Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Blog now in charliepaul.com

My blog is now embedded in www.charliepaul.com so please visit me there for all news, race reports and much more exciting stuff!!

Thanks for all your support

Happy Training


Sunday, May 10, 2009

charliepaul.com is LIVE!

I'm very excited to announce the launch of www.charliepaul.com
my very first ever website.

Check it out!

It's been designed by www.impeto.com.au who've done an amazing job. These are the guys you should go to for websites, online marketing, adword campaigns, whatever online solutions you need.

For all my news, photos, race reports and training articles please visit www.charliepaul.com/news

Thanks for visiting


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Come and train with me!

Would you like an opportunity to train with myself, consistent top 10 Ironman finisher Chris Dmitrieff and ironguides Coach Kristian Manietta in the triathlon mecca Noosa on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia for 3-5 days of great training in a stunning location?

Then join us for the ironguides Noosa Camp - June 17-21 (choice of 3-5 days).

Click here for full details and to sign up.

Noosa is blessed with a wonderful climate year round, amazing beaches, exceptional facilities, year round open water swimming, plenty of challenging hinterland and coastal cycling and endless trails and dirt country roads for all your training needs. Come see why many of the worlds best call Noosa home.

This 3-5 day camp is a perfect opportunity to get some highly specific triathlon training in if you're racing in the upcoming Half Ironman Series events (August through November) or if you have qualified for Kona and want to ensure you're doing all the 'right' things in your preparation. It is also an opportunity to switch everything else off and get some really good quality training in "Method Style".

Come and learn the critical components of longer distance racing and training, including strength, nutrition and recovery. i.e. The body's five systems and how they impact your training! Coach Kristian will teach you how to balance your training better so you recover quicker and race faster while not making the BIG THREE common mistakes in training today.

Click here for full details and to sign up.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Busso Half Win

I think I've set a scary precedent.
Actually I like it- normally I race halves before my Ironman races, so I get very little taper- the Half isn't the goal- I need to train through. This time I got 2 weeks "taper"!

I'm really happy with my result- A PB, a win and I'm just amazed that I could do it after I was so shattered post China.- Which seemed like only yesterday. Now with another race under the belt, it seems like a long time ago.

My week in Busselton was fantastic. I really enjoyed the schedule that TriWA put together for us pros- visiting a local school, chatting with the TriWA junior elites, a course swim and the best bit, congratulating kids at the finish of their triathlon.

Kristian and I also had a booth at the Expo for our Trigger Point Therapy tools, which was really successful.

Busso put on the perfect day for us, clear blue skies and very little wind. The swim was really calm, but there were a million hiding stingers. Lucky for me I don't react to them, but for a lot of people they were quite painful.

I swam a 26:42, which sounds good, but put me 2 mins off the leading female, Lisa Marangon. I felt fine, but lacked zip!

The bike was heaps of fun especially on the first lap, where we got clear roads, and I really enjoyed just getting into my rhythm and pushing hard. I overtook a couple of girls, and then remained in 2nd behind Lisa for the rest of the ride. Laps 2 and 3 were pretty hectic with the largest field Busso Half has ever seen- 1,100 individuals and 250 teams.

Kristian had to withdraw from the race due to a severe cold, so I was using his Zipp disc. What a treat! I'd never used one before. I was so excited to hear the "woof woof woof" noise- but with my aero helmet on I couldn't hear a darn thing! Disappointed!

I got off the bike 4 mins 15 behind Lisa. Kristian was extremely excited! He was quite sure I could catch her and the win was mine. I'm never as confident! I tapped into my China experience, and just concentrated on each step. I felt comfortable and ate into Lisa's lead each lap. By the start of the final lap I was just a minute behind. I had seen good friend Luke McKenzie win the mens race and now I really wanted to win too.

It was hard to get myself to hurt, but I had that winning feeling fresh from China, and I knew it would be worth it. The crowd support was amazing. I had so many people calling my name. I was loving it. I caught Lisa at the final turnaround with just 3kms to go.

Since I hadn't made the most of the finish chute in China- way too stuffed- so I might have looked disproportionately happy this time! But a win is a win, and they certainly don't usually come around very often!

Thanks to Triathlon WA, Hayley and Brian, to the race organisers, sponsors, volunteers and to all of my fantastic sponsors. Lastly to Kristian, my husband and ironguides coach, who again tailored my training perfectly.

Thank you also to all of you that came up to me and told me you read my blog. I'm so glad someone is! Hearing this encourages me to keep going with it, and I promise to write more.

Most definitely time for a rest. No more racing now until July 12th- The Quelle-Challenge Roth.


On a roll!

I know it's crazy. I'm as shocked as anyone. I went into this race with no expectations, no pressure, I was just going to see how I felt. Well, I felt kind of good, so decided to go with it!
I was 4 mins 15 off Lisa Marangon coming onto the run and took the lead with just 3 kms to go...

Here's some pics, race report coming soon...


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ironman China Photos

Courtesy of Steph Cox.

Monday, April 27, 2009

My Ironman China Report

Photo with Rasmus Henning, the Mens Champion.

In Chinese culture, the number 8 is lucky. The Olympics in Beijing were opened at 8pm on 8/8/2008. On Sunday 19th April at Ironman China, my race number was 8. And now I have 8 sunburnt into my skin!

Last year Ironman China was horrific due to “freak” weather conditions. No chance of that happening 2 years in a row! As everyone who raced has said, these were by far the toughest conditions I’ve ever raced in. I was at the media conference with girls saying “the hotter the better”, surely they wouldn’t have asked for this? Or wished this on all of us? A staggering 40% of the field did not finish.

