Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Patience Grasshopper: The Ongoing Saga Of My Knee Problems

Ok so maybe saga is a bit dramatic but geez man, this feels like it's been dragging on FOREVER.  I've officially been in physio for 3.5 months.  I know I was in rough shape but that kind of seems excessive.  I do think I probably would have been better off NOT running for the first few months of my re-hab process.  I might have progressed a bit faster.  I was warned at the outset that this would take a while.  And I was reminded of that again when I went for my MRI follow up last week.  If there's one thing I don't have a lot of when it comes to myself, is patience.  I want to go, go, go.  But I'm (slowly) learning that I can't always do that.

Last week I felt like I had regressed but I think I just did a little too much.  Thanks to the suggestion of super runner Sasha Gollish, I started keeping an injury journal.  Every day I note how my knees are feeling, what I've done, if I've done all my exercises or not, etc.  Looking back over the last 3.5 months, I've definitely made progress even if it doesn't always feel that way.   Looking at my training log over the last couple of weeks, I've definitely upped the running volume when I probably should have just kept it the same.   One step forward, two steps back.  Needless to say I've learned my lesson and will be re-adjusting my game plan as of this week.  It's going to take a bit of discipline on my part, especially when I'm feeling good.

So what exactly is wrong with my knees?  What did the MRI show?  Well, the doc only ordered the MRI for my left knee as that was the one that was really causing me problems.  I would have pain on extension so whenever I did a plank or push up or anything that required full extension in my leg, I'd have a sharp pinching sensation under my kneecap and along the side of my kneecap.  My chiro and the sports doc both suspected it was the fat pad around my knee that was being pinched because my patella (kneecap) wasn't tracking properly.   I'd also have pain at the outset of my runs and sometimes during my runs in both knees and I could literally feel that my kneecaps were not tracking properly.  They would eventually find their way into the right spot as I got warmed up but afterwards, man did they ever ache.  It hurt to walk up and down stairs.  Sometimes my left knee would buckle a bit when I was walking.   I was a mess.  And to think I trained and raced like that for all of last year.   That is the number one reason I decided to NOT commit to anything this year.   Shit had to get sorted!

The good news first.  All of my tendons and cartilage are intact.  I have no major damage.  YAY.   I was worried I might have done something to my meniscus but that is not the case.  The not so great news....the MRI found three different issues on my left knee and I suspect that a couple of them are also present on my right.

1)  Mild patellar chondrosis and suprapatellar fat pad impingement. 

This essentially means that the cartilage under my patella has been worn and is slightly inflamed.  The fat pad is a soft tissue that lies beneath the patella that separates it from the femoral condyle (end of the thigh bone).  If your kneecap doesn't track properly, the fat pad can get irritated and inflamed.  My left leg hyper extends slightly so this can also be a contributing factor in fat pad impingement (which for some reason is also known as Hoffa's Syndrome).  Getting my kneecap back to tracking normally will help manage this pain.  The bonus?  At least it's only "mild".  I can't even imagine the pain I'd be in if it wasn't. 


2) Mild tendinosis of the superior insertion of the patellar tendon.  

This is the one that bothered me the most.  Tendinosis is never a good thing.  You have to be very careful with it or else it can get a whole lot worse.   My patellar tendon has thickened a bit, most likely due to irritation and having to work a whole lot harder because my kneecaps weren't tracking properly.   My physio doesn't think that tendinosis is the main problem and that this should get better as I progress in my re-hab.  The key is to not over do things.   Patience, grasshopper.

3) A small leaking Bakers cyst.

Sounds gross,  I know.  Apparently these are quite common.  I'm not surprised that I've got a cyst.  I've had them pretty much everywhere else on my body so why not behind my knee?  This one is very small and apparently they come and go.  They are usually the result of a joint issue (surprise!). I don't feel anything behind my knee so this must be pretty tiny.  Apparently they can get pretty big (cue gagging). 

The prognois?  None of these things require surgery (yay).  All of them can be fixed with physical therapy...eventually.  Yup.  There is no timeline on rehabbing something like this (boo!).  I have to keep doing my exercises and be patient.  Just because I'm feeling good doesn't mean I can go out and run 11km.  Nope.  I have to slowly build into things.  I'm used to building at a certain rate while I'm training but with rehab that building process is much slower.  I haven't really bought into that until recently.  Sometimes it takes a while for things to sink into my brain.  I'm chalking it up to all that hair on my head. 

