Posted in blogging, exercise, fitness, My training Diary, Sport, Writing

Training for a Half Ironman-Give Up or Get Real

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Ironman Cairns-June 2016

Give up or Get Real

Training for a Half Ironman

CHAPTER 2

Both of these options come with benefits, and BOTH are considered regularly. If I was to withdraw from the Ironman event in June, it would by no means be a train smash. I mean so what? Nobody would care, it’d give me more rest, it’d enable me to have more time and I probably wouldn’t feel so smashed. Sounds like a viable, realistic plan to me.

On the flip side, persevering with training-although challenging, is catapulting me into new territory- and I like that. In fact, I don’t just like that, I need that. I’m 44 this year, and I’m fitter than I have ever been, and that is like blue skies and sunshine to me. It’s like medicine to my otherwise doubting self. Like sweets with strawberries and cream and sugar and all of those horrid things to my sometimes troubled mind which obsesses with  aging and disease and loss.

To give up would be to continue with the routine. Not so bad I guess, but predictable. Getting up close and personal with the me I have known for 40 years is getting a little stale. I want to know the me that hasn’t been tested to this level. I want to see what else is inside of me. I want to grow and learn and endure and build resilience and make memories and tell a story untold and undiscovered. I want to go somewhere I have not been before. I want to veer off the track and get lost in the bush and navigate my way out.

I want to overcome the urge to fall back into my yesterday, and repaint the same old picture on the same old canvas. I want to fill the empty spaces in my future with fresh colours and new appreciations for what I am capable of as a 44 year old woman, who is no longer able to lean on the crutch of youth to get through life.

So getting real, is the plan for the next few months. Giving up, will have to wait.

Last week was my first full training week. 7 sessions. Three swim, two cycle and two run. This will have to do. There are simply not enough hours in the day for me to improve upon this, and THAT my friends, is that. With a pretty demanding working week, two teenage boys, a household that grows dishes and washing like the grass grows in far north queensland, and a few hobbies I throw myself into, I am ecstatic that I am able to achieve this at all…but it is hard.

I have found that finding the time isn’t the issue.

I have a workable training schedule that doesn’t interfere too much with my daily routine (except on weekends when the long cycles cut into the clock)-

– the issue is the flipping f word-fatigue.

As it is, I am practically falling asleep writing this, and I hate to admit it, but my manager had to wake me up at work last week when to my complete surprise and embarrassment, I was asleep bolt upright in front of the computer mid-morning. She touched me on the shoulder and I jumped, adding a  Slur of words and a confused disposition. After this, the thought of giving up smashed its way into my mind like a bull in a china shop. Surely, I can’t continue this way.

But getting real involves pushing personal boundaries in order to realise ones limitations. What I learned that day, was that I needed to re-evaluate my training schedule, my sleep, my diet and my weekly routine in order to make my training requirements sustainable.  Perhaps I needed a rest. Perhaps my body, clearly not used to this intensity of training, was simply in an adjustment phase. Perhaps I didn’t need to change anything at all, and it would come right with patience.

So far this week, training hasn’t really gone to plan. Through necessity, I’ve pulled back on the intensity in order to curb the fatigue. My swim this morning was more of a float and a leisurely stroll up the verticle black line than a decent training session. But I turned up, and I did the distance. I missed a run session this afternoon in favour of sleep, and this weekends cycling is in doubt as the family head south for a weekend swim meet in support of our eldest sons quest to prepare for Age Nationals in April.

My excuse, is that it’s so wet outside I wouldn’t be cycling anyway!

Am I giving up?

Nope, I’m pacing myself-or at least that’s the story in my head.

One thing is for sure, the journey so far has been unpredictable, inconsistent and rocky. I have questioned my motives and my ability many, many times. But it’s new, and it’s interesting, and difficult and frustrating and exhausting and exhilarating…and it’s my choice. It’s my choice to live outside the line for a few months, to learn about discipline and dedication and hard work.

I do not know how this story will end, but I’m living it with my eyes wide open baby, and that’s what it’s all about.

Posted in blogging, Writing

Don’t tell me I can’t

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She writes,

yet her writing does not appeal to her year 12 English teacher.

“English is not your subject”

…and so, she follows the path of Science

“because you’re better at that”

and yet, 20 years later, when she no longer listens,

she writes anyway.

Because that is what is inside of her

because she has ‘stuff’ to say

because she has ‘stuff’ to share

and because she has a heart for it.

