Recover, rebuild and hopefully reinvent

My next blog post was meant to be about reinventing myself - about trying something new and challenging myself in a whole new way. You see, since my last post, I've enlisted a personal trainer to build strength, particularly core strength. I've had three sessions with Jojo at Northside Boxing Gym.

Right now I should be writing about how hard the first session was. I could have called it "Burpees are not my friend". It's true. They're not.

I could also have told you about how surprised Jojo is about my lack of core strength, me being an Ironman and all. I could be quoting him right now. "You've been neglecting your core." It's true. I have.

I rolled my ankle during the week, though, and have some ligament damage. So I've had to rethink this blog post... and it looks like I need to rethink some of this reinventing stuff.

Worldwide Festival of Races: the Zen 10

The Worldwide Festival of Races was here. Time to run with Speedy Reidy once again! Well, virtually, anyway.

I joined the Speedy Reidy Runners a couple of months ago when the challenge was first issued by Speedy. I needed something to aim for and given that you could choose to run anything between 5k and a marathon, aiming for the Zen 10K was achievable, while still being a challenge.

My goal was to run no slower than 7.5 minute Kms, but also given that it was a virtual run with Speedy, to also capture the experience for her and show off Brisbane to the world.

One of THOSE people...

I usually drive to work and as I drive home, I spot runners loaded up with their backpacks, running home from work. I admire them, and I admonish them.

I've never been an afternoon trainer. I find it really hard to motivate myself to train after a day at work. So usually, I look with envy at those afternoon trainers as they bob along beside those of us kept captive by our cars and peak hour chaos.

My car is at the panel beater this week, so with a choice between a bus/train combination and a 9k run, I became one of those people.

September Salvation: fail or forgivable?

First weekend of October and I'm sure you've been dying to know how much fitter, leaner and stronger I am after my month of salvation.

Well, I dare say I am somewhat fitter. Maybe I'm a little stronger. The scales don't lie, and according to them I've lost a couple of kilos. But at the end of the day, I only exercised 20 out of the 30 days in September.

As a simple fraction, I could say 2 out of 3 ain't bad, but let's be honest, twenty is closer to the failing score of 14, than it is to the perfect score of thirty.

September Salvation: So far

Since I first posted about September Salvation on Sunday 4th, I'm sure you're all dying to know how the first four days have gone.

Day 1 - doesn't really count, as I made my pledge sitting at the hairdressers at 8pm or so. Had done a very quick and half hearted session on the stationery trainer that morning. I'll make it up. Had fish and chips for dinner too. Double ouch.

Day 2 - rode 20ks at an average of 25k/hr. Now that I think about this, I'm not sure it meets the "one hour minimum" requirement...

Day 3 - 35k River Ride. Won't mention average but the cemetery hill got my heart rate well up. Bought hummus at the shop to substitute for butter.

Day 4 - 90 minutes on the stationery trainer watching Eat Yourself Sexy. Crap show, but got motivated to look at my diet as part of Salvation.

So now you know.

September Salvation

Motivation comes from the strangest places at times.

I should be motivated by some of the events I've got on the horizon. I've committed to running with Speedy Reidy's team in the Worldwide Festival of Racing on October 9, and I really want to ride the 200k offering (rather than settling for the 110k version) of the Frank Papp Memorial Audax ride on 12 November.

Both of these events are personally meaningful to me, so I'm surprised that I've found my spark to get back into training from something that seems so much more frivolous. A friend posted on Facebook that she was going to exercise every day this month and completely on a whim I commented that I would too.

And then it was done: I committed myself to September Salvation.

Help! I have an "old mate"

Come on, you’ve had one too. Most people have. That person in your life whose name completely eludes you. You see them all the time, and it’s embarrassing. You should know their name; after all, they know yours, and what’s worse, they use it all the time.

At first, you can let the situation go. But before too long, it’s out of control. Too much time has passed for you to just ask straight out. You could just take a stab, but there’s an almost 100% chance that you’ll be wrong.

Then, something happens and you know you can't let it go any longer.

Are sportspeople heroes?

There's been a bit of talk about this since Cadel Evans won the Tour de France last weekend.

A bit of a brouhaha involving a social/media commentator on a national breakfast TV show. It doesn't seem to be dying away just yet, and I don't want to breathe new life into the issue as it starts to flail, so I won't "name and shame". I've been stewing over it a bit though, and as a result this blog post has been writing itself all week. I've finally had the time to tap this out, belated and blown over as the issue might be.

Keep it simple, stupid.

40ks on the bike last weekend. I gasped for breath the whole way.  5k run during the week. My muscles hurt so much the next day I was walking like a cowboy.

Sucker for punishment so went back for another 5k run yesterday. Coughed up a lung.

A few months off means I don't feel much like an athletic powerhouse these days. So where to from here?

Lightning strikes

Lightning is a thing of beauty, a vessel of awesome power. Mostly, lightning is some thing to behold. We marvel at it, and we appreciate it when it presents itself, for rarely is it around for long.

From time to time, tragedy accompanies this natural phenomenon and, out of nowhere, lives are turned upside down by a bolt from the blue. When this happens, we comfort ourselves that lightning never strikes twice in the same place.

It's strange that we're so reassured by this idiom. It is, after all, just a saying.

Two months of Fabian

So, it's the end of May, but my calendar still shows April.

There's a good reason for that. My Graham Watson cycling calendar. Appropriately, the month of April (the month of spring classics) features the man that dominated last year's Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. The Brad Pitt of cycling, Fabian Cancellara.

