27 February 2014

Self inflicted misery

So I've galloped around London enjoying the sights, sounds and yes, even the smells but now find myself sidelined by self inflicted misery in the form of a few rather painful heel blisters.

I knew it was a mistake 100 metres from the door!  Fashion over functionality it was. Heading for the shopping mecca that is Westfield Stratford I thought I would smarten up a little and ditch the practical shoes in favour of looking good ....  big mistake.  

My shopping at Westfield centred around finding a pharmacy and choosing the right bandaids/plasters so that I could manage to limp around long enough to make it home.

Needless to say running has been severely curtailed and may now even have to wait until we are back home in Darwin (the countdown on our departure is ticking ... we have only a couple more days to enjoy).

Will we or will we not head out to opening day of the London Tri Show?  That rather depends on how well these heels heal!

22 February 2014

Bonus taste of Spring

Happy to post that I now have a few London runs in my legs (not to mention walks) and am quite at home in the cold.  

The combination of running and sight seeing makes the time pass quickly and is so enjoyable that the temptation is to do too much!

As an example, yesterday I rugged up and headed off for an "urban" run in the general direction of London Bridge.

I firstly poked around in the back streets of Shoreditch and then half way to the Bridge got sidetracked (as you do) at Spitalfields Traders Market and then again at St Botolph's Church. 

Needless to say I didn't make it to London Bridge before having to turn around.  As it was I ended up jumping on a bus to head home.  Love the freedom to do that (not a drop of Darwin sweat in sight).

But most of all I'm enjoying running and taking in all the hints of Spring - there are bulbs emerging, with the daffodils and crocus adding spots of colour to the fields. Trees are starting to blossom, roses are sprouting new leaves and everywhere there are window boxes showing signs of colourful displays to come.

spring blossoms at Haggerston Park

We don't have four seasons at home in Darwin - just wet and dry.  So here's to our unaccustomed taste of spring. A real bonus!

16 February 2014

Half way around the world to talk about the weather

Since last posting, we have travelled half way around the world but the main topic of conversation is still .... the weather!!

We left Darwin, currently experiencing the wettest of wet seasons, where the ground is water logged and the smell of mould is all pervading, the temperature is hot, hot, hot and the crocs are on the move, and flown for endless hours, just to find ourselves in the midst of extreme weather in the UK.  

Our welcome back to London was in the form of yellow and amber weather warnings, necessitating layer upon layer dressing (no throwing on the shorts & tshirt here).  

The wind is rattling the windows and doors and if outside, seeps into our bones with remarkable ease.

Given that we have gone thermal and have the London uniform down pat (ie black, black and black) we are at least looking the part but acclimatising to the weather is a gradual thing and I think I'm still a couple of days away yet!

Daryl ventured out in a very jet lagged state for an early morning run yesterday.  Covered head to toe in almost every item of clothing he owned, he came back with red cheeks and red nose.

I'm yet to hit the pavement, but with the weather forecast for improving conditions believe tomorrow will be my big day. 

Spotted this tribute to cycling in London - would love to see it in the spring!

I can't help but admire anyone training in this climate.  It must be hard to leave a nice cosy warm bed to head out in the freezing cold.

The London Fields lido is our closest pool and it was a hive of activity this morning. Being a total woose I opted to not bring swim gear this trip but obviously locals don't think twice about getting their laps done. 

With jet lag still a factor and waking early, we rugged up and were out the door and on the move early this morning.  It wasn't quite a run, but we had a very enjoyable brisk walk along the Thames done and dusted before 9am. A couple of times the wind gusts were of surprising strength and I couldn't help but think what it would be like to be on a bike.

So all power to those who swim, bike and run in this country at this time of year.  They are out there doing it while I'm still talking about the weather and gathering the courage to get out there and face it in run gear. 

11 February 2014

Ambassador material

I've had one of those days.  You know, the kind that just flies by.  

On the one hand, gone in a blink of an eye but with this morning's swim squad now seeming such a long, long time ago!

It has been a wonderful day for both coach Daryl and athlete Stef, with notification coming through that Stef's professional license has been approved by Triathlon Australia. 

Stef has trained hard to realise this dream of racing alongside the best in the sport and she has a big year planned.  

Her achievements here in Darwin as well as interstate and overseas have been consistently good and I'm sure they will continue to be in the future.  

Stef is a delightful young lady and we are all thrilled for her.

And a big plus - she looks SO good in SOAS Racing gear she really should be an Ambassador as well!

Stef on the podium & receiving a kiss from Felix at Challenge Melbourne 

Good luck in the future Stef!

09 February 2014

Mixed bag

Wow what a weekend!

