Saturday, November 23, 2013

In readiness...

Tomorrow my first sprint tri in quite some years. The goal is to finish. It will be interesting to see where I'm at and set more goals from there. I feel underdone on the running aspect, in that I'm not running the times I was hoping to at this stage. It's a little daunting, but all I have to do is keep moving forward, that's all I ask of myself.

Mon; run: 50:44 |  8km | 6.19m/km
Testing the distance. It feels like it's been a while since I've run this far.

Tues; yoga: Simply flow | 1hr
While I want to move up to power flow, all the simply flow classes I've done of late have certainly been challenging enough!

Wed; ride/run: 1:10:58 | 26.8km | 22.6 km/hr hilly ride followed by 12:58 | 2km | 6.28m/km run. It wasn't overly warm and my feet were numb making for some awkward running. Good practice for Sunday, the forecast is not warm.

Thurs; ride: 1:33:08 | 39.5km | 25.45km/hr. Beach rd ride.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Bass Coast Cycle Challenge 85km recap

The short: 4:01:58  |  91km (the ride itself is 85km, but we rode to the start from our weekend base)

The long: I tagged along with my Mum and a few of her riding buddies for the Bass Coast Challenge, riding to raise awareness about road safety - something that has been close to my heart throughout my career. With recent rostering it felt rather indulgent to have a reasonably weathered Saturday to just ride.

We started out of Inverloch and it wasn't too long before the group split. I was out on my own. After a nice 20km warm up I was climbing "Mt Misery" a 3km climb. 500m to the top we were cheered on by a devil and her cross-dressed Heidi.

I found the second climb of the day to be a touch more brutal, but it was rewarded with gorgeous views of green rolling hill tops and some long descents.

From Wonthaggi back to Inverloch I tacked onto the back of a group. I'm not usually one to do this when riding, given I don't know the quality of rider I'm tacking onto and vice versa but the headwind was brutal and I was feeling less than fresh.

The ride was incredibly well run, plenty of aid stations, stocked well with food (ANZAC biscuits, fruit cake, bananas and oranges) and water (or sports drink) and masses of friendly and supportive volunteers. I'd come back and do this ride in a heartbeat, it's always nice to mix up the scenery and take on a slightly different challenge. It was kind of nice to ride with Mum for a bit, at my own pace for a bit and then regroup. Certainly my longest ride in quite some time and a very satisfying one at that.

Needless to say I slept well that night.

Monday, November 11, 2013

The weekend that was

The weather on the weekend was average at best, Saturday morning I got in a yoga class and then headed to the Mornington Peninsula for a birthday BBQ on Saturday night. I headed down a touch early so I could take in some of the two bays trail - I'd run part of it at the start of the year for the Two Bays 28km trail run and I've been keen to revisit. I started from Greens Bush. It was gorgeously serene. I saw one other person on the trail and heard plenty of bird life around me. I ended up jogging on the flats and walking the rest. It's well signposted and somewhat protected from the rain that was falling. Thankfully it was too cold for snakes.

Sat; yoga: 1 hr | Simply flow. Lots of back bends and hip opening today.
Hiking: 1:05 | 7km

Sun; ride: 1:34:20 | 39.3km | 25km/hr. A strong headwind heading out. Very unusual, but makes the way home super fast and fun! I didn't worry about HR, I just wanted to see what I could do.

Mon; swim: 54:00 | 2200m | 2.27m/100m. Lots of drills and a bit of distance. Cramming my two scheduled swims into one.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Off the shelf: 50 Marathons in 50 Days

Have you read this?

This is up there with Born to Run another great running story. 50 marathons in 50 days by ultra marathon man Dean Karnazes is filled with tips about running. Some we've all heard before - the right shoes are important. To some I'd forgotten about - over-training signs; including lack of motivation, and new suggestions like run as far as you can in a day - pack a back pack and a credit card and go. The last one plays on me constantly... and I read the book last year.

Run: 39:36 | 6.3km | 6.16m/km
I had to throw in some speed in the form of intervals to my training. Glad I did, because I wildly underperformed. I really struggled to hold any kind of pace. Doesn't bode well for aim of 5.50m/km in my first triathlon. At least I know where I'm at and the work I need to do.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Time on my side

I like you night shift I do, but I love me some rest days!

