Monday, December 31, 2007

A New Beginning

It's New Year's Eve; this is always a time of reflection for me. This year has been a whirlwind to say the least. I've traveled a bit with work; seen places I'd never see (Clayoquat Wilderness Reserve), stayed at places I'd never stay at (The Saint Sulpice in Montreal) and experienced things I wouldn't normally get to experience (flying on a float plane). In that regard, it's been a very interesting year.
Physically & mentally, I took most of the year off. I did one race at the end of the year. I'm glad I took the break as I don't think I would have even contemplated another Ironman if I raced most of the summer. I started off in a good head space when I started my training. I've now hit a speed bump so to speak. Especially with my swimming. I have had very little motivation as of late--mainly over the holidays. All I've wanted to do is sit on the couch and read or play scrabble. I was starting to feel a little burnt out. The last 2 weeks have been really hard in terms of workouts; especially in the pool. I don't think I've ever done this much speed work in the pool. I don't like it. I don't like pushing myself in the pool. This is odd for me. Normally I am pretty hard headed when it comes to my workouts. I will push myself just to get the "I can't do it" out of my head. For some reason, I just don't do it now. I am not feeling motivated. I knew this was going to happen at some point, I just didn't figure it was going to happen so soon and I don't have a plan B. I guess the best course of action for me right now is to put my head down and just do the work, knowing (or at least hoping) that all the hard work will pay off. I know if I want to swim faster I have to work harder in the pool. I just don't like the discomfort of swimming hard. Probably because I am not in my element. Pushing myself when I'm running is easier. It still hurts but I'm more inclined to do the work. Hmmmm.....
Goal for next year: Stop whining and just do it. ha ha ha. Probably not going to happen. But I will make a concerted effort to get in the right head space to do the work.
Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Week From Hell

I really shouldn't be surprised at the mayhem that always ensues at work around this time of year. Really. It always seems to catch me off guard. One minute I'm sipping a latte, leisurely working on a quote, the next thing you know I'm working 12 hour days and going a mile a minute. That's what happened this past week. 5 shoots in 4 days. Talk about losing my mind. I had a feeling this week was going to be bad when it started off with my clock being incorrectly set. I woke up 45 minutes later than I wanted to on Monday so I wasn't able to get to the gym. So I ran instead. Wednesday I had to swim at the Olympium. What a nightmare. Wednesday afternoon, my stomach was feeling funny. Wednesday night I was feeling pretty ill. I didn't eat dinner and went to bed early. I hardly slept. Thursday was difficult. It was also another 12 hour day. I missed a workout on Wednesday night, missed both workouts on Thursday and was still feeling crappy on Friday so I didn't do anything then either. I FINALLY started to feel better yesterday afternoon. Gary thinks I had mild food poisoning. I had sushi at lunch on Wednesday and he seems to think that was the culprit. No one else got sick though so I'm not sure. All I can say is THANK GOD I only have 4 days of work left.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Stop the Insanity

I have been a whirlwind of activity this past couple of weeks. Work has gone from zero to HOLY CRAP in a matter of days. I had an easy week this week which made the insanity a little easier to deal with. I only managed to miss one workout and that was the only swim I was supposed to do this week. Oh well. This week doesn't look much better in terms of work. I have 5 shoots happening this week; 2 on Monday, one on Tuesday, one of Wednesday and one on Thursday. AHH!! Thank GOD, the Christmas holidays are coming. We're closed for almost 10 days. I can't wait. I'm counting the days till I can sleep in.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Sunday Mornings

Some people choose to go to church on Sunday morning to worship. I choose to go outside. There is nothing more uplifting or spiritual to me than to head outside for a run on a cool fall day, the air crisp and clean, the sun warm on my face. The feeling of my body moving forward, the sound of my feet hitting the pavement, leaves crunching underfoot; there is something so gratifying about that. A "good" run can transport you outside your body. A good run for me is when I am on autopilot. I am in "the zone" where I am not thinking about anything in particular but I am aware of everything around me. I feel no pain but yet I know I'm working. It's moments like that, that keep me heading out the door every Sunday. It's moments like that, that make me grateful to be alive and able bodied. Going out and "doing" is my form of worship, my way of thanking the powers that be for my ability TO go out and "Do".

