Weight-loss Challenge Progress

Stage 1 - 4 kg down!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

A challenging end to a challenging week...

I have not had one of the best weeks on the bike. It's been a pretty tough week all round - but it's another week down.

I felt like some company and some flogging - I really had to get on the bike and do some k's - so I got myself out of bed just in time to meet the South Perth Rouleurs. I have only been living in Tuart Hill for a week now and I still haven't perfected the leave with 5s to spare routine. Luckily for me, SPR are not like my old group and were still chin-wagging when I had got my breath back from the sprint to get there.

We were to be riding several challenging hills today and I had been actively avoiding at least 2 of them during my climbing career. Melvyn set a cracking pace down Albany Hwy and pulled off just when I was about to have a heart attack. I don't know how I managed to do it, but everytime I pulled off the front I ended up in second or third wheel, which meant I was on the front for way too long. Straight to the back next time!

Clare met us at the bottom of Kahuna (1st hill avoided), apparently having waited so long she thought she'd missed us. I reassured her that we hadn't been slacking on the way there, but getting every red light didn't seem to help. Psyche - I was ready. Kahuna wasn't too bad but I very quickly found myself at the back of the group. About half way up I started to pull in a few people in front of me. One down.

Then we headed across to the highschool, down Urch and up Peet (2nd hill avoided). I think I started this climb well but faded towards the end. I have ridden Raeburn Rd so many times that I knew how to tackle it. I was also challenging Bec a bit and I don't think she was expecting the pace I managed to pull off at the end. Needless to say, heart attack number 2 occured at the top.

We then had a pleasant spin down Brookton Hwy to come up Canning Mills Rd. I had never ridden or heard much about this hill. horrible. What got me on this hill (which I rename the neverending story) was the decieving twists. Every time there was a curve in the road my heart wished it was over but it wasn't. It never ended. Well it did but not for a long time. Obviously one I need to practice a few more times. I really did finish this one last.

We were to head over to Kalamunda for coffee - one last series of climbs ending with Mundairing Weir Rd. I had decided that I was dead and was going to avoid the climbs by going the long way. Pete announced my decision to the group and there went my chance to slack off. Bec wouldn't let me go so I climbed. No taxi required just a tissue. Still some work to do...

Monday, August 25, 2008

A surprising honour...

As a PhD student it is an honour to speak at a conference, let alone be invited. So you can imagine my surprise and delight when I realised I was advertised as a Keynote speaker for the conference.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Anything can happen

Sometimes life moves at warp speed - so fast you can't see the path you are travelling until you arrive at your destination. Well I have arrived at my short-term destination and it is cozy. Anything can happen tomorrow and I look forward to the challenge...

the challenges continued...

Recent events have shaken me up a little so for a while I may be philosophical and ramble to help myself get through each day. It seems good timing that my aunt sent me some "Instructions for Life," and I want to share the first three instructions...

1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

2. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.

3. Follow the three R's:
-respect for self,
-respect for others, and
-responsibility for all your actions.

And I have to add, trust your instincts.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Last night I watched the first episode of America's Next Top Model Cycle 10. Hilarious. But apart from the usual goofiness, bitching and fashion tips (ha!), I was reminded...

"If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything,"
Robin, ANTM Cycle 1.

This is very true in more ways than one. Most of my training is done in the morning on the way to work. So my first problem is getting out of bed. My brain likes to play tricks on me, 'no, you don't need to go now,' 'you can do it tomorrow,' 'it's too cold/wet/dark.' So my point is, if I lose contact with my goals i will fall for (and have fallen for) any tricks my brain plays on me. BTW. I am not the only one who can sleep through a fire alarm.

I'm sure Robin's statement applies to all kinds of situations and it first made me think of tactics, innuendo, gossip, politics etc that people have fallen for while stumbling through a race/life. But on the positive side - how awesome were Sally McLellan, Emma Pooley and Anna Meares - girls with their eyes on the prize.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Touching the void

The south perth rouleurs were going to be riding pretty close to my front door for their Sunday hills ride so there would be no excuses for me missing the ride, although getting to bed at 1am made things a lil harder. Last week I had a terrible hills ride, but I am proud to say I made it up Carawatha without getting off my bike!

This week the temp must have been at least 10° warmer and I had timed my exit much better so I wasn't a frozen icicle like last week. After trying to jump onto the wrong group I found SPR and we headed up Welshpool Rd. I started the climb well but I am still suffering at the petrol station, but I managed to pick up Heiko and was working with Bec to stay strong until the top. We then went down Glen Isla and up Walnut Rd- a road that feels like a rollercoaster on the way down and looks like a wall to go up. I had never even contemplated riding up this road. I thought pete was a bit crazy but looked forward to the challenge. Bec chose to do Walnut as an SE effort - in the big chain ring - and then thought better of it. I didn't manage to catch Heiko this time but came close. I was feeling good about my climbing when we started to head towards Mundairing Weir Rd. Bec came flying past me at the bottom of the climb. I went with her for a few metres before I lost it. I think when i realised I was suddenly the last climber in the group pride got the better of me and I came home strong.

Luckily for me Pete cut the ride short (something about Collie-Donneybrook) and I didn't have to admit that I was about to go home and could enjoy a coffee with the group instead. Clare missed the start of the ride and arrived at the coffee shop just in time to spot our slackness - she went and road Kalamunda on her own.

Going down Welshpool I decided that I wasn't going to be scared this time. Having a larger group around me eased some of my visibility worries as well. I lost touch of the front markers at the start of the descent but it didn't take me long to realise that I had a slight weight advantage. I had caught everyone by the time we got to the bottom and pushed to the lights - my finish line. An enjoyable ride, let's hope this sunshine hangs around!