Thursday, 28 October 2010

5 passes -prologue

Today was the start of the 5 Passes Tour. In it's 10th year now, this bike race organised by our chum from Epic camp, Pete O Brian for CISport takes a great route from Christchurch, over the Southern Alps to Greymouth taking in 4 major passes en route. with this evening's prologue up one of christchurch's local favourite hills, Evans Pass, that make 5 in 4 and a bit days.

The atmosphere at the race this evening was great - with 90-odd riders and strong support crew this promised to be a long weekend of great scenery, hard riding ( it IS a race and Steven and I are in a team representing Scotty Browns), good camaradarie (and fingers crossed nice weather!)

whilst the rest of my team ride A grade, i'm B grade...which has one other female rider. a pretty sh*t hot 50-year old! i caught her for 30sec on the Time trial up Evans ...but local word is she's one mean rider. should be fun.

with my ride, which produced Hr values in the 190s, took 9 min 2 i'm currently leading the women's B class of two. reckon if i'd not been slowed down in the last 100m by a caught rider that i thought it'd be rude to budge out of the way (given that we'll be spending the next 4 days together!) that'd be 9:15-10.....maybe those seconds will count!

i'll be off line for a while, but you can follow the Tour on twitter (@5PassesTour) and the facebook page

Friday, 22 October 2010

2010 - training numbers

around about this time last year, i included some data from my training log in my review of 2009 - my first year living the dream as a full-time (age group) triathlete.

" average training hours per week was 27 - this figure is scewed by the very light training weeks that precede and follow racing so a better representation is to say that a typical training week is in the range 28-36 hrs.
average (mean) daily training hours was 3.9, with 3-5hrs/day being the most common daily volume and equal number of 1-3 and 5-7hr days. this represents a typical week which includes a lighter day and a long day.

In terms of swim bike run numbers:
mean distance swum /week = 14km - modal range of 12-16km
mean distance cycled/week = 231miles - modal range 200-250mi
mean distance run/week = 40 miles - modal range 42-48.... "

Of course with week 52 ticked off teh 2010 log book, time spent relaxing post race and post season easily turns to thoughts about the year, making comparisons to past practice v's performances, and planning for future improvements. That, beaches and beer...

so the 2010 season 's stats:
with a mean weekly training vol of 28.7hrs slightly more total volume overall, but this year's modal range was 20-28hrs - smaller than in 2009 but closer to the mean value which is indicative of more general consistency. Significant factors in this are the high bike load early in the year enabling me to log some big hours of cycling without the high training stress of running for a 2.5 month period (jan - march) . However, once the injury settled and I got into the racing season, my typical training volume reduced to under 25hr /week through the summer (may-july).

mean distance swum: 15.5km/week (typically 12-16km, though this year there were more weeks of high >20km volume than ever before)
mean distance cycled: 244mi/week (typically 175-225mi)
mean distance run: 28mi/week (typically 36-42miles though 6 weeks of 0 miles, a cautious build back and no long runs over 2hr in the schedule this year produce a lower mean for the whole year.

well, some of us like numbers. some like them a lot, but again after several hours of fiddling with data, performing statistical calculations and making graphs, i sit back and wonder "so what?". I already feel fairly sure that , with a few exceptions not so very far from home, the training hours that i put in is the upper end of the scale compared to most people, including most professional triathletes. I believe that the primary requirement for competition which requires 10hrs of high level aerobic output is the ability to sustain that level of effort for that sort of duration. in other words, endurance - and there is no short cut to building that. luckily i find it enjoyable (mostly), have patience and have constructed a lifestyle and environment which allows me to indulge. however a year on, with 6 professional races and 1500 more hrs under my belt my recent kona (under)performance highlights the fact that i'm still the wrong side of the step up in performance that is required to transform me from top age grouper to "good' pro.

2011 is the season for new ideas!

