Saturday, 8 September 2012

Karen writes: Pre Ironman stocktake

Kate is off at Ironman camp, its time for me to start getting ready too.  I decided to do a stocktake of what I have to do, what I've got and where I am in the process.

I started by looking at the 2011-2012 training plan.  According to when I started last year, my full-on 6 month triathlon training programme kicks in on the 17th of this month.  This is straight after the Whangarei half marathon next weekend, so the first two days of the first week of the programme I automatically ignore instructions and will probably rest instead.  That's a good start. I counted up the weeks to go to Ironman, there just doesn’t seem to be enough.  But then, would there ever be?

I looked at the increasing number of sessions on the plan, often twice a day, more swim, spin, cycle, oh, and those dratted strength training sessions.  I counted up the hours I am doing at the moment….hmmm…roughly 4 hours a week, oh great, training will get to around four times the current amount.  Where did I find the time to do that many hours of exercise? But then I looked at what I actually did last year rather than what was on the plan, that was a very different story, all I can say is there sure is plenty of room for improvement, in fact and I think I topped 16 hours only once and most of the time it looks like I was trundling along at about 10-12 hours.

Looking at my old notes on nutrition... I used to have WHAT for afternoon tea every day?!  I ate THAT much?   Out of curiosity I checked the pantry, a lonely jar of banana flavoured high-protein meal replacement powder rattled suspiciously when I shook it.  Some wrinkled sachets of energy gel obviously retrieved from some bag or other looked forlornly at me, time to use up or chuck out the expired stuff.  You can tell what flavours I don’t like, that solitary vanilla gel for example, has probably been carried hundreds of km and the writing has worn off, I remember it tastes like a sort of thick, sticky wallpaper paste. I bought a heap of my favourite solid gels cheap a while back, they all expire in November, better get on with using them too, after the wallpaper paste of course.

A stocktake of me.  I’m relatively run-fit, but worried about swimming upsetting the dodgy shoulder, and feeling trepidation about long cycle hours on the road battling with trucks and trailers and heat and grumpy drivers.  My weight is up, and experience tells me it is likely to go up some more with the heavier training.  A comment has been made that I should focus on some core work, yes, sadly I agree.  My arms wobble too, eek.

Feeling increasingly pessimistic here. I've had a look at equipment, the good news there are lots of clothes, some even useful, some not.  A surplus of swim goggles and I cant remember which ones the kids have worn and which ones are ok, the only way to find out will be trial and error. Lurking in the shed the poor old scott bike still has gear-change problems, I wonder if it will have magically healed while it has been languishing in the dark over winter?  

Do I need to buy anything? Actually no, I have no excuse at all to go shopping for anything to start the next phase of training, it is time perhaps to save up for another pair of running shoes.  Shame I can’t buy some motivation though, I could do with a dose of that right now. I'm sure when Kate gets back from camp she will be all enthusiastic, and tell me how much hard work she did, and while there is definitely no competition between us(!), I might just feel a tiny bit obligated to try to catch up.