Friday, March 17, 2017

Numbers for Trophies

Not sure where I heard of Steve Abraham first; somewhere between my Youtube TV Shows & various cycling & running podcasts I became interested in the idea of 'volume' the question of how many miles/kilometers you can do in a single moment, streak or even within a year.

Steve Abraham is attempting to ride the most miles by a cyclist (over 75,000) the record is still held by Tommy Godwin from his 1939 attempt. Now before my wife reads this and thinks I'm going on a quest so as to get out of doing the dishes, its ok I have no interest in this sort of challenge. 

Yet with my new look at swimming, cycling & running, coupled with my philosophy of not training for events. Let's be clear when I say 'not training' I am just not buying into a set schedule, instead just getting out and moving. The reality is my volume of work means I will always be fit enough to complete most events with a good time; by taking the pressure off following a training plan it means I'm working more on feel.

Today I feel like intervals or today my body is telling me to rest, or most likely today my kid has some kind of rash, the wife is at a work event & the cat just puked on the floor.

To match this distance/ time training attitude, I started to look further into the the numbers I have done in the past and studied what these days would be described as 'old school' training methods; and the reality is before cycling Team Sky and the phrase 'marginal gains' the tried and true method of finishing a marathon or climbing a mountain was to put in the kilometres. Eddy Merckx the famous all winning cyclist training rides were legendary, not for the complex programs but on distance! Finding his sweet spot in cadence and just spinning those wheels over and over again.

My goals for this year based around numbers are quite conservitive but I feel like the winter could effect them, with no training pressure I"m already feeling more mentally relaxed and enjoying moving again so I have set myself what is generally called a 'stretch goal' this a target to aim for if I feel like its within reach for a little bonus kudos!

Distance Goals:
Cycling for the year 4,500km (stretch 5,000km)
Running for the year 832km (stretch 950km)

Cycling is averaging around 86km per week, which at the moment I"m on 100km average but I have a overseas trip with no bike! and the wet winter may hold me back a little. I'm hoping by racing it will help me stay motivated as well.

Running is averaging 16km per week, I think this goal is pretty obtainable and maybe even the stretch goal. I normally run more on holidays and have been making a habit of taking the dog for a short run most mornings. With me thinking about attempting a Marathon - just the word makes me shudder a bit, it's true I will happily ride 100km in one sitting but 42km on my feet scares me. Plus some on going pain issues from my accident has certainly slowed my running ability at present.

So that is the plan from here to the end of the year, eat up some pathway & chew on some roads. I'm going to still manage my data using Strava as they have a lot of distance trophies to help me stay motivated and monitor my progress in more depth with Training Peaks program which I have mentioned in previous posts, this program will help me adjust my volume so I'm well rested in the lead up to events and hopefully peaking at the right time.

Next up 1st of April is my first cycling road race should be interesting seeing how I've regained my fitness since the accident.

Now I must go, my leg is being licked by the four legged daughter who clearly keen for me to add more KM's to my Strava account and go for a run!

My Strava profile link is below:

Thursday, March 9, 2017

An embarrassing legacy

Post Race chuckles at Active Tri in Brighton 2016 always my first event of the year,
and the water is always cold & choppy 

Having a child gets your brain over thinking, you certainly start to worry more, you turn concern about nothing into something. You lock the door twice at night, you check on them when they stir and if they are awake and not making noise you wonder why. You try to avoid risks, you try to be more organised and you sacrifice so your child can do more or have more, maybe you cancel that night at the pub because you didn't read to them the night before, or you hold back on the 100km bike ride instead to spend 4 hrs with them down the beach on a less than ideal day because you promised them.

You can't be with them every waking moment, and that's why it sucks when you drop them at day-care, or leave them an in-law as you ride off to work, or traffic is bad on the way home and you miss putting them to bed, and I guess at some point you question your on immortality. It's a heavy thing to think of, I'm not a thinker of death everyday sort of guy (that is no way to live) but what if? and when if? 

