Thursday, May 28, 2015

The unknown variables

Training can be disrupted by unknowns - variables that come up outside of your control that can either prevent or require an adjustment.

These variables can be family, injury, weather or for us part time weekend warriors, work can get in the way of having fun on our bikes.

It's how we adjust and manage this change in training that I think makes the part time athlete sometimes stronger mentally than the professional, I mean pros have all day to get that training in - we only have small windows of time to operate within to get the job done.

Sometimes it's wholesale mindset changes and the unknowns that can drive you to greater things.

I just found out my super crazy amazing daughter of 10 weeks has some issues with her hip or hips. As an athletic driven male it's heart breaking to think my own flesh and blood is in someway not quite right; it worries me she won't get to enjoy the pleasures that sports offered me, the friendships and opportunity to meet people from all walks of life.

It's clear overreaction at this stage; a brace that will force her hips to sit in the correct position will be required for 6 to 12 months; this will bring with it difficultly in sleeping, bathing and generally getting around day to day. My wife is obviously upset, and concerned about if the procedure doesn't work and how it will effect her when she needs to go back to work and won't be in her care, as well as the extra pressure in looking after her.

We've still got it pretty good, I have friends with worse family issues so I certainly am not climbing to the top of the sympathy tree with this one. And trying to look at what we have rather than what we don't have has sometimes been my way of reminding myself the luck I've created over the journey.

This is the training variable - this trumps the weather or a busy work schedule, this is moment where sometimes you can't be so selfish as you are in a individual sport. The first step is the 'pausing' of my personal training business that will reduce income for events but give me more time to support my wife and daughter.

It all became little more mentally demanding rather than physical in one phone call last night; strength internally will be needed to keep the positive parenting alive when sponge baths aren't as much fun as 'tub time' and assisting in her development from crawling to walking with a brace on will become harder than it looks.

They say even roses have to grow from dirt ...

#forher #alwaystraining #dadathlon #GeelongIM2016 #triblog

Monday, May 25, 2015

Beach Rd of the North

Beach Rd; the drag strip of Victorian cycling.

From the Cafe Racer to the Black Rock round about this strip of road starting slowly from St Kilda out to Mordiallic (Mordi for the locals) has long been the place to be seen, the show and shine of the cycling community.

It's a nice place for a spin, also intimidating place for a newbie to the sport or casual rider with the large groups whizzing past as has been seen with the accident only a few months back; it was this issue that sparked up a conversation with a friend who wanted to work some straight 'triathlon' style riding without the hassles that Beach Rd can bring, and with more room than the flat section of the Yarra boulevard in Richmond.

Plenty Rd - now I may be exposing something you already knew, or giving up my secret spot. But Plenty Road early in the morning on a Saturday or Sunday overs great flat out riding and space for nice size groups without the hassle that Beach Rd brings with morotist and other riders.

Good size groups are still seen out there, and with the Humevale Climb just outside Whittlesea and routes back towards Kinglake you can really extend this ride out to some spic lengths with either flat or hill options.

It was this morning that I set out with a good little group including a long term mate and riding partner, current IM Athlete & meeting my brother (a newbie to the cycling/ dualathlons) part way at Mernda section.

COLD! like frosty cold, hands numb as we clocked past Mernda and got deeper into the ever thickening fog (don't get that on Beach Rd) but it cleared up as we entered into Whittlesea, which has to one of very few country cycling route towns that misses a good Cafe Latte .... or a place open at 8am other than a greasy spoon breakfast spot.

It gets a little rough in patches at Yan Yean but with plenty of town lines along the route the sprint points are available! And I need to set out better markers.

With a slight grade upwards towards Whittlesea - the route back can be taken with a bit of pace so long as you don't hit any traffic lights (or maybe all of them!) you'll find in even a small group heading back home is always quicker.

A great ride and solid 60km spin - worth adding in once a month or more to get more Km's in the legs leading into the GeelongIM70

Monday, May 18, 2015

113 Reasons Why

I did it - phase one, of a three phase process. The next Phase being training for it and then final Phase being finishing GEELONG IM70, 1.9km Swim - 90km Bike - 21.1km Run, That's 113km of effort I need to muster in one day.

No it's not a full Ironman, but I will be fully fulfilled when I cross that finish line on the 7th of Feb 2016. Why not a full Ironman? Well cost was one thing; I just don't have that kind of money having spent most of it on nappies and coffee to function as a Dadathlete.

