Monday, February 24, 2014

Only the good die young.

Yesterday a school friend of mine lost her battle with cancer, she had been married a short 13 months.

It has been a shocking realisation that we are not invincible, that even though we are healthy, active and relatively young we absolutely never know what is around the corner.

Carolina lived her life to the absolute fullest, she was not always an easy person, her convictions were intense and she didn't bend her beliefs for anyone, she never tried to fit in.  As a teenager that made her life in school difficult, not that you would ever know it, as an adult it became an admirable personality trait, she became a shining star, intensely bright and talented.

This has not been a long battle for her but Carolina approached it with the courage, strength and grace that I only could wish to have.  I grieve not only for a life cut short, but also for her husband and their obvious deep love for each other that will never get the chance to grow old.

Life just isn't fair.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Catch up.

So last week didn't go to plan, I ended up catching a cold which had me out of action until Sunday and all training was ceased, I was upset that I had such a bad training week so close to my half marathon, but instead chose to spend the time resting and enjoying not trying to carve out time to fit my training in.

Sunday I met up with my Mum for a bike ride and we completed 36km, the longest I have ridden so far, Mum knows all the good routes and had me going up and down hills, explaining the intricate rules of the road and etiquette amongst cyclists, it was wonderful to get out and do some riding with someone else for a change, I enjoy the time to myself usually but the time and effort seemed so much less when enjoying it with another person.

Monday I headed back to swim squad, it was my first time back in the water after the triathlon and it is amazing how much more peaceful the pool seemed after the ocean swim.  This is definitely an area to work on, I am going to need to research some swims in my area that I can go and practice racing in before it gets too cold.  I swam 2.5km and was happy enough with the effort, sometimes I feel like I go a bit too easy in training, especially swimming as I am not really racing against a time or km/hr in the same way as when I am running or cycling.

I did get to have fun with this little guy though who kept blowing me kisses.

Tuesday I woke up all ready to head out for a run, and then couldn't believe that it was raining.  I really enjoy running in the rain, especially after the heat we have had but I didn't want the kids sitting in the pram while it was raining so I post poned my run hoping to have a chance to go in the afternoon.  The skies cleared and while it was still horribly hot and humid I got it done, amazingly to me in a record time!

Time: 28:50
Distance: 5.12km
Average pace: 5:38/km
I was absolutely stoked with that time, not to mention exhausted.

In all my reading about triathlons I have heard about brick training where you do more than one discipline in a session, so after a cycle you head out for a run.  I don't have the time or ability to do that on my own with the kids so I have adapted another training idea.  A few times a week I will either run or swim in the morning and then use the wind trainer to do some cycle in the evening.  I gave it a go for the first time last night and pushed out a tough 30 minute wind trainer session.  

I found a great program on you tube that I can set up on our TV to make it a realistic training run so I actually had a great time checking out the Melbourne scenery as the same time.

Today was a rest day, so after I finished work and my MIL headed home we hung out, had friends over for a take away dinner and got ready for another run day tomorrow.

My fingers are crossed for a nice run day tomorrow, I have grand plans for a breakfast picnic once we are done!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

It has been a slow week.

I hate whinging, just ask Otto, he is yet to learn not to whinge at me until I have at least one coffee under my belt, however this week I feel like whinging.
Swim squad has been cancelled both Monday and Friday, I ran an awesome time/pace on Tuesday, rested Wedensday and then thanks to extreme solo parenting which has culminated in no more than three hours sleep in a row for the last three nights, there was no damn way I was going for a run this morning.  I have been lazy, eating a bit too much chocolate and enjoying the odd glass of wine, all of which is definitely not in line with my training schedule.

I have high hopes that at least Saturday and Sunday I will be able to motivate myself to do some sort of movement that involves increasing my heart rate!  In good news, I did walk into Aldi this afternoon and find a road bike wind trainer, I had started looking for one second hand online as a way to practice my bike miles more at home when the kids are sleeping, and there right in front of me was the perfect one for the perfect price.  Thanks universe, now could you also help with the whole children not sleeping part!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Beach time.

