Monday, September 15, 2014

That's a Wrap + A Weekly Re-cap

Well, this week didn't really pan out the way I had hoped due to my cranky knees but I still managed to get *some* good work in.  I suspect this week will be much of the same leading up to my last race of the season on Sunday.  I'm mentally preparing myself for all the down time I'm going to have after Barrelman.  This weekend also marked my last tri of the 10 degree weather and rain...but there will be a full recap of that later on this week.   It wasn't my best race of the season but it was enough to secure my top spot in the overall AG standings for the Multisport Canada race series.  YES!

My week rolled out like this:

Monday:  OFF

Tuesday:  70 minutes strength & mobility work + a 12km ride into work.

Wednesday:  2250m swim

Thursday:  60 minutes strength & mobility work + 7km interval run in p.m.

Friday:  1750m swim, mostly pull & paddles, which totally killed me.

Saturday:  RACE:  750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run

Sunday: 1600m swim


Swim:  6350m
Bike:  32.80km
Run:  12.11km

Total time:  6h 47 minutes.

I suspect that my weekly recaps are going to start looking a lot more like this.  Minus the running.  And maybe even minus the cycling depending on how my knees feel.  Cue sad face.  Although there will definitely be some yoga and pilates in there.  Gotta work on recruiting those glutes!  On the plus side, if I'm not working out so much, I'll have time to catch up on my reading list and do all those little things I've been meaning to do around the house.


How was your week of training? 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Free Falling

This Saturday marks my last triathlon of the season.  I'm not counting the Real Deal Showdown at Barrelman because all I'm doing is running, even though it's "technically" a triathlon.   After Barrelman I think my season my very well be over.  Mentally I could easily keep going but I think I'm going to have to let my body decide what it wants to do and I'm going to have to make sure I listen to it.  I had hoped to be able to do the Niagara Falls Half with my run club but the jury is still out on that because my knees are still causing me problems.  Not as bad as earlier in the season but they are definitely still an issue.  I have some weeks where I'm totally fine and then I go and either push it a little too much on a run or at the gym and then they hurt again.  Can you say overuse?

I went in to see Peter yesterday for some A.R.T.  I've been working on addressing some issues in my left leg (it doesn't fully extend it's so tight) with stretching and foam rolling and it's gotten somewhat better but I needed a little extra help.  Peter asked me if I had any crazy adventures planned for next year and was genuinely surprised when I said "No".   He asked me how I felt about that and I answered "Weird".  His response was "Just go with it".   He's right, but I'm struggling.  I find having a concrete goal keeps me motivated and focused over the winter.  That's one of the reasons training for Boston was so great.  I'd come off my season, rest for a couple of weeks, do some easy running or whatever I felt like, then roll into Boston training the last week of December.  Not this year.  I'm watching all the Boston 2015 talk on social media and feeling a wee bit sad.  I re-qualified but I've decided not to go back.  I can't put my body through another winter of marathon training.   It needs to rest.  It needs less running mileage.  I never thought I'd say that but after all the aches and pains I've had this year, I have to listen to my body if I want running to be a part of my life for the long term.

I normally love this time of year.  Fall is my absolute favourite season to run in.  Nothing beats heading out on a cool, crisp fall morning with the leaves changing colour and the sun shining.   But this year I will probably spend those days either in the pool or foam rolling in my living room.   Hopefully there will be some time in the saddle as well but we'll see.  Knees are an integral part of cycling too and if I'm going to take time off, it may have to be across both sports.   Cue the tears.  I am going to be a miserable cow.  I apologize to everyone I know in advance for any crankiness that may happen as a result of this self imposed exile from sports.

Needless to say I feel like I'm free falling a bit and I'm not sure how I feel about that.  I always have some kind of a goal.  But, I feel like right now is not the time to be setting goals that I may not be able to meet.  I've pushed this body a lot over the last 3 years and I think I need to slow the eff down.  Despite what my brain thinks, this body is NOT 22 any more.   It's time I start to adjust my expectations a little and learn to be ok with more rest and recovery and maybe, just maybe, slowing down a bit. 

Hmmm.....Perhaps that will be my 2015 goal?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Weekly Re-cap and a Spectating Spectacular!

Happy Monday folks! When you wake up to this view on a Monday, it's never going to be a bad day.

