Thursday, 30 June 2011

30. There.

I'm giving you an IOU a run this evening. This is a "pre-run" blog-post-place-holder.  It's been a great june-athon.  (edited to add: run done!)

I'm riding on Saturday.  And in a couple weeks, I'll be racing in Antwerp.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

29. Nearly.

Busy day. It's still juneathon. Today. Big plans, small delivery. No swim. No long ride. But bike commute. And lovely walk with my buddy. And my knees are totally fine with a little rest. I did weighted lunges yesterday, which I hate. My knees are always sore a little afterwards. But my legs get stronger.

So another blog done.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

28 june. Home stretch

This month has proved quite busy, and I wish that I had spent more time visiting other blogs and offering support.

Today, bike commute, 90 minutes circuit weight lifting, and then 30 minutes on the bike trainer. I would have spent longer in the saddle, but microsoft windows oh so helpfully decided to install a service pack that required a re start during the ride. So I was done for. Odie was happy to get out for a walk a little sooner.

I made progress on my desire to train in the morning. I woke at half six and it was already so hot that I couldn't sleep. I sat in the garden with my coffee and watched butterflies, birds and bees. I didn't actually make it to the bike but I was awake.  Baby steps.

Monday, 27 June 2011

27 june. nearly there

today = rest day. bike commute.
the end!

Sunday, 26 June 2011

26 june

Enjoyed a long run, a great year end concert and then a swim in the north sea after supper. June june busy june.

Friday, 24 June 2011

24 june uke it!

One hour speed work on the trainer. Nine minute intervals are about seven minutes too long.

Now relaxing at a ukele festival in rotterdam. There is more than music in the air.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

23 June not much to report....

today, bicycle commute & weight lifting.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

More juneathon

I did a recovery ride and recovery run yesterday. And bike commute and dog walk today. I hope I will feel more like training tomorrow.  My legs were quite tired yesterday.

Monday, 20 June 2011

19 Juneathon Zandvoort Tri - Run Bike & Run

Zandvoort Tri - Bike & Run at Garmin Connect - Details

I had a great day on Sunday and thoroughly enjoyed the event. I finished in under three hours, which was faster than I expected. The swim was cancelled due to high seas, so we ran an extra bit in the beginning.

I'll come back with a more detailed race report soon. Gotta meet my Monday first.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

18 ready steady... go!

I've spent the whole day getting ready for tomorrow. Including a short virtual ride on tomorrow's course (an old formula 1 race track) and a short run. (30 min ride, 15 min run)

this is the first olympic distance tri I've attempted. I'm excited about it. The three tri's I've completed before were sprint distances. 

Tomorrow is 1km in the sea, 40 km on the bike followed by a 10k run.

The race director indicated that the lifeguards will make the call whether to swim. The seas are predicted to be 6 to 10 feet with very high winds. So if it's not safe, it will be a run-bike-run. I'd rather swim though! I'm packing both warm clothes (if it rains) and warm-weather clothes (if it's sunny). today it has rained and gusted and thundered. And the sun came out too. Pure Dutch weather.

I'm taking the train north since my H needs the car to get my younger son to a tennis tournament and then sailing in the afternoon. It will be a bit of an adventure. But my start's at 13h, so I have plenty of time. The train is only an hour and drops me a ten minute walk from the course.

I've got my food planned, my kit backed, my bike ready. My garmin programmed. I tried to eat and drink enough today. and now it's time to go to bed.

I put on a new Livestrong wrist band tonight. I related to it in a new way.

Friday, 17 June 2011

17 June all clear

Well, that was interesting. The biopsy results came back benign. The doctor who called to explain said the spot was some other normal thing with a Latin name he rattled off.  A weight off my shoulders. My summer race schedule restored. Now I've got to get the details for Sunday's race sorted.

It was curious to observe how I deal with uncertainty, how the threat of illness can clarify priorities and make choices clear. Racing is secondary to health, though for me it is one way I support my health.