Finally, there was some relief from the relentless wet season storms.  We even had periods of sunshine - so unaccustomed had I become that the dazzling glare had me squinting madly and hunting to find long discarded sunglasses!

I even managed to get a couple of rides in, again without getting wet. Yesterday's was somewhat of a struggle (especially into the wind) but today I feel like I have turned the corner.  Antibiotics are obviously kicking in.

This morning was the annual club Off Road Tri down at Lake Alexander.  I rode down, arriving just in time to take some happy snaps.

My photos can be viewed here.  Not too bad considering my camera was misbehaving, again.  Actually it is a new camera, replaced under warranty but now it too is exhibiting the same faults as the other.  No names, but I think this model is a lemon.  Thinking of buying a digital camera?  Get in touch and I will be happy to tell you what not to buy!

Club event done and dusted I pedaled home furiously to track the action at Ironman 70.3 Geelong.

Of course I'm biased, but was totally stoked for Daryl when  four athletes he coaches made podium.  Two in the 70.3 and two in the associated 5150 Olympic Distance race.  One has taken a slot for Ironman 70.3 World Champs in Canada coming up in September. 

Tracking finished I spent way to much time on social media updating. I think it is appreciated as many people take the time to mention they look forward to seeing my photos go up on the club Facebook site.  

So the weekend has been one of recovery from infection, struggling with training but also feeling some form return, excitment tracking some excellent results and disappointment for a couple of others who dnf'd (one due to illness and the other an accident on the bike leg), sunshine and storms.

A real mixed bag

07 February 2014

One step back, two steps forward

I have been "off my oats" for most of the week and following my run (questionable) this morning, my body was definitely telling me to do something about it.

Luckily my wonderful GP was able to fit me in and has started me on a course of antibiotics with some further test results due back next week.

So a little down in the mouth, I drew on the "look where you were twelve months ago" scenario to lift me out of the blues.

Back then I was still sporting drips and drains and catheters and rejoicing in making it down the hospital corridor with the help of a walker!

I've also had an enjoyable dinner with friends this evening.  A year back I was just coming off "clear fluids" and was weighing in at around 47kgs and doing a good job of impersonating Angelina Jolie (without the height).

Looking back occasionally reminds me I do have a lot to be positive about and though today has been a step back, I'm sure I will be taking two steps forward again real soon.

06 February 2014

Dry ride

Just a small post to record the first ride in weeks which didn't end in being totally drenched and me sporting the drowned rat look.

40km done and dusted on the bike this evening.  Perhaps it was because I remembered to wear my old bike shoes?

Here's to a dry (happy for it to be overcast) run in the morning!

05 February 2014


The combined influence of the atrocious Darwin weather and a weekend trip down to the sweltering south of the country to watch Challenge Melbourne has meant a somewhat patchy attendance to my training program over the past few days.

Prior to our red eye flight to Melbourne I did manage to sneak in a wet ride and did so again yesterday.  

The storms are still coming through with enough wind power behind them to actually rock my confidence on the bike.  

When it's a struggle to stay upright and the rain is stinging, I find it difficult to actually get the specifics of the session done.  

I do think having your bum on the seat (however wet) is better than not at all and surely battling against the wind is strength work even if target times are not attained?

My mantra in conditions like this is "think Hawi, think Hawi", followed by "the wind is my friend".

Being on the sidelines at Challenge Melbourne confirmed a few things:

1.  I love the sport of triathlon and all that surrounds it - except those who deliberately draft.

2.  I was inspired anew by the efforts of competitors on what was the hottest of hot days

3.  I'm a finish line junkie.


4.  SOAS Racing tri gear looks fantastic.

The reason for our attendance at the race was primarily to watch and support Tim Green, racing his first event after newly turning professional.  

It was a milestone moment for Tim and Daryl after working together for over two years to reach this point.  

Another of his athletes, Stef (one of those cool as a cucumber chicks in SOAS) was also competing as was our favourite Pom, Jo. 

I loved being on the sidelines, supporting them and many others I knew, as well as many I didn't.  Always great when there are names on race bibs and you can surprise people with a personal shout out!

The finish line at Challenge events is always special and Melbourne was no exception.

Special moment for coach Daryl & athlete Tim Green - first pro race done.

Tim finished in 10th place in the stacked elite male field and received his first pro pay check. He may very well frame that one!

Stef also made top 10 in the females and was 3rd in F25-29 (a hell of a tough category at this race).

Stef, awesome in SOAS, looks as though she could do it all again!

Now that little sojourn is done I need to stop being sidetracked, fire up the Garmin and get some solid training in. 

If that means in between storms while ever this monsoon weather persists, so be it.