Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Feel it in your heart




Sunday 24 April was a rest day spent doing precisely that , resting . I slept soundly after the long ride on Saturday.

I watched the movie Rio with my son Jonathan who laughed at all the inappropriate bits in the movie ,like a counter cyclical response to normal humour. But its a cartoon. The best line was Blu the rare blue macaw could not fly and being told flying is not in the head , its in the heart . Like training for an Ironman sometimes its better not to think too much about the stats and just go with how you feel.
Read the : Channelnewsasia review of rio

On Anzac day it was a morning swim at Cottesloe. We did a short swim of about 35 minutes and in the evening I did an easy 2 hour run ( was a bit shorter ) . The weather was fine and I ran an easy pace although the legs were still a little sore from Saturday's ride .



Exceed Group having just finished their swim

The start and end of the swim




I did I think was my last 1.5 hour hard session and for the exceed group the last hour of power Tuesday session for several months. It was a little slow on my own but managed to join everyone in the second lap and made it a lot better.One of the riders on Birwood crashed ...possibly hit the curb so Ross stayed with him.He wasn't in out group but was apparently an Australian rower training for the World championships. The little group I was in soon merged with Joe and Rods group and the speed went up a notch. By the end of the session I was having a coughing fit from the cold air and my asthma.

We had breakfast at Northbridge and I rode home with Jeremy .Did 85km for the morning and the legs were feeling too bad.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Remembrance : Anzac Day 2011



Remembrance by Siegfried Sassoon

Australian digger uses a periscope in a trench captured during the attack
      on Lone Pine


An Australian digger uses a periscope in a trench captured during the attack on Lone Pine, Gallipoli, 8 August 1915.
AWM A03771


Australian War memorial

Today is Anzac Day . Before Australia and the Anzac tradition I was very much influenced by a book I read about the life of Siegfried Sassoon  Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man. A WW1 soldier and one of the great British poets of his generation , he was also a pacifist seeing at first hand in the trenches of France how brutal war is . His poems speak of that time . Every Anzac day I remember his poems . They have a timeless resonance .

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Hot & Cold


Katy Perry singing with Elmo ....like my ride It was Hot & Cold

It was a tough day. It was suppose to be 200km but I got home in 180km but it was a hard 180. First getting up and getting out was hard. I had planned on an early start but I only got out of the house at 5.40am .I met up with Jeremy by chance on Alexander Drive and got to the Narrows with lots of time to spare before we all headed down the freeway. I rode behind Jay to the end and then everyone took off at race pace and I was on my own till John came by and I just followed him back till the turn off for Roe Highway . My Garmin was full and so about  10km was not recorded as I had to delete the old data before the Garmin would continue to record the ride. So the overall ride was 180km and I know it.

I was then on my own . I again took a necessary stop at the BP Station on Welshpool Road.Got more water and a bottle of coke. The weather was humid but overcast with dark clouds about and I was worried it was going to rain. I then continued climbing up to Canning Mills road and then onto Kalamunda .It was a quick descent along Mundaring Weir road and the a climb pass Mundaring Weir Hotel .It was 11am and it was now pretty hot. I only had two gels for the ride so I was eating all the sweets and 1 powerbar that I had. Got to Mundaring at 12 noon and had a coke at the dome before the push home. The legs were sore but the last 25 kms were largely downhill. Nearly got cleaned up by a Ute pulling out of a side street as I was coming down a hill in Helena Valley .My bike actually shook from my sudden braking . I felt better towards the end but the hills and heat had taken its toll . I got home after nearly 7 hours . I did a 28 minute run and it was my fastest yet .I ran about 5.5km.

Nutrition:

2 bottles of gatorade
2 bottles of coke
2 shotz gels
lots of sweets and snakes and dates.
1 powerbar
1 breakfast bar
3 bidons of water


Probably the nutrition wasn't quite sufficient but I usually would have 5-6 gels. I lost about 1.5kgs in fluid I presume .

Training for the week.
Swim: 2 hours
Bike: 11.5hours
Run: 4 hours




Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday 2011

A short working week with a long Good Friday and  Easter Break . I needed that.

My Good Friday holidays have changed in 4 short years to lounging and TV to fitting my swimming and running round the day. I have been catching up on a bit of reading as well and currently reading Great Australian Eulogies .Next to Biographies , it is fascinating to glimpse the life of anyone in the eyes of another.

