Seven Peaks Challenge: Falls Creek

Today I cut short what would have been a 120k ride to drive over to Mt Beauty and tackle just the 30k climb up to Falls Creek.

I know driving seems to be cheating somehow, but let's not forget I haven't been on a bike much since June...

Seven Peaks Challenge: My old friend, Mt Buffalo

I didn't read Gerro's tips for Mt Buffalo.

I've ridden this climb before - in fact earlier this year I rode it twice in one day as the adjusted course for the Audax Alpine Classic 140. So I knew what I was in for today.

Seven Peaks Challenge: Mt Buller

After yesterday's abysmal experience on Baw Baw, I approached today's climb up Mt Buller with renewed confidence.

I promised you, dear reader, that the Seven Peaks Challenge was not dead, and my commitment to you and the Challenge is unwavering.

Seven Peaks Challenge: Baw Baw aborted

Today's plan was Baw Baw, the second in our plan for the Seven Peaks Challenge.

It was always going to be a tough ask, given that Simon Gerrans' advice for the climb includes the words "steep" and "complete stop".

Though things didn't go to plan, I'm not quite ready to say that my quest for the Seven Peaks Challenge is dust. Not just yet.

Seven Peaks Challenge: Lake Mountain

Surprise... I'm down in Victoria tackling the Seven Peaks Challenge.

The Seven Peaks is not an organised ride as such - it's more an initiative of a handful of resorts in Victoria's alpine regions. Recognising that cyclists travel to their region in the summer to ride their mountains, they print up a 'passport' that you get stamped at the top of each of seven famous climbs.

Today's ride was Lake Mountain.

First 50 - Kurrawah2Duranbah done

You've probably all forgotten I ran my first 50ks a couple of weeks ago now. Hell, I've almost forgotten too!

But better late than never.

Let's be honest, not only do you, dear readers, deserve a race report, so does 50ks.

The magic eight

The Kurrawa2Duranbah website is telling me there is 21 hours and something to go. (Because I'm a slowie I've got an early start so for me it's 20 hours and something.)

I'm feeling like my physical preparation has been pretty good. Mentally, though, I've probably done less than for other events and my strategy is all about the magic eight.

K2D packed and ready

I'm packed and I think I'm ready for my first "ultramarathon".

Yes, I'm using Ironman bags. They're just practical. I don't have Busso envy or anything like that. I'm pretty excited about taking a step up with my running.

My equipment list is a lot smaller than usual, as I'm only running. So what have I got in all these bags?

(Avoiding the) Taper Tummy

It's taper time. It's two weeks until the Kurrawa2Duranbah.

Taper means less volume, and usually some higher intensity work. Taper is the time you tell yourself that the physical side is done and all that's left to do is to keep yourself healthy and work on the mental side of your game.

For me, taper also means taming the appetite to avoid what I've come to call "taper tummy".

My running handbag

Last weekend on my 42k training run, when my friend Carrie met me to run a stint with me, one of the first things she said to me related to the Camelbak I've started using on long runs.

"I was wondering how you carried things you need when you run this far. I wouldn't drive 42ks without my handbag."

So I guess it's time for a tour of my running handbag and its contents.

Challenge Accepted!

When I first realised I had to do a 42k training run to prepare for my first 50k race I'm not going to lie... it was a bit confronting.

But all the programs I'd looked at all had a longest run of this distance so there was really no getting out of it. I channeled Barney Stinson... "Challenge.. Accepted!"

Today was the day of the 42k training run, but I wasn't the only one that accepted a challenge.

Ironman V Ultra runner

If you haven't seen this and you're a triathlete or endurance athlete - you should. As long as you're not one of those triathletes or endurance athletes that take themselves too seriously.

On last weekend's long run, I found myself caught between the worlds of the triathlete and the ultramarathoner and for the first time, I started wondering where I fit.

If all else fails Part Two

Thanks for your feedback from my last post, both here and on Facebook.

This is a follow up post, but you'll notice I've called it 'part two' not 'number two'. (Sorry. I'll try to resist any more poo jokes.)

