Friday, May 30, 2008
Tuesday was an easy 2600m mixed swim, no runs or bikes! Didn't feel overly great during that one. Wednesday was a tough day - I drove to Goldbar park right after work and ran 50mins. It was beautiful outside but my legs got really sore and tight by the end, with lingering soreness from the triathlon several days before. When I got home my right hip was hurting a bit to walk on, so I stretched really well and tried to recover and re-fuel in time to go biking around 7:30pm. I did a total of 90 mins, with 4 x a 3min hill, moderate grade. Worked it pretty good in all the wind and made it home in one piece. Stretched really well and iced the sore spots in my legs.
Yesterday was a high intensity, short run, which I did on the tready (even though it was sunny outside!) to monitor my speed. Finished the last couple mins at 6:50mile pace, which was really good for me (and hard). My swim yesterday turned out amazing - the main set was 5 x 100, 4 x 100, 3x100, 2x100, 1x100, all on 1:40 and getting faster each set. Started with 1:19-20, then 1:16-17 for the set of 4, then 1:15 for the 3, then 1:14 for the 2, and I hoped to go 1:13 for the last one. I ended up going 1:11 and was very happy with that! I felt super-strong and awesome in the water for the first time in a long time. WATCH OUT women in the 25-29 age group at Worlds (all amateur women for that matter)!
Just took a little blogging break and had a terrific massage - my legs feel great now and the niggling soreness seems to have gone. I am just about to head out the door to meet Bonnie for a bite at Brewster's (and perhaps a drink).
Other good news - I got my brand new set of wheels yesterday (Mazda 3 hatchback)!! It is really fun to drive, and such an improvement over the '88 Celica! The gears shift so easily it is almost like you are not driving a standard. And the heat turns off when you put it to 'off' - unlike the Celica where the 'off' switch didn't work. And I can look out the windshield and there is no huge crack hindering my line of vision! My poor old Celica was taken to 'Car Heaven' on Wednesday and is now in a better place. And the environment is also better off, as there is no leaking going on anymore!
Monday, May 26, 2008
It turns out that the swim lane organization was anything but, as the race director had the genius idea of seeding the waves and lanes according to age group, and not by time like any other civilized pool-swim race. And they did not even organize swimmers of similar time in the same age group, as I was not even in a lane with other girls in my age group that can swim close to me (except for one girl, Natasha). As you can imagine, this is a recipe for chaos. I jumped into the pool (which turned out to be FREEZING, probably about 20C), and started swimming. I did not feel strong or good during any point of the swim. There were 6 people total in my lane: the only person I did not lap at all was Natasha (she was less than 30 secs behind me at the end), and everyone else we lapped many many times. One girl decided to swim the entire 1km backstroke! Wow, and why?? It was really fun trying to pass people all over the place, and at one point I was passing a girl who was also passing another girl at the same time.
After the extremely less-than-stellar swim, I ran out to my bike and put on my vest and arm warmers and was off. The 26km bike was really good, I pushed it really hard and worked my butt off on the hill that we did 4 times. There was a headwind going up the hill, and a tailwind going down, so I was flying down the hill (a gradual hill, not super-steep). I wasn't too cold on the bike and didn't encounter any problems. On the last lap of 4, I found myself actually getting hungry, so I took a gel and felt better.
Off the bike, had a decent dismount and then had to run on frozen feet on rough pavement all the way around the transition to my spot, which I couldn't find as I didn't memorize which rack I was on!! Whoops! I found my spot and ended up on the wrong side of the bar. No problem - put on my shoes, undid my helmet, and ditched the vest as I was running out onto the course. The run was good, but really tough! The first half was mostly downhill (same hill as the bike course), and I was flying. Maybe went out a bit too fast, as I faded on the way back and had to slow down a bit. With about 3km to go (of 8km), I got some major stitches and cramps in my upper trapezius muscles (for all you anatomy geeks out there) and also in my ribs. The sharp, stabbing kind that take your breath away and cause you to nearly hyperventilate while gasping for air. I kept pushing on, though, and finished strong.
My run still needs some work as I was still a few minutes behind the top girls for the run. I placed 3rd in my age group and 6th female overall, so ultimately I was happy with that. With a terrible swim, decent bike and struggling through the second half of the run, I have to be satisfied. I was not tapered at all and hopefully with a complete taper I will produce a stellar result at Worlds, which is less than 2 weeks away.
I didn't end up taking any pictures at all, even though I brought my camera. Sorry!! Maybe next time...
Here are the results in case you are interested:
Friday, May 23, 2008
I awoke from my nap with only about 15 minutes to make and eat supper before I had to rush off to coaching. The nap did me some good, though, because I felt a bit better while coaching and then during my ez 2km swim. The only thing was, I couldn't fall asleep at night! It wasn't until 12 or 12:30am that I finally drifted off.
