Why I Love to Tri.

Ah recovery week! How I love yet struggle with you… hooray for more time for blogging though!

Last weekend we went up to the Royal National Park and road to Bundeena and back. 65km of tough climbs made for an awesome training session backed up with a 16km run on Sunday for me and a huge 21km for Nate!

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The iconic Bald Hill.

I finally ballsed up and got down on my aero bars – so much fun! I’m still a bit of a scaredy cat and jumped up a few times coming into corners but I am sure a few more weekends out and about which make me a lot more confident! It felt really good being in that position and I know it’ll help in the run, being a more efficient rider!

I LOOK like I know what I am doing...
I LOOK like I know what I am doing…

I have been thinking a lot lately about why I’ve become obsessed with triathlon. It’s not so much the swim, bike or run although I do love racing. It’s the places triathlon has already taken me!

Every weekend Nate and I set off on a long ride to places we have never been before, even though they’re on our doorstep!

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Sundays lately consist of running along the bike track further than the week before and 2 weeks ago I ran to the place I used to ride to on my bike and back (25km)! That is crazy!

Swimming sessions have probably been the most challenging of all – every session is a battle but we are swimming longer and harder than we ever have before.

Training for your first half Ironman is definitely challenging but it’s also worth it. Every session you complete is an achievement as most of the distances you have never tackled before. Afterwards it feels like you have ticked off one more goal and the idea of swimming 1.9km riding 90km and then running 21.1km seems less daunting.

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We are now 4 weeks in with 12 to go and I have decided to give the Mudgee Marathon a miss. As hard a decision this was I have been training really hard and I want to see just what I have got on race day in Port Macquarie and throwing a marathon in the mix a month out from the race just doesn’t fit. Nate will still be tackling the marathon (legend!) and I will do the half.

On the plus side, it means I can take Sirius back to Mudgee with me and get in a training session on Saturday before the race. This will be a better indicator of race fitness too.

Brickie xx

 

Post run on Sunday!
Post run on Sunday!
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Pumpkin Muffins with Date and Coconut Icing.

Pumpkin muffins!

I want to eat ALL the food.

No seriously, since ramping up the training my appetite has doubled! While I sit here writing this I am thinking about what to have for second dinner!

The bonus of upping the training and getting stronger has been that I have finally managed to lose most of the Eurotrip weight from last years epic adventure where I put on 6kg in 5 weeks! Yes, you read that right!

It only took me a year…! Before I left I was the healthiest I have ever been and I really thought it would be easy to lose when I got back and into a routine. I took it for granted and was really surprised when I was struggling to fit back into my clothes 6 months on!

I didn’t want to force myself into a strict regime or “diet” but was also justifying eating that second burger because I was going for a run later…! I was also super impatient! I thought that after a month of getting back into training I would be right back where I was before I left –  and I was super frustrated when I wasn’t!! However, after taking the focus off losing weight and shifting it towards training for longer distance tris – what do you know?! My clothes fit me again!

I guess my point is, I underestimated how hard it would be and that it’s also very easy to fall into the mindset of well I am exercising heaps so I can eat 10 of everything including a tub of peanut butter and ooooh look chocolate!

Nate and I have both been trying to get out nutrition right with this amount of training too. I now understand the importance of fuelling my body right after my training sessions and my favourite go to is a banana and some Dextro. We are also learning the importance of nutrition while training!

Our aim on Sunday was to run as far as we could in 2 and a half hours. Nate made it to 30km while I got to 25km… after the 2 hour mark I was really shuffling and on struggle street so this weekend I will attempt to eat on my run… this is going to be a massive struggle for me as I used to get sick running even 2 hours after I had eaten!

These muffins are an awesome snack idea and they are SUPER moist. You could omit the barley syrup and add in some corn, basil and semi dried tomatoes for a savoury muffin too.

The malted barley syrup is awesome as it has a mix of simple and complex carbs perfect for both before and after exercise!YUM!

The bits and pieces

1 egg (or flax/chia egg)

1 tsp maca powder (optional)

1 tsp organic vanilla essence

1 tsp cinnamon, ground

1 tsp nutmeg, ground

2 C wholemeal SR flour

1 ½ C steamed pumpkin, pureed

¼ C olive oil

3 Tbsp malted barley syrup

 

Icing

15-20 dates

½ C shredded coconut

¼ C boiling water

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Preheat oven to 150°C and grease a muffin tray.

In a large mixing bowl, add wet ingredients and mix until well combined.

Add dry ingredients into mix and stir until well combined. Be careful not to overmix or the muffins will become tough and rubbery.

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

Remove and let cool.

In a food processor, process dates and coconut adding water as needed to make the mixture smooth. You want it the consistency of icing so you can ice the muffins.

With a knife, ice the muffins with the date and coconut mixture and then devour!

Enjoy!

Brickie xx

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Getting Aero…?

Week two down, 14 to go! EEEEP! A lot has happened in the last week or so, I have a new saddle and I’m getting aero! I recently got my hands on a set of Profile Design T2+ aerobats and now have them fitted to Sirius. pd_aerobar_t2_alloy_angle   When I got these I was SUPER excited as I have been wanting to get down into the aero position for a while. It just feels right! I think I am pretty lucky too, in that I have a lot of flexibility in my back which makes getting down into this position pretty comfortable. On the trainer, I was loving it – imagining how much faster I was going to be cruising around like this not to mention looking like a pro! Cut to the weekend – Nate and I head out riding to Jamberoo with CRAZY wind. I was feeling like I was getting pushed into the middle of the road and I had to call it quits. I was so scared that I was going to stack so we decided to head back home. I think I was also out of my comfort zone having the bars on the bike. With more weight over the front wheel it completely changes the feeling and handling of my bike. In the car on the way home I was so disappointed in myself – for so long I have made it my mission to pursue things that may initially seem scary in order to challenge myself. However, as Nate pointed out this was more about safety than being scared. I was hoping I would get a chance to test out my bars properly but it will have to wait until next weekend. I know I am going to struggle as it’s just so scary being in such an aggressive riding position and so far away from the safety of my brakes and gears. I have been told to take it slow and stick to flat and straight for a while. Wish me luck! I decided to have a solid 2 and a half hour session on the trainer instead to hide from the wind! On Sunday, I aimed to run as far as I could on Sunday in 2 hours I got to 19.9km (robbed!) in 1:53 and considering how relaxed I felt I was stoked! In other news, we have registered for the Mudgee Marathon in August which I am excited and also SUPER nervous about. We haven’t specifically trained for it but are hoping the time on the bike and the long runs will be enough to get us through on the day. There is definitely one goal going in – just finish! Oh, and have fun (is that even possible)! I’m also going to Fiji next June to race the absolutely stunning Fiji Long Course – this will involve 1 day of racing and 10 days of relaxing. BLISS! I am already dreaming about it…

Bliss! Photo courtesy of http://photo.elsoar.com/vatulele-island-resort-fiji.html
Bliss! Photo courtesy of http://photo.elsoar.com/vatulele-island-resort-fiji.html

I will use this as motivation to get out of bed at 5:30am in the dark and cold. UGH! I promise to have more snacks next post… Brickie xx