Friday, December 31, 2010

An Amazing New Year's Eve

Though it's still early evening, I've had a pretty cool New Year's Eve already.

I headed down to Cochrane to run Martin Parnell's last 10km of his 250th marathon this year.  He is raising money for Right to Play, a children's charity, and I thought it would be cool to participate in his last run.

This is me and Marathon Man himself!

He is inspirational, to say the least, and I was so grateful to get the chance to run with him.  I asked him if he was looking forward to tomorrow, and he said "more than anyone can know.  I can't wait to do anything but run!"




He had 400m left to run before the final 2 km, so he told us all to wait while he ran up this parking lot and across a bridge and back!

The next time I feel like I can't keep going during a race, I'll be able to think about this experience and I'm sure I'll find the strength to continue!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Update

I have been absent again!

I don't really have an excuse this time... I didn't get married again or go on another honeymoon.  Ooops.

I've been running a little more than I was before, I've been yogaing a little more too, which I'm enjoying.

I've been living with my husband AND his brother, which is interesting in a small condo.

I've been flying, sometimes to Maui, which is a great escape from the cold weather.

I also bought a new winter jacket, which I love.

What else?  I took Matt to Vancouver for his birthday, and we went to the Vancouver Aquarium.  We also ate some delicious sushi for a lot less money than Calgary's sushi.

Soon, it will be Christmas and Kristen and Jordan will be here!  Hurray!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wedded Bliss

I have been absent, but busy.

I got married.

Went to New York City on my honeymoon. 


And ate lots of Gluten-Free deliciousness.


And loved it!!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Hot Hot Heat

Bonjour!

The time is ticking, and the wedding is getting closer!  Three weeks today at this time I will probably be drinking coffee on my deck with my husband to be before the madness of the day starts!  If it's too cold, maybe it will be coffee in bed. (which, coincidentally, is what we were doing when he proposed!)

So much has happened it's hard to even get it all out!  I had an amazing surprise shower thrown by the best besties in the world (a recap can be found here), and then I ran the canmore half marathon (which k did a great recap of as well).  Matt and I ran together, so there was no pressure and we didn't have any time goals.  We finished in about 2:15 and I was pretty sore.  Once I got past 16km, I could tell where my training lacked and my hips were toooight!  We had a good day, but next year, I think we'll drop back down to the 10km race.  It's a lot more fun to do with a group (Matt's cousin and her husband did it with us both years) and not quite as taxing... we can still have drinks the night before, not have to get up, eat and have a strict schedule. 

I've been doing hot yoga more since the race, trying to get a little more toned.  I still am doing some weights when I'm on the road, but in Calgary, I don't have a gym access so I'd rather pay to do yoga instead of pay to lift weights.  I've been going to hot yoga and I can definitely tell I'm working hard!  My arms today were shaking since I've been twice this week (when normally I go once a week MAX).  I'm enjoying the 60-90 minute sweat fest. 

Other than that, it's little wedding details and that's about it!  Time to relax and enjoy the time with all the visitors coming! 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Recovering

Life since the 70.3 has been great.  I am still in disbelief that I finished and that it's over, and it's strange to not have this HUGE ENORMOUS deadline looming over my head.

Oh wait, I guess there's our wedding that's in less than 2 months.  Most of the important things are done, but I'm still trying to get all all of the little details figured out.  Luckily there isn't anything so pressing that it doesn't seem manageable. 

I also signed up for a half marathon on September 12 in Canmore, so I still have to run and make sure I can finish that one well.  I know I can finish finish, but it would be nice to have a strong race.  I haven't been SUPER into running, though I just got a birthday present that should pep me up a bit!  Matt (and my parents) got me a Garmin 310XT!!  I took it out for the first time yesterday, and so far it's cool, but I just kept looking at it the whole time.  I can see how people rely so heavily on them, since they are just plain cool and it's interesting to see all sorts of stats, but I'll just let the "newness" of it wear off and hopefully just use it as a compliment to my training.

What else?  Matt and I have continued to go to hot yoga, which has been great, and I'm working on some strength training when I'm on the road (and have the use of free gyms) to tone up my upper body for the wedding.  I worked out with another flight attendant who does fitness competitions, and while that's definitely not something I'd ever want to do, it was fun to do a strength training routine with someone who knows what she's doing.  She is STRONG!  I've never been much into strength, aside for a few little weights here and there and some core stuff.  I definitely was out of my element.  One thing that she commented on was how determined I was, and how she didn't have to push me to finish a set or exercise.  I told her that even though weights were foreign to me, pushing myself and persevering is what my sport is all about!  Funny how two very different athletes have the same thing at their core.  Anyway, though I don't think I'll be sporting a spray tan, a string bikini and clear heels anytime soon, it was amazing to see her lifting 40 plus pounds doing tricep something-er-rathers (while I was lifting 8!)

And that's that.  How's everyone else doing?

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Ironman Calgary 70.3 race report

So I finished.  And that was my only goal.

I'll start the day before, when my sister, mum and I went out to Cochrane to drop off my bike.  Nothing too noteworthy happened except I met a very nice volunteer who was very informative and helped me put my number stickers on my bike.  She told me how and where I would exit the water, grab my T1 bag, get dressed, and run out to the mounting line.  Nothing too crazy.  I walked down to the water and tested it out.  It was cold.  I wish I had gone for a swim, but I didn't.

Race morning I woke up at 3:30, made coffee and oatmeal, made sure I had all my stuff, and we (sister, Matt and I) left to go pick up my mum.  It was raining, and there were thundershowers in the day's forecast.  We arrived in Cochrane, and the line for the portapotties was already very long.  I don't exactly remember what all happened and it what order, but I dropped off my water bottle, pumped my tires, lent my pump to someone else, went to the bathroom, got body marked, applied sunscreen, re-marked my numbers since they came off with the sunscreen, got on my wetsuit, and dropped off my dry clothes bag.  Also, I got about 500 mosquito bites.  Then I waited.  The pros started and finished, the women started, the men started, and then I went into the water to "warm up".

As soon as I put my face under the water, I started gasping, breathing in (which you aren't supposed to do under water), and panicking.  I have never had any water "issues", I've never panicked, I've never freaked out, and I don't mind open water or cold water.  I'm not sure if this was nerves, temperature, or both, but I could NOT find my breath.  Of course, the fact that I was having these issues is making me panic even more, and all of a sudden, the horn went off.  I still couldn't put my face under without gasping in and out, so I just tried to swim some kind of front crawl without my face under.  It wasn't too effective, and before I knew it I was one of the last people.  I think I did the first quater or third of the swim like that.  In my head, I was thinking "ok, well this is it, I'm done the race, I can't do it, I'll just stop", but then I just sucked it up, tried to calm down, and eventually found my stroke.  I made up quite a bit of time, passed quite a few people, and finished the swim strong in 46:24.

I ran up the boat launch, tried to get my wetsuit half off, then ripped off my cap and goggles, got stripped by the strippers, couldn't find my T1 bag, a volunteer found it for me, changed, took a Gu, and ran into the bike place and grabbed my bike.  I took some swigs of water and walk/jogged to the bike mount.  My mum, sister, and Matt were there, taking pictures and cheering me on.  I think I said "that was very hard" and then hopped on my bike.  I knew this was going to be hard.  And it was.

