Monday, June 30, 2008

Another Monday Run

It was a hot one today, 30 degrees, and I wanted to do what I could to suffer in the hottest part of the day. We have had so little opportunity for warm weather training that I felt like I needed to.
It was a sufferfest alright, mission accomplished. I ran some trails, which were out of the direct sun, but still hot as hell. I finished my bottle in 7km and had to run to Starbucks to fill up. It was nice to get some icy cold water. I went back out and made my way through the park and to the pavilion for another refill. Even though I was drinking, my pounding headache was back and I was having a really hard time getting any speed out of my legs. I decided it was not a day for speed and just kept moving forward.
I got back to my truck in 100mins and was out of water again, so I called it a good day.
TFTD Run: 100mins 17.5km

Sunday, June 29, 2008


Today we had an amazing day. We decided against running this morning as D's calves were still tight and we were both feeling a bit roasted after yesterday. We decided to head to Spring LAke, a small lake we heard was good for open water swimming. As we loaded up the car with lounge chairs, towels, snacks and sunscreen, we both felt like we were heading for a vacation...almost like normal people!
It took a bit longer to get there than we thought, as we took a couple of wrong turns, but the drive was worth it when we pulled in and saw a small, clear lake surrounded by huge trees. It is a motor free lake, so no need to worry about being run over by a speed boat.

We decided to hang out on the loungers for a while before diving in (I needed to get good and hot so that I had added motivation to swim). After about an hour we donned the wetsuits and jumped in. The lake is small enough that the temp is very reasonable. We took off straight across the lake, and the ow swim skills gradually returned. I hit the other side in about 13mins and continued on around the perimeter. I lost site of D and assumed he had headed towards shore, so I made my way there. It was about 40mins to swim around most of the lake. I came in and realized D was on his way back out, but I had had enough and resumed my position in the lounger. About 20 mins later D came in, after doing a couple of loops. We were both impressed and excited to have found such a great place to swim-and we can come for free anytime :-)
We hung out another hour or so, and the place began to get very busy with lots of kids and families. We had exhausted our snacks and were both getting hungry so we packed up and made our way back.
Once home we whipped up an awesome dinner of bbq steak, pasta and veggies...mmmmm.
It was an awesome day, and we both feel like it was a well deserved and needed vacation!
Tomorrow will be long run day. THh heat is going to be back and I will need sunscreen- we both got a bit crispy today.
TFTD: OW Swim 40mins

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Saturday sun, riding and suffering

It was a long, hot day in the saddle. 188km total over 7hrs. Too tired for a report, suffice to say it was a tough go. I was hurting the last 50km, and it was a mental struggle to keep going. The sun got to me today, despite taking in lots of liquid. I had a wicked bad headache for the 2nd half of the ride.
I am happy I finished it, and had some success with nutrition. Now just to get faster...

TFTD: 188km 7hrs21

Friday, June 27, 2008

Week Review

Tuesday swim- first in a week, I felt awesome. 2200m 44mins
Easy run 60mins
Wednesday- Bike 60 trainer
Thursday- swim 50 2500m
Easy Run 60mins

My energy is still not back to 100% and I feel like I am walking a fine line. I don't want to push too much for fear of this thing taking hold. Classes and training with clients is a big energy commitment, training for me is taking a backseat to allow a full recovery.
Big training plans for the weekend, so I took Friday off to 'taper' for it. I need to have a solid long ride- no bonking!
A week out from GWN and I feel seriously under done, but I am still looking forward to it.

Monday, June 23, 2008

A new week, a fresh start

Well after a really rough week last week dealing with a horrible virus, I am happy to have a new week in front of me. I was flat out sick for 2 days straight and took an entire 7 days off to make sure I recovered. I knew I was digging myself into a hole and in hindsight a rest day last Sunday may have been all it took to avoid getting so sick. It was a good lesson though, and the week off did me tons of good. I slept and slept and then slept some more. I have been going full tilt for a while and I didn't realize just how run down I really was until my body shut down completely.
So no race on the weekend, which we are both grateful for after seeing that it was a rainy, miserable day. We were planning on tenting and I can't imagine it would have been a pleasant experience.
Today was my first day back in the saddle and it felt sooo good to get out. Even though the wind was howling at 50km/hr, I could care less and was just plain happy and grateful to be outside, on my bike, in the sun.
I did an easy 50km and felt fantastic.
I will keep the training light this week, but I am looking forward to building back up the volume. 2 weeks till GWN is plenty of time to get back into my groove. I feel more motivated, excited and inspired to train than I have in a long while.
Sometimes a break is what is necessary to come back fresh and recharged. I am both.
Thanks to my body for the message, I am sorry it had to be so loud...and painful!

