Sunday, 27 May 2012

HBF Run for a Reason 14km

Unlike previously, I truly enjoyed this taper week. Maybe because I know I have done the miles in the past few weeks and now is really the time to recover. The extra to time to myself was most welcomed, and for once, the weekly mileage on my car exceeds my training mileage.

The HBF Run for a Reason was something I signed up for, as I was co-ordinating a team entry for my workplace, St Bartholomew's House. St Bart's also sponsored my tri suit for Ironman Cairns with our logo, so I thought I might as well print a few T-shirts for the team. The run starts and ends at the WA Cricket Association stadium, which I've not been into before.

I had a long-ish run in my program anyway, so the race will be timely. But I told myself that I was to keep at a steady pace and not get caught up with the adrenaline rush, and risk going too hard. It was a beautiful morning - fine weather with some light winds. Great atmosphere with musical bands and cheerleaders throughout the course. Running through the Graham Farmer Freeway tunnel was a first time experience for me as well.

The plan was to finish just under an hour, which is 4:17 pace. I found myself clocking just under 4:15 for most of the km markers, which were somewhat inconsistent - I could be running under 4 minutes for some, then close to 5 minutes for a couple. It was nice of Ray from BYL to be out that morning taking photos, thanks! The final km was a shocker, I clocked 2.5 minutes for that one, which only meant that the earlier markers were over distanced. I crossed the finish line in 58:17 - an average pace of 4:10, happy to dish out such a time with a steady, controlled effort.

The Ironman Cairns course preview was released a few days ago. The bike course seems like a rolling hills course but somehow the big hill at Wangetti doesn't look that bad. But then again, looks can be deceiving! The course does have it twists and turns with some speed bumps as we head out of transition. So does the run course, where we have to criss cross through some bar racks at the shared paths. Definitely an interesting one!

Only 7 sleeps away from the big race! My bike's been serviced (took it longer and more expensive than expected, but that's a story for another day!), I've had my massage, feeling good about myself, can't wait! Track my progress live on, next post shall be my race report!

Race bike setup - without the disc wheel this time, so I can tackle the rolling hills especially that big one, which we have to go through 4 times!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Mega week 3 - The final hitout

My final big training week before I start to taper. And I couldn't have asked for a better way to finish this last block of training. I felt strong for most of the sessions, and this helped me keep my confidence up in a big way, just two weeks before the big race.

Monday I did a 90 minute aerobic ride. Started at the Narrows Bridge and did the Shelley loop with a bit of Applecross on Duncraig Road. I had nothing else on that day. Tuesday morning was the BYL group run. A new place this time. We went to Railway Street, near City West train station. The set was 9 x 720m. My pacing was not that consistent but I did my best to keep them as close to 4 minute per km pace. In the evening, I had a long swim set of 34 x 100m.

Wednesday morning I had a 2 hour ride. Went up and down Freeway South path. It was a cold one that morning. My cycle computer showed 7 degrees at one point, and it was so foggy that I had look above my glasses to see where I was going. My hands were frost bitten by the end of the ride. And the warm shower at my office was indeed welcoming! In the afternoon, I did a 45 minute run from East Perth train station to the Causeway via Burswood. It has been quite a few weeks since I last did this route.

I rested Thursday as I had an early morning meeting. Friday morning I had 2.5 hours long run - my longest ever this year! I was feeling strong and very pleased with the result. I did a total distance of 33.2km, averaging 4:31 per km with negative splits each 10km! In the evening, I did 3 x 1000m swim to recover before heading out to join the boys for Korean BBQ buffet dinner to celebrate Sam's birthday.

Saturday was the long 5 hour ride. Up and down the Freeway South paths again. There was a moderate north easterly wind but there wasn't much of a tailwind or headwind in either direction of the ride. Just constant sidewind, which was a challenge by itself. Still, I rode over 153kms - 3 kms more than I initially planned in that time frame.

Sunday, I had another ride - a shorter one of 2.5 hours. I decided to go to the Left Bank, East Fremantle via Point Walter. Also another route which I have done for quite a while. I had to ride to Shelley again as well as along Mounts Bay road past the Swan Brewery to make up the time. After the ride I had 30 minutes brick run. I felt comfortable but I didn't know I was averaging 4:20 per km, which was a lot quicker than planned.

7.2km swim, 335.5km ride, 60.4km run - about 18 hours of training. That wraps up my final week and I'm ready to taper! These past few months of training were sure a lot more intensive than what I did for Ironman WA last year. But I do feel a lot stronger and hopefully, this will translate to a positive result come race day.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Mega week 2 - the week of redemption

In the previous weekend, I had to cut short a long ride and missed out a whole session the next day as I came down with a fever. So I started the week with somewhat mixed feelings - anxious of the missing mileage but at the same time I was worried if I was well enough to start training again.

Monday, I had a 2 hour aerobic ride, the weather still wasn't very kind. It rained heavily for for about 15-30 minutes during my ride, I was soaked and was a bit worried that I would fall sick again. Luckily I didn't and there were no incidents either, as the risks of accidents are higher when the weather is wet and wild.

