Sunday, February 27, 2011

Always a song playing...

You know when a song gets stuck in your head? (Yeah we've told you about this one before! It's a recurring theme). Well sometimes it's like a sbroken record - or your iPod on repeat (who has records anymore?!).

These are some of the tracks that have been doing a few laps in our heads lately. All for good reason, as you'll find out.

The Wombats - Jump into the Fog.
This one just makes you get out of bed and into gear. 

 Illy's "It can wait" was literally stuck on repeat on that 42 degree day. I was even catching myself singing out loud as the sun was burning off the heat haze all around me - "Happiness, happiness is fine when it's momentary, a momentary lapse of reality...". I think we had a permanent lapse of good sense that day. 

Mark Ronson "The Bike Song". When you hear the chorus kick in, substitute it with "Gonna ride my bike until til my butt hurts".

As they say on Triple J, "This is my new song husband!". From Architecture in Helsinki, this is Contact High. Wait for the keychange.....!

Naked and Famous - Punching in a Dream. Another get up n go track. Do it!

Gotye - Eyes Wide Open. Apart from the fact that it's got some beautifullly laden harmonies, there's something about the lyrics that has got under our skin: "We walk the plank, with our eyes wide open". Maybe the trepidation of doing something that challenges you, but with full consciousness and commitment - or something like that :)

Ke$ha - We R who We R
Ok, so a chick that likes 2 use sms wrds doesn't usually get my vote, but as Simi will confirm, I go nuts when this track comes on. I think I first heard it in a spin class at the gym and I was on top of the world. Then I had to come home and play it on repeat. So not an accidental choice.
OMG wat's happng 2 me?!

The soundtrack continues....

Friday, February 25, 2011

We challenge you not to cry

While we're talking about inspiration, it's hard to go past the Hoyt family.
Watch this and see why. Not a dry eye in sight!

And more....

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Inspiration from 1901

Roosevelt said this in 1901 - still very apt today:. A mate of mine passed this on.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly;

who errs and comes short again and again;

because there is not effort without error and shortcomings;

but who does actually strive to do the deed;

who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly.

So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

To keep it all real, he also gave us this morsel:
"If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month.”

Peace, peoples.

The Beer Mile

Maybe it's because we just gotta keep racing, even after it's all over. Maybe it's to make up for all the times we've had to turn down a drink after work, or a night out, or decide against that glass of wine with dinner.

Whatever the reason, there's no avoiding the traditional post-race BEER MILE.

What is it?

It's exactly that - a mile of beer, usually taking place the day after the race. Competitors line up on the starting line (preferably at a 400m athletics track), and commence proceedings by skulling a stubby of beer.

Only when your drink is downed (usually confirmed by technical officials) you then proceed to complete a lap (400m) and put away another beer.



Repeat. Until you have completed 1600m and 4 beers.
Some 6-pack proponents even claim to warm up and cool down with a beer. Not sure if this is humanly possible.

Why all of this????

Who knows. But it's guaranteed to make our stomachs turn and sore limbs cry for help.
Will we do it? Brett: unlikely. Simi: definitely.

Lay your bets now......

The official website:

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Back on my bike

Well it has been a week of doing not too much in the way of exercising. Brett  has been off sick with a bad case of man flu. So we have both been resting up.

We went for a little cycle of 2 hours yesterday. I felt strong with little pain when cycling. It was only painful to get off and on the bike. A few yelps form me here and there but a swift manoeuvre of the leg over the bike seat and it is done. Kinda like the ripping off a band-aid.  Running unfortunately is still off the cards for the time being.

I think that swimming is the order of the day for the next few days. That and learning how to change my tyre. I have yet to master this skill. I will maybe try a run later in the week.

Packed up my bike affectionately called Mary; sometimes  Scary Mary when I ride her fast (usually when going down a hill), for the last time so that we could get her back to Sydney.

I am coming home to Sydney for good next Saturday, then off to New Zealand for a bit of fun!!

Brett has an appointment with a male beautician, he is keen to rid himself of all lower limb hair. Why you may ask??? A very good and reasonable question I would think.  Some say it is to make the legs look more defined and appealing, others say that it is to make an injury more easily cleaned whilst others claim it makes rubbing in the sunscreen a lot easier...but I reckon there is something more to it. Whatever it is, he will  soon no longer be Mr Murphy, but Ms Murphy. I am so looking forward to that :(

Monday, February 14, 2011

A right pain in the...BUTT

I have had a few falls off my bike, especially when I first started riding. They usually were as a result of me being not able to un-clip my shoes. This would usually result in me ungraciously falling over to the side and landing onto my thigh. Nothing hurt except for my pride.