The week overall has not been good and I am glad it is nearly over. Today I am starting to get into a better mood and the sun was finally shining today. One thing I thought of to explain the negativity and dismal mood is that this week was the anniversary of my brother's death last year. May 24 will mark one calendar year - hard to believe it is a year already and it is mind boggling how quickly the time has passed. Perhaps subconsciously this has been eating away at me this week... Nevertheless, life must go on and you must continue to focus on what is important to you.
Tomorrow is 2 weeks to the day until the World Championships. We are getting down to the nitty gritty now and the vast majority of the hard work is done. I know these legs of mine have a fantastic break-out race in them just itching to get out - these legs have been there through all the hard training and painful workouts and have complained to me many times along the way. I am stronger than ever before. All of the sessions I have logged have had a purpose and a goal - no junk miles here. Consistency is everything, and I have been a picture of consistency with my training since starting on with Mark in January. June 7 will be the day to showcase all of the hard work. This Sunday is the Coronation Tri (1km pool swim, 26km bike, 8km run), which I am using to sharpen up before the World's. Hopefully the rain will hold off for the race - I am sick of dealing with crap weather races!
Geoff and I are planning on getting a puppy in July - one of the Boston Terriers from the litter pictured below. Look how cute the mom is! We are getting a boy - Gucci will have a new friend!
Also, my poor car is dying, so it looks like it is time to retire the 'Li-li-mobile' (my ancient 1988 white Toyota Celica). It has run like a charm for the past 3 years I have had it, and it was the first car I ever owned, so it is a sad thing to have to let it go. I love my old piece of crap! But... out with the old and in with the new - I will be buying my first-ever brand new car, probably this weekend! I was against it before but I caved and now am looking forward to owning a brand new piece of machinery. It was nice not to have a car payment each month, but the repairs and maintenance probably added up to a car payment each month. I will update once it has been confirmed. Bye for now!
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Friday, May 16, 2008
Other than that, I will enjoy my 3 days off this weekend. I am hoping to go out somewhere on Saturday evening with Bonnie, maybe to enjoy a drink or two on a patio - it has been way too long since we did anything Bonnie! Hopefully I am not too tired, which seems to be the usual story when I try and go out :)
Nothing much else to report here... unfortunately this post turned out to be quite boring so my apologies- I will attempt to make a super-exciting one next time to make up for it!
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Recovering well from the long training week and duathlon, my legs were quite sore the day after and during the long car ride home Monday (we made it back in just under 12 hours, with many stops). There is no way I could pull off a 20 hour training week while working 45 odd hours a week - it was hard enough while on vacation! Anyone that works full time and trains that much is crazy!
Did a 50 min steady run yesterday, felt good but calves became sore and tight. My swim last night was not anything too stellar, I planned to do 2 sets of 10x 100 on 1:30. Started the first 2 at about 1:15-1:16, then decided to move the set to Thursday's workout and did some pull and paddles 400's instead. Tonight is biking, not sure what yet so I'll have to check with my coach!
The Coronation Triathlon is coming up next weekend (May 25), it is a pool swim and the pool has been under renovations and closed this year. They are re-opening it just for the race day and then closing it again. Yikes. Hopefully it is swim-able. I am set for a great race nonetheless.
Anyway, gotta get back to work!
Saturday, May 10, 2008
I ate lunch around 12pm (PB and J sandwich), then went out to the Bike Barn with Geoff to get my new wheels adjusted to fit my bike. I had tried them out for the first time the day before and they weren't gearing properly. As it turns out, the cassette was the wrong size! My bike is apparently a 9 speed and the Dura Ace cassette was for a 10 speed! Whoops! The guys there were very helpful and I bought a proper sized cassette, and they kindly put it on for me.
Arrived at the race site at about 3pm, got my race number and set up my transition. There was nothing in my transition except my bike! I would be wearing my racing flats and sunglasses, so all I had to do in T1 was put on my helmet and take off my flats and go. I did an ez 10 min bike warm up (and it was very windy out - 38km/hr winds) and then attended the meeting at 3:45pm. They gave us some extra time to warm up after that so I did an ez 10 min jog and was ready to go.
The first 5km was good, I felt a lot better than I thought I was going to, so I just pushed a comfortably hard pace. I kept passing people through the first 5km, which gave me a boost of confidence. The race was a 3 loop format for the 5km, which I really enjoyed because each lap was really short!
On to the bike - I had a super fast transition and jumped onto my bike. My legs were actually shaking a lot and I had a bit of trouble getting into my bike shoes! The entire way out on the bike route was into a huge headwind, so I just hammered and pushed it as hard as I could. I passed so many people! It was a huge change from racing at the front of the race as I do in a triathlon. I was picking people off and leaving them behind. I was a little worried that I was maybe going too hard and wouldn't be able to run the last 5km, but continued at that pace anyway.
