Saturday, June 15, 2013

We have moved...

I am no longer posting on this blog because I have decided to incorporate both my Ironman wife diary entires with  regular posts on all things triathlon on my TriCrew website which has been recently re-designed.

TriCrew is all about a triathlon lifestyle. How best to train and race, eat well and stay healthy, avoid injury, remain focussed, and plan so you can achieve your dreams and enjoy the journey of racing triathlon. A triathlon lifestyle requires a balance between your work, your family and your passion. We want to encourage, inspire and share your triathlon journey.

Come and check it out here.

If you have subscribed to this blog I would love it if you visited TriCrew and subscribe to my new Feedburner if you want regular updates. You can also subscribe to my newsletter which I will launch in August.

I look forward to continuing to share our triathlon journey with you and hear more about yours!

Lisa xx

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Ironman Melbourne has arrived!

Now this must make everyone involved in Ironman Melbourne nervous! I am nervous and I'm not racing.

As I write, I am watching the coloured net bags being packed, final checks on nutrition, supplies and equipment.

Last night as I talked to fellow Ironman wives I felt overwhelmed by the discussions on how we get from T1 to T2 and the finish line - it's not an easy task being a supporter either!

So this post is short and sweet since there are many things to sort through today. You may enjoy my post The Day Before which I wrote before the Hawaii Ironman last year. There is a lot to organise and think through!

I wrote a post on my TriCrew last night.

For a some supporter tips for the day see here. Make a plan, tell your athlete and on the day things may  happen but you can only do your best - they know you are there supporting whether they see you or not.

IronmanLive and the IronTrac app will help you track your athletes but one tip from experience, all the trackers may melt down and you will have to reply on your trusty watch, your instinct and other supporters!!

To follow us on our race day experience, join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

If you are here in Melbourne, I wish you all the best as an athlete and supporter. I hope you have an amazing day with special memories, goals achieved and challenges met.

See you out on the course!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ironman Melbourne: 4 sleeps to go - words of wisdom?

There are so many words of wisdom to inspire - a few that are repeated amongst triathletes include:

 - or "memories last forever"


You can quit and nobody will ever care 
but you will always know..

And one to repeat to yourself when you are digging deep....

A few other favourites of ours:

From our friend, Tim:
"Every decision you make, you make about yourself"
From runner Steve Prefontaine:
"A lot of people run a race to see who is fastest. I run to see who has the most guts, who can punish himself into exhausting pace, and then at the end, punish himself even more."
And anon:
 "You finish last in 100% of the races you don't start."

So here is hoping all of you competing in Ironman Melbourne get to the starting line, make the right decisions for you, manage to push through the pain, do the best you can on the day and come across the finish line with a medal and many special memories.

Final words from the mouth of my Ironman:
   Bring it on!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Ironman Melbourne: 5 Sleeps - Making a List & Checking it Twice

Packed yet? Are you organised or not so? Do you pack last minute or make a list and check it twice (or three times) ?

I have to admit that Ironman is looking more organised than me this time around - maybe because I'm thinking it's only Melbourne and I only have one child in tow...

However, I need to remind myself I ended up buying warm clothes last time so maybe I need to be bit more prepared (I should really be packing not writing) - then again Melbourne is the shopping capital!

But, it's not about me... and the most important luggage is the bike and the kit of course!

To help you in your packing endeavours, here are a few tips to avoid suitcase and travel disasters when travelling by plane to a Triathlon:

  • Don't pack C02 cartridges (and don't forget to buy at other end!)
  • Make sure you double seal the electrolyte powder (pretty sticky stuff if it leaks!) Ditto with gels. I use snap lock bags then plastic Decor container to double seal.
  • Lots of plastic shopping bags are useful to pack dirty shoes and smelly lycra
  • Don't pack too many t-shirts - you usually add 2-3 new Tri ones to your collection each race.
  • Use a Decor  container to store all the little stuff like bike tools and salt containers.
  • Take race kit for all weather conditions.
  • Pack the expensive stuff like watch, SRM and iPod in your carry on.
  • Take wet weather gear for supporters - and a good back pack (you will be walking far)
  • Don't forget the camera, charger and connector cords. Video camera?
  • Triathlon ID required for check in
All I can think of for  now. Very useful that we are heading to Melbourne since you can get most things there if you forget :-)

Any more tips you can add?

For some more packing and travel tips - check our PJ's suggestions here.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Ironman Melbourne: 7 sleeps to go - a recap from 1 yr ago

This time next week Mike Reilly will be calling the final few hours of Ironman Melbourne.

