Apologies for the recent radio silence, it’s been a few weeks since I last posted but that’s a great sign (in case you were worried Nan) as it means that lots is happening. Mainly, training is happening. HURRAH! This weekend marks the end of the first four weeks back in training since the old ticka’ went ballistic. And I’m feeling strong again (albeit totally unfit, but strong).
I’ve started working with a new coach who is based over in America (since our old coach is busy stepping things up and training to be a doctor… no biggie), and she has been helping me work out a programme over the past four weeks that brings me back to fitness at a nice slow and steady pace. For the first four weeks back, I’ve kept all riding to a sub 150bpm heart rate, and all running to to a sub 130bpm heart rate (I even got overtaken by a really tall lady who was WALKING the other day). Although, on the bike, I have to admit, it’s been hard to hold back, so I’ve been doing a few sprints here and there to test things out. But whilst running, it’s been so liberating to pull back, and to test myself to see how slowly I can actually go – if I think I’m going slow already, then I’ll go a little slower. It’s fantastic! The main objective is to simply get things moving again, and get the tendons and ligaments that I use for running back into the swing of things. And of course, to ease my cardiovascular system back into things as steadily as possible, so that there’s no big shocks to the system.
I’ve also been doing a lot of swimming drills, both on my own and at baby squad training (intermediate training that’s a bit less intense than regular squad, in order to keep my heart rate down), so I am hoping that my technique may be improving (plus we’re close to Christmas, so miracles aren’t unheard of at this time of year). I went to big kid swim squad yesterday evening (Friday nights at the pool – WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH LUCY PIPER????), and got some great advice from the coach there too. He pushed me really hard, but not so hard that I never want to go back. Some swim squads feel so intimidating, but this guy is a total coaching boss. He has a good way of making you feel like you’re nearly as fast as Phelps, at the same time as offering the most 101 tips that I need such as “increase your stroke count a little bit, as you’re sinking” or “you were great at doing that drill, but I’m gonna get you to just swim freestyle for a little while” whilst the others in my lane are all doing some form of decreased mobility exercise where they have their feet tied together or they can’t use their hands or some other crazy drill that I can still only keep up with if I swim as fast as I possibly can. Either way, I came out of swim squad feeling like a champion. We’ll get there.
The past couple of weeks have also seen me becoming a triathlon WAG spectator for the first time, which was awesome! Jarrod got a last minute entry the day before the first local sprint triathlon of the Gatorade Series from a friend who is training for Ironman Melbourne but who has been sick recently (Rich, if you’re reading this: thanks for the race entry, hope you’re RESTING UP and feeling better). So I went on down as number 1 support crew. My friend Alice was also down there doing her first ever sprint distance, after only completing her first ever mini tri two weeks ago – she’s killing it!
It was great to get down to Elwood and see the Melbourne triathlon ‘scene’ kick off for the season – it was packed! People in this city just love it – pouring with rain, windy, cold (Jarrod is wearing a beanie hat in the photos before the race), yet there’s hundred of people lining up to jump in the freezing water. I was happily rugged up in my snow jacket and beanie, although I did have a few pangs of jealousy that I couldn’t race. But maybe in a few weeks time…
Some shout-outs to people racing this weekend:
I’m heading down to another triathlon as a spectator first thing tomorrow morning, as Jarrod’s sister is entering her first ever mini-tri (GO MELANIE) and my friend Jess is competing in the second mini-tri of the series after picking up 2nd place in her age-group a couple of weeks ago (she’s one to watch for the future kids – you heard it here first). Also, another big shout out to a triathlete called Juliette who I met last week out on the road who is racing her first ironman next weekend at Bussleton – you were powering last Saturday Juliette so I have no doubt you will be a monster out there!! Keep smiling and let us know how it goes!! And of course good luck to Matt who’s also heading over to Busso next weekend – you will of course smash it, of that I have no doubt! And lastly, its a big weekend of racing up in Bright, with my friend Brooke doing her first road race – good luck buddy – see you back in Melbourne where I will be waiting to assume my standard place behind your back wheel. And Luke G who is up there racing too – kill it dude, and sorry we couldn’t make it! Oh, and also to Anne from Dromana whose puncture we fixed together today – hope you made it back safe, was great to meet you 🙂 And to the poor guy at the traffic lights on the new bike who couldn’t unclip – it gets easier and has happened to me a thousand times, good luck out there!