Monday, March 29, 2010

EASY WEEK



Tony and Keith after the swim on a wondarful Perth morning



Cottlesloe Beach and the Tea Rooms

My Saturday Brick session took a fair bit out of me but I was able to get up the next morning without my watch alarm (its on its way to be serviced as the battery is low and it probably does need to be serviced by Polar) .My body is pretty much tuned to get up early on most days.

It was a perfect Perth day. Met at Tony's place and headed to Cottlesloe for the weekly swim .I got the wetsuit out and we waited for Trevor . (who unfortunately was goig thru a rough patch of no motivation or as someone said he has lost his mojo )

I started off after Steve and swam approximately 1.8 km It was tougher on the way back and the water was murky which wasn't as nice as swimming in clearer conditions.It was probably the remnants of the storm earlier in the week. There were a few stingers out but did not get stung. Had about 50 minutes in the water and then we all had coffee and muffin and lengthy discussion about triathlons and especially the crazy athletes who do the deca ironman and the ultimate triathlon :

The Ultimate Endurance Triathlon
http://www.danmartinextreme.com/triathlon.php

I still do not know why I get so excited about this sport but I can talk for hours about it . It is invigorating , captivating and clearly life changing . We talked about Ironman Australia as it was on as we had out coffee.

I mentioned the sad death of a cyclist and blogger from Singapore which I had read and the issues yony had on Thursday with other road users .I am so very conscious as I know every ride has its dangers. That is not to say I will stop riding.it is a risk but one I take freely knowing it makes me who I am as a person and adds to my quality of living and gives me pleasure.

Monday morning I was quite tired after the long day being out in the morning and then with my son in the afternoon . The fatigue had caught up with me . I decided to swim in the evening and I ran at lunch time for approximately 47minutes. kept my cadence at about 90spm .I swam in the evening and it felt very comfortable.Did a warm up and some drills in flippers and then a 200 x 6 set with 50 and 25 m breastroke and backstroke bits in the set.then a 100m cooldown.

Its an easy week and I will just be riding round the river tomorrow. Iam reading Joe Friel's triathletes Bible and getting back to the basics of training. A lot of truisms in the book .

I put this quote on my facebook the other day and found it so very true.

"Many dedicated endurance athletes don't need to be told what to do--- they need to be told what NOT TO DO" Scott Tinley ....Chapter 1 The triathlete 's training Bible by Joe Friel


The week went fast and I am feeling reasonably comfortable with my performance so far .I hope its enough to knock down my time for the half but it will be interesting as I have nbot had a dedicated programme to follow.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A fast week

After the significant storm that hit Perth earlier in the week , the weather has cleared but not the debris .That has taken a little longer . Lots of damaged cars that look like someone has just assaulted them with a hammer.

But training went on.I was pretty tired after Tuesday's session so I had a break on Wednesday.On Thursday I had the usual long ride and did 70km riding to work ,then with Tony & Keith who joined us round the river. Tony had a few run ins , first with a bus impatiently trying to turn down a filter lane and couldn't wait for us to get pass quickly enough.Fortunately it did not end in tears . We always come off second best as cyclist.Tony ranted away , understandably . Then just before Stirling Bridge at Fremantle , a bunch of cyclist just came over us without any courtesy zipping in on the wrong side and behind a prime mover whose driver would not have seen them .All dangerous moves.Tony had a go at them but they were not bothered accept the last cyclist telling him to "Chill".

Otherwise it was an uneventful ride.The freeway cycle path was littered with sand and saw one cyclist who was shaken from what seemed like a fall .We crossed over and cycled to South Perth on the opposite side of the freeway.

At lunch time I decided to do a short 45min run and went to Kings Park and did a loop back tomy office .Lots of leaf material on the ground and it was quite humid.
Then cycled home in the evening through bayswater .

