Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Weekend Roundup #7

Last week was interesting.  I was a bit off.

Oh heck, who am I kidding.  I was just plain out grouchy, in a snit, peed on my cornflakes, panties in a knot- for a few days anyway.

The week started good then went downhill from there.  And darn it all, it is ALWAYS the little thing.  I swear if you ask what the problems were, I would need to think hard.  It was just the accumulation of all the little things that didn't go right that just got under my skin and wouldn't come out.  I just couldn't shake it.  Well until later Friday afternoon after a little bit of my own time to do what I want when I want with music playing loudly.
I know I'm not the only one this happens to and most of the time I can bounce back pretty quick from upsets but it is so tough when you try to do the right thing or help a situation out or be kind and it back fires on you.  As my kids would say, "You got burnt chicken".

With most of the heaviness behind me,  I had a relaxing weekend of putting up Christmas light, baking very yummy paleo gingerbread cookies (will share the recipe this week) and doing some general house clean up.
Our community was on board the Black Friday train and there was special deals and sales at many of the businesses. With no snow and mild temperatures, it was nice to browse a bit and get a start on some Christmas shopping.

Training this Week:
Tuesday- strength workout/pool strengthening
Wednesday- 26.5 mile ride
Thursday-3.5 mile run on treadmill
Friday-5 mile run outside
Saturday- 27 mile ride
Sunday- 9.5 mile run with hubby and the dog.  Last run before the snow on our backyard trail.

My favs for the week

Challenge Roth anyone?  Hoping I am registering next year.

A few pictures showed up in my inbox this week wanting my purchase.  A little walk down memory lane for me, my first 1/2 ironman distance triathlon in Galveston, Texas.

I really LOVE this bag.  Put it on my Christmas list.  Santa I have been very good;)

Have a great week!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Challenge Roth- The Bike

Challenge Roth bike course is a 2 lap course.  It navigates the riders through the German country side with frequent tours of small towns on route.  Some of these communities were like ghost towns without a person to be seen while others were like party central with tables and benches full of beer drinking, cheering people.

 The topography varied.  After leaving the bike start area, the road was always changing; lots of curves and turns through wooded areas and towns.  It was very visually stimulating and the constant change made the miles fly by.  I made a stop at an aid station at the porta porty.  Very infrequently did I see anyone peeing.  I am guessing the guys peed off their bikes and the ladies, I'm not sure.  Call me a baby but I refuse to pee on my bike.  I refuse to have the stink in my shorts and/or the potential damage to my shoes.  So I stop.  It only took a few minutes and I think the quick change was good.
Not long after, I encountered Solar Hill.

Solar Hill is an experience to say the least.  Nothing can prepare you for the thousands of people lining the sides of the road going up the hill.  There is a barricade to start with that is about the width of vehicle but then narrows to the width of a person when the barricades are absent.  Here the people are cheering and yelling gehen and schnell, ringing bells, banging things.  It is really just like you see in the Tour De France.

Beautiful, rolling countryside and more towns followed until the town of Greding.  Greding is a breathtaking town.  Lots of very traditional style buildings and a town wall surrounding it all built on a large hill.  There was a lot of spectators in Greding but were more spread out than in other areas.

Greding Hill is amazing.  You roll into the town of Greding and immediately start the curvy ascent which seems to go on forever.   You look up and see a corner and think "I will be at the top just after the corner" and then you get to the corner and find another steep ascent.  I finally just put my head down and kept pedaling figuring when I get to the top will be when I get to the top. It is a decently challenging hill that does continue for a couple miles.  It has been tagged on mapmyride as "challenging, steep and very difficult".

The picture below shows the aid station just beyond the town of Greding.  You can see there is still a bit of an incline.  This section is very quiet spectator wise but lots to look at with the wide open agricultural land.

