Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Merry Christmas

Christmas morning and it is quiet , I am waiting for the family to wake up.

Again I am finding life is too exciting for sleep either that or I just don't have a decent off switch. I woke at 4.08am with an annoying word in my head, it is Puha (not sure of the spelling) it is a plant, looks like weed and it is growing in the garden. Apparently it is edible and Maori like to boil it up with other vegetables and meat. Emily's class at school did the 12 days of Christmas (Kiwi style) in the final school assembly of the year and she and 5 classmates had to hold up 6 Puha for the sixth day of Christmas.

Christmas eve was nice and quiet. We swapped pleasentries with the noisy people next door and they made reference to their noise from last Christmas, Rob said he would show me how to unplug his music centre and I replied I had my axe ready. But seriously they are okay most of the time but they drink heavily and get carried away (I could never be more than neighbourly with them).

Emily had left out a mince pie and a glass of Baileys for Santa and not long after santa had polished these off plus munched through Rudolph's carrot, Emily wandered in needing to go the toilet. Teresa made excuses about knocking it all over while I replenished supplies. After I had just finished eating and drinking again Teresa pointed out I could have just put the mince pie back in the cupboard.

We had fun making the mince pies see photos.

Monday, 24 December 2007

Strawberry picking

Just a quick one for Christmas Eve. I'm supposed to be doing a few quick jobs for clients before going to scrub the bathroom. Christmas eve is busy after the bathroom I am going for a swim coming back to clean the toilet and then after lunch the children and I will make mince pies.

Yesterday we took part in what could be classed as a Hawkes Bay tradition - picking our own strawberries at one of the local strawberry farms. These places get really busy in the run up to Christmas and best avoided on Christmas Eve. Even so yesterday I was on my bike for 6.30am so we could get there for opening time 9am. We got there at 8.45 and it was already very busy. Then we went and bought some boysenberries from a friends boyensberry farm, we could only have a brief chat because he was really busy. Hopefully I will catch up with them at swimming in the new year.

In the UK Christmas day would mean Christmas pudding, here in New Zealand we have small meringue cases with the strawberries and strawberry and cream ice cream.

I was out at 5am doing my 6miler and it was good and very satisfying.

Saturday, 22 December 2007

The garden is doing well

I like to walk around the garden admiring our efforts on veg garden and fruit trees. I'm a big fan of Jamie Oliver, the food he cooks, how he cooks, attitude to food and his latest tv programme 'Jamie at home' he has a fantastic kitchen garden (and gardener). Unfortunately his programme is on at 8pm on Friday , I usually get in from swimming at 8.10 so I get to see some of it.
I took some photos of the things in the garden:
Bird on bird feeder
Bird on bird feeder

Some big tomatoes
Some big tomatoes
A ripening yellow cherry tomato. Next year I want to have lots of different tomato types there are so many that you don't see in the supermarkets.
A ripening yellow cherry tomato

Veg garden: beans are growing up tripods, parsnips, carrot , beetroot, peas and just planted potatoes.
Veg garden

Apple tree
Apple tree

Pear tree
Pear tree

The soft fruit trees are not faring so well, they tend to suffer from a curly leave problem but the solution seems to have been spraying them with a homemade garlic spray solution (you do not want to get caught down wind of this spray as you will become an outcast from society).

Monday, 17 December 2007

Another cold...but look on the positive side

Why is it my last 3 training sessions (swim Wednesday and run and bike Thursday) were great, I felt great and enjoyable and yet Friday I knew I was sick? I also had very sore muscles from biking Thursday night but that was ok because I knew what I had done to cause it.

So I wasn't able to race at the weekend and it kind of made my mind up not to race this season. I want to get my swimming going better and race in races where nobody knows me so I don't feel local pressure. I told Teresa I would only start travelling away to race next season when Cameron will be nearly 4. We plan to make them family trips away camping and seeing different parts of the country.

Normally when I can't train (when swimmming, biking, running - I stretch every day and do core exercises) I have time on my hands and I am really grumpy. But not this time, in the approach to Christmas we wanted to buy Cameron a toy box. We couldn't find one we wanted at a price we were willing to pay so I bought the wood and am making one. And in true Boyle tradition it is turning out larger than planned and is becoming more of a toy cupboard than a box.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Ankle injury rears its ugly head... Have I caught another cold?

Really enjoying training again, atrocious weather at the weekend saw me on the trainer doing really hard stuff. I thought this may be better preparation for the race on the 16th. I always need to remind myself that racing is harder than training a bit and does involve a bit of mild discomfort or PAIN!!!

Iran yesterday (Tuesday 7miles) and finally felt really comfortable with the distance so decided to push up to 8 next run on Thursday (only 2 runs this week because of the race). Except for after the run my old sore ankle flared up again and I had to take an anti-inflammatory. It seems fine this morning, oldy enough I think I aggravated it by doing ankle stretches. I made my right hip go funny at swimming the other day by kicking with my leg at a slightly funny angle. Historically my kick has been none existent but with TI I am now a lethal (to myself) weapon.

The race - I have really been wrestling with taking part or not because of my swimmimg (which is going really well in the pool). I am going to take part do my best on the swim and try and see how many people I can blast by on the bike and run.

Having said all that, fate may play its hand. Cameron has a cold and being nearly 3 tends to sneeze all over me and I woke up this morning with a scratchy throat... so I may not be able to race. I'll have to see how I feel , I don't want to bomb like I did at the first race of the season.

Friday, 7 December 2007

21 miles running

I achieved 3x7miles making this my biggest run week since 2003. I have gone back to just get the miles done comfortably and be pleased with having done them. This is how I used to run up to 1995 and seemed to work, especially for the Ironman in '94. I do believe putting in a few years of just solid running before doing any intervals. The only time I did intervals was '96 and set a triathlon 10k pb of 34min but this was on the back of consistent miles in the the previous 2 years.

Reading a lot of triathlon stuff and read of people running (not triathlon) 1hr 40 half marathons with speed training. I think it is an age when people want results yesterday and everybody has a coach. Most people seem to skip the beginner stage of just concentrating on getting into shape aerobically. The vast majority of people would improve just be doing aerobic training week in week out.

