Monday, 31 December 2012

Karen writes: End of 2012

I'm pretty happy to see the end of 2012, it's had some high points and they have been pretty high, its had its low points, nuf said.  

2013, the important question of course is not whether or not we will be Ironmen, but where to put the tattoo afterwards?

Anyway, the normally outside dog has snuck inside and is quivering under the sofa so fireworks celebrations must started. I hope everyone has an excellent New Year and cant say thankyou enough for all the support, advice, and good thoughts in 2012.

Karen writes: Starting points

Now it is a difficult sort of decision I am faced with right now.  Do I get serious today, Monday, first day of a new week, or tomorrow, Tuesday, first day of the new year?   Being an expert procrastinator I find no real resolution works for me unless it starts on a Monday, but...its New years day tomorrow, doesn't that mean I  should take advantage of today being the last slack day of the old year?  I read Kate's blog, she is being serious about her training, but then her coach is tougher on her than mine is on me...well, my coach is me...I'm notoriously soft.

I was actually quite pleased with myself having done a pleasant 50km ride in the wind this morning, until I read that Kate had done twice that.  But in my defence I did have an equipment failure, I was riding through Clevedon on the way out on the only patch of smooth tarseal in the district and I became aware of a funny kerthump (technical term) sensation coming from the back of the bike, I stopped and had a look, couldn't see anything so kept going.  Then I hit the rough new tarseal again and I was so busy getting the grdgrdgrdgrd (another technical term) feeling from the whole bike that I no longer noticed the kerthump... so I stopped worrying about it.   On the way back, the kerthump was much stronger, and I wondered about a flat tyre, it turned out there was a big bulge out the side of the rear tyre.  Hmmm, roadside tube change?  Nope, the tyre was still fully inflated and I was a bit worried that if I interfered I might find I couldn't get the tyre to sit right again so I let some air out and mentally chewed my nails for the 15km ride home.  Home, tube ok, tyre knackered, an urgent trip into the bikeshop in Botany was needed as I couldn't face the idea of not cycling for days as I know I am already behind with bike training.  Verdict from the bike-shop man...knackered, funny that. So I now have a very smart looking new bike tyre.

As it is crunch time tomorrow for resolutions, I will most definitely-probably-possibly-maybe start training properly again then.  The programme for Tuesday 1 January 2013 says AM Swim and PM run....oh...actually I feel like a bikeride, perhaps I could start properly next Monday?

Sunday, 30 December 2012

kate writes: things we buy when out on the bike

My Challenge this week was to meet my targets with training. Sunday was a 4hour bike ride! the Daughter woke me at 5.30, as she was off to work to say it was not raining and I should get on my bike. 10 minutes later the heavens opened and down came the rain so I just pulled the covers over my head and went back to sleep. When I woke at 8am it was a lovely day and so a quick breakfast and off to Waiuku for a ride.
I have a nice route that I like that takes in the back roads of Waiuku, about 20k into the ride I turn off to Otaua, long straight road. Saw a lady riding in an orange jumper. I thought that would be nice if it was my friend Barbara, who is also doing Ironman and it was. Great to have company and off we went. Much more fun with a friend. We went down to the mine with the wind behind us and then back up to Patamahoe.
By this time we had run out of water. So the shopping in the corner shop was- 2 bottles of coke, 1 bottle of water, 1 bottle of power aid, bag of lollies a banana and a tub of Vaseline! we did look like a funny pair. Barbara was doing 140k and I only had to do 4 hours so off home I went completing the ride in 4hrs 15minutes and 92 k under my belt. wow I'm tired, I have a lot more training to do :)

Friday, 28 December 2012

Karen writes: Defeated the Lion range again

I headed off for my Christmas hike over the Lion range (from Bream Head to Busby Head) then a run back to Mt Manaia with a degree of trepidation.  I’m carrying several injuries, the knee was worrying me most, I was planning around 5 hours with some very serious climbing, I kept asking myself was that a silly thing to do, or was I just getting on with what needed to be done?