In some ways, nothing changed but the thoughts I was thinking. I wonder what other thoughts I can change.

Now, to go translate the race instructions.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

16 June - living with cancer

I'm still adjusting to the idea that I have a form of cancer.  I feel a little frightened and out of sorts. I am glad I'm otherwise really healthy. And I'm glad I got the spot on my back checked. It's easy to put off things like that. Several of my friends have mentioned that seeing a dermatologist has been on their To-Do list and they've made the call.

I decided the good thing about this experience is I can tell people about it and maybe they'll feel motivated to take care of their own health and check out moles and spots.  I found an interesting description on wikipedia that said if you have "an ugly duckling" - a mole or spot that's different from the other ones on your body - you need to have a doctor look at it.

A basal cell carcinoma can have several different appearances. It can be a shiny bump, a sore that heals and then forms again, a pink-colored growth, an irritated reddish patch, or a waxy scar. Sometimes, a basal cell carcinoma may resemble psoriasis or eczema. 

I vacillate between thinking no big deal. This is the kind of cancer that doesn't kill people - at least not very quickly - and blah blah blah. And then I dissolve into some tears, especially if anyone is nice to me and offers me some empathy.

I didn't run today because it was pouring ran and I had to work late and had an appointment that got pushed back to discuss race day nutrition.  I want the fire in my belly that I had on Monday. When I was ready to hit the next six weeks really hard. I think I can still do that. I just need a moment to collect myself.

Sunday's race might be my only tri-race this season. That would be a disappointment. But I can't seriously see postponing cancer treatment in order to be able to race. The cost could be too high.

So, what's on your list - Do you have an "I ought to get around to making that call?"   Do it, because I am going to ask you.

Study shows marathon runners at increased risk of skin cancer

Juneathon activity today? Walk the dog.

15 june

I had a spot on my back checked, and it appears cancerous. Treatment options will be determined next week. On top of feeling a bit fearful and grateful that I got this looked at, I worry that the recovery time from surgery may mean I can't compete as planned next month. The dr indicated I wouldn't be able to swim for a while. And well triathlons typically require swimming, which is why I like them.

Anyway, I'm tapering for a race on sunday, so it was a rest day not counting my usual bike commute.

If you're fair skinned with a history of sun burns, and have a mole that's itchy or irregular, or a brown flat patch that's a bit different this year than last, have a dr look at it. Don't wait. I know you're busy and have other things you'd rather do. But you may be saving your life.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

14 juin. taper dammit

okay. I am just awful at getting to bed early enough to get up early enough to train before going to work. I couldn't fall asleep last night and was still looking at what time it was at 11:30 plus. So when the alarm rang at 6:05 I did the only reasonable thing which was turn it off.

I did get to the gym at lunch for an interval session on the dreadmill, which was quite effective at bringing on the sweat, and showed me that my inability to run fast is mostly mental. I keep increasing the pace only to find that I can actually run faster than I think - at least for a little while. I'm almost ready to try some sub-5 min/km sprints.  But not during the week I'm supposed to be tapering for the Oly on Sunday.  After running, I did all manner of what the trainer said to do - times 20, three rounds each of 8 pairs of exercises. side plank things were easier than I thought they would be.

Something like this, only with a hand weight and reaching under and then twisting up. And recall that I am a blonde. So this is NOT me.  And I did not need to brace my feet against the wall.  However, I did do these on my forearm, not my palm. Gotta save something for later, I think.

And I'm not swimming tonight. I'm going to swim at lunch tomorrow so that I'm not yawning at my desk tomorrow as a result of seeing the other side of midnight (again). Which sounds like the title to a novel. Because it is.  Come Sunday I will be the master of the unexpected.

