Friday, November 26, 2010


Just a quick one. A couple of clips of Jens Voigt. The first is classic, he did an interview a while ago where he talked about when he body is saying "stop, turn around" his mind says "shut up body". This is the short version...

The second shows how much of a hard-nut he is. It is the end of a Tour de France stage where he had a massive crash... "I guess this just needs stitching together..." Ha! Remind me not to complain of a sore foot.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


This year Chris McCormack from Australia won the Hawaii Ironman World Champs. He won it a few years ago (2007) and has been pushing to take it again. What I love about this guy is his determination and attention to detail. Also, in the build up this year he talked the talk about how to knock of Craig 'Crowie' Alexander (also from Aus, and winner in '08 and '09) by busting it up on the bike so that Crowie's legs were shot on the run (Crowie is a gun runner and knocked out the 2nd fastest marathon this year in just over 2hrs 41mins) and put it into action on the day to lead Crowie off the bike by 8 minutes. Here is his run down of the day:

The more times I watch this the more motivated I am to get out there and give it a good crack! It also makes me really want to qualify for the Kona World Champs one day. In Busso they take the top 2 place getters in each age group, so it will be a few years until I'm up to scratch. But one day... If you start putting aside a dollar a day now, in 10 years you'll be able to fly over and cheer me on! Now THAT will be a wild ride!

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I'm tired. All the time lately. It has been a big few weeks of training; since last Saturday to today (8 days) I have swum about 9k, ridden about 460k and run about 75k. 26 and a bit hours of training. Take out a rest day and that is about 3hrs 40 mins per day. This is a blend of whinging (so what, I'm tired, leave me alone! haha) and also looking back over the past few days with a sense of accomplishment. If nothing else I know I am committed, determined and have a resolve to complete goals I set. Alright, now that I have blown my own trumpet...

D-day is fast approaching! 2 weeks tomorrow I will be toeing the sand looking out at the pier disappearing into the distance - "are you sure that's not more than 1.9k out? It looks a lot further..." And I can't wait! I am so excited to get out there and see how it all comes together. During my long run sessions this week I picture running past my family cheering me on, and I was so in the moment that it gave me goose-bumps. I think this is going to be such a phenomenal experience and a true test of my grit. At least I won't feel bad eating too much food and drinking too much beer at Christmas after finishing a 10 or 11 hour Ironman.

Thanks to everyone who is helping, be it moral support (Mum, Keat and clan), accommodation, vehicle (thanks Jen and Pete), putting up with me being tired all the time (Al ;o), my coach and the guys that make the GU gels (whoever you are - I am knocking off about 20 - 25 a week - yummo). A new experience for me - after some long (5-6hrs) training sessions, my brain actually stops / slows working (how do you tell the difference I hear you asking - thanks Keat). I think the energy spent and lack of carbs replacing it leaves my body putting energy into what it thinks I need (since I'm training, obviously my muscles need the food) rather than 'non-essentials' such as my brain. Now I can relate to the 'baby brain' I hear people talk about! Anyway, stay cool kiddies and I'll catch you later.

Riding in the rain

This is a spot-on philosophy.

“I made the decision years ago to never let the weather dictate what I do with my life. I made the decision and, from then on, the decision was made and now I never need to question whether to go out or not, no matter if it’s too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry, it doesn’t matter, the answer is always yes, go out. Make the decision once and then forget about it. Easy.

You will never have to worry about the weather again. YOU decide when you ride, not the weather.

You will see things that most people will never see. And when you try to describe those things to your friends they won’t understand.

You will be out riding one day and it will be pissing down so hard that you can barely see the road and cars will be giving you a wide berth because they’ll be like, “what the fuck is this guy doing? He’s gonna get himself killed!” and you’ll have been soaked to the skin for literally hours and there’ll be no cyclists, no runners, no dog walkers, no recreational activity pursuing people of any kind and you’ll be alone with yourself and just existing as part of nature, as something completely normal and understandable and right and you’ll be cranking it with great effort up a decent sized hill and shielding your eyes from the driving rain when, around the corner coming down the hill, there’ll be a guy on a bike, and he’ll be grimacing and his eyes will be screwed up against the rain and he’ll be hunched down in an aero tuck and clawing onto the bars for dear life as he takes the corner as fast as he dares with the rain and wind lashing him sideways into the disbelieving tourist traffic.

And he’ll see you cranking up the hill and you’ll catch his eye as he flies past and, for a split second, his grimace will become a grin and, when you meet him… you’ll both win."

