Mixed Berry and Muesli Muffins.

Muff!

 

Signs of Ironman blues.
The feeling of something missing in your life – Now time to do something different.
Unusual grumpiness – Tired not fully recovered.
Sadness – Like you have lost a best friend.
Bored -plently of time on your hands
Restlessness – still not ready to resume training.
Sudden mood swings – often as a result of procrastination.
Not Motivated – even to enter a favourite triathlon
The loss of any direction will result in feelings of aimlessness & despondency.
Missing the regular e mails, social support and group sessions that were part of the Ironman training culture.
Depression is a sign you have not fully recovered.

Taken from: http://www.ironmate.co.uk/post-ironman-blues#sthash.tvwBLJkH.dpuf

Legit.

Since Port Macquarie I have been lost, unmotivated, and downright depressed.

I had heard about the post Ironman blues before, but i didn’t think it would happen to me. Looking back though, I placed a lot of importance on this race, on this goal.

I wanted to push my bodies limits and commit to training to see what I could do.

Unfortunately race day didn’t go quite as planned but that’s racing for you!

For the past few weeks I have been feeling like I’m on the brink of tears or a tantrum. Nothing  seems to be getting me excited and the littlest problems feel like the biggest issues!

I can honestly say I haven’t felt like this in a very long time.

I think I have been in a bit of denial about it all. How can ONE race have so much influence over my mental health?!

When you focus on one goal, so intensely and for a long period – I guess it’s to be expected that once you have completed it you feel well, empty.

Motivation for every training session was drawn from the desire to complete this race. We suffered through freezing swim sessions and hours on the bike trainer and now it feels almost impossible to get out there in the sunshine! Makes no sense to me.

Coupled with this – the past week I haven’t even been able to run, even if I wanted to! I have been struggling with spasms in my calves  which I am hoping will sort itself out with some rest.

So what do you do when struck down with post race blues (or any blues for that matter – any goal you give yourself completely to is bound to stir up similar feelings upon completion)?

1. Remember that you are more than ONE GOAL (or race, event etc)

It’s important to remind yourself that you had other things going on in your life before, during and will continue to, after you have completed this goal. Which brings me to my next point…

2. Reconnect!

When you focus on achieving your goal – so much other stuff gets pushed to the side. Engage with this stuff again! Go out and catch up with friends, pick up the hobbies you had to set aside because you couldn’t justify spending time on them before. Not only will it help you distract you from yourself, it will reinforce the idea that there’s a lot more to life than ONE goal or dream.

3. Take some time out.

Regardless of whether or not you have set some clear goals for the future or you unsure of where to next – take some time out. Take the pressure off and embrace the fact your time is completely yours. It’s difficult but try to relish in the fact you don’t have a strict schedule telling you what to do or where to be – even if it’s only that way for a week or two!

And finally,

4. When you’re ready set some new goals.

These don’t have to be related to the initial goal or even as big. It could be a goal to rest, spend more time with friends or family. Anything you want!

So for me – I know I need to take some time to rest.

My calves are quite clearly telling me so. But more than that, my mind is telling me I need to.

I fell into this sport and have loved the challenge of it from day one and I want to continue to love it… at the moment I am bored running the same routes and have no desire to run for very long. This is super unusual for me. Instead of trying to force myself to regain the love I’m going to take the approach that it WILL come back IF I don’t force it.

So for the next 2 weeks (after a sneaky race this weekend) I am going to enjoy all the social sport I have had to miss due to training.

Then I am going to try my hand at some trail runs around the area to mix things up and then, when I get back into training I am going to see if I can find some groups to train with…

…oh and spend some more time cooking!!

 

The bits and pieces

photo 1

Make sure you make it a decent cup of berries!

1 C Wholemeal flour (you could use SR Flour, plain was all I had!)

¾ C brown sugar

1 C mixed berries

2 eggs

1 tsp organic vanilla extract

1 C good quality untoasted muesli

¾ C milk

1 tsp cinnamon

½ C olive oil

1 tsp baking powder

photo 2

Pre-heat oven to 150°C and grease a 12 muffin tray.

In a large mixing bowl, add flour, cinnamon, muesli and baking powder and mix well.

Add in sugar and eggs and mix well.

Add remaining ingredients except for the mixed berries and stir until well combined.

Pop in mixed berries and gently fold through the mixture.

Spoon into prepared muffin tray and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden on top.

These were so good!

These were so good!

Remove and let cool before devouring!

 

Enjoy!

Brickie

xx

Port Mac 70.3 – Race Report.

Ready and nervous!

Ready and nervous!

As of Sunday, I am officially a triathlete! I have always shyed away from this term leaving it for people much fitter and better looking in lycra than me! However, after Sundays effort I feel like I have now earned this title!

We headed into Port Macquarie on Saturday morning to scope out the bike course as I had read the roads were rubbish and the course quite hilly. On the drive in I kept saying to Nate it can’t be THAT bad, I mean we have ridden around Mudgee – how bad could it be?

ha!

There was one section of hot mix that lasted around 300m and the rest was dead road with a spattering of pot holes that had been filled and refilled.