Particularly pertinent this week as I ponder the death of someone I know and a friend who is facing surgery and the possibility of cancer. How do we face these challenges ? What will be our reaction.?

A Eulogy From Wikipedia, is :

"A eulogy (from εὐλογία, eulogia, Classical Greek for "good words") is a speech or writing in praise of a person or thing, especially one recently deceased or retired.[1][2][3] Eulogies may be given as part of funeral services.
Eulogies are usually delivered by a family member or a close family friend in the case of a deceased person. "
Whilst praise is the norm in Eulogies , the Australian identity and cultural nuance is one of both honesty , candour , humour and and irreverance and informality. The eulogies are  of well known and the little known , the elderly and the very young.It is always sad but inspring to read how an individual can make a difference to those around them. Even a child can have an impact sad as it is.

One such Eulogy ended with a poem from Adam Lindsay Gordon ' Ye Wearie Wayfarer' :


Life is mostly Bubble and froth
Two things stand like stone
Kindness in another's trouble
Courage in your own.
I did not have any long runs this week. I had my usual swim on Monday and did a  2.4km with a main set of 700m , 600m, and 500m. I managed to keep up with all the swimmers so that was an improvement. I did a 1.15 run but really easy running 12 km at about 6min pace before the swim .

Tuesday was a hard session . 2 hours with 1.5 hours at pace. I rode with Ross and just hung in there for the last 2 of 5 laps .It was the fastest I have ridden on a Tuesday morning and atleast i kept up with Ross but just barely At the en of the ride I had an average of 35.5kph and that included my ride to Nedlands . I was dead tired and having a coughing fir at the end of the ride.



In the evening it was off to Brad's run training at Perry Lakes . Another hard session of 21minutes at " Ï" pace  or 4.26 mins/km . I managed a 4.21 and even less for the shorter periods. I also ran for 1.15 with a warm up and cooldown .Total distance was 13km. I now weigh under 69kgs but that fluctuates by 700 to 800 gms. But I have now managed to lose over 3kgs and will be heading to my lowest weight in 30 years.

There was no swimming for me on Wednesday so I had a rest day .With meetings and work I just could not fit it all in. On Thursday I had my usual ride and I was feeling a little sluggish .Did 2 hours of riding with threshold efforts . The weather was definitely changing and a little cooler.



I rode home in the evening and took it easy. The legs were feeling tired.

Good Friday was spent at Cottesloe. I did get up late and slept through the alarm. I got there just as everyone else was changing and so I started off a few minutes behind .There was lots of swimmers and groups in the water especially on the way back.




We spent the morning at Tony's place having hot cross buns and coffee. I have also found several video clips on doing turns and it will be one of the skills i will need to develope to improve my swimming.






HAPPY EASTER

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Staying the Course



The week is done . No injuries . Lots of positives and some negatives. Pressure of work and training has been a constant but I have learnt to keep perspective and stay focused. Life is very much a live in the moment feel. Enjoy .It is fleeting and short.Today is now a memory .But what a memory.

I read lots on the net .I came across Ryan Sneiders blog .He captures his thoughts on the past 10 years and his journey in Triathlon and life. It encompasses whats lots in triathlon feel.It is a life changing moment and why it is such.

He states:
'But what the hell does this have to do with triathlon?
Simple. Triathlons are scary. There’s that whole open-water swimming thing. And with sharks!? Why would anybody want to do that??? And oy, the cycling! You can fall and die or get paralyized so easily! (Heck, I almost did a few years ago.) Don’t even get me started on the running either. You could fall over and die like all these other runners out there when they get heart attacks and keel over.



Ironman!?!?! You can’t be serious!!!???


Life is scary. Expectations are scarier. Pressure can be terrifying.


But the risk is worth the reward, in my opinion. Whether deciding to buck what your parents want, or a lucrative job, or a nice car, — or in our case what people think of our “lifestyle” — what matters is getting the most out of life.


Ten years ago, I made a choice to do just that.


I haven’t looked back since.