I learnt over the years : consistency, balance, patience, recovery are the keywords speed work is the cherry on top of the icing - you do it when you really have to.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Feeling great again

Sickness is behind me. I had another great week of training last week, biked new roads (Tuki Tuki Valley), up new climbs still in my 53 chainring which is very confidence boosting. Swimming my TI drills with no fins and the fistgloves and it is fantastic. In the prescribed two beat kick I feel so powerful like I'm wearing fins but not. I have never been a good kicker without fins. But with TI I felt I was getting too reliant on them but the main reason is I felt they were spoiling my swimming and I was right. Fitting in the breathing is still a work in progress but I know with time I'll figure it out. When I do overswitch (without working on the breathing ) I can do 12 sometimes 11 strokes in the 25m pool, that is with fist gloves and only 12 kicks. I am really getting better but I know the major problem is open water and rubbish wetsuit. I was contemplating skipping racing until next season when I will have had more time to improve my swim and get my new wetsuit. But I would miss it and I need that purpose to help me train. I'll just have to put up with swimming really slow and pass a lot a people on the bike and run.

Speaking of running , I will run my third 7miler tomorrow , biggest run week since September 2003. I have noticed a difference in my pace from running 6miles to running the 7, don't know why.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Glue ear...

That's what the problem is. I took Cameron for his second visit to the doctor, he was very well behaved. Dr Rosario confirmed glue ear for him and checked my ears and confirmed glue ear for me as well, very unsual in adults I'm told. So we are both on anti-biotics and things seem to be getting better.

Getting back into the swing of things training wise. Two weeks is a very long time.

I have decided that I really want to save up for some Zipp 808 wheels and eventually a new bike. The problem is we don't have any surplus cash so what I've decided to is forgo my weekly 2 beers (they are the expensive imported ones) and save the money towards these goals. I have never been a drinker, I sometimes get stuck into habits. There are other positive side effects : no longer feel dehydrated and hungover (they were very strong beers , sometimes as much as 12% alcohol) and the bit of flab on my stomach should go (I am skinny but even I could lose a few kgs(lbs). The leaner I get the easier training will get the faster I can race.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Return to light training

I ran 1mile yesterday and swam 900m. Session 200m as a mix of zipper skate drills - 200m overswitch - 200m overswitch with breathing all these drills with fins and fistgloves then 300 overswitch with breathing with just fistgloves no fins , this is my swimming and it feels strange - legs have a feeling of weightlessness (they are floating) just the prescribed two beat kick with all my propulsion coming from the momentum of the hand entering the water and angling steeply down and my body rotation, remember I use fistgloves so my hands aren't helping me float or propel.

It feels very good. I do feel like I am improving its just how do I translate it to open water wetsuit swimming (with a rubbish wetsuit). This year I am going to race st least one race sans wetsuit see how it goes. For next season I will have a De Soto two piece T1 wetsuit.

I was really sick, according to the doctor I had gunk in my left lung, gunk in the right side of my head and that was/is producing a sucking effect in the rightside of my head which is producing a blocked humming sensation in my right ear. At swimming last night I was apologising to people because I didn't now if I was talking loud or quiet.

The plan is to get back into training this week and then have two normal weeks of training and then hopefully the next club race as I missed the race on Sunday. The positive is I was probably sickening before the first race of the season so I know why things went wrong.

It has been quite frustrating the last two weeks, it helped knowing that my target race is the olympic distance race in February so missing a small race now isn't so bad.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Keeping the faith with TI

It has been difficult since the last race being positive about my swimming telling people it isn't important because I am learning to swim from scratch. When I read a posting by ace in his blog made me feel I wasn't alone. I have been using TI for 12months, people no longer make comments or though I do feel isolated not being in 'no pain' group. I know it is a long term committment and when I watch swimming lessons when I take Emily to her class,I relate a lot of what they do to what I am doing. Years ago when I started concentrating on technique it was always panic of the race season that made me revert back because I had got to a reasonable standard. What is different this time is that since my return to the sport the urgency has gone, I feel I have the time. Although it doesn't stop the self doubt, especially when all the races I do are local and have a lot of the same people and because of my slower swimming people who normally wouldn't beat me are beating me.

I have to believe long term improve my stroke I will get faster. The evidence has always been there. Those skinny 12yr old girls who leave me for dead in the pool. This time I feel I've gone too far down the road, I'm enjoying swimming, I am aware of what I am doing, I understand and as Terry Laughlin says it is like practicing a martial art. And in addition I'm not exhausted at the end of it.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Making use of not training positively

Despite my grumpiness brought on by being sick which stopped me getting my daily fix of energy (training) we had a relaxing weekend getting things done in the garden. We normally have time in the garden every weekend it's kind of relaxing and the children enjoy help plant seeds and pull things up.

Picture of Cameron taken by Emily.

I had some old herb seeds left over from a previous herb garden which got too hard to maintain because it was before we had all the junk cleared. So I with help from the children planted those and they helped Teresa plant some peas and pick some radishes, the only thing we have been able to eat yet. This is our first real serious attempt at a proper veg garden so it is all about learning this year. I finished making some tripods for the beans to climb, they are made from prunings from one of the trees and string.

Saturday, 10 November 2007

weekly beer

I forgot to do last weeks so this week I am posting a photo. Old Peculiar is an old favourite the 6x I can't remember if I've had it before.

I have a cold and a I can't train rant

I have come to the realisation that after running yesterday and then feeling lousy all day that I have succumbed to the cold that the rest of the family has. I missed swimming last night and will have to skip training on the bike this weekend and see how I am Monday.

If I can start training Tuesday on the bike I will race next weekend. I am wondering whether I was starting to sicken ay last weeks race. It's hard not to get sick when you have small children, an almost 3year old needs cuddling when sick and feeling miserable. I am getting better at handling this sort of disappointment. I was tempted to train but I know there are lots of races.

Although I still get grumpy when I can't train and I seem to get short tempered especially when I see obeses people, obese people smoking or driving around in large cars with seats reclined back to make room for their stomachs. I also get extra annoyed with people on mobile phones whilst driving, staring at it whilst walking down the street or whilst supposedly out with friends or family.
My personal opinion is that I don't want to contacted all the time, when I am talking to someone whether it is a client, friend or family I want to give them my undivided attention and I expect the same. There are very things in this world so important that I need to be contacted by mobile.
I also enjoy training without music whether on the indoor trainer , open road or running. I just love being left to think, enjoy the quiet , the sound of my tyres on the road. And then there is the safety issue.

One of the best things about blogging for me is that I can empty all this stuff out of my head its like therapy only much cheaper. And it doesn't matter if anybody reads it , I don't have to carry it around, Teresa doesn't have to listen (shes heard it all before) and now I feel all relaxed.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Day at home

No teaching today thank goodness and I've decided not to take Cameron to music group. He is still full of cold and has been into the childminder three times this week. Joan (the childminder) is a lady in her sixties and she is great but this last week she has been making veiled comments about parents who leave their children in childcare when they are sick. Surely she can't mean me. This year he will have been in childcare between 45 and 50 days, the days I have been in school - thats not many.

