Monday, 18 March 2013

Karen writes: 2 weeks after Ironman

Funnily enough I haven't noticed the predicted 'gap' in my life after Ironman, this is mainly due to two things...being at last fully able to participate in (motivate/encourage/bribe/cajole/drag along) Weetbix tryathlon preparations for the two girls without having to worry about it's impact on my own training, and being back in marathon preparation....albeit gentle.

So Saturday was the whanau bikeride, the expressed desire was for the bikes to be put in the back of the ute and trucked off somewhere flatter, but I held out for riding direct from home.  The intention was to do an 8km there-and-back to Te Puru park, stopping to have a look at the offshore powerboat racing on the harbour.   I love watching this, the noise is amazing and I'm fascinated by the bevy of tiny helicopters dashing along just out of the plume of water shot up in the air by the bigger boats.  What actually happened was we got to Te Puru and the girls wanted to keep going to visit their cousins over in the next town, so we kept going.  We did get to see the powerboating on the way back, but inevitably there were two tired and hungry children so it wasn't a time to really dawdle.  It is so good to see them develop skills though, the 7yo has gone from walking up (and more importantly down as she hasn't quite grasped the idea of stopping using brakes) every hill to being much more confident, the 9yo races happily up and down, too confidently in fact as she disappeared from sight a few times.   Roll on Weetbix at on the North shore.

Sunday, well this is my day, and I was up for a very light 5am breakfast, back to bed for a bit then out the door planning on a gentle 12km for the weekly long run.  Best laid plans of being sensible and taking it easy, 18km later I was home feeling pleased with myself but mildly anxious that I might have overdone it, all the books predict a post Ironman 'honeymoon' followed by a crash. Actually I felt really good for most of the run except for being a bit unmotivated for no good reason in the last few km, and there are warning twinges from the left ITB, I predict time on the dratted roller. Ironically, no rain for over a month, of course it should start pouring while I am out miles from home, I've never actually had occasion to study close up a road suddenly subject to water after a prolonged dry and watched with fascination the sludge lifting out of the tarseal and running off, I now understand why I have always been warned that roads are at their most dangerous when this happens.

So I felt entitled to a rest Sunday afternoon, I was lying upstairs and there was a sudden thump against the house, then another, it's a pole house and it felt just like a vehicle had bumped the poles.  Turned out it was an earthquake, I don't recall having felt one of those in Auckland before and once we figured out that that was what it was I stood in the middle of the room thinking about what was the sensible thing to do...would I be over-reacting if I dug out the emergency box and put it somewhere accessible like by the front door, should I get some warm clothes together so they can be easily reached?  Could we have a Tsunami?  There was nothing on the radio, nothing on the TV, and finally we found something on a government website which just described the centre as being under Motutapu Island 15km away, 5km deep, 3.9 on the richter scale...no warnings, no concerns anywhere, just another strange thing in a summer of strange things. Turns out earthquakes do happen in Auckland, but they are rare.

Next week training will step up, the plan is for 3 short runs with dreaded hill and interval work during the week and a 22km on Sunday, plus more focus on strength training. I'm looking forward to our trip away to Rotorua in 7 weeks, I wonder what a 'normal' marathon will feel like now?