Most people know that the temperature hit 45 (113f) degrees c, what most people don’t know is that the “heat index” hit 56 (139f)…Herein lay the problem.

I was hungry for the win, and determined to go after it! I was disappointed with my performance 6 weeks earlier in New Zealand and wanted retribution. I knew it was going to be tough. Edith Niederfriniger I think is very similar to me across all 3, and I knew Tereza Macel was on form after a strong race at the Singapore 70.3. Then there was Hillary Biscay, Mariska Kramer-Postma and Kim Loeffler too...we totalled 5 past Ironman Champions.

The theme of the day for me was racing blind and purely on feel. It’s the first time in an Ironman that I haven’t seen the course. I asked Belinda Granger, last year’s winner, if I should check it out. Belinda never checks out the course, so I wasn’t surprised by her answer- “if you’re confident about your biking, which you should be, you’ll be fine, and the run’s flat”. Now I couldn’t see the course, as it would mean I wasn’t confident.

Blind also meant no heart rate and no bike computer. I’ve raced my last couple of IM without HR and I really like it, but this was the first time with no computer too.

The swim was absolute chaos, a mass start with age groupers wearing wetsuits, the pros speed suits. We were told in race week that the river currents were strong- they weren’t kidding! Getting around the buoys was a mission- battling the current was mission impossible for some. Usually when I look up in a swim I can see a stream of athletes’ ahead- the direction to swim is pretty clear. This time I would look up to see swimmers scattered over a 50m radius- with no idea who to follow. We were being swept all over the place, and all choosing different lines. It was as if we were all told to go swim around randomly for about the right amount of time, and then we could get out!

I had avoided the river in race week. I didn’t want to risk picking up any bugs. So lap 1 was a disaster, I was 5 mins behind the lead female, Tereza Macel, lap 2 slightly wiser, a further 3. I swam a 54:59.

I was very happy that once on the bike I was able to take on Michael Phelps attitude from his book “No Limits”, the acronym “W.I.N.”- What’s important now? I put the swim out of my mind. Dwelling on the swim wasn’t going to help me on the bike.

The bike course was fantastic; it took us along undulating smooth highway, through villages and Haikou City. It’s definitely the sort of course I like- point and go!

I rode really well for me, a 5 hour 12. I had moved the seat of my Airfoil further forward since NZ, and I felt much more powerful. I caught Edith just after the first turnaround at 45kms, and then rode with her for the next 45, until she dropped me. It was getting hot. At this point I started to feel a bit average, and realized that I hadn’t peed. I needed to drink more. Until that point I was getting a 500ml water bottle at every aid station- every 30 mins. So I started slowing down at the aid stations and grabbing 2 bottles each time, half in the mouth, half on the head- absolute heaven. I chose to wear a non- aero helmet and am very glad of that decision. I came good, and finished the bike feeling pretty strong.

Tereza had flown on the bike, and was 16 minutes ahead of me into transition. But as I came in on the bike, the course follows the first 10km of the run course. I caught sight of her walking. This gave me a huge boost. On the flipside, I couldn't see a lot of running happening, and that was pretty ominous. The worst part of the run was the first 10kms, the heat was just so brutally intense, like nothing I've ever experienced. My head felt like it was in a vice, my hands felt swollen and my skin slathered in thick white sunscreen was all making me feel slightly sick. Somehow it got better.

There were more athletes than I have ever seen walking- and these were the 70.3 athletes too!
In the first 10ks I really wanted to walk, but I wanted to win more. That’s what kept me going.

I just concentrated on running- any pace. It didn’t matter, it was a start, and I was at least moving forward. I was breathing like a freight train, and yet I think I was clocking near 5 min kms, about 50 seconds slower than planned. I didn’t ever consider what the temperature actually was, or my pace- that was all irrelevant, I appeared to be gaining on the others, and that’s all that mattered. None of these facts would have got me up the road any quicker. They probably would have just killed me mentally! This was one of those times where it’s “best not to know”.

I was looking up at the sky- desperately searching for clouds! There were a few wisps, nothing more. But at soon as there was a slight bit of breeze, or shade, and the temp dropped just slightly, I picked up my pace. It was noticeably easier. I pushed when I could, and concentrated on just moving when it was too hot. I was suffering too, but not as much as others it seemed. I could see I was gaining on the girls ahead so I just kept working.

In that first 10kms I made up 10 mins on Tereza and was only just behind Edith. At this point I thought I could catch them. I took the lead at about 18ks. I really didn't let myself think about the win until I was at the 30km turnaround, I was heading for home and I could see there was no one coming to get me. I had been dying to look behind to get some kind of indication of the gap. I couldn't turn around- it would break one of my golden rules- never look back! Even though I counted 7 mins to Edith, I was so conscious of not cramping, or dehydrating that I remained really focused the whole way to the finish.

Nutrition was paramount. I made sure that I took on whatever liquid was on offer, and as much as I could. This was no time for being choosy! Most people were stopping for aid and so they weren't really prepared for anyone trying to run through the stations- so I just had to grab whatever I could. I was taking almost 2gs of sodium per hour, and made sure I had my High5 gels in small amounts- because I knew my guts would be more sensitive. There was no room for slacking off. I felt totally on the edge. I'm usually a peeing machine on the run- I think I went once.

I saw my friend Hillary Biscay, out on the run course, she was so excited to see me in the lead- she was awesome! There’s no crowds cheering in China- but I didn’t need it- there was Hillary- she nearly made me cry- so I shouted back at her “I love you Hillary!” I must have been delirious.