On Friday , I swam in the evening.Did a 2.5km session with a 300m warm up, 500m drills and then a 30 min time trial .I thought I did about 1350 but it probably was 1450 and I missed counting a lap. Still the slowest but improving. Will do a few more time trial swim sessions before the Half Ironman.

I was pretty tired after the swim session but feel that if I try to keep focusing on small improvements such as my breathing , my stroke and swim will gradually improve.

On Saturday , as a last minute plan for training ( Iam not on a programme) I met up with the group training under Ross Pedlow at the Narrows bridge for a brick bike & run session.
It was a 100km ride hard ( with efforts in between) and then 45 minute run. We all took off together but within15km of the start the lead fast riders had opened up a gap .I was trying desperately to stay on but just couldn't.I got caught in no mans land till Tania and Sue joined me and we took turns riding in the front.I then took off on my own before Ross dragged the group of them up and I joined them .I then headed off on my own and got to the 50km mark soon after. I saw the main group heading back at the 48km mark so they had about 4 km on me.

The guys behind me turned back earlier as I did not see them again.I headed back trying to lift the pace up and I managed for the next 20km but by the 70km mark my back was a little sore from the aero position.I did 90 km in 2.40 and was averaging 34kph. I got back to the Narrows just before the 3 hour mark at an average of 33.7kph.My fastest yet for that distance. I then ran to South Perth over the bridge and decided to come back through the city and did the run in 52Min's ( distance of 10km) At the end I was getting tired and knew I had not had enough fluid or nutrition.

I was pleased with the result and whilst it was a really nice day with lots of win , I shuld have had more fluids and nutrition.

The week so farlooks like this:
cycle 9 hrs
swim 2 hrs
run 1.5hrs

plus a swim tomorrow.

I have got new run shoes Saucony Hurricanes and tyested them out today and they feel good.Got htem at The running Centre in Perth and had my run analysed before the pair was recommended. I have pretty flat feet but fortunately no injuries. My old pair were pretty much done as the thread was gone and there was no support in the heel.

I have also receved Joe friels The triathlete's Bible in the mail and have started to read it as well. Atleast I hope to learn something new...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

How exciting are Triathlons



Video: Preview The Upcoming ITU Season
by Race Coverage



The 2010 Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series kicks off in Sydney on April 11, with races to follow in Seoul, Madrid, Hamburg, London, Kitzbuhel and Budapest. This season’s ITU World Champions will be crowned at the Grand Final in Budapest on September 11-12.

The kickoff race will be missing both of last year’s World Champions, Great Britain’s Alistair Brownlee and Australia’s Emma Moffatt, due to injuries.

from competitor.com

When it rains...

The week began much the same for me.I struggled to get motivated on Monday morning so I decided I would either run or swim in the evening.I was vaguely aware of the weather forecast for Perth with thunderstorms predicted on Monday .

On the way to work , the Australian Broadcasting Corporation 720Perth Station was doing a short piece on weather and that a rain gauge in Mt Lawley a suburb of Perth had recorded no rain despite some rain falling in other areas in metropolitan Perth and was known to have produced some odd results in calculating rainfall in Perth.

Little did anyone know that in less than a few hours Perth would have the worst deluge of rain and hailstones in 16 years.All this after nearly 3 months of no rain.
The damage after the rain is estimated to be in the tens of millions and possibly over 100 million.

I started at 4pm and continued into the night.I was stuck in traffic but made it out alive.I called Ross to see if swim training was on as running unless it was on a thread mill was out. I got a message that swimming was on...i did not jump for joy.

There was absolutely no one in the outside pool and only 5 guys had rocked up .got in and did a 200m warm up amidst the leave matter all over the pool. the 200m of drills and started a 18x 100m set.i was into the 3 set when we got pulled out as the lightning was getting dangerously close. we headed into the indoor pool and did some more drills and then some fun sprint races.I was so slow.

It was not quite a swim session but in the circumstances was the best as the indoor pool was 25m and it was pretty warm in the pool.

