Sunday, 13 January 2013

Karen writes: Training, the luxury of time

This weekend all I have had to worry about is what my next training session is, and what to eat either to prepare for or recover from it.  Until tomorrow of course, back at work, and then the whanau come home again and training gets squashed in and around that thing called 'life'.  It's good timing having some space to focus with about 4 weeks of real training (plus 2 weeks of taper) left before the Ironman.

Anyway, Friday I took a few hours annual leave to go for a bikeride.  Friday was pretty hot, I left work at lunchtime and went home to get ready for a hard slog, organised layers of sun block clothing, sunscreen, food, water, money, and headed for Whitford on the bike.  As I was riding along one road I wondered what the sweet smell was, that was answered when I came upon a truck loaded with honey supers, mmmm, the aroma of warm honey and wax heating up in the hive on a hot day, when the truck took off again I could just about have followed it on it's wandery way from the trail of smell alone.  I screwed up my eating on this ride, the sandwiches and gels and electrolyte drink left me feeling slightly ill, and lacking in energy.  4 hours in I stopped at a fruit shop and bought 500mls of really cold flavoured milk, an iced tea, and strangely enough felt much better.  Not sure how I could duplicate that in an event.  More work on nutrition needed.

This year instead of choosing the flattest route for the long rides, I'm choosing enjoyable routes, these are often hilly and the penalty is that the legs work a bit harder and I'm longer on the road.  My theory is that I might be doing the distance on the plan, but I'm doing it harder than last year, so nearly 6 hours later I was home after having done 130 slow and challenging km's.  I staggered up the driveway, struggled into running shorts and shoes and looking like a moron because I couldn't be bothered taking my cycling shirt, buff scarf and arm warmers off, I trotted off for 30 minutes of dodging people and cars alongside the packed beach. And the run went ok, it only takes a few times practising running 'off-the-bike' to reduce the wobbly leg thing and improve your breathing.  If you are doing triathlon, do even a short run after long rides, it will help heaps.  The trick...leave your running gear at the door ready to go so there is no excuse to collapse on the sofa after the ride.

Saturday was OFF.  Of course.  I did housework.

Sunday morning I was awake at 4am, so decided to have my breakfast then in the hopes I would go back to sleep uninterrupted until 7. It was shaping up to be hot...the decision was to take one bottle of water and run by known water-stops/shops, or take a Camelpak in case I got tempted by the bush trails.  Camelpak it was, and it was just as well, I ran in both Whitford forest and the Maraetai forest and I drank 2 litres of water in that 3 hour run and came home thirsty.  I ran through the Omana camp ground to start, there were lots of people camping, it amazes me how people interpret the camping experience so differently.  Those doing it hard with the bare essentials, to those with tables and chairs, portable cupboards, and bbq's with more knobs and dials than my stove. I passed one lady walking along a path and wondered what sort of activities she was doing on her camping experience which were ok for wearing white trousers with perfectly ironed creases.  Wish I could manage being that immaculate when I'm dressed up, let alone when camping.