Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fall, yet still summer?

Again, I've been very negligent with this blog. But I've had so much going on lately. And the weather is unreal!

I've moved into my very own little house in Rosemont. I love it. :) I've been running almost every day, this week I got back in the pool and I've done a few bike rides, both road and mountain. I took a mountain bike class and had a blast! I fell a couple of times, once going down a hill, I went flying forward and knocked the wind out of myself. :) Didn't get hurt though. I also took my daughter and two of her friends to climb a kid friendly mountain in Kananaskis. She hasn't stopped talking about it. :) I've also joined a couple of mountaineering clubs. They do backcountry, cross country skiing, scrambles, hikes, backpacking trips, swim/bike/run, etc., etc. So, very much looking forward to that! Hopefully Greg can help me fit all of this into my training schedule.

Aside from the above, I have one burning question on my mind. It's the last line from a poem called "The Summer Day" by Mary Oliver. The question is: What do you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?


Monday, August 3, 2009

Calgary 70.3

Wow, great race, well organized, especially for an inaugural event. I'll do this one again next year.

So - the gory details. Well, a huge accomplishment - I did not throw up! In fact my GI issues, while still present during the run, were minimal compared to last year. More details on this later. I did not really sleep the night before the race, maybe 1.5 hours tops. So I was worried about this, but it was fine.

The Swim:
I got in the water to find it surprisingly warm. What a treat. I had no dizziness, no freak outs. Honestly, I had a great swim. I got into a grove right away and just kept plugging away. The only tough spot was coming back in. The water was very rough and big waves (for me). However I was able to keep breathing only on my left and swallowed minimal water.
Swim time - 52 minutes. That is 6 minutes faster than Muskoka.

T1 - Pretty quick for me - 6:45.

The Bike:
I promised myself ( and Mark and Karen) that I'd push hard on the bike. And I did. I know my time is still slow in comparison, but I pushed up every hill and tried to kick it on the flats and downhill. I worked pretty hard. The spectators were amazing on the bike course and it was so beautiful. Too bad the haze hid the mountains. Yes, it was hazy in Calgary!
I was thrilled with the results, the bike was 95K (94 officially) and my spilt was 3:35. This is 50 minutes faster than my Muskoka bike time. I think my average speed was 26.5 KM/HR.

T2 - 3:59 minutes.

The Run:
The first thing I noticed was that my legs felt completely shredded and I had some GI issues. However the leg pain went away after about 2-3KM. My GI issues lasted a bit longer, but they were so much better than Muskoka. I did lose some time in the bathrooms, but that's okay. However, it was very, very hot. The run was challenging, I think mostly because it was so hot (33 degrees from what I understand) and there was not much in the way of shade. So I really blew up on the run, but I still cut off some time from Muskoka. Terribly slow run time though. Got to work on that!
Final run time was 3:07 -Ick! Only 10 minutes faster than Muskoka

I spent a few minutes in the med tent after the race, just to cool down. There were quite a few people in the same condition. They stuffed ice down our shirts and gave us snow cones. :)

So, overall, my time was 7:45 - 1 hour and 15 minutes faster than my last 70.3. So, while still slow, I am very happy with that result. But even more than that, I felt okay after the race, tired but I could eat! I did not go to Keith's as I was just done. I needed a shower and a nap in the worst way. :) Sorry I missed the party, though.

I am not sure if I'm ready for Ironman. I'd like to sign up, but maybe another year of experience is a good idea first?

Congratulations to everyone that raced yesterday! Especially to Keith, who knocked a bunch of time off!!

Thanks to my coach, Greg for all of those swim/bike/run workouts! :)


Monday, May 18, 2009

Back to Blogging

I promised Keith yesterday that I'd make a blog entry. He reminded me that my last one was dated January 18th. Hmmm, well I've been busy. :)

Anyway, yesterday I rode (most of) the Calgary 70.3 course with Keith & Shannon on my new bike. I love it, it's way faster on the flats than my old one. We completed 108K by my computer (107 by Keith's) and then had a small brick after. We hit 90K in 3:36 by my watch, which I was very happy with! This included a few stops to fix my brakes, regroup, lights, etc. Considering that my Muskoka 94K bike spilt was 4:25 (I was throwing up, but still) and my previous longest ride ever was 94K, I was very pleased. Adding to that is the fact that this was only my second outdoor ride of the year. Last weekend I did a 54K ride with Mark & Brendan. So, quite a jump for me. My legs are okay today too, a bit sore but not bad! A testament to Greg's bike workouts, I'm sure!

So, about the course. For details, best to see Keith's blog. I did look at the amazing scenery, but mostly had no idea where I was.:) I was also pretty immersed in getting familiar with the new ride and fighting with my aero bars. They are closer together than they were and one was loose and kept sinking lower. So I was constantly trying to correct it. Aside from that, I think this course is much easier than the Muskoka 70.3 course. Some good climbs but some excellent fast sections too! A few times, we found the wind at our backs and we were flying. I also think I got my nutrition right for the ride. I consumed two, two hour bottles of Perpetuem and two banana Hammer gels.