Over the weekend whilst trying to complete the 180km I fell whilst going up a hill. The road was slippery because of the rain and my back wheel just slid from under me and I just somehow landed on my behind. Prior to this I was having one of my best rides ever. I had completed 160 km and felt on top of the world. My speed was good and I knew that I would finish the 180km in under 7 hours. I had always thought that anywhere around 8 hours would leave me enough time for the marathon run to follow. I was determined to finish my last big ride on Saturday, so after I sat on the road and made sure nothing was broken, I got back on my bike. Unfortunately I just managed to do another 10km before I gave up; too much pain. I rang Brett, who had already finished and he came and rescued me.

I was meant to run yesterday but was unable so went for a swim instead. My butt just hurts and it is hard to sit in one place for too long, or roll over in bed or get into and out of cars or stand up.

It is Monday today, and instead of going to work, I visited a sports physician who has then referred me to a chiropractor. I will meet him tomorrow morning.

I just hope things heal up quick smart so that in just under 3 weeks I can keep going for the 15,16 or 17 hours that it will take me to finish this journey.

Here's to running this week and getting back on my bike..

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Cravings - yum!

This is the closest I'll get to being pregnant (thank God, you say!).

We've both been having some insane cravings lately, but luckily they're mostly after a training session.
You've already heard about our frozen coke fantasies, especially during last weekend's crazy heat. But it doesn't stop there:
  • Vanilla milshakes were the original devil. After a big cycle we'd have the usual big meal and a drink... but then before we knew it we'd be down at the local cafe ordering up big. A big vanilla milkshake that would go down in a gulp. Yum. 
  • a BIG steak. Thick, sizzling n juicy (for me), or cooked through and through (for Simi). Mashed potato compulsory. Not sure if there's iron or protein or vitamin C or even carbs in the steak (just kidding) but it seems our bodies just need it. All of it. 
  • Yum. The makings of part of a delish dish!
  • ice cream. Whether it's a 50c soft serve, or even a large caramel sundae from Macca's (you get topping on the bottom too - does that even make sense???), a meal's not complete til we've demolished it down to the last crumble of the cone.
  • Pizza - enough said. Guilt free, the best flavour!
  • Coke - different to the post-training frozen variety, coke during a ride (or as Simi will tell you, a flat coke during the run leg of a race) is just beeeeewdiful. I crave the coke during the ride and treat it as a reward for X km. And a reward it is. 
  • Macca's - a mighty Angus burger or, even just today, I was craving a quarter pounder. You know, lots of melted cheeeeese, juicy meat, sauce.... It's enough to make my eyes glaze over. Salt. Lots of it. I'll salt anything these days, even the cokes and ice creams. Salt, salt, salt!!! (Seeing as we sweat out cakes of the stuff, it kind of makes sense!).
This is pure salt - formed on the clothes I wore during a recent Half Ironman. No wonder we want to put it back in!

  • Last but far from least, WATER. My god, this stuff is seriously one of life's luxuries. And we don't even appreciate it most of the time. During a long run I did recently, I spent the last 45 minutes fantasising about water. Dreaming about hopping over someone's fence and guzzling mouthfuls of water from the backyard tap. 

  • When that water finally quenches your thirst it's the most magical thing.

    I was in such a dream state on the final metres of my run that when a mate of mine recognised me and yelled out "Hey Brett", it took me more than a few moments to work out where I was, what I was doing and who he might be. I was off the planet.

    I don't crave beer yet. The Beer Mile will sort that out.
    Stay tuned.

