Twas the night before Noosa….

Twas the night before Noosa and all through the house, not a triathlete was stirring, not even their wife!

The tri suits laid out by the gym bags with care, and hopes of a PB filled the air.
The nutritional drinks all mixed and put in the fridge, the wives discussing when they should be there.
The Carbs are all loaded, the numbers put on
The times all predicted, the bike pedals all put on
We’re all off to bed now, not a bottle of beer in sight

Bikes are all racked, the shoes untied, the hopes of a podium finish twinkle in young (and old) triathletes’ eyes.

This isn’t the best poem I’ve written but I hope you get the gist!

Good luck in Noosa tri to all and to all a good night!

IMG_8770.JPG

It’s that time of year again….

I don’t know where time has gone, but it’s time for the Noosa Triathlon again!  I can’t believe how quickly this year has gone and that we’re heading up to Noosa in just a couple of days.

Hopefully there won’t be a repeat of last year’s drama– you can relive the adventure if you’d like.  Fingers crossed this year The Runner stays on his bike and finishes the race without any issues.  I’m looking forward to our first trip together since our honeymoon… and ice cream.   You know how I feel about ice cream.

I love ice cream like a fat kid loves cake.   No offense.  I know, it’s not very PC, but neither is my love for ice cream.  I blame my mother, she ate ice cream sundaes every day that she was pregnant with me (apparently).  I was probably born addicted to ice cream. I can’t help it.  I have a problem.  And I know just where to get my fix….. Noosa.

Noosa has more ice cream places in one 500m street than I can think of in Sydney CBD.  I’m not joking, I can’t think of a single ice cream place within a ten minute walk of my office.  Noosa has 4 or 5 ice cream shops that I know of within a 2 minute walk of each other.  Ice Cream Heaven.

Last year’s highlight was the Nitrogenie liquid nitrogen ice cream.   AMAZING…. it almost made up for the drama during the race (just kidding!!!).  Actually, it was the highlight of my trip to Noosa last year- I’m not joking.  I probably should have been going to the gym this week in preparation for the ice cream avalanche that I’m planning up there. Seriously, have you seen their flavours?

The Runner is busy studying run splits, max heart rates, training outputs and all sorts of other pre-race preparation to ensure he has the best race possible.  Me, I’m studying the Nitrogenie flavours and hoping that they have a good selection for the days that we’re there.  Seriously, how is a girl supposed to choose between Chocolate Mint Leaf vs. White Balsamic Strawberries or British Banoffee Pie vs.  Italian Tiramisu???  And don’t get me started on After Dinner Minty vs. Black Forest Frosty…

Rest assured, I’ll give you a full report from Noosa in between scoops!

No grains? No worries!

Wow, it has been such a busy two weeks that I have literally forgotten to miss eating carbs. Seriously, between heading to Noosa, The Runner nearly breaking his face, frantically trying to nail down wedding vendors, addressing and sending Save the Dates, starting a new job, planning (or at least planning to start planning) Thanksgiving and being a bit emotional as we come up to the 1 year anniversary of my Dad, I have literally been so distracted that this month’s challenge has been a walk on the park!

I won’t lie completely and say I haven’t missed potatoes, pasta, rice, bread, quinoa, polenta, and the other grains I’ve cut out for the last 15 days- but, I’ve been so flat chat and almost too busy to really notice. Ok, yes lunch in the city is slightly challenging once you rule out rice, bread and pasta but sashimi and salads are super yummy and it doesn’t stress me out to walk by the sandwich places or ask for a special order of “no rice” at Thai and Japanese places. I get strange looks sometimes but that’s normal anyway!

I will be honest and say I’m looking forward to my two cheat days (already planned for the 23rd and 30th) but I’m not tempted to cheat during the week- I’m just not that into grains/carbs anymore. Weird huh?

Is my willpower getting better stronger or am I just learning to think out of the box when it comes to food? Or have I just been too busy and spending emotional energy on everything else except food? Either way, I’m halfway through November and I feel pretty good in my de-carbed state!

The race that stopped The Runner

Greetings from Noosa! Unfortunately this year didn’t go to plan in the He Runs, I Cook family. Not only did we miss out on a Melbourne Cup booking at our favourite Bistro C but The Runner had an awful race- and by awful I mean didn’t finish. In fact, for the first time ever, I never even saw him race!

