29 December 2013

Memory lane

After my post yesterday, it was time to retreat and regroup and have a little chat to the inner self!

That done and armed with my lovely new Garmin I hit the road late morning and headed off to explore a little more of Singapore.

Amazing what reaffirming your goals can do for your motivation even when your mind tells you it would prefer to be horizontal.

I started out just to walk, progressed to jog/walk and then managed to run two kilometres at my IM pace - I so wished there was someone around to high5 after that comeback milestone.

This was all done on what was the run course of the second edition of Ironman 70.3 Singapore so it was also somewhat of a trip down memory lane. 

Great memories of being healthy and fit and a little faster than I currently am.

28 December 2013

I have them

From a total high following my last run I've crumped a little.

Perhaps I'm catching something - getting around Singapore by bus and MRT, it is highly likely!

I have them too - those down days when it's hard to get out the door- wish me luck with that.

26 December 2013

Temporary relocation

A few months ago we were discussing plans for Christmas and to cut a long story short, we are spending our festive season in Singapore.

One of the great advantages of living in Darwin is that Asia is right on our doorstep and we can take full advantage of that.

So Christmas dinner for us was our favourite, chicken rice, washed down with Tiger beer.

This temporary relocation has also meant a lot of exploring can be done while training.   The East Coast recreation area is always an awesome place to run and dashing up & down the under/overpasses that crisscross the Parkway motorway makes it even more interesting (and challenging). 

The various pedestrian overpasses to be negotiated while shopping as well as the MRT stairs are also great fitness aids.

The hotel pool is reeling under the strain of a couple of crazy people doing laps rather than just wallowing.  Trick is to get it done early before the wallowers roll out of bed!

Singapore also has embraced the public fitness station concept and they are strategically located, and close enough to add into a session for variety.

That's swim & run covered.  

We do have a bike hire close by but the thought of joining some of the craziest cyclists in the world on the busy bike paths doesn't yet appeal. 

The bike paths in Singapore are crazy busy

The hotel gym will be the place to get some pedalling done.

The weather here is cooler than Darwin and, at this time of year, that's a huge plus. 

So from our temporary abode I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and happy hunting if Boxing Day sales are your thing.

I will be avoiding the crowds as I try and master the workings of my new Garmin - it is going to tell me just how fast (or slow) this Comeback Queen is putting one foot in front of the other these days.  

22 December 2013

Declutter fever

An hour of power I call it.  It's the domestic challenge I set myself ... see what you can get done in an hour going room to room!

Developed as a coping strategy when training for my first Ironman I am still functioning on that principle.  It has served this household well through eight Ironman and numerous shorter campaigns.

Being clutter free is another of my grand plans and I have fits and starts at achieving this, mostly after being inspired by a new post on Slow Your Home.

What has this to do with triathlon?  

I want to have the best shot I can at being able to concentrate fully on getting my training done for IM 70.3 Hawaii in the New Year. Some early preparation and household organisation can help achieve that and ensure that home retains some semblance of order as I'm out and about more and more getting my training done.  Much better to come home after a long ride and be able to put the feed up with a beer on the balcony than have to dash around with a duster. 

My decluttering desire started a couple of years ago after a number of failed attempts to reduce the piles and piles of triathlon magazines hoarded over the years.  I would start to sort them and end up putting them all back but for the most part they were just gathering dust, flicked through only when there was a tri argument or trivia question to be won. 

It was hard to part with my tri mag collection

They held a lot of memories and it was hard to ditch them.  That is until Jane Hunt started researching the history of triathlon in Australia.  The realisation that all the information in those magazines would end up in a book or on a website somewhere was all that was needed for me to finally let go. 

Haven't missed them, or having to dust the cobwebs off them.  

So now when I'm gripped by the odd bout of declutter fever, I think back on those tri magazines and use them as inspiration for an hour of power!

