Monday, June 29, 2015
Last week was my first week back at work and it was a doozy. So. Busy. I had two 13 hour days back to back on Tuesday and Wednesday and was totally exhausted by Wednesday night. I also felt like I was getting a cold but I went and signed up for a trail race anyway, ha ha. I didn't end up getting sick but my sinuses have been bothering me for the last few days. Full report on the trail race will be coming up later on this week. Don't forget Tri Talk Tuesday tomorrow!! (say THAT 5 times fast, ha ha)
This is how I eased back into things:
Monday: 2012m swim (2300 yards). Our normal pool was closed for maintenance so we ended up in an outdoor pool that was 25 yards. Nice way to start at Monday!
Thursday: 50 minute strength workout.
Friday: OFF (recovering from the previous days strength workout and massage)
Saturday: 11.5km trail race.
Sunday: 60 minutes on the trainer + a whole lot of foam rolling and stretching. It was 13 degrees and pissing rain so I really didn't feel like going outside and riding in that. It's SUMMER. It should be sunny and WARM.
Total time: 3h 27 minutes
This week should see a bit more action as I'm planning on getting back into the pool as well as joining Morning Glory for their Tuesday and Thursday morning rides, weather permitting.
How was your week of workouts? How much down time do you take after a big race?
Friday, June 26, 2015
|This biscuit weighed at least a pound. I couldn't finish it.|
|G chilling on the balcony|
|Selfie while we were exploring a state park in Delaware|
We got back home around dinner time on Friday, unpacked and lounged around. Of course the first thing I did was watch the season finale of Game of Thrones. WTF.....AHHHHHH!!!!! I was going to have the Game of Thrones beer that I bought but opted to save that for another day.
I'll start to ramp things up again after Muskoka 70.3. I don't have any more long distance triathlons (just short course for the rest of the season) but I do have a 125km ride that I signed up to do in September as well as the Scotia Half in October. So I won't be sitting on my duff for long. I'm actually going to join Morning Glory Cycling club to work on improving my bike even more. I also want to learn to be more comfortable in a pack. I'm always a bit nervous when I'm around other cyclists so this should help with that.
Another little tidbit of info for you - Tri Talk Tuesday is now bi-weekly. So next week we're back and we're talking about wetsuits. If there is a topic you'd like us to discuss, send me a note phaedrakennedy (at) sympatico dot ca
Hope everyone has a spectacular Friday!!!
Saturday, June 20, 2015
Thursday, June 18, 2015
When Trusted Health products asked me if I'd like to try The Runner's Choice Foot Oil, I checked out the list of ingredients as well as the reviews and thought "Why not, it sounds interesting." I don't normally use any sort of lotions or topical treatments for my feet. If they are sore, I soak them in hot water with a bit of epsom salts but I thought it would be nice to try something different. The Runner's Choice foot oil is formulated with 100% natural botanical oils of almond, eucalyptus eucalyptol, wintergreen, peppermint, and spearmint. As soon as I opened the bottle, I could smell the eucalyptus and peppermint. I quite like the scent. I didn't find it overpowering at all.
I decided to test it out on a day where I knew that I was going to be on my feet for a good 10-12 hours. The directions require you to completely coat your feet up to your ankles with the oil. I made sure I did this in the bathroom so I wasn't touching any hardwood or carpet just in case the oil stained. The directions say not to rub it in, that the oil will absorb into your pores. I sat for a bit hoping it would soak in quickly but it didn't so I pulled my socks on, laced up my shoes and went to work. My feet felt tingly and fresh for the first few hours of my day. By the end of the day my feet were tired but not as sore as I thought they'd be. I used it again the next day with the same results.