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Super Bug

I don't really have much to write about since I spent the last week with a nasty cold. The second one in 6 weeks. It hit me Tuesday evening and I was out of the training loop for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Saturday I did a 2 hour easy indoor ride and I felt pretty good. I felt like I was on the mend. Sunday I did my 1 hour 15 minute long run and I felt great. We then went downtown for the Santa Claus parade to see Julia on The Brick float. What an epic afternoon. We got downtown at around 11:00 but the parade didn't pass where we were sitting until 2:00 pm! Then we went for dinner. It was 6:30 by the time we got home. I had been on my feet for several hours. I was exhausted. Monday morning I woke up coughing and sniffling AGAIN! AHHHH!!! So, I went to bed early on Monday night, skipped my Tuesday morning swim so I could sleep in. I rode last night and I actually felt pretty good. I had an hour long run scheduled for this morning but I only ran for half an hour as I was still not feeling 100%. I think I was just tired because I feel fine now. I feel like whatever was lingering is starting to let go. Thank GOD. I really want to get back to normal. This just reminds me that I really have to take extra care of myself when I'm training because I seem to be quite susceptible the slightest things out there. Looks like I'll be stocking up on oranges when I grocery shop tonight!

Monday, November 12, 2007

3rd time's a charm

Finally!!! A good training weekend at last!! We went out to Bolton again on Saturday to ride. It was chilly but sunny out. The first 15 minutes were pretty uncomfortable but once we started climbing, I started sweating. After the first few hills, I had to remove a layer. Good thing I did as we did a slightly different route--a route that had a monster hill in it. By the time I got to the top of that hill I was pretty drenched. And, I actually felt pretty good. Cardio seemed to be fine and my legs actually felt good! I think I'm finally getting used to the new bike. The ride was tough but I didn't bonk. I felt great! I pushed the pace a bit on the way back and still felt great. WAHOOO!
Yesterday Gary and I went to do our lactate testing with Tara. I had this done last time with Richard. It helps to determine the best aerobic heart rate you should be working at in each discipline. Richard tested us on the bike the last time so this time Gary and I got tested on the run. I know that I have a pretty high lactate threshold on the run. It takes a while for lactic acid to build up in my legs. I hopped on the treadmill and started at an easy pace. They kept increasing it until I was working hard--on a scale of 1 to 10 my exertion level was an 8. Then they pricked my finger to take a blood sample. They kept doing that every 4 minutes for the next 35 minutes or so. Apparently I clear lactate most efficiently when my heart rate is at 150. My lactate balance point for the run is 160, which means that it's probably about 150 for the bike. Funny, because with Richard's test my balance point was 137.5 for the bike. Usually there is a difference of 10 beats per minute between the bike and the run (the run being higher). So, I think Richard's test was off because there is no way I've improved that much over the last year considering I haven't been doing THAT much.
I had a 2 hour run scheduled but I figured there was no way I was going to run 2 hours after pushing myself like I did on the treadmill. Since the testing was over at Mississauga Road and Lakeshore I decided to run home. I ran with my heart rate slightly higher than normal and I felt great. I motored home turning over sub 6 min km's. My average for the run home was 5:42 km's. NICE!

Friday, November 9, 2007

False Alarm

Whatever it was that I had on Sunday was gone the next day. As it should--I think I slept for almost 12 bloody hours!!

This week has been a tough week. I've started a new weight program and I've been hurting for the last 3 days. My run this morning was awful. I had no spring in my step whatsoever. Funny though, my legs actually feel BETTER now than when I woke up. I hope they're better by tomorrow as I have a 3 hour ride to do. We're going to Bolton AGAIN. We've gone there the last 2 weeks in a row. It's freakin' hilly there. Maybe this week I'll manage to get through the ride without blowing up or having a meltdown!

Next week is an "easy week". I'm going to try to get in for a massage--I'm SO due for one. I'm actually kinda scared because I know it's really going to hurt. But I'll feel a million times better afterwards--the pain is almost always worth it.