20 December 2013

It must be Christmas

The weather in Darwin is hot and humid and it must be Christmas time because the BoM is talking up the possibility of another cyclone forming in our region as early as Monday.  Wouldn't be Christmas in Darwin without a good spell of monsoonal rain and/or a cyclone watch to keep everyone on their tinselled toes.  

Those in the business of selling all things Christmas have been trying to entice our hard earned $$$ from us since way back in September so it's little wonder that I'm among those who have been slow off the mark. 

This year I made a few promises and, so far, I've managed to stay true.

I have delivered on a goal to get a Christmas catch up note distributed and there are some special people in our life who will be thrilled to receive actual snail mail.  

And before I dashed out shopping for wrapping paper and the like I did a quick search of the various places I stash things and gathered together all things Christmas.  That proved to be a good move and considerably reduced the length of the shopping list. 

This year I also did what I have often thought would be an awesome idea and that's get those "hard to buy fors" charity gifts.  So some of our friends and family will find they have a chicken heading for South Africa or they are contributing to clean water in Sri Lanka via Oxfam this year. I hope they feel good about that. 

As well as getting sorted for the festive season, there are still my various swim, bike, run sessions to tick off. 

We had our annual swim squad Christmas breakfast yesterday.  It has become quite a tradition and a great way to end the year. 

Most things shut down over Christmas and New Year as it is amazing how many people take the opportunity to get out of Darwin.  It can be the best time to train with very little traffic on the roads!

I haven't been neglecting my riding, in fact its actually gone up a notch.  My rides are getting longer and as a result I'm getting out to many places on the bike that I haven't been near for over a year. 

When I started this comeback attempt, I did wonder if I'd ever be in a position to reach Crocodylus again - I did today, and it was a great feeling.

Reaching the gates of Crocodylus again - celebration time

That's a round trip of about 26km.  Not much granted, but I'm racking up that distance more and more - little and often, is the key.

Those sessions will eventually join together and become longer sessions and when they do I'll be ready!

Hawaii here I come but first I'll enjoy this festive season and give thanks that I'm here to do so!

18 December 2013

I'm at where?

This time last year:

Following an appointment with my surgeon and review of scans, xrays, blood tests etc it was decided to that an attempt would be made to insert a kidney stent and a colonoscopy was also to be performed.  Surgery was scheduled for 20 Dec.

This caused a flurry of phone calls and emails and much angst as we were supposed to fly out for our daughter's wedding on that day. 

I coped with this news by plugging in the iPod and going for a long, long run along Casuarina Beach.

Where I'm at today:

165 days out from Ironman 70.3 Hawaii my comeback progress update reads like this:

Longest swim:  500m
Longest ride:    29km
Longest run:     1.3km

This morning's run/walk was also done along Casuarina Beach and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience (and the breeze).

17 December 2013

Fifteen minutes of fame

I am seriously humbled to share space with Craig Alexander in the latest edition (Dec/Jan 2014) of Australian Triathlete Magazine.

A huge thank you to Editor Stef Hanson and Nathan Scolaro for getting in touch and thinking my tri story was worthy of space.

My very own fifteen minutes of fame.

From the sidelines

Ironman 70.3 Canberra is done and dusted and we have returned home to hot, sweaty Darwin.

Being on the sidelines on race day again provided many interesting tri insights including:

1. Making that start line shouldn't ever be taken for granted.  A 4.30am SMS on race morning carried the jaw dropping news that Tim had been up all night with food poisoning and was in no condition to venture out the hotel door, let alone race.  

2.  Athletes do miss their wave starts.  Unbelievable the number of people happy to stand around navel gazing when they should have been walking down to enter the water.  Canberra also requires athletes to swim up to the start line for a deep water start.  Wave after wave had people missing the gun.

3.  Mounting and dismounting training is definitely required.  After witnessing a large number of athletes injure themselves mounting and dismounting the bike, I highly recommend spending some time mastering this skill. 

