Sunday, March 16, 2014

Warning: The Dark Side

Danger- you are entering the dark side of training.  We all encounter rough spots in training periodically and it apparently was my turn today.  I have had a super busy week and felt really tired and "off" yesterday either from actually being tired or maybe fighting off a virus.  I actually had a meeting out of town and made the decision to take the day off of training.  I thought this might be enough to get me out of the red.  I guess I was wrong. The busyness of the week led me to a very tough long ride this morning.

I hit the sheets last night before 9, knowing I was tired and getting emotionally about nothing so thought I would be doing myself (and my family) a favour if I went to bed.  Hoped that a good night sleep would fix the energy and mood and Sat. would dawn in good spirits.  A bathroom break disrupted the sleep at 4:30 a:m and roaring runner figured he would get on his bike early as sleep would elude him now.  I laid in bed convincing myself that I would fall back asleep and starting a ride this early was beyond crazy.  Only lasted about 1/2 hour and I was filling my bottles and pumping my tire.

The first 20 miles I pretty much blew my nose and wiped tears from my cheeks the whole time.  What is wrong with me?  I have no idea.  I was so overwhelmed it almost seemed to take my breath away.  This ever happen to anyone else?  I just knew there was no way I was getting in 60 miles today and the distance kept shaking me mentally.  Anyone who does long trainer rides knows they are like long treadmill runs; a real challenge mentally.  Though I had podcasts to listen to and tv to watch, after awhile, nothing interests you.  And since this feeling hit me quite quickly into the ride, I knew there may be no end to the trouble.

I spilled the beans to roaring runner about being in the cave of pain and he kept encouraging me and telling me I could do it.  I am so thankful for his spirit!  Rarely does he ever get overwhelmed and discouraged by challenges.  It just makes him work harder and dig deeper.  I spent the next 20 miles only looking at "now" and constantly repeating "just one more mile."

By the final 20 miles, I had resigned myself to the fact that I needed to finish this and could see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel.

A short 2 mile transition run was needed after the ride and getting off my butt felt so good, the 2 miles flew by.

And. I. Was. Done!!


Exhausted, thankful that I had survived this journey in the dark side.  I just laid on the floor for a couple minute to count my blessings.  The next time the dark, cave of pain comes around, I will have ammunition; an experience that I survived that will encourage me and keep me going when I have mentally checked out.

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Roaring runner said to me "the difference between tri and triumph is an little umph."  Just need to remember that tomorrow during my long run!

Anyone visit the dark side lately?  How do you get out?


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Meet Jala

Friends meet Jala and Jala meet friends.

photo 2 (1)

This is my new speedster bike I just picked up a couple weeks ago.  I purchased an entry level Trek Speed Concept in July of 2012 and right from the get go seemed to have issues with it.  Lots of trouble shifting and problems with the seat post sliding down.  I took it back to the bike shop a few times to get fixed but never really got it to the place I thought it should be.

[caption id="attachment_238" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Riding Mountain Tri 2012 Riding Mountain Tri 2012, the first Trek Speed Concept[/caption]

Bike ride with track workouts

Last July, I was passing through Regina (where it was purchased) on my way to a triathlon the next day and thought I would try once more to get it serviced so it would work better.  Much to my surprise, I was told they would not let it leave the store as it had a crack in the frame.  So after I picked my jaw up from the ground and found words to speak I asked what I was going to do about my triathlon.

I was given a loaner road bike called the Domaine who quickly became my best friend.  I loved the way it shifted, handled, and rode.  I was still nervous about the triathlon the next day without having proper preparation with the loaner but was thankful I could still race.

[caption id="attachment_397" align="aligncenter" width="224"]Another great ride! The Trek Domaine[/caption]

Long story short, through many conversations and issues and months later, I finally got word that I was getting a replacement frame, probably the Speed Concept 4 Series.

Then about 2 weeks before the pickup date I received an email that informed me I was receiving the frame for a Speed Concept 9 Series; a frame worth at least 4X  my original bike.  I had been inconvenienced for quite a long time (9 months) and Trek wanted to keep my business.

So, my fiery hot red machine, Jala and I have become very close very quickly.  Jala (pronounced Hale, short for Jalapeno) is an amazing bike that has not disappointed in any way.  It handles well, shifts great and has fit me perfectly.  I couldn't be more pleased.  And thankfully, the transition from road bike back to tri bike has been very smooth.

I guess patience and understanding pay off.



Got a name for your bike?

Odds and Ends


A few quick pics and events lately.

