Monday, December 29, 2014

Open Water Swims; St Kilda Mile Swim; Mentone 2.5KM and Point Leo

Sorry guys, I owe you a few races reports for St Kilda Mile Swim; Mentone 2.5KM and Point Leo.

Day 1 St Kilda Mile Swim.

Just a little warm up swim. The plan was quick ride and then a swim. Well let me say the first 50km on the bike was great then we hit the North winds on the way home. The second 50km was hard work. After the ride I grab my new Blueseventy Helex wetsuit and headed up to St Kilda. I caught up with Amy, Leanne, Sharyon, Mary, Sharon, Suzie and Chris.

Pre Race Pic
After picking up our rego kits we changed dropped our bags off and headed down the beach to the swim start. The day was warm I couldn’t wait to get into the water to cool off.

After a warm up swim the 2 waves lined up and off we went. The washing machine of bodies, arms and legs as we headed out to the first turn buoy and then up towards the St Kilda pier. Along this leg there were a heap of Jelly Fish along with head wind/swell, during the leg I managed to pass many other competitors. At the final buoy I turned for home and swam into shore, as I found the sand I did a few dolphin dives and pulled myself out of the water and run up the beach and over the line.

My final time was 25 Min 56  Secs

Off we go

Me at the finish line

Post Race Pic

Day 2 Mentone Swim Classic

After racing yesterday I grabbed my other wetsuit and headed down to Mentone for the first of the Great Victorian Swim Series. First off I picked up Great Vic Swim Pack followed by my Race Kit. After picking up my Race Kit and caught up with Nicole (aka Aqua Girl) and Pete who runs Swimwell Open Water Swims. Due to the long rego lines the swim start was pushed back. During this time the wind started to move from North East to Southerly and the swell started to pickup, it didn’t worry me too much. During the standing around  at the start line I caught up with Pete, Sally, Paul and Megan from the Mentone Swim Squad which I swim with and Nicole from various Swims and Tri as well as Pete from Swellwell who was running the bag drop. We wish each other good luck and off we wonder out to deep water as this race was a deep water start.  We all lined up and the horn sound and off we went. Up the bay we swam, I swam over a few peeps and found clear water and got into a stroke rhythm. I remember seeing the Life Saving Club on my left which was approx 1/3 way through the race. As we got further up the bay I saw a purple buoy I thought this was my turn can, but in truth there was some another 500m to go before the turn buoys.  As turn around these buoys to head towards the final buoy before hitting the beach. At this point I had passed another swimmer but she sat right on my hip, but as the swell had really picked up she got pushed on top of me. I increased my stroke rate to gain a few meters on her. At this point the usually quite Mentone Beach turned into surf beach. Everyone still swimming was getting dumped in the waves that where breaking. However I felt comfortable in these conditions made it to the final buoy body surfed in and run over the line.

It was one of the toughest swim long distance swims in my life but I had fun.

My Final time was 51 Min 44 Secs

View from Mentone Life Saving Club

Surf Beach anyone?

Point Leo Swim – Boxing Day

I have never done this swim, but thought it would be something different and in addition it was true open water not what like in the bay but in the ocean and at a true surf beach. This event is a 1.2KM swim smaller than the other two, but still none less different. Box Day in Melbourne was not a warm sunny day by any means. It was windy from the South and cooler than the previous few days. It was halfway point for our Tri Clubs Hell Week. There was no way I could get a ride/run/swim done before having to be at Point Leo for 1pm start, so I did put in a short run from home first. On the way down to Point Leo it start to rain and I mean rain. The car reported the t temperature to be 12c and I would feel the wind pushing on the car on the trip down. Once I got off the freeway and on the back roads to Point Leo, the sun came out the wind seem to drop away a bit and the temperature to 16c.  When I got to Point Leo I parked and headed down to the registration area picked up my race kit and checked out the scene, The Swell was up there it was going to be some fun times in the water. I watched one of the Nipper Races and then went back to the car to drop off the free T-Shirt, etc and grab my Wetsuit, goggles, etc. I still had time to kill so I found a nice quite spot on the grass in front of the cafĂ© and had a little kip. Before heading back down to the Life Saving Club to change and head down to the water.

