Sunday, September 30, 2012

Day 18 & 19.... Double Dose

Wow, it has been a solid few days, just with everything going on.  Am really looking forward to some great sleep tonight!!

Let's rewind to yesterday.

Did a 2k swim in the ocean, the water has been really swelly of late, not much chop in it, just some big swell, the surfers have been having a great time.  We have just been waiting for one of them to end up on the rocks as they surf really close.... Will get a pic of this!

Also met Leeanda Cave and Siri Lindley, both so willing to have a brief chat and have a photo with me.  The one with Siri, was 6am, both looking like we got dragged out of bed... I know that I did!!

After the swim, headed out for a cruisey 45min run.  Headed out around 9am and with the sun blaring, it was once again hot.   After this was done, concentrated on getting refueled and hydrated.  Swimming in the ocean under the sun is fantastic, however sometimes you just forget how much it takes out of you, even for a short time.

Carla arrived mid morning which was great, been a long 3 weeks with limited talk time due to the early nights that I have been having.

Headed for a massage straight after, then out for lunch.

The plan was to get out on the bike, however just wasn't really up to it, so listened to my body and focused on a bit more recovery for the next days sessions.  It was a 1hr easy ride.

The Australian Rules Football was on during the evening, so we organised a BBQ to watch it with some other Australians over here to race.  And yes I would be lying if I said that I didn't have any beers!! Just a couple and although I thought it was a scrappy type of affair, was still good to watch due to the closeness of it.

Below is a great photo of Carla on the cruiser in the sunset... And below that Big Boy and myself doing what we are doing best here.... Drinking coffee!!

So after a latish night, today was pretty full on.

Another ocean swim, seeing Craig "Crowie" Alexander here was great, Greg almost wet himself and when Craig said, "Hi Greg, how are you?" Well I haven't stopped hearing that all day... "He remembered my name!"

Another 2k in the ocean, feeling pretty good out there, the swell is still there and the water very murky, not really good for sighting fish.  From there straight home for a bite to eat and then out on the bike for a few hours.  We rolled out easy to Waikaloa and return, 80k round trip, nothing exciting.  We were very conscience of not doing too much knowing the next 2 days are the most important and our last BIG training days.  Getting back in about 2hrs 30min was sweet.  I had some good patches and bad patched, my legs took ages to get going and as I stated above, swimming in open water takes a bit more out of you than you think.

A puncture was the downside of the ride, however a quick change, spare on and off I went again!

Seeing a lot of the big named pro's out on the Queen K meant that it is getting closer every day.  Mirinda Carfrae, Dirk Boekel, Caroline Steffan & Marino just to name a few.

Back to the room to pack up and get ready to move accommodation made things pretty tight and flat out today.  Having the majority packed, I headed off to the pool with the aim of getting a minimum 2000 yds in.

As we (Big Boy) and myself were getting in, Rebekah Keat was punching out lap after lap, and before we knew it, Luke McKenzie & Craig Alexander jumped in.  Must have something right doing similar sessions (albeit slower) as the world's best.. Tick!

500 w/up mixed

6 x 200 paddles/buoy on 3min cycle coming in under the 2min 30.  This was unintentional however just got comfortable and went with the flow.  The arms felt great and am still seeing improvements in the water!

Then 5 x 100 on the 1.30 cycle with paddles/buoy coming in on the 1.15 again.  My arms were feeling comfortable with this and was quite happy to have that session done and feeling great at the end of it!

Back to the room, quick shift to new location, then out for a mid length run with some high intensity.  I really couldn't be bothered with this, however I do know the hardest thing is just getting out the door.  Running gear on and out I went.

Catching up with Greg and "trying" to hold onto him made me see my speed at the low 3.40's for a bit and then low 3.50's for the remainder.  A solid 40min in the legs in the run.  Happy Days, and Day done!

Tomorrow's session has not yet been decided as when I checked my spare tyre, flat :(  I have other tyres, but not glued yet.  The magic can of Pitstop or 2 has been put to the test tonight.  Tyres stay inflated = 6hrs on the bike, tyres flat = 3hrs running, unsure which will hurt more tomorrow! 

I am more interested to see if the tyres stay inflated over night.

Only a few BIG days to go and then some mid sessions before Taper week.

For Now.... Shut eye.


Friday, September 28, 2012

Day 17...The momentum continues.

After a solid few days with biking and running, I was curious to see how the legs would fair this morning.

A 3hr ride with some pretty intense efforts.  Well we always increase this ride here to make it to Kawaihae to be able to refuel.  So the ride usually takes 3hrs 20min ish.

If you don't do this, you simply risk running out in the middle of nowhere.... Not really for me!

A few efforts on the way there, a laugh (thankfully no vomit today) refuel and the return trip.

Matt with his big Cans!

The legs felt great, were heavy at time due to the fatigued, however couldn't be happier with how they have taken the onslaught of k's

An afternoon swim of 40 x 100 on the 1min 30 cycle was in order.  Now on my previous post when I was doing 200's on 2min 30, I said that the conversion was to 2min 50 per 100metres.  That was incorrect, it actually is 2min 42 sec per 200m at that rate.

