Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas day in Aussie...

Well as Chrissie Day 2007 draws to a close, I thought it was timely to do an update. At the moment I am sitting here having indulged in WAY too much trifle, but who can resist the mis of sponge cake, custard, jelly and all sorts of other treats all mixed in together. Its not the prettiest desster but it tastes so good. Today is my last day of indulgances before the Tauranga half ironman, there is now just 10 days to go.

Christmas Day started at 4am- not too bad as our body clocks are still saying 7am. The kids (Harry and Summer) had a ball opening all their gifts (and there were a lot of them). Here is Summer with the doll that we gave her... she loved it!!

I got my training in between the present opening and lunch...

After an awesome lunch which included a lamb on a spit (yum)... the boys got out a massive sheet of canvas and added as much dish washing liquid and water as they could and started on the tricks... Here is Harry:

Jason and Mark, with Harry and Tyson in the background:

The boys:

Quentin, Mark and Tyson:
Tyson taking Mum out, and Harry watching:

Friday, December 21, 2007

Somes Island Swim

Sorry for the lack of updates, the last few weeks have been pretty busy. The main acheivement for both of us over the past couple of weeks has been jasons 2 hour swim from York Bay (Kendal's parent's house) to Somes Island (middle of the Wellington Harbour) and back. This has been his longest sea swim without a wetsuit and is a huge achievement considering he has been really struggling with the cold. Here are some photos of Jason and Kendal:

Monday, December 3, 2007

Building a pond

On the weekend Jason and I decided to build a pond in our garden... it came about in a roundabout way really, I happened to mention that I wanted some Chatam Island Forget me nots for our garden. So a trip to the garden centre, 5 new plants, 3 meters of polyeurethane and $98 later (no forget me nots though) we decided to build a little pond.

So we rearranged the rocks in our garden and Jason started digging....

Here it is with a little bit of water... for testing:

Another angle of the pond. We may make it deeper still as we do want to put some water lillies in it.

Looking down on the new pond from the side of the house

From the walway coming up to our house

Looking back up the path

We still have a bit of work to do and this will be a bit of a work in progress but still not bad for an afternoon's effort. I can't believe how expensive plants are though!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Counting down...

The countdowns are on...

31 more days till we fly out to Brisbane (and only 23 of these are work days as well)
34 more days till Christmas (only 2 more pay days)
Only 41 more days of 2007
45 days till the Tauranga Half
83 more days till Jason's swim...

Hmmm now that scares me... a lot. Especially the severe lack of pay days till Christmas and how few training days there are till the Half Ironman....

I am having a light week of training this week, as I really hit the wall late last week. Just a bit of accumulated fatigue and trying to fit the party in really threw me for a six. But a light training week will fix that.

On Sunday Jason and I are swimming across Auckland Harbour (me with a wetsuit and Jason without).

Jason's training for this week is:

Mon: 5 km swim and massage
Tue AM: 5km swim, PM: 7km swim
Wed: 8km swim
Thurs AM: 5km swim, PM: 7km swim
Fri: 90 min sea swim no wetsuit
Sat: 3 hour continuous swim
Sun: across Auckland harbour swim (no wetsuit): 2.8km

This will be his biggest week yet mileage wise... about 58 - 60km. So I will be making lots of big pasta meals, tonight he is getting a chorizo pasta bake and tomorrow I will make a pasta, kumara and potato frittata.

My week is pretty casual training wise... I have:

Mon: Rest day and massage
Tue: 60 min swim, 60 min cycle and 30 min run
Wed: 75 min run
Thur: 60 min swim, 90 min ride
Fri: 40 - 60 min sea swim
Sat: 90km ride with some tempo and 60 min run off bike.
Sun: Across Akld harbour swim 2.8km.

that's all for now... till next time

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The big THREE-OH...

So its been and gone, I am now 30! But I did celebrate with style (with a drink in my hand for nearly every photo)

YUMMO... here is my birthday cake (on the new cake stand)...

Me with my wonderful hubby (who did lots of cooking, cleaning and organising on the day/night)! Thanks Jase.

Hmmm obviously something is pretty funny going on here (or I have a bad case of lock jaw). Hmmm note the drink in the hand!

Now I KNOW something hilarious was going on here... I was telling a GREAT story (and really well). So good that Rob (closest on the couch) was amusing himself by playing the Adam's family hand! Kendal and John look like they think it is a good story anyway (or maybe they are just laughing at me).

Yay, the sun did come out!!!! So lucky I persisted in wearing my summer top!

Me and Kendal, just posing for the camera...

Hmmm, cheer up team, its not a funeral :-)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Jason's big day

Less than a year ago Jason said to me "I will never do a swim time trial longer the 400m". Well today Jason were over and beyond what he ever thought he could possibly do. He was at Huia pool at 6am this morning and was still swimming at 12.05pm. He swam for 6 hours (with 1 minute food breaks every 30 minutes). He swam 24 km and maintained a pace faster that 1 minute 30 seconds per hundred for the entire 6 hours. Any swimmer will tell you that this is no mean feat.

I could tell that he was in a world of pain during the swim and near the end I just wanted to get in there and swim for him. I guess that is how he felt when I was suffering at Canberra. I was so proud of him, he pushed himself further that I have ever seen him push and it was amazing to watch!!!

Friday, November 2, 2007

New sponsor...