Anyway, headed along Ocean beach with the sun just bathing the ocean, the surfers were up early and out sitting on their boards waiting to catch a wave.  Up the hill towards the WW2 radar station is a slow slog, before I got there though I found myself climbing into the low cloud, what clammy enervating stuff that was, I stayed wet for another 2 hours of up and down and couldn’t see more than a few meters ahead.  I must have been the first person along the track, my face and arms collected the spider webs strung across the track and I kept expecting to catch the spiders too but fortunately didn't, perhaps they were still asleep.  I could feel my worries dropping away as I hiked, there were stunningly beautiful sights, like the lush ferns, soft mosses on the rocks, and streaks of sunlight catching...yes...those spider webs.

At Peach cove the sun at last came out, but almost as quickly went away as I climbed up the next hill, here came the cloud again.  Standing on the ridges, not being able to see what I knew were massive drops to the sea, with the streaky white stuff blowing past made me feel like I was alone in a very strange world.

The last hill heading for Smugglers cove turned out to be hot, it was also dry underfoot which was a nice change.  It was also a bit of an obstacle course with work being done on the track, the path was blocked by building supplies for constructing steps which must have been dropped by helicopter, and I got myself into trouble trying to go around a big bag of bits. I went between two small trees down a steep slope, and planning on using them to swing around the obstacle, instead my feet slid out from under me and I ended up with the trees catching me under the arms.  I lay on the ground getting my breath back, hung up on these two dratted trees and cried.  It hurt and with my existing shoulder problem, I had a few moments of terror that I might have done more damage.
But I got up, stretched and went on, no more accidents, no more spider webs, no more clouds, but lots of heat, the temperature got up to 27 degrees in Whangarei today and I related to that as I plodded out one step after another on the hot tarseal back to my parents place.

I’ve been putting ice on my shoulder and protesting knee, they feel a little stressed but they did have to work hard today.  I feel like I’m probably as fit as I was this time last year, that bit of reassurance gives me more confidence, but unlike last year I do to be more careful with these injuries.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Kate writes: Christmas presents

Its been a different Christmas for many reasons, but what is always good about Christmas is the presents :) . There was a theme this year. From my nieces a bedside light with tinker bell in it that lights up and from my friend Karen fairy lights. They both have special meanings and I cried when I opened them both. My daughter gave me a charm for my bracelet with a pink ribbon on, symbolising breast Cancer awareness. My Mum has been recently diagnosed with Cancer and its a reminder to enjoy every day. My Sister , who is away in the UK seeing mum, also gave me a charm of a heart with a koru on it.   Friends and family are very special and we need to let them know.
I was out on my bike this morning in the rain! and 2 little boys shouted at me did you get your bike for Christmas, so I shouted back of course Santa was good to me. They laughed and told me that they also had new bikes. Its amazing what conversations you have even when out on your bike.
Karen said that she was not doing much trainning whilst away up north, but I've just read her blog... better get out and do some serious training, after all its not long to go now!

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Karen writes: The spectre of last year

Up north for Christmas with the whanau.  As usual it has been lovely to spend time with the my folks, brother, the niece and nephew.  Of course I have eaten far too much, not as bad as Christmas celebrations can be, but that little bit of trifle, a little bit of pav, a little bit of jelly, a little bit of cream...a little bit of each different type of chocolate revealed in everyone's presents...fresh plums, cherries, several khaki coloured cupcakes with splodges of green icing which were put together by the girls as this years version of a Christmas cake, all this can stack up on top of the healthiest of dinners.  And if you don't eat everything, there are leftovers to come so you just shift the problem.

When I am here I like to run up my mum and dad's garden ornament, a small mountain called Manaia.  Usually I do it most days and push a bit, but this time I am pacing myself, my dodgy knee keeps reminding me that I should be a bit careful on the hills, both up and down.  Especially since I have the high point of my training year coming up, a hike from Bream Head to Urquharts bay, which takes me well over 3 hours on a good day, then the run back home is another 50 minutes or so. I love this track, Christmas wouldn't seem the same if I couldn't do it.  Ironman has a bit to answer for, usually I would tackle these challenges without worrying too much, this time I'm feeling paranoid, is my knee hurting more than usual?  Is that a twinge somewhere else? What happens if I get the ITB problem back by doing too much hill work? I really dont want to do serious damage with only 9 weeks to go.  There is also the fact that if I cant do as much racing up and down the mountains as I did last year, how do I tell if I am as fit as I was then?