The goal of the swim was to find a pace, and hold it for as many 100's as possible.  We started on 1.15's (approx 1.21's for 100m) and just chipped away at this.

I managed 29 when my lunch was on the move...upwards to my throat.  So I took 1 off, then got through a couple more before deciding to pull the pin.  My legs were starting to battle and I could feel the onset of cramps as I was just unable to get enough Shotz Electrolytes in.

Very happy with 32 x 100 on the 1.30 cycle with no paddles/buoy.  Making progress.  Goal is to hit 40 by mid next week holding the same cycle and maybe even decrease if I can!

Tomorrow is similar to today, a solid ride in the morning, a swim and run in the PM.  The highlight of tomorrow will be having Carla fly into town, has felt like the longest 3 weeks and sorry Big Boy, you are not quite cutting it!!

On my Pro spotting efforts, ran into this guy, had a good quick chat with him and sent him on his way!! hehehe Ripping guy and hope he has a great race!

I am looking more and more like my dad with this pose!
I swear this is my "Pro Spotting" singlet, every time I have headed out in other gear, never see them.

For now.... Big Boy is on cooking duties, so I had better go see what he has whipped up!


Big shout out the Boyes (David and Michelle) they arrived today, a great couple that I met at Ironman Melbourne. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Day 15 & Day 16...Two Monster Days!

Yesterday, being Tuesday here involved a long ride and a short run.

Conditions were normal, light breeze in town, nothing different to any other day.  The main thing was an earlier start to make sure that I was back for when Great Mate, Ian "Big Boy" Scott who gained a Legacy Lottery Spot.

Heading out the road, the first sign that something wasn't right came within 5min.  A vomit, must have been the 2 coffees that I had just before I headed out, she'll be right!!

Matty did have a chuckle at me and then we discussed how often we have vomited in a race, for me, quite often.  Matty, rarely.

Onto the Queen K, Matt's bike battery went flat and was stuck in the small chain ring...Interesting, 185+ k's and no Big Dog!  True to his form and determination never to be beaten, we soldiered on.

A puncture soon followed for Matt which was quickly changed and off we went.

And then, yep here we go again, no intensity, something just wasn't right.  I tried to use nutrition, hydration, gels, water however nothing would stay down.  So from Kona all the way to Kawaihea (60k's) I constantly spewed, chunks, liquid until I thought that I had nothing left, and then....again. 

The really strange part was that my legs actually felt good, I didn't feel ill whatsoever, just couldn't keep anything down.

When we stopped to refuel, I thought I would try the trusty old method of a coke.  Down the hatch, a few burps later....good as I thought.  Walking over to chat to Matty, I hovered over the bin and proceeded to put all the coke and whatever else that was remaining in my gut into the bin. 

Quality work by me!! NOT!!

The next words that I heard were, "Think you better go home Mate."

"I'll be right, I don't feel bad, just can't keep anything down."

Now usually in these conditions you would expect to feel ordinary after 90min in the sun vomiting, but something told me just to keep going and things would come good.

So, climbing up to Hawi, the pace quickened, all my thoughts were to try, just try to have something and hanging onto him.   Anything else that I consumed had a trampoline effect, in, down, bounced straight back up, nothing was pleasant about this, my top stunk of spew, but I just wanted to keep going.  Not once did I feel terrible, or wanted to turn around.

I finally got something to stay down about 10k's from Hawi, so for the first 80k's, I was unable to keep any nutrition or fluid down.  As we got into Hawi, my total intake was 1 gel and 1/2 a bottle of Shotz Electrolyte drink.

We went through Hawi for another 10k and then decided to turn and head back.  Stopping at Hawi, I managed to consume a coke, an iced latte, some water, an electrolyte drink and then started to head back.  A few burps and things felt like it was really going to settle.

By this stage, with Matt descending, on the small chain ring, we had a great old laugh about how the morning had started but also how we didn't let it stop us getting the job done.  That is what it is about.....JUST GETTING THE JOB DONE!

Of course I was able to pull away from him and before we knew it, back on the Queen K heading home.  We decided to stop at Waikoloa to refuel and being very conscience of having enough hydration, I actually had 6 bottles on me, looking more like a domestic at a cycling race than a triathlete trying to get ready for a Big Race.  A few efforts followed and feeling like I was towing a caravan from all the extra weight didn't help my cause.  The only advantage was having "water on call" to tip on my head as required.  Another puncture for Matt, Pit stop in and off we went.

Getting within 10k's from town, a third time for him, nothing left to help, so off he went to call a taxi...  Just our luck.  I arrived back feeling great, which really surprised me knowing how the day unfolded and how little I consumed for the first 2.5hrs.  I clicked over 187k and managed to get 180 done in 5hrs 15min (riding time) so was a great ride.  Legs always felt good and motivation growing!

The great man arrived that night and out for dinner we went.  Ah, paradise is tough!


