Journey to Adventurethon – Update 7

With under two weeks to go until I give my first Enduro Adventurethon a crack, I am wondering and hoping that I have done enough.  The body is starting to spring a few leaks, the back and hamstrings are a little touchy and this time around it is a little bit of calf pain on my right leg that is side lining my running for the past few days.  I am hopeful that it is just muscle fatigue as it started during my 2km run after a particularly gruelling crossfit session.  I tried running again two days later and the calf was starting to pull, cramp, and complain again so I stopped and walked instead.  I am a little nervous about this new strain as I need to keep up the running!!  I have decided to drop the crossfit for the next two weeks so that my body doesn’t have to deal with that added stress and concentrate on some longer endurance sessions followed by a lighter week leading into Albany.

In this last stretch I am really starting to think about the details.  Do I wear my shoes in the kayak or put them in a backpack?  Or just try and go barefoot on the beach run?  Water bottle only for kayak, banana during the run, kayak back.  May need second bottle with energy drink?  Camelpak waiting with bike, ice in camelpak?  Homemade energy bar/balls for ride?  Ordered little bag for the frame of the bike but may also need a waterbottle holder and bottle for the bike as well.  Will need a second smaller camelpak for the run.  Wondering where I leave shoes and socks?  Do I need a watch to make sure I am keeping fluid and energy intake up as I tend to forget and then really hit the wall.  Have done that a few times with some of my longer sessions.  I like the idea of frozen hydrolyte iceblocks in water bottles and down the top to keep me a little cooler during the run but wondering how to keep them frozen or stop them defrosting too quickly at least….so many questions.  Anything else I need to think about?  Any answers or tips let me know!

WEEK 13

Monday – My cousin offered to take me out kayaking on his kayak again.  While I did slightly better, managed to stay in for a decent stretch, and only tipped out three times, I did come to the realisation that I would need a different kayak that I felt more comfortable in.  Definitely toying with the idea of swapping to the duathlon.  Lucky the hubby is home this week which opens up my training options a little.  5km run in the afternoon, dragged my eldest boy on his bike to keep me company.

Tuesday – Crossfit followed by a 2km run.  I even had one of crossfit girls ask to keep me company and joined me for the run.  Emailed a few of the paddle clubs in the area explaining my situation and asking about lessons and advice on beginner kayaks.  Trawling through Gumtree to find a secondhand kayak that would be suitable.  Now the Canning River Canoe Club was one of the clubs that I emailed.  David Brown was the contact I emailed and not only did he call me that very afternoon to try and help me out, he went out of his way to fit me in that very same night.  He told me later that he was a little nervous about this mother of four who had never really paddled before and wanted to make 8km in four weeks…and didn’t even have a boat.  Never the less, he was still willing to do what he could to help me reach my goal.  We tried out the Endorfinn kayak, I didn’t even fall out, and we knocked out about 3km that night.  At the end of the session, David just gave me a pat on the back and said that he thought I would be fine.  I just have to say, that David was exactly who I needed to restore my broken confidence.  The practical tips and the guidance on technique, just in that little first session was fantastic.  I was able to tee up 2 more sessions with David and again I am grateful that he was able to make this happen for me.

Image Credit  –  Canning River Park, nice place for a paddle, or run, or play with the kids.

Wednesday – Rest Day but I picked up a second hand kayak.  I have a boat.

Thursday – 90mins Exercise Bike and 50km in the morning.  5.5km run in the afternoon.

Friday – 2km row then Crossfit session with my youngest in tow.

Saturday – 2hr paddle session with David from the Canoe Club.

Sunday –  Hilly road ride on MTB, 1hr 45mins and 30km

WEEK 14

Monday – Paddle 4km followed by a 5.5km run

Tuesday – Rest Day

Wednesday – Crossfit followed by 2km run.  Calf muscle was pulling/cramping towards the end of the run but finished off the run.  Not happy with the calf but hope it was just a cramp.

Thursday – 90mins exercise bike.  52km.

Friday – Paddle 4km.  Strawberry picking and lunch out.  Crossfit in the afternoon.

Saturday – At David’s suggestion we paddled at Point Walter Reserve which had a little more chop to the water which would be more like the conditions I would be paddling in come race day.  Point Walter Reserve was another beautiful spot to have a paddle.

Image Credit – Point Walter Reserve

Attempted to run after the 2 hour paddle only to pull up short with the calf muscle problem.  Grrrrr, so annoyed right now.