So where I am with training...I took last week off completely after the Rotorua half Ironman.  Sunday I had a pleasant 10km run with the Te Puru runners breaking in new running shoes but feeling a bit sluggish.  Monday a steamy 18km run along the waterfront on the Whangarei heads, Tuesday and today a trip up Mt Manaia (rain one day, hot the next).

Now running is good, its also all I can do without a bike on hand.  I could swim I guess, but there is my unreasonable reluctance to go in the big water which I see as being host to too many things with teeth.  The trouble is that I know that the cycle and swim are where I would better invest my limited time and energy, and sadly that isn't going to happen any time soon.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Kate Writes: Holidays

Its my first break from work in a long time. What shall I do? Train of course! but the storms coming so I can not go out on the bike. So off I went to see Norma for my feet and eyebrows to be done. I mean to say I must go faster with red toe nails. Training will start tomorrow :)

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Kate writes: Poker run !

I had never been on a poker run before, so it was a new experience for me. We could run or bike. Well its only 4 days since the half, so I thought biking would be the best option. There were only 4 of us on the ride and about 10 runners. The bikers were fast or me that's slow. We rode for 10k and picked up a card, then again another 10 k and another card. the last two stops were with the run group so were not very far. It was a fun way to spend a few hours and took away the pain of the legs. But today the legs feel better so maybe it was for the best.
I did not win anything at the poker though.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Karen writes: Don't!

DON'T... put a banana skin in a cycle shirt pocket on a hot day while bike-riding, then leave the shirt in a plastic box in the sun for hours, then pack the box into a car for a day, then get home and leave the box to be sorted out later...just don't!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Kate writes: trials and tribulations of a half

Well what can I write about the weekend. It was Hard, Hot and Hilly.

Swim: the water was still the buoys were big and I had a great swim. 48 mins a minute slower than last year but no panic attacks felt good.

Bike: Weather hot, had a nice ride out, thought I was doing OK at 24k an hour for the first part out around the lake, then the hills and lack of energy. I had gels and sandwiches but no caffeine, maybe that's the problem!  Came over a hill and loads of little rocks on the road, thought I was going to fall but no, still on the bike. There were 10 bikes behind me but no one in front. It can be quite lonely out there. I averaged 22k on the way home. But it was hilly! Not happy with that, need to work on food intake and drink and keep the speed up. 4 hrs and 9 mins - 11 mins slower than last year.

Run: By now the sun was up. I had drunk all my water 3 bottles and had a 4th bottle of hot water to drink at transition. I really did not want to run! I walked up the first hill, drank more water, had caffeine gel. Ran into the bush, that was nice and cooling. I was at the back of the pack but there were people in front of me, people to catch and pass! But had I missed the turn off. No worries I thought, I will just go around the lake 4 times if that's the case. But no, I had not missed it and off I went downhill!  Not expecting that, a very long down hill run. Found my running streak and off I went. The road went on and on. I had lost my Hanky and had to sniff the rest of the race. I love my Hanky I hate the uncouth people that do not use one! But still the run must continue. The views were amazing, I had time to stop and look. I was wondering how I could get out of doing this run! It was hot and I was tired. I know I thought to myself if someone else collapses in front of me I will have to do the nursey thing and stop and look after them! Well the next thing I knew was severe pain in my left ankle as I rolled it. I was in the middle of a desert. Bad language came out of my mouth. It really hurt *#*#.  I tentatively put my foot down and it was OK but if I ran on uneven ground it hurt. OK I will just have to watch out. Serves me right for wishing bad things on others. There was water at the far end of the road and I drank loads. It was a long run to the next water stop. As I ran onto the lakefront again I saw a friend in the ambulance. I stopped to check if she was OK and found two other friends looking after her. Dehydration and a cold had got to her. I'm surprised that there was not more people with dehydration as  it was very hot. Last lap and into the finish with a time of 2 hrs 40 mins - 4 mins FASTER than last year. Well I do not know how that happened, hated the run, well actually the walk,  but still, over all not a bad day.

