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Showing content with the highest reputation on 07/12/17 in all areas

  1. 1 point
    Long Course Weekend - Race Report Three race reports in one long missive but here we go! This was the first Long Course Weekend to take place in Australia having started on the IM Wales course in Tenby. For those not familiar with the concept the idea is to complete the disciplines and distances of a full triathlon but spread over three days with the swim on the Friday, the ride on the Saturday and the run on the Sunday. So it’s not a triathlon…. But it sort of is. Competitors can choose to enter the “Long Course Weekend” as a complete package or pick and choose from the events and distances as they run the full gambit from the “sprint” distance equivalents all the way up to the big ones. You can also save yourself something like $80 if you enter all three long course events individually but I would strongly advise against that. You get some extra swag if you do the LCW as a package (t-shirt and extra medal) but you also get the warm fuzzy feeling that the whole event is based around you guys and get to take part in a great red carpet ceremony at the end. We all like our little moments in the spotlight and so the LCW entry was what I went for. The event was taking place in Huskisson, Jervis Bay which has a long pedigree of triathlon in many forms and, usefully, somewhere that Elite Energy have experience of putting on events. Friday - Swim Day As described in great detail elsewhere on the forum I was coming to the event direct from giving a keynote at a conference in Adelaide which meant the 1100 flight back to Sydney, landing at 1320 (if everything went to plan) and then dashing down to Huski for the originally scheduled 1600 start. I had spoken to the organising team in advance and mentioned that I would be cutting it fine for the registration times but they reassured me that it would be fine as we would be chip timed anyways and I could always jump in with a later wave. About two weeks out from the event the final schedule was published which had moved the start time to an hour earlier. No way could I make that. I got in touch with the team again on the old Facebook and Seb said a really late start would be fine and he even offered to do the swim with me to give me some feet to follow. A true gent especially as my initial approach was a little on the grumpy side! Predictably my plane was late and traffic was terrible out of Sydney so my arrival was predicted to be 1630… I messaged Seb again and he reassured me that they would wait. Again, top lads. As we approached Huskisson I got my wetsuit on in the car (have you ever tried that?) and pulled up to White Sands Park at 1620. I ran over to registration, explained who I was and after a small amount of confusion everybody realised I was Seb’s “swim buddy”. The super friendly EE team (who I’ve met many times before on previous races) took me down to the water where I met up with Seb, Phil and Ironman World Championship contender Luke Bell (!) who Seb told me was going to do a few laps with me! My wetsuit wasn’t on properly and no warm up had happened but the swim safety team had to be off the water by 1800 so in we went! Seb went first round the first lap and was pretty much bang on the 1:15 target pace I had told him I was going for (again, superb skills and I’m grateful seeing he is a 1:06 swimmer). Luke (who had already swum the full distance earlier in the day) pootled over to join us to make more of a pack of it, much appreciated! The water was fairly gopping… it had been raining quite a bit so we had run off and I had my own personal safety boat following me around so I was tasting sewage and diesel… nice and clear though! The course was four laps with a beach out and in each time. After the first lap on the beach it was slightly embarrassing having my very own personal cheering squad who were very supportive but clearly just wanted to tidy up and go home! Back in the water with Phil guiding me this time and the first twinge of cramp hit going from running back to swimming… a few seconds of breaststroke sorted it and we were off. Phil pushed the pace a bit more and I found I didn’t really have it in me. My arms were tired from my wetsuit not being on properly and I hadn’t found a rhythm having gone from being very stressed about missing the start straight into swimming 3.8k. Back on the beach at the end of the second lap, another set of embarrassing cheers and back in the water with Seb leading me out (did I say how awesome these guys were?). Once again a bit of cramp to start with which took a bit longer to solve. Was much slower this time around and seb had to stop up a couple of times to wait for me. Fourth lap both Luke and Phil jumped in with me and we started well… Luke had said “All we need to do is get round the last buoy then these guys can pull them out the water” and he wasn’t joking… as we passed each marker the swim safety team were pulling them out and taking them home! Halfway