The finish chute was quite an emotional experience. 9 hours and 48 minutes worth of focusing was over- and I had done it! I crossed the line 1st female, 5th overall, and my 3:35 run was the fastest of the day- men included- and broke the course record. It could be my best ever day at the office.

I didn't think I'd win another Ironman until I was able to put together a sub 3 hour run. I've been training to do just that. So quite ironic that I ran one of my slowest times ever and it was the fastest on the day- crazy! Yes the course was flat, no I don't think it was long. It was just insanely crazy, crippling, elephant on your back- hot!

Ironman commentator Whit Raymond spoilt me rotten- it was my birthday the following day- and I think it has to be my best ever present. I’m not a “look at me” type, but for one day it was really quite nice. Thank you Whit.

After all our suffering, it was the best post-race camaraderie I’ve ever experienced. We were drawn together and had mutual respect for anyone who was out there- had they finished or not. For most, not finishing wasn’t a choice and they don’t even remember what happened!

Without a doubt I believe I won this race because of my attitude on race day. I’m bottling this feeling and keeping it safe. I altered my expectations and my pace with the conditions and how I felt. I was going to say, “I listened to my body”, I definitely did on the bike, but I had to ignore it on the run, or I wouldn’t have finished! Would I race "blind" again? Absolutely. Would I come back and race Ironman China again? Most definitely.

Thanks to all my sponsors for their support, and a BIG thank you to Kristian, my husband and coach, who prepared me perfectly for this race.


ironguides Australia and global
TP Therapy Australia and USA
BioCeuticals Sports Supplements

Saturday, April 25, 2009

My Xtri Interview

Catch my interview on X-tri with Betsy Delcour

Last weekend's Ironman China has entered the books as one of the toughest - if not THE toughest - M-dot event that's been held. With temperatures soaring to a reported 115 degrees Fahrenheit, and steamy humidity, the race became a battle for who could finish. And not many did - hundreds of athletes would drop out, or collapse, before reaching the finish line. Charlotte Paul, however, not only made it first across the finish line for the women, she managed to pull out the fastest marathon of the day overall in 3:35:44. We spoke with Charlotte about how she managed her nutrition during race week and on the day, what's it like being married to her coach, and what's ahead for her this season...
Read more.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I won!

I am so so so happy that I won Ironman China!

I just arrived home to lots of hugs from Kristian. He's pretty chuffed too. I'm a total zombie, with swollen eyelids that look like sausages. I had post race insomnia- as usual- then a late night packing- because I got carried away with relaxing and hanginf out just enjoying the moment...and then a red eye flight= zombie. Very glad to be home. Off for a quick swim now to wake me up and flush out the arms and legs. Even wearing compression socks I'm a bit puffy from the flight and I guess Ironman maybe?

Race Report coming soon. Priority 1, there is no food in the house!
Till then, here's some photos...
Thank you everyone for your good luck messages, and your messages of congrats. I really appreciate it. I don't win all the time, this is very special for me.
Race morning...the water looks deceptively calm!
Myself and Hillary Biscay post race. I passed Hillary at about the 100-120km mark on the bike- I asked her if she was ok- I didn't expect to catch her at all...she said "all good babe"- I think she'd have said that no matter how she felt- one tough cookie!
At Awards with the Melbourne gang, Ben, Gab and Dave. Ben was 5th in his AG, and really gutted it out, Gab unfortunately ended up in medical, and Dave was stoked at completing his first Ironman, regardless of a blowout on time due to a blowout in his knee! I just met these guys in China and we hung out all week- they were great value.

Giving my speech. Whit Raymond spoilt me rotten on my birthday. It was great. My speech making skills still need a lot of improvement- but at least I didn't waste a whole day stressing this time- I just did it. And I actually enjoyed it up there. It's definitely the best birthday I've ever had, and the best present.
This is going straight to the 'Pool Room'!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ironman China

I’ve arrived at the host hotel in Hainan, for Ironman China. I’ve never stayed at a World Record breaking hotel before- and multiply that by 2! It’s has the World’s largest indoor spa and is the largest resort in China. I’m saving the spa visit for post race activities.

So the usual suspects are in town, and race week build up is hotting up. The weather however, has been pretty cool, no complaints.

I wonder sometimes why I chose to race in Asia? Ironman is hard enough without adding a communication barrier, a change in diet, water, climate and culture. But maybe that’s just why we all come. It’s an experience you don’t get anywhere else, and I think it makes the post race camaraderie all the better.

On our first trip to Haikou City to buy some groceries we witnessed some harsh Chinese living. A peaceful protest of older Chinese ladies blocked a street to all traffic. We were able to walk through, totally ignored, and be on our way. But we wondered what they were protesting about, we were told “land”. They were there for hours.

The road rules seem to be non-existent here. If you watch out of the front screen in your cab it’s like being on a roller coaster ride! Lots of swerving, cars driving in the opposite direction down hard shoulders, pedestrians stepping out, scooters, bicycles, water buffalo, goats etc…- total and utter chaos. It was hilarious, but so many near misses. I’ve been told that on race day the streets will be deserted- thank goodness.

I’m going on my first ride here this afternoon- with company! I would be terrified to go alone. I’m here without Kristian, but there are lots of Aussies and some of the guys who’ve been training in Noosa, Hilary Biscay, Luke McKenzie and Amanda Balding.

The Hotel has a great pool that’s perfect for lap swimming. I’m mindful of picking up bugs so the river will be saved for race day.