Stephen Covey of 7 Habits of Successful People book fame famous line:

Begin with the end in mind

That famous self help role play of pretending you're at your own funeral and imagine what people would say about you, it's a pretty heavy and self involved thing to think about. We have all sadly attended the funeral of someone at some point and the truth is it's not nice to hear any of it. Z-Girl has got me thinking about it more and more, what is my legacy going to be.

I had the unfortunate circumstance of being knocked off my bike and suffering what can only be described now as a small inconvenience of an injury; two cracked vertebra in my lower back (L4, L3) and a the tendons of my shoulder busted up a fair bit. At the moment the car turned into me I had no life flashing before my eyes moment, no chance to think about my wife or kid, friends or family; it just struck me and I yelled out 'F#$K' (censored encase Z-Girl reads this) And then I spent 6 weeks in a world of pain, frustration and regret.

That injury gave me one thing I haven't had the past 3 years, time.

Time to think, time to pause & time to work out where I really am at 35 years old. I'm no longer an athlete, and any of my athleticism I did have I think got robbed that morning between the curb and the wing mirror. I'm not going to Kona, its a nice idea when you start Ironman races and its talked about a lot everyone knows someone who has gone or is going to Kona; at 5hrs 20min I'm no threat to the Hawaii Island. I will most likely never ever win a race of any kind ever again in my life time (last time I think was in high school swim sports) So why with all this mind have I entered triathlons at all, and why did I let the convincing of a good friend make me sign up to a Cycling Club for purpose of racing my bike?

It’s the vibe, and…no that’s it…it’s the vibe. I rest my case. - Dennis Denuto (The Castle, Movie)

That's really it. I just like the vibe of it all. Appreciating the effort of the Professionals, the Top Ranked Amateurs. I like the steak dinner & beer after the race, waving at my wife and child on the run leg, the hugs afterwards, the funny stories of things I've forgotten. The effort needed, and dedication to stay fit and be ready for the event. The finishers medal, and sometimes just the free massage & sports drink at the end. I like the smile my wife gives me after the race & I like riding my bike fast even if it's not as fast as the next guy, and I enjoy the occasional PB in training, or finding a new running route on my local trails.

The race really is just the excuse I give my brain to wake up early and suck in the morning air.

My wife when our daughter was born created a email address, and she wrote to her in the early months about things she had achieved and when she is 18 she will look back on it and smile at the things we loved the most about her when she was little. Its amazing how those things start to fade.

I've reopened this blog after almost a year in hibernation as to be exactly that. A place that Z-Girl can turn to and laugh, giggle or smile at her Dads obsession with moving constantly, maybe it inspires her to move, and maybe she wins a race one day or she looks at me, and in that classic teenage tone and just tells me.

''Dad you're so embarrassing''

And I'll take that as a small victory among the many honourable losses.

Off the back of the above I'm going to attempt some weekly journal style entries, maybe on a Sunday evening as a decompression of my week, less training advice as essentially I'm 'training' less and 'moving' more. Will try and get up a few my monthly events schedule. Glad you read this one, no feel compelled to read the rest.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Window of Opportunity

Redundant. That's it. Redundant in my job and feeling redundant in my life. And then that fog showed up, the one that seems to tangle itself around my internal thoughts. It's a fog that only affects me when I'm standing still. Luckily I can out-swim, out-run and out-bike it. In fact playing sport has always kept the fog from floating in, but this time it just sat heavy, like a wet coat. What am I going to do now? I have no job, no payout and the job market in the sports industry was thin to say the least. And the more I thought about it the deeper the fog got.

I spent most of Z-Girl's first birthday (good timing for redundancy) smiling on the outside and feeling ripped in half on the inside. Looking at my house from the park across the road, all I could think about was my bills, my daughter and how the hell am I going to start again. I am tired of starting again, work has always been the area of my life where I have struggled to find my niche. I have never been unemployed for long because apparently I've got a talent for the hustle. However the hustle has a tendency to keep you busy but will never make you happy. 

Seven years ago I completed some certificate studies in Personal Training and Gym Instruction, it was part of a master plan that never got going. A move to England and back with multiple employment changes over the following by years had made me risk adverse and the thought of running my own business made my knees shake. I focused on getting the steady job the one that puts money in my pocket but then I would get frustrated and go looking for something else. 