Fast forward to this morning.

Waking early, feeling very respectable after yesterdays effort, I was really please with how I recovered.  A 1hr ocean swim started the day, the water this morning reminded me of race conditions last year.  Not choppy, just swell.  And tomorrow is supposed to have a BIG BIG SWELL, some of the beaches have already been closed!

Back to today.

An hour run soon followed and true to form the sun was out.  4 bottles in the fuel belt didn't last long, but the legs still felt great.  That was a bit of a surprise to me, was more thinking that I needed to save them for my 2nd run of the day.... I just found a good rhythm and ticked off the minutes as they were presented to me.

Getting back, sweating a lot, re-hydrating was the goal of the day.

Knowing that I had another run with a good amount of intensity excited me for this afternoon as gaining confidence from yesterday I was ready, willing and hoping to be able to have a good ol' fashioned crack.

The goal of the session was to run the majority above Ironman Pace, which I did...5min/k...GOLD!!  ;-)

Seriously, got through the sessions grinning, averaging just over 4min/k for the main part and getting back in a negative split, 18.06k in 79min.  Could not be happier.  30k's done running, solid swim all done better than expected after yesterday.

I can't wait to get back on the bike tomorrow for another solid day to see where the legs are at.  What I have found about being here is that no 2 days are the same, the winds are always different and always keep you guessing.  Something that I will never try to work out, just roll with it!

The main aim is to get to Monday's 3hr run is reasonable shape and with ticking the boxes along the way of what is required.  Time will tell.

I will answer two questions on here that I have been getting asked a lot...

How do you think you will go?

What are you goals for this race?

The best way to answer both of these in the most honest fashion way is to say that I know that I am in better shape than last year. 

To predict goals for this race is absolutely crazy.  Anything can happen race day with conditions, so my main goal is to have a great race.  Something that is similar to last year will be a pass, anything better will be a bonus, anything will be a fail.

For now...Time to put the feet up and get some good shut eye.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Day 14...The R's!

Rest, Recover and Reload.

That was the motto of today.

After a Big weekend, I was really looking forward to today.  A double swim, massage, and some general duties in preparation for another big few days.

This mornings swim was pretty good, although the water was rough and had some swell, Greg and I still managed 2k.  On the return, he saw a fin, just about jumped on my back, which made me swallow a massive amount of water.  Once we calmed down from him jumping on me and myself vomiting up the sea water we headed into shore.

Just before this swim, I met one of my Ironman idols, Chris Lieto.  We were sitting having a coffee and he strolled up on his scooter, had a look at the water and decided that it was too rough to go out there.  I tried to follow his lead, however his comment, "I get a bit spoilt being here, the water is usually like glass, I might head to the pool later" made me realise how good this place was. 

From that comment, I tried to convince Greg that it was best to stay on land, Chris then chimed in and said, "Hey, but I am not racing, you should go and swim" Shot down.  And as above, the swim was explained.
One day soon I will be prepared and have the "right" gear on!

A massage from Sean St Louis followed after breakfast which was just was the Dr ordered.  A few laughs and grimaces and I ready to put my feet up!

Getting back to my room, I just put my feet up, little did I know I awoke 2 hours later in a bit of a panic as I had organised another swim, this time in the pool.  Seeing the rain meant that the temperature was rather pleasant and the pool wouldn't feel so warm. (ah, the troubles we encounter!!)

I didn't have any real plans, so I just went with how I felt.

500 mixed warm up

5 x 200 on 3min cycle coming in on 2.30 paddles/buoy
100 easy
10 x 100 on 1.20 cycle coming in on 1.15 or better paddles/buoy.  I got through 6 of these before my arms gave in the ghost, so I had 1 go without the "toys" and managed a 1.11, things falling into place for me.

Then an easy 100 c/d.  One thing that I must add is that it is a 25 yard pool, not meters.  I have been aware of this, but just failed to mention it.  So the times are not as fast as in a 25m pool, however still massive gains for me.

As an idea, swimming a 2min 30sec over 200 yards(182m) equates to swimming 200m in approx 2min 50 sec.  My whole idea has been strength building, not just speed.

Last year, I faded a bit in the swim, so by having more arm strength, I hope to be able to hold form throughout the race.

A monster pasta dish for dinner and a great day again.  Tomorrow sees a 6hr ride with a short run off it and great mate, Ian "Big Boy" Scott arrive in town.  Just hoping we keep things under wraps before the race!  The way I describe this guy is a 15 y.o in a 65 y.o body.  Happy Days!!

For Now.... Time to get things ready for tomorrow!


Day 13....Massive Gains

After a Big day on Saturday being a long ride and a double run, I never expected much from the long run Sunday.

The plan was to run to the Energy Lab and return and a little further if time permitted.

I made sure that I topped up calories last form the Saturday with a big dinner.  A great night sleep and woke up ready to go.

My legs were fatigued and I had a weird sensation, they were just dead.

Heading out to the Energy Lab, with the sun beating down, it was hot.  Something about the Kona sun and the Queen K, no matter the time of day, it is just hot!  No shade, no where to hide, it is just straight running under the direct sunlight.