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An amazing lunch called a Jerusalem Rice Bowl from the 13th Ave Coffee House in Regina, Saskatchewan.  A bowl layered with brown rice, cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, tahani sauce, hummus, sprouts and falafel. It was very filling. I couldn't finish it all at one sitting and I am anticipating my next bowl!

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The new sports machine I just brought home. Had a frame crack in my new Trek bike and it was replaced with a Speed Concept 9.  Waited since last July for this but boy what a beauty!  Looks like it will handle like a Lamborghini with red hot fire!

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Birthday party in the hotel.  Now that the oldest is getting well, older,  19 candles could send the smoke alarm off and the water sprayers going so we refrained from lighting the candles.  The cake is called Chocolate Marquis and it is basically a bottom made of fudgey brownie topped with a rich chocolate mousse.  It is unbelievable.  It is locally made by a restaurant called Madoco's where my son used to work.  Was looking forward to this all day!

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A really cool shirt with the logo made by my son in his graphic design class.  He incorporated all his favourite sports teams into it.  Kerry Price, goalie for Montreal Canadians was in the center and was surrounded by logos from the Los Angeles Lakers, Kings, Canadians, SF Giants, New Orleans Saints, Saskatchwan Roughriders and a soccer logo.  He is a sports guy!


Hope your day has had great odds and ends like mine.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

February Training Totals

Here is a break down of my totals for Feb.

Running: 95 miles

Biking: 351 miles

Swimming: 1 mile

I am not sure to if this is a good amount of training or not, if I will be prepared for April 6.  I know that my training volume has not typically been this high but I have also not been training for an event of this magnitude.  I have been very satisfied with the plan I am using and the way my body has been responding to it.  I believe that the success to injury management has been due to my religious use of stretch bands and muscle balance exercises.  It has helped my legs recovery pretty well most of the time.

Sometimes data is misleading as Daily Mile also tells me that I've lost 15 pounds in calories expended.  This is certainly NOT the case.  Guess I need to watch the donuts!

Happy Training


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Brainsport Brainfreeze Half Marathon Report

Farewell February and Hello March!

I have reached the point in the training schedule where I am at the peak of my workout plan.  I am hoping that some extra sleep, great nutrition and good recovery will help me gain tons of fitness after all my long, hard workouts.  This past week was a good week in terms of nailing my long events however my running for this past week was scaled down due to some left calf tightness which equated to IT band tightness in the quad and hip.  I was really nervous about Sunday's long run as it was a 13-14 mile run according to the plan and if it was any other regular Sunday, I would be at home on the treadmill and I could stop anytime I felt it was necessary.  However, this past Sunday was different.  We travelled to see our university son in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and had also registered in the Brainsport Brainfreeze Half Marathon.  I was locked into 13.1 miles.

This seemed to be a bit unsettling for me but I had bigger problems than that.  The main one being that it is desperately cold.  I think it has been a colder than usual winter for almost everywhere in North America and we are no different here in the central, western, Canadian prairies.  Our drive on Saturday morning to Saskatoon started out at  -37 Celcius and with the windchill, took it to -51 Celcius.  Our destination (Saskatoon) was supposed to have windchills and temps of -64 Celcius that morning.  We were sure questioning our sanity in even leaving our home but life does need to keep going on and we had many reasons for our trip; meeting and appointments that couldn't be postponed or changed to another time.

So there we were, registered for running a half on Sunday with a forecast of a sunny (thank goodness) and -22 Celcius day with wind it was -28 Celcius.  And if you know anything about me, one of my greatest fears is being in a situation where I am really cold and can't fix it.  I was once snowmobiling with my husband as a rider in a poker derby and I got really cold, really cold and couldn't get warmed up and you are in the middle of nowhere so it takes a long time to get somewhere warm.  It left a real fear in me.  That's why my snowmobiling trips are limited to short trips, I don't go ice fishing or like to go cross country skiing on long out and back trip and only run outside where I have short run loops that repeat.  It always gives me a way "out." Runny a long out and back- what happens if I get cold?  What can I do about it?  I took my phone so I could call my son if this happened and he could pick me up.  It wouldn't be instant but it comforted me enough that I was ok to run.

The race started at 1:00 in the afternoon so it did allow for the day to warm up a bit compared to the morning.

