Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Queen of the Hills

After a meeting with my coach to get me set up for my last build phase of training, D and I headed up to COP to do some hill repeats.
The COP climb is not that long but the switchbacks are fairly steep and it was a 6ish min climb for me. We did 5 climbs, and although I felt really strong climbing, but I hadn't eaten since 1130 and was starving. If I'd thought ahead and brought a bar I could have done more...

Training for the day 52km and 2hrs20mins

Happy Monday

Another beautiful summer day here in Calgary. I drove my car today for the first time in weeks, thankfully the heat was not as intense, since I don't have a/c.
After work D and I headed over to the pool for a swim. I am feeling well and recovered and ready to get into the final build before IMC.
I am meeting with my coach tomorrow to hash out the details of the next couple weeks.

I felt fantastic as soon as I hit the water and I knew I was in for a great swim.
Did an endurance workout:
2x (500swim, 500 paddles, 500pull)
500 swim Oly race pace
3500m total

At the end of the swim D pulled off his goggles and dropped an f bomb describing how fast he thought I was. It took him 7 laps to catch me. As opposed to the regular 3 or 4? ;-)

I guess all the swimming is paying off and the confidence is very important for me going into IM. The swim is where I have been the most skittish in the past and I think I have tons of time to make up just by being more assertive and swimming my pace regardless of the thrashing bodies around me.

Training for the day: Swim 3500m 1hr11

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The difference a day makes..

Good reminder today, that every day is an opportunity for a new experience, regardless of the previous day's circumstances.
Today we were up early and completed our respective chores. D was a madman in the yard, weeding, mowing, and trimming to perfection. I was in the house cleaning, scrubbing and mopping to make the inside as nice as the outside.
Then it was off for a run in the heat. We headed out at 10am and the air temp was warm but tolerable. I was prepared for a suffer fest after yesterday, but was pleasantly surprised to feel fantastic on the run. I did the res loop 10mins faster than my usual time and added on another loop to make up time. I was thinking to myself- the last thing I want to do is run down the hill to Sandy beach, cause that means climbing back up it in the heat. So in the Ironman spirit that is what I did.
Mentally, I know I am going to be challenged and have times during the day when I don't want to keep pushing and will want to back off or take it easy. I know that will not get me to my goal, so I know I need to suck it up and keep pushing.
The next few weeks are as much about mental training as they are physical. I know I will be challenged...Giddy up. ;-)

Training for the day: Run 2hrs

Saturday, July 28, 2007


Warning: this blog contains information that may be deemed as too much. If you have a problem with that, don't read it :-)
Well it was a tough day to be in this body. In all fairness, my body has right to be tired. After my biggest training week ever, dealing with a severe infection and then starting my period, I should not have been surprised to feel like crap today.
After a change in plans from our planned trail race, and a much needed morning nap, we headed out for a ride in the heat.
We rode lower springbank/springbank to hwy 22 and on to Cochrane. I had to practically stop my bike to get my HR under 150 so it dialed it back and just decided it was an easy spin day.
We had a rest in Cochrane before carrying on up the hill and to Bow Cycle where I picked out my new birthday present helmet...that just happens to match my bike perfectly :-)
Then it was up Sarcee and home to a cold shower.
I learned a few important lessons today
1) Breakfast at 6 and riding at 11 doesn't work.
2) 700 calories is not enough for lounging on the couch never mind riding 3.5hrs
3) I am going to need to drink ALOT at IM if it is this hot. ( I went through 4 bottles)
4) Even when I am tired I still kick ass on hills :-)

So tomorrow we will do our long easy run and hopefully this recovery week will lead to a strong, recovered body going into next week. Another 2 big training weeks before we taper...and then we get to have some fun and put all this work to good use!

Training for the day: Bike 90km 3.5hrs

Friday, July 27, 2007

Happy Friday

Another beautiful, sunny day in Calgary! I love summer...
Had a great ride to and from work with a couple intervals at the end just to blow off some energy.
D and I then headed to the Talisman for a swim. We decided to hit the 50m for a change of scenery, since our pool closes early in the summer.
Had a great swim, despite the fact that tehre were only 4 lanes open in the entire facility and we had to navigate our way around about a dozen swimmers and waders..I guess it is good IM practice ;-)
D had some tummy trouble tonight so we came home and took it pretty easy. We were actually treated to the St Croix 70.3 race on TV! It is a race we decided we definitely want to do someday.