View of Point Leo - where is my surf board?
When I got down to the beach zipped up my wetsuit and I jumped straight in for a warm up swim. The first thing I noticed was the swell, it reminded me of Mentone, but this was going was fun. You had to dive under the breaking swell/waves so not to get dump back towards the beach. I got some 200m without too much effort and then swam back in and body surfed into the shore. They, the Life Saving Club, ask us all to come to the race briefing due to the conditions. I could feel my heads getting cold from the wind and them being wet. Thank god I had my full sleeve wetsuit on. It made all the difference.

The first wave went off and I went in again for another warm up swim. When I came out I saw Nicole and said hi and good luck. We where both in the same wave, we lined up and waited for the gun (shotgun) to go off and out we headed. I swallowed some of the ocean and found it really hard out to the first two buoys, but once turned  to head up the beach I felt a push. I swam up the buoy at the top of the beach turned again and headed back to the final turn buoy. Everyone basically turned into the beach and had to run approx 250m along the beach to the finish line.  I felt the waves pulling me back as they were about to break so I backed off then push/surfed as they broke into the beach followed by a sprint up the beach to the finish line.

My Final time was 22 Min 32 Secs and I had a blast.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Noosa 2014 Race Report

Not sure where to start with this one, it’s being a tough year. From broken toes to person and work challenges. This race had mixed emotions and started when I arrived at the airport, did my bag check in and sat at the gate waiting for the chariot to arrive. As other team mates arrived we got chatting and I started to feel relaxed. One of the coaches and I watched as the bikes (and bags) where loaded on the plane knowing a good feeling that at least our bikes had made the flight. As we started board they scanned my gate pass and said we have a problem with your seat. OMG my heart stopped, only to be told I had been moved to a Emergency Row Seat at no extra charge. Start breathing again. I found my seat and we pushed back once in the air I turned on my iPod and basically went to sleep. When I woke it the flight was almost over, we touched down and then started the crazy bit of collecting 2 bags and finding the shuttle bus for the trip to the Hotel.

The Chariot awaits

Just one or two bikes for the plane trip
After checking in and getting to my room job 1 was to unpack the bike and make sure it arrived ok with damage. Once the bike was sorted time to head down to the shops for some supplies and late lunch. By the time I completed this task it was time to change and head down for the first of 2 swim practices around the course. After about 500m I noticed that sea lice had eaten me and everyone else in our group. We pushed through the swim and after checking my Garmin at the end of swim I was happy with the pace, training with Anna over winter had paid off.  The following morning we meet up for the first of the rides. From Facebook a lot of bikes had not arrived. Basically it seemed you needed to check in 1 earlier and 2 Jetstar seemed to be the problem not Virgin.

Time to put the bike together

Afternoon Dip

Sunset in Noosa

The ride felt good to be on the bike back in the sun without 20 layers of winter clothing on. We headed out and up Garmin hill and out along the highway to the turnaround point then back into town and back to the Hotel followed by a little 5km run off the bike. The run was hot and hard. The rest of the day I just lazed the day away.
Course Ride
Friday morning was another ride up to top of Garmin hill and back into town lots of fast pace and swim in the afternoon. During the day I helped out putting up the tent and did the whole expo bit and picked up my race pack from rego. The swim in the afternoon felt good and the sea lice did not make an appearance and was a chance for me to try out the Trisuit before Sundays race.
Tent Building

Race day home


Swim number 2
 Saturday we did our standard warm up, team pic, ride over the run course little run off the bike followed by a swim. The run surprised me a little I did a 4:45 1km effort – fast for me. It was warm so a dip was needed. Ollie then gave his race day prep talk and do and don’ts of Noosa Tri. Mid afternoon I took my bike down to transition racked it, dropped the air out of the tyres and head back to the Hotel to arrange my race gear and early night.
Team Pic

Dude where's my bike?

Ahhh theres my bike

I didn’t really sleep well the night before not sure why, just didn’t. I got up had some breakfast rechecked all my gear and started the walk down to transition. The queue to get in was a mile long. Not only did you need you helmet on but your timing chip. New for this year. After a good 20min waiting in line got in to transition with some 15mins left before closing time. I checked everything I could, tyres pumped up food and drink on board, shoes clipped in, helmet, run shoes, race belt all on the towel ready to go. The exit out of transition was worse than getting in. The Officials made a call to let us out of the entrance into transition which I took and headed straight to the team tent.

With a close of transition at 6:00am and my wave start 6:48am I was not coming back to the Hotel. I made it to the tent dropped my bag off and headed straight to the bath room. I did what was needed and headed back to the tent and applied sun cream and got ready. Around 6:30 headed over to swim start with a few others. On the way we saw the Pro Men headed out on the bike, they were fast, very fast. As soon as I got to the swim start I dived straight in for my warm up swim then lined up waiting for my wave start. You could feel the current pulling along the start line, but around the back and up to the half way mark would be a push.

The horn sound go time, I swam, I pushed hard, swimmers over the top of me, me over the top of others felt good, felt fun, I was having a ball. I found clear water and started to push. At the final turn your could feel the current change from a push to a pull. We headed for home and passing slower swimmers from previous waves.  I ran out of the water feeling good and relaxed. I ran through transition to my row grabbed my bike and ran out, I mounted my bike and started to ride out of town.
Exiting the Swim
I heard the raw from TA Crew on the way through. At this point I had the feet in the shoes, but my strapped up, I spent the new few hundred meters getting my shoes strapped up, tucked into aero and powered on. Through the various roundabouts and speed/crossings until we got out on the highway. I started to prep myself for the climb up Garmin hill, taking other fluids and food on board then started the climb, 14 turns. I’m not a hill climber never have been but I felt ok. Once back on the highway back into aero and speed time. I was feeling speedy all the way out to the turn around and back to the top the hill. I have improved my down hill speeds, but still not wanted to come off I still gave respect to the hill so I sat up and controlled my speed until it leveledout then back into aero and heading back into town. As I came back around the final roundabout I unstrapped my shoes in readiness to get my feet out for the dismount.  This year the dismount line was before the final roundabout after a nice quick clean dismount I ran back into transition re-raked my bike and put on my socks and runners and run out.

Heading out of town

Out on the Highway
I was not feeling the best in the tummy department, I felt my I may want to throw up. I ran out past the team tent again and head out through the first aid station after a bit of water both on board and a hose down I felt ok and pushed on. At the second aid station I needed to pee, badly, thank god for portaloos. I felt lighter and faster afterwards I kept working my may through aid stations with a sip or two of water  and a couple of cups over my head. Once we entered the keys there was residents where out with hoses to keep us cool and keep us going. At the final turn about 1.5km from the finish line it was time to be strong and run home, making sure that the Trisuit was zipped out so that our beloved Coach Greg (aka Zoolander) didn’t have new martial for the awards night. I heard cheers as I passed the tent on the way home to the finish line.

Race Done - Party time.
I run over the line feeling pretty good. At first I didn’t look at my watch for the final time. I went through the showers and into the athletes recovery area got something to eat and drink or two before heading back to the team tent. When I got back I put on a t-shirt and topped up the sun cream and  grabbed a beer and support other team mates home. During this time I look at my watch and noticed at least a 2min PB.

It was not until later that after that afternoon back in the hotel the swim coach, Anna, txt’d me to see how I went. I started to break down the times of the race vs previous years. That’s when I found out I had scored a 6min 34sec PB from last years race. To say I was over the moon was an understatement. My final time was 2hrs 52mins 04secs  Later that night we had a team after party complete with a Tri Cake.

Beer well earned

Tri Cake Anyone?

Sunday, October 5, 2014

It's been a while

 First off, very sorry for not blogging sooner. It has been while between blogs.. My quest to get a few half marathon’s under my belt before Challenge next year has been done and dusted. I raced at Traraglon with a heavy head cold, it was not good but I finished it. I was mainly there for Ellie to complete her full marathon.

The time for Traraglon was 2 hr 13 mins 11 secs

With Ellie and Sue @ Traraglon Half/Full Marathon Start
After losing a month to the cold my training was not great my longest run was 17km when it should have been 21km. The goal was to complete Run Melbourne which I did but wasn’t fast.

We lined up with a heap of others waiting for our wave start, the atmosphere was unreal and then our wave was let off. My speed has not been great this winter, but more a solid runner after the race my legs felt great.

The time for Run Melbourne was 2 hr 13 mins 20 secs

I was meant to Race Sandy Half, but Saturday woke up with a head cold, so I took a few days off, instead I raced at Mornington lots of hills, but was more about completing the distance not speed. I was happy with the run.