The Tuesday morning ride was also on although I told myself if it was raining I would skip it.I had to be at Nedlands by 5.30am as we were doing a 1.5hr hard session.I got up early but I was quite undecided about whether to go as it had rained in the evening.

I eventually got to the city and rode to Nedlands, through lots of debris and pools of water.Got there late and started the session, never quite rode with anyone so it was just me as I saw the others riding . Fortunately it did not rain again and got through the session safely.

Wasn't as fast as the previous week but I managed to sustain a good speed .I did about 60km with the ride back into the city .

Skipped the run in the evening and will run on Wednesday.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Hard Week , Great View



After Tuesdays morning cycle and evening run session , I was pretty tired and again skipped swimming on Wednesday morning. I decided to have a rest day .In actual fact I did not swim the whole week accept for Sunday morning where I was still tired and opted for a short 20-30 minute session at Floreat beach whilst everyone in the group swam a good 50 min session.

It had been a hard week and on Thursday morning I met up with Tony and we rode round the river and had coffee at South Perth before I rode back to the City clocking up nearly 60km .I rode home via the gym and did a thread mill session for 20 mins with 6 x 1 minute sprints @14.5kph with 15 minutes of stretching and then rode home clocking 75km . That was a long day .

I skipped swimming again on Friday morning and in the evening I went to Sorrento to run and watch the North Coast Aquathon, Called a Bradathon to fund raise for Brad Hoskings charity the PMH Children's Burns unit .I ran for 45 mins.

It was a great run although my cadence was in the low 90s and I couldn't quite keep it at 96spm. It was nice to see everyone from the club and the North Coasters who did IM China were there and they had some amazing stories. It was a hard race and they survived.

I have followed Jocelyn Wong's blog and her race report as well as Sofian's .Both were excellent reports from different perspectives. Lots of people came down with some sort of bug and its just the harsh reality of racing in a different environment.
I do feel for those who did DNF after all that training.

Despite the stories and the difficult conditions , I would like to do China one day.

Death Valley





from Guillermo Gilly Chutrau (creator)

The long week of cycling culminated with the annual club ride to Death Valley.

Got up early and I was out of the door at 4.45am as I rode casually to Kingsley Dome where everyone was meeting up. Got there just before 5.30am and it was still dark .This year was a smaller group but Brad Hoskings a club ace triathelete and a 4th age group finisher at Kona 2008 was there . Brad is training for a run across America (Tour of Duty)

http://tourofduty.com.au/index.php

We started off promptly but Steve had 2 puntures from glass just 20 mins into the ride. After the forced wait we headed off to the hills.Got to the base of redhill regrouped and then started off up Redhill.I managed to keep up with the initial group but Brad and a few others just zipped up the hill which was approximately a 10km climb. I eventually passed a few who had passed me and got to Obrien Road not feeling too bad.we waited for everyone to get to the turn off before we started off into the valley .Brad and a few others had started off ahead. The valley was a 40km loop with a short climb before a long descent into the valley before a ride back out with 2 particularly longish climbs . I had done a lot of rides up toodyay Road last year in preparation for IM Austria so I knew thje rout well. Peter broack the australian Rally car driver was killed on one of the roads we used a few years back.

I managed to stay within site of Norm and Gilly who passed me in the valley but by the turn off to Reserve road I had lost sight of them and would have been 1-2 minutes behind. They waited at the turn off for everyone and we then headed for the general store at Gidgegannup . this was about 15-20km from the end of the loop.We then had a break at the store and waited for Mike .But he did not show so we headed back down Redhill. This was a fast downhill ride back to the base and then along great Northern Hwy and Swanview road and Reid hwy .We were going pretty fast and I was clocking 35 plus kph and as much as 40kph. I turned off at Alexander drive and headed home whilst the rest rode back to Kingsley. I had done just under 130km .

