Archive for October, 2010

The end is near!!

Posted on: October 28th, 2010 by admin No Comments

The end of my 6 months in Boise is nearly here. I can never believe how fast it goes! One minute I have just arrived and getting in the swing of things, catching up with people I haven’t seen since the previous year then the next minute the colours of the trees are changing, the temperature is dropping, I am getting quite chilly, Halloween is around the corner then I know that it is time to pack up and head home to Perth.

But there is still plenty of good times to be had in Boise and one year I may even stay through the winter although that will definitely test me!

Last night I was lucky enough to go to my first college football game. Boise State has been dominating this season and when there is a home game the city comes alive! There is blue and orange everywhere! Forget about parking your car any where near the game. Cruiser would be one of the best ways to get there!

Boise State have a Blue field and are the only ones who have permission to do this!

Obviously anything goes at this game! The funniest thing was, once these guys heard me speak and realised I was Australian all they could talk about was Tim Tams and a Tim Tam slam!!

My first experience of Tailgating!

Everyone meets in the car park before, during and after the game for beer/wine and hot dogs! And if you don’t have a ticket to the game you can just stay there as most of the vans had T.V’s in the back with the live action!

Talk about a great atmosphere!

Thanks to “Mo” it was something I had wanted to do for a few years now and was finally able to squeeze in before heading to warmer pastures this weekend!

Yes, as you can tell it was a little bit chilly! I even had heat pads in my gloves to keep me warm!

No sure if this is quite my style!!

With 4 days left I am starting to get a little frantic! There are organised piles all over the apartment. One for traveling with to OZ, one for shipping, some stuff to send to friends and a bike to go to B.C. I think I am beginning to get a little confused!

At least the swimming, cycling and running is still going along nicely.

A couple of weeks easy is the plan which still leaves me with 5 weeks to get some good quality sessions in before Ironman WA. I can’t wait!

But for now as I can see the snow from my place on top of Bogus Basin I know the end is near for my 2010 USA trip but I will still get as much out of the last few days as I can!

Back to reality!

Posted on: October 23rd, 2010 by admin 1 Comment

After the Ironman in Kona and the amazing wedding and celebrations for Luke and Amanda the party continued but just moved states from Kona, Hawaii to Nevada Las Vegas!

I have so many great photo’s but you wouldn’t believe that right at this moment is when I am having trouble downloading them! I am not joking! But there are plenty on facebook if you really want to see them!

After an over night flight last Thursday we all arrived in Sin City Friday morning and checked into our amazing rooms at The Wynn – Encore. I was sharing with Alice and our room was amazing with an awesome view over the strip. As it was still mid morning the first thing on the agenda for the women was shopping (needed clothes to wear for the weekend!) while the males retreated to Luke and Amanda’s incredible suit for celebratory drinks!

It was all go from then on! An Ironman of different proportions! Afternoon naps were mandatory and the nights out at XS and Surrender were unforgettable. With private booths, bar maids, great music and plenty of dancing up to 18 of us were taking it all in!

Le Reve was incredible and it is still hard to believe what some of those performers were able to do. There strength and flexibility was simply awesome!

Somewhere in between those 2 days I did venture to the gym once to see how the body was feeling. An easy jog and stretch reminded me of what had taken place the weekend before. But with complete rest everything was coming around. Sleep was probably the only thing lacking!

By Sunday afternoon, just over 48 hours after our arrival we were starting to feel it but knew we still had one more night in us! I enjoyed a nice and relaxing dinner with Alice over a bottle of wine then we all met up again in the casino. I never really gamble and could quite happily have left vegas without spending any money in the casino. But thought why not! I had spoken to my mother earlier in the day and she reminded me that dad’s lucky number was 13 for when I played Roulette. So loaded with only $50 and no more I thought I would give it a shot! I started conservative playing red or black trying to make a bit of money but it wasn’t happening. With $10 I said “this one is for you dad!” and placed the money straight up on number 13!

Yep, you guessed it! Number 13 came up! So much for it being unlucky!!

Monday afternoon the group began to scatter heading to different places all over the world! Some to Australia, some to the USA, one even to Europe but all with fond memories of the previous 10 days.

