Breath4CF Update

The training has been going pretty well, and after a successful race last weekend I am hopeful about how Taupo is going to go. For those that do not follow my blog, heres the result for South Island Half Ironman.

Improved by 23 min from 2009. 1st in Age Group (30-35), 9th Female overall. Top 3 placing in the swim and bike legs. The splits:

swim 1.9K: 28min

bike 90K: 2hr44min

run 21K: 2hr9min

With these results I am feeling quite confident that I will be able to get close to the 12hr mark at Taupo. The deciding factor on that will be how well I can hold together on the run. I didn’t have as good as run as I was hoping for at SI Half.

My weight loss stalled at the over August / September, but I have made some more progress in the last few weeks. I have now lost 8Kg since Wanaka. After talking to the nutritionist, we are hopeful of loosing another 2Kg in the next 2months. But the month before Taupo we want to stabilise the weight loss, so realistically I will probably only be down 10Kg by Taupo.

Theres one more training race to go to. Wanaka Half Ironman in Janauary. It is a harder course, and I will be racing on tired legs, so will be interesting to see how the body responds to that.

Don’t forget to get your time guesses and donations in


Not a great recovery week

The week started pretty good. On Monday, I went for a recovery jog. I was feeling reasonably good, all things considered. On Tuesday, I was supposed to do a 90min long run. I thought that was rather optimistic, but headed out and had a pretty good run.

On Sunday, I had realised my Orange inhaler had run out, so made an appointment to doc on Wednesday. However, I am surprised how quickly I notice it once the medication stops. On Wednesday, I went to squad and my arms felt like dead weights. I struggled holding my breath for longer than 2 strokes.

Then I was supposed to have a long ride after work. I think this was the first time I pulled out after 15min on a training ride. I didn’t want to go, but went, but felt like crap. One of the rules the Jo gives me, is give it a go for 15min, if you still don’t feel right pull the plug. So I did.

Though part of the reason for not wanting to be there, was when I got home, I heard on the telly about the 2nd explosion at pike river, and that the miners were probably all dead. Now in hindsight, they probably wouldn’t have been all right after the 1st explosion. I think hopes eternal, and after the rescue of the Chilli miners earlier this year, you just thought that they’d get the miners out. After all, this is New Zealand, our safety procedures etc have to be better than those in Chilli.

Its just so sad, and I feel for the people of the west coast. Too me the West Coast is a training ground (not that it has been in the last couple of years). I can’t imagine what it will be like for them.

So anyway, the week kept on going down hill from there, on thursday I had a hard run, but my ear started to ache and I gave up early. A ear ache too me means a ear infection, and it explains why I had been feeling crap the day before. They just make me tired. So I decided not to do the swim on Friday.

This morning, I only had a hour run to do, and it was to be off road. So I decided, for the first time since loop the lake to do a proper trail run and headed up to the summit. Wasn’t a very fast run, I was a bit paranoid about foot placements. My lungs were not feeling great either. But I had a awesome time, it was stunning up there, was rather disappointed that it had to end so soon.

Got a longer ride tomorrow, hopefully I can have fixed myself up by then.


What a mission – Taupo Accomodation and travel all sorted

Jeez, I thought I was nice and organised for Taupo. Back in May, I contacted the Taupo Info centre and the booked me a Motel room for Taupo week.
Last week, after discussing with details with my sister I decided to change the dates that I wanted to stay. So contacted the Motel directly… PANIC.. they had no record of my booking. So back to the info centre, and finally got it all sorted.
Phew… though I am imaging that I hadn’t contacted the motel and turned up on race week with no accomodation, that would have sent me in to a tail spin.

So Air NZ had a sale on flights yesterday, so I now have a flight booked to Taupo on the Tuesday and returning from Napier on the following Wednesday. I was orginally planning to drive up, but after Nades offered me a spot on her car for the bike and it does seem like a long way to drive.
Plus Olivia’s going to drive over to Taupo on the Friday night, so I’m going to drive back with her to Napier on Sunday night and hang out with her for a couple of days. So it all kind of fell in to place.

So now I should probably think about what I doing for Wanaka, Em’s offered me a couch. Sounds like a decent option to me 🙂

Additional thoughts – SI Half Ironman 2010

Heres the link to what my garmin collected on the run (I only wore it on the run leg).The first lap, was looking good for 2hrs, but unfortunately just couldn’t hold that pace. Plus it seems to think I ran 21.5 K, so that .3 K further than what the course was supposed to be. Not sure if that’s just because I run corners wide, maybe I need to work on that 😉

The run course WAS longer than last year

Last year, if I had smashed the bike like I did yesterday, I would not have survived the run. I would have ended up walking and my run time would have been longer. I have accepted, that while the run was not on target goal, I am quite impressed that my body managed to hold it together as well as it did and still managed to run throughout (walking aid stations the exception).

I will not be smashing the bike like that in Taupo.