I then ran off the bike for 30 minutes and felt quite tired by then.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Fast Ride Tuesday

I was pretty wasted after Sunday and the whole weekend so despite the alarm at 4.35am ,I just stayed in bed ...my body does have a mind of its own . I ended up resting on Monday .

Tuesday was a different proposition.I managed to get up but still had some lingering fatigue.Made it out for the ride which was an hour hard. Started with James, T , Michelle and Phil.By the end of lap one I was struggling and could not hold on. I just hung onto James and T for the whole of Lap 2 ( approx 12km) and then tried to take my turn infront on lap 3 .I was really struggling and coughing up a lung. Michelle dropped off early in the first round but joined us on the last lap.

I wished I could have worked harder at doing my turn in front of the group but knew if I tried I would not be able to stick with them.Had a few near misses a vehicle tried to reverse into a driveway and blocked us completely.I maanged to come to a halt but just barely .

I think we averaged above 35kph for the hour.It seemed alot faster and I got to a maximum of 51kph .

I knew my body was just so tired and at the end of the ride it did feel like jelly.
Finished the morning session and had coffe at Tiger Lily's.Will post some pictures next week.

Then did a threadmill run for 1 hour with increasing speed and 2/3rd's at 96spm.Did 11km and my poor legs had a bit of a workout today.

Total training time 2.40.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Champion Lakes Triathlon



Sculpture titled SEAD by Ken Sealey ,WA taken at Sculpture by the Sea (6th Annual Exhibition) 4-23 March 2010




The weekend culminated in a triathlon out at Champion Lakes , a purpose built rowing facility about 20 km from Perth CBD.

The early morning start was fine and I got out to the start early .Got registered and ready without any hassles .Last year I was late as it was an afternoon start and I actually somersaulted over my bike when my bag got caught in the front wheel...it was my new bike as well but i managed to race with a slightly bent wheel.

No such problems this year.The water did not look too inviting even though it was a warm 24C .It was a greenish dark tinge and I didn't like it at all.

I was in the third wave and I had a very bad start as I felt really heavy in the legs and the whole swim was just a struggle .I could not get into a rhythm . I got swum over by the next wave 3 minutes behind but managed to finish a bit stronger.

I ran through T1 and got my helmet on and headed out.It was my fastest transition yet.I had clipped my shoes on and had rubber bands holding the pedals and shoes in place.I manged a quick enough mount but no flying jump as there just wasn't any space . got my legs in fairly quick but the bands didn't break so I managed to lean down and break them .no real delay. I was off on 4 laps partly on cycle paths with lots of turns.There was a fair bit of congestion's but I was happy with my cycle leg .I was definitely stuck behind a few cyclist a few times and drafting but not out of choice.It was just so difficult on the cycle paths. A highlight (be it a small one )was overtaking a guy with a disc wheel. I did the mandatory 4 laps and found I had done 25 km on a 21km course (supposedly) It turned out to be a slightly longer course and trievents did not get the road closures required and so used the cycle path and roads within the complex. (maybe they just wanted to save a few dollars and so no road closures)

I had a good dismount and I am getting used getting my transitions done quickly. I racked the bike and got my shoes on and off I went.It was hot by mow and there was no shade.I felt a little slow but the legs were not hurting. I managed a steady pace and finished at 24.12 for the 5km run .I think with fresher legs I would have done a bit better but I managed to sprint pass one runner. Overall I was happy with my performance and I think I felt strongest in the cycle leg and better than the last race at Hilary's a few weeks back.

I finished the race which was a 750m swim , 25 km bike and 5 km run in 1hr.30min.50sec time.

Swim


00:19:32
HH : MM : SS
Overall : 263
Gender : 187
Category : 26

Cycle


00:46:55
HH : MM : SS
Overall : 85
Gender : 79
Category : 9

Run


00:24:12
HH : MM : SS
Overall : 137
Gender : 113
Category : 12

Finish Time


01:30:41
HH : MM : SS
Overall : 146
Gender : 122
Category : 14





I got a complimentary massage . A first after a race for me as there wasn't a queue.


