Sunday, July 26, 2009

Almost there

When doing my long run yesterday and long bike today I realized that I am still not where I was 4 weeks ago before Bronchitis got the better of me.

Being out of the office for two days to attend a conference this week also did not help with the comeback. The problem when someone else do your accommodation booking for you is you end up with nice accommodation but it was not athlete friendly. The lodge was right next to the main road between two cities and there was no way I could do my run session as planned( before I saw the location) on a busy road in the dark on Thursday morning. With the lodge not having a swimming pool or a gym I lost one and a half days of training.

Yesterday I took my bike back to Cycle Tech to fit the crank I ordered and to have a look at the seat post that keeps slipping down while I ride. I did send Cervelo an email and they said that I need to take it back to the shop where I bought it as not all the seat post are the same size and that may be the reason it is slipping. Me and Marco looked at the replacement seat post but after measuring it, it was exactly the same size as the one that I currently use. I then applied some carbon paste to the seat post and tighten it to the recommended Nm. Luckily for me it worked and the post did not slip when I did my ride today.

Coming from a 2h46 training week four weeks ago when I fell sick halfway through the week to a 0h00 the next week and picking it up to 7h45 last week, I feel satisfied to end the week with a 13h18 training week. I am so scared to push the body to hard after the few weeks of sick and maybe the conference was a good thing just to take a little mid week break.

When I rode past the Steel factory today I saw this big black smoke of something that caught fire. It was going up so high in the air that I could see the smoke from 30km away when I came back from my turn around point. One nice thing about it was it gave me some sort of idea of how far I still need to go. I was supposed to do a 5hr ride but ended up with a 4hr ride, the legs are not back yet.

Slowly but surely I am getting there and with eleven weeks to go to Kona I need not to miss any sessions.

This weeks training:
Swim: 2h42, 7km
Bike: 6h31, 199km.
Run: 2h56, 36km
Gym: 1h06.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Boy oh Boy

Finally after 9 months and 22 days I took delivery of my P4 on Friday. This is by far the longest I waited for anything, not even the delivery time of Dejone took so long. But I must say it was worth the wait. First thing I put on the bike was the sticker of "Skillie" the tortoise. The bike look so nice with the minimum of decals and I am still deciding if I need to leave it that way or decorate it with the same stickers that was on the P3.

I planned to take it for a ride on Saturday but I had to go to the dealership Saturday morning and decided to do my Sunday swim session when I finished at the dealership. This way I can swim in 29c water at my work town gym and don't have to face the 17c water on Sunday at the hometown gym.

When I finished my swim I did my gym session as I could not do it Saturday morning before I had to leave for work, not that I overslept but the gym only opens 6 am on Saturdays and I had to be at the dealership at 8, just not enough time. I forgot to take my trainers along and only had my flip flops but decided I am not going to skip the session so I did my gym session with flip flops. The instructors didn't say anything but as I left I saw a sign that said no bare feet or flip flops allowed in weights area. Must say it is the first time this happened and it was some experience especially doing lunges.

Getting back to the swim, first time in almost three weeks and I was really surprised. My program said I had to do 4 km's and I did 3 km. I knew from the beginning I would not get to four and prepared myself for about two but was really surprised to do 3 km. I guess that is the advantage of being an average swimmer, you don't loose that much but you also don't go that fast. The session had 30x100m as the main set and I did 20x100 and my time was only between 6 and 8 second per 100m slower than usual.
Early this morning before Church I did a 1 hour tempo run and could get back to a sub 5 min/km pace. Not where it's suppose to be but felt much better than Fridays run and no more coughing.
After Church it was time to take the P4 on its maiden ride. My long ride was suppose to be 4h45 but that was out of the question. First I though to do between one and two hours but two hours became three which then became four. The bike is SO fast and it feels if it is a softer ride than the P3. Don't know if it was just because I wasn't on a bike in three weeks. Will do some more mileage before I give a full report. One thing I can say is that it is definitely faster, even with a strong wind today. The cycling is definitely the discipline where I feel I have lost the most due to the Bronchitis.