I passed a girl not two minutes into the bike who had already gotten a flat tire.  I said to her "terrible luck!!" and she replied "I know, right?!?" as if she couldn't even believe it.  I remember thinking "I hope I don't get a flat!" and kept on going.  I biked along, getting passed left right and centre, one guy saying "those beers are going to taste amazing tonight!" as he went by.  It rained a bit, making my feet wet and cold.  I tried to remember to drink, eat (I managed to eat my Gus without falling, which was great) and just kept cycling.  The course was devastating.  I felt awful.  The hills were tough.  I managed to speed down the hills, which I wasn't sure I'd be able to, only breaking when the officials told us there was a sharp turn coming up, and I tried to keep strong, but it was hard.  I couldn't get into aero position much during the first half of the race, since there were so many up and down hills, requiring me to change gears, and my aero bars don't have gear changers on them.  When the course was a bit flatter in the last third, being in aero hurt my crotch so much that I couldn't stay in for long.  My dad drove out to Cochrane and cheered me on with major gusto at two spots.  When he drove by me on a hill, he stuck his hand out the sunroof and cheered like crazy.  He really helped keep my morale up.  Coming up to the second aid station, I had finished my aero bottle of sports drink, so I decided to take my spare water, pour it into the aero bottle, chuck it at the aid station, and get a new spare water.  I have never really ridden with one hand for that long, so I was really going out on a limb thinking I could do it.  Slowly but surely, I managed all those steps, and when I was finished, I felt so proud!  How silly!  I even looked around hoping someone had witnessed it!  I got up to the aid station, called out for water, and my favourite volunteer from Saturday's bike drop off ran beside me and handed me a bottle!  She encouraged me, congratulated me, and told me to keep riding hard!  I found out later that she went to the finish line and even recognized my family and told them that she had seen me out on the course.  How nice!!  For almost the whole course, I was alone, only passing about 6 people total, and being passed here and there.  Anytime I saw the official vehicle drive by, I was scared there were going to pull me over and tell me I was too slow and I had to stop.  I saw a few people on the side with flat tires, and again hoped I wouldn't have to be in their shoes.  When I finally got onto Glenmore Trail, I tried to remind myself that I was supposed to be happy, since this meant the bike was almost over.  Instead I was mad.  I was mad because I thought I had been too slow and wouldn't get to run.  Then I was happy because the day would be over.  I didn't care that I couldn't run.  I just wanted to be done.  Then I was sad because I wouldn't be able to finish and would have to tell everyone I didn't finish.  I finally turned onto 37th street, (what a bumpy road!!! my crotch was KILLING ME!) powered down the road, and saw a group of people at the end screaming and cheering.  I heard my dad yell "YOU MADE IT!!!" and saw my mum, sister, matt, my friend katie, and her sister yelling and cheering.  I unclipped, got off my bike only to find that one foot was still clipped, almost fell, and walked over the timing mat.  I was sort of crying out of happiness, exhaustion, disappointment (that I had to keep going), and as I walked to my transition area, I heard my mum say "well, she doesn't look very happy!" and then I got changed.  My final bike time was 4:05:21.  Ouch.


I was thankful to have spare socks since mine were SOAKED (hehe just in case Leana!!), got on my runners, my hydration belt, went to the bathroom and peed for what felt like an hour, and set out on the run.  As I passed my family again, I said to my sister "don't ever let me do one of these again!!" and started running.  I think I took a Gu.  My quads were completely cramped.  When I stopped to stretch them, my calves would seize.  It felt terrible.  I ran, walked, walked, ran, and at about 4 km, I met my new friend Perry.  He had gotten four flat tires on the bike and cruised into transition one minute after me, being I think the last one to make the cutoff.  He said "we are pretty much at the same pace, if you try to walk as fast as you can when you're walking, we can still make a good time, so lets just run together".  So we did.  The course looped in such a way that we passed the finish line a couple of times throughout the run, so we got to see my family a lot.  When we passed them around the 4 km mark, the group had grown to include Kirsten and her three kids.  Kristen ran with us for a few kms, talking to us, telling us we were great, cheering for us, and being awesome.  She then left us and found someone to run up the weaselhead hill with who was on their last 5 kms of the race.  We ran, walked, talked, drank water, and before I knew it we were at the turn around, meaning we were halfway done.  I definitely wasn't running my fastest half marathon, but I didn't care.  My quads were sore, and I was mentally done.  Perry and I took turns being the strong one, making the other run a little longer.  He has done 35 triathlons, 6 of which were 70.3 and one ironman.  He had done this race last year and finished in just over 6 hours.  He was nursing a rib injury, making his race a tough one, not to mention all the flat tires.  About 9 kms to go, my mum's good friend Leah rode up on her bike and cheered us on.  She rode behind us for quite a while, chatting, telling us how great we were doing, offering us and anyone who came by some sharkies, granola bars, and water.  She was such a great moral booster, and we were happy to have her as company.  During the whole run, we passed probably 30 people, so that felt nice.  When we got to the bottom of the weaselhead hill, Kristen, Katie and her sister met us at the bottom and encouraged us to run up it.  My quads didn't like that idea, so we walked up.  At the top of the hill, we were met with cheers by an even bigger group, including Matt's cousin Kaitlin and her husband Jordan, and my friend Vanessa, who had worked all night and woke up to come to the end.  Also, my step dad Kevin was there.  It was amazing.  We ran some more, still with 4 km left of the race, walked, ran, walked, and I was really loosing steam.  It was so hard to keep running.  Finally, FINALLY, we had one km to go.  We had originally said we would run the last km, but I just couldn't.  I ran, then walked, then ran it in.  People were lined up, cheering, and it just felt amazing.  Perry and I crossed the finish line together, hugged, and then I just cried.  We finished the run in 2:24:32.



I got my finisher's medal, a belt buckle, a large finisher's shirt that comes down to my knees, a superhero cape (those metal blanket things) that I've always wanted, pepsi, water, and went over to find my family.  I just couldn't stop crying.  I was so glad it was over.  I cried and cried and hugged people and I was just so relieved.  My final time was 7:28:30.

My final thoughts?  I have an amazing group of family and friends.  I couldn't believe how the group just kept growing and growing.  My sister would have run the whole half marathon with me if she needed to.  Matt decided I needed to have a jacket (since I didn't buy anything at the race expo) so he, Kristen and my mum got one for me so I would have something to wear.  They cheered and cheered and just were amazing.  Also, the race was really really hard.  I feel amazing, but it was hard.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

I did it!

It was very very hard.  But I finished in about 7:3something.  Wahooooo!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

5 days

Because my race is five days away and I'm extremely nervous, I decided to post my list of required items for race day instead of writing about how I feel (TERRIFIED).  Also, if anyone sees any huge gaps in the list, you can help me out!

