Monday, December 22, 2008

I heart Jasper

Well we are back in paradise and if is just as beautiful in the winter as it is in the summer. Our bikes have been replaced by xc skis, and we are wearing significantly more layers, but having just as much fun in the great outdoors. It is really quiet here, as summer is actually the busy season. It is very peaceful and relaxing. Harley may be the biggest fan of this place, though, as he has been loving all the off leash back country exploration. As I type this he is snoring away with his head on my lap :-)
Friday D was working so Harley and I went for a hike along a trail just alongside the town. Of was a 90 min loop of power hiking/jogging by me, and running up and down the mountainside by Harley. When D got home around 4, he took him out for another hour of running, so he was one tired pooch by the end of the day. The weather has been brutally cold, especially in the mornings. By the afternoons it is bearable-as long as I am wearing several layers and have no exposed skin.
We got out for a great ski on Saturday afternoon. It was really nippy out but we bundled up and were fine. We did a trail from the Wabasso campground that followed along the Athabasca river. We were out about 90 mins which was just enough to wear us all out. It was beautiful back in the trees and although there were tracks, they were mostly snowed over and we were breaking new trail. Sunday we had a slow start to the day after a sleepless night due to D coughing. The poor guy has had this cough for 3 weeks now. We were finally coaxed into going out by Harkey who was whining and pacing in front of the window. We were grateful that he got us out though, as we were treated to a beautifully groomed track up hwy 93a where the road is closed just past meeting of the waters. We have biked this highway many times, but this was a whole new way to experience it. Harley loved it and was sprinting at 100 miles an hour up the road and back and zig zagging between the ditches sniffing everything he could. We were a bit less energetic and were out only 75mins but it was just nice to get the fresh air.
Today D is working and I am going to take Harley out for a trail run this afternoon. The weather feels almost balmy at -24.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

And so this is Christmas...

My parents made the long drive to have an early Christmas with us last week/weekend. We had a great week with them and Christmas at our place went over very well. My parents handled the Turkey and it turned out perfectly. My vegetable dish looked odd but tasted great, and overall a very merry time was had by all.

The rush of Christmas coming early has forced me to do all my shopping wrapping and preparing. Now the 2nd Christmas will be a breeze! We leave today for Jasper, and then on to Calgary Tuesday. I was hoping to have many outdoor adventures with my new skiis and my dog (D will be working in Jasper) but looking at the weather forecast I am thinking there may be more coffee sipping, napping and reading on the schedule. At least there is a pool and gym that will keep me honest if the weather is unbearable. I am also looking forward to spending some time on my 2008 review and 2009 goal setting. I do this every year and it is always a rewarding and inspiring exercise. D has already done his and has some goals in there for me so I'd better get on doing my own!

Training over the past week has been hit and miss. I missed a few workouts with family here, and at the same time had some really good sessions in between. Saturday was a doozy of a bike workout. D was still sick so he sat out, but Mike and Marcia joined me for some Bending Crank arms fun! Running on the treadmill, while boring, really helps with the speed work. I like to run fast so that I can't think too much :-)

Today I will brave the cold and run Harley outside to wear him out for the road trip. I got Yacktrax for Christmas, so at least I will have some traction. And D bought me some awesome North Face mittens and the mother of all head/neck/face warmers. No excuses not to get out there!

I have too far back to go to update training... but this week thus far
Monday: Run 45
Tuesday: Swim 30
Wednesday: Bike 45

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Re-Caffinated


Ok, I was sick of seeing the green face on my blog, so I found one that makes me feel better :-)
I am officially better- I knew I was good once I could drink coffee again. As bad as having my guts turned inside out for 2 days was, it was only slightly worse than the caffeine withdrawal headache I had. Yes, it is officially official....I am a full blown caffiene junkie. It is easy to deny the addiction until I can't stomach the drug delivery beverage...
But all is well in the world again.
Yesterday I sweat out the end of the sickness with a 60min spin sans fan. I figured I would rid myself of whatever toxins may be hiding in the only bodily fluids that weren't forcefully ejected from my body on the weekend. :-S
Today there was a running time trial on the books as well as a swim. Both went well. The 3km TT took me 13:34 and my HR got up to 179...so I have some work to do :-)
The swim went well, other than the one arm fly drill...one arm??!! I can't even do the fly with both arms! I am liking all the drills though, it keeps me focused in the pool and time goes by faster.
This weekend is early Christmas. My parents are here and I am hosting everyone for the big Turkey dinner. It would be a disaster if not for the fact my mom is here to make sure I don't screw anything up. Martha Stewart I am not.

Tuesday TFTD: Bike 60min
Wednesday: Run 35
Swim 45

Sunday, December 7, 2008

sick with a capital ICK


Well it certainly wasn't the weekend we were hoping for, D and I have both been sick since Saturday. We did manage our group spin and did 2 hrs of Aerobic base building with Coach Troy, but soon after lunch things started to get ugly for me, and I spent the rest of the night shuffling between the couch and the bathroom. After sleeping for most of the day today I am still feeling a bit woozy, but on the mend. Poor Harley was stuck in the house until nearly 2pm when we sucked it up and took him out. It was nice to be out, it was snowing and there has been quite a bit of the white stuff accumulating all day. We were only out about 45mins but I was wiped by the end. We went to pick up some groceries and movies and got a big rawhide bone for Harley. It was the smartest thing we did because he has kept himself occupied the rest of the day with it.
I am hoping and praying that this passes and I feel better tomorrow. D has some kind of head/chest cold that he brought back from T.O so I am hoping the rest and vitamin c does its trick for him as he has an exam Tuesday. The poor guy has had to study most of the weekend despite feeling like crap.

I did get one swim in this week, but still short. I will hopefully get a longer run in this week to make up for today's missed one. At least all the snow will make it easier to run outside.

Thursday: Bike 60
Swim 30
Weights
Friday Weights
Saturday: Bike 2hrs

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Husband-less

Well D is out of town this week, and I was just reading another bloggers post about her bachelorette behaviors, when her hubby goes out of town for a few days for work. D is on the road about 10 days out of the month. And while I miss him dearly, there are also some things that I enjoy about having the place to myself. There are certain things I do, and do not do, only when he is away.
For example, I rarely make the bed when he is gone. Otherwise I am pretty anal about the bed being made, but when D is away for some reason I look at it and go...meh, Also my eating habits change- I eat more breakfast foods for dinner, and tend to pick up a veggie burrito from Taco time at least one..or two nights :-) I watch all the lame shows D hates, stay up late reading and I leave all my dishes in the sink until the end of the day. So I guess I am a bit of a slob when no one else is around :-)
Now that I have Harley to keep me company I al least have someone to talk to..lol.
Speaking of the four legged wonder, Harley and I braved the skating rink like pathways and went for a short run. Since the weather has changed, D has been taking on most of the running with Harley and I have been doing the walking and sticking to the tready for my running. But I had to take one for the team today, and Syl must have been a part of the conspiracy because my schedule called for a 45min run on snowy terrain. The short run was more than enough. It was exhausting just trying to keep my feet under me and make sure I didn't trip on Harley or wipe out. I was spent by the end.
Tonight Sarah asked me to come along to the pool as she is taking lessons and there was a lane swim from 9-10pm. Originally I thought I would go, but after getting home from bootcamp I realized I am too tired to get a good workout. I had back to back sessions today on top of bootcamp tonight and I am just done. So another missed swim, but I am determined to make it up.
For now, I am going to bed early...and not to read.

TFTD: Run 45mins

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Well another month down, and now we are in the last one of 2008! This has definitely been a defining year for us, and probably the most fun 11 months I've ever had! Since I met D, my life has gotten better and happier every day. I know that the future holds many many more adventures for us, and I am excited for the ride ahead!
Training wise, I have been pretty low key. Not sure if it is the time of year, or the fact that I am so happy in my life, but training feels different. I do my workouts (most of them) because I want to stay in shape, and I love and need the physical release. But right now I don't feel any drive towards my goals for the season, no big oomph behind what I am doing.
I just got my month of workouts from Coach Syl and am thrilled to see lots of short, focused workouts. That is what I need right now as my attention span is limited and I seem to need the play by play of what to do each minute of the workout or I get bored.
Also, lots of cross country skiing and snow shoeing...yay! Now I just need to get x-c skis and snow shoes....and we need more snow!
I have asked Santa for the skiis and I found some cheap snow shoes at Costco...and if the forecast is right the snow is coming too. So soon Harley and I will be tearing it up on the trails :-)
We have also planned a little pre Christmas get away in Jasper in a couple weeks and I am soooo excited for it. I can't wait to take Harley out in the mountains and enjoy our winter wonderland hide away!

