Thursday, August 28, 2014

One per day – Sugar free July

July was a month of recovery, I recovered a bit of form (thanks to a good few weeks swimming), I recovered mentally thanks to the study break at uni.And I recovered a bit of shape thanks to a sugar-free diet that was not quite sugar-free.
I just cut any added sugar, sweet biscuits, scones, cereal bars, sauces, drinks, deserts and any other sugar-ladden food that was not naturally sweet. That meant I kept eating fruits and sweet veggies. And I also treated myself to a sweet treat once a week.  The result was nothing extraordinary in weight-loss (I wasn’t looking to lose too much weight, anyway) but it was a good reflection on what habits I needed to shave off to keep to my sugar-free promise. It wasn’t extremely hard, but it was not a walk in the park either. I reckon doing this twice a year is a good way to go about it.
What else happened?
keeping to the pack at the Welly XC champs
We had the final race of the XC season, a 6-lap-12km affair in the northern beaches of Wellington region. Cross Country is good fun, and this race was great fun, firstly because it is hard mentally and secondly because it is good banter with club mates. My performance was nothing to write home about, I got into a group and there was no group ahead to aim for, therefore the interest went from going fast to staying-in.  By the end, I had no legs for the sprint, so I trotted to a happy 46min finish 15th or so overall.
In the pool front, we had our second Time Trial, and I was happy to see the time going down closer to 20 than to 25. There still a lot of room for improvement, but the signs are good.
Wellington is much colder than Auckland, and there were a couple of mornings that the cold and the wind made it easier to stay home than to go out training. I don’t regret a good lay-in, especially when the road is wet and windy.
With the XC season all but finished, the focus was to road racing, or doing something else. I went for something else and started a long base-training block, aiming to get miles on the old 890’s and ready myself for the tri season which is just round the corner.
And then there’s August… but that’s another story

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

One per month – June

June is the start of the winter. And this is our first winter in Welli, which is a colder city. The days went very very short straight from the start of the month. The rides home in the afternoon became shorter,and didn’t venture into places that are quite dark.
After 3 months and a half we finally started a swim squad proper. Even though is not as much as we used to swim back in Aucks, it is great to be back to 5:30am starts and great pool routines. Coming from 2 years of minimum 3.5km per session to nothing to a 2.5-3km per session gig was not too bad. We still miss the feeling of having just completed 4 or 5km of solid work, though. The first week of the squad was Time Trial Week. I won’t go into the detail, but it wasn’t as bad as we were expecting.

For me, it was a confirmation that I had lost some of the magic... but that I still know how to pace.
Every split was pretty much spot on, except for the slow start.

On the XC racing front, there was the Dorne Cup, a two-lap-8k race that crowns the best of welly. I
killing it at the Dorne cup
did a little face plant on a hill, and then ran out of gas on the last 1km, but all in all I achieved my
goal of going under 30min.

A week later was the event I was looking forward to. The Wellington half marathon. I was given a ticket by my mates in the old job, so I wanted to make them proud. I had six weeks of pretty solid prep, only hampered by a chesty cold that knocked me out a 6 days before the race (ie. just after the other race). I had toyed with the idea of trying to go for 75min , which would be my PB by a long shot. I knew I had the base, but I also knew that I had done bugger all between March and May.

wardrobe malcfunction 101
Anyway, the race went well and I ended with a respectable 1:17 and change on a windy day. Loved it. Unfortunately I had to go for a pretty unconventional wardrobe choice, but it was all a matter of keeping warm and not letting the cold get the best of me.

All in all, June was a great month to bed-in the routines for swim-bike and run, both for me and Nat.

We also had essays and exams, and friends visiting, which is always a great way to keep motivated

Monday, August 11, 2014

And the sprint finish

Blood, sweat and no glory. LOL

One per month – May

Yeap... I did it again. Over three months with nothing said.

Although I do have things to say. Just lack of time/motivation/a Dictaphone?

Anyway... back the writing bloc. What happened in may? Looking at my diary I was well into training for the wellington half

marathon in June. Lots of running, not a lot of swimming and starting to bike consistently. The cross

country season started in April, and I did two races in May, a 5Kyer for the Varsity Relays followed by a 10Kyer  for the Vosseler shield (I love the athletic's naming system for their races). the next week.
Varsity was great, the 10k? not so much... I had a bad prep and a bad beard (look at the photo). The only good think was a massive sprint to the finish trying to get one-up on a good mate.

The issue for cross country racing is being able to start fast, be strong up the hills and continue to be
fast in the flat. I can do all that... but not when I’m anaerobic. Steep learning curve there, but I think I got it pretty much sorted for the final race of the season.
Apart from that there was plenty of university activty, with a great essay on climate change and the obligations of New Zealand towards its citizens and and as part of been a responsible neighbour. Oh.. and a trip to Christchurch, a run through the glaciers and a super cool run to Huka falls.

Livin' la vida loca in godzone :-)