Monday, 13 June 2011

13 June.

Race countdown

6 days until Zandvoort Olympic distance triathlon

41 days until Antwerp half iron

Plan for the day:

1 hour bike trainer (intervals) - done
1 hour run (tempo  with intervals )

some stretching & work with the foam roller
hot bath

Sunday, 12 June 2011

12 juni tri-training.

today blew by. It's so easy to register for a race. Then you gotta train. Open water swim today, even though I didn't "feel like it". 1400 m along the coast. It felt longer. High winds, big surf, exciting swells. Clear water. No jellies. My son enjoyed surfing.  The day looked like this, though I didn't take this photo.

Then 30 minutes on the bike trainer, doing power-meter intervals.  Yikes. That totally kicked my a$$.  I had planned a 90 minute ride, but thankfully I had dinner guests and I cut the ride short before it killed me. I will look at the watts in the workout and try again tomorrow!  This will certainly strengthen my riding.  The intervals at 230 watts got my heart rate up to 180. Yowzah. I was sweating bullets.  Which reminds me, I need to re-hydrate. And sleep.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

11 juin Total Immersion Swimming Series

(pardon me, juneathoners, while I take some notes on swimming). (today's activities = running - running errands, that is. Plus dog walkies. Plus preparing for training tomorrow.)

Video Series Links (the first five set up the nature of the problem. Starting with no. 6, Terry presents solutions.) (each video is between three  and five minutes)

Part 1 How do We Experience the "Speed Problem?" 
most swim training programs don't give enough information. they focus on working harder and trying to go faster.  These "canned workouts" are influenced by formulas that are supposed to improve your aerobic conditioning. Every set focuses exclusively on how far, and how hard. It’s also One Size Fits All. There’s nothing in it specific to your needs, goals, body type or skill level.

Part 2 Tri-Swim Speed Must be Strategic  
more effort does not naturally lead to faster swimming. In triathlon, working harder does not result in going a lot faster (compare to bike & run)

Part 3 Terrestrial Mammals On Land vs. In Water  
land mammals - swimming by instinct means only tiring more quickly - swim harder = less headway, more turbulence, greater fatigue.

Faster strokes is a problem, not a solution. The secret to speed – is unquestionably to create and maintain Stroke Length. Maintaining Length is a strategic and rational choice that requires a skill that [can be developed].

Part 5 Three Speed Problems  
The solution is a better brain, not bigger muscles or lungs.  Saving energy comes from training the nervous system. The solution is to develop and maintain greater stroke length. 

Part 6 Sustainable Speed Solutions 
Swimming your best pace is far more about Sustainability than Velocity. Or “Do less; get more.”

Here are some specific Do Less examples that have brought More Speed:
  • When working on my armstroke, I think first and foremost about using my arms to: (i) lengthen my body (ii) separate water molecules; and (iii) cause as little noise, splash or bubbles as possible. I think last and least about pulling faster and harder.

  • When working on my kick, I think first and foremost about: (i) getting my legs to draft behind my body; (ii) about using a light, compact toe-flick, not a powerful leg drive and (iii) using non-fatiguing core muscle, not fatigue-prone thigh muscle. I never think about kicking harder and faster.

  • When working on my catch, I focus on: 

  •      (i) starting it as slowly and patiently as possible – indeed to have my hand be still for a nanosecond before stroking; 
  •      (ii) on feeling the lightest possible pressure on my hand and forearm, at any given speed; and 
  •      (iii) on holding my place, rather than pushing back.
RTerry suggests wearing tempo trainer @ 1.1 ("leisurely" in open water) to eliminate pacing errors. 

Part 7 How to Build-Imprint-Hold Stroke Length  

Terry says, The chart is intended as a broad – yet still meaningful – guide. If your stroke count is higher than the range for your height it’s highly likely that pool Balance and Streamline skills are to blame. Target those skills . . . keep repeats short . . . and take as much rest as you need . . . until your stroke count is fairly consistently  inside the prescribed range.  After that, all practice-planning decisions – how many repeats, how long, how fast — should be guided by how they affect your stroke count.

