Sunday, 27 January 2008

Tomatoes attacked by birds

Last post I mentioned I had a lousy short term memory so I had to keep a list of events so I could post them here. Well...I forgot to keep a list.

Fortunately my headline this week made it easy for me to remember . My tomatoes are being eaten by birds. The yellow cherry ones and the big red ones it happens just as they start to ripen and even though all week I kept an eye on them it still happened. I went and bought some more bird netting. I thought I had been clever and covered the veggie garden where I have lettuces growing with the bird netting I already had but no they went for the tomatoes. On the gardening front one of the local garden centres were having a discount on Feijoa trees (feijoa is a fruit I think may be native to New Zealand) the fruit has a flesh inside (you don't eat the skin) that tastes like it has grit in it. It is very yummy but I prefer to drink it as juice.

Other events: Cameron (almost3) and I spent some time on Friday decorating his new giant toybox with hand prints (it is very hard for a 3 year old to keep his hands still). Yesterday I was supposed to be inserting the clock mechanism into a wooden clock Emily and I had been making for her room. Unfortunately I hadn't drilled the hole large enough and it got stuck, I had to take it out for some reason, it wouldn't move I tried forcing it with a hammer and it broke. In my defence I was tired I had been on the go all day doing lots of little jobs, children at me all the time I just went and had some alone time.

Other news : I have an old friend from the UK coming for a visit next Tuesday. I know him from around 1990 when I started in triathlon (he was already involved) so looking forward to that.

On the training front it is going really well

Running is really comfortable and I am throwing in little changes of pace to keep it interesting and giving myself a time to finish the run in, this isn't a challenging target it is there just to focus the mind to keep average speed up.

Biking : I am thriving on the new variety, and better warm upsand it seems that my big gear session is getting easier and I have gone back to my old target heart rates. At the weekend I am aiming to keep cadence above 90 but nearer a 100 when possible with HR above 130. And going back to warming up and riding in easier gears is giving me more variety in where I cycle and more enjoyment. I really do feel I am breaking out 'I'm just doing sprints because I have a young family' mentality and I feel like I am relearning how to cycle. It has been 12 years since I raced Olympic distance and I've said before you can bluff your way through a sprint race but double the distance you have to be fit and I wasn't. I am the fittest I've been for 10 years but unfortunately I was at my best 12 years ago. So still a lot of work to go.

Swimming is good especially Thursday, however Friday I was back in the pool and it wasn't as good. This has happened before after a session when it has been great, I think over confidence and less focuused concentration as if the stroke will just happen without thinking. Which it does to a certain point but I am suppose to be practicing perfection. I aim to make my weakness my strength -that is the challenge.

A couple of nice quotes I read "I do what you won't so I can do what you can't" that sums up my swimming with total immersion and fistgloves and "eat to live not live to eat"

Ps: I'll try and post pictures of toybox and clock later.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Remembering what to write

I am only managing to blog one day a week usually like today on a Sunday or Saturday morning. This leaves me with a problem , I forget all the happenings that happen earlier in the week I want to blog about. (Lousy short term memory). So I kept a list.

Training is going well, lots of reflection, variety: aiming to get more efficient less big chain ring stuff more at 90+ cadence work= more enjoyment. I received my very first compliment for swimming yesterday. The pool I have been swimming at over the christmas ( summer holdays) has a an sort of aquarobics class where older people mostly women workout in the deep aqua jogging lane (the pool is used a lot for rehab) and they ride noodles (noodles are long thin tubes of foam - they look like they are riding horses whilst pedalling - it is very funny to see a herd of these - I wish I could take a photo).

Anyway their instructor and a couple of the ladies were very interested by my fistgloves and they were very interested in them. What brought me to their attention was my swimming and this is the compliment - they were drawn to me because unlike the others swimmers in the pool I was making very little splash. I wasn't splashing them which I took as a huge compliment. So after talking to them I swam off catching one of the other swimmers very easily. This swimmer starts his session great but as he goes on and he starts to get tired his form falls away, he still works hard, as his form gets worse he tries even harder. He is a young guy just starting in triathlon - I want to say to him stop, go and get proper coaching. Because in him I see me 18 years ago, my swimming has really held me back and I didn't really realise until it was too late.

We held a garage sale yesterday to try and get rid of baby clothing, it wasn't terribly successful we made enough for a trip to a coffee shop. But it wasn't that important we were going to give most it to a charity anyway and we has sold the baby furniture on Trade Me and will do the same for the buggy. The best bit was Emily got to play shopkeeper and really loved the responsibility. She has just got up and came in singing wanting a cuddle so I'd better go.

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Decorating , changes to training and paying off the mortgage

The horrible purple / lavender wall covering is now gone. It did leave some damage to the soft board wall underneath in patches because it had to be pulled off it took chunks with it. However we are making do so after a couple of coats of paint you can only see the damage close up.

