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.