Total time 7 hrs 39 mins. 9 Mins slower than last year but on a totally different course.

Today I am sore and having a second day off. I did have a bruise on my ankle , battle scar but its gone today. Back to training tomorrow. I promise :)

Karen writes: Surviving the 2012 Rotorua Ironman

Home, washing machine churning, suitcases being unpacked a piece at a time, sports gear box still unopened until I feel much braver.

The event, wow that was so HARD!  The new course turned out to have a few more hills, great big ones and the run was a nice bush track which was also noticeably (read 'hilly')...than previously, and throw in the wonderful sunshine especially down in the still gullys it was a kinda warm, enervating experience.

We stayed in a neat old two story house in the heart of Rotorua as we have in previous years, it has lots of rooms and the kids enjoy the freedom of all that space after living in a shoebox sized house (less housework I always say) for the rest of the year.  Is it my imagination or does Rotorua have a lot of cockroaches? I've been evicting them from various boxes and there was even one which traveled to work with me on the car bonnet this morning.  Anyway, the night before the event we had a lovely Thai dinner, early night, early start, bikes were dismantled and wedged in the back of Kate's tiny car and we headed off into a spectacular misty morning before the rest of the sane world woke up.

Swimming in lake Tikitapu was a dream, how was I ever so nervous last year that I had panic attacks when I put my head in the water?  The 2km went very quickly, I felt like I could have kept on going which is very reassuring since I have done barely any training in this discipline this year because of the shoulder problems.  I struggled to see the marker buoys and probably covered more distance than I needed to, but was pretty happy with a 47 minute swim, better than last year.

Then we get to the bike leg.  Got out of the water, smooth transition, the weather was so nice there was none of the usual worrying about what clothes to wear so it was shirt/hat/arm covers/gloves/socks and shoes/helmet on and off straight into the first big hill.  Then I got down the bottom of the hill to the main road where there is a roundabout and the marshal said "right round the roundabout", I wasn't sure what she was saying so I made a circle gesture and said "RIGHT round the whole thing?" and she said yes.  I thought perhaps I had gotten some sort of penalty (why?) so instead of getting off onto the road to the airport I went completely round till I was going back the way I came and by this time Kate came along and the marshals were yelling at me but eventually I got back to where I was meant to be swearing at myself and muttering about being too early to be thinking straight.

The rest of the ride was lots of grinding, part of the cycle route had changed so we had an out and back along part of the Rotorua marathon route, when you are running up those hills they don't seem nearly as big but cycling them, wow.  Also there was an add-on once we got back to the start, we had to keep on going for another 5km and that took us through more BIG hills. It also got a bit tricky trying to maintain a 10 metre space between you and the next rider when some people slow right down to a crawl on the hills, so you end up really taxing the legs overtaking to maintain that gap otherwise you risk going so slow you fall off. I took 4 hours 4 on the bike ride, nearly 12 minutes slower than last year.  I felt a bit sorry for some of the people who were doing the shorter distance Contact triathlons, you usually expect the courses to be relatively conservative for those, I cant imagine people training for a 20km ride would be doing it in that sort of terrain and I saw some people really struggling.

The run, another quick transition, off on wobbly legs and I was joined by B who we know from work.  It was a challenge that run. I could feel my energy leeching out as I went along and my heart was thudding in my ears and when I let myself have the traditional drink of coke in the last half hour it gave me a pep-up but also made me feel too sick to keep drinking water. B and I talked much of the way and he kindly pretended he needed to slow down too when I gave up on pretty much every rise of more than a few metres long, so it was as social and enjoyable 21km as I have had in a long time. The impressive thing was that B had only decided to do his first half IM a few days previously but you wouldn't be able to tell that, amazing effort and thanks heaps B, the company made a tough half marathon much less onerous!