I somehow missed him coming out of the water by a matter of seconds- literally I must have blinked and missed him. I was waiting with Mrs H and her daughter because we had a few friends competing this year and we saw nearly all of them come out of the water in varying states of exhaustion. While we were waiting I had a missed call from a number I didn’t know but didn’t think twice and kept watching the race. We moved to watch the bike leg in my usual Noosa spot- by the roundabout at first! We even had our photo snapped in the process by the local paper! As time went on and on and on, I started to get a bit worried. The Runner’s progress wasn’t updating on the Subaru Athlete Tracker and we were starting to calculate that based on his swim he definitely should have come past by then. And then I remembered the call and froze.

I’m his emergency contact of course and slowly it all fell into place. I checked my voicemail and yes, you guessed it. It was The Runner calling from the medical tent. He had a crash about 50 meters into the bike leg and had to pull out of the race. I raced to the medical tent fearing the worst. There he was lying on a cot with blood pouring out of his face, thankfully nothing broken but pretty bruised nonetheless. Being a pillar of strength that I am, I immediately burst into tears when I saw him. Partly out of relief, partly out of fear of what had happened. He was more pissed off that he couldn’t compete because after falling off the bike and onto his face, he had wanted to keep racing. Ummmm, yeah you read that right. With blood pouring from his cheek, his first impulse was to get back on the bike and finish. Thankfully, the race officials said no- he had cracked his helmet in the fall so couldn’t continue. He also managed to destroy his sunglasses and twist his bike.

Although disappointed, he also realises how lucky he was not to break anything or have a more serious injury. I’m also relieved that the wedding is still 9 months away. He looks like he’s been in a bar fight at the moment but the doctor said there shouldn’t be any scarring. Personally, I would like to ban him from cycling but I know that probably won’t happen– he’s already talking about ordering a new helmet.

So that was our race this year- eventful but not in a good way. At least we’ve been enjoying the rest of the best of Noosa and having a great time with friends.

Next Stop, Noosa!

So, in the midst of all the job searching, wedding planning, and challenge eating, I’ve neglected to tell you that it’s Noosa Week!  Well, not yet, but as of Friday it is!

What am I on about are you asking?

The Noosa Triathlon Festival– it’s The Runner’s favourite triathlon of them all and it’s because it’s a pretty good one (even I have to agree!)

Reasons why the Noosa Triathlon is so good:

1)  It’s in Noosa, and Noosa is amazing.  It’s one of the first places I ever went in Australia because it’s one of the best holiday spots in Australia.  It’s gorgeous, has great restaurants, a few shops and lots of ice cream shops.  It’s perfect.  If you don’t believe me, http://www.visitnoosa.com.au/

2)  It’s a fantastic atmosphere- there are about 20,000 athletes of all different ages and sizes and because Noosa is such a great tourist destination, there are lots of families, partners etc who cheer on the athletes.  There’s a real buzz and excitement in the crowd.

3) It’s established- it’s been going for 30 years so they have the logistics pretty well sussed out.  It’s very well organised and hassle free for athletes and spectators.  

4)  The nightlife is great- ok, maybe not the Saturday night but after the Triathlon is over, everyone parties at the Surf Club and on Hastings St.  Last year, I ran into the winner in one of the bars after the triathlon– and then made him prove (with photographic evidence- and his medal) that he actually won it.   

5)  Melbourne Cup on the beach– yes, it is as much fun as it sounds.

6)  We almost always have a house with a pool (except for the year that we stayed in the hotel with no bathroom door)

7) The weather is always good!

8)  We always have great friends with us!

 

Sunshine, friends, beaches and a great crowd– what else could you possibly ask for in a triathlon???

 

A Tri Festival???

The question of the day or at least the car ride: Is a triathlon a festival?

No points for guessing which side The Runner argued and which side I argued.

Some background required.

This weekend is the Huskisson Triathlon Festival, down in Huskisson (Jervis Bay). It’s a whole weekend of triathlon events.

For The Runner, it’s bliss, right up there with Woodstock, Coachella, Playground Weekender, and well, an actual festival.

