Sunday, April 29, 2012

Saturday Ride

The Sixth Discipline Training Squad with Coach Brad Hosking , Deepwater Point 28 April 2012( I am not in the pic as I had gone off for breakfast with Exceed tri club group)

My last longish ride before the Half. I left before the main group as I wanted to ride on my own. It was at least pretty light and I caught up with lee-Anne after about 10kms . It was messy with road works and diversions for the first 12km and then clear cycle path . I managed a comfortable pace and did not go to hard , keeping it at tempo pace just below threshold.

On the way back I struggled a little but got passed by 2 cyclist and managed to stay within sight of them till I got dropped at the last 15km . Unfortunately as I followed two slower riders at the end  , and there were workman painting the underside of the bridge , I  passed them slowly following the 2 cyclist but the workman had left a cone in the middle of the cycle path and I only saw it at the last minute as the 2 front cyclist passed it.I bounced off it and fortunately I was travelling really slow and came down .No cuts but hurt my left hamstring and my poor left shoulder. Falling on my left means my left side is now a punching bag for bruises. Fortunately no serious damage but I am slowing down the healing process. It slowed down the ride from that point as I was not willing to take any more falls.

Saw the group as I was returning. It was a good day to be out bar the cone incident .The weather was great. I have had the most disruptions , major crash and injuries for this preparation..In addition , the organisers have changed the swim course given the shark sightings in Busselton .lots of chatter  on forum pages and does add to the excitement leading up to the race. Only thing to do is enjoy the race and build for the future.

Are We Born To Run

A great short video about endurance running and man's ability.
It is an interesting view especially about our evolution as hunters and the fact that looking at times , women are not too far off the men's times as we get to the endurance end of racing.Hence Chrissie Wellington's times isn't an aberration .He talked about the tribe Born to Run was based on , these guys are running 100miles even as 60-70 year olds.

He talks about 3 mysteries in evolution:
  1. For 2 million years how did man survive when weapons to hunt only appear 200,000 years ago
  2. Women are terribly slow in sprint events but in the marathon or greater , women are competitive.Why do women get stronger the longer the race. 
  3. 60 year plus men and women are performing at the same level   when they are 19.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Final WEEK

The Aircraft Carrier Carl Vinson off the Coast as seen from Cottesloe

This past 3 months I have done the least amount of training before a race compared to the past 4 years . In particular my swimming as i have only swum once a week with my sore shoulder and neck.

The training has dropped down markedly .I did do a rather long run on Monday - 21km , most of it in the dark around Nedlands and the foreshore on the Swan river. No fun and cold. It was at about 6 min pace so was slow. On Tuesday We did a recovery ride around the Northern suburbs and that was just high cadence and keeping the heart rate in check.We did 30 plus km. In the evening I had my run intervals and again the training was easing up although I did just over 9km of running.It was a 3km warm up and then 800m at 4.26 min/km pace followed by the same time for recovery and then 400 at maximum sustainable pace with the same recovery time.we did 3 of these. Cindy and I were really pushing the 400m and i felt pretty sick .

On Wednesday ,with the ANZAC Day Holiday I headed down to Cottesloe and saw a group of North coasters riding to Fremantle and Ross and Exceed were swimming at the Cott as well. i did a 1.5km swim .It was a good swim , although the shoulder hurt I managed to get through and had a fast swim back from the Blue Duck cafe turn around point. Lots of swimmers about and there was even a smallish seal around although I didn't see him on Wednesday.

We went off for coffee and muffins at Daisies and thatwas a good easy work out.The rest of the day was just spent relaxing and watching the Dawn service at Gallipolli.

On Thursday I skipped my morning training and went to the evening Ergo session but the incorrect skewer made it difficult to fit the bike on the wind trainer and it kept coming loose. That put an end to the session for me.

Friday , i did a wind trainer session with 15 minutes on the bike and 5 minutes running for an hour. Make up session from Thursday morning. tomorrow everyone will be out for the last longish ride before Busselton.

Overall it has been quite a relaxing preparation .

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


It is a holiday tomorrow in Australia. It is ANZAC Day .