The problem with me going into school a lot during a week means that the housework especially the laundry gets backed up. I can get it washed but not dried (we refuse to have a tumble drier for financial and environmental reasons). Luckily Emily has not wet the bed for the last 2 nights and Cameron hasn't poohed and wet himself a lot. I also get the chance to get some website work done and a picture sorted for the school yearbook. St Mary's school have sent me yet more photos of their new principal to put on the website but they are finding it really hard the principal Liz just can't looked relaxed.

I've also got the repair man for the dishwasher coming this afternoon. We wouldn't buy a dishwasher for years until somebody told us that it is more environmentally friendly because it heats its own water rather than drawing it from the hot water cylinder.

I didn't want to get up at five this morning but I did, out the door by 5.11am. I wanted to run a new 7mile run using roads I haven't used before. I went out for about 28min 3.5 miles @ 8min mile because I know I return on an out and back run faster. It took me 51.57 min I will measure it in the car tonight on the way to swimming. My legs were very tired but other than that it was good. I think the famous Arthur Lydiard was a fan of out and back runs as opposed to loops because he thought you could judge effort better. I plan to get one of the new polar running heart rate monitors that has the capacity for measuring your distance / speed , etc But that is way down on the list of things to save up for.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

I must be getting old/or wise

I pulled out of my interval session on the bike early tonight. I have been feeling tired since Tuesday's session where I went really hard to make up for Sunday's none race. I don't normally train Monday or Tuesday after even a sprint race (except for swimmming) it is my treat. Although I didn't put in a race effort on Sunday I still put in some effort. Add to this I've been teaching 3days each of the last 2 weeks and keeping in touch with business clients and helping out on the school yearbook and looking after the children, yes I was tired. And I think forcing my heart rate up to night would have put me into to much debt physically. A previous me would definitely pushed thru it - I also want to enjoy my 7mile run tomorrow. 7miles will be be my longest run since 2002 and I am starting to enjoy running again. I'm still not running with my heartrate monitior and it is progressing nicely.

I finally think I am getting wiser. Practicing recovery was definitely on my to do list and a limiting factor in performance. Now I feel once I learn to swim there will be no stopping me. Forty is the new 30 and I feel 20 and I plan to race when I'm a 100 so time is definitely on my side. Better stop now the verbal ramblings are starting.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Emily isn't a spoilt brat

I take it all back, Emily isn't a spoilt brat, I was tired and grumpy. We just had to remind how we expected her to behave. She is the beautiful, bubbly , happy five year old that now and again likes to push the boundaries. And she makes my heart crumble when she says "I love you daddy".

3.30am wide awake

For some reason I woke up at 2.30am and couldn't get back to sleep. As always lots on my mind (mostly exciting things). I am surprised Cameron slept during the night as he has a bad cold, we had to get him up just before we went to bed to change his nappy (his room stunk) and give him more medicine, He looked so little we relented and gave him his barnie back (we were weaning him off Barnie as they were inseperable).

Had a great turbo session last night confirming in my mind that on Sunday I had just forgotten how to race, not for the first time, I'm going to run at 5am. I got to thinking last night and I've realised that re-learning to swim (properly) is rapidly becoming the ultimate challenge to me. I know I can run and cycle to a resonable standard and have completed distances from sprints up to and including the Ironman and a wide variety in between but I won't be happy (in the triathlon side of my life) until I can swim.

We are making a greater effort to be sociable, we are both attending the school's (Napier Central) Christmas function on the 23Nov (very early) it is a progressive dinner starters at one restaurant,etc Although we will miss desserts, these will be at 9pm (we are usually in bed for 9.30). Teresa and I both love being at home and enjoy our activities during the daytime (and of course there is training) we have always been the same. When we started dating back at college we would plan to go to parties but almost always decide to stay at home with our wine and enjoy each others company. Not sure it is healthy or it might just be love.

Teresa thinks I have blog problem especially as I keep referring back to blogs in conversations, yet another reason to get out more.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Worst race confirmed

First I must apologise for my last post, so many mistakes and spellings errors, I blame post race disappointment. Saw the results on the website and it was officially my worst race ever and I mean the worst since my novice race in 1990. In a nutshell I didn't turn up to race. I think I had convinced myself that because this was the first race it was going to be rubbish and therefore it didn't matter. So I got a disaster.

As there are always positives that come out of negatives here are my 5 positives.
1. It can't get any worse.
2. There are plenty more races. Next one in 2 weeks time and after a bad race I usually get fired up for the next.
3. Comfort on bike- much better the cleat wedges seemed to have worked - no more lobsidedness on the bike.
4. I was cycling at about 20mph, slow for me in a sprint but I could have gone at that speed for a long time that is how comfortable I was. That is my ideal Ironman speed.
5. Running legs seemed really good

I need to change my profile photo.

Monday, 5 November 2007

First raceitis

It was the Icebuster yesterday and it/I was rubbish. I don't have the times yet but I think the swim was my worst ever, I can never see the first buoy or landmarks at the far end and I get disorientated and lose huge amounts of time. But once around the first buoy (which is just under half way) I could relax and let my new stroke takeover. It was my first time in the old panther wetsuit (bought from my friend Barry) I don't get to practice in it because of the extra time it would take to get there and I don't want to do an extra because it would take time away from family.

Although I train on my race bike on the indoor trainer it isn't the sames as a race and I forget how to race. I forget how get in a bigger gear and work hard get used to it in a race situation even though I do hard stuff in training. I tried convincing myself that I was pacing myself and decided to run hard from the off. The run being my strongest discipline and even despite lack of run miles I went out faster than usual and my legs felt good. Compared to the people around me I was running as opposed to jogging. But then the wheels came off it wasn't my legs, it started with a tightness in my stomach and then chest, I couldn't breathe, I stopped and sat down (I have only 2dnf in 17years). Gillie shouted at me not to give up and when my friend Julie came by (she was just running for her husband) I joined her at a very sedate pace but it got me home and I hope she didn't mind my verbal ramblings.

So all in all a pretty poor race. Although a part from the run (I think I have just breathed a bit and then carried instead of pulling the plug) I have a history of first raceitis and tend to race myself into the season and that is why I like to race alot.