I have since returned to Boise where it has been a little bit chilly but at least the sun is still shinning! Straight back into it since Tuesday just rolling the legs over with a bit of swimming, cycling and running everyday. Enjoying my last few days on the trails, swimming in yards and rides out to Emmett!!

The biggest challenge at the moment though is trying to organise and pack up everything that I have accumulated over the last 6 months! Honestly, where did it all come from???

The “BIG” Island!

Posted on: October 13th, 2010 by admin No Comments

The Hawaii adventures continue and that is my excuse for the delay in reporting on the race on the weekend. But I will attempt to break it down!

I was excited and ready to go! Feeling mostly calm, although there were a few moments where I had to breath and remind myself to relax and enjoy the whole experience! I slept surprisingly well and was in the water 15 mins prior to race start. Ready, set, go!!

By my standards I had a good swim. They had laid down the law at race briefing and if any pro’s were too far forward or seen to cause a false start then penalties would be given. With all the paddles in front of us this was never going to happen. But when the gun went off unfortunately they were still there and the first 10-20m’s of the swim was trying to swim over the top or around them.

I found myself in a good group that did eventually scale down to about 5 and we swum together the rest of the way. I was hoping to break the hour but was just over! A quick transition and I was on the bike on my way to the Queen K.

I felt great early on in the ride but held back to stick to my race plan and my goal. I was into my nutrition plan early and grabbing water at every aid station to drink and throw over me. I then made the left hand turn off the Queen K to enjoy the down hill before making a right and beginning the climb up to Hawii. It was as I (by my standards!!) was gaining some speed and getting into the aero position to overtake. But unfortunately I took too long, more than my 20 seconds anyway! As a result after the climb up Hawii it was 4mins in the penalty box for me! Frustration!!!

Apparently I was one of the lucky ones! Two people in there before me had 8 min penalties! After loading up on fluids and GU gels I was back on the bike for the return journey! The winds had picked up and there was no aero riding down Hawii! The cross winds were a challenge and I was constantly pedaling downhill. But back onto the Queen K and it was steady home!

Bike to run and I was ready to execute my plan. I started off easy and as a few of the guys went flying past. It was great to take in the atmosphere along Alii Drive. There was people everywhere. Aid station to aid station and nutrition were going to be the key! Through the first 10km I was right on track but as I began to make the return journey along Hawii the pace began to drop off, not just a little bit but quite considerably. I tried to keep pushing through, but I was feeling it, I knew that was going to happen but I didn’t expect to happen so early!! I just didn’t have it and I didn’t like it!!

I returned past the finish line to head out to the Queen K I noticed many Pro’s dropping out in front of me and behind, it was tempting but it was never going to happen! No Way!! I was getting to that finish line no matter what!

Aid station to aid station was the secret. 5km’s from home Karen Smyers ran past, a little in the sport, as she encouraged me to keep going. Donna Phelan passed me earlier on and I was able to catch her back up again, we had a quick chat about the day then ran together for the last few km’s. It was great as we pushed each other thru.

At the finish line 4 pro women had crossed in the space of 60 seconds and Belinda Granger was one of them. She gave me a hug at the line and said “we got thru it! Not our day but we never gave up!”

Alii Drive! The most awesome finish line in the world!! It was all worth it!

So what went wrong? 2 things – I chose to race Cancun 70.3 three weeks earlier for a good hit out in the heat, the reality, it took a lot more out of me than I expected and after all the hard work that was done before the race I was spent! It was too close for Hawaii for me, a race that you can’t go into half hearted. It is the world Champs, the best of the best! What else? It has been a big year for me! After not racing consistently for  1 1/2 years I went for it this year, for fun and for fitness, Hawaii was my 5th Ironman in less than 12 months! I am only used to doing 2 in that amount of time and in all the fun and excitement of being back I went for it! As a result I was tired!

Congratulations to all the West Aussies and there amazing performances on the weekend!!

To Luke and Renee for putting up with me! I am so grateful for them letting me stay with them, and being part of my adopted family for the race!

Mr and Mrs Mckenzie!!