I spent the rest of the afternoon with the family .We had lunch ,went to the beach at cottlesloe to watch the Sculpture by the Sea Exhibition and then dinner at leaderville.A busy weekend and I was dead tired by the end of the day. I decide dto skip all training on Monday .

During the day and in the evening I watched ironman live for the IM China results .It looked like it got really hot in the run .Not so sure how everyone in North Coast did but Tracey Edwards looks liek she had a very good race and so did sarag Jane. Anna and Carrie guts it out to finish .I wish I was there. I am sure there will be many adventure and stories they will be sharing on their return.

I hope I don't get too philosophical in my blog which is a more of a record and observation of my training.I also hope to difuse the enthusiasm I have for the sport.

I read Enricos interview of Mitch Thrower and it is very inspirational .I found alot he said reflected my own feelings about people and triathlons.

Here are some of Mitch's comments which I so believe are true:

I truly believe that the fountain of youth is movement. Not just with your body, but with your mind. Staying active keeps people young and minds sharp.

When things get challenging in and around the work tornado, it's always been a peaceful reprieve to be able to get out and run, bike or swim or go to the gym.

Ironman's tag line is "Anything is Possible," but I have learned that your dreams may not happen the way you anticipate.

Another very rich part of my attraction to this sport is the support I received from all the folks I met in the triathlon world. Triathletes are extraordinary. At my first race, I immediately knew this was a clan, a tribe I wanted to join and I soon discovered that my experience was no exception. I have never met anyone in triathlon who was not highly motivated, who did not fully embrace life. This sport attracts a very successful breed of folks.



The last quote from Mitch is so true. There are many people in the sport I am inspired by each day and each week. It does not take super human effort or Newspaer headlines to make an impact.Just small steps and importantly to know within what you have accomplished and to gain from that first step. Anything is possible is a life changing motto which you can live by.

To read the whole interview go to Leadership Lessons From triathlons:

http://lead2tri.blogspot.com/

(I have corrected the unintended errors in my last blog . I was tardy.)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

An Aerodynamic life

As the weekend rolled on and especially on friday evening as I swam with the squad I could not help but focus on my swim stroke after all the lessons and advice .It isn't how hard you work in the water but how efficient you are .I am constantly correcting my body posture and especially my legs and arms to get to the point where I am slicing through the water effortlessly.

I had a very good work out on Friday and started early so I ended up swimmimg 3.2 km.

I did a 1000m warm up with some drills and medleys.then 10 x 100 with 10sec rests. Followed by 10x 50m with 5 sec rest. I managed to keep up with the 2 girls in my lane.(this is a first for me) . I was averaging 2mins to 2.15 for the 100m . I felt good and at times I felt my stroke and body position in the water was very good.

Ross was happy with our performance and we got one of the few compliments ever.Now if only I can drop some weight and Ross thinks I will have it made.

Well it ain't that simple.

I wish it was. The next morning I got out of bed a little later then normal and rode off for my 110km ride. I passed lots of people I knew including Ross riding back from Applecross. Saw Lajos , Nat and Ten ,all out riding the expressway.I dropped my water bottle but picked it up on the way back some 3 hours later.

I ran into a group of North Coasters and finished the ride with them at the Narrows.They had stopped to help out when a cyclist crashed at a bend on the cyclepath near Mt Henry.

She looked Ok but was taken by ambulance to the hospital. I had a good ride and managed to hold a decent pace.I did not push too hard and averaged just under 30kph.

I should have gone harder in the last hour but I slacked off. Enjoying the company of the group.Again on the ride with 3 plus hours of riding alone there was not alot to do but ride and think. There was a stretch of 25 km where I follwed a rider before passing him and he hung on to me for the rest of the ride to the turn around before he turned back and I kept going for a further 5km.