After I finsihed the race we were going to a school picnic but because of my delay Teresa and the children had gone looking for me which delayed us even more. The picnic was nice, weather was hot , although it highlighted to us that Emily is starting to behave like a spoilt brat. This partly because Teresa and I work at the school everybody knows her and makes a fuss and she is becoming a bit of a princess. We are going to start a behaviour chart, I have to stop raising my voice and pointing the finger and Teresa has to adopt a firmer tone and be more strict.

Monday, 29 October 2007

Going the toilet

This blog is going down the toilet fast. It is a great place to dump my thoughts.

I was going to the toilet for my ritual, regular unload as usual, normally I dash in lock the door breathe a sigh of relief sanctuary. This morning however I was accompanied by Cameron. I've almost gottem used to the children watching me go the toilet but this morning I discovered it was particularly hard whilst holding hands with a toddler who is practicing his jumping and then wants to sit on my lap.

Anyway mission accomplished. I am usually quite proud of my achievements on the loo but I now have to admire said pooh with aforementioned toddler who insists on saying goodbye to everything including the former contents of my bowels. Daily activities do have new meanings when you have children.

More good blogs to read are Simon Whitfield (former Olympic Champ) and Lucho (another stay at home dad - I am not alone) please see links in sidebar.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

A balanced life and good beer

Pruning back trees in the garden gives time for reflection. With the sun on my back a decent beer drunk and a thoroughly enjoyable weekend always makes me realise how much I enjoy life. I enjoy it I decided because of the balance, I never get bored, there is always something to do and I can switch from one thing to another.

After the morning bike rides, playing with the children, going out for shopping (only the essentials) and coffee. The training gives me a sense of satisfaction all today and then I stretch and do core exercises when the children go to bed. Also knowing that business is good , plenty to keep the interest high and knowing that I have 3 days teaching the same class during the week. The only downside to that is the three days was brought on by the teacher (Ruth) lost a nephew in a tragic road accident.

I thought I would list the beer drunk this weekend. At present we have reverted to imported cask conditioned ale from the UK (otherwise known as real ale) and despite the popular misconception - never ever drink British beer warm. Anyway these come in pint (568ml) bottles and included 2 old favourites Fullers 1845, Marston's Owd Roger and a new favourite Greene King- Strong Vintage Suffolok Ale. Bewarned these beers are quite strong. I will post websites for these beers soon.

Friday, 26 October 2007

I suck at A races and other stories

Thought I was coming down with a cold yesterday and as I had a been a bit below par for Tuesday's bike session although I really enjoyed my 6 mile run Wednesday.

However last nights bike session ended the speculation, put in a bigger gear and went as I usually do 10 min warming upto HR150 10min building HR to 160 and then 4min going to 165 then 10 min warm down. It's all I'm doing but the main set is on intervals that vary every session, nothing longer than 4min nothing less than 1.5 min all with 30s in between and never do the same session twice. The idea is that the body never knows whats coming and therefore can't get complacent (this happened last year, lack of variety) and the intervals done this way makes it much harder than doing 10min in a straight block. I am adding 1min a week intil I am back up to 50min just before my A race.
I hate using A race idea because I usually end up doing much worse than I plan to, maybe it's the pressure I put on myself.

Ran another 6miles today. Took Cameron to Music group, Iam usually the only dad there and a sitting target for nice old ladies to chat to. On the upside they do fed me extra coffee and biscuits. Persuaded the bank to let me pay in cheque made out to my business into my personal account (don't have a business account - have a problem with paying fees). Having a day off websites to spend the time with Cameron because I have been very busy with 2 new clients , one is my first ecommerce site - so I am excited. I have to keep on top of the work because I know I've got another job starting in the next few weeks and then some updating and the possibility of my biggest job yet and a second website for one of my current clients. I just have to remember not to take on too much while I still have Cameron at home and I also still have teaching committments to get me out of the house.

Cameron is in the bath at present , he was sitting quietly on his bed and poohed himself. I needed to bath him because it gives me some free time, he is going to the doctor later because he keeps blinking his eyes a lot (more like closing them for a short period than blinking - if that makes sense).

I think I am addicted to triathlon websites and triathlon related blogs even sad ones like mine. I am going to ruminate on this and post more on it later.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

I reply to my brother

'Sport to me is about keeping fit, healthy, young,being a role model for my family and energises me to spend time with them. You are also misguided about the camaraderie of an individual sport of triathlon. There is a worldwide community of people who commit to spend time living a clean healthy lifestyle and choose not to spend their time watching tv, smoking and spend their time watching other people take part in sport/life. There is nothing like the camaraderie of the shared 5 hour bike ride or the 5am run on a cold winters morning.
Would you believe I can give a pretentious answer as well. When you talk about a team game it sounds more like going into battle rather than having fun with friends, which is I thought the main thing.'

This why Chuckie V struck such a chord with me on his blog.

And of course after I replied I immediatley thought of thousands of other things to say.

Monday, 22 October 2007

I thought sport was about fun...

This came from my brother. Imagine it is spoken by an old before his time, fat, smoking white south african male who once coached rugby for four years.

Surely the purpose of sport, all sport, is to achieve perfection.
Perfection is the holy grail of any sport. It is the holy grail because it is never quite found.We continue to pursue it in the hope that we will encounter it.The fact that sometimes we come close is what gives us the passion and the belief to carry on. In individual activities, such as triathlon, we back ourselves against the clock. We plan and visualise how to execute our motion, seeing in our mind's eye that we can beat the clock. And we see the reward for beating the clock - it is beating the competition. This fails only when a competitor beats or matches their clock which may have been set faster than our own.Win or lose , triathlon for the individual is based on self dependency. In a team sport it is the collective.
In rugby it is having a man on the left and a man on the right who we chose not to let down. We are determined not to be the weak link.All 15 have an equally important role to play regardless of body shape and skill set.More importantly , each has the responsibility to demonstrate leadership when in possession of the ball - leadership is the highest of honours.All 15 have the responsibility to make intelligent , split second decisions time and time again. In rugby , we have the responsibility to play as two men , especially when our comrades have fallen .All 15 must be smart enough to psychologically dominate the opposition.In no other continuous sport can so much be asked of any man. And , because it is a hard , tough sport, we admire greatly those who stand up to heed the call of duty.You have to concede, despite your cynicism, there's a bit more to it then the plod plod plod of the triathlon.Perhaps if you could watch it with people who are knowledgeable and passionate about the game you may begin to enjoy it more. I can only imagine that watching it alone and not understanding it, must be frustrating.
So call it pretentious crap and chose not to see the romance and passion and fellowship.It doesn't matter.

It was his response to me saying mainstream sports i.e. soccer, rugby , cricket are over hyped money making enterprises.