Tues; ride: 1:39:25 | 39.6km | 23.8km/hr.
What a day! Blue skies, no wind, shall I say that again, NO WIND!!!  I headed out with Mum and got to catch up on all her recent holiday news. We stopped for coffee of course. Had I not needed to leave for work by midday I honestly think I would have spent all day on the bike. It was beautiful. My HR average was 143. I didn't exactly stick in Z2, but I did manage some Z4 efforts.

Wed; run: 39:04 | 5km | 7.48m/km.
It was toasty, even at 6:45pm when I started the run. I'd procrastinated all afternoon. My dinner plans were canceled and I had no excuses left. Hard to keep the HR down at 140, but an easy run otherwise.

Thurs; ride/run: 1:16:37 | 28.7km | 22.4km/hr ride followed by 25:28 | 4.2km | 6.45m/km run.
Brick session. It was only meant to be a 15min run at 150 bpm or Z3. But I wanted a bit of time to unleash. To let myself run free, so the rest of the run was done as the race will be done with my HR sky high. Felt good to be working.

Monday, November 4, 2013

October Snapshot

A teeny InstaSnap of October.

November rolled in while I was on night shift - the days and nights all tumble into one I tell you.
Very glad this one is done, I lost steam towards the end and the desire to train faded as the week wore on. Thankfully my eating stayed on track.

Today a recovery day from the shift work, a time to restock the fridge, do some housework and get to yoga. Very much looking forward to getting back into swimming, cycling and running.

Yoga; Simply flow 1 hour.
I'm hoping to get to a power flow class later in the week. You know, when I've had more than fours hours sleep.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Monthly totals; October 2013

Swim: 2:00 | 4900m
Bike: 7:35:28 | 181.9km
Run: 7:19:27 | 64.54km
Bike Trainer: 1:55
Massage: 3:00
Walking: 1:10
Yoga: 10:00 
Weight: 60.3 kg. -1kg.  Significantly fewer hours than last month and still down a kilo. I'm not complaining. I ran the Melbourne Half Marathon that I wasn't well prepared for, thought I'd done myself an ITB injury. Thankfully a week of not running saw it relatively unscathed and back to training. Next on the agenda an 85km ride along with the continued triathlon training. Bring on the warmer weather please!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Upcoming events

Why all the training in all the sports?
I signed up for the Gatorade Triathlon series. The last time I did the series was 06/07. I'm still trying to work out if much has changed in regards to training. If you know it has, give me the heads up!?

As an opening I've also signed up for the Bass Coast Cycle Challenge the weekend before the first tri. 85kms in the legs the week before a first race, genius! More so I'm looking forward to spinning the legs with my Mum who's also riding and a mini escape from the city.

Tues; Bike trainer: 50 min.
All zone 2

Wed; run: 8kms time unknown. All zone 2

Monday, October 28, 2013

In the swim

I'll be honest, swimming is not my fave. There was a time I liked it, but I'm pretty sure that was more to do with my hot instructor than anything else. I try not to think of it as the necessary evil, because it does have its advantages. When it's howling with wind and pouring with rain, swimming indoors becomes the favorable option. It's also a little easier on the body and can aid in recovery. I have access (through work) to a pool that is under-utilised, and free! There is never the need to share a lane and as a result I no longer suffer from "lane rage".

The key to sessions is having a plan. I used to not and ended up swimming many a 1500m+ straight. It has its benefits but not every session. I write out my program and stick it to my water bottle. Then I have less thinking to do at the pool. Less thinking when the blood is elsewhere works for me.

The key to getting there in reasonable time is a dedicated pool bag. With my pull buoy (that doubles as a kick board),  goggles (I swear by Aqua Sphere), moisturizers (the chlorine is drying) deodorant (and stinky) and hair dryer. Not forgetting underwear works a treat if I wear my bathers to the pool too. I have spent far too much of my time looking for errant goggles. Now they live in the bag. The bag lives in the cupboard a cursory check to make sure I've got enough shampoo and I'm off.