Training for the Day: Bike 55mins
Swim 3000m 1hr02

(9km total swim for the week!!)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Easy Day

Feeling a bit fatigued today, so I just did a short ride and called it a day.
D and I cooked a great dinner and had a nice evening together hangin out.

Training for the day: Bike 50mins

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Super Swim

Great training day today, did a solid technique swim followed by a steady pace run.

Warm up 300 easy

Main Set 2x300(100 catch up/100 swim/100 sighting every 5 strokes) 15" Rest
8x(100 swim/100 kick on side/100 pull) 30"
10x25 fast 30" Rest
Cool Down 250 easy

Total 4000m

I have to say, 800m of kick drill is about 750m too much for me...ugh.
Overall felt great on the swim, then jumped out and headed to the treadmill. I wanted to dial in a pace and just hold it. Ran 45mins on the treadmill and then grabbed my bag and jogged 15mins home.

Feeling better after only 2 days of antibiotics, took yesterday as a rest day and I seem to be almost back to myself energy wise.

Training for the day: Swim 1hr 36 (4K)
Run 1hr

Monday, July 23, 2007

Catching Up

We arrived home safe, sound and healthy after our epic bike trip. I have a week's worth of Iron training adventures to update on this blog, and will get it posted shortly. As a summary, we rode 7days and just over 850km. It was fantastic, beautiful and amazing. We came home with sore butts but renewed and confident about the last weeks of training towards IMC.

Training for the day: Run 40mins
Swim 45mins 2000m

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Day Seven: Osoyoos to Pentiction via Keremeos

We were up early and hit the lake for a morning swim. It was a calm and warm morning, and a great way to start the day. After 6 days of tough riding, I was expecting a rough ride today. Surprisingly, my body was up for the challenge and I ended up having a stellar ride, pushing the entire way and flying over the hills like they were nothing. Even Yellow lake was a cinch after the huge climbs we have been doing. Now I just have to hold onto this until August 26th!
D had a his first tough day of the tour and was not his normal speedy self. He was only 10mins ahead of me which made me feel fast :-D even though I know it is not a fair comparison.
We finished up in Penticton and went to the hotel where we promptly jumped into the pool. It was a scorcher of a day- and a great practice session for IMC.
We celebrated with beer and dinner at Earl's and then hit the hotel where we put our feet up for some much deserved RnR.
We agreed that this was a perfect trip- 7 days where we got to ride in beautiful country, having our meals prepared for us, and being completely off the grid. We had a really great time being together on this trip and enjoyed every bit of our holiday. Tomorrow we drive back, but in less than a month we will return to BC, so we are not so sad.

Swim in am 35mins open water
Bike 95Km 3:28 (back half of IMC route)

858KM total for 7 days!!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Day Six: Grand Forks to Osoyoos

Day Six- as you can tell by our pre-ride picture, we are starting to look a little tired. But we were up and eager to tackle the day ahead- more climbing, more beautiful scenery!
Today was a cool start, but a hot finish, we crossed over two big summits and seemed to cross a climate line between the Kootenays and the Okanogen. Today, the descents were fun, especially the long winding road into Osoyoos.

Had a decent run off the bike and then D and I walked up to an amazing resort restaurant on the hill above our campground. We had a fantastic lunch and then a little nap in the tent until dinner. Life is GOOD.
The group was in a celebratory mood tonight. The tour is all but done, with day 7 being a leisurely 67km ride with winery stops along the way. D and I decided we would take the alternative route home, which will take us over Richtor Pass, the rollers, through Keremeos and up Yellow lake before arriving in Penticton. It will be a good test for IM, as we'll be on tired legs.

