Fumbling in the Dark

So I’d just finished my 5K swim set, once again ‘Swimming with the Celebrities’ as Rebekah Keat was in the pool. I’m pretty tired, today hasn’t been the best of training days and there it is, the first doubt of 2009. Training is such a tenuous thing. Here I am approaching the end of another week and still a couple of months till the next big race, but am I doing the right thing? Have I done enough intensity? Too much? Should I have dropped the easy bike today or the easy run the other day? Do I look skinnier in the mirror or am I eating too much?! No, really that one as well.

I blame the internet! Sometimes I should just stay away from it. It has a habit of putting questions in your mind, especially when you see discussion on what it takes… Much of that 5K swim was spent alternating between thoughts about technique and how annoying it is to see time goals you’ve comfortably achieved listed as all you need to do to go to Hawaii… Depends on your races I say and clearly I haven’t gone to the right ones! But I don’t want to come across as bitter, I’m not. It’s not supposed to be easy and the Hawaii goal comes on the path to the 9 hour mark. Just got to have faith that if I stick with the plan all of that will come.

Speaking of faith I went to my fourth Yoga class today. For me Yoga is primarily about getting in a bit of a core workout and working on flexibility. Possibly a few of you know my views on the spiritual side of this yoga thing. In fact I am sure I’ve said to at least one person that I didn’t want to go to yoga classes with any of that spiritual crap in. I would like to recant this position. I haven’t had a new age awakening, but I can see the value in playing along with this side of things. It may just be me mellowing out with the laid back Gold Coast lifestyle I mean it’s hard to get stressed when the skies are blue and it’s sunny as.

Practically what this means is I know where my third eye is (forehead thank you). I am not phased by being told to focus on any of my Chakras though I don’t have a clue what that really are. I have even finished a session meditating on my Heart Chakra. Admittedly I got it wrong at first, but who knew it would have a green smoke! I think having watched Iron Man the day before I just had that Arc Generator power source in mind. But hey, I can imagine a tree in verdant green fields if that’s what it’s actually supposed to be. I could go on about the sound of Om or some interesting breathing practices, but let’s leave it here. I kind of like it for being so totally outside what I’d normally do or accept and it’s very relaxing. I also did think those incense stick things would be great for clearing the occasional funky smell in my room after major workouts!

Whilst doubts creep in the training week’s been pretty good so far. Been a bit more of a loner the past couple of days, but getting in some useful sessions all the same. I finally answered a question from last year – can I run to The Spit? Wednesday being long run day was my opportunity to finally solve this mystery. It was sunny so another opportunity to run topless and save the washing! Heading North means going through the touristy hell hole that is Surfers Paradise. Despite this I donned the knee high compression socks because my right ankle has developed a twinge. Worrying me enough that I was happy to run about in knee high socks through the most crowded section of Gold Coast beach front!

The Spit sticks out at the northern end of the Coast. A lot of people ride out there. It’s a bit busy to get there, but the last section is good for doing short interval work. Recently it’s been a little overwhelmed with Crickets as last year’s weather made for perfect breeding conditions. What I hadn’t realised is that between the road and the beach is a large area of packed dirt trails with lots of undulation. Finding this was my reward for dodging tourists from Surfers to the end of Main beach. I ended up going a little longer than planned just to confirm you really could get all the way to the end. This also leads me towards an answer to another question I’ve had – can you run from The Spit to Point Danger? My next long run may well head South in search of the answer!

And honestly that’s been the highlight of the past few days. I mean I did say the life of an athlete can be pretty boring! I could mention having knocked out two 5K swim sessions this week and finding both of them very enjoyable too! That’s pretty pleasing and along with a bit of intensity in my swim work and my new love for paddles is giving me some hope for improvements there. The ankle niggle is concerning and I’ve been here before. Stretching, rollers and massage are the answer and just be sure not to develop it into an injury.

From here on it’s a case of rinse and repeat until I get to New Zealand. I have some plans for scoring extra points on Epic Camp this time. Assuming they follow a similar scheme to last camp, but perhaps I shouldn’t let these things on.