I recently signed on with Jaggad as a Technical Development team member (http://www.jaggad.com/). Here are some photos of their awesome gear that I get to ride in:

Thursday, November 1, 2007


The finish…
I can feel the grime and sweat on my sunburnt face, my legs are pumping and I focus my gaze on the road in front of me- I get a glimpse of a bunch a few kilometres in front of us as we turn a corner. I know I’m pulling along 10 male riders, but by their pained expressions I know they have nearly given it everything that they have and they are hanging on by a thread. I swear I can feel every muscle in my body every time I move and again I ask it to give me some more. Be-be-be-beep… be-be-be-beep… be-be-be-beep… my watch reminds me its time to eat again, I am tempted to ignore it, my mind says to me… I’m nearly finished, surely it won’t matter. I see someone else take a gulp from their drink bottle and my focus snaps back- I devour 4 jelly lollies washed down with a big gulp of water. I feel the hit of sugar straight away.

There is less than an hour to go in the race and I am rallying my group, if we work together we can make some good time along the Pohutakawa lined coastline of the Hauraki Gulf back into Thames. Every time I get a glimpse of the bunch ahead of us I forget that I have 5 hours of solid hill climbing in my legs already and I push them to go that little bit harder. A rider from the back of my group cycles up beside me to thank me for my hard work and to apologise for the fact that he can’t help out at all. This gives me more motivation to push a little harder.

The riders ahead are getting closer and closer… I know we can catch them. Suddenly we are there, I am tempted to sit on the back of this bunch and just cruise back into Thames, but the competitor inside of me is not content to just sit back and be pulled along. As I make my way to the front of the bunch I spot three or four other female riders… My thighs are screaming, but I continue to push at the front of the bunch. From the pre race reconnaissance I know there are only a few kilometres to go so I grit my teeth and dig in… we hit Tararu and I know we are essentially there. In my road racing naivety I decide to try and sprint off the front of the bunch. I have no idea whether the other riders have come with me or not… I am now fully focussed on the finish line.

We are 500m away from finishing, I’m still ahead of the bunch… 400m, 300m, 200m to go, I can feel the finish. I ask my legs to give me one more level. I surge ahead again. Suddenly out of nowhere there are riders all around me, 25 of us can smell the finish line and we all want to cross it first. Riders spill around me and I feel a moment of panic, I’ve seen the bunch crashes on the Tour de France… I don’t want to go down. As we all fight for the line someone yells “hold your line everyone” …

I am still ahead of the other girls in my bunch. Suddenly the gap in front of me closes and I am boxed in, I can’t go anywhere, I am at the mercy of the riders in front of me… two girls have a better line than me and pull ahead slightly.

I cross the line in 6.18.45… the other two girls cross in 6.18.44. I can’t believe it, after nearly 200km of hilly riding and over 6 hours, it comes down to 1 second!

I head down the finish chute and we all congratulate each other. I am pretty tired but stoked to have finished in such a good time, my throat constricts and tears well in my eyes. Not because I am disappointed or sad but because I know I have pushed my body and asked it to give me a lot after no taper and a solid 10 days of training build up in my legs. I feel a both a great sense of satisfaction to produce this result on a tired body and a feeling of excitement about the triathlon season to come.

7th female overall
2nd senior women
158th/600 starters (500+ finishers)
Finish time: 6.18.45

K2 – 2,300 metres of screaming descent… (Translation: 2,300m of grinding uphill…)
K2 is named after Kuaotunu, an enchanting community on the wild eastern coastline of the Coromandel Peninsula. In Maori, the name Kuaotunu means “to inspire fear in young animals”! The 2 represents the almost 200km that the ride covers.

The K2 race started in Thames and travelled in an anticlockwise direction through Tairua, Whitianga, Coromandel and back to Thames (4 stages). This is a really scenic and varied route, travelling through sub tropical forest, pacific coastlines, rural farmland and the Puhutakawa lined coastline of the Hauraki Gulf.

Stage 1– Kopu – Hikuai 53km’s
This stage is named after the highest point on the course with a steady rise up to 425 metres. The hill starts about 10km into the stage. There is a steady 14km climb through sub-tropical rain forest to reach the top. This is followed by an exciting downhill section with a few turns to begin with followed by a 100km per hour straight (not for me, I hit 74kmh and once my bike started shaking and wobbling I as too scared to go any faster)… Nick Vaughan passed me on the downhill telling me to “eat more pies and you will go faster”…

Stage 2– Coroglen – 43km’s
This stage had one major hill to climb straight after Tairua called Pumpkin Hill which rises to 240 metres. A windy descent is followed by gentle undulating and windy roads all the way to Whitianga.

Stage 3– Kuaotunu - 43km’s
This is the toughest stage of the race with a climb up the Kuaotunu Hill rising to 170m and back down again to sea level and the township of Kuaotunu. The ride continues on towards Coromandel with three shorter steep climbs before reaching the big one, the Whangapoa Hill (this was a real tough clomb with one section at 45 degrees). There is a steep downhill with a wicked hairpin bend at the bottom known as Devils Elbow (15kmh restriction).

Stage 4– Kereta – 53km’s
There were two major climbs on this stage. After the climbs the road hugged the coastline for 30kms all the way to Thames. This is a windy, rolling road, lined by Pohutukawa trees and great views of the Hauraki Gulf.

Post Race Reflections…
After I finished the race, I sat down (with a sausage and beer…YUM) and reflected on a few things.

For me K2 was always going to be a training ride, I wasn’t specifically targeting this as a race. It was about time on the bike, this meant no taper and a hard 10 days training before (including a 4 day training camp in the Wairarapa over labour weekend). I woke at 6.30 on race day and like any other race day I did a couple of nervous stretches as an initial test on how my body was feeling. It wasn’t too bad but I knew that proper nutrition and focus would be vital in getting through the day. I needed to be wise and to pace myself. I was really strict with my nutrition and felt great during and afterwards. Kevin and I did a 20 minute run off the bike as well.