Bike 128KM 5:10 (2 big climbs, 1575m total)
Run 20mins off the bike (felt good after 10mins)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Day Five: Castelgar to Grand Forks

It rained all night and through the day. I spent at least 2 hours before sunrise praying the rain would stop before the alarm went off, but no dice. We woke up to pouring rain. Usually when I look out of the tent at 5:30 or 6:00 I see people milling around, beginning to take down their campsites etc, and this morning I looked out and there was no movement. People were all hoping the rain would let up before we had to tear down camp, but after eating breakfast, and hanging out drinking coffee for longer than it usually takes for everyone to clean up and clear out, we accepted that it wasn't going to happen and packed up our soggy tents.
Once on the road things the rain let up and was actually quite refreshing as we were climbing our 40km ascent of Paulson Summit. Unfortunately, the rain kicked back up just in time for the descent, and it became a very unhappy time. The cold, rain and speed was bad enough, but having multiple logging trucks blowing me around and kicking up muddy water into my face was almost more than I could take. I arrived at the water stop at the bottom of the descent nearing hypothermia and somewhat shell shocked. I stood under the tent as the rain came down even harder and seriously considered taking a ride the final 20km. But I didn't. As soon as the rain let up slightly I jumped back on my bike and decided the only way I would make it was to drop the hammer and pedal as fast as I could- to warm up!
Despite a couple of close encounters with logging trucks and concrete barriers, at the top of the last climb the skies cleared and the sun came out. It was a beautiful final 10km into Grand Forks and I arrived warm, dry and safe.
D was already there and had been waiting almost 2 hrs for the luggage truck to arrive. He missed the worst of the rain but we decided to do another night in a hotel.
Once the luggage arrived we set the tent up and laid everything out to dry in the sun before repacking it and heading to the hotel. Not long after the rain began and came down in buckets...I was very happy on our accommodation choice. The rain turned to hail, and we were somewhat caught in it as we were downtown doing laundry and having lunch.
Thankfully for the brave souls in the tents, it was dry overnight and through till morning.

Bike 102km Big climb- 40km 1485m (Paulson Summit) 4hrs 4mins

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Day Four: Nakusp to Castelgar

The fast pace of the previous two days caught up with me today and right from go I knew I was riding with noodle legs. I just took it as it was and scaled back the pace. It was a long and tough day with lots more climbing and my butt had definitely found its limit on comfortable riding... :-(

The scenery was incredible again, but it was really great to finish and get off the bike today.

Bike 148km 5:44

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Day Three: Revelstoke to Nakusp

Another fantastic day of riding in Paradise!!!
The scenery was exceptional, and we even had a ferry ride across to Nakusp.
We opted for a hotel tonight, it was time to do laundry etc. and the rain that started to spit as we were having a post ride coffee sealed the deal.
Nakusp is quite possibly one of the most beautifully maintained towns I have ever visited. D had a good point in describing it as a Nelson for old people :-)
We got to explore some of the trails and a beautiful waterfront walkway on our post-ride run. We got lots of ridiculing from the other cyclists who do not see the appeal in getting off the bike and heading out for a run. Triath-a-freaks was what they called us... pretty accurate I guess.

Bike 104km 3:46
Run 30mins off the bike

Day Two: Armstrong to Revelstoke

Day Two started with a lot of worried faces at breakfast. Lucky for everyone we had a much easier day ahead.
D and I had a fantastic ride. We decided to ride together and I sat on his wheel while we FLEW down the road! We passed everyone out there that had left earlier than us and I was having a blast! We had people tell us we looked like we were riding a tandem. I loved the feeling of cruising at those speeds and I feel like I have learned a new pace for myself. What I realize is that I have not been riding as fast as I am capable of.
It was a pretty fast day and we were in Revelstoke before the day had time to heat up too much. Unfortunately we were also there before the luggage truck and ended up sitting and waiting for more than 2 hrs to get out of our cycling clothes!
We had a little swim in the rec center where we also had our showers and meals. The pool was only open for about 10 mins after we got in though, so it was a very short dip.
Our campsite was on the Columbia river in a city park. The view was stunning, and the water was so cold that it was a great recovery ice bath for our legs.

A full cheeked little friend that came to visit...

