Saturday, February 28, 2009

A weekend without work

It is so nice not to have to take my work home with me this weekend. I feel like I have all this extra time. Next weekend will be another story as my laptop will be fixed by Monday and I will have many reports to work on.

Enough about work! This morning I had a good swim workout with the group I coach, nothing fast but a bunch of IM stuff. This afternoon I did a brick, with an hour bike and then a 35 min run outside off the bike. The first half of my run was great and I felt awesome. But when I turned around, I realized that the wind had been at my back and it was in my face the whole way back! Brrrr! The windchill was -19 so I froze.

I bought a new pair of shoes yesterday when I picked up my race package for the half marathon. My old shoes are super worn out and I realize now that they are probably the source of the aches and pains I have been experiencing lately. I wore the new shoes in today's run and they are awesome! They look pretty sweet, too!

I am going to break all the rules and wear my new shoes in my half marathon tomorrow. It's not like I haven't worn this kind before, I used to wear Air Pegasus before I changed to the Max Moto a few years ago. So they should be okay tomorrow (I hope!). I am going to just go out there and run the race as best I can, at the very least it will be good long run (my longest run this year actually!). The low overnight is supposed to be chilly (-24C) but I will suck it up and get out there to run! I will let you know how it goes!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

This winter is relentless and endless

Yesterday was not a good day at work, but it was my own fault. Shortly after I arrived, I managed to spill coffee all over the keyboard of my laptop, rendering it useless. The timing couldn't have been worse with how busy I am right now. So I had to ship the system to head office for repairs, and in the meantime I am set up on the desktop computer at reception (which is currently not in use because we have no admin support right now!). The new system is supposed to arrive on Monday.

The one good thing about this event is that I cannot take my work home with me until my new laptop arrives! On second thought, this may not be a good thing as I will fall more behind without the extra time to work on reports at home. OH WELL!

Spring here seems farther away than ever. A huge snowstorm rolled in this week bringing frigid temperatures and windchill. The roads which had been dry and completely clear of snow and ice are now a treacherous mess, making my drive to and from work a living hell. Maybe this cold snap will soon be over and spring will arrive shortly! Here's hoping. I have many things to look forward to in March/April, though, including a weekend trip to San Francisco on March 12 to visit my good friend Stephen! I can't wait! In April another trip awaits - this time to Arizona with Geoff and his family (and Stephen is coming too!) for 10 days for some good training and of course relaxing in the heat!

I am registered for the Hypothermic half marathon this Sunday but at this point am undecided if I will run. If the weather is like this - it's a definite no. I had my fill of horrible weather races last year and they are anything but fun and enjoyable. I would like to race a half right now to see what I can go as my run training has been going well, but I don't want to run it on messy, icy, snow covered roads and in windchill. Stay tuned to see what happens...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Ka-boom

Last night I did a super-tough late swim workout again, after a very easy 40 min run on the tready. Warmed up for about 700m, then got right into the main set: 8x 50 all out on 1:00, then 4 x 100 race pace on 1:35. I had some company from Mike K, which was great. I was pleased with my times but surprised at how wrecked I felt. When we got to the second set of 4 x 100, we decided to scrap that and do an all-out 100m from a dive. My legs and arms were completely numb after 25m and I totally died, finishing with a 1:10. After a cooldown, the workout total was only 2200m, but 1300m of that was all-out!

I felt soooo tired this morning when my alarm went off and had such a difficult time getting out of bed. The morning drive to work started off less than ideal with me getting rear-ended on the way to work. Actually I was headed for a pit stop at Second Cup on my way to work, which I only do about once a week. Somebody wasn't paying attention. Thankfully, there were no injuries and I could detect no damage to my vehicle. I continued on my way and picked up a large skinny Vanilla bean latte from 2nd cup to get me through my day.

This weekend will be filled with lots of training, writing work reports, and possibly a few drinks out on Sat. nite with my good friend Bonnie. This has been a nice 3-day work week and next week will be tough as it is a full 5-day work week!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Organized Chaos

Just returned from a fun little weekend in Vancouver and Victoria! We were lucky with beautiful weather in both cities - sunny skies and temperatures of about 6C. Geoff endured some disappointment in the half marathon as he was plagued with severe stomach cramping leading to muscle spasms after 3 miles. He was on his goal pace for a 1:14 through 5k (17:28), but then began to experience those issues which forced him to later drop out of the race. He was quite disappointed but this is an early season race and certainly not a key one! It was probably not the best idea to fly into Vancouver the evening before the race and then to eat a large fattening meal at Whitespot around 8pm that likely did not get digested properly!



The very start of the race in downtown Vancouver (you can spot Geoff wearing my turquoise arm warmers):

I went for a nice little run along the seawall while the race was going on. It was great to run on clear pavement and wearing capri tights and no toque! One of the views of the condo buildings overlooking the water in the background during my scenic run:


We took the ferry over to Victoria on Sunday afternoon. Jadeen lives there with her new (and very young) family. We stayed for 2 nights and had a good visit.

Geoff and I on the ferry ride to Victoria - looks beautiful but the wind was actually a little bit chilly!


Baby Chase - 2 months old:



More baby Chase:

Me lounging around on the couch, probably with some junk food nearby:


Jadeen and Avery (nearly 1.5 years old):

Add Image Geoff playing with Avery:


Avery and his dad Greg:
Baby Chase in his cute little seat:

Avery having some breaky (or maybe lunch?):



And of course I had to include a picture of mine and Geoff's baby:



It was a fun time with the kids but also very exhausting! Although very adorable, the baby needs constant 24 hour care and attention so there is little time for much else. Avery is really fun as he is now walking and babbling away and he likes to play!