The best part about the weekend, other than ticking off a big personal achievement was heading up a day early with the family for some very much needed time off.  Things are hectic around here, just like any young family and when the opportunity to get away from pressing matters of the house presented itself we didn't think twice.

We have been dealing with lots of big emotions these last few weeks, at the beach they have room to run, scream, and for me to breathe!  Big deep relaxing breaths, and smile.

I was born near the water and spent the majority of my young childhood running along the sand, digging holes and chasing the waves, it is always where I feel the most calm and happy (except when being asked to swim in it with hundreds of others).  I am sure most children are the same, but the boys love it, we are all much happier by the sea.

Monday, February 10, 2014

My first Triathlon race!

What a weekend!  Sunday morning I completed my first triathlon, it was a short course distance up at Bribie Island about an hour from home.

The distances:
300m swim
10km cycle
3km run

This is the first time in the open water for me and I was suffering with terrible anxiety about it.  I am usually not an anxious person but I was freaking out every time I thought about jumping in with a heap of other people at the same time and battling to get to the giant markers bobbing about in the water.  I am so pleased that in the last few weeks I had made myself practice without flippers in the pool, without the prior knowledge of just how slow I would feel I can't imagine how I would have coped with the anxiety.  Of all the three stages, the swim is still the most vivid in my memory, it felt to me as though it assaulted all my senses.  The noise was immense with everyone swimming around me, the salt water felt as though it made my tongue swell within my mouth to twice the size and the inability to see where I was going underwater made me panic.  I lost count of the times that I was whacked or kicked on my body, I was at the mercy of the waves and currents and talked sternly to myself the whole way through just to get to the end.  I was pleased it was only 300m, however I believe that had the swim been longer I would have been able to calm down and find a rhythm, making the whole experience less terrifying.

I did complete the swim in 7 minutes, and came 10th out of 24 swimmers, honestly it was slower than what I wanted, I had a lofty goal of completing the swim leg in 5 minutes, however the woman that came fastest in our category didn't even achieve that, so I may have over reached there!

Next up was the cycle, my biggest goal here was to remember not to ride through transition or fall off while trying to get clipped in, and I was hoping to complete the ride in under 30 minutes.  I achieved all of these things, just.  Turns out nerves, shaky legs and everyone trying to clip in at the same point made me fumble, and fumble, and fumble getting onto the bike and peddling away.  I was so frustrated but happy to eventually get there.  This route had no hills (Yay!) but plenty of corners and round a bouts which I still slow down a lot for, definitely something to work on for future races.  Overall I was happy with how I went, it was a big learning curve, and taught me that I have so much more to learn if I want to improve my cycling.  I finished the 10km in 25:50 which was well within my goal and came 22nd out of 24 riders.  Lots of room for improvement!

The run leg was always going to be my strength, but I just didn't know how much to push it, my legs were tired, I was hugging and puffing away and desperate to have a drink and get rid of the salty water out of my mouth, but I didn't want to waste the time it would take to stop, however next time, I will take the extra few seconds in transition to have a drink and calm down first before heading off.  Starting out I felt strong so decided to take it a bit easy until the turn around and then use whatever power I had left for the run back.  It worked, I did the run in 13:48 and came 5th out of the 24 in my category.

Overall I cam 13th out of 24 which I am really happy with.  Lots of firsts were ticked off and I learnt a huge amount to use for next time, I am not sure that I will be any less terrified of the swim having prior knowledge but I will be more prepared for what it feels like.  There is one more triathlon left in this series in a months time, I am hoping I will be able to make it up and complete the same one after working on a few areas (must cycle more).  It will be a few weeks before the half marathon so shouldn't impede on my performance or training for that race.

I have definitely been bitten by the triathlon bug, but with a healthy dose of respect for the training and hard work that will be required to feel prepared and comfortable turning up to race day.  

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Rest day = Playdoh

Yesterday was a rest day and a kindy free day,  I didn't have to be at work until later in the day so we spent a slow morning in our pj's slouching around the house, it was exactly what we needed.
Otto chose to play with playdoh, and Hugo will do absolutely anything that his big brother does so playdoh it was.  We had a great time, trains, animals and cars drove tracks, hats were made, samples were eaten (not by me, fairly sure I stopped that in primary school although I do remember it was delicious!).