I thought today would be a good day to post a shortened version of my husbands race report from last year which gives a brief of overview of the course and his experience of the day.

As we know, depending on the weather, it could be very different this year. Also, the swim course route has changed, start time is later so no swimming in the dark and now the run loop at the beginning is an extra 1km so finish line is at St.Kilda Gardens not out front of the St.Kilda Baths.

Enjoy the read - and if this is your first Melbourne Ironman and you have any questions, fire away, he would be happy to answer.


Ironman Melbourne swim course is located in Frankston, which is 42km south of the finish line in St.Kilda. This is unique as Melbourne presents the only “point to point” run course on the Ironman circuit.

The course is not without a few logistical challenges as bike check in on Saturday afternoon in Frankston requires a return trip of approx 80kms for the majority of competitors who based themselves in St. Kilda.

Buses to Frankston were arranged by the race organisers for Saturday bike check in and Sunday race morning. We jumped on a bus 4:45am Sunday morning and arrived in Frankston approx 40min later.

Race morning check in went smoothly, I spent less than 10min setting up my bike before taking the weight off my legs to prepare for the day ahead.

The Swim start was out of the ordinary as a large number of swimmers decided they were good to go before the gun fired! I was swimming to the start line when I saw the field take off so hit the start button on my watch and got amongst it.

The swim course starts in front of the Frankston pier and is rectangular with 1.6kms to the first turning buoy. Compared to other Ironman swims I had minimal contact except for a rogue kick to the side of my head, which came out of nowhere. A bit more than half way through the swim I noticed my hands then arms go numb. This has not happened before but lesson learnt re wearing a sleeveless wetsuit in Port Phillip Bay!


As usual it was frantic stripping off the wetsuit and putting on helmet etc for the ride. I had packed arm warmers and a vest to wear over my race singlet but decide against putting them on, as I wanted to get on the bike ASAP. BIG mistake! I spent the next 90min the coldest I’ve been in a race. My fingers were next to useless so I was changing gears with the back of my hand.

Ironman Melbourne bike course takes place on the Eastlink Freeway, which is a mostly flat road with a few undulations and a 2km hill going into a tunnel at the turn around. You can stay in the big chain ring climbing both sides. The road surface is excellent and with slight winds on Sunday, times were fast.

I was able to set a fairly high pace on the bike with speeds in excess of 40km/h on the flats for the first 2 hours, completing the first 90km lap in 2:20. I watched my SRM hit some pretty high numbers but didn’t feel I was stepping into the abyss so kept it rolling.

Overall the bike course is fast if not windy and has lots of false flats. 


The first 2kms of the run course is an out and back section, which is the only time during the marathon where you see other competitors running towards you. After the first 2kms the course follows The Bay north to St.Kilda. The number of spectators on the course was great with plenty of encouragement and funny comments along the way.

Good mates had bikes and rode the marathon course, which meant every 5, or 10, kms I had them giving it to me as only mates can! My wife was in a car, which meant I was also receiving some loving support. The other option for supporters to follow their triathlete was via a bus that could drop you off at ‘live’ sites at approx every 10km.

The run course is flat for the first 23kms. From 23kms to 34kms there are a series of long undulations that feel anything but easy to run in a fatigued state. I ran the first 21kms in 1:35 feeling good. At the 25km mark, running up a short hill from The Bay to the road it was as though someone dropped a small car on my back. Two runners that I had passed went by during the next kilometer and I felt like I was going backwards. We like to tell ourselves to “Eat the Pain” but every step was agony and I still had 17 bloody kms to run!

I had to block the thought of another 90mins of tortured running out of my head so I focused on staying relaxed with good form and running 6 feet in front of me over and over and over. Getting through to 35kms the wheels were starting to fall off.

Coming to the 40km mark I saw two competitors ahead of me, and from the look of them they were in my crusty age group! Having previously missed going to Hawaii Ironman by one finish place
I didn’t want it to happen again so dug in and passed them with one running behind me for a few hundred meters until I didn’t hear his laboured breathing any longer. Fortunately they were more stuffed than me so I managed to shuffle by.

Then at last… I was in the final 500m. The crowd was massive, music pumping, people screaming and I heard my name a few times but I wasn’t going to relax and enjoy it as I sensed another competitor was approaching so I did a final burst to get across the line.  Mates who were at the finish line told me later I was imagining the afore mentioned runner but I checked the results and some dude was 6 seconds behind me!