along the back straight and cramp properly hit. My left calf went into a spasm that made me shout with pain. Luke and Phil stopped for me but I was in serious clip. Did some backstroke and breaststroke for a while then dived back into freestyle and managed to make it out (although at one point I did look over as I was “going for it” and Luke was casually doing breaststroke next to me!). I had finished my first 3.8k ocean swim! I stood on the beach feeling gormless until one of the EE chaps reminded me that the clock was still ticking until I ran up the steps to the finish… I arrived just as they were finishing the medal ceremony… whoever was on the mic thought I was called Simon which confused everybody but I made it across the mat! I had no idea whether the time had been recorded but I didn’t care, I had done my first 3.8km swim and I felt OK! Although totally disorientated. Spotted the wife who had the necessary goodies and I sat on a bench for a bit, ha a lovely short debrief with Phil over several mini snickers bars before jumping in the car covered in runoff water and stinking to high heaven. We were staying up in Erowal Bay at Dungowan Apartments. Mrs Monkie had been there to unpack whilst I was in the water. Pizza for tea and compression gear on… started foam rolling the left calf which was in serious trouble and then early bed! Saturday - Bike Leg 0550 alarm - did not feel like getting out of bed but that’s what we’re here for. This was the bit I was most scared about. Having come off a marathon specific training plan building to Sydney Marathon on 17th September I had had 5 weeks focussing on the bike and had been on holiday / travelling a lot and had done nowhere near enough to get through 180km with any ease… The course had over 1900m of climbing too and I was on my lovely new TT bike… The bike course wasn’t Huskisson based and actually started at the Woollongong Uni campus in West Nowra. A nice spot with a big car park. We all piled up to the start. There were several waves with the 7 hours + getting to go first (I put myself in that group) followed by the LCW athletes with the top ten starting down a TT ramp. I was using this weekend as a confidence builder for IM and so had planned (on Fat Pom’s advice) to try and split out and go solo without any drafting when I could. I chickened out. Ended up with a nice big social group to start with as we headed off on the first lap. We went over the dam and then had some serious descending to deal with. I get scared on descents because I’m a giant pansie so I wasted a lot of energy braking. As we did the turnaround and came back three of us split off (big hello to Tony and Brandon) and headed back up the hill. That was a hill and a bit. The organising team had put up “amusing” signs which did actually work. I quote “This is what we call undulating” and “Your Garmin may pause due to the terrain”. Bastards. Funny, funny bastards. Back into the turnaround and out on lap two, this included what became known as “the longest hill in the world”. About 6km of 2% climb. Nasty. At 95km we had our first pit stop so I could grab a much needed wee, and we all had quick stretch and some food. Leaving this aid station I couldn’t clip back in. I had to stop and found that the mud around the food stop had clogged up my cleats badly, tried to clear them and jumped back on but not good enough. Did another km then stopped again and really had to clear them out with a stick. By this point I had lost everybody and I was on my own, lost about 12 minutes in total with the faffing and the shoe clearing. Cracked on and started to get a taste of what an IM would be like. Grinding it out without a back wheel and no conversation. This continued well into the third lap when I managed to grab a back wheel (the race was draft legal) going back up the longest hill in the world. I had ended up confused and though there was an aid station at the top… there wasn’t. When I got to the top I was pretty much out of water. Scary. Shot back down but still had to do 12kms with no liquid. I got to a traffic intersection at about 150km and one of the guys gave me some of his personal water. He was the difference between having to pull the pin or carrying on. Thank you man who’s name I do not know! Ground out the last 30km including a stop at 165. That was nasty. There were hills. I was on my own. I cried a bit. I didn’t want to be there anymore but I knew that if I stopped I had just as far to go to get to the finish as if I carried on. I carried on. Legs burning, lungs hurting, brain done I rolled into the finish to get called across the line with about 40 people out on the course behind me. 7:09. Not great but again, I did it! I stayed at the finish to cheer my other two amigos from earlier across and then Mrs Monkie folded me back into the car to get back to our accommodation where I sat in the sea and refused to talk for a while. Fish and chips. Compression gear. Foam roller. Spiky ball. Sunday - Run Day I had wanted to do the first two legs to build confidence for an IM. Doing 