It is a bit hard to tell if you have done better or worse when a course has changed radically, I am trying to convince myself that the 12 minutes slower than last time was due to the more difficult terrain and the heat, but who can really tell.  I was very happy with the swim, the rest was ok, and I feel a little tired today but nothing hurts so life goes on as normal.  Ironman here we come!

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Karen writes: 2 days before Rotorua half IM

I looked at the training plan, I looked at what I did last week, what do you think, was there the remotest bit of resemblance between what I was meant to do and what actually happened? Um, nope.

Last week I took Monday OFF training, Tuesday 1500m swim and 60km bikeride, Wednesday OFF because of an evening meeting (I could have had a morning swim but found excuses not not wanting to smell like a swimming pool and mess my hair up...yes...pathetic), Thursday 50 minute read on the spinbike, Friday OFF, Saturday 2km swim, Sunday 19km run.  Being my own coach I have to ask "where did 3 days off come from, they weren't in the plan?" and "what happened to the 'brick' or back-to-back sessions which were?"

This week, Monday OFF, Tuesday 50km bikeride, Wednesday 8km reluctant run, today...a short sea swim. That makes 3 training sessions out of the scheduled 6 and not one was the right amount.  Oops.

Tonight is is decision making time because for triathlon you need a heap of stuff for the 3 disciplines but there is also the 'this cycleshirt, or that one' aspect, will it be hot (probably), will we hit wind (possibly) or rain (unlikely), who has made off with my favourite socks, to wear tri-shorts or...gulp...penguin suit, oh just pack a variety of everything.

List of essential triathlon equipment to pack:
  • bike
  • pump/tools/chain lube
  • various assorted bike bits like computer, foodbag, underseat bag with spare tubes etc
  • drink bottles x 2 - not my favourites though, they get swapped at drink stations.
  • box with lid to put transition stuff in
  • running shoes and socks (preferably in matched sets)
  • running shirt
  • running hat
  • sunglasses x 2
  • cycle shoes and socks
  • helmet
  • arm covers
  • cycle shirt (this blue one or that blue one?)
  • gloves
  • jacket (because I am paranoid no matter how good the weather forecast is)
  • towel for drying off after swim, try to put tight clothes on when soaking wet and see what I mean
  • fuelbelt with gels, sticking plasters, panadol, and tabs to put race number on
  • drink bottle x 1 - for swim to bike transition and recovery
  • wetsuit
  • swim cap and goggles (x 2)
  • tri-pants (or penguin suit)
  • sports bra - not the grotty one as it will be visible getting changed
  • waterproof watch with lip-dip
  • anti-chafe - chamois cream and wetsuit anti-chafe
  • sunscreen - waterproof, highest protection factor around
  • leg band for transponder
  • breakfast ingredients - rice porridge/rice milk
  • extra nutrition - white bread/marmite/honey, gels
  • entry details for registration
  • roller to prevent/treat tight ITB
Just as well the family isn't any bigger, there wouldn't be any room in the car for them with all my sports junk!

Kate Writes: illness

I have a cold. Its lasted at least a week. Very little training has gone on. I now believe that I can not swim, the bike has disappeared into the garden and running has got to be a joke! Well that's how I feel. But tomorrow I need to pack for Rotorua half Ironman. the brain has got to get back into the I can do mode. The sunshine is helping, but then again will it be too hot! Watch this space.....

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Karen writes: Vegetarian

I am a carnivore.  I have over the years had various 'goes' at being a vegetarian, but having usually taken the easiest route I tended to make my health worse rather than better.  I also came to terms with the fact that not having had the moral or philosophical drive to permanently swap such cultural treasures as bacon, roast beef, and cottage pie for tofu and lentils meant that the non-meat eating discipline was never likely to become a way of life for me.

My most recent effort was a wee while ago now, spurred on by research suggesting that a mainly vegetarian diet has advantages for health generally and...bonus...sporting performance.  I purchased a vegetarian cookbook in a secondhand shop and sat in the car while waiting for an appointment, eagerly perusing the contents for irresistible recipes for meals to put on the family table to start our new healthier life.  Sadly there wasn't anything irresistible, there wasn't anything uncomplicated, there wasn't anything which didn't have a majority of ingredients which I don't hold in the kitchen cupboards.  We had mince for dinner that night.