Now for the crazy part - just past the halfway point, and on a downhill section, there was one guy a bit ahead of me. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a couple of deer running at the right side of the road, when all of a sudden they hopped the fence and cut across the road, in front of the guy ahead of me! It was too close and the guy crashed hard, and was lying at the side of the road. He didn't really move or get up, so I decided to turn around and see if he was okay. He was dazed and hurt quite badly, and couldn't really talk. He had some major road rash on his upper back and had hit his head. Another guy stopped to help as well, and we just kept telling the hurt guy to not move. I watched all of the people that I had worked so hard to pass in the last little while go by. A motorcycle came into sight and then I went on my way, ultimately losing about 3 minutes.
I feel I made the right decision to stop and help, even though it jeopardized my race and my results. However, it was really just a race after all, and I would hope that if it was me crashed at the side of the road, that someone would stop to help me. I am not the person who is going to pass by someone who is potentially seriously hurt, in order to place just a little bit better. Don't get me wrong, I am a highly competitive athlete, but neglecting to help out someone in need goes against my value system and doesn't demonstrate true sportsmanship in triathlon.
What would you have done in a similar circumstance? Take some time to think about it and be honest with yourself. This was not a hugely important race for me at any rate. What if it had been the Worlds or a race where you were competing for a slot to the Kona Ironman? I read a similar story during an Ironman, where someone crashed and was hurt and athletes kept passing by without stopping to help, which is disappointing to hear. Many people came up to me at the end of the race to ask if I was the one who had stopped, and they thought it was really great and amazing that I had done so. One of the people I had worked hard to pass on the bike passed by the scene (and I was never able to catch her again) came up to me afterward and congratulated me. Geoff told me if I had been about 2 minutes faster overall, I would have moved up about 5 places for females. I have no regrets though.
Anyway, after I got back on my bike, there was another very winding downhill section right away. I ended up getting out of control here, and was going too fast for the many turns (I didn't use my brakes this time). I got out of control and ended up crossing the centre line (oops - DQ if an official was around), and onto the shoulder of the oncoming lane! I thought I was going to crash myself, but luckily I regained control and managed to get myself back to where I should be on the right side of the road. The rest of the bike was uneventful. I passed one of the people who had gone by me while I was stopped. It was nice on the way back b/c there was a huge tailwind and I was flying!
The second 5km was surprisingly good! I felt pretty fresh coming off the bike, which I was not expecting at all. I was able to push the pace and go pretty hard, and passed many people during my 3 laps! My time for the second race was equal or perhaps even faster than the first race, which is a great indication of my current fitness. I think the 5km times were 22: something for each one, but results are not up yet. My overall time was 1:47, and I have no idea of my placing (Geoff thought maybe top 10 overall). The important thing was that I felt good and strong during the runs and the bike, even after my biggest training week ever! Including the race, I have put in 19 hours since Sunday and still have more to go today!!
Unfortunately it is pouring rain today so I may not get out on my bike. I might do a run instead, and a swim later on. We are leaving tomorrow so it is back to work on Tuesday!!
Here's me just before the start of the duathlon - it was somewhat chilly at 16C (and very windy), hence the arm warmers.
The start of the first 5km - I am somwhere amongst the crowd.
Me during the first 5km.
There's me during the second 5km race, action shot so it is blurry!
There's me grabbing a drink during the last 5km.
Friday, May 9, 2008
Here's me just before leaving for biking yesterday, with Gucci who blends into the rug:
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
I turned around after an hour, and ended up making it back in just over 50 mins (I think there was a bit of a tailwind coming back). The scenery was amazing and I really wish I took my camera along, but I didn't have room for it today. I will definitely try and do this ride again before I go and take some pics of the spectacular views. There were some crazy climbs and even crazier descents, and I actually had to brake during some of them as I was getting going a little fast and wasn't sure where the road was taking me. I got up to about 63km/h but certainly could have been faster if I had let myself go. Not quite that comfortable on the bike just yet as it's early on in the season. Anyway, I really enjoyed myself today and didn't have problems with discomfort in the saddle, thanks to my new Adamo saddle.
The ride was about 50km, and just over 1 hr 50 min, so you can see how much climbing there was during the ride. There were not too many places where I was in the aerobars. Once I got back to the house, I quickly changed and started out on my 55 min run (15 min ez, 40min steady/hard). I felt good but really pushed the pace on the steady tempo. I saw Samantha Warriner running at lightning speed back on the trail (she is a multiple World Cup winner from New Zealand who is here training right now). She is fast! I am pretty sure she is going to be racing the duathlon on Saturday along with Jill Savage (pro Canadian triathlete), so it will be a very fast race!
After my run I nearly collapsed from exhaustion and exertion. Felt better after re-fueling and some good stretching. I am just about to watch 'Into the Wild' and I am on to my 3rd glass of red wine. I could definitely get used to this kind of life!
Will post some pics tomorrow (I guess that means taking some pictures)...
Monday, May 5, 2008
Donald and Dad at the second winery we visited. Beautiful scenery here!