Monday, July 17, 2017

Training Update

Happy Monday!

Another wonderfully sunny day here in the Canadian prairies.  I'm in the process of packing the camper to head out sometime in the next couple days.  2 triathlons in the next 2 weekends.  Hubby and I getting away for a bit without kids was our anniversary plan.  Always makes me both excited and nervous at the same time.

Nailed the last long ride of the training plan this past weekend.  Didn't nail my hydration/nutrition plan though.  Big bonk that took me almost 20 miles to get back on the good side.  But I covered the 100 miles I wanted to, it was hot and I needed to find a way to pull myself out of the bonk.  Lots learned and experienced.  And as always, lots of mental hurdles to overcome.

My goal is always to empty my hydration bottle every 1- 1/2 hours.  It has a combination of Generation UCAN Hydration, HydraMag and BCAA powder.  I also planned to empty my nutrition bottle of Generation UCAN Superstarch 2x for the ride.  I had a banana, peanut butter honey sandwich and quest protein bar.  So what did I actually do and what would I do differently?
I didn't feel like eating before leaving in the morning and I should have had something.  Terry ate some overnight oats.  Should have had some too.  I also needed to get on the hydration right away until the first stop almost 2 hours into the ride so that bottle was empty.  I didn't eat my sandwich until the 1/2 way point and that was also too late.  Needed that second stop sooner.
I did bring along a cooling cloth for the back of the neck and it worked awesome.  It really helped me from overheating during my slump.  It didn't get me over the wall but it did keep things from getting worse.  We stopped 4 times to get water/bathroom.  I did eat at each stop but needed to have had more right from the beginning I think.  I should have also had a gatorade at our last water stop.  I think that would have helped also.

Still planning to get 1 last long open water swim in today or tomorrow.

With my health being so uncertain the past couple months, I wasn't sure what to expect or hope for going into these next 2 weeks.  I felt like I turned a corner to the good side about 10 days ago and so far it has been holding.  For the first time, I have felt like being able to race both these triathlons is a very good possibility.  I use the term "race" very loosely.  In some ways, I am better prepared this year than for the ironman last year and in other ways, I feel less prepared.  I do feel very confident though that for me, I am better a bit under trained than over trained.  My energy is good, obviously there will be tough moments mentally; this is Ironman Canada which has 5000 ft of elevation change.  My ride on Saturday was 3000 ft, pretty good for a prairie ride.

My goal is what will always it: enjoy the journey.  Savour every moment and not wish time away and not let what is before me get the best of me.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Dear Diary

Anyone else out there want to confess they kept a diary like me when they were younger?  I found those old diaries years ago in a box of my old stuff and tried to read some.  I repeat tried.  It was painful.  The melodramatic ups and downs of teenage-hood of who was being rude to who and what guy was looking especially good or bad that day.  I lasted 5 min.  Decided to burn those books.  They served their purpose I guess in the younger days of getting my thoughts and frustrations out but they certainly seem to have no purpose anymore.

Today's diary version looks a bit different.  Most nights, just after I have crawled into bed, I reflect on my day.  I have encouraged all my kids to do the same.  In your heads I say to them start with "Dear diary, today I ........"

I have grown to love this 2 min conversation with myself.  There is so much to gain and I am appreciative of how it has centered my thoughts and made me grow as a person.

Last night, this was my conversation with myself.

"Dear diary"
What a fantastic day today!  Warm breeze from the lake blowing through my window and a gentle early morning 1/2 hour rain to lull me back to sleep a bit longer.  No regrets that I wasn't on the trails somewhere running or biking, I am thankful to be up getting breakfast ready saying good morning to all the kids as they got up.  So much fun to sit on the dock all together eating our breakfast and shooting the breeze.  The lake was perfectly calm.  I am thankful we have a cabin.
Had a great swim then just soaking some sun.  Swim feels good after the gravel bike ride yesterday.  Legs feel good and that makes me happy.
Hard to not get too sad about the fact this is the last time our family of 6 will be together for awhile.  Precious moments.  I am so thankful for these times with the kids.  They are supposed to move on,  take life by the horns and find their paths.  I just miss them.
Said goodbye to some friends of ours from out of town, here visiting.  I had a blast last night at their cabin (invited for supper).  Friends like this, where you see each other 1 time a year and can pick up so easily where we left off- those are great friends.  I think the dull ache in my side today was from so much laughing last night.  Good pain.
And speaking of pain- today is the first day in a long time that I haven't had pain in my stomach.  My ongoing fight with the intestinal infection and now just this week, a bladder infection has made for constant pain and discomfort.  I am frustrated with my physical barriers, of being tired, of being in pain and most of all, of feeling I will not get past this and get better.  The weight mentally feels overwhelming.  But today, I feel so much lighter and happier mentally and physically.  Worried it will not be like this tomorrow but thankful to have a reprieve today.  Thank goodness I haven't also had my period this week:)
Reminded of how precious life is while visiting Terry's mom in the hospital this evening.  She is so weak and secretly, I can't imagine how she will ever be able to go home.  Home is such a safe place for all of us.  I have to think of things to do or bring her to keep her spirits up.  Also found out Terry's uncle was in emergency dealing with some difficulties after an accident he had a few weeks ago.  Internal bleeding is never good.  And on the congratulatory side, I marvel at another Aunt and Uncle and their celebration of 60 years together.  His health has been really poor for a few years and yet has persevered.
My list of things to do tomorrow runs through my head:
people to call
emails to send
things to do
kindness to share

