Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Married 5 Years!

On Saturday last weekend Jason and I celebrated our fifth year wedding anniversary. Unfortunately for us it coincided with a very big training weekend for me (about 6 hours both Saturday and Sunday) so there really wasn't much opportunity to have a major celebration.

Given the major training weekend and the short lead time until the World Championships on the Gold Coast Jason and I decided to leave the festivities until after both World Champs races, when we can really have a proper break away. So this year's anniversary treat is on hold until late October/early November.

Anyway, anniversary weekend I woke up on the Saturday morning and I was feeling pretty fatigued, I wasn't sure how I would get through my training. Sometimes it is just really tough to get out there and do the hard yards on your own. Well this was one of those days. It started with a bike ride which should have been easy enough but my power meter was not working properly. This really started playing on my mind- I really don't like it when my gear plays up and I don't know how to fix it. Well, given that I hadn't wanted to train to begin with the gear failure just made it so much harder.

I made it through the bike ride but I really was just going through the motions of training to be totally honest with you and myself. So off the bike and then I had a 60 min run with 4 * 2km hard run intervals. Given my fragile state of mind the run needed to start well. Hmmmm unfortunately I didn't hit my pace target within the first minute and I just gave up. It doesn't happen often but this day I didn't have anything in me to give. I drove home and as I got closer and closer to home the more mad I got at myself.

I got home and Jason could tell something was wrong so being the ever supportive and loving husband put on his running gear and off we went to do my run session.

Well poor Jason, the run pace was hot and its been months since he has done any running. He started each interval with me, and it was enough to get me going through the whole session. Jason's heart rate was up near 200 beats per minute and he said that he was near vomiting a few times. So after all my difficulties at the start of the day I got through the training and did it well. Sometimes we need a bit of a push to get going.

So Jason gave me a pretty good anniversary present this year :-) he paid for it later in the week as well, he could barely walk for 4 days or so!

Later that day both Jason and I were pretty tired so our 5th year anniversary dinner was pretty dismal to say the least- Jason had baked beans and bacon on toast and I had porridge, berries and yoghurt.

Watch this space for more info on the real wedding anniversary celebrations.

10 km (well actually 5km) race and Araluen Botanic Park

This weekend just been I had a 10km race which didn't turn out so well. It was up North at Lake Joondalup (about Upper Hutt in NZ terms). It was my first chance to show how my running has been going. Well unfortunately it wasn't a very good show. I ended up just doing the 5km race as I really wasn't feeling all that flash! Hmmmm will it come together this season I ask myself. But that's life with training and racing. Some times are good, some times things are tough. But I have always said if it was easy anyone could do it and that toknow the good times, you have to go through the hard times. At least I still did a good 5km run on a tough undulating and windy course.

After the race Jason and I headed off to Araluen Botanic Park to check out the tulips, but there wasn't that many out unfortunately. We did have a good wander round though and as it has been really wet lately there was lots of water in the streams and it was really green and lush. So not what I would ever have thought I would see in Western Australia.

There was a cute little bridge and water fall. Good for practice photos with the water. This is probably the best one- check out the ray of sunlight coming through on the right of the picture!!!
The same bridge in colour. I reckon that this would be great for wedding photos.

It was really nice to get out of the city and into the open and peaceful outdoors. Especially as our flat is pretty noisy being on the main road and all. Its been a while since I haven't had a massive training day on a Sunday and it was great just hanging out with Jason and not having to worry about any training. Sometimes a good wander around a pretty garden is good for the soul I tell you.
The bridge at the park.
We were lucky enough to have just one garden of tulips out. Nice and yellow ones. Another cool thing was that the bees were so busy around them that we could practice taking some close ups of insects for the first time. I do wish that I had a macro lens though as the photoswould have been way better.

Check out the bees...

We call this one the tulip highway. With the busy worker bees coming and going.
Here's a close up on the bee...I love seeing the detail in the wings. These shots are pretty cool in higher resolution as well.

Well after the gardens we were both pretty tired (it was a 5am start for the running race) so we headed home for an afternoon of DVDs. Nice to relax and not have much to do. It was good to get out and try to put the race out of my mind for a few hours.

That's about all for this week. Till next time.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The countdown's on...

Well the year seems to be flying by and without really knowing it, it is nearly September and the Standard Distance World Champs on the Gold Coast!!! Just 28 days to go and I will be competing again. For more information on the race see the website:

Well the last few weeks have had their ups and downs training wise. I have had some brilliant sessions, but then some sessions have been really tough! Some of the highlights have been:

* 5 hour ride, with 3 hours in the hills, followed by 5 * 6km intervals on the flat then a 45 min run at moderately hard pace (half marathon) pace.
* 1 hour 45 min run (at an average of 4.28 per kmh!).
* 4.5km swim set, including 400 tempo then 4 * 100 hard, 300m tempo then 3*100 hard, 200m tempo then 2 * 100m and 100m tempo then 100m hard.
* 2.5 hour ride after work with 5 * 10km intervals at 88%.
* 2 hour aero bar ride at 80% with a 50 min run off the bike which included 5 *1km intervals at sub 4 min km pace.
* Massive swim set including 6 * 200m with 50m kick, then 150m max pace (all no fins).

As with any training regime some of the lowlights have been:

* Ongoing stomach issues while running, I have had 5 run sessions in a row where I have had to have numerous toilet stops... not sure what's causing this.
* Getting dropped on a group ride for the first time in my life and then getting lost out in Armadale and having to flag down a highway cop to give me directions home.
* 5 hour ride where I just totally hit the wall and didn't think I was going to make it home, needed to stop at the garage 4 km from home and just eat and drink until I had enough energy to make the last 4km.
* Being attacked by Bogans out at Midland while riding.... they threw a full bottle of beer at me and hit got me in the middle of my back. It totally felt like I had been smashed in the back with a rugby ball from 2m away. I got such a fright and cried on the side of the road for about 5 minutes.
* Being hailed on while swimming backstroke at 5.30 in the morning.