I've started putting together a little "Ironman Inspiration Board" in my office. I have an article about my friend Pat from Ironman Live, an article about Lisa Bentley, a note my friend Sue sent me about why people do Ironman and the top 10 reasons I do Ironman. They are as follows:

10) I get to hang out with ripped guys that don't mind wearing spandex

9) All the fancy gear

8) I can eat almost anything I want and not gain weight

7) When I'm training I become a very cheap drunk

6) Keeps me from spending my weekend shopping (not that I have any money left after spending it on fancy gear!)

5) Gets me outside

4) I love the smell of chlorine in the morning

3) The camaraderie & friendship

2) I could just as easily become a sloth

1) Discovering I could push myself farther than I ever thought.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back...

I had a great week training this week. I thought for sure this weekend would be pretty good, despite the fact that I got my period early. I was SO wrong. My ride on Saturday was tougher than the week before. I was so bloated that my shorts were digging into my abdomen and causing me a huge amount of discomfort. I had trouble taking in any liquids or food, which in turn, caused me to run out of energy early on. The ride back to the car was tough. My heart rate was high and I was wiped out. We stopped off at Gary's sister's place to visit the kids and say hi to his folks and then made our way home. I was feeling chilled and very tired. I went to bed really early even though the clocks went back an hour. I didn't have a great sleep but it was better than the night before. I had a headache when I woke up and I figured it was because I was dehydrated. I headed out with Gary with the intention of running for an hour and a half. My pace was REALLY slow (6:30-7:00 min kms) and my heart rate was really high (upper zone 2, low zone 3). Not good. My abdomen was still really bloated and my fuel belt was not helping the situation. I shuffled along with Gary and then he went on his way. I ran out for 32.5 minutes. That was more than enough. I couldn't take any more. I turned around and started back. I felt like I was overheating. I shuffled along some more and then stopped. I had to walk. I felt horrible. My stomach was churning and I was exhausted. I think the fact that I hardly ate anything yesterday didn't help matters. I had no fuel in the tank. I should really know better than that! I ended up walking home. Gary caught me with about 2km left to the house and walked back with me. I got in the shower and cranked the heat. I was freezing. I wrapped myself up in my warmest clothes when I got out. I felt tired and woozy so I made some eggs and toast. I had a cup of coffee and felt even worse. I was starting to burn up. I tried to have a nap but felt restless. I took my temperature and the thermometer read 101. Great. Now I'm sick. Or fighting something. Great. I hope that whatever this is is gone by tomorrow.

Friday, November 2, 2007

If I wasn't out training...

I wouldn't have seen the breathtaking sunrise this morning. I wouldn't have seen the fox sitting in the grass by the Mayfair Club. I wouldn't have seen that same fox go bounding through the trees on my way back. I wouldn't have seen the egret standing in the water as still as a statue. Something told me to bring my camera with me this morning but I opted not to as I didn't want to carry it with me when I ran. Too bad--you'd be looking at what I saw instead of reading about it.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Surprise Surprise

Wonders never cease....really. I got up to go to the pool this morning only to receive a phone call from Gary at 5:30 to tell me that the pool was closed. After I hung up, my first thought was "Well, that sucks." I had to give my head a shake. What was this? Me, bummed about missing a workout?? When did THAT happen?? I was actually looking forward to my swim this morning. Sure I was tired when the alarm went off and I could have continued sleeping, but once I dragged myself out of bed, I was actually looking forward to going to the pool. This is a step in the right direction! This is the attitude I need to get me through the next 9 months!

On another note, we booked out tickets for Switzerland yesterday. ahhhhh!!! So we leave on Friday July 4th and come back on Saturday July 19th. We've booked our accommodation as well. We've got an apartment for 11 days right in Zurich. We don't get it until the Tuesday before the race but we'll just stay in a hotel for a couple of days. I can't WAIT!!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Breaking in the New Steed & The Big Bonk