The race was not easy but I managed a 30min PB, which qualified me for a start in the Hawaii Ironman in October.

The Organisation

As a first event in an urban setting this race was bound to offer some strategic challenges for the organisers. We loved it being in Melbourne, which is renowned for it’s great cafes and shops. The expo was in a huge circus like tent that sat right next to the bay. The finish line was positioned between the beach and restaurants. These restaurants hosted the carbo and award dinners and they converted the expo tent into a huge theatre for the awards night, which worked well. 

The weather was changing by the day (note to bring layers of clothes including warm jacket) with an 80km hour northerly (headwind for entire marathon) on the Thursday. However, the weather gods smiled on us on race day with light winds on the bike and run.

Looking back at all the other Ironman events we have attended this one was a cut-above anything we have experienced – apart from Hawaii. We will definitely be back for more. Well done to the organisers!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Ironman Melbourne: 8 days to go - a family affair

Exactly a year ago I wrote a post on my Tricrew website titled "Thoughts from an Ironman Wife".

This week I came across it again and I also discovered a post I had forgotten about on Beyond Transition website which quoted my blog post and was titled the same as my t-shirt (which some of you may have seen me wear) - Behind Every Ironman is a Woman of Steel.

These past posts inspired me today to talk about families.

Denis Oakley on Beyond Transition noted:
 an Ironman journey is made by a family, not just the Ironman.
My t-shirt came about as a statement and reminder to all those at Ironman events to not forget the role partners play on the Ironman journey. We support at home in many ways, and it is our support that helps the triathlete to focus on what is required in order to get to the starting line.

Now, as the Ironman journey comes to an end for those racing in Melbourne next weekend, it is a time to  not only celebrate your achievements and reflect on the journey, but also to show your thanks to everyone who helped you along the way - especially your family.

Next Sunday afternoon when you finally cross that finish line, despite the exhaustion, please don't forget to high five the kids, thank all your supporters (even the strangers who cheer you out on the course) and plant a nice sweaty kiss on your partners cheek.

We are all very proud :-)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Ironman Melbourne: 9 days to go - a message for competitors

This is a message for all the men and women who will be racing at Ironman Melbourne next weekend:

You must rest your body! 

There is just over eight days until you will be lining up for a challenge that will test your body and your mind. You have trained for months and now there is no need to over do it.

I can see that my Ironman is in need of good sleep, healthy food and a calm mind. So, my post message of STOP is to say now you are allowed to taper and rest. 

Sure, tapering doesn't mean stopping altogether - this post on the Active website has some great advice on effective tapering and points out two common mistakes people make when tapering  -(i) not tapering for long enough and (ii) going at too high intensity when tapering. So take note.

Now I am no expert by any means but I do believe in listening to your body, so if you feel tired as many do at this point, take what rest you can.

Remember too -  avoid planning too many activities in the lead up days to the race, don't overdo it once you get to the race location by feeling you have to swim, ride and run over the whole course length,  and make sure you take care of your body inside and out so it is in top condition for race day.

Thats all I need to say tonight xx

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Ironman Melbourne - 10 Days to go...

So I just screen shot this - are the nerves setting in? Excitement? Apprehension? Sense of urgency?

Here's another one...

This is the day we arrive - as many from interstate and overseas will. We have all been watching the weather forecasts and hearing about the longest sequence of 30 plus days Melbourne has experienced  ever! So what will happen next weekend?

We have been remembering last years weather. It was so cold that I had to buy a jacket and scarf. I just didn't expect it. Peter froze in the swim on the day and didn't have warm gear for the bike. By the time he hit the run, it started to heat up but really conditions were such (and we were lucky) that it ended up being a fast race as not too hot and little wind.

Peter's feelings on next weekend - 1% chance the conditions will be as good as they were last year. 

In the couple of days we were at St Kilda pre-race last year it was so windy with waves hitting the bay that they cancelled the swim practice and it looked like if conditions remained there would be no swim - and a very tough run into the headwind.

This year,  if its really hot and there is a northerly blowing the Melbourne Ironman course will go from being one of the fastest Ironman courses to one of the slowest.

Be prepared!

For competitors take gear for all conditions. It could be cold and rainy or hot and sunny so take wet weather kit, warm kit  - take it all. At least it seems the water will be barmy compared to last year.

For supporters - same goes. It's long day out there and quite a way to travel between start and finish, so will be no fun at all on a wet, windy or very hot day  - especially with kids! (more about spectating on the course another day).