Speaking of our furry friend, his training has been going gangbusters! I ordered the Dog Whisperer DVDs and book and have been working diligently to master the walk with Harley. He has gone from dragging me around like moose on steroids to walking beside or behind me in a calm, submissive manner. He is getting better around other dogs as well, and today he passed the test with the Yummy Mummy group, waiting back while the moms and babies came and went instead of charging and mauling them as he was before. None of this has come easy, but we have worked really hard with him and it is paying off. It is amazing how important it is to establish ourselves as the pack leaders. Especially with a confident and strong dog like Harley. I feel like it is all worth it though, as we are raising a balanced and happy dog :-)
And while 'humanizing' the dog is one of the worst things ppl do when training, I can't help but dress my pooch up- because he lets me and he is sooo cute!! LOL

The tree is up, and I am feeling festive. We had our first (and only) xmas party on the weekend and survived. My parents will be here next week for an early Christmas and this year I am hosting. Hopefully our new dining room table arrives in time... sitting 6 adults and 3 kids around a 2 seater table will be tough.

Monday: Off
Tuesday: Weights
Wednesday: Bike 50 Run 30
Thursday: Weights Bike 50
Friday: Run 45
Saturday: Run 60
Bike:90
Sunday: off
Monday: off
Tuesday: Bike 60
Weights

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ready for Winter

Well, now that we are living in the North, we have accepted that it will be a cold, dark winter. We have a beautiful training space to keep us in shape until spring, but we also have a furry friend who still needs to run outdoors. So we have been braving the ice and cold to make sure Harley gets his run training in. D took him out for 90mins today and he was going strong the entire run. We may have created a monster! At least he will stay warm now that he has his stylin parka. There is even a pocket on the back, which D decided was for gels :-)


The week has been great, I feel like I got my running mojo back, although my swimming has suffered. I was swimming on Wednesday and felt like I had over cooked noodles for arms. I thought back to the previous day's workouts and realized that between my strength workout and the nasty bootcamp I dished out I had done 95 pushups...so that would explain the noodle arms!

Saturday we had a great spin session with our group and coach Troy. 2 hours of Have Mercy the Sequel and we were fully cooked. My long run today was only and hour, and done on the tready while D and Harley braved the outdoors.

Christmas lights are up and I am thinking of digging out the tree next weekend :-)

Monday: 60mins
Tuesday: Strength
Wednesday: Swim 1500m, Run 70mins intervals
Thursday: Bike 45
Friday off
Saturday: Bike 2hrs
Sunday: Run 60

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Another Week, Another Blog Post

I have been really slacking on the blog lately, not for lack of bloggable activities, just been lazy I guess.
It was a better week training wise, although I opted to bump my long run until tomorrow as the legs are still burnt from yesterday's fun. We meet a big group of GP athletes at 8:30 for a run. I took Harley out for a new experience..;.group running. I started out with the fast boys and was at the back of the pack, which is not where Harley likes to be. He is a leader, and was doing all he could to try and get up to the front of the pack. I was his anchor, opting to stay back and try to keep from tripping over him and killing myself. Harley did fairly well for the 12.5km route, although some of it was on the highway and he didn't like that much. Neither did I, as he kept pushing me into the icy tire tracks, opting to take the nice running surface for himself. After the run we met at the coffee shop and had a meeting about reforming the tri club in GP as well as the GP triathlon which has been santioned for the upcoming season. It was great to know there is a group that is enthusiastic about tri and wanting to organize some group training.
After the meeting it was home to host our Saturday spin. This week we had four others plus us and we worked up a serious steam with Coach Troy's 'Totally Time Trial' workout. The 90 min workout was tough after the run I had done and I was feeling really short on fuel, having had breakfast at 7:30, and finishing the ride at 12:30.

The rest of the week's workouts were good, and I only missed one run this week. The swims are really challenging me, with all kinds of drills and other strokes that I SUCK at. I had a 10x 100m IM session that nearly killed me. I am soooo bad at butterfly, and almost as bad as breast stroke. I was worried that the lifeguards were going to try and save me, thinking I was having a seizure in the pool! The other killer was a 8x100m single arm, alternating arms every 100m. Tough stuff, but it is good to have the challenge. Surprisingly, I have been most consistent in getting to the pool and doing my set workouts 100%. With more of a short course focus this year, I want to be both faster and more efficient in the swim. I hope that all this embarrassment is worth it...

We had a full house on the weekend, with my cousin Heidi visiting, and my dad staying with us. Today was my bro's bday and we had dinner and cake with them Also played his bday present- Rock Band 2, which was ALOT of fun and very addictive.

The treadmill kicks ass, our home gym is awesome! I now have everything I want to train with in the comfort of my own home...well, except for a pool...maybe in a couple of years :-)


Tuesday TFTD: Bike 75mins
Wednesday: Swim 66mins
Weights
Run 30mins
Thursday: Bike 60mins
Friday: Swim 40mins
Saturday: Run 65mins
Bike 90mins

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Weekend

Winter has definitely arrived and the early morning walks with Harley are getting ch-ch-chilly.
Training this week was about 80%, certainly not what I want, but alright for this time of year. I have been feeling like I am fighting some kind of cold the past few days and today I have a sore throat and am really lethargic.
Yesterday I bailed on my long run and did a bunch of errands and chores. I did get out for a long walk with the pooch, and he did his long run with D. Harley seems to have about 14km of D's pace in him, and then he has to be dragged the last km. I guess his endurance isn't quite there yet.
Saturday we had a pretty full house for spin class, with 3 other GP triathletes joining us for a 2 hour session in the basement. We started with an hour of TDF and then plugged in Coach Troy for a little hurt to finish off the ride. It was great to meet some new people and I am glad we decided to open our home for these sessions.

We also bought a treadmill, which I am stoked about! It is being delivered tomorrow, and I think my running will get more consistent now that I don't have to go out in the cold and ice!

Saturday TFTD Bike 2hrs

Thursday, November 6, 2008

New Training Partner :-)


Meet Harley, our new buddy who's job is to train me to be a faster runner..lol.
This dog can move! I have been taking him for 3-4 walk/jogs a day. My hips and shins are killing me! I am not used to this much power walking.

Also, I have gotten started with my coach, Syl. I have been following the program this week and so far, so good. I missed a run, due to my sore legs, but I should be adapted to this new form of training soon and will make the run up tomorrow.

D has been on the road this week, it is nice to have Harley as company :-) I took him to the vet the other day, and found out he is a lab/rotty cross. That explains his massive quads and chest. He weighs 72lbs and doesn't have an ounce of fat on him. When the vet found out we are runners, he said Harley in top condition will be like an athlete on steriods...look out! EEP.

We are loving being doggy parents, and I am soooo happy we found him!


Tues TFTD: Bike 45mins, Run 15mins
Weights Full body
Wed TFTD: Swim 45

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Saturday Sufferfest


Good times again this morning with the "Have Mercy" 2hr DVD workout compliments of Coach Troy...who I hate by the way :-)
We worked really hard, and at times I felt like wanted to quit, but thankfully I had D suffering along with me and pain is always less when shared with a loved one... haha

A HUGE congrats to our good friend Chris Daniel who ROCKED the IM Florida course today. The conditions out there were near perfect for a PR day and he did it! Way to go!!!
DANIEL, CHRIS 2/2/4 48/M45-49 00:53:54 04:54:44 03:41:06 09:34:51

Looking forward to a run tomorrow and a trip to High Prairie to see about a Harley...more to come on that ;-)

TFTD: Bike 2hrs

Friday: Tempo Run 60mins

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hurt Sooooo Good


This morning started with a cold and dark run with a client. Fortunately, the sun came up and we were treated to an amazing sunrise!
Later in the day I enlisted the services of "coach Troy" and had a grande ol solo sufferfest in the basement. These workouts are killer and I usually feel like puking, passing out, crying, quitting and cursing at various points of the session. I only ever curse though, and usually I am too out of breath to do even that.
Tonight I am enjoying the feeling of being tired. Not tired from life, but the sweet fatigue that a tough training session brings. This feeling was the norm for so long, it took an absence of it for me to appreciate how good it feels :-)

TFTD: Run 30mins
Bike: 75mins

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

noloha

I finally made it to the pool today. It is hard to swim in a pool now... no fishies, no dolphins or sea turtles, no swim up coffee bar... oh my Hawaii has ruined me!
I had a decent swim although I am feeling my lack of swim training! As I am getting back into some training I definitely notice a loss of fitness from the months of duff sitting. But rather than be disappointed or frustrated, I am actually excited. If feels good to have a challenge and to know that I will get some good rewards as I re-gain the strength, efficiency and motor skills.
I also did a short run with April tonight and some good ab work :-)
I am exhausted, but not from the exercise, but from spending the afternoon/evening with the girls...those girls wear me out!'