Sunday – 28km road ride on the MTB, followed by a 4km walk (grabbed one of my children to keep me company).  Walking doesn’t seem to worry the calf.

So the plan of attack is to stay away from running til after rest day on Tuesday and then give it another go.  I have been religiously rolling, stretching, and using the anti-inflammatory cream.  I did investigate the compression socks but am unsure that they will be worth the cost?  Anyone used them?  This week I really want to work on going full distance blocks of training ie 8.9km paddle followed by 22km bike  or 22km bike followed by a longer run.  I also want to try a mini adventurethon on the weekend.  Hell week has begun.  Then I want to drop back distances in final week but keep the intensity up.  Tick, tick, tick goes the countdown clock……c’mon body hold in there.

Asking The Stupid Questions – Interview with Adventurethon Creator Joel Savage

Several weeks ago (before the kayak meltdown period which you can read about here), I had a few burning questions related to my adventurethon preparation so I wrote to Adventurethon Facebook page and asked if anyone could answer a few questions for me.  Without any hesitation, race director/organiser/creator, Joel Savage, agreed to answer any questions.  Read a little about Joel and the birth of adventurethons in this article.

Remember that old adage that there are no stupid questions?  Well I am holding on to that OK.  Alrighty, here are the big questions I put to Joel…

1.  I’m really nervous about the kayak portion of the Enduro event as I haven’t done a lot of paddling.  How important is it to have experience and can I ‘wing it’ so to speak?? 

Experience helps for sure but having the right craft for your current ability is king!

You need a boat you can keep upright for starters, the more experienced will generally upgrade to faster surfskis/ ocean skis which are pencil thin and accelerate fast but if you are not up to the skill / balance to stay on one of those there are slightly fatter versions available to be more stable with a small sacrifice of speed but in the end the only fast boat is one you are paddling.

2.  What tips can you give me for training kayak wise…I am waiting on a large family kayak that we have ordered so that I can at least start paddling once a week.  I was wondering about hiring a kayak for the race but will it be too different? 

Yes hiring a kayak will be different, see above rule.

Main thing to note is paddling is about torso rotation to deliver the power not just moving your arms.

I think this gives a great sum up of the paddle stroke.

 

3.  So the course outline has been posted and while I like the fact that the paddle leg is broken up, I am a little concerned about this beach run?  Now this is going to sound completely girly but….am I going to get sand in my shoes?  What sort of shoes do people wear for this, because I am assuming they will get wet from the paddle to the run and back again?

Some run in socks, some in wetsuit style shoes, some athletes choose good socks and go in their trail shoes…if you plan to run in your trail shoes later be aware that running on wet socks can lead to blisters later…my suggestion for that run…have 1 pair of crappy running shoes that you take off when you get back to HQ. 

4.  I bought a 2XU tri suit to train and race in and it is really comfortable however its not the easiest to get in and out of, which got me wondering….Are there toilet stops on the way?  Or are the rumours true…do the athletes really go to the toilet on the run so to speak??  (I told you I would ask the big questions lol)

Urination on the go??? Well I would say that most people do not go on the course…there is a hormone during activity that removes water from the bladder…antidieuretic hormone I think it is called.

Number 2’s I would focus on getting those out before the race…often this is part of many peoples pre race rituals (suggest a few minutes jog in the morning to help get the bowels moving)

That said, the perfect time to go number 1’s would be in the water getting back into your boat after the first island paddle.

ADDIT:  Can I just say in my defense, I am a mother of four with three pregnancies under my belt, I am pretty sure I am going to need to go at some point during the 5hrs + (god knows how long) that I am going to be out on the course.  I am still unsure whether there are porta loos out there?  I think there must be right??  And surely I am not the only one to wonder about the old toilet question for endurance athletes? Hehe, I had to ask.

5.  I was wondering whether I would need to run with my camelpak or are there enough water stops along the way?

Don’t count on any water stops, we are a self supported race so a camel pack, race belt or similar are totally necessary…practice this yes, adjustment and knowing how much you use is important…also you need to work the logistics of having all the disciplines and which method of water you will carry.

6.  Is heat going to play a big factor {in South WA}?  And are there ways to manage the heat…ice in the camelpak?  Cold facecloths?

Heat a factor? Yes it could if its like lat year we had 30 degrees which levelled a few locals, that said the heat is different in South WA, generally less humid than north QLD

Taking in enough electrolytes

You can add ice to your water, or on your head, in your tri suit etc

A mate of mine just tagged me in this… try this one:

http://trailrunningaustralia.com/tag/heat-running/

At a recent race (as I’m a big guy) I have to cool down with some of these things.