Swim:
  • wetsuit
  • goggles x 2
  • swim cap
  • race issued swim cap
  • ear plugs
  • watch
  • tri shorts
  • sports bra
  • tank top
  • body glide
  • towel
Bike:
  • bike (though it will already be there, so I shouldn't have to remember it)
  • bike shoes
  • socks
  • helmet
  • sunglasses
  • race number belt
  • 1 package of gu chomps
  • 3 gu gels (plus 1 that I'll take as soon as I get to my transition station)
  • 5 salt pills
  • aero bottle filled with sports drink
  • regular bottle filled with water
  • extra water bottle to rinse my feet
  • bike pump (a big one to pump my tires before I swim)
  • co2 gun thingy
  • 2 co2 cartreges
  • 2 spare tubes
  • tools
  • sunscreen
Run:
  • runners
  • socks
  • hat
  • hydration belt with sports drink
  • 2 gu gels
  • body glide
Post Race:
  • sports bra
  • tank top
  • shorts
  • compression socks
  • new runners
  • FOOD (though I will rely on my race supporters to provide that for me!)
So most of that stuff I'll bring with me as I'm racing, though a few items will be left in transition (like body glide, sunscreen etc.)  I'm wondering if I should have two sunscreens, one for each transition, or rely on the sunscreen "station" that I've heard will be in the transitions.  Because this is a point A to B race, I won't have access to the things in my T1 bag for T2, so anything I'll need twice I'll have to have two of.  Kind of a pain, but no big deal.  Luckily there were a few body glide samples kicking around the shop, so I snagged one for my T2 so I won't need to buy another body glide (since I JUST bought a new one).  I'm bringing mainly sports drink with me since I like to have what I'm used to drinking, and I'll get my water from the aid stations along the way.  I'm really not sure how I'll do with the aid stations on the bike, but I'll try my best, and bring lots with me so if I'm too uncoordinated to use them, I won't be stuck without nutrition.

I hope that about covers it.  Definitely let me know if you see something missing!! 


AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Getting uncomfortably close

I haven't blogged in a while, one reason being I was busy, one being I didn't know what to say except I'm getting extremely scared. 

First, the half marathon.  It went well.  I came in at 1:59:4something.  I barely squeaked by and achieved my goal of coming in under 2 hours.  It was a very challenging run.  First, I had forgotten how long we had to stand around and wait for the start.  I don't like that anticipation too much, and the fact that it was pouring rain didn't help.  Secondly, IT WAS POURING RAIN.  I was soaked.  Thirdly, it was hillier than I remembered.  I hoped it would be the opposite, and that the course wouldn't be as hard as I remembered the first time I ran it, but no, it was hilly.  Just when you think you've hit the hardest hill, a harder one comes along.  And then people tell you "it's flat from here on in!!" from the sidelines, just in time for you to turn a corner and see an enormous hill.  Honestly, spectators, don't ever yell it's flat unless you are 100% positive that there are no more hills.  It's just not nice.  While we're at it, don't you dare yell "you're almost done" unless I can see the finish line.  Telling me I'm almost done with 3 miles to go is just plain false.  Sorry, just had to get that off my chest.  The fact that I was soaked mixed with the hills made the race really tough on my feet.  I have been dealing with some forefoot tenderness that I thought I had under control, but the up and down and the soaking feet and shoes full of puddles made me feel like I was running on cheese graters.  Ouch.  It was mentally tough, physically tough, but I remembered I was running for my grandma and for alzheimer's, and I pushed through to sneak in under 2 hours.  Great!  Everyone else who ran with me did amazing, and I was so happy for everyone. 

Next up, the 70.3.  Just writing that gave me butterflies.  I'm scared.  Really really scared.  I don't know what else I can say but holy freaking crap why am I doing this?!?!?!?!?!  I feel like I'm a 5 year old going in to take the SATs.  Ahhhhhhhh!

And that's that!  Sorry I've been absent!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The home stretch!

Life has been a whole bunch of working and training!!

I swam lots this month, and it really improved my speed and technique.  I'm feeling great, and hoping I'll make my swim well within the time cutoff for the race.  Biking has been another story... Not too many rides on the real roads so I'm really going to focus on that after my half marathon.

Speaking of the half on the 6th, I'm getting really excited for the race!  Matt and I are heading out early and taking my gramps to a red sox game, and we'll have a little time in Vermont to relax before the race.  I'm told there's a little lake nearby, so I plan on doing a few swims there for training.  My running hasn't been exactly where I want it for the race, but I feel confident that I'll do well, and if I don't get under 2 hours, which is my goal, it's not the end of the world.  I know I have it in me, but if the weather is too hot, I think I may fade a little.  I went for a training run in the heat a couple of weeks ago, and it was BRUTAL.  It's very hot in Vermont right now, so it's not looking amazing, but I'll wait and see.  I'll do my best, and that's as well as I can do!  This race is about Team Alzheimer's, family, and enjoying myself, so if I can't perform the way I want, I will still get lots out of it.

After the race, it will be ALL about the bike.  I will have my ass attached to that seat as much as I possibly can.  I am slightly worried about the bike time cutoff for the half ironman.  I am not allowed to continue racing if I finish the bike over 5 hours after I start the race, which means the swim plus the bike can't equal more than 5 hours.  I really don't have an accurate estimate of what I'm capable of, but I just feel like I could take 4 plus hours to bike 94 km.  I guess once I get out for a few long training rides, I'll know a little more what kind of time I'm looking at.  I am a little nervous though, I'm not going to lie. 

That's about that!  Next week will involve a lot of flying and driving, but then fun and relaxing with the fam!  Wahoo!

Monday, May 10, 2010

I'm a fish.

Today was a great day for workouts!  I got up this morning, went swimming, and had such a confidence boosting swim!  I did a warm-up of 600m, with some kicking, pulling and regular swimming, then I did 1650m of continuous swimming.  Instead of just swimming and counting up to 1650, I started with 275, then I did 250, then I did 225 etc. until I got to 25 and I was done!  I didn't stop between my sets (except a few goggle readjustments), so I still did 1650 continuous, but it helped make it a little more do-able for me, and also helped me not loose count.  My biggest problem swimming is that I loose count of my laps and end up doing too few. (funny how I never do too many...)  I then did a 200m cool down and called it a day.  I just felt amazing having finished such a long swim in about an hour.  The 70.3 swim leg is 1900m, so I was only 250 shy of the total.  It made me feel so much more confident that I will actually be able to finish the swim part, and within the time cutoff too.  My whole workout took an hour, so I know I'll be able to do 1900 within the one hour cutoff.  I felt so good leaving the pool.  I started to feel a little tight in my shoulders during the last 200m, but with time I know I'll be ok.

I worked all day at the shop, mostly taking returns from the big sale we had this weekend, but the time flew by and before I knew it, I went home and got ready for my run.  I really didn't want to, but I sucked it up and went.  I did 14km around the river, and I definitely overdressed.  I got dressed, and even thought to myself "I think I'm going to be too hot", but went out anyway.  I was wearing full length tights, a tank top, a long sleeve (I almost wore a thermal long sleeve instead, thank goodness I didn't), gloves and a thermal headband.  I definitely didn't need all those clothes, but I wasn't BOILING and I survived.  It tends to get windy around the river, so I think that's why I thought I should wear everything, but I could have at least worn capri pants, no gloves, and a normal head band.  My head was very sweaty!

This week is all swimming all the time, so I'll smell like pool and have super dry skin.  Fun!