[caption id="attachment_539" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Too sunny to see what I was taking a picture of.  Lots of roaring runner a little of me. Too sunny to see what I was taking a picture of. Lots of roaring runner a little of me.[/caption]

I started my Garmin and it froze while finding the satellite then shut off completely and wouldn't turn on again.  Thought it was still all ok as I was bringing my phone so I would use Map My Run. My total distance after the run as .21km so obviously I was tec challenged.  Perceived exertion was the way I ran and it was quite liberating to not be checking on my watch all the time.  The course was very scenic along the North Saskatchewan River.  The paved Meewasin Trail was quite slippery in many places and sometimes the running was demoted to shuffling.  There was also a lot of ups and down and turns.  I was planning to take some pictures along the way, but it was so darn cold on my hands.  The turn around point was welcomed with warm water and gatorade as well as some gels.  The event was in support of the U of S Huskie Track Team so the aid stations were staffed with cheering and motivating university students.  Good to keep the momentum going.

At about the 10 mile mark, my eye caught something and upon looking down I discovered a mouse had jumped out of the snowbank to my right (by my husband) and was making his way across the trail to the other side.  I had a major fit and provided free entertainment to all those around me with my yelling and screaming.  I asked my husband why he didn't warn me and he said it wouldn't have made a difference, I would have freaked anyway.  I guess he has a point.  The funny thing about this is that about 2 min later, he was the one that needed to find a washroom!  I kept running as I couldn't afford in my heavily sweated up state to stop and walk for even a minute otherwise the cold would consume me so I proceeded on alone for the next couple miles.  This last bit was all uphill as we crossed a bridge and then climbed a big hill.  There was a couple runners just ahead and there is nothing like a bit of healthy competition to get to the finish a little faster as I tried to pick the off one by one. I turned around as soon as I crossed the line and headed back to finish with roaring runner.  He was just coming up the hill so only had 2 blocks till the end.  My official time was 2:08.  Funny how you can tell yourself that it's just a practice run but then get bummed out by the time.  Not very good at lying to myself yet.

We headed inside to grab some goodies; cookies, gluten free brownies, banana, oranges and hot chocolate.  Didn't hang out long as we didn't want to get a chill.  Showered up at our son's apartment while he cooked us supper and a protein smoothie.  On the road an hour later for home.

I'm sure most runner can relate to some of the one way conversation going on during that 13 mile run.

" Oh man, what AM I doing?  Whose idea was this?  It is so freakin cold.  Ok, smarten up, this isn't helping anything.  Look at the positive side, it is nice and sunny and you are getting some fresh air.  Not feeling any better yet.  Hmm, I like that black jacket that lady up ahead of me has on.  Maybe if I pick up the pace a bit I can get close enough to see what kind it is?  Come on, pick up those feet.  Oh shoot, no name or tag on this side.  Rats!  Is there time to get some shopping in yet before we go?  I can't believe that guy only has that light jacket on and tights.  Isn't he freezing his tush and other unmentionable parts?  I have 5 layers on- I dressed smart for the weather. No cold butt for me.  Oh crap,  I am getting so hot now.  How can this happen; dressed too hot when it's so cold? I feel like a stuffed sausage ready to bust the casing.  How can I be a runner for so long and totally mess up the dress code for this one?  What have I learned, maybe back to dressing for a race 101. Just go with the flow and relax, it's all going to be great.  Darn, nearly kissed the ground that time, pay attention! "  And so it went on and on!

Hope you had a great weekend!

Anyone run any races?


Monday, March 3, 2014

The Ups and Downs

Well there is one thing very certain in the journey of sport and life:  where you're up, understand that you will sometime be down.

This realization has comes quickly on the heels of a long 50 mile bike ride yesterday and a 12 mile run today.  One would think that since I am training for a half ironman and am just a little bit shy of accomplishing the full distances in the bike and run disciplines that I would feel full of confidence in my achievements.  However, this is far from the truth.  And this all comes mostly because my legs are sore.  Add that to this and that and what does that spell: DISASTER.  All of a sudden, everything crashes down. You know that saying, "the straw that broke the camels back?"

Ever get that feeling of defeat? surrender? giving up? not sure what you are doing that is right?  How does the tide change so quickly and more importantly: how do I pick myself up?  Going past physical limitation and pushing beyond what you think you can is very hard, but the mental check in/ check out is so much tougher to overcome.

We build our lives daily on truths that we hold.  Truths about our relationships, our loved ones, what we stand for, what we do.

Well, there is one thing I do know- my kids love waterslides and I have tried my share with them.  Some of them I like and go back for more and on some; it's truly a wild ride that I never want to repeat. There is lots of screaming, some tears and a lot of self talk that questions my sanity.  I can't wait till I hit the water and the ride is done.  That's maybe what  life is like.  Some days, the sliding is just the right speed, turns are good and the ride down is very enjoyable.  Others, well not so good.  But one thing is for certain, each ride will sometime come to an end, and another will follow.