Sunday, September 13, 2015

Making Choices, Building Walls and Running Bricks.........

Its been a massive week. I caught up with Coach on Monday arvo just before swimming (swim test night arghhhh) and after we goofed about joking for a while, we got down to cheese and crackers. So, are we going to shoot for Western Sydney 70.3 or not? I put forward my argument for why nots. Work, house extensions, ITB issues and lack of run fitness and menopause. He knew it was decision time and whether to get my half entry fee back or not. I offered 100% commitment he agreed to 80% and we got on with business, quoting The Big Lebowski.
Meanwhile, I dialled my brain in to all systems go and put the pedal to the metal.
16 hours of training later I am sitting here writing this blog while feeling shattered but content. 4 x swims, 4 x runs, 3 x rides and 3 x strength sets later. Its gotta pay off. My ITBs are a little sore and flared up. I need to make sure I don't go backwards and this means making smart choices.
Since every choice matters......

Do you listen to your body or push through pain?
Well, I used to push through the pain and I still will come race day. But I have learnt and learnt the tough way, that pushing through the pain does not work. I have learnt to listen to my body and respond appropriately.

Do you fuel/hydrate before/during/after workouts or are you just getting by?
I have made major changes to my diet to ensure I am fuelling my body as an athlete. I have been sugar free now for 9 months and am working on dropping wheat as well. I hydrate well, but not well enough sometimes and end up with a headache if I don't drink enough water post session. I am conscious of pre training, during and after and I would say 9/10 times I get it right. But there is always room for improvement.

Do you give yourself time to warm-up before you start your workout or do you hope that you will loosen out when you get going?
Hmm, hell no. And I am aware I need to get better at this aspect. Most runs now have a 10min or so spin to warm up the legs. Swims I just jump in and go and see how I feel. Rides are a quick set of 1/4 squats and leg swings. This is definitely an area I can improve in.

Do you recognize that you gain fitness through consistency or do you just focus on getting-by?
Consistency - that word has been drummed in to me from the very moment I met Coach. I know consistency is key to strong gains and race day performance. Consistency in training builds the onion layers and without it I get injured.

Do you focus more on your body composition that you neglect proper fuel and nourishment or do you focus on performance and keeping your body in good health?
I'd like to say that I focus on keeping my body in good health. But I have to admit that there is still a part of me that dreams and wishes for the ultimate athlete's body and rocking abs. So, I sometimes cut the calories and keep the size portions low. Its a fine line between energy and chubby thighs peeps. I want to be an athlete, but I'm still a girl who is subject to the marketing propaganda. But my head knows better!

Do you make time for recovery or do you tell yourself that you will recover better tomorrow?
This has been a hard lesson to learn. But recovery is priority. I stick to the program as much as possible, barring work etc. What I can do is communicate with Coach more so I keep on top of the fatigue and manage it better.

Do you prioritize restful sleep or do you feel like you can just get by with little sleep so long as you don't miss a workout?
SLEEEEEEEEEPPPPPPPPPPPPP, is my number one issue. Its crazy to think that you can train for 4 hours at a time and then that night not fall into a restful sleep. Nope, not me, I am awake a 2am and restless and pacing the house. I have a theory that coffee after 1pm makes me wake up. Its worth tracking to see. But on the whole I try not to drink coffee after morning tea time. But sleep.....that mystical illusion that escapes me.

Are you flexible with your workout or do you struggle to modify when needed?
No struggle here. I have a Coach who writes me a day by day, session by session (if needed) program in response to what ever is happening with the body and life in general. It sometimes is a struggle to meet the hours of training around work and life, but I have learned that if a session is dropped, then you have to let it go. 

Do you get stuck in the moment rather than thinking about the big picture? 
I can't think about tomorrow let alone the big picture. My preference is to live in the moment. But I get it. See the big picture, remember the 'A' race and stick to the knitting. Hard to do at times. But a practice worth practicing.

Grateful moments: -
I am so grateful for these guys....

Front left, Tail end, front right, Slippery, back left, The Onion Man, back right, Big Gazza

My brothers (ok, so one of them is my husband. But when we train we are connected by a common goal, not by a ring AND Gazza isn't allowed to kiss me, or treat me any differently when I am in 'boy' mode). Tail end, The Onion Man, Slippery and Gazza and add to that The Plasma (Plasma doesn't do triathlon so rarely features, but he has been my saviour out on the ride so many times). We hit out for a round the lake ride followed by Jamberoo for the boys. I rode home under the protection of The Plasma. An hour later the boys rolled in, tired but still joking. A slow transition to run and I jumped on the MTB to show them my run course and off we went. They worked hard and followed me along the track. Later we stood in the road outside our house with 5kms in the bag. Happy and laughing I watched them gathered around and smiled, contented and grateful. My brothers and best mates. Guys I just couldn't do without.
Gazza and I have made a decision to stay in the house that we have been in for 20years. We are now planning another 20 years and I am grateful for having a house that has raised a child, harboured a family and kept us safe, has known laughter and love and just enough tears and sadness to appreciate and be grateful for the good times. I love my little house and I am grateful for the people that come and share this space and I hope that they feel they are welcome and loved. 
This weekend was spent adding more stacked stone to the front entry way. I am so pleased with the way it is looking. Of course we had to find our roles. It ended up with Gazza cutting and cleaning and Sammi on the trowel.
And finally, my last grateful moment is to this guy. My Coach and friend, AP.

                                        Coach qualifying for World Champs 70.3 in 2016. Boom!

I remember the first time I met him. It was raining and I dragged my bike out of my car and dripping stood in the physio rooms waiting to have a bike fit. He took one look at me and got to work. We forgot about the bike for the time being and he focused on me, my flexibility, strength, weakness and body alignment. That was 5 years ago. Wow, we have had some good times, some honest and frank discussions, many, many laughs and just a few races in between. He has my respect and when you scroll through my blog you will see a healthy dose of Coach love. But, hey, you gotta have respect and be prepared to march to one drum. And I know when all this craziness is over and the carousel rolls to a stop, we will still be mates for life!  

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