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Blossom, potty training and new pants

It's been a while since I wrote...

We had two week school holidays and it was one of the best mostly good weather, lots of activities with with children : built a bird feeder (no bird has set foot in it- Emily thinks the birds are scared of it.) and a swing hanging from the walnut tree. When Cameron sits on the swing he is so worried about falling off he leans forward and promptly falls off.
Talking about Cameron we are trying to toilet(potty) train him anywhere would be better than poohing and weeing on the floor. It is a bit like having a puppy in the house, to make me feel better a friend said she didn't know many 21year olds who were still wetting themselves (small comfort).

I'm hooked on watching the fruit trees develop their fruit, the pear trees are doing really well closely followed by the bought apple tree. The apple tree from seed hasn't had a single blossom (might be to young) all the citrus have flowers. It is only the peach trees not thriving, speaking of stone fruit, the neighbour at the back, his apricot tree that hangs over into ours lost all its fruit in the very high winds we've been having.

First race is in three weekends time the 'Icebuster' and I'm getting nervous. I have no idea how my swimming is going to be because all I have been doing is the drills with the fistgloves. Which I have to say are fantastic fun to swim with. I worked out a problem I was having that was causing me to take 2 to 3 strokes more per length extra (12/13s now 10s and even a 9ish)it was a slight difference in the timing of my stroke the so called pull phase with the position of my recovery arm. Word of caution please don't follow any of my advice on swimming as I am bad at it.

Cycling is blowing my mind at present, my short mid-week sessions ar causing to ride my rides at the weekend at low hr but for ok speed, whereas previous years I was putting in some effort on the weekend rides, all the effort is going in midweek , apart from some hills as part of the Saturday ride. did 26.5 miles today and plan on doing 30 tomorrow , gradually building my miles for my olympic distance return (the name standard distance triathlons -will never catch on)

I have bought new pants (please note the word pants has been used purely for the comedic effect) I actually bought some De Soto tri shorts low cut forza, mainly because everyone else is wearing them. I have been wearing De Soto trunks (see profile photo) bought in the UK in 1998. But since my return to the sport nobody else wears them and it can be quite lonely being the only one wearing them at a race. And as my Teresa has just muttered over my shoulder it is also embarrassing for her to have to point out the one in his undies. It maybe ok for Faris al Sultan but not for me.

Emilio De Soto is another innovative guy I admire , I love his clothing and his philosophy.

You must check out Chuckie V's blog (see links) on simplicity (I made my commenting debut)and living vicariously.
Jeff Keil did well at Hawaii read his blog.

I hope to squeeze in another post soon on has beens (or never wheres) who are living vicariously and talking crap about what sport is at the same time.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Interbike vs Reality, excellent blogs & making training fun

All the triathlon websites are talking about the Interbike bike show. Yes, I have been drooling over the pictures of the new bikes, all the aero bits and pieces. I liked Norman's new Kueen K and jealous that so and so is going to riding for quintana roo next year (I'm a big fan of Dan Empfield). But the bike that really caught my eye was the BMC Time Machine (cool name)But what ordinary triathlete person would pay US$12 000 dollars for it. I went out and bought another orange tree NZ$25 and a blueberry bush NZ$18, cheaper and good for me. I love walking around the estate watching all the fruit trees blossom and turn into fruit. At last count we must have at least 13 trees, 3 rasberry vines, the new blueberry bush and after getting rid of the old grape vine trying to grow a new one in a different place. I mustn't forget the very mature walnut tree which sheds loads of walnuts which are a hassle to pick up but worth it because they are delicious.

Two new blogs I'm reading are Chuckie V's for a light hearted and refreshing view of the world anf Jeff Keil an age grouper doing well. Always a good read and a laugh is Hurricane Bob on xtri but he has his own website bobmina.com. And another guy worth reading is age grouper Ray Britt.

After resuming training I have made a few changes . Changed 53x12 big gear Saturday (I wasn't enjoying it as much) to riding in my normal gear 53x19 but finding hills, the smaller gear allows me to to different places , places that have hills and stay in the same gear lengthening,this ride by 1 mile a week (21 this week) and my Sunday flat ride by 2 miles a week (did 26 this week).. Also I've shortened my 2 mid week turbo rides to just over half an hour but at a much more challenging heart rate and increase the session by 1 minute a week until my goal race in February (return to olympic distance racing after 13 years).
I am using fist gloves for all my swim sessions now and I am relearning again about body balancing and position, again a step backwards so I can go 2 or 3 forward.
Running, although I could feel my ankle on Monday (legs were tired from weekend cycling) , I will complete 3 runs of five miles this week the most since April and the horrible trip to the UK.

Sunday, 16 September 2007

I really was sick & Can you be a web geek and tri geek at the same time?

What an absolutely awful week. We have all been sick, Teresa still is. She had three days off work and because I was sickI couldn't teach her class which was really disappointing as they are a really fun class to teach. Not only that I had a class to teach at St Mary's, a really great bunch of 12/13 year olds. I hate letting a school down.

On the positive side as there is always a positive side. I haven't missed much training because it was my planned 6 days off (apart from swimming) with my new swim technique training it isn't such a big deal I no longer worry about the elusive 'feel for the water'. This brings me to my next positive, I have dealt with being sick and not training very well. Next positives new website client Aquahawks swim club(just depending on them getting funding), an existing client (as in paid a deposit and needs to choose from design ideas) has got back in touch again and another very likely in a couple of weeks. My quiet time gave me a chance to finish a few things off and do some reading and tutorials. Talk about life long learning, everytime I think I am advanced in CSS I come across stuff that makes me feel like a beginner. So to find out more I just bought 'designing with web standards' by jeffrey zeldman and he produces alistapart.com for webgeeks. I am not or ever will be a webgeek although I do know people who would disagree. It is just like I am not a tri geek although again I know people who would disagree. Is it possible to be a geek in two different subjects at the same time, surely having two interests stops you from being a geek at all.
Back to jeffrey zeldman css and web standards guru (this must be the first time I've returned to an original topic without help) he is keeping it real for me because I am making the effort and striving for complete web compliance I am doing a good job because there are thousands of designers out there who aren't even trying. He includes in his book examples of large commercial sites that could save time, money, improve accessibility and future proof their websites by using web standards.

I can tell by the dazed look you haven't a clue what I am talking about, I recognise it because Teresa uses it on me a lot.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Tired legs and excellent art

Below is a picture that Emily drew on my father's day card. It is her and me (I'm the one with spiky hair and whiskers) and we are doing our silly chicken dance.