It was going to be a bumpy ride.

My main goal was to try and stay down on my bars for as much of the ride as possible – I have never felt really confident on them so this was going to be a bit of a test. I knew the best way to approach it was to just not think about it.

We headed to registration and off we went to rack our bikes in transition – with me stopping at the Shimano mechanics to get them to check my tyre pressure. LUCKY – apparently my front wheel wasn’t done up properly and it would have most probably fallen off mid ride… I will ALWAYS stop at the Shimano tent.

Afterwards we jumped in the swim entrance and had a quick swim to get a feel for the water before heading home – sunburnt. Not exactly ideal but there was nothing I could do about it now!

I slept terribly on Saturday night, after tossing and turning for a few hours I bit the bullet and set myself up on the lounge so at least poor Nate could have a peaceful sleep!

I flicked on the TV, watched The Hangover and fell asleep about 12ish.

My alarm went off at 4am (VOM) and I jumped straight up. Coffee, breakfast, quick check of the bag and off we went.

Nate looking pro as exiting the swim!

Nate looking pro as exiting the swim!

Swim Leg (33:31 – 15th AG):

Nate headed off in the wave before me, as soon as the horn sounded we were hearded to the start line.

One girl yelled out “Goodluck Girls” then we all wished each other good luck. It was a nice way to start the race as we all encouraged each other.

Horn sounded and away we went.

It was a relatively uneventful swim. I found some space and just swam. Nothing flash (my swim is nothing flash!) focussing on controlled breathing and long smooth strokes. I have realised that I am better off swimming slightly slower for a lot less energy than expending a significant amount more for probably 1minute or so gain. I am putting this down to no  poor technique.

T1:

I exited the swim feeling fresh and relaxed.

I spotted The Meat Trays and my family and gave them a wave… downed half a gel, quick sip of water then Sirius and I headed on our way.

Bike Leg (03:07:03 – 3rd AG):

As soon as I jumped on Sirius, 1 of my water bottles came loose and spilled all over my foot  before eventually falling out completely. Not ideal!

Loving the bike leg!

Loving the bike leg!

My aim for the bike was to stick around 30km per hour. I knew I was strong on the bike but I had no idea how I would fair for 90km on a hilly course. I didn’t want to go too hard on the bike so I thought this pace was achievable while still leaving enough in the tank for the run (ha!)…

I was overtaking people on the hills and took a lot of confidence from this. I was being over taken on the downhills however, so I decided on the 2nd lap to not think about falling off unless it happened! I couldn’t afford to overtake people on the uphills just to have them come flying past on the downhills!

I hit the first turn around feeling good, keeping a nice high cadence and settling into a rhthym. I took my first gel here – well about 3/4 of it. I just can’t stand them. As soon I had it I felt quesy.

Heading back into town on to Matthew Flinders Drive AKA hill of death, where they lay out carpet so people can clip out and walk up. The first time up it took me by surprise – I had really underestimated just how steep it was. I grit my teeth and got through it though telling myself I only had to do it one more time.

Getting it done!

Getting it done!

Nate once again looking like a pro!

Nate once again looking like a pro!

2nd lap – relatively uneventful, at the turn around we came into a headwind that made the ride a little tougher! I was still feeling good however, I had a feeling I hadn’t eaten enough… at about the 75km mark I started to tire and knew I had left it too late to get enough food in before the run. I told myself it was too late, if I ate now I would be sick on the run (oh Brooke – you have no idea!).

Climbed the hill of death 1 more time and made my way back into town.

T2:

Scored some bindies in my feet as I ran through transition and lost my bike rack… ugh! After a minute if searching I found where I was supposed to be. I had even taken note as I ran INTO T2 but for some reason I ran away from my transition area?!

I thought about popping a gel here but thought it would sit funny in my belly and hurt my run (oh Brooke – you have no idea!).

Out of T2 and into the run…

Run Leg (02:16:48 – 12th AG):

I knew coming off the bike I hadn’t gotten my nutrition right but I really underestimated how much this would affect me! I had underestimated just how much this leg would hurt too!

I started with a 5:08/km pace and very quickly that dropped to 5:45/km which very quickly hit about 6:02/km and walking through every aid station.

Nate passed me just after the first aid station – I told him I was struggling as he zoomed past. I thought he must’ve been on his 2nd and final lap and felt really deflated. Little did I know he actually got a flat at the bottom of the hill at Matthew Flinders Drive and I had beaten him home on the bike leg!

Struggle street shuffle!

Struggle street shuffle!

After this I knew I had to get fuel in – whichever way possible.

So I scoffed watermelon, electrolyte drink, water, banana anything I could get my hands on!

The irony is that I couldn’t stomach gels and I hadn’t wanted to eat solid food towards the latter half of the bike because I thought I would struggle to run with food in my belly –  and here I am on the run course having a bloody sit down meal!

I really struggled through the first lap. I passed a guy who was being helped by an ambulance and thought, I could just stop here and they would help me too. I had doubts I would make it, but I also knew I didn’t want to give in!

A little girl handed me Vegemite on a stick – life saver! As gross as it sounds, after so much sugar it was exactly what I wanted.

