Saturday, July 28, 2012

My First Triathlon

A few days ago a friend of mine (Shannon Roberts) placed a tweet up on Twitter . “Competing in a running & triathlon event is both terrifying and exhilarating. And therefore, addictive. #run #triathlon” which I replied with “I remember finishing my first tri. Totally exhausted on the grass and 5 mins later wanting to do it all again right now”, she retweeted the comment.

I spent the day thinking about my life as a Tri-athlete/athlete and how I got here. Story goes back to 2009. The company I work for put on a in-house training program for staff on Time Management the instructor was an American lady a cross between Dolly Parton and Lucy Ball. She was a very funny lady and got us all thinking not only about Time Management in the work place but in my private life’s too. She said you need to set a goal and aim for that set a timeline and stick to it.

My story goes back earlier than that, my back had been playing up for some time. I could not stand up for more than 5 minutes without massive lower back pain. One of the girls I work with put me onto an Osteo and after she started to correct my back she suggest I lose some weight and build my core. With a gym only 50m away from work I joined the gym, got a personal trainer or three, stopped drinking over 2 liters of coke a day and eating crappy fatty food. For the record I didn’t stop day one I changed my habits over the course of 3-6 months. I got fit, I ran, did weights, swam, spin class and I lost some 15+ kg of weight. My back felt better and I saw the changes for the better my only regret is that I didn’t start this process earlier on in life.

After the Time Management training day I started to think about Triathlons. I’d seen a few on tv so what better to do is to go see one up close and personal. Xosize had a race on a Brighton so I went along on race day and watched and took notes on the whole event, I loved the idea of the challenge. So I started to train for a Triathlon, I ran, swam and did more spin class didn’t have a bike yet and had not rode in years. So I got myself a Mountain Bike and started to ride the tracks around home, found out how to change the tyres from mountain bike tyres to road tyres, ok hybrid tyres. Next on my list was a Trisuit and Wetsuit started to swim in the bay, all this would do for the my first Triathlon.

I felt ready so I signed up for my first Tri  the Xoszie race at Sandringham I remember it well. I went down on the Saturday collected my race kit, walked through the transition area made sure I felt ok. Xosize put on a training session at Brighton Baths which I went too for some open water swim training, I remember it was hot as we all could feel the heat in our wetsuits and couldn’t wait to hit the water.

The following day was race day. I race and I ran that 800m run from the beach up the hill to transition, may be Sandringham was not the best race to start doing Tri’s with. I rode, I ran. I completed my first Tri! I remember getting over the line sitting on the grass and my girl friend at the time said “You did! And how did I feel?” I replied “stuffed”, but after 5mins I want to go again, right now! no waiting, no delay I wanted to race again.

I was addicted to this new thing called Triathlons!  After completing my first Tri I got a road bike and completed the last race of the session better than the previous race. The following session I signed up for 5 races Xosize races and then 3 with Active Feet. I had a mixed session mainly my open water swims were not great but still loved the sport getting better and learning new skills all the time.

The last year I started to get serious about my training and joined Tri Alliance, with Tri Alliance I’ve completed a full season of Sprint Tri’s, signed up for Noosa and complete a Level 1 Triathlon Coach course.

Running Event, Road Race or Triathlon are all a race against the clock for the individual it’s exhilarating and addictive sports, like a drug and once you hooked it’s not something you can let go. To anyone who is reading this blog and is not a part of a Tri Club, Run Group or some group fitness find one join in. All I can say is I have meet some really good people who are keen to share your goals and help you reach them

Just want to thank Sharon for tweet  and getting me thinking back over the last few years.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Run Melbourne 2012 Race Report

This story goes back months ago when I set a goal to complete my first Half Marathon. It came after some training session with my running Buddies, Sue, Ellie and Andrew. I presented this idea to my PT (Alana) who commented that soon? So after a email / calls to Start to Finish I up’d my entry 10km to Half Marathon and trained my ass off. During my training I slowly started to add Km’s from my 12-14km base to 15km, 16, 18km, 19km and then 22km in one hit. This drew some comments from Coach Sarah about me peaking too early, but I dropped the Km’s back down to the Tri Alliance group Half program and rebuild.