Dejone asked me on Friday what's the new bikes name and I said it hasn't got a name yet. She said why don't you call it Samantha. Ask her why Samantha and she said she just saw the name on TV. Kim said it is to long and suggested "Baby", said to her Baby is not a name. Any suggestions?

Yesterdays training:
Swim: 1h07, 3 km
Gym: 1h04

Today's training:
Run: 1h03, 13 km, 4:53 m/km, 142 bpm, 987 kcal
Bike: 4 h01, 115.2 km, 137 bpm, 28.8 km/h, 3525 kcal.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Back in Training

Went for my usual Friday 30 minute easy run today and I was 6sec/km slower than usual and my heart rate was 4 beats a minute higher. That is what Bronchitis and two and a half weeks of no training did to my running. With my Friday easy run my heart rate target is 137 Max, so it's a real easy run.

I was actually surprised when I downloaded my exercise file as it felt much worse while I was running, especially when I was doing hills. Yes and Witbank, my hometown only consist of hills, so you either go up or down when you train. Most of the hills I had to walk to keep my heart rate below 137.

After the run I was coughing a bit, but I think that was just my Lungs thanking my body for the run. The coughing didn't last that long and I feel so Good to finally start training again. Will see what happen on Sunday when I am suppose to do my Long run but I will not try and push the body and will probably end up with an intermediate run.

This morning I took Kim and Dejone to the US embassy to get their Visas for our trip to Kona. Luckily everything went well and now we just need to get the UK visa as we will be spending a day or two in London on our way to Kona. That's one of the pleasures of being a South African citizen, for almost all the countries in the world you need a visa.

One can see that the current down turn in the economy is affecting a lot of people. Just by comparing my visa experience beginning of 2008 with the one this week. When I applied for my Visa I could only get an appointment two weeks after my phone call. When I phoned Wednesday to make an appointment for Kim and Dejone they said that they can help us today, only two days later. When we arrived today there was virtually no waiting time and not even a long queue, I think I counted 16 people in the waiting area for the time we spend there
Our appointment was 8:30 am and we were out of there by 9;15am. When I went I also had to be there at 8:30am but only left after 11 and most of it was waiting in a very long queue. Anyway glad it's over.

On our way back home I stopped to pick up my new bike at Cycle Tech. The bike looks real smooth and I can't wait to take it for a ride tomorrow. The only problem is I asked them to fit a Zipp Chrono crank but the crank will only be arriving from Zipp on Wednesday. Marco was nice enough to fit the bike with a Zipp Quad crank for me to use until the right crank arrives.

Tomorrow will also be my first swim in almost three weeks, going to be very interesting!

Today's training:
Run: 30 ;32, 5.6 km, 133 bpm, 5:27 min/km, 85 cadence, 425 kcal.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Can't wait

Marco at Cycle Tech promised me I can have my P4 on Friday. He says he doesn't want to rush the building of the bike as it is the 1st one they are doing and he wants to make sure everything is 100%.

Don't know if it is a good thing or not if I get the bike before the weekend. You know how it is when you get something new, you just want to use it. You see Saturdays are my Long ride day and with the Bronchitis out of the system, but me not 100% I would want to do my long ride but I know it won't be a good thing to just jump back at it and go long. But to say I am going out for an easy 1 hour ride, I will be lying to myself.

Haven't been so excited in a really long time, like a kid the night before your Birthday or Christmas. Maybe that is also the reason I am finally feeling better and are not coughing and running out of breath all the time. It is amazing how ones body react. On Monday I was better but still coughing and feeling bad and then suddenly on Tuesday I felt like a different person.

Now the long road of getting back to my fitness levels that I had three weeks ago starts. I just need to be patient and not push it to hard, will do an easy spin on the Computrainer tonight and will be back at the Gym tomorrow for my gym session. Luckily this is not high aerobic but I think I am going to feel it in the muscles on Friday morning after not being in the gym for three weeks.

Now it's like old times when I was very young and I counted the nights before my birthday when you know there is something happening and waiting for you.

Only 2 more nights

Monday, July 13, 2009

So Long Suzie

Well I guess it's time to say Goodbye to Suzie( My P3) that served me so well during the past three years. I dropped it off at Cycle Tech, the bike shop where I bought it and who is also building the new baby(P4). I dropped the bike off last week Thursday and knew I would not see the bike again but today it became official as the new owner confirmed he is taking it.