Indoor session tough Thursday night didn't get to heart rate targets because legs felt really tired and I couldn't push a bigger gear without blowing up.

Friday night swim - I love total immersion , I've just ordered the fistgloves. Purchasing the dvd, etc and learning to swim properly is much cheaper than buying a new wetsuit and anyway Hawaii is wetsuit free.(this is my goal in 3 or 4 years time.)

Big gear Saturday is going very well (quite exciting), it is leaving me tired for Sunday but Sunday is just easier endurance miles. In the past I have done too much of the same training and that resulted in my plateau or even possible backwards development on the bike last year.

Just finished helping Emily produce a poster for her talk to her class on 'How to plant a mandarin tree.'

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Nuclear Medicine

Spent a couple of hours at Hawkes Bay hospital yesterday, Emily was having another scan , this time it involved some 'nuclear dye'. They are trying to find out if one kidney is enlarged and if so why. It is all to be on the safe side, ever since she was diagnosed with hip dysplasia (spelling????) when she was 9months we always follow through with even the smallest concerns.

Runs are now up to 4miles. I am running without the heart rate monitor because I am just running to try and get some miles in at present.

I'm having a great deal of trouble trying to get a replacement T31 strap from my local sports store, they are the only place that sells them locally.

Race bike - then and now

This is my trusty race bike, the first picture was taken in Lanzarote in 1994 a few days out from the ironman I had owned the bike for about 5months and only ridden it about twice for about 20kms each time. The second picture of the bike is set up on my 15year old wind trainer, I've had 2A frame trainers but they just don't do it for me.

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Duvel Beer

The beer was very nice. Children still playing. Dinner is in the oven. Later I am having Hobgoblin beer Real ale from the UK. One thing Teresa and I miss from the UK is Real Ale. New Zealand beer on the whole is crap!

Fathers' Day

When I first became a dad I really couldn't be bothered "Just another commercial invention" blah, blah. However a few years down the road I've had a complete about turn. My children gave me a beautiful homemade card, Cameron gave me a Triathlon/Multisport mag (I never buy magazines these days) and Emily bought me a Duvel gift set. Duvel is a Belgian beer and the gift set is 2 bottles and the special glass. I have a particular weakness for Belgian beer or Trappiste style beer. They are very strong, anywhere between 7% and 10.5% and the strength doesn't really impact on you until after you have knocked them back.
Anyway back to my liking for Fathers' Day, as most people know it is hard work and the better you do at it the more tiring it is, so there is an element of I feel I deserve to be a fuss of, but as I was walking with the family this morning for a large coffee and huge blueberry muffin, I felt a huge sense of wellbeing and pride holding the hand of my 5yearold daughters hand. And as Teresa pointed out Emily (Cameron is still a bit young) wanted to make a fuss of me, she also wanted a cake not sure which she wanted the most.

It is now Sunday afternoon, Teresa has gone for a swim, the children are playing nicely and I have time to sit and type this, and reflect on my easy 20mile cycle this morning and my big gear ride yesterday. My gardening has been restricted to continuing to prune the bushy trees in the front and plant some grapevine cuttings from Peter next door.

Tomorrow I'm going to post a picture of my trusty race bike. I have also thought I might do a gear review of cycling gear, assessing their durability - nothing is allowed to be less than 9years old, so the list would include my desoto racing trunks/briefs (see my profile photo) , my Look cycling shoes, Giro helmet, Pearl Izumi cycling top and shorts, Look pedals, Selle Italia saddle and lots of bits of clothing and of course my racing bike.

This blog definitely very random.
I say this because in my half awake/ half asleep state last night in between singing songs from Cameron's music group I invented water orienteering were all the checkpoints are underwater. Equipment needed would be wetsuit, snorkel, mask and flippers, I'm sure it will catch on as quickly as underwater hockey.

More random musings soon

Friday, 31 August 2007

Explaining 3 week training block

Just before I go and clean the house, I have a prospective client calling round pm and am taking Cameron to our music group (pre-schoolers music and movement) we got to tumble tots (gym for preschoolers) on Wednesdays. I thought I would write down my current training ideas.

I have difficulty running and riding easy (I'm all or nothing) so this winter I have changed my recovery plan. I am actually having some. A 4 week block is as follows . A full week training followed by Monday off except for swimming. Train the second week and then take Monday and Tuesday off except for swimming Monday, then I train for another 6 days and then I have Wednesday through to the following Tuesday off running and biking. I do my three swims as usual as active recovery. Remember my swimming is all drills from total immersion.

I think I need a seperate blog to keep training ideas and methodology seperate.

Splinter stops run & mind over matter

Yesterday I got a long splinter in my right big toe, the same foot with the ankle problem. I had to get a pen knife, a pair of nail scissors and tweezers and perform surgery on the toe to remove it. I thought it was going to okay. But I got up this morning and I decided to leave my next run until Sunday.

I had another great session on the bike last night. The main bit was 30 minutes if intervals of 3x 1.5min then 4min all with 30sec easythen repeated (all at what is approaching lactate threshold ). LT is based on feel not tested, I was going to have a test but I spent the money on having new partsd on my race bike instead. This is the toughest ride in this block of 3weeks training. I'm just progressing really well on the bike sessions that I think are going to be too hard ,are hard but manageable. It is probably a case of mind over matter.

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Mental hang up

If I think I have had a bad training session (even on reflection it wasn't too bad) why does it mentally lodge in my brain and I can't sahake it off? Tuesday night I had a really good bike session where I thought it was going be harder than I could handle, when it turned out to be hard but manageable and I climbed off on cloud 9. And yet after swimming last night which I perceived as a bad session because I was trying to drill at 10strokes per length I would also throw in some 11s and 12s I couldn't shake the demoralised feeling. I analysed that I wasn't 'hiding my head' (total immersion term), I was also tired and eaten a lot, a huge amount of pasta to near swim time. My problem is that I expect to improve every time so instead of drilling on 10 strokes I was expecting to start getting nearer to 9 and was probably trying too hard instead of letting it flow.

I can feel the ankle injury.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Ankle injury is better!

I hope I'm not tempting fate but it seems that my ankle is better. I started going without shoes around the house, I was wearing them so I could wear my orthotics this seemed to make it (the ankle) feel better. Going wihout shoes seemed to make it feel even better. I ran Sunday and couldn't feel it at all, I ran Tuesday and could sort of feel it by the end of the 3miles I couldn't feel it and haven't since and that includes last night's hard bike session and this mornings run. It's almost as if something has gone back into place.