"You can go on doing the same thing and you'll always get the same result," Super Wife stands and corrects me in the kitchen, "You won't be happy until you control what you do." 

Sometimes in life you need a jolt, something to make you sit up and rethink everything and look at what you have in front of you. I have me, my mind, my body and my health. I have years of experience playing sport at a high level which has given me the opportunity to see the best and in some cases train with the best athletes. I have also coached kids, women, men, amateurs and semi-professionals.

I stared at the job sites and figured it was worth seeing if anyone was after an ex-athlete, with two years personal training experience running small boot camps for a group of mums. My only real selling point is my passion, but I'd have to get an interview to show it. 

I breathe training and coaching, I love getting and seeing people get the most out of themselves. When I knew I couldn't go any further with my chosen sport (basketball) I turned to coaching but sadly 15 years ago coaching basketball in Australia didn't put food on your table. I like to instruct, but more importantly I like to guide. Despite the fog that chases me I feel a personal joy in the radiance of peoples love for moving, whether running a marathon or doing a fitness circuit. I'm the guy that stands on the side of the road at running events and cheers everyone! Not just the person I came to see. So I wrote my resume and started sending it out. And you know what, this ex-athlete with a little experience but a lot of passion was soon running around to interviews.

And now I'm in control, and I've left the wet coat on the hanger. I'm getting out on my own, hoping to help others to train for their shining moment, to create lasting change to someone who wasn't sure they had the guts to do it. Like I didn't have the guts to do it, but now I am. Maybe I've gained more internal courage from my swim/bike/run mentality and so this triathlon 'phase' continues to make me a more positive person and gives me the spark I needed to light the fire, or maybe I just needed Super Wife to tell it to me straight! 

Thanks for reading it's been a tough old time personally and took me a while between key strokes to get this one out, I'll be working for Jetts Fitness in Northcote and also independently as a Personal Trainer. Happy to chat about setting up programs for weight loss, event goals or just wanting to flick a switch and get better. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Ironman 70.3 Dad Tips or Rookie Errors

My feet have healed, and I won't lie my activity level dropped off dramatically, people were calling me thinking I had died due to a lack of strava updates. In fact my new hashtag which is not really trending at all #gettingfat is how I have been thinking, tackling chocolate muffins in my morning break, the odd beer and meaty snack. Reflecting on the event I have some rock solid Dad Tips for anyone thinking of taking on a 70.3 or just a major triathlon event.

These tips are more errors I made that I'm turning into tips so I look like I know what I'm talking about.

#10 Book your hotel Saturday/ Sunday 
We drove in Friday night which was nice and waking up Saturday in the race town was certainly helpful, but not essential. Come Sunday afternoon the last thing my burning hamstrings wanted to do was pack a car up to go home. Thank-fully super wife drove home.

#9 Make sure it has a kitchen
Self contained. That's what it is all about! I don't care much for baby wrestling at restaurants pre-race or any night for that matter. A place with a cook top and good size fridge means you can BYO the food you love, and more importantly trust prior to the big day.

#8 Pack Everything
If you think you need it, pack it, why not you've got a boot full of baby stuff an extra pair shoes or spare bike helmet stuffed in next to the 3rd Bunny Rabbit toy might be just the thing you need or missing.

#7 Family Time
Spend that morning the day before checking in with family and do something non-triathlete, I checked in had a look around the expo for a few moments and then went to the local swimming pool with Z Girl & Super Wife, nothing takes your mind off a big race by playing 'shark' in the swimming pool with your daughter.

#6 Eat A Big Lunch/Small Dinner
I worry about over eating at times, and when I'm less active on a pre-race week I find my food levels can sky rocket (boredom eating) Smashing a large Cesar Salad for lunch left me just needing a small bowl of pasta in the evening.

#5 Water and Hydrate
I cheated, I used hydration powders the day prior to my race, sipping on these helped keep my levels just right. I even toned back my coffee in take. For some it doesn't matter a glass of wine in the week leading up, for me I wanted to feel prepared so I left the booze alone since Christmas.