Monday, 11 October 2010

the what if's

it doesn't take long after a (poor) race before an array of alternative realities start forming in the mind...i'm fine about my results here on saturday,but of course it could have been a different day had i executed differemntly. this gives me something positive to focus on and specifics to work towards.
so..the 'what if's :

the first tactical error of my day was getting caught at the back of the swim. better than my 'worst case scenario of swimming the whole thing on my own - but ony marginally. what happened was that i hung in with a group of 3/4 other slow swimmers - i did have to push a bit initially to keep with it, but after a short while it really settled, and felt a bit too easy. however ,by then there was no sight of anyone within reaching distance ahead. I cruised on feet to the turn about point, then decided to try to encourage a pick up in pace by moving to the front an giving a 2-300m change in pace. there was no response and i found myself either committed to pulling them back to shore, or settling in for an easy and frustrating swim home, clashing arms with legs. actually i was enjoying the swimming, sighting and being guided by paddlers working at a decent effort. however, it resulted in the slowest swim split that i've achieved here to date.
Now, looking at the swim splits for the pro ladies, there were six swims of around 1:07. another splinter group who swam a pace similar to what i had managed last year here. Sure, no tech fabric swim skins, and a much smaller draft...but still a more appropriate pace for me to swim with the benefit of feet to follow. i probably would have had to really bust a gut to get with them initially- and developing a fast start is something i'm going to have to work at.

looking at the bike splits for this bunch, aside from Tyler Stewart and Sandra Wallenhurst, which appear to have ridden off together for a 5:08, these girls did not stay connected on the bike. I'd given Karin Thuerig (4:48 - a course record?) and Helen Bij De Vaate (5:02) and two other sub 5:20 cyclists a tow. did they wait for me? did they fuck. i now understand their urgency to get through transition - it was a sprint to our bikes! I would say that my second tactical error of the day was allowing them to get away around the first loop of the course - but the fact is, i'm just not much of a cyclist to stick at their pace, so in retrospect it probably saved me a serious blow up. However there were others in the 1:07 swim pack who rode the splits that i had been targeting. Hard to compare this race year on year with the conditions being windier than i have previously experienced, but comparing my split with the rest of the field, i was further off the pace of the average of the top 30 bike splits than i had been last year. and i know that this is largely because there were no other female riders in sight to push me along. So, lets conjecture that IF i'd come out the water with this group, i'd have a better chance of company on the bike (of course i don't know how they paced it) and maybe have managed around 5:30.

i did not have any stomach issues, or die as terribly as i had last year on the run, but it was a slower marathon than my target yesterday too. i have no explanation for that. following the above scenario, i'd have been working a lot harder all day and may have run even slower. in fact , there's a chance that i would have cracked completely, but i dont much care for that idea so will exclude it from this analysis!

so...a 1:07:50 swim, 5:30:00 bike and my actual 3:26:47 run and 5min19 transitions = 10:09:56 which would have me in the top 30 and within my target time.

the race

by the time that race morning approached, i no longer felt nervous and as it happened the start was very civilised affair indeed. the cannon rather caught me by surprise but we were off - a fast flurry of foam ( i'd placed myself near, but not right at, the back) i did what i had to do to catch some feet and was pleased with myself for having managed to do so. with a bit of effort i was on the toes of woman who seemed to be swimming a little faster than me, and noticed that i was sharing the draft with another girl. that's even better - as scott had told me the previous day ' you only need one pair of fete to draft' - and two is better than that! before long the group became 4, and the pace settled. it felt pretty easy and the lead changed occasionally in the first quarter o the swim and there was a bit of clashing of arms and legs as .the sea was calm but quite rolling with swell. if i glanced up when we were high, i could see that here was nobody within bridging distance ahead. by the time that we were half way i was feeling just a bit too comfortable and started to get frustrated. however, i'd been getting a tow for 1.8km so i swam to the front and tried to pick up the pace, assuming that these were stronger swimmers than me and would soon swim round and take over again. not so - i actually got the sense that aside forma faster start than i had ,these girls were tiring more than me .so i lead the pack back to shore which was really good fun - i had a paddle border each side of me which i could see underwater, so only had to sight occasionally. mostly i kept my head down and focused on my stroke. it did seem to take a long time to get back..but at last we were helped up the steps and into transition .

