Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Monday 9th October: 

Here I sit on our hotel balcony at 9.30 at night looking out over the Kailua-Kona pier and bay, as palms trees sway and waves lap at the shore. Flame torches light the paths, fairy lights surround the diners by the beach and a sweet smelling candle in a coconut shell flickers by my's pretty magical and very calm. The calm before the storm!!

It's hard to believe that in five days time this place will be swarming with people, lots of noise and many memorable moments with 1,800 Ironman triathletes fulfilling their dreams of completing the Hawaii Ironman.

Kailua-Kona Pier. Tents beginning to appear. A calm night but in a few days sure to be swarming with people!

So what is it like to experience a week in Kona in the lead up to Hawaii Ironman?

Throughout the week I plan to combine my love of Instagram and insistent Tweeting (which may drive some mad), with my amateur (yet improving) photography and as many blog posts as I can manage to grab the time for, to give you a feel for being a part of this amazing race.

It's the perspective of an Ironman wife (without kids this time) not a competitor or expert on triathlon - but I hope you enjoy and are inspired to come and experience it one day (if you haven't already!)

Day one of Hawaii Ironman week...

We arrived two days ago which gave us time to acclimatise and settle. Today the atmosphere ramped up one notch. There seemed to be more people in the town, the finish line chute is starting to take shape, tents are being built in the recovery area and companies are setting up their stands for the Expo which opens tomorrow night. The build up is beginning.

This morning, Dig Me beach was buzzing early.  Every morning this week, competitors and onlookers flock to the swim start to try out the swim course and size up the competition! There is a coffee boat to swim to and IMTalk radio will broadcast live from it on Thursday and Friday. It's a small area but its the place to be seen. If you aren't competing it's still worth donning googles and getting amongst it especially to see the beautiful fish below.

Dig Me beach swarming with swimmers and onlookers. It's where the Hawaii Ironman starts and finishes. It will be transformed in the next few days!

If you are not swimming in the morning, then you should be out running or cycling (you certainly get the urge!) Since it's still early in the week, competitors along with other fitness enthusiasts are all hitting the roads - either in fancy (and very bright coloured) runners or on their expensive bikes (aero helmets a must!). They are familiarising themselves with sections of the course and testing the body in the heat.

The hype and the nerves seems to get the competitors firing when they probably should be resting more - but thats all part of the experience!  It's great to get out amongst them but beware that when out running along side some of the fittest people in the world, you do feel slightly self-conscious!

Ironman hubby and I ready for a run and lapping up the Dig Me beach atmosphere.

I'll sign off with a couple of the many branded signs (some with great quotes and sayings).

Back with new report soon xx

PS. Apologies for delay in posting 1st report from Kona (few online hiccups) - more stories and photos from today (Tuesday) tom come....

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Hype Surrounding the Hawaii Ironman. Tips & Links to join the party online!

All big events around the world have hype surrounding it. We just experienced one of the most hyped sporting events on the planet - the Olympics.

Hype is defined in the Oxford dictionary as to "promote or publicize (a product or idea) intensively". Hype is essential if an event is to be successful. (My mind is drifting to that rap "Don't believe the hype" by Pubic Enemy No.1 -  showing my age!)

Why I am I talking about hype?  Because I am declaring that one of the best 'hype' machines has to be Ironman triathlon!

We are heading off to the Ironman World Championships in two days. The race is on Saturday 13th October and the hype has truely begun.

My next declaration is this - I am addicted to hype! Well, hype that relates to something that I enjoy or am passionate about.

My husband is the one who is passionate about triathlon and Ironman, however we as a family have been swept up in it for a number of years. Although I am not a competitor, I love all that it represents and enjoy the experiences that surround it.

For those of you who don't know much about Ironman triathlon, you should know that this is the event that any long distant triathlete dreams of competing in. It is the pinnacle of Ironman every year. The best professional and amateur Ironman triathletes all converge on one small town called Kona in Hawaii and compete in the most gruelling of all the Ironmans. It is an international sporting event in so many ways.

The week before is filled with lead up activities. Every event and triathlete sponsor is represented. All the brands who want to capture the interest of people whose passion is health and fitness want to be seen and heard. Pro spotting is a popular pastime and everybody is strutting their stuff. It all adds up to a week of hype!

I have experienced the Hawaii Ironman first hand two years ago and now just the thought of returning to experience it again excites me.

