Sometimes things just don’t go to plan…

The Runner’s race today is a great example of a day when things just don’t go well.  There was nothing he did wrong and nothing he could have done better- but the triathlon gods just didn’t smile on him today.  Going into the race, he felt fitter than ever, confident and strong.  He had been eating all the right things, training hard, and mentally in the zone.  He knew the course well- in fact, Western Sydney was the race he qualified for the world champs for last year.  So there was no reason to think the race would give him any trouble.

However, it did.  Lots of trouble.  So much trouble in fact I’m proud of him for not giving up and just going home.  First, he lost his goggles during the swim- so he couldn’t see where he was going.  Not ideal.  Then, he hit a pothole and came off his bike and is currently sporting “racing stripes” down the side of his shoulder, side, hip and hands as a souvenir.  Then, he got busted for drafting- and had to sit for 5 minutes in the penalty box.

It was in short a “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.”

But on the bright side, he’s in relatively good spirits as he sits here and patches himself up.   I know he’s disappointed but who isn’t when things don’t go as we’d hoped and planned for.  But how often does life really go to plan?  Sometimes, when things don’t go plan, they wind up absolutely perfect.  I’m not sure today’s an example of that (in fact, it’s not) but it is an inspiring example of what to do when things aren’t what we expect:

  • Just keep swimming—even if you’re not 100% sure where you’re going.   Staying still isn’t really a great option.
  • Pick yourself up, dust yourself up and get back on your bike. Even if your wife winces when she sees you later, a bit of blood and a few scrapes aren’t the end of the world.
  • Take 5 minutes and think about things….it might help.

And finally, stay positive and keep smiling- there’s always next year.12314335_10153109755996879_7681138627121084989_o

Let the adventure begin!

On my way to the airport and we’ve already passed the first hurdle…. The bike fits in the Uber car…. Just!!

Fingers crossed the luggage gods smile upon me and I’m under my 30kg allowance…otherwise it’s $100 per kg and I’ll have to wear layers onto the plane!   
   

The Final Countdown…

Fun Fact:  The Final Countdown is a song by 80s group Europe.

(sorry if you actually clicked the link and watched the video, it’s not a great song or video unless you’re into 1980s hair bands and men with leather pants and makeup).

Fun Fact #2:  The Runner leaves on Thursday for Europe where he will compete in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Austria

Super Fun Fact:  I’m going with him

I’m excited because I’ve never been to Austria or Germany, and to be honest, I would never have put Austria on my list of places I’m dying to go. No offence to any Austrians who are reading this but if this opportunity hadn’t come up, I don’t think I would ever have planned a trip there.  But now that it’s less than 2 weeks away, I’m getting really excited to see the country and already feeling like we’re not going to be there long enough.  There is a lot to see- castles, palaces, natural wonders, art museums, musical attractions, you name it…. but we’re going there for the triathlon.  The Half Ironman (or 70.3 if you’re in the know) World Championships are being held in Zell Am See, Austria and that’s where we’re off to.

**You may remember that The Runner qualified for them back in December last year, if not, well you know now!

Obviously, I’m proud and excited to see The Runner competing in the triathlon itself- it’s a huge achievement to qualify for the World Championships of anything let alone an individual sport like triathlon that pushes your body to its limits.  I mean, I thought I deserved a medal for walking/running the City to Surf last week and I didn’t even finish in the top half of competitors!  (Actually, I did get a medal, but everyone did so….)

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Anyway– qualifying for the World Championships – and in a sport that requires 5-6 hours of exercise at once, well, to me that’s just off the charts!  He’s been preparing for it for months and I’m excited to see how well he does.  It seems like it was not too long ago that I accompanied him to his first triathlon up in Maitland, NSW (near the Hunter Valley- my main reason for going).  In fact, it was 5 years ago and much has changed since then.

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He’s come a long way and Austria really will be the culmination of years of effort and training on his part.  Austria will also be the first time his family gets to see him compete-and I’m thrilled that they’ll finally get to see him—especially on such a big stage.  A big downside of living so far away is that our families often miss the medium sized events—the things not important enough to come visit for, but that are big events for us nonetheless.  It will be great for them to be finally see him race in person– especially since this is SUCH a big race.

I’m also excited to see what a World Championship race is like.  We’ve been to so many races over the last 5 years of so many different sizes and varieties, that I’m excited to see what this one is like.   We’ve been to races like Maitland where there’s barely anything (or anyone there) and others (like Noosa) which are full blown multisport festivals with lots of sponsors, lots of people, television cameras and a whole city full of triathletes.  I’m expecting Zell Am See to be next level.    First of all, there are 12,000 age groupers (every day competitors) competing on the Saturday before the big race on the Sunday.  The Sunday race is the one you had to qualify for.  So, there will be about 14,000 athletes  and their supporters, sponsors, and other curious onlookers.  You have guess there could be 50,000 people there over the weekend- which is a lot.  Now I don’t know a lot about Zell Am See, in fact 12 months ago I had never heard of it, but 50,000 people sounds like a lot.  According to Wikipedia, the town of Zell Am See has a population of 9,573; so, 50,000 triathlon related people will be pretty noticeable.  I’m predicting a lot of shaved legs (on the men), ironman calf tattoos (also on the men), and a lot of talk about nutrition, transition, and lots of other –itions.   But I’m excited to see the spectacle—and I’m excited to see an Alp….

