Thursday, December 31, 2009

Race report

As we arrived at the transition/start/finish area just after five most people were already there. Pumping bikes, taping power gels to bike frames, slabbing vast amounts of Vaseline on all limbs to make sure the wetsuit slides off 3.8 km later and to keep the chaffing at bay.

As we all started to make our way down to the beach, looking like a group of 1300 migrating penguins, I saw people cry. Girlfriends were hugging boyfriends like they were about to step on to the space shuttle. The guy next to me in the water with a matching orange swim cap looked at me with panic in his eyes, " I just want to get out of this alive! " was his comment as eh assured me that he felt much better now when he was in the water, moments ago when he was still on shore he wasn't far from vomiting.

Jesus people, it's just a race.

The Australian national anthem, an air horn and the race was on the way!

The swim was nice. Crystal clear water, allowing you to see the bottom all the way (but no fish or "big fish"). For someone like me who prefers to breath on the right the swim in Busselton is perfect. Just make sure the jetty is still on your right side and you wont get lost!

I was enjoying it all the way. Maybe a bit to much because it took me a while to long to get back to the bike park. Once there I took a few minutes extra to allow for the nice lady to spray my entire body with sunscreen and drink some (fresh) water.

Then it was me and "Oppy" for the next six hours. Being a slow swimmer has its perks. I was passing people from the first km. Passing big guys on $10 000 bikes wearing aerodynamic helmets is extra fun.

Exchanging bottles at the aid stations soon becomes the highlight of your day and on the last lap I started to attack chat to people, weather they wanted it or not. I was slightly bored. Going out on the last lap the headwind made me slow down a little, but hey, that meant that I would have a good tailwind coming back in to town, right? Wrong. The wind changed direction. Oh well. I was around 10 min late coming of the bike. I had eaten most of the gels I planned to and the Vegemite sandwich was almost gone. I felt ok. After a new layer of sunscreen, a cup of water and fresh socks my feet were quite happy to be back on the ground.

For every lap of the three loop marathon course you do you get a scrunchie on your arm. When you have to you are allowed into the finish shoot. It is a little bit discouraging to meet people that already have ribbons around their arms as you set out on your first lap.

It was really hot by now. The race management told us the night before that they had ordered another truckload of ice. I think we used it all. 37 degrees and a sun that did it's best to turn us all into sizzling bacon took it's toll. I didn't feel very fast, but I felt ok. I saw Nico the first time half way through my first lap. I was happy to see him running, not walking. The knees were still holding up. The second time I saw him he looked a bit more strained, but still running.

I tried to drink as much as I could at every aid station, water and High Five, and I think I managed to force down three more gels. And I kept moving my feet. I still wasn't in pain but ooohhhh how tempting those waves and that beach looked. And even if I wasn't really hurting my body was clearly trying to tell me that "hey, it's been a long day, how about some rest?" My normally almost too long step was probably down to a 10th in length and there was just room for one thought in my head - FINISH.

As I came around the last turn I saw that the person branded with the same age category and sex on her leg was slowing down (or was I possibly speeding up? didn't seem very likely) and I dug down deep for what ever powers remained. Before I knew it she was eating my dust. And then, there it was, the finish shoot. Only one problem, there was three people in it in front of me. After all the pain I put my body through that day I figured that one last stab wouldn't kill me. Like in a Hollywood production I flied over the finish line, arms stretched in the air, just centimetres ahed of all three men on that last stretch of grass.

Waiting for me was Nico, arms stretched out, ready to hang that medal around my neck. I laid yes on him, gave him a big smile and almost vomited on his feet. A quick swipe of the face and I was ready for my medal. I didn't get a kiss.

My goal had been to finish in under 12 hours. I did 11.52.

It was a long hot day and every fibre of my body reminded me of it the day after. But the truth is that once race day has arrived most of the work is already done, you just need to do what you have trained for, stick to the plan and try not to vomit on your loved ones.

