Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It hurts to walk down stairs

The Soma 1/2 ironman on Sunday was AWESOME. I enjoyed myself and had a lot of fun out there (well at least until about 5km into the run). It was a fabulously beautiful day with not a single cloud in the sky.

I have never been up earlier for a race as I have on Sunday. The alarm went off at 4:25am! I actually had a terrific sleep, going to bed around 9:15pm. It was so weird because I woke up at one point and thought it was nearly time to get up, then I looked at my clock and the time was only 10:10pm! Then again I woke up later, thinking that it was morning, and I looked at the clock and it was only 11:30pm! I felt rested when I got out of bed. We left the house at about 4:50am, as the drive is about 45 mins to Tempe Town lake from Geoff's parents house in Sun City Grande.

It was still pitch black when we arrived at the race site at about 5:40am, a first for me! I got everything organized in transition and was out of there when it closed at 6:15am. The sun came up right around 6:40am. I didn't have time to do any warm up before the race. My wave started at 6:56am (women 14-34). The pros went at 6:40am, then another wave started at 6:50, then 6:53. It was a deep water floating start, my favorite. I started at the very front of the line and got away without any aggression from anyone - there was no pushing or shoving. The swim was a bit chaotic with all the waves leaving only several minutes apart. It seemed like there were people all over the place, including way off course! The course was a rectangle, and it was very difficult to see the buoys on the way out as the sun was shining directly in your eyes.

I felt really good during the swim and probably could have pushed a bit harder. I may have swum a little longer than 2km as I realized at 2 points that I was slightly off course. Anyway, came out of the water first in 28:43 and had a quick transition onto the bike. The bike leg was my strongest and most powerful ever. I felt amazing during the ride and was able to push really hard and still feel great. The course was 3 loops, and very technical with a lot of turns and a lot of u-turns. The course became a little congested in the second and third laps but I had no problems with that. I have never gone that fast on the bike, even my first 40km was a PB (1:05)! The best thing about it was that I did not get passed by a single woman during the ride (another first for me)! Bike split was 2:26 which was 3rd fastest of the women (5th overall if you count the 3 pros). The course was actually a couple of km's short, but nevertheless this is still an amazing time for me.

I came off the bike in first with about a 3 min lead and had another good transition to start the run. I felt pretty good the first few k, but my toes and part of my feet were numb, which was a weird feeling. After about 5km I started to come apart at the seams. The first woman passed me about 4 miles in. The run was 2 loops of 10.5km, and a really nice course but with little shade. My stomach started cramping a bit at this point and I had to start walking the aid stations. My first loop was 55min, and I thought if I could do that again then I could still run 1:50, which was 5mins off my goal of 1:45. I went through rough patches and good patches (the good patches were unfortunately more rare). I couldn't believe how thirsty I was. Every aid station I would walk through and take about 4 cups of water or gatorade and even that wasn't enough. It was super-hot out during the run, at least 30C. The high for the day was 33C.

My left toes were really hurting by the last 3 miles, and I thought I may have some blisters. The last 2 miles I started feeling good again and was able to pick up the pace a bit. It was so nice to finish! They had a slip-n-slide just past the finish line, which was really nice, except that I only slid about 2 feet before coming to a stop, so I had to pull myself through the rest of the way. Final time was 4:53, a huge PB for me! (Run split was 1:56 which was about 10mins off what I wanted but I am not going to complain about it as the rest of my race makes up for it!).

Overall, I placed about 8th amateur female. The results have me as 9th but one of the people ahead of me has a 1:57 bike split which is not feasible, considering the fastest pro male bike split was 2:01. In my age group I was 3rd, but got the 2nd place prize as the first place female in my age group was included in the top 3 overall prizes. They gave out bottles of wine instead of medals!

My feet are in rough shape with bruising and blisters on 2 of my left toes, and I have a lot of sore muscles!

I have a lot of work to do for my run still and hope to improve it a lot before next season. But first I am looking forward to a good week off to recover! I will definitely be back to this race next year as it was a great experience.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sunny Arizona

It is absolutely beautiful here in Arizona, not a cloud in the sky and warm temperatures. The high for Sunday is 34C, but it is actually somewhat cool in the morning (14C) and the high is not reached until the afternoon. The race starts super-early (i.e. before 7am!).

Yesterday I went for an hour ride in the morning along the desert. The only mishap with my bike travelling here was a lost screw for my aerobar. When I opened my bike box to unpack my bike Thursday night, I found a 'Notice of Baggage Inspection' card in there. I am guessing the screw fell out during the search. While riding yesterday one of my aerobars was moving up and down on every bump, so today I need to find a replacement screw. The flight over here was uneventful apart from the fact that Geoff and I were each charged $125 for our bikes to fly!