The race information had a few gems just to settle the nerves… not. The first thing on the info sheet was: “This is a very long race”… Hmmmm, I knew that! One of the other statements that really stood out for me was: “There are many steep and windy downhill sections”… descending is the weakest part of my cycling and I was really worried about this part of the race.

I decided to ride the race with my normal gears (in bike speak this is using a 23 as my largest cog on the back). To put it in perspective a lot of riders were using a 25 or a 27 cog for the ride. I was stoked to pull away from many riders on the hills still (only to be passed on lots of the downhills). In fact, up the first hill a man said to me: “you don’t have many gears there love, you will pay for that later on”. I was stoked when I caught up to him later on in the race and to his surprise I pulled away from him.

Some of the hills were really tough and it is hard when you look up ahead and you see riders (what seems like miles ahead) to be really struggling. It’s here that your ride can be made or broken. I passed numerous people who were saying “I’m broken”, “I can’t do it anymore”. I could have said that to myself, but the power of positive self talk really came through for me on these hills. On each of the tough hills I would liken the hill to one that I have climbed this season and then I just knew I would get through it. So thanks to Horokiwi, the Rimutakas, Akatarawas, Admirals Hill, Paekakariki and the steep side of moonshine! These hills got me through the K2.

Thanks to all my supporters, my husband Jason, my Coaches Kevin and Ali, my friends and training buddies and my sponsors: Jaggad, Cycle Science and the Electricity Commission.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Corporate multisport challenge

On Saturday 13 October I competed in a team with four work colleagues in the corporate multisport challenge. This race consisted of (originally) a 7 km kayak, a 25 km mountain bike, a 29km road bike (me) and a 7km mountain run.

My team was Gari Bickers (Kayak, and coast to coaster), Bruce Smith (mountain bike and head of our modelling and forecasting section at work), myself and Karen Bradley (run and from our transmission team). We are all on the 9th floor. We were up against a 7th floor work team as well. This team was: Michael (Ruth's partner for the kayak), Ruth Murphy (mountain bike and finance manager), Richard Norris (road bike and head of electricity effiociency section) and Kevin Lampen Smith (run, CFO and my boss).

The day didn't start so well as the weather meant that the kayak was changed to a four lap course of Days Bay with a LeMans start. The mountain bike leg was shortened as the river crossing was flooded, this shortened the road bike as well (but only the down wind leg and not the hard leg into the wind). We were faced with 140kmh gusty north westerlies (hmmm sounding familiar to other posts on my blog).

As the mountain bike course was shortened we didn't have much time to get to the transition and I was frantically getting changed in the back seat of the car in preparation. This meant no warm up for my cycle.

The road bike started with about 2km South on the Wainui coast rd. You know you're in trouble when you're hitting 60kph+ on the bike with a tailwind one way and you're barely pedalling. Definitely bodes badly for the return leg into the wind. The 25km took me 55 minutes (which is a slow time but I still managed to get the fastest women's cycle time and the 5th fastest cycle time overall. I carrried on afterwards for another 2 hours of cycling while my team finished the race. As a prize for the fastest cycle of the day I got an initial programme of simulated altitude training (http://www.io-nz.com/), which I have done before and had been meaning to do again which was awesome.

Offical results:
It was a close thing - we only just missed out on the placings.

4th place - 9th floor Ninjas 2:52:54
5th place - 7th floor Assassins 2:55:02

There were 33 teams in the mixed category. Strangely enough we would have come 2nd and 3rd if we had been in the open (i.e. all male) category.

Individual results:
Gari - 29:23 - 6th out of 50
Michael (Ruth's partner) - 33:58 - 22nd

Mountain Biking:
Bruce - 39:48 - 6th out of 75
Ruth - 44:13 - 41st - and 2nd woman (half a minute away from first)

Road biking:
Jacinda - 55:14 - 5th out of 81 and 1st woman
Richard - 1:03:01 - 21st

Karen - 48:29 - 65th out of 81 and 18th woman
Kevin - 33:50 - 9th

Here are two photos of my cycle:

Training camp

I took a day's annual leave over labour weekend to attend a 4 day training camp in the wairarapa with Vicki and Kevin of Trigoals (Kevin is my Coach). The weekend consisted of:


1. 3km swim (including 4 * 50 kick with no fins and 18 * 100s to "warm" us up for the hills ride)

2. 3 hr hilly bike ride (including Admirals Hill). The photos below show us on our way out and near the top of the admiral hill climb.

3. 60 min run. Later in the day we went out for an easy 60 min run. I found the run loosened up my legs somewhat.
We started with a 5 hour bike ride, this ride was not as hilly as Fridays ride. However we did encounter some of the strongest cross winds that I have ever cycled into. It was horrendous!!! I was blown nearly 5 m across the road in one gust and nearly blown off the actual road several times. Two of our riders actually walked their bikes through the windiest section. I was pretty scared actually. We got to stop after 100km for a nice lunch break and then carried on back to Masterton for another 50km to the end of the ride.

Later in the day we headed back to the pool for a 3km recovery swim. It always feel so great to swim after a long ride! I loved it!


We started with a 3 km swim and then did a 90 min run. It was really hot during our run and I managed to get pretty sunburnt (this was on top of the wind burn from the previous two days of riding).

Later in the afternoon we did a 90 min recovery ride. I wasn't allowed at the front of the cycle bunch at all!!! It was nice to spin the legs though and we finished this leisurely ride with a cafe stop for coffees and diet cokes.