Thanks for your friendship and the fun times leading up to the race, I am a little bit scared about Las Vegas if the last few days are anything to go by!

My sponsors! The K-Swiss family! You are the best! FELT, Blue Seventy, Ryders Eyewear, Novatron, SKINS, GU, Nuun, Computrainer, Ruth Chang Physio, Tony Bence Massage, Salle SMP Saddles and Swish Design, it has been an awesome year! A stepping stone back to that Podium, 2011 will be a big one!

Finally my family and friends! Although they were not physically with me in Hawaii, I could feel your presence every step of the way! Thank you!! Can’t wait to see those back in Perth soon! 🙂

Michael - this one is for you!!

Nearly there!!

Posted on: October 8th, 2010 by admin 2 Comments

I have been in Kona now 10 days and I think the timing is perfect! With 2 more days until the race I feel all settled in, have had plenty of time to adjust to the heat and humidity. Get some training in out on the Queen K, running in the Energy Lab and swimming the course.

For me it has been 3 years since my last visit to the big island and I must admit I did think over that time that I might not make it back again!

With the new rule changes for the Pro’s, coming back from injury, and having made the decision to make 2010 a building year, every racing opportunity was a bonus and to find myself on the start line in Kona this year, I am so excited!!

By Monday the surreal feeling of being on the Big Island had quickly changed as Alii Drive became a traffic jam of cars, bikes and triathletes (many of whom were definitely displaying fineable fashion offences!)

That is then the time for me to chill and avoid all the chaos. I have been able to get down early to the pier to get an open water swim in most days with Alice or Luke. Any later than 7.30 am and you are virtually swimming with your head up the entire time to avoid any head on collisions.

Tuesday was low key after an early morning session I joined Perth friends Luke and Renee for some Island sightseeing and snorkeling. Wherever I am racing I still like to get out and about and see some of what the location has to often. It also takes my mind of racing and gets me into a nice and relaxed state. The water was crystal clear and there was so much spectacular fish life to see.

This one is for you Dougal!!

Wednesday was a busy day with sponsors commitments but so much fun! A Pro panel with K-Swiss was the highlight of the day as I found myself sandwiched in between Australian legends in the sport such as Belinda Granger and Miranda Carfrae.

Two days before an Ironman for me is a day off! I always plan on sleeping in but it never happens that way. I still woke up at 6am and although I forced myself to try and sleep some more it wasn’t happening. The body clock is set for early mornings so no point in changing the routine now!

I have just returned from the Pro race briefing. Nothing new, just a reminder of the 10m drafting rule and the 6.30am, 30min head start for the Pro’s this year. I think this is a great idea. Especially for the women’s race.

It is now time for legs up, some moving watching, stretching and not much else for the rest of the day.

Tomorrow, first thing in the morning I will do short 15min swim, followed by a 30min cycle then a 15 min run. A little bit of everything! Get the body moving, check all my gear and equipment is good to go before checking it in later in the afternoon.

Then comes race day!

I am feeling relaxed and ready for Saturday. Yes, absolutely like everyone I am going into the race with goals and aspirations, a plan in my head of how I would like the race to go. The biggest thing will be to stick to my race and my plan! It is so easy to be caught up with what is going on around you but there is no doubt Ironman is a race of patience! Especially on this course!

My plan of attack, to swim strong (not the best discipline for me so it is all about limiting the damage as much as possible!)

Begin the cycle steady! Get into the groove, settle in to my pacing and start the nutrition routine. Try and push the pace up Hawi. I love to climb, so I need to take advantage of that!

Hang on for dear life coming down Hawi! If my ride out there last weekend was anything to go by, I was pedaling harder coming down hill than cycling up hill, plus holding on to avoid ending up on the side of the road!

After the turn off back onto the Queen K and the return trip to Kona it is a long hard slog, normally into a head wind and where the mental demons can take over. This is where I want to be tough and try and finish the cycle strong!

Run?? Every Ironman this year I have tried to improve my marathon run time. One minute or 5 minutes, it doesn’t matter, that has been my goal. I am going to try and do that again here in Hawaii by aiming for a more steady paced marathon rather my usual fast first half, hang on or die second half! I think there is a smarter way for me to be running the 42km but like anything else I need to practice it.