Will I do it again? Maybe. We'll see.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Almost there

All that is left to do is one more pasta dinner and a few hours of sleep. Then it's showtime.
In the race briefing the officials talked about the smaller and larger "fish" that might be around ... and told us that there will be boats and planes looking for out for us in case there would be to many "visitors" around. Not once was the "S" word used. I wanted to stand up and shout "what?, are you talking about sharks?!" Anyway. I am more worried about the forecast. Doing a marathon in 37 degrees heat will be a challenge. Not mentioning the swim and little bike ride before.

Busselton is beautiful. The water crystal clear (so you can see all the "fish"). I am looking forward to tomorrow. I will be a long hot day but I am looking forward to it.

Nicolas as well. He is hot like a street vendor. Or if you prefer the french version "chaud comme une baraque a frites"!

I'll tell you all about it when we are back in Canberra.

Monday, November 30, 2009

T minus 5 days

I think the butterflies are starting to arrive. I am looking forward to Saturday but I would be fooling myself if I said I wasn't nervous. I am ready. I have done the distance (except maybe for the swimming ...), the gels and bars are bought and the bike will get new tyres and some extra love today.

We did a second skinfold test (measuring fat %) on Saturday, and this is what Steve, who did the test said "Catarina, all except one skinfold sites were lower, while all girths were also lower - indicative of good hard training and a sensible diet. Best of luck next weekend."

Think I know which site isn't going down. Some people say that hope is the last thing than will leave a person. I say it is the "Ryggskinkor" (sorry for you that might still be struggling with the Swedish language, but the translation just isn't as good... I am however talking about that area of the back just over bum that really isn't part of the bum but still like to take on the appearance of one ...)

Nico did some running on Sunday and his knees are still pretty intact. Hopefully they won't make him do a marathon walk on Saturday. But even if the pain won't stop the run, doing a marathon with pretty much no training could be ... eh ... interesting.
He is however stronger than ever on the bike, if you ask the guys riding the "hour of power" on Friday mornings anyway!

While most of us will be pacing ourselves on the bike, to be ready for the run, I think Nico will be blasting the field with not much concern of saving energy for what might just turn out to be a long walk anyway!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Testing the knees and trying new shoes

Almost 2 months after my last run, I tried my new running shoes yesterday, some Asics, more stable. The race is in 2 weeks now and I don't really feel like running a marathon after 3.8k swim and 180k ride, but I'll try this challenge.

This last 2 months, I spent most of my time on my bike, enjoying the peloton life. I feel really stronger on the bike now, but I'm not sure I'm able to run 42.2k after a long ride... Saturday 5th of december will be the Race day and I'm a bit hurry to answer this question.
I have had the pleasure to help Catarina in her training. She is really motivate and doing the things well. She has become a strong rider now. It's hard to drop her when she is stuck in my wheel !

- Nicolas

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Teddybears Sthlm took me up and down the stairs on the Commonwealth bridge several times this morning. "My style is di bom digi bom di deng digi digi uu uuu ..."
Training without music would suck. It is actually something I really dislike with racing triathlon. No music allowed. I can see why... but still!

The plan was to go swimming tonight. Decided to go and look at some 4x4 cars (need one before next holiday) and then sit on the sofa and eat chocolate instead.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Criterium Race

Nico did a crit race on Wednesday. 20 min of going round a short track with lots of corners and lots of fast people of fast bikes trying to cut you off ... not my kind of racing.


It's hot in Canberra. Tried running up on Red Hill in the middle of the day on Tuesday just to see what it would be like. It was hot. Red Hill got to soak up some more of my sweat today as I did a few reps up and down Mugga Way - Red Hill. Phew ... But I guess I better get used to it. Not expecting it to be a cool day in Busselton on Dec 5th.

Nicolas has seen a few physios and foot specialists lately. The most recent one told him what the problem is. His parents. With legs shaped like Lucky Luke and one a fair amount longer than the other there is no wonder why he got some issues.
We will go to the Runners Shop tomorrow with a prescription for a new pair of shoes, with special made soles to go in them. Maybe that will do the trick.