TFTD Swim 45min 2200ish KM (lost count)
Run 45mins
Core 15mins


Sunday, October 26, 2008

2009 Race Schedule

Well D finally finished our 2009 race schedule. Our goals this year are to get faster and do more local racing. We are sticking to shorter distance and are hoping to nail the 70.3 distance with 3 chances to practice.
Our biggest trip will be to Victoria for the Shawnigan Lake 1/2 which we are pumped about as we both wanted to travel there. One of my clients is moving there so it is also a great excuse to visit! We will be back there in the fall for a marathon, since we couldn't go a whole year without a 42.2km race!
We are also looking forward to getting more involved in the local scene. I may be putting on a tri a tri here in GP as my plan is to run a Women of Strength learn to tri course this winter.

Now the decision of whether to hire a coach is left to be answered. I am leaning towards yes, as I am so busy training other clients, it would be nice to have someone helping me train myself! D has encouraged me to hire Syl Corbett again as I had great results training under her and she is a great person as well as a phenomenal coach.

Today I finally got a chance to run in my Newton racing shoes. I did 90 mins and really liked them. I can definitely feel the energy return with the support under the forefoot, and although my running fitness has suffered, I felt surprisingly good.

This afternoon D and I babysat all 3 of the girls for Jay and Sarah. We managed pretty well for rookies and we definitely have a deep respect for parents...it is the toughest job out there! And in a couple short hours these Ironmen were worn out!

Here is the plan for 2009...

May 10th; Grande Prairie, Brian Harms Memorial Run 8km
May 24th; Vancouver Island, Subaru Shawnigan Lake International 1/2 IM
May 30th; Grande Prairie, Daily Herald Tribune Press Run/ Walk 21km
June 7th; Hinton, Mountainview Triathlon- Olympic
July 5th; Stoney Plain, Great White North 1/2 IM
July 12th- 17th; Tour BC 800km+ in 7days
August 2nd; Ironman 70.3 Calgary
August 30th; Grande Prairie, Don't Get Lost In The Woods 21km
September 27th; Grande Prairie, Fall Classic Road Race 10km
October 11th; Royal Victoria Marathon

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Mental Toughness!



Today was our first Saturday hosting a basement bike class. We had one joiner today, Duncan, and are expecting more as the weeks go on.
We did the Spinervals "Mental Toughness" workout, 90mins and a 9.5/10 difficulty rating. I was certainly feeling the pain today. It has been a long time since I've pushed that hard on the bike trainer...and I am happy to be getting back at it.
I still haven't gotten out to try my new Newtons...the wind has been gusting at 90-95km the past 2 days! I hope tomorrow is better I want to get out for a 90min jog.

Here is a shot from a ride we did the day after our wedding. This is on the old Pali highway which goes over the mountain range and connects one sider of the island with the other. The new highway has a concrete tunnel, this tunnel is formed by the trees and vines...very cool. It was quite a climb and there were stong winds that day as well as being hot and humid. By the end of the 4hr ride I was spent! It would be an amazing place to train though, the weather is always beautiful and the scenery is out of this world.



The next one is from the Diamond Head Crater lookout

Thursday, October 23, 2008

So much to say...


Well since my last post much has happened, many great adventures, and we became Mr and Mrs Hunter!
I have all kinds of things to post, but it will take some time. The pictures are loaded on facebook, the professional ones are in the mail.
I started another blog to post our wedding/hawaii adventures, so that this one can return to being a triathlon training blog. Wait, that would mean I have to start training again :-)
To be fair, I did quite a bit of riding, some running and some amazing ocean swimming in Hawaii. Since getting home Tuesday I have ran and biked and done one strength workout. I am putting together a training schedule to get some structure back and I am excited to sink my teeth into some solid training :-)
Life is good, great in fact. I am a happy wife in every way and things just keep getting better :-)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

CIBC Run for the Cure







We went out today for the Run for the Cure. It was great to see a bunch of the Women of Strength crew out and everyone did awesome to complete the 5km that was actually 7.7km!!
We had a great lunch with friends, packed and then went and hung out with Jay, Sarah and the girls. I got some baby time and loved every minute of it :-)
Tomorrow we leave for Edmonton and then Tuesday bright and early we are off to Hawaii!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am just a little excited...
Some pics from the day

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Jasper Weekend FUN






We had a blast on our Jasper weekend getaway. Despite the rain on Saturday we had the most amazingly fun mountain bike ride! I swear I was smiling ear to ear the entire ride...well maybe not when I was sucking wind up some of the climbs- but it was still the most fun I have had in a long time. We were covered in mud and the bikes were a mess- I am so glad we rented them!
Sunday we went for another great adventure, hiking/running mount Edith Cavell, and then exploring the ice caves beneath the glacier. It was stunning up there, and a preview of winter!
All in all the weekend was good food for my soul. The scenery is breathtaking with the changing colors, we were able to have lots of fun outdoors, and we enjoyed the company of our good friend Alan.


In other news, last Friday we welcomed the newest member of the family! Angelina Sarah Faith Morris was born at 11:22am weighing 7lbs 13oz. She is healthy and beautiful, and the whole family is doing great. I can't believe how blessed we are to have 3 beautiful nieces that we can watch grow up and whose lives we can be a part of. They bring so much sparkle and joy to my life! It is impossible not to be happy around those girls!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What's Up?

Well the end of the month is nearing, almost to the end of my 'time off' structured training. I have been doing something everyday though, just to be sure that my butt doesn't start to resemble the couch :-) Biking outside last week and Saturday was awesome, the weather was outstanding and even the wind took a break. Sunday saw a return to the indoor riding though as it rained all day. Luckily D ordered a ton of new DVDs to keep us motivated on the trainers. We rode again last night and I tried to ride with Lance in the 1999 Tour. It was his 3rd stage win, and the first one in the mountains. I rode in the big gear, grinding along matching the cadence of the climbing riders. I stood when they stood, and charged when Lance attacked. I nearly threw up twice and definitely rode outside my comfort zone. It felt good though, and watching this tour is so inspiring! To see someone come back from terminal cancer and then dominate one of the toughest sporting events on the planet is just amazing!

I am thinking more about next season and some of my goals. We have registered for 2 events so far, the GWN 1/2 and the new Calgary 70.3. We are going to incorporate the trip to Calgary into our summer holidays and extend the trip to SK to visit my folks.
Our themes this year are local and speed :-) We are only racing in places that we don't need a passport for, and we are focusing on getting faster!

We are also looking at an early season marathon and so far Vancouver or Calgary are our choices. I am not keen on the Calgary marathon, but it would be nice to have a reason to visit! Vancouver would be better in terms of altitude though! I would run with the goal of breaking 3:30- I was 3:32 in Boston and I know I can do it if I race well.

My folks are coming to town this week and D has left for the week. We are all patiently awaiting the arrival of our newest family member who's due date was yesterday! I guess no one told her :-) This weekend we are off to Jasper for some fun in the mountains! We plan to rent mtn bikes and do our best not to kill ourselves or cause any external damage that will ruin our wedding pictures :-) We are also meeting our good friend Alan who will kick our butts with a good trail run. He is coming off training for a 100mile ultra so hopefully he doesn't hurt us too bad :-)

2 weeks from today we will be in Kona!! We are excited for that, as well as the big day which is coming up fast! I have everything in place (I think) and am really looking forward to it. It will also be a last chance to enjoy summer weather. We have tons of outdoor activities planned and we are going to soak up every last drop of sunshine, knowing that the long dark northern winter is ahead!

Oh, and the pool is finally open after being closed a month! I am going to see if I still know how to swim... I need to practice my paddling for the surfing lessons we want to do!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Fall-ing in Love

I love fall. There is no time more brilliant, beautiful and magical. It is my favorite season to run and bike and be outdoors. Being surrounded by nature's vibrant last hurrah, it is impossible not to feel the love. I also love the off season feeling towards training- doing what I want when I want, and doing it all with no pressure or stress. The feeling of the past year's accomplishment, and the excitement of a fresh season ahead are experienced- in the moment- as absolute peace.
Fall is the perfect time to practice staying in the moment. It is a physical reminder to me, that staying in the present is the only way to fully appreciate and enjoy the beauty and magic that exists there. In the future is winter (dread), and in the past is summer (loss). But in the present there is sunshine, brilliant colors that can only be found in nature, the smell of harvest, and a feeling of freedom...And I am happy to be here :-)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Fun Times



My 22month old niece Gianna is one of my most favorite people to hang out with. She is the epitome of free spirit and I am always reminded of just how fascinating the world can be when I am with her. We had a great afternoon hanging out in the parks, biking (pulling a trailer is a new kind of workout) and just exploring. She loves to run and one day she'll make a great training partner :-)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sweet


Finally, a win this season. :-)
After the toughest Ironman of the 4 I have done, almost 2 weeks of being sick and doing nothing, we went out for the Steve Burgess Memorial 8km trail race here in GP. I said I would take it easy, since I haven't done much of anything other than cough since IM. But as soon as the first female passed me my competitive nature took hold and all I could think was....I want to win. So I pushed myself into a zone that I haven't visited in a long while and managed to finish first. It hurt, it wasn't easy, but the feeling of finishing strong and being the first woman across was worth the pain :-)

D also had a great race and managed a win. We got these awesome red ribbons that will go right next to the IM medals :-)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Putting the Life in Lifestyle...