And if you’re reading this blog, I suspect you’re not either.
Ryan Sneider - Ironmand
 
I got out of bed this morning with the single purpose of getting down to Cottesloe for a swim. Why I am asked by non tri friends and colleagues .Because I can , I want to and I feel so much more alive for having done it. Today was no different. The sky was overcast with dark clouds hovering. Good shark weather we joked  but one of the guys on a ski told us there were dolphins and a seal in North Cott .Did not see them but saw a large school of small fish swimming about near the Blue Duck Cafe. The water was nice and calm and I had a good swim. We swam at a  guess 2km in about 45 to 50 minutes .
 
It was then to Daisies for coffee and some great muffins - raspberry and white chocolate. I was still sore from the ride and I had dropped a further 1/2 to 1kg in weight .I now weight under 70kg. Probably a first in over 30 years .
 
 
I had a lovely lunch at the Subiaco Stadium watching the Dockers against the Kangaroos game ( Australian Rules Football) Not exactly my sport but it was good fun . Good company , food and drink but we did all have to be dressed in a coat and tie which was a little out of place with the docker's crowd.
 
And as another week of training ends , I have lots to learn from it. I struggled on the ride with a less than disciplined fuel and fluid intake. I have to keep at my swimming but the improvements are noticeable. I have also learnt to appreciate life more.A friend sent me a short email about having to undergo surgery in a few weeks as he has a suspected /possible cancerous tumour. Its a shock and I wonder how would I cope at such news and how fragile every life is.
 
I hope like my training and preparation for a race , I will meet any challenge head on.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Long Rides and Birthday parties




Jonathan cutting his cake at the PERTH Zoo


Saturdays are always a tough day. Particularly today . I had to get my ride in before my son's birthday party at 11am I had promised to be back by 10am but that just didn't happen . I got up pretty early and I was out of the house by 4.30am . It is always hard riding down the freeway at that time in the dark. Got to Fremantle as the sun was rising but it was still pretty dark .I dropped my light and had to retrieve it and then fix it. There wasn't too many riders up yet and the road along Bicton was difficult with roadworks and sand making it really hard to judge the shoulder of the road and avoid the sand .

I was in the middle of the road for a fair bit. I finally made it to the narrows with 3 minutes to spare. The Exceed group then took off although Ross was late. I followed Nat and Rod was behind me. Did not see the rest of the group for the next 2 hours. They never caught us. i just hung onto Nat and we got to the turnaround about 1.5hrs into the ride I was struggling a bit because the pace was hard. I was also running out of water. Fortunately Nat did a detour to the Baldivis petrol station and I got a coke and water.but with the heat , that did not last and I had to get another bidon towards the end. Rod continued when we went to the Station and I lost Nat soon after we started back. The legs were just gone.

Joe and Johnny H soon passed me and I stayed with them for a while but again when there was a slight rise I just could not keep up and was on my own. I limped back to South Perth . I had done about 170km although I stopped the garmin when I got to the end and then rode to the Perth Zoo where I waited for the family. It worked out well although I had to do 200km today I will do that next week .

It was probably not one of the better rides but at least for the 130kms I managed to stay with Nat for about 70km. I definitely did not take enough carbohydrates for the ride nor water which is always an issue when I had ridden 55km even before the start of the group ride down the freeway.
There were lots of people out training for Busso I presume.

At least i can tick off this ride. I was hoping to make it back before 10 but getting dropped probably made that harder.I could not do my run off the bike. It was the zoo and JJ's party .he had fun and by the time we got home I was really tired. A nap in the arvo helped.

Its an ocean swim and footy at Subiaco in the afternoon .


Friday, April 15, 2011

I am so Excited



Monday 11 April , I was sore from my run and slept in but made the swim session in the evening. Did 2.2 km with the main set of 7 x 200m . Tuesday was the hard back to 1.5 hrs hard.My legs weren't tired but I struggled to take my turn in the front after the 2nd lap. But i managed to stick to the group . It was a hard session  .I think we averaged over 37kph. In the evening I did a 13.5 km run session with 17minutes running at "Ï"pace which was suppose to be 4.31  minutes/km but we were probably doing more than that.


"



Wednesday was n easy day with just a swim session.I dragged myself out of bed and got to the pool by 6am it was a good session and I MANAGED TO stay with the group in lane 1 . did a warm up of 500m and then drills and then 7 x 200m and a cool down of 200 with some kicking. a total of 2.6km.