I've learned a lot since Part One, both about blogging and about runners bowel. It's only fair I share my insights.

If all else fails...

You'll know from looking at this picture whether you want to read the rest of this blog post.

If you're an endurance runner, you may already be nodding your head knowingly. If you're not, well, brace yourself for an overview of "runners bowel".

Thirteen suburbs, two bridges, one long run

Well the title of the post sums up everything really.

36ks covers a lot of territory.

It was a big day. I'm still feeling it now.

World record holder. I guess.

I swam a couple of shifts at swim4kids this last week. Even with limited swimming in the last little while, it was too good an opportunity to pass up.

Longest run is long no more

This weekend's long run was 32ks.

Usually this is distance of the longest long run I do in training for an Ironman but this time it's just the beginning. Next week is 35.5, and then on alternate weeks, 38.5k, then 42k.

I had to consider yesterday's run as just another long run, not "the big one" and I found the way to do it - International Park Run day.

Poo, poles and people on the Peninsula

In case you missed my last blog post, I've signed up for my first ultramarathon. This means I'm running a fair bit.

Last weekend's long run was 29ks, a distance I've done in training a handful of times before. But this time it felt different. It hurt a bit more than usual. (I suspect it hurt more because I had a massage on Friday. That's a whole other story. Note to self: write blog post about Friday's massage.)

So I preoccupied myself however I could on my run from Sandgate to the Redcliffe Peninsula and back.

Five oh...Oh!

I've signed up for the Kurrawa - Duranbah 50k road race this December.

It's something I've wanted to do for a few years now. Last year I decided it was too much to hope for in the leadup to the two Ironman races I'd ended up in this year. The year before I chose a Foo Fighters gig over the 50k run.

(Theoretically I could have done both; the Foo Fighters gig was on the Gold Coast the night before the run. But, like last year, I thought it was too much to hope for.)

I've bitten the bullet now and here's what's going through my mind.

Racing the Suburbs

This last week I've been running a lot.

In fact I ran six times last week, so that I could make a video of myself running six times, for my friend Kate (aka Speedy Reidy), of House of Goals fame.

Speedy Reidy is about to embark on a 250k, six-stage ultramarathon in Iceland - Racing the Planet - so running a measly 55ks, and documenting it, was the least I could do to support her.

Athletic Powerhouse 2.0

There have been some significant mental and physical changes taking place in me lately. Some of you who know me well may have noticed some of these changes, even if I haven't been all that forthcoming in talking about them.

But despite not having known what to say until now, I've been reflecting on these changes for a while... certainly since before Ironman Cairns.

I've decided that there is a new me, I've decided to own this new me, and now I'm going public. I'm launching Athletic Powerhouse 2.0. Here's why and what it all means.

Smiling in sunny (?) Cairns

It's a few weeks now since Ironman Cairns. It's been a busy few weeks of travel since then so I apologise for my late race report.

If I had have written my race report in the days after the event, it probably would have been a lot about how I suffered on the run and didn't meet the goal I'd set for myself.

Time often changes perspective though, and I'm now feeling much better about the race. Especially as I have it on good authority that despite how I was feeling, I kept on smiling.

Color Run - it's not a typo

Today I did the Color run in Chicago!

It was advertised as an untimed 5k run (by my Garmin it was only 4.2ks or so) and it claims to be the happiest 5k in the world. It is pretty cool.

There isn't much to say really so I'll let the pictures do the talking.

Ironman actually is pretty amazing

Today is four sleeps til Ironman Cairns.

It's also my bestie's birthday so I went to The Vanilla Pod to get a delicious cup cake to celebrate for her (she lives overseas so it's the best I can do, really).

Was I feeling just a tad guilty having cake for lunch this close to a race? Hell yes. But not for long.

Hello June. And Ironman Cairns.

Well, that happened quickly.

Just a moment ago, I was getting my May training mojo back.. and now it's June, and Ironman Cairns is only a week away.

I'm so excited that this race is nearly here... I'm nervous and curious to see how my body races after an abbreviated  program since Ironman Melbourne.

Lost and Found: Noosa Sports Fest weekend

Last Saturday I swam the Noosa Blue 3.8k ocean swim and got lost.