We spent the weekend at my friend Kiki's cottage as G was racing Muskoka 70.3. There were actually a whole bunch of people I knew that were racing. 18 to be exact. I can't remember ever knowing that many people that were racing the same event. It definitely made for some fun spectating. I almost lost my voice by the end of the day, haha. Thank goodness for cowbells! Kiki and I really go into the spirit and made some "motivational" signs.
The bottom sign got a lot of laughs. Along with our dance moves and cheers of "You. Are. Amazing!"

Everyone was quite happy with their respective races. We even had a few WTP folks either place or win their age groups!! G had a good day until about 13km into the run when he totally caved. It got really hot and I don't think he hydrated enough to keep up with how much he was sweating. He was totally out of it when I saw him running into the finishing chute. He actually lost his balance and stumbled like he was drunk. I found him lying on the grass by the misting tent after he crossed the finish line. He was covered in salt. I got him more water but they didn't have any sort of electrolyte drink at the finish line. They did have alcohol free beer so I got him a glass of that. He drank a bit and eventually got up and then we went to get him some food. He dumped two whole packets of salt on everything. After he got some food and sodium into his belly, his face started to regain some colour and he started to seem more like himself. When I found him he was pasty and his lips were a bit blue. Looking back we probably should have taken him to the medical tent.
A bunch of us got together at my friend David's parents place in Huntsville for a post race BBQ which was lovely. Heather brought a bottle of champagne and we toasted everyone's accomplishments. It was a great way to close out the day. And of course there were pictures....
Happy Finishers!
Other than than G's scary finish, it was a fun day. I ran into Irina and her friend (Tammy?) who was working the finishing line. When I heard that, it almost made me wish I was racing. Being greeted by Irina's big smile and genuine enthusiasm would be the best thing at the end of a day like that!! I also ran into Dana, whom I met at Bala. She was grinning from ear to ear. It was her first half Ironman and she had a great day. So many happy finishers!
Since G was tapering, I didn't really do much this past week. Call it support,haha.  In all seriousness, my knees have started to bother me again so I took Tuesday off running. They seemed to be better but then I over did it at the gym on Thursday and really messed them up. Normally I would have brought my bike up to the cottage but I opted not to so I could so give my knees a break. I did do a run on Sunday but it was much shorter than I planned on. I'm going to get my butt into Pivot to see Peter and maybe I'll try to get a massage at some point this week. I'm doing Lakeside this weekend and it's the last race in the MSC series so that will be it for my triathlon season, other than Barrelman but I'm not really counting that since I'm not doing the entire thing. I think after Barrelman that will have to be it for me. Anyway, this is how my week broke down...

Monday: 48km bike ride
Tuesday: 90 minutes strength & mobility
Wednesday: 1500m swim (had to get to work)
Thursday: 90 minutes strength & mobility in a.m 7.5km run in p.m
Friday: off
Saturday: off
Sunday: 13.1km in between cheerleading duties!
Total time: 7h 14 minutes
I suspect this week is going to be a whole lot easier since I'll probably not run or ride much. Call it a forced taper. That's what I'm going to do.

How was your week of workouts? 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Real Deal Showdown

For the last week or so I've hinted at something that I *might* be participating in.  Well it's official, I received my registration confirmation yesterday.

I'm going to be racing in the inaugural Barrleman Half Ironman on September 21st...BUT...I'm not doing it alone.  I'm doing it as part of a relay team.  Real Deal has entered two relay teams and to make things fun, there is a "losing team buys dinner" wager.  The teams break down like this:

Team One:  Colin Campbell (swim), Larbi Benhabib (bike) & little old me (run)

Team Two:  Leanna Lee (swim), Mike Mandel (bike) & Coach Ming (run)

Ming actually emailed me a couple of weeks ago to ask if I'd be interested and I jumped at the chance.  I wasn't planning on running a half marathon so soon but I figured what the heck, I might as well, it will probably be a lot of fun.  And I couldn't resist the chance to go one on one with Ming.  He's a strong runner and will be coming off the 70.3 World Championships so he should be in good form.  I'm crossing my fingers he won't be fully recovered because I think that's really the only way I stand a chance at beating him.  It's definitely going to be a very close race.  To top it all off, I'm racing my last triathlon of the season the weekend before.  Yup, nothing like cramming in a little last minute speed work, ha ha.  