I meant to use it on my runs but I always seemed to be in a rush to get out of the house or I'd forget to bring it with me when doing an evening run with my group or off the bike. My feet don't normally start to hurt or get tired unless I'm running more than 20km, which I haven't been doing this year. So, I've ended up using it as a post run treat for my feet. The menthol and mint combo really makes my feet feel great and because it's an oil, it leaves my feet feeling smooth, which is a miracle in itself. I do wish it absorbed a bit faster but other than that, I like it.
Once I start ramping up my mileage again, I'll test it out on my longer runs. #STWM isn't too far off so it's time to get back into the swing of things. I'm planning on some over distance training if my legs cooperate so I'll give this a whirl on those longer distance runs.
Disclaimer: I was provided a free bottle of Runner's Choice Foot Oil in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Happy Tuesday Gang! I'm coming to you from Ocean City, Maryland for today's Tri Talk Tuesday. Cynthia and I are fresh off our Eagleman races so no better time than now to talk about race day etiquette!
There is a lot to think about in triathlon and it can be so overwhelming sometimes. So much so that sometimes things like common courtesy go out the window. It doesn't have to be that way if you treat the race like any other social situation (for the most part) Here are my top 6 race day etiquette tips.
1. Know the Rules! Triathlon Ontario and USA Triathlon have rules that need to be followed. You can find them here and here. Read them and understand what you need to do to have a safe and fun race and avoid landing in the penalty tent or even worse, being disqualified. Apparently there were a lot of people that misread or misunderstood the rules because when I passed the penalty tent on the bike course, it was jam packed.
2. Be Aware of Those Around You. This is especially important on the bike. I was shocked at how many people were weaving all over the place or even worse riding in the middle of the road on Sunday's race. Not only is that dangerous for your but its also dangerous for other competitors. I can't tell you how many people I saw cross the centre line to get around other people. Which brings me to my next point.
3. Speak Up. When coming up behind someone on the bike that happens to be either riding in the middle of the road or riding erratically, don't just try to pass them, make them aware of your presence and intention to pass by saying 'On your left'. If you hear someone say that, move over to the right and let the person pass. I always make a point to say thank you when I pass someone that has moved over for me.
4. Stash Your Trash / Don't Litter! This is common sense. I do believe there are penalties now for littering. Keep your trash on your bike or person and dispose of it either at an aid station or in transition.
5. Share The Rack: Transition is always a tight spot, especially if the race is sold out. If you happen to arrive early, don't take over multiple spots. Rack your bike and set your stuff out neatly and as close to your bike as possible.
6. Use Your Manners: I always make a point to say Thank You to the volunteers. They don't have to be there, they've taken time out of their day to help out. So say thanks. I also make a point to cheer on my fellow athletes. If someone passes me, I always say good job. And vice versa. On Sunday's race I cheered on any girl I saw in a Smashfest Queen kit. There was a lot of "GO SMASH!" out on the course which made for a fun day.
Those are my few bits of advice to keep in mind while racing. Is there anything else you'd add to the list?
Make sure you head on over to the link up and check out all the other posts!
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
We got to the Pittock Lake a little later than I would have liked but what can you do. I dumped my stuff in transition and went to pick up my bib. The line up to get your race kit was unusually long which unnerved me a bit. I ran into Irina who saved me a place in line. After I got my bib, I joined her. Tara Postnikof came by and said hello. She said "I had no idea you were racing today. A lot of ladies were really disappointed to see you walk into transition." That made me laugh out loud. I said that I wasn't 100% and that I'd been struggling with a lot of niggling injuries over these last few weeks. I figured I'd do well, but I certainly didn't feel like I was my usual self.