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Feeling a little guilty

I have so much to say, but not enough time to say it!  I've been working and out of town for what seems like forever.  Every time I see my blog I think about how much I want to post, but I haven't had any time on the computer! 

I will start with a bike ride.  My third attempt on the bike went well.  I went on a path that was technically closed, which worked very well with me because it wasn't busy, and I had to stop, unclip, and walk my bike over parts that were under construction, and so I got all sorts of practice getting on and off my bike!  I even went in and out of aero position lots!  Yay for me!

Next was the Glencoe Icebreaker 10km race.  I saw Leana at the shop for package pick up, and she introduced herself and then we talked about how terrible my fall was.  It was nice to meet her!  Then Saturday before the race I went to a wedding reception, had more drinks than I intended, wore 4 inch stilettos, and had three hours of sleep.  I wasn't super excited to get up and race the next morning, but I gave it a go!  I took it a little easy during the first 5 km because I wasn't sure what my body would do.  I have a sensitive stomach, so cramps and stitches were definite possibilities.  Luckily, I felt pretty good and even powered up a hill and passed a bunch of people.  (Nothing feels better than being strong on hills!!)  I saw Leana at the top of the hill and again  little later, which was nice!  At half way, when I was still feeling good, I decided I would pick it up a notch.  Then, at 6km, I grabbed a quick sip of water and picked it up again.  Since I was feeling good still, I decided I would pick it up more at each of the remaining kms and hope for the best.  I got to 9km and just powered through to the end and ended up finishing with a time of 51:23!  A new PR!  Wahoo!  Normally I take walk breaks when I run, but for this race I didn't, with the exception of my quick water stop.  I can't run and drink since my stomach is so sensitive and I end up swallowing so much air.  I don't think I've ever run 10km without walking, so this was a new experience and it ended up working.  I couldn't have run 10 more km at that speed or without a break, but it was nice to know I could do it this time.  I really liked that race, and though it wasn't my "A" race, I am very happy to have a new PR.

What next?  Oh, my brother in law ran a stupid ridiculous boston marathon time!!!  I yelled out in the middle of the mall when I saw his finishing time on my iPhone tracker thingy!  Under 3 hours is just unimaginable to me!  Go Jordan!

Matt and I went to Toronto for a very weddingy weekend!  Kristen came too, and we had a big family shower in the afternoon and a Jack and Jill party in the evening.  It was strange for me, since I didn't know many people there, but it was fun and I was very grateful to have Kristen there with me!  She's such a good big sister.

I've been getting tortured by my chiropractor lately since I've had a few shin and calf issues on my left leg.  I really don't like how much he hurts me, but it's supposed to help in the end, so I'll suffer.  I've had a few bruises down my shin, on my left butt cheek, left hip, and both feet though.  He's so mean.

I've been working lots and lots, and thankfully I'm home now for about two weeks!  I'll have to hit the pool in a major way, since I've been slacking.  I luckily missed the blizzard in Calgary while I was working, so now that I'm home and the weather is nicer, I'll have to head out for bike rides too.  It's getting a lot closer to the 70.3 and I'm getting really scared.  My Vermont race is coming up really quickly too, and I need to pick my mileage up again.  I was up to 18km a month ago, but then I got had some issues and my life got in the way, so I'll have to get back up there so I can have a good, strong race on June 6th.

I think that's about all I can think of right now.  I'm sure I'll have more soon! 

OH, anyone in the Calgary area, there is a nice big Tech Shop sale this Friday and Saturday at Mount Royal College on the track.  I'll be there on Friday, and I can't wait to see what's all on sale!  I plan to pick up a few pairs of shoes to do me through the year.  I can't wait!

Friday, April 09, 2010

Second Attempt = Better and dryer

As I said in my last post, I was going to get a pro bike fit done after I picked up my aerobars and go out for a second try at riding.  I couldn't believe how much I didn't want to go.  As I was loading my bike into the car, I just wanted to run back upstairs to my condo and never looking at it again!  I bit the bullet (as Matt so lovingly said "It's not called a half-let's-go-for-a-leisurely-stroll, it's called a half IRONMAN Heather, suck it up!") and packed it in, drove down to Ridley's Cycle (where they have a cheapest bike fits) and got the fit done.  I was worried they'd tell me that I needed a new bike, and that nothing was workable with what I had, but luckily there were only a few suggestions.  I think ideally I need a new stem (I barely know what that is), but it's not imperative, so I held off (since I just bought aerobars and a bike fit!) and got one of those water bottles with the big giant straw so that I can drink without having to grab my bottle from under me. 

After the fit, I drove down the street a little and parked by the little overpass over memorial drive and set off to cycle on the PATH around the bow river.  I'm amazed at how physically, I could do a lot more than I could last year.  I could ride in tougher gears, I could ride up little hills in those tough gears, and I didn't get tired in my legs nearly as much.  That being said, every time I got a little speed I would brake to slow down!  I'm such a chicken.  I rode past the shouldice (I think) soccer field, so I decided that on my way back, I would try to get into aero position in that field.  What scares me about it is that I have no access to my brakes in that position, so if I have to stop suddenly, I need to get out of aero, brake, AND unclip my feet.  Lots of things to remember when panicking.  I managed to get in and out of it a few times in the field but once I was back on the path, I was too chicken again!  Oh well.  I'll get used to it, I hope.  When I got back to my car, I actually almost fell again!  Luckily I was on an overpass when I decided to stop (so I wouldn't have to go down the overpass and make a sharp turn) and so I used the railing to keep me up.  I think I need to unclip my left foot first all the time, because I tend to lean that way.  I'll have to keep reminding myself to do that.  

Anyway, I feel a little better about the whole thing, though I'm going to have to log some major hours on the bike to feel more comfortable.  I'm going to try to to cycle a little bit outside every day that I'm home.  I was VERY thankful I got my ride in early in the day because the weather turned from nice to blizzard in about 20 minutes!  I was supposed to lead the run group out of the store last night because my boss was at his rehearsal dinner, but they canceled the run and I was off the hook!  Phewf.

It really is funny that my water poured on me when I fell.  It wasn't that funny at the time, but it's as if my bike was saying "Oh you think you can just hop on a ride?  Think again!!" and stuck it to me.  I'm glad you all enjoyed that part! 

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Bike Fail

Yesterday I was super pumped to take my bike out for the first time with my shoe/pedal combo, where my shoes are attached to the pedal.  I know it's a little late considering the weather, but I've been waiting on some aerobars and wanted to take the bike in to get fit etc. with the bars, but the bars have been delayed, blah blah blah I'm scared so I didn't go.