On the positive side, at least I can still run.  I am going to have to be careful with my cycling and I may have to switch back to my road bike, we'll see.  I've been very careful not to overload my quads too much as it doesn't seem to take much to get them really tight.  Although I think that is about to change as my physio now wants me to start doing jump squats.  I was doing body weight squats a couple of times a week.  Now she wants me to progress to jump squats.  I did them last night with her and holy smokes were my quads ever burning.  Amazingly my knees feel fine this morning.  I fully expected them to hurt so I call that WINNING!  

In terms of my running, I have to keep things under 10km for now.  Her suggestion was stick to one distance for a few weeks, then add another km, run at that distance for a few weeks, then add another km etc.  Right now I can run 8km with no degradation in form so that will be my benchmark for the next 4 weeks.  I'm only running 2-3 times a week so I'll keep those runs between 6-8km.  I may also go back for another gait analysis sometime in March to see if there is anything else that needs tweaking in my form.

So, I need to be patient and I have to remember that progress is still progress, no matter how slow.   Right? 

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Another weekend, gone, just like that.  Good news, I only have 10 more days of work before I'm off to a beach for a week.  WHEEEE!  And, it's been super busy so the time has been flying by.  In other news, I got my MRI report last week.  It wasn't horrible but it wasn't great either.  Good news is that there's no major damage.  Bad news is, the things that are wrong are going to take a while to fix.  I'm going to see my physiotherapist tomorrow and we'll see if we need to reassess things.  Stay tuned for a blog post on that.  Despite the fact that my knees had been sore for most of the week, I was determined to go out for a run on Saturday.  It was supposed to be warm and I wanted to take advantage of the milder temps.  I probably only should have run about 8km but I was feeling SO good.  My glutes were firing on all cylinders and I was running really strong.  There was no loss of form, nothing.  So I ran 11km.  Of course by the time I hit 10km, I was tired.  Afterwards my knees were quite sore.  The soreness was different, I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing.  I suspect that my IT band is quite tight so that could be contributing to some of the pain.  

Since it was warm I finally got to wear my DONAJO tights.  I'm usually a black tight wearer but I've finally been swept away by the colourful bottom boom, ha ha.  Even then, these ones are fairly tame compared to some of the other designs out there.

Run Matchy!
I think these pants were the reason behind my awesome run.   I certainly didn't expect this in terms of time.  I just felt so darn good.  That's pretty close to the "old me" pacing.  I'm pretty happy about that...even if it was too much. 

What the WHAT?!?!
Since my knees were bugging me this week, I didn't ride as much as I normally would have.  I still did my Sunday long ride with my pal David and we blew through two episodes of Hannibal. 

D getting aero in the Pain Cave!
I probably would have ridden longer but I somehow managed to get a flat on the trainer!  Has this happened to anyone else?  I was wondering why I was going so darn fast and then I got off to check the resistance and saw that my tire was completely flat.  I pumped it up again only to have it get flat again 5 minutes later.  So I threw in the towel.  Grrrrr.

Even with my lack of riding I still had a pretty hefty week of workouts.  I think I'm going to dial it back this week and focus more on strength work vs. riding and running.   My knees will probably thank me for it. 

Monday:  2250m swim
Tuesday: 60 minutes strength & mobility + an easy 2km on the 'mill.  p.m.  6km run.
Wednesday:  1900m swim + 30 minute ride
Thursday:  60 minutes strength, really working upper body + core, 6km run
Friday:  OFF
Saturday: 11km run
Sunday:  3100m swim, followed by a 1h 5 minute ride.

Total time:  8 hours and 28 minutes.  Yup I definitely think I'm going to dial it back this week. 

How was your weekend?  Who else is counting down to a vacation?!?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Five: 5 Random Things About Me

It's been a while since I've joined up with the Friday Five ladies (Cynthia, Mar & Courtney), mainly because I haven't had time to think about much other than work.  Thankfully things have slowed down a little bit so I can wrap my brain around other things, like blogging!

This week's Friday 5 is all about ME.  I can't wait to read all the other posts.  As bloggers we often talk about the sport we love (running, triathlon) and we don't really talk about much else.  This gives people a chance to get to you know you a bit better, depending on what you decide to share.  I'm going to try to be as random as possible.

Random Thing #1:  My name is Greek.  People often assume that I'm Greek but I'm not.  Phaedra was a character in Greek mythology.  She was the daughter of Minos and the wife of Theseus (the dude who slayed the Minotaur).   The name is derived from the Greek word "phaidros" which means "bright".   My dad chose the name, not because he knew of the character in Greek mythology (that came later), but because he heard it in a song that he liked buy Lee Hazelwood and Nancy Sinatra called "Some Velvet Morning".  