Here's hoping my knees hold up over the next few weeks.  I was hoping to be able to add some track work in but I don't think that's going to happen without my knees getting really angry.  So, I'm just going to have to wing it and hope my legs are ready to go fast on September 21st!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Recruit the Glutes, Part Two

So 6 weeks ago, I dragged my sorry butt to Pivot Sports Medicine to see the Gait Man, Babs Aiyede for a gait analysis.  You can read all about that here.  You can also see just how horribly I ran.  Babs gave me a lot of information that day but I chose to focus on two main things.  1) What I was doing with my arms and 2) what was happening with my pelvis.   Those were simple enough things to pay attention to while I was running because I understood what I was doing wrong and knew how to correct it.  I also continued with my strengthening routine that Peter had given me and added one more exercise to it.  It was one of the exercises I did when I had my first ever running injury, ironically enough also related to my glutes.  I've been doing these exercises diligently twice, sometimes three times a week.  I also had my massage therapist dig out the knots in my glutes and upper quads.  I stretched after every workout and even on days that I didn't work out.  I foam rolled before and after my weight workouts.  This has all become routine for me now and will continue to be.   You could say I've been working really hard at fixing things.

Amazingly my knee pain is starting to subside as well, despite maintaining a decent level of activity.  I still have some days where I over do it and they get sore but those days are few and far between and when they do happen, I back off and break out the ice.  I've also gone back to the gym and I feel like that is helping.  But let's get down to the nitty gritty.  What's my form like now after 5 weeks of of work?

Well.  Let's start at the top.  Once again, am looking down at the ground.  Not surprising as that's what I do on a treadmill.  My shoulders are still slightly rolled but not as bad as before.  My arms are where the change has started.  They are lower and the angle is more in line with where it should be.  This is a change that I have to actually think about every time I run.  It is getting better though, I find that more often than not, this is just where my arms go when I start running.  It's once I start to get tired that they drift back to their old ways.   I've gotten a lot better at correcting that when it happens instead of letting the bad form take over.  You'll also note that my back isn't as arched as it was the first time around. 
Look at that!  An 18 degree improvement!  Woohoo!
Let's move to the area that all of these problems stem from shall we?  I still have a bit of the Trendelenberg gait happening but there has been some improvement.  I think that is going to take a long time to correct and I'm not sure I'll get rid of it 100%.

The big surprise was when we looked at my leg extension.  Yes, I'm still heel striking and probably always will BUT...I've managed to start to reign in my over striding!
A three degree improvement!  It's not much but I'll take it!
I still have a fair bit of work to do but Babs said that this was solid improvement for 5 weeks of work.  What I have discovered over the last several weeks is that my right glute really seems to be the issue.  It takes a whole lot more work to get it to fire and when it does, it does so sporadically.  My left one doesn't seem to have that problem.   As a result, when I'm working on my right side I have to be very cognizant of what's happening (or not happening).  Sometimes it means I'm working on that side a bit longer. 

Gone are the days of me zipping into the gym for a quick weight workout.  If I want to continue to race at my current level, I need to invest the time in making sure that things are working the way they're supposed to and that means paying attention to running form in addition to strength and mobility.  Which means I'm spending longer in the gym.  I also think that I'm definitely going to have to give my body a good solid rest at the end of the season and that will mean no running for a little while.  If it means that I can come back to running 100% pain free then I'll do it.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Hello September!

Well that was fast.  It seemed like only yesterday when we were off to Europe at the beginning of the summer.  That trip seems like a lifetime ago now!  It's amazing how a couple of months can seem like a lifetime.  I'm hoping that summer weather stretches long into September because I'm not done with the outdoor fun just yet!

This was the last weekend of official training for G before Muskoka 70.3 next weekend.  It was dialed back a fair bit but we were still up at stupid o'clock on Saturday for a swim and a ride.   This week was another solid week of workouts that included 3 runs!  My knees are now complaining about it so that probably won't be repeated this week.  This is how my week unfolded.

Monday:  1650m - the pool was 90 degrees so I'm amazed I lasted this long.

Tuesday:  90 minutes strength & mobility in a.m.  8km super sweaty tempo run in p.m.

Wednesday:  Slept in because apparently the pool was still hot.  20km ride in p.m.