During the ride today I thought about my swimming and about cycling and how there was a difference staying in the aero position and sitting up .I felt it but being in aero for hours is not so simple. I have managed it but I do need to stretch the back from time to time.

Again it is more efficient to be in the aero position to maximise the energy expended to derive maximum speed.

I think riding and training offers many lessons that can be applied in life metaphorically.

Like swimming and riding , can I be efficient in my life , slicing though with the least resistance and by analogy creating the least friction with all around me.This may be in terms of my relationships with everyone around me, my footprint on this earth .Have I been a model citizen in my country , my continent and ultimately my earth. Will I leave a footprint that is richer for my presence here ?

It is a hard ask but one worth striving for . The plan for training is easy , the instructions are relatively straightforward but translating the idea is never easy.It takes constant work and from time to time I have to sit up and stretch my back.

I plan to keep trying



Video highlights of Ironman New Zealand and the health risk of racing an ironman



Ironman Triathlon Motivation

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Motivation

The week has drifted by and I have stuck to much the same routine.

Monday was a non starter as I was just tired after the hard Sunday ride and swim. I had a committee meeting in the evening and just got out of the office late so did not have a chance to get a run in as intended.

Tuesday was the usual ride but Ross was away and Lajos took charge . Rode again with the usual crew and managed to keep up .We hooked up with Stu and he seem effortless in the way he took his turn at the front . the rest had a 15 min run at the end of a 45 min ride but I continued riding for the full hour.I clocked a respectable 34.8kph .

Everyone had disappeared by the time I had finished my ride . So much for training buddies.

On Wednesday , did a good swim session. I had a 1km warm up with drills using flippers.then 4 x 300 m at med/firm pace.I was averaging between 6.45 m and 7.15 m for the sets.In the evening I ran on the thread mill increasing the speed to 13kph and then a cool down for the last 10 mins.I managed over 10km in 55 mins.

Thursday , as I was not riding with Tony I started late and rode to Kings Park near the CBD of Perth and did 4 loops around the park .There was a short climb of about a km and that was a good steady workout .Rode home in the evening .

I am racing this week but will do a long ride on Saturday and hopefully i will still be competitive for Sunday.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Ironman China

video

A large number of North Coasters gathered last Sunday to wish several members who were racing Ironman China.It is tommorrow and I hope they all have a wonderful experience.

The Club has grown in the 3 years I have been a member and I am extremely proud to be part of such a wonderful and vibrant Club .This is reflected in the huge turnout of about 40 people at Dome Mullaloo last sunday.

It looks like the weather in China will not be as hot as last year. Ironman China was one of the races I had planned on doing this year but unfortunately as a result of a career move I could not attend the race.

There is always next year .....

Tour D'Afrique




Hi gang

First the results for Juliana's blood work (trying to figure out why she passed out in Gondar) show that nothing is out of the norm.

Second, thanks for all of the words of encouragement - they are most welcome and useful. It is so great to hear from the world outside of our bedouin camp.

Feb 23 - to Lake camp - 97km, 3:34. The first 19 k out of Addis Ababa was convoy and then we had a pretty quick ride to camp - the last 77k took 2:30, not bad considering Juiana was quite ill last night. Today was great - fast riding, sunny, BBQ for dinner and camped by a lake. The down side is that we had to call to cancel one of our credit cards - it and US$50 was stolen from our bag this morning. Rod had his first flat in camp tonight.

Feb 24 - to Beach camp - 109k, 3:37. Flat with long false flat sections, fairly fast but some of the villages were crazy to go through. In fact, there was a bad crash that resulted in one of the fast riders having to take 2 weeks off of riding due to a bad wrist sprain. The camp was on the beach by a lake, another beautiful day and campsite. It is interesting that just a few km from this massive lake the country is very arid - why irrigate when there is Aid.