So start the packing list and lets do a little weather dance :-)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

IRONMAN CHALLENGE - Counting down the days..

OK. We have reached eleven days until race day so I have decided to mix it up and now count down the days beginning tomorrow. 

What has become very clear to me since I set myself this posting challenge is that with everything else going on in life its not easy to come up with a post every day! I take my hat off to those who do manage this on the thousands of other blogs out there.

What I  have just spent lots of time on however is redesigning my TriCrew website. Still needs a few tweeks but I am pretty happy with how it is coming together. Now I just need lots more content for you all. Let me know what you think?

To keep things all about Ironman Melbourne on these posts and as a catch up to the days missed, read my latest post on TriCrew and an old post linking you to websites on St Kilda and what to do in Melbourne.

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, March 9, 2013

IRONMAN CHALLENGE DAY 10/11: Essentials B4 you leave

Now we are entering the final two weeks before Ironman Melbourne - the lists need to be made. 

Here's a simple check list of mine for this week to make sure bookings are in place and we don't miss out.  Hope its a good little reminder for you too!

  • Flights and extra baggage
  • Accommodation 
  • Transport to accommodation and back and/or car hire
  • Bus tickets for travel to and from Frankston
  • Bike transport for Ironman's bike to check in
  • Bike hire (in St Kilda)
  • Welcome and Awards dinner tickets (for partners/family/friends)

Did I forget anything?

Packing lists is a whole other ball game - will leave another post for that one!

Thursday, March 7, 2013


Are you travelling to Ironman Melbourne from another state or country? Are you taking family and friends? Are you planning a holiday around the race?

My post title is A Balancing Act. Why? Because thats how I see it when organising yourself to travel to a race destination.

Travelling to a location for an Ironman event requires balancing a number of things:

1. Get to destination with all equipment required.
2. Manage your week so the triathlete rests up and is prepared for race day.
3. Settle and sort so that you know where to get the right food and other essentials for race day.
4. Make time to register, walk around expo and attend events that happen pre and post race.
5. Organise yourself for race day as a supporter (and of course triathlete enters The Zone  - as I call it)
6. Be prepared for post-race recovery and celebrations.

To add to this, is the balance between the above race related activities and enjoying your new surrounds, being with family and relaxing.

Travelling for a triathlon is not a holiday.

Lets be truthful here. You have probably taken time off work and spent lots of money on air travel and accommodation (as well as triathlon related expenses) and getting away from routine is a nice break but it isn't a true holiday in the sense that there are no plans, no commitments and lots of time to lie around and do nothing!

You are travelling for an experience which will certainly be memorable but you will probably need a holiday after it!

So the point of this blog is to say, try and get the balance right.

Yes you need to be prepared for a big race like Ironman. There are certain things that have to be done. BUT make sure you allocate some rest time. Wander around the local area, visit a cafe or restaurant with the family, play with the kids, give your spouse some time to do what interests them, and try not to talk triathlon 24/7.

Taking this balanced approach will keep the family happier and help to make your trip away feel a bit more like a holiday for all.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

IM CHALLENGE Day 7 & 8 - Kona Inspiration

So I am failing already on my Ironman Challenge...but I know you all love these inspirational videos!

Here is one to get you fired up to put it all on the line in Melbourne and walk away with a ticket to The Big Island this year.

These videos even get into my head and make me think, maybe one day...

Sunday, March 3, 2013

IRONMAN CHALLENGE DAY 5 & 6 - Taking a Break

So I have lapsed already. I am feeling guilty. Yesterdays post didn't happen.

I did attempt to write at 10pm after a day long conference which zapped my brain. However, I rolled into bed no post, feeling unwell and guilty that I had decided to not get up early this morning and compete in a triathlon I had signed up for. On the flip side however, I have woken up with a post ready to roll, guilt subsided and I'm still in bed at 9.30am :-)

I want to talk about TAKING A BREAK.

I am a very happy Ironman wife this morning because for the first time in a long time I had a kid free sunday morning with my Ironman.

No 5am alarm clock, no waking up in an empty bed, no kids arguing.

I got cuddles. I got to sit with my husband over a leisurely breakfast reading the papers and discussing things we just haven't time to think through. We hopped back into bed amazed at how good it felt to laze around. We looked out our bedroom doors at the overcast windy weather and felt no regrets for deciding to say 'no' to our usual routine and just take a break.

So when did you last do this?