**photos above all from google searches

The next section of the course starts with many very steep descends.  I started really rolling down the first hill barely feathering the brakes.  People were really flying past me and it is easy to get carried away when you have momentum and peer pressure.  But I started to feel an uneasiness in my gut and seconds later a guy that just passed me crashed into a wall of bales at a very sharp corner just a bit ahead.  It just seemed to come out of nowhere.  The road was meandering so it was easy to be not prepared for a greater than 90 degree corner.  He was lying there motionless and a volunteer was already on the phone and assisting him.  Put some fear into me.
Past the hilly descents through a forest, the course once again opened into large areas of agriculture and flat roads for the most part.  Wasn't too long and I was at the canal at the swim start and beginning my second loop.
Second time up Solar Hill had less people and I was draggy a bit.  I had stopped on the first lap to use the porta potty and again I stopped to use the bathroom and though I was doing well with consuming my UCAN nutrition and water intake, I hadn't ate any "real" food yet and didn't really feel hungry but I thought I should have one of my pb and j sandwiches.  A couple bites in and I was delirious with delight.  It tasted so good.  How come I didn't think I was hungry when all of a sudden I was ravenous.  I ate the whole english muffin w pb and j and a couple bites from the other one.  If I was a bit lethargic before the stop, I sure wasn't anymore.  Overall, I enjoyed the second loop as much as the first.

I think one of the main things that worked for me on the bike was staying in the moment.  Through all of my training, I take a distance or route and break it into parts. On almost every other race I have done, I have broken each discipline into smaller, manageable parts.  I did NONE of this on this race day.  For this ironman distance race, I decided to do this first thing in the morning (it wasn't even really a planned part of my strategy).  I just started thinking about how when I start something like the swim, a lot of the time I start thinking about when I will be done.  I just didn't want to spend most of my day looking forward to the end of each discipline.  Especially on the bike; that is a long time to wait to be done.  I wanted to enjoy every moment as much as possible.  So I was mindful of a lot of things; my nutrition, my perceived effort, my speed, my time but I was focused on my enjoyment and my surroundings.  This made all the difference for me.  So much so that I am trying not to say things like "only 3 more miles or only 45 more minutes" like I used to.

Making the turn toward Roth to T2 at the end of the second lap was very exciting.  I knew what my plan was in T2.  I was surprised that I hadn't been passed on the bike by my husband.  His wave started an hour later than mine and I thought that he might have caught up to me close to the end of the bike.
I can hear my hoka's calling me.  It's exciting to only have 26 miles to go!

Going to bike check in.  

Trek speed concept, specialized helmet, specialized road shoes, 2 water bottles with UCAN, xlab water bottle in front with NUUN, bento box (for my pb and j sandwiches, + extra stuff)
My spot 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Weekend Roundup #6

Late posting on the weekend roundup as I am not a savy enough blogger to drag my computer with me on a weekend away and post as usual.  
We spent the weekend as a family in Saskatoon where our oldest son lives.  The other boy drove from his city of residence just around 2 hours away and we had an American Thanksgiving celebration even though it was a week early and even though we are not American.  

Friday night's fun was a walk through the Enchanted Forest.  This was a 30 min walk through an amazing light display.  It featured many of Saskatchewan's hobbies/teams/attractions. It was the first night of the event and would continue until the beginning of January.  The neat part was that only on the first and the last nights can you walk through, all the other days, you drive through.  It was affordable at $20 per family and very cool.  All 4 kids came along just to keep us happy (aka: they thought it would be lame) but they all had a great time laughing about things and taking pictures.  

We stopped at Starbucks for a hot beverage after.  Kids enjoyed some Christmas themed drinks, Terry and I had peppermint tea.  We don't have a Starbucks close by so it is a real treat when we hit the city.  

Saturday started with a great 5 mile run in -8 C temp with a strong wind.  Followed that up with an oatmeal from Starbucks before the real fun happened.  We went to Bruce's Cycle shop to look at bikes.  