Anyway, I bit the bullet, put some air in my tires, and set out.  I walked my bike through the street, over to the path, and got on, clipped in, and started riding.  I was thinking "oh this isn't that bad", rode, rode, rode, then noticed that my front tire was pretty low and I was almost riding on my rim.  I didn't want to wreck my tire or bike, so I weighed my options, toying between going home, putting air in, and going back out, or stopping at the gas station that was just a couple of streets over, and putting some air in my tire.  At this point, I hadn't tried stopping yet.  I decided to go get air at the gas station, so I left the path, went on to a ROAD, and freaked out.  I thought "I'm so not ready for this" and rode up on to the sidewalk, stopped, (still panicking), and then forgot to unclip my feet, panicked, unclipped the foot that was on the opposite side as the side I was falling towards, and fell.  Fell onto a truck, then down the truck, then onto a cement block, then on to the sidewalk, then my water bottle popped open and poured all over me.  Then a group of men walking on the other side of the road called over to see if I was ok.  I yelled back "um, yeah?" but was thinking in my head "how to I get my foot out??"  I figured it out, got up, started walking towards the gas station.  When I got there, I realized the air said "NOT FOR BIKE TIRES".  Awesome.  Then I walked home. 

I wasn't hurt, but I was shaken up, and of course, any confidence I had just went right out the window.  I'm a big ole chicken on the bike.  Now I'm worse.  I know I just panicked, and I forgot to remind myself I was clipped in, even though when I was riding I kept saying "remember your feet are attached to your bike".  I just had my mind on my tire, not my feet, and forgot.  But I really don't want to ride anymore.

Today I think I am getting the aerobars, so I'll take my bike in to get fit with the bars, then they can make sure it's all road ready, and then I can drive to a path where I won't have to ride on any road at any time and try again.  I need to try again soon, otherwise I'll get more and more scared.

I'm lucky I just walked away with a bump on my knee and a sore shoulder.  Oh and I was super embarrassed, since I then walked along the road at the same time as all the men who saw me fall.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Amazing Day

Yesterday was a day I was really looking forward to.  First thing in the morning, I planned on waking up and heading to the pool.  Well, I didn't do that.  (Ooops.)  Instead, I stayed in bed and read a riveting book, Into thin Air, which is about the Mt. Everest disaster of 1996.  It was written by the same guy who wrote Into the Wild (I guess he likes titles starting with "into"), Jon Krakauer.  Anyway, I'm hooked and really want to finish it.

After about an hour, I hopped up, and started making breakfast for my two friends (and bridesmaids), Katie and Kaitlin, who were due to come over around 10:00 to do some weddingy stuff.  I realized that I was out of a lot of things like milk, almond milk, fruit etc. which would put a damper on my breakfast.  So I walked the block to safeway and picked up what I needed (including cream for our coffee, which I NEVER get since I normally use milk, but it made the morning extra decadent) and finished up cooking breaky, made coffee, cleaned off the coffee table, compiled all that we needed to finish off our tasks, and waited for them to arrive!  (I got dressed somewhere in the too!)

We spent the morning eating, chatting, laughing, and ended up being VERY productive!  My method for the wedding is to get things done early so I don't have to freak out about them later.  I know it seems crazy to have the invitations all done and ready almost 6 months before the wedding, but I'm happier knowing it's one less thing on my to do list!  I would like to enjoy the month leading up to the wedding since we'll have family in town and I'd rather have time to have coffee dates instead of running around trying to find a guestbook. 

Anyway, we had a great morning, but I really missed my other two bridesmaids... Kristen, of course, is in Ottawa, and my other friend Vanessa is in Africa working at an orphanage, so they have missed a few of our crafty days.  I hope there will be other things for us all to do together!  (Though, I'm sure neither is complaining that they didn't get to lick envelopes and will be perfectly satisfied with coffee dates instead!) 

Then, I headed downtown to meet Matt, and then the two of us met with the minister who will be officiating our wedding to go over some details.  It was an awesome meeting, and he and Matt hit it off right away.  The minister is a long time family friend of ours, and I was really happy he could do our wedding.  I really liked his ideas and wording and flow and all that, so I left feeling really happy with the way our ceremony would "go". 

Then, we headed home, I had a quick bite to eat, and I went off to see my other friend Katie who was going to cut and highlight my hair for the last time since she's moving back to Nova Scotia!  It was a bittersweet visit, since we knew we wouldn't see too much of each other in the near future, but we had fun chatting and eating some chips and guacamole (and doing hair).

I ended my fabulous day with some vietnamese food and more book!  And visiting with Matt of course.  I felt so satisfied and happy with my day and fell asleep feeling amazing.

I just love great days!  And visiting with friends!  Amazing.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tender Tootsies

One of the great things about working at a running shop is that sometimes, I get free stuff.  As an "athlete", it's awesome, because I go through gear, especially shoes, pretty quickly. 

Last year, I got a pair of Saucony Triumphs because of a selling competition, which were awesome.  I loved those shoes, even though I'm a Mizuno girl normally.  I just really liked them.  Saucony is known for changing their shoes, and this year's triumphs are quite different, and not really my cup of tea, so unfortunately, the relationship between me and the triumphs is over.  At the staff christmas party this year, I got a free pair of Asics Nimbus, which I was was stoked about since they're pretty pricey shoes, and I love them every time I wear them around the store.  (Another great thing about working at a running shop, I can wear different shoes around while I'm on shift to test them out, see how they fit, check for different aspects of them etc. which helps me when customers come in for specific complaints or requests).  I was saving those shiny new asics in the back of my closet for when my triumphs bit the dust.  A couple of weeks ago, I decided that it was time to bust em' out, and even though I know better, I took them out on a 16 km run.  I know you really aren't supposed to wear new shoes on a long run, but since they were free, it wasn't like I was going to return them, so why not take the plunge and just go.  They felt really good, except the ball of my right foot felt a little tender near the end.  I haven't felt that since I ran my first half in Vermont.  I remember near the end of the race feeling like the balls of my feet were raw.  I kind of put that feeling in the back of my mind, and persevered through a few more runs.  Last week in Maui I went on an 18km run (which was more of a 16km run in the end, oops) and again, I got that tenderness, this time in BOTH feet.  I brought it a little more forward in my mind, taking note of distance, terrain, and socks.  (I wore different socks on purpose, thinking perhaps it was that, not the shoes).  I also have been running on my forefoot, so I thought maybe just high mileage combined with forefoot running was just making my feet tender.

This Sunday, I went on a real 18km run, and the balls of both feet were BURNING after about 8 km.  Man o man I wanted to saw off my feet and just clomp the last kms out.  (a little drastic, I know).  I felt as though I had been running on cheese graters, and they felt just raw raw raw.  I knew it had to be the shoes, and while I was wallowing in pain around the bow river, I remembered that I was wearing asics shoes when I ran the vermont half and felt the rawness.  Not the same model mind you, because I couldn't afford the nimbus then, but still, the same brand.  I decided to pop into the shop on my way home (which is conveniently a block from my house) and ask my manager what he thought.  He immediately said "they're too wide and your feet are moving around too much".  Funny, I felt tonnes of movement every time I ran in them, I just didn't really think much of it.  He said compared to my Mizuno wave riders, these were WAY wider.  Lucky for me, I can make due with the other three pairs I have kicking around until the mother's days sale in May, when I can buy a new pair of riders.  Or maybe something else!  Who knows.  (Funny side note, my feet were so swollen after the run, I tried to put on my Mizuno wave riders and they didn't even fit!  Yikes!)

Something else I noted after my long run on Sunday is that because of running mid to fore foot, my body is much less stiff.  This time last year, I had a hard time walking up and down stairs, and felt stiff and sore all the time.  This year after changing my running style, I'm fine!  I have stiff calves from time to time, and sure I feel fatigued on Sundays, but comparatively, it's like night and day!  This also could have something to do with my skipping runs left right and centre, but lets just say it is from running style, ok??