#4 Have a spectator plan
It was a hard day on the wife, with lots of spectators coming to see me race (super grateful) meant she became the ''communication center'' which can be tough when you're juggling a baby, Z-Girl slept for the bike leg (I wish I did!) and Super Wife found it hard to spot me on course, I suggest having a spot on each leg where you will see your loved one/friends etc almost like an ''encouragement corner'' you know they are there and they will just stay there and look out for you. Seeing Super Wife as I entered the finishing chute was the best, I don't normally celebrate finish lines but her face certainly dragged a fist pump out of me.

#3 Go to bed when you normally do
It was a short walk to the transition from the hotel, but when you say the words 6am check-in you automatically feel like you need an early night. I went to bed to early, I tossed and turned and over thought everything. Just go to bed at a good time, as an evening sports watcher I should of sat up and watched the end of the match before bed.

#2 Lay it all out
Have it all there, the bag the gear, the shoes, the hat, the creams the tablets. The lot! I had it waiting for me on a chair ready for the morning, I even had my bottles filled, my coffee in the mug and my breakfast in the bowl just needing milk. Make it easy for yourself, just get up and get it on.

#1 Socks
Who knew. I had always done sprint triathlons, socks are optional. Despite watching video after video of Ironman Athletes to look at technique and what they do training wise nobody mentioned socks, or did I look at what they had on. My feet were cut up! I just made my goal time, imagine if I only had to fight mental demons instead of bloody feet next time around, who knows how fast I could of run. Socks, have them, wear them! Tip #1.1 Side note not once did my training partner Ivan bring this up, so get a training partner that will remind you of this sort of stuff.

Bonus Tip
Be calm. Be methodical. Be in the moment as they say, I didn't charge into the water as the gun went off , I jogged not sprinted out of the water to T1, I ran with my bike with purpose but not with a sprint. It's a long event, with lots of changes work with them not against them is my best advice, and just slow down when you need to think. Don't try to do everything flat out, that 15 seconds I lost leaving Transition with my bike in a jog, actually gained me 2 mins as my feet were in my shoes correctly and ready to pedal hard, I saw too many people rushing and slipping, falling or having to stop. Enjoy the challenge you don't do it because you have to, it's because you want to.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

The longest day - Geelong IM70.3

This kid, leaves me speechless Photo: Selina Reid

40 weeks of preparing, 14 weeks of hard training, a new bike, wetsuit and running shoes. Forget the Sprint Triathlons or the half marathon during the year, this was like nothing else.

I booked accommodation in Geelong for the Friday and Saturday night prior to race day, we were able to get a late check out which certainly helped out post race. I may have left the booking a bit late... so we ended up in your standard 1980 motel with 1990's reno work done to it, but with a kitchen for a meals, TV and a location ten minutes walk from the finish line, we weren't complaining.

Official Wetsuit zip support crew Photo: Selfy by Me!
Pre-Race Day was all about family and not freaking out, checking my bike into Transition and walking around the expo with Z-Girl and Super Wife meant I was less focused on the event than if I was on my own. An afternoon swim with Team Reid at Eastern Beach was the best bit of the weekend, just a moment where you felt like it was a family holiday not a march into the unknown.

I am sure I don't get nerves, but I do start to over think. The night before I was never going to forget a thing, in fact I was going to take items I didn't need on the grounds I had them, the bag was packed and repacked, and everything double checked. Sleeping was an issue, between Z-Girl and I, we tossed and turned so much in our sleep we forced Super Wife to the couch, my head was not acting in fear but instead was planning the event in full in my head, and I mean everything:

Get out transition Olly and put your right foot in your shoe first, energy bar then water, then another chew of the energy bar, remember light feet on the pedals, hard legs on the hills.

SHUT-UP BRAIN I'm trying to sleep I have 5-6hrs of hell in the morning!