Thursday:  90 minutes strength & mobility in a.m.   8km Ladder workout with WTP in p.m.
Friday:  OFF

Saturday:  1375m swim followed by a 63km ride.  Our ride was like a Cervelo parade.  I hung with the boys for most of the ride and my legs paid for that for sure. 

Sunday:  19km hot as hades run, followed by an ice bath.  Gotta get the mileage back up for an upcoming challenge.  More on that another day. 

Cappuccino:  the key to surviving an ice bath

Swim: 3025
Bike:  84.28km
Run:  27.50km

Total time:  9:07.

I'm really looking forward to this weekend.  I have so many friends that are racing.  I'm going to need to bring throat lozenges because I'm pretty sure I'm not going to have any voice left by the time the afternoon rolls around.   I'm also super excited for G.  I think he's going to have a great race.  He's been feeling amazing and he's riding really well.  Sure it's not the race he originally set out to do but at least he's getting to do a 70.3 this year and I will be there with my cowbell and some "motivational" signs to cheer him on.   Speaking of which, I'm looking for some funny ones.  What have been some of the funnier ones you've seen? 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Ice Bucket Challenge: Toronto Island Tri Race Report

The Toronto Island Triathlon is one of my favourite races in the Recharge with Milk race series for a few reasons.
  1.  It's close to home.
  2.  It's pancake flat so you can go fast
  3.  The swim is off of Hanlan's Point which is probably one of the nicest places to swim in Lake  Ontario in the GTA area.
There is ONE issue with the swim being in Lake Ontario though.  Because it's such a huge body of water, you just don't know what you're going to get temperature wise on race day.  Some years the water is perfect, usually around 20 degrees (68 for my American readers).  Other years, it's gotten as low as 12 (55F).  There was one year that they sent the pros and elites off on a shortened swim due to temperature and then actually switched the race to a duathlon after they came out of the water due to the fluctuating water temps. 

This summer hasn't been terribly warm and most of last week was cool-ish, with some rain and a fair bit of wind.  That didn't bode well for the lake being warm enough to swim in.   Sure enough, the Try-a-Tri event on the Saturday was changed to a Do-a-Du because the water temperature was a lovely 11 degrees (54 degrees F).   Sunday racers were told to be prepared for a duathlon and that they'd make the call on race morning.  There were 3 possible scenarios.
  1.  A duathlon
  2. A shortened swim (375m)
  3. The full swim (750m)
A duathlon definitely plays to my strengths I just find it so much harder on my legs so, despite my swimming fears, I actually prefer triathlons because the swim gives me time to warm up, ha ha.  Either way, I went into Sunday's race prepared for a cold swim or a duathlon.

Because the Island is small, they space the waves roughly 15 minutes apart to avoid congestion on the bike course.   That usually means there is a lot of standing around and waiting.  We arrived at the Island at about 7:15 or so and made our way into transition.  G's wave was scheduled to go at 8:45 and mine was scheduled to go at 9:12 so we had plenty of time.  We had been body marked on the mainland before we got on the ferry and we had gotten our race kits on the Friday before, so all I needed to do was rack my bike, set up my gear and get my timing chip.  As soon as we arrived in transition we heard the announcement that the race was going to be a triathlon with a shortened swim (375m vs 750m).  The water temperature was 13 degrees.  THIRTEEN.  Good Lord.  I had a hard time with 16 degree temps back in May so I wasn't sure how I'd fare in 13 degree temps.  Granted I wasn't going to be in the water for very long and they made the course close to shore so there were areas where you could get up and walk it was so shallow.   Needless to say I was very apprehensive.  I knew that if I switched to the DU, any points I got wouldn't matter in the standings and that would mean I'd HAVE to do Lakeside.  So I sucked it up, put on my wetsuit and got into the water.

When I first walked in, it actually didn't feel too bad.  I figured it would hurt my feet but it didn't.  The real shock came when I dove in.  OMG.  I came up gasping.  It was like a punch in the gut, it took my breath away.   We were all going to be doing our own version of the Ice Bucket Challenge.  I forced myself to swim a few meters.  Ugh.  It hurt my hands more than anything.  I forced myself to stay in the water for a while.  Then I got out, jumped up and down and tried to get my heart rate up to warm myself up.  I did this on and off until it was almost time for my wave to go.  By this point though I was shivering so much my teeth were chattering.