Hopefully all of this will lead to my number one goal, me crossing that finish line in Hawaii and completing the Hawaii Ironman 2010!! Everything else that comes with it will be a bonus!

One week down, one to go!

Posted on: October 4th, 2010 by admin 3 Comments

Wow, I have been in Kona for a week now and I must admit, this mornings run, finally I began to feel normal again and the run legs came out to play! This brought a huge smile to my face! It is this taper thing!! Something I can never really get used to!

After the effort along Alii drive I was ready to back it up with a solid pool swim session but a big sign “Pool Closed today” put an end to those plans so ended up back in the ocean swimming the course. Not a bad back up plan if you ask me!

My new home for the next 12 days with Luke and Renee! It is so relaxing sitting on the balcony, watching the waves and the surfers. Focusing on race day next weekend and forgetting about all the hype and activity that is happening just a few km’s down the road.

Luke put the Aussie flag up and before we knew it, he started a trend with another Australian flag making an appearance and the French are opposite us!

A trip to Costco was first up to load up the fridge and cupboards with the essentials for the next week and it was an experience to remember. You need to be shopping for an entire football team to get anything there! Lucky we worked out that all of us are huge oatmeal fans and the challenge is on for us to get through it all!

Quaker Oats are my favourite! The 3 different sizes, small, medium and large!! The large is apparently 110 servings but obviously triathletes don’t eat normal servings! We will see how we go!

Yesterday afternoon we made the drive to Waikaloa where we parked the car and Luke and I cycled up to Hawii and back. I am so glad we did! Although in Kona lately the temperatures have been warm the clouds and rain have come in the afternoon and it as been quite still. Not the case out there. It never is! And unless you get out there before the race you would have no idea! Yes, I was definitely riding on an angle and anyone who has race here will know what I am talking about!

On our return a surprise visit from Amanda and Ben Harper from K-Swiss and I had in my hot little hands my new race uniform! I was like a little kid at christmas and as soon as they left it was on so I could test it out!

“Beva” on the backside! My nickname from the good old netball days!

6 sleeps to go!!!

I’m Back!!

Posted on: October 1st, 2010 by admin 1 Comment

Back in Kona that is!!

I must admit it was a bit of an emotional arrival for me as I remembered it had been 3 years since I had been on the big island for this race in particular. Plus also the fact I was traveling solo this year. No family for the first time ever!

This years goal has also been number one to stay healthy and injury free and number two to slowly increase my training load and volume with every race which will hopefully lead to an improvement with performance with every race. So far I think these goals have been coming along quite nicely and now with the added bonus of racing in Hawaii I am so excited!!

This week I have been staying with Luke and Amanda where I have been totally spoilt by the amazing cooking skills of Amanda. There has been a lot for me to learn! In the mean time she has been rushing around organising there wedding which takes place 3 days after the race. I am so excited about it so can’t even imagine how she is feeling at the moment!! 🙂

Luke is all ready so go and there are some awesome “special” touches to his ride including these Zipp wheels that arrived the other day for him! “Go the Boxing Kangaroo”!!

Even though I was only traveling from Boise this time and not Perth, the 4 hours time difference and 12 hours of travel has been enough to take a couple of days to feel normal again and get into a bit of a routine.

Wednesday Luke and Renne arrived and it was fantastic to see some West Aussies! It had been a while.

Luke and I ventured onto the swim course on a gorgeous morning. The numbers of athletes is definitely starting to pick up now but the swim course was looking very calm not too crowded yet!  We followed that with a ride on the Queen K and a short run so all the work was done before lunchtime!

It was then a girls afternoon as Caitlin, Renee and I spent a little time in Borders which is huge here, finding some good reading material for the week and followed the up with a smoothie and some good gossip!

After this mornings swim and run session it will be time to pack up and move in with Luke and Renee. I am looking forward to the next week and all the excitement this race has to offer. But more importantly in a weeks time I can’t wait to get out there with a huge smile and enjoy an opportunity (as much as possible anyway!) I thought I was never going to have!