Friday, March 30, 2012

Bateman's Bay Ultimate Tri Final Training Weekend

Bateman's Bay Ultimate Triathlon is to be my 2nd Tri. Again it is a long course Tri consisting of 2km swim, 120km bike and a 20km run. My goal is to beat my swim leg of 47 min and my run leg of 1 hour 36 minutes and to harden up on the bike (Hardening up on the bike is much like hardening up on hill climbing when you are running). 
The start of the Tri will be a mass start of 900 people entering the water at once. This will either scare the shi#t out of me, or get my adrenalin pumping. I think it will suit me more putting me up amongst the better athletes rather than being in the 2nd last wave like my first Tri. I am looking forward to this new crazy challenge of a beast of a swimming pack starting like a huge uncontrollable tidal wave. It shall be interesting. Thank goodness I have just bought a new wetty.
I have a brand new wet suit that I tried out on the weekend swimming about 1km along the Shelly Beach to Manly Broad Walk Return and a few extra hundred metres to get use to my wetty. The first thing I noticed was that I did not need to kick my legs to stay buoyant, I was able to just float in the water with just the wetty keeping my a float. My legs will be used for speed. 
I think this will make the 2km swim a breeze down at Bateman's Bay. The 2nd thing I noticed was that within only a few hundred metre my neck was chaffed raw, and I lost a fair amount of skin from my neck. I will have to wear body glide or paw paw ointment around my neck, wrist and ankles. I also did not have the wetty pulled up high enough so it did drag on my neck, so I have to make sure I pull it up my legs more. I may even cut a inch or two off the hem to allow for me to get out of it more easily in transition.
The ocean swim, or bay swim for me in training was a bit nerve-racking. The wild life beneath the sea was just amazing. Huge schools of fish, kelp, and a few baby sharks were spotted as I made my way along the edge of the bay. I was just so distracted by what was going on underneath the surface that I was having trouble concentrating on my stroke. I am still learning how to swim properly and i have just joined a squad session a week plus I attend a stroke correction session a week.
I have one every bent arm that I broke if 3 times when I was a kid. The first time I broke it when I fell off the fence in the backyard of my suburban house in Turramurra when I was about 5, the second time I broke it was only 6 weeks later when I fell out of the bath whilst my mum answered the phone. "Saty in the bath" She said to me. So what did I do? I stood up on the side of the bath and slipped and fell on the hard tiled floor.  The third time I broke it showing off, as a ten year old attempting a roundoff back flip in front of school friends. I was staying at a friends house for a sleep over for a few days and I did not want to go home, so I put up with the pain of a broken arm for two days before I told any one about it. I told my Mum when I arrived home and I eventually went to the doctor, and the doctor said that I was not in enough pain, so it must not be a break, even though the x-ray showed clearly I had a broken elbow. I'd broken my arm twice before and no one could remember what it looked like previous to the accident. My elbow was never re-set and I still have a angle of 66 degrees pointing away from my body or up when I straighten my arm. It took my gymnastic coach to pick up the break, and I was then sent to specialist....to cut a long story short, I was still good enough to become an elite gymnast, even with my crappy bent arm but not good enough to make it any further. 
This arm does not make a good swimming arm for full extension or technique in the water or power for the pull under the water. Finally my swimming coaches are just starting to realise what they are dealing with when I am swimming, and we are working on the angle that I put my arm into the water. If I straighten my arm on the surface of the water, my arm points up at a 66 degrees angle to the sky, totally in the wrong direction to where I need it to be pointed. But hey, that's life and I will be able to work around it. 
That arm has given me so much more than just grief, it has taught me how to toughen up, work through the pain and believe that anything is possible as long as you work hard enough and do the training. Every time I think or mention my arm, I look at it like a gift. It has helped make me into the person I am today. I love showing people, it looks pretty bad, and no I can't straighten it, that is straight. Check out the picture below.
Whilst swimming near Fairy Bower,at Shelly Beach I stopped and chatted to a middle aged swimmer and her friend. I had decide that I was not going to swim the full distance to Manly, I had just spotted two baby sharks and I felt extremely vulnerable in my seal like brand new wet suit. I felt like a shark snack.The lady was swimming with her girlfriend who was recovering from a stroke. She could not walk but she could swim. She had swum that route for 20 years once a week and she just enjoys is so much that she just had to continue on with the ritual that she loved. Swimming was a form of exercise she could still preform and her friend felt free in the water. She was looking after her girlfriend making sure she was safe, as her friend was disabled from the side effects of the stroke. I chatted to this lady for a little while about my new wetty, health and fitness and started to swim back towards Shelly beach when the husband of the stroke effected lady came over for a chat. This entire scene just amused me. Here we all were in the bay, swimming along enjoying the most amazing scenery having a chat about health and fitness just like we were on the side of the road. But we were all in this bay swimming along this amazing swim route like it was the most natural thing in the world. The water was so clear and clean I could not believe I have never swam that route before. I had scuba dived around that area, but never really swam in it .
I expressed to the Husband my goal,  and that I was turning back because I was a bit distracted by my fears.
"I spotted two baby sharks over there", I gestured out towards the opening of the bay.
"They won't hurt you". He assured me. This I knew he was right. It was just my head that was letting me down. So I decided to go on and finish my initial goal and I swam all the way to the point, just before Manly beach and I then swam back towards Shelly Beach again. I passed the ladies again and thanked them for distracting me from my fears. Because of them I went on and achieved my goal. I thought the stroke effected lady was just an inspiration. She made my bent arm look like a well angled ore. 
To finish off my final weekend of training, I'd complete  small bush way with me kids and a 13km run and on the Sunday 60km bike ride around West Head over rolling cresting hills and down to Akuna Bay, with a nice 9km climb out, then West Head Circuit again, followed by a 5km sprint along a trail in my Inov8 f-Lite 195. I felt good.  Just a week of resting as much as I can with over thirty face sessions a week with personal training and bootcamp clients. Life is pretty good.

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