Was feeling good on the way out and topped up the bottles at the 1/2 way mark, plus taking in some extra fluid.  Another part of running the Queen, there is no where to refill, so you have to be prepared.

On the return trip, I could start to feel Saturday's training come into play, my legs started to get heavier and heavier.  I started to pray that the lights would change, just to give me a little rest.  But true to form they would turn back green just as I got close.

Getting within 30min of home was a good feeling knowing that I had conquered my first long run on the Island.  Once I got within reach the rest was always going to be comfortable.

The legs were really thankful once I stopped and I knew that I had just finished off a cracking weekend, the rest of the day was a walk in the park!!  An easy spin and a short splash.  Job done, weekend a success and many a great k in the legs. 

Monday being an easy day with a double swim and a massage means that I will be ready to hit Tuesdays session fresh and rearing to go.

A tough week and a bit ahead and plenty to gain before I go into lock down for my 2nd crack at Kona!

I am not looking too far in advance as I know that I have many a hour to be spent out the Queen K, Ali'i Drive and Digme Beach.  All I can say is that I am really enjoying myself and getting benefits from every session whether the result be good, bad or indifferent.

For Now...


PS.  Will post another blog this afternoon including a few pics and even meeting a bit of an idol to me!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Day 12.... Welcome to Training

Looking at my program for the next 2 weeks starting form today, I am not going to lie, it is going to be tough.  My aim is too not look too far into it, however just tick off the days as they come.

A brief run down goes like this:

Including today, 3 full course or above rides.  2 Long runs over 2hr 30mins.

They are the main sessions, throw in lots of 1hr runs, 3hr rides and it is hectic.

Today was a weird day weather wise.  There seemed to be no wind at all for the first 30k on the bike and then out of no where, we were riding into a stiff head wind.

The climb to Hawi was a bit of a tail wind, however on the return, the wind changed direction and was a tricky cross wind.

On any other day of the week, it probably wouldn't be tricky, today wasn't any other day of the week though.  The wind just changed and it was making the deep front wheel a little unstable.  I had experienced this previously, however it was Greg's first trip out there and some of the words he used reminded me of a kid on a roller coaster for the very first time!

We got back into Kawaihae, refilled our bottles for the second time, making the intake for the trip up over 10 bottles of either nutrition or hydration.  And to our surprise once we got back on the Queen K, it was another head wind.  I think for the 175k's that were ridden about 140 of them were into a head wind.

Getting home, having a brief change, washing the face, having some fluids, an easy run followed.  My legs took a little bit to get going, however felt good after 5-6min.  The day was hot and knowing that I had another run in the afternoon, I was conscious of just keeping the fluids in.

Finishing that run, feeling very happy from the mornings work, I knew that it was the best training day that I have put together in both preparations.

I started very sluggish in the afternoon, however came good at 15min or so, knowing that I have a long run tomorrow, I kept it easy and tried to preserve the legs.

A great day out there today, tough conditions, but feel like I got through it well, tomorrow morning's run will inform me of that.

For Now...


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Day 11... Well deserved rest.

Today was a rest day, well kind of!

If you call a double swim and a run a rest day, it was just that.

This morning started with a magnificent open water swim that saw us swim around 3.8k according to Greg's garmin and the route we took.

An easy run followed which was great, legs felt fine and with the knowledge of a massage following I knew that I could just get out and enjoy what was in front of me.

Having a deep tissue massage really felt great and has given me some good confidence of a really solid hit out tomorrow.  Hoping to get one back on the Queen.

This afternoon was an easy 2200 in the pool, continuing with my paddle work.  This is making me feel so much stronger and is transferring into the open water sessions.  Just hoping that it will help me swim faster than a 1hr 4min on race day, well that's the plan.

An early night tonight is in order before I head out tomorrow for redemption, both with my poor last showing and for confidence moving forward.  Although it would be great if it happened, I am not too concerned if it doesn't as it just reminds me of last year, that is enough to keep me motivated to get the task done!

As for now...Dinner and sleep.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Day 10...Ouch, No time for complacency.

So today I learnt a valuable lesson.  Preparation is king.  You (me) just can't afford to get complacent.

I didn't get my nutrition plan or hydration plan right as I was out there a little longer than expected and only took enough for the original plan.


During the efforts on the bike, I simply had nothing.  I remember similar things happening last year, having doubts during the training and questioning my ability.

But that is the Queen K.  And it is true, women play mind games!  And today I went through it all and again, as I will for the next few weeks.  As fatigued grows and the sessions do, I know that I will have the same thoughts regularly.  But as times showed last year and what I am a big believer in is that it only matters what times you produce on race day.

I remember clearly last year sending Andrew (Coach) emails about what our race plan of riding sub 5hrs was a joke and that if I rode 6hrs, it would be a good day.  Well, I had those exact thoughts again today, questioning if I could ride near that 4hr 43min that I rode last year.  I know over the next few weeks all I have to do is tick the boxes and whatever happens on race day, happens.