We were both wanting to seriously look at road bikes and get some idea of what was out there for mountain and fat tire bikes.  We love riding the fat tire bike but can't justify the cost for the amount we are going to use it.  I think the mountain bike purchase will come spring of next year.  It was good to see names, costs, specs etc to have some idea.
So, we both are intrigued by Specialized road bikes: the Ruby (women's) and Roubaix (men's).  They didn't disappoint.  The staff was super great and helpful and showed us the options and discusses specs.  We tried some out on the trainer to determine proper size.  We have some great options and a lot of thinking to do.  
Women's Ruby Elite

Men's Roubaix

Met up with the kids at the package pickup for our big "Gingerbread Run" the following morning.  Did a bit of shopping.  Found some crazy stuff.  Had a great evening of the usual Thanksgiving meal (turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, veggies followed up with creme brule dessert cake) watching Hockey Night In Canada.  
Can't wait to see him wear this for real!

Gingerbread Run was really fun.  -3 C morning with little wind.  Around 400 people running either the 10 km or 5 km.  The run was along the North Saskatchewan River so very scenic and fun to run together as a family again.  We have entered a lot of events with the kids, mostly 10 or 5 km runs but we haven't done one for awhile now.  

We were treated to delicious gingerbread cookies after the race.  Yum.  Definitely putting these on my Christmas "to make" list. Forgot how good they were.  

A little bit of furniture shopping and some r & r before heading home.

On the training front:
Monday: nothing
Tuesday: nothing
Wednesday: 12.1 mile bike ride
Thursday: 14 mile bike ride
Friday: 5 mile bike ride
              2 mile Enchanted Forest walk
Saturday: 5 mile run
Sunday: 1.3 mile walk
               3.1 mile Gingerbread Run

Not a great training week.  However, I have not included any strength training or pool strength sessions and I am getting 3-4 of those in each week.  I thought it might be ok to work on the strength right now in preparation for later.  
It also seems to be hard to get going on Mondays and Tuesdays after having big weekends away.  I am trying to keep things flexible until the beginning of January but it is great having a recap where I see the numbers.  Good incentive to get moving.

A few random things, just cause you really need to know.
I love this jersey.  So festive.  Is wearing this to Christmas dinner pushing it?
Reindeer Cycling Jersey ***SHIPS 12/09***
There is something fundamentally wrong with a bathroom layout when you can see yourself in the mirror while you are sitting on the throne.  Who thinks this is a good idea?

I am a sucker for those warm your heart Christmas movies (sappy) that just make you feel good so I am in my glory as they are on all day everyday on some channel somewhere.  Makes riding the bike more entertaining.  Hubby doesn't enjoy them though so for solo rides only.  

For those celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend, have a wonderful time anticipating your weekend. Us Canadians get to enjoy our version of Black Friday so get your Christmas shopping lists out and your credit cards primed. 
Enjoy your week!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Weekend Roundup #5

Nice long weekend here in my corner of the world.  It was especially nice weather wise so I spent as much time as possible outside, getting my dose of vitamin D.

Had some seriously good rides with my son's fat tire bike.  I am in love:)  It just moves along like a lynx; sleek and in control. I was so happy to be able to ride it across the wood bridge we set up.  It is narrow and I have fallen off it numerous times on the cyclocross but with this baby- I just coasted right along!

I watched Pearl Harbor on Remembrance Day and I had to really swallow back the tears and sobs.  War is terrible.  My deepest appreciation for those who sacrifice for our freedom and safety.

On the training front:

Monday- 11.7 mile ride
Tuesday- 18.2 mile ride
Wednesday- 11 mile ride
                    - lunch walk 1 mile
Thurs- short night ride 2 mile
Friday- 23 mile ride
Saturday - 5.3 mile sunrise run
                - 6 mile fat tire ride
Sunday- 23.2 mile ride
              - 1 mile dog walk
              -5.1 mile trail ride
Doing my best to keep up to this guy on our trail ride.

I still can't believe the weather we have been having for November.  The weather man says that will be changing this week and it will get colder which means SNOW at some point.  A few pics from the week.

