Posted in Stories, Writing

Spectacular Sunday

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If I were on a one way ticket to Mars, what would I miss the most about our blue planet?

I believe the answer for me, would be-

Everything.

‘Everything’ is self explanatory, so for the purposes of refining this list, I will select one very important environmental location that I would struggle to live without-

Blue Sky’s, Blue Water and Warm Yellow Sand

-The Beach

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 My Soul food

A place where freedom can be found in a small sniff of ocean air,

and peace welcomes me in every wave break.

Days like today…

‘I’m perched on the couch with my feet up.

It’s midday on Sunday afternoon.

I have a cup of tea in my hand, and I’m savouring every single mouthful.

My next move?

I wonder. A nap? Another cup of tea?

My head feels a little heavy from the exertion this morning.

3.8km swim
56km cycle
5km run

Although I miscalculated a tad in the first leg of the swim…and we ran less than 5 km as a result of our human skin transforming into that of a lovely crisp roast turkey in the Cairns heat.

A little sustenance to follow-Eggs Benedict with Salmon, spinach and avocado, Cappucinno X 2 –

Some post card paradise for desert to tantalise the senses in the stunning Palm Cove

and some brilliant company to share it all with.

What a special morning

Cheers

Next move = Nap with my grumpy dog :)’

Inspired by Daily WordPress Prompt

Longing for Gravity

Posted in Daily muse, exercise, fitness, My training Diary, Writing

The benefits of canning your obsession with exercise

 

tired-runner-cartoon

 

‘What are the potential benefits of canning your obsession with exercise?-Sustainability

Author-Nicole Martin

 

My training is in full swing again, or perhaps three quarters swing-I’m not sure it’s ever been at maximum effort.

I attribute this ‘slightly under training habit to my antsy personality. If I do something for too long, at huge intensity levels, boredom sets in and my interest wanes-rapidly-so I exercise when I feel like it, and don’t when I don’t.

I can tell you with no uncertainty, this is why I have been able to sustain a reasonable level of fitness and training commitment my entire life- my lazy days balance out the more intense ones.

So what the jolly am I trying to say here?

‘Always exercise to an intensity that is sustainable for YOU’

Now that of course does NOT by any stretch of the imagination mean zero exercise is an option-Of course everyone should be doing something, regularly. Just don’t overdo it with a huge desire to change your life and then burn out 3 weeks later.

Personally, it does help that I enjoy pain, I guess. The thought of suffering through a training session, breathless, hot and sore, somehow drives me further and further into a powerful desire to be insanely fit.

Desire to strengthen myself, to build muscle, to challenge my cardiovascular system with a higher oxygen demand than ever before, to keep pushing as far as I possibly can stand it just to see if it kills me-and it never has by the way-nor will it you (Medical morbidities aside).

So what am I training for and why am I in semi-full swing?

In a few months there’s an Ironman event taking place in this spectacular Barrier Reef city within which I am blessed to reside, and I have registered to compete in the team event for the fifth year running. The previous years have seen me battling it out in the chop as the swimmer.

Thanks to a couple of ‘superior human beings’ -my cyclist and runner, we have managed to place in the top 3 on a few occasions. Standing on the podium was something I absorbed with all of myself, taking a million mental photographs of the moment, in view of retrieving them whenever I succumb to a moment of self-doubt.

Unfortunately, my two weapons have deserted me for a better life, and I have decided to tackle the cycle as well as the swim in this years event.

Mad? Probably, but oh well. It won’t kill me-we hope.

I also have a fabulous new runner who is excited to join me in her first 70.3 Ironman race since it’s inception into Cairns 6 years ago.

All of the above is absolutely the truth, however my drive to train comes from within me and my mind set at the time,  NOT the Ironman specifically. The honest truth is I’m simply training because I’m training, and while I’m enjoying the increased commitment, I’ll keep it up and reap the benefits.

Now let’s see if my right shoulder holds up. I have an issue with my supraspinatus tendon. It’s a bit hagered and overused-the usual thing that happens with age- and occasionally it bashes itself against my poor old acromium bone.

Ice, Ibuprofen, stretches, and slow increases in training intensity will hopefully spare me of further injury-crossing fingers.

Hope you’re all having a great night- I’m going to bed shortly, and may turn on the air-conditioner in our room to escape from the stifling heat North Queensland serves up to us every summer.

Cheers,

NM

 

So you failed did you?

Don’t think about it, just wake up and go

Posted in Daily muse, Humour, Physical fitness, Stories, Writing

It’s a God aweful road back to fitness-but it has to be done

tired-runner-cartoon

 

It’s a God aweful road back to fitness-but it has to be done

 

I’ve always been reasonably fit,  however my restless personality means boredom sets in very quickly if I focus on one particular activity for too long.

I have always craved change to feel alive, hence jumping from one activity to another, or having substantial breaks whilst I amuse my brain with something else for a while.

Despite this annoying tendency to lose focus on my training, it has become apparent that this behavioural pattern of on/off interest has become habitual. In other words, I always come back to it.

‘The coming back to it’ part usually occurs because my body begins to feel like a listless, irritable, unfit, weak, blob with no appetite, no energy and no strengh. Little aches and pains tend to creep their way into my wasting body as a result of increasing stiffness.

Simply put,

I just don’t feel as healthy when I am lazy with the training.