Swimming presses my hungry button. I usually pack a few dates (nature's Gu) or a peeled orange that I can tuck into once I'm done.

Sun; brick session ride/run: Bike 1:23:16 | 31.6km | 22.7km/hr
Run 15:04 | 2.18km | 6.54m/km
Bike was all Zone 2, low heart rate. I could have pushed it a little more and still been within the zone. I got to practise a transition dismount. There's some work to do. The run was Zone 3. My heart rate just wanted to climb and climb and climb off the bike. Rein it in. Rein it in.

Mon; swim: 2000m | 48:00 | 2.24m/100m
The first session in a while where I've actually put the work in when it said 'effort'.

Mon; yoga: 1hr. Simply flow.
The danger of doing this prior to night shift means all I want to do when I get home is snooze. 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Excuse me ego | Zone 2 training

The week was more productive than anticipated. I was on a course for work, my second time around and there was pressure to pass - mainly from myself. The travel was long and morning shifts weren't conducive to training, let alone the exhaustion after concentrating all day.

Add to all that the start of a training plan. One that adheres strongly to training in Zone 2, 65-75% of your max heart rate. Basically a rate of training that allows you to breathe through your nose if you wanted to, one that builds endurance and encourages your body to be more efficient at what it's doing.

I've promised myself I'm going to stick with it for a month (potentially longer). It is painfully slow. It is constantly keeping my ego at bay. I know I can go faster, but I will be governed by my heart rate, not by how much faster that person who just passed me is going. The added bonus is that I can do a 2 hour ride prior to work and not be exhausted. I tend to feel ready for the next training session. So that's an early good thing. Go on body, adapt! Do your thing!

Mon: Run;  37:52 | 5km | 7:34/km. 
Steady Z2 run. Had to walk in the last 2kms to keep the HR down. This is my first real run since the Half and there was no ITB pain. Bonus!

Wed: Bike Trainer; 1:05
Majority Z2 plus 5x 3min @ Z4. Watched taped stages of the tour and listened to my fave playlist to keep the boredom at bay. Reward was my guilty pleasure 'The Bachelor'.

Fri: Run; 44:22 | 5.46km | 8:08/km
Warm up 15m @ Z2. Main 2x (4min @ Z4, 3min @ Z2). Cool down Z2.
So much walking. I let my Garmin determine my zones. I'm pretty sure it uses 220- age and as a result the numbers are a bit off because I saw 188bpm at the end of the half. I'll tweak the numbers before the next run.

Fri: Yoga; 1:00 Simply Flow. Lots of hip opening poses and ITB stretching. Felt so good.

Sat: Ride; 2:14:27 | 51.3km | 22.89km/hr
Majority Z2 plus 5x 3min @ Z4. Significantly harder to get into Z4 on the road rather than the trainer, unless of course there's a hill!

Monday, October 14, 2013


This was in the half marathon swag. A snack of tuna that was last night's entree, a small hand towel that will prove useful for sweat during spinning and a sample magazine that includes an article on hip stability. Along with my lazy ass, I also have weak hips. I have been doing single leg squats a few times a week for the last few weeks. I certainly notice when I've been doing them - hello! training effect, but as the article suggests because I can't do them without my leg wobbling everywhere I've got a little way to go. It also suggested to add other exercises which I plan to do.

I've pulled up ok from the half. My quads are a little sore, but nothing too major. I may have done myself a disservice in the ITB department. My left ITB at the hip is somewhat painful. Thankfully I have a massage tomorrow!

I'm not entirely sure what event is on the cards next. I'm looking closely at a recreational ride in mid November and then potentially the Sprint triathlon series. I also, along with 3 other friends put my name in the hat for next years Berlin Marathon! Eeep!

Until decisions are made there's yoga and swimming on the cards for some active recovery. The plan is also to start running again later in the week, but I'm on the search for a beginner's speed plan!