The dog still wanting a swim after a run with me.
My husband still working in the fields.  Usually things are packed up by the beginning of Nov.
Enjoying the last of the sun on Sat after working in the yard in shorts!
Saturday Sunrise run
My running partner 

Have a great week!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Challenge Roth- What I Wore

A post dedicated entirely to clothes!  Oh ya and triathlon.  Actually it is much easier for me to discuss triathlon than clothes.  My wardrobe consists mostly of athletic wear, jeans, tshirts and hiking pant.  But I have never pretended to be a fashion expert.

I thought a post of what I wore during a long distance triathlon would be helpful to have on paper.  And if this can help you plan what to wear or you have any advice, bring it on.  I also wanted to put careful consideration into my choices because in a Challenge full distance triathlon, you have no special needs bags so you carry everything or get handed things by family members.  I did send some stuff along with our 2 kids who would be able to see us mostly during the run portion.  My list for them is included below.

I first chose what I wanted to bike and run in as you spend the most time in these outfits.  Some people don't change but I knew that I wanted to just for comfort sake.  We all have our favourites and I wanted to wear these at the right time.  I pretty much changed entire outfits after each activity.  This was due to wanting to have dry clothing at the beginning of each discipline.

I wore my lululemon sports bra, cobb triathlon shorts and threw on some sweats and a sweater on top.  I also took along a rain shell and wore flip flops.  I love the crispness of the morning temperatures but I have learned that if I have too long with not a lot of clothing on and get cold, things are much more difficult.  I wouldn't change anything I wore except I may have put on shoes and socks to keep my feet dry and warmer.  This was also my after triathlon outfit and I really wished then to have had socks and shoes and not the ones I just ran in.  On a shorter distance triathlon, flip flops are fine but we had some walking to do, driving to do and it was dark.  Shoes would have been better.

My plan was to swim in my sports bra and cobb shorts listed above under my wetsuit.  That's all and it was a good decision.  I swim with Aquasphere vista goggles.  I like them with the bigger view and also because the smaller framed goggles really bruise the under part of my eyes and give me a headache.  My wetsuit is an Ironman wetsuit purchased a few years ago on sale.  It has been a good suit, has it's fair share of small rips despite being treated well.  Does a full covering of body glide count as something you wear?

Favourite shorts overall are my Coeur triathlon shorts so these were what took me through 112 miles.  They were awesome and reinforced that another pair would be awesome as I would love to run in them also.  I also have a pair of Coeur bike shorts with the bigger chamois padding but I seem to have more chaffing issues with more padding.  That's why I chose the tri shorts.  Many others were wearing bike shorts as well as tri shorts.  I wore a Pearl Izumi sleeveless bike jersey over the same sports bra.  A jersey is a must for biking as it carried my whole food nutrition, and extra water bottle and an extra pocket for anything else.  I do have a bento box on my bike but it can only hold so much.  Extra chamois cream, a bag of UCAN chocolate powder to mix into a water bottle, lipbalm, extra NUUN tablets, tums, bandaids.  More info on my nutrition and what I carried in a future post.  I also wore thin biking socks in my bike shoes and arm warmers.  All good choices again.  I was comfortable.  There is debate about sleeved jerseys to keep the sun off the arms and if I find a jersey I love, I would wear it but the couple I have aren't as soft as I like or fit how I like so I choose to keep my shoulders bare.  I love having complete mobility.  Bike shoes are Specialized and my helmet is Specialized, sunglasses were Smith.

Changed shorts into lululemon tracker running shorts.  I wear these most often during my training so it was an easy decision.  Only 1 zippered pocket so that was a draw back to not having tri shorts on.  Carried my lipbalm in the small zippered pocket.  I think there was a bit of money in there too.  Always carry money on my bike or on me during a triathlon or running event.  Good story about this I will share another time.  I did wear a tri top though so I had the 3 pockets in the back to carry my goodies.  I needed 2 of them to carry nutrition.  I did need to think  really hard if I wanted the pockets on my top or my bottom as they were a necessity.  Changed socks again into Features.  My visor was a black Pearl Izumi visor and Smith sunglasses.