Enter 9 yo daughter.  A few days ago she announced that she wanted to be vegetarian.  I asked her why and she said "because it's mean to animals".  YES I thought, good for you kid and I gleefully totted up the potential benefits for the rest of us, reasoning that having a strong (sort of) moral stance in the family might be just enough to generate a change in all of our eating habits!  We had a talk about the minor problem of her not actually liking vegetables (I don't either, I force the things in because I should)..that would obviously have to change. We talked about the importance of getting enough of particular nutrients and that meat was the easiest option to get these but we could add...shock horror...beans and pulses and lentils and things. I also negotiated a compromise, I wasn't keen on the idea of strict veganism at this point and would like her to continue to have dairy and eggs, and still have 2 meat meals a week in the short term to see how things go.

The other night the whanau had chicken and the vegetarian reminded us that she had already had a meat meal this week, so she had scrambled eggs.  She ate everything on her plate which included a mountain of spinach/zuchini/carrot which would normally have had to be forced in with bribery at the very least.  She has since been at school camp, I wonder if she announced her new eating preference to them, or whether she forced down a last few sausages.  When she comes home tonight will she still think being carnivorous is mean to animals, or will she think being vegeterian is meaner to her?

I sincerely hope the former, and armed with some practical information from one of the Gardens4Health team at work I really like the idea of exploring this topic further with our big girl.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Karen writes: Anthony the running podiatrist

Anthony from the Whitiora diabetes service visited the team other day while I was out of the office to drum up support for his latest scheme.  Anthony is a specialty podiatrist and he wants to buy a piece of important equipment to help out with providing footcare for patients with diabetes, so he is undertaking an amazing challenge to raise awareness...and money.  When I first heard of his plan I thought I had made a mistake, he wants to run 1000km in 10 days.... no, cant possibly have heard that right!

So I went over to his clinic to buy some of his raffle tickets and just check up on the facts.  Yes, he is running 1000km in 10 days, no, he doesn't think it is a big deal.  From my own perspective I couldn't cycle 1000km in 10 days!  It took me a whole 4 months to run 1000km according to my sportband thingy and I was pretty impressed with that. Some little things to consider...1000km is a long life for a pair of running shoes...running at 5 minutes per km it would be around 8 hours a day of running and the amount of energy burned to run 100km is likely to be in excess of 6000 Calories...every day!!  Yes, I am using a lot of exclamation marks here, its an exclamation mark kind of thing don't you think?

But then Anthony is the kind of guy who when I asked him a few years ago about what was the minimum amount of running needed to maintain half marathon distance fitness, he started talking about what he did which was things like 3 hour runs before breakfast at paces impossible for me to imagine, giving the impression he wouldn't get out of bed for much less than a marathon.  Perspective huh?

So you go Anthony, what a great idea, and good on you for being proactive about improving the care you provide to the patients of South Auckland.  We are behind you all the way, wish you an enjoyable and challenging run and successful fundraising in December...but maybe we aren't too likely to try to emulate you on this one...

Kate writes: Inspiration

Is it inspiration or bl...dy mindedness that gets us through. I think its a bit of both. I am tired after 2 days of hard training. Do I give up or just keep going. I know I feel better for the workouts and I feel like I've done something when I get home and almost too tired to eat, but is it good for you! I think its all in the mind, mental strategy is so important. Believing that you can do it and can finish is so important. I'm having today off as I have a committee meeting to thank the sponsors for the recent Ironmaiden event that we ran in Waiuku last month. A few beers and meat sounds like ideal recovery food. Then back on track ready for the half Ironman.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Karen writes: Swimming pool blues

I loathe the swimming pool.  With my severely cut down swim training I've been putting my effort into a few slow wetsuit swims in the sea, gently putting my dodgy shoulder under pressure to see how it copes with greater time in the water, not worrying about harder work just aiming to achieve the distance with a minimum of stress.  This week I just couldn't see how I could swim in the sea, the tide is way out in the mornings and evenings all week and it wont be possible to swim on the weekend.