What and why the significance? The Australian War Memorial have an excellent website.Their short explanation is

ANZAC Day – 25 April – is probably Australia's most important national occasion. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.

Whilst war is never glorified and WW1 more so for the lost generation of young men in several countries , it seems to have galvanised all that we want to idealised and hope to be. A young , egalitarian optimistic country that signifies the character of the young Anzac's of mateship and loyalty and bravery even in the face of bad leadership and planning.Gallipoli for all the myth was a military disaster.

Can that spirit continue to exude in a country with a history that is now more distant and a population of a culturally diverse society. Yes if we reflect and learn from that history and take in the lesson.They are universal not particular to Australia despite the cultural myth that has grown out of WW1 . It was a bad war ( no war is good) but it did forge an identity for Australia and New Zealand. It made its hero's and it made its identity.Like the Alamo , the civil war , and so on. For a young country , not quite a 100 years since WW1 , it was the binding of the spirit that is ANZAC. Equally , the spirit of a rough , can do attitude that made the early settlers of a vast hostile land and the visuals of the frontier from the Man from snowy River all are part of that Australian identity. The lifesaver , a volunteer , tough and fearless .Another picture.

Equally the sporting hero and culture. This evening driving home from run training , I enjoyed a great interview by Richard Fidler .He interviewed the Biographer of Tom Wills, a largely unknown Australian ( at least I did not know him) who was possibly Australia's first sporting hero and one of the  architects of an Aussie sport, Australian Rules Football.

It is the story of a great sportsman and unfortunately with a sad twist of fate.

A short description of the book by Greg De Moore:

This is the story of Tom Wills - flawed genius, sporting libertine, fearless leader and agitator, and the man most often credited with creating the game we now know as Australian Rules football.

Sent to the strict British Rugby School in 1850 at fourteen, Tom returned as a worldly young man whose cricket prowess quickly captured the hearts of Melburnians. But away from the adoring crowds, in the desolation of the Queensland outback, he experienced first-hand the devastating effects of racial tension when his father was murdered in the biggest massacre of Europeans by Aboriginal people. Yet five years later, Tom coached the first Aboriginal cricket team.

Tom Wills lived hard and fast, challenging authority on and off the field. But when his physical talents began to fade, the psychological demons that alcohol and adrenaline had kept at bay surged to the fore, driving him to commit the most brutal of suicides. He was forty-four and destitute.

Greg de Moore has carefully pieced together Tom's life, giving us an extraordinary portrait of the life and times of one of our first sporting heroes, a man who lived by his own rules and whose contribution to Australian history has endured for more than 150 years.Allen & Unwin

Listen to the fascinating conversation about Tom Willis , our first great sporting Hero.
Conversation with Greg De Moore .ABC

He epitomise the type of Australia that was slowly being shaped even in the 1850s. .He was a larikin , yet well educated, egalitarian despite coming from a well off family and he was talented yet not arrogant.

Every ANZAC day I think of my introduction to WW1 and the poems and writings of Siegfried Sassoon . There are many good poems and here is just another about WAR . I think of these poems and the darkness and futility and the loss of many young people. I don't attend dawn services , I have no family connection to WW1 but tomorrow I will remember in silence the sacrifice be it wasted sacrifice of a generation and the freedoms we enjoy .


The road is thronged with women; soldiers pass

And halt, but never see them; yet they're here—

A patient crowd along the sodden grass,

Silent, worn out with waiting, sick with fear.

The road goes crawling up a long hillside,

All ruts and stones and sludge, and the emptied dregs

Of battle thrown in heaps. Here where they died

Are stretched big-bellied horses with stiff legs;

And dead men, bloody-fingered from the fight,

Stare up at caverned darkness winking white.

You in the bomb-scorched kilt, poor sprawling Jock,

You tottered here and fell, and stumbled on,

Half dazed for want of sleep. No dream could mock

Your reeling brain with comforts lost and gone.

You did not feel her arms about your knees,

Her blind caress, her lips upon your head:

Too tired for thoughts of home and love and ease,

The road would serve you well enough for bed.