I got body marked, grabbed my chip and went back to transition with Irina. I cleared a space for her to rack her bike right beside mine. I started laying out everything. Even though the sun was shining, it was chilly so I had opted to pack my lightweight Mizuno running jacket for the bike just in case. I was wearing my lovely new Smashfest Queen kit and the top is a tank vs. a tri top so there is less coverage, especially in the shoulder area. I had no idea how cold I'd feel after the swim so I thought it was wise to have a jacket just in case. I finished putting everything out and started to get into my wetsuit. I then went to find G. I ran into the Double D's (my friends David Lamy and David Bhumgara) as I made my way over to the water. David L and I were in the same wave, which was unusual, normally they seed the 40+ women with the older guys, not the younger ones. Last year my wave went last. This year we were first after the Elites. G zipped me up and we both went in. The water was warmer than last year but still a bit on the cool side. I ducked my head under and started swimming. It was super choppy. I didn't feel relaxed at all. I kept forcing myself to swim out a bit further. The further out I got the choppier it got. I had to breathe to my right if I wanted to avoid getting slapped in the face with a wave. Awesome. Nothing I could do about that. I swam back and forth a bit more and then made my way to shore. It definitely wasn't a long enough warm up but I had to get back to shore as the race was about to start.
I found Irina and Dana and we hung out and jumped around. I kissed G just as the first wave went off and then seeded myself right at the back. I let everyone go, stood there for a bit, then went. I quickly caught the pack so I veered off a bit to the right. My breathing was ragged and I tried to calm myself down. The choppy water didn't help as I was breathing to the right every other stroke. I usually breathe every three strokes, sometimes every four strokes but because I was gasping for air, I kept it to every two. I couldn't calm myself down. I stopped and breast stroked for a bit to catch my breath and I realized that I was a fair bit off course. So I turned and started swimming towards the green buoy. I got closer to the buoy and ended up in a big fray of people. Lots of kicking ensued. I made it around the buoy but had to stop again shortly thereafter to catch my breath. I couldn't get into a rhythm no matter how hard I tried to relax. The next thing I knew I was at the second green buoy. Perfect. I got around that and started swimming, only to get totally smoked by someone. I stopped and looked up and thought "wait a minute, that looks like David". I swam up beside him and stopped again. Yup. It was him. I started swimming beside him. I then remembered that we started together and that there was no way he was going to beat me out of the swim. So I started to push the pace. I had to get out of the water ahead of him. I stopped once more to get my bearings and then hammered it home. As I stood up to get out of the water, I looked down at my Garmin: 13:42. WAY better than last year. As I got out of the water I noticed a woman with a yellow cap in front of me. Oh boy. Time to boogie. I ran into T1 pulling off my wetsuit. I got to my bike and was surprised to see the girl that came out in front of me run up to the bike beside me on my left. Now it was a race to see who could get out of T1 first. I got out of my wetsuit really quickly but fumbled a bit with shoes and helmet. She unracked her bike before I did. As I was unracking my bike I heard the announcer call David's name as he came into T1. Geez that was close. I followed the other girl out of T1 and passed her running up the hill to the mount line. I stopped to get onto my bike and she was right beside me. She started riding first but I caught her on the hill on the way out of the park.
|Courtesy of my Sports Shooter|
Once I got out of the park, it was hammer time. I knew David was close behind me and I didn't want him to catch me. He'd been riding all winter, which was more than he usually does so I figured there might be a chance that he'd get me. So I put my head down and pushed. My right glute was feeling a bit pinchy and I hoped that it would loosen up for the run. It was really windy out on the course. I opted not to wear my jacket and I was ok for the most part. My feet were actually the things that felt the cold the most. I played leap frog with several guys on the way out. I finally managed to drop one just past the 10km mark. The other one stayed in front of me and eventually pulled away. I had no idea what my speed was as I don't have my Garmin screen set for that. It's all time and power. I do know I was working somewhere in zone 4. I was riding the pain train for sure. I kept motoring along to the turn around. I didn't pass any women. I knew there were girls in front of me from the Elite wave but there was no way I was catching anyone else. I wasn't sure if there was anyone else in my AG in front of me. About 5 minutes after I hit the turn around, I saw David heading towards the turnaround. I had put a bit of a gap on him on the bike. I hoped it was enough to hold him off on the run. He's gotten REALLY fast, especially over short distances so I knew he'd be chasing me down for sure. As I made the second last turn, I finally had the wind at my back. I hammered down the course and before I knew it, I was making the final turn onto the road that led into the park. I caught and passed a girl in a younger AG and she was the only female I passed on the course. I was hopeful that I was in top spot. I glanced down at my Garmin as I rolled towards the park and saw 34:58. Holy crap. I still had to get down to the dismount line and run into T2 but I was pretty sure that that was WAY faster than last year.
