Saturday, August 28, 2010

looking ahead

My next race is coming up soon, in 2 weeks - the inaugural Subaru Banff International Triathlon on Sept. 11. Should be a fun one! I haven't really been training a huge amount, just average, and in the pool it's been much less than average with unfortunately next to no intensity (last week I only swam once!), so I'm a little uncertain on the fitness going in. At least it will be a beautiful venue! I'm sure the air temperature in the mountains in September is going to be quite chilly and the lake temperature is going to be even chillier. I honestly don't mind as I frequently do better when it's cooler. Geoff and I are going to drive up on Thursday, and come home Saturday after the race is over. The dogs will be heading to paradise at the Barker's kennels in St. Albert - they absolutely LOVE it there!

After that, I decided I am going to jump into the Rotary Run For Life (10km), which I have done every year since 2006, and this year it happens to be on Sept. 12. I will be doing this race just to participate and for the cause (suicide prevention), and will certainly not be expecting any amazing performances as it is the day right after Banff!

Geoff and I are getting married on Oct. 9, so plans are well underway and everything is organized. I just recently realized that it is on the same day as Kona - darn! I will try and check in on the updates throughout the day, whenever I can... however, maybe not during the actual wedding! Ha!

Geoff found me a new plan to replace the Soma Half Iron on Oct. 24, which has now been turned into a duathlon (um... no thanks!):

This looks like a really cool race! And I LOVE sprints! It's on November 7, so Geoff and I will fly down to Arizona on Nov. 5 (I can't go any sooner due to work commitments going on that week), and stay with his parents who will also be there - Deborah is doing the race, too. The distance is a 750m swim, 26km bike, and 5km run, so just a little longer than a standard sprint. Geoff likely won't be racing as he is still recovering from his Achilles tendinitis injury and the treatment he underwent 2 weeks ago (PRP injections). Hopefully this will heal it up for good!

Also, I signed up for a race in 2011....

I'm not a fan of the Ironman-brand 'M-dot' races, but in this case I can make an exception as it is Hawaii, after all! Geoff hasn't signed up yet, he's waiting to see how the Achilles turns out. Keeping my fingers crossed he is able to race:) I'm also trying to convince Alice and Stephen to sign up as well - come on you guys, you HAVE to come! This is going to be an awesome race!

That's all my news for now...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Doggone tired

I am perpetually tired. During the winter, when it was cold and dark in the mornings, I had such a hard time waking up and getting out of bed. I presumed that once the summer rolled around, when it is light out at 4:30am and warm, sunny, weather, it would be so much easier for me to get up.

Not so.

Every morning, I HAVE to press snooze button at least 3 times for 30 minutes (and Geoff hates this). Never am I able to just get up at the sound of the first alarm ring. I feel like I really need those extra 9-10 min sleep intervals to prepare myself for dragging myself out of bed. Yes, I do realize that if I just set my alarm to go off 30 mins later than normal and just got my @$$ right up at that time, I would have a lot more uninterrupted sleep. But most of the time when the alarm goes off for the first time in the a.m., I am only half conscious and so confused that it doesn't even register to me what the noise is. Sometimes the alarm noise becomes part of my dream!

It is rare that I wake up feeling rested, refreshed and ready to jump out of bed to tackle the day. Instead, each morning I awaken feeling like I have been hit by a truck [unless it is the weekend and I don't have to set an alarm and get to sleep in as long as I like, sometimes until 9 or 9:30, which occasionally I have the luxury of doing]. Once I am up and get in the shower, I am fine. It's just that initial waking up and dragging of myself out of the warm comfy bed that is so difficult.
Does anyone else regularly feel this tired in the mornings (or ever)? It's not like I do excessive amounts of training - generally I aim for about 10-12 hours a week of swimbikerun, which - in comparison to some triathletes out there - is not a huge amount. I typically aim for 8 hours of sleep a night, and I probably get about 7.5 hours of sleep a night, which seems reasonable. I am also so NOT an early morning workout person - I literally cringe when I read people's blogs and they talk about getting up at 4:30am for master's swimming workouts. Ugh!
Anyway, enough complaining - tonight I will aim to get to bed 30 mins earlier than my normal time of 11:15/11:30pm. But tomorrow morning I have to get up 45mins earlier than usual in order to be in to work at 8am, so I guess the perceived extra sleep gets cancelled out!