I never waited for the alarm at 5am, I just got up, fixed myself some breakfast chomped down some extra magnesium pills to avoid cramps and walked my lonely butt down to transition, so far the hardest thing I had encountered was attempting to peel the plastic seal off my IM race number temporary tattoo, I just couldn't find the corner and almost resulted in waking the wife to borrow a nail. Geelong at 5:30am on a race day morning is eery. Zombie like Triathletes all walking out of the shadows, reserved with no noise, headphones or just walking with dead straight eyes, nobody dare mention what is about to happen, the silence was calming to me. Focused on my race, my plan I had gone over 20 times in my head last night was now right in front of me.

Tools set-up in transition, bike hadn't blown a tyre over night (my biggest fear) and the air was warm and the water was calm. Perfect conditions to get this show started. Listening to my music I sat on my own waiting for Super Wife, and just as I was watching Craig Alexander be the first one in the water on race day, there she was right behind me. Never too sure how the day was going to play-out I wanted to make sure I saw her and Z at my two calmest moments of the day, the beginning and the end. Everything in between is just a bonus. With baby in one hand Super Wife zipped up my wetsuit, something I am yet to master on my own and is a good reason to start my own club or employ a coach if she couldn't be there.

Verge Race Team buddies showed up, a rag-tag bunch of cyclists and triathlete friends I have somehow aligned myself with over the past year, but it sure made me smile and little more to see them, Ivan (Captain) making sure branding was all perfect and photos taken, Faz asking me questions I didn't have answers for, and Daz with his GoPro I'm positive he is involved in a reality TV show with that thing but my suspicion is yet to be proven.

Just thinking 'don't drown your family is watching' Photo: Ivan Dennis
200 + males 30-34 years of age all bunched into a start line for a 5hr + race for most of us, and somebody always wants to push past me to the front! Seriously. I'm a comfortable swimmer and find it less than comfortable having to swim over people who for some reason feel the need to flex muscle early to their friends/ family my standing at the front.

Gun goes and I walk into the water, they all run and dive in like this is going to be over quickly, I find a nice line, a good early pace and move over those two that just nudged past me, open water swimming is perfect like this, long course, big opening straight to shake out the weak swimmers and allow everyone plenty of space. My pace was above my average, I hit the turns gaining 2 minutes at each one, glancing at my watched I start to feel even stronger and push hard to get to the finish and out of the water.

As my ears clear the ocean its a wall of noise, and the full support group were right on the turn into transition, yelling at Ivan (Captain, Mentor, and non-paid coach) that I'm 8 minutes up,  I think he thought I was grumpy, I was pumped. A good start and I haven't wasted any energy.

Get in my shoes quick! I had 400m to play with out of transition before you're hit was a nice hill to get the show started, racing up and out of Geelong and onto the main stretch it was time to think of my plan, I had ridden the road the week prior knew where the fast spots were, worked out the best part to eat while coasting without dropping below my average 30-32kmph, I drank water/calorie drinks on turn around points while I had already slowed down, and eating 1 bar and drinking 1 bottle per lap, finishing with a gel just prior to the run.
Big turn down the hill, light on the breaks love that Verge Kit Photo: Ivan Dennis

Smooth, happy but tight, I was right on time with my first lap and going to get just under 3 hour for 90km at pace, my hamstrings were tight I started to try and stretch them out on the down hills, but that hill in the middle of the ride was a quad burner and really hurt the second time around. Heading back towards the centre of Geelong I was excited for the run feeling that this race didn't have long to go (how surprised I would be) Flying down the hill I caught plenty of positive noise as I un-clipped and headed into transition.

Ok, it was a controversal choice and I will admit one made without really thinking too much about it. No socks! I don't wear socks for sprint triathlons, and I get a dizzy head if I bend down too long to put my shoes on, socks would have delayed more and I just wanted to get out and run. Bad move.

7km in and my feet are tearing, I can feel them just starting to lose skin and the heat stronger than I thought when on the bike was now zapping my body of sweat and speed. I move my stride to being short and sharp and kept a nice 5/5:30 pace going. The aide stations are nicely spaced out but I struggled to grab the water and ice on the move. My body is starting to ache, and is craving anything and everything at the aide stataions, ice, watermelon, water, sports drink you name I grab it and either throw it on myself or stick the ice down the front of tri-kit (this worked well and the ice settled on my thighs cooling them off)

The brain is starting to melt. The two and half lap course gets serious down the back end as it ramps up onto a hill and I have now resorted to walking the aide stations and running the rest so I don't drop any fluids, a energy gel seems to have little influence and as I come towards a hill at the 14km mark my body stops!