Feb 25 - to Bush camp - 131k, 5:23. We both felt good but the constant rollers all day killed Rod. Now would be a good time to let anyone who has seen photos (recently) of us to tell you we are eating as much as we can but weight loss is unavoidable. We eat the following daily:
250ml Hot chocolate with 1 tbsp sugar and 250ml milk
500ml Oatmeal with 2 tbsp Peanut butter, 1 tbsp jam and some milk
1 1/2 hogie with fried egg
1/2 hogie with peanutbutter and honey
2 energy bars
1000ml soup
1000ml pasta and sauce
1/2 bag of mini mars bars
2000ml of energy drink

Feb 26 - to bush camp (Mando day) - 106k, 5:54. It rained for most of the night and continued for the first half of the ride. The wet roads were nerve wracking and slowed us down considerably - hard to see as well as slick. One of the fast riders hit a pedestrian and went down and one of the mid pack riders hit a pothole, hard, went over the bars (bent his pedal and crank). Everyone was ok and able to continue riding. The terrian was long, steep rollers - more pain for Rod. We climbed 2200m today. Did we mention that we bought a better tent in Addis Ababa from a section rider? It is great. Our old tent is called the "Weekender" probably not the best choice for a 120 day trip.

Feb 27 To Yabello - 120k, 4:53. Rolling with a big downhill section and we have gone from the lush highlands (banana tress) to the arid lowlands (red soil, 10m termite mounds and camels - Alice Springs?). There are some riders on the tour that are quite negative about this trip, today Rod had enough of one such person. IF they did not want a tour full of hardship maybe they should have done something else. Ross, I need a jar of toughen-up pills for these princesses.

Feb 28 Rest day in Yabello. Rain. Wet clothes and wearing dirty laundry for another week - yah. At least we got a shower so we don't stink. We had a great dinner that consisted of 1/2 kg (each) of fried meat with a little onion. Rod ate all of his and a bit of Juliana's. The town is small so our group overwhelm's it and cleans out all of the shops.

Mar 1 to Bush camp - 127, 4:42. The day was dry but it rained again at night and was very humid all day. The lunch truck broke down, so we did not get our gear until about 5pm. The few clothes that we washed on the rest day are damp and smell like a wet dog. We were able to get them alittle drier this night.

Mar 2 to Moyale / Kenya Border - 82k, 3:10. A short day to allow us to cross the border. It was kind of like a rest day and allowed us to dry our clothes and do a bit of bike maintenance. Tyres were switched to the big dogs - 2.1" offroad Maxxis Crossmarks. The TdA staff has put the fear of god into us saying that the road to Marsibit is worse then Dinder.

Mar 3 to Sololo - 79k, 3:31. A fairly decent dirt road but we took it easy fearing the days ahead and definitely not wanting to crash. The humidity made it hard to sleep. A rider had their cycling shoes stolen in the night but was able to source a spare set from another rider. EFI'er are:
Gizzy, Juliana, Frans, Stew, Dan S., Sunil, Jason, Hardy, Simon, Jethro, Eric D., Gerald and Rod.

Gilles has left the tour - don't really know why but rumors say since he could not race hard with the front group he did not want to continue.

Paddy has left for a week for an interview to get into the Harvard business school (MBA)

Marcel is injured.

Jim is injured.

Mar 4 to Lava Rock Camp - 85k, 4:46. The road which is the main road got quite rough for the last 25k. So rough that we were down to 9km/h - Juliana suffered but did not crash.

Mar 5 to Marsibit - 87k, 6:20 (Mando day). The road has some seriously rough sections but not as bad as Dinder. We went steady with the emphasis on not crashing and finishing the day - accomplished. The road (still the main road) is either rubble, wash board or rocky. Doesn't sound too bad, our support trucks can only manage about 8km/h on these roads - we did 12km/h.

As for the race: Juliana is still in second but losing time to Gizzy (first place). We can not keep up she is just stronger and we have to ride our race and let the best rider win. Rod is also losing time to the stronger riders but again we have to ride within our selves. We have ridden the entire thing together and plan to continue doing so. The rumor is that there are only 25 of the original 36 racers left in the race.