                                                                                       Siegfried Sassoon

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Week 11

Deepwater Point Before dawn

Stadium Tri Club Bikes and Aid station during their Run

Running 8 x 2km off the bike
My first 2km lap
Relaxing with the crew after the Brick session. Thanks to Dennis Tan who had his camera and kindly took all the pictures above.

RIP GREG HAM ... MEN AT WORK Was part of my 80s

A training week 11 . It didn't quite go to plan . I have had to juggle my sessions around and they have not been ideal.I have also had very little swim time  actually none this week.

I have done the core work outs and whilst slow , I am hopeful for a decent time at the half.

On Monday I did an easy slow run after the Sunday Coogee Triathlon. I ran just under 11km.

On Tuesday I slept in and just did the run session.It was 2.5km warm up and builds and then 6-8  1km runs at threshold which was 5min pace. I did 7 km and we had 100m recovery between runs.Did just over 10.5km

On Wednesday  I  had no swim  and had meetings till late so it was my rest day.

On Thursday I slept in and just did the wind trainer session. There was just 5 of us and It was a hard grinding session of 3 x 20 min at tempo pace. Ended up doing about 34 km and felt pretty wasted. On Friday , I was again making up a session which I missed on Thursday morning. It was a wind trainer session as I was not cycling on the roads with the heavy traffic. I did 3 x  15 minutes on the bike and 10 minutes run.The runs were not as hard as i hoped but the legs were tired after the 2 wind trainer sessions.

Saturday was a long brick session at Deepwater Point near Mt Henry Bridge. I got there early and left before the main group started. We had a 80km ride and 16km run. I did just over 86km but it was slow with the initial roadworks and traffic lights .
The return leg was a little better but again not as fast as I have been . The main Training group passed me about 10km from the end and Exceed riders also steam rolled passed me . I did not even try and keep up .

The legs felt a little tired at the 50km mark but otherwise i had no major issues. I then started the run with 8 x 2km hard .I maintained a sub threshold pace for the first 3 laps and then threshold pace and the last 3 were just above threshold pace. I had a static recovery of 30sec although the instructions were 1 minute recovery . Oops , should have read the instructions .

It was quite crowded on the freeway cycle path with everyone out for a long ride before the Half. had lots of hallos from people I knew and obviously with the run we shared the path with Stadium who happen to be doing a 16 km run as well. Even courtney ogden was down at Deepwater Point.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Inappropriate Reading Material


I am a tri Junkie. No question . I have books and magazines and printed articles on triathlon. If the test to a fast time  was absorbing the material I would be on the podium . But this is not about reading and studying up for a test. It is about heart , feel and capacity .

Last week I got the latest triathlete magazine.I love the US Triathlete as the articles are way more interesting and the lay out is great.

Macca is a guest writer and his first article was about his relationship with the magazine. It is a great story and I loved it.

In the middle of class one day, Mrs. Mills caught me reading Triathlete magazine. To understand how valuable this magazine was to a triathlete in Australia in the 1980s, you had to live here. It was what we called an “import,” and not many stores in Australia stocked imports. Someone would get his hands on a copy and it would be passed around and cared for like a family heirloom. I got the August 1988 issue of Triathlete through my best friend, Sean Maroney, who had taken it from his older brother that morning.

Macca's Inappropriate reading material

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Raymond Brit - RUNTRI Ironman Kona Slot allocation

"We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline
or the pain of regret or disappointment."
- Jim Rohn

The Lottery results came out on Sunday .The first 100 triathletes to race 12 Ironman's and apply for a slot were selected by lottery. In addition there were a further 100 from the general lottery .World Triathlon Corporation (WTC)   receives approximately 7500 entries for the 100 slots .

It is always an interesting exercise and a hopeful exercise to see if one has made it .It is the ultimate at least for an endurance triathlete to race in Kona. By far many will suffer the pain of regret and disappointment . It is elitist and demanding and only a few can qualify. The odds of obtaining a slot for many including myself are 0 simply because the quality of triathletes seem to improve and times are falling in the age groups across all races.