now ,i'm usually one of the swiftest mover through transition area, but these girls were really racing to out bike compound! we exited T1 together and they hammered off up the road. i'm working hard to keep them in my sights knowing that there'd be a huge advantage from having some company out there on the Queen K...but the 3 of them had disappeared for view before we got to the kuakahini highway. i now know that the group included Karin Thuerig and Helen Bij De Vaate who went on to ride (4:48 and 5:02 respectively!

riding out and having the queen K to myself was pretty wickid though .i was feeling good and was mentally prepared for this. keeping one eye on HR and the other on cadence, i enjoyed the cheers as i rode past the gathered crowds. a surprising amount of people hanging out in the baking sun on the edge of a highway! i kept my thoughts positive and my legs working. steven and i had been chatting about the likely hood of us finishing together- which of course extended to speculation as to who'd cross the line first. knowing that i'd had a poor swim, i reckoned that he'd already have made up 15 min on me...i thought i might make 10 min back on the couldn't afford to loose more than 25 min on the bike and pushed on to get as far along the course as i could. the figures were kind of hard to work out in the heat of the race...but when the first age grouper passed me only 1:30 into the ride i though i was done for! from that point on there was an increasing stream of strong male riders passing me. as the flow thickened the problem with the different drafting rules that apply to pro's was a bit of an issue - since its perfectly legal for a passing age grouper to slot himself into the 10m gap that i'm holding ( he only needs to be 7m back) ...but i risk a penalty if i don't immediately drop back. most of the guys were pretty understanding. There were very strong cross winds on the way up to Hawi, but they were nothing like those on the way down. absolutely terrifying and i was very glad that i had left the drop attached. all the same, there were several occasions when i was blown right across to the edge of the road and really feared going in the lava. that was a petty miserable 18 miles - potentially fast but not able t ouse it much. i was stunned that age group women were starting to pass me too! no sign of steven yet though..he must be close. and that kept me going through teh tough return part of the ride. it's great that many of my friends are racing here are strong riders as they did all at some point come by , and i was able to get a sense of how peoples races were going .i'd established by now that steven wasn't having a good one - it was only in the last 90 min that he passed me...not riding strong and i passed him back for a further 30 min. until something clicked and he decided to put his head down and motor home! at least i did not have to do so much on the run to beat him though! I could see that i was well short of my target, or even matching last year's bike split but felt i'd worked my legs hard enough that i was not looking forward to a long run. i reminded myself of teh races i've done where i've ridden poorly but run well - Zaratuz half where i ran a 1:24 20km and IM UK where i set my IM run PB last month. i just had to get out and do it.

the first mile went by in under 7 min, the second ditto...over the next 10 things settled to my target pace of 7:30s. I could see the spread of the female pros in front of me, and reckoned that i was within a mile or two of the top 20 and was running well. i 'd somehow passed steven without noticing since i saw him after teh Ali'i drive turn around, behind me, then Scott, then Jenny which really gave me a fright - she'd put 20 min into me if not more. that's just be embarrassing. my feet were already starting to hurt but my pace stayed reasonable until we hit Palani, which i was telling myself is a lot better than i felt at this point last year..then that steep hill really seemed to just sap me. i don't remember if i walked - i think i used an aid station as an excuse to do so for a little and got running again..but my pace just seemed to have dropped off. from then on, mile 11, it was a battle to sustain 8 min miles - i was hitting 8:03, 8:05 and for all the world felt like i was killing myself. i used several stargergies to just keep going - and for the first time ever made use of the special needs bags where i'd stashed a can of Monster .having never tried this before i was quite curious and looking forward to it. in the energy lab it was a picture of carnage. i saw Roger, Richard Hobson, Russ and Yvette all walking and/or looking like death! Somehow that made me feel less retched, determined not to show i was suffering ...and i did my best to encourage them to run too. only 10k to go...that's a long 50 min though! i spent some of it with mark Petrofesa form Epic Camp - he was in a similar condition but wanted to break 10hrs...that was the first time i got a sense of the overall time . it was 4:34. i had 16 min to run 8.2 miles to beat last year's time. it was possible s i pushed on. My feet were balls of blister by then but i know that the magical feeling of running down Ali'i drive was only minutes away ...and i'd survived the (psychologically) toughest race experience so far and felt i'd coped well.

