Saturday, 26 December 2009

Husband vs. Garmin

so it happened. the GARMIN and me are officially an item. husband introduced us on xmas day and i'm sure he'll soon wish he didn't. we sneaked out together for our first date today, and it was spectacular. although i’m not usually one to kiss and tell, here is the report:

what the hell are you talking out?

it’s a garmin forerunner 310XT (yes, i’m into inanimate objects.) it’s basically a big fat ugly GPS watch which is (for the first time) also waterproof. ideal for multi sports. before i used to run and guess what speed i was doing, how fast i was going. now i get beeped at, and, i get accuracy. sweet.

was it hard to get it set up?

let’s be honest, i’ve only scratched the surface, so no; it wasn’t hard to use. i followed all the little instructions and then found a route online which someone else had recorded, clicked the icon to send this to my watch- then it downloaded pretty much instantly. i used this route when running and it was great at telling me when i was off course (though not how to get back on?). the heart rate monitor, speed and distance were super easy to upload to my laptop upon return, and the results were there for all the family to see (“what’s this big spike?” “ummm, that’s me having a little rest.” “oh, there’s a couple of those.” “yeah... hmmmm.. thanks.”)

what about when you were running? that watch is GIGANTIC.

hell yeah, this watch is not small. it’s not pretty and it’s not small. but hey, we’re not always there to look our best right? so who cares.

HOWEVER i don’t usually run with a watch, or use one generally, so i found it pretty irritating. the cord of my ipod earphones kept getting caught in the watch strap. erg. and the watch was so big it rubbed against my skin pretty bad.

so what else?

not much. at the moment i’ve got more questions than answers, so maybe i’ll blog report once we’ve hung out a little more and got better acquainted. it was only a first date people, let’s not rush into things.

but here’s a couple of quasi interesting observations from our first day together;

1. for the first time husband has actually encouraged me to go running. three times. in one day. as it’s his present to me, he now has invested interest in my training. never thought of it like this, but take a page kids.

2. when passing every other runner i felt they were staring at my gigantic watch and wishing they had one. in reality, they were probably wondering why i was running so slow and whether the watch was weighing me down.

3. i can no longer hide from my shiteous running ability. it’s all being recorded now. every damn rest.

4a. i got beeped at for the entire duration of my 19km run. i don't know why but it was GREAT.

4b. i once ran into a hedge pressing a button. okay. twice.

5. i like it. a lot. but unlike a fellow tweep who met her own Garmin for xmas, i did not sleep with it last night. it was only a first date peoples. seriously.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

ho ho ho

not that kind of ho, you crazy kids. and no that will not be followed by a tiger woods joke.

it's a few days until christmas, there's no cervelo shape under the xmas tree, but there is a garmin shape and i'm VERY excited. i'm fully anticipating an xmas day afternoon jog to test her out.

husband made the fatal error of saying, "well i may not have got the *exact* one you were looking for" which then lead me into a tirade of features listing. he had a sparkle in his little eye, though. phew.

last week's totals were rubbish, to the point i'm not even going to list them. c'est la vie.

and with that, happy xmas kids. see you on the other side.

Monday, 14 December 2009

how not to cycle 90kms

being a mileage addict at the moment, i headed off on sunday for a leisurely 90km cycle. joined by training peep Paul the PT, ready to embrace the cold English winter morning.

sure i've been on long cycles before, done my fair share of cycling trips, so i wasn't too concerned about the distance. the plan was to cycle slowly, and consistently. no breaks. just get some good solid miles under the belt.

this was harder than i had anticipated.

90kms is a LONG way. i know that sounds a bit stupid, but until you pedal those little peggies up and down for the whole distance, it's impossible to have an understanding exactly how far it is. i've been scoffing a little at the prospect of a 180km ironman cycle, now i GET IT. it's a LONG WAY. having said that, i still only know how far 90kms is. that is only a half ironman my friends.

for the ironman; let's face it; i've got no idea how far 180kms is. no frigging idea.

180kms inside a nice warm toasty car with snacks offers absolutely no insight into how far this is. train trips glancing at magazines will not do it either. looking at a map; ha! until your pegs have crossed the distance, you're in the dark.

i started off well. totally optimistic. nice comfortable pace, not breaking a sweat. 60kms down, however, i got hungry. unfortunately i'd completely underestimated the availability of snacks in the english countryside, and not only did i get hungry; i started to get delirious (okay, i don't deal with hunger very well at all).

i remember going up a hill, and seeing my cycle computer register 11 kph and thinking, "damn, i'm about to faint, but i'm doing well." i was so low i thought about hitchhiking. with bike. sorry mum.

training peep couldn't deal with my lacking energy and scooted off in the search for food. i got to the top of one too many hills and spotted my lifeline; a petrol station. JOY! SNACKS! ENERGY!

but it was closed. bloody CLOSED. couldn't believe it.

i lay on the forecourt and stared up at the sky, wondering why i was doing this again. weirdly, i notcied the name of the petrol station was this:

and i thought, damn you for giving me this message. so off we went. found snacks, and got over ourselves.

but it wasn't easy. those last 30kms were the most painful on my quads that i've ever felt while cycling, and i had to learn quickly to fall into the rhythm of the pain. it's weird how pain becomes comforting after a while. it becomes normal. you get on with it.

i'm not sure why my quads were so bad. was it the distance alone? the increase in my running mileage in the past few weeks? the lack of food?

other than the pain/starvation situation; there was a lot of joy. we passed a river crossing and it was the first time Paul had ever seen this! (pic below) we have a lot of these in australia, but it was strange trying to explain why the water didn't go under the road inside of over. i'm sure i made some useless inaccurate fact up.

so what have i learnt?