TFTD: Bike 50km 2 hrs

Saturday, June 21, 2008

June 20th

2 years ago today I had a speaking gig. I did quite a few of these for various organizations and I went in thinking this would be just another day. When I walked into a large room of 200 bankers (mostly men, in suits) I nearly walked back out. I knew right away it was going to be a tough crowd for my personal development/ motivational talk. My subject was all about getting out of your comfort zone though, so I guess it was time to walk the talk.
It was, as I anticipated, a tough crowd. When it was over I was relieved and anxious to get out of there. I made a b-line for the door and as I was walking out the door one of the 'suits' fell into step with me. He complimented me on the presentation and although it was nice to hear I just wanted to get out of there and wasn't in the mood for chit chat. Then he said he, too, did his first Ironman in Penticton in 05. I finally looked up and made eye contact. He smiled and something inside of me shifted. We chatted a bit about training- I was surprised to hear he did most of his training solo and I told him about some of the groups I had trained with, and offered to hook him up with some people if he ever wanted to do a group ride. He pulled out a card and scribbled his cell number on the back. I glanced at his name, said good bye and doubted I would ever see him again.
Later that day I received a few emails from people in the presentation- thanking me, complimenting me, etc. It was nice, since they were a tough group to get talking.
One of the emails was from Darin Hunter...that guy who walked me out. He had some really nice things to say about my presentation, some intelligent comments about the material, and expressed his gratitude in hearing about someone else's ironman experience. He said most people he talked to about it got a glazed over look and really did not either understand, or care. From this point, the emails began to go back and forth. Mainly about triathlon, but also a bit about ourselves, our lives etc. As it turns out we worked only blocks apart from one another, and so we decided to go for a run together, after work.
He was a really good writer, and his intelligence came through. So did his sense of humor and from what I remembered from the brief time I met him he was also disarmingly handsome. But I was not "looking" for a relationship right at that moment. I had recently come out of a messy one and was still cleaning up. But a friend who possessed these qualities would be alright, I rationalized. I had lots of guy friends and new people to train with were always a good thing.
So we went for a run. (I still had no idea he was a rock star runner). I thought I was keeping a pretty good pace- trying, in a way, to see if he could keep up. We had a great conversation and a fantastic run.
We made plans for another run, this time a real test- with the trailtrash group out in the mountain trails. We drove out to the mountains together and had great and easy conversation. The run itself was a gooder- with several creek crossings and lots of climbing. The first creek crossing was a doozy- mid quad deep and a strong current...and cold! As the group crossed, Darin lost his footing and fell in. The current caught him and he had to swim his way back to shore. The group, as kind as they are, instantly began berating him and teasing him that this was not a triathlon. D took it all in stride, he laughed it off and carried on running without so much as flinching. The next creek crossing was captured in the picture below. I teased him that I was a bit worried about holding onto him and getting taken for a swim- but I actually felt totally secure on his arm :-)

Over the next month we saw each other a few times, going for runs, mid day coffees at the Good Earth, and exchanged many emails. One evening, we were out for sushi and as he was talking about traveling and his experiences in his 20's, I found myself starting at him, and wondering what it would be like to kiss him. It was about that time I accepted what I had been fighting all along- this "friendship" was not going to work. So we broke off our platonic relationship and took the plunge into a romantic relationship. The rest, as they say, is history.
Every day together we have grown happier, stronger and more in love. We are best friends, training partners, life partners and lovers. I couldn't ask for more.
Last August, on my 30th birthday, we made the promise to become man and wife. In 4 months we will be Mr and Mrs Hunter and I feel like the luckiest person on earth to have found my one true love. Cheesy, but true :-)
Happy Anniversary babe. The last 2 years have been the best days (and nights) of my life, and I look forward to a lifetime more with you.

Monday, June 16, 2008


For the days that hurt...