Random Thing #2:  I met G at a Running Room marathon training clinic in 2001.  We didn't start dating until a full year later.  Mainly because I thought he was a bit of a jerk and he thought I was too much of hammerhead.  Funny how things change.  Although I guess I still am a bit of a hammerhead.  He's definitely not a jerk.
Ottawa Marathon 2002.  The first of many races together.
Random Thing #3:  I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts and I made the Deans Honor Roll.  I majored in drawing and photography.  Sadly, I can count the number of times I've picked up a sketchbook since I graduated on one hand.  I do still take pictures, albeit mainly on my phone.  I like to think I still have a pretty good knack for composition.  Just don't ask me to draw anything, ha ha.  I'm happy that I ended up working in one of the industries I studied.  I'm behind the scenes instead of behind the lens and I'm ok with that. 

Random Thing #4:  I am the oldest of 3.  I have a younger brother and a younger sister.  There is 6 years between my brother and I and then 11 years between my sister and I.  Apparently I was a hellish child so I suspect that was part of the reason my parents waited so long to have another child, ha ha.

Typical family photo:  Mom, Dad, Me, My sister, her boyfriend & my brother, looking very unimpressed.

Random Thing #5:  I was born on the 3rd day of the 3rd month and for the longest time I had a birthmark in the shape of a 3 underneath my right forearm.  It's faded over the years but it used to be fairly prominent.  WEIRD right???  At least it's not 6/6/6.  And yes, 3 is my lucky number.  Because good things come in threes!!!

Do you have a lucky number?  What did you study in university and if so are you working in your field of study?

If you have time, check out all the other posts on the link up.  There are some great ones! 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

And Just Like That....It's Back

I've been working hard at trying to keep a positive mindset about this whole knee issue thing and I was making great strides.  Things were looking up.  Pain was subsiding and I was slowly starting to get back into running.  Not to be a drama queen, but I feel like that has all just gone to hell in a handbasket.  I'm not sure where the issue is stemming from but it all started last week at the gym.  My physio wants me to start incorporating body weight squats and lunges into my workout routine.  I've tried but I can't seem to get them right.  I really concentrate on using my glutes and not my quads, making sure that my knee doesn't go over 90 degrees but I STILL end up with sore knees after.  I did one set of 5 lunges and 2 sets of 10 body weight squats on Tuesday last week and my knees were sore for the rest of the week.  They were finally better by Saturday evening.   I put on my positive pants and kept telling myself that everything was going to be ok.

Being the diligent patient that I am, I figured I'd try again on Tuesday.  I made sure I did everything in front of a mirror and even used a bench to help guide me in my squats (so I didn't go too low).  Once again by end of day Tuesday my knees felt like they used to feel.  I experienced pain going up and down the stairs and the feeling that my kneecaps are kind of floating, just general tenderness.   It's put me in the most foul mood ever.  They were even sore during my swim this morning.  I feel like this is a giant step backwards and it's all I can do to keep myself from crying in my Friday night beer.

The ONE positive thing is that my knees didn't hurt when I was running last night.  There was no pain at the start, which I fully expected, so I suppose that is good news.  Towards the end there was a bit of pain on the outside of both knees but I'm chalking that up to wearing different shoes.  

I had and MRI of my left knee last Wednesday and I'm going in to Pivot tomorrow to get the results.  I'm curious to know if there is some kind of impingement under my left kneecap.  I go back to see my physio next week so I may end up with some different exercises, who knows.  

The other thing I know I need to look at is my bike fit.  I've gotten back on my tri bike which has put me in a different position.  I had the front end dropped a little bit to see if I liked it but the rest of my fit needs to be dialed in as well.  I've been riding on it without issue since the end of December so who knows.  I figured if I had issues they'd show up right away but maybe not.  Either way, I'm growing incredibly frustrated.  I just want to be pain free.  Is that too much to ask?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Weekend? What Weekend?

Oh hey Monday, how did you get here so quickly?  Right, I didn't really have a weekend.  BUT, I can't really complain about that since I chose to fill it up.  And, I had a lot of fun.  I'm sure you're probably wondering what the heck I'm talking about, right?  This past weekend I did my NCCP Triathlon Community Coach certification.  This now means I'm a certified triathlon coach (yippeee!).  There are several levels of certification depending on the level of athlete you want to coach.  This certification level means I'm able to coach individual age groupers or in a club setting, which is exactly what I love doing.

 The facilitator was excellent as was the course and I knew several people there as well so it made for a really fun afternoon.  Definitely not a bad way to spend a weekend.  