Last night I went to the swim conditioning class at Killarney pool for the first time in probably 8 months.  I have been swimming, but not as much as I probably should be, so I was a little worried about the class.  Normally, I'm the slow one in this class for sure.  When the class started, right away I moved one lane faster because I could just tell I was faster than the people in the slow lane.  After one lane, I was told by the instructor to move to the faster one again!  I stayed in that lane for the whole class, but I was the fastest in it!  Just to be clear, I really don't care if I'm faster than people, but this was a great reinforcement to me that my swimming is improving, and that my work is paying off.  It feels good to have people say "oh you go ahead" when we're at the end of the pool.  Anyway, I was really happy with the way I was swimming and it felt awesome to see improvement.

That's that!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Wowie

What is with our weather?  It's so nice out these days.  I feel like we are in for a terrible surprise soon (in the form of a blizzard) but I'll take it while it's here!

Life is great here, with the exception of me working ALL THE TIME.  I know normal people are used to having only two days off a week, but I am not.  I've been working like a dog trying to make some cash, and I feel like a zombie.

My saving grace is that my next three pairings have Maui overnights.  I'll get a little rest and relaxation on the beach.  I'm also hoping to get some nice hot runs in around the island.  I just need to make sure I don't get lost.  I have the worst sense of direction and I've tried to run in Maui before and turned around because I was scared I wouldn't find my way back to the hotel.  Funny side note, I also signed up for some free yoga on the beach last year in Maui, and the man running it actually did something close to tai chi, and he was batshit crazy while telling us all about the history of china.  He kept saying "now I bet you're all wondering what I'm talking about and what I'm doing" and we would look at each other and I'm sure we were all thinking "we're actually wondering why this isn't yoga and who the hell you are".  Funny stuff.

Have a great week, and wish me luck.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Tagged

I was tagged by Leana as a "gorgeous blogger" and in turn, I have to share six random things about me, and then tag other bloggers to do it too.  I figured, hey, why not play!

  • I don't leave the house without make-up, unless I'm going to the gym.  I just can't do it. 
  • I don't really consider myself a "real athlete", even though I've raced quite a bit and am training for a big event.
  • I feel like I should be more stressed out about my upcoming wedding, but I'm really not.  I guess I still have lots of time to get stressed out!
  • I really love coffee.  
  • I love cooking, and I'm getting better and better every day.  
  • The thought of being a parent intrigues me.  I flip flop all the time between being sure and unsure I want to be one.
And I'll tag Kirsten, K, lu, and Evey

I'll leave you with a terrible quality photo of me in front of the Olympic cauldron!  

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Time to grovel

Most of you read my sister's blog, so you know that she is running the Vermont Covered Bridges Half Marathon for team Alzheimer's.  Well, I am too!

She is all over the fundraising thing, and I'm, well, not as much.  I figure now is the time to ask for your help.  I'm no good at asking people for money, especially when I have a hard time donating to things myself.  I'm saving for a wedding and have little to spare.  I know most of you don't have money to throw around, but every little bit counts. There are lots of ways to donate even a little!

1$ per mile = $13.10
1$ per kilometer = $21.30
5$ per mile = $65.50
5$ per kilometer = $106.50

Or any other lump sum.  You have $5 to spare?  Awesome.  10?  Great!  I really do appreciate anything you can give.

Not only is this going to a great cause, but you would also be supporting an "active lifestyle" for our family.  While Kristen and I are pretty active, some people in our family aren't.  This race has given them a reason to exercise, and it will be the start of their new, active life.  Kristen really was the brains behind this operation, but I'm just happy to be part of it. 

Again, I know it's not easy to spare some cashola, but I appreciate anything you can do!  You can e-mail me at moulton(dot)heather(at)gmail(dot)com.

If you'd like to visit the team Alzheimer's website to see where the money goes, here's the link.   There should be some bios on that website in the next couple of days.  Kristen also wrote a nice post about it, and you can read that here.

Thank you for your help!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Too much sitting

Tuesday morning I woke up to my phone ringing at 4:50 am, with work telling me I needed to fly to Moncton, NB in order to work a flight the next day.  I had to get all dressed up in my uniform just to sit in a seat allllll the way to Moncton.  When I got there, I was definitely in need of some activity!  I changed went down to the hotel gym right away.  Luckily, there were a few TVs in there, so I biked and ran my way through the women's boarder cross and watched Canada get the first ever gold medal in that sport!  I had so much fun and actually cheered in the packed gym when we won!  Other people were watching too, so it wasn't too out of place.  I watched some more Olympics that night, and then fell asleep with the TV on!

Yesterday I had the entire day in Toronto, so I spent it at Matt's parents house.  I had such a nice time seeing them (since it had been August since the last time I saw them) and his brothers.  I had almost every minute scheduled and didn't get to watch the hockey game, but I got some updates via text message and we caught a few minutes of it on TV when we were picking up his brother from hockey practice.  I also went to an AMAZING gluten free restaurant with his mum and grandma.  The food was out of this world delicious.  The bread was light and fluffy (not usually something that goes hand in hand with gluten free), and they had a great variety of food.  I wish we had a restaurant like that here!  I got to fill them in on all things wedding and we chatted about the shower coming up in April.  good times.  When I finally got back to my hotel I caught the last 5 minutes of the hockey, and our two medals in bobsleigh!  What a great day for Canada.  I'm just so proud of our athletes.

I've got a run scheduled for today, but my head is currently pounding, so I'll pop some advil and see what happens.  Running and headaches don't really mix too well, so I'll have to wait and see if it goes away.

I wish the time would go by slower; I'm not ready for the Olympics to be over!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Lead Legs

Yesterday I set out for another 14km run.  This time, instead of it just being a long, slow distance run, it was a "progression run", which meant I had to hammer out the last 2km at speed 2 instead of speed 1.  My training program focuses on three speeds: long distance speed, or speed 1, middle distance speed, speed 2, and then sprinting speed, speed 3.  So even though I was flipping tired, I had to push the last 2 km and run FASTER.  It's as much a mental exercise as a physical one, since after 12 km I wasn't really in the mood to push it, especially since I had a bad run (but more on that later).  I decided that my strategy would be "the faster you run now, the sooner you get to stop", instead of the whole "train to get stronger and this will help me later" idea.  I just wanted to stop running.  I'm not really sure HOW much faster I really ran those last 2 km, but it felt horrible and agonizing, so I figure I pushed it enough.

As soon as I set out for my run, I had a feeling it wasn't going to be my best.  My legs have been feeling like bricks lately, I think having something to do with the whole cycling thing, and I just felt fatigued before I even started.  I didn't run very quickly, and I didn't feel "in the zone" like I often do on my long runs.  Normally my shorter speed runs are the worst for me, and my long runs being a little easier and energizing.  Yesterday, my only saving grace was a great podcast called "Running to Disney", which always makes me laugh because of Gordon's accent and sayings.  He was doing a little q & a episode and he kept saying "dawggone" and wishing he was watching American Idol.  Anyway, I pushed through my agony and finished strong.  A memory of my first half marathon came back during yesterday's run, a memory of me chanting "keep going keep going" and I'm pretty sure "I'm never running again" was thrown in there a few times as well.  Funny enough, I'm training for that very same race, so we'll see how my mental exercises help me!  My speed was SLOW yesterday, which brought me down a lot.  It's funny to think that after a 14km run I felt like I had accomplished nothing, and felt lazy because I hadn't run fast enough.  Crazy, I know, but true.  I really need to work on my attitude!