The hype began weeks ago and now with social media being a big part of brands marketing mixes, I am feeling overwhelmed with options to get more hyped.

Triathletes and triathlon brands are big on Twitter, there are also a number of popular triathlon websites and triathlete bloggers, and of course Facebook is part of the mix too.

My Ironman is a regularly listener of IMTalk and we are loving the new Ali'i Drive Ironman You Tube Series of videos (so well done and serious hype generators!) Watch these and you will truly get a feel for what Ironman is all about.

If you want to get hyped like us, follow the race on the 13th or just want to understand more about the Ironman World Championships, here are my tips and links:

1. Watch the Ali'i Drive Video Series 

2. Visit the Official Ironman website and the official FaceBook Page

3. Listen to IMTalk and Competitor Radio

4. Join Twitter (if you are not addicted already!) and follow hashtags #IMKona, #IMWC, #IMHawaii and #Kona2012.

5. Follow on Twitter some of the professionals (top Aussies include @CrowieAlexander, @maccanow  and @Mirindacarfrae ), Ironman legends (@IronmanVoice,  @IronmanLIVEgreg@MarkAllenOnline@DaveScott6x) and triathlon focussed Twitterers like @IronmanTri , @firstoffthebike , @trinewsonly,  and @BeyondT2  (I could go on and on!)

6. On the day, visit IronmanLive to watch the race live (if you live in Australia you may be up in the early hours of Sunday!) and track your favourite athletes.

7. A great app for your iPhone if you are out and about is IronTrack.

7. Ironman website and radio is live all week - find out whats happening every day here.

Of course, you might also like to follow me via Twitter @trititbits and Facebook - and I will be updating this blog regularly throughout our Kona stay!

Love if you can tell others who may be interest in my post -  and add your own tips in comments if you have more!

Enjoy the hype!

Lisa xx

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Hurdles Before The Destination....

Was thinking this week how strange human nature is when a single event or activity can mean so much to us that it literally takes over our lives on so many levels.

It's different for all of us and changes as our lives take on different directions.  It may relate to a family occasion, a sporting event, one of lifes' milestones, achieving a goal or just getting over a hurdle at work. Where ever you are at, it seems that that one thing starts to take over daily life - a wedding, a baby, a new job, a Grand Final.

In our lives at the moment, it's heading off to the Hawaii Ironman.

We are counting down the days (13). We are discussing it with family and friends. Travel arrangements need to be checked and locked in. Work load has increased and school holidays need to be managed. Kids scheduling needs to begin (in our case since kids aren't coming)  - and at the back of the mind the thought of what to pack sits hovering. A lot of lists need to be made!

Of course the actual event and all the hype surrounding it is the key topic of conversation. It's a big event with top athletes from around the world competing so there are articles to be read, social networking to be kept track of and my Ironman's excitement needs to be kept contained! It can get overwhelming!!

I'm not complaining (far from it), just illustrating how life can be taken over by the next destination on your calendar.

On the flip side, we all need something to work towards. We need to set goals, follow our passions, celebrate life's milestones and escape from routine. Human Nature thrives on this and in the Western World we can get so busy with daily living that we forget to look at the big picture, appreciate the world around us and step out of our comfort zone.

We need the goals,  the hurdles to jump, and the event to work towards  - otherwise life would be pretty boring. These challenges make our lives richer.

So, whether it's the last few weeks before a holiday, a wedding, having a baby, a Grand Final, achieving a goal, moving house or whatever it may be that has taken over your life - remind yourself that you set the goal, you have put the plans in place and once you have ticked all the boxes, you will eventually reach your goal and reap all the rewards! It's worth it.

What's keeping you busy? What's your next goal?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Marathon Memories and some First Timer Tips

Running season has kicked in here in the Southern Hemisphere. Seems every weekend there is race….

Next big one here in my home town Sydney is the Blackmores Running Festival this weekend. I love this race because not only do you get to run through our beautiful city and its famous landmarks but it involves all ages and all skills offering a 4km fun run all the way to a Marathon.

I have competed in this run festival for 4km, 9km and the Half-Marathon over the years but not yet the Marathon (I did my first Marathon last year on the Gold Coast). This year,  I won't be getting to the start line at for any distance which is disappointing. Following a winter of sickness and little training I now wonder how I will ever return to my former marathon self!