The folks in my wave started organizing themselves and I situated myself at towards the back.  There were a lot of folks in my wave and as usual, I wanted to avoid the chaos of the swim start.  The horn went off and everybody went in a flurry of limbs.  I hit start on my Garmin and sat there for a bit.  I started walking into the water.  Eventually I found a bit of room to start swimming.  I think I swam for about 50m before I hit the sandbar and got up and started running.  That was slower than swimming so I dove back into the water and started swimming. I stayed wide to avoid the bottleneck that was happening at the first buoy.  I got around it without incident but got stuck in a huge crowd of people.  I went even wider to get into some open water.  I was starting to lose feeling in my left hand.  Normally I cup my hands slightly when I pull through the water but I found that I couldn't really move my left hand.  My right one was fine which was odd.   I pushed the pace across the back half of the swim but I found it harder and harder to move my arms and getting around that last buoy felt really sloppy.  I was determined to swim for as long as possible though even though I was able to stand and run in shortly after I turned around that last buoy, I didn't.  I swam until my hands scraped the bottom.  Then I got up and started running.  The water got deep again and I dolphin dived until I could start running again.  I bolted out of the water, feeling a little bit woozy.  My hands were frozen.  For once I was thankful we had a long run up to T1 as I figured that would help warm me up.  I got my wetsuit off down to my waist and started running like a mad woman towards T1.  I was so out of it from the swim that I didn't look at my watch until I was halfway up to T1.  At that point it said 6:54. 

My official time with run up to transition was 7:57.

I struggled a bit with getting my wetsuit off and my feet were covered in sand so I took the time to drag them along my towel.  The girl who racked her bike beside me had racked it very close to mine so I had trouble grabbing my helmet and shoes.  I was a little wobbly getting myself sorted but finally got everything on and unracked Tom Sawyer and ran out of T1.

T1:  1:35

I hopped on Tom Sawyer and heard one of the volunteers yell GO Phaedra!  I looked to see my friend Paula standing there.  Oh HEY!  I said.  She yelled "Go win this thing" as I started to ride off, ha ha.  Thank you Paula!  The first bit of the bike is a no passing zone so I had to stay behind the folks in front of me.  As we were coming towards the end of the zone, I could see an ambulance coming out onto the road.  Awesome.  Sure enough it came out in front of me and proceed to block the road.  I looked around it, thinking maybe I could pass it.  No go.  I'd be cutting it too close to the centre line and there were too many cyclists coming the other way.  Great.  I was going roughly 28kph sitting on the bumper of the ambulance.  I kept poking out and trying to get the attention of the driver in their side mirror but they were completely oblivious.  Their lights were flashing so I'm not sure if they had someone in there or what was happening,  all I know is that a bunch of women were stuck behind them for longer than they wanted to be.  The ambulance kept slowing down and then speeding up which was also incredibly frustrating.  Then all of a sudden, it stopped.  I had to slam on my brakes so I didn't ride right into the back of it.  Myself and all the other women that were behind me let out a unanimous WTH?  The driver clearly had no clue there were cyclists behind him.  I pulled out and started to ride around him and only then did he realize that he was in the way so he pulled off onto the grass.  I mashed the pedals and tucked into my aerobars, annoyed.   I had hoped to have a sub 35 minute bike split here and that was not going to help matters.  It was also quite windy on the way out so I was only managing to average around 32-33kph.  I hoped on the way back I'd have a nice push from the wind. 

Sure enough when I hit the turnaround, the wind gave me a nice push but only for the first few km's.  Once we got into the more open areas of the course, I was faced with the wind again.  Dammit.  I looked at my Garmin and saw 37-38kph from time to time but knew I couldn't maintain that.  I motored along, watching for anyone in my AG.  I came across one woman but I didn't know if she was in the duathlon or not.  I passed her and continued on towards the second turnaround.  It's a tight one so I unclipped and put my foot down as I turned.  I know that costs me time but I'm not the best bike handler so that's what I do, especially if it's a narrow turn like this one.  I clipped back in and started hammering again.  Only 10km left.

I kept passing people as I went along.  I didn't see anyone else in my AG so I was really hoping that I was in the lead.  I took a Roctane on the way out as I was actually feeling a little hungry.  My legs were feeling the burn and I really hoped I had something special left for the run.  I think I rode too hard on Saturday as I didn't feel like I had my usual get up and go.  I could feel my energy flagging as I made my way to the final turn around.  I got around the turnaround to see G and my friend David cheering me on.  I rode up to the mount line, unclipped and hustled into T2.