i was disappointed to have posted a slowest race here ever- combining my worst swim and bike (though actually , my fastest run) splits for the course...but considering the number of drop-outs on the day, i'm proud to have finished and proud to have really savoured and enjoyed it. this is more than just an ironman - it's teh mother of all ironman ( literally!) and I look forward to returning next year with some more experience and race savvy.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

race week - friday

The LAST day of race week- it really did creep up and then POUNCE!
but, the bike and bags are now racked in transition, i've just had a late lunch/early tea and relaxing to the sounds of Americam feel-good popular dad-rock blasting out over the race PA system. In this context, it's bearable - helping to create an appropriate atmosphere for a great day of fun that we are all looking forward to tomorrow. Now that all those overwhelming little decisions have been made and committed to in the handing over of the race bags, i feel a real sense of relief and able to put it all into proper perspective. Tomorrow i 'm going to start the day with a swim in the beautiful waters, then i'll go out for a long ride in the sunshine...before a brick run. The run will be tough, but i'll be accompanied by hundreds of others, cheering crowds and the chance to really explore my limits knowing that, if it all goes pear-shaped i'll be taken care of. what a sweet day. and at the end of it, there'll be real sense of achievement that i will be able to share with my friends who have all achieved the same..over a beer!


wishing all the guys and girls i know out here the best possible race tomorrow, and i look forward to catching up and hearing your stories later on.

(oh, it's "highway to hell'...where's my earplugs?)

Friday, 8 October 2010

race week - thursday

luckily my day got a lot better than it started - a rather panicked early awakening, lots of fears and concerns that i'd been pushing away and realise that now i really do need to start getting my head right for the upcoming race. i've treated it all quite casually, people commenting on how calm i am ( i'm not usually before a race!) and i think that's simply because i've been avoiding thinking about it just because i'm so nervous. of course it's just a lot of unknowns, which are always accompanied with as much fear and doubt as excitement...and i know that the way to deal with it is to be adaptable. to have all my resources at the ready and use my judgement as to which of them to utilise.

I grabbed some time with my coach, Scott Molina, to chat some of it over. of course he's not prepared to tell me how to do this race, but he sure has a lot of experience as pro athlete and having coached and developed pro athletes as well as a real knack of putting things into context. a few of the things he said, kind of casually, really did hit home. At the pro briefing i really did get a sense that i'm not the only one feeling a few nerves!! At least i don't have the pressure of anyone else's expectations on me. i know what i think would constitute a good race, and what i am going to be pleased to have achieved here, but it's not exactly goals that would set the media alight! anyway, rather cruelly, as is human (or at least my own) nature, realising that others - in particular those who i hold in high esteem (regardless of the results in any single race) - are feeling as bad, or worse, than me made me feel a lot better.

i was also quite pleased that, just like me, the other pros are all keen for a free feed! The day kicked off with the Powerbar Breakfast - a very nice buffet in the King Kam Hotel accompanied by a help yourself to Powerbar product buffet. I'm all sorted for race day, and beyond now. i managed to reinforce my reputation as 'the girl who can eat 2x her body weight in a sitting' - despite being quite restrained since i had actually already had my first breakfast! after the briefing , since it was lunchtime, most of us 'drifted' into the hospitality suite for a lunch of cereals, pretzels cookies and coffee......and i've just polished off an afternoon snack of sample cereal snacks that after being distributed at the expo.

