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.