Backpack Items
These are the things I had the kids put into their backpacks just in case we needed them.
-extra UCAN chocolate powder
-extra bottle of water w NUUN tablet
- pretzels
-2 protein bars
-long sleeve shirt for each of us
-body glide

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Weekend Roundup #4

Hello beautiful sunny skies!
We have had WONDERFUL temps here in the Canadian prairies for the past few days. +8-+13 C during the day.  Unbelievable for November.

On the training front;
after last Saturday's 80 mile ride, my main squeeze and I had a nice walk the next morning (Sunday) (2 miles)then followed that up with a run a bit later (3.5 miles)
Monday- travel day home
Tuesday- nothing
Wednesday- 1 mile walk at lunch
Thursday- 8 mile run
Friday- 10 mile bike ride
Saturday- 16 mile bike ride
Sunday- 13.5 mile run then 2.2 mile bike later with the family

It was good to rest the legs a bit after the weekend.  I did feel more tired than usual but nothing was sore or achy.  More sleep was good though and by Thursday I was feeling like I had more giddy-up and go.

I drove an hour on Friday to watch the youngest play in their last volleyball tournament of the regular season.  A fun time for sure. They returned on Saturday to continue playing but I stayed home to catch up on home stuff and to visit with our boys.

Both our boys came home for the weekend, 1 from Saskatoon and 1 from Regina.  There is no greater joy.  And with the milder temperatures, we spent quite a bit of time outside on Saturday and finished the day off with a barbeque.  We turned on our propane heater, grabbed some jackets and watched Hockey Night in Canada from the deck.  A couple posts in the way but still fun.  No bugs- it was blissful!

Hit the trails in our backyard for a very relaxing run in the sun first thing Sunday morning.

Sunday we had my family over for brunch.  My mom and step dad may be heading south for the winter to Texas sooner than usual so it was our Christmas before Christmas party.

Went for a short bike ride with the kids to enjoy some more sun.  Loaded the youngest boy up with food for the week and sent him on his way back to Regina.  He will be coming home again on Thurs with Friday being a holiday here in Canada.   The older boy has the week off.  We will be putting that boy to work!

Do you like the bike representation we have here- (from right to left) a commuter bike, fat tire bike, cyclocross bike, mountain bike and a cruiser bike.  Keeping things interesting!

To add to the Adventure To Do List:

Xterra Canmore by Grizzly Events

This event offers an off road full distance triathlon, sprint distance triathlon as well as a duathlon and relay options on Aug 6, 2017.  Early bird full course pricing is $140.  There are 15 World Age Group Spots available for those competing in the full distance.

  The swim is in beautiful Quarry Lake, the bike course is a 2 loop course and the run course is also 2 loops, all done in the magnificent Rocky Mountains. More event details can be found here.


I have been to Canmore many times and each time I go, I love it more than the previous time.  This event is a serious consideration right now for us as it is a week after Ironman Canada and we would be coming through there on the return trip home.  And how can you resist anything that looks like that?  Plenty of accommodations in Canmore and easy to get to by flying into Calgary with about an hour to drive to Canmore.

New York City Marathon

The New York City Marathon is a bucket list race for me as it just seems like a cool opportunity to see the city.  The time of year is perfect, the average weather temps are 55-60 F or 12-15 C and how can you beat the group run of close to 50 000?

I LOVE the tips found here that are from runner's world staff who have experienced the marathon first hand.  This tip is my favourite:


If you end up on the lower section of the Verrazano Bridge, beware of running on the outside of the pack. I was out there my first year and felt some rain blowing in. Weird, since it didn't seem to be raining at the start line. A few strides later, I saw a bunch of guys peeing off the side of the bridge and quickly came to two conclusions: First, people are doing the same thing on the span above us, and, second, that isn't rain.

Here's a few stats and facts from the 2016 marathon held this past Sunday in New York City.

Marathon by the Numbers


                                   Have a wonderful week!