My period arrived one day late (today.. aggh period pain and muscle soreness, not a great combination). I worked out it was due the day of the race 3 weeks ago. Nothing I could do about it but hope that it was going to be a month that I barely notice it. Considering I normally feel like crap the day before it arrives, I am rather surprised about yesterday. I suppose when you racing your body just reacts differently. If I had been mouching around home for the day, I probably would have felt crappy.

My body is not as sore as last year. Last year I was truly cursing the stairs when I got home. Yesterday, I walked up them with not to many problems. Today, slightly different story, it hurts a bit to go down, and a little bit to go up. My back aches a bit from muscle soreness. It started to hurt on the last lap of the bike, probably because I wasn’t using my gluts probably at that stage. But it didn’t bother me on the run. Need to work on making those gluts work better.

I still can’t work out how I bet Kathryn out of the swim. She goes to squad and she IS faster than me in the pool.

Do I really need a new wetsuit? It was the plan, but my 5 year old one is still chugging away nicely (and still fits snuggly *sigh*) and don’t see a new one making me that much faster.

Finally, Big thanks to my coach, Jo Knight. I really not have managed this without her steady input.

An improvement in all departments – SI Half Ironman 2010

With the biggest improvement coming from the bike. Which is rather surprising, I haven’t been working on my bike as much as the other 2, and lately I have been a little worried that my bike has been a bit slow. Well, I don’t think I am going to worry about that now. It won me the day, and by won, I mean it literally. Some how I won my age group.

That’s not supposed to happen to me, I don’t “win” things. I am just out there to do my best. I was quite shocked to be at the top. Of course, it does depend who’s entered your age group, and mine was a bit weak this year, but shite it probably not going to happen again, so I am going to be quite proud of my medal. I was 9th overall, out of about 37, so to say I am rather chuffed is an understatement.

But what has actually got me more chuffed, is the amount of time I took out of last year. 23min to be exact, I was hoping for it, but really did not expect to pull it off. It was in the “plan”, the way I enacted the plan, maybe not as I intended. But let me start at the beginning.

Pre- race

Me and Em headed up to Ashburton on Friday night, so it was quite a relaxing morning compared to last year. No headless chicken running around for me. When I first looked out the window in the morning, I saw blue sky, and was a little bit hopeful. But the grey clouds came over and it never got much warmer.

I really didn’t want to do another “cold” half like last year. I just didn’t wan to be there at the start. If someone said, let’s go home I probably would have jumped in the car.

I was indecisive about what I was going to wear on the bike, but I decided to learn from last year, and not just go with vest and arm warmers, I decided to put on my winter riding jacket, and now am really, really glad I did. But I had all the options laid out in transition “Just in case”.

Swim – 28:41, 3rd Female.

2009: 32:09, improved by 3min 19sec

Once you get racing, those negative thoughts just kind of disappear. I so didn’t know this course, I thought we’d have to go around the 5knot buoy at the start, but turns out you didn’t. I just gave up knowing where I was going and followed the person in front and hope they knew. I know, I know you should know the course, but I had trouble hearing at the briefing, so just assumed.

There wasn’t much biffo at the start, so I settled into work quite quickly. I struggled with breathing properly. It was like I couldn’t get a full breath, I finally burped at the on the 2nd lap and breathing came easier.  As I was going along, at times I thought I was by myself, but then I got to a bouy, and it turned out some people must have been drafting off me so they beat me around the bouy, bashing me a bit. I thought that was just rude, if they’d been sitting on me they ould show a little consideration. I then tried to sit on one guys hips, but he stopped every so often to do a breaststroke kick, and when he did he kicked me in the stomach, the 2nd time that happened, I decided probably best not to be on his hips.

Its tough up with the front group, there was biffo and no give way from anyone, I was quite over it by the time I got out. Well fell out, I fell over a couple of time trying to get out of the water.

T1 – 1:39

It was a mad dash through transition. I struggled to get the jacket on. And after that fluffling decided it was best not to waste more time putting gloves on.

Bike – 2:44:46, 2nd Female

2009: 3:01 (unofficial, the  official time included both transitions) improved by 16min

I just smashed it from the start, I span my legs to start with, than moved to a bigger gear. Probably took me half the first lap to get my breath back. I was cruising along quite happily on the first half of the lap, when a large bunch caught me about 10min before the turn around.  I found myself at the back of the bunch, trying to avoid drafting. But I wasn’t happy and I didn’t want to be caught in this bunch for the rest of the ride, so I put the hammer down and just smashed it, over taking all of them again. I didn’t see any of them again for the rest of the race.

Then I got into a leap froging situation with one guy,  and we pretty much stayed together for the rest of the ride. After the first lap, we were joined by 2 other guys. I now know what people mean when they say it’s easier when you stay in a pack, even if you are the legal distance away, you get a benefit. I decided to try to stick with them, though it was hard at times not to draft, the guy in front would slow down and you’d suddenly find yourself on his tail. So you’d pull out and wait for him to speed up, otherwise overtake. On the final stretch back to the end of the 2nd lap, we had bunched up a bit, I got caught behind one guy, who was blocking, so I couldn’t overtake. The guy next to me said stop drafting. It was like nothing much I could do other than slow down.