We planned to do a 3 hour ride on Sunday and as we left Masterton it was brilliant sunshine. But as we got closer and closer to Martinborough the weather started really packing it in. Once it started hailing we turned around and did a time trial back to Lake Henley in Masterton. Here is a photo of that ride back....
It was pretty cold but I had a primo ride, there is nothing like riding at 50kmh+ with the wind behind you. I totally forgot how cold and wet I was. This ride (unlike all the previous ride) was a solo effort, no group riding at all. I loved it. There is nothing like riding fast!!!!
When we arrived at Lake Henley we jumped off our bikes, urged our numb fingers to tie running shoe laces and went for a 30 min run off the bike. I did this run as a tempo run, aiming to run each successive 10 minutes faster than the previous 10 min. It was great and an awesome way to finish a hard training camp- knowing that you can really push yourself after 4 hard days is an awesome feeling!!!

So all in all a great time was had by all (with a few highs and lows throughout the weekend). Here is a picture of the whole group:

I really wish I could do this sort of training camp more often!!!
This is me re-fueling after one of the rides... food always tastes so good after a long ride.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

What makes me keep carrying on...

Last Thursday I had to do a 90 min hills ride after work which I really didn't feel like doing what so ever, especially as I had been up since 5 that morning (for swim squad). The couch and TV was SOOOOO appealing but I got out there and did the session. This prompted me to ask myself what makes me tick, how do I motivate myself when times are tough and why do I keep carrying on with the training when motivation is low.

I have found that I need to go into auto pilot mode when I don't want to train and just get started, often half the battle is just getting the running shoes on, arriving at the swimming pool or getting into my cycling kit. Once that first step is made the rest is easy (generally).

Contrary to what most of you see, there are days where I just do not want to train at all, I have to fight the mental battle to get out there, fortunately for me, these days are not that regular and I know deep down that its those people who get out there and train in the crap weather or when they really can't be bothered that succeed the highest. Plus it helps in races, if you've put in the hard yards, both mentally and physically, in training then it is so much easier to carry on when the going gets tough in races.

Some days I ponder about what it would be like to be normal, but really what is normal? What am I missing out on? For me, normal is training everyday, I have done this pretty much since I was 15...apart from a break during my university years when I ended up drinking lots and getting fat :-) So if I gave up the training it would be like giving up one of the biggest things in my life.

Many people ask what motivates me to keep training... and sometimes its hard to define. I totally love training, I love the planning around it and I just love the feeling that you get when you have done it. Sometimes you finish a session that has gone so well that you have the natural endorphin rush going on that keeps you buzzing for hours, in other sessions you have pushed yourself so far to the boundaries that you are totally physically and mentally spent, I love this feeling too, knowing that you can push yourself this far and then do it all agian the next day.

I also LOVE to race and as a triathlete we are all in the enternal search for the perfect race, and when you have a great race you always hope that that one is not the "race of our lives".

So as I sit here, pretty much spent from doing a long hills and tempo run before work I am pondering on why I do it and it always pretty much comes back to how much I truly do love what I am doing. There are the hard sessions but generally I love swimming, cycling and running, I love racing, I love travelling around and competing in different races, I love the people you meet and the friends you make, I love the discipline and committment that it takes to achieve.... hmmm probably no need to carry on with this theme, I guess that you get the picture.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Wind, wind, wind ... hills, hills, hills

My week consisted of two things pretty much... wind and hills!!!!

Firstly the wind... we are being hit by some awful windy weather in Wellington at the moment. Really gusty northerlies! I was pretty scared on both Tuesday's and Wednesday's bike rides. I couldn't even go near my aero bars on these rides it was just way too dangerous. I was nearly blown into traffic three or four times!

Secondly, Kevin put in 8 solid hours of hill riding during the week just been. 3 hours on Tuesday's session and 5 hours on Saturday's session. I think that i have climbed just about every hill in wellington right now. But I am feeling really good for it and starting to notice the difference on the bike.

Some of the hills visited this week: Makara, Wrights Hill, Wind Turbine, Ohiro Rd, Happy Valley rd, Severn St, Hungerford Rd, Houghton Bay rd (to Mt Albert), Mt Victoria, Wadestown Hill, Tinakori Hill, Horokiwi, Korokoro, Normandale, Kelson, Liverton Rd, Blue Mountains... and the list goes on!!!

After Saturday's session (which I actually got sun burnt in) I cleaned my bike as well as a reward for getting me up some of the hills we traversed!

Sunday saw the worst, windiest weather of the week so I did my ride on the indoor trainer. It was just too dangerous to get out on the road. So I got to watch the rugby.... hmmm that's all i will say about that.

Jason's parents and sister are off in rarotonga for the week (lucky them) for Leza's birthday. I wish we could have gone, a week in the sun sounds like heaven right now.

Jason and I are both on a light week of training with Sunday off (the first weekend day off in AGES). I think a sleep in will be the first order of the day!

This week I have the corporate multisport challenge to look forward too. I am doing the 3okm road cycle. Fingers crossed that the Northerlies are not as bad that day as the course is a toughie in that wind!!!! Either way it will be pretty good strength training for me!

Eeek, only:
10 days till my 4 day training camp in the Wairarapa
18 days till the K2 race (double eek)
33 day's till I hit 30 (not even thinking about that one right now)

Friday, October 5, 2007

Caffeine rocks...

So last weekend I had a pretty big training weekend with a 3km swim, 2 hour ride (with intervals) and a 1 hour hills run off the bike on Saturday. The hills run saw us head straight up to the top of Mt Vic (tough at the best of times, let alone straight after a swim and bike!). Sunday was a 6 hour bike ride.

The weather forecast for last Sunday was not favourable to say the least so I wasn't really looking forward to the potential of sitting on a bike for 6 hours in the gale force winds and the rain. I am pleased to say that it only rained for about an hour all up (mind you the wind did not abate much at all).