There are a lot of things I love about sport, and what it adds to my life. Since I took the plunge into the world of physical activity and setting 'unreasonable' goals, I have gained a stronger sense of myself, expanded the context of what I can be, do and have, and been opened up to worlds of possibility, passion and the joy of self powered propulsion (by land, wheel and water!!).

I relish the training, the planning, the commitment. I love the feeling of fatigue from a hard effort, the elation of smashing a PR, and the pride in completing a goal- be it a workout, a race or a season. I have met some of my favorite people through sport, been inspired by others' journeys, and felt a camaraderie with complete strangers, bonded by something that is only really understood once experienced. I love that D and I have this shared passion and that we can be training partners and support one another in pursuing our goals, while living a healthy lifestyle and spending more time living that watching life on TV.

All of that is important to acknowledge, and remember. Because along with everything that sport, and particularly IM, adds to my life, it also requires sacrifices. Time, energy and resources that are directed to training, racing, equipment and travel are taken from other areas. It is a selfish goal, and I wonder all the time how people with kids do it. ~sidenote~ One of my real life heros is Jenna, who is a single mom of 2 kids that did her 1st IM this year after experiencing what I would consider one of the most devastating things I could imagine, short of losing someone I love. She still managed to not only complete her IM, but to have what she called a perfect day.

So, to me, the off season is just as important as the race season. The off season, or time off from the training/racing schedule, is when I can put my time, energy and resources into the rest of my life. My relationship with D, time with my family and especially the girls, building my business and supporting my clients in reaching their goals, are all of the things that put the LIFE in my Lifestyle.

As much as I love sport, at the end of the day not even the finish line of the Ironman can compete with the feeling of seeing my nieces faces light up when they see me :-)

So I am loving my time off. Even though I have been fighting a cold/flu since returning, I have gotten much accomplished- filled my Sept classes, and almost reached my goal of 10K for the month of Sept, planned the wedding, bought our wedding rings, took my dress for alterations, and purchased the important wedding/honeymoon 'wardrobe'. I have had more time to spend looking after the girls and even ventured out with both of them (by myself!!) for a fun day out. D and I have enjoyed time just being, and have really enjoyed planning our Hawaii adventures (there are soooo many cool things to do!)

I am hoping to finally shake this chest bug and get out running. It is my favorite time of the year, with the leaves changing and the beauty of fall erupting everywhere you look. Running for love of running...ahhhhh.

Life is good :-)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Home Sweeeeeet Home

Well me finally made it home after a long day of flying, a night in Edmonton and then a drive today. Holidays were great but it is so wonderful to be back in our home, cooking our food, relaxing on our couch...
Gustuv caused some storms that delayed our first flight out of LV, but the hour we spent waiting to take off, and the delayed connecting flight were made all better when we got bumped from our 'back of the bus' seats up to first class. That was sweeeet.
We made it into Edmonton about midnight and didn't get to bed until after 1am so we were beat.

Today we made the drive back, unpacked and cleaned up and had a nice dinner. We really missed our own cooking- although we had a full kitchen, we found that the food in the states just doesn't taste the same. Everything seems a bit more processed and fake tasting- even the fresh produce!

Tonight the girls came over and we had a great time playing and visiting with Jay and Sarah. It was awesome to see them, and I am looking forward to more time with them now that IM is over.

Thanks to everyone who has emailed, commented on the blog, facebooked me etc with the positive words of support and love. Just to answer a few of the most common questions:

-No, I am not doing an IM race in 2009. We have made some preliminary plans such as a couple Half IMs and are thinking of a spring marathon. We are going to focus on local races, spending more time on our house and yard, mountain biking and getting faster :-) Right now the slate is pretty blank, I am already pondering new goals and in the upcoming weeks will sketch out the next training season goals and plans.

- No, we are not planning to have a baby in 2009 :-)

- Yes I wore new shoes. And one of them is covered in blood. I didn't even notice until I was in the medical tent and they were making a big deal about it. It was a cut on my toe. No big deal..just a lot of blood.

I really had no stiffness, soreness or fatigue after the race. I feel 100%, just more hungry than usual. But a break is in order- mentally and physically. Classes start next week and I am going to be flying just to keep up with the schedule. I am also going to be doing some pre wedding training to make sure I look hot for the big day :-)

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Aftermath

Well yesterday was a tough one, and the memory is still fresh enough that this race report is going to be a bit raw. So if you are looking for an inspiring, positive and tear jerking story- you may want to skip this read :-) The truth is that Ironman is like life, and it isn't always pretty. But if the cliches are true, and what doesn't kill us makes us stronger, then we had one hell of a strength workout yesterday :-)

The swim was fine, although we are both sure it was long. I was about 8mins slower than I expected to be and heard a lot of other athletes remark that it was long as well. The temp was warm, and the water was brown, but there was minimal contact and I was fine without a wetsuit. I was a bit bummed exiting in 1hr18, but I swam strong and couldn't have done much differently.
The bike was a 2 loop, with an out and back on the first loop. 90% of the course was up and down. The first loop was pretty good, the calories were going in and I was feeling alright, holding a steady pace without red lining. Not long after starting the second lap I started to feel really nauseous, probably because the heat was beginning to get to me. I was unable to eat and barely forced in enough water to keep my mouth from drying up. I tried taking more salt, but could not shake the nausea, and could not force anything down. The second loop was a challenge- the heat was intense, the humidity and the relentless hills. And then the wind picked up for good measure. One a positive note, the scenery was beautiful. It would be a fantastic ride...at about 6am. 2pm...not so much.
I was happy to get off my bike and change out of my salty bike shorts. I felt pretty good the first mile of the run, although the first out and back is on a bridge and the heat was pretty intense. I stopped for a pee break and nearly passed out in the porto john. I had visions of passing out and dying in a plastic shitter....not nice. I also noticed that I was having a difficult time peeing. I knew I was already dehydrated and I really needed to get some fluids in.
I stopped at the aide station, filled my bottle with ice water, and drank some water and a bit of nuun. When I started running again I was ok for about 5 mins, and then I started to feel nauseous again. I tried to ignore it, but every time I tried to pick up the pace I was sure I was going to barf. I was dousing with water, sponges and ice at the aide stations but nothing was making me feel better. I began dry heaving and was unable to run any faster than a slow jog. It was a long day. I fantasized about dropping out, about walking the marathon, about throwing myself in front of a car so I could end it.... seriously. And as I saw my time goals fall away hour by hour I realized that the only thing I needed to do was finish the best I could. I knew I could walk, but unless I absolutely had to, I would not. I shuffled along at about 8km/hr, walked through the aide stations and only stopped when the dry heaves made me. I wanted to run faster, it hurt to go that slow, but as soon as my heart rate came up, the dry heaves started, and I had to back off.
It was an unbelievably long, hot and difficult day. I couldn't let myself feel any emotion out there, I just could not afford the energy. So I just locked them up in a box and stuffed them to the back of my mind. Coming down the finish chute, knowing I had made, it the box threatened to break the levy and I started to hyperventilate. I crossed the line, in a combination of hyperventilation and dry heaving. No wonder the volunteers walked me straight into medical. An hour and a couple liters of fluid later I felt much better. I still had not seen D and was beginning to worry about him. I made my way back to the hotel and found him looking as bad as I had felt. He should have visited the med tent too, as he was really hurting. We were happy to see each other and found comfort in knowing what the other had just been through.
It was not the day we trained to have, wanted to have or planned to have, but we both did the best we could and know that we did our absolute best.
I saw many many many people out there suffering. I also saw groups of guys walking, chatting and laughing. I recognized many of them from the bike course where they had blown by me. I did not want to be one of them- the people that realize their time goal is shot, so they give up and take the easy road. Walking is the easy road and I really, really really wanted to walk- it felt so good when I did walk. But I knew if I just walked it would be giving up on myself. Even if my 'run' was only a couple of km/hr faster than a walk, it was pushing as much as I could and I knew I would only be satisfied if I gave all I had until the finish.
I would be lying if I said I was not disappointed with a 13:08 Ironman time, considering my goal was to be under 12. But racing in 34 degree heat and humidity is something I was not physically trained to do. There was nothing more I could have done, and I know in my heart I did my personal best and gave 100% start to finish.