Love it.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The race that was and the week that wasn't...

Well, I've mentioned before about the rules of triathlon - don't get injured, don't get sick, and don't break rule 1 or 2. Not long ago I was trying to heal an injury through training (yes, I realize that does not work) having broken rule 1 (and 3). What happens in the week leading up to Noosa? Yup, I get sick! Woot! I have heard people say that the taper week is often one to be most careful of, eating well and taking care of yourself because your immune system does funny things when the training load is suddenly eased off. While I'm sure there is some basic science to support this, I can honestly say that I saw it coming. The week prior was out of control. We got our bathroom renovated, which involved organising 3 different contractors, getting the products on time (and correct - damn you IKEA!) and rescheduling everybody when things did not turn up on time. This also meant that the week was spent training after work, and then meeting Al at her work in the city to use the showers there, which meant dinner on the run (and not that healthy) and getting home around 9:30 each night. We caught up with my brother-in-law and his family on Friday night, which was great but late and involved the joys of Thai takeaway. Amongst that, I started working with an 'intense' group of people at work to set up a new program. I could feel it building over the week, the stress, lack of sleep, poor recovery eating after training, juggling too many balls at once, what starts as a bit of a scratch in the back of your throat and builds into blocked ears, headaches and only one nostril doing it's bit to get oxygen into my lungs. So again, against all commonsense I was left trying to balance days off training but still hitting some key sessions but wanting to get healthy... after all, I had entered Noosa 8 or 9 months ago, I want to do well! Listen to your body. Simple. Right? I don't know. I think it's easy to put pressure on yourself to do things that don't really make sense. In a way, I'm lucky I have Busso coming up, because it made me stop and say "I'm going to slow down training this week". Not because it was the smart thing to do. But because I didn't want to get sicker and miss critical training for the Ironman. Who knows what stupid training I would have done otherwise! Maybe I would have missed Noosa altogether! What a funny day at Noosa - being in a new age category (30-34) my wave didn't start until 8:53am! Which meant I had to be in and out of transition by 6am to set up my bike, then I had a couple of hours to kill. Weird. I ended up heading back to the unit and watching the news (poor timing - the first story was about that snorkel instructor who got bitten by a shark in WA!). The race started off well - I was in the 3rd wave of my age group (339 of us altogether!) and got into a nice rhythm early - long strokes back to my legs, a bit of space. Came out of the water a bit slower than I hoped (26:20 for 66th fastest split) but was feeling good. I blame it on no wetsuits allowed (when the temp is under 24 degrees you can wear a wetsuit which helps poor swimmers like stay afloat - it was 24.5 degrees - bugger!). At my bike in transition my friend's bike was gone which meant he had beat me out of the water. Time to do some chasing! I got out onto the bike course pretty quick, into a comfy aero position and started pedaling away! I found my friend about 3k's down the road, said hi and shot off. I've gotta say, Noosa is so great if only for the sheer number of spectators! There is a climb about 10k's out of transition, yet there are still people lining it cheering you on. I stayed focus on good pedal technique, concentrated on eating enough to keep me going (Endura drink - thanks Jordan, and an energy GU with some caffeine) and maintaining a constant power output. I came back into transition in 1:05:20 (15th fastest bike split in my category) and ready to roar onto the run! I took off on the run like a mad man - for the first k or two there are people right there cheering you on (Mum, Hol and Chris so I had to put on an act and run fast!) so that kept me going. Somewhere in the middle though I tuned out and the cold I was shaking off from the week started to catch up to me. It took a lot of focus to stay in the moment and push the pace. The self talk started... "Only 6k to go", "No more than 20 minutes left", "Catch that guy", everything I could do to tune out to the pain and keep the pace going. I finished the 10k run in 37:27 (3rd fastest in my category) and the race in 2:09:08 (12th). A personal best by nearly 2 minutes. While it is a great event, it simply reinforced to me that I like the longer races. Races like Noosa are done "in the red zone" with your heart pumping out through your throat the whole time, whereas the half ironman is more moderate tempo that is more endurance and determination. It makes me excited to think about Busso now, although I can wait (less than 5 weeks to go and I have not put in the long k's on the bike that I want). I guess that is how it works in triathlons. Less than a day out from a big event like Noosa and already the mind starts to think about the new task at hand. 3 - 4 weeks of BIG sessions then taper into the biggest race of my life. THE BIGGEST RACE OF MY LIFE. Cool, hey?