This chart is  for 25 yd pools. For 25m, [for my height] it would be approx 10% higher – so 18-21. And we recommend people start on the higher side and gradually work toward being comfortable at lower numbers within their range.

How can I tell if I'm improving?  There are four metrics to work with:

Distance of the Swim

If you can improve any of the three while keeping the remainders constant, you’ve improved.

The next day find another way to test your ability to improve one metric while preserving the others.

Improvement requires mindful practice.  Balance: co-operate with gravity. counter-intuitive: releasing head; hanging hand (avoid the scoop-up, which causes legs to drop); Lower drag; Streamline: pierce, don't push. (lazy arm - gather a collection of thoughts with which to swim).

Watching for – and trying to eliminate — bubbles in your stroke is a surprisingly simple way of knowing whether your practice is encoding greater efficiency. If you make fewer bubbles, you should also find your stroke count improve.

Terry recommends:  Learn the skills of Balance, Streamline and Whole-Body Propulsion, via a combination of drills and Whole Stroke with Focal Points.
  • When the skill base is established, do practices designed primarily to train the nervous system to maintain continuously-improving (Kaizen) combinations of Stroke Length and Stroke Rate. Let aerobic training ‘happen.’

  • Be disciplined and rigorous in practicing efficient, fluent stroking patterns. Never practice inefficiency in order to go longer or harder.
West Point program: improve  and imprint  the component skills of Balance, Streamline and Whole-Body Propulsion. The evaluation consisted of a ‘ladder’ series of 250-, 500- and 750-yard swims.  Don't go longer until you can complete the distance without exceeding recommended  SPL range.

Once a swimmer completed 250-500-750 with the assigned SPL, they progressed to a higher level challenge: Complete each of the swims at consistent SPL and consistent Pace. I.E. keep both Stroke Length and Stroke Rate consistent for the entire swim.

As their skills deepened, it was expected they would progress continuously to be able to complete them at the lowest count in their range – and consequently at faster paces, even if Stroke Rate remained constant.  (Don't go faster than 1.3 with the T.T. until you can stay in your SPL.)

Mathematically Precise. SPL and Pace are very concrete metrics. On every length of every set, each athlete has exact and personal knowledge of what represents the improvement they’re seeking.

Targeted to Skills that Win Races. While aerobic capacity is no guarantee of placement, any triathlete who can maintain unvarying efficiency and pace will outperform 90 percent of the field in a TriSwim leg.

To Improve Stroke Length You do specialized sets of relatively short repeats — seldom longer than 100m — where speed or pace is mostly besides the point. The sole goal of such sets is to swim at a lower count than usual. These sets can include either drills or whole stroke, in a wide variety of combinations. These sets usually include the following elements:

1. A primary focus on Balance and Streamline. This can be in either drills or whole-stroke, and often combinations such as 25 Drill 25 Swim, or 25 Drill 50 Swim. Whole-stroke laps will most often focus mainly on swimming with a particular Stroke Thought, and testing whether that Stroke Thought results in a lower count.

2. Using a Tempo Trainer at lower rates — most often 1.3 sec/stroke or slower.

This kind of training changes your movement pattern to reduce (1) drag and turbulence caused by how your body moves through the water or how you move arms and legs; and (2) slippage in your stroke. Your goal is to learn to move through the water, rather than move it around.

To Maintain Stroke Length, you do whole-stroke repeats, most often with a goal ofpatiently-and-incrementally increasing the distance you can swim without adding strokes to a high-efficiency SPL. I will often do this with sets like:

[4 x 25 + 3 x 50 + 2 x 75 + 1 x 100] in which my sole focus is to establish an efficient count/pattern on the 25s and test my ability to complete the set while minimizing any increase in count. If I see the count increase when I get to 75s, I would then drop back to the 50s until I strengthen the ‘neural circuit’ for the count I’m focused on holding.