Unbelievable to watch guys with all the expensive toys land on their backside or topple over into the shrubbery because they have no idea how to get on their bike going up a slight incline, or as in one case, because they had their shoe tethered with a very thick elastic band.  No 16 is about the correct thickness for an easy break!  

Women, in the main, didn't have as much of a problem but did tend to wobble a little, occasionally causing some havoc behind them.

Dismounts were in some cases, excruciating to watch.  One athlete is probably still hobbling after his effort - as a dive it would have scored 9 out of 10!

Individual dismount style

4.  Discarding water bottles on the course is down right dangerous.  Throwing bottles outside of the zoned area doesn't sound like much of a crime (aside from littering) but watching those bottles hit the gutter and roll back in front of following cyclists shows just why athletes are asked not to do this. That they do, without any thought of the consequences, is rather frightening. 

5.  Making that finish line shouldn't ever be taken for granted. Athlete tracking becomes stressful when one of those on your radar doesn't show up when they should and that was the case in Canberra.  Allowing for a puncture or even (heaven forbid), a drafting penalty Haydn was well overdue. 

Where was he?  Taken to hospital by ambulance after a motorist drove on to a closed section of the course and collided with him and another competitor. Hayds couldn't remember a thing but scans and xrays eventually cleared him of anything serious and a night in hospital thankfully saw his concussion subside.  He still doesn't remember anything about the accident, but does recall seeing the 83km mark on his watch. 

6.  Always, always, always wear a cycle helmet.  They do save lives.

7.  Always, always, always fill in correct "In Case of Emergency" details, they are sometimes required.

8.  And one last observation - one wonders why athletes attend an awards function if they talk all the way through it and show no interest at all!

This race saw the last, we are lead to believe, under the 70.3 banner in Canberra.  2014 will be a whole new story. 

14 December 2013


Daz and the Darwin crew have been for a ride over the course and had a swim this morning. Registration is complete and now all they have to do is bike check in later this afternoon to be all set for Ironman 70.3 Canberra tomorrow.

While the pre race excitment builds, I've been driver, chief shopper, bag lady, photographer and gear guard.

Nothing like being on the wrong side of the fence at an event to provide added comeback incentive!

Cloudy morning in Canberra for bag lady / gear guard duties

10 December 2013

Not a centimetre more

I'm happy to report that a few small personal achievements have happened over this past week bringing me ever nearer to my goal event. 

My sessions haven't been long but they have been increasing in frequency and slowly but surely my fitness level is increasing.

It was high fives all round when I ticked off a 500m non stop swim over the weekend and just today I had the satisfaction of seeing my bike computer tick over 29km indicating progress there as well.

Goal Event:      Ironman 70.3 Hawaii
Date:              31 May 2014 (172 days away)
Distance:         1.9km swim, 90km bike, 21.1km run

Progress update:

Longest swim:  500m
Longest ride:    29km
Longest run:     1km

Given that I was so close to a round 30km ride, you may wonder why I didn't go around the block to achieve that milestone as well.

I have this theory, well tested during training for eight ironman events, that it's best not to swim a stroke more, turn the pedals one revolution further or run a centimetre more than programmed, and I don't.

Works for me!

Not a pedal revolution more than needed 

09 December 2013

Congratulations Yanti

She did it!

I choked up watching Yanti cross the line at Ironman Western Australia late last night our time.

She swam 1 hr 11 mins 32 secs, slowly went through T1 in 14 mins 39 secs, nailed that 180km bike in 7hrs 17 mins 51 secs, prepared for the run with a T2 of 8 mins 48 secs and then covered the 42.2km "run" in 6 hrs 57 mins 09 secs.

That the winner of her category had finished over 6 hours before made no difference to her personal achievement.

Yanti had tried, tried, tried and tried again to become an "Ironman".

There were unsuccessful attempts at Ironman Melbourne & WA in 2012 and earlier this year Ironman New Zealand and then Ironman Japan defeated her.