Weekend Wrap Up

Saturday we decided to stay in and train. We did a 30min warm up followed by CTS power intervals...ouch. Then a 30 min spin and out for a T run. Felt like crap until the magic 10min mark, which is where my legs suddenly accept the idea that we are running. I don't even have to look at my watch to know how long I have been running. Did 46mins, felt better the longer I ran. Except that I was starving.
Hit Prairie Sushi (yes, it is really called that) for a feast with D. Sooooo gooood.
Did some errands and crashed early- missing our first social invite in GP...what a couple of jam tarts.

Sunday I woke up tired and grouchy at the construction behind us that started at 7am...on a SUNDAY!!!
My legs felt pretty beat and the sky was grey and it was drizzling rain. Enough factors for me to decide I wasn't tackling the 160km ride we had planned. My knee has been bugging me on the bike, just under the right kneecap on the medial edge. I have no idea what it is and it doesn't hurt any other time than when I am on the bike. I need to get it sorted out though. It is a very localized pain and I am sure it must have to do with my shoe or cleat or position on the bike. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

D headed out for the planned ride and I had another cup of coffee. The weather looked like crap, but there was NO WIND. That almost never happens here so I decided I had to go out and at least get a short ride in. I told myself if my knee was bugging me I would call it a day. Thing was, it started hurting right away, and after bundling up and getting out, I didn't want to turn back.

I did 50km, staying in my small gear and spinning high, as that put the least amount of pressure on the knee.

When I got home I had a call from D- it was pouring on him and he was calling it a day- so off I went to retrieve him. The highway had some construction going on and traffic was stopped. I sat for 50mins and finally called D and told him to start riding as I may never get there. It finally opened up and I found D 20km out of Rycroft in the pouring rain. He was covered head to toe in mud and dirt and he looked pretty happy to see me.

So neither one of us got in our planned ride, but at least he managed 130km.

It is always this time of the season when two things start to happen in my head. One, I begin to question "am I doing enough?" "how am I ever going to be ready?" "why do I do this again??"
and Two, I tell myself that next year I am taking the year off Ironman. Next year I am going to have a life in the summer- do yard work, have drinks on a patio, and take weekend vacations that don't involve 12hrs of riding. This deal usually lasts until at least 12hrs post completion of said Ironman....and then the renegotiation begins...

Now in my 4th season, I should know better....but I still feel the fear of "not enough" and I still tell myself "this is the last one". And even though I DO know better, both are motivation in a way, and at this point in the season I will take any kind of motivation I can get.

Friday TFTD: Swim (outdoor pool) 2000m 40mins
Saturday: Bike: 2hrs TRun 46mins
Sunday: Bike 2hrs

Friday, June 13, 2008

Hits For Tits!!

Thanks to all who came out to support April's fundraising efforts for the Weekend to End Breast Cancer. To those of you that were scared off my the dark clouds and showers- apparently you don't know about my arrangement with Mother Nature. The sun came out and we had a great class.
We are planning round 2 for July. Stay tuned.

Friday already!

Wow, this week has been busy, and I am so happy to say it is Friday.
I am going to catch up my training log for my own sake, while I remember.

Tuesday: ez run 60
skipped swim to do much needed admin work!
Wed: Bike 60
Run: 60
EZ run 60
missed swim time as I was with clients.
Thurs: Swim 50 (finally)
Bike 90mins
EZ Run 60

Between classes, clients and training I am spending up to 12hrs a day outside. I am NOT complaining as the weather here has been pretty stellar. Tuesday it rained but it wasn't too bad.

Today I have one PT client and then am hosting a fundraiser for the breast cancer walk which a client of mine is doing. I will be teaching a one hour intro to kickboxing class down in the park. Hits for Tits. Hopefully we get a great turn out and raise lots of money for the cause.

And then maybe, just maybe we will FINALLY get to the Sex and the City movie!!!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Paying Dues to the House of Pain

There was a time, not too many weeks ago when a 2hr run was a cakewalk. Now, somehow my body has forgotten how to run at a decent pace for anything longer than 45mins.
I tried to refresh that memory today with a 2hr run, working on pushing my pace back up to where I want it to be. I was having some tummy troubles that gave me more grief than anything, and my lungs were feeling the burn. Surprisingly my legs were fine and about the only thing I had going for me today. Must be all those squats and lunges I have been doing :-)
In the end it was a 22km trip, and I was spent by the end. Tired and starving and on my own to find something to eat. D is out of town for a couple of nights and I have no one to take care of I managed to drive my sorry butt to Safeway for a deli sandwich, and the lady working there asked me "are you a biker or something? not a biker, biker, but a cyclist?" It took me off gaurd a bit since I wasn't even wearing lycra, but I said yes, kind of. I asked her how she knew and she said she could just tell. I looked myself up and down but saw no signs- no chain grease on my leg, no weird tan lines showing...hmm.