The first two hours of my ride were pretty wretched to say the least and I wasn't even sure how I was going to get through the full day. I was really diligent with my nutrition and fluid knowing that there was a potential to blow up.
During the ride I had:
3 muesli bars
1 power bar
6 mini pikelets
2.5 * 500ml bottles of water
2.5 * 500ml bottles of replace (2 scoops per 500ml bottle)

I work my fluid and nutrition on a 20 minute cycle i.e. at 20 minutes I take a swig of replace, 40 minutes some food washed down with water, 60 minutes a swig of replace, 80 minutes some more food washed down with water.... I'm sure you get the picture. I do this right from the start of the ride and it really helps. It still doesn't seem like much for a period of 6 hours!!!

We started the ride at Freyberg pool, went round the bays, over brooklyn, up Aro St, round Makara, out to Porirua, around the inlet, over Moonshine, out to Te Marua, around Maymorn, back over wallaceville hill and back along the motorway to the pool to finish. We stopped at Caltex Rimutaka (I don't think I have ever been on a ride out this way that I haven't stopped here) and by this stage I was feeling a little tired (approx 4.40 into the ride). Kevin (my coach) bought me a can of sugar free V and after that all my pains and troubles went away. I love caffeine! It rocks. It gives such a boost. So I ended up finishing the ride and feeling pretty good (probably helped by the tail wind at that stage).

Also last weekend (while I was off cycling through almost every suburb in Wellington) Jason played at the New Zealand Inter Regional Canoe Polo Championships in the Central region senior men's team... AND the WON! This was totally unexpected and they are stoked. Its the first time in about 5 years that they have won this competition!! So he was stoked with the result!!!!

Jason's swimming is going well, he is up to 43km of swimming this week, and back to a light week next week. I have a light week of training next week as well and we both have Sunday off training... WOOHOO its not often we get weekend days off, and even less a day off together!

This weekend I have a 5 hour ride tomorrow with a 20 minute run of the bike and a 2km swim, 2 hour ride and 1 hour hills run off the bike on Sunday. Jason has a 5.5km swim this afternoon, a 5.5km swim tomorrow and a 7.5 km swim on Sunday (this is 75 * 100s on 1.30!). Those of you that swim will realise what a feat this will be.

That's all for now. Catch you next time.

Monday, September 24, 2007


Sorry for the lack of posts lately, I have had lots of complaints for the static blog...at least it means that some people actually read what I write :-)

So since I have last updated you all my training hours have been steadily increasing. I am up to 21.5 hours of training this coming week (including my first 6 hour bike ride for a while!). I am totally loving training at the moment and having some awesome sessions! My body is responding really well to the extra hours of training.

A few weekends ago I cycled the Rimutaka's which is something I have been meaning to do for a while. I was a bit scared about the downhill originally and seeing a 4 wheel drive smash into the bank on our way up did nothing to alleviate this fear! But as I had been told the descent is fine as you tend to be going about the same pace as cars! Stoked to have finally done this ride! The next hill on my list to conquer is Admirals hill over in the Wairarapa.

Its just 5 weeks until K2 (200km bike race around the Corromandel) and after some awsome training I am feeling a whole lot more confident for this event! Kevin (my Coach) is emphasising that this is not a RACE for me, rather a tough training day! The K2 website says that: The K2 is the toughest one day cycle challenge in the Southern Hemisphere! It is also one of the most scenic and varied with the route traveling through sub tropical forest, pacific coastlines, rural farmland and the Puhutakawa coastline of the Hauraki Gulf. Really looking forward to this now!

Jason's training is going well, although he is still losing weight! They are building up to 43km of swimming in a week now... one of their key sessions coming up is 75 * 100m intervals. That's gonna be a mission!

So with Jason and I both really busy with training we have not had much time for anything else around the house really, sorry Mum and Dad- our garden is looking a bit neglected!

This weekend I have a house full of Canoe Polo boys as Jason has the Canoe Polo inter-regional championships on. They are playing out at Naenae pool on Saturday and Sunday! Hmmm our house is small enough without 4 - 5 extra boys in it :-)

Jason and I are also (with other squad members) helping our swim coach out with some filming for his Gliding On swimming DVD on Friday night which should be interesting!

October is a really busy month for family birthday's as well, my Mum, Dad, sister, niece and Sister in law's birthdays all fall within the first 15 days of the month!!!

Also, the countdown is on till I hit the big 30!!! Less than 50 days now until I leave the 20's for good!

That's all from me, I promise not to be as slack from now on!

Monday, September 3, 2007

My body's in shock!

Sheesh last week was a toughie, my training hours jumped up to 16 hours and my body went into a bit of shock. I hadn't really thought much about it but I really hadn't been doing much training over the 6 weeks since the ankle injury (set out below) so last week was always going to hurt:

Sunday 15 July: Injury
16 - 22 July: 1 * Swim, 1 * 20 min jog and Captain cooks race (2.5 hours)
23 - 28 July: 1 * swim, 2 * EASY short jogs (could barely walk after Captain Cooks race)
30 July - 5 August: Very easy week getting back into it.
6 - 12 August: 9 hours training
13 - 19 August: Aim was 9 hours training, but got a cold and only did about 6.5 hrs!
20 - 26 August: Half a week off recovering from cold and 10km race, then about 6 hours training.

So as you can see I have had 6 pretty light weeks volume wise with all that has happened. So when Kevin sent my programme last week he did say that the first three weeks would be very solid!