Anyway, that guy must have got his a bee in his bonnet and I reckon he didn’t like that I was keeping up with them (I can see no other explanation). He was normally in the lead, so quite frankly he probably see what I was doing most of the time, but some way down the out straight on the 3rd lap, he looks behind, slows down comes down beside me and tells me to stop drafting. I was gobbsmacked, I hate drafters as much ss the next person. I admit there was times when I was too close. But I was staying 2 bike lengths away most of the time.

He then went back up to the front, but kept on looking back at me. I was getting a bit paranoid, so let more space between us. And soon lost contack with the group. Didn’t really care that much, other than I could see that guy going “See you couldn’t keep up with us without drafting”.

I had decided early on, that I use the final back as a rest for my legs, as it had a slight tail wind. So lost them all together as I spun out the final stretch.

(I couldn’t get to sleep last night,as I was thinking about this drafting incident. Did I get too much advantage off them? I concluded no, I wasn’t constantly sitting on them, I was in front some of the time, and when I wasn’t I was the legal distance away (unless my perception of the legal distance is wrong).

T2 – 1:58

I didn’t sit down this year to get my socks and shoes on, but it was a close run thing 🙂

Run – 2:09:57, 24th Female

2009: 2:12:25

This is the most disappointing part of the day. I was aiming for 2hrs. But after smashing out the bike, I didn’t have enough gogo juice in the legs. Part of today was about trusting the legs to handle a smashing on the bike and to see how much of a smashing they could handle. Well I found out the bike was just a little bit too smashed.

My first lap went OK, I was keeping to the 2hr pace mainly, but on the 2nd lap I started getting 6min K’s and my legs well and truly felt it. So I just kept on saying to myself keep cadence up and hips forward. On the 2nd lap, the team runners started to pass me, and every single one of them seemed inclined to say “Looking good”, or “Your going well” or some such. Well yes thankyou, while I wasn’t hitting the pace I wanted I was actually feeling pretty good. I know each and every one of them meant well, but really you don’t need to say anything.

At the end of my 2nd lap, Graham past me at the start of the board walk, and as I was coming around I saw him finish. Zarnia and Rachel were there cheering me on, and for some unexplained reason  right at that point I wanted to cry, Graham had finished and I still had a lap to go. Rachel said “Keep it steady”. Thanks Rach, Thats got to be the most helpful thing anyone said to me. I got my head back together, concentrated on cadence and keeping hips forward. This year they had changed the course, so you had to go up the stairs at the end of the board walk. I thought that was just cruel.

Well, about 2K into that final lap I hit a wall of some description. It was a very hard point, going down that grassy verge all the way around the back off the lake, I was very glad to get to the aid station and have a drink of coke. Felt betteer after that and continued on, only about 3K to the finsh from there. I was glad to get to the little out and back, but coming back I saw Em (I was rather surprised she hadn’t passed me yet). I thought crap she’ll catch me, so picked up my pace a little bit and finished strong.

I was very surprised that the clock was under 5:30 and absolutely knackered.

Total time: 5:27:01, 9th Female

Nutrition went really well, Powergels didn’t bother my stomach and I was consistently drinking and taking them every 45min.

Tip of the day: Cut your toe nails before you race. I could feel my little toe nail digging in on the last lap

Cyclists are dying

5 cyclists dead in five days. It’s a bad run of luck, caused by unthinking idiot drivers, and you know everytime you get on your bike there is a chance something bad will happen, but this makes you think twice getting on your bike.

Getting Twitchy

I’m having trouble sitting still, and last night took ages to get to sleep, as I had all the options going through my brain.

Why? I wonder that myself, this is of course all to do with SI Half Ironman on Saturday. Last year I just rocked up, I had a plan of-course, but had a reasonable goal of getting under 6hrs, and didn’t really worry me if I did or not.

This time, I have written a rather ambitious race plan. I alluded to time etc previously, and they are still close to the same. I know if everything goes right, I should be able to achieve it. But I also have a few things in the plan that are “tests” for the big race day. They could make the entire race fall flat around my feet.

It doesn’t help that the run this morning, I got a twingy sore calf. I was doing some maximum efforts, so was probably stressing the muscle more than normal. Oh but it made me think twice and I decided to walk home rather than risking doing any real damage. Plus, with the thoughts of Rachels and Mels current injury woes, I was probably being a little bit cry wolf. I have been so happy with my lack of twinges lately, probably thinking I’m slightly bullet proof in that respect.

Other things are starting to make me think, should I use my race tyres or stick with the new set of training tyres I got recently(original plan) (If a comment on sportzhub recently is to be believed, I could save 10min on my bike time).

Ahh well, bring on Saturday, lets hope its warm, but not too warm, with no wind. Apparently I’ll be traveling down in the Cycleworkz car, so Emma and me should be easy to find. We are going down Friday night, I thought that was the best option after all that fluffling I ended up with before last years race. Now I can easily cruise to the race start without the big headless chicken act.