Archive for Narelle’s Ironman Journey

I’ll be back!

Well 2013 didn’t go quite according to the script I had written for my race. The swim conditions were the best I have ever seen at Busselton – smooth and calm – terrific.

Swim time wasn’t too bad – although with the conditions I had thought that I might have hit a personal best, but not quite.  Overall happy with the time which got me into transition well ahead of the clock, and while there were still plenty of people behind me. Even better was the significant improvement I made in my transition – no messing around, in and out and jumped onto the bike – almost – lost a minute or two as I checked out the drink bottle on my aerobars – as I ran out to the mount line, I could see a steady drip, drip, drip coming from the bottom of the flask…this was not what I wanted to see on my sports drink container with 180km to go!  Well, at that point, only thing I could do was get going, and see what happened, so I did.

Ride was a lot tougher than the conditions suggested.  There was wind, and yet the trees seemed still – how can that be?  There were clearly some tough windy bits as my splits show, only good news is that the pro’s and age group leaders also seemed to slow in the same spot, so phew! only difference is that their slow and my fast were about the same…room for improvement me thinks. With gritted teeth determined to make the bike cut-off, I was pedaling away, not necessarily enjoying myself as much as I had hoped, but hey, I was still in the hunt for the finisher’s medal, so one more pedal stroke.

That is until, bang! Next thing I knew I was coming to, with a Technical Official standing over me saying ambulance was on the way and my race was over.  Ouch, I started to realize I was no longer on my bike but flat on my back with a very sore head lying in the dirt on the side of the road. My bike was a bit further up the road. So all I can say is the best laid plans of mice and men…. but seriously, I am very lucky not to have sustained any broken bones, or worse a more serious head injury, and am very grateful for the assistance of the ambulance crew, the medical volunteers and the wonderful technical official. Needless to say, I have unfinished business out there on theIM accident course, so with that in mind, I have my entry into IMWA squared away, and I will be back to claim the medal in 2014.

The end of the road!

In the spotlight

Opportunities abound to talk about my passion – who says we have to follow conventional training patterns – I am learning to maintain focus on end goal, and have the flexibility to do what I need to do to keep all the balls bouncing.

Lunchboxes and Legends

Very exciting news this week – I have been selected to compete in a 100day challenge which will involve filming me as I go about daily activity and training as well as building my business.  Talk about incentive to get cracking.

Running not wonderful still – have not pushed out the distance at all, and need to do it NOW.

Have upped the distance in the gym by around 500m, but need to put more under my belt – mid week sessions need to hit 40 – 45 at least three times a week, so need to juggle my day a bit better. Not a lot of training in past week as things have been quite hectic and I haven’t been that motivated to get out of bed early – that needs to change and soon.


Encouraging progress

Did a 6 week challenge at the gym recently and went in to weigh in today.  Pleased with results – droppped 2.5kg in that time, but improvement in the visceral fat levels, body fat and also improvement in hydration levels.  Still room for improvement, but steps forward.

Have been very tired this past week, need an energy boost, so time to revisit diet and look at how I can add energy sustaining foods into the mix.

Running still not at level I would like, but it is slowly improving and I am covering more distance each workout, even if it is only 10m, every metre is one extra.

Keeping fingers crossed I am selected for the 100 day challenge with Amanda Rose – that would be an intersting experience and one which would add even more accountability into the mix.  Filming would start in May, so watching emails with eager anticipation.



Progress – slow but steady

That's LifeReally pleased this week with the progress my ankle has made.  Now quietly confident that I will be able to start to build mileage – with Gold Coast Marathon now only 3 months away, I need to be moving up the distances big time, so here we go.

This week has also seen some great publicity with That’s Life magazine and now a podcast which I will link when it hits the air, and also Prevention magazine coming up.  Keeping fingers crossed that I am selected for a 100day challenge that will document my progress as well.



Spurred On

Nothing like some positive media coverage of my previous achievements in the Ironman arena to spur on the training.

Great little article with great pics in this week’s That’s Life magazine.

The weight is coming off, and I am getting fitter – am able to run further on treadmill and for longer, so happy with that and the pain in the ankle is lessening, so I am optimistic that with a bit less weight and fitness, and a commitment to move forward in other areas of my life, especially business, that I will overcome the injury without further intervention soon.

Bike session last weekend was the longest I have done for more than a year, and swim is getting up to a solid level as well, and I am starting to notice some improvement in pace in the pool as well.

Have another magazine article coming out shortly and looking forward to seeing that hit the streets.  Watch this space.


Where does time go

The year is slipping by – we are almost at Easter and this marks the end of Q1.

As I do every quarter, I reflect on where I have been, what I have achieved, what 90 day goals I have reached, which ones I didn’t. I then sit down and document the next 90 days.  And as I begin to reflect on the goals for the past quarter, I see that I have exceeded some, and not others.

I am regularly riding much further in my long ride than I set myself – so tick, very pleased with that.  Now time to step up another 25km by the end June, as well as making sure that the mid week rides hit the required length of 90 minutes each time.