I got through all the training but was a grump for most of the week! Poor Jason. Between us last week we had to try and schedule about 22 sessions into the week which is VERY tough with one car. There was only one really hard day to schedule though. I ended up riding to Saturday's swim/ride brick and Jason picked me up afterwards. So it wasn't too bad.

Jason and I are trialling a combined training, food, and cleaning roster this week. With both of us so busy things are just not getting done round the house. So to try and combat that we have now planned the whole week's meals, who is responsible for cooking them, who is responsible for doing the dishes and a cleaning roster for the week so that we can do a little bit each day or every second day rather than having to do a major clean on the weekend when we are both really tired. Hopefully it helps out a bit!

Anyway that is about all for this week from me.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Bring on the bike....

So its now time to say goodbye to the running phase of my training and welcome the cycling phase... I need to re-acquaint myself with the trusty old GT (my bike for those of you that don't know) and start cycling 4 times a week. This is going to be a real shock to the system as I have been riding just once or twice a week for the last few months!

So this week I have rides planned for Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday and you wouldn't believe it but the Dom Post forecast is:

Tues: Cloudy, showers this evening as southerly strengthens.
Thurs: Afternoon southerly change with showers.
Sat: Afternoon southerly change with Rain.

So I guess that its time to get used to riding in the cold and rain! Its been so long. Hmm I may have to use it as an excuse to buy new cycling gear!

All that aside I am really looking forward to the next phase of my training, my weeks will look like this over the coming weeks:

M: AM swim, Lunch/PM run
T: AM swim squad, PM cycle
W: PM long run
T: AM swim squad, PM cycle
F: Lunch run
S: AM Swim/Bike, PM run
S: AM long ride (up to 6 hours), PM yoga

Jason's training has also shifteed up a gear, he is now swimming 7 times a week up to a total of 35km. This week he has:

M: AM 3km swim
T: AM swim squad 4km
W: PM 2km swim
T: AM swim squad 3km
F: AM 3km swim
S: AM 4.5km Swim
S: AM long continuous swim: 2 hours

So we really have to work hard to schedule our week so that all 20 training sessions can be done (and so that we can get to the training sessions with just 1 car), we also need to work hard to keep our house semi tidy, make sure the groceries get bought and ensure that we get to spend some time together. The great news is our scheduled light weeks fall at the same time for this round of training- from17 - 23 September. Jason still has 6 swims and I still have 10 sessions that week but we should have a little more time :-)

Anyway that's all for now. Please all pray to the weather gods for a fine spring :-)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Spring is here...

Jason and I took advantage of the beautiful weather on Sunday afternoon and we went for a walk out at Makara Beach. There were lots of cuddly white lambs to look at but it meant that we couldn't walk all the way to the gun enplacements!
So like the ex farm girl that I am I needed to take a photo of some of the lambs! CUTE aye! Plus I thought that my Dad would like the photo!
It was a pretty awesome day out there, really warm and only a little wind. It was so nice getting out and about! There were heaps of other people out there too, it was great to see! A great way to end the week!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Wedding Anniversary!!!

YAY- for those of you that don't know, today is our THIRD year wedding anniversary!!!!

Here are some photos to remind you of that awesome day in Noosa!!!!

Ohhhh the memories...

Wellington 10km champs

The Wellington 10km Champs were held on the weekend just been with another gustry north westerly wind whipping round the course (5 * 2km laps).

I started the race but didn't finish, it just wasn't my day. I had been home from work for most of Thursday and all of Friday before the race with a cold and just didn't have the physical energy or the mental focus to finish the race. Its a shame but there will be other races. So after a roaring first half of the running season, the second half really petered out for me with the injury and then being sick.

There will be some photos of the race that I will post once they become available.

Swim Squad Challenge

The same night as the bays relay we competed in the auuual Kilbirnie vs Huia swim squad challenge.

There were 5 events:
  1. 50m relay
  2. 100m medley relay
  3. 400m enduro race
  4. 150m secret drill race
  5. Aqua run

I entered all but the aqua run and Jason entered all events (and had to swim numerous times in some of the relays as we did not have as many swimmers as the huia team).

Kilbirnie (for the first time ever) won the challenge, taking out 3 of the 5 events. The photo above (courtesy of Kendal Morgan-Marshall and Jay Marshall) shows us with the brand new trophy (in memory of Fiona Saunders-Francis who passed away the week before the challenge).

Jason is he dodgy guy loitering in the background with his towel over his head!!!

Bays relay

So after a few weeks off (and some complaints from my regular readers) I am back. Its nice to know that people actually read my updates and look forward to them each week!
Hmmm where to begin...
Bays Relay
Two weeks ago we ran the Bays Relay (in 140kph northwesterly gusty winds!!!). Our team (in order of running- Alice, Natalie, me, Aubrey and Tina) did really well. The official results are a bit messed up so my times are estimates only... anyway, after lap one we were in second spot to the Wellington Harriers Team (WHAC)- but there wasn't much in it (maybe 10 seconds at the most).
Lap two: Natalie got a huge lead from Carline during lap 2, I think someone said it was over a minute which pleased me as I was running third against Vicki Humphries (someone who runs much quicker than me.

Lap three: My lap started about 200m before pass of Branda and finished at scorching bay, the toughest spots with the wind were the very top of the hill (anyone who cycles knows how you can be pushed backwards here) and the Seatoun foreshore. I managed to hold on and not get passed by the faster runner during this leg but our lead was reduced to 25 ish seconds (approx.).

Lap four: this was a tight lap- the WHAC runner passed Aubrey with about 100m to go in the stage. How exciting to have such a close race!

Lap five: Tina passed the WHAC runner early on and never looked back! So all in all a very good win!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Nothing to talk about....