Actually can you see just one Alp or do they come in groups?

I don’t know because I’ve never seen one.  As much as I hate snow and cold weather, I’m super excited to see snow capped mountains (even in the summer) and excited to see what a real Alpine ski village is like (but so happy that skiing is not on the menu!).  For a girl from DC (the flattest place ever) who has moved to Sydney (the least wintry place I can think of), seeing an Alp (or multiple Alps) is a pretty big deal.  Even for me, a girl who HATES the Sound of Music (yes, I know, it’s weird and a long story), I’m excited to see the rolling, green hills and majestic mountains of Austria.   I’m kind of also excited to stand on top of a) hill and twirl around and sing….

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Ok, maybe not,  but I’m definitely getting excited for our trip!

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!

One more Tri

So we were down in Wollongong this weekend for what will be my last race of the season.  The Runner is doing one (or two) more but this is my last one.  With 5 months until the wedding, and after a conference call with The Mom and The Wedding Planner as well as a dinner with the BFF,  it’s time for me to focus.

However, for today, there was one more tri to get through. 

It got off to a bit of a rocky start—I won’t lie, this morning I thought the H-Curse might be in effect.  For more information on the H curse, please see the Noosa race where The Runner came off his bike, 2 races in Huskisson where there were “issues” and you’ll see that the common denominator is The H.* 

*The H is a good friend of The Runner’s from Ireland- they grew up together playing tennis and now do triathlon together but literally every race they do together one of them has a race injury, fall, or major malfunction that affects one or both of them.

Anyway, we had a bit of a late start this morning—totally and completely not my fault.  No, really, it wasn’t- I promise.  We got to the race a bit late considering The Runner and The H hadn’t actually signed in yet to get their timing chips, numbers or anything related to the race.   It was still dark.  Very dark.  Pre-sunrise dark, and there was a bit of illegal driving to get there but we did get there in the end.  And when we got there, there was a queue—a line, for all of my American readers.  Quite a big queue (line) actually, of other athletes who needed to register.  The race was due to start at 6:30am…. (so early!) And at 5:55, we were in the queue.  To be more precise, we were the last people in the queue.  And it wasn’t moving at all.    The Runner and The H were a bit nervous.  Imagine going all that way (Wollongong is only 90 minutes from Sydney, so it’s actually quite close) just to miss the start of the race.   I was too tired to register that I had woken up at 5:25am on a Sunday morning for something that might not happen.  (Really??  Is this my life?)  Thankfully the line/queue moved and eventually we made it to the front with minutes to spare.  I wish I could tell you that everything was fine and that was that- but THAT wouldn’t be a great story now would it?

Well….we got to the front of the queue and The Runner handed over his ID and nothing.  There were a few minutes of paper shuffling, and then nothing.  They couldn’t find his race pack.  Time is ticking by, his name is on the list but his pack is missing.  Tick Tick Tick goes the pre-dawn, pre-race clock.  The older woman who has been handing out packs seems to think there is someone with the same name in the race.  There isn’t but she’s given The Runner’s race pack to someone else.  To Lucas Madar to be exact.  Those of you who know The Runner, know that neither of those names are his- or really that close to his name considering you have to show ID when you collect your pack and presumably Lucas would know his own name and know that The Runner is NOT his name.  Now, I will cut Lucas some slack because it is 6:05am and I’m not sure I knew MY own name at the time.  If I had been pre-occupied with swimming, biking and running, I probably wouldn’t have taken much notice of the name on the pack.  I understand how it happens but….it’s a bit awkward.

The solution was obviously to take the other person’s number and race under that number- which means that when The Runner crossed the line, they announced the other guy’s name and vice versa.  It was only really funny when a friend who was in a later race heard The Runner’s name called out about 10 minutes after he had finished.  It’s also a bit funny because in transition- where you keep your stuff—everyone is in numerical order .  Technically The Runner and the Fake Runner had all of their bikes and gear next to each others.  Clearly, I would have had words to The Fake Me… but The Runner is a better person than I am and had bigger fish to fry!

And actually, The Runner had a fantastic race.  It was probably one of the best ones that I’ve seen him run and I couldn’t be prouder.   He did a record time over the distance and other than a small problem of not turning around in the right spot (he blames me for distracting him), he had what I think is a perfect race.  The H curse isn’t broken-  he had the wrong name!!!  But it was a really good day and I’m really proud of him.  He did amazingly well today and as much as I hate the early starts, I love seeing him do well and do what he loves well.  Just don’t look up his results, they haven’t switched his time yet and the Fake Runner did a rubbish time!!!  

Visit our Flickr site or Like He Runs, I Cook on Facebook to see photos from our day!

4th times a charm?

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since we were last here but it’s husky long course race day again! We’re two thirds of the way in (The Runner is running) and so far he’s looking good! Will this be the year the Husky curse is broken? Fingers crossed !!

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