So I’m twiddling my thumbs a little bit. I’m not used to having so much time up my sleeves in race week. It’s nice, and I’ll have plenty of opportunity to watch my Rocky movies☺

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Just confirmed- a 5th Ironman for 2009!!!

I'm fit and healthy, and waiting till July to race again seems like a waste. So I looked at the race calendar to see what I could do...

Ironman China! The timing is ideal.
One week full recovery from Ironman New Zealand,
one week getting back into training,
three weeks of solid training at full load,
one week taper.

The training I'm doing with ironguides is really allowing me to back up and race more than I ever have before. I'm only just 2 weeks post Ironman New Zealand, and yet I'm already back training, on a reduced load, and I feel really great.

I'm very excited. Race day is April 19th, and my birthday is Awards Night, April 20th! Wouldn't it be great to be celebrating an awesome race on my birthday! I may also be traveling with a good friend who's birthday is on race day- Pete, lock it in!!!

My year now contains 5 Ironman races, which is more than I've ever done before in one year, but I'm confident it's going to work. I'm feeling really good right now, so I'm going with it. After China I'll have a longer recovery before starting my build for Roth.



Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My Ironman Winning Bike For Sale

Looking for a new home!
This is the bike that I won IM Western Australia 2007 on, and the bike I rode to 11th place in Hawaii 2008...I love this bike, and I'm still riding an Airfoil- the newer model.
If you're vertically challenged and want a bike who's geometry will allow you to get aero- this is the bike for you!

Kestrel Airfoil Pro
50cm frame- carbon
650cc clincher wheels

Full details on ebay Australia, item # 200320805683 (click on advanced search and copy the number in)


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Husband!

32 today:)

Ironman New Zealand Race Report

I’m pretty happy and yet equally frustrated with my first Ironman of the new season. I’m disappointed that I didn’t mix it up with the Kiwis at the front of the race. I expected to be a realistic contender, but on the day I didn’t manage to put it together. I want to do it again! Can we do a replay? On a positive note, I’ve never been this fit at this time of year before, so it bodes well for the season ahead.

I am super stoked with my swim. I went off quick and instead of settling into my rhythm, I just kept up the pace. I got onto what seemed like a good set of feet, and kept looking ahead to check that we were attached to other swimmers. When a gap opened up, I bridged it and moved to the next set of feet. It felt comfortably- uncomfortable!

I did a 54.42 and exited with much better swimmers than myself. E.g. Lisbeth Kristensen who passes me in the pool in training with her legs tied together☺.

My plan for the race was to really have the best swim that I possibly could- so that my gap going onto the bike would be minimal.

I was 7 mins behind Gina Ferguson starting the ride in WA, and that was the gap between us at the finish. So if I wanted to challenge Gina I needed to swim hard and set myself up in the best position. I suspected Gina would be the one I would need to beat…

So when I exited the water in such a quick time I was really happy. We had a 400m run to T1 and I had a grin on my face the whole way! I was only 2.30 mins off Gina and Jo Lawn (the six time IM NZ Champion).

The plan from here was to bike hard, and minimise the deficit going into the marathon, so that I would be in striking distance to run them down.

Now I should have put the swim behind me and focused on the bike, but instead I revelled in it☺ I think I got complacent. I was so confident that it was going to be my day; I think I forgot that I still had some work to do! I actually recognised pretty early on that I wasn’t working hard enough, but I just couldn’t find the next gear. I couldn’t find my rhythm, and just didn’t get going. I set myself up perfectly and then let it go. It’s hard to explain what happened, as I’m still trying to fathom it out in my own mind.

I was thinking “I’ve got an A grade, now all I have to do is keep doing A grade work and I get to keep my A!” But I couldn’t, so my grade dropped, and dropped…

I rode a 5:21, and got off the bike in about 7th place, 16 minutes behind Lisbeth, who was leading, and 12 from Gina who was in 3rd. I knew that was too much time for the win. I changed my target to getting on the podium. I also planned to give the run course record a crack! It’s a 3:02 set by Lisa Bentley back in 1999. My goal for a long time has been to run a sub 3. I felt good getting off the bike, and wanted to salvage something positive from the race.

So I started the run focused on the pace that would get me a 3-hour split, 4.15 per km. The last few IMs I’ve done I’ve set off fast, but I wanted to even split this one, so the pace felt relatively easy. I was ticking off the ks, 4.13, 4.13 and 4.11 - right on target. The splits to the girls in front remained static, but I remained patient. I reminded myself how easy it is to run the first 21kms, but it’s the last 21 that really count.

So I kept tapping along, getting plenty of encouragement and positive feedback from the crowd. Kristian, who had disowned me half way through the bike, was happy again. He kept reminding me of my reward- he would cook dinner every night for a month if I ran sub 3. Heaven!!

So in the last 21ks I started making significant ground. I caught Bella Bayliss at about 25ks and lastly Lisbeth at about 38ks. I had reached the podium. My pace had slowed, but not as much as theirs. Gina and Jo were a long way up the road.

The crowd support was fantastic. The entire run course was chockers with spectators. At no time are you alone. Running towards the finish was great. I think they were surprised to see that it was me! My run was a 3:07, the fastest of the day, but off the pace for the record. My overall time was 9:30.

Congratulations to Gina and to Cam Brown, who won his 8th IM New Zealand- Unbelievable consistency! Gina and I will meet again this year in Roth, Hawaii and Western Australia- I won't give up!