Bike: 36:37 Over 2 minutes faster than last year!
I ran into T2 and saw ONE bike racked and it was a guys. I know because he passed me on the bike course. I was pumped. Now I just had to survive a 5km run with my aching glute. I racked my bike, took off my helmet, yanked my shoes on and grabbed my sunglasses. My feet were frozen and it felt really weird to run. I knew this run was going to be ugly. I took off out of transition and booked it along the dirt path. I figured once I hit the gravel, I'd slow down. Which I did. Luckily it didn't lat too long and I was back onto the dirt and then onto the pavement across the top of the dam. I could see a woman in a Toronto Triathlon Club kit. As I got closer I realized it was Tara. I caught her and she said something like oh you're really having a bad day. I remember saying that my glute was killing me as I ran down the trail. It was. I could feel the pinching with every step. Granted it wasn't as bad as it was the week before. At least I wasn't favouring my leg. I booked it along the trail and out onto the pavement. The temperature was perfect. I got to the turn around and still hadn't been passed by David. I was definitely running in the red zone. I was heading back towards the 3km mark when I saw David. Shortly after I saw G. I started to push a bit harder. David was close but I wasn't sure he was close enough to make up the distance. I didn't want to risk it so I pushed hard across the dam as I figured I'd slow down again once I hit the gravel. I got across the gravel and back onto the dirt path. I knew I was home free. He wasn't going to catch me. I crossed the line, hit stop on my Garmin and was greeted by Jason Vurma. John Salt wasn't able to be at the race so Jason was doing the finish line greeting duties. I wandered out of the finishing chute and saw Zindine so I started chatting with him. I hadn't even looked at my time until he asked me how I did. I looked down at my Garmin and saw 1:14:14.
That was over 3 minutes faster than last year. Holy smokes. My final run time was 21:08. 15 seconds slower than last year. Given my lack of running off the bike this year, I will totally take that. I think my new Smashfest Queen kit helped me smash it out on the course.
David rolled in a few minutes after me and then G showed up shortly after he did. The boys got chicked. I think that's going to be the only time that happens this year.
Zin checked the stats and said that I was second in my AG. I didn't think that was possible. Especially after coming into T2 and seeing only one bike racked. We looked at the results again and figured that the girl that beat me was in the duathlon and was put in the triathlon by accident. I went to Sports Stats to double check and they confirmed that I was first. The awards ceremony took a while as I think there were a lot of issues with Sport Stats so people didn't stick around. When they finally got to my AG, I was the only one left. So I got this lovely picture, ha ha.
That was exactly the race I needed to have going into Eagleman. Now I need to channel all this positive into some good, chilled out vibes for Sunday's race. It's looking more and more like a non wetsuit swim. So I need to put my fears aside and become one with the water, ha ha. I took my swim skin for a spin this morning. It's interesting. I'm not sure I felt faster in it but who knows. I was super tired this morning so perhaps that wasn't a good test. I'll get in it again once we get to Maryland. FUN!
Since race season is officially under way, our next Tri Talk Tuesday will be happening next week (June 16) and we'll be chatting about race etiquette so tune in for that!
Monday, June 8, 2015
This past weekend marked the start of my triathlon racing season. I did the Woodstock sprint, like I've done every year for the last 3 years. I love that little race. It was a really windy day so the swim conditions weren't ideal and we had a fair bit of wind on the bike but I still had a great race. Full race report to follow later on this week! And I got to hang out with this lovely lady and her hubby.