The race itself is a fantastic one. There were more volunteers than competitors and they were absolutely amazing. They took great care of us all day. The spectators were great as well. Having an IM in a large city is completely different than in a place where it is the only thing going on. Many people came out in the residential areas and cheered along the course. The finish line was awesome, running down 4th street live with people everywhere. Louisville is a city worth visiting, the area is beautiful and the people are so friendly and welcoming. Just come prepared for the heat :-) We did not expect it to be as oppressive as it is, and in hindsight we were kind of naive about how much of an impact it would have.

Most importantly, D and I had a great time here, we are both happy we did it, and have no regrets. We will live to see another day, another race and maybe some day another Ironman....but not for a long while.

We will be at Kona this year, just as spectators rather than racers. Instead of pre race prep and nerves we can enjoy our time on the beach, work on our tans and stalk our favorite pros :-) And then we get to get married :-D

Thanks for reading, and supporting, and cheering. Love and Hugs :-)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Here we go...

One more sleep until go time. I am ready, more than ready. We checked the bikes in after a swim, bike and run to shake the cobwebs. Packed the gear backs, got our nutrition together and then took a nap. Now with dinner digesting, we are almost ready to go back to bed, as the 4:30am wake up call will come before we know it.
I am so glad we had the chance to swim in the Ohio the past couple of days. I was pretty paranoid about it, but it was fine. The water is really murky though, and you can't even see your own limbs, nevermind the people around you. It is very warm, like bath water warm, which I don't mind at all. The transition from swim to bike will be a long one- it isn't because I am having a nap- there is a 200m run up an incline from the finish, and then over a small bridge and another 300ish meters to the bags and tent. Then another run to my bike and out. I am really looking forward to the bike course, it is beautiful and rolling. My goal is to eat and drink consistently, and to stay relaxed. The run course is also beautiful, we biked it today. But it is going to be hot. Not just hot but STINKING HOT. The forecast for tomorrow is 34...that feels like 40+. Holy Hell.
My goal is to stay as cool as I can, and use the lure of the ice at the aide stations to get me from mile to mile. I have never raced in this kind of heat/humidity, so I really don't know what to expect, but I am prepared to deal with whatever I need to out there.
My goal for the day is to choose to be positive, grateful and present, to give 100% from start to finish, and to enjoy myself. I have time goals, but given the weather wild card I am keeping a wide window. First and foremost, I want to improve on my performance from last year, so anything under 12hrs would be good. Of course, the further under the better :-)

I will miss having my family there this year, it was so great having my parents cheering me on the last couple of IMs. But D and I will be cheering each other on, and I know that there will be lots of positive vibes coming our way from friends and family back home :-)

Lastly, a shout out to Kevin and Rachel from Seattle, who we met at the carbo dinner, and who apparently know us from our blogs! How cool is that??

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Lovin' Louisville

After an early morning run, and successfully picking up my passport, we left Edmonton Monday afternoon and arrived in Louisville about 8:00pm EST. The trip went fairly smoothly- the airline didn't charge us anything for our bikes or luggage- said we booked before the bend over baggage charges were implemented. We were pleasantly shocked! The oversize bag screener was out of order in customs so we had to open up the boxes and let them go through our bikes manually. A bit stressful, but the guy was really nice and very careful. Everything went back in fine and we were on our way. We had a super short layover in Chicago and we were starving so we grabbed some McRaunchies and wolfed it down before boarding our short flight to LV. When we arrived we got to the baggage carousel and were stoked to see our bikes come out almost immediately. Then my suitcase...and then we waited. I joked with D that our bikes made it, but his suitcase didn't. Turned out I was right. It wasn't a big deal though, we went to the United Airlines office and were told his bag went to Denver, was currently in Chicago and would be in by midnight. They took the address of the hotel we were staying at and said it would be delivered. At least it was D's bag and not mine- any girl out there knows understands why :-)
We grabbed a van cab and were on our way. The only glitch of the trip came next... the cabbie was talking to us about the race etc and I mentioned that our hotel was a mile from the race start. He said that I might have booked the wrong hotel cause the address I gave him was a long way from downtown....eeep!
When we arrived at the hotel I talked to the front desk to see if we could move our booking to the downtown location. He said I would need to call expedia as I booked through them, and good luck. I called expedia and was pleasantly surprised to deal with someone who was very nice and helpful. She told me to talk to the manager in the morning and call back with the case number she gave me. So, to make a long story longer, the manager was really great, he called expedia, then talked with the downtown hotel, and then the GM to get the ok to switch the booking and bingo we had a new suite, downtown for the same amount we had paid (even though the downtown rates were 60.00 per night more!!)
So we had breakfast and headed to our new home. I should mention that these suites are awesome. The marriott residence inn is like an upscale apartment, with a full kitchen, separate bedroom and bathroom. There is free breakfast in the morning (real breakfast, everything you could imagine!) and free afternoon snacks. We are now a mile from the race start and within walking distance to most of the downtown attractions. We are both happy. Oh yeah, and D got his bag first thing in the morning at the first hotel.
Once we settled into our new digs we hauled our bike boxes 4 blocks to the bike shop to have them reassembled. The guys there were awesome, they said we are their priority this week (we meaning IMers) and they would have them together by the afternoon. Sweet!
We wandered downtown enjoying the heat (and humidity) and the great vibe this city has. It has lots of green, and a ton of historical old buildings (my favorite) mixed in with new. We had some lunch and then walked down 4th Street Live, the site of the finish line- what an awesome place to finish! It is an open air mall type place with restaurants, shops and live music. And a huge guitar jutting out from the hard rock cafe- a great beacon for the finish!
After a few hours of wandering we made our way back to the apartment and had a wee nap. When we woke up we headed downstairs for free snacks, and then grabbed a cab to go and get some groceries. We went to Whole Foods which is my new favorite store, stocked up on groceries for the week, and had dinner from their awesome selection of hot foods.
By the time we got home it was 8:30 so we just watched some tv and hit the hay.

This morning we were up by 7:30 (I am still adjusting to the time change) and had breakfast. We then walked down to the YMCA to swim, but the lane swim was finished until this afternoon. So we walked back, had a snack and watched some TV and then headed out for a bike. We did the first bit of the bike course and rode the biggest "climb". It is not really a climb but more rollers that are just enough to keep it challenging, without blowing apart the legs. The way back was fast, with a tail wind and more downhill than up. The weather today is cold by LV standards- cloudy and about 26. I was still sweating buckets, which tells me I am going to have to drink my face off on race day as the expected high is 32-34! I am pumped though, this course is so different from any I have done before- the swim is in the Ohio river, which we are not allowed in until Thursday. There are barges going up and down all day, and the current is strong! The water is about 28 degrees, so no wetsuits, and it looks pretty brown today...we should be fine as long as we don't drink it :-)

So that wraps up the trip thus far, we are going to have a snack and head out to see if we can find any deals on wedding rings :-)

Thanks to everyone for the notes of support, we appreciate it!

TFTD: Bike 2hrs

Sunday, August 24, 2008

# 842

Our numbers are up and I got an awesome one! As a bit of a numerology nut this one made me very happy lol.
D is 1069...no numerology needed to know that is a good number too ;-)

We are chillin in Edmonton, getting ready to fly out tomorrow. We had an early morning workout yesterday before hitting the road. D forced me (against my will) to get my butt on the bike by 7;15am. It was so cold we could see our breath!! We got our 3hr brick done though, and made it to Edmonton in time to pick up the bike box before Element closed.

Today we packed up the bikes and there were some stressful moments as D realized his bike was too big for the box. He ended up having to virtually strip the frame of everything to squeeze it in there! Now we just have to hope and pray our bikes make it in one piece, and that they end up in the same location as us :-)

The past couple of days I have been feeling typical for taper :-( That means kind of flat, lethargic and grumpy. I go from 0 - starving in an instant and as soon as the hunger strikes I turn into an ogre. EEP.

We are getting up early tomorrow for a run, then we will be off to pick up my passport (yes last minute) and then to the airport with lots of time to get our big ass bike boxes checked in. We are fully prepared to be hosed by the airline.

We spent the day following IMC online and cheering on our fellow IMers. Great work to the Seitz brothers representing GP! Also to JR and Hallsy, who at time of posting is still out on the run course. I am sending you energy girl, giddy up!!!

Saturday TFTD: Bike 2hrs20 Run 27mins 5km

I almost forgot about an especially cool part of our trip here. On Saturday we went to the Body World's exhibit in the Telus Science Center. It was AMAZING!!! I have wanted to see this for a long time (since I first heard of it in 2005!) and it did not disappoint! Real human cadavers preserved and displayed through a process called plastination. They had different bodies set up to display different systems of the body and it was absolutely fantastic. I am an anatomy junkie, as is D non of it freaked us out. Even the room with the fetus' of various ages and the woman at full gestation was just amazing. It was definitely a way to have even more of an appreciation for the human body!!