Long ride tomorrow and long run on Sunday. But I want to go to the rodeo too!

Friday, November 6, 2009

There is always the breakfasts

A friend and fellow triathlete has been forced to scrap her plans of competing in Busselton. Chest pains and heart issues ... Yet another reminder that I should be grateful for a body who puts up with all of this.
If you are not a professional athlete, training for - and racing - Ironman will be a test to your body as well as your mind. Training sensible - yet hard (preferably with some advice from a coach), eating well, sleeping well, staying safe on the road and in the water ... Trying not to completely shut down other aspects in life such as work and social life!

At least I get to spend time with my partner during many of the hours of training. When he is allowing himself to drop down to my speed that is ... And all the little the pre and post training moments too of course. Rumbling through the apartment at 5. 15 am to get to the bunch ride on time, zipping up the wetsuit assuring each other that the sharks are elsewhere today, the breakfasts and coffees after training - with the bunch, the squad or just the two of us.

Oh how I love the breakfasts!

If it wasn't for the very clear goal I don't think I would have planned my weekend as I have. Six hours ride on Saturday and 2:45 run on Sunday. I admit I feel slightly tired just thinking about it.
Hopefully I will feel very satisfied Sunday evening as we head north for Sydney. It's just for one night but sometimes it is good with even a short brake. Think I will have a long brunch and maybe a short swim with a friend on Monday. Or just go to the beach.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The test run is done

Keeping myself (and anyone trying to sleep within 100 m) awake coughing like a chain smoker the three days leading up to the race may not have been the best preparation. The day before the race I still wasn't sure if I would be able to swim without drowning myself in one final big cough attack. I didn't. I might have been completely lost during 1.9 km but I didn't drown.

The ride was fun since I was catching a whole lot of people who managed to get out of the water way ahead of me. I was trying to follow the coaches instructions for nutrition. 1 gel every hour, a drink of sports drink every 15 min. I also had half a Vegemite sandwich, more as practice for the Big Race than anything else. And I must say that Vegemite is a very nice contrast to all the sugar in the gels and drinks.

Two laps of a fairly hilly course went past without hassle and since I kept pacing my self for the double distance, without any pain.

As I came off the bike I felt good. No stiffness in either back or legs.
The Half Ironman run course in Port is three laps. You get a yellow scrunchie on your arm after the first lap, an orange after the second. Starting the run, meeting people with ribbons around their arms already isn't good for morals. And to be honest, running three laps (without my iPod!) is a bit boring. But I picked a comfortable pace and kept it, possibly picking up some speed along the way. With one exception, one the last lap I suddenly had my "ride nemesis" in sight. No 172 passed me maybe five times on the bike. Now she was going down! After passing her I felt so pleased with myself that I smiled all the way across the finish line.

The lady putting the towel across my shoulders first asked me if I was ok, I told here that "sure I'm fine" then she had another look at me and gave me a great compliment " Darl' (and yes, it is normal to call a perfect stranger Darling in Australia) you almost make this look too easy!" I should have told here "thanks Honey" but I just gave her a big grin.

5:42 is not a great time for a Half Ironman, but it is ok. Next time I try this distance I will try to find out if I can push it under 5. This was training and I was back on the program on tuesday. Recovery will be in December.

A special thanks to Wil at Velo Republic who tuned my bike to perfection.

And. Of course. Thanks to the best support crew and photographer - Mr Nicolas Remires.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Almost ready for Port Macquarie

Having a little annoying cough and some extra gu in my throat and nose that I could do without. Trying to kill it with sleep, vitamins and more sleep.
Missed out on the 6 am swim this morning but will go on a short spin with the bike to test out the new (smaller) chain ring we switched over from Nico's bike. To be able to do this we had to switch the whole crank. Nico is not completely thrilled by this and I'm guessing my old cranks won't stay on his BMC for long ...