For me, not so much. For me, it’s closer to an event that must be endured. A weekend hearing about elastic laces, energy gels, and wait for it, race times. Riveting. Grown ups in spandex riding bikes and running around. And trust me, if you’re thinking super hot athletic model perfect 24 year old bodies, let me stop you right there. The average age of triathletes is probably about 38. And there are a fair few people older than this. Much older, and in spandex. Lots of fitness fanatics descending on a town in spandex–The opposite of what I think of when I think festival!

So, as we were driving down the coast in Supercar (a fun, easy, enjoyable experience- the joy of GPS! I had to crush The Runner’s theory.

He was espousing the belief that a weekend at a Triathlon is similar to going to a festival, like a proper, fun, awesome good time festival.

Wrong!

Festivals are times when people come together to celebrate, relax, have fun and share an enjoyable experience! sweat, pain, and injury do not come into it in my book! Unless it’s sweat from the dance floor and injuries that you wake up with without knowing how you got it! Lots of triathletes dread the race and they don’t look forward to doing it- that does not sound like festival fun to me!

I felt bad as I shattered his heart and broke his spirit but there’s no way I could support the words fun and triathlon in the same sentence. I know, thousands of triathletes will tell me I’m wrong, but for all of you Tri-widows out there you know I’m right.

Sunday morning at triathlon o’clock we’ll exchange knowing looks over a coffee that me, now on my detox, is not supposed to have. We’ll be looking at watches and fiddling with cameras and kindles, trying to pass the time between clapping and yawning.

So what do you think- who are you siding with? Is a triathlon a festival???

Marketer’s Dream….

Apparently that should be my real name, and not because I have a degree in marketing but because I am the living proof that marketing and advertising work.

Discard the fact that my mother works in marketing and I used to– I’m not here to sell you on the value of spending money on marketing or to convince you to increase the budget of your marketing team.  I didn’t even understand what marketing was until I was in my teens.  I thought it had something to do with shopping or the supermarket or I’m not even sure what I thought, I certainly couldn’t wrap my head around the difference between marketing and advertising the first time my mom explained it.  Anyhoo, it works and I can prove it…..

So, yesterday The Runner and I bought a new car.  Well, it was mostly The Runner but because I’m sacrificing The Duchess (my car, which if it were pink, not baby blue would actually have come in a box with a Barbie logo) I suppose I can get away with saying that we bought a car.  Some background on me, The Duchess and The Runner.  I bought The Duchess (so named because of the Duke sticker on her rear window) shortly before or around the time that The Runner and I met.  Really as a 28 year old, single girl in Sydney, I thought a baby blue Peugeot hardtop convertible was the perfect car for me.  And it was, and I love her even despite her flaws (tiny backseat, slightly temperamental, growls a bit when you try to accelerate, doesn’t like going up hills, and there is the slight, minor dent which I never get fixed that sort of takes up most of the passenger side).

Anyway, fast forward a few years and The Duchess has been our main/only car for most of our relationship, it’s great, we’ve driven her up to Coffs Harbour, to the Hunter Valley, down to Jervis Bay and all points in between, there’s just one thing,  The Runner hates her and hates being seen driving her…..(refer back to the earlier comments on The Duchess being what Barbie drives when her Ferrari is in the shop- seriously, I even found this game on the internet- check it out! http://www.dressupbarbie.net/play-285-peugeot-206cc-makeover.html)  He thinks she’s too girly for him, which in fairness, unless he’s pretending to be Mardi Gras Ken, is probably true.  Plus, now that he has his super flash bike, it’s awkward when he puts the bike on the back of The Duchess because the bike is worth more than her.  So The Runner has been plotting against her for a while and has been lobbying for a new car for about 18 months.