And putting in for an event that big would mean not being able to attempt anything else stupid which would make for a pretty boring blog!

To put it into common terms the amount of effort this will take here are some simple F A Q's of where I'm starting from:

  • I work full time 
  • I have a 2nd part-time job as a Personal Trainer 
  • I've never ran more than 10km in one go, let alone a half marathon after swimming and riding
  • Last time I did a long ocean swim was the Pier to Pub in 1996, I was 15 years old!!!
  • I've never ridden more than 90km without at least 2, count that 2 cafe stops
  • Oh and I'm a Dad & Husband that is required to support my family regardless of my training hours
So it's a good level of NO IDEA i'm beginning with; I'm steely determined individual at heart and the early morning training running/ swimming is going to take on a whole new meaning come July when I really start to get going with being ready for this event. 

So all my roads will lead to Geelong IM70; close to a month short of Z-Girls 1st Birthday, training will require some further discipline over the Christmas Break when I like to over purge on the vino and meats. And having this on my mind must be what I think of every time I lace up for even the shortest of runs, or when I use those words "I can't be bothered tonight" 

My goal in truth for this event is finish! Which I'm sure I can do; but it's to finish comfortably to feel like I'm in control for the whole race and not allow myself to walk,pause or be beaten. 

I think I do my best work on sporting fields when I'm inspired, when I can find a source of inner nerve to keep me pushing, keep on track. Sometimes I imagine my opponents training harder than me, sometimes I think of the last time I failed. 

These acts of training will be the reverse, I want to inspire, I want people to think that it's possible to do something EPIC even when life seems too busy, I want my daughter to think that her dad ain't no slouch!

#forher #AR2G #GeelongIM70

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Adapt or Die - Billy Bearn (May Training)

" Adapt or Die" - Billy Bearn, Moneyball (Movie)

It’s from one of my favorite scenes in the movie Moneyball – where a young GM, Billy Bearn, played by Brad Pitt, explains to his very ‘veterened’ scouts that it was time to change.  He challenged them to recognize that they were the runt of the litter and if they did not adapt, they were destined to expire.

I'm not thinking I'm the runt of the litter, that said as a very average runner/ cyclist at 33 years old I'm certainly at the back end of the age group times for 30-35. 

This quote hit a cord with my training plan, never be afraid to look at the plan and think "this isn't working for me" 

Little Z-Girl is becoming more advanced and a little more demanding; and I want to spend more time with her. 

The weather has gotten darker, colder and wetter making long weekend bike rides being cancelled at the last minute and it's tough to muster motivation on a cold dark Wednesday night to lace up the trainers for a 5km run. 

With the little superstar generally waking up anywhere between 6am-6:30am it's a great time for me to do an outfit change, wipe a bum and get a little cuddle and a chat about life and sports before she demands a functioning nipple to feed on (something I can't provide)

To assist with being there for this moment and spending more quality time with Super Wife in the evenings without getting the training guilt's (we all get them) I've changed it up and moved to a early bird routine. 

Waking up before the sun hits the sky means I can get in a strength or run workout prior to hitting the bike for my ride to work. I have multiple routes I can on the bike to turn this ride into a hard reverse brick session or a recovery ride so to speak. 

The treadmill and bike trainer are gathering less dust, this morning was a good example had planned a 30min run but with bad weather it was highlights of Giro on the iPad while I thumped my feet on the treadmill. 

Training Plan for May:

  • Mon - 5:15am - strength workout unless sore from bike ride/ rugby then its a rest day
  • Tues - 5:15am Strength Workout with Kettlebells
  • Wed - 5:15am 30min Run/ 5km Run (treadmill if wet)
  • Thurs - 5:15am Strength Workout/ Evening sometimes rugby training run
  • Fri - Cycle to work, long ride no morning workout
  • Sat - Light run/ walk to loosen joints, play rugby game if scheduled
  • Sun - Group Ride weather dependent or its on the wind trainer for 30 mins consistent pace
**Remembering where possible I'm riding upwards of 3-5 days per week each morning and evening.

It's a big month for me, entry to Geelong 70.3 is due mid May & the Winter Dualathlon Schedule is being released, need to focus on first event the 10km run so more striding in the legs for longer periods is needed. 

Stuck in doors good excuse to stretch more and build body strength up. 

I've put more focus on diet recently; this has been mainly due to the wife talking to a dietitian herself and looking to get her running back on track. 

On wards to May - what will it bring???