I do know a couple of people aiming to run their first Marathon this weekend which has bought flashbacks to me on my Marathon training and the the taper weeks when you are mentally trying to get your head around the task ahead.

I wrote a blog of my experience (read it here) and looking back I still can't believe I ran the distance and just finished under my goal time. As I train today, I still can't quite figure out where I ran my 36km training sessions or how I trained through winter. Also, life got very busy. As a working mum - and selling our house amongst it all - I wonder how I managed to get enough training done to feel confident at the starting line! 

However, I made it (and they say just getting to the starting line really is an achievement in itself) and I completed it, and can now be proud of myself for setting the goal and ticking the box (as they say). I think I will attempt it again - just not this year!!

For my friends and everyone out there who are about to reach for the same goal for your first time, I wish you all the best. 

Hoping that the training schedule was not interrupted by too many hiccups and you are looking forward to the challenge ahead. Remember to savour the day, push through when you hit the lows and know that at the finish line you will be oh so PROUD when you see that finish line!

Here are a few personal tips which may useful this week and on the day:

1. If you are like me and need music to keep the pace, make sure you put together a playlist that will last the distance and has all your favourites - I even repeated the ones I know keep me pumped near the end so I didn't have to find them during the race.

2. Don't wear anything or try anything new (especially new runners!) - we all know this newbie mistake but I think at times we have all regretted that last minute decision to do something differently.

3. Take more gels than you will need and keep them in different places - they may fall out and it will play with your mind (lesson learnt in last half marathon!)

4. Know what pace you want to run for your target time but know that this will vary during the race. Despite wearing a super duper race watch borrowed from hubby I still loved also wearing the time band I picked up from the Runners magazine stand at the Expo. If you see them there - get one! It was just another indicator I could refer to and check where I was at.

5. Have some supporters on the course, it helps you to be looking out for people and they certainly give you a boost with their cheers as you pass!

Think that's enough advice from me.

Who else has run a marathon? Any other tips? 

All the best you marathoners! Love to hear how it goes. Will be thinking of you. Lisa xxx


Friday, September 7, 2012

When sickness hits....

This has probably been the worst winter of sickness I every remember experiencing and it's almost too boring to write about.

Apparently I am not the only one however. It seems everyone around us has stories to tell and many of those effected have not been able to shake it - like me. I am in week nine still with symptoms, kids have been on and off with it all winter, but what amazed me is that Ironman kept it all at bay all winter.....until this week.

Prior to this week, I had the perfect post planned to tell you all that I think Ironman in training managed to avoid the nasties due to a few key things that he has changed in regards to his health and eating habits. And although I have decided it's not appropriate to write about now, I will eventually as I still think its worth noting.

Of course, four weeks out from the Hawaii Ironman is not a great time to get sick, but then again at least he has managed to have an unbroken winter of training which is pretty impressive.

If you live with someone on a heavy training schedule in the lead up to a race you will know how it can mean low immunity and susceptibility to getting sick if they are not careful, this then forces them to stop training, which they just can't cope with. So, they push through when still sick and get sicker, and so it goes on.....they just can't stop themselves from training and give their bodies a rest!

So this week as reality hit that he hasn't avoided the latest virus in the house, the mind games have been in full swing. The body is feeling weak and the rest of the family aren't much hasn't been pretty!

Today however, I feel that we are all coming out the other side. My fingers are crossed. Nobody wants their months of training and peak fitness to be knocked sideways just as the final weeks before a big race are looming.

For me, I am just dreaming of the sun, sea and sand, cocktails by the pool, a good book and a break from being the hope it will bring me back to good health. What race? Ha Ha !

Have you been struck with sickness this winter? Tips for a speedy recovery? I have tried so many things that aren't working....I have open ears for new ideas :-)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Olympic Memories...

Had to send out a quick post to say how excited we are about watching the Aussie women compete in the triathlon at the Olympics very soon.

Apart form the fact we love watching triathlon, we also have some of the best women triathletes in the world, so let's hope for a podium at least - and lets be truthful we are all hoping for gold!

Tonight also brings back wonderful memories for my husband and I who were in Sydney for the 2000 Olympics and were totally overwhelmed by the atmospehere in the city when the triathlon made it's debut as an Olympic sport. We spent two days out on the city roads.  It was our first experience as  triathlon supporters. The result for us was the beginning of my husbands triathlon dreaming....