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

    140.6 Reasons to do the 140.6 (miles that is)

    001. Makes everything else seem so SHORT.
    002. The 3 week taper before the race.
    003. The 4 week recovery after the race.
    004. To reach down and find strength you never knew was there.
    005. As much bread/pasta/carbs as you can eat.
    006. To find out who you really are.
    007. Beats watching the new Survivor, Big Brother, or anything else on TV.
    008. For all the times you heard someone say "I'd do one of those ... I just can't swim."
    009. Early mornings to watch the sunrise over Bondi.
    010. Because I've told everyone I one day will be an Ironman.
    011. Mike Reilly's hoarse voice still bringing people home at 11:30pm
    012. The Massage Tent - anywhere.
    013. Our family waiting for us at the finish line
    014. For the ones that believed
    015. ...and the ones that didn't.
    016. Chalk on the road.
    017. Easy rides and runs the week before.
    018. Finishing your last workout and smiling because you know "I'm SO ready."
    019. For everyone who has ever asked you "Why?"
    020. To make up for all the school carnivals you missed
    021. To run whilst watching the beautiful sunset over Brighton SA
    022. You want to test the endurance limits of the iPod music collection in your head.
    023. Creating your own, "Amazing Race"
    024. Spectators looking up your name and cheering as you plod past at sunset.
    025. Where else can someone ripping off your clothes in public be considered a benefit ? (Wetsuit Strip)
    026. The famous post race “Beer Mile”
    027. See the world and eat the food in each country, guilt free.
    028. So you can answer "One." When people ask "How many days does that take?"
    029. To wave at the scuba divers.
    030. To backstroke and wave at the TV helicopter.
    031. Encouraging Cards in your special needs bags.
    032. Encouraging Cards in your T1 and T2 bags.
    033. To really look forward to simple things like frozen cokes
    034. Flat coke on the course
    035. To one day show your child what he or she can do...and at an earlier age than you.
    036. Because we sooo love to get up at 430 am…not
    037. One step further to your dream.
    038. Because I gave up beer (Brett) and Baileys (Simi) to do this!!!!!!!!
    039. Driving the bike course in our rented car again and again the day before the race
    040. Valet Parking and Catering ... all day long.
    041. You might get on TV
    042. To gain the confidence to do anything.
    043. To have the confidence to say yes or to say no.
    044. Takes as long as having a baby, nearly as satisfying, only without the morning sickness and the 21 years of bills that follow.
    045. Flying with a bike case makes business trips seem EASY.
    046. Sharing a smile with people wearing the finishers T-shirt the next day.
    047. Knowing that as you step in the water on race day - YOU MADE IT THIS FAR! Now just get home.
    048. How many people can say they did anything for 12,13, 14, 15, 16...hours?
    049. Knowing that you are running the same race as really famous and super fit people
    050. The wristband that somehow becomes your favourite fashion accessory.
    051. So that when you tell your grandchildren stories about what you did when you were young...yours will be true.
    052. Running along the lake in Taupo..hope it is flat
    053. High fives from people you don't know.
    054. The Sponge as a fashion statement
    055. Because even when you are hurting, you can still run !
    056. Knowing that after the gun goes off, you don't have to worry anymore.
    057. First Place and Last Place get the same amount of cheers.
    058. Walking to the start with friends...
    059. Getting lapped on the bike by Michelle Jones and Craig Alexander
    060. Getting lapped again on the run by Michelle Jones and Craig Alexander,
    061. Making the turn for home
    062. So that 7am on a Sunday seems like a delightful sleep in 
    063. To justify wearing lycra
    064. It is the only time when men can officially have less hair than women…
    065. To know that as long as you look good, it doesn’t matter that you are slow.
    066. Did I mention eating a lot of food?
    067. To justify visiting the Lorna Jane shop/bike store/Assos shop
    068. Easier than Eco-Challenge.
    069. Didn't play sports in high school.
    070. Because everyone knows you are training and you can't stop now.
    071. For all those 4:45am mornings, when you wished your head was still on the pillow.
    072. For the goggle eyes post 3.8km swim.  
    073. You enjoy the smell of chlorine in the morning.
    074. You've had enough with your current social life.
    075. For the love of Macca’s Super Sundae
    076. Your friends are watching on the web.
    077. You need to prove to your mum that even if you get on the bike right after you won't catch a cold.
    078. Because if Tony Abbott can…
    079. Your work mates think you are nuts.
    080. Masters swimmers really think you're nuts.
    081. To know that 1 in 10 people in the city of Taupo volunteer for the race day!
    082. To see the Maori Warriors right before IM New Zealand
    083. Monday morning swims... you feel like every Monday is the start of a new thing (even though it is not)
    084. 3 hour breakfasts at Trio in Bondi after the morning swims
    085. To fulfil a dream.
    086. To say, "I am an Ironman".
    087. Because we LOVE ordering new stuff over the internet and getting it delivered to work!!
    088. Glow sticks on the run close to midnight
    089. Silent hugs on the start line.
    090. Because Winston Churchill said I can't ever give up.
    091. The 12-step program to make me stop hasn't been invented yet.
    092. Any National Anthem, before the start, anywhere.
    093. Knowing that when you wake up at 4:00am, the next time you go to bed you will be VERY different person.
    094. Because we LOVE our post workout PROTEIN shakes..
    095. The whole ride of IM New Zealand
    096.  To check out the swimmer, biker and runner  set up on the roundabout in the middle of the village of Reporoa
    097. Makes your next marathon just a nice morning run.
    098. To make your Boss jealous because YOU have a life that doesn't involve the office.
    099. Because the longer you're out there, the less per hour it really costs!
    100. Being there is way better than watching
    101. Finding yourself in the middle of your doubts ... finding a new meaning of being scared.
    102. Finding out that you're far stronger than those doubts a few miles later.
    103. Falling in step on the run and making a friend to the end, without having to say a word.
    104. A fried breakfast the day after with loads of bread.
    105. Watching people headed home while you're headed out, thinking "I'll be there soon ..." and they cheer for you.
    106. Understanding why that is as your cheering for people headed out when you're finally headed home.
    107. That feeling of ice cubes in your hat on a hot run never getting too cold.
    108. Telling folks with flat tires "It's a long day - hang in there!" and seeing them breathe and smile for a moment.
    109. Hearing people cheer you up while your changing a damn flat tire.
    110. Rolling into T2 knowing that no matter what - you can't have a flat sneaker from here on in.
    111. Having someone catch you, and hold you up when you can't do it anymore.
    112. Miles in the Bike.
    113. Because pain is temporary and glory is forever.
    114. To see if it really feels as good to do as it does to dream.
    115. And then to see if it really feels as good the second time, and the third, and the fourth.... maybe
    116. To learn the power of commitment and determination.
    117. To swim in the crystal clear waters of Lake Taupo
    118. To try and finish in daylight.
    119. To try and finish before midnight.
    120. To try and NOT get stung by that (*@! bee this time.
    121. Your nieces/nephews already think you're a hero - prove them right.
    122. Because we can.
    123. An M-Dot Tattoo would look swanky on your ankle.
    124. 5000 Volunteers - all for you.
    125. Hearing them say "You're almost there!" all day long.
    126. Being nearly almost there - for real.
    127. Flat coke! (It's been awhile)
    128. The finish line.
    129. Because your training partners said you were a fighter
    130. The first time you think "Holy crap - I'm doing an Ironman!"
    131. Beating back the voices that say "Holy crap - you can't do an Ironman!"
    132. Mile 26.
    133. That moment when you KNOW you're going to make it for the first time all day.
    134. Running down Tongariro and Redoubt St.
    135. To enter the finish shute
    137. The first step after you cross the line and think "Oh, My....God....!"
    138. Hearing Mike Reilly say, " You are an Ironman!"
    139. The Medal
    139.6 Because they said I can't
    140.6 Because we say we can.