We have Olympian Paul Tichelaar staying with us, he is also racing the half on Sunday. Should be a good race!

I am heading out right now for a short easy run, and then we are all going to head over to the race site for registration and to check in our bikes. Between 1 and 3pm the lake is open for swimming, so I will probably jump in and do a short easy swim. I will try and get some pictures uploaded sometime soon.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

How lame can you get

I received this email the other day from the race director for Lake Chaparral triathlon (Aug. 17/08), as I had inquired via telephone as to why I had not received my swim prime cheque in the mail (we received our medals at the beginning of October, a month and a half after the race - this might give you some insight as to the level of organization):

Hi Lisa, I reviewed the results and the swim preme went to Bo Simpson. Unfortunately we didn't offer premes split by gender.

AWESOME. Especially since they had announced just prior to our swim start that they were offering swim primes. Thought I would share that with everyone.

Anyway, it is only 2 days till we leave for Arizona. I am so excited and can't wait to get out of here for a few days. I need a break from work. I can't believe how hot it is there right now (32C). This will make for a super-tough run on Sunday! Oh well, I'm not complaining - I'll take that over cold and rain any day! I am going to enjoy every minute of it out there and my main goal is to have fun! No stress or pressure, just a fun time.

Geoff raced a 5 miler on Sunday, his first race in over 2 years! He did awesome, low 29min and 2nd overall. He wanted to go 28, and was pretty close. Not bad for your first one back! He was using it as a hard tempo workout. I brought Hugo along and we went for a long walk while everyone was racing. He wore his sweater as it was a little chilly. There were lots of dogs he saw, and each and every one of them growled at him for some reason. Maybe they are jealous of his sweater?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New Sweater

Geoff and I had to buy Hugo a sweater because he is a baby and starts shivering even if it 10C out. Here he is modelling it for us.
Here he is with Gucci, who wouldn't be seen dead in a sweater.
Rest time in the baby bed.

Rolling along...

Well it has been a little while since my last update - but I have been so busy I have not even had a chance to think. I can't even remember what I have done in the past week other than work, sleep and train. Oh, yeah, nothing! There is simply no time for anything else! Actually there were a couple other things I did, including going to the Body Worlds exhibit on Sunday after dinner (I was not overly impressed as it was nothing new to me!), and a Thanksgiving dinner at my Dad's on Sunday, and at Geoff's parents on Monday.

Training is going well, I am in the last stages before my race next Sunday in Arizona. The volume is slowly starting to decrease. I did a long indoor brick workout on Saturday (2.5 hours), while watching the Ironman live in Hawaii. It was very exciting!! I hope to one day race there. I did my last longer run on Sunday (90mins), it turned out to be really good. My right hip didn't hurt until the very end, when both my hips became tight and sore, but it was not the same type of pain that I had before. The little hip issue seems to be getting better. The Trigger point massage ball is a miracle ball! It hurts like a beeawwtch but it does wonders. I basically just lie my sore glute/hip on it and then put most of my weight on it and roll back and forth. The other day I did the same to my non-injured left side, and it seemed to help the overall picture, b/c the next day I ran pain-free!

This morning I was up at 6am (actually I was awake at 5:30am when Geoff's alarm went off so he could go and coach), and then I biked for an hour inside. I had to fit that in as I am doing a 60min run after work and didn't want to do the 2 workouts back to back. Tomorrow I am going to have to do the same thing - a 60min trainer ride at 6:15am, b/c I have a massage at 5pm and can't fit the bike in before coaching at 8pm. I think the only workout I could possibly do that early is bike inside on the trainer. There is no way I could run at that hour. I am so tired and stiff and feel like crapola so the run would definitely suck. For some reason I can sit on the trainer though.