I wish I could keep it just for a spare bike but I can't keep all my bikes, Kim will not be happy and it also helps getting a good price for it. When I look at this picture I can still remember when I got it new, stock standard. Over the years I gave it a face lift or two.

First it was a proper saddle, then I upgraded the brakes to Dura Ace and later the group set. After that it was the handle bar and then the Wheels, first it was Zipp 808's and then later 1080"s. Some Rotor Cranks rings, Speedplay Zero Pedals and then came all the triathlon gadgets.
When I calculate all these upgrades it's amazing what you spend on your sport, SHOCKING.

It's amazing when I think back of all the memories with it. Apart from the thousands of training kilometers it helped me finish 3 Ironman's and 5 Half Ironman's. It also helped when I received my national colours for Duathlon and even visited Hungary when we attended the World Duathlon Champs. When I finished IM this year I said that this was it and thought that I will get my new bike sooner but with the delay of the P4 there was one competition ride for old time sake. With the Mpumalanga(Provincial) Time Trial championship only 3 weeks after IM and with not being on the bike for 2 weeks she did not disappoint and we came in 1st in the 35-39 age group.

At least I am keeping the USE1 handle bar and the Zipp 1080 Wheels, to remind me of the old bike. I am also rigging the new bike with a Sram group set.

Now a new era starts with the P4 and new memories will soon be there, but Suzie will never be forgotten.

So long Suzie

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Best Ways to Cure a Cold

With me being sick the past two weeks I've decided to search the web to see if there is something I can do to help speed up the recovery and get better. Not being able to train for almost two weeks is driving me crazy.

I've been back at the doctor on Friday and are now on my third set of antibiotics. Must say Saturday morning was the first morning that I could feel an improvement in the last two weeks. Although I am far from healthy again I feel much better. The only problem now with all the antibiotics is I now have an upset stomach.

Searching the web is helpful but you find too many things and which statements can I believe? As someone once said, "The best advice he ever got was not to use advice from everybody"

I came across the following post and must say I am doing almost all ten of the below. It's only NR 5 that I used to do but stopped with it about two weeks before I got sick as time did not allow. Well guess where I'm off too, the gym and into the steam bath.

"Best way to cure a cold
There are no cures for the flu or the common cold virus, so treating these nuisances to our health is all about prevention and symptom relief. Setting habits in place and using simple regular preventative measures is the best way to a healthier life.

Top 10 Ways to Avoid a Cold

1.Hand Washing

Colds and the flu are spread from both airborne droplets as well as direct contact. Telephones, keyboards, drinking glasses all serve as vehicles for transmission for germs from an infected person.
The germs can live for hours or even weeks on an object.
So, washing your hands often will diminish the possibility of the germs making their way into your own system. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if no sink is available.

2.Don't Cover Your Sneezes and Coughs With Your Hands

Sure this is what we were all taught. But in reality, germs and viruses love our hands and of course, we can imagine how easy it is to pass the germs on directly from our hands.
When you feel a sneeze or cough coming, use a tissue or some other disposable germ catching object. At the very least, turn your head away from the people near you and cough into the open air.

3.Don't Touch Your Face

Cold and flu viruses enter your body through the eyes, nose, or mouth. Touching their faces is the major way children catch colds, and a key way they pass colds on to their parents.

4.Drink Plenty of Fluids

Water cleanses and flushes toxins out of your system. Typically, an adult needs 9 ounces of fluids each day. Make sure you're drinking enough liquid that your urine is close to clear. Deep yellow is a sign of dehydration, and a guarantee that toxins are gaining a foothold in your system.

5.Sauna or Steam bath

While not confirmed that steam treatment can prevent the onset of a cold, in 1989 a study found that people who steamed twice a week got half as many colds as the control group who did not. The theory is that when you are in a sauna, you breath air which is hotter than 80 degrees: too hot for viruses to survive.

6.Exercise Regularly

Aerobic exercise speeds up the metabolism and pulmonary system (heart) making you breathe faster and sweat. This exercise helps increase the body's natural virus-killing immune system.