Knowing that I was going to be spending most of my weekend at this course, I ended up shuffling my workouts around and taking Saturday as my day off.  We wrapped early on the Sunday and I was home by 3:00 but I had work things to deal with so I didn't get on my bike until 4:30.  But I still managed an easy 90 minute spin, thanks to Hannibal (the TV series) and Breaking Bad.  Yes, I know I'm really late to the party but whatever. 

I'm feeling a whole lot better than last week and I finally finished my antibiotics on Friday so hopefully that's it for my sinus issues.  I know our upcoming week in the Dominican will help with any problems that may arise in the next little while.  I think I need to live somewhere hot and humid.  My hair will always look good and I won't have any sinus issues.  And, I'll never have to deal with cold and snow ever again, ha ha.

This past week I started putting a little extra intensity into my run and bike workouts.  My body can handle it, my knees not so much.  I've had sore knees since Tuesday and I'm trying not to freak out about it too much.  My run on Friday really did them in I think.  I feel like my left kneecap has gone back to it's old tracking pattern which is really frustrating.  I have physio next week so we'll see what she says.  I also think I need to have my bike fit looked at again.  Because I have so much time for that.....ugh.

Anyway, this is how my past week panned out:

Monday:  OFF
Tuesday:  60 minutes strength & mobility, 2km run on the treadmill.  P.M.  25km on the trainer (52 minutes)
Wednesday:   2200m swim in a.m.  Awesome 6km run in p.m.
Thursday:  Physio work in a.m. 25km bike (52 minutes) in p.m.
Friday:  2300m swim in a.m. 10.10km run in p.m.
Saturday:  OFF
Sunday:  90 minute ride.

Total time:  7h 24 minutes

How was your weekend?  Who got out and enjoyed the milder temperatures?

Monday, January 12, 2015


There must be something about this first week of January that does something to my immune system.  This week last year, just as I started my #Mingsanity training, I got sick.  It was my sinuses.  This year, the same thing happened, only it was way worse.  I actually had a sinus infection which completely knocked me off my feet.  I'm still not 100% but I'm definitely feeling better.  I'm on antibiotics which have definitely helped.  Unfortunately they don't agree with my stomach but what can you do.

Of course, this kept me sidelined for most of the week.  I was out of the pool for almost two weeks and I took 10 days off running.  I ran New Year's Day and that was the start of my decline.  Not the best way to kick off the new year.   I started to feel better on Thursday so I slowly got back into the swing of things.  I had been itching to run so despite the frigid temperatures on Saturday, I went out and ran 10km, which is the longest run I've done in almost 3 months.  It seems so weird to say that.  I've gone from a marathoner to someone who can barely eke out 10km without being sore the next day, ha ha.  Oh well.  It's my new reality right now and that's ok.  Usually my quads would be sore but this time around it was my glutes and hamstrings.  Which proves that I am actually using these muscles.  That, my friends, is huge. 
You know it's cold when the mask comes out.
You know it's REALLY cold when Lake Ontario freezes.
I know I"m not totally 100% because I can't really push things.  Easy aerobic efforts are about all I can do without feeling completely exhausted.  I know this because yesterday's ride was a hard one and I had to have a nap afterwards I was so wiped out.  And my Garmin told me that I worked maybe a little too hard so I'm going to back things off this week and just go easy. 

This is how my last week unfolded:

Monday:  OFF
Tuesday: OFF
Wednesday: OFF
Thursday:  35 minute easy ride
Friday: 2000m swim
Saturday:  10km run + 20 minutes core & upper body
Sunday:  1h 35 minute computrainer ride.

Total time:  4h 43 minutes. 

I'm looking forward to getting back into the gym this week.  We booked a trip to Punta Cana in February so it's time to get this body of mine into bikini shape.  That means dedicated gym time as well as cleaning up my diet.  I spent Saturday afternoon and a few hours on Sunday meal planning and prepping like a boss.  I've got a weeks worth of good healthy food so there's no need for take out which is something we've been guilty of a little too often these last couple of weeks.  No more.

There are a few exciting things happening this week.  Wednesday night I have an MRI scheduled for my left knee.  It was supposed to be January 30th but they bumped me up.  YAY!  My knees are almost 100% but I still have a bit of lingering pain in my left one upon extension.  My sports doc humored me and scheduled this so we could see if there are any other issues, other than simple maltracking of the patella. 

The other exciting thing is my NCCP Triathlon coaching course is this weekend!  I'm pretty darn excited about that.  I'm looking forward to learning a whole lot more about the sport that I love.

How was your week?  Who else is running away somewhere hot?  

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Tri Talk Tuesday: Goal Setting

Aaaand, we're back!  The first Tri Talk Tuesday of 2015.  Try saying THAT 5 times fast, ha ha.  I'm linking up with Cynthia and Courtney to chat about Goal Setting.  Seems fitting given that January is traditionally all about that sort of thing.