Ironman training requires dedication and consistency. It means following a training plan that lasts months. Six weeks before, there are crazy weekend sessions of long rides on the bike, maybe in wind and rain, then a run or a swim. Back at home after devouring all that is in the fridge, you collapse for the rest of the day. Kids may run around the house needing to release their pent up energy but you are just spent.

I am OK with this as an Ironman wife. It  has been our lives for so long that I understand how it works. We fit in with the routine knowing that it's just those key weeks prior to race day.

We are now in  the last couple of weeks before Ironman Melbourne. This is tapering time. The body needs to rest. There is still some training and there are race and travel plans to think through but this is also the time that you are allowed to say 'no' just for one day!

I am now hearing the wind trainer next door, however I know my Ironman has had a great sleep and he has happy wife who is still lazing around and readying herself to refocus and start planning for the pre-race build up.

It is OK to give the body and the mind a break even if it's just briefly. Don't feel guilty. Know that at this point, the body is ready but it's also close to burnout.  You need to listen to what it's saying to you.

Get enough sleep, have a massage, stretch, eat well, take time to look at the big picture and appreciate where you are at. You need to focus on having everything in balance so you are ready for the best race of your life.

Take  a break from routine - I promise you won't regret it!

Friday, March 1, 2013

IM CHALLENGE Day 4 - Inspirational Ironman Video

I happily tell anyone that if they want to be inspired to exercise, to set some lifetime goals or follow a dream then they just need to watch a few Ironman World Championship videos.

Here is a 10 minute video from IM Arizona last November that does the job too!

Get inspired, feel the tingles and let the excitement about being part of Ironman Melbourne begin.

If you can't view the embedded video please view here:

Thursday, February 28, 2013

IRONMAN CHALLENGE DAY3 - 2012 Melbourne Ironman Snap Shots

A few location and memorabilia snapshots 
from the inaugural Ironman Melbourne 2012

IRONMAN CHALLENGE - DAY 2: Living with an Ironman

Things in a house where an Ironman lives which could drive you crazy...

  • LYCRA and in particular washing lycra. The stinky wet mounds seem to be never-ending.
  • GEL PACKS and POWDER - sticky and leaking, they are never fun to clean up.
  • WATER BOTTLES - where to store them and how to wash the mould out of them.
  • BIKES - where to store them and how many do you really need!
  • RUNNING SHOES - smelly, wet and how do you dispose of them every six months?
  • RACE TOWELS and T-SHIRTS - no more room and do we really need to keep every one for sentimental reasons!

And habits that could drive you even crazier....

  • Early alarm clocks most days - need I say more.
  • Flipside of above - afternoon kips or Ironman passed out on couch before kids are even in bed
  • Shaved legs - think my Ironman shaves more than me! 
  • Waivering waistlines - only so many times you can get suit pants taken in and back out again.
  • Watching race videos - after ten years of watching every Hawaii Ironman race over and over I am feeling quite the expert.
  • Pre-race routines - you just pray that nothing has been forgotten
  • Race planning - many nights of discussions are in vain if you don't have fast fingers when entries open, and it's back to the drawing board!
  • First words out of the mouth post-race 'NEVER AGAIN' - you know that it's the pain talking, then the pain subsides and you know you will be back again!

What could you add to my list?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013



My first daily ironman post is some Pinspiration....follow my Triathlon Board on my Pinterest page for inspirational quotes, Ironman memories and video links.

My Ironman Challenge

I'm back! I know it's been a while...I never got around to adding a Hawaii overview. I didn't post when over at Ironman WA. I haven't written about being a 'newbie' (yes, I am now swimming , biking and running!)  - but there is no joy in looking back at what stories could have been told. Best to always look ahead!

So, I have returned with a challenge.

Yesterday it was exactly four weeks until the Ironman Asia Pacific Championships in Melbourne. Yes, we are returning! We have come full circle and are returning to where my Ironman clocked his bike PB and nabbed a Hawaii spot - and I just love visiting Melbourne!

Today,  I begin my Ironman swimming, biking or running involved. 

The challenge to myself is to post on this blog every day for the next four weeks, finishing up with a Melbourne Ironman report the day after the race - March 25.

My topic for every post will be Ironman triathlon - with a focus on the upcoming Melbourne race. It might be a long post or a short one, it may be an image, video, quote or links but come back every day (or subscribe) and I will be talking all things IRONMAN !

Would love your input, ideas and feedback too.

Will be back tomorrow (actually later today since I have taken so long to write this!) with post #1.