I also do this quite often with Tempo Trainer — I.E. Do the above set with TT set at 1.30 seconds/stroke. If I can maintain my starting SPL to the longest repeat, I might repeat the set at, say, 1.28 sec/stroke. I’m focused on looking for the distance at which my efficient pattern breaks down. Once I find it I’ll do as many repeats as necessary at the level where I can – with keen focus – maintain efficiency.

In Marjorie’s case (whose efficiency breaks down when her distance approaches 1500) it would mean NOT swimming a 1500 if her SPL rises to 27 SPL as she goes. It could perhaps mean continuing to swim so long as SPL is 24, then rest for perhaps 10 seconds after any lap of 25 SPL. Over time, her goal would be to complete the 1500 with fewer — eventually NONE — of those 10-sec breaks.

You’d use a separate kind of set to improve that SPL to 22 — and test the new improved SPL with ‘broken’ 1500s in a similar way. However I should note that while I RACE 1500 to 3000m in open water, 90% of my training reps are 200 or less and I might swim 1500 continuous in the pool as infrequently as once or twice a year. (I do swim such distances continuously at least weekly in open water practice.) [I like this idea]

I often combine the two types of practice. Last October, while visiting Hong Kong I practiced in the 50m pool at Univ of HK. I hadn’t been in a 50m pool in quite a few months. My plan was to start with some easy 200m repeats. Last summer I would have easily maintained 38 SPL on those repeats. This day I started at 39, then saw my SPL increase to 40, 41 and 42 on the next three laps. I tried again and the same thing happened.

So I threw out the plan for 200m repeats and dropped to 50m repeats, focused on two Stroke Thoughts: 

(1) Hang my head until it felt weightless; and 

(2) Separate water molecules and reach an inch or two farther with my extending hand. 

That got my SPL down to 39, then 38, then 37, within 400m of 50m repeats.

Then I did several 100m repeats to test whether I could keep them at a stroke count of 38+39. When I succeeded, I tried some 150 repeats with the same goal. When that worked, I finally resumed doing 200m repeats, and was able to keep my SPL below 40.

If I’d had a Tempo Trainer with me that day I could have substituted that for the Stroke Thoughts on the Improve Stroke Length part of this process. Most likely I’d have started at 1.2 sec/stroke and gradually slowed tempo to, say, 1.25, 1.30, 1.35 until I hit the tempo that gave me an SPL of 36 or 37, then done the increasing-distance set at that tempo.

The point is to commit to practicing efficiency and make all your choices about set design subject to that goal. It’s organic, not formulaic.

Friday, 10 June 2011

10 days of juneathon

I looked at my training schedule and noticed I had done all the hard bits already.  Today was a 30 minute recovery run, which I thoroughly enjoyed with Odie, who was on leash and so had to keep up and occasionally got dragged when what he wanted to do was mark yet another spot. I extended the run out by four minutes by doubling back part of the run to be sure I didn't arrive back at my front door with time still owed on the session. I don't particularly like running back and forth in front of the house.

I "borrowed back" my iPod from my older son and ran with a coaching track by Asafa Powell. Reggae. Fun.  Reminded me how much I enjoy having some music with me.  Since he lost his machine, my son has been using mine. Making it slightly unavailable when I want it. But I like to share.

I ditched Odie at home, put some music on for him, hoping to convince him not to howl while I went to the gym and then picked up my younger son at school.  I'm not sure it worked.

I enjoyed a 75 minute thrashing and a delicious visit to the sauna afterwards.  Now I'm feeling the gravitational pull of the couch and wondering whether I'll rally for swim practice tonight.  I'm the Parent-in-Charge tonight, so it may be that those duties require my presence on the couch.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

9 juni angelic.

For some things, training can wait til later.  Tenth grade year end concert. Angels every one.

The concert was fantastic and ended late.  Training was limited to my bike commute.

Juneathon 8

Even though I got home late, I still did a cycling and running test. Cycle for 50 minutes with two 8 min full out efforts, then run a mile.