If I feel up for it I might go for a short run.

And then it's just to pack the box of gels in the bag and be ready to leave tomorrow afternoon.

The forecast looks good and please feel free to join in a little anti rain dance to make sure it stays so!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Got some shots of Team Quon last Friday morning.

Trying the half distance

Guess I never mentioned it here but I am doing a Half Ironman this weekend, in Port Macquarie.
Trying to get my chainrings exchanged with Nico's smaller ones right now in order to be able to handle the infamous hills in a better fashion.

Had a run through about nutrition with the coach yesterday. Think seven gels, sports drink and possibly some Vegemite should do it.

I am trying to see this race just as training. The little butterfly in my stomach is telling me I'm not entirely convincing.
Hopefully I'll be back in Canberra on Tuesday feeling more confident about racing in Busselton. Or I'll be in a world of pain thinking how the hell will I be able to do the double?!
I'll let you know.

My training is coming along well I think. Legs and shoulders are aching a little today but I guess that is in order.
Did a 4.30h ride Saturday, a 2h run on Sunday, a tough hill climb session and an almost 4 km swim (1.5 h out of my comfort zone!) yesterday. This morning I did some interval running, 6 x 1200m, plus warm up and cool down.

Bought some muscle relaxing foam bath along with the ordinary bunch of bananas, milk and bread today.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Why a helmet is such a good thing to wear

It happens so fast. All off a sudden the air in front of me was full of people and bikes.
As in slow motion I followed the flight of the guy in front of me, his front wheel hitting the bike of the guy already scraping along the asphalt in front of him, propelling him up in the air. The take off might have been rough but the landing reminded me of how the last Concorde set down just outside Paris in 2000. I can only describe it as a full asphalt face plant, as gravity reminded him of it's sometimes devastating powers.

It was a large bunch riding this morning and one (quite large) bump in the road managed to take out six of us. Only two had to wait for the ambulance though.
I completely missed what I was later told was a quite spectacular flight performed by my friend Pete. He somehow managed to fly clear across the small concrete wall on the side of the road (bike and all!) landing somewhat softer on the grass on the other side, with just a scratch large as a dollar coin on the arm and a small tear in the nicks to show for it.

The guy landing on his face on the road is hopefully ok. He didn't seem to have any broken bones but after he asked me the fifth time what happened and he was wasn't able to answer the question "where do you live?", he stopped repeating that he was alright ... I gave his helmet to the paramedics. I think he needs to get a new one, this one deserves retirement.

And surely, sitting in the ambulance, the guy was more concerned about who would take his bike (after we assured him the bike was ok) than how much time he might have to spend at the dentists office (or the fact that his brain had quite a bounce around).

Lesson learned? Try to keep your eyes on what's going on in front of you, hang on to your handle bar even if the road tries to jerk you around and keep that helmet strapped on tight.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Busselton is off

For Nicolas. Probably. Making a top performance definitely is. 4-6 weeks of physiotherapy won't leave much time for training.

But the good news is NO SURGERY. The problem seems to be damaged ligaments (but not completely torn) and with some rest and physiotherapy both knees should be runnable again next year.

The doctor pointed out some rather large grey and white areas on the x-ray images that shouldn't be there. Fluid, swelling, tearing and bruising. An injection of cortisone should take care of some of the pain and the swelling. The rest will take more work and time.

Next stop is the Physiotherapist (who evidently is a triathlete himself). Hopefully he will have some good advice and will put Nico on a program that will keep his fitness as well as his motivation up.

It is not a happy day but it is not an catastrophic one either.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Accroche toi!

French for bite-down-and-bury-your-head-in-your-handle-bar-and-ignore-the-pain-in-your-legs.

With a cheerful "cheri" at the end it really is the best motivation.