Sorry.... no update from me from the weekend. Hopefully something to report on next Monday.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


Hi all... I am now back in the full swing of things training wise, aiming for the Wellington 10km Championships on Saturday 18 August. My ankle is still strapped but I can run ok, I can't kick very well while swimming yet though so doing a lot of swimming with a pull buoy which can be tiring at times but I know will help with my swimming strength.

Jason saw the nutritionist last week and she said that he will probably need to put 2 - 3kg of weight on for the swim, he has till February to do this but I have started making him dessert twice a week now (lucky for some aye). His swimming is going well but he has a slight strain in his intercostal muscle, the intercostal muscles are several groups of muscles that run between the ribs, and help form and move the chest wall. He has a little trouble with breathing while swimming. It is minor though so no visits to the physio for him at this stage.

I am aiming for a sub 40 min 10km at the Wgtn champs so am just sharpening up my running, I don't know what my form is like with the injury and subsequent disruption to training but fingers crossed for that. As part of the build up there is the bays relay in wellington this weekend. The relay is a 5-lap road relay around the coast (starting at Island Bay), finishing at the Zephyrometer on Cobham Dr by Kilbirnie Park. Lap distances are 4.8k, 4.6k, 4.8k, 3.9k and 4.0k. All laps are flat, except lap 3 which has a small up and down through the Pass of Branda. Road relays are always a lot of fun, as we all follow the relay in cars. It is a great way to start the road-racing season, and the short distances will allow you to tune up your speed. I am racing in the Scottish A team and running lap 3 (yip... the one with the hill). This suits me and is the lap I would have chosen for myself as well. Looking forward to it as I really like relay events!! This will be a good indicator of my form for the 10km the following weekend as well.

We also have the Huia vs Kilbirnie swim squad challenge on Saturday night which will be fun! I am not swimming and will be timekeeping for Ali (coach) as I can't really kick very well so wouldn't contribute much to swimmign races!

Thats all for now....

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Not much going on....

So there's not much to update from the past week... I spent most of the week getting over the Captain Cooks race! It was a toughie and I had a severe amount of muscle pain (in my left calf and right glute... all compensating for the sore ankle during the run).

I can run now but can not kick while swimming which is a pain! Still going to the physio and I still have an ugly FAT ankle!!! But the good thing is I can definitely notice the improvement.

On the weekend Jason and I bought a nice new duvet inner and cover, new sheets, a new jug and a heater. Now that it is getting warmer we really don't need the fire on all the time. A heater for a half hour or so is sufficient. We have moved away from white duvet covers to a nice mushroom colour one, similar in tone to the walls in our bedroom! Hmmm rievting blog today I know... is anyone still reading?

OH MY GOODNESS... Jason (who used to weigh over 100kg) weighed in at 79.7kg on Monday! How scary is that!! I am going to have to substitute some full fat products back in to his diet I think. He is seeing the nutritionist on Friday and I feel that she may ask him to put some body fat on. I think he is way too lean to do the amount of swimming as he is! That is pretty much the big news of the week!

So the week ahead for us... Jason's swimming is going up in volume from 15 km per week to 23 km per week and I am trying to quickly regain my running fitness after the injury, this is for the Wellington 10km Champs in 3 weeks time.

Over and out for today, I promise that I will have some more interesting news next week.... I hope!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Captain Cooks Landing Run

So I ended up racing the Captain Cooks Landing Run on the weekend with a heavily strapped ankle and no running the whole week before the race.

The run itself was awesome and really challenging. It starts with a 14 min climb (really muddy, clay surface). This is followed by a long steady downhill. The gradient down this hill is really similar so it is quite jarring on the body. After this downhill we headed straight back uphill again (this climb was longer than the first climb). Again we were treated to a really long downhill, then a flat/undulating track into Furneax lodge (and approx. half way). At Furneax there was lollies and extra water (if needed) and cones to show us the way. I mustn't of been concentrating here as I wnet the wrong way twice and lost some time which was a bummer. The second half of the run is undulating around the coast line to Camp Bay.

The run was good, I really enjoyed it. I was good for the first hour and 40 minutes but after that I went downhill a bit (and the last 10 - 15 minutes were a pure grovel for me. Doing virtually nothing for a week and then trying for a 27km tough run really took it out of me to be honest, my ankle only started to hurt in the last 20 minutes which was good though.

I led the race for the first 22km, Robyn Holland (swim squad member and Scottish buddy) passed me with 5km to go (she came 1st), Elenore Robertson (triathlete from New Plymouth) passed me with 2 km to go (2nd overall) and Aubrey Begley (Scottish runner) caught me with 500m to go. For me the last 500m was the toughest downhill of the lot as there was so much mud so I didn't even try to race Aubrey here as she is so good on the down hill and I really didn't want to risk it, plus I was pretty tired at this stage.

The top ten times were:

Robyn: 2.25.42
Eleanor: 2.28.25
Aubrey: 2.29.25
Me: 2.30.11
5th: 2.35.07
6th: 2.38.39
7th: 2.42.58
8th: 2.46:00
9th: 2.47.38
10th 2.48.28

I finished the run and went to the water immediately to soak my ankle in the cold (very cold!!) water. After this we were treated to really nice warm showers for a $2 donation at Punga Cove resort! This shower was heaven.

Post race injury assessment:
My ankle only started to hurt with about 20 minutes to go and there was no additional swelling and/or bruising which was a good sign. I did, however, get a few blisters where there were creases in the taping! I also have three new black toenails from the constant downhill pounding, two blood blisters and same very sore/tight glutes, quads and hamstrings. To be honest I don't think I have ever been this sore after a race before.