We leave for Phoenix next Thursday - I can't wait! Geoff is signed up for the Olympic distance race, it will be his first triathlon in over 2 years. His training has been going well, especially running. It will be exciting! The Olympic race starts at like 6:30am, and the 1/2 iron starts at 7:30am (there are several waves for each). Apparently it is going to be hot at this time, as the high there this weekend is 35C!! I love doing hot races although they don't usually turn out so great on the run for me. Oh well there is a first time for everything! My bike workout on Monday was not exactly conducive to heat training, as I went outside for 40km, and it started raining 20mins in, the winds picked up, and it was about 7C. I was freaking freezing when I made it back home, and jumped right into a hot shower. I don't think I'll be doing any more rides outside.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

out of this world

These are my new shoes - the Nike Lunar trainer. They rock! They are lightweight trainers and I plan to wear them in the half ironman in a couple weeks. The lunarlite foam was apparently developed by NASA. The shoes are almost as light as a racing flat but has more cushioning, and are similar to the Nike Free. (I was too lazy to take a picture and download it to the computer so I got this from Ebay, which is where I got the shoes anyway).
Training has been hard as usual and I am freakin exhausted. Another long weekend of training just passed - again 6 hours of training in 2 days. This ends up making me tired for the entire next week at work. Then the weekend rolls around and instead of catching up on rest, I do half of my week's total training volume. The early morning thing on Mondays is also killing me. Getting up at 5:30am, coach from 6-7am, work all day, then try and muster up the energy for a workout (luckily yesterday I had a day off training, and I got a massage, which turned out to be crap - more on that later). It also proves to be more expensive, as I need more food to sustain being up for almost 2 extra hours.
The massage yesterday was quite unsatisfying. I couldn't get in with my normal MT so I had to book in with another one, who apparently has not heard of deep tissue massage. When I go for a massage, I expect it to be deep and painful, and yesterday I got neither one. I can handle deep - and I'm not going to cry. Lightly pressing on the muscle with no pressure is not going to help me. Also there was no good conversation with the therapist either, I like to go to people who I get along with and can chat away, sometimes about nothing, with no awkward silences. Silences are fine, as long as they are not awkward.
Enough of my rant, it's time to get back to my overwhelming pile of work. Now that I have spent a few minutes typing this update, I am further behind. Really looking forward to a 3-day weekend!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Weekend overload

Well I'm definitely back into the training, after my last post stating that it was taking a backseat to my job last week. Spoke too soon. In total last week, I did about 9 hours of training (i.e. Monday to Sunday), with 2 days off that week (Monday and Thursday). 6 of those total hours were from Saturday-Sunday alone. Yes, it was all about weekend-overload.

Saturday I did a 3 hour brick (2.5 hour ride, 30 min run), with Christina. I am really appreciating the fact that Christina is training with me right now. You see, Christina is not actually training for anything specific right now, but she ended up doing 5 hours of workouts with me on the weekend. This is the type of person you want to be able to train with - she enjoys it enough to do long workouts for fun! The ride on Saturday was really hard - there was a huge headwind for the first half and it was on the cooler side. My legs were really feeling it. We did a 30 min run off the bike, which surprisingly felt good. We didn't finish the workout until nearly 7pm. Mind you, we didn't get out on our bikes until sometime after 3:30pm. Late start for a long workout.

It was a different story the next morning, when I was up at 7am, meeting a couple others at the pool at 8am, then on the road to Elk Island Park, and arrived at the Blackfoot Ultra trail by 9am. This is a cross country trail (25km long), which happens to be the course for the Birkebeiner X-country ski race, as well as the Blackfoot Ultra foot race. Christina and I did a total of 2hrs 5 mins of running, about 20.5km. The trail was quite challenging, all up and down the entire way, and grass. I had some trouble with my right hip, otherwise I would have done the whole 25 km loop (which took the others about 2:25). There is a sharp pain in the hip/glute area, and now I am a bit worried about it.

So 5 hours of training in just over 12 hours took a toll on me. I did a swim Sunday afternoon, which wasn't anything to write home about. Monday was a tough day, I was up at 5:30am to coach and my legs were feeling fatigued and slightly sore all day. Monday was also a day off training - luckily!

Tuesday after work I had to do a track workout, and it was the first time I've been to the track in over a year. This turned out to be a scary sight. The main set was 5 x 1km, with 400m ez jog between (which I took the liberty of turning into a 200m painful walk/shuffle). My 1km times were pitifully slow- in fact, they were even slower than (or equal to) my splits in my last 2 races (the 10km and the 5km). I struggled to break 4:30's (my best one being 4:27). This is not the type of times you want to see if you are hoping to go a 42 min 10km or faster (at some point). My right hip was acting up again but I don't think this is what was holding me back. Maybe my legs were tired from the weekend's workouts. Probably. But a negative workout nonetheless. However, I will put it behind me and worry about it no longer. The upside was that it was 27C at the time of my workout.

Looking forward to some amazing weather this week, hopefully it carries over into the weekend. I'm going out for a 90min bike workout today and I might get to wear a tank top. The only thing I have to worry about is starting early enough to not get stuck in the dark (which now happens at 7:30pm).