I think my biggest take home message is that I can swim! I truly believe my past swim issues have been mostly lack of confidence. Well my confidence is now back! I need to continue to work on my riding, and if my run is to be my true weapon I need to run 3 hours. I think I could risk a little more.

These are all valuable lessons for the season ahead. I’m now a few days post race and I don’t feel like I just raced an Ironman, despite having very little sleep since! I’m already looking at the race calendar and plotting my next attack! My next IM is meant to be not until July- Roth, but I’m thinking that’s an awfully long time away…

An old coach once said to me "you know you're doing well, when you have to pee in a bottle", well, on Saturday I didn't quite reach my goals, but I had to pee in a bottle:)

Thank you all for your support, especially my sponsors;
Kestrel * Scody * ironguides * TP Therapy * Blue Seventy * Tri Travel * 3T * BioCeuticals * Zipp * High5 * Oakley * Nike * Timex * Compex * ART at Performance Health Newport * Hypo2 * Alkalife


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Taupo pics

A very limited collection of photos. The camera stayed mostly in the bag:)
Kristian loading up my new Thumps- He looks like Stevie Wonder!:)
A quick swim in Lake Taupo the day before the race. I'm the midget on the left:) with Big Bern, Nicole Ward and Renaud Herington.
In one of Taupos gazillion cafes, with Kristian, Bruce McClintock, Mark Cross and Neil Franks. Bruce and Neil are both ironguides athletes; Bruce went sub 10 for the first time and was stoked- 2nd in his AG and a ticket to Kona, Yeehhaaar. Neil went 11:48 in his first IM, and was very happy.

3rd Ironman New Zealand...

I'm back home on the Sunny Coast after my week in Taupo.

I've come home with an overwhelming feeling that I missed my opportunity. I had such an amazing swim that put me in a great position, and I let the advantage slip away from me. I want a replay! I don't feel down about it, I just feel excited and keen to race again. I had the swim and the run, and I think I should have been faster on the bike.

So I've been a bit rash...and am planning to race again pretty soon! Otherwise I feel like I'm wasting my fitness. I feel really good, and seem to be pulling up extremely well. If I was in my 20s it would be a different story, but I'm 35, and have limited time left. So I want to make the most of my time now, and race. I've never been this fit at this time of year before, and I just want to go with it.

I'm still writing my race report- coming soon...
Thanks to everyone who sent me messages, and congrats, I really appreciate it, it so drives me on!


Friday, March 6, 2009

One More Sleep- Ironman New Zealand

Just a quickie to say...I'm ready.

I feel really really good and can't wait to get out there tomorrow.
I'm expecting big things.
Weather forecast is looking great.
I'm about to take my bike into transition...

If you feel like tuning in, there's live video feed on Ironman Live.

Thank you all for your support.


Friday, February 27, 2009

"If you do the thing you fear...

The death of fear is certain."

One of my favorite quotes.

Today I had my least favorite training session. Yes in the pool- how did you guess??:)
I sometimes dread this session. It's really tough, and if I'm tired its even tougher. I often have to use a pull buoy just to complete the set without totally losing my form. But the problem is that I psyche myself out before I even start...

So today...I changed my attitude. I wanted the session to be a confidence boost before NZ-not demoralizing! So I've been listening to my "Success Mastery Academy" audio cds by Brian Tracy (best selling author and public speaker), and he made me think about why I don't like this session. It's the fear of failure. So I decided there was nothing to be afraid of. I would do the repeats as well as I could. I was confident that I could hit my desired splits.

And guess what? I did hit my splits. I did this session better than ever before. It's such a good feeling. Doing the thing you fear boosts self esteem and gives you confidence. It makes you like yourself. You keep doing the thing you fear, and your self esteem goes up and up and up! You like yourself more and more, you develop a bias for action and you become...UNSTOPPABLE!!

Brian makes me feel like I can take on the World!


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Good friends

I have a really great friend, Tim Moore, who, whenever it gets near to an Ironman sends me something inspirational.
As an Ironman athlete himself he knows that come race day it's 80% mental! The work is done, it just comes down to giving yourself permission to perform on the day...

"All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible."

Orison Swett Marden
1850-1924, Author

It gives me goosebumps just reading this! and I get a wave of butterflies!
The support and encouragement I get from friends is amazing.
Thank you Tim. I really appreciate it.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Limited Edition Nike Lunar Racer!

These puppies look hot to trot and ready to canter!
They're being released this month in Australia in limited numbers in the pink and blue.
In one store only- Victory Sports.

I should be keeping my mouth shut- I only have the green ones, and will be very envious of seeing you all in the funky new colours.

But seriously, this is the shoe that I race Ironman in. I can't recommend them highly enough. They're really incredibly light. They're a neutral shoe, but they have enough support and structure for an Ironman. The aerospace foam in these lasts as long as any other racing flat, so don't think they won't wear well.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

checking in...

Just checking in...
I'm in the thick of it with training for IM New Zealand, which is now just 2.5 weeks away! I'm in lock down:)
But just letting you know training is going really well. I've had no more meltdowns. I'm hitting PBs in the pool and on my run circuits. Confidence is building...

I went for a massage today with Helen. She was fantastic. She said all the right things- "this body is ready to race"- Love it! She said my muscles "cleaned" out really well- and she thinks its because I regularly take BioCeutical's "UltraMuscleze"- a high quality magnesium supplement- she's a big fan.
The massage felt great and I had a nice nap afterwards.
Later this afternoon I hit my 2km repeats with much improved range of motion. Very happy. Followed by a hot bath in Epsom Salts, very relaxing.

I'll sleep well tonight.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Happy 91st Grandad!