Monday, August 9, 2010


After finishing 2nd overall [female] at three of my triathlons this season, yesterday I finally achieved that coveted overall win at the St. Albert sprint tri!! :) This race is at the top of my favorites list. The course is awesome, the atmosphere is FUN, and the people are great! This year was even better, as my lovely sister Alice was the race director! She spent countless hours organizing volunteers and taking care of all of the many details that go into planning and executing a triathlon. And I must say she did a wonderful job! Well done!

My preparation for this race was far from ideal since first of all, on Thursday i flew to Toronto for work and was there for 2 nights. Don't worry, it was not all work - on Friday my company hosted the other directors and i at the Skyline restaurant in the Skydome for the Toronto Bluejays game. I must admit, I'm not much of a baseball person, so most of the time I didn't really even know what was going on! Pretty much all i know is that the Jays won the game. It was a fantastic evening, though! On Saturday morning I flew to calgary (4 hour flight), and attended the wedding of a friend (Mike K. - congrats!). Geoff and i stayed until about 7:30pm (it was an early wedding - 1pm start, early dinner), then drove home to St. Albert, arriving around 11pm, which felt like 1am to me. Whew - long day! So I did no training at all on friday-saturday due to lack of time.

I dragged myself out of bed at 5:45am on Sunday, with a minor incident occurring at home while pumping my tires and snapping my valve extender for my rear Zipp wheel, leaving the end of it stuck inside the wheel! whoops. Wasn't sure if I would be racing after all at that point and i was totally okay with that. Anyway, I arrived at the race by 6:30am (okay, I was about 10 mins late), as I was also a volunteer for the morning. I helped with some body marking, then donned my fluorescent yellow vest and parked myself in the transition, directing swimmers/bikers in and out. It was a fun job and we really lucked out as we could not have ordered better weather!

Around 9:30am I gave up my volunteer position and made my way to the pool to get ready for my race. While I was volunteering, the wonderful bike support from Cranky's had fixed up my rear wheel and salvaged the valve extender (temporary fix - now on my to do list is to get a new one, and also a new chain!), so my bike was good to go!

I didn't have time to do a run warm up, so i hopped in the second (and very hot) pool and swam about 400m as warm up. My heat was supposed to start at 10am but was a little behind schedule. my swim was pretty terrible, and it felt waaayyy harder than it should have. This seems to always happen with the pool swims - I always feel like $h!t and have a crappy swim! Luckily there were just 2 of us in the lane so there were no issues with passing. So the slow time was all me! Perhaps it had something to do with me only swimming 3 times in the past 3 weeks! Ha! My time for 750m was actually much slower than the pace I held for 1500m in the Hinton tri pool swim!

My swim to bike transition was seamless and I got out before anyone else in my heat (of course the heat did not all start together so that is deceiving). My bike computer did not work after I switched my race wheels onto my bike, and I stopped wearing a watch in my races, so it was all done by perceived effort. I went as hard as I possibly could, with worry creeping into my head a few times that I was perhaps going too hard and wouldn't be able to run after - but i pushed those thoughts out and kept pressing on! I was passed by the eventual male winner maybe around 5km, and then several km's later a junior guy went by me, but didn't get far. Those were the only 2 that passed me during the bike. After the turn-around, we were into a slight wind, and I was able to re-pass the junior and stayed in front of him until just prior to the dismount line when he went by me again. At the end of the race when i talked to him, he said he was surprised as he thought i was a guy! Uh.... okay...? Do I really look like a guy? Hahahaha!

Off the bike and my second transition was a little more sloppy. I racked my bike on the other side of the bar than my shoes, so I had to duck under the bar to get to my stuff. Once onto the run, I didn't feel great, but after about 500m I got into a good rhythm and felt like I was doing pretty well and going fast. I was able to find that extra gear for the 5km run and push hard right to the finish! The most important thing was that I gave it my hardest effort possible and left nothing out there on that course. Most of my runs in the triathlons this year have not shown the hard work that I have put in this year in that discipline, until now.

swim - 10:54 (1st female, 5th overall)
bike - 34:52 (1st female, 9th overall) - includes both transitions
run - 21:49 (2nd female, 19th overall)
Total time: 1:07.34 (10th overall, 1st female) = a personal best!

The encouraging thing for me is that I was about 1 minute faster than last year's time on this course, and my run time alone was about a 40 sec PB. So all that time focusing on the run has eventually paid off (as it sure hadn't seemed like it during my last 3 races)!

I'm back in Calgary today (for work, again!) just for one night... excited to get home and get back into a routine of hard training... 4 weeks until Banff!