Archive | July, 2017

40 days…

31 Jul

This weekend I was blessed to be able to attend the T:Zero Multisport Sunshine Coast 70.3 Training Camp.  This camp was a 1 day event incorporating a ride, run and an open water swim. On the day I did a 60km ride, a 5km run, and 1km swim. It was designed specifically for those of us, who in 40 short days (if the rest of the year is anything to go by) will be standing at the start line of the Ironman Sunshine Coast 70.3. A 1.9km swim, 90km cycle and 21.1km run.

I’m not going to give away all the secrets of the training camp I attended, but if triathlon is your hobby (or more than a hobby!) then I’d highly recommend getting along to one of their sessions.  I learned a few things during the day particularly.

I’m more confident on the bike than I realise.  I haven’t done too much group riding, and when Rich said “we’re heading out to the hills circuit in a peleton, two abreast, keep it tight” I think I started having palpitations.  I’ve been fortunate to ride with some friends lately, and where necessary (insert: when I get tired) I may have drafted from them a time or two. This involves sitting close to their back wheel.  When you’re travelling at about 30km/hr this takes some concentration, commitment and a heck of a lot of trust in the person in front.  For example, I trust the likes of Kim and Ki with my life (almost literally).  I know that when I’m in behind them, following their wheel, that they will point out any obstacles in my way.  I didn’t know the people in this peleton, having never cycled with them before and I was a bit concerned about doing this. I was also concerned about my ability to hang on.  My friends know my pace and my ability and set their path accordingly, but what about the T:Zero group?  Well, my concerns were unwarranted.  With Em and Rich doing all the pulling at the front, we set a nice, comfortable pace out to the hills. We hit our tight lines pretty well (if I do say so myself) and even with plenty of stopping and starting for traffic lights heading out of town, we covered the route incident free.

Part of the 70.3 course bike leg is the “Hinterland Loop”.  One of the biggest advantages to this training camp for me was being able to get out and ride this part of the route.  I’m an okay cyclist on the flat, but hills have never been my strongest suit.  I had been concerned that there were lots of short steep climbs and with 50 km (ish) of riding in my legs when I get there on race day, I was really concerned I would struggle in this section. While I didn’t have the kilometres in my legs prior to hitting the hills Sunday, I was pleasantly surprised. Don’t get me wrong, there are still some pinching ups and I know it won’t be easy, however I am more confident now that I will be able to make it up all the hills on race day.

Once we arrived back from the ride it was time to put the runners on and get some km’s in the legs… no better place to do that than by the ocean, and of course up and over Alex Hill… we have to do this hill 4 times in the half marathon… so I was thankful for the tips and words of caution given out by coaching staff about this leg of the event. The “easy” run back to our camp base saw me bringing up the rear at about 6:15min/km pace… not really my easy pace, but hey I made it back 😉

I’m quite happy in the open water swimming once I’m past the waves… so practising some ins and outs was a very useful part of the training camp.  I got whacked by a wave, but dusted myself off and kept going, just like I’m going to have to do come race day.  So it was all good practice…  So thankful for the addition of my wetsuit as without it, it would have been mighty fresh in that ocean! We did get a few strange looks as 30 wetsuit clad people made their way down to the beach for some swim practice – but that was just part of the fun 😉

Perhaps one of the biggest things I got out of the camp though was all about controlling what I can control and not worrying about anything I cannot control.  I cannot control waves, weather and cut-offs.  But I can control my training, nutrition, attitude, self-confidence and so on. If I just focus on the now – each stroke, pedal or stride I will get there.  I’ve done the training, and I have to have confidence in myself that I have the fitness and endurance to get it done.

So in 6 weeks time, you’ll find me (probably lathered in fisiocrem because of my tired muscles), but, all being well, I will have completed the Sunshine Coast Half Ironman.  That’s my goal. So for the next 6 weeks I’m going to focus on what I can control and work hard on each attribute. I’m going to endeavour to not stress about the things that are out of my control, and come race day, I’m going to give it a red hot go and do the very best I possibly can. So watch this space!!

PS One final tip – no matter how much you’re hurting, if you see family, friends or a camera it’s also time to find a smile!


10 weeks to go…

2 Jul

So, what’s the next event? That’s a question I’ve been hearing a bit lately.  While there may be an event in between (still not decided) the next big event is on September 10th and is the Sunshine Coast Half Ironman. Commonly known as a 70.3 due to the distance in miles, in the metric system, it’s a 1.9km swim, 90km cycle and 21.1km run.  It’s the second time I’ll be stepping up to this distance.