20km Bike:  35.07 -   I should have been closer to 33 minutes but in that situation there wasn't anything I could do.

I racked my bike, pulled off my shoes and saw that my feet were still fairly sand covered.  Another couple of swipes on the towel helped to clear some of it.  I pulled off my helmet and grabbed my shoes.  Normally I have a very hard time getting my zoots on but this time I grabbed the top and the back and forced my foot in, scraping my left knuckles in the process both times.  I didn't think anything of it other than it kind of stung.  I got my shoes on relatively quickly and bolted out of T2.  It was only on the way home that I realized how badly I had bruised my knuckles.  It looked like I punched someone in the face.

T2:  1:01.  That's what happens when you dry your feet!

My legs felt heavy as I started running out of transition.  The first part of the run is on grass so I really had to watch my footing.  I thought about my form as I ran along, focusing on keeping my arms low and my pelvis tucked in.  I was tired so it was difficult and being on the grass didn't help things either.   I motored along the grass as best as I could.  I was grateful when I hit the pavement as that meant I could really start to motor.  The run course is 4 loops that are pancake flat.  I love me a flat run course because I really like to go fast. My legs started to feel better once I got onto the pavement and I really started to fly.  I kept looking for women with a 40-something number on their calf.  I found one and passed her.  Again, I wasn't sure if she was in the duathlon or not.

I made it around the first loop and saw G and David standing along the side of the path.  As I passed there was a lot of yelling:  "Go faster" and "Work harder".  I love that kind of encouragement, ha.  I actually felt pretty good by the end of that first loop and I hoped that I'd be able to maintain that pace.  Thankfully it wasn't too hot out so I didn't have to worry about overheating.  Last year it was stinking hot and I kept dumping water on my head.  This year I bypassed the aid station completely.  I finished my first loop and headed out on my second with more "encouragement" from David and G.  That second loop flew by.  Seriously.  I don't know where the energy was coming from but wow.  I felt strong.  I passed a younger woman who said Go Phaedra - I said thanks - I never found out who that was - but if you're reading - THANK YOU!  On the third loop there was a bit of wind and I felt my energy start to flag a bit.  A quick glance at my Garmin showed me running 4:07's.  I had been running sub 4:00's.  I noticed at that point that my form had started to slip so I focused on dropping my shoulders and holding my abs in tighter.  Much better.  I started to pick up the pace once again.  I was finally heading out on my last loop.  I was hurting but it was like I was detached from the hurt.  I don't know how else to explain it.  It was there but it didn't seem to affect me.  I hauled it around the top end of the loop passing an older guy who said "Nice Work"  as I passed him.   I came barreling down the road and made the turn onto the path, when I heard a spectator yell that I was supposed to go straight and round the timing mats.  I turned and said I was on my last loop.  D'uh.  That was a serious case of the race stupids.  I took two more steps and realized my mistake so I backtracked, got back out onto the pavement, ran around the bottom turn around and the timing mats, THEN made the turn off.  Ugh.  I ran booked it down that path.  As I got closer to the finishing chute, I saw another woman with a 42 on her calf.  DAMMIT.  I found another gear and passed her, not knowing if she was in the triathlon or the duathlon and not wanting to take any chances.   I heard Steve Fleck announcing my name as I came towards the line.  I crossed the line and stopped my watch.  Only then did I realize what I had done.

 I had just set a new PB for 5km.  Off the bike no less.  I was 20:07.  My previous 5km PB had been 20:17.  It's my goal to break 20 minutes for 5km.  Give me a flat 5km with no swim or bike before it and I think I could do it.  I found out after I finished that the run course was actually 4.8k but I think my little mistake added the additional 200m.  It also cost me second place overall.  I missed that by a measly 21 seconds.  Oh well.  I ended up snagging first place in my AG by a whopping 8 minutes and taking 3rd place female overall.  I can't complain about where I placed overall.  I was the oldest woman on the podium by a long shot.  The closest woman to me in age was in the 30-34 year old age category.  The rest of them were all under 30.  