So yesterday, it happened.  We spent all day in a car shopping and test driving marathon.  Literally, 2 Peugeots, 1 Mazda and 1 Subaru later with a Nissan still to see, we finally bit the bullet.  We liked the Peugeots (both of them)- The Runner has always had Peugeots and The Duchess wanted to see her legacy live on, but wish they had combined the two cars we liked into 1 SuperGood Perfect car.  Seriously Peugeot, why make two cars that are the same size, roughly the same price but with totally different features in both.  The Mazda was ok, but the salesman killed the deal when he started going on and on and on about how common and popular they are…..Hello, do we seem common to you buddy?  He didn’t get the hint and kept going on about it, no Thank You!  Plus, I HATED the cloth seat pattern….picky I know.  However, when we got to the Subaru, everything just clicked, I’m not saying there were harps or angels or trumpets or anything but The Runner and I were both in love.  We had found the perfect car for us, despite its smaller boot…. We were thrilled!  3 hours and lots of handshakes later, we’d agreed to ditch The Duchess and go for it.  So what’s the big deal right?  What point am I making?

Well….. Glad you asked.  There we were this morning on the couch watching highlights from the Noosa Triathlon on TV.   And what did we see over and over and over again??  Ads for Subaru, our new car, and more Subaru logos.  Subaru as it turns out is one of the official sponsors of the Noosa Triathlon.  So there were miles and miles and miles of signs along the course, almost all of the official vehicles were- wait for it, the Subaru XV, also known as our new car.  Yup, that’s right.  For 5 days in Noosa, we would have seen the Subaru logo in the background everywhere and seen our dream car all over town.  At the Expo, parked at the Roundabout during the race, in orange, in polka dot, in camo paint, you name it, it was probably there.  The cherry coke colour we chose that we both swore we had never seen it in before- yup, nearly certain it was there and that we saw it in Noosa at some point.  So there you have it, The Runner and I are living proof that sponsorship and advertising work.   After a week of subliminal and not so subliminal marketing, we took the bait and bought the car!  So now, rather than having a car that Barbie and Skipper can frolic to the beach in, we have a Triathlete car– not sure what that means exactly, but it’s definitely not girlie – and if it is, it’s a girl with Lady Muscles who is a bit badass!!

P.S.  We’re not idiots, just very open to persuasion– after all, it is a pretty good car!

Update from Noosa

So, it’s been an action packed and fabulous time in Noosa and we’re not done yet! I absolutely adore Noosa (except that the grocery store closes at 5:30 on Saturday night- it is 2012 Noosa, I’m sure you can manage a 9pm finish).

The race itself was good, The Runner did a PB (personal best) and the triathlon virgins that we’re up here with all survived and two new Tri WAGs were initiated–technically only one is a wife/girlfriend but the term still applies.

We arrived on Friday morning, however The Runner’s bike didn’t arrive until Friday night. Every year Jetstar has the same problem trying to get thousands of bikes up to Noosa from Sydney- which is annoying but kind of makes sense. Bikes are big and take up a lot of room, and when everyone on a plane has one, someone is going to miss out! Of course, that was not what The Runner or his friends wanted to hear on Friday afternoon when there were 4 triathletes in the house and not a bike in sight. Especially when said missing bike is worth a small fortune (it’s worth more than my car actually). Oh well, it all worked out and bikes all arrived unscathed. I’ll spare you some of the other funny bits of the race lead up, although really one tip, if you’re going to attempt to do the race as someone else, you should probably be able to recite their address and where they work without pausing!

The morning of race day is always a time of nervous energy- possibly more for me than The Runner. He was up at 4 am and so was I. He was checking his gear, getting dressed, having breakfast and stretching and I was, well, I was just nervous for him. Nervousness is a weird thing when it’s behalf of someone else, because it’s not really nervousness, it’s more a feeling of willing someone to do well but knowing it’s completely out of your control. I felt like one of those parents at a spelling bee who is trying to telepathically send the correct spelling to their child, sending out I before E mentally across the room. So, even though I didn’t leave for the race until about 7:15, I was tossing and turning all night and wide awake at 4am trying to both be helpful and stay out of the way.

But all the nervousness from me wasn’t necessary, The Runner had what I thought was a good race, but it wasn’t quite as fast as he had hoped. Really though, the real fun starts when the race is over, and we’ve had an absolute blast! We’ve had some delicious food (big shout outs to Gaston, Masimo’s ice cream, Scirocco and Zachary’s), I’ve embarrassed myself by telling the winner of the whole race that I thought he was lying about winning- it was only when he produced a picture and came over to the table to chat to everyone that I finally believed him, and we’ve hung out with great friends, relaxed by the pool, and had a few vinos– It’s really been a great time.