Bed time and wake up views from the tent
Bike 136km 4:32
Swim 10mins 500m
(we had just enough time to get in and warm up and they shut the pool down for swim club)

Monday, July 16, 2007

Day One: Penticton to Armstrong

To sum up day one: Hot, hills and hot...
We were up at 6am and met the group of 130 other riders to roll out on the highway.
We had a great route on some beautiful roads that kept us off some of the busiest sections of highway. But we paid for it ;-) it was a never ending series of steep ups followed by short downs that were bitter sweet- cause while they offered some relief from the intense heat, they were followed immediately by another steep climb.
Day one took a lot out of everyone- the heat combined with the terrain had many people in the sag wagon and even more wondering what they had signed up for.
It was 34 degrees by the time I rolled into Armstrong. Darin was in ahead of me and had camp almost all set up :-) We tried to find a relief from the heat, but there was none to be found. Even the shade was hot.
Thankfully it cooled off enough over night for us to get to sleep. Either that or we were so wiped out it didn't matter.

Training for the day: Bike 145km 5:45

Getting ready to go

Pit stop outside Westbank for a very refreshing and much needed relief from the heat!

Our home for the night- setting up camp in Armstrong

Why didn't we get the tent with A/C???

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The last post..for a while

Today was my last official day of work before holidays start...and I am one HAPPY camper :-D
The summer days are here and it was another smokin' hot one today. Had a great bike to and from work and it was a perfect night to go jump in a lake and swim. Had a fantastic swim, did a full perimeter loop and then went back out to the end of the lake an back. Took just under an hour and was about 3K.
Had a really good massage today as well and my body is feeling nearly back to 100%. By Sunday I will be good to go...and then embark on a week of tearing it apart again haha.

The tour starts Sunday with a 140km trip from Penticton to Armstrong. For a look at what we will be doing, including the elevation profile...check out the route here: http://www.tourbc.net/map.htm

We have a couple days to rest up, fuel up and get hydrated. The forecast is for hot hot hot so we are going to have to drink up and slather on the spf.

I will be off the grid as of tomorrow evening, so no posts until the 22nd or 23rd...unless I end up in an internet cafe somewhere. Hopefully we will return stronger, faster, tougher and browner (hopefully not like beef jerky though).

Training for the day: Bike 60mins
Swim 58mins

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Running Again

Well sort of, more like jogging really. But at least I got out for an hour and other than stopping to stretch out the hammy's a couple times it wasn't too bad.
Followed the advice of Clinton and spent some time with my legs up on the wall, slathered in Tiger Balm. It actually helped and I think it is something I need to do daily- especially in the upcoming week.
The other thing I have to get on top of is recovery nutrition. One thing that I did not do right on Sunday was I didn't eat anything for a good 3hrs after the race. My tummy was not happy so I didn't feel like eating- but based on results it definitely had a negative impact on my recovery.
This is going to be especially important this week, biking big mileage every day. So I am on it.
Spent the evening putting on my new tires, cleaning up my bike and getting it ready to roll.
I remember when I used to think how ridiculous people were who spent hours tinkering with their cars. Well they still are ridiculous, but spending hours tinkering with a bike is not at all.

Training for the Day: Run 60mins

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Easy Day

My legs are still hurting, but less. Was scheduled to run but did an easy spin instead, hoping to flush things out. Legs felt great on the bike and I kept having to remind myself I was on a recovery ride. Kept and easy gear and my cadence over 95. I don't think my HR went over 125.
Depending on how I feel tomorrow it will either be a big trail run on the Powderface trail, or an easier trail run in the city. I am leaning towards the latter, as I need my legs back to 100%!
D and I made our lists for the trip. Because we are tenting along the way we have a fair bit of stuff to remember. I booked us a great campsite just east of Revelstoke for Friday night as we are splitting the trip in half. It will also give us a chance to "test" our camping stuff and make sure that the air mattress still holds air and the tent has all the pieces etc.
It looks like we are going to get some great hot weather training next week, the temp forecast for the area is 32-38 degrees!!!

