Saturday, May 29, 2010

Springtime(?) in Alberta

I am racing a triathlon in this weather tomorrow??
Uhh, okay??
Ha! I'll let you know how it all pans out tomorrow! I'm not even putting the race wheels on my bike - not even sure there is going to be a bike ride! We shall see... this is ludicrous!

Monday, May 24, 2010

long weekend...

Just home from a lovely dinner out at Moxies with my bestie Bonnie - appetizers, steak, mini mousse for dessert, all washed down with a fabulous glass of Merlot... mmmm and definitely hit the spot after an epic training weekend. HARD swim on Saturday morning with my group followed by a 3 hour trainer ride (cause the weather sucked), 1:50 long run on Sunday with about 40mins of core/strength work after it, and a long ride outside today.

Today was one of those rides where everything seems to just come together. The legs feel powerful and seem to be invincible to fatigue, the tailwind makes you feel like a frickin' rockstar, the headwind doesn't bother you in the least, and you're dropping the boys like it's nobody's business. Good times! Makes you feel like you are looking out at the world through rose-colored sunglasses...

The ride was just under 90km, with a nice tailwind going out. We were all dreading turning around and riding the second half into the wind, but once we did it actually turned out to be much better than I was expecting. I started feeling more and more powerful and came across this extra gear where I was able to just put my head down and push push push, holding 32-35km/h into the wind. I really hope these type of legs show up on race day! I just felt awesome overall, and I didn't really experience the usual discomforts, such as - saddle, SORE neck, legs getting fatigued, etc... Maybe I am finally getting used to my bike and position... I made a slight change to the aerobar angle last week (?). Regardless, the whole thing was really encouraging, and gives me some confidence!

The legs seem to be finally coming around and they have magically rid themselves of the fatigue and burned out feeling that has plagued them the past few weeks. Should be a fun race next weekend!
p.s. On my to-do list... get a new summer picture for my blog! It is no longer winter and I'm sure my 2 readers don't want to see a picture of snow up there!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Meltdown in the heat

This past week has been another solid week of training for me. Even with taking (a much needed) day off on Thursday, it ended up being 14 hours of training, culminating with a mini meltdown during my 'shorter long run' yesterday. Back to that later.

The previous plan was to do the 1/2 marathon in Red Deer on May 23. But when I proceeded to sign up last Wednesday, the online registration had already closed! I was a little surprised (yeah I know - you snooze, you lose), but perhaps it was actually an omen - letting my tired and battered body know that it was not quite ready for the challenge. At first I thought I would probably just drive up the day before and sign up at package pick-up, as the website indicated this was a possibility. However, as of yesterday this idea was completely out of the question.
After a long brick session on Monday (85km bike, 30 min run), a ride on Tuesday just over 40km - and just before that, a 2 hour run on Sunday, a 75 km ride on Saturday - my legs were burned by Thursday which necessitated a full day off. I even skipped my swim. Friday I dragged Alice to the track, and we did 10x400m, which was an awesome session. Good, but freakin hard. Track = puke hard. My swim on Saturday morning sucked royally, as my body felt very sore and fatigued. Usually I can churn out my best effort swims on Saturday mornings which results in some epic sessions. Not the story this past Saturday. One weird thing I would like to mention about swimming early on Saturday morning (i.e. 8am), is every single workout, my lower back becomes progressively sorer throughout the workout. I can still swim through it okay, but it happens every Saturday. It's very strange. I honestly feel like an 80 year old granny sometimes. The theory amongst my group is that you haven't been up all day, stretching and moving around, and changing position. But the first thing I do on Saturdays is go to the pool and swim. Does anyone else experience this phenomenon? I suppose it only applies if you regularly do your swims at night, and occasionally fit in an early workout.
Anyway... back to Saturday. I went for a ride in the afternoon with a couple guys from the group and Alice, total of 90km for 3 hours. Not a super fast ride, but the reason for that was it was one of those rides that the wind actually switches direction so you never get to experience a tailwind. Challenging and somewhat frustrating! My legs were feeling quite shot and around 60km I was feeling sore nearly everywhere, but I was able to "git 'er done". Sunday morning (okay late morning) rolled around and I was supposed to get out and do a 90 min run. It was gorgeous out, sunny and 26C with a wind. Contrary to being on the bike, when it is hot out and I am running, I actually welcome the wind. I did an out and back, and felt pretty good the first 45 mins, but was kicking myself for not wearing the dorky fluid belt with 2 water bottles. I was able to make a water stop at the turn around. The route back was not fun or pleasant. I wilted like a flower in the hot desert. My legs were tired and fatigued, I was incredibly thirsty (even made one more water stop), and just felt overall crappy. I managed to make it to 1:25, then was forced to walk/shuffle the rest of the way home.