This morning I set out to the pool, but had a lackluster swim.  I got through my workout, but didn't feel in any zone at all.  I was struggling with my breathing which made me fade quite quickly.  I'll just have to try to relax and improve next time.  On a positive note, I finally remembered my ear plugs and they worked SO well.  No water in my ears for the rest of the day, thankfully!  I can't think of anything as annoying as water in the ear, except maybe chaffed thighs. 

After my swim, I took back my recycling, which has piled up way past what it should have.  I REALLY miss curbside recycling.

I hope everyone is enjoying the Olympics.  There are just way too many things to mention, but I'm loving AND hating them right now!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The best time of the year(s)

The Olympics are here, and I am SO excited.  I love every single aspect of them, and I am glued to the TV.  I actually don't want to leave the house in case I miss something. 

I was extremely lucky on Friday as I was passing through Vancouver.  I went out into the airport terminal looking for some coffee, and I got to hold the Olympic torch!!!  I saw it, and I immediately ran over, asked if I could have my picture with it, and they agreed to let me use my own camera (so I didn't have to pay).  I was SO happy.  The only downfall is that I was in uniform, so I can't really plaster the picture all over the internet.  I'll just keep it and look at it every once in a while.  It was so thrilling.

Since then, I've been so happy and excited as I watch each event.  I tend to get pretty emotional when I watch them, and this year has been no different.  I shed a few tears during the women's moguls event when our sweet little canadians won a silver medal and placed fifth.  I was so proud of them both.  I also really enjoyed the men's short track speed skating, where even though our medal hopeful didn't qualify for the final, another Canadian made it through and placed 4th!  Right now I'm watching Cindy Klassen compete in the 3000m long track speed skating and the crowd is on their feet cheering her on.  I just can't imagine how it feels to be a Canadian Olympian in Vancouver, and I'm really disappointed that I won't be there during the games.  I do have one overnight, but it's pretty quick, so I'm not sure I'll be able to make it downtown.

My training is going alright... though I'm struggling a little with the cycling.  I just don't want to stay on the bike as long as I need to.  Today I had a nice 14km run on Valentine's day, and came home to some delicious coffee and crepes.  There's nothing like food to motivate me!

I hope everyone is enjoying the games!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Pool logistics

I normally swim at a city of Calgary pool; Killarney pool more specifically.  It's not REALLY that close to my house, but it's close enough, it's cheap, there is a gym if I feel like a change of scenery, and that's just where I go.  It's not the nicest pool around, but it will do.  One of my issues is the schedule, since there are very few hours for lane swim after 9:00 am, and even though I set my alarm almost every day so that I can get up and swim, it's rare that I actually get there.  Also, I don't LOVE the other people who swim there.  Now, I have no problems whatsoever with people going to the pool who aren't great swimmers.  That was me one year ago.  It's just that I never know where I fit in with these people.  On Monday nights during swim conditioning class, I am a definite SLOW laner.  Everyone is faster than I am.  During lane swim, however, the slow lane is full of people who are just walking back and forth in the pool, so I go to the medium lane.  This is where it gets tricky.  I'm not fast.  Not at all.  But I swim with my face in the water and I do a real stroke.  Sometimes, there are the "I'm just going to hop in the pool for a change but I don't want to get my hair wet" people in the medium lane.  They're faster than the walkers, but they aren't medium.  Over in the fast lane, people are one second away from qualifying for the olympics, so where do I go?  I usually suck it up, go in the medium lane and just pass people (which isn't terrible for the ego for a second). 

Last night I went to the Talisman Centre for a change.  These issues don't really exist there.  There are WAY more lanes, the people are generally a lot more "serious", and I can get away with slow, maybe medium, with no issues at all.  Also, if you go in the last 90 minutes, it's only a 5$ drop in fee, which is the same as the city of Calgary pools.  Last night, I psyched myself up for a great swim, and when I got there, I realized that their main pools were under renovation.  SO, in the last remaining pool I found two water polo teams, three lanes of swimming, and a lot of people with dry hair.  I felt foiled!  I didn't give up, but I spent my time passing people and getting hit in the face by crazy sporadic arms.  Hey, on the bright side, it simulated the tri race experience!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

A little bone to pick

As much as I LOVE my new phone, I feel a little mislead.

I do not get service in the entire province of Saskatchewan, and some parts on Ontario. 

What?!?!  Seriously??  No service on the iPhone. 

When I called Bell and asked them "WTF?!?!?" they just said "we haven't expanded our network there yet, but we will, sometime.  And yes, you still have to pay for continuous coverage even though you won't receive continuous coverage.  And even though you said you traveled for a living, it isn't standard to let our customers know that there isn't service in all of Canada when purchasing the iPhone." 

Well crap.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

iPhone blogging

I've been keeping my latest purchase on the downlow out of guilt, since I'm supposed to be saving money for the wedding, but in a few ways, I've let the cat out of the bag, do I might as well admit it: I got an iPhone.

It's incredible. There is another love letter to the iPhone on my blogroll, which I completely agree with. Anyway, I'm blogging from my little baby now, and it's a bit challenging. Texting in a touch screen isn't easy. I'm getting better and better, but it's so easy to write the wrong letter!

This Friday I ended up moving my bike trainer inside because my toes were just too cold! I got an hour and a half done which satisfied me. On Saturday, the tech shop was moving, so I went over around noon to help out. Let me tell you, even though it was a move across the street, it was HARD. I stayed until about 330, then we had to wait until 530 for the shop to close, so I went home and went for a run. I had a lot of guilt because I hadn't woken up early and run, so I thought it would be nice to fit one in. I ended up talking to my sis during it, on my headphones with the little microphone in them, so the time passes pretty easily. She said I sounded like a podcaster with all the breathiness! When I got back to the shop, I was in for a world of pain. I spent the evening squatting, picking up 12 shoeboxes off the floor, and passing them to people taller than I. When I got a break from that, I got to go in the truck and stack them. We basically formed an assembly line to load the truck, then drove the truck across the street, the "assembly line" unpacked it. We litterally moved running shoes from 530 until midnight with a one hour break. I have bruises on my arms, a scratch on my face, (from carting piles of boxes that were taller than I was) and I am stiff all over! Ah! Even though it was hellish, the new store is ridiculously beautiful. Anyone in the Calgary area should definitely check it out!

Sunday was a very bridal day. I went to the bridal fair (woah is all I have to say about that) and suit shopping for matt.

Now I'm in Ottawa, and despite the nice weather yesterday, it wasn't nice enough today for short shorts today, so I did 10km on the treadmill in the hotel gym. Now I'm at the greatest coffee shop in the world waiting for my sis to get off work!