Training for the day: Bike 65mins

Monday, July 9, 2007

Monday Swim

My legs feel so trashed today... I have no idea why as I have not felt this kind of DOMS in as long as I can remember- and I certainly have done tougher workouts than the ones this weekend. Ah well. The cool water at the Talisman was a welcome relief (usually I curse it) and I felt instantly better once I was in the water.
Did a great workout in the 50m pool which was a nice change:
6x150 (50 free/50 fist/50 dps) 20" btw,
6x200 desc 1-5 6th easy 1' btw each,
300 easy kick,
cd 200
3000m total

I was at work late today and didn't get home from my swim until almost 9pm. Made for a short night at home :-(
I am taking it easy tomorrow, I have a run on the books but I am going to do an easy spin instead- these legs need to recover before the weekend!
I am counting down the days till holidays....4 more sleeps till we leave!!!

Training for the day: Swim 3K 1hr12

Weekend Update: My boy is FAST!

Well it was another great weekend of training and racing. After a bit of a recovery week, I was actually feeling somewhat sluggish, so it was great to get out on the bikes on Saturday. We were up early and met Frank and Keri at Bragg to start our ride at 9. The weather had changed dramatically from the heat of the week, and we were greeted with cloudy skies and a cool wind. None of us really cared about the weather though, it was not raining and we were were wearing enough to be warm. We decided to ride the MIllarville loop which is a beautiful ride. Darin and Frank rode together and I rode most of the way with Keri. I was keeping my legs spinning high and light and my HR in zone 1-2. It was a great day and we really enjoyed the ride. Once back I went straight into a 20min T run and despite being hungry, I felt really good running off the bike.
We were back to town early enough to have most of the day to relax, clean up and get ready for the 1/2 marathon. I decided early in the week that I was treating the run as a training run and would not be racing, mentally and physically I was just not feeling race ready. It was nice to feel no stress, pressure or anxiety the night before a race! I should try this approach more often..
It turned out to be a perfect running day- overcast and cool. Darin took advantage of that fact and ran a blistering 1hr20mins, finishing 18th overall and 2nd in his AG. He even got the rush of passing superstar runner Lisa Harvey ;-) It was a PR for him and he was extremely happy, of course.
I had a decent run, finishing just seconds slower than my own PR in May, with an ave HR that was 10beats lower than it was back then- that alone is a great sign.
We spent the rest of the day running errands and relaxing. We went for a long walk to flush out the legs, but unfortunately it was not enough for me. Strangely enough my legs feel as trashed as they have all season! I am not sure why or what the difference was, but the only thing I can come up with was that I did not warm up at all and it was a cool morning.
So this week is about healing up, taking it pretty easy on the bike and getting all ready and packed up for our big trip. I am soooooo excited and can hardly wait to get out of town and have the entire week to be outside riding our bikes all day long!

Weekend Training: Saturday- Bike 3hrs Run 20mins
Sunday-Stampede Half Marathon- 1hr43

Thursday, July 5, 2007


Today was a classic hot summer day. All I could think about all day was how good it would feel to jump in a lake. So after work we did just that. Went to Lake Mackenzie for a fantastic open water swim. It was the perfect evening to be out on the water. Had a great swim- around the perimeter for 40mins. I felt really good in the water, which was somewhat surprising as I had a very intense massage on my chest/back this afternoon. Hopefully I can get some of my neck/back issues sorted out before the bike trip. Apparently I am still dealing with residual effects from the crash I had in New Zealand :-(
Tomorrow I am off to the dentist in the morning..yipeee.
Training for the day: Swim- 40mins open water, continuous

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


I have been training well and feeling excellent as of late. However, as it turns out, my body is in need of a bit of rest. I went to see my coach today and had a sub max test. My heart rates are a bit higher than they should be which means my body is tired. As she explained it, this is an early warning sign to back off just a bit, rather than continuing to push on until my body makes me rest with illness or injury. I have had such a great season so far- no illness, no injury, and great progress and results- the last thing I want is to blow it all before IM. We also have our big bike trip coming up in a week so I definitely want to be rested and strong going into that!
So I am listening. To my coach, to my body, and the part of me that knows this is what I need to do and trusts that I will come back stronger for it.
I will test again on Tuesday and hopefully see better results! I just need to back off a bit and take care of my body.
It was really hard not to go out for the trail run tonight though. It was an incredibly beautiful evening and I love getting out for those runs. I knew it was a challenging 2hr run and I wouldn't be home until 10 though, so I decided to stay in the city. The bonus was that D and I had the whole evening to relax and hang out together. We really enjoyed sitting out in our yard, and just being with one another all evening- this rarely happens on a week night!