Now it doesn't take Einstein to work out that if you stuff you nutrition/hydration up on the bike, well your run is going to suffer.  Bingo, you guessed it.  Had a stinker of a run.  However....the good thing was that I got it done and due to the specific course training that I am doing, I did get a lot out of it even if my ave pace was a tick under 5min on a run that contained a 20min effort!

I know that I am lucky enough to have more good days than bad, however I am still a student of the sport and make many a mistake.  I also know that I won't make that same mistake again.

This sport is like gambling, you hear about every one's wins, but you never know how many losses they had before they won.  Today was a loss for me, am just hoping that race day rewards me with a win big enough to cover the losses I will have over the next few weeks.

People often talk about how they smashed (oh i hate that word) out this or that, but they rarely say that they were lazy and didn't out of bed, or when the going got tough, they pulled the pin early.  It is those situations and how you deal with them defines you as an athlete.  It is how you change yourself to better the result.

That sums up today....

What am I going to do to make sure that the same things doesn't happen again?

It is only you that can answer this question.  It is easy to deflect blame onto other things, however taking responsibility is the hardest thing and then changing it becomes easy.

I already know what I am going to do and can't wait to get back out there on Saturday to rectify my poor display today.  That's a promise!!

Being out here, training for "THE RACE" that we all aspires to often reminds us of the hard work and dedication that is takes.  One minor error and it all goes pear shaped!

All I can say is... Lesson learnt and I am so glad that I received that lesson today and not Race Day.

For is time to move on, reload and strike again tomorrow.  Double swim day, massage and easy run, I just can't wait to get back out there.


PS. I may have lost the round, but I am a long way from losing the fight...That result is on race day.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Day 9..Lucky to be here...

Out riding with Greg yesterday and seeing his excitement for being out on the Queen K for the very first time, got us talking.

Greg was saying that it was a dream come true as he was finally riding the Queen K like all the legends had before him.  He rattled off names such as Coppock (just kidding) Macca, Crowie, Dave Scott, Mark Allen, Chrissie and a few others.

His next comment really surprised the extent that I felt obligated to write this down and share it with many of you.

The comment went as follow, "I can't believe that I am here, I am so lucky to be out here riding the Queen K."

I was quiet shocked by this, as not once have I ever thought that I was lucky to be here, I had earned the right and have done the hard yards through summer, winter and every day between!

Let me introduce Gregory Farrell.

Seen below on the right, that is your truly on the left.

Greg & I enjoying the first few days of his arrival.

 I first met Gregory once I changed coaches 2 1/2 years ago and started with Andrew Sinclair.  I had known very little about him, just that he was a quality athlete.  Fast forward 12months and I found myself training with Greg quite often.

I never really knew how to take him, and sometimes still don't.  He asks many questions to further his knowledge and to get the best form himself, something that I admire.  Sometimes he makes comments that makes me wonder if he is taking the mickey out of me, but he is just curious to why, why, how and when.

I look at Gregory and see a man who delivers.  We had a conversation at run squad a few weeks ago when Benny, Greg and I were just chatting.  His comment of, "I don't want to be remembered as someone who can only perform on the big stage."  Once again I was in shock by this comment.

My initial response of, "Are you kidding?" was received with a giggle and "What do you mean?"

I repeated his comment and then decided to bring up some of his most recent performances of a 8hr 48min Ironman Melbourne inc running a 3hr marathon, a sub 4hr Long Course race at Geelong just prior to that.  A 9hr 12min Ironman Arizona to qualify for Hawaii among a few others.

I followed this up with many people would like to perform just once in their racing career and you are worried about only performing on the big stage....  The conversation went a little further and about racing etc.

This brings me to my title and the main reason for this blog.  "Lucky to be here"

After Greg made this statement, I all but couldn't help myself to repeat the previous conversation about why he is here.... And it has nothing to do with luck!  You can create your own luck, but he just does the right things.

I then went on to rattle off a few ways that you can be lucky to be here:

Roll Down spot.

Roll Down spot 5 places

Qualifying at a 70.3 Race

Getting a Roll down at a 70.3 Race

Gaining a legacy lottery spot (having done 12 Ironmans)

Gaining a lottery spot.

The above is lucky!  I don't begrudge anyone who qualifies from the above, as I know people who have filled every quota, just more relates to Greg's comment about being lucky!

Doing what he does and how Greg goes about it,  I can only purely respect and admire.

To me he is Mr T's & I's.

I know that he struggles at times with fatigued, as we all do.  The difference is that you don't here him complain, he just does it.  He doesn't change up things when the going gets tough, he just gets it done.

I have been giving him some info about the course and how to approach it and I know that he is absorbing it all like a sponge.

I am also looking forward to seeing Greg laying down what he has on Ali'i Drive and the Queen K, is going to be exciting stuff.

If you see him and ask him his goals, he has a simple answer of, " I just want a result that reflects the amount of work I have put in." Pure Class!