Yoga: 1hr | Simply flow

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Melbourne Half Marathon 2013

 The Short: 2:18:45 | 21.1km | 6.35m/km

Pre race routine:
I never actually started training for this race after the half marathon at RunMelbourne in July. In the end I had no plans to actually run this event. I decided to downgrade to the 10km. But I left it too late, on Friday, when I went to the MCG concourse I was in line to change my event. I got to the front of the queue and was advised I'd need to pick my race packet/number up first and then change events. At about the time I picked up my race packet the 10km sold out and I was left holding a 21.1km entry. I quickly pushed aside thoughts of canning the run. I did what anyone else would do, I googled "how to run a half marathon with no training". The two key requirements appeared to be an awesome playlist and a running buddy who was in the same position. I had neither. 

As an aside how good are family? When my scooter opted not to start the night before a desperate phone call to Mum and I had a lift to the start line.

Run comments:
Instead I gave myself 'permission' to run whatever pace was required that would get me over the line. It wasn't fast. I haven't had a super close look at my splits, but they were pretty consistent. As is the case with my longer distance running. I tried to visualize good form and generally enjoy the company of running with other people. They of course were listening to their kick ass playlists! The crowd and volunteer support was really good.

The crowd thickened as we got closer to the MCG. It was easy to lift with all the cheering. Running onto the 'G was awesome. I tried for a mini sprint to the end and partially managed. It's a toss up to spend a heap of time out there on the ground or get the run over and done with!

I ended up fueling with three Gu. One at the 45min mark, one at 1:30 and another at about 2:00. I think I had 10-15 mins of stomach distress, but I kept running and it went. I took water at every drink station. Even if it was just a few sips. I felt as though my drinking and nutrition were spot on. I meant to take some Clif Shots, but because I didn't pack them with the rest of my stuff the night before I forgot them.
Before the race I took a photo of the splits for a 2:20 and 2:25 half marathon. I referred to these every so often during my run so see where I was at. I always find my Garmin is a little out and my math is appalling at the best of times. 

In terms of the race itself, it's massive. I think this year there were a record number of participants. Considering that the ability to get a drink of water during the race itself was relatively easy. There was an offer to pick up showbags prior to the day which I took advantage of. Not every finisher was directed to powerade and a banana - so I went hunting for same and got results.

Compared to Melbourne's other big half marathon, I actually liked RunMelbourne better. There's a stack of entertainment on course and the course is slightly more interesting route wise. But for finishing on the 'G Melbourne Marathon Festival is certainly recommended.

What would you do differently?
In terms of during the race, nothing. I was happy enough with my performance. My attitude remained positive throughout. This is key!  Prior to racing; train! Work and life and everything else became a priority.
I say it every time and one day, just one day I might take heed; speed work would be of great benefit.

Warm down?
The bucketing rain after finishing helped that. I took a mineral salt bath afterwards.

What limited your ability to perform faster?
Oh and some ITB pain on the left kicked in at the 12km mark. This will be watched.

Monday, October 7, 2013


Today is what is called a "recovery" day. I finished work early this morning and don't go back until tomorrow. I nap for 3-4 hours in the morning and wake close to midday. I then do whatever I feel capable of doing. Today outside lured and I tested my legs on the bike for the first time in a couple of weeks. I have a crazy notion that I will do a triathlon or two this season. I wanted to experience a short ride, akin to sprint distance triathlon.

This night shift went well. I had a day where chocolate covered licorice and lollies got the better of me, but my eating was back on track the next day. I managed to move 6 days out of 7. Sure, low intensity, but moving nevertheless. Night shift is hard, it's unnatural, isolating and can be depressing. Kindness to oneself during the week is key!

Breakfast: Green smoothies have worked a treat this week. Rolling with the same banana, peanut butter, milk & baby spinach combo today.
Lunch: 1 scrambled egg with cottage cheese and two pieces of toast
Dinner: Roast beetroot, feta, walnut and spinach salad
Snacks: Blood orange, lollies, stewed apple, yoghurt & cacao nibs, green tea, hot chocolate

Ride: 47:33 | 21.5 km | 27.13 km/hr
The tail wind home helped me no end!