Today Geoff gave me a choice to do whatever I wanted - easy bike, core workout, whatever - and I chose to do nothing. I felt I needed the extra rest day, so hopefully my legs and body can absorb the previous hard training and epic sessions, and regenerate/recover/replenish. I also saw some of the workouts coming up later this week and that made the decision even clearer to take today off! Yikes, later on the week is going to be hard!


My Plan B is now to race Coronation Triathlon instead on May 30. This is a 'super sprint' triathlon (1km swim, 26km bike, 8km run), and will be a good tune up race. I also just signed up for Hinton Mountainview triathlon on June 6 (Olympic with a pool swim). These races will be great for 'blowing out the cobwebs' and getting everything dialed in for the GWN on July 4. That was exactly what I wanted to change after last season - race more shorter races before the 1/2 ironmans. Last year I raced an Olympic tri in Mexico in April, then my next triathlon was Oliver half on June 6, then my next one was GWN a month later. While I still did alright at the 1/2's, I think the shorter tune-up races are actually quite important, and not to mention FUN! I love doing the local triathlons - the atmosphere is always very fun and positive and it's a chance to get in a really good speed workout!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Getting it done, sort of

Lately I have been a real wimp with the weather and my training. At the slightest sign of cooler weather/wind/rain, I have been hiding indoors on the trainer or hitting up the treadmill. Up until Saturday, I had been outside on my bike a total of... uh, once. And that was on a 23C day back in April. That's my kind of weather.

So Saturday morning rolled around and it was time to face the music. Only a couple months remain till GWN so time get my a$$ out there! After swim practice, I rushed home and got dressed for cycling outside - it was only about 8C. Turned out to be not too bad at all! I rode 50km with a couple girls from the swim group, and I wasn't really even cold.

Then Sunday rolled around and I had a 2.5 hour ride/30 min run planned. And I did the ride on the trainer. In my defence it looked like it was going to rain and the winds were really strong! The ride was good, but I ended up feeling really hungry/bonky at the end and as a result I bailed on the run. However, the week overall was pretty good as I ended up with 13 hours of training, which is good for me. Actually the past couple weeks have consistently been at that same amount.

I had a 60 min run planned for Monday and was determined to do it outside, no matter what. It was of course miserable all day. I got myself ready around 6:45pm and stepped outside - and it had just started raining. The winds were STRONG and it was far from warm. I stepped back inside, literally contemplating the tready, and Geoff yelled at me to just get out there and do it. So that I did! The first half of it was miserable, with 50km/hr winds in my face and raining, but despite this I actually didn't feel bad at all. And it was even better when I turned around as there was a tailwind. It turned out to be quite a good run - sometimes those runs in the rain are nothing to fear!

My 'fairweather training' problem reared its ugly head again yesterday causing me to do my ez run on the treadmill, but with good reason:

Ahh... spring in Alberta would not be complete without a May blizzard. I was hoping for some more gorgeous weather like we got several weeks ago but, dream on I guess!

It WILL turn around! I am so looking forward to spring/summer... any day now!