Literary brilliance, literary magnetism, literary success,

is about passion, and truth, and reality.

It’s about perseverance

and  belief

and sharing

and  risk

It’s about throwing away the rule book

…and daring to be free

It’s about blocking your ears to the entire universe

in order to unlock the gates to yours.

It’s rebelling against the world with prose

It’s making peace with one’s thoughts

It’s about you

and no-one else,

and having the strength to expose yourself to vulnerability, and failure, and fear and judgement.

It’s about believing, that if your year 12 English teacher says you can’t, it’s not the end.

Because it’s never over, until YOU say so

and if you truly, truly, want it…

you absolutely can. 

…and so she writes. 

 

Posted in Writing

My Words are Lost

 

 

 

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Inspired by the WordPress Daily Prompt Survival-

My words are caught in a net, this month. The net of life-and it’s stifling my ability to create.

I love to write, the urge to splash stories and thoughts onto the blank screen remains annoyingly-this is how I would describe it-in tact. Why annoying? Because they are like a yawn that desperately wants to come out, but just won’t. So I bide my time, enduring the discomfort, hoping, they will eventually flow forth, and not disappear for an eternity.

Perhaps I am not sad enough? Or perhaps I am too distracted, or too tired, or my bucket is full, with no room to ponder and dream.

The solution?

I will sit in this little chair of mine whilst sipping sweet coffee and listening to the shhhh of the breeze in my trees, outback.

I will listen to the sweet song of the bird that’s saturating the air- it is dancing elegantly with it’s words and thoughts in this moment. It’s words are not stuck in the same binding net as mine, so I will keep quiet, for a little longer, and simply listen.

See you on the flip side, my dear writing friends.

May you fill in the gaps…on my behalf.

x

 

There will always be colour

 There will always be colour

Sometimes it eludes us…but there will always be colour.

Nicole Martin

If someone had’ve mentioned the National Kite Flying Championships were on this weekend, I previously, would’ve dismissed it with a simple nod.

Here we are in Adelaide, on the Eve of the Australian Age swimming Championships, and I’m mesmerised by the sky-a picture perfect blue, splashed with a flood of colour.

My balcony, which wraps around my home for the next while, makes for the perfect viewing point. I have never seen so many Kites, soaring above sun kissed dunes and champagne seas.

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Directly below us is an ice creamery. My youngest son is currently in heaven as he attempts to find the quickest way to drill a hole through the ceiling of our apartment, shove down a pipe and connect it directly to the waffle making machine. That way, he can simply-“Suck it up, continuously”

The drive to the venue this afternoon was pleasant-endless coastline, spectacular pine trees aligning the long, wide, straight roads and blue stone cottages with little round tables and imaginary people drinking tea from a pot, very much the vogue in Adelaide. Churches adorn every corner. Some active, some transformed into residences for the local library/ Doctor/Dentist.

Athletes congregate around Aquatic Centre doors waiting to pounce on the opportunity for last chance training.

The buzz is in the air. The goosebumps have landed.

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For us, this is all new.

Tomorrow, at 11:50 am, our 13 year old will line up on the blocks to race against the strongest age-group swimmers in the country-Our hearts are with him, if not escaping from our chests.

…and then, we will watch the Kites, flying free in the breeze, as life returns to normal-for a wee while.

Happy Easter everyone, keep safe.

XN

Posted in blogging, fitness, Physical fitness, Sport, Writing

The Awe Inspiring Michael Phelps

‘It’s what you do in the dark… that puts you in the light’

~Aqua Seven

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Author

Nicole Martin

This video is by far one of the most awe inspiring clips I have seen for a long while.

Why?

Just look at the pain in his face-I can almost feel it.

Look at the dedication, the determination, the grace, the talent, the persistence, the extraordinary athletic ability, the grit.

Michael Phelps-the previously retired World Champion from the USA is currently fighting for a success filled come-back.

Arguably the best all-round swimmer in history, he has inspired and impressed millions around the world with his achievements and his rare talent.

Will he leave behind a legacy?

Absolutely.

His journey is far from over, however his legacy is solidified in the hearts and minds of many young athletes who dare to dream big.

He will continue to inspire for many years, irrespective of the outcome of his current desire to return to greatness.

‘It’s what you do in the dark… that puts you in the light’

~Aqua Seven

Inspired by Word Press Daily Prompt

Legacy

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