TFTD: Run 2hrs 22km

Spent some time tonight with the Little Woman Of Strength herself...

Those are 8lb weights...and she is 3. Lookout world!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Character building....still.

Well today's ride was one of those workouts you really have to dig deep to rationalize... The wind was ridiculous, even by Grande Prairie standards. We ventured out towards Beaverlodge...home of the Giant Beaver attraction (I kid you not). D decided we should start into the the tough stuff while still fresh was the thinking, but it kind of backfired.
I spent the entire ride making mental deals with myself, convincing myself why this was a good ride, and using every mental trick I could conjure just to keep pedaling. There was very little to be found in the way of gratification with the amount of energy I was expending related to the numbers on my spedometer. How bad was it? My average speed to Beaverlodge was 17.9km/hr. Oy.
There were times when the wind was roaring so hard I was nearly being pushed backwards. I tried not to get negative, as I know this sucks even more energy, and instead tried to forget about how slow I was going and just enjoy the fact I was outside on my bike.
I met up with D in BL and he was in worse shape than me. He wanted to call it a day, frustrated with the wind. I guess he is less used to riding slow than I am... LOL.
I convinced him to suck it up and ride it out for another 15kms to Hythe, just so we could get over the 100km mark for the day.
He agreed, but only after I offered to let him sit on my wheel....hehe.
The road shifted slightly north which was just enough to take the straight on head wind to a slight head/cross wind which was a huge relief. I made the turn in Hythe and enjoyed some real speed all the way home with the wind at my back.
At the end of the day, I was spent- 4hrs20 for a 110km ride is nasty. But I am glad we stuck it out.
We had a great bbq steak dinner and treated ourselves to an evening of lounging on the couch.
This is where life is really good :-)

TFTD Bike 4hrs20 110km

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Heading for the Hills

For today's ride we ventured South on hwy 40 and rode the hilly path towards Grande Cache. It is a beautiful ride with lots of climbing to keep it interesting. I rode out 45km and turned around. It was one of those days where I felt like I could ride forever. The last climb out of the valley hurt though, it is really steep and about 3km long. We finished up and went into the nordic centre for a short T run. More hills...eep. I did 15mins and pulled the plug when I realized my hr was through the roof.
Had a great night having dinner with my bro and family. Enjoyed some girl time while D and J watched the UFC...whee.

TFTD Bike 90.8km 3hrs 15
Run 15mins

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Making Friends with Fatigue

The last couple of days I have been energy challenged. I am thinking it is mostly normal considering my schedule. The training I am doing with others combined with my own training schedule is pretty intense. Wednesday I hit the pool with high hopes, but felt like a bag of rocks in the water and ended up doing 1500m of drills and calling it a day. I did an ez mtn bike ride with a client in the am that had some hill repeats to make it legitimate training.
Today I was still not feeling peppy in the pool but managed to gut out 3000m including lots of pull and paddles. It seemed to be the only way I could
Straight from the pool to the tready to work a bit of speed. Did a solid tempo run building in speed over 40mins. The first 10mins were mentally tough, I just wanted to walk, but after kicking up the speed my body began to come around and I felt good.
Rounded out the day with an ez 60min run with the group and some much needed couch time.

Wednesday TFTD: Bike 60min
Swim 30min 1500m

Thursday: Swim 60min 3000m
Tempo Run 40mins
Rec Run 60mins

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Perfect Day For a Ride

Today I was planning to swim and run, but the blue sky, sunshine and mild wind were too enticing and I decided a bike ride was in order. I felt awesome today and had a fantastic ride out to Bezanson and back. It was one of those days where I felt like I could have ridden forever. But of course I had to come back and teach my classes....people need fitness and I must deliver! lol
On the way back I checked my ave speed and it was 29.7. Lately I have had this block about getting a 30km/hr ave on training rides. I usually end at 29.9 and am wondering wtf. So today I decided it was the time to push through. I got low and pushed hard, managing to get the ave up to 30.0 by the time I hit home. Yippee!
I also had a very rare sighting...another cyclist! And not just any cyclist, the rarest, most elusive species...the female cyclist!!! In the 3 months of living here this is the first one I have seen and I had to do a quick u-turn and catch up with her to get a closer look...and introduce myself. First, I scared the crap out of her. Then I practically offered her money to be my Actually she suggested contacting me to go for a ride and I am hoping we can connect. As much as I love solo riding, it would be great to have company once in a while!