    Sunday, February 6, 2011

    Definition of stupidity: 160km cycle on a 42-degree day

    So the training plan required us to cycle 180km today - our biggest ride for the build up ahead of our taper, the 2-4 week winding down that happens before the big race to allow the body to absord the training and mend itself.

    Brekky in the morning before our ride: trying not to think about how many of these goodies on the table we'll have to eat.
    We knew it was going to be a hot one: what we didn't know was that it was going to reach 42 degrees (plus).

    On this popular and scenic cycling route along the Old Pacific Highway, from Hornsby to Calga via the "big dipper" at the Hawesbury River, we'd usually see groups of cyclists and dozens of motorcyclists drawn here by the notorious twists and turns - and the two cafes along the way where you can eat (pie for the bikers, energy bar or gel for the cyclists) and drink (coffee for the bikers, gatorade for the cyclists) and ogle at each other's bikes (Hondas and Ducatis vs Cervelos and Meridas). It's usually a bike show, week in and week out.

    This baby doesn't lie: the temperature over 7 hours of riding.

    This is what our goodies turned into. Normally jube-like lollies, they melted into a slimy gunk.

    Today it seemed that everyone had the sense to stay home or hang out at their local air-conned Westfield.
    Except for us and the 4 other cyclists we saw along the way (2 of them also in training for IMNZ). The cafes were empty.

    The other was a girl who was sitting in the gutter, almost passed out but with a huge grin shining through her beetroot-red face as she yelled out "Are we CRAZY?!" to both of us as we passed her at different times (we were riding by ourselves today, to get used to doing it on race day).

    The other was a 70-year old man who was on a 200km ride, and therefore was officially crazy.

    But it was the heat that got us in the end. Within metres of pedalling off we were already sipping on our bidons (our bikes have capacity for 2 at a time, so we need to refill each time we can), a wall of heat accompanying us the whole way as it warmed up our bidons to the point where we couldn't drink the contents. Luckily the cafes are spaced perfectly apart (about 20km) so that we'd be refilling our empties constantly (we drank 18 bidons each, plus countless cokes and icecreams - about 12 or 13 litres of fluids).

    Touching the handlebars was like getting into a car on a hot day and almost burning yourself when you grab the seatbelt. We were both talking to ourselves, singing out loud to take our minds off the heat and even cursing it - also out loud.