Sorry if this is choppy and weird, I'm new to phone posting! Also, I can't figure out the links, so you can figure out where I would have put links and google them yourself!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Steve Nash Sports Club

On Tuesday, I was in Vancouver for the day, and the hotel I was at was close to the Steve Nash Sports Club.  I didn't know he had opened a chain of gyms, but he did, and I thought I would go try it out.  Because I was a guest of a nearby hotel, I got a discount of my drop in fee, so it was only 8.50$.  Normally, we get free entry to near by gyms, but I splurged because I had a lot of working out to do!

I started out in the 2 lane swimming pool, did about 40 minutes of laps and various drills with my new earplugs, which worked out SO well.  They didn't fall out, and they kept the water out.  I was very happy about that.  I then got changed in the super nice locker room (with individual showers with doors!), took a new grapefruit carb-boom gel, and hopped on the bike.  As I've mentioned, the bike and I don't get along at ALL, so I originally was going to cut my workout to 40 minutes, but I felt guilty, so I did 60 (which isn't too much better).  I was on the random hill program on there, so some of it was really hard and some was a bit easier.  By that time, I was completely drenched in sweat.  I did a thorough wipe down of the bike, and then got on the treadmill.  I did 45 minutes (with two one minute walk breaks) and then a fifteen minute quick walking cool down.  I went back into the locker room, with a little trail of sweat following me, wished I had brought shower stuff with me, and begrudgingly put on my sweater and ran back to the hotel to shower. 

I was so impressed with the facility.  There were classes that were included in the fee as well, but I didn't do any of them since I had a pretty good workout under my belt.  The locker rooms were immaculate, with people cleaning them every time I was in there.  There were lots of cardio machines, lots of weights, lots of bare space... It was really nice.  There were a lot of different TVs as well to keep your mind off the pain.  If I lived in the area, I would definitely get a membership (if I could afford it!)  They also have a 7 day free trial that you can sign up for online.  AND, there was a lululemon and a jugo juice in it!  Crazy!

I was planning on another great workout the next day in Edmonton, but when I put on my gym clothes, there were still wet from the day before!  I was so disgusted.  I went down to the gym anyway, which was a far, far cry from the steve nash club, went on the bike, found it was broken, went on the treadmill, found IT was broken, did about 15 minutes of ab work and called it a day.  Ooops.  At least because my clothes were still sweaty, it LOOKED like I had done a good workout.  I sure smelled like it.

The NEXT day I was going to have a great workout in Victoria, where we get a free pass to a HUGE YMCA type facility, but fog rolled into Calgary and affected my day of flying, so I ended up somewhere else that night and missed my workout.  So, with two days of non workouts, I need to get something done today!!!  As soon as my breaky digests, I'm on it!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Bricks

Today, I hopped on my trainer on my porch with an audio book and a bike workout and started pedaling.  I didn't really want to, because I pretty much can't stand biking, but I forced myself into it.  If anyone has ridden on a trainer, you know it's a little awkward and LOUD.  I like seeing the people walking on the street below me looking around them, wondering where the loud engine like sound is coming from.  Today someone actually saw me and figured it out, which is rare.  (If you don't know what a trainer is, it's a little doohicky that you attach your regular bike into which transforms it into a stationary bike.)  I pedaled very slowly at first to let my bike warm up a bit, and then started into the workout I had written down.  It had a few single leg drills, a few high cadence drills, a hill climbing drill, and some consistent pedaling.  I suffered through about an hour and fifteen minutes and then stopped, even though I was supposed to do a little closer to 2 hours.  I just didn't have it in me, since I had to go for a run as well. 

Before I got on my bike, I set up my water belt and shoes so that I could quickly get ready for my run and re-create the race scenario as much as I could.  Triathlons are challenging because you're going from sport to sport to sport without any rest.  After getting off the bike, it's pretty hard to walk, let alone run, hence the term "brick" was coined to represent the bike to run workout, because your legs feel like bricks!  Today was no different... I could barely get OFF the bike, and it wasn't even moving!  I think my biggest fear is falling right off when trying to dismount.  Anyway I set out on my run and was instantly uncomfortable for a couple of reasons.  One, I was wearing a pretty thin long sleeve shirt, and because I was all sweaty from the bike, I got cold immediately.  Two, I was wearing a sports bra that isn't too supportive, which works just fine for the bike, but for a run, not so much.  Coupled with the thin, loose shirt, I was not happy.  I actually decided to cut my run short by 10 minutes because I was THAT uncomfortable.  Lesson learned, don't wear that sports bra again when planning a run. 

I got home, ate, showered, and then officially signed up for the 70.3!  I have been avoiding the actual registration, in case I want to change my mind and not do it, but today something just clicked and I thought "ok, I'm doing it, and that's that."  So I did. 

In other news, I realized that I won't be able to race the Calgary Police Half after all.  I'm going to be in Toronto for a wedding shower and a "jack and jill" party thing (it's an Ontario thing apparently) so I'll have to try to sell my registration.  Kind of a bummer, but maybe for the better.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Where have I been?

I'm not too sure what to blog about these days, hence why I haven't been blogging.  I really like reading people's blogs, but I don't really feel like I have much to say that hasn't already been said by others!  I really like reading sporty blogs, which helps me stay motivated and also teaches me, so maybe I'll spin my blog into something a little more like that.  For some, that means bo-ring, but for some others it might be more interesting than staring at the same post for over a month.  I've also considered just not blogging anymore, so we'll see how it goes.

I've been running, swimming and biking lots lately, which feels great and makes me feel a little better about my upcoming "year in sports".  I, like my sis, am running the Vermont Covered Bridges Half Marathon for team alzheimers (so if you want to give money to ME instead, I won't say no!), and of course the Calgary 70.3, and I've also signed up for the Calgary Police Half Marathon as a little teaser before the Vermont half.  Last year I ran that race and had the greatest support group which made my race so much better.  I felt good about it, even though I didn't make my goal of a sub 2 hour race. This year, I won't put too much importance on that race since my priorities lie in Vermont, but I'll give it a go and do my best, and hopefully learn for the next one.

I'm having a hard time on the bike these days, mainly out of boredom (since I'm riding on a trainer) and wussiness (since I just gear down when I'm tired).  Also my toes get pretty cold.  I've downloaded a couple of workouts to do on the trainer which will make it harder for me to just quit halfway through, and also some audio books to keep my mind off the toughness.  Cycling is my major weakness so it definitely needs my attention.

Swimming is going pretty well.  Again, I've got a few workouts, both technique and endurance, which help me stay on track and prevent me from just stopping when I'm tired.  Unlike running, where if I stop, I have to still walk home, swimming and biking (at the moment) are done in one spot so if I want to stop, I can.  This means I need extra motivation to keep going.  My main issue with swimming right now is the water in the ears.  Yesterday, I swam at noon, and at 4:30 I still had the ocean sound in both ears.  Terrible.  I have actually given myself whiplash trying to get the water out of my ears!  It's not the HUGEST deal, except when I go from the swim to bike, I get discombobulated and off balance because of the water splashing around in my head.  I have purchased some wax ear plugs, so stay tuned to see if they work.

OK, that's what I've got going on.  Any feedback, advice, or comments, feel free!