Aside from that, there is no better feeling than true fitness.

Eating well, sleeping well and training consistently WILL make you feel better than when you don’t do it.

Guaranteed.

The challenge, is enduring the painful hike back from blob to less of a blob!

It’s hard, but hard means you need to do it.

I have always had quite the love/hate relationship with the fitness grind. Pain represents improvement, improvement means I’m getting fitter, getting fitter,  results in less aches and and pains, better flexibility, more strength, an improved posture, a better appetite for good food and more energy. Happy Days.

So if your body feels like it’s dying, that’s a good sign!  You are actually getting somewhere! (Medical issues aside)

Today I went for a cycle. One of the first in quite a few months. I felt ok, but there were rocks tied to my wheels, I was certain of it.

How one can go from fit to unfit in a few months is astounding.

I glanced at the tyres to see if maybe they were flat…but they weren’t of course.

Perhaps my seat position was incorrect, that can make it harder?

-I don’t think so.

The excuses in my head kept rolling in but the problem, was simply the machine driving the wheels. It’s always the machine… my legs just didn’t have the kilometres in them and suddenly I was asking them to suck up the oxygen faster than my cells could supply it.

Answer?

High intensity interval training to recruit a few more mitochondria.

The air temperature was hot and the humidity high, which made it quite challenging in itself, but I pushed outside of comfort in an attempt to regain what I had lost.

After a cycle in the heat I always collapse into the pool for immediate temerature relief and a float, no questions asked, still in my cycling gear. I just never have the energy to take it off-but in that, lies some serious problems.

Have you ever tried to take off a running bra top when it is wet?

I do it often, but it is becoming increasinly difficult as the years burn the calender.

In pulling the top over ones head, it  always seems to roll onto itself and get stuck. This requires some serious shoulder flexibilty to undo, and some serious shoulder strenght to pull it over ones head. It’s almost routine for me that the top will get stuck between the time when it is all rolled up, with my shoulders in the air, and it positioned just over my head.

This creates quite the predicament as there are only two options here.

  1. Dislocate ones shoulders
  2. Call for help

I’m not a fan of either actually, especially the second option because there are alway boobs hanging out everywhere, arms stuck, shoulders in pain, semi suffocation, and a terrible air of “damsel in distress’ which results in a direful degradation of dignity.

My road to fitness has begun.

Joy 🙂

Heart Story-N.A.Martin

 

 

Posted in Cairo to Capetown

DAY 38-It’s a wrap-CYCLING FROM CAIRO TO CAPETOWN

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IT’S A WRAP

~N.A.MARTIN

Three men were catapulted into a select ‘elite’ category of human beings today as they crossed the line in Cape Town on their bicycles after having cycled 10,800 kilometres in 38 straight days to claim the world record and the admiration of thousands, for the fastest human crossing of the African continent.

Their Journey began on the 9 th September 2015, in Cairo and ended on the 15 th November 2015 at the Cullinan hotel in Cape Town, where friends, family and followers patiently waited for their arrival.

Seven riders were lined up to start, yet only three remained in the final days. To say these three men were broken, is an understatement of enormous proportions, with words simply incapable of accurately portraying their condition.

Their smiles were out in full force however, as exhilaration and relief quickly took the place of pain and suffering.

On a personal note, following such an epic Journey for 38 days, with an unwavering intensity has taken it’s toll on me. Strangely, the seemingly rapid ‘END’, has left me feeling rather empty. I could almost say, I feel a strong sense of anti-climax settling over me, in a way I’ve never felt before.

Saying goodbye to extreme feelings is actually difficult as they provide the much needed peaks in our lives that keep us interested in the world around us.

So the question on my mind that has no answer, is…

‘What now?’

I think I’d like to simply embed myself in the memories for a while longer, for my heart is still fully entwined within them.

Everyone,

Thanks for the memories.

xN

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Posted in Cairo to Capetown

VIDEO FOOTAGE-Mark Blewett is interviewed on the hardships and how the bikes have fared

Author~N.A.Martin

Patience is a virtue!

There have been no further updates from the CAROCAP camp since this morning, however it’s most likely they are 100% focused on moving forward in the fastest way possible to get this thing over with! The race dashboard indicates they are currently on the road making some serious progress.

Honestly, cycling these distances on such little sleep must be an enormous challenge, not to mention the added hindrances of heat, dehydration and hunger.

Photos reveal enormous weight loss in the riders which has left them weak, but with only a couple of days of this epic journey remaining, they are certain to tuck into some mighty fine grub when it’s all over, ensuring a full recovery in no time.

It is also noted, there have been no further reports regarding Nick’s condition. As they say, no news is good news.

Please see below the attached map which indicates their immediate position.

Closer, closer, closer!
Closer, closer, closer!

VIDEO FOOTAGE

Mark Blewett-How the bikes have fared so far.

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/145643752″>How the Ultravox Ti bikes have fared</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user43035444″>SwiftCarbon bikes</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

VIDEO FOOTAGE

Mark Blewett-The hardships they’ve had along the way

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/145639709″>The Hardships of CAROCAP</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user43035444″>SwiftCarbon bikes</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

FURTHER UPDATES WILL BE POSTED AS SOON AS INFORMATION IS RELEASED

For updates on their live cycling position please see their official website:

http://carocaprace.com