Done. Such is the motivation that juneathon gives.just get it done.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

7 June running free

Today, I ran 45 minutes, doing speed drills on the treadmill. I don't like running indoors as much as running outdoors. But the pollen count is lower. I enjoyed a short warm up then some 100m pick-ups, then 400m intervals. I pushed through at a 5:30 min/km pace.  I can run faster than I think. I need to keep my brain out of the way.

I'm reading an inspirational book by marathoner and Ironman Matt Long about his return to sport after getting nearly killed on his bike. I've just started the book, but it inspired me to work harder when I ran today.  Matt took his experience to a new level and founded "I Will", dedicated to helping people who've been injured overcome the trauma.  I have a well-functioning health body. No excuses.

I decided not to go to swim practice tonight. I'm quite tired and have an important meeting tomorrow morning.  When I swim at 10 p.m. I often have trouble going to sleep before 1 a.m., and feel tired the next day. So, I will swim earlier in the evening tomorrow, although without coaching.

Monday, 6 June 2011

6 Juneathon

Today's a rude awakening back at the office after three days away. Tonight is Iyengar yoga. I'll come back and confirm once the deed is done and posted on Running Free. DONE!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

5 June - finally a run! a real run!

My Sunday routine seems to be doing last week's gym/running/cycling laundry to prepare for this week. And today is no different. I got the machine running early, cleaned up the kitchen and then went for an hour's lap swim. Since today is cloudy and cool, everyone else was in the pool too.  The density reminded me of a childhood game called hens and chicks. It was my own fault there were no lane markers - I slept through the lap swim session this morning.  I managed.

I still have a long run planned. But first, I need to change the laundry. Odie is confident that I haven't forgotten him.

The real question is VFF, barefoot or shod?  What's it gonna be?  The last time I took the new Vibrams out, the inner seams gave me wicked blisters. Granted, it was my own fault for ignoring the pain as I ran. But my first pair never did such a thing to me.   I will leave you with that burning question and let you know what I have decided after the deed is done.

My last thought to share is that I'm needing to change my self-talk. I have had my training season interrupted with allergies and then bronchitis. I'm still not back to a full training load. So my wicked, negative mind keeps picturing these awful showings at the races coming up. I need to bend my mind into showing me a positive picture, focusing on my very good base fitness level, the training I have put in, and my enjoyment of sport. I'm not "in it to win it," I'm just out there for the pleasure of the day. My goal is to train with enough purpose and intensity that the events I've chosen are within my ability, albeit with a bit of a push.  I want to stop scaring myself when I look at the course time limits.   So I'm picturing positive joy-filled starts and  finishes.

Now, about that laundry.

I know you were much more interested in the run. Well, it's done. With Mizunos. I  decided two weeks away from the Zandvoort tri, I didn't want new blisters.  Hard pack sand; some soft sand. Boy that's hard work. Out into the wind, back on my back. 30 seconds per kilometer difference. 90 minutes, 5 w/u & cool down. 80 minutes 10.9 km. Very nice relaxing pace.   All those nice jellies I met yesterday? Well, they're sunning themselves on the beach today.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Zandvoort Quarter Triathlon

How did June get here so quickly!  I will race my first Olympic distance triathlon on Sunday, 19 June in Zandvoort.

The course looks pretty interesting to me. I like swimming in the sea much more than swimming in a pool.

 And the bike course is on a motor raceway. With banked turns. Cool.

Reading websites in Dutch is a pain. Sorry, but it is. So I'm collecting bits as I read and translate, in preparation for the race.  Here's the tide table. 