3.8km swim and a 180km ride under raceish conditions is difficult to organise. The run I wasn’t so worried about. I’ve done a few marathons and went sub 3 at Sydney this year so I know I can run. I was really in the run for the medal. Arrived at 0720 for the briefing at 0730 where we were told we were allowed to wear headphones. Fortunately Mrs Monkie had a pair on her and my iPod was in the car but I decided to start without to try and recreate the IM experience. My plan at this point was to tootle round and get the medal. But then we started and my natural pace seemed to be about a 4:20/km to begin with. The course was four laps out and back which was a little dull but good for the brain as you knew what was coming and where you were. It was pretty much flat the whole way with a couple of slopes. Lots of good support and a great set of volunteers (a theme for the weekend). After the first lap I realised I might be able to hit top three for the run and my legs were doing OK (big up 2XU calf guards which made the left leg work) and so I decided we should make a race of it. Off I went… did another lap without music and then stuck the ipod in. After lap 3 I was averaging 4:39 / km. Not my best but I was rolling up the field and was in fourth place (third in the LCW category). Lap 4 was disgusting. I decided to walk the aid stations and went into a hole as my poor form caused by the bike the day before meant my legs were burning and my feet were hurting from jamming my toes into the ends of my shoes. I had an LCW guy behind me though (never got his name) and I was determined he wasn’t going to beat me so I gutted through in the 34 degree heat. Coming into the finish was psychologically tough as you had to do an extra 200m before you could enter the chute. I turned around the last point and the cramp came on like a new beast… I had taken on no electrolytes during the run and I hobbled up the carpet like a cripple for a 3:21. I got to break a tape as I was the third LCW athlete in the run and then grabbed Emo (I think) and tried not to fall over. 10 minutes later and it was all good although I still couldn’t stand still. Cheered a load more people into the finish and then home to shower before the medal ceremony at 1400 which was incredible. This was an awesome weekend. Very well organised (although more water needed on the bike) and a great atmosphere. I’ll be back next year with the aim of coming top 6 in the weekend and podiuming for the run
  2. 1 point
    WS 70.3 Race Report Pre Race 4 weeks out from the race I managed to tear my calf which obviously prevented me from running in led up. Prior to this I was running probably the best I have ever run. With only 3 Alter G runs in the 4 weeks, I knew I was lacking run fitness. The upside was I could concentrate on my swim and bike. This was my 13th or 14th half distance race. Race Day I was feeling great and ready to race. It has been 2.5 years since my last bigger event so I was really excited. It was very warm early in the morning so I knew hydration would be a key factor. My calf felt great and I was keen to test it. I was quietly hoping for a sub 5:30 race if I had no issues. Swim Waiting for gun and no one seemed to want to come to the front of the start, so I assumed no one was confident in their swim so I moved up the front ready to go. I hear it is a slow swim in the lake so I predicted a 33 min swim. With 10 sec to go 3 guys moved directly in front of me and the gun went and they hardly moved, which blocked me from getting into open water. I stayed behind them for 50m or so before just swimming over the top as there were no gaps (apologies if this was you). In reality it would have only cost me 5 sec, but I had clear water pretty much the whole way after this. What surprised me was passing people who started over 20 min before me at the ¾ mark. It was a pretty uneventful swim and I stood up at 35 min (a bit slower than hoped but happy with swim). Official Time: 35:29 including run to T1 T1 Given it has been a while since last longer distance race I made a few minor mistakes with set up, but was out reasonably quick T1 Time: 2:28 Bike As I said above, I had time to work on my bike in the previous 4 weeks and it worked. I am not the strongest biker and usually ride 3 hours in race, this time I was hoping for a 2:55. This course is fast with the majority of it being on very smooth hot mix with little wind. The first lap out was strong with a lot of congestion and making staying legal very difficult (as a former TO I am a stickler for the rules). The far turn around roads were the complete opposite, pretty bloody ordinary and bumpy which slowed things down a little. On the second lap I noticed the speed had dropped due to a slight headwind, but was happy in the thought that it would be a tailwind home. What surprised me most was the amount of gear that had fallen off bikes (tyres, CO2 canisters, complete spare storage units and even 1 garmin head unit). Almost all were on the better parts of the road. How does this happen? I rolled