I forgot to mention when I returned to this blog that I'd bought some Bike fit system's wedge to try and sort out my lobsidedness on the bike, due to leg length discrepancy which seems to have become a lot worse over the years.

I was looking at the QROO website at the extremely pretty bikes that I will never be able to afford. I'm going to post a picture of my old trusty race bike soon - after all this is real Tri.

Monday, 27 August 2007

Picture of my training bike

I've noticed it is common practice to post pictures of flash new racing bikes on triathlon blogs. I don't have one. Here is my trusty steel framed Zarossi training bike, no frills, two wheels , handlebars and a chain.

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Perfect post ride recovery

Perfect post ride recovery. A shower, a bowl of warmed porridge left over from breakfast and playing with my children. I'm not sure being jumped on, bounced on, walked all over and generally used as an all purpose trampoline counts as post ride massage but my entire body received it.

Had a good night sleep Cameron didn't wake up at 4am as he has been doing and it follows on from Friday night when I was in bed for 7.15pm.
Weather was great this morning not as cold as yesterday but I was out an hour half later. I am exploring roads I've never been down before as I am relatively new to the area.

Did my 3mile run before breakfast and the ankle is not feeling as good as it has been.

Saturday, 25 August 2007

Mouse pooh and other activities

Last weekend was spent taking out the kitchen units and filling in holes in the matai timber floor (matai is a native new zealand hard wood) to stop a mouse coming into the house. I had already done some and thought I'd solved the problem. Tomorrow I've got to spend time stopping the plumbing and dishwasher from leaking which was caused by me taking out the kitchen units last week.

I am just loving cycling, time to myself I don't know why people use iPods on the bike I just love being alone with my thoughts or concentrating on what I'm doing. I guess because I don't ride for riding sake everything is very focussed, don't have time for aimless miles and even in my pre arthritis pre children days I didn't either I just didn't realise it. A friend of mine James commented that he found training indoors boring, I mentioned he must be doing it wrong. I follow Michael McCormack's advice for indoor training and never do the same workout twice because of him I've learnt a lot and refined my thinking about indoor training (I've used it a lot in the past summer and winter) but now Wow!

This morning was 18miles mostly in 53x12 strength training. I realised that last year I didn't do much real strength training on the bike and although I did ok on the bike I could have gone better. Also on reflection was a bit complacent with training and hence I following the advice of Michael McCormack. He just explains things in a way I never could and he makes me realise that is the way I used to train instinctively - I just thought I was a lazy trainer.

Tomorrow I will run my third 3mile run for the week, the best run week for about 10 weeks, hopefully my infury is a thing of the past. I will ride another 18miles "fixed wheel" in 53x21 mostly flat. And hopefully catch up for a missed swim Friday night when the pool was closed for a swim meet.

Monday, 20 August 2007

Major happenings

First running injury not related to arthritis for 7 years. I haven't run properly for 10 weeks. I follow the coaching philosophy of Michael McCormack and he recommends an aid for helping sort out running injuries called eGrip. Now I haven't had a running injury (apart from a twisted ankle) since I got orthotics for planter fascistis (spelling??), I bought them for Teresa who had a persistant niggle. I used them for 6 weeks thinking it might improve my running form, decided I couldn't be bothered and a day or so later had the sore spot above the ankle bone on the inside of my right foot. It seems to be on the mend at long last.

Emily started school. Children in New Zealand typically start school on their fifth birthday. She started at Napier Central School where Teresa teaches, I do relief teaching and designed the website. The lead up to Emily's birthday was okay it was the stress leading up to and including the party was the killer. It was a long build up because it coincided with the school's stage production at the local theatre that Teresa was jointly responsible for.

Change to racing plans : will be doing local sprints again and local olympic distance because we are just not ready to travel away for races yet, so I just have to patient .

Absolutely loving the Total Immersion way of swimming. I no longer train in the pool it is thoughtful practice, every variation and nuance is thought about. If I can just stop sighting so frequently in the water I'll hopefully go a minute quicker. The other big thing for is my aging race bike has been finally upgraded from 8speed to 10 speed giving me a better combination of gears for the flat.

Saturday, 18 August 2007

I'm back

Forgive me it has been almost 4 months since my last post. I am back and more determined than ever to keep blogging for my own sanity. The reason I read other triathletes blogs : 1.to keep me from feeling isolated and in touch because I do all of my training alone 2. Makes me realise I am quite sane.

Friday, 27 April 2007

Trip to the UK with 2 small children

With the psychological scars from doing the same trip when Emily was 18months old, still fresh in my mind we had decided to do it again. Emily is now almost 5 (going on 16) and Cameron 2 and a bit and had not been introduced to his Grandmother(the only reason for doing it). Fly from Napier to Auckland, Auckland to Hong Kong, to London, to Manchester and finishing with a two hour drive to Doncaster South Yorkshire. And then back again.

I'm not going to comment about my in-laws for fear of upsetting Teresa. Positives:- had some good nights and days out with Teresa and we are not going to be doing the trip again. Learning how much the human body can do with so little sleep.

Did a bit of running.

Arrived back Sunday22.

In reality I've had about 6weeks with hardly any training. Started with core stuff this week and gradually start the swim, bike run on Monday30.

Monday, 19 March 2007

Help!! energetic 2year old

Since my last race and last blog I've decided not to do my last race of the season. There are many reasons. I am bored with the course, I have only done this race or variations of the same course since my return to triathlon 3 years ago. I still plan to do some but as training races when I return to olympic distance racing next season.

They are very good sprint distance races and for me they served my purposes which were cheap, local, low key races sprint races which helped me return to racing. They had to be sprints because of two young children that I needed to spend a lot of time with.

My partner Teresa and I are completely exhausted, children are full on especially Cameron who is a stereotypical 2 year old non-stop, tantrums, waking up in the middle of the night.

I spent the last month experimenting with different intervals on the run and bike and stated immersing myself in the Total Immersion swim programme. And we are off tp the UK for four weeks on Monday 26th (the day after what was supposed to be my last race of the season. I just know when to stop and recuperate and come back ready to be fitter, stringer and faster next season.

Monday, 12 February 2007

Blatant drafting @ non draftng race

At the race yesterday I quit the race two thirds of the way round lap 2 of the 3 lap bike course. I had lost my mental urge to race as a pace line of 4 triathletes came past. These were experienced triathletes who should know the rules. Two of them I recognised and two I didn't. The latter 2 I had caught up on the the bike (after a very clumsy transition) and thought I passed, then I heard them talking behind me, I kept trying to get away but to no avail then they were joined by the other 2. As they drew up level, I sat up and shouted at them about drafting, they were probably too busy concentrating on holding each others wheel. As I slowly carried on towards a race marshal and complained, they looked like a well organised team, all dressed in the same black and white tops.