Tuesday morning was the group interval running session with BYL. A smaller turnout as most were recovering from Busso 70.3. We did 8 x 950m, Ray was very nice to pace with me throughout, making sure that I kept to a steady pace - pulling me back whenever I got caught up in the chase with the guys in front. In the afternoon, I swam with a main set of 30 x 100m.

Wednesday, I had another 2 hour ride in the morning with some efforts thrown in. Went down Freeway south and back. There are still a couple of tri bikes on the paths, maybe they're training for Cairns too... or they're just very motivated to get back into it after Busso. In the afternoon, I ran for 45 minutes around my neighbourhood after work. The daylight sure is getting shorter now.

Thursday, I did a session of resistance training - push ups, crunches, squads and lunges - about 45 minutes. Friday was the big one where I had 2 hours 15 minutes of running. It was a beautiful morning as the clouds were gone and the sky was blue. I felt good and was able to hold an average of 4:30 per km pace. In the afternoon, I had long session of swim to recover - 3 x 1000m.

I had a shorter ride for Saturday instead, 3 hours, which was timely as I had an early swim session later. Started in North Perth as I joined Li-Ann for coffee at Fiorentina. The start of the ride was slow with all the traffic lights but once I got to the Freeway South path it was all clear. After the ride, I had a swim analysis session with Paul Newsome, which normally costs $165 per session but he did it for free! It was really interesting as I had no idea my strokes were so bad! Definitely something I can work on. I stayed on for the squad session after.

Sunday, I had a long ride of 5.5 hours with rolling hills. I did my usual route - Darlington, John Forrest, Mundaring Weir. Took me about 6 minutes slower than I did two weeks ago. As I got back to the city, I didn't have much left in my legs but I still went to King's Park to make up the remaining hours. But I rolled around for most of it. As I was leaving King's Park, a senior aged Chinese lady called out to me, asking for directions. My Mandarin is not that great so I wasn't much help.

I finished my ride at the Narrows Bridge, where I parked my car - a slow average of 26.2kph. I started my 30 minute run along Mounts Bay road, and I bumped into the Chinese lady again. This time I stopped to listen and actually she wanted to get to South Perth foreshore. I told her she could walk further and cross the Narrows Bridge. So I continued my run, finishing it with a 4:30 per km average. The lady was still around, waiting by a bus stop but she seemed alright, so I didn't stop.

I'm pretty after this week but glad I survived it. A total of 9.8km swim, 356.2km bike, 54.7km run - just under 21 hours of training. One more big week to go.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

The Two Taureans

May is the month when both my younger siblings celebrate their birthdays. Keith had his two days ago, unfortunately had a bout of dengue the weekend before but has now recovered and slowly but surely getting back to his own self. Karen's is in a couple of days time.

How time flies. Keith is already in college and Karen is making big waves in the fitness and personal training industry. Being away from home means I have missed quite a few of their birthdays, and sometimes forget how much they have grown.

Happy birthday Karen and Keith, missing you both very much. Can't wait to see you when I get home.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Mega week 1 - the drama week

So I've gone into my final block of training for Ironman Cairns - 3 mega weeks and 2 weeks of taper. The first mega week was not without drama, and ended with a bit of disappointment.

Monday morning had me riding for 2 hours. The roads were still slippery from the rain the day before. As I was riding along the paths near Tompkins Park, a pedestrian crossed right in front of me. I avoided her but skidded soon after and came off my bike. Nothing too serious, had some small cuts on the side of my leg and hip. My bike had it worse with scratches on the sides of the basebar and left pedal, and my left shoe was pretty gashed too. Still, I was able to continue riding so that's a plus.

Tuesday morning was the BYL group run session. Somehow the opposite leg of mine that wasn't scratched was feeling a bit sore - probably from the bruising of hitting the bike frame. Felt okay after warming up. Didn't have any problems with the swim session that evening either.

Wednesday, I had another 2 hour ride in the morning and a 45 minute run in the evening. The sore legs felt a lot better, so I was riding and running more like myself. Thursday, I rested as I had an early morning meeting.

Friday morning I had 2 hour 10 minutes of running. Of which, most of it was done under the pouring rain. I got so wet that after a while, I couldn't be bothered avoiding puddles anymore. I covered 28.4km, averaging 4:35. In the afternoon I had a swim session, which I found out that I didn't have my bathers with me as I got to the pool. Luckily I had my running gear with me, so I did 3 x 1000m in my running shorts - great resistance training I tell you!

Saturday, whilst most Perth triathletes were down in Busselton for the 70.3, I had most of the Freeway south paths to myself. I had 5 hours ride in my plan and after an hour of riding, the skies opened again. And it rained for nearly 45 minutes non stop. Those down in Busselton must have had it going tough. I felt a bit cold so I stopped to have my sandwich, but once I got back onto the saddle I've probably lost all my body heat and was shivering so badly that I could barely continue.

I got Li-Ann to pick me up, I was at Paganoni Road so it took her a while to get me. When we got back home, I felt like I had a fever. Slept lots, had some Panadol, Li-Ann took great care of me by sponging all over my body. Woke up Sunday morning feeling much better but decided to take one more day of rest. Should be able to get back into it tomorrow.