So, Greg, it is a pleasure to be here with you on your first (of many) trips to the Big Island and I look forward to going to war with you!


On a more irrelevant topic and due to some requests, I thought that I would post a few pictures of the scenery here. 

Yes it is tough, but some of us have to do it!

This is Ali'i Drive, not far form the finish.  Will look totally different in a few weeks.

The rest of my day was an enjoyable open water swim, another 3ks, including some high intensity, the water was choppy and only had 1 spew in there, which takes my spew count to 2 in the ocean, both in the afternoon!  My total was just over 7km for the day.   My 2nd easy run for the day went really well, legs are feeling better and better.  Did some course specific training and am gaining more and more confidence every day.

Tomorrow, a monster session is in order, long ride, then hard efforts at the end of it, followed by a solid run.  The goal is to be able to back up in the afternoon and complete those sessions.  It will be tough, and will take a lot out of me, however nothing is easy here in Kalua-Kona, nor should it be.

As the saying goes....

If it was easy......everyone would do it.

For Now...


Also, I am an on the ground reporter for Ross Burrage and will have updates on different areas there.  I am trying to give a different angle about the race from an age groupers level.

They are setting me tasks to complete and getting my insight to them, so stay tuned there!

Day 8...So it has began!

Big training, hot sun, sun burn, feeling zapped.

That sums up yesterday perfectly.  And it did knock me around a fair bit!

The day started weird, was raining, so I delayed my ride until it stopped raining and dried up.  Some people will think that I am soft, what happens if it rains on race day? etc etc

The truth is, you don't get here by being soft and by doing stupid things in training, you don't make race day.... So you choose the option of smart vs soft!

By delaying the start, it did impact on the time available to me also.  Cutting my ride short to 4 hrs with a few high intensity efforts was all I could fit in without impacting on the other sessions later in the day.

Getting another bit of the climb to Hawi was good also.  The mind games with myself have already started out there and it is reminding me of some of the head space that I encountered last year!  One minute cruising along at 60kph no effort, next struggling along at 28kpn with HR very high.  It just plays with your mind.

I had to keep reminding myself of last year and that come race day, all would be fine.  Looking over my race day garmin file from last year post session gave me some re built confidence that things are still on track.

A nice easy run off the bike followed.

Catching up with Greg & Matty between sessions has been great and has enabled me to just relax without over thinking a lot of the days efforts.  As we know, this sport is played between the ears a lot of the time and many people are defeated there even before their physical abilities come into play.  Working with the thoughts is sometimes all we can do, no point fighting them.

After a break from the first session, an open water swim followed, just a gentle 1k - 1.5k rolling the arms over.

Another run followed after the swim and my legs felt pretty good, so no complaint there.

Once all the training was done for the day, I hit a pretty big wall and had no choice but to basically have dinner and go to bed, hence no blog :(

The body was talking and the mind was listening!!

Waking this morning feeling fresh, we all met for a swim.

4.3k later arms tired but very happy to have had the sun on my back.  The set went like this:

1k w/up consisting free, back, kicking and drills.

5 x 200m paddles/buoy on 3min cycle coming in on the 2.45

100m easy breast/free

5 x 200m paddles/buoy on 3min cycle coming in on the 2.45

100m easy breast/free

10 x 100m on 1.30 cycle coming in or better than 1min 20sec paddles/buoy

100m easy c/d

The main point of the session was not speed, but to get strength work in the arms at a speed where I could maintain for the duration.  Session done and happy days!

Another run followed the swim and my legs felt like rubbish, absolute rubbish for the first 15min, met up with Greg and before I knew we were just talking and ticking over the time for the duration. 1hr easy done.

The afternoon is basically replicates the morning, the swim will be open water however and the run just ticking them over.

I will report back later on this and the plans for tomorrow, and add some random photos!

For now...


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Day 7...Nothing much to report!

Today, being Monday was my traditional leg rest day, and did just that.  A great ocean swim this morning heading from the swim start to King Buoy and return twice gave me the equivalent of 4k's.  Mind you of which I did faster than my race time last year!

Happy days there.  The afternoon was a massage and a bit of a social outing.  Training partner and good mate Gregory arrived safely without his dramas of a missing bike though.  Was looking like he had just completed some of the course by the time that dinner time came around!

Tomorrow I will have more to report including some random photos of the place.

For now...


Monday, September 17, 2012

Day 6...Settling in.

Today is the first real day that I have felt like I have settled in.  My heart rate on both runs resembled something that I would have seen before I left and my body clock feels like it is on Hawaii time.

It is so comforting knowing that after tomorrow, and the training really ramps up, my body is settled and ready to go.

Today was a great day, was going to sleep in, however was awake and ready to go.

Having a cruisey morning doing some odds and ends with relaxing.

I headed to the pool at 10.30 am ready for a solid swim set.

The plan was 500 odd metres warm up, then

10 x 300 paddles/buoy on the 4.30min cycle.

Then cool down.