So I had to go to the Otara pool before work today.  Older daughter is off to school camp, tenting, so it was a bit muddly getting last minute items packed for her, is there enough sunscreen because its shaping up to be hot outside and what's the plan for the expected torrential rain?  Yep, good old Auckland smorgasbord weather, just pack everything.  Anyway, finally she was ready to go and I was too.  I had my togs under my clothes, wearing jandals, bag with undies/ towel/ toiletries/ shoes/ flippers/ goggles/ water/ snacks, it was almost as complicated getting me to the pool as the girl to camp but I arrived at the recreation centre and claimed a lane to myself which was bliss.  The first bit of a swim always takes so long, one length...two it water trudging.  Then you get up to about 20 lengths and things suddenly start feeling like they are going a bit faster, get to 40 lengths and there is almost no point in stopping.  I made 60 lengths, is my shoulder hurting I asked myself and the answer was yes, not too much, but it was probably sensible to call a halt and do the stretching thing and go to work.

The only good thing about going to the pool is the shower, it is lovely to stand in that hot shower, muscles tingling a little from being well-used, remembering to reach back regularly to push the button to make sure the water doesn't stop, yes. Even that shower though wasn't enough to give me more than a transient feeling of satisfaction, but as I walked out of the changing room I looked at the people in the pool, and then looked again.  Two women were walking up and down one of the lanes, chattering way, enjoying themselves, getting their exercise.  They were wearing t'shirts branded with 'Lets Beat Diabetes' which was a 5 year long project run by the local District Health Board a few years ago, big project, lots of excellent ideas, an effort on the part of a DHB to work in partnership with the community to help stem the rising diabetes problem in South Auckland.  It was a brave attempt and achieved some important things in it's  term, but like many such projects, changes, new directions, different priorities and a few years later who remembers Lets Beat Diabetes and the massively hard work put into it by all sorts of people?

Except today, years after the project finished, I saw these two women in the Otara pool, enthusiastically walking their way to good health wearing their t'shirts.  I smiled then, this was really what Lets Beat Diabetes was all about.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Karen writes: Plan, what plan?

Last week was a funny week, it was recovery from the not-insignificant effort of riding round Lake Taupo, but it was also about ramping up the triathlon aspect of training to get ready for the Rotorua half Ironman which is now just 2 weeks away.  I ended up doing - Monday 20 min sea swim, Tuesday 30 min run, Wednesday 41 min swim/run (event), Thursday off, Friday 90 min hill run/30 min spin, Saturday 2 hr bike-ride, and Sunday 2 1/4 hour bush run. Not enough of the right things would be the way to summarise that effort.

As usual the hardest part is fitting in what you need to do, and last week was a classic, things like meetings, children's activities, inconvenient tides, and trying to separate the longer activities out meant training didn't go as planned.  Take the bikeride on Saturday evening which was shorter than it was meant to be because of available time, it was nice enough but sluggish after a challenging mid-distance run the day before. Then I followed the cycle up with the weekly long run on the following morning, Sunday, and I know that sort of short-change never works, today I am feeling the effects with low energy and lacklustre muscles.

In earlier days with 2 weeks to go before an event this would be time to scale the training back, now we are back on the Ironman track again, the half Ironman is classified as 'training'.  This means there is no excuse for not keeping on building this week and then taking things just a bit easy in the week before the event.  But guess what, meetings, children's school activities, family things, and I am guaranteed that the reality will look NOTHING like the plan.  Again.

And I did have Kate's cycle helmet in the boot of the car.  If she hadn't had a loan one available that could very well have constituted training sabotage...wonder if she would think it was me if her front wheel disappeared?

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Kate writes: wheres the helmet?

I have had a busy week, loads of swimming and feeling a lot happier about open water swimming. So Sunday arrived and I though I better get out and have a ride on the bike.I packed the bike into the car got all my stuff together and was just about to leave when I realised I had no hat to wear. I think its in the back of Karen's car, well I will have a look tomorrow. Lucky my brother in law had a spare one so off I went. I had a good ride 2 hours and back to Nicks for coffee.