My internal diary entry once again fills me with gratitude.  I am thankful that despite the fact things aren't always going the way I want them to go, I am undeniably blessed.  There are so many hurting people and the trials don't pick and choose only some.  I need to take care of business items, daily chores but more importantly, I am once again confirmed with the decision to love and take care of those around me.  Touch others with kindness, enjoy every moment and live fully no matter the circumstances.  I think ahead to the camping trip my husband and I are taking together in a week to celebrate our anniversary and I am filled with excitement with the adventures we are going to have.  The desire to live a life abundantly and overflowing is all my eyes can see.

I know having teenagers and young adults means they have their own ways and thoughts  and there is a good possibility they think their dear old mom has rocks in her head, but I hope they have the "dear diary" conversation with themselves and look at the day with gratitude and thankfulness and then choose to live the next day with purpose: to not waste time nor take it for granted.  

Remind me to sometime share with you my "food analogy for dating story" that is a popular eye roller among the kids around here.  

A Big Weekend with a Surprise

Big weekend in triathlon training in our house a couple weekends ago.   A few days later and my legs were still screaming for mercy.  Actual, my butt might have complained louder.  It's was a toss up.

Rain, rain and more rain meant a 6 hour ride on the trainer on Friday morning.  Hmm.  I found the first hour hard then I seem to settle down and get into a rhythm and the final hour was also tough because I was sick of being on the bike, didn't want to watch anything or do anything except get off.  But at least the last hour has the promise of a job completed.  That feels good.

Watched 2 of the early Kona Ironman videos; 2005, 2006.  They are about an hour and a half long each, were very interesting, totally captivating and engaging in their entirety.  The age group coverage matched the pro coverage and the stories of so many athletes and their cause was very motivational. At times I found myself pedaling faster with motivation and other times, I was fighting back the tears.  People crossing the finish line get me every time.  Especially the story of Jon "Blazeman" Blais who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease and competed at Kona 5 months later to then return the following year in a wheelchair to cheer on Brian Breen, who was carrying the torch of awareness for ALS.
If you want to read about his story click here.

During my 6 hour ride, I consumed 4  bottles (20 oz each) of electrolytes (Generation UCAN electrolyte mix with 1 scoop of HydraMag).  My goal is 1 bottle in 1 1/2 hours.  I also used UCAN superstarch 4 scoops in a 24 oz bottle.  I mix the lemon and pomegranate flavours together.  I also had a cookie dough Quest bar, a banana and a 1/2 p b and honey sandwich on flatbread.  I drink and eat mostly to thirst/hunger but I do try to take 3 mouthfuls of the UCAN superstarch every 45 min.

Oatmeal with nut butter for recovery as well as a 26 oz bottle of phytoberry and another 26 oz bottle of HydraMag through the next couple hours.  I was tired and legs were a bit sore, but I seem to get sore muscles after an effort and then the next day feel fine.  Just over 90 miles in that 6 hour effort.  On the roads, I think it would be very close to 100 but the trainer is a hard workout in my opinion.

Saturday morning was another trainer ride, still raining.  I wanted to get 50 miles in and anything more would be a bonus.

Good ride.  UCAN superstarch, UCAN electrolyte with HydraMag and a Quest Bar in just around 3 1/2 hours.
Watched a lot of House Hunters on HGTV.  Did some reading and time passed.

Got gussied up Saturday night for an evening out with the kids to celebrate the many achievements in the past few weeks.  Wallet was lighter, belly heavier.
I so badly want them to remember the moments and not take things for granted.  I want them to have memories of suppers together like this to remind them that we care and support them and want them to know how proud we are of them.

Sunday started with a 2 1/2 hour run on the backyard trails.  Wore my hydration vest with my usual UCAN electrolyte/HyraMag mix and UCAN superstarch for fuel.  Day was beautiful: sunny and warm.
Plunked myself down in the river after to soak my legs.  Water was cooler than I thought it would be and my feet hurt for a little while- you know that brain freeze kind of hurt when they are really cold. But I got used to it.
The surprise part of the day came a few hours later when our youngest daughter insisted that we go driving with her (practice for getting her license) and when we returned, our driveway and backyard was filled with vehicles and friends and family.  The kids had planned a surprise anniversary party for us.  Our anniversary wasn't for another 10 days but with the kids jobs this summer, it would have been very hard to coordinate something closer to the actual date.

25 years- yep and he still makes my heart beat faster.

I am NOT a real party kind of girl.  To be honest, wished the marriage would have started with an elopement instead of the big shin dig that it was with 300 guests and me on display.  So if the kids would have asked if we wanted a party, I would have most certainly said absolutely no.  But in reflection, having a few of our closest friends and family over to celebrate with us was kinda nice.  Thank goodness the majority of people invited (extended family and other acquaintances) couldn't come due to another event.  Sounds bad but is the truth.  I was really happy with the small gathering.

It was a beautiful day, especially more so with the bad weather we have been having so we spent the evening sitting around in the backyard just enjoying.