28 September 2014

Purple patch of progress

Going to touch wood and say that there has been some progress in my training lately.  

As much of the improvement has been with my running, that's a real bonus.

Since Hawaii 70.3 I was still struggling to run, unable to find the required head space to move from my comeback pattern of run/walk.  

Not sure why the change has come about, perhaps those interesting runs in London helped. Whatever, sure hoping that this new found feeling of being comfortable bopping along for an hour or so will continue (and increase as I've 21.1km to get through in Phuket)!  

Nothing earth shattering really, and probably laughable if you are fit, feisty and under 50 but having struggled to find that run zone again it's big deal territory in the Comeback Queen V2 stakes.

This week also saw a move back to open water swimming and my swim distance is now picking up.

It was a "gulp" moment when I first saw my training program for this past week but have zoomed through nicely with no ill effects.  More progress.

Next week brings more of the same on my program and there will be no putting off if I'm to be ready to toe that start line on the beach come race day.

Noticed also that our weather has well and truly turned. We are definitely getting more humidity and temperatures are increasing now. Makes for sweaty workouts and lots of washing. As well our nights have really warmed up and that has meant the return of restless sleep.  Fans have been turned up a notch at night but we are trying not to use air conditioning too much.

Word from the long time locals is that we are in for a very wet Wet! As much as I like the rain and the clean green it brings, can't help but now hope it doesn't kick in any time soon and disrupt this purple patch of progress.   What a difference a week makes, in my last post I was pleading for rain!

At 63 days out from Challenge Laguna Phuket here's a V2 update:

Longest swim:  2 km 
Longest ride:    61 km
Longest run:     10.07 km

20 September 2014

I love where I live - but sometimes more than others!

I love where I live - but sometimes more than others!

And right now, this end of Dry Season build up to Wet Season period is the time I feel most uncomfortable living in Darwin.

Everything is dirty, most of the grass has died off and cars are covered in a thick layer of dust.  

Every surface inside our house is covered in dust and one can live in a perpetual state of "spring" cleaning,  unless of course you are a seasoned iron person and prepared to live in less than spotless in the name of getting the training done!  

I do draw the line at actually being able to write my name in the dust on the windowsills!

And Darwin ... well it looks just plain ugly and dirty. Nothing at all like the clean and green Darwin of the Wet Season. 

It's hot (we had the second hottest September day on record yesterday) and it hasn't rained in forever.

Burnt out areas are still smelling, well, burnt.  

These are the patches that sprout new growth as soon as the rains come, but when that will be this year is anyone's guess. 

Perhaps a little rain is possible towards the end of the month (please, please, please)!

Added to that the nights are getting hotter and sleep is harder to come by.  We have always tried to resist using the air conditioner until at least October but have already given in a couple of times.

It's too early to think I've gone troppo so that's just a little grizzle and it's over! 

In an effort to be positive, I'll move on to the high points.

I've nailed my run and ride training sessions this week.  Can't say the same about swimming and I'm clinging to the hope that next week will bring better news on the aquatic front.

So marching on towards Challenge Phuket some 71 days away, I've got the following stats happening:

Longest swim:  300m 
Longest ride:    60.20km
Longest run:     8.08km

In awe of Jens' Hour Record of 50.115kph (flying for an hour on his Trek) I checked my top speed today.  43.6kph which must have been attained when I was going downhill and probably maintained for all of 30 secs!!  

12 September 2014

Self talk

I've shouted it to the world over the past few days that, yes, I am going to try to make the start line of Challenge Laguna Phuket.

That announcement was on the back of a swim, a ride and a little run that had all felt OK given the jet lag I was experiencing at the time.

Since then I've repeated those sessions and wondered if perhaps I wasn't just a teeny weeny bit premature in putting it out there, having found myself almost swimming on the spot, struggling against the wind on the bike and thinking a 3km run without stopping was a big deal!

So it was time for some serious self talk and then, as if they knew I was in need of support, Challenge posted this little gem on Facebook ....

Not long afterwards, my training program for next week turned up in my inbox and I found myself thinking that just maybe I could manage those sessions after all.

Following the stern self talk and armed with those two motivating "out of the blue" signs, I have my bike light charging, the cycle gear out ready and will hit the road tomorrow.

A current sit rep post London holiday update for my bid to become Comeback Queen V2:

Longest Swim:  300m
Longest Ride:   23km
Longest Run:    4.5km

As always, a run for me is a run/walk combo.

Event distance:

Swim:  1.9km
Bike:    90km
Run:    21.1km

During my self talk, I reminded me that the big bonus for V2 is that it's only just three months since I raced that distance so I'm not starting from complete rock bottom fitness wise, and have merely had a cessation of swimming and riding for a month.

I can do it, I told myself ... easy peasy!

10 September 2014

Reality check

My event countdown has Challenge Laguna Phuket at 81 days away!!!

But with the goal dangling, I've already been back in the pool, out on the bike and managed a whole 3km run (without stopping) since shaking the jet lag from the long haul flight back from London at the weekend.

The reality check - jumping on the scales for the first time in 3 weeks - shows I've some work to do there as well.

Another reality check, this time, the weather!  Our dry season (where we have stretched out to at least 102 days without rain) is coming to an end.  The humidity is starting to kick in and the weather boffins are saying ridiculous things like "it is the build up to the build up".

So here we are at 10pm and it's still 25.7 degrees C ... considerably warmer than our last few weeks in the UK ... and warmer than our southern cousins now coming into Spring are experiencing.

This Comeback Queen V2 effort is not going to be a walk in the park in the build up to the Wet Season but I will give it my best shot and see what happens.