August Blog - The sweet taste of running and homebody life
Written for trainingtilt.
A monthly update from Amelia Rose Watkinson on aspects of pro triathlete life - August 2018
The last month of “winter”. The Sunshine Coast version, with basically 0mm rain, lows of 6, highs of 28 (except for 70.3 Sunshine Coast race day). Also when snakes come out of hibernation, shed their skins, realise they’re hungry and prepare for sun basking time.
The Asics are out of hibernation
3rd August marked my first taste of running in 5.5 months, and boy it felt good. I carefully placed my toe spacers, donned a ‘fresh’ pair of Asics, which actually had 100+km of walk miles in them and I walked 90sec, ran 30sec, fast. As running fast holds good form, none of this sloppy, heaving, overloading stuff. Unfortunately, it seemed some of the tendons and ligaments in my left foot had enjoyed their offseason a little too much and the back of my ankle flared up, this was a pretty upsetting moment. But only a small hiccup to the schedule, some time off running and more light stability exercises set things up nicely to get back at it within 2 weeks.
Since then its been a steady suit of walk-running every second day for 30min (sometimes I add in a 5min walk first, to warm the ankles). 1min walk, 1min run was definitely most efficient. Now that I’m feeling comfortable, walking tends to break the stride and I very occasionally look down at my watch and realise I completely missed my walk section. But the walk makes a big difference to the loading on the metatarsals.
Basking nicely in our new house
Our house is awesome. So much so a couple of giant blue tongue lizards came inside for a visit. Also, a couple of noisy geckos seem to have residency in the rafters. We’ve been to Bunnings to get some garden clippers so you can walk down the garden path and some handheld power tools to build a hanging bike rack. Yet to buy the lawnmower, hoping the neighbours will let us borrow theirs in exchange for a bottle of wine. The garage is still the most furnished room of the house thanks to our hearty collection of bikes and running shoes. The opp shop is slowly providing quirky items for the living area. We’ve got some good renovation ideas already, but they will be a fair way down the track. Though there was talk of installing a projector as 4 of us huddled around one laptop to watch 70.3 Worlds (when FB live wasn’t producing a black screen).
The shedding process
Snakes shed their skins every couple of months (the process of ecdysis). It allows them to grow and preserves their health. It migrates away from inadequate vegetation, unrestrains itself and rids itself of parasites that have latched on. For a week or so they have impaired vision and are susceptible to predators but its an inevitable process of growth.
I totally believe in the cliche saying that “Everything happens for a reason / there's always a silver lining”. I’ve now had the opportunity to reflect on my past series of months where injury plagued a significant part of life. I’ve come to the realisation that had I not been injured, I would probably still be roaming around Asia, racing lots and absolutely loving day to day life. But feeling like I was missing a part of the puzzle, and not making the gains that I need, to make the next jump in performance level as a professional triathlete. Plus I’m stoked with my swimming gains; 22sec pbover 400m. My bike miles haven’t been quite as consistent as my swimming, with a few weeks off here and there, but my test sessions are in and around my bike racing seasons.
’The Art of Racing in the Rain’ by Garth Stein.
(Also a movie if you don’t like reading, though I haven’t watched it). Written form a dogs point of view, his owner is a formula1 racing driver, it details the highs and lows of a tough family life with a persevering undertone throughout it, including a couple of inspiring quotes.
“There is no dishonour is losing the race. Only dishonour is not racing because you are afraid to lose.”
“The sun rises every day. What is to love? Lock the sun in a box. Force the sun to overcome adversity in order to rise. Then we will cheer! I will often admire a beautiful sunrise, but I will never consider the sun a champion for having risen.”
’The imitation game (2014)’
True story based, during WW2 a team of mathematicians tries, and successfully decrypts the German Enigma code. Apparently, it has some controversies over is historical accuracy.
“Sometimes it’s the people no one imagines anything of, who do the things that no one can imagine.”
2hrs total. Warm up 30min. 6x10min hard /2min easy between. 20min warm down. Increase your watts by 10-15watts repetition. Start at a wattage where you middle few reps will be around your FTP. When I first did this set I thought the first one was way too easy, around the middle I didn’t think I was going to hit my target watts, then by the last one I though I could do a couple more. I love intensity building efforts.
(Alex requested post 8hr training day)
Pasta (gluten-free or Quinoa is good)
Red cabbage finely chopped (or peeled beetroot)
Broccoli very finely chopped
Kale finely chopped
Sunflower seeds toasted
Sundried tomatoes sliced
Olive oil, salt, pepper, Tabasco sauce if you like spicy
Beyond excited and very hungry for the latter half of this years race season!
(We almost ran over a 7ft python this afternoon which inspired some snake research, hence the snake undertone)