    Simi had a meltdown (literally), sat in the gutter under a tree for a mini break, checked the temp on her iPhone (40 degrees) and had a good cry. Both of us experienced periods of delirium throughout the 7 hours, not knowing whether we were going up or down a hill, or even not knowing where we were and where we were going.

    In the end we cut our day short (after 7hrs we still hadn't reached 180km). Even the stubborn pair of us knew it was pushing it to stay out there longer.

    Simi 'rescued' me at 160kms. I was thankful for this because the cafes were all closing (taking the free water supply with them!). She later told me she was going to puncture my tyres if I didn't get in the car.
    So we enjoyed our well-earned reward that we'd both been dreaming about all day: a HUGE frozen coke from Macca's, accompanied by large fries (for the salt replenishment) and a big Angus burger. According to our watches we burned almost 5,000cal on the ride - so no-one can tell us we didn't earn it!

    Delirium had long since set in. We were excited about our frozen cokes, only minutes away by car.

    Here's what the Telegraph said:
    Yesterday, Australia's biggest city resembled a ghost town as the mercury hit 42C, the hottest in a week of 35 degree-plus days - the longest such spell on record.

    The scorching heat forced the city's four million residents indoors, leaving parks, playgrounds, the harbour, beaches and even public pools sparsely populated on the hottest day so far this summer.

    For most, it was simply too hot to try to cool down outside. There was no escape from the relentless heat anywhere outdoors. It reached 41.5C in the city, 42.2C at Sydney Airport and 40.7C at Penrith. Sydney's maximum was just short of its hottest February day on record, 42.1C, in 1926.

    Greater Sydney and the lower Hunter were the hottest parts of NSW. Williamtown, north of Newcastle, recorded the State's highest maximum of 43C.

    The ridiculous! (Warning: offensive language!)

    Quite often we get blank stares when we tell people what our weekend plans are:
    "Tonight it's a 3k swim, then tomorrow a 7hr cycle followed by 6k run, then Sunday a 2.5hr cycle and an ocean swim".

    But it's not at all joyless - quite the opposite in fact. We've had a lot of laughs along the way and it's the good times that make it all the more enjoyable.

    Bondi Beach: the safest place in Sydney. Brett couldn't remember where he'd left his water bottle (bidon) until we found it the next morning on top of his car - where he'd left it the night before. Sweet! (Though the real question was whether it was safe to drink the warm contents!)

    When packing up after a race weekend in QLD the gravity in the room did a funny thing... Simi had to compensate to get her bike into the box.

    The yellow sign says "Warning, dangerous currents. Do not swim here!" which happened to be the place of the swim start the next day at Port Macquarie Half Ironman. Nice!

    Who needs a family of three when you've got bikes!

    Doing the bike-lift tango!

    Foot massage on Bondi Rd. All was blissful until I remembered I'd just done a beach run and my feet were covered in blisters.

    Essentials for the office.

    Goggle eyes

    Goggle eye. It's the new look in Adelaide, apparently.

    What the?!

    Not the same ride - but what does it matter?! This little fella was curled up... on the cycle path.

    Adelaidian humour. Priceless!

    He's got more iron than I do!

    My little orange watch

    Everything exercise driven is now perfectly recorded by my little orange watch. It tells me a variety of things at the time of exercising and allows me to download all the data then allows me to further analyse my performance when I get home.

    Such things as time, distance, calories burnt, speed, cadence, HR zone, HR, altitude, average speed… and the list goes on.
    I was pleased the other day as I was running and obviously due to malfunction, it said that my speed was 20km/hr going up the hill. I was now an Olympic class runner.

    Nothing is simple anymore.

    Post Swimming Pig Out

    Many people have asked why I sign up for these stupidly long and painful triathlons. I think one of the major reasons is because I LOVE to eat yummy foods.

    Today I had my scheduled swim. Just 50 minutes. Nothing too long or hard. I was sooo hungry afterwards that I stopped by at a local Thai restaurant and ate double what a normal person would eat.

    Swimming, unlike the running and the cycling, always makes me super hungry. Apparently swimming in cooler temperatures stimulates your appetite centre and makes you eat probable more than you burn off. Lucky this is a 3 discipline race otherwise I would be a little larger than so desired.

    “A group of 11 men exercised for 45 minutes in "neutral" and "cold" water temperatures. After the workout, they were allowed to eat as much food as they wanted.
    The men burned a similar number of calories in the cold and neutral water conditions, averaging 505 and 517 calories, respectively. However, calorie intake after exercise in the cold water averaged 877 calories, which was 44% more than for the neutral temperature.”

    Perhaps there is an argument for swimming in more temperate waters, Bahamas perhaps?