She never, never, never gave up and yesterday her dream came true.

And I do believe she is the first Indonesian female to achieve an Ironman finish.

Yanti I salute you.

Yanti in Bali last year.

08 December 2013

Ironman tracking inspiration.

Another inspiring day in tri paradise spent firstly bike & gear minding for those doing Daz's training tri early this morning. 

It was hot, humid and still but they got it done and appeared pretty pleased with their efforts.  

Top End tri training in build up/wet season conditions is a tough ask - and you become very accustomed to sweating lots and drinking enormous amounts of fluid trying to replace the loss.  It's nothing for us to be wringing wet and dripping!

You know you are a real Darwin triathlete when all the glasses in your cupboard are at least 500ml size and you can empty it in one go and front for a refill. 

The training (by others, I had a rest day) done and dusted, we head home to check on the tracker for the progress of those doing Ironman Western Australia.  

Coach Daryl had three athletes in the field, all first timers. Happy to report they are all safely across the finish line, having heard the magic words "You are an Ironman",  after knocking over the 3.8km swim, 180km bike, 42.2km run in 9.24.32, 9.45.30 and 11.03.58.

But there are still more of interest and one in particular that I'm biting my nails over.

Yanti is attempting to become the first Indonesian woman to complete an Ironman event.

No biggie, except that this is, well maybe attempt number five or six that I can recall.  

Yanti has some health problems and is kind of accident prone so to see the ironman tracker tick over 34.3km of the run at 14.25.13 is nail bitingly inspirational not to mention emotional so I can only imagine how she feels.  

Go Yanti!  You can do it!

06 December 2013

Will I swim or ride?

A year ago I had just been informed that colectoral cancer had returned, this time growing on the outside wall of the bowel and involving my right kidney (which proved to be non functioning), the major vein and other organs.  

Given that I had suspected something was happening, the diagnosis wasn't really a surprise. The prognosis - inoperable and serious - was.

So a year ago I was facing a barrage of tests, scans, ultrasounds and procedures and had been referred by my GP and booked in for an appointment with an oncologist (a fairly scarce bred in Darwin).

Most upsetting at the time was the possibility that we may miss our daughter's wedding.

Me, finisher at 2012 Ironman World Championships only 2 months before and already entered for Ironman Cairns 2013 - found my world turning upside down. 

So today as I procrastinate over whether to swim or ride, I'm just thankful to be here and for having that decision to make. 

05 December 2013

Backpacker habits

Yikes, there are only 177 days left until race day!

Goal Event:      Ironman 70.3 Hawaii
Date:              31 May 2014 (185 days away)
Distance:         1.9km swim, 90km bike, 21.1km run

So far I've managed:

Longest swim:  300m
Longest ride:    25km
Longest run:     1km

Spent some time day dreaming today and realised, other than doing our entry and having a race outfit sorted, I have done very little else towards organising the actual trip.

I think I need to use a few of those 4248 hours left to actually make our travel and accommodation arrangements.

Having done a number of previous trips to the Big Island, we know we should get on to it. 

Travelling on the cheap requires a bit of forethought and luckily we have never really managed to ditch our backpacker mentality formed years ago - pre internet, iPads and credit cards.

Our first trip as fresh faced, rather naive youngsters was to Europe (a rite of passage) undertaken in the early 70's, after much scrimping and saving and with a well thumbed copy of Frommer's Europe on $5 a day tucked under an arm.

It was a bible, to be followed exactly, for fear your hard earned traveller's cheques may not last the year out. 

So here we are years later, with those travel principles still firmly entrenched and I'm extremely happy they are as we have travelled to some amazing destinations for races and up there, as one of the best trips, is Hawaii 70.3.

This trip has a touch of deja vu about it as we also competed at this Honu race in 2008. 

Then it was a plot hatched sitting down after a training triathlon at Lake Alexander that coach Daryl had organised. 