Yet there is the illusion that there is a glimmer of a chance. Luck plays a part as being in the right race , even in the right decade may actually have helped.

But having said that , as I chatted wiht friends after training last night I mentioned I still race against myself and I am still chasing the clock. That is what gets me chasing a race each year and training . Obviously , with each race comes many emotions and sometimes disappointment. Even in training there are ups and downs. Life is not in a vacuum and it is sometimes hard balancing all the balls of family , training , and work . I can do it and have done it but only to a degree and as I have discovered this year , sometimes work or family must take priority .

WTC has also tried to reward or offer places to the most inspirational or inspired clip from a triathlete  .You can actually vote.I started listening and watching the various video clips .Without being insensitive.,they are all great human  stories of individuals who have used Ironman to inspire themselves and to move in a positive direction. But they are all the same.

We all have the capacity  to improve and take charge . The motivation and the mechanism for doing so can be through sports or community service or building friendships and interest or even helping others. I see it in one channel  Ironman or triathlon.

Sadly I do feel that for WTC it is is about the brand and the monetary return. Every endeavour they have put forward seems from a cynical view geared to entrench the Ironman brand and the mystic. Whilst racing and getting to Kona remain a great desire , it is somewhat sullied by the degree of pure commercialisation , and even manipulation of setting up races with the WTC brand. It is such that they hold a desired brand , all forms of endurance sports seem to be enjoying a surge of popularity and this has made getting into and racing even more competitive and WTC are taking full advantage of it.

Raymond Brit at Runtri has done an excellent analysis of qualifying times for Kona , and the number of spots for 2012 . There will be a lucky few chosen for the NBC coverage and "human interest "stories that go with the coverage, a few VIP slots and a few charity slots. The going rate last year was $40,000.00. It is now edging to 2000 starters starting in KONA in October. I estimate with the 20 plus ironman races and 52 70.3 races the entry fees earned are approximately A$50 million ,not including the sponsorship fees , merchandise and TV rights. SEE
RUNTRI -Analysis of Ironman Kona

So congratulations to those who qualified and Clifford who got a spot amongst the first 100 who had done 12 ironmans .
I am not quite there yet and I will continue to enjoy the pure moment of racing for myself and close out the rampant branding. I want my sport to be what it was 30 years ago. 15 individuals setting out to test themselves . I don't want the hype , the sugar coated TV inspirational stuff.

The dream is standing at the start of the race .There may be 1500 -2000 competitors but at that moment it is really just you taking on the race. That is what the right stuff is made off .That is a Triathlon.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Coogee Olympic Distance triathlon

Transition race morning Coogee .Pic by Dennis Tan
The swim start .Pic by Dennis tan

The weekend in Perth was not only blessed with good weather but there was lots happening.Two OD races and the 3/5 dams ride which was a mega ride int he hills of 146 and 235 km .

My legs were feeling a little tired after Saturdays ride and the yoga session in the afternoon. But I was determined to do a OD race. the last race I had done in that distance was probably 2 years ago in 2010.

I got down fairly early , at about 5.40am and i was one of the first to rack my bike and register. it was still pretty dark and it is amazing seeing 700 people slowly filter in. .Many were doing their first triathlon or first OD race. There was even a section for a 4th leg paddling .

The race started off with the usual briefing and it was a little chaotic but otherwise i had a fairly good idea as to the course and transition lay out. Down at the beach Stephen Doyle the Race Director and for many years one of only 2 race organisers who ran triathlons , stepped into a hole on the beach and broke his leg.he will need a total knee reconstruction. That was very unfortunate.Probably the only race where the only casualty was the race director.

It was 30 minutes before my wave went off. I had a few issues with the swim and my arm but managed to get into a comfortable rhythm and followed a swimmer on his feet but is was really a bit of luck if I got onto the feet of someone swimming straight and a little faster than me. i stepped out at 28 minutes but crossed the timing mat at 29 plus minutes. I took 2 minutes 16 seconds in transition and that was probably my fastest so far .Just had issues with my wetsuit and timing chip.
The ride was a bit of a disappointment and I did a 1hr 17 minute split.It was a funny course with a climb up a slight inclination stretching about 150m and then descending half way and climbing back up again before a full decent to the other turnaround for a circuit of 6 plus km which we did 6 times.