I am glad to be home and getting back into my busy routine with work and training, and playing with Hugo. I plan to make a conscious effort to fit in all of my training and scheduled workouts as the wheels have fallen off a bit due to me being quite overwhelmed with the volume of work I have been faced with recently. I have been getting some good running in but my biking has been severely neglected, with me getting on the trainer only once a week for about the past month. I hope to increase the frequency to 3 rides per week, which is what I was doing at this time last year and probably why I saw such a huge improvement in my cycling during race season. Also, I should probably decrease my 5 runs to 4 after the half marathon as this is not sustainable with how much I am working.

This morning was another killer treadmill session (50 mins, including 6 x 3min @ 10k pace/90 sec ez b/w, plus 4 x 1min all out/1 min ez b/w). My coach actually prescribed me 8 x 3min and 5 x 1 min but the reality was that I could not get through the whole thing as I truly felt like I was going to die this morning.

I hoped to drop in on Extreme Functional Fitness tonight but I have oodles of reports to write for or assessments I completed last week, which is what I should really be doing at this moment. So I better get to it!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Fun Fun

Wow, it looks like my updates are getting a little scarce. I feel like I am writing this in every update, but of course things are stupidly busy as usual and I have no time to do anything!


But I got to do something fun for work yesterday - entertaining a few of our customers at the Oilers hockey game! My role is going to be expanding a bit at work and now I am getting to be involved in more marketing. So yesterday after work I took 3 people out for dinner/drinks and to the Oilers v. Canadiens game on the company dime! Fun times!
The hockey game was fun - I hadn't been to a game in about 6 years and the Oilers ended up creaming Montreal, 7-2. It was a late game and didn't start till 8pm, so it was definitely a long day for me but fun! I got home at about 11:15pm which is late for me but I was in bed by 11:45pm! And I got my torture run interval workout done early before work so I didn't miss a workout.


However, I did opt out of my ez 40 min run today after work, figuring I was better served by resting instead due to how tired I was/am feeling. I will swim tonight after coaching and then get up at 6:15am tomorrow to fit the ez run in.


I can't wait for the week to be over - on Saturday Geoff and I are flying to Vancouver, and he will be racing the First Half (1/2 marathon) on Sunday morning. I am very glad I will be a cheering spectator and not a racer, as I am not quite ready for a half right now. But hopefully in 2 weeks I will feel ready as I am racing the Hypothermic Half in Edmonton on March 1! In Vancouver, we might get to meet up with my coach (Mark Bates) as he lives there. It will be a short little visit in Van, as we will hop the ferry to Victoria on Sunday afternoon and then spend 2 nights in Victoria staying with my good friend Jadeen. Monday is a holiday from work and I am missing Tuesday so 4-day weekend!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

2 brutal workouts in 9 hours

Working late has become an unwelcome staple in my life. I have not left the office before 6pm this week (yesterday it was nearly 7pm). It has been tough to try and fit all my workouts in and unfortunately I did miss a run after work yesterday as I had to coach at 8pm. There are some positives to being at work until 7pm, such as a pretty much traffic-free drive home. This concludes the list of positives.



Last night I did a killer swim workout from 9:10-10pm. The main set was the good old "Double up" set, which is 1800m in total, and consists of the following: 50, 100, 150, 200, 250, 300, 350, 400. You are supposed to actually do an 800 after the 400, but I never have time for that in my evening swims as the pool closes at 10pm and I am not able to get in the pool any earlier than 9:05pm. The rest interval is 1:00 per 50, so as the set increases you get a lot more rest (i.e. 200 on 4:00, 250 on 5:00, etc.). The goal of the set is to hold the exact same pace per 50 throughout the set until the end. For example, my chosen pace per 50m is :40, so this means I have to be in under 1:20 for the 100, 2:00 for the 150, 2:40 for the 200, 5:20 for the 400, etc. As you can imagine, holding your pace becomes a challenge as the distance increases. The set starts off fairly easy but by the time you get to the 250 it becomes quite difficult to make it in under your goal time.

I made all my goal times in the set!! I worked my butt off and put in a really good effort. You do get a LOT of rest by the time you get up to the 300 and above, but at that point, you feel like you could even use more rest! My 400m was right on the mark, at 5:20, but that still counts!

After getting home at 10:20 and getting to bed around 11:15pm, and sleeping for about 6.5 hours, I was up around 6am (actually I pushed snooze till 6:15 and got up at 6:20), then on the tready at 6:30am for 50 min including INTERVALS again! The set this time was 8 x 2 min with 1.5 min ez between, at 10k pace. When I started running I honestly didn't know how I was going to even start the interval set, let alone finish all of it. It was HARD but I did it and felt like I did it well!

I was pleasantly surprised to see Geoff arrive home from coaching around 7:30 with Tim Hortons for me! Coffee and a breakfast bagel - sure hits the spot after a super-tough run!

I am off to Calgary tomorrow for work again, leaving no later than 7am so I can get there by 10:30am at the very latest. Busy times. I will drive back Friday night and look forward to attempting to catch up on rest this weekend (not to mention some housecleaning that needs to be done - but I'm not actually looking forward to that)...