Thursday , got to Nedlands and saw tony running along Thomas Road at 5.45am . Met the guys at nedlands and did 45 minutes at threshold on the bike followed by 15 minutes running. I was with Michelle and managed a good pace till Ross and Katy caught up on the last lap . We the rode together and got back to the carpark at Birwood and ran off the bike. Michelle took off and I just hung in there and for the first time I wasn't last.i even caught up with Rod before he sprinted past me in the last 100meters.I would have done just about 3 km .

Friday I slept in and I was tired. i did run in the arvo and it was an easy run of 50 minutes in king's park.probably did about 7.5 to 8km and felt comfortable.It was after all an easy run. I swam in the evening session and it was a good workout.

Did 600m with a PB and then 50m backstroke and 50m breast x 3 , followed by 13 x 100m at various paces starting with a medium , firm , fast , recovery and fast again with a 15 sec break in between.Rossco timed us at 1.34 for the fast 100m .That was the fastest 100m I have done .he was pleased.

Tomorrow is the longish ride but with a birthday party at the zoo I have had to cut short the ride so it won't be as long as it should be but will swap it round for next week.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A small hiccup

Cottesloe Beach on a cold windy Sunday

Not everything goes to plan. I got up on Saturday morning feeling tired and sore with a raspy throat and knew I wasn''t up to a 200km ride. I decided to just give it a miss. In the end it was the right decision on many levels. I actually did not come down with anything and it was just a mild sore throat but it was the right decision. I spent the day with my kids.

I was just tired and my body was telling me to have a break. Oddly enough I have been lucky to avoid major injuries primarily as I have not tried to push on when I felt I was getting too tired.It is a difficult balance as pushing the body both in speed and volume has helped me improve my times particularly as my weight has fallen.

Having said that I have not been able to replicate my run times from 2  to 5 years back when able to run the city to surf 12km in 56 minutes and the 10km in 45minutes weighing alot more than Iam now. Although last year I did run a fast 5km in 4.30 pace at lunch time.

It is difficult navel gazing about performance and achievement after all in the scheme of life it is a very small factor of no relevance to anyone else yet I devote hundreds of hours of training to achieve a PB in a race.It is 1 day in the year and it is over in the twinkling of an eye as Ironman South Africa is unfolding as I write this piece.

But my blog and training are a collection of emotions and feelings about this very personal journey. It defines me and what I am experiencing.

I came  across Ryan Schneiders blog (he writes for Lavaman ) and he summarised the experience:
Ryan Schneider



Everyone is capable of completing an Ironman – each in their own way. Ironman is a metaphor for picking a massive personal goal, pursuing it passionately, appreciating the journey along the way, and celebrating the accomplishment once it’s been achieved

His blog is : Ironmadman

He also wrote a piece about blogging and triathlon . The key is candor , constructive comment and consistency. I hope I deliver on these despite the introspective and very specific topic. It is first and foremost a record of my training and experiences. It is meant to be honest and brutal at times .I hope I have not sugar coated the experience. It is meant to be constructive.i try to see the positives amidst the difficult weeks and the races that  don't go well. It is all about life and training is a reflection of the bigger world .Not everything goes to plan even with the best laid out plans.

this has been one such week where I have had to take a step back . The blog is also a record of the experience and the wider purpose and fitting in with my other life.Advocacy and Disability . I am slowly trying to reach out to the community I interact with to gather up support and fund raise for a worthy cause.It is slow moving but I am hopeful. juggling all the responsibilities of work , family and training and volunteering is what makes it interesting . I would rather be busy than idle. Again it is a balance between juggling all the balls in the air and reaching and serving all and just mastering none.

This Sunday I did my Ocean swim with a wetsuit and it was cold in the morning with a stiff breeze .It has been a few months since we all used our wetsuits. It was a short swim just under 1.5km and did it in about 30 minutes with me zigzagging around as I followed a swimmer who actually headed for the beach rather than the Tea House so I had to swim out again making a bit of a detour. It was nice to be out . in the evening I did my long run of just over 2 hours . It  was comfortable and I did not go out hard.It was slower than my run last week as well but it was on a slightly more undulating road run.

After the swim as we had coffee and muffins at Daisies , the discussion is always about triathlons and clearly if we all could we would be riding , swimming and running all day but life gets in the way. On the other hand making it a profession would need talent and determination and guts .It is still not a big earner in the world of sports for the level of training and just physical pain one has to go through.