I managed to dismount and get my bike into transition and out on the run course in just over a minute.again a reasonable T2 time. the run was flat and reasonable ramble on the footpaths but on the return of the 5km loop there was a beach sand section of possibly 1km and that hurt.the run course was over 10km and i did a slow 56 minutes.

At the Point Walter OD in 2009 I did a 44 minute run but i suspect that course was shorter.  finished in 2.46 and it was a little slow .I was hoping for a time closer to 2.30 but the legs were just tired from the hills ride on Saturday. I felt it on the climb on the bike leg. But it was good to be racing after the accident and I am hopeful for a reasonable showing at the Half despite the disrupted preparation. I finished the race and felt OK .Not spent and whilst not fast I think with the rest and the 2 more weeks of preparation I will be able to give of my best .

It was great to see some familiar faces and I hopefully will do more OD races next season. they are good preparation for the long distance events and a good practise for Transitions. .

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Hills Ride

A review of moulin from she, the epicuriousgirl.

Le Croissant Du Moulin
169 Railway Road, Gooseberry Hill WA 6076
(08) 9293 4345 () ‎

Today was a Hills ride , just 100km at my own pace. It was a cold fresh morning with clear skies and traffic seemed quite low. I did regular route going through the Guildford Town and then through back roads to Helena Valley and Glen Forrest , Mundaring and on to Kalamunda.

The climbs were not too bad but I was slow averaging just over 25kph.But the rides on the flats were fast and I did not have the fatigue I usually would have after such a ride. I did not have any gels , just a High5 drink and a bidon of electrolyte and some lollies.But I managed to survived without any nutrition or energy issues.

I did stop for coffee at the French Patisserie at Kalamunda and got served by a French waitress. It turned out to be a great day with clear skies and the view of Perth city from the Zig Zag at Kalamnda was fantastic. Even truck drivers carrying loads to the Mundaring water treatment plant under construction were generally giving me a wide berth and giving way . I was the only solo rider in the hills with a few groups passing me in the opposite direction .

Friday, April 13, 2012

Passing thoughts

After Mondays run I slept in on Tuesday morning although I did feel guilty. But I was just tired.

It was run training on Tuesday evening and i felt a lot better with a good solid session of about 10km with some I pace work which for me was 4.36.i ran with Cindy so there was company and that kept it consistent.

On Wednesday I had my swim and i rode to work and back going hard going home and doing a few short climbs .it was about 35 km so not a long ride. The swim was hard as there was a higher concentration of chlorine and i could not stop coughing.

As the week has rolled by I have had a number of distractions and have lacked some focus although it is a heavy week of training and I will be racing on the weekend .Oddly my first race for the year .

Uppermost is the interesting radio interview i heard on the ABC about marine biologist Richard Fitzpatrick on Sharks. Conversations with Richard Fiddler -interview with Richard Fitzpatrick

In Perth , they are in the news a lot and especially after 4 fatal attacks in 7 months.

However , the dangers in the water are not probably the most significant risk for triathletes , the conditions on the road and the constant need to ride defensively is absolutely critical.I am aware more so after my crash as to not becoming complacent and being a little more cautious. In the morning there were a few cars coming a little too close for comfort. Fortunately , i am not cycling on busy roads too often. i have been spending more time on the wind trainer .

The thursday night session of 90 minutes on the wind trainer was hard and I was just glad to finish. I dashed home after work and got caught in the traffic after an unfortunate road accident earlier in the day when a police car chasing a stolen vehicle collided with another vehicle killing the driver. The Police were still at the intersection several hours later and the traffic was backing up.

I rode through the same intersection a day earlier.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Monday Run

Group Photo of the runners just before the Easter Fun Run around Lake Joondalup

Into the Rub round the lake

Still comfortable

Breakfast at Dome and Talking to helen V ,Kona bound.

