Monday, 25 April 2011

Cervantes - Jurien Bay trip

We were fortunate to have a 5 day weekend, as Easter coincides with Anzac day this year. Usually this is an opportunity for me to log some mega training miles. But seeing that it is off season for me and a long time more before my next major race, a short getaway was a good idea.

We decided to take a trip up north, spending just one night in Cervantes on Easter Saturday. A change from our usual trip down the South West. The journey only took us just over 2 hours, thanks to the newly built Indian Ocean Drive. Our first tourist stop was Lake Thetis, where the stromatolites were. We could have walked the 1.5km loop around the lake, but as it was pretty hot and we needed to get to erm... to the washroom urgently, we didn't stay long.

We checked into Windbreak B&B, a nice cosy bed and breakfast owned by an English couple. Our room had the beautiful view of the garden, and behind it was their vegetable farm and the chooks pen. After getting settled, we visited the Lobster Shack, where they had audio tours of the lobster factory, which took us about 30 minutes.

We then took a stroll along the beaches of Cervantes and stopping at Thirsty Point for some sun bathing. Dinner was at the local Seabreeze Cafe, which was pretty busy with all the Easter visitors. We waited over 45 minutes before we got our pizzas.

The next day, we had a full breakfast of wheatbix, cereal, muesli, yoghurt, toast, eggs and passionfruit muffins - all prepared by the lovely Windbreak proprietors. Upon their recommendation, we went to Hangover Bay for a short dip in the cool water. The beach was really quiet unlike the ones in Perth, but had a bit too much kelp for my liking.

We were given Easter eggs upon our check out, which was pretty cute. We then headed further north for about 25 minutes, arriving at Jurien Bay. It rained quite a bit but only for a while. Once it cleared, we got into our swim gear again, and had a short swim near the Jurien Bay jetty.

Lunch was hamburger, wedges and a very heavy jaffa thickshake at the Jetty Cafe. We then began our journey back to Perth, but not before stopping by the Pinnacles. We both have visited the Pinnacles before during our early years in Perth, but it seemed there was a new discovery centre and for only $11 entry per vehicle, we decided to pay another visit.

And to round up our trip, of course, we had to take pictures of some of the erm... more interesting looking pinnacles hehe.

I have a couple more days before I get back to work. I supposed we could have spent a longer time away, but one night away is enough for us, as we're both pretty busy with our own agenda. Besides, I can't be NOT training for all 5 days right?

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Sunday night dinner at the tavern

Ruby's Restaurant at Roundhouse Tavern which is less than 5 minutes walk away from our place. We wanted to have eat out for dinner for a change, and after going through our Entertainment Book (thoroughly I might add!), Ruby's was our pick!

Scotch fillet and seafood platter were our hearty choices, which were delightfully tasty. A quiet, family friendly environment and with our buy one free one Entertainment Book voucher, the place was a sure winner!

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Sluggish weekend

I pretty much struggled for most of my training sessions this week. It might have been due to the slow recovery from the blood donation on the previous Sunday.

The week started with the BYL Monday morning social ride. However, Bill and myself were the only ones who turned up. We took a slightly extended route, passing by quite a bit of the ocean on Cottesloe Beach. Since there were only two of us, we chatted quite a bit, about triathlon and life in general. We didn't stop for coffee, so I was able to get to work early for a change.

My sluggishness was evident in both Tuesday and Thursday swim sessions. I struggled to maintain an average of 45 seconds for each 50m, especially when we got to the longer sets. Wednesday's short run was probably the only session which I was able to give my best. I did 8.7km in 36:34 averaging 4:13 per km.

On the weekend, I swapped my bike and run days as the UCI World Cycling Tour had the time trial event in the city. Many roads were cloased. So I did my run on Saturday instead. I started with a good pace of around 4:17 per km, but somehow I just didn't have the energy to keep it up. Slowed down to a 4:30 to 4:32 per km pace. Finally finishing the 13km run just under 58 minutes, averaging 4:28 per km.

On Sunday morning, it turned out that I wasn't the only one who decided to ride that day. The roads were packed with cyclists and many triathletes who I assumed would be preparing for Busselton 70.3 in 3 weeks away. Towards the later stages of my ride, they were seen doing their brick runs. The winds were pretty calm and there were clouds. But it felt pretty humid and I'm wondering if there is a corelation between humidity and air resistance, as it sure felt tougher riding through the air despite low winds. I averaged the 80km ride in 29.6kph, pretty satisfied but expected a bit more in the calm conditions.

Looking forward to feeling stronger in the coming week.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Windy weekend

The warm weather took a sudden turn on Thursday, with a few showers in the morning and the maximum temperature dropped to the high 20s for a couple of days. Along with the cooler weather, came the strong winds. And it stayed on throughout the weekend.

Saturday's winds were blowing at about 30kph. I anticipated a slower ride. There were some stretches where I could barely pedal above 25kph. But there was tailwind at the end of my ride and I managed to complete the 80km distance just below 29kph.

Sunday, it seemed like the wind got fiercer. I could hear it blowing from my bathroom as I got ready for my run. Yes, it was my first run in 3 weeks, haven't ran since Singapore Ironman 70.3, which by the way entries for next year's race have already opened for those interested.

The initial plan was just to do an easy 13km run, to test the legs after the short hiatus. I did the first 4.35km loop in 18:40. But my competitive side soon got the better of me and not only was I trying to negative split each loop but I was also aiming for a reasonably fast finish time. It got a bit difficult later on as gusts were blowing at nearly 40kph.

In the end, I managed to do what I set out for. Finishing the second and third loop in 18:32 and 18:20 respectively, completing the 13km distance in 55:32, averaging 4:17 per km. And I was glad my legs felt okay after that, not that sore.

Later in the morning, I had a blood donation appointment. It was for plasma donation and the place was pretty busy. I waited nearly 40 minutes before it was my turn. Unfortunately the procedure was cut short as my arm was beginning to bruise. I donated only 1/3 of the 600g of plasma required. As the procedure wasn't complete, I wasn't able to get back any of the 500ml of blood cells that was pumped out.

Feeling a bit lighted headed at the moment. It's a good thing tomorrow is an easy training day!

Monday, 4 April 2011

It's all in the plan

Ever wondered if everything that happens in your life is all planned out? Either by fate or by some unknown force above us?

Li-Ann and I watched The Adjustment Bureau on the weekend. The movie was about a politician played by Matt Damon, who falls in love with a dancer played by Emily Blunt, but mysterious forces are keeping them apart, as it wasn't according to their life plan.

A pretty cool movie with an entertaining concept. Also made me wondered if my life was planned out for me to be a triathlete. But I can certainly relate to the fact that we make choices in our everyday life, that would change how our life pans out in the future.

One of the major life changing choices I made was the decision to study in Perth. 8 years on and I'm still in Perth, with my beautiful future wife, making a reasonable living for myself, as well as fitting in a minimum training regime for long distance triathlon in a very conducive environment.

We had quite an activity filled weekend. A friend's birthday celebration dinner on Saturday followed by a visit to a bar in East Perth. The Deville's Pad was quite a unusual experience, with the ghastly decor and alternative crowd. One of the rare late nights I had, as I didn't need to run the next morning, still laying off running for another week.

Although I did an 80km ride the morning before, in pretty windy conditions. Was satisfied that I managed a reasonable pace of 29.2kph. Looking forward to start running next weekend.