Ali, Michelle and I were shooting the breeze about where we would like to race (as all good triathletes do), and decided it would be a good idea to compete in Hawaii together. We had some fast talking to do, some detail to sort, but the idea took hold and it happened and we had a ball and I miraculously qualified for my first Ironman World Championships.  That you never forget!

Three Darwinites on the Big Island in 2008.  Photo by Daz

In May next year there will also be a number of others from Darwin competing and as well there will also be a special birthday to celebrate.  Thanks Rosie, for being the one to spur us all on this time! 

As mentioned, I'm pretty sure everyone else is much further ahead with travel arrangements than us, so instead of consulting Frommer, I'll drag out the Lonely Planet Hawaii guidebook and have a read.  Then I'll probably spend hours googling all things Hawaii travel related. 

Backpacker habits die hard, but thank goodness for the internet to help sniff out a bargain and credit cards to pay for them. 

01 December 2013

There's a big difference between murky & clear

It has been a whirlwind weekend and a big week of training for me.

Although none of my sessions are long, they are frequent.  A kind of "less is more" approach which is allowing my body to adapt slowly but surely.  

This approach is also a winner mentally, as no session has yet seemed difficult and I've found I'm happy to get out there and just "do".

Darwin Tri Club had a Splash N Dash event yesterday evening and as self proclaimed paparazzi, I spent an interesting couple of hours watching the race, taking photos for our Facebook page and some video footage for Daz's website.

The format (200m swim, 2km run x 3) was a repeat from a fortnight ago and it was interesting to see the different approach taken by many of the competitors.  It's a tough hit out and the guys took a much more conservative approach this time, saving themselves for the second and third round, rather than hammer the first.

It was a fabulous evening, great conditions and we even had a huge cruise ship docked at the wharf which made a spectacular backdrop for the event.

Cruise ship backdrop for Splash N Dash

I haven't swum at the Waterfront (a supposedly netted basin) in a long, long time and with the reported sighting, just before race start, of a fish a around a metre in length, it's a fair bet nothing is about to change any time soon.  

Blame Ironman Malaysia (2009 & again in 2010) for my fear of all things piscatorial, as I copped severe jelly fish stings both years there.

With scars still visible on my wrist, the possibility of bumping into anything in the water, even a leaf, is enough to make my heart race. 

Still bare the faint scars  from this encounter 3 years later

The thought of encountering a metre long monster in murky water at the Waterfront doesn't appeal in the slightest.

However, there is a big difference between murky and clear, and swimming with turtles in the waters of Hapuna Beach in Hawaii in 182 days time, is on the other hand,  a huge motivator!!

28 November 2013

185 days to go

Goal Event:      Ironman 70.3 Hawaii
Date:              31 May 2014 (185 days away)
Distance:         1.9km swim, 90km bike, 21.1km run

So far I've managed:

Longest swim:  300m
Longest ride:    21km
Longest run:    1km

300m Memories

Wiser people than me advise that those just beginning swimming should try to forget all about speed at first.  

Hell, that Total Immersion guy even says "Swimming slowly is the best way to develop habits of efficiency and economy".

That's all good news for me because at this stage I feel like a complete beginner and I'm definitely swimming slowly (as my position at the rear of the latte lane shows). 

This morning at Nightcliff Pool I experienced a pleasing breakthrough when swimming slowly (jury still out on whether my style is efficient or economic).  No biggie but pretty chuffed I can now swim 300m non stop.  I'd like to think irongirl determination is returning.  

Perhaps it never left!

Greatly elated by this latest small achievement, I stopped for a breather (I'm allowed, just ask my coach) and looking down the lane recalled that this time last year I was struggling to make it through 50m and starting to seriously question that post Kona fatigue ever felt like this. 

I'm a huge believer in listening to your body and also believe that triathletes are fairly in tune with their inner workings, in particular, those that roll in Ironman circles.  