The temperature in Canberra is finally reaching levels that is recognisable as summer dito and I was sweating - a lot - climbing up Red Hill this afternoon.
Alternating Red Hill/ Mugga Drive is quiet effective. For you non Canberrans I can describe it as really steep/ long-not so steep hills.
During the last repetition up Mugga I really tried to stay on Nico's wheel (suce la roue - suck the wheel as it so charmingly is called in French) and I did pretty well. Never mind the fact that his chain was considerable further to the right than mine ...

Nico has finally uploaded the software to his supermegahightech Garmin watch. There is just no end to how much fun (and how useful) this gadget ... ehrm ... I mean training tool, is.

Friday, October 16, 2009

"A suggestion of an oblique tear towards the posterior aspect of the body of the medial meniscus."
The doctor will hopefully bring some more light to that on Tuesday.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I feel good

50 min run and 2.6 km swim Saturday
1.30 h run Sunday
78 km ride (5 peaks +) Monday
1.15 h run Tuesday
57 km ride Wednesday
1.15 h swim (with the Bilbys squad - usually around 3 km) 97 km ride Thursday

After the best nap for months I feel great. You know the feeling of waking up with warm (not sweaty!) feet that feel like they will be really soft to stand up on, soft skin and an unusually low and steady heart rate. The skin part I can't explain, guessing it has something to do with the perfectly regulated body temperature.

This weekend I will be getting some of that much needed long training in (100+ ride and 1.40+ run), which should leave me right on schedule for the beginning of next week!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Five Peaks

Black Mountain, Mt Stromlo, Red Hill, Mt Pleasure and Mt Ainslie.
My small chain ring isn't very small and Mt Ainslie is steep enough for the department of road security (or whatever they might be called) to put up warning signs. Descending in the rain is also interesting.
My plan for a long flat ride was replaced by a moderate length (78 km) hilly as it gets ride. For one simple reason - I wanted company and the peleton was going this way ...

After coming back from swimming in the lane and chlorine free pool, aka the ocean and running on unknown windy island roads I am now back to turning every 50 m and running around the all but crystal clear Lake Burley Griffith. I am also off the pizza and tiramisu diet. Eight weeks to go. With less hours in the office and no travels booked in it will be easier to stick to the program, making sure that the performance on dec 6th will be one I can be proud of.

Nicolas is currently driving from Alice Springs to Darwin with his parents. And his bike. The ride from Kata Tjuta to Uluru was a nice one. The run around the Rock however was a disaster. His knees are far from ok. A new doctors appointment and a scan is awaiting when he returns next week. If there is anyone out there saying prayers, please include Nico's knees and the hope that whatever is wrong will be fixable.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Today's swim

Not complaining about the Civic pool or Lake Burely Griffin, but ...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tourism and training

Being social and a tourist isn't the ideal combination. But hey, life is more than just an Ironman. Right?
In between watching whales, laying on the beach, trying new coffees in Jervis Bay and socialising with our prominent french guests we have at least been able to fit in 120 km on the bike and a modest 30 min run.
Not to worried about the running though. Next week will be a bikeless one in New Caledonia. I intend to run daily. Long.

Friday, September 18, 2009

A better week

Tuesday: long morning run in Red Hill (no kangaroos!)
Wednesday: 55 km ride
Thursday: 2.9 km swim with the Bilbys (can definitely feel that one in my shoulders today)
Friday: cruise run around the lake

The intention was to go for a ride this morning but yesterdays restaurant visit was telling me otherwise when the alarm sounded at 5 this morning. Maybe it was just the one kg of melted butter in my risotto, maybe the bastards used chicken stock in their vegetarian dish ... Still not completely recovered.

Nico was running on land today and his knees seem to hold up pretty well. Good.

Not sure that we are doing as much as we should right now. But I do think we are moving in the right direction.

Monday, September 14, 2009

More arms end less legs?

2.5 km in the pool this morning. 200 m pool buoy/200 m pool buoy with rubber band (aka bicycle tube) around the ankles, times ten plus warm up and cool down. Thats the training for today. Need to grow some shoulders. And arms.