We also saw "Wired to Win" in the Imax, which is a movie about the Tour De France and its riders, and the physiological and psychological components of someone who can compete at that level. Seeing the shots of the tour on the big BIG screen was breathtaking. And some good information to take into IM regarding motivation :-)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Get your sweat on

Well, the weather continues to be craptastic here, so today was another indoor training session with the only heat training I can get. First up was a swim and then onto the tready for a speed session. No fan for me, and it didn't take long for the sweat to begin to pour. The good news is, I was so focused on my workout that I didn't even notice the water pouring off my arms, down my torso and legs. I looked down at the treadmill and it was covered in sweat. I actually looked up to see if the ceiling was leaking. Did I really do that?
Overall I felt great, fast and light. :-D
Last Bootcamp class tonight and everyone ROCKED their fitness assessments. You guys kick ass and you inspire me!!
This is the kind of stuff I get to do...how much does my job rock??

Swim 1800m 40mins
Run 45mins 5.5miles

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Getting ready for the heat


Today it was cold and raining all day, so I lugged the bike downstairs and set it up on the trainer. It was a good heat training session, with no fan, windows closed and heat on. I was sweating like a farm animal and had a great high cadence spin session.
I felt like a rock star in the pool today, did 3100m in an hour and felt like continuing...unfortunately the lane swim is only an hour long.
The beginning part of the week my energy was in my boots. It has been super tough to sleep at night with the 30 plus degree days creating a virtual oven in our house. Last night was finally cool and I slept like a log for 12hrs! I finally woke up today feeling energetic and happy. I even got the house cleaned finally and am starting to get things together for the trip.

3 days till we leave....just a few more workouts before the day we have been waiting for since October!!

TFTD Swim 1hr 3100m
Bike (trainer) 1hr

Monday, August 18, 2008

Weekend Fun


Saturday I did a great ride, despite the wind. Did some harder push intervals and felt awesome. Run off the bike was great as well, I was expecting to hurt but didn't at all.
Sunday's training kind of fell apart, we decided to go out to Spring lake with my bro and his family in the am and thought we would get our run in in the evening. Getting home at 3:30 after a day on the beach, in the heat and we were beat. So we had some quality time just hanging out instead. We did get an open water swim in at the lake. I decided to go without my wetsuit since IM Louisville will most likely be non wetsuit legal. I felt good, but got really cold. I turned around after about 500m when my calves started to threaten cramping. I did not want to be in the middle of the lake with no wetsuit, unable to kick.
I feel more confident about the swim though, as long as the river is warmer than the lake was...which I am sure it will be.
Had a lot of fun playing with the girls in the water and on the beach. It is nice to have some fun family time before the summer is over. We don't get to do it very often as most of our weekends are consumed with triathlon related events...
So we will both be running today, and I am going to head out for a swim as well. The temp is cooler today which will make the run easier, but not as great for the heat prep.
Things are winding down now, just focusing on staying healthy, getting rest and tuning up before the big day. My head is in the right place, which is more than 50% of the battle for me :-)
Saturday TFTD: Bike 85km 2hrs 57 T Run 10mins
Sunday OW swim 22mins
Monday swim 40mins
Run 80mins build

Friday, August 15, 2008

Sweet , Wonderful Day OFF

After a hectic and very productive week, I am relishing in my day off today. Day off from work and from training. I have housework calling me, but for the time being I am ignoring it :-)
Had an awesome run on Wednesday, I am feeling ready to race now. I did an hour warm up run with a client then headed out for my last long run before IM. I kept the pace I wanted, despite the wicked wind and heat. I finished 28km in 2hrs 34mins, then hit the ice bath and continued the recovery efforts with an awesome avocado-banana-saskatoon-rasperry-yogurt smoothie. I used a whole avocado and it was so thick I had to eat it with a spoon :-)
It must have worked because I felt pretty good yesterday, other than being tired and light headed from my low blood pressure. I had my usual busy day with clients and classes, and wrapped up with my Learn to Run group's final class doing a 10km run. Everyone did great, it was 32 degrees and not an easy day to run! I also got a short swim in today which was just ok.
I came home to find my D finally back from his road trip. We are looking forward to a weekend at home this weekend, one in 6 isn't bad :-)

The weather forecast is for 30's all weekend. It is already 32 out there and I think I might head out and work on filling in some of the white areas around my terrible bike tan :-)

Wednesday TFTD: Easy Run 60mins
IM Race Pace Run: 28km 2hrs 34mins

Thursday: Swim 40mins
Run 70mins

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Last long ride till the big one

Yesterday morning was overcast and cold, I procrastinated as long as I could, and when the temperature finally hit double digits I headed out for my ride. Originally, I was planning to do a 4.5hr out and back up and down the valley on the way to Wahnam. I thought I would get a couple of repeats of the 15km up, down and up again and then head home. Once I got up the first section of the hill the sun came out and it was warm enough to take off the leg warmers. Then down the other side and back up again. I was heading down the final bit when a HUGE hawk swooped down and scared the crap out of me. I was going 40km/hr since it was a downhill, so I guess it was fast enough to get away. Once my heart came down out of my throat, I realized that I would have to go back past the Hawk, but this time uphill (slow, with plenty of time to swoop and catch me). I have a phobia of big birds when I am on the bike. I have been swooped before and a couple of years ago I was terrorized by a pair of red hawks that I thought were going to pick me up and take me back to their nest. So, I decided NOT to face my fear, and instead continue on to Wahnam and then over to Rhcroft and home via Hwy 2. This 180km loop is TOUGH and the last time I did it I called D for a pickup 20km from home because I was bonking. I did want to conquer this loop, so I guess today would be the day. I was well stocked with fluid- 3 bottles and a camelback- and had enough food to get me to the service station in Rycroft. I did try stopping in Wahnam, but the one service station was closed...on a Monday? I stopped at the town office to ask if I could see a map, just to be sure of where I was going. They didn't have one, and when I told the woman where I was going, her response was "you're not going to make it there today!" she even suggested that I flag down a truck and hitchhike....what a brilliant idea in for a girl in the middle of no where.....egads.
Anyway, I carried on my way, another 20km to Rycroft. The wind was picking up and I was riding straight into it. A bit of a struggle but I knew it was only 20km until I could turn. I stopped for some food in Rycroft, stretched and headed onto the road that chewed me up and spit me out last time. It is a lot of uphill and last time it was into a head wind. This time I had a cross wind which was a lot more tolerable, although my upper body got tired from holding on so tight to stay out of the ditch.
Another 48km and I made it to the spot I bailed last time. I carried on feeling good, despite the wind that was now in my face, and made it the final 20km to my home.
I was so happy to see D's car in the garage- he was planning to be on the road all week, but came home for the night. He had dinner ready....what an Angel!
The 180km took me 6hrs44mins which is a bit depressing, but I did have a few slow patches over gravel roads (trying to find a shortcut) and my legs were not feeling totally fresh despite the rest I have had the last few days.
I am glad to have the last big ride behind me. I am now ready for some shorter, faster rides to get my speed back up.

Today I hit the pool, I was nothing short of delinquent last week, only getting there once! It was packed and half the pool was full of old people doing aquasize. I had 7 people with me in the lane at one point and it was a gong show. I managed to get my 3km swim done, using the obstacles as practice for IM :-)

Tonight will be an easy group run, tomorrow the long one.

TFTD: Monday Bike 180km 6hrs44
Tuesday: Swim: 3km 58mins
EZ run 60 mins

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Recharging the Batteries


This weekend we were off to SK to celebrate the marriage of my cousin Brennan, to his new bride Brita. It was a beautiful wedding, and I am so glad we were able to be there. It was a wonderful celebration of LOVE and commitment, and I couldn't be happier for them.
Training took a back seat this weekend, and gave way to family and rest. I think it was for the best for both of us, to have a rest before our last couple of weeks of training. We did manage to get out for a run in the heat on Saturday...and the wind. It must have followed us.
I have never liked long tapers, and do best when I listen to my body rather than a pre set schedule. This year I am doing just that and am feeling great with 20 days to go. I am going to get some long sessions in this week, hopefully the weather co-operates tomorrow for a long ride and then a long run Tuesday. The forecast this weekend is looking good and hot which would be an awesome way to finish off the training season. We will be in Louisville the Tuesday prior to the race so we will have some days to ride and run in the heat...I am hoping it will be enough to get our systems on board.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Training in the Heat....Finally!