7.Eat Foods which have Phytochemicals

"Phyto" means plants, and the natural chemicals in plants give the vitamins in food a supercharged boost. So put away the vitamin pill, and eat dark green, red, and yellow vegetables and fruits.


Some studies have shown that eating a cup of low-fat yogurt each day can reduce your chances of getting a cold or flu by 25%. It is believed the bacteria in yogurt my give a boost to the immune system.

9.Don't Smoke

Statistics show that heavy smokers get more severe colds and more frequent ones.
Smoke from cigarettes numbs and dries out the hair in the nose and ears that are there to protect us from viruses that cause cold and flu.

10.Don't Drink Alcohol

Alcohol suppresses the immune system in a variety of ways. Heavier drinkers are more prone to initial infections as well as secondary complications. Alcohol also dehydrates the body -- it actually takes more fluids from your system than it puts in"

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

How strong is the immune system?

First of all I need to apologize for not posting anything on the blog in some time but at this moment I am so sick that I can barely do anything.
It all started last week Wednesday and has been no better since. Having Bronchitis is not nice and I have it so bad, can't remember when last was I so sick. Yes I do get the odd cold and runny noise but it never goes into my chest & lungs as currently.

What worries me is that it is not getting better and I don't even want to think about when I can start training again as it just upsets me. Today was my first day back at the office and I've rested now for 4 solid days and I don't see any light at the end of the tunnel yet. I am now almost done with the second set of antibiotics.
On the positive site the doctor said that if I wasn't that fit and healthy I would most likely be in hospital now and I must thank my Immune system for that. That brings me to the question, how strong is my immune system?

I eat very healthy, consider myself very healthy with all the training and I do take enough but not too much Vitamins, including Moducare which is an immune booster.

One can say yes the Doc is right could have been worse but can one protect yourself 100% against these flu viruses? Is there a special "recipe" for endurance athletes to protect themselves and does it depends on the environment you find yourself in.

Surely I am not the only one that starts training at 4am and have all types (healthy and not so healthy) of people all day in and out of my office and then finish some nights at 10pm with the training.
All these questions pop up in my head, Do I get enough sleep, Do I eat enough/right, Does my body get enough time to recover?

I first need to recover 100% and then I need to liaise with my coach, to adjust if necessary my training plan. I was 5 weeks into my 20 week program and I was just feeling that I am getting somewhere. Hopefully this won't push me back too much.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

100 days to Kona

Today it is exactly 100 days to go before it is the big day. 100 days sound like a long time but before one realize it will be gone.

The week was 100% spot on with my training until Wednesday, and from their it is all downhill. I've pick up Bronchitis and as I sit here I struggle to breath. I can't believe it, Tuesday I was still 100% and training sessions were spot on. Tuesday night I started feeling bad and by Wednesday morning I was coughing very badly and just could not breath easily. I decided to go and see the doctor immediately and luckily the lady at reception could help me early in the morning.

The doctor said I have Bronchitis and must stop training for a week. I first thought that I am not feeling so bad I will be ready for my long rides and run during the weekend but the way I am feeling now I will definitely be taking the week off. All my stomach and back muscles are so sore from all the coughing, it hurt so much if I cough. If I am not better by tomorrow I need to go back to the doctor as I don't feel any improvement since yesterday and with all the medicine I am taking, surely there must be some improvement.

I am really disappointed as my training has really started to fall in place. I've seen in the past if I get sick I must go back and see what did I do a week ago, because that's the time it takes to get me down. Yip last Wednesday I did that 20 minute swim in 17c water whereby I had to get out so cold was the water at the Gym and was shivering the whole night.

I also received news from the bike shop that the Cervelo P4 has now been delayed until next Tuesday. It is apparently at customs in Johannesburg and they are waiting for clearance. It seems that this bike episode keeps on being dragged out. I did make a big scene and said to them if I don't have it by Tuesday I don't want it anymore and want my deposit back with interest.
Can't believe it takes longer to get a bike than to "produce" a human being. It's been now more than 9 months!. It is really starting to piss me off.