Tomorrow is open water swim night, I am really looking forward to it- I love lake swimming and it is going to be another beautiful evening to be outside.
This weekend is a long ride with Frank and Keri and the Stampede half. I am running the half, not racing so it is a no pressure no big deal race. Should be fun though- I love fully catered training runs!

Training for the day: Run 20mins (sub max test)

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Bare Bones

My battery is dying and I have no plug in at home so this is going to be short sweet and to the point.

Training for the day: Bike: 45mins (commuting)
Swim: 2500m 50mins (pool closed early, didn't get to finish)


Monday, July 2, 2007

Long Ridin' Long Weekend

Happy Canada Day! What a fantastic long weekend we had. Lots of time together, outside, in the mountains and on our bikes...life is good!

Friday we did our swim and then went to a movie. We saw Sicko- the new Michael Moore film. It was a really great movie and very eye opening. It made us grateful to live in a country with universal health coverage. We may have our issues in the health care system, but at least we know that if we need care we can get it, and it is not dependent on our bank balance or a decision made by an insurance company whose first loyalty is to their share holders.

Saturday morning we were up early to get on the road. We had planned to ride around 200km so we geared up and headed out. It was a beautiful day. A headwind on the way out to Bragg Creek had us both questioning our plan, but we had a snack and a rest and carried on to do the ride up powderface and to the end of highway 66. We had a headwind again and some tough climbing, but the return trip to Bragg was sure fun!

We had another break and some lunch and headed towards Millarville. We did a loop out and then back. Once again the way out was tough and the way back was much quicker. Then it was one last water and bathroom break in Bragg and on the road home. That was one fast ride home with a tail wind the whole way. I arrived home with a total ride time of 7hrs33mins for 191km. Darin did 210km in 7hrs! A great day for both of us. My legs actually felt really good- the only pain I had was in my neck.By the time I was home D was showered and had dinner started. By the time I was out of the shower a full on meal was on the table...how did I get so lucky?!We rented a great movie "Pride" and had a chill night at home.

The next morning we were a little less perky and took our time in the morning. Had a nice breakfast at home and then headed out to Banff- D had a great idea to do a ride from there. We parked at the bus station and headed towards Lake Louise on highway 1A the Bow Valley Parkway. This route is incredibly beautiful, like riding through a postcard! My legs were a little sluggish, and we had another headwind and lots of hills to contend with, but the beauty of the surroundings helped to ease the pain! We got to Baker Creek which is a true oasis in the middle of what seems like nowhere. We had a fantastic lunch on the patio surrounded by mountains, trees and the quiet of nature.

The ride back was smokin fast and D was surprised to see me roll in a few minutes after he did. It was 91km total and just over 3hrs.

We changed and went into town to check out the Canada Day celebrations. We had some yummy treats and hung out in the park for a while looking at the river and watching the festivities. What an amazing way to celebrate Canada- surrounded by the beauty of the rocky mountains in the company of my favorite person :-)

This morning we headed out for a run, and I was expecting my legs to protest. Surprisingly I felt great. D and I ran together to Glenmore park and then he split right and I went left. He was running the resevoire and I was boycotting hills so headed towards Stanley park to do that loop. I felt fantastic and was able to push harder and go further than I had planned. I did 100mins and was feeling no reason to stop.
Had a relaxing day and then had dinner with Shawn who was fresh out of PB2 and it was great to see him radiating with good energy and confidence.

I feel really happy with the big volume weekend and most impressed with how great I feel. My legs feel great and I am ready to go for tomorrow. All this training is obviously paying off in terms of recovery. Hopefully that will get me through the week of biking that is quickly approaching!

Training for the weekend: Friday- Swim 3000m 1hr
Saturday- Bike 191km 7hrs 33mins
Sunday- Bike 91km 3hrs 9mins
Monday- Run 1hr40mins

Final Pick of the Kids, enjoying the mountain view :-)