Yesterday marked the debut of the Plasma Contessa duo in the tri group. Sue and I took our new steeds for their first long ride. It was an overcast day, fairly mild, good weather for riding. We were hoping the rain would hold off. It didn't but we didn't care. So our bikes got a little dirty. Oh well. It was a windy day as well. We rode out in Bolton / Caledon. It's very hilly out there. Very I figured that I'd have a somewhat challenging time climbing on the new bike. It was tough. But, I managed. The bike is SUPER comfortable and it rides like a dream. It climbs fairly well. It was hard for me to stay seated on the steeper climbs due to the different geometry (tri-bikes are in a more aggressive position vs road bikes which are in a more relaxed position--you use more of your quad muscles when you're on a tri bike) so I ended up getting out of the saddle more often than usual, which is tough. We rode out into the wind for most of the ride. That coupled with the hills really took it's toll on me. We got to the top of the big grinder hill and decided to turn around. The way back is much easier as it's mostly flat. There are a few small climbs but nothing too bad. I was cruising along, I felt good. We hit the flat section with the wind at our backs. WOOHOO! I got into my big chain ring and cruised along. I was trying to catch up with Sue who had decided to go ahead when we stopped to get some fluids. I pushed and pushed but she had hopped on Tracy's wheel so I couldn't catch them. I hit the first little hill and my legs started screaming at me. Oh oh. That's not good. From that point on it was all I could do to hang on to the rest of the group. I bonked and I bonked LARGE. I had to try and keep on someone's wheel to get back. My legs were totally exhausted and they HURT. As much as I love my new bike, I was SO happy to get off it. Bonking sucks but, it's part and parcel of training and it will just make me stronger. Next time maybe I won't be such a hammer head.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Easy Week

This was my first "easy week" of training. I had forgotten just how enjoyable it can be to have a little mini break. In reality I had an easy week last week too, except that I was sick so it wasn't an easy week by choice. I missed every workout last week except my weekend workouts (which were both HORRID....shocking!). I figured I totally suck getting back into the pool this week, but it wasn't too bad! I was pleasantly surprised. Although it was a drill workout so it wasn't terribly long. I managed to miss my Tuesday swim but not through any fault of my own. I had a doctor's appointment scheduled for 9:30 am on Tuesday and I thought instead of swimming at the gym all the way out in the west end, I'd head out to the St. Lawrence Community Centre right around the corner from my doctor's office and swim there since they had a Tuesday morning swim. I get to the pool at 6:45 and it seems pretty quiet outside. But, it is also 6:45 am so I think nothing of it and head inside. As I am walking towards the pool, a little sign catches my eye. It says "The pool will be closed for pump maintenance on Monday Oct 15th between 7-8pm and Tuesday October 16th between 6:30-8:30 am. ARRRGGG! So there I am standing in an empty community centre at 7:00 am, I haven't showered and I have my bathing suit on under my clothes. Dammit. Dammit, dammit dammit dammit. Where the hell can I go at 7:00 am to shower??? I contemplate going to the Good Life gym at Yonge & Queen since I'm a Good Life member, I could get it. But where the hell do I park? ugh. So, I decide it could probably make it back to the studio, shower there and then come back down to my doctor's appointment. So I drive back out to the mid-west end, run into the studio, quickly shower, get dressed, check my email and hop back into the car and make my way through rush hour traffic to get down to my doctor's office. I get down there early enough to go the bank machine, mail a letter, get a coffee and read the paper. So much for my well laid plans. My easy week just got a little easier.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Big Bucks No Whammies