2nd lap – still struggling and walking through every aid station. I stopped to walk a bit further down the road and an older guy ran up beside me and told me we were going to run to the finish, we probably had about 4km to go. This was exactly the kick up the bum I needed! We ran together for a while until he pulled away as I just had nothing in the tank.

We hit the final hill and I caught up to Jan (the guy who told me to run) and he was walking. C’mon I said – you told me we were running until the end so that’s we’re doing!

I think the Coke must have kicked in at this stage, as I managed to run the last 2km (downhill) in a much more respectable pace of 5:33/km.

As I hit the red carpet I saw my family – gave them all high-5’s and shuffled over the finish line!

That’s when I saw Nate waiting for me – I gave him the biggest hug and cried tears of joy. Which I have never actually experienced before! It’s a weird sensation but kind of cool!

Finish Time: 06:02:59 – 8th AG

Our faces say it all!

Our faces say it all!

Not quite the time I had hoped for but for my first long distance triathlon I am still stoked.

I had a great, relaxed swim, crushed the bike and fell apart in the run.

I know that my nutrition (or lack of) had a big role to play in my awful run. After the race I realised I only had 1 bottle of sports drink, 1/3 banana and 2 gels on the bike and I know this wasn’t enough.

Aside from this I also need to get used to running on tired legs,  I know this is as much mental as it is physical.

Overall I am stoked with mine and Nates  effort and I can’t wait to see how much I can improve next race.

FYI Nate crushed it:

Overall Time: 05:34:45 – 31st AG

Swim: 00:32:26 – 40th AG

Bike: 03:16:45 (with a flat!) – 52nd AG

Run (SMOKIN’!): 01:40:37 – 14th (!!!) AG

The greatest cheer squad known to Ironman!

The greatest cheer squad known to Ironman!

I promise I will have more recipes soon too!

Brickie.

xx

I would also like to say a MASSIVE thank you to my family and friends for making the effort to come and stand in the sun just to watch us come past every hour or so! You guys made the day that much more special! THANK YOU!

Race Week – Port mac 70.3!

It’s race week!

Wow.

Well haven’t I just jumped on one hell of a roller coaster this week?! At the start of the week I was overcome with anxiety and nervous excitement. Up and down – waves of excitement followed by panic as I teetered on the edge of putting too much pressure on myself.

As the week has progressed, I have relaxed somewhat and feel like I am in a much better headspace! I am still riding a roller coaster of emotions however it’s more like riding The Beastie, not The Demon at Wonderland!

At the start of the week I was really stressing about times and how disappointed I would be if I didn’t get certain times for each leg. Then I realised that I have absolutely NO idea how I am going to fair in this race being my first 70.3 so I should probably just calm my farm and enjoy the ride.

I am going in blind – which means I am guaranteed a PB. If I want to race harder next time, I will adjust my training to suit and have a crack at those goals I set earlier in the week. But for now, I want to enjoy it all – reward myself for my hard work rather than berate myself for feeling like I haven’t done enough!

My race suit arrived on Tuesday and I got a proper bike fit too!

photo 5

The Meat Trays away shirts arrived this week too – I know what I will be sporting pre/post race!

Not ideal in race week but I ran out of time and have been getting really bad knee pain which I have never experienced before, so it had to be done.

I jumped on Sirius yesterday, and felt great. I am in a much better position and more aggressive too which hopefully means a bit more aero for a lot less effort!

Sirius is shining after a clean and service – I can’t wait to see how we go together on Sunday!

photo 2

All smiles after our 4000m swim!

All smiles after our 4000m swim!

Nate and I practiced transitions last night which also helped with the nerves.

We are so lucky to have a couple of The Meat Trays coming up to cheer us on (I cannot wait to hear you guys bring me home on the run – Lou, Lou and Brookie!!) along with most of my family.

I have scoured the internet looking for information on the Port Mac course, through my research I have found the following points of interest:

  • The ride is hilly (crap! A massive shout out to Russ Dawg for taking us through the Royal National Park – all of those hills will come in handy on Sunday!)
  • The road surface is terrible (double crap! Luckily, I am fairly experienced riding on a mix of lovely smooth hot mix and rough pot holey roads – so I am hoping it’s not as bad as it sounds)
  • The run course is generally flat (YES! I will be thanking the organisers on the run for this after 90km of hills on the bike!)
  • IT WILL BE FUN (running down that finish chute is apparently one of the most rewarding and emotional experiences and I am ready to lap it all up – there will be tears and hi-5’s!)

 

Wooh! Now a member of TA!

Wooh! Now a member of TA!

As I mentioned before, I have really tried to strip it back and take the pressure of myself in terms of “performance”. I am hoping for anything under the 6 hour mark, I think this is reasonable but again I am going in blind so I really don’t know how I will fair on the day but I am excited to test those limits!

Getting inspired by everyone racing at the ITC Club Tri on the weekend - I was BUSTING to race too!

Getting inspired by everyone racing at the ITC Club Tri on the weekend – I was BUSTING to race too!

 

…I am also looking forward to the beers afterwards!

Brickie xx