KKB saw what was coming. When I opened up to April, he quipped straight away, "looks like it's going to be April 2011 for a while".

Cyclists V Motorists: AP V The Old Man

I've never really vented on this blog about the ongoing rift between cyclists and motorists. It's a a topic that seems to be close to the hearts of every road user - two wheeled or four wheeled - so perhaps it's over due.

I'll admit I've been tempted many a time after returning from rides where I needed the digits on both hands (and sometimes also feet) to count the close calls I've had. But, I try to keep Triathlete Chronicles more positive, and even refrained from commenting too much on the motorist when recounting my recent crash.

But something's changed. I've finally had enough. It's time to vent.

These shoes aren't made for walking

My planned training for this morning was a walk.

I know. Walking is a cop out. As I write this, I am having a tough time using 'athletic powerhouse' and 'walk' in the same blog post, let alone sentence.

These days though, with my options limited through injury, I'll take walking above nothing. It at leasts gets me moving; gets the blood flowing. And I can always test myself out by punctuating my stroll with some short bursts of running.

Turning the corner

It's been a tough few weeks for the Athletic Powerhouse. I've felt a malaise that is unfamiliar to me; a feeling that all is not as it should be in the universe.

I got a bit gun shy after my ill-timed return to the pool, and spent the next week and a half trying to figure out whether the pain had become good, healing pain, or whether it was still raw, recovery pain.

This week though, I've started to turn the corner. I'm back in the saddle, even if for now, it's only short stints at home on the mag trainer.

Too soon? Yeah, too soon.

When I announced at work during the week I was heading to the pool that evening, I was warned by all and sundry. 

"The pool, what for?"
"Are you sure that's a good idea?"
"It's too soon!" 

I wasn't sure it was a good idea either. I even thought that perhaps it was too soon. I wasn't sure I was ready to swim, but I was ready to find out.

As good as it gets, after a crash

I guess it was always going to happen. In some ways I'm lucky it hasn't happened before. Sure, I've had a couple of spills. Landed in a garden bed after going over my handlebars once. Went down like a bag of spuds once or twice too. But that's as spectacular as it's been, at least until Sunday.

It wasn't pretty. Crashing your bike never is. But there are reasons why Sunday wasn't the worst day of my life. All things told, they ended up as good as they can get.

Blame it on the rain. And thank it.

It's only been eight hours or so since my last blog post, and I'm already copping flack for copping out on my run because of the rain. You know who you are. (And now, so does the rest of the world. Tyno. KKB.)

Let it be recorded here and how that I am thankful for the rain and my decision not to run in it, for the decision to run would have brought nothing good.

14 weeks to go.... JFT!

So with 14 weeks to go I'm ramping it up. I've even started swimming.

I have a much more relaxed attitude towards my preparation for Challenge Cairns. It remains to be seen whether this is a good thing or a bad thing.

Beer Mile: Best / Worst

Finally, after weeks of preparation, Australia Day was here and so was my chance to test not only my physical prowess... for today, I would also test my intestinal fortitude, literally.

In theory, it sounds like the perfect event. Drink beer, run a bit, drink more beer...

I'm an "athletic powerhouse" and I've always professed to have a cast iron stomach. Perfect event for me, and a great way to spend Australia Day. No?

The day the Tour de France came to Brisbane

This week's Ride with Relief was a fantastic spectacle for Brisbane. As a digital marketer and as an "athletic powerhouse", I have always wanted to participate in one of Lance's now famous Twitter rides, so I took the opportunity (and the morning of work).

It's a big call, likening it to the Tour de France, I know. Let's face it, it was just Lance Armstrong, Robbie McEwen, and Allan Davis, headlining a charity bike ride for a few thousand cyclists. How can that be compared to the spectacle of the world's largest sporting event?

Beer Mile Flood Relief - guessing competition

This year's blockbuster is coming to a Brisbane park near you!

For an awesome good cause, the Athletic Powerhouse and SpeedyReidy will star in:

The Beer Mile Flood Relief Appeal: Raising money for victims of Queensland’s flood disaster.

Lives on the street

A slightly off topic post today following spending the day yesterday helping a friend salvage his flood ravaged house.

I'm choosing my language carefully, and using the term "house" deliberately. My friend's house is a shell - no walls, no ceiling, and most pertinently, none of the personal possessions that make a structure a "home".

He has family and friends that foresaw the devastation. I'm told the recovery mission to strip the house of furniture, clothing - and even the new bathroom vanity - was epic. Some of his neighbours, like others all over Brisbane, Queensland, and now Australia, have not been so fortunate in these floods.

Practice makes perfect

So, Speedy Reidy and I have made a pact to run the Beer Mile this Australia Day.

What is a Beer Mile? I'm glad you asked. Basically it goes like this:
Beer - run 400m - beer - run 400m - beer - run 400m - beer - run 400m.

"Is this serious?" I glad you asked this too. I asked the same thing, and was surprised (and also delighted) to find that the Beer Mile is globally regulated. There are proper rules, and official world records.

Like most events I enter, the Athletic Powerhouse has commenced a serious commitment to preparation.

The RunLikeCrazy (Half) Marathon

After more than twelve months of following Tristan "T-Bone" Miller's Run Like Crazy adventure, the day was finally here.

Especially since I'd dropped back to the half marathon, I felt very little pressure, and could enjoy the day. I was looking forward to meeting Tristan, and to supporting Speedy Reidy to finish her first Marathon.

On reflection, my relaxed and cheerful readiness to run seemed a fitting way to approach being part of Tristan's remarkable achievement of running 52 marathons in 52 weeks, right across the world.