back into T2 feeling happy with ride as I smashed my goal time whilst still feeling pretty fresh in the legs and HR in control the whole ride Bike Time: 2:46 T2 Uneventful, in and out T2 Time: 2:40 Run This was unknown territory due to lack of run training, but excited to see how I would go. The first 2km was fine and it was warming up. Suddenly I felt very ordinary, not sure if I wanted to spew or s*^$. I played it safe and walked about 30m and it settled down, so off I went again. This became a regular occurrence over the next 4 km. Hitting the aid station with the coke was a welcome relief. Endura, coke, water and ice in and i felt better, but it didn’t last long. Hit the same aid station again on way back with better results. I managed a better period knocking over a few km’s at a reasonable pace meeting Flanman along the way (more on this at the end). Hitting the entry back into the regatta centre still feeling ok (I kept up the endura, coke, water, ice at every aid station from then on) when the wheels started to fall off due to lack of fitness and the heat (gee it was getting hot inside the SIRC). I knew my goal time was long gone so just tried to get to the finish line in some sort of shape to enjoy the rest of the day. This turned out to be the second slowest half marathon I have ever done (my first was just slower). I had hoped to go sub 2hr but did not even come close. Run Time: 2:22 Overall Really enjoyed the race and was not unhappy with result, it is what it is and gives me motivation for the next race. All the vollies were exceptional and by far the most polite and friendly people I have experienced in any race. The whole event was very well organised and it seemed to have a very friendly vibe amongst all athletes. Overall Time: 5:49 Side Note Just prior to race start I was sitting in the grandstand with my wife waiting to go. There was a bloke sitting next to me wiping his eye, but I could see he was having trouble as he was covered in sunscreen. I asked my wife for a tissue and passed it to him. He was very thankful and said I can now hope for good Karma which was a nice gesture. About 5km into ride and I got stung by a wasp!! I thought lucky for the karma as otherwise it may have been something much worse to bite me About 8km into run and I recognise the guy who wished me good karma from a distance and when I got closer I noticed he had a Tranny hat on. It was Flanman and I introduced myself quickly before running off (this was during my good period of running). I was lucky enough to catch up with him again after the race for a chat which was great. Nice bloke. Cheers NSF
  3. 1 point
    Cards against Humanity is great, always keep that and a poker set in the van for travelling, and monopoly for the kids. Looking at getting a new game called Trump Cards - you pull a card and have to guess whether it is something trump actually said or something that was made up. We've got a trivia pursuit game around somewhere as well but most of the information on it seems pretty dated now
  4. 1 point
    2 years ago is a better answer, but failing that then right now is the next best option. I've only known one individual that trained themselves out of the market (with formal qualifications, the letters after his name covered the entire alphabet), in his case he needed to head overseas for employment and that didn't turn out too bad I've gotten jobs in the past just because I was doing the training off my own intiative. I recently got a promotion at work advertised as needing xyz qualifications, as I had started on that particular qualification 12 months prior I got through to interview round and nailed it from there.
  5. 1 point
    Yeah I think it only works when your drinking, thats whys its a good xmas/ family game
  6. 1 point
    If simple is what you're after then it isn't for you but if you find yourself with a bunch of proper board game nerds then Pandemic is incredible! Difficult and complicated but great fun. Monkie
  7. 1 point
    This. I did Nice (one climb over 20kms). I was decent on the bike and could still struggled. I did a 100m(mile) TT 5 weeks before on same bike/setup at 90% and went 4.40. That was an undulating course in the UK... The TT course in UK was "Hillier" than any tri course I've done here. Ironman Nice "hills" were another level. If you want to do Austria make sure you spend a lot of time going up and down (build confidence) in the hills. Then spend even more time there. You can't be too prepared.
  8. 1 point
    For my first race, I would pick a race with only one flight or plenty of access to loan bikes. A friend had her bike lost in transit to Kona for epic 5. You don't want that extra anxiety before your first race. You want it to be easy and as stress free as possible. I would also want it to be in an English speaking country. Imagine trying to overcome a language barrier while asking questions about the race. Once you have done a couple, then head overseas and race. I have raced overseas 9 times and rate it higher than racing in Australia.
  9. 1 point
    That's why I touched base with him off line. He gives, it he needs to take his own medicine and face the music. No one once jumped in with the "depression" line when him & AP were sinking the boot into me after Chattanooga. Or for the last 4 years when he has been having a go at Peter for having a shocker in Kona. Peter won the lottery. He had one chance at Kona and stuffed it up. Trout knows Peter trained his ass for that race and still had his worst race. It hasn't stopped IP brining it up every chance he gets for the last 5 years. Yep he has helped a few ppl out on the forum. Guess what, So have I. I also didn't make an excuse for my poor race. Stikman is the same, loves to sink the boot in with "easy courses, drafting, short courses & not breaking the sub11 hrs" he DNF'd the easiest course in the world on Sunday. I still touched base with him off line to make sure he was o.k before I started hazing him. I'm happy to say stickman has now DNF'd the two easiest courses in the world. Travis (IP) is back home and back out training. Good on him. But yeah everyone jump on and defend him, I'm the prick & shouldn't be picking on him.
  10. 1 point
    I hate board games, don't have the patience or the competitiveness for them, especially around my family. Get's full on. For some reason my BIL each xmas kept giving us board games...... we've finally gotten them to accept the idea that us parents really don't need to give each other presents anymore, we're too old for that! One year they bought us a some LOTR's themed game (I love LOTR) then they came over to play it. It took them over an hour just to set the game up! Yeah, it's only been opened that once.....
  11. 1 point
    Not sure I can take you seriously anymore with that comment and that name..............
  12. 1 point
    Our family does a Xmas morning biathlon. Handicapped. Usually a 200 mtr swim 2k run. We argue about handicaps online for months and the we actually have stuff to talk about all of lunch. My 90yr grandma won it first year out. Been doing it for 27 years now. Not a board game but it's similar. However a good game is old uno. Play knockout.
  13. 1 point
    well done mate!
  14. 1 point
  15. 1 point
    People who can't share a walking space. It basically works best when you stick to one side, and here that means LEFT!
  16. 1 point
    6k run. Took a brief rest at the 3k turn around. Been having some neuro symptoms for the last couple of days. Was experiencing a definite loss of power in the plantarflexors. Improved a little after a rest and a stretch. Made the 3ks back without any significant increase.
  17. 1 point
    If anyone hasn't seen it, watch Icarus on Netflix, excellent doco.
  18. 1 point
    well done, sounds like you executed the race well. Congrats
  19. 1 point
    yes, but it seems the clothing is getting less and less. What will the next generation be wearing? and in this day and age about feminism what are girls trashing themselves.? don't get me started on why they are either taking nude selfies or letting others take nudes of them.
  20. 1 point
    I did my first full at Roth. I wouldn't swap that for anything - even the parts where I was cold and a bit lost trying to find my better half after the race But now, with better phone roaming, you'd be laughing. I don't think you can go wrong with a scenic Euro race with a holiday tacked around it. As long as you prepare for the actual hills/mountains etc.
  21. 1 point
    I'd agree with Lesmack about the amazing 'holiday' races you can find in Europe... Roth was awesome and everything it's cracked up to be... but for me, Copenhagen IM just pipped it! Fabulous city for a holiday before / after, with the race day logistics pretty easy and simple too. Course had a sheltered swim, scenic and interesting bike course and stunning 4 lap run through the city centre with something like 200,000 spectators. If I ever do another IM I reckon it would be Copenhagen again :-)
  22. 1 point
    Hi Sar. I guess you need to work out your priority, is it doing an Ironman or is it doing an Ironman and then having an awesome holiday in Europe after. If like me, it is the latter why dont you contemplate doing Roth in Germany. Not quite a beautiful as Austria but the hills are "hills" not mountains, no sharks in the canal and amazing support on course from thousands of drunk Germans. Its close to Munich airport so you can jet away to some fabulous spot after or you are on one of the main train lines in Europe. A couple of things to consider though is that it is ridiculously expensive to ship your bike home however you can leave it at Munich airport for a fee. It is also hard to get an entry unless you go with tri travel which we did. I thought they were great and they also take care of your spectators allowing them to join the drunken Germans. Good luck deciding.
  23. 1 point
    Other folks in corporate roles can chime in, but I reckon it ticks boxes, reminds him who you are and what you talked about and is a gentle reminder to him to get something happening or pass it on to the person who should be taking care of training budgets etc
  24. 1 point
    It's all in the wrist
  25. 1 point