I keep mentioning how overwhelming Han being away has been for me the last few weeks, so we finally outsourced some help with the housework and it has taken such a weight off my shoulders, I become really anxious if a standard is not constantly met and it was almost impossible combined with working more hours, a new school schedule and a toddler who just doesn't stop moving!  It gave me the breathing and head space to be much more present with Otto and Hugo.

As overwhelming as it sometimes is, I wouldn't trade being their mother for anything, just please don't ever stop the supply of wine!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

2.2 km

2.2 km is how far I swam on Monday, I was a little bit late getting there so missed out on doing the whole 3km but I still feel like that was a decent effort.

The laps were
400m Freestyle
400m Pull
600m Freestyle
400m Kick
400m Medley

I spent some of the 600m freestyle practicing looking up every ten strokes to sight my lane as I will need to be able to do that on Sunday.  It felt good to get a handle on something that I will need for the swim, hopefully I will be a bit less anxious having some idea of what to do.

Today I ran, I started out feeling strong and was surprised at my original pace of 5.46/km which I held for 15 minutes before slowing it down to 5.53/km with the hills at the end.  Still a solid effort, and I can definitely tell that I am gaining strength and even some more resolve to get through these runs.

Tuesday is fast becoming one of my favourite days, after Otto rides his bike to Kindy Hugo and I get to sneak off for our very own coffee date, we count trucks, rubbish trucks and buses, all while I get to sip on a coffee and share a banana bread.

Some days this lifestyle of ours (FIFO) is really rough, over the last few weeks I have had moments of feeling completely overwhelmed by the responsibility of it.  This morning though I was so grateful for Han to have a job that provides me with the ability to mostly stay at home and have these wonderful moments growing a bond with my boys.  That bond, and the memories I have from when Otto was a baby are sustaining me through the current four year old craziness that has descended on our house, a hotbed of emotions and testosterone and defiance, with a bit of the cute, cuddly inquisitive boy I know is under it all.  This FIFO life isn't easy on any of us.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Weekend wrap up.

What a crazy busy, fun and tiring weekend we just had!  I was pleased that even though it was so full, I still managed to get my training in.

Saturday morning the boys and I went to the markets to gather some more fruit and veggies while Han caught up on sleep, I am not sure if anyone else is struggling to buy nice fruit at the moment but I seem to pick terrible fruit constantly.  I was hoping that the markets would help our dismal fruit bowl, but sadly we didn't find much there either.

After getting home coffee in hand I headed out for my 10k run.  The plan was to take it easy, I had worked until late the night before and Hugo had been unsettled, so I wasn't well rested, in fact I was down right grumpy!

Distance: 10.67 km
Time: 1hr
Pace: 5:49/km

It wasn't an earth shattering run, I felt comfortable throughout it and enjoyed running past all the heritage homes in our area.  It did remind me that I really need to start thinking about hydration and fuel for the half marathon, I don't normally carry water on these runs because they don't seem long enough, the half marathon though will require something, and I am far to uncoordinated to manage stopping at the drinks station.

Saturday night we went out with friends, and while I don't usually drink while training I had decided to let my hair down.  2 G&T's and 2 wines later and I realised that I may be more physically fit but my drink fit days are long gone!

I felt each and every glass of alcohol on my ride into work on Sunday morning, not helped by the 4:30 start to the day either.  There are two cycle entries for yesterday as I rode in then rode home but for the ease of writing here I have combined them.

Distance: 34.35 km
Time: 99 min
Pace: 20km/hr

Pretty much the same as last week, except I rode a bit further, I can't say I felt any stronger but I was happy to be out there with the wind on my face trying not to curse that last G&T too much.

This week is a big one for me, on Sunday we head up to do the Bribie Triathlon.  My first time ever to attempt something like this. I am equally scared and excited to have a go, I need to devise some sort of plan for how I want to attempt it.  Transition and open water swimming still scare me, I have no idea what to wear or where my bike and clothes need to be set up.  This is a whole other ball game then just arriving in my running gear and finding the start line!