I found G and David right away and chatted with them.  We then ran into Adam, G's friends son who did his first duathlon.  He was pretty pumped with his 5th place AG finish.  Pretty awesome for a first timer!  I saw another friend of mine, Brad, who also had a great race.  G felt he had an awesome race and wanted to go and check the race results because he was pretty sure he podiumed.  Sure enough, he got second in his AG.   I was so happy and proud to see him up there.  He's finally coming back to the form he had before his crash.  As luck would have it, I also ended up winning an awesome draw prize from Rudy Project.  Looks like I'll be getting a new helmet!  Good thing as my old one is REALLY old and definitely due to be replaced.

It was a great day of racing and I got to meet a couple of folks that either read my blog (hey Oscar!) or follow me on Instagram (hi Natalie!).  So FUN!

Chatting with Oscar!  So nice to meet a reader!  Thanks to Mike Cheliak for the shot.
I'm hoping that this AG win was enough to secure top spot in my AG for the overall season winner but we'll see.  I'm mentally preparing myself to do Lakeside.  That will mean an action packed mid September.  There are some other race plans that materialized yesterday that should prove to be a whole lot of fun.  It means that I'm really going to have to get back to 3 days a week of running though.  Don't worry folks, there will be an entire post dedicated to this upcoming adventure so stay tuned!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sleeping in Would be Nice & A Weekly Recap

Well here we are again.  Hello Monday.  Once again, you arrived much too quickly.  I think this two day weekend nonsense is BS.  We should have 3 day weekends.  I'm convinced the world would be a much happier place if it was on a 4 day work week, 3 day weekend.  It would at least give me a day to recover from my Saturday & Sunday, ha ha.  On the positive side, I've only got a 4 day work week this week due to the long weekend coming up.  YAY!  What I'm most looking forward to is SLEEPING IN.  I've been up early every day this week.  Although, truth be told, I got up on Monday to go swimming and was so tired, I went back to bed.   I got up early Saturday and yesterday.  Like 5:00 am early, which is just wrong on a weekend.  It's one thing if you're racing (which we were yesterday) but Saturday was a training day and for some reason G wanted to start early.  It was nice to be done my workout by 9:30 am but still....I think I prefer sleep.   We won't have too many more weekends like that since race season is winding down.

This was a lighter week of training for me.  Left to my own devices, I usually tend to back things off the week of a race.  During Mingsanity there was none of that, ha ha.  This is how last week looked.

Monday:  slept in!

Tuesday:  90 minute strength & mobility in a.m. + Tempo Run in p.m - one of the best runs I've had in a while! 

Wednesday:  2300m swim

Thursday:  60 minutes strength & mobility in a.m.+ 25km trainer ride in p.m.

Friday:  2100m swim

Saturday:  50km ride.  Once again in cloudy crappy weather.   But at least it was fairly warm.

Sunday:  Toronto Island Tri - race report to follow!


Swim:  4775m
Bike:  95.23
Run:  15.70

Total time:  8h 53 minutes.  I'm thinking between 7-10 hours of workouts a week will probably be where I keep things for the next little while.  That seems to be where my body is happiest without overloading it too much. 

Anyone else race this weekend?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Winding Down

I can't believe that summer is coming to a close.  Sure technically it doesn't end for another month but as far as I'm concerned as soon as school starts, that's the end of summer.  Things get "back to normal".  That means my gym will get busy again and my commute to work will double.  So many great things to look forward to, ha ha.

Aside from the weather being less than ideal, this has been a pretty good summer.  I didn't race my butt off like I did last year so I'm not feeling the burn out I was feeling this time last year.  It was a busy summer but I actually got to enjoy it.  I think the three weeks in Europe definitely helped in that regards. 

I've got my last official race this weekend.  I say "official" because as of right now, that's the last thing on my calendar that I've registered for.  There is one more triathlon in September that I may do depending on where I stand in the points after this weekend but things are definitely winding down.

Normally I'd have committed to a fall half marathon by now but I haven't just yet.  I'm holding off for a bit longer just to see how all this knee & hip business fares.  I feel like I've been getting better but for the last few weeks,  I've only been running twice a week so that might be why.  I may be able to get away with two days a week of running if I continue to ride on a regular basis although I may have to adjust my expectations time wise.  Last year I was putting in a lot of time at the track.  This year I'm not sure I see that happening until I can start a run 100% pain free.  I'm slowly getting there.