The time for Marathon Half was 2hr 08 mins 40 secs

Medal after completing the Mornington Half

Sue and friend before the Start of the trail run. It was freezing.
After Mornington I completed a trail run which has been on my bucket list for ages, I had a great time and completed the race in and 1hr 05min or so. It was funny weather, cold, foggy, windy at the start line, no wind or fog in the valleys
Now it’s time to get back into Mutli-Sport Mode so I signed up for Hazelwood again. I headed down their Saturday morning for the sprint distance  to clear the cobwebs out as prep to Noosa and I walked away with 3rd Place for my age group. I was shocked and stoked at the same time.

My time for the Sprint was 1hr 32min 58 secs

Swim Exit at Hazelwood

3rd Place Finisher @ Hazelwood.
With my Half Marathons and my warm up race done for now it’s time to focus on Noosa. Most weekends I’ve been riding down to Mornington with some hill work and on through to Dromana and onto McCrae or Rosebud. Followed by long runs on Sunday. My run speed is returning I have been punching around 5:10km. My swims are getting strong and faster too. For example a year ago I was 1:50min/per 100m, now I can punch out 1:30mins / per 100min in a sprint or 1:40min/per 100m over 1KM. Anna my swim coach is happy with my progress as am I. Friday last week Anna gave us the Ironman swim just a 3.8KM swim for fun. I worked out that in September I swam just a lazy 40KM in the pool. 

Too earlier for a beer?

Bathroom break

Almost done @ Brighton
Brighton Baths - Icing the legs post long ride and run off the bike


New Swim Squad Members

With Noosa and Challenge locked away I am starting to plan my summer race session. It’s been hard, lots of work and personal pressure on me, it’s taken a toll which I won’t go into details here.  I’ve been working on my mental side with good friend and coach Helen. She has managed to get me focused on what needs to be done and I can’t thank her enough. I feel like a weight on my shoulders has been lifted.

Today saw me get my Trivic Technical Official Certification, so another accreditation to books.

To's Post Race Debrief

Sunday, April 27, 2014

I got clipped

It had to happen sooner or later but I got clipped by a car and down I went.

Last Thursday I had the day and went out on a training ride. I started a North Rd headed up to Port Melbourne and then down to Frankston. The wind from Port Melbourne to Frankston was a head wind. At Frankston I comment on Facebook I was hoping for a tail wind home, sure enough there was. As we approached Brighton Baths I felt good and happy, nice strong ride. At North Road I had to stop for a red light, I think there were 2 or 3 cars in front which I normally not pass on left or right, they are there first. The Lights changed and off we took both cars and rider, I had crossed North Road and I remember seeing the side mirror of a car and then seeing the road and water bottles flying and cars horn blowing. The guy in the 4x4 who was behind the guy who clipped me stopped and put it’s hazarded lights on. I unclipped picked myself up off the road along with my bike and bottles. I sat down on the grass and looked to see if I had broken anything. My head hurt which was from the helmet hit road. I took off my glove and helmet and sat there for what felt like forever but was only 30secs. The guy in the 4x4 came over to see if I was alright and he needed to call the ambos. I said I was alright at this point the drive who hit me walked back to see if I was ok. The guy in the 4x4 asked if I wanted his details but I said all good as the drive had stopped and we were going to exchange details, at this stage he left. The drive who hit me and I had a discussion as we walked up to his car about you must leave 1m of room, it’s the law. He was truly sorry for the hit and I took pictures on my iPhone of his car, number plates, rego and his driver’s license. We shook hands and he left.

I went back to my bike and sat down in the side of the road to think about what happened. I tried to call Ellie at work but she didn’t answer, so I sent her a txt and posted on Facebook that I got hit.

I look at my helmet and my bike except for some minor scraping, my shoulder and hip feeling sore from the hit with the road nothing broken. I WAS LUCKY! Very Lucky!

So far the repair goes like this

New Knee Warmers                       $50
New Helmet                                   $150  (was told to replace it regards of it looks ok)
Bike Service                                   $80
Bar Tape                                        $50
New chain                                      $80

For the record I did finish my ride it was not the way I wanted to finish. Furthermore after Ellie and I have both been hit we use our Roadid’s for Running and Cycling. If it’s just for touring, to training, to other always have it on.

I drive and I ride, I also try to make sure I leave 1m to half lane gap, all I can ask is everyone to be careful, both rides and drivers, accidents happen but let’s all be aware of each other.

The following day I did an open water swim which the body loved from a wound healing point and also from a muscle stiffness point of view. Later on Ellie and I headed out for a little spin nothing too serious but I got back on the horse…. Err. Bike.

For more information on rider safety and driver awareness see the following