After my shower I picked up my post race lunch pack which was devoured in about 5 mins flat (homemade meusli bar, muffin and yummy bread roll). We got to lounge around in the sun at Punga Cove for a while (I was in board shorts and a singelt- how cool is that).

We then caught the ferry back to Furneax and had our post race meal and the prizegiving. The meal was REALLY good... we had:
Bread rolls and butter
Baked potato
Roast mixed vegies (pumpkin, carrots, onion and kumara)
Steamed vegies (broc/ cauli etc)
Pork on a spit
Roast beef
BBQ chicken
Lots of condiments

Then: Sticky date pudding with butterscotch sauce and cream

This was perhaps the best post race meal I have ever had as part of a race entry fee. Awesome stuff! Which is why I had to list the entire meal hehehe.

The post race beverages included numerous glasses of wine and the post race activities included organising a sweepstake for the rugby game (managed to talk to everyone in the bar), watching the rugby, and going for a swim at 10pm in the Marlborough Sounds (this swim was punctuated by numerous squeals from the girls as it was very chilly).

On Sunday we caught the water taxi back to picton, straight onto the ferry back to Wellington. We were treated to a 7m swell and as we entered the Cook Straight we were warned that we were going to experience some "undesirable conditions". I didn't get sick though thank goodness!

So all in all it was a good weekend but to be honest I would have loved to have run the race at full fitness and strength! But as my coach said before the race "There is a risk of course with running but sometimes those who never venture never gain. Sometimes a real champion is someone who can overcome these obstacles and achieve what they set out to do, and this may not necessarily mean winning or racing to your potential".

SO I didn't win (or race to my potential) but I did try as hard as I could given the circumstances, complete the race, come 4th against some very good competition and had a great weekend.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

What to do... what to do...

Hi all I need your help so you should all post comments to this with your thoughts. What should I do this weekend... I have the Captain Cooks Landing race (25km trail run on the queen charlotte walkway). I have been really looking forward to this race. My physio says that I should be ok to run (as the swelling as pretty much subsided). I ran (ok well I jogged) at lunchtime today for 30 minutes and it didn't hurt while I was out, I jogged easily but tried a variety of terrains to see if anything irritated it: up stairs, down stairs, flat, up/down hills. It feels a little fatigued right now though.

I have been thinking a lot about that this week and I have accepted the fact that my focus has changed for this race... its not like I am going out to try and win it anymore. The first few days of the injury were really hard but I think that I will be ok with running less than full fitness if I had to. I will probably just need a gentle reminder not to start on the "If onlys" after the race. Jason and I have talked lots this week and we have decided that if worse comes to worse then I can stop running at Furneax which is about half way. I guess the only question I have right now is whether it is worth the risk?

I am definitely going down but need to tell the race organiser if I am running or supporting. If I am supporting then I need to go on a different boat in the morning on the way to the race start.

Argggggggggggghhhhhhh all these questions are going through my head right now:

Is it worth the risk to run?
If I do run am I going to be satisfied with a slower time than originally anticipated?
Would I be satisfied with not running?

Monday, July 16, 2007

Oh what a weekend....

So where do I start on the weekend that has just been.
Here are two very different images of what my weekend was like, the two images are not linked in any way... On the left I am dressed in a bridal gown made from toilet paper and ribbons from the hen's party I was at and on the right is my very sexy ankle after a fall while I was out running on Sunday (no it wasn't a party injury from Saturday night)... BTW my gown won the toilet paper wedding dress competition...

The hen's party was great, Nicole (the bride) was in fine form, but she is still seedy today apparantly. We started the hen's party at 2pm at Megan's house with lots of snacks and a spartie (which is where the girls had pampering treats i.e. manicure, pedicure and/or facials)... after that we headed into town, followed by dinner and then dancing at Boogie Wonderland. I lasted until 9.45pm (which is a real late night for me) !

Then on to Sunday..... hmmmm a lot of "if onlys" here. I went for my usual Sunday morning training run, yesterday I started at Kilbirnie Pool and was planning on running up to the Ataturk Memorial then along the Eastern Walkway to the Mt Crawford Prison and back to the pool. I planned to stop of at John's house on the way so he could run some of it with me.
I was half an hour into the run when disaster struck (in the form of a very helpless slightly raised rock). I stood on the rock awkwardly and fell even more awkwardly. As I flew through the air I heard a nasty "pop". This is what scared me the most, more so than the fact that I was sprawled out in the middle of the track a while from any help.... All I could think of was my race coming up this weekend... yip that's right, the one that I have been really focussing on!
So as I wailed (cried is too mild a term for it) I started heading back to the car... it took me 45 minutes to get back to the car and I spent the afternoon crying and feeling a bit sorry for myself...
DIAGNOSIS: I have just been to the physio and I have torn one of my ligaments part of the way through (the fan shaped one just above my ankle). The good news is it is only a grade 2 (out of 3) injury- this is a partial tearing of the fibres without a complete rupture. Unfortunately the swelling (which gives me a beautiful cankle) is compressing some of my nerves which is causing a bit of discomfort….

My ankle is strapped and I have a compression bandage on it as well… he is reluctant to give me a prognosis for this weekend at this stage. I have another appointment tomorrow… he said that sitting on my wind trainer should be fine as with swimming (no kicking or pushing off the wall)….

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

New racing shoes...

Yay! These are my new racing flats! I just used my prize winnings from the Wellington 10km race to buy my first ever pair of lightweight racing flats!
The shoes match the Scottish singlet as well (a very important feature you know!). So watch out everyone now, I should be running faster than ever!
This shoe is the optimal shoe for optimum performance. Speed and control come together in a lightweight package!