So its not all been smooth sailing, but training in Perth has its up sides. I have only had to train in the wet four times in the fast 5 months, most days I can ride with just a cycle top and a vest and I never have to run with more than a singlet top on. Perth also has a number of awesome events- cycle time trials, triathlons and running races.

For the next three weeks of training I am going to be taking a day off work each week. This will really help with my recovery as well. I still have some pretty big sessions to go as the Long Distance World Champs are 6 weeks after the Gold Coast race.

I will leave this post with a couple of Perth sunset shots... pretty awesome...

Bloss and Kate in Perth

The day after we got back from Canberra Jason's very good friend Mike (a.k.a. Blossom) and his girlfriend Kate surprised Jason with a visit. The original plan was for me to take the car for the day and just arrive home with our guests. Unfortunately work got in the way and I had to tell Jason that there were some very special people at the airport waiting for him... he was very excited. I tell you, it was a hard secret to keep and I nearly let it out a number of times. Blossom arrived with the customary bourbon, the whole bottle nearly consumed in one night.

Well it was great having friends here, not only for the cheesecake, lasagne and copious bottles of wine and beer either. It was a shame that neither Jason nor I were able to take more leave, but we had just had three work days off in Canberra. It was lucky that we were back for the visit though!!!

The weather wasn't the best while they were here, as July is the worst month of the year, but the sun still shone and it was still around 15 - 20 degrees, which is better than the 5 - 9 degrees in Wellington at the time.
We managed to get to the beach and go swimming as well. It wasn't the warmest swim but we did stay in the water for a good while. Jason and Bloss playing around with the polo ball and some general water fighting as well.
We were swimming down at Cottesloe Beach, here's the boys after their swim with the historic Indiana Tearooms and Surf club in the background.
Jason did manage to take a day off work while Kate and Bloss were with us and they headed off up to Coast to lancelin to chek out the massive sand dunes.... here they are after a race up the dune... Jas won this race :-) it looks tough to me, and I am sure it would have been hell on the calves!!! Fun on the downhill though I can imagine.

Our car on the dunes... lucky I wasn't there as I really wouldn't have been comfortable!! Not sure how much I like off road driving at all.

After the sand dunes Jason took Kate and Bloss to Yanchep (subject of a previous blog). Here you can see a rain storm off the coast... proof that it does rain in WA. On that note, I have been so surprised at the difference in WA between Summer and Winter, it is soooooooo green and lush here at the moment, yet it is amazingly dry and arid in the summer, the difference is so huge that it seems like we are living somewhere else right now.While Kate and Bloss were here we went out for a really awesome dinner in Fremantle- we went to Char Char Bull. It was sooooooo nice and we had such a good night. The wait staff paid special attention to us after Jason's first pick on the wine as well. After dinner (and a great sticky date pudding for dessert with the best dessert wine) we took our guests to another Fremantle Icon- the Little Creatures Brewery and bar for a local beer. It was another great night out with friends!

Near the end of the trip Kate and Blossom surprised us with an amazing canvas picture- an ode to wellington! Its so nice to see the gift everyday and see some of our favourite wellington spots! Blossom also treated me to an early birthday present- a UV filter and a polarised filter for my camera! Wow, we were really spoilt.

Unfortunately all good things have to end and Blossom and Kate left us 1o days later. The house seemed really empty after they left and having them here really highlighted what we have sacrificed to come to Perth. Its great to know that we have such good friends that make the huge effort to come and visit us!

Family time in Canberra

Hi there, well today's blog is going to be more pictures than words as it is dedicated to my family... Canberra was the first time that we had seen them since Christmas 2007.

These are my Dad's hard working hands, these hands have spent more hours working than rest. My younger brother is getting a tattoo done which is dedicated to my Dad's hands. His idea is if he ever feels hard done by he will look done on Dad's hands and he will remember that no matter what he won't ever have worked as hard as our Dad.

My beautiful Mum and Dad... I didn't get many photos of them at the wedding, but this one is great.
My older brother, Quentin in full wedding regalia. Looking the natural!!
My new sister in law- Jane.

My older sister Camille.My brother in law Mark (married to Tiffinee) and looking his finest with some lolly teeth in!!!
My beautiful little sister, always posing and ready for a stunning photo.

And my youngest brother, Tyson- who left New Zealand when he was about 12 ish so I still get a fright when I see how tall and grown up he is.Another shot of Tyson!
Me and Jason before the wedding.
Just me... its not often I get photos taken of me, but little Harri took this one so I thought I should put it up.
Jason at the adventure play ground in Canberra.
Dad, Harri and Jason at the War Memorial in Canberra.
Harri, Tiffinee and Mark's oldest son- now 6 years old.
Harri having some fun.

Me and Harri in a slide sequence (Dad in the background).... what fun we had.
Jason's turn on the slide...
Harri all dressed up for the wedding.
Camille and her beautiful daughter Summer Grace (4 years old- going on 20, she is so advanced for her age)
Harri and Summer. This is one of my favourite shots!!!
Summer... another one who knows when the camera is on her. She loves it!!!

Summer in her bridesmaid outfit.
And finally little Hudson, hmmm did I say little. Actually he is pretty solid! What a workout for my non Canoe Polo- triathlete arms!!!
Here's another one of Hudson.
Well I told you today's blog would be more pictures than text, but sometimes a picture really says it all.