On Sunday I found my training mojo through an unexpected source.

I know, a whole weekend in one post. I'll try to keep it brief. Stay with me.

Backing up

It's now four weeks after Ironman Melbourne and time to check in.

Actually, more than that, it's probably time for a reality check.

I'm trying to back up in time for Ironman Cairns but it hasn't all gone to plan.

The ups and downs of Ironman Melbourne

Until four weeks before Ironman Melbourne I hadn't imagined I'd be using "ups and downs" as a descriptor for this race. I had trained so well and was loaded with expectation for a good performance - maybe even my best ever - then a niggle hit and before I knew it I was crying to my masseuse and scurrying off in search of a Plan B.

In the week leading up to the race my niggle didn't seem so bad. I was again filled with optimism until I landed in Melbourne and was reminded of the unstable weather patterns that had initially warded off any desire to do this race in the first place.

By now I was expecting race day to be filled with ups and downs and I wasn't disappointed.

The holding pattern

I flew to Melbourne yesterday and got my registration out of the way.

I packed and repacked my transition bags a few times today.

Well, more than a few.

Kings of the Coast 3.8k swim

I arrived at Lake Kawana on Sunday very unsure of what lay ahead of me.

It was a very respectable start time of 8.30 registration for a 10.45 race start - the down side of this is that there is plenty of time for nerves and doubt to creep in.

I started questioning everything - do I wear my wetsuit, do I change down to the 2k swim that I didn't know was on, do I just go home...

King or Joker?

Tomorrow I'm doing the Kings of the Coast open water swim.

I haven't entered even though it's been on my program for months - I even nominated it as one of my goals for this year.

So why am I fronting up for a late entry rather than being preentered and prepared like normal? Good question.

28 days and hatching Plan B

It's four weeks to Ironman Melbourne. In 28 days time I'll, hopefully, be heading towards halfway through my marathon.


I hit a bit of a setback this week in the form of a tight gluteus maximus / piriformus. No injury as such; it's just tight as hell. This means a fair bit of rest in the short term to avoid more serious injury. Which, given the timing, translates to a slightly longer taper than I'd planned on.

Time to hatch Plan B.

Brush with fame: Justin Langer

Last Friday on my long run I ran into Justin Langer.

Not literally. Man, that would have been embarrassing...

But then again, I said something kind of lame anyway so I might as well have made a complete fool of myself by bumping smack bang into him...

But more what I said later. Let's focus on why I said it (even if it came out all wrong).

It's training. It's meant to be hard.

I completed the Alpine Classic 140k a couple of weeks ago and with that my first goal for 2013 is done.

It was a long day, the hardest I've ever had on the bike.

There were many reasons for this I guess but its probably as simple as this - it was my hardest day on the bike because it was a bloody hard day. But more than that. I hadn't trained specifically for this event - this event was Ironman training. Training is meant to be hard.

A Tawonga Gap detour

A nice ride in the Australian bush today, up Tawonga Gap from Bright across to Mt Beauty, and then back again.

I wasn't going to ride today because I'm entered into the 140k Alpine Classic on Sunday. The Alpine Classic rides have been changed, though, due to the Harrietville bushfire. The 140k ride was meant to include Tawonga Gap, but instead it will be two laps of Mt Buffalo.

So we rode the gap this morning and I'm glad we did - it's really pretty.

Things I don't normally see on my long runs

I'm away on holidays in country South Australia and did my long run this morning.

The town I'm in isn't big enough to run IN. I would have had to do laps, which would not only have been very boring, it might have had the locals talking!

So instead we plotted out a loop that ended up being 27.5ks - a little longer than my scheduled 26ks, but hey. I'm on holidays. I had time.

Green Eggs and Ham

I know, it's been a while.

I've had a few tough sessions since my last blog post and I might just be slightly embarrassed that last time I was here I talked up how well my training was going.

I'm over the shame though - after all tough sessions are a normal part of Ironman training, and I have a kit bag of coping mechanisms to get me through. I've recently added Green Eggs and Ham to my arsenal. Strange but true.