Thursday, April 23, 2009

Busso Training 24 April

Another week down, and only one more to go. I'm beginning to feel less stressed and more zen about it. I think it's that there's not much else I can do at this point. A few more sessions, but really nothing I do now is going to change whether or not I finish this race and what time I do it in. Here's the wrap up for the week:

  • 18/4 - am swim, followed by massage, followed by rock climbing
  • 19/4 - 60K cycle plus mini tri (400/15/4) in the middle
  • 20/4 - am pilates, pm core strength session
  • 21/4 - am 60 min run, pm stretch
  • 22/4 - am 55K ride, pm pilates
  • 23/4 - am 100 min run, pm stretch
  • 24/4 - am indoor ride
I got something in every day. Sunday's long ride plus mini tri felt good. 75K on the bike in total that day. Wednesday morning's ride was fast loops around the uni for 30K, then I did another 25K on the river loop on my own. Thursday morning's run also was confidence building as I felt strong at the 60 min mark, and then ran some pretty big hills easily.

My swimming has been hampered by public transport this week. Tuesday I left work a bit early to get a few extra laps in. I have to take two buses to get to swimming. One into the city and one out to the valley. The city bus was fine. There are about half a dozen buses I can take to the valley, so I hopped onto the first one and was on my way. Only to discover that it was an "express" bus which meant that it didn't stop outside the city until it got to the suburbs. And "express" didn't mean that it went fast, merely that it didn't stop. I pressed the bell to get off at my stop, and we whizzed past. So I thought we'd stop at the next. Still going. And I start thinking, yeah, I can just walk back. Until we've gone far enough that I realize, no I'm going to have to get another bus back to the valley. I was on the bus for at least 20 minutes before it finally stopped in Clayfield. I got off, crossed the street and waited another 20 minutes for the bus back to the valley. By the time I got to the valley practice was already half over, so I just went home. I was pissed. I had spent, all up, 2 hours riding on or waiting on buses.

Yesterday's swim was no better. This time the bus from the uni to the city took an hour. Seriously, I had run it faster that morning. And I'd taken the long way! By the time I got to the city practice had already started, so I went home again. Lots of stretching again. Now I reckon I probably should have gone any way, even a 30 minute swim would have been nice on the legs to work out some of the lactic from the run that morning.

A few more hard efforts this weekend, then it's time to taper and sleep!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Busso training 17April

Despite the rain, I've gotten some pretty good training in over the last week. Here's the recap:

  • 11/5 - 70K ride to Redcliffe and back with 40 minute ocean swim at Redcliffe
  • 12/5 - Went for a ride, but it was raining, so ran for 60 minutes in the morning followed by 30 minute run in the afternoon.
  • 13/5 - still raining, 2K swim in 39:30
  • 14/5 - 90 minute run am, 1K swim + squad swim pm
  • 15/5 - 50K ride am, pilates pm
  • 16/5 - slept in!, 500m swim + squad swim, pm
  • 17/5 - indoor spin session + 15 minute run off the bike
So all in all I'm pretty pleased with my training this week. The rain over the weekend did dampen my training, I would have liked to have done a few more long rides. Definitely the hardest session was that 30 minute run on Sunday afternoon when my legs just had nothing left. I think I ran about 6min Ks.

I was pleased with the 2K swim. My goal is to swim sub 2 min 100m. So finishing the 2K in less than 40 minutes is perfect. And the actual swim at Busso will be 100m shorter than that!

My wednesday morning ride was a bit funny. The main squad was doing intervals. My legs were feeling quite thrashed from the Tuesday morning run, and I wanted to get some more distance in, so I opted to ride out with the beginner group who was doing a river loop. This was a nice slow ride. We didn't do the full loop. It was sort of nice to reminisce and see people with their flat pedals and sneakers on the bike (and one girl with one bike cleat and one sneaker - halfway there!). It's been almost 2 years since I converted to bike cleats, and I love them. At the end of the ride we did a 2K sprint, and I was the first one home. Sure, it was an unfair fight, but it was a nice reminder of how far I've progressed. After they finished their ride, I did the loop again at a slightly brisker pace.

I skipped my run on Thursday morning since I've already done 2 long runs this week, and my shin was starting to play up on Tuesday morning. I also thought about going for a ride, but with rides Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, I think I'll be right. There's only 2 more weeks til Busso. I won't have another morning off between now and then.

My body is feeling pretty good. I'm spending lots of time in my skins (compression tights) and eating a lot. But I feel like I may have turned a corner with the soreness. Legs are tired and they do tucker out quickly, but they're not as achey as they have been. Hopefully, this bodes well for the big race in 2 weeks.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Busso training

Keeping myself honest. Here's the training I've done over the last 2 weeks (bold are days that I actually trained, unbold are my excuses).