I start walking, I  couldn't stop walking, it was like my body had enough and wanted me to throw in the towel. I swear loudly at myself, and really only me and random spectator who seems to think my toerettes is playing up. Somehow I start moving again, slowly this time, my legs are moving against their will and I have given up any chance of making my goal time of 5hrs 30min; as I stare at my average pace on my watch I see it creeping up and I can't seem to go any faster only slower, it feels like I'm moving in reverse as if the finish line is getting further away not closer.

Should of worn socks Photo: Selina Reid
Struggling like this for the next 5km I reach the aide station at 18km mark, 3km to go I gather some water and I'm feeling dejected, like I failed before I finished, I'm being hard on myself but I felt I had put the effort in and done the right training, I didn't cheat things and to not reach my goal felt like a failure. I flick my watch to check my total time status; during the race I had made a point of not looking at total time and staying focused on the individual swim, bike or run. As I see the time come up my brain gathers itself together. 18 minutes, I have 18 minutes until the 5:30 mark and just over 3km to go! I can actually do it!

The finish line in sight and so was my goal time Photo: Selina Reid
The legs got moving almost automatically, I jogged, and then I started to run. I ran not fast but fast enough, I was now staring at my watch as the numbers ticked over, 5:25, 5:27, 5:28. I'm not sure how much was in the petrol tank but I mustered it all, the feet were stinging (in fact the back of shoes were filled with blood much to my surprise when I finished) I hobbled in a jogging pattern down the finishing shoot, family waving and my wife cheering loudly with my daughter in hand, I was excited, pumped, happy it was over I couldn't help it, I punched the sky! I double fist punched the sky! 5hrs 30min 22secs I DID IT!

My medal dropped over neck and finishers towel around my shoulders, I was moved to the chute to have my timing tag removed, and I stumbled. My body was shaking and my head couldn't make the English language work, I had spent everything. Moved by the helpful staff to a chair and given some cold drinks in the shade, I just sat staring at my blood stained shoes and for the first time all weekend I was blank in thought, I just didn't know what to think, I was stunned.

Post race was difficult to explain, I was quite more emotional than I thought. Won't lie I may of leaked a tear while walking back with my wife. There was a level of sacrifice required, with my training, with my time and with my wife. She supported the effort assisted me with the change in lifestyle and was right there when I said I was going to take it, and she stood at the finish line when it was all over.

This journey started when I watched roadside as long time high school friend sped past me during IM Melbourne, I just fell in love with the idea of testing your body across three different events, in a sport where medals are great but finishing is greater.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

One is such a lonely number

Three days out from the season goal; I signed up to this event 39 weeks ago my Instagram account tells me. In the beginning I was hoping just to finish, after the 3 triathlon events I did the year before in 2014, I doubled up with 6 events this year (two more left after Geelong) the rugby player to endurance athlete sometimes catches me looking at my weight loss of almost 15 kgs and wondering how I ever packed down a good scrum. My mindset has changed dramatically as I monitor everything I do pre training day and post training day to make sure I'm getting the hours and efforts in, without forgetting my No.1 responsibility and that's being a Father/Husband.

Three days away from what I feel will be the start of bigger goals and quests. I have fine tuned my training, working harder and smarter to improve some weakness in my running and riding. My times have gotten quicker and I don't think I have ever been this fit in my life! Considering I have played sport all my life that is a surprise.

With only a handful of days to go I am more excited to get to the start line than concerned, I was happy for the gun to go off on Wednesday and get this race started already; but it would be remiss of me to think I did it all by myself. This individual sport needs more than just you, a pair of googles, a bike and something to run in that won't scare the locals. Lot's of people have given me advice or helped me up to this point but three stick out pretty clearly.