I know I definitely beat two them regularly on the bike (one of whom has nice yellow bike with disc wheel and aero helmet) and I caught the other two up. After they went by I just couldn't be bothered so went back to transition and complained to Jeanette the organiser. The thing is they are small local races, we are mostly members of the same club, the club puts on the races, the organiser is a member of the club.

I've up my mind to go back to olympic distance races on tougher courses because I enjoy them and they are fairer races. I will be able to train more because cameron is sleeping much better now. I am also going to have my lactate threshold tested ina weeks time my present to myself for my 40th birthday. I've also got too decide to buy a decent wetsuit for next season or to upgrade the gears on my bike (13 year old carbon and aluminium Specialized Epic) from 8speed to 10 I can't get both. I was thinking the gears because the wetsuit is not going to work unless I can swim. Swimming is going well I'm using a lot of the drills from total immersion (completel relearning hoe to swim through balance) and all I can say is at this point is that I am definitely not swimming much worse than when I was thrashing up and down the pool.

Saturday, 3 February 2007

Feeling fantastic

Landscaping the garden or turning it all into fruit trees and grass is now almost over. Almost finished putting the firewood away ready for winter (this is done in the summer when the wood is cheaper). Winter in Hawkes Bay New Zealand is not the same as winter in Canada or even the uk. It is cold in the mornings and at night but during the daytime it can become quite warm. Except in the house because it was built in the 1920's out of weatherboard with very high ceilings and is very cool in the hot summers but hard to heat in the winter. We use a wood burner in the main living room and gas heaters in the bedrooms, etc

The real reason for this posting is to say how wonderful I feel having started to experiment with speed work. I've dropped a third of my training volume (this was never very high - I've always had an aversion to doing lots of training) and started easing into what I call speedwork. My next race is the 11 Feb and the final one 25 March which will be my first race as vet.

The only downside of training on the bike at 7pm and really enjoying it, I get off the bike on a real high and can't sleep for ages. Speaking of sleep we've sorted Cameron's sleep issues out and we are now getting more sleep

The race on the 21 January was really enjoyable despite really hot and very windy conditions. Worked really hard on the bike (3rd fastest) and despite feeling yuck on the run had the fastest run time even though I jogged the last bit. As for the swim all I can say is I did my best. Although I've realised I'm so worried about navigation again I've been lifting my head to look around too much so I've been practising a set number of breaths before lookin up.

We're off to buy grass seed, weedkiller, a waterproof sheet for my daughter's bed and then I am going to try and fix her electric piano (she thinks I can fix anything) and finish sewing extra elastic onto my wifes fuelbelt, its a giving birth to two children problem, she also thinks I can fix anything.

Friday, 19 January 2007

Enjoying swimming

Swam 6 lengths of the pond in my old wetsuit yesterday, experimenting with breathing one sided as opposed to bi-lateral - last length was the most enjoyable whilst dodging kids in kayaks.

Last night instead of doing my usual windtrainer session, I took my race bike out and tried to get the handlebars straight. I also practiced standing up and accelerating, this has been a problem since I bought new bull horn handlebars.

Swam today lots of kick drills to improve my balance and stroke counting I got down to 15strokes per 25m for 5x50m.

Sunday, 14 January 2007

Hot and humid for training

Did some excellent training this week despite the heat and humidity and did some more reading on cardiac drift when using a heart rate monitor. For swimming I am using an excellent drill from Aeromaxfor trying to find balance in the water. I swam at the pond using my olod wetsuit because the one I bought from Barry was holding too much water. I'll train in the old one and use it in the race on the 21st. My shoulders where really tired from using the garden rake. I was raking out topsoil to plant grass seed, and as I discovered if you add a twist you get an excellent abs workout.

Teresa raced the Splash Dash (small local swim run race put on by the club) at Frimley 50m pool on Wednesday, I marshalled the kids race and looked after my two while Teresa raced. We didn't realise until after that it was her first race as a veteran and she won.

Teresa started running with the Hawkes Bay Marathon clinic today in an effort to ignite her running and thoroughly enjoyed it. They meet at 8am Sunday morning which means I can only get out on the bike about 10am. I am flexible, Teresa's fitness is very important to me. She is contemplating a return to triathlon albeit half the distance of sprint races (she hates training on the bike).

Landscaping the garden

Had a big week in the garden. We got company who do land clearance to come and clear the right corner of the garden with truck loads of organic matter and an estimated 5ton of concrete. The concrete had been dug up by myself over the last 3years from various parts of the garden. I must explain that the garden is a quarter acre, we are busy changing it all to grass and fruit trees. Teresa is going to start her vegetable garden and I am planting five more fruit trees. We had the bobcat pull out the old apricot tree and old mandarin tree. The apricot tree was in the way disease and only produced fruit every 3 years and the mandarin tree's fruit was just too small.

Monday, 8 January 2007

Conflicting coaching advice

I spend time reading articles about training in magazines and websites and sometimes I am amazed how different the advice can be. For example: I read one article on why you shouldn't do an off-season marathon and a few weeks later I read an article saying why you should run an off season marathon.

For what it's worth I don't think a marathon (on its own) is a good idea at anytime unless your are just a runner

Bloke free triathlon

Yesterday I volunteered at a race put on by the club for women only, it is one of three or four races I commit to each year. The range of abilities is so varied, women and girls of all shapes and sizes and I never fail to be motivated. The distances are 300m (in the local open air 50m pool) 10km bike and 3km run. For some of these women this is like the ironman and for some it is the start of the addiction known as triathlon.

Before the race a group of club members usually stand by transition to answer any questions i.e. Where do I go? What do I do with my bike? , etc When not answering questions we watch the new bikes, commenting on the quality and value for money of some of the entry level bikes. We also discuss recent races and training, I enjoy these moments because doing so much training on my own these days I miss the camaraderie of a training group. Although I do enjoy being able to do my own training and not have it hijacked by somebody else.

On a training note I had a windtrainer session planned for 7pm and I was motivated and had a blast. I have been taking it a bit easy on the intensity side of things this year without really meaning to. Subconciously I was trying to make it to the end of the season. Starting to up the intensity now as I have only three races left, (21Jan, 11 Feb and 26 Mar) and I am enjoying it. I always did enjoy the feeling in the legs after a hard ride, but previously I feel I always went too hard too soon.