So who will it be out of the three Aussie girls? Densham, Jackson or Moffa? A trifecta?!

Wishing them all the best. We will be watching and cheering on from the lounge room. No matter what the outcome, it really is just amazing to represent your country so enjoy the experience and give it all you have got. Eat the pain girls!!

Below are images I took of the Aussie girls during the Sydney ITU race earlier this year.

Whose your bet  on for Gold?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Loads of Lycra

So the reality of living with a an Ironman triathlete is washing lycra. It's never-ending - especially in winter!

Our living room is looking like a chinese laundry - thank goodness for the recent sunny days in Sydney!

I tried to count the number of pieces over the weekend...long rides in layers because of the wind chill, then an indoor ride in which I saw at least two change of sweat dripping tops, on to two long runs, again in least 20 pieces over one weekend!

Add onto that my run and sometimes our son, and it adds up to loads of lycra! (before even starting the usual household loads)

So what is the best way to wash lycra?

The labels and the sales assistances tell me what I already know - cold wash, gentle wash, no clothes dryer, no ironing (I don't iron anything anyway!)

After so many years of washing lycra I have discovered a few things:

i.   Don't wash the gloves and hats that have velcro fastenings - they attach to the lycra and create pulls that can be fixed.
ii.  Don't forget to check pockets for goo packets - just spreads extra sticky stuff throughout the wash.
iii. Wash it as soon as you can as that smell can get real nasty after a few days. My trick is a few drops of lavender (what's yours?)
iv. Don't use fabric softener (I am not one to anyway) as apparently it can wreck havoc with all the super techy fabric.

If you start to read the websites who sell all the gear, you could be reading for hours and be overwhelmed - and who in the end has time to separate different types of lycra and spandex fabrics and wash accordingly!?!

Asos do have some pretty strict guidelines - I guess they need to justify the money spent on the gear. They even have their own "Active Wear Cleanser". Have to admit the few pieces we have just get thrown in with the rest.

Nike have detailed care instructions for Dri-FIT Technology but could not see anything on 2XU about washing their range...

There is one washing lycra dilemma I have not managed to resolve - the oily cream/vaseline leftovers in the bike pant chamois. Have to say that over time I am reluctant to even touch the chamois post-wash  - and cold water just doesn't get the job done! Any suggestions/solutions?

Would love to hear your tips and tricks on dealing with loads of lycra.

Lisa xx

Sunday, July 22, 2012

New Look...One Year On

It's been almost exactly a year since my last post - where does the time go?!

So what happened you may ask?

Life took over I am afraid. Lots has been happening, and this blog and my writing got forgotten amongst all the things life has thrown our way.

I remain an Ironman wife. I am now a marathoner. I have taken on more work as a PR consultant. Kids are both settled into primary school. Ironman still works a busy corporate job - and yes he continues to race Ironman Triathlons.

In fact, we have  had a very exciting year of Ironman and I am proud to say I have had the chance to announce "We are going to Kona!" once again. (another post about this soon)

So I am back on my blog, keen to write again especially in the lead up to another Hawaii Ironman experience.

I have been doing some housekeeping, giving it a fresh new look and linking through to my TriCrew website (which I continue to fill with content when I can) and my TriCrew T-shirt Shop. My new "Eat The Pain" t-shirts were a sell out for Ironman Melbourne - watch out for more to come.

In the last year I have become quite addicted to Twitter and Instagram. I have added a Instagram feed to this blog and on my TriTitbits Twitter I am regularly sharing news, ideas and tips related to triathlon and life in general. I am particularly active on it when we are at a race - so say hi if you are a twitterer too. We could even create a Ironman wife meet when we are next all at the same race! I also have a Facebook page - so say hi whatever way takes your fancy!

Thank you to my blog followers for staying connected despite my silence.

If you want to hear from me regualry, you can subscribe by email from my home page to this blog, or alternatively you can subscribe to my website if you want a mix of tri supporter info - and I plan next to start a monthly newsletter so watch this space!

In celebration of the re-launch of my blog I am offering all my readers free shipping (Australia only) on my TriCrew t-shirts. Use the code NEWLOOK in the discount code box when ordering. This is on top of my winter special -  all kids t-shirts $20 each and  mini (baby) ones $10- $12 each! (sale ends August 31st)

Until next time (promise not to make it a year) - stay healthy and happy - Lisa xx