Starting Times

10:30 hoursEighth triathlon Seniors, Masters (40 +) and Trios
Short Run-Bike-Run
11:30 hoursTrio's triathlon and quarter Seniors
Long Run-Bike-Run
13:00 hoursTriathlon Quarter Masters (40 +)

1/4  triathlon: swim 1000 meters, 40 km. cycling and 10 km. run

13.00 uur Start ¼ triathlon masters
13.10 uur Finish 1e zwemmer
13.30 uur Finish laatste zwemmer
14.10 uur Finish 1e fietser
15.00 uur Finish laatste fietser
14.40 uur Finish 1e loper
16.15 uur Finish laatste loper

Transition demo. Ha ha ha ha.

4 June spin fest

This is no doubt a personal best I cannot beat:  Garmin says my max speed today was  87.038,2 km/h.  EIGHTY SEVEN THOUSAND KM/H.

The rest of the ride was a wee bit slower, but I pushed it a bit and sometimes nestled in a pocket with other riders.  I had planned 120 km, but the A12 was closed, requiring a major bit of extra driving to get to the start point. And I got a late start. And it was gusting. The tour group offers 30, 60, 120, and 160 courses.  I wish they had an 80 or 90. That would have been just right.  At 2.5 hours, this was a little short.  But I had a great time. (especially with bulging back pockets!)

Bucolic is the word that comes to mind. And sweat is the other one. Hot and sunny. I have a wicked headache right now from dehydration. Now to figure out what's for dinner.

Friday, 3 June 2011

3 June First of the Season: Open Water Swim, North Sea

I wish I looked like this in my new wet suit. But I'm a blonde.

Today was simply a perfect day for the beach. Warm air and water temperatures, bright blue skies, and enough windy gusts to make the kite sailors very happy.  I had a fabulous season-opener in the North Sea today.  I splashed around in the waves for a while, getting used to the water temperature and the jelly fish. And the brown-green organic matter that obscures visibility.  My husband and son, also in wet suits, were  out with  boogie boards.  Odie swam after a tennis ball until he was exhausted and quite full of sea water.

After I felt ready, I swam about a kilometer along the shore line, going with the current from the incoming tide. I thought about sharks only occasionally and didn't see any.  I grabbed a fist-full of jellies with most strokes.  I didn't find my  long distance rhythm - more like 4 or 6 strokes, check I'm not swimming to England, 4 or 6 strokes, check I'm not going to be eaten by something I can't see.   Bi-lateral breathing was just fine. The wet suit is supple and  slippery. Simply fantastic.

My major goal for the first half of the year was to get lean enough that this new suit would fit properly. And it does. My next goal is to get lean enough that my new tri-suit fits for the half in July.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

2 June - the heart-breaking world of child brides

If you read my report about my first marathon, you'll recall that I ran in memory of a child-bride who died of injuries after her new husband raped her. You can find my essays here and here.  Today I saw a riveting photo essay in National Geographic Magazine about the challenges of ending child marriage in societies of rigid tradition. These images are from the photo essay.

Kandahar policewoman Malalai Kakar arrests a man who repeatedly stabbed his wife, 15, for disobeying him. "Nothing," Kakar said, when asked what would happen to the husband. "Men are kings here." Kakar was later killed by the Taliban.
You can read the full story here.   What can we do?

To me, the key is education, even if a girl's family has to be paid to keep her in school.  I need to find a way to make more of a difference in this world. So I'm sharing this with you. What will you do with this information? How do you contribute to the safety and well-being of the girls and boys in your community?

I still need to move for the day. I have already ridden my bike. Today is a public holiday, so the gyms and public pools are closed. I want to either run or swim and I will do some body weight exercises at home.

Update: I rode my bike home & I've stretched and I think that's enough for today. I've trade pretty intensively the last several days, and I have the day off tomorrow. So I think I'll rest.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

away we go! 1 June

here you go, peeps. Indoor cycling sweat fest.   Tonight was a gorgeous evening, I would rather have ridden outdoors. But my eyes are still bulging when exposed to air. So I stayed inside, and did not ride in the dunes. One hour. I'm going to eat and then stretch.

If you want to follow me on my journey to lean and powerful, you can read about what I eat on my food blog. That will make two readers. You and me.