TFTD Bike 55km 1hr50
Strength: 50mins
Rec Run/Walk 60mins

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Hinton Mountainview Olympic Tri

Perfect race day conditions today. Warm, cloudless, and only a hint of wind...suweeeeet!
We had a 8:50 start time and I was thrilled to be able to sleep in until 7am and take my time in getting ready to go. Had our breakkie and coffee and gathered up stuff to head over to the rec centre for the race start.
I had submitted 29 mins as a swim time and was in a lane with 3 other girls. They had it set up really well with 2 people starting from each end and the first 2 leading out 5 seconds before the second 2. I was one of the first two to go and I knew during the warm up I was going to have a great swim. I felt strong and smooth in the water and it wasn't long before I started passing. I ended up passing all of the others at least 5-6 times. It was a bit frustrating at times when I would be on someone's feet for almost 25m only to have them push off at the wall rather than let me pass. Ah well. I am so used to swimming by myself I get a little territorial in the lane :-)
The swim went quickly and before I knew it, it was time to hop out and head to the bike. I had a decent transition, although I struggled with my helmet strap and realized later that it was not wound through properly.
Off I went, onto one of the most beautiful and challenging short courses I have done. The first 20km are all pretty much a gradual uphill, finishing with a climb up Obed Summit, the highest point on the Yellowhead highway. I was feeling really good, and kept my gearing light and my cadence high pretty much the entire way. After the turnaround I turned it on and was flying. The downhill and slight tailwind helped :-) but I felt like a rock star. My ride time was 1:16 by my bike computer, an average speed of 31.1 km/hr.
I came off the bike feeling good and had a quick T2, other than struggling to get my still wet and sockless feet into my runners. I had tightened the quicklaces after my warm up run in the morning and shouldn't have. The run started well, I kept my steps small and did the first km in 4mins. Then the trail took an incline and continued going up and up for 1.5km. At one point I thought I was at the top and came around a bend to see another incline...eeep. Km number 2 was 4mins 50...ouch. After the hill I felt like hell. I was breathing so heavy, my calves were tight and my foot was hurting from too tight laces. I stopped briefly and fixed my shoe, trying to pull myself together. The road then went into the woods and turned into a single track trail. It was kind of run! I was pushing as much as I could, but was having a hard time getting my breathing under control with all the undulations... I finally reached the turnaround and was relieved to know that there would be some downhill to make up time on. I managed to find another gear and pick up the pace on the way back. I finally came out of the trail and was soon on the downhill. The first km down felt great, I was flying. Then my legs started to talk back and I was ready to be done with this downhill. I reached the bottom with another km to go and was worried my legs were going to bail on me. I held on and was able to push through to the finish. I saw D there taking pics and coasted through the finish chute. This is the first race I have done (including Ironmans) where I did not sprint the finish. It was a conscious choice, I remember thinking it was not necessary. But as it turns out it was the difference between being the first female and the second. The girl that beat me by 2 seconds actually finished after me, as she was in a heat after, so I had no idea. It was a good reminder to me about finishing strong, no matter what! There is never a time in a race where it is ok to coast. My goal is always to give 100% from start to finish. I pulled out about 8 seconds early and it bit me in the butt. Good lesson.
We stuck around and had bbq's burgers (veggie for me!) and collected our prizes for winning our respective age groups- bottles of wine...yeah!
D had a stellar race and ran a 37min 10km on a tough course! That guy just continues to amaze me. He won outright and I was so happy for him it took away the sting of the 2 second bite :-)
I am overall very happy with my race. I felt great on the swim and bike and had splits I feel good about. I need to work a bit on my run, the hill really sapped my energy and I was struggling at that high intensity. I have been doing a lot of running with clients and groups, and it is all slow. My own runs have suffered because I am tired and have not been pushing enough speed. All of this can and will be remedied and hopefully the next race I do I'll be able to run to my full potential.

16th Overall
2:31:13 Amber Dawn MORRIS 1/6 F3039 Swim 18th 27:42 1:51 Bike 20th 1:17:24 31.0 Run 10th 46:08 4:37