> do NOT embark on a 90km cycle without food. like, hello. 101 peoples.
> do NOT underestimate how far 180kms is ever again. could you have turned around and done that same distance again? no. so respect that.

could you have then run a marathon? HELL no.

so hats of ironmen and ladies reading this. finally, i get it. hats off.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

how tri specific is santa?

this year i'm putting the pressure on santa.

my christmas list is overwhelmingly triathlon related and i don't know how much santa knows about garmin. does he have extensive knowledge on compression gear? will he be able to spot the difference between recovery power bars and energy power bars?!

santa had better start reading triathlon magazines, and FAST (they're on my list too, so you can hand them over after you're done santa)

this week i didn't get as much running done as i would have liked, but did sneak another long run in. am feeling better about getting these base runs in, and this one was marginally easier on my body than the last.

weekly totals:

monday: 19km cycle
tuesday: rest
wednesday: rest
thursday: 16km run
friday: 1 hour swim weights, stretch and .5km swim
saturday: rest
sunday: 90km cycle

so this week i've run 16kms, cycled 114kms, swam .5km

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Stinky Man and Herpes

entries remaining; 1233

i'm stalking the IM France website, keeping an eye on how many brave souls are hitting the register button before me. i'm secretly hoping HIM Monaco will open their entries before that number gets too low, but who knows if it's even running next year? fate is going to be determining a lot here.

anyway i apologise for the sounding board nature of these recent posts. let me offset it by a couple of semi-interesting observations;

1. stupid me. i forgot to take my water bottle into my spinning class and as a result was dying of thirst; obviously quite visibily as another spinner offered me his water bottle. now i do know this guy, sort of, we've spoken in the sauna, been at the same triathlon, but now he is extending a VERY sweaty arm infront of the WHOLE spin class and i CLEARLY need water... damnit!

all my inner germ phobic tendancies start firing madly, and i want to say "no thanks" - i really do, but i'm totally aware of everyone watching and the reality of me actually needing the damn drink, so i TAKE THE BOTTLE. and suddenly i'm drinking, thinking of herpes, thinking of my husband shaking his head, thinking i wish i'd at least wiped the mouth piece but that would have looked uber germ freak phobic. i hand it back and say "thanks" but really i want to say "do you have herpes?"

2. whenever a hot girl enters the gym space, everyone tries not to be caught looking at her. what then takes place is a dancing eyeball mexican wave type thing whenever the hot girl moves from one piece of equipment to the next. she is, of course, completely aware everyone is mexican waving her with their eyeballs, and is glad she's straightened her hair for the occassion.

3. the dude with the big muscles does NOT need to cross the gym floor that many times. we see your muscles, everyone sees your muscles, and we don't really care because even though hot girl has NO muscles, she's still better eye candy.

4. i'm all for a bit of sweat, when working hard, it's inevitable. but when you are so stinky your smell permeates into the space of the next piece of gym equipment - it's time to hit the showers. if you see my cycling next to you with my head turned the other way - it's because of YOU stinky man. and it's not even good sweat smell, like that little bit hot smell, it's overweight older man in business suit on the tube at the end of the night smell. SHOWER NOW.

5. why do i feel a little bit naughty watching people shower before they get into the pool? it's one of those 'shower beside the pool' things to make sure everyone uses it, and as such, everyone is dressed in bathing attire. but watching them makes me feel like i'm getting insight into their shower routine, and that feels like i shouldn't be watching. but everyone watches, like the hot girl, with mexican wave eyeballs.

totals. as this week was super busy, i squeezed as much training in as possible but failed on three occassions;

sunday > rest
monday > 5.5km run, 8km cycle
tuesday > 19 km run
wednesday > rest
thursday > 1 hr swim + bike specific weights
friday > rest
saturday > 20km cycle
sunday > 5.5km run, 5km cycle, 1km swim

totals: this week i ran 30kms, cycled 32kms, swam 1km

entries remaining; 1232 (one less than start of post. could have been me)

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

deciding; with help

thanks everyone for your thoughts on the IM vs. HIM situation. it's so incredibly helpful hearing advice, stories, personal accounts and so forth --> it does seem like an incredibly difficult decision to make and i'm slowly inching even closer...

one of my priorities now is getting my mileage up, and essentially getting a taste of whats to come. this morning, i wanted to run for a long time. this is my biggest weakness, the red devil on my shoulder, so i wanted to remember how it felt running past the hour mark. speed was irrelevant. i wanted mileage.

i ran for 19kms.

yipppeeeee!! longest run for like EVER. actually, since i was half mara training a couple of years ago. inspired by fellow bloggers of late, i decided to take a few snaps of the occassion. here are the best and worst visual delights of the morning. the first is a rather entertainly dodgy affair selling Pie + Mash Liquor (?);

then, as i ran further away from london and closer to the countryside, i was treated with some lovely views over (the frost of winter) morning. click to enlarge pics.

i've just settled home, and discovered the Largest Blister in the World currently enveloping my entire toe; but i feel good. i ran 19km, and sure it was slow, but it was 19km. almost a half mara.

suddenly it's all looking a little more achievable.

(p.s. ok i've been sucked into tweetclouds. here's how my online thoughts look in a cloud:)