Swimming was always likely to be an easy win – hit that one, so again time to step up the distance by 500m a long session and 250m in a short session.

Run not so good – the pain in the ankle has persisted, although is getting slowly better wiht each physio treatment.  Still not able to run for an hour though, so need to work on this in coming weeks.  Hoping the weather cools a little, as overheating is an issue on longer runs and this has been playing havoc more than the pain in my ankle.

On another front, I have several magazine articles to appear in the coming weeks and am excited about those.

And weight is coming down – I can definitely see a change in my shape and am excited to see myself continue to change


Absolutely marvellous!

Cause for celebration – for the first time in months and months I was able to run on the treadmill for 30 mins non-stop.  Covered a reasonable distance, that if I could replicate that pace for the length of a marathon would cone home well ahead of cut-offs so quite pleased.  Focus now will be to push out distance rather than focus on speed.

Ankle has held up, a little niggly but nothing like it has been in the past.  I am quietly confident that it is improving with the manipulation of the physio, and hoping that by time rolls around for appointment with sports physician, I am feeling good enough to be able to cancel it.

It is the weekend again, and this brings with it the need to balance relaxation, household chores, getting the hair fixed, attending to my business and training.  It is a juggling exercise, the corporate environment is not as aligned with health and fitness as I have experienced in previous Ironman campaigns and this adds to the juggling act.  I can see  a lot of split sessions coming on, especially around runs.

Bike kms are increasing steadily, and was absolutely delighted that I was able to tough out 3 hours last weekend.  Now the focus is to hold that time and increase power and distance until I am able to bring distance close to 90kms for that time.

Even more great news, my weight is now lowest it has been for almost two years and already I can notice a change in my body shape, and I feel great – still a long way to go, but every gm lost is a victory.

Another Day Another Training Session

Progress over the past few weeks has been mixed, but I am confident that I am moving in the right direction, and even more excited about the slight change in body shape I have noticed.  I am noticing that clothes are a little looser which is a motivating epxerience, and one which has me committed to keep going.

Right ankle is continuing to make running training problematic, and so far I am stuck in a walk run holding pattern of quite  short distances.  I need to get some resolution here quickly as I need to be pushing the distances out if I am to make the Gold Coast Marathon goal. Physio is making appointment for me to see sports physician.  Part of me wonders if this is just mind over matter, body acting out and manifesting a fear of moving forward.

To add a bit of spice to my weight loss and also training, and being a competitive personality, I have joined a challenge at my gym here in the city, and was totally surprised to find that the gym instructor who kicked off my program, is an Ironman himself.  I was not expecting to find this, so now have another “go to” person in the mix, so looking forward to working with him over the coming months.

Bike sessions have increased, now doing at least three a week, with two being around 90 mins, and the other being longer – at this stage around 2:30, but have set the target by end of March to be out at 3 hours.

Swimming is going fine, could do with a little improvement in speed, but not looking for massive improvement – time it takes to get those few extra minutes, is not well spent – more leverage if I spend that time improving bike times.

I have the swim course, finishers photo and entry on my desk as a constant reminder to myself and others who will hold me accountable, that I am doing this, and Iwill have my third finishers medal in the bag come December 8.

My unconscious mind is at work

The week has not gone quite to plan.

I kicked it off going really well, with bike sessions and swim sessions longer than I had planned, so very pleased with that.  But wheels fell off on Wednesday and I was reminded that Ironman journeys for most of us who balance a number of other roles is not always plain sailing.  Missed ploanned 30 min run at lunchtime and was not too happy about it, as I find work environments that do not regard it necessary from either a well being or productivity sense to allow employees a break during the day to recharge batteries and do something to get out from behind the desk archaic and short sighted – enough of the rant!  Was to have a session with my mindset coach on Wednesday, but the wonderful train system had an issue, and all trains ground to a halt for up to an hour, so I didn’t get home in time for that, so reschedule.  Dinner ended up being take-away Chinese, and husband ordered a favourite – fried pork fillet with salt & pepper – as one of the dishes – definitely not what I should have eaten but the mindset by that time was “stuff it”, and the bottle of wine we shared enhanced that thought.

Here’s the interesting thing though – my unconscious mind realy went to work – I dreamed that night that I was at the race, in an apartment, and woke up too late to get to the race start and woke to find the fun run participants (not sure what a fun run was doing in middle of Ironman) were wandering up to their start.  Hmmm…. unconscious mind telling me that I am running out of time, and I can’t afford too many lapses like this?

No training yesterday lunch – I had planned that – but had planned to ride last night – but because of rescheduled coaching session, that went by the by.  So tonight bike is a must.

Not surprisingly, weight has remained constant this week, although I do feel that I have lost a little bulk, clothes definitely feel a little looser and I am happy with that.

All in all, an average week, and I am now moving onto the weekend, picking up where I left off, and back on the bike.