This week has been a scorcher..thank goodness! We are both feeling a bit worried about our lack of hot weather training this year, considering how far south we are going to race...
Yesterday was 32 and today was 34. I was a happy camper out there, although I notice that it is tough to find any speed in the heat of the day!
Yesterday I took it pretty easy, other than my work workouts and an easy 40min run.
Today I headed out in the heat for a ride and had the pleasure of company from a fellow IMer who was out on a training ride and kept me company almost the entire 94km!
I made an effort to do a T run off the bike, and lasted only 25mins. It was soooo hot and I was having stomach cramps due to a lack of sodium.
The bootcampers tonight were troopers on the stairs, a tough day to workout but everyone did great.
Tomorrow we are off to Edmonton in the evening and then to SK for my cousin's wedding. I am really looking forward to seeing my whole family and having some rest before the next round of training.
Tomorrow I need to get my butt to the pool, I had to blow off my swim today to protect the $200.00 haircut/color I got yesterday.... it was the first in 6 months and for that kind of money I did as I was told and didn't wash it for 24hrs.

Tuesday Training: Run 40mins
Wednesday Training: Bike 3hrs 11mins 94km
TRun 25mins

Monday, August 4, 2008

Biking, BIrthdays, Boyfriend and Beauty of Nature


Just a few of my most favorite things that I got to enjoy this weekend. We had a most spectacular and successful training/ celebrating/ training weekend in our new home away from home, Jasper.
Friday I swam for the 4th day in a row and am feeling really strong in the water. Consistency is gooood.
Friday night we arrived in Jasper and headed out for some pre training fueling. We had an absolute sushi feast, and solved the world's political and economic problems over Japanese beers :-)
Saturday morning we woke up to single digit temperatures, cloudy skies and wet roads. No time for procrastination though, so we bundled up in our 'winter gear' and headed out for a ride. We started out by climbing up to Maligne Lake. This 50km ride was one of the most challenging and beautiful rides I have ever done. At one point passing by Medicine Lake, with its turquoise waters reflecting the towering mountains surrounding it, I actually said WOW outloud. It is a ride that literally takes your breath away. There were also a fair number of quad busting, lung burning pitches on the mostly uphill journey to Maligne. There is an awesome coffee shop at the top where we had lunch and warmed up before the chilly decent. Once back to the highway, the skies were beginning to clear and the wind had picked up. We did a short out and back on hwy 16 and fought the wind back to the apartment for a change of clothes and refill of fuels. Then it was more climbing, this time out 93A up to Athabasca Falls (more gorgeous views!!) and back on highway 93. My total ride was 185.7km and 7hrs15mins. I actually felt fantastic right through the ride and could have run a marathon. But D was home and had a beautiful spread of food- salad, chicken, fresh bread and pasta....what a man. Sat night was quiet one and and early bed time.
Sunday was run- day, so we picked a trail from the map and headed out. We chose the "Saturday night lake loop" and it was a great choice for the day. The first 14km were up up up... some pitches that sucked the life right out of my tired legs. But it was so beautiful, quiet and lovely that I couldn't help but love every minute of it. The half way point treated us to a gorgeous waterfall that started higher than the eye could see and ran right past our feet. I took a moment to enjoy the cool mist, sucked back a gel and then headed on my way. Thankfully, the trail began to descend and it was a nice change for my legs to be going down, instead of up. That lasted until about the last 5km when my knees began to beg for a flat section...or even a hill!
We finished up the 27km in about 3hrs 20mins. We walked another 3km back to the apartment where a much needed shower awaited us.
Then it was off to eat our weight in food...again. This time at Earl's. More beers (our training secret haha) and then home to wait for our visitor to arrive.
Shortly after, our great friend, and much missed training buddy Alan arrived on the way back from crewing Neil in the Death Race. They stopped for a lovely, but too brief visit, and delivered our prizes from the cross country series we did in the winter. I finally have my cup! And a great picture of Al and I in the confed relay.
Sunday night was another quiet one, watching a movie on the laptop and crashing early.
Monday morning...happy birthday to me! After a breakfast complete with birthday treats we were off for one last ride. I wanted to head back up to Maligne, this time WITH my camera. The universe gave me what I wanted most for my birthday- A beautiful clear blue sky and warm sun :-)
We both were surprised with how good we felt despite the hours on our legs. It was such a gorgeous day to be out, I enjoyed every moment. At the top, more good food and then down to pack up and head home.
Overall it was an absolutely perfect weekend. Doing what I love, with the one I love, in a place I love.
Friday Training: Swim 3100 60min
Saturday Training: Bike 185.7km 7hrs 15mins
Sunday Training: Trail Run 3hrs 20mins 27km
Monday Training: Bike 98km 4hrs

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Will someone please remove...

...the piano that has been tied to my butt this week? Seriously, it has felt like I am dragging around a baby grand! Thankfully, I know that this is normal, being a month out of IM. The training is wearing me out, but I know it is doing its job.
I was up at 5am today to go to my early am bootcamp class. It was dark and cold this morning and tough to get out of bed. After the class I went straight to the pool, pumped that I finally had more than an hour of lane swim to get my 4km in!! I managed to do it in 80mins and made it just in time to my first PT client. Then it was off to teach another bootcamp class and by the time I was done I was hungry enough to chew my arm off.
I have another bootcamp tonight followed by my running group after which I should be pretty well beat.
Training this week has only been ok. I was miffed to have to ride inside yesterday due to 75km/hr winds. Tomorrow I am hoping to get a long ride in before our Jasper weekend, but the forecast is bad. Fingers are crossed. I am hoping to get 180km in before the weekend so I can cross it off the list and have fun going up and down mountains with D!

Training for the day:
Tuesday: Run 60
Wednesday: Swim 45 (2500m)
Bike 75min
Thursday: Swim 80mins (4000m)
Run: 75mins EZ

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Heaven on Earth

This post comes to you from a coffee shop in Jasper. We just finished a yummy lunch that we earned on a 2hr43 trail run this morning. So far, the Hunter family training camp in Jasper has been a huge success! Yesterday we turned mountains into molehills with climb after climb after climb. The 11km ascent up to Marmot Basin was quite a doozy, and the descent was dicey as it started to rain and I turned into a popsicle. After warming up with a sandwich and coffee life was good again and headed back out for another ride, this time into BC- climbing up to the great divide. Total ride time was 5hrs 21 for me, and most of it was climbing!
Friday was a travel day for me, and when I arrived into Jasper I went straight to the pool for a swim. Once again, I ran out of time and only got 3300m in...I will get to 4k!! I am feeling awesome in the pool, on the bike and running. Something tells me that this will be a good race for me :-)

Today while I was running through the mountains, overlooking the clear green lakes and breathing in the fresh mountain air, I was overwhelmed with a feeling that I was in heaven. Life is good.

I was thinking of you, Alan, on that run. You would have loved it! Especially when the skies opened up and turned the trails into muddy canals :-)

Pictures are trapped on my camera for now, and I am sure will do little justice to the beauty of this place....but I will post them when I get home.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The feeling of fitness

This is my favorite time of year. With our peak race 5 weeks out, the majority of the training and racing behind us, and just a few big weekend training sessions ahead, things start to feel exciting. I love the feeling of being at my peak, physically and mentally. My body feels fantastic, and I am totally motivated in my training to get the best out of myself in every workout. This 'peak' is not something that is sustainable all year, so I know that while in this window, I will enjoy it :-)

Yesterday after watching an incredible effort by the tour riders on alpe d'huez I was eager to get out on my bike. I am so lucky not to have a real job, and was able to get out on a Wednesday morning for a 3hr ride :-) I pushed myself on the ride, even on the 28km section into a headwind. I was thinking, the wind is like hills in the prairie. I felt good coming off the bike, other than being hungry. I did a micro T run before succumbing to my hungry belly.

Today I was back in the pool for another 3000m session. The pool here sucks in terms of hours for lane swim, with only 60mins for the lane swim and they start pulling out ropes early. Very frustrating as I am needing to up my distance in the pool but running out of time! I guess I either need to get up at the crack of dawn for the 5:30am swim or get faster. I stand a better chance of getting faster ;-)

This afternoon is some speed work on the track, then bootcamp and then my running group. The group runs are about 75mins now with walk breaks and warm up and cool down. I am treating them as my ez recovery runs.

Tomorrow I am meeting D in Jasper for a training weekend in paradise. I have Friday and Monday off so I will make it a 4 day weekend....so sweet :-)

Update- made it to the track in 28 degree heat and suffered through some 800m repeats while trying to keep lunch from coming back :-)
Group run was just Twila and I so we got a great run in at a decent pace.

Wednesday TFTD: Bike 93km 3hrs10
T Run 10mins
TFTD: Swim 3000m 60mims
Speed work: 40mins
EZ run: 60mins

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Home Again Home Again

Well we are back after our amazing holiday in paradise :-)
I have a lot of blogging to catch up on, D has updated his blog and I will defer to his awesome accounts of the trip. I will add a bit of my own when I get a chance, but in a nutshell it was 7 days, 700+km and over 25hrs of amazing riding. Lots and lots and lots of climbing have helped me get my confidence and legs back.