That certainly was the case when I took myself off to the local medical centre early in 2011 when, post IM 70.3 Phuket, I knew something wasn't quite right.   At that time I did have to be pretty persistent in trying to get my vague "I think there is something wrong with me" symptoms across. 

Fast forward and that feeling turned out to be my first encounter with colectoral cancer and resulted in surgery in the form of a right hemicolectomy .  

With irongirl determination (and lots of encouragement and careful management from coach Daz) I was able to don my first Comeback Queen crown and make it back to Phuket in December 2011 and from there Kona (2012).  

So obviously when I was struggling to get through a piddling 50m towards the end of last year and having competed at Hawaii only ten or so weeks prior, I headed off to my GP again post haste.

No surprise that gazing down the swim lane this morning experiencing 300m euphoria the memories of why I'm on my second Comeback Queen stint came flooding back. 

Nightcliff Pool - where I swim slowly

26 November 2013

Triathletes shouldn't garden

With Cyclone Alessia now off our weather maps, it's all systems normal again here in the Top End.

The alarm went off loudly this morning and a quick lung full of air at the window showed we were continuing with welcome cool conditions.  

First up it was over to the pool for swim squad.  

After seven weeks of easing back into the latte lane, my program now calls for me to take note of how far I am actually swimming.

It was no surprise that having a target swim total to complete turned out to require a little more effort than I had putting in up until now.  

It also required a lot more concentration on my part ... a real kick starter towards actually starting to swim for real. 

I was able to give coach Daz the "thumbs up completed" signal with about ten minutes of squad time left, so feel I put in a solid effort.

Obviously still haven't reached that magic full session yet but it certainly feels as though that goal is not to too far away.

Invigorated by the mild weather I decided to undertake a yard clean up.  We don't have a very large courtyard but the palm fronds quickly build up, the weeds have had a growth spurt with all the rain and a number of pot plants needed a good trim.  

My get it done attitude was sorely tested when I managed to go face first through a rather large sticky cobweb.  I shudder just thinking about it.

Then this afternoon I had another mini brick to get through so I slapped on the sunscreen and hit the road around 4.30 pm to find that as well as warming up considerably, the wind had also picked up.  

This made for an awesome ride out past the hospital and up into and around Lyons.

Not so the return journey which saw me struggle a little riding into the head wind.  The last time I rode in wind like that was out on the Queen K at Kona last year.

Had to have a conversation with myself - "the wind is your friend", "if you want to ride up to Hawi next May, get on with it princess", - you know the sort of thing. 

A good talking to always works, and before long I was home and the ride part was done.  

Another "fast" transition was followed by a "brisk" walk!!  

My walk gets me over to the foreshore which I love.  There were about a dozen guys out wind surfing this evening which looked pretty spectacular. As did the flock of kites gliding around on a thermal.

Gliding around and around

But here we are a few hours later and my back is starting to ache. I've also got a couple of itchy spots on my face and a rough spot on my hand from wielding the secateurs.  

Comeback Queens really shouldn't garden!

24 November 2013

Week seven completed.

Though we don't get another cyclone update from the BoM for another hour and it is raining VERY heavily at the moment, I suspect the worst of the weather is going to slip by under us. 

Darwin also now appears to be on the fringe of the cyclone tracking map. 

Tracking Cyclone Alessia

Regardless of the weather, I'm very happy to report that Week 7 of my come back program is now ticked off, all done, dusted and completely finished. Woo hoo!

I managed to slip my last "ride/brisk walk" session in during a gap in the storms today, all fired up with enthusiasm after watching 3/4 of an hour of Ironman 70.3 Mandurah highlights.

It was the best time to head out as not only did it not rain, there were hardly any cars on the road.

This may have been due to cancellations because of the cyclone warning, but I suspect it had more to do with the fact that Australia looks like beating England at the first cricket Test currently underway in Brisbane and everyone being at home on the couch glued to the tele.