Weekend cycling: on last Sunday's ride I decided I eas no longer happy pushing the big chainring but to go back to cycling for effiency, this is how I used to ride before my illness but because since my return to racing I have only done sprints I got stuck in that mentality. You can bluff your way throygh a sprint race but double the distance you have to do the work to be competitive.

So what am I left with? It is a combination of how I used to train, with a mix of Michael McCormack and others, with Total Immersion for swimming (for now).

Cycling at the weekend HR between 130-140 aerobic 20-30 beats below threshold (very close to what it would be with 180 theory od Maffetone). At a cadence of 90-100 so this will be small chainring stuff. My 2 midweek turbo sessions one intervals at threshold the other with a strength focus. Running I am keeping long to get my mind readjusted from sprint race. I am really enjoying the training and enjoying thinking about it and making decisions if things aren't working or if I stop enjoying things.

Another change I am making is 'there is no off season'-Lance Armstrong. I have toyed with this idea before but never committed to it. The basic idea is you keep some thought of training all year round so you are not starting from scratch each year but instead can build on the year you've just had. I think I am ready for this because I am enjoying training and really miss it when I don't doit, I get breaks throughout the year for things I have no control over, I need the routine I find it very hard to get bcak into it after a break and I have to keep my mind on long.

I want to change my body to a more endurance style body. I have huge goals to achieve in the Ironman. Ironman New Zealand 2011 is going to be a conservative lets finish the race in about 11 hours and the following year will be quicker.

Teresa have committed to making a huge push to pay the mortgage off by early 2010 so no new wetsuit or anything but the absolute essentials until then. I am doing it old school as I always have hard work and none of the toys. The toys will come after the mortgage has been paid offin time Ironman and by that time I will be fit enough and fast enough and skinny enought to deserve them. Paying the mortgage off that early may mean I can get a new bike.

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Post ride recovery

I had a chuckle to myself about articles I had read about post bike ride recoveries and this consisted eating and sitting with legs up for at least half an hour.

Mine consisted of a quick shower, bite to eat and then being jumped on, walked all over by Cameron and Emily. Too finally complete my full recovery I spent the rest of the afternoon perched at the top of the ladder trying to scrape this awful mauve coloured, textured coating off one of the lounge walls. Teresa and I both have lost so much skin off our knuckles because this stuff is like a cheese grater. We have been putting off doing this one wall because I have also got to partially knock out a disused fireplace and board over it. We have been living in this house for four and a half years and we are decorating very slowly.

Teresa is of the opinion once decorated by us we don't need to do it again ever! and if the children want to change the colour of their bedrooms when they are older (and they will Emily's room is bright yellow and Cameron's is bright green), they can do it themselves.

Did 30miles on the bike yesterday through Havelock North and along middle road with a tail wind for the five miles of climbing and then the head wind for the return. This meant I was pushing for the whole ride and legs were shattered. But I thought this is were if I was leading a stage of the tour de france or ironman I might have to put in some more effort , so I did , head down and put in a big effort and the result was a big smile, good feeling inside and hopefully strong legs.

I will be staying on the flat today.

Swim report: applying drilland skills to my swimmimg WHAT A BLAST!!!!

Thursday, 3 January 2008


Happy Bloggaversary to me, Happy Bloggaversary to me. I just realised I missed my own Bloggaversary . On the 24 December I have been blogging for 12 months. Sometimes it has been hit or miss, sometimes it has been easy, sometimes hard but always worthwhile. Hopefully somebody somewhere will get entertained, comforted, feel part ofsomething bigger or feel better in some small way as I am when I read other blogs.

All New Year is....

All New Year is for me and Teresa is an excuse to have a bottle or two of wine and treat food bought from our Christmas holiday budget. We went to bed at the normal time the noisy neighbours were silent (the neighbourhood was like this before they moved in). I just don't find New Year that exciting, I always have lots to be excited about and look forward to so it is just another day.

I mentioned Christmas budget that is because all our money is put somewhere. We are obsessed with paying off the mortgage on our house early and now that we paid for a few essential bits of work we plan accelerating this paying it off within next 3years. It is a bit of a gamble because we are getting close to needing a new roof and we only get things we can pay for without resorting to credit. The house was an exception although we did have a deposit of 33%. The roof is corrugated iron which has been known to leak a bit in the kitchen. If this happens I usually climb up and knock the nails back in. The gamble is: if we leave the roof until the mortgage is paid off will there be more expensive work to be done on the roof (i.e. rafters).

We spent yesterday morning at the beach and playing with Cameron I slightly twisted my right ankle (the one that had the injury) hope it will be okay for my next run. I had run at 5am that morning and hadn't felt my ankle at all.

Swimming is usually a bit tricky this time of year , my normal pool closes down for 4 weeks for repair so have to go to another pool during the day instead of in the evening. This is a pain because it means time away from the family. However I am coping and have started trying to apply all my drills and new knowledge to actual swimming (still wearing the fist gloves).