Part of the fun of a long weekend was there was lots of activities on . Dennis Tan had set up his underground fun run around lake Joondalup and a few of us on Brad's programme were using it to do our run. It was a half marathon distance starting at the Neil Hawkins Reserve  car park in Joondalup. It was a foggy morning when we started off at 7am Absolutely huge turnout of over 50 people.

I was a little stiff from Saturday's bike /run and Sundays yoga but soon got into a comfortable pace. I did not push myself and managed to keep at a decent 5.20 pace.I did slow down towards the end and should have taken another gel along the way.

Not my fastest but I kept within my comfy range.

This is a fairly big week especially on Thursday .

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Weekend

Getting up to win Gold Victoria Pendleton
Enjoying the Cycling championships on TV
pic from telegraph UK

                                        My run off the bike on Saturday

So in Ironman, as in life, when the times get tough, remember never to turn your back on it, because you’re better off being in the game than not playing at all!
Jason Shortis
I just read Jason's race report for Ironman Melbourne. A phenomenal pro who was doing his 61st  Ironman and as he summed up ,  like life things go wrong but it is better to have set out to achieve than to sit on the side lines.
This week has rolled by with the mental dramas of getting back on the bike and just getting over the pain . But it is slowly happening. .Not quick enough and remaining positive is one thing but achieving my goals of improving at Busselton will take some doing. I know I am lucky to be at the start line after the tumble I took. Hence I don't take much for granted .It could have all ended far worse and for that I am thankful.
My first long ride was a little slow especially as I started out at 5.15am and it was pretty dark .My bike lights were rather small and I had to spend the first 1 hour not going too hard. I then started my 4 efforts of 10minutes. I found that hard with little improvement in speed and the ride down was generally slow. I had one puncture at the end as I hit a rock on the bike path. I took a bit of time to change the tyre with my weak arm and used up 2 canisters . I got to the end in just over 1.30hr. , a slow ride for me.  I did managed to pick up the pace on return probably with more favourable winds as well. But 20km from the end , i had another puncture and fortunately Churchill cycle riders stopped and  gave me a hand changing my tube . I am ordering a hand pump as the canisters are not sufficient .
i got back to the start point at Deepwater  having done 91 kms and managed to get into the run with a short transition. it was 2 laps around the bridges or 14 km . I set off feeling comfortable and after the first lap I was still feeling OK .I had one gel and some Gatorade and then back round the river. I managed a 5.23 pace which was
as fast as my Monday run without the bike ride . I felt i had gone far too slow on the bike but it may have just been the caution in the beginning. I will need to make adjustments with my nutrition and will start writing up my nutrition plan.
The soreness in the arm has its moments and swimming is the most difficult  aspect but I will get through the swim just not in a good time.
Today I did my swim and managed to use the paddles and Pull Buoy . I swam 2.4km and decided to stop. In the evening I had my first session of Yoga after 3 weeks .It was again a good session and help stretch the very stiff muscles.
The week was a slow start for training but I have managed most of the sessions .

Friday, April 6, 2012

Back in the Groove...Just

                      Relax ...One of the best 80's songs  and what a message

                      The abrupt end to the ride when I crashed speed 38kph

                                                             First long Run Back

As my shoulder begins to settle , I have started to return to training . I have put up my ride on  Saturday 17 March 2012 when I came off my bike .I even had my speed and HR just before the crash . I did a run on  2 April 2012 and managed a comfortable 5.25 pace without too much trouble but I have had a lot of rest . Swimming is the next challenge with a sore left shoulder and back.

I did do the brick session on Thursday last week and that went off without a hitch. It has been painfully slow. This week I did my run sessions and a ergo and brick session and one swim session. The shoulder is sore and I have little grip or arm strength so I am swimming a little lop sided strength wise. Hopefully that gets a little better .

Yesterday with the rainy conditions I turned around on my way to the brick was pelting down and I was just too fearful of coming down again.As it turned out the session was cancelled.I made the ergo session in the evening which was a good 90 minutes for me ,I did 10 minutes of warm up. Today I did my brick session with the bike on a wind trainer.

The scar is healing well and sleep is a lot more comfortable.

I do feel like Harry Potter of the Tri world with the scraggy scar .