and Ironman Japan fixed firmly in his sights he set about working a crazy rollercoaster of training around other commitments. He made it to the start line. Won his age group in some pretty tough conditions. Wow! Check it out at AND an Ironman slot for Kona 2015. Yeah, we are going to KONA woohooooo!
Over to me and the fun times...I am just about to head off to the U.S with the Kid and her partner to do the tour from L.A - San Fran - Yosemite to Las Vegas. Meanwhile, Big Gazza is off to do the run of his life with the Grand2Grand Ultra run. We will catch him at the end of his race, as we can't support him during the race.
So, knowing I will be out of training for about 3 weeks, I have been working hard on getting my long bike rides in. Slippery, The Onion Man and occasionally Big Gazza have been coming out and having some fun. A couple of weeks back we hit the big slopes in Jamberoo. 
Slippery, The Onion Man, Me and Big Gazza
Top of the hill at Jamberoo, some tough climbs
There were some tough climbs on the day, but I made it and didn't feel too bad at the end. The hills and long rides continue, but Saturday Coach called a few of his Crew in for a test. The email said ...."This test is a 20min max test, which will then give us an FTP (Functional Threshold Power) - which we can then derive zones from and a great to reassessment point." Ok, I wasn't sure what I was in for, but I was excited. I had been doing some reading about Power Metres and how they work as I had bought one recently with Coach's approval and was keen to start implementing it in my training. I wanted to pack a bucket, just in case I vomited. I was doing a good impression of someone who just might as I drove to Coach's place early on the morning of the test, but opted for the Big Lebowski dressing gown and Billy Headscarf instead. Imagine if you like a mix of......

But in reality, it ended up looking more like this...........
I tell you, there is something to be said about the power of a Coach!
The test was describe as, find a normal cadence rate and power that you can hold at Max for 20mins. Ok, What the F! Does that look like? Pre Ironman training there had been some 9 min T.Ts in the bars at Ironman or half Ironman pace, but nothing like this. So armed with one ear bud, so I could keep one ear on Coach, I jammed it deep into the ear, turned up the sound, dropped the head, closed my eyes, went to a safe place and blocked out everyone else doing the test and went for it. Coach called out "You're halfway 10mins to go....5 mins, ok 3 mins to go. 2....30secs, give it everything you got!"
The stats show every time Coach spoke my cadence altered for maybe a moment
So, with smashed legs the final result looked like this..Average Power divided by Weight = Functional Threshold Power. soooo 162/64.4=2.51 ummmm Yep, I have no idea WTF I am doing, but there you have it! Test over. Later that day Coach said, "Great riding today Bowden!" Ok, so maybe the numbers weren't great compared to 3.7 max on the day from a 30 year old Male, or compared to Chris Froome (Worlds best TT) at 6.7. BUT the numbers are real, they're mine and from here Coach can set a program that is more individual to me and hopefully when we redo this test somewhere down the track, we can see an improvement in my fitness so we know there is progress.
And to top off a great couple of weeks, some shots from Sunday's ride...
Lil Red - Salute to the Sun
Started off a little early so went around the headland near our house. I met a really nice old guy named Jim and we chatted about how we live in such an amazing place. Where else would you live he said...and when I thought about it....Yup, no where else would I rather be than right here!

Anyone for CycloCross??
I met up with Slippery and The Onion Man and we had a great ride, lots of laughs and the usual hanging shit on each other. We also did a little off road cycling.... I played a "Girl Card" and got off and walked through this. I know better than riding through here given my Mountain bike skills, I figured it would be safer.

So now it's off to the next big adventure.....
More exciting blogs to come lol. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Everything is imminent............

I am running out of time! We are about to launch off into our next adventure and suddenly what was light years away, is now a matter of days away and of course in true Sammi style, I have given nout towards any thought. hmmm what should I wear? Is it even cold over there. Shheeeesh!

AND, in true Sammi style... has over complicated the whole bloody thing and sent myself into a tiz about it all. But let me explain.

Sooooo, Big Gazza has signed up for this.....

The Grand to Grand Ultra, Grand Canyon Village, Ariz., to Escalante National Staircase, Utah
This race connects two of the most amazing geological wonders of the western U.S.—the Grand Canyon and the Grand Staircase—in a seven-day, six-stage race that covers 170 miles and 19,000 feet of vertical gain across Arizona and Utah desert terrain. With the exception of the 7.6-mile final day, stages range between 26 and 52.7 miles between group campsites. Runners must carry all of their provisions except water while maneuvering over sand dunes, through slot canyons and over rocky, dusty and sun-seared terrain. But the scenery is amazing every step of the way. The third edition of the race will held in mid-September. Info: Photo: Courtesy of Grand to Grand Ultra

Want to see what your made of? Test your mettle in one of these crazy-hard races!
Yup, this race ranks at #3 as the hardest race. So he signs up a year ago or more and has been training for 2 years. He is now within 2 weeks of heading off over seas. The plan is for the Bowsons (kid and partner) and I to head over after him and do the road trip from L.A to San Fran, Yosemite and then catch him when he comes out of the desert in Las Vegas. I have done all the booking and accommodation etc. But in the meantime the bank account and credit card has been taking an absolute pounding.
Insert, let's just complicate this more and buy this little guy.....
Hello Mumma!
No name as yet. And yes that's Scooby out there on the road being all pouty bum faced about the new kid on the block. Of course getting behind the wheel meant yet another hit to the hip pocket. Then!!!! The dog goes and blows not one but two ACL knee joints so can't walk now. Possible operation pending. We also have Big Gazza in melt down mode as his hips play havoc with all of the running he has been doing. Insert MRI cost. But wait let's make that 2 x $250 as I have an MRI on the foot too.
But not just financial stresses pre holiday Noooooo....Sammi needs to add other outside stresses to. What ever happened to 'I'm going to un-complicate my life".....
Along came a Spider and sat down beside her...
Someone is coming close. I keep pushing away but she is somewhat insistent. She has discovered my Achilles heel and filled a drawer literally with 20 Boost bars. Not only is this not fair, it's down right dangerous for me. She who has absolutely no will power. We had drinks last night, and I have an overwhelming feeling that I am a fly and she, a Black Widow Spider playing with me. I am not keen to go back to that life again and so I will not play the game this time. It all feels so Deja Vu and not healthy. I wont put Gazza and I through that all again. So, I slam my sensible hat back on my head and will close my eyes.
Oh, yeah, Triathlon...after all this is supposed to be about the journey, this blog'o mine. Insert high pitched arghhhhhhhh! I have done the cals, only 4 more long rides left before my first race when you take out no training over the holiday of 3+ weeks.... I'm in trouble.
Quick recap. Injuries are preventing me from going hard at this point. I can ride, so that is the good and positive stuff. Running is tricky as my foot still hurts occasionally and swimming is ok, but doing any hard swims or with paddles is upsetting the shoulder. I have a twang somewhere deep and it is right where I need to hold my arm for swimming position and it is obviously weak as Coach says my arm drifts out when I get tired. I felt like a lump of lead in the pool this week. But, the water is getting warmer, the days are getting longer and Spring has arrived.
Me in Blue 5th from the left
Perhaps 3 weeks off will be good for the body overall, just a little worried about the eating while in the US and staying clean. Always tricky when you are on the road.
Time to go to work and attempt to empty an in-tray. Wish me luck :)