Monday I did a 60min run just to get the cobwebs out, and today I managed a 3000m swim and a 70min ride followed by an easy hour run with my group.
All in all I am feeling good going into the final weeks of big volume. This weekend we are off to Jasper for some altitude training :-) We'll be there a few weekends before IM to get some big weekend sessions in.

And I got and early bday present from D today...an aero helmet!! It looks fast, and I feel fast in it! We'll see if it makes any difference on race day- if nothing else I feel cool in it :-P

Monday training: Run 60mins
Tuesday: 60min swim 3000m
70min bike
60min run

Monday, July 7, 2008

Great White North 1/2 IM Race Report

I am the worst at procrastinating my race reports. I love reading other people's reports, and I like having a written account of my own, but the task of rehashing a race always seems so arduous...and there is really no way to describe accurately everything that goes on in a race....but I will give it a shot.

Leading up to this race I was really distracted. Distracted with being sick for the first time in 2 years, with working and growing my business, teaching classes and training clients, and distracted with D, who was sick as well the week leading up.
This distraction was a good thing. I had no time or energy to get stressed out or nervous, and I was just happy to be getting out of town for a 'holiday'.

We arrived in Stoney just in time for the pre race dinner, and I am glad we went as it was a great meal and there was a group doing this Japanese drumming that was absolutely outstanding. I seriously want to do that...maybe post triathlon life.
After dinner it was to the hotel for an early bedtime. We were both exhausted and slept in the next morning longer than normal.

I had an appointment at Element Multisport for a bike fit evaluation. I have been having a lot of neck/shoulder pain on my long rides and I have never actually had my tri bike professionally fit. I thought at least I could find out if there was anything obviously wrong with my fit, or if it was all residual damage from being hit by a car 3 years ago.

Cam at Element was awesome, not only did he make time for me on very short notice (and on a Saturday of a race!) but he spent over an hour analyzing and discussing options. In the end it was a very small change we made, but something I have not tried before, and I could feel a distinct difference almost immediately. D and I spent some time restocking gear we have run out of (and trying to keep our heads from exploding with all the options!!). I WISH we had a store up here like that. They had BY FAR the best selection of triathlon gear I have ever seen. And tons of selection of women's gear- you can tell there is a woman ordering :-)

After lunch, and a nap (I love naps) we headed out to the lake for a little spin and swim. By the end of the ride it was pouring rain so we decided to call off the swim. We left our bikes in transition and headed back to the city for some grub.
We had our pre race dinner (secret weapon) of beers and fries and hit the hay.

Race morning usually sucks for me. I hate getting up that early..but an 8am start time is nice. I slept well and woke easily at 5:00am. I was still full from the night before and had a hard time getting breakfast down. I ended up only eating about 1/4 of my cereal. I had my usual race morning diarrhea, which I am now used to, so it didn't freak me out. I guess it is my body's way of lightening up ;-)

We arrived at the lake and went about getting set up and ready. I needed the porta potty again, but the line up was huge. I had visions of Ironman last year when I was in the line up while the national anthem was sung and the pro start went off. I decided to get my wetsuit on half way and get completely ready in case I ran out of time. Thankfully I made it in time to use the pot, get in a little swim and hug and kiss D prior to the gun going off.

I positioned myself on the far right, directly in line with the bouy. Everyone else seemed to be clustered on the left side of the beach and I asked one of the other 4 people around me if there was a reason we were the only ones on that side. She didn't know and I didn't either, but I was happy to be away from all those people who I knew would turn into ruthless arm flailing savages once the gun went off.

On that note was anyone else surprised when it did fire? There was no lead up, just BANG...ok time to go.

I had clear water for virtually the entire swim. My position was great and I swam a straight line to the bouy. I hardly even looked up to sight, I just swam and was able to maintain a straight line all the way. The only contact came at the bouys where everyone was bunched up. I nearly swam under the bouy I was so close to it, but avoided any damage and carried on. Once again I picked a straight line and swam. This continued past the next bouy and all the way to shore for the first lap. I glanced at my watch and saw 18:30. A bit slower than I had expected, but still in the ball park. I dove back in and noticed more people were now around me. I swam on some feet for awhile but the guy was zig zagging and I decided I preferred to be on my own.
This was the best OW swim I have had in terms of staying calm and not getting beat up. I avoided most of the chaos and was able to get through without stopping, choking or getting hit. Victory!!

I exited the water and made a decent transition. I glanced at my watch as I was rolling out of transition and it was at 40mins. So an ok swim for me. Official time 37:22.

As I began the ride, I realized it was starting to rain. The air was warm, but I had only a singlet and shorts on. It would be motivation to ride hard, just to keep warm. I felt great starting the ride and was ready to push myself. On the way out of town I went over the railroad tracks and lost one of my bottles. I contemplated going back for it, but it was a cool day so I decided I would be fine with one bottle and aid station support.

As it turns out, I was fine. About 5km out of town, the sky opened up and it began to pour. It was heavy rain and the roads were beginning to form canals of water. Once again, motivation to ride faster, I wanted to get it over with! I pushed the entire ride, passed and was passed. I enjoyed the hills, both up and down, and was stoked to see D on his way back to town, looking strong in about 20th position.

The last 10km of the ride were a bit tougher, but I wanted to break 2:45 for a bike time so I pushed all I could. Official time including both transitions was 2:48:21 so I was close.

Heading into the run I wasn't sure what to expect. I pushed hard on the bike, and took in very little nutrition wise. I also chose to get brand new shoes the day before (Zoots) which is one of those hard and fast rules I love to break :-)

Starting out, my left shin was tight, and I had to pee really bad. The first two porta stops were full and I wasn't willing to stop and wait. A few km later we entered a park where there were outhouses and I was able to stop. After that I felt great. I was running steady, short steps and fast turnover. My legs felt amazing...I was pleasantly surprised!

At around 6km I saw D. He looked like he was out for a pleasure run, smiling and relaxed. But he had run himself into 8th place as I'd counted and I gave him a high five and wayta go on the way by. Other than a stomach cramp from 8-10km, The rest of the run was uneventful. I reeled in as many people as I could see and was only passed once. With about 4km to go I tucked in behind a couple of guys who were running at a good pace. I stayed there for 2km and then after an aide station took off. They helped me up my pace a bit and with only 2km to go I pushed it one more notch and found a bit of hurt for the final stretch. I saw the clock click to 5:11 as I was approaching. D was there and I caught a high five on the way by as I pushed across the line. I was so happy. What a day!
Official run time 1:45:27.

I surpassed all of my time goals, but most importantly, I had a near perfect race. I felt good the entire day, pushed myself 100% the whole way and never ran into any issues that hindered me. I feel like I was able to race to my full potential and actually see what I could do with my level of fitness. I was mentally positive and happy the entire race, I felt grateful and enjoyed each event. The weather did not bother me, I ran through the cramp, and in the end I took about off about 30mins from my last 1/2 IM time.

Official finish time: 5:11:10 .

It was a fantastic race, well organized and set up so that people only have to worry about going fast :-)

D had an amazing day as well, finishing 7th (4:16!) overall in a competitive field. I am so proud of him for pushing through a tough week and giving it 100% on race day.

It was also great to see some friends from Calgary and Edmonton out there, congrats to everyone for "surviving!!"

We celebrated with a shower and some pizza at BPs. After grabbing a starbuck's for the road we made our way home, with a short week to get through before packing up and heading to Tour BC on Friday.

I am sooooo excited for a week of nothing but RIDING MY BIKE :-)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Almost Game Time

We leave tomorrow for Edmonton, for the GWN 1/2 IM on Sunday. I am feeling a bit undercooked, meaning I have had a strange last few weeks of training. Being sick, off and training on eggshells paranoid that I will end up sick again. D is feeling under the weather today and I am hoping and praying he pulls out of it. He is really looking forward to the race and he has been training so well it would be great to see him able to test himself in the race.
I am looking forward tot he race as well, I have wanted to do this race for a long time and I am going to enjoy it.
It was a scorcher today and I was outside most of the day with clients/classes. I went to the pool for the lunch hour lane swim and when I got there I found I didn;t have my swim suit...d'oh. The lane swim is only and hour and there was no way I could go home get back and have enough time to swim..so that was out. I snuck in a fast hour bike ride and did some race pace riding. I felt great and I would love to have a race ride that felt that good- even though it was 32 degrees!
I jogged over to see the girls and cooled off with them in the kiddie pool- ice bath!! It was awesome.
Another class and then the run class which was thankfully an easy and short run- the heat was oppressive! By the time we were finishing up the clouds had rolled in, the wind picked up and it looked like the rain was soon to follow. As I am here blogging, it is raining, thundering and lightning. I love it. Now if the house would just cool off I might be able to sleep!
TFTD: Bike 60min
EZRun 40mins