I'm really sore after these last two days though. My glute / nerve issues aren't 100% gone. I could really feel them on my long run yesterday. I'm going back to see Peter tomorrow and I had a massage yesterday so things feel a lot looser but there's still some residual tightness. I'm definitely going to take things easy this week. I skipped my swim this morning in order to sleep in and I'm crossing my fingers that work isn't too crazy stressful this week! I have one last task and that is to try out my skin suit in the pool on Wednesday. It's looking very likely that the swim will be non wetsuit. Of course I have the option of wearing one, I'd just have to go in the last wave and not be eligible for any AG awards. I'm torn because I'd like to see how well I could place but I also want the security of swimming in my wetsuit. I don't plan on taking a Worlds Spot if it happens to roll down so I may just end up swimming in my wetsuit. It will mean I start a lot later and will be out on the course a lot later but either way, I'm racing in weather that I'm not used to so I don't think it's going to make much of a difference.
Anyway, this is how my last week of training rolled out.
Wednesday: 2200m in the a.m. at the pool and then 1050m at the quarry in the p.m.
Thursday: 20km trainer ride, followed by a 3km run off the bike.
Friday: 2400m swim
Saturday: Woodstock sprint: 750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run
Sunday: 14km run, followed by about 1600m at the quarry in extremely choppy water. Not really sure because my Garmin messed things up.
Total time: 5h 39 minutes.
Now it's time to rest, eat good food and get some sleep (good thing I watched Game of Thrones last night, haha). As G says, it's time to enter the Fret Free Zone. There's nothing else I can do at this point except enjoy the journey and try NOT to finish this entire carton before we leave.
Woodstock race report to come so check back for that bit of fun!
Friday, June 5, 2015
I'm definitely not feeling as strong or as confident about my speed this year as I was last year. I've had too many niggles and injuries this year to really push myself the way I'd like to. My running certainly isn't where it was last year, especially off the bike and my longest run to date has been 20km. But I kinda knew that when I signed up. I had hoped to be able to use the 9 weeks to get some good running speed work in but it never happened. And the longest run off the bike I've been able to do has been 8km vs. the 13km I did last year. Not ideal but it's how everything panned out so I'm going to go, enjoy myself and make the most of it. The really exciting part is going to be the big Facebook group meet up on the Saturday and then meeting Meredith at the race on Sunday. I'm pretty stoked about all that. Plus, we're taking the week after and poking around Maryland and D.C. We'll have some time to relax and unwind before I have to come back to the inevitable chaos of work. So there's that.
And then there's this. Which makes me puke a little.
Someone in the Eagleman facebook group made a power point slide that we could edit to put our bib numbers on it. I wasn't thrilled with my bib number until one of my co-workers pointed out the fact that it is exactly the same as the last 4 digits of Westside's phone number. That's gotta be some good race ju-ju right there.
I am definitely going to have to get into open water a few more times before the race so it looks like another Quarry swim is in order for this Sunday. Tomorrow's race is only 750m and I'd like to get 2km in so I'm in a good spot mentally. Because the mental battle is the bigger issue with me, ha ha.
We are all stocked up fuel wise. This time around I'm going to be using Salted chocolate Roctane, salt tablets and a combo of Fruit punch Roctane in one bottle and Grape Roctane in another bottle. Just for variety. My taste buds got bored last year. I may also bring back up Margarita shot bloks for the bike in case I want something really salty.
I've got my race laces in and am going to test them out on a bit of a longer run on Sunday so I can figure out if there are any hot spots that I need to address. Practice, practice, practice and test, test, test.
Who else is toeing a start line this weekend???
Tuesday, June 2, 2015
1. Remember where you racked your bike. I kid you not. It's like trying to remember where you parked at the mall except there aren't any pillars with letters or numbers on them. You are going to be disoriented when you get out of the swim so you'll need to get your bearings with visual cues. I always try to remember the numbers that are posted at the end of the rack my bike is on.