We are not ill and are in good spirits. We will email you in Nairobi.

Rod and Juliana

Another week ...another Ironman race








I have had an easy week .I skipped swimming on Monday as it was a Public Holiday (labour Day in Western Australia for all those outside the State).

Tuesday was an easy ride round the river with the group and again on Thursday I rode to work and round the river with Tony and Keith . On Tuesday and Wednesday I did runs on the thread mill focus sing on my cadence and they were short but hard runs with speed work.One with 8 x 60 sec sprints and the other with increasing speed at a cadence above 96 spm. I still haven't had a long run.

I skipped the swim on Friday and my long ride on Saturday...just tired of the routine. I did do a swim on sunday the coogee jetty swim which was South of freemantle.(40km from my house) I rode down with Tony, Les < Hanna and Trevor.

Trevor had 3 punctures so we were late but still made it to the start line.It was a 1500 m swim and I finished in 30.50 about a minute slower but I was very comfortable and felt I swam alot better than last year despite the time.

Next week It is more of the same but I have to try and getting a long run .The Half Ironman is 7 weeks away.

Watched the results of IMNZ with lots of interest.Enrico finished despite the difficulties in getting to the race line and a North Coaster Adrian Whittaker did a 10.43. The debate on the prize money for the pros is likely to fester for a while.I believe that it is unfair to peg it against the winner's time and be within 8%. WTC makes more than enough in entry fees and sponsorships and most pros do not earn alot.Further the prize money is so small in comparison to other sports and the effort required for a race.How many races can a pro do a year?I believe WTC is being a little mean spirited. If they want to improve the quality of the pro field make the prize money attractive or most of the elite I better off racing the ITU or North American races .They are all hard races but surely racing an Olympic distance race is alot less taxing on the body.

China is next and a few North Coasters will be racingas will Luke McKenzie and Chris MacCormack ,although both are doing the 70.3 distance. Jocelyn Wong of TBB fame will be doing her 2nd Ironman race in 2 weeks.Good luck to them all.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Ironman Malaysia , the Winter Olympics and evrything about Sports

The Ironman season is cranking up as I follow the races on the internet. There is nothing quite like the excitement of an Ironman Race.The preparation and training all focussed on one day.

It was a hot race in Langkawi by all accounts and a shame Luke McKenzie had to withdraw with a stomach ailment at the 100km mark of the bike leg. I read on the "firstoffthebike"website that he wasn't too happy about the new WTC rule om prizemoney for the pros.They have to be within 8% of the winner to get any money.I think that is harsh and unfair as they really do not get a lot. For what WTC makes and the money that is in the sport I think they can be more generous.

I have been following Jocelyn Wongs blog and her incredible journey with Team TBB. Again a best ever 5th placing at IM Malaysia and China in 2 weeks.She has done a sub 10 in just 2 short years . Anything is possible ifyou put your mind to it and train hard.

There are no short cuts in Ironman racing.

The winter Olympics is a great reminder of the human spirit as is Ironman Malaysia ,no matter how tough the conditions. I am a firm believer in sports as a worthy pursuit and a great educator of values.

I have read the interesting and inspiring story of Clara Hughes , the Canadian speed skater and flag bearer for Canada.

http://olympics.thestar.com/2010/article/757453--clara-hughes-untold-story-wild-teen-to-olympic-champ

There are many such inspiring stories and I remember my early days playing hockey .I had a very strict hockey coach but he taught us the sport , a love for sport and most of all discipline , friendship and passion.

I remember with fondness my formative years as sport dominated my life .I am fortunate in that I was in a family of sportman , with a dad and mom who played sports and so my earliest memories would be taken along to various sports venues watching my dad play cricket on a Sunday .

As such it would be great if I only had one wish it would be a world where all children could have the freedom , security and the basics of life to be able to play sports. The world will be a more peaceful place if all the energy was focussed on sports.