I tried Nico's new super training watch this weekend. GPS, heart rate, speed, distance, altitude, cadance (when you're on the bike that is) calories and probably liters of sweat loss calculation - I just didn't find the button for it. And of course you can sync it with google earth to know exactly where you got lost ... I think I need one too. Really.

Nico was actually running on the ground on Sunday. His knees were not impressed. Hopefully he will get his finger out and go to see a specialist soon before he becomes a duathlete.

I tried to buy a pair of really cool pants in Sydney. My calves told me to get out of that change room and to stick to lycra and other stretchy materials.

Friday, September 11, 2009

It's about time

Next week. Next week I will get with the program. The program that will rule my life until the 5th December.
I went from not doing much at all for about a week to cramming in a run, a swim, a ride and a second swim Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday this week. Today I am back to doing nothing ... Going to Sydney for the weekend (picking up Nicola's parents arriving from France) so there won't be any riding until next week. Hopefully i will be able to do a long run. Need it - for body and mind ...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Heja Sverige

Surrounded by fit people in lycra I am nursing a biscuit addiction that may prove hard to shake. This week my training consists more of piling paper coffee cups on top of each other than swimming running or riding.

The 30-40 min ride I do most mornings and evenings keep me relatively sane. A ride in the dark after a 12 h shift has a cleansing effect of the mind.
Tomorrow morning I will try to fit in a reasonable long run (more than the 10 min on the Stromlo track I had so far this week). Running is an essential part of my well being. I can feel my nerves starting to twitch. Need. To. Run. Now.

Nico met the Swedish team when he was riding up Mt Ainslie two days ago. They are a small but quite strong team. One silver medal in the women under 23 XC, a fourth place in the XC team relay and a fifth in the men juniors XC. So far.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


When the others went for coffee after the swim this morning I went to work. It is just 15 km from the Civic pool to Stromlo. Almost took a kangaroo head on as i turned into the crit track at Stromlo. They seem to have about the same level of traffic intelligence as a reindeer. None. Or more like "look - there is something moving on the road - let's get in front of it!"

As i turned the alarm on and the light out tonight I found myself alone in a very dark Stromlo Forest Park. Only the stars (and the kangaroos lurking on the side of the road) saw me roll out through the gate.

Have just improvised some banana bread and noticed that the reigning Cross Country World Champion posted a comment on the events Facebook page. He needs help to find rollers for training here in Canberra. Just get out and ride Sauser!

When I came home tonight Nico had already popped the "Cyclo Zen" disc into the computer. Yep, you might have guessed it, Yoga for cyclists.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

One good day of training

Yesterday was a good day. 120 km in the spring sun. A fantastic muffin and latte in Collector and lunch at Kingston Grind after a short run. 

I can feel the difference riding the new bike. Everything is just a little bit smoother and I struggle less too keep up with the boys, even in the hills. 
It will take some adjusting for me to find the good, comfortable position though. We bought a shorter stem (to get the handle bars closer to me) and pushed the saddle about as far forward as possible. That should help. I also got my first aero bar attached to my ride. So now all I need to do is use it. A lot. 

Should have done a long run today but since i was up at 4 am this morning (after just 2 1/2 h sleep) doing a speech via gmail video chat at my very good friends wedding in Sweden, I didn't get up until 10. And thats when I got the first call from work ... 

Will try to get up in the but ass crack of dawn tomorrow to get that run in before i go to work. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I am REALLY tired in the morning

Arrived at the meeting point for the bunch ride this morning in Dickson, on the other side of town, and people were looking at me a little strange. I was wearing my uber cool glasses and Swedish army socks ... but come on! 
Then one compassionate human being rolled up to me and said: you forgot your helmet. I look at Nico, he looks at me - at my head, my hands touch my head ... yep, she is right, I forgot my helmet. The compassionate persons next comment was: it's probably not a good idea to ride in a bunch without a helmet. HELL NO! It's not a good idea to ride at all without a helmet. 