My Grandad Grainger turns 91 today.
He lives in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England.
I love him to pieces.

Happy Birthday Grandad!

I have fond memories of my Grandad being really proud of my athletic achievements as a kid. You might laugh but I was actually a "swimmer" up to the age of 12.
I'm not sure if my Grandad ever saw me swim in a competition, because he lived so far away, but he made me feel good about being a good swimmer. He was proud and I liked that.

If he was staying in our house or vice versa, instead of saying "goodnight" at bedtime, he always said "see you on the splashboard", as in diving board. He still does to this day.

The good feelings associated with doing well in sports as a kid drew me back to competitive sport and triathlon, just before I turned 30!
I was probably heading for an early mid-life crisis. I hadn't found my passion in life and I felt like I was wasting my time in a dead end job that I didn't enjoy.
I wanted to be good at something again and have those good feelings back again...I think I took sport for granted as a kid, and didn't realize that it was in fact my passion.


Sunday, February 8, 2009

First race of the year- Geelong 70.3

I'm sitting in an Internet cafe in Geelong town centre, it's called "KFC" and I'm surrounded by teenage punks!:)
I don't do KFC, so Kristian took one for the team and ate the chicken, so we got the Internet password- thank you Kristian!

So what happened today? I think I did 4:29, which if you look at that time in isolation is quite good. My goal was to think only of the swim and the bike. I knew with the strong field that if I didn't nail these then it would be all over. And I guess the fact that my legs had nothing for the run could be considered achieving this!

It's quite tricky coming to a race amid IM training. I wanted a good result- but not at the expense of my IM in 4 weeks time. So I was allowed a mini-taper, and I definitely felt well rested. I was also allowed to avoid Kristian's TP Therapy stand at the expo and the 43-degree heat for most of Saturday! Yes 43 degrees and a sand storm- the expo was a disaster! But we certainly can't complain, there have been bush fires all over the state this weekend with more than 100 lives lost and over 750 homes destroyed. It's so very sad, and hard to believe that people were experiencing absolute hell, running for their lives, just a few hundred kms away.

So I read this newsletter from Dan Kennedy(marketing guru and entrepreneur), on Friday. He has this quote on his office wall...

"Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up knowing, it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up knowing it must outwit and outrun (at least) the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn't matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle. When the sun comes up, you'd better start running.
It's very important in the circle of life to be a predator, not a food item on the menu. Predators are optimists. What do you call a pessimistic predator? – Hungry. Very hungry."

So my mantra for the day was "I am an optimistic Lion"! I decided I was a Lion not a gazelle since I race from behind:)

I'm happy that I swam as hard as I could; I think it was around 26/27 mins. I stopped my watch accidentally on the bike, so think it must have been low 2.30s. Which I think was quite all right. My legs didn't have the "zip" that I had hoped. I just think the accumulated tiredness and fatigue from training took its toll, I know I gave it my best. Onto the run I felt like my upper and lower body were all out of whack! My legs weren't keeping up with my arms:) The legs felt tight and I just didn't get into my usual rhythm. That was disappointing since I can usually rely on my run strength, even after a tough bike.

I haven't looked at the results yet, because I know it will only make me angry! There was a disgraceful amount of blatant drafting going on today. Instead of having a whinge here I'm going to have a chat to the race officials to see if there's something that can be done to improve the fairness of the women's Pro race.

Good news from New Zealand in my in box today- we get a 15-minute lead over the age group field at IM NZ. You don't know how happy this makes me.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What's It Like Being A Pro Triathlete's Spouse?

Check out Kristian's interview on Xtri...
Married to the Sport

He's back from San Diego and I am very happy!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My Kestrel pimped out with 3T

Yes it's little- a 47 frame! I've gone down a size from my last Airfoil which was a huge 50 frame! This smaller frame gives me more scope for changing my position, and I can use a "normal" size stem, rather than the tiny one I had previously.
Kestrel have made a few changes to this Airfoil edition- it has an aero seat post, it's lighter, stiffer and has been built up around the bottom bracket and around the area where the seat post goes in.(please excuse my non-technical lingo:))
Love my color-coded Zipp 404 training wheels:) When Kristian and I are doing TTs together I really notice the benefit of the race wheels when I catch him up!
I'm running Shimano Dura Ace- smooth as silk.

I chose the 3T Brezza. I find them very comfortable, which is my top priority. When I'm not in the TT position the hand grips are quite substantial- which I like, and the flat section of the bar is narrow enough for me to get my hands around. They have plenty of scope for adjustment, and the arm rests sit nice and low- so that I get a good drop.
Kristian uses the Ventus- 3T's more aggressive bar.
Unfortunately the white gripper tape is already looking a bit grey!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Kristian- The Ladies Man!

Kristian at a BBQ with Amanda Balding, Belinda Granger and Hilary Biscay:)
We didn't want him to miss out, so he came along!

I admit I'm over the independence. The novelty has worn off. I need him to kick me up the butt when I'm feeling tired and give me that pep talk when I need it, especially since I'm in the thick of it for IM NZ- just 6 weeks to go now!

I forgive you Kristian! you can come home now:)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Yesterday I cracked!

I can laugh now, but at the time it was horrible.
I was negative negative negative:)
And I hated myself for giving up.

I was doing session #2 of the day, the brick! Yes this is the same session I wrote about last week being "ugly". I did the first set and was heading out to do my 2nd set of 400m run repeats...I started running, got 50ms and stopped. Big internal battle going on in my head:). I came back to the start, gave myself a thorough talking to, and set off again...Got to pretty much the same 50m mark, and called it a day.