Luckily the house we are in has an awesome kitchen that we’ve put to good use, last night Neil made his amazing and now legendary paella, I made quinoa with chicken and roast veggies for a pre-race meal and the first night we had an awesome BBQ. Today we’re off to Bistro C for Melbourne Cup lunch. If you’ve never been to Noosa, I highly recommend a trip…. Especially if it doesn’t involve running, biking, or swimming!!

It’s Noosa time!

Tomorrow, we make our annual pilgrimage North for the Noosa Triathlon, or the Noosa Multisport Festival as it calls itself. Personally, a Multisport Festival makes me think of the Olympics or at least a Sports Day  at school- but alas, there are no 3 legged races, egg and spoon races, or fencing, so I’ll refer to it as the Noosa Triathlon thank you very much.

The Noosa Triathalon is one of the highlights of The Runner’s year.  It’s not the longest race he does (in fact it’s relatively short and easy for him in comparison) but it’s one of his favourites, and it’s a time for me to, well….. actually I don’t wind up doing a lot up there, but  I really enjoy that– mostly.

In some ways, the Noosa Tri weekend (or week this year) is The Runner’s happy place– (mine is the Hunter Valley).  In Noosa The Runner and his biking and swimming mates will spend the three days before the race obsessed with the course in Tri-heaven.  For the three days after, they will compare times, performance and who knows what else. There will be talk of helmets, wheels, nutrition and all things triathlon.   He’ll want to walk the swim course, drive the bike course and cycle the run course…. Seriously.  And there will be 19,999 other people who speak the same Tri-language as he does.  To me, it’s mostly unintelligible-  blah blah blah bike, blah blah blah run, blah blah blah swim.  But The Runner LOVES it!

I’ll be on the sidelines as always, supporting him and giving knowing looks to the others in my tribe- the Tri WAGs.  Yes, we’re a lot like Victoria Beckham but without the pout.  We’re a pretty easy bunch to spot, we’re the ones on the side of the road with a book, camera, stopwatch and coffee.  We normally have looks of mild boredom mixed with anticipation mixed with fear that we’ve already missed the big event.  Tri WAGs (also known as Tri-Widows over Noosa weekend) have a finely developed ability to half read a book whilst timing how long since they last saw their partner and calculating whether they have time to grab another coffee or run to the loo before they come back around.  We have cameras that we juggle one handed so that in the 5 seconds that our partners pass by we can half snap a photo and half cheer– resulting in very blurred photos.  Trust me, it is nearly impossible to do both.  Mostly, we’re a very patient bunch.   If we have kids, the kids have a sign saying “Go Daddy” or something similar.  

N.B. from what I’ve seen kids are quite helpful as spotters- they stare at the course as if waiting for Santa on Christmas Eve, whilst their Mom (Mum) is able to read the paper or her book.  Every so often they shout, “There he is!” which more often than not, is not their father.  It is quite funny when they point and wave at some poor guy who has a look of fear on his face, hoping he’s not in an episode of Jerry Springer or Maury Povich.

Noosa will take The Runner about two and a half hours (he will quote you his exact times from the last 3 years if you ask him), during which he’ll spend 20 minutes in the water swimming 1500m, cycle about 40km, and run a 10k.  I will be in roughly the same spot for about 3 hours…. waiting.  The Runner will pass my spot roughly pass four times.  Yes, four times.  You do the math.  I will have some time on my hands as will the other Tri WAGs and widows.  Hence the books,coffees, and slightly bored but supportive looks.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m so glad that I’m The Runner’s support crew, and this year, we’ll have lots of friends up there with us to enjoy the week with us.  If you ever get a chance, head to Noosa just to watch the Triathlon, it’s a beautiful setting and whilst there are some super-fit, world class, elite athletes, there are also a fair number of people who have never done a triathlon before some of whom look like they’ve never actually ran anywhere except to the fridge.  I admire all of them for giving it a go– and of course I’m always so proud of The Runner when he competes.  

I’m looking forward to some downtime this week, I’m just hoping the kitchen of the house we’re staying in comes fully equipped- I wouldn’t mind doing some cooking while he runs!