I feel like an ass, turn by wheels around and peddal back home again. Praying that I won't crack my skull open or get fined before I get home. 
Then I went for a run in Red Hill. Without a helmet. 

Todays conclusion: At 5.30 in the morning I am stupid and my boyfriend is blind. Or as my mum might have put it, "you are lucky that your head is attached to your shoulders, or you would forget it!"

I was swimming with the Exeed squad last night. Haven't been there for a long time but it felt good, even if I have to admit it was quite hard. Would be even better if they could install heaters in the change rooms!

Monday, August 17, 2009

New bike

Had a rest/work day yesterday. My body was feeling fine after Saturdays adventure but work is making my brain sore ...
Had a nice relaxing run this morning (maybe my inside was a little sore once I started bouncing it up and down again) with the view of the lake having it's usual effect. Weather it is glittering like gold as it was this morning, or completely invisible in the fog like last Friday, it always makes the creases on my forehead slightly less distinct.

I did something else yesterday. We did something else yesterday. We brought home a new member of the Remires/Axelsson bike family.
One piece of fine Swiss engineering is now parked next to the sofa. The black and white BMC Race master still hasn't had a chance to taste the road but it and it's very proud owner will be ready for a first spin before dawn. That owner being Nicolas. I am personally very pleased with being able to claim ownership of the Malvern Star (displayed by Nico in this photo). I have been riding for "real" less than 9 months, for me a good carbon bike is as good as another.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

No love for Espresso Love

Today we simulated a half Ironman. Me, Nico and Pete planned to start off with a nice bomb dive at seven this morning. But there was a sign that said "No bombing" so we had to rethink that one.

Anyway. After 1.9 km in the pool we did an ultra long transition (by car) to Lennox Garden to meet up with some Exceed people for the normal Saturday bunch ride. It was a hilly one today. 90 km that included Mt Condor and Coppins Crossing made it's mark on the legs.

Getting of the bike I was feeling a tired and sore. And I really thought my legs might fail me.
As I started running i felt really good! The body stretching out, getting back into it's natural movement. But sure, I was a little tired after the ride and the swim so I figured I crack open a gel after about 7 k. BIG mistake.
I never had anything do something even remotely as horrible to my inside. First the pain, then the feeling of ... eh ... feeling sick. My eyes were franticly scanning for a toilet by now.
To my great relief I remembered one would be coming up shortly so I just clenched my teeth and soon arrived at my sanctuary. Back on track a minuet or so later I was thinking that hey, this might turn out to be a nice run after all. How wrong I was.
Maybe 3 k later tears were filling up my eyes. And I knew there were no salvation to be found for at least another 10 k. I had no choice. If the bears can do it, so can I.
Catching up to Pete for to the second time I was starting to feel slightly drained ...

As I reached the other side of the lake my intestines were begging me to just be put out of their misery. Dehydration was an understatement and it was just no fun anymore. A third pit stop at the yacht club (and a minute hunched over the drinking fountain) made me feel in control of my body enough to make it back to the parking.

And who names an energy gel Espresso Love anyway?!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Longing for open water

I cant wait for the lake to be warm enough to swim in! 
The Tuesday morning swim lasted for a little more than 1h and during that time I managed to push my body about 2.7 km forward. A little bit on my back, a little on the side, doing some drills, trying to get air from the left and right ... But in all honesty, it is hard for me to keep the excitement going lap after lap ... 
And I believe Civic pool had some issues with the filters or something. The water wasn't exactly crystal clear. 

Monday, August 10, 2009

Could have done with another lap around the lake

The Sunday run wasn't as long as it should have been. But the hour and 15 min I did manage to fit in was enough to take the edge of some of that lurking stress building up for the new work week commencing sunday afternoon already. Spent the afternoon and half the night in Canberra Centre putting up a display for the world champs. 

Tickets for Perth are purchased. 