Yoga: 1hr
Simply flow. I am starting to see the slightest improvement in my downward dog. It also makes me think more about my body position in day to day life. This is really important for me as poor posture has led to some ongoing pain in my hips and neck of late.  

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

1572 and Night shift

At this stage due to staff shortages, I'm pretty much on night shift every three weeks. I don't mind, but if you're not prepared it can be a tough and isolating week. The first night shift I did I put on 2 kgs in a week. A week! I didn't get enough sleep, my hormones were in turmoil and I couldn't eat enough. I had a hard time shifting the weight. But after a discussion with my doc and some time to trial what does and doesn't work I have the week down pat.

After consulting with my doc, I opt to take sleeping tablets for the week. This means I usually get 7-8 hours sleep per day. It makes all the difference, I function at work (less mistakes for my paper work - yay!) and don't fall asleep at the wheel when driving home in the morning.

Before I go to bed at 8:00am or thereabouts I have breakfast. I wake up between 4-5:00pm and have a light lunch or second breakfast. I have dinner at 8:30-9:00pm and all my snacks/coffee are consumed at work.  Usually 3:00am onwards I start to get hungry.

I try and do something each day. It doesn't always happen. I tend to take it easy, going for long walks to get some vitamin D, rather than slogging through a run I'm just not up for. Also between the two yoga studios I go to there's usually an evening class I can get to.

Breakfast: The ubiquitous green smoothie, not too many additional items because I don't need the extra calories to sleep. 100g frozen banana, 150mL full fat milk, 1 tbs natural peanut butter, large handful of spinach leaves, small celery stick.
Lunch: Cape seed bread toasted with butter
Dinner: Pesto pasta with roast tomatoes and pumpkin.
Snacks: Orange, celery, strawberries & full fat yoghurt, M&M crispys - to show that sweet things do creep in!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Monthly totals; September 2013

Swim: 3:03:59 | 7400 m
Bike: 4:24:04 | 113.5km
Run: 12:05:22 | 114.3 km
Strength: 35m
Massage: 2:45:00
Stretching: 40m
Walking: 3:27:00
Yoga: 12:00:00

Weight:  61.4kg down -1kg. I put on 2kgs in Bali while there in August (it was freakin' awesome). I figured it would come off easily enough upon getting home. But then it didn't and intervention was required. Using Fitday I'm back on track and I don't feel obsessive about it, which is the most important thing. For me it's about planning and being organised so I that I have healthy snacks on hand and reasonable meals for work, not letting myself get so tired and hangry (hungry/angry) that I just eat anything and more importantly everything!

Sunday, September 29, 2013


Yesterday being Grand Final day was a day full of food and drink. I ended up overdoing it and feeling a little queasy. You live and learn. Today back on track.

Breakfast: Apple and ricotta pancakes (base being 1 egg, 1/3 cup oats, 1/2 tsp baking powder - works with mashed banana too)
Lunch: Satisfying salad sandwich, scoffed this after yoga!
Dinner: Wile rice pumpkin and eggplant salad mentioned previously.
Snacks: Dates and walnuts, Celery and an Almond milk hot chocolate (last two not pictured)

Run: 35:34 | 6km | 5.55m/km
It was windy and rather unpleasant for 3 km.

Yoga: 2hr Flow Workshop
I learned so much. I realised how little upper body strength I have. And that's ok. Just got to keep plugging away at it.

Friday, September 27, 2013


Friday's eats
Breakfast; Cape seed loaf and butter. So delicious. And a large coffee after yoga.
Lunch; Corn tortillas with ricotta & eggs, scrambled plus generous lashings of hot sauce. 
Dinner; very loosely based on this, subs included wild rice, walnuts, addition of feta & avocado.
Snacks; Celery, blood orange, stewed apple, almond milk hot chocolate.

My eating is not usually this virtuous. I had totally planned to have a chocolate bar at work, but we were so busy there was barely enough time to eat dinner! I had the hot chocolate at home instead.

Run: 1:19:52 | 12.2km | 6.32m/km
Windy conditions. Not feeling the love with my running at the moment.

Yoga: 1:00 | Simply flow
I found it a challenging on the mat today, probably due to tiredness after running.