well, i do think that its time to start consuming a few extra calories in preparation for the race - i've been careful with my diet since returning from budapest 3 weeks ago and this week, with the reduced training, have really gone for low carb intake; just topping up with limited CHO quickly after each session. I don't have access to scales here ,but i can see indicators of low body-fat right now. it is surprising how quickly that can change though, so after today's deliberate input, and the pre race meal tonight, tomorrow will be a lighter eating day.

for now, since i have a little time here alone, it's time to think through my race, finally decide on what kit to wear and use (one piece suit or two, HR monitor or no, which shoes, gps pacer on on the run??) and put all the labels and stuff on my bike.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

race week - wednesady

wednesday - 3 days to go and its all starting to get a bit crazy here. the number f people, logos, super-bikes, retailers, promotions, compression socks per sq. m has suddenly exploded from being a nice social number to a real pain in the backside!
perhaps this is because my own nerves are really building with the realization that, all of a sudden, race day is close upon us...and all those little 'to do' s before the race are now 'must do now' s.
luckily with the opening of the expo, the QR team arrived and Brett, the tech and design guy sorted out the irritating issues i've been having with my wheels for well as giving some great insight into the development of the CD0.1 and his thoughts on some specific features. being teh wind tunnel guy ( sorry Brett, that's rather understating your expertise!) he was able to advise me on where best to mount bottle etc. he kindly skirted around the issue of my drop bars - clearly a guy who knows what an athlete does NOT need to hear at this point - acknowledging that for comfort and confidence (a lot like BodyForm, wings and all) they could offer on a windy descent it may be worth the drag cost. I do enjoy talking technical with sweaty guys ( it was so hot yesterday, everyone was just dripping!) with beautiful southern american accents so a good start to the day.

Short ride with Jen where we bumped into Tara (Norton, who is out here scoping sme routes for her upcoming Epic Woman Camp) and Richard Hobson. We rode mostly easy until Jen had a few 'pieces' to do. Wow- she can go !! Her 2 min hard /3 min rec meant i was doing 3min hard/2min rec to stay with her! she admitted afterwards that by 'hard' she actually meant 'flat out' ...

next, registration - so now i am official - followed by a snooze great massage, another snooze. tapering has this effect on me -even walking around town seems to drain me. the heat makes it worse. steven went and fetched my tea from the sack'n'save for me and we picniced on teh balcony then went around to Scotts condo for a get together of Epic Campers. Annette from Stormydog Productions is in town doing some coverage and promoting teh documentary that they made on Epic camp NZ 2010, and the get together was a chance for all the 'stars' of the film to see it. It was was a great reminder of a great experience - though its pretty unpleasant seeing yourself on the screen! They di a great job capturing the experience, but o course there's so much more that they did not see! It inspired a lot of fun reminiscing until every one felt tired suddenly very tired (at 9pm)!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

race week - tuesday

Tuesday started as most days, watching star light turn to sunrise from our superbly positioned balcony. as peach/organe skies turn to blue, i can make out the few swimmers already out practicing on the course, going early to avoid the throngs that are gathered there by 7:30am. For me this morning, a pool session. i took the new BlueSeventy suit to give it a whirl. Cat (Morrision) was changing into hers with the same intention. she's got into one a size smaller than mine - she's wee! The pool was packed, with plenty of photographers about too, so we shared a lane Completed a decent session I was pleased to discover that its a lot more comfortable in the water then i felt it would be - didn't cut me like my pointzero3 had occasions. Tommorow i'll try it in the salt water.

Nice leisurely breakfast (notice a theme here?) with Douglas (Scott -our kiwi friend from Epic Camp), Donna and Russ before hooking up with Richard to do a bit of a photoshoot. He's been posting some great pics from the week for the team Freespeed blog and we know he'd really get some professional looking images. it was so good of him to give us an hour of his time, drive us up to a good spot on the highway and apply his creative input.

