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 hilly...so 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.