Given it is the end of the week, I opened and printed out my next week's program and noticed another slight increase in training time.

A little bit of reflection here.

Week 1 had me completing the grand total of 4 hrs 40 mins training.

This week, (7) I ticked over a whooping great 6 hours worth of swim, bike, and run.

The remarkable thing is, though that small amount pales into insignificance compared to just over 12 months ago, I was absolutely stoked to get it all done.  Nothing like an increase in fitness to up your mood. 

There was another little hiccup though. 

Earlier this week I became acutely aware of my big toe.  There is ordinarily nothing remarkable about my big toe but of late it's been calling an increasing amount of attention to itself via an area of pain.

By midweek it also looked & felt rather swollen. Given that I had a doctor's appointment on Monday and didn't think to get it checked out, I wouldn't be at all surprised if I'm developing one of those joints that ache when it is going to rain!  It's aching a little now so my guess is we are in for some more rain yet.

So now it's back to waiting for the cyclonic conditions to pass by - although I must confess to be enjoying the cooler weather that the low has produced these past few days. 

Watching for Cyclone Alessia

23 November 2013

Cyclone heading this way

That first little brick I mentioned last post was successfully achieved - albeit in a rather damp state after being caught in passing storm that rolled through just at the end of my ride.

Our wet has arrived early (compared to last year, VERY early) and we are now officially on a Cyclone Watch with Tropical Cyclone Alessia (currently a cat 1) tracking our way.
All training is now being completed with the help of the BoM radar.  

Living in the Top End and triathlon training at this time of year means accepting that you will get wet but also that you can get very adept at dodging storms; accepting that your house can take on a decidedly cluttered look as shoes, helmets, gloves & clothes all vie for drying positions under the fan and that noses are now on high alert for mould - another reality of living through the wet season!

With cyclone supplies in (baked beans & water at top of the list) and car filled with fuel, it was get out on the bike time again this morning.  

Perfectly timed before the rain rolled in, my super training partner and I got our ride done without getting wet.

It was also the first ride we have done together in a very long time, so a celebratory comeback coffee was had at the Waterfront.

Celebrating first ride together in months

Although delighted to be out riding, it did highlight that I have a long way to go on the road back to fitness - discovered that the Museum hill takes on mountainous proportions when legs are not Kona ready as they were the last time I went up there on a bike!

With a cyclone heading this way and torrential rain coming through more frequently there will be a lot of BoM watching tomorrow to get the last of this week's sessions done.

At the moment Darwin looks pretty grey and wet and it appears that it will be for the next few days.

Wet, wet, wet with our first cyclone heading this way

20 November 2013

Pesky plovers & more progress

It's hump day and I've shaken off whatever was causing some health concerns.  I'd put up with general unwellness for a few days, took to the horizontal (a lot) and faked it for awhile before finally getting a doctor's appointment. My recent experiences with the big C mean I'm much more vigilant about being checked out.  Appears whatever was ailing me, has now passed as I've bounced back to feeling pretty damn good today. 

Which is just as well as my training program has jumped a little (in both time and intensity).

Swim squad is now to be attempted in full - with allowable little rests as needed.  "Little rests" were required on Tuesday, but not nearly as many as last week, so more progress there.

Training wise nothing was achieved yesterday afternoon, due mainly to a medical appointment and also the heavy storms that came through. So, well rested, it was with a lot more energy that I prepared for a 40 minute walk/run early this morning.

Note the change from "jog" to "run" - yes ... more progress.

The overcast conditions made for near perfect weather to head out, but first I had to run the gauntlet of Family Plover living on the corner.

A ball of fluff on match sticks

They have hatched a chick and aren't happy when someone passes close by. 

I'm convinced that they are unimpressed by me mostly or perhaps by anyone wearing a visor and sunglasses.  Mum Plover (or was it dad) flapped madly in my direction but later allowed another bareheaded walker to go unmolested.  I will try and not take it personally.