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Just a small piece of plastic

Started riding at even this morning (or a few minutes after do my dear partners great distress). Teamed up with the rest of the Exeed bunch at eight and headed out on the highway towards Lake George. As we turned off onto the old highway, about 45 km into our ride, it finally happened.
I put my half eaten Vegemite sandwich back in my pocket and clicked in my right shoe, started rolling, put my left foot on the pedal, pushed and ... nothing. I turned the pedals a couple of times and pushed, jumped on the pedal. Nada. My left foot remained free as a bird.
15 min later, after some violent assistance and 175 really bad words in french I gave up. The cleat under my left shoe was dead.
And I must admit, just by looking at it, it has been on life support for quite some time and I have been denying the inevitable.

A limp Swede and a cursing Frenchman turned around, headed back to Canberra and the nearest bike store. Thank you Lonsdale St Cyclery for letting me by new cleats with just 25 bucks, a smile and a promise to come back tomorrow. And thanks for screwing it on.

A new left cleat, 40 km and a little run later normality was restored. There is however a Giant OCR2 on sale. Not that the bike had anything to do with todays mishap but in the midst of cursing failing equipment there was a promise of an overall hardware upgrade ...

Friday, August 7, 2009

Came to work with distinct goggle marks around my eyes

300 fr
4 x [150 pb - 3 x 50 pb]
3 x 200 (100 board/50 fr/50 kick)
30 min fr

... and I was supposed to keep track of the time for every 100 m during that last 30 min ...

For you non swim-nerds, fr= freestyle, pb = pullboy (a floating device placed in your crutch taking the legs out of the equation).

I stayed up last night talking to a very good friend on the other side of the world. Swam like a polar bear in search of ice in Africa this morning. Finalised the marketing budget for the 2009 Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships today. Tired beyond belief tonight.

Mother Nature is an artist

The sunrise over Lake Burley Griffin took my breath away. Colours like this only exists in the movies. And in Canberra. 

20 min warm up, 2x10 min in the stairs by the bridge and 20 min to get back home.

Wednesday morning is bunch ride morning. Right now we are riding with a new group that start their rides from across the city. Riding there and back (instead of taking the car) made it a good 45 km ride. For me that is. Nico had a couple of hours so he scouted the route from our apartment to Stromlo Forest Park (where I will be working from the 19th August - 6th September). The result: it shouldn't take me more than 35 min to get there. 
By the time he rolled by my office window his computer had ticked past the 100 km mark. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Turning the other cheek

2.6 km in the pool this morning. And most of it was with an elastic band (aka used bicycle tube) around my ankles.
Biggest achievement of the day was the at least partially successful bilateral breathing. I breath on the left side about as well as I write with my left hand.
With some more training I am however confident that if the waves are hitting me from the right I will be able to avoid inhaling them at least sometimes, while trying to reach the end of the jetty in Busselton.

Had a 'function' at work tonight. Some dude talking to me for 20 min about 'trying to stitch everything he is involved in together ...' eh ... that is 20 min of my life I will never get back.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Rest Day

Too bad Rest Day doesn't mean laying on the sofa eating chocolate. 
Just finished lunch in front of the computer at work and even if I'm not training today there will be no such thing as rest. My dear colleague AB just mentioned that we have 28 days left to The Event. 
The Event is the 2009 UCI Mountain Bike and Trials Championships and I am doing Marketing and Media for it. Great job but working 10-12 h days isn't really helping my training ... Anyway, it's just for another few weeks. 

The saturday ride was awesome. Four hours out in the sun, pushing up and swooching down the hills. The route we took around Tidbindilla - Cotter-  Uriarra - Stromlo is a favourite. Finished with a 5 km run and felt great! 
Was working most of the day yesterday but managed to squeeze in a 1.45 min run up on Red Hill. Felt a bit heavy and slow but the flocks of kangaroos and the sunset put a big smile on my face. 

Was supposed to swim this weekend as well but that just didn't happen. Nico did 4 km. He is telling me that this week I NEED to do three swims ... 

I believe that someone told me that rule no.1 in training is 'Do not try to coach you partner'.