So, the hubby and I went to the Big Bike Blow Out today at the Automotive Building. We met up with Rick and Sue and Rooster. There are always really good deals at this sale. Lots of good deals on bikes. But I wasn't really in the market for one. I already own two. Although my tri bike is 4 years old. Anyway, I was on a mission to find stuff for my sister since she's just started riding. We get in the door and immediately scatter. I head over to Wheels to check out their clothes and I buy myself a long sleeve Descente shirt for $35 (good deal). I putter around some more and find a jersey for Rebecca. I'm having a hard time finding extra small stuff for her. I find Gary and we head over to where Rick is holding on to a bike that he thinks would be great for Sue. It's a Scott Plasma Contessa and it's beautiful. And, it's on for a REALLY good deal. I told him if she doesn't buy it she's nuts. I then say, if they had it in my size, I'd be all over it for that price. Sue sees it, loves it, but hems and haws over it. I told her if they had it in my size I'd buy it. It's a gorgeous bike and it's on for a GREAT deal. She buys it and then tells me that they have my size at another booth. So, we wander over there, unfortunately it happens to be Racer Sportif (hate those guys) but Denis isn't there so it's ok. I look at the bike and it's a 52 which is usually a little big for me, however it is womens specific geometry so it's a better fit. The guy offers to take my measurements to see if this size will work for me. Turns out I'm in between sizes so I think, ok, maybe it's not meant to be. I don't really need it anyway. Gary starts talking to him about changing the stem etc and I find out that yes, in fact they can make this bike fit me. Geez. What to do. They are selling it for more than what Sue paid so I tell them what she paid, she shows them the receipt, the sales guy checks it out and asks me to wait a minute. He checks with his boss and came back to say that he could match the price. Crap. In a good way. I think. I think it took me 5 seconds to say "done!". Nothing like a $3,350 impulse buy. I still feel like I'm going to puke. I had just told Gary that one day I'd like a carbon fiber tri bike but, that my Cannondale hasn't seen an Ironman yet so I really should use that bike. Oh well, looks like I'm going to have to sell the Cannondale. I don't need 2 tri bikes. Really. Despite the fact I love my Cannondale (especially the paint job). I think I'm going to love my new bike even more. check it out....

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Peaks and Valleys

Much like the events of one's life, training goes through peaks and valleys. Highs and lows. Sometimes you have a great day only to be followed by a crappy day. Or a series of crappy days. This was the case for me on Sunday. I had a fantastic run. It was great, the legs felt good, I could have run longer, blah blah blah. I get up on Monday (after having a lot of wine on Sunday night) and I feel crappy. I can feel a cold starting. MY nose is runny and my throat is sore. So much for my training plans that day. I decide to take it easy. Tuesday I wake up feeling worse. I stay home from work. No training again. Today I wake up after a horrible nights sleep feeling so so. A lot more sniffly than yesterday. Now, I feel like CRAP. Absolute CRAP. Another day of training out the window. It's to bed early for me tonight. For sure. I hate getting sick. I should have known it was coming--Gary was sick last week but I didn't get it right away so I thought I was in the clear. Dammit. All I can say is I'm glad I brought my own box of kleenex in today--the good stuff with lotion--so my nose isn't too raw. Every little bit helps.


Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Bottom Line

"When you reach the Bottom Line, the only thing to do is climb; pick yourself up off the floor, anything you want is yours...."

This is what I was listening to as I started my hour and a half run with a turkey hangover. I didn't feel great at all but I kept plugging away. Might have had something to do with the 3 hour trainer ride yesterday as well. That was hell. I was fine for the first 2 hours but the last hour was tough. Luckily I had many TV shows to catch up on to distract me (LOVE having a PVR!). My legs felt like lead today. I knew that if I kept going it *should* get better. It's funny how that goes sometimes. You head out, not really wanting to be out, you don't feel good but it somehow turns around. By the time I turned around, I felt great. My heart rate was nice and low and my legs felt pretty good. I could have gone another 15 minutes easily. In fact, I would have negative split the run had I not stopped to play with a 10 week old Boston Terrier (SO CUTE!). I was pretty pleased with myself. And, by the time I got back, my turkey hangover was gone. Love it.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Slog Fest