What a great day! Thanks so much to Keith & Shannon. Special thanks to Keith's wife Linda. She rode out with us in my truck, dropped us off at Ghost Lake and drove my truck back to their home. When we arrived post brick, she provided water, juice and homemade cookies. :)

A couple of closing thoughts:

I was hoping that I'd be able to do this bike split in 3:45 on race day, now I am thinking maybe 3:30??? Maybe 3:25? Could I really knock one hour off of my bike split and still run 21K after?

As for the run, in Muskoka my run was horrid, something like 3:16. Again, I will state that I had severe GI issues. However, if I could knock one hour off of the run too and sort out transition, I would finish in under 7 hours. Hmmm............


Sunday, January 18, 2009

On Top of the World

What an amazing weekend I had!

I was in avi class Friday night until 10pm. Then I met everyone from the class at 7am at the university. We drove out to Bow Summit for our field day. They mentioned that we would not be covering much ground, which I interpreted as: we would not be climbing the mountain. I rented tele gear anyway as I wanted to get used to putting on the skins & climbing in the gear. We arrived and started climbing. We stopped often to view some dangerous terrain, to find a hidden pack with a transceiver, etc. We also did a compression test of the snow. Found surface hoar, depth hoar and a dangerous block forming on top of it all. Very, very cool. Anyway, as we were climbing all day, I did not realize how high up we were until we crossed the tree line. The views were out of this world - and of course, I forgot my camera!

Anyway, our guide had taken us into the run off zone of a potential avalanche. We discussed the various tracks that earlier skiers had taken and how they had subjected themselves to potential peril. At about 3pm, our guide discussed the ski down and how the snow pack was not friendly and it would be a difficult ski through the trees. I was a tad concerned as I've never skied backcountry before, but hey, I was excited too! So they all headed down the mountain. One very nice guy stayed back with me. He gave me some pointers on how to traverse the slope. I started down and realized that I could not do a turn in the trees. So I fell! lol. I fell about 10 times on the first half of the descent. After that, I got the hang of it and did not fall again. Once I reached the bottom, I was so exhilarated that all I wanted was to climb that mountain again! I was high as a kite all night.

Two things I learned from this. First I kind of suck at backcountry so far. So I signed up for another class this week. Intro to Backcountry skiing. The field trip is next Saturday! Whoo HOOO! Second, I think I'm an adrenaline junkie!!!

Anyway, Greg - I swam this morning with Shannon on my back, so I thought I'd count that as a workout. Shannon & I also hit the Edworthy paths today, she kept me company for my run. So I'm hoping that Saturday can count as my bike workout. :)

So many great things to do and such a short time to do it in. I'm completely in love with the backcountry. I'm hoping for much more adventure to come. :)


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I did a triathlon yesterday!

Yesterday was great! I swam before work, did bike class and then ran with Mark N. My legs were pretty tired last night but not much soreness at all today.

The rest of the week looks like this:
Run today at lunch, then avi class tonight!
Swim/bike/run Thurs.
Friday avi class.
Saturday avalanche day trip! I found out today - we're going to Bow Summit.

Lots of fun!

More later...


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Happy New Year!!

Well, I've had a good start to the new year, fitness wise. During the Christmas break we travelled to Ontario. With all of the visiting, it was a challenge to get anything done. However I got four or five runs in over the eight days. One was a run from my family cottage into town, quite hilly. Since returning, I've gotten back on my bike and back into the pool.

My week so far:
Sat - bike on the trainer.
Sun - Telemark ski lessons 9-4pm
Mon - swam am
Tues - bike class & brick.

Today I'll run at lunch. Tomorrow I'll do my am swim & the bike class.

Only eight months to the big race!!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Blogging & a Poem

Well, I've been super negligent at updating my blog lately. So much has been going on between Christmas, work, etc.

I've been running & biking as per Greg's program. However I have been skipping the swim workouts and I've been doing all my biking at home. Iain has been travelling a bit so I have not been out much. I've also been x-country skiing a bit. As we've had all this snow, I couldn't resist. :)

However, I'm going back in the pool Friday morning. I know it's my day off but I really need a swim.

I also thought I'd include a poem I wrote about Ironman Lake Placid. I sent it to Mark (Chef) Naphin and he liked it. So, here goes:


Each year, it almost fades
To Placid memories….
The utopian atmosphere,
The camaraderie,
The endless struggle,
The quest for definition,
The physical supremacy,
The fall into humility.
The mountains, the mist,
The 2000 beings,
Adrenaline rushed,
Waiting for the game:
The breaking of Mirror Lake.
The conquest of Keene ,
Of Jay and Wilmington
Of Mama, Baby, Papa bear.
The endless catatonic run,
The awakening
After hours of toil
To the words:
“You are an Ironman.”