My program calls for 6.30 pace for my "run" efforts.  Don't tell coach Daz, but to figure out how fast I was running these days, I actually had to run a kilometre.

Beginning to think I may have to get with the technology and ask Santa to deliver a Garmin.  Something simple, for running - with time and distance.  

I can't begin to tell you how exhilarating that single kilometre felt! Now I only have to string together 20 more of those and I'll be looking good for Ironman 70.3 Hawaii next May!

My walk/run was uneventful once I passed the pesky plovers, but I was a little disappointed to see "a tree of significance" in my neighbourhood had lost one of its branches. 

Branch down

We have had so much rain already (records for November) the ground is soggy and trees wet and heavy.  I'm sure this won't be the only tree down this wet season.

I have some more progress happening shortly when I attempt my first Comeback Queen brick session.

My program says I'm to do a 40 min ride (with some short efforts) followed by a quick transition to a 10 minute walk.

I'm looking forward to this immensely as it's even more  progress! 

18 November 2013

Staying focused

The amount of personal admin we manage to generate is phenomenal and I find if I don't stay focused it can can rapidly pile up.

A quick glance around my desk area shows about a dozen different projects underway at once.  

Given my desire (intermittent I'll admit) to be clutter free, this state of affairs is causing more than a little stress.  Tomorrow I'm going to try and get this under control (famous last words perhaps).

But how did I get there?  It's squarely on triathlon's head.  I've been constantly off on tangents reading about the TeamTBB/Sutto parting of ways, watching & taking photos at Splash n Dash and junior aquathlons, athlete tracking at Shepparton and scrolling through Twitter and Facebook for news of friends who are racing all over the place to name but a few distractions.  

Thank goodness relief from the guilt of not getting things done comes in the form of a bike ride, a swim or another of my walk/jog sessions.  Nothing like getting out in the fresh air to make one feel better about the world. 

At least I'm staying focused on getting my training sessions done regardless of the state of the nation!

Great to report that I hit a new post op bike PB - 21km in an hour- over the weekend!  That was an enjoyable jaunt from home to East Point, a ride I hadn't done in such a long time. 

As I've a burning desire to get out on the road on Ms Trek, that 50km mark can't come quick enough.  As long as I stay focused on what is important, I'll make it ... maybe not by Christmas, but it will happen. 

Looking back at Darwin from East Point

14 November 2013

Cycling hazards in Darwin

Pedalling along yesterday morning, enjoying the serenity, I happened across a scene that made me blink twice.

There just off the bike path ahead were a couple of rangers (female) "man" handling a croc into the back of a ute.

Blink, blink - yes that's definitely a croc and me with no camera (what on earth could you see on a 40 minute ride that would require a photo?  Lots it turns out).

The female saltwater crocodile had been caught in the croc trap located on our suburban Rapid Creek. 

Croc in a trap

That got me thinking again about the hazards of riding in and around Darwin while tri training.

There are many including:

Broken glass
Nest protecting plovers
Dogs on the loose
Broken glass
Non functioning water bubblers
Monitor lizards
Broken glass
Long grassers asleep on the bike path
Aggressive Darwin Bus drivers
Broken glass
Road trains
Broken glass
Blokes in utes
Broken glass
Low flying bush turkeys
Flocks of cockatoos
Broken glass
Dry season burn off smoke
Broken glass
Motorised bikes on bike paths
Intoxicated long grassers and backpackers
Broken glass 
and more and more -
Speeding trucks

My favourite stretch of bike path

As I venture out on my comeback rides, I tend to stick as much to the bike paths as I can, avoiding roads and peak hour traffic where and whenever possible. 

My notice my bike skills are picking up and I am definitely getting stronger.

So long as I can avoid the hazards of cycling in Darwin I'm now certain my cycling fitness will return.  

Hasten slowly.