This week has been a slog fest. Really. I have not wanted to do a single workout. I've managed to force myself to get up every morning but not without lying in bed mentally going through my list of excuses and "plan b's" (i.e, when else could I do this workout??). I think I need to have a more tangible goal than just "doing" this Ironman. I need a time goal. I haven't really thought about what sort of time I could do this in, I just figure I'd be faster this time around. The bike course is easier and the run is pancake flat so logically, I *should* be faster. How much is up to me I suppose. I don't think they have change tents at this Ironman so I should be able to slice my 15 minute picnic in transition to about 5-7 minutes. Gary says I should race this one but I'm not sure what that means for me in terms of heart rate etc. I have my old training plan and will have to look at that. I'm sure Richard gave me some guidance. I'm hoping that I can take at least half an hour off of my bike time. I know I am capable of faster than 7 hours on the bike leg!! Richard figured I should have ridden 6:20 in Placid. Had I not made 3 stops on the bike (2 bathroom & one food stop), I probably would have been a bit closer. I think I spent about 10 minutes waiting for a porta potty. If I can take 45 minutes to an hour off of my previous time, I'll be thrilled. That would mean I need to do the following: 1:15 swim (totally possible as I swam 1:19 last time, felt I could have gone faster but got stuck in the slow pack) 10 minute T1, 6:30 bike (gotta learn to pee on the bike--nasty), 5 minute T2 and a 4:15 marathon(which should be TOTALLY possible as long as I don't walk too much--last time I walked for a LONG time and ran just under 4:30 for the marathon) That puts me at exactly 12:15. I'd be happy with that. The bike is the biggest thing. I really have to work on that since I've taken a long hiatus from it. As soon as the weather got nice this year, I opted to spend my time gardening rather than riding on Saturday mornings. Oh well, at least the backyard looks good.

So, 12:15 will be my goal. Not sure how to get there but I'll figure it out.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Little Things

Yesterday I read an article on Ironman Live about my friend Pat and how he won his battle with cancer (or as he liked to call it, "his little bug"). Even though I know the story, I was still inspired. I could learn a lesson or two from Pat. I always sweat the little things and fail to take a look at the big picture (hazards of being a producer I think). I focus on the negative and fail to see the positive. Things could be a lot worse in life so I should be grateful for the fact that I have the ability to be active, to take on this challenge.

I am going to try to be more positive in my outlook and in regards to my training. After all, it's really about the journey, rather than the destination.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Mental Help

Yesterday I did my first weight workout in about 2 months and then did a 50 minute run right after. Needless to say, I was sore when I got up this morning. I seriously contemplated resetting my alarm and sleeping in but I got up. I figured I was swimming and that would help loosen up my sore muscles. I had to do a 2600m swim. I figured it wasn't going to be a problem, it will just take me longer than normal. I'm tired but I think I can muscle through it. I get to the pool and start my swim. The body was willing but the mind had other ideas. I swam my warm up and half of my main set and then stopped. I was TOTALLY wiped out and I SO didn't want to be there. I had the pool to myself (a total rarity!) so I stayed at the end of my lane and stretched. I contemplated getting out and going to sit in the hot tub. I had a dr's appointment so I had to be on the road by 8:00 am or so. I looked at my watch. It wasn't even 6:45 am. Arg. So the mental chatter begins. "Maybe I'll just drop the 2nd 400 I'm supposed to do and finish the rest of the set"......Well...."I REALLY should do the entire workout, my goal this week was to get ALL my workouts done".....but..."It's not like I'm SKIPPING this workout, I'm just shortening it"....hmmm....
In the end, the shorter workout won. I did 2200 instead of 2600. But, at least I did my workout. I can't make a habit of doing this though. I'm sure once Gary gets back into it, I won't be prone to ditching parts of workouts. He's a good motivator (motivation by guilt, he's got it down to a science, God love him.) Right now I'm the only one training so it's easy for me to slack a bit. Everyone else starts training in November. I'll have a good head start--that should be motivation enough.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Doing the Du

