Thursday, January 22, 2009

Race Report: Robina and Resolutions

Last weekend I competed in the second triathlon at Robina. This one was a full sprint distance (750/ 20/ 5). The biggest difference, of course, is my cool new sunnies. Take a closer look at them:Pretty cool, huh? They are the same style that Emma Snowsill the Olympic Champion wears.

The race itself went pretty well. All my times were slower than the Raby Bay race, but I think it was overall a slower course. I still came 7th in my age group. Though I did get beat on the bike by one of my squad members and that was a little discouraging.

I also discovered the hard way that permanent ink provides good sun protection. See, sunscreen smears numbers, and there isn't a lot of the alcohol based gel available here, so I opted for having the number written on pre-screen, then just outlining the numbers in screen afterwards. The result was that I still have a few numbers burned into my right shoulder:

I need to get other screen.

The run felt good and was pain free until two days later, when my shin splint in my left leg came back at run training. And this brings me to my first New Year's Resolution: No More Shin Splints. I've translated this into several sub-resolutions:

  1. No flip-flops, ever. This one sucks, cause Brissie in the summer is prime flip-flop-wearing time, but I can feel the impact of no support on my legs just walking to catch the bus, so they are out. (I am making one exception to the rule and that is the beach)
  2. Stretching and strengthening exercises every night. I know they should be easy to bang out every night in the hour or so between dinner and bed, but somehow TV is so enthralling, I can't move my butt from the couch to the floor to stretch - this must change.
  3. Get new running shoes. I've been wearing Nike Triax's for many years now. They were recommended by Marathon and I've trusted them, but I think it's time to check out a new shoe and see if this makes any difference. I went to a good running shop on Wednesday night, and should get my new kicks (Mizunos) today.
  4. Get my old orthotics recovered. I truly believe that orthotics are more of an art than a science. I had my old orthotics for about 5 years before I started to wear off the top layer of them, and I started getting blisters. I've had shin splints on and off since I started running, but I was pain-free in Cairns, and this new bout came in with the new orthotics, so I'm getting a friend of mine who's a podiatrist to recover the old ones, and I'll go back to them.
Kicking the shin splints is particularly important as I start thinking about increasing my distance to achieve my goal of competing in the Busselton Half Ironman in May. It's just not that far away, and there are a lot of miles between now and then.

Finally, I'm instituting a no dishes in the sink over night policy. It's far too easy when you live alone to get sloppy. Sure it's another thing to do between dinner and bed, but it's a good habbit to get into.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Highlights of the tour 'Up Above'

So if I'm down under, does that make the US 'Up Above'? I think it does.

I'm back in Brissie from 2.5 weeks back in the states. By the numbers:

18 hours flight out
27 hours flight back (there's no direct US -> Bris flight as there was on the way out)
8 flights total
22 kilos of luggage
$45 in checked luggage fees
3 hours by train
1 night at the 9s
1 ride
2 swims
3 runs
Many bottles of fine American micro-brews (good show, Portland)
2.5 lbs gained (mostly in steak)
11 discs of BSG watched

I had a wonderful time. Here are the highlights:

  • Cycling around Houston with Paul's step-dad. John was an avid cyclist for years, but hasn't gotten a chance to ride much of late. We rode along the wide boulevards into the city, and out to a large park. It was perfect weather, didn't even require a jacket in December.
  • Playing boggle with Paul's sister and cousins (and getting thoroughly beat, even though I came up with the word "eleven")
  • Getting triathlon sunnies in the "asian fit" frames cause I'm so asian, seriously though they're the first pair of wrap around style sunglasses that don't bounce around
  • Finding and being convinced by Paul to purchase a New Year's Eve dress that got heaps of compliments on the night. Thank you, Paul, and Betsey Johnson.
  • Making pysanka eggs with my mom and Paul. My mom has been decorating eggs in the Ukranian batique styel for years. Paul got to try his hand on his first egg, which given that it didn't crack was a huge success. I got to try my mom's electric kistka, very cool.
  • Hanging out with my mom's housemate Cindy. Hi, Cindy.
  • Poking fun at the incredibly practical footwear in Portland. Maybe some one told the cocktail waitresses that they'd be behind a bar, but I doubt it. Some one was getting ready for work and thought, "yeah, you know what, I'm going to wear my orthopaedic sandals with knee highs with my little cocktail dress"
  • Listening to jazz music in the VIP lounge at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland (the drink lines were less of a highlight, but overall a successful party)
  • Going swimming with Paul in South Bend (and trying to calculate how many laps of a 25 yard pool I needed to swim to cover 1K, while swimming it)
  • Watching ISU win their 14th game in an undefeated season (not making the list is watching them take the stats to 14-1 in the next game)
  • Going to the ND basketball game, getting $6 student tickets, sitting on the floor in the fourth row, and then spotting ourselves in the ESPN coverage of the game the next day
  • Spending at least one full day in jammies watching Battlestar Galactica

New Year's 2008

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