Felt dead good doing some short reps on the bike - despite being a very hot day. My bike computer is mystifying me though, and today it stopped working altogether halfway through the session, so it was all on HR and just going on feel with the cadence. i'm in a dilemma as to whether to fuss about it or just forget it in the race. I do have the option to borrow steven's computer for time/dist - but i have found that controlling my cadence is really useful for me in long sessions and races. Luckily the QR guys arrived today and have a mechanic on board. a bit embarrassing to ask for help with this, but i suspect that the rear wheel is out of dish - in order that i can run the campag wheel on my shimano set-up...and there's not physically not enough clearance for the magnet to pass the sensor. though that doesn't explain why it worked a i believe its the bizarre electromagnetic curse that i carry effecting it as it does every other bit of technology that i have ever owned!

its now feeling very close to race now - there are few opportunities now to test gear out and get stuff adjusted. today i trained in my one-piece race suit. very comfortable actually. (for 2hrs - not sure how it'd feel after 3 or 4) my initial reservation was being able to strip it down quickly in a porta potty situation, but i think the addition of a little chord would fix that. could save some sunburn - unless i decide to roll it down on the run.

Parade of nations in the evening: bit of a disappointing turnout from the brits, and no team shirts this year, but it did give a chance to catch up with a few of the GB guys and girls that we know through various coincidences and races and grab some Powerbar samples for a pre diner snack in the expo.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

race week - monday

the first day of 'race week' and the transformation of the town has begun! Banners , flags and giant inflatables ....official bag check at the pier for the ever increasing crowds of morning swimmers and a lot more faces around. Its been ( another) day for bumping in to and catching up with old acquaintances and new ones that i've made through this year. After a short jog we swam a little later than usual and in the clearest water that we've had so far this week. its was quite amazing - you really do get a sense of depth. bumped into Yvette (Grice) after the swim, who managed to appear both very excited and very relaxed and as usual super friendly. having seen her in most of my races this year, and used her as motivation too, i admit, it's great to see her again in this setting!

after a relaxed breakfast with jenny and richard, i spent the rest of the morning shopping with steven. Dropped into the Blueseventy store to collect the pz3tx swim suit that Ryan had ordered for me, where we met Gina (Crawford) doing the same. she gave us a pretty scary update on the quake situation in Christchurch - apparently worst effected area is on the estuary very close to where we will be lodging over the winter. there have been 1200 quakes in the past 5 weeks - that's bigger than Haititi. struggled into the suit, which looks and feels great once it's on. i'm keen to get in the water in it and assess what sort of rubbing i might get around the arms. Steven bought himself a smart new aero helmet and i was tempted but refrained - for now. then we had a coffee in a nice quiet little arcade looking out to sea and watching the fish play in the surf

my ride today was just an easy spin, so i rode out of town along the Alii Highway. it goes up and up through a road block preventing trucks and mopeds (and apparently bicycles) passing - so its a great quiet road with fantastic veiws. it's blocked at the 'top' - must be a private estate or something. A 'guard' yelled something at me: "you don't belong here". dint know why that amused me so much - just an odd choice of phrase. No, i don't belong here. but its nice to come and check it out.

the town was buzzing this afternoon with more and more athletes checking in and checking out the course. it really is a great buzz and i still find it awesome to think about the fact that these guys and girls ARE the best triathletes in the world - all the super fit, super flash dudes you see one or two of at each race - all here, in one spot. some have been here numerous times, others have been working on qualification for multiple seasons, and finally made it. many of them know one another as long standing competitors, many are friends, the rest are to be checked out surreptitiously from behind a decaf in Lava java and google...

Monday, 4 October 2010

kona day 5 (sunday)

each morning its busier down at the pier now - and so it takes longer to get the swim done by virtue of all the people that we bump into! today i swam with jenny, richard and some of and the Freespeed crew plus Martin Maldoon from serpentine club . We swam together as a pack, which makes a nice change for me since when i swim 'with' steven, rachel and steve, there's so much variation on speed between us that we all usually end up swimming alone and jut regrouping at agreed markers. so i got a swim at decent effort, which was required to stay with the back of group and had company the whole way. Had a chance to catch up with Lou Collins and admire her flouro pink Ceepo after the swim. Friendly as ever, but she seems pretty focused right now - a wee bit of game face on her, quiet understandably. people (in the uk) will have very high expectations of her for saturday, personally i think that those are pretty grounded, but she's sure to feel the pressure of that.