#3 The Companies; brands rule sports. Working in sports marketing I know all too well that companies supply and support. Physiohealth have covered my entry fees for Duathlons and Triathlon Series this year along with kitting me out. Verge Sport AU have not only kitted me out in great cycling gear to train in, and now my fabulous Tri-Kit is also done by them! 

#2 The People, I train alone a lot of the time. I don't have the ability to get in on 'club rides' or group fitness sessions. And when I have some free time I'd rather spend it at the Zoo with Z-Girl and Super Wife or maybe getting brunch somewhere. The people I've been in touch with so far have been great, from National Champions, former champions, Ironman Finishers, mates that ride bikes and people from the parkrun running community have all been great. I have shared my training openly with them, talked running, cycling advice. The people I meet while competing in triathlon are the ones that inspire me to keep training, 

#1 Team Reid, it's a small team just three key players but it's the greatest sporting cliche, without a strong family you can't achieve what you want. Super Wife has spent many a solo night on the couch as I duck out at 8pm for a long run, or looked after Z while I trek far away kilometers on my bike, or she is the wife that brings the spare clothes to the family event as I race her there on foot or two-wheels. Z-Girl is the best cheerleader, I'm starting to be concerned she only recognizes me in lycra, or thinks dad wears chlorine aftershave 2 days a week. She has grown up so much in what is close to a year since I started training, and I hope in the years to come we can share more swimming, running and riding days.

Three seems like I'm leaving people out, but I think those that know they have helped or spent some time riding next to me in the lead up to this know who they are. There is going to be lots of people on Sunday cross the finish line that are parents; so I know I'm not creating a miracle by jumping in the water on Sunday, but I think when you take on a substantial challenge in life the important people around bring themselves to the forefront and that has certainly been true the past 39 weeks.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The facts in the figures

I went out and had a little shopping splurge; I was after a heartrate monitor (HRM) to assist further with my training and who doesn't want to know if your HR rises after Z-Girl leaves a strong deposit in the down stairs department, or the potential that slow walking tourists in the city do actually make my blood boil.

It was a mighty big purchase, a Garmin 910xt it was more dollars than I thought I was going to spend but I saw it as a gift to me, I like gifts! And calling it a gift can justify the purchase to the family financial planner (super wife) Quick product review if you ever wanted to know information about your training you never knew, then this the watch for you! It has settings for riding, running and swimming can be set to give data updates for all 3 during a triathlon and your transition time along with I  am hoping it may also feed the cat and take out the bins if I press the right buttons.

In short by measuring my HR and coupling this with the Training-peaks program I am entering the murky waters of being a serious triathlete not some old guy that dusts off his bike for 3 months a year, my limited training can now be measured so when I get my window of opportunity I don't waste it. And I think deep down I am a quality of quantity type guy, and with a little one you don't get more time you get less.

I will admit, I was a record everything guy, you name it I put it on strava, short run to pick up the car, made sure I had it on Strava. Commute ride at a leisurely pace, yep make sure it was on strava. I measured my training success on the kilometers per week rather than the effort. Don't get me wrong I think if you're looking to get fit clocking KMs is the order of the day, but my competitive mindset has now been stoked and I want more than just to finish, I want to finish well, I want to finish in front of that guy!

I rode home the other day, at a good pace taking roads I didn't normally take. And this time I didn't wait in the work carpark for my gps to locate the satellite before setting off, I just clipped in and rode. And you know what it took the time that it took, Z-girl smiled even without knowing my max speed down Wellington Pde. We have schedules for everything in my house, meal plans, sleep plans (Z-Girl don't like to sleep to much) training plans, weekend plans. Numbers and data tell us where to be and when to eat, which is a must when trying to keep a house level and pretend to a be normal (what's normal anyway?) family in the community, I mean don't all Dad's do the daycare drop off in lycra?

In 2016 I am going to worry about the data that matters, and let that infiltrate my lifestyle, treating the data like people and experiences. Going to fill the basket with the numbers that mean something family, friends and good times. Count the numbers that count for me and hopefully by the end of this summer I can look back and see the improvements.