7.  Best tips for getting rid of that dead leg feeling when you get off the bike and go to the run?  How do you make your legs listen to you again?

Firstly the last 2km or so you need to make sure you go a bit easier in the gearing and spin a tiny bit faster (take less muscle strain and gets less looser)

On that note I think gear selection is important the entire race…never go into a massive deficit of muscle fatigue as running long distance is really going to suck.

Practicing brick sessions will help … a couple of ways

Each ride you do  go for a 15 -30min easy jog afterwards

Have a dedicated ride hard run hard  ride hard run hard repeat session.

Distances and intensities ned to vary if it’s a long race then you need to build up longer geared heavier bikes and simulate the pace you are running at…..if you are training for a sprint tri thenn short and sharp run pace will be more important.

For an adventurer it might be ride up a hill, run down or ride some flats run up a hill…really depends on the terrain…best if you can prepare as close to race conditions as possible

(so that might include paddle to the beach do the run then paddle back at race pace)

 Sometimes mates will share a bike up a hill (so 1 person rides and 1 runs then the rider drops the bike and keeps running up the runner grabs the bike and rides up drops the bike and swaps…)

8.  Finally, do you know of anyone who does any of this outdoor adventure training in Perth?  I was originally from Townsville and Adventurethons were quite big there which sparked my interest but I didn’t get around to it before moving to Perth.  If you have any contacts that would be great.

Indian ocean adventure racers

Or get in touch with James Payne at Go paddle sports and he can help flick you in the right direction.

James is the Go to man for Stellar kayaks in WA and has a decent network of perth people he could guide you to http://www.gopaddlesports.com.au/contact-page/

Thanks Beth for the Questions

 As for any further info just ask, if you need it urgent give me a call

Joel Savage

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“Helping participants escape concrete society with adrenaline charged and inclusive events”

www.adventurethon.com.au

 

So there you have it.   I am really thankful to Joel for taking the time, in what must be a really busy period in the lead up to Adventurethon Albany, to answer my somewhat naive questions.  I found his answers really helpful and hopefully you all learnt something new!!

Journey to Adventurethon – Update 6

This has been a long, hard two weeks and to be honest I am feeling a little defeated by this big goal I thought I could do.  It started with a run of visitors.  I love having visitors, in lots of ways it can take the load off, but it can also disrupt the rhythm of the household.  Its like when you are running and you find your stride, the whole run can feel quite comfortable (unsure what I’m talking about, yeah well, I don’t get that feeling very often but it has happened a couple of times so I live in hope everytime I run).  My point is that I feel like my stride is out of whack, everything just feels like hard work.  Then there was my back.  Not long after coming back from our road trip to Kalbarri, I did a couple of big crossfit sessions which, on top of the travelling, not so good nutrition choices, poor rest, and limited effort put into stretching, was a recipe for disaster.  The back flared up along with significant tightness in several other muscles surrounding the area as often happens.  So I implemented some injury management strategies including some anti-inflammatories, rest, massage, stretching, stretching, and some low impact exercise to get back into the swing of things, which seems to have got me back on track.

Now, there is the whole kayak thing.  As in I can’t stay on the bloody thing!! We are waiting on roof racks for the car so I can transport it, then hoping that I will be able to lift it on and off by myself so that I can train.  All this doubt, uncertainty, and negativity is exhausting.  Trying to stay positive when you are not really believing it is exhausting.  I am exhausted.  SO, I need to devise a plan of action that I can believe in because I need to stop wasting energy on doubting.  I have a few options to follow up on this week to see if I can stay on track for the full adventurethon or I move to plan B which is to swap over to the Dirty Duathlon (13km run, 22km mtb ride, 1km run).  13km run is scaring me a little also but I WILL be having a crack at something.  OK vent is over and now for a quick wrap up of what I did manage to do over the last two weeks.

WEEK 11

Monday – 5.5km run

Tuesday – Cleaning and running around in preparation for visitors arriving tonight.  Crossfit in the afternoon with 4 kids in tow.  They were very well behaved, did some homework, played on a big tractor tyre, and joined in with a little of the session from the sidelines.  Felt my back twinge a little in this session.

Wednesday – Rest Day.  Woke up like I had been run over by a truck.  Had planned to rest today anyway and catch up with my visitors.

Thursday –  Rest Day.  Massage in the morning and then out and about with visitors.

Friday – Touring the Swan Valley with visitors.  Quick low impact ride on the exercise bike.  60mins, 42km.  Then out again that night.