post swim, i headed out for a spin on the Queen K. steven and i dressed in our everydaytraining team kit and Roger kindly took some shots for QR of u on the matching Roos. roger was very enthusiastic about doing this, which we appreciated. when i learned about the bike session that he had ahead of him, i can quite understand his willingness to delay starting it!! He's been a very solid athlete the last few years working without a coach - now that he is working with 'TBear' Sindballe, i;m very excited to see how he races at the weekend.

on my way back into town after my spin, i dropped into teh SLS3 retail stand that has been set up in the temporary Cycle Station store on Ali'i Drive to introduce myself to Sebastian, the UK marketing guy. He gave me a groovy pair of Kona 10 edition compression socks to try out, they're great - i do think that these represent the very top-end of compression. We had a chat about the apparel, the compression habits of the UK market and the amazing Cheetah bike that someone happened to arrive at the store on. The fella just wanted a gas canister, and wound up explaining the features of this minimalist bike crowd of tri geeks that instantly appeared around it! must take him a long time to get anything done, going around on that thing!

Jose Tores from TriGrandPrix showed up - great to see him again, he's such an enthusiastic guy - and invited me along to a concert at The Sheridan hotel where they intend to announce the TriGrandPrix series 2011. I so enjoyed the race at Zarautz that i'm pleased to hear that it will be include again, along with more races in uk, ireland and europe.

finished the day with a 'short, easy run' - along Ali'i drive with nice tunes - which turned into a slightly longer run to the little church on the turnaround (where Stuart and Mette would be married later that evening -congratulations guys!). felt so good running an a beautiful warm evening i really enjoyed it. however it did leave me VERY thirsty and wiped me out for the evening really. not sure it was such a clever addition to the training schedule but you know i think that maybe worthwhile for the phsycological benefit - last year i felt terrible running that section back into town from the church so good to overwrite that memory with a better one.

Dinner at Bongo Bens again..then steven was kicked out onto the balcony to do his work so that i could get to sleep by 9pm!


Sunday, 3 October 2010

Kona day 4 (and a half)

its 2:30 am and i'm pretty much wide awake. thought that the jet lag situation was improving when i slept through till nearly 5am yesterday...but the thoughts rattling around on a loop in my head, combined with a sunburnt back, wont let me sleep tonight. so, i might as well fill in some time with my 3rd day in Kona post.

so, my last substantial training day before the race: first, a swim out to the (very) far buoy and back. relaxed out, pushing it on the way back. the return felt easier than the swim out, and i enjoyed the swim more than i'd anticipated. treated myself to breakfast in Tante's diner with the rest of the guys, before heading out for a 3hr session on the queen K. Rachel also had an interval session to do, so we set off and rode our warm -up together, having a nice chat on the road. at 20 min i ramped it up for my first effort - giving rachel an extra 10 to warm up. i knew she'd be steaming by me shortly! she did - at the exact moment that my rear wheel punctured and the heavens opened with a 10 min down-pour. just the same amount of time it took me changing the tube! so i got a little unplanned break in that work interval, but some good roadside repair practice. weird thing - it was such a local rain fall that i literally rode out of the cloud - onto a completely bone dry road. And at the end of my session back into it - Kailua Kona was in rian most of eh day. finished the session with a nasty fall from my bike. stupid really and only because i like to ride right into the hotel lobby..which is tiled...and wet. so i had a good audience as my bike disappeared from under me, planting me square onto my back. Luckily strawberry flavoured Powerbar gel broke my fall, though i still sustained a nice bash to my shin and completely winded myself!

A few moments to compose myself in my room before heading out for a 'race pace' transition run on the queen K. well, i HOPE i can race at that pace - i was feeling good today. Seems that the effects of the long flight are out of my system and i'm feeling the benefit of the rest that the journey enforced - i was even able to aise my HR on the bike, something that's been eluding me the last couple of weeks in training at home. So,I just need to get caught up on sleep from now on, and keep ticking over with shorter sessions each day..