  • 30/3 - off (day after Mooloolaba)
  • 31/3 - swim pm (mostly drills)
  • 1/4 - river loop ride (37K) am, pilates pm
  • 2/4 - nothing, at conference (attempted swim, but got scared as I was the only person in the water, it was choppy, getting dark and I don't like sharks)
  • 3/4 - nothing, still at conference, back seized up from sitting in conference chairs
  • 4/4 - massage for the back, no training
  • 5/4 - nice 9K run with a few sets of stairs

  • 6/4 - pilates am, strength training pm (ouch)
  • 7/4 - skipped run in the morning cause it was raining, swim pm
  • 8/4 - ride (~30K) with sprints am, pilates pm
  • 9/4 - run with squad + 20 minutes on my own (14K), swim circuit plus 1K warm up on my own
  • 10/4 - ride with squad (~70K)
So clearly, I've done much better this week than last. The whole back thing was a big issue. I've never had it seize up as badly as it did. I was not a very happy Laura. But the point is, I'm cramming in my training. This being Easter weekend (with public holidays on Friday and Monday), I thought I'd get lots of training in.

This morning was a nice long ride with some of the folks from BTS. We met at a very civilized 6:30am. I actually woke up before my alarm. I felt refreshed and awake, which is a nice to change to how I've felt most of this week. I even left a few minutes early, which was lucky cause 10 minutes into my ride it starts to rain. But Tanya and I were already almost to the meeting place, we weren't going to turn around. And it really paid off. Once we got going on the ride the sky cleared up, and it was beautiful heading south toward the coast.

About 40K in, we were riding down this big hill, and I got a puncture in my back tire. I could hear it pop and feel the air escaping each time the wheel spun by my leg. We stopped. I started changing the tire. I couldn't find the object that had punctured it, but I did find a hole in the tire from whatever had punctured it. When I inflate the new tire it bursts. Bugger.

I borrow another tube and canister (of CO2) from Nadine. At this point Mike starts to give me a hand. We replace the tube again. And just as we're putting the wheel back on the bike, it bursts too. This is a bad sign. There's something in the tire causing the tubes to burst.

Now we're down to our last spare tube amongst the group. This time Mike and I pull off the tire and inspect it again. Still can't find anything in it, but Mike reckons that gash is big enough (~1cm long) that the tubes are pushing through it, pinching and bursting. Now it's time for the old $5 note trick. Australian money is made of plastic, not linen like US money. Also there are no $1 notes, only coins. The smallest note is the fiver. The idea is that you line the tire with the note, the pressure from the tube keeps it in place, and the note keeps the tire from pushing out. Great idea. Only problem is none of us has a $5 note. I have a $20. So that will have to do. Mike and I replace the tube a third time, with the note in place, and we're on our way.

I mentioned it's a public holiday, being Good Friday and all. Well, this means that no bike shops are open. I've called about a dozen in the greater Brisbane area. Everywhere is shut. The $20 trick is a good stop gap, but I really need new tires to do the 70K ride out to Redcliffe tomorrow morning as planned. Shops should be open tomorrow, but not until after the ride. This is definitely putting a damper on my weekend training.

On the plus side, Nic bought my breakfast this morning since my cash was otherwise occupied.Here's the gash, with my thumb for a size reference. Also an impressive watch tan.

Half plan

The Half Ironman is 3 weeks from tomorrow. I feel like I'm essentially cramming for a test. I had made myself a program about 5 weeks ago to try to start getting my distances up. But between the stress about moving, dramas at work, and rainfall it just doesn't feel like I've put in enough Ks. Essentially I'm hoping that I have the fitness to do the race from the months of training that I've already put in and a few longer efforts between now and then.

I'm not worried about the swim. It's 1900m, that's only 400m longer than an olympic distance swim. I feel like I should be able to conquer that in 40 minutes.

The bike is 91K. This is a long ride. Ideally, I would do it in 3 hours. Just sit on 30K/hour. I think this is reasonable given that the course is pretty much flat. My bike time at Mooloolaba was 1 hour 21 minutes, which translates to just under 30K/hour average. This included transition time (and at least 2 min 45 to run from the swim to the bike). And a massive headwind. But it was also less than half of the distance.

The run is 21K. This is the bit that I worry most about. I've done 90K bike rides many times before. Afterwards my body is generally in the mood to shower and eat. Trying to convince it to run for 2 hours. Well that will just be tough. My half marathon time last July was 1 hour 53, on fresh legs. My Mooloolaba 10K was 53 minutes, which is just 2 minutes off of my best 10K time. So... double the length of the run, does that mean I'll go 4 minutes slower than my best (and only) half mara time. I reckon I'll go a bit slower than that still. Two hours on the run would be amazing.

Total all that up, that's 5:40. Add in 10 minutes for transitions (I'm planning on at least one pee break before the run). Seems like 5:50 should be the goal time.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Here comes the rain again

Queensland has been on water restrictions since I arrived. In fact it's been on water restrictions for the last 3 years. And it has easier restrictions than states further south that are essentially deserts. Shops give away free 2 minute timers on suction cups so you can limit your showers.

This past week we've gotten buckets of rain. In fact we've gotten double our April average in just the first 5 days. There have been floods and landslides, but the real news is that our dams are over 50% full, which is the trigger to reducing our water restrictions. We are officially no longer in water crisis, now just a drought.

This means that residents can water their lawns for an hour a week (in 2 half hour increments) provided they use a hose that doesn't use more than 9 litres per minute.

Growing up in Georgia, I remember having water restrictions, and they were a huge deal. People were up at arms about only being able to water their lawns every other day. It's a bit inspiring to see that a culture can put so much value on preserving their water.

For my part, I don't own a car to wash, and I do my best to kill off any plants in my care.

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