2. Lay everything you need out in the order that you'll need it. Bike shoes first (velcro straps open), helmet either sitting on top of your bike shoes or sitting on your aerobars (strap unclipped), sunglasses sitting inside your helmet. Running shoes & socks (if you wear them) next. Think about getting race laces for your running shoes so you're not fiddling with trying to tie up laces. All you need to do is pull them on and you're good to go.
|How I lay out my transition stuff. My cycling shoes usually have the velcro UNDONE.|
|This was my transition set up for IronGirl last year.|
3. Practice getting in and out of your wetsuit. It's not easy to wriggle out of wet rubber so the more practice you have, the easier it will be. T1 of my first ever triathlon was 4 minutes because I couldn't get out of my wetsuit. I've gotten pretty good at it over the years. I still think I could be a little bit faster but I'm not willing to chop anything off my $700 wetsuit. That's how the pros get in and out of their suits so quickly - the cut the sleeves and the legs a bit so the opening is bigger. I even made a handy video, ha ha. Sorry about the sound....
4. Take a walk through. Know where the bike exit is and the run exit. I've been lost in transition because I didn't take the time before the race to familiarize myself with where the exits were. When every second counts, the last thing I want is to be running circles around transition.
5. BREATHE. It seems so simple. So logical but I know when I'm rushing, I don't always take the time to calm my self down and breathe. When I do that I'm much more efficient at getting everything done quickly.
What else would you add to the list?
Head on over to the link up to check out all the other posts or post your own!
Monday, June 1, 2015
My back and sciatic nerve bothered me all week long so I didn't get the volume in that I was hoping for. I still managed to nail a couple of solid workouts though so that's a plus. I also got some fit adjustments done to my bike and that seems to have helped my back immensely. My power also seems to be back so that's good. I'd like to say things are looking up but I'll wait until I see my chiropractor tomorrow for the verdict on this nerve pain.
I've got my first race of the season this Saturday - the Woodstock Sprint. I don't have high hopes for a race like I had last year. My running off the bike isn't even remotely close to where it was last year but I'm still going to give 'er. It will be my first open water swim of the season and I'm actually debating on whether or not to use my new wetsuit. I haven't been able to get in open water yet to try it out and the last thing I want to do is try it out for the first time in a race! I need to be comfortable as I'm always really apprehensive about the swim as it is. I don't want to be dealing with breaking in a new wetsuit either. I may try to get out to the Quarry one morning this week to do a swim, we'll see.
Anyway, this how my last "big" week of training panned out.
Tuesday: 60 minute ride with power ups in the a.m. + a wicked humid 10km tempo in the p.m.
Thursday: 60 minute ride with power intervals. Followed by an absolutely horrible 3km run.
Friday: 2200m swim
Saturday: OFF. We had my aunt's internment at 1:30 and we were out very late the night before so Saturday morning was a write off for any kind of activity.
Sunday: 87km on the bike in the POURING rain and cold, followed by an 8.5km where I saw a coyote. Yeah, needless to say that km was the fastest of the bunch, ha ha.
That's it. That's all she wrote. I feel woefully under prepared for this race, in comparison to last year. I'm questioning whether this was even a good idea given I've been re-habbing knee problems that have now ballooned into other issues. I said to G the other day that I haven't felt this broken in a long time. I'm hoping the taper heals the niggles and that I get this sciatic business sorted out. I've already accepted the fact that I won't be toeing the line 100% healthy. But whatever, I think I'm more excited about the facebook group meet up the day before and the fact that I'm finally going to get to meet one of my Tri Talk Tuesday co-hosts!! Cynthia is also doing the race! We're going to take over your IG feed on the Saturday, ha ha.
Speaking of Tri Talk Tuesday, it's that time of the month again! Tune in tomorrow when we talk about TRANSITIONS! Just in time for race season!