Saturday, 2 October 2010

kona diaries 2010

for the next 2 weeks, blog posts should be regular, giving diary updates from kailiua kona as i prepare for the Ironman World Championships. be warned - names will be dropped unashamedly and i will not be censoring weather reports just to make you guys in the uk feel better ;o)

kona day 0
touch down 8:30 pm. that tiny open air airport. bike boxes were there waiting for us having been checked all the way through by a very nice lady in LA (who 'forgot' to charge us the carriage too) i think they got an earlier connection in honululu.
quick, very quite,cab ride to the hotel that we've stayed in the past 4 years, feels like coming home. first thing was get the run kit on and out for a short run, as directed by coach Scott. return to unpack bike. by now i'm beyond tired, but have no trouble sleeping when it's finally time.

kona day 1
wake up at a reasonable time. did we escape jet lag? woken to the sound of a million squwarking birds in the tree outside our room. what is their beef? daylight reveals that we have a great view of the pier, swim start area and section of Ali'i drive which will become the finish line in 10 days time. we can live with the excited avian dawn chorus. head down for a swim in the ocean . that feels so nice! we swim relaxed, and i'm feeling quite good in the water. spy a small pod of dolphins. there's another women is freaking out about this. guess she's not been to kona before ;o) dolphins swim off. the air right there, out in the ocean smells of flowers. have a horrible realization mid swim that i have brought a campag race wheel but only a shimano cassette. luckily steven is carrying a spare! i cant believe my luck (or my stupidity)
breakfast on the balcony then i go for a ride up 'the hill to Captain Cook (it's a town) to shake the jet lag off. just about an hour of riding uphill in the heat, though its kinda overcast today, and i'm retching at the side of the road. don't make it all the way to CC, feel lousy so opt for a soothing 40mph free-wheel home!
short run on Ali'i drive to try loosen the legs - really feeling heavy - so hopefully that's purged the flight out of my system. Meet up with a friend Steve (Moore), head for a nice supper at Bongo Ben's - our favourite for their generous Cob salad.

kona day 2
woke up before dawn had cracked. played on computer until it was reasonable to get up for a swim. big day today - last long one before the race. we met Rachel (Joyce) and Russ (Cox) this morning and all swam together (well, we all got in the water together!) . after that short swim, Steven and i go out for a ride together over the whole course. its not often these days that we do ride together, and though we dont ride side by side for very much of the day, its nice to have some company when we stop for drinks at the Wai'aka store. we have matching green machines too, so it's kinda fun to ride together, too. its a draining ride and the last 2hrs home is sure tough. legs still feeling a bit odd after the flight i guess, they had a hell of an ache in the last 20 miles home, i was suffering. Steven went out for a run of the bike, i lay down! but then he'd had a much easier ride than me at that pace. we covered the 107 miles in just over 6hr - my mate Steve, who headed out early in the morning, did it in 5hr 20. i was impressed. back to Bongo Bens for dinner with Steve, Rachel, Roger and his wife Mary.

kona day 3
slept through till after 4am today, improving. Ocean was choppy today - having rained last night was quite cool. i'm glad that i didn't go with Steven and Roger (Canham) to swim the full course. i was cold! Jenny (Gowans) and Richard (Melik) arrived last night and we hooked up after a swim. great massage with the muscular massage school - i got Gino, the tutor who enjoyed telling me about the triathlon great she'd worked with back in the day whilst working on my gluteus, worked an hour for my half hour fee. bonus. Headed out for a short lunch time ride with jenny, who tends to want to make me work. one point Richard (Hobson) and Stuart (Anderson) came steaming past us- she decides to give chase whilst i'm picking my nose or something and is soon a speck on the horizon. frightening. lunch of papaya ( 7 for $2!) , a few hours working on training schedules and catching up with my athletes at home, then a cruisy 5miles run on the Queen K before tea in front of the telly. so many channels of garbage and adverts. amazing.

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