The last 4 weeks are busy at work being end of financial year, coach training and some crappy work weeks lead me to question myself if I was ready last week. I had been keeping up my training, I was feeling I wasn’t, was this just nerves? Not sure hey I committed this goal and second of complete it in sub 2hrs sux it up and get one with it.

Last weekend I completed 2 x 80km rides on the bike and on the Monday started the final week of Half Marathon prep and taper the week called for 5km on Monday, 8km on Thursday  and 5km run yesterday. So Monday I did 5km, and my legs hurt all the way – oh no! between the work crap and bad weather I didn’t get my 8km run in until Friday, ok last run before the Half. So Saturday saw me with a 20min walk and the Treadmill and hour long stretch session at my gym. Little off plan but ok roll with it.

Saturday night saw be with a big bowl of Spagbowl and a beer, prefect way to carbo load before a race. Followed by a event Tour de France PAR-TAY at The Bike Lab put on my Tri Alliance. Here I was keeping out of trouble drinking water. Part of the night was a sweepstakes for rides, so I purchased 5 rides for $20.  Shortly after the live telecast started I headed home for bed. I had to be up at 4:45, feed, showered, changed and pick Ellie up at 6am for a 7am race start.

I slept fairly well woke up once or twice heard the wind blowing I rolled over and went back to sleep. The alarm sound, race day OMG felt good. I had some breakfast, showered, check the weather did some stretching and foam rolled my back and glutes, got changed and out the door. I picked Ellie up and we headed into the race.

After parking and pick toilet stop we walked up to the race line. I bumped into a few TA people said our hi’s and good luck, then Ellie and did a bit of warm up, good jog and a stretch. During our Stretches I saw one of the guys I work with and his girl friend. She was completing her first Half too, again wished extra other good luck. Ellie and I lined up and waited for our wave to start, Ellie asked me how I felt, I replied Shit is real now! As we moved up to the start line we saw Linda (TA Team mate) she took this photo of both of us.

Ellie and I at the start of the race

The horn sounded and off we went all I had to do was to hit the target of 5:30 pace per KM to reach the second goal. I felt good from the start I worked my way through all the traffic we headed up around the Tan then down Domain road back to St Kilda road then up Toorak Rd and finding our way back to Domain Rd, I passed another TA Team mate (Eleesha) we basically played tag most of the race, then head up Anderson Hill  and back around the tan before heading back towards Anderson Hill and crossing the Yarra and down towards Swan Street bridge and around Rod Laver Stadium and crossing the foot bridge by the MCG and then heading up to Federation square along Flinders st.  There was a water station I slowed down to grab and drink, OMG half way there! We headed back down St Kilda Road for the second loop, as headed up Anderson Hill I saw Eleesha she had cramped up I asked on the way through if she was OK, she was so I kept going. As we headed down along the tan there was Shearden (Another TA team mate) who give me a big wave. At this point I was hurting I felt my I wanted to vomit my feet started to hurt, blisters for sure. I pushed hard when I felt good, pulled back when I didn’t (again part of the plan) the final hill hurt at the top I picked up speed and headed for the finish at the final turn there was Lisa  (Another TA team mate) we ran to the finish line crossed it. I had just done my first half, in 1 Hour 54min and 50 seconds. I was wrapped no major soreness except for my feet. We headed through the showbag area and head back towards the car. On the way out we caught up a few TA team mates so who raced and some who didn’t, swapping stories and thanking people. After the quick car park change we headed down to The Bike Lab for coffee and debrief of the race.

While reading Facebook at The Bike Lab on the ye-old Iphone what do I find? I won the  Single Speed  bike from last night’s Tour Sweepstake. Crappy week = really good weekend.

After getting home and having a shower I planned recovery session with my couch which I spent the rest of the day there in compression on recovering from the race.

There is a long list of people to thank. First to Ellie my running buddy – thank you, to Alana, Kim, Sue, Andrew, Ollie, Sarah, Emma, Tony and the rest of the TA coaches thank you for your support during training/run technique sessions. To Lidia, Shearden, Lisa and the rest of TA support out on the course thank you for support. To my follow TA team mates who completed the event your waves, smiles, thumbs kept me going - thank you and well done in your events. A special thanks to Eleesha who we both kept on passing each other during the event. To friends and other supporters thanks for your support too, sorry just too many names to list.