Training plans are not set in stone. Coaches don't always get it 100% right. Sometimes a session is just too much, or rather, not at the right time, and sometimes we have to try things to know.

I didn't just give this session one go and give up. I've tried it over a number of weeks, and it's been a mission every time. It's been "modified" every week. This week I cracked! It's hard to describe the feeling to someone if they haven't felt it. It's mental as much as physical. I just couldn't make myself push any more. There was no energy, and no amount of sugar or caffeine could turn it around. Actually there probably is an amount of caffeine that could turn it around- but that's called "digging a big hole and jumping in feet first" or quite simply "overtraining". You don't want to go there.

This is where COMMUNICATION with your coach is KEY.
I know I live with my coach, so its easier for me, but he's away at the moment. So I sent him an email and told him how I felt. I know myself well enough to know the difference between being soft and when it's just too much, so he trusts my feedback. So moving forward that session will be adjusted or put on a different day.

Today was backed off and I had a lie in. The goal now is to get back to normal levels of fatigue, so that I can get back into my training routine. I'll still train today, but not the amount that I would normally do, and without so much intensity.

Common Mistakes;

1. Not backing off.- The worst thing to do is keep battling on. You will dig that hole deeper and deeper! You must listen to your body. There is a time when you need to push and a time when you shouldn't. If you keep overtraining you'll end up burnt out or sick and having to take a huge chuck of time off- or leaving the sport altogether! It happens a lot! I don't mean to scare you, but don't let it happen to you.

2. Totally stopping.- Active recovery is key. Keep moving, but back off.

3. Not getting enough sleep. The more rest you get the quicker you will return to "normal".

4. Not eating enough. You need to feed the engine. Your appetite will most likely be off the Richter scale. You'll crave junk. Try to be kind to yourself and eat high nutrient foods, but do get the calories in.

I'll be back!


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The husband who doesn't answer back!

When Amanda and Luke were taking their gear out of the garage they found the "other" Kristian, and relocated him into the lounge. He's very low maintenance:) I always get my own way, doesn't argue and is always smiling.

Kristian's in San Diego for an ironguides camp and certification course, and Amanda and Luke have now found their own pad for the summer in Sunshine Beach- noice. So I'm all on my lonesome.

I'm getting into my own routine and it's really quite nice to only worry about me, to choose what I feel like eating, to lie diagonally across the bed, to only pick up my own mess...I should stop there!:) I do miss him, but you've gotta look at the positives. I think we'd be described as co-dependent, especially since Kristian is my coach and often my only training partner. It's not very often that I get to fend for myself, and I'm enjoying it. I'm sure Kristian is enjoying some time apart too.

There's a few things I can't do on my own and I find that quite frustrating. I need 2 people to pump my tires- one to pump and one to hold the nossle onto the valve- it's dodgy. And putting sunscreen on my back is a bit of pain in the butt.

I also might need to hire a hubby to tune in our TV. I've survived the last 3 months without it, but now the Tour Down Under and the Australian Open are about to start- it's now an emergency.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

We all suffer...

Even Lance...and it's a good hurt.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Today was UGLY!

I promised to share with you the good, the bad and the ugly.

Today was a perfect example of UGLY!
I woke tired, and took longer than usual to become coherent!

The first session of the day was something new for me, an ocean swim squad at Noosa Main Beach. We started at 5.30am (it gets light here at 4:58am!!), and did a series of short intervals out and around a couple of cans and in again. Doesn't sound too bad?? Throw in the biggest surf they've seen all summer, and its one heck of a grueling, ball breaker session! Also throw in 30 teenage surf clubbies and its a recipe for humble pie!!

I was starting with the faster group (well that's where my friends were...) and coming out at the back each time.- Less because of my swimming, but because I'm a hopeless body surfer! But I also found all the running through knee deep water absolutely exhausting!

I got totally nailed by one wave and ended up a long way down the beach:) I lost all my confidence and was just totally shattered. So called it a day early- after an hour- the session went for 90 punishing mins...

Luke was in his element, and Belinda, Amanda and Kristian all loved it. I watched in admiration. Amanda was worried that I'd not come back next week...I don't give up that easily:) I want to learn to conquer surf swimming, so that I can turn up to any race in any conditions and be prepared. If it doesn't kill me it'll make me one tough cookie.

So home for brekky and I was a total wreck. I have to laugh now, but I was smashed. I had an hour nap, but I reckon I could have slept all day:) I made myself get out of bed and eventually plucked up the courage to embark on session 2 of the day- a bike/run x3 brick!

I felt tired and my splits were way slower than I'm usually able to punch out. I made myself complete it and just tried to detach my emotions from the session. I thought "just do it", remembering how good it feels to finish a session that you "think" you are too tired to do- Without giving in to the emotions of tiredness- if that makes any sense.

Once all done, I felt a thousand times better. Much more energized. It's bonkers I know.

But you know, days like these are when you learn and grow, mentally and physically. If you stick with it and give it your best shot, no matter if is less than on other days- you can still get benefit from the day. You make forward progress. You are nearer your goal, and you reinforced the habit that you NEVER GIVE UP!

Tomorrow is a whole new day.


Friday, January 9, 2009

Pro Athlete House Guests...

We have 2 Pro athlete friends staying with us at the moment...Amanda Balding and Luke McKenzie. I think they're so used to staying with people that they fit right it, make themselves at home and are no trouble at all. Puurrfect! Plus Amanda is a SUPER STAR in the kitchen. You should see what she whips up for lunch- she's putting me to shame. But I love that she's taken over that department:) I'm really enjoying their company and having them to train with. They're happy, fun, positive people.

