First all the good:
We rode today with "the Team", which consisted of about 27 young, strapping, kick ass male triathletes who apparently have checked their Egos at the door. Or maybe Aussie males are born with the "be nice to the old, slow athletes" gene. There were a few women in there too...young..fast, plus our coaches. It was early-we left our condo at 5:30 AM to meet the group, equipped with front and back lights on the bikes. I always thought only crazy people rode after dark with lights. Well, I am now one of them! One reason we wanted to get out the door so early was the HEAT. There is apparently a heat wave comin' this way. I have traumatic memories of Ironman Western Australia 5 years ago where almost 100 degree heat almost did me in during an Aussie "heat wave". As it turned out, today it is "only" 90 degrees this afternoon. I am sure glad we did our ride early right now!
I hung with the big kids for about an hour. Tucked away in the middle of these incredible athletes, I was able to keep up a pace of over 20 MPH for that first bit. One of the coaches did give me a couple of pushes up the hills.. Thanks Coach! Then the big boys pulled away for their "real workout". We never saw them again, which was part of the plan. We knew we would be dropped after their warm up. H and I continued on our journey south on Beach Rd, which is apparently quite popular on most days, especially weekends..We were passed by no less than around 500 cyclists-no really. One apparent Pro was following a motorcycle, we figured this could be one of the famous triathletes that live around here. He/she was probably going over 30 MPH while we slugged along at our 18 MPH pace, which is actually still pretty good for us. There were literally hundreds of cyclists going both directions on this weekend day. Not an unusual sight apparently!
On the return, I started to lose energy after my early on fantasy of being young and athletic. Funny, the body remembers the age eventually! Around mile 50, I really started to slow down. H was way ahead, then I realized, oh crap, I have, a flat rear tire. After about 30 minutes of struggle, problems with my chain and 2 cyclists attempting to help me later, I finally got going again. We stopped at a bike shop in Frankston, where we met father and son shop owners, who helped me with air in my tire. They are both competing in IMM also in March. The dad had done the race before and gave us some info on the course. Again, wonderful Aussies helping the clueless Americans!
We finally reached home around noon, 77 miles in all. The heat only got noticeable the last hour or so. It was a fine day. After a quick brick (run for 10 minutes off the bike), we went to the ocean and stood in the cold water, watching as families, dogs, kids and boats surrounded us. A pleasant Sat. at the beach. The water felt so good on our tired legs!
This is only one of our training days this week. The other days were shorter. We need to shop most everyday for food, since we have no car and the stores are a short 10 minute walk from here. Big city living, a fer cry from my small town Ohio upbringing. My NYC born and raised hubby knows how to shop/live this way so when in Rome...We opted not to rent a car (so far) because of all the traffic and left sided driving, roundabouts, lack of parking, etc. It has not been an issue except when I have a yen for shopping at Costco or Target. Oh and there are THREE Lululemon stores in Melbourne! Probably a car is not a good idea..lol. (Wait, there is always public transportation-he-he). I did manage to get a Mani/Pedi at a nail place not too far from here. I feel a little less scuzzy as a result, since I spend a lot of time sweaty and gross from training. I can tell it is Ironman Season because there is laundry everywhere, I find it tiring thinking of cleaning the little apartment. Thank goodness we have a washer and dryer! The place is also equipped with a dishwasher..other than that the fact the place was built in the 1800s, and hasn't been updated since the 80s, really shows. We lost hot water already and had to call the owner, who did respond promptly to show us how to "over ride" the hot water timer. The air conditioner stopped working. Again we were showed which button to push to get it going again should we need to. We sacrificed little conveniences and luxuries for the location to the beach and shops. It is definitely a trade off but somewhat disappointing for the price we are paying. For just a few hundred bucks, they could spiff this place up (actually is dirty in some drawers and closets). If I were a VRBO owner...The owners are so sweet, how do you tell someone there house it too dirty to rent out? Oh well, I will sweat it out as I enjoy the magnificent view of the ocean and sunset!
The bad: Well, this week I got the "bug" that started with the sore throat. I felt miserable, had the "Stites cough" (which sounds like a wounded seal). I was for a brief moment panicked that the dreaded pneumonia would dig its claws in me again. But this time, I was ready! We had a Z pack of antibiotics with us. Take that you pneumonia! I was coughing like crazy until last night, when things started to settle down. I laid in bed all day Wednesday, which I think helped...
The Ugly: Well, that would be my hair on any given day these days. I got a not so great haircut before we left, coupled with the shaggy, just washed or sweaty look I seem to Sport during Ironman training!
Did I mention we are racing in Geelong, a 40 minute away town next weekend? It is suppose to be a "practice race" half Ironman, 6 weeks before Ironman Melbourne. I always have a hard time with "practice races" because I usually push too hard and obsess too easily. I already looked-there are 3 women in my new age group (60-64) competing next week. So I guess if all I do is finish, then I should get no less than third place? In an Ironman brand 70.3, there is some honor in that-I'll take it!
Also, we have been asked to do an interview next weekend for "Ironman Live" TV, which means I think it will be accessed through Ironman.com next weekend during the race? The details are unknown I suppose until we get there but apparently the fact that 2 older married late in life Ironman triathletes must be interesting to someone! It should be fun..
We ran along the ocean this AM (is now Sunday). Starting at 6:30 was a good idea, because of the heat factor. Then we jumped into the ocean and swam 30 minutes. Really a great week of training for team Wess.
Well, then there were PANCAKES and Americana coffee (called a "long black" at one of the local restaurants as a reward. Yay!!
I miss my grand babies today. Hopefully can Skype with them soon.
We found a local bar to watch the Stoopid Bowl tomorrow morning (starts at 10/30 AM live here). Go Broncos!!