Sometimes when I commit to something, I’m lulled into a false sense of security…. Particularly when it comes to events… when I decided to do Sunny Coast 70.3 it was March, and September seemed like a long way away. But now, I find myself here… in 10 weeks I’ll be on course. I’ll be finished my swim and will be out on the bike, hopefully even the back end of the bike course, and getting ready to get off and run. Now that I’m here, it seems far more daunting again.  Especially because right now I’ve got a bit of a head cold, and today my training was shelved in lieu of a rest day (but I’m reminding myself that up to today my training has been consistent, and God willing, will be again soon, and I’ve just got to roll with the punches).

Events don’t just happen though and I’m super thankful I have a great crew always around to support me. My husband Dave – I simply couldn’t do it without his support, he’s always there to ensure I do get off the couch and get my training done, getting up early to encourage me at events, participate with me when he wants to, and ensuring I have some gear to get me through it all. My coach Em gives me a tailored program around my shifts that sees me working across all three disciplines, pushing my limits, teaching me I’m stronger than I think, and improving my fitness across the board – I’m grateful for her guidance and support. My training buddies particularly Elle, Jane, Kiara, Kim and Stacy (I did that alphabetically girls – don’t want to show any favouritism) who swim, ride, and/or run with me to encourage me and push me.  I’m thankful to those who are physically getting me stronger or working out some injuries – my Masseuse Julie, Physio Adam, and Dietician Fiona. Family and friends are always around to offer encouragement and I appreciate their kindness. I’m also thankful to be a fisiocrem sponsored athlete as they ensure I’m well stocked with cream to help ensure any niggles are eased away.

If you ask me how I feel about the event at this point it’s a little mixed.  I’m confident I can go the distance, having done so once before.  I have a couple of fears though, that I’m currently working through.  The swim leg is 1.9km right off the Mooloolaba beach.  There can be some decent dumping waves at that beach and that terrifies me. I know however that I am fine once I’m out past those breakers, and that the time getting in and out is so short relative to the rest of the time on course.  I also know, that on other days the beach can be almost dead flat (I’m hoping for one of those days).  I’m trying so hard to not focus on things outside of my control like this, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t causing me some concern.  As I say though, I’m confident in getting the swim done once I’m out in the deep water so I need to try and focus on that.

The bike leg is 90km – the first half looks fairly fast and flat (though could be subject to some winds). The second is a couple of laps in the hills.  Again this is slightly concerning to me, I’m confident on the flat but I do struggle on the hills. I’m working on this now, and getting hill strength work in my legs. I’m also blessed to be able to go up and attend a T:Zero Multisport training camp at the end of the month which will include riding this part of the course.  Once I’ve cycled it I’m sure much of the fear will be gone, as I will know a lot more of what to expect.  I’ve mapped that part of the route in Strava to look at the elevation, and generally speaking it looks okay.  I look forward to getting out on the ride though to remove the fear of the unknown, and to have some practice on course.  I know I can ride 90km – in 12 months I’ve really been able to increase my distance and strength on the bike and I’m far more confident going into the bike leg this time than I was in my last half ironman at the end of February.

The run… the last leg and for me, my nemesis – 21.1km. I’ve got some proving to myself to do after my last half ironman where I walked most of the run leg.  This time I’m going to come back better and stronger.  Again, not without some hesitation as I’ve had to take my running right back to grass roots recently with some knee/ITB issues.  The last three weeks though have been pain free, so I’m hoping I’m out the other side of it and can start to rebuild my distances. I’m confident I can go the distance, and while there will be a bit of a hill to content with (four times over), the rest of the course is fairly flat and the scenery of the beautiful coastline will hopefully distract me from some of the pain.

So, this coming 70.3 isn’t without its potential challenges. However, I like to think if the goal isn’t scary it’s not much of a goal at all.  I’m thankful that I’m essentially healthy enough to get out and participate in these events. I know that with the upcoming training camp, and by consistently continuing with my training I will get not only to the start line, but to the finish line as well. So here’s to shaking this cold, getting back into training, and focusing hard on the last 10 weeks prior to this event.  Time to up the ante, push hard, and then hopefully have a really enjoyable race on September 10.