I was dreading today. Really really dreading it. Why you ask? I was going to be racing. Doing a race that I hadn't done much training for. Granted it was a duathlon and it was a shorter distance race but still, it was a race. Shorter distance means you have to go hard. You have to have that extra gear. Right now, I have one gear and that is slow. At least I thought it was slow but apparently, it's not as slow as I thought. After all my trepidation about today, I actually did alright.
It was muggy and I had on a cycling jersey--not the best call but I figured I'd survive. I started in the 4th wave, which meant I could watch my sister start since she was in the first wave. Gary started in the wave behind me which meant he'd catch me on the run for sure. I just wasn't sure when. The gun went off and I took off. I had started towards the back of the pack, not sure of my pace capabilities, however I quickly realized that I should have started a little further up. I hit the first km in 4:27, which TOTALLY shocked me. Wow. I didn't think I was capable of that anymore! I kept pressing on, totally stoked. The run course was new this year and took us onto some trails. It was here that I slowed down as the ground was really uneven. I still felt like I was keeping a decent pace, although I did feel like I was going to vomit. I saw Gary just before I hit the trails and thought crap, he's going to catch me. 2km and still no Gary! 3km and the turn around and there he is, 200 meters behind me. I am hurting at this point. He passes me at the 3.5 km mark. Not bad. Better than I expected. He was looking strong as usual. I finally get into transition and promptly become disoriented. I find my bike and am so tired that I can't focus on getting my stuff off / on. I finally get my self sorted and head out on the bike.
It was really windy on our way in to the race and the wind didn't subside at all on the course. Some parts were sheltered but half the race you were riding into the wind. I hate the wind. It is my nemesis. Give me hills over wind anyday. So, needless to say, I stayed in my small chain ring and tried to spin my legs rather than push a big gear and totally burn myself out. I passed a few people and then got blocked in by slow people in front of me and faster riders passing me. ARG! I finally got around the slower riders and motored on. As soon as I turned out of the wind, I flipped into my big chain ring and started hauling ass. There were 2 women in my age group that had passed me earlier and were just infront of me. I passed them both. I motored back--the tailwind helped immensely. Once again, my transition was a nightmare. I decided I couldn't wear a hat on the last run so I had to put my hair into a higher ponytail. Lots of fiddling. I have to learn to move it in transition. Off to the second run.
This was hell. Oh my god. My legs did not want to move forward. My body was going through the motions of running but it didn't seem like I was running. Good god. I hit the first 1km and finally started to come around. My legs started to feel somewhat normal. My head however, felt like it was going to explode. I saw my sister and cheered her on. She wasn't too far infront of me. She was hurting too. I finally caught her at about 2.5km. I ran with her for a bit--she had a bad stitch--I tried to help her work through it. She was struggling so she told me to go ahead. Off I went. I hadn't been passed by anyone in my age group and I wanted to keep it that way. I chugged along, saw my parents and my aunt and uncle. They cheered me on. Right around the corner was the finish line. Wahoo! I looked down at my watch: 1:26:14. Sub 1:30! Yippee! My first run was 18:46, T1 1:29, 43:34 (30.7km/hr?!?!) T2: 1:24 Run #2" 21:02. Wow. I was shocked. To top if all off, I was 9th out of 37 women in my age group!!! Top 10 and I hardly trained. This bodes well for Ironman. Definitely.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Here we go again.

Due to large amounts of peer pressure, I have succumbed to the lure of Ironman again. That and the fact that it will be built around a European vacation. 8 of us have signed up to do Ironman Switzerland. I don't know if I am mentally up for the challenge again. I like the idea of getting back into kick ass shape. Lord knows I need something to keep me motivated. I'm just not sure I'm ready for the 10 month slog again. People always say that your second one is the hardest because you KNOW what goes into getting to the start line. Fear is no longer a motivator as you've done the distance and know what it takes. You have to find something else to motivate you. I'm still looking for that.....

My training started last Saturday and if that day is any indication of how my training is going to go, I'm screwed. We drove out to King & Keele--it was 5 degrees and raining. Not ideal riding conditions but I was appropriately dressed. We head out and the guys are whining about how cold they are. SUCK IT UP FELLAS! We ride along in the rain. I do a little detour around a pile of glass--at least I thought I detoured enough but, I didn't. A couple of minutes later as I'm rolling downhill, my tire goes flat. Crap. I get to the bottom of the hill and get off my bike. I yell up to the guys that I have a flat--Gary comes back and says I'm getting the car and off he goes. Crap crap crap. I sit under a tree and watch Sue do hill repeats. So much for my 2 hour ride. This week has been much of the same. Busy with work & social stuff so I've slept in a couple of times and gotten home late twice. arg. I'm supposed to race this weekend in Niagara on the Lake and I'm so NOT looking forward to it. I've done this race twice before and each time I've done really well as I've been in pretty good shape. I've done pretty much nothing all summer so this is really going to hurt even though it's short. Oh well, I have to start somewhere. On a positive note, my swimming has not suffered as much as I had thought--probably because Gary gave me a few good stroke tips. I swam 1000m in 20:17 which is about 30 seconds slower than what I swam it in this time last year. Not bad all things considered!