Although, I blame them for making me stray off my NYs resolutions in my first week! My going to bed and reading every night has been replaced with Californication, absolutely hilarious. I'd never seen or heard of it before this week- now I'm hooked!:) It's just so wrong! It makes me wonder if I've misheard or whether they really did just say that??

Well laughing is very good for the soul and I'm sure I can catch up on my book reading! The resolution to enjoy life more and be happy now, is definitely on track.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Ironman New Zealand

I've decided to race IM New Zealand on March 7th in Taupo.
When I'm out there freezing my wotsits off I might regret this decision:)
But right now, I think its a good one.

Lucky me, I get Kristian to come as my support crew. He won't be racing. So it's all about me! Neither of us have done this race before, so its something different. I like the look of the course, so we shall see...right now it's all about getting fit again, and I have plenty of training partners about at the moment to help me- more about that soon...

Saturday, January 3, 2009

2009, what's on?

What shall I do in 2009?

I'm in the process of putting together my races. It's a tricky process involving timing, emotional ties to certain races, travel logistics and expenses, potential earnings etc.

I've locked in;

Geelong 70.3 8th Feb - I was sick when I raced here last year. I loved the course, and it suits me having lots of laps. I look forward to doing this one healthy! A great kick start to the year, with no pressure. This is unfortunately Australia'a only 70.3 event. This distance has never been my strength, but I plan on changing that this year! If I can get faster over this distance it will benefit my Ironman speed.

Quelle-Challenge Roth 12th July - I really want to hit this race fit this year. I also want to race it in good conditions and experience the real Roth. This is a good opportunity to go sub 9, and tick off that goal. Always a strong field here so I know I will be pushed to my limits to get on the podium.

Hawaii IM 10th October- This is my key race of the year. To many in the industry, nothing else we do in the year matters- just how we perform on this one day on the Big Island. I'm learning to love this event; it's addictive to try and race hard in these conditions and under this kind of pressure.
I want to improve on my 11th spot in 2008 and crack the top 10. To be up on the stage in Hawaii would just be amazing, amazing, amazing!

IM Western Australia 5th December - I want to win this one back. I love this race. It always brings out the best in me. I really want the feeling of winning here again and I want to get back the course record. Its a very special race for me.

There's potential for an IM in the first quarter of the year. But not decided which one yet.
I'd also like to race more 70.3s and shorter races. I've yet to explore the options in Queensland, but would like to get overseas to race too.
So we shall see what fits.

The race I really want to do is IM Canada. The emotional choice! I love the course, it gets great crowds and I have a fantastic home stay there. But the timing is terrible- the end of August. I'd just love to be able to race the Canada course well since it's such a toughy and so honest. Watching Belinda win last year inspired me to train to be able to ride like her. But it looks like it might have to wait for another year...

Thursday, January 1, 2009


"Inspiration starts when you are motivated by dissatisfaction with the way things are"~ Dan Kennedy.

2008 was not the year I intended. I experienced many disappointments. But valuable lessons were learnt, and now 2009 is beckoning with the opportunity of a fresh new start!

Which leads me to setting new goals for 2009.
So I have set myself micro goals.
Why micro? Because micro leads to macro.

"Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day."
~ Jim Rohn

1. Time Management
"Everything counts, it either hurts or it helps, but it all counts"~ Brain Tracy
You are either moving towards your goal or away from it, with every choice and every action you take.
We used to have this message on on our fridge in marker pen, and everyone assumed it related to food. It's everything in life.
Whether we whittle away our precious time on "wastebook", aimlessly surf the internet or make a list of "to do items" and get to work on the most important one.
We all have choices.
Get going, keep moving, take action, DO IT NOW!
I'm going to get into the habit of "doing it now"

2. Write on this blog at least twice a week.
The good, the bad and the ugly! I'm going to let you get to know me, "warts and all".
The more I write the better I'll get, and the better I get, the more I'll write! Until I become...UNSTOPPABLE!

3. Roll with my Trigger Point tools every morning after my first training session.
Yes I should be more like Greg and Laura Bennett and roll BEFORE my first training session...but thats not going to happen!:) I have to be realistic with my goals if I want to last the first month!
This relates back to goal #1 time management...

4. Enjoy my life.
Sometimes I take things too seriously. I need to chill out more. I have definitely got better at this but it goes into the "needs more work" category.
In the past, a bad race result meant that I sacrificed more, tried to become more disciplined, was hard on myself and thought that it would relate to better results. I was so desperate for success. I am now more able to ride the storms of disappointment, and equally to deal with the foreign place called "success".

I'm not talking balance, because I'm not sure you can be balanced if you want to be the best you can be at something- anything.
Lance Armstrong was not balanced, The Tour de France was all consuming, and that's what he had to do to win.

I am living my life "by design", I wouldn't change much if I could. If I won a million dollars I wouldn't quit my job. So this year I will take a little more time to "smell the roses".

5. Read 2 books per month.
I missed this goal by 4 books in 2008, so I'm setting it as a goal again!
I will go to bed earlier and read for 30 mins every night. I love reading, it's my escape. I don't watch TV.
Oh look, this relates back to goal #1 again!

6. Learn to use imovie.
So that I can post video clips all by myself!

"We created our circumstances by our past choices. We have both the ability and responsibility to make better choices beginning today."
I wish I knew where I got this from...

I wish you all every success for 2009.

And I URGE you to...

DO IT NOW!!!!!!