Well everything was on track until 11.05am when over the loud speaker there was a notification, no not someone has crapped in the pool, but the pool was closing in 10min.  Yep, at 11.15am until 1.30pm.  I didn't really believe it until at 11.10 the life guards starting asking people to get out of the pool.  I was a bit pissed by this as my mind was on the task at hand and the arms were feeling good.

I had completed 4 x 300 coming in on the 4.04's and was looking at just holding this pace for the remainder.

I had a quick cool down and and Matty and I decided to ride to the open water to do a little bit more.  We swam for about another 500m and then headed home.  1/2 the job done, not really happy.

The afternoon entailed 2 runs, the first being of 1hr 15min and the 2nd 45min, both easy.  The sun was out for the first run and it was hot, hot along the Queen K with no where to hide from it, no shade nothing...but I loved it, the legs felt good and the pace was really comfortable around the 4min 50's just a good easy run.  Once home from that , lunch followed and then some r&r.

I was doubting myself a little in the second run, although only 45min, I was unsure of how my legs would go.  Kicking off rather late, my legs settled quite fast and I got moving along a little bit quicker than the earlier run.  Having a little crack to see where they were at and handling really well was pleasing.  I know my body has finally settled in.

Tomorrow is a double swim day and also massage day, am really looking forward to all 3.  This is the first time that I am actually enjoying my time in the water and not dreading it.  Combining the open water for longer continual swims with the pool makes it easy to get my head around and really get some quality in.

Good mate and training partner Greg arrives this week which will be good, having a few of us to train with will only help with getting the sessions done well.

For now...


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Day 5...The beginning.

Today was the start of the "real" training on the island.  With time specific training and boxes to tick.

I headed to the pool this morning to do a solid 3.5km set.  Not sure how my arms would be feeling after a double swim yesterday and 3k worth of paddles, I thought that I would be conservative this morning but still get some quality in.

The set went like so:

1k w/up included free and some drills.

10 x 100m paddles/buoy on the 1.30 cycle coming in on the sub 1.20.

100m easy

Then this is where it started to hurt.

10 x 100m paddles/buoy on the 1.30 cycle coming in on the 1.20.

Well that was the plan.  the first five were low 1.20's and then the last 5 becoming closer to the cycle until the last 2 were just continuous.

200m easy c/d.

Arms smashed, but sessions complete and successful.

Back to the room for breakfast before a solid hit out on the bike.  4hrs with some pretty solid efforts.  This meant that I was going to reacquaint my self with the climb to Hawi (pronounced Harvee) or part of it.

Loading my bike up with Shotz nutrition, both electrolytes and gels.  Body caked in 50+ sunscreen and off I headed.

A slight tail wind on the trip out and things were going well, getting in plenty of nutrition and hydration.  Starting to climb to Hawi, I was feeling really great, remembering different parts of the climb.  Turning at 1hr 50min to account for the slight head wind return.

I made sure that I stopped to fill up my bottles, all 4 of them to ensure the return trip was also a success.  Catching up with a local one the return trip and having a good chat to him about the race etc and he re-confirmed what I had already been told by a few locals.  This year is bound to be hotter and windier than the previous 4 or 5.  Exciting news.

Off the bike into a 30min solid run....maybe I didn't have enough nutrition on the bike.  15min in after running 4min/k's and feeling really good...then it hit me.... instantly...back into a shuffle home at 5min/k's and feeling like I had been hit by a truck.

Sometimes you just forget how much you need here to keep you going, so much more than back home, so much more than what you think you actually need.

Below are a few photos of the sun burn I encountered out there today...Remember that I had 50+ sunscreen on...That sun is so brutal.

Left arm, had sunscreen all over it and still copped it.

The burn through my Garmin band!

 Post run, I drank my way through a few litres of Shotz Electrolytes and have pulled up really well.  A cold water (if you can call the water here cold) soak and I have pulled up a treat.  Nothing like getting used to the conditions that the day might actually throw up.

Tomorrow sees a double run, and a morning swim, most likely a ocean soak in the afternoon also.

For Now....Dinner time


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Day 4: Calm before the storm..

Today was a leg rest day... Leg resting from what?? Well not much has been going on this week apart from settling in.

Tomorrow is a different story.  Back to today.  Was a nice and relaxing day, so many different channels on TV to keep me occupied.  Apart form that I did find time to get some training in...

Another double swim day, the morning a continual 20min swim in the ocean and this afternoon a solid 4.5k in the pool consisting of:

1k w/up

5 x 200m with paddles/ buoy on the 3min cycle
100m easy
10 x 100m with paddles/buoy on the 1min 40sec cycle
100m easy
20 x 50m with paddles/buoy on the 50sec cycle
300m c/d

As you can imagine my arms are pretty sore after 3k worth of paddle work, however it is all part of the overall plan.

Tomorrow, the training really begins.  4hrs on the TT, with a few efforts, then a solid 30min run off the bike.  Nothing to major, throw a swim either side of this and it becomes a pretty hectic day.  One that I am looking forward to and can't wait to start.

This will mean an early night for me to get a good nights sleep after the fire alarm went off 3 times during last night.  Nothing like an interrupted sleep.