Saturday – Walking around Kings Park.  Completed a few stair climbs (Kokoda and Jacob’s Ladder) then did a 3km run.  Stretching.

Jacob's Ladder, Kings Park

Jacob’s Ladder, Kings Park

Sunday – Rottnest Island.  No training just a long day out and about.

WEEK 12

Monday – Girl’s shopping trip.  45mins on the exercise bike followed by a 3km run (my eldest boy rode his bike to keep me company).  This run felt really good and I had a glimpse of the possibility that I may just be able to still do this.

Tuesday – 30km hilly road ride.  1 hour 45mins.

Wednesday – Crossfit + 3 x 400m runs after the session.  Kids basketball in the afternoon.

Thursday – Rest Day.  Not recovering as well as I would like.

Friday – Crossfit killer session, followed by a 2km row (machine)  Went for my first kayak with my awesome cousin who showed me the basics in his kayak.  Fell out as soon as he let go of the boat!  Then fell out many, many, many more times.  Felt quite defeated and not sure I can do this.

Saturday – Unbelieveably sore.  Took the whole family out for an afternoon at the river.  Tried out my surf ski that I picked up from the side of the road.  I tipped out more than I did yesterday, and that is saying something.  Aaaaggghhh don’t know what to do.

kayak tip

Sunday – Tired, sore, and defeated.  My wonderful friend, Snooze, organised to take my four boys to the movies and spoil them rotten.  Hubby and I went for a date ride.  Hit the mountain bike trails and had some fun.  Only about 15km but blew some steam off.  Just went out to enjoy it and the hubby.

What to do, what to do?  Any suggestions or words of wisdom would be quite welcome. 

 

Journey to Adventurethon – Update 2

So I am still plugging away and feeling pretty proud of my consistency and that my body is holding up quite well.

WEEK 3

Monday –  CrossFit first session! Scary…

Tuesday –  Rest Day and Foam Roller session

Wednesday – Mountainbike Ride (60mins), Wk 3 Run 1 after getting home.

Thursday – CrossFit

Friday – Exercise Bike (45mins, 25km) and Foam Roller session

Saturday – Wk 3 Run 2 with all four boys on their bikes.

Sunday – Exercise Bike (50mins, 28km), 4km walk at King’s Park with the kids

WEEK 4

Monday – Wk 3, Run 3, followed by a strength session. (Set 1: Bench Press/Pull through with rotation/Push Ups, Set 2: Lat Pulldown/Squat Thrusters/Low lunge with 10xrows each side) 3 times through each set.

Tuesday – Rest Day

Wednesday – CrossFit in the morning, Wk 4 Run 1 in the afternoon

Thursday – Exercise Bike (60mins, 36km) followed by a small 2km walk/run with 2 kids and 2 extra bikes to pick up other 2 kids from friends place.

Friday – Crossfit in the morning (was dreading it because I was so sore), Wk 4 Run 2 in the afternoon with my eldest boy.

Saturday – Party Day for my eldest.  Only managed to play Bullrush at the park, which was quite a few sprints so I am counting it!!

Sunday – Wk 4 Run 3 completed in the rain and so tired from sleepover party for 14 boys the night before.

Motivation - Be awesome

This was a tough two weeks to get through as I started CrossFit, stepped up with my sessions, increased my runs slightly, and my husband was away for most of this time.  So I was really wrecked, my body aching more days than not, and I have to admit I questioned my ability to fit it all in.  I have tried to go to bed a little earlier the last couple of days and had a rest day yesterday and I am feeling quite a bit refreshed.  The body feels quite good, shins/legs have settled down so I think the shoes have made a big difference and I do believe just sticking with the run program is allowing my body to adjust to the running.  I also think the foam rolling is making a big difference too.

In terms of diet, I still have plenty of room for improvement.  I still need to make sure I am drinking a lot more and had a couple of slip ups with party food which I am not too worried about.  On the whole I feel like my nutrition is going ok.  I feel like I am toning up and clothes are feeling a little looser as well.  Winning!

Goals for the next two weeks will be stepping up again with the running and maintaining nutrition as much as possible.  It is going to be school holidays next week which will make it a little more difficult to get my sessions in…will just have to get creative.  I have also bought 2x sessions of kayak hire so Snooze and I can go for a bit of a paddle to get the feel of what we need to do.  I have been looking for a secondhand kayak on Gumtree but haven’t got lucky yet.  Feeling quietly confident that I can do this……I think.