I've had several people as me what my plans are for next year and for the first time in a long time, I'm not really quite sure.  I do know what I WON'T be doing:  another spring marathon.  I've run a spring marathon every year for the last 3 years and I think it's really taken a toll on my body.  So next year, I don't plan on running any early season long distance races.  No Chilly Half Marathon, no Around the Bay.  Nada.  I'm thinking I might actually tackle some shorter distance races (5, 8 & 10km) on a more regular basis. 

As for triathlons, I definitely want to get some help with my swim issues.  I may go back to see that Cognitive Behavioral Therapist I saw two years ago.  I also think I need to get to some open water swim clinics so I can learn to stay calm and focused at the start of the swim.  The swim is my weakest link of the three.  I'm not bad but I know I can be so much better as long as I don't let my head get in the way.   Distance wise, I'm not sure what I'm going to do next year.  I love racing sprints so I'm sure I'll continue to do that but I may look at different races next year.  I also really enjoyed racing the 70.3 distance so who knows, maybe there's another one in my future. 

Normally I feel a little bit lost without a major goal but right now I'm ok with it.  These last few years have been pretty action packed.  Your body isn't the only thing that needs a break.  Sometimes you mentally just need to step back and chill out. 

That being said,  I'm sure by the time Christmas rolls around I'll have half my 2015 race calendar filled out.

Who's started planning their 2015 races already?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Weekly Recap & Saying Goodbye

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend! Mine was jam packed as usual.  No racing this weekend but this was the last big weekend of training for G so that meant a big bike ride on Saturday, followed by a long brick on Sunday, of which I did not take part in.  Not after Saturday's smackdown on the bike.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.   Let's see how this past week unfolded.

Monday:  2400m swim

Tuesday:  90 minutes strength & mobility in a.m.  10.47km tempo run in p.m.

Wednesday:  1850m swim

Thursday:  90 minutes strength & mobility in a.m.  massage in p.m
Friday:  OFF

Saturday:  100km on the bike - legs felt horrible.  Probably due to my massage on Thursday and the fact that I didn't ride at all during the week.  To add insult to injury, it was cold and windy for the entire ride. It's AUGUST and I was wearing armwarmers for the entire ride and a vest for the first half.  WTH??

Sunday:  19km run.  Probably ran about 4km longer than I should have but I got into a good groove and actually felt ok.  Until I didn't, ha ha.  That was my longest run since my 70.3.  If I can keep my knees in decent working order over the next month or so, I should be in good shape for a fall half.

I love my injinji socks!

Total time:  10h 49 minutes.  The bulk of that was the weekend.  I didn't think I was going to have that big of a week!

Swim:  4250m
Bike:  100km
Run:  29.48km

I'm close to hitting 300km of riding for the month of August so I'm going to try to get a ride in during the week as well as Saturday and then we're racing Toronto Island on Sunday so that should put me hopefully close to 400km for the month.  YAY!

On another note, I'm officially putting Scotty up for sale.  It's time for me to say goodbye.  We shared a wonderful 7 years together but we've grown apart.  I've changed as have my expectations in a bike.  So if anyone out there is thinking about getting into triathlon, or, has done a few triathlons and wants a new to them bike without shelling out a ton of cash, look no further.

The bike is a size small which roughly equates to a 52cm frame.  The specs are as follows:

Frame: Scott CR 1 Plasma Pro Carbon technology TRI geometry with Intergraded Headtube
Forks: Scott Carbone CR1 Pro
Gears: Ultegra FD-6600 front and Ultegra RD-6600 rear derailleurs
Shifters: Dura-Ace SL-BS 78 Bar End
Chainset: Ultegra FC-6600 Hollowtech II with 39/53 tooth rings
Brakes: Ultegra BR-6600 Super SLR Dual pivot
Wheels: Mavic Cosmic Elite wheelset (700 C)
Handlebars: Profile T2 wing & T2 Cobra
Stem: Profile Hammer OS – Saddle: Fizik Vitesse HP

I'm asking $1200.  Which is a pretty sweet deal for a full carbon bike!  I've put regular pedals with cages on the bike + there are also two water bottle holders on it as well so it's ready to go!

If you, or someone you know is looking for a good entry level tri bike (and they happen to live in southern Ontario), drop me a line: