22nd June 2016
When I started blogging about my best efforts and attempts to become a tri-athlete, I was hoping to regale you with my stories of tri-umph over adversity. (Or maybe that should read tri-umph over aptitude.) It was supposed to be more than a catalogue of my disasters and tri-bulations in the pursuit of mastery of 3 sports. Alas and alack, there are more tales of woe. And this one is brought to you from a rather uncomfortable horizontal typing position complete with ice pack. Don’t ‘tri’ this at home kids!
So this week did see a minor tri-umph in the water. I went to tri out the new swimming session that the club is tri-alling. (Excuse the excessive use of tri, but my brain needs something to occupy itself, otherwise it is giving too much attention to an area of my anatomy that we will discuss later).
So, I went to a swim session, complete with a coach and written up instructions on a board. It was outdoors, at night, in winter. And yes, the pool was heated. But for those of us who have grown up in the northern hemisphere, the whole concept of an outdoor pool IN SUMMER is fairly novel, as even then it’s only going to get a few days use. In fact, I remember, from my days at a company management college, that outdoor pools are really only for use after imbibing much (way too much) dutch courage….
I refused to get in the water without explaining at length to said coach about my lack of swimming finesse and need to have a pull buoy (or arm bands or a rubber ring with a duck on the front … ) OK, I made the bit in brackets up: I didn’t talk crazy and scare Coach Sam off SBTC, I don’t think, I got in the water and promised to give the session a go.
And my pull buoy assisted freestyle is really starting to come along, and I did manage to get through the required work. I’m fairly sure that my rendition of the drills was nothing like anything envisaged when Sam wrote up the work on the board. But I had a go.
And then I put the pull buoy down! And swam 4 lengths without it!!!! (And again, for those of us who grew up on the British Isles, take note that Queensland pools are nearly all 50m affairs). For the Aussies reading along, who don’t have a background in British swimming pools, this is not possible in the UK – the island isn’t big enough to hold anything as long as 50m. You run out of country.
Just for the record, I attended running and attempted to do something approximating tempo running this week.
I’d been looking at some club photos of teammates competing in a duathlon over the weekend, and possibly stalking some Strava records. It was RESEARCH, thats all. Not at all seedy!
Anyway, it struck me from the postures I could see in the pictures, and the times recorded on Strava, that people actually run. Pretty fast. There isn’t too much casual jogging going on.
Which alerted me to the fact that I may need to actually stop with the casual LHR running which only seems to change pace into walking, and concentrate a bit more on the actual process of running. So getting across intervals and tempo runs might need to be more of a thing.
Just probably not tomorrow.
So today was more cycling. Despite my falls last week, I was determined to be undeterred. Even if I secretly felt somewhat deterred. But I needed to get back on the bike. And I needed to get myself round the River Loop as planned last week. Today was another chance. And let’s face it, last week’s bad luck couldn’t be repeated. Could it?
We did get past the golf course, and my chain didn’t come off. We got past the school and Rena’s tyre was still inflated. We got past Indooroopilly, (for non locals, that’s pronounced In-dra-pilly), which we never saw last week and got over the bridge before the sun had started to come up. We were just approaching the Corso, and Rena realised she had a flat tyre. Seriously! The same one!
It’s amazing what a bit of practice can do, as the tyre change was much faster this week. And Alvin stopped as he cycled past and demonstrated an easier way to get the tyre back on. So that was good. And, off we cycled.
I did not let ANY thoughts of chains jumping off or falling enter my head. They tri-ed, but I held them at bay.
These things do not follow.
I am NOT superstitious.
I was psyched up for Cemetery Hill (big steep hill) and was getting into a small gear in readiness, so there would be no need for gear changing. So my bike would not have any excuse to throw a hissy fit and chuck it’s chain off.
But we went a new and secret way. Aha!
(I let out a small sigh of relief).
We crossed the road onto a cycle path that flattened out. I adjusted my gears for the lack of gradient.
Then we turned a corner, the path veered upwards and the bike laughed at me, as it chucked its chain off as I quickly tried to adjust back down the gears.
I laughed back as I unclipped and refused to fall to the floor.
Yep, turns out my bike is more competitive than I realised. So having got going again, cycled successfully up the remainder of the path and needing to stop at some traffic lights at the top of the path, my bike refused to let me unclip. And I wobbled towards my gashed knee.
I have no idea what words I hurled at the universe, but I don’t think they were polite. Apologies all those who spectated my debacle.
And in my eagerness to protect my previous injury, I realised, only as I pulled myself up again that the bike and I had come together in a more intimate way than bikes and humans are supposed to come together. It was a little uncomfortable, but it didn’t worry me for the rest of the ride.
That was, until I was sitting in front of the fire, catching up with Melissa. And suddenly realised, I couldn’t sit still. I couldn’t sit. What had been discomfort, suddenly – and I mean suddenly – morphed into agony.
The Grumpster wasn’t answering his phone, so I messaged him and explained it thus:
He phoned me back. And laughed… He has said he will ring back to check on my progress.
(The stomach cramps subsided once I got some marmite toast inside me, at least).
So sitting and standing are not the most comfortable. Walking? Well, I can make John Wayne’s swagger look balletic right now. Hence typing horizontally…
The Grumpster’s other words of wisdom were: are you sure this sport is for you?
It did cross my mind. And I did see this the other day:
I thought it was something that Oscar and I could do together and bond over. And it might help him chillax, and become more affectionate. Turns out the yoga cats are provided. They don’t train your cat to yoga with you. So I decided it wasn’t what I was looking for and it won’t be my tri replacement.
Looks like I’m going to keep trying to tri.
Just because the universe is telling me I can’t, I’m going to show it I can!