The weather was very overcast today, which meant muggy due to the humidity, hoping to get some Hot sun & strong winds.  The locals are saying that this will be the forecast for race day.  Might as well get used to it.

I want to thank everyone who has been sending me "well wishes".  I do appreciate them and keep them flowing!!

For Now...


Friday, September 14, 2012

Day 3: The Queen K is still King..

Today was my first venture this trip out on the Queen K, and didn't she throw up a real mixed bag.

From scorching hot heat (as I remember) to crazy winds (as I also remember) to patches of rain and a cool breeze (that I don't recall) it reminded me of a normal Melbourne day...4 seasons in 1 day.
The Queen K, long and undulating for 60k. Also Hot & Windy!

The Ocean View, is very scenic, gives some clues about the ride also!

The Lava view, not so scenic!

The end of the Queen K, 19mile to Hawi or 30k.  Did I say this was a climb?
This followed on from a hot run late yesterday and a pool swim.  The week is suiting me perfect, just getting my body used to the different climate again, the different conditions and the unknown.  The unknown on how the conditions are going to be in town vs out on the Queen K.

A long sleep in this morning is what I needed and an awesome massage from Sean.  I met him last year and found great success with him for the entire 4 week period I was here for, this year, I am utilizing him and his wife Shoko to the full extend keeping my body A1.

This afternoon's run was really different, the weather was really, very little humidity.  It was nice to tick another box with an easy training session.  Tomorrow is nothing exciting, a double swim day and feet up before the training kicks into gear next week.

Old Mate, Adam Kelsall who does a bit of work for has set me a few little tasks whilst I am here and the first one will be completed tomorrow.  It is more to give everyone an insight to a different aspect of the course from an a/g perspective..... I hope that's all it is!!

Anyway for now, I am off for dinner.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Day 2...finding some normality

The body is adapting well to the time zone difference with Hawaii being 20hrs behind Melbourne.  I had a great sleep last night and was surprised when the alarm sounded.

This morning I had my first open water swim, was just as amazing as what I remembered it to be from last year.  The water was a little fresh when I first got in, however didn't take long to enjoy what this amazing place has to offer.

30min of an easy continual swim, the arms felt good.  I will still amazed by the sites of the fish below and how beautiful they look.  The water also had some cold patches which were quite refreshing after starting to warm up.  The sun on the back was unfamiliar also but is definitely something that I will get used to.

People who say Qld is perfect, obviously haven't been here!

The swim start, quiet now, will be crazy in a few weeks..

Swimming becomes so much more enjoyable with these sites.

Who needs to snorkel when you get this swimming?

Just an amazing site every night!

The rest of the day includes an easy 45min run again around lunch time and then a pool swim this afternoon.  I am trying to get in the water twice a day where possible without over doing it.  I have found long sessions put a strain on my wrist, so small sessions often is very achievable both physically and mentally.

I am looking forward to getting stuck right in next week, however I am so glad the Andrew gives a week to settle in as without it, I would fry out there during training as the skin is not quite used to having constant sun on it.  Plenty of Sunscreen has been applied so far and you can pick me out as the guy who has come from winter with pasty white skin.

Lucky I have time to change that before everyone arrives!

For now... Breakfast time


Will Post again tonight.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Day 1.... Settling in

Today, being the first full day on the Big Island, nothing exciting has happened.

An easy hour ride on the Queen K to get the legs moving, then a nice swim in the pool...thinking that I was swimming well, then realizing that it is in yards means I have some work to do.

Then to cap off a great day, a light jog.

All in all, I have settled in well.  Catching up with Matty Burton has been great as we both are here for 1 reason and 1 reason only. 

This week of training just continues as a light week before the weekend ramps up and into a very BIG 3 weeks.

I will post my training plans in the next few days.

For now...


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Finally Here!!

I did promise to start my blog again once I arrived on the Big Island and whilst waiting to check in I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to give an update on the last 3 weeks.

It has been tough to say the least.  My final big build before I mounted the big bird and hit the island ready to get things going.

Trying to tidy everything up at work, trying to train 25 hrs a week and still offer service to my athletes.  Of course something had to give.

A blessing in disguise fell my way, i think, or did I fall its way??  Most people are aware that I fell off my bike a few weeks back and this hampered my ability to swim due to a wrist issue.  No I didn't get it looked at as it was never going to alter my plans once I got here.

I just tried to manage it the best I could without losing too much, this also gave me the ability to have a few sleep ins and get the rest my body was craving.  I think that I just fumbled my way through the last few weeks knowing that if I could just tick as many boxes as possible I would really be able to capitalize once here and settled.

I finished my last weekend on Australian soil with 49k's worth of running on the Sunday. Got through with no issues and felt more comfortable on the 2nd run than I did the first.  Andrew has given me the 2 Mondays off (Aust & Kona) to recover before I start with an easy week and then hit the next 3 weeks hard and solid!

The rest of the day will be check in, feet up and rest!

Until tomorrow.