Like all dreams they have to start somewhere . As the training for Lanzarote rolls on I am reminded by Tony that the Kona lottery winners will be announced on the 15th of April . That will be a dream come through given my blog address.



Friday, April 8, 2011

Running On Empty



My week always begins with the heavier sessions .Monday started with a lie in as I just could not get out of bed .Common occurrence for me after a quiet Sunday doing no training.But I did run my long session of 2 hours on Monday instead of Wednesday.I did 21km in under 2hours with a break for a drink. I was tired and my left knee was sore but I felt I was moving better .

I could not swim in the evening as I had the North Coast Tri Club Committee meeting.

It was up early on Tuesday but it was a much easier session .Just 30minutes at threshold followed by 15 minutes easy and 15 minutes at threshold. I just rode behind and did not try to take a turn at the front. I had sore legs from the run. Managed to cling on and survive. Did about 60kms

In the evening I got down to Perry lakes and started my run earlier and did about 3km before Brad started the session. I did a 2km warm up followed by 3,3, 4,4 ,3 minutes at Ï pace which was 4.35 minutes per km for me.After each block we had a rest that was 30sec less than the block we ran. I felt pretty good and the legs were holding up.I was doing the runs under the pace and the last 4 minutes were at 4.15 pace.



It was a long day with approximately 3.5 hours of training.
Wednesday was a more relaxing affair .I could not make the swim sessions so I swam on my own .Did just over 2km .

Thursday was a wet day and I rode to Nedlands and then round the river with threshold efforts on the flat roads along the way. I got pretty wet despite the rain jacket I was wearing. Rode home after work with a total mileage of 72km.





training so far for the week:

Run : 3.5hrs or 33.5km
Swim: 2km
Bike: 5 hours or 130km

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The final Assault ...With or Without You



The week has rolled by quickly with a long Saturday ride of 200km to finish it.

I struggled but managed to get up on Thursday and rode out at 5 am .Did the Brick session at Mosman despite the jelly legs after running on Tuesday and Wednesday. Rode home in the evening and ended up doing a few kms of running and about 68km of biking. ( total of 3 hours )

Friday was a swim session only and Had a 1000m warm up with drills and then 7 x 200m with the last 75m fast. Ended with a 100m cool down .It was a low swim week as I missed Wednesday's session.

I did watch the last Aquathon on Friday evening but did not take part as I just needed to save the legs for Saturday.

Unfortunately on Saturday I was going to meet up with Rod but he sent thru a message that he might not be riding as he rolled his ankle running on Friday evening.

I had about 6 hours of sleep and then got up at 4.15am and left the house just after 4.30 am . There was no Rod or Rob at the designated meeting spots on the way so I rode on to Fremantle and then Applecross and Mount Henry Bridge where I waited for the Exceed riders . Had a chance to fill up the bidons and off we went. I stayed with the front group and managed to hang on for 50kms . (which for the rest of the riders was 55km) as I joined them at Mount Henry Bridge. After the turn around the wind was a lot harder and a headwind at times but again I managed to cling on.I did lose the group but clawed my way back.About 14 km from the end I dropped my repair kit/ canister and the group were gone in a flash.I limped home to see everyone about to set of for the run.I then headed back through Subiaco , stopping off at Tony's place to get some more water.I had by then done 160km and whilst the legs were still fine , they were tired. I had no issues with cramps so the salt regime was working. I had taken about 2000mg for the ride.

I had a chat and some water before moving on back through Perry Lakes and ended up on Hale Road and home thru West Coast Hwy and Reid Hwy. Not quite 200km just 191 km .The speed dropped down markedly but I still managed a respectable average speed for the 191 km ride

 It was then a 24 minute run off the bike . That was the longest session in a few months.

Overall the week was a good start. getting accustomed to the higher volume of workouts .
Ross's message for the April program:

John,


You really do amaze. Losing weight, wow a lean John Cooke on Lanzarote, it will be interesting. Big weeks coming. I have really back you off for the easy week but I think it works for you. Then a big one and into the taper.

Just keep ticking the boxes and see where it takes you. Enjoy the long rides and see what the others are up to and join them for some of it.
Ross Pedlow

Only one thing was that I couldn't find the easy week in the program.




Week 14

Bike:  330km or 11.5 hours approx
Run:  40km or 4.20 hrs
swim: 5.5 km or 2.5 hrs
Total 18 hours