Setting goals is great.  Sticking to them is another story altogether.  In January it's often full steam ahead and then by the end of February we're often left wondering what happened.   It's easy to lose steam.  So, I've got 3 tips that should help you see those goals through.

1.  Be Realistic.

I'm not saying don't dream big but you need to be realistic in terms of where you're at physically when you're planning your goals.  If you want to do an Ironman but you've only ever run 5km and you don't swim, then you need to allow yourself the time to build up to that.  Be realistic with your timelines and your abilities and the less chance you'll have at becoming discouraged and overwhelmed.  That's not to say that you won't have rough patches along the way.  That's par for the course.  But that's also a small part of why we do what we do. 

2.  Less is More.

In terms of goals I've found that less is more.  In previous years I've often made a long list of things but I've found that to become overwhelming and when I look back on the year, I realized that I only accomplished half of what I wanted to do, which at the end of the year, was a bit of a downer for me.  Now I pick anywhere from 3-6 things and focus on the steps needed to achieve those goals

3.  Put it Out There & Get Support

This is huge.  Whether the support comes from your family, a training group or a coach, having a support network to help keep you on track is key to successfully meeting your goals.  This also means sharing your goals with people.  It's funny how "putting it out there" makes you feel much more accountable.   Having a support network will help you get through the rough patches, keep you focused and keep your head in the game.

What are your goals for 2015?  Any other tips you'd share?

Join us next month on Tuesday February 3rd to talk about Training Plans!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Back At It

I don't understand how two weeks off can go by so darn quickly.   When you're waiting for something, time never goes by as quickly.  How is that possible? Ugh.

You guessed it.  My holidays are over and I'm back at it. 

This last week went by so quickly I barely remember everything I did.  We had friends over for New Year's and then New Year's Day my sinuses flared up and I wasn't in the best shape.  It stuck around for a couple of days.  It was so bad on Friday morning I went to the walk in clinic. I was supposed to go mountain biking with G and a couple of our friends but I had hardly slept the night before so I stayed in bed.  I felt good enough in the afternoon to go to Ripley's Aquarium with our niece and G (it was AWESOME).  

I felt better on Saturday but still not 100%.  Yesterday I felt like things were turning around but then I had another night of very little sleep last night so today I feel like I've been hit by a truck.  I think today is going to be a multiple coffee kind of day. 

Last week I started formulating a plan to build up my bike and run mileage and this week I put that plan into action.  I also took Tom Sawyer in for a re-jig.  I wanted to drop the front end a little bit so the guys at Wheels of Bloor did that for me on New Year's Eve.  That afternoon I did a test ride on the trainer.  Man I love that bike.  Seriously.  I was so happy to be back on it.  I think the lower position should be fine.  I might even be able to go a bit lower but we'll see.  I'll ride like this for the next month and see what I think.

Here's how my first week "back at it" unfolded:

Monday: 2000m swim +  35 minute ride
Tuesday:  60 minutes strength & mobility, followed by a 7.3km run
Wednesday:  30 minute ride
Thursday:  8km run
Friday:  OFF - so sick
Saturday:  2000m swim + 45 minute ride
Sunday:  1h 26 minute ride - all of which could not be downloaded to Garmin Connect because of a file error.  UGH.

Total:  6h 54 minutes.  

The one good thing about being back at work is that I will at least get back to a regular workout routine.  Once I feel like a human being again of course. 

Tomorrow our monthly Tri Talk Tuesday link up is happening and we're talking resolutions and goal setting because it's that time of year! 

Who else is back to work today?

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2015: The Year Of...?

2014 was supposed to be my #YearOfBigThings and even though I didn't hit all my goals, it was still a pretty awesome year. 

As I mentioned in my 2014 recap, I didn't really have any solid plans for 2015.  That is slowly changing.  My running is coming around.  The knee pain is subsiding and my legs are starting to feel better.  So much so that I actually registered for my first race of 2015:  The Frosty 5km.  I had told G last year that I wasn't going to run any early season long distance races in 2015.  My body needed a break from the high mileage.  My plan was to race short distance for the early part of the year and I'm sticking to that plan. 

I'm going to continue working on my bike and my swim.  I've been bumped up a lane in the pool so I'm back with my old speedy group.   Earlier this week I started laying out the ground work for a training plan to get me back on the bike on a regular basis.  Things are starting to come around.  I'm starting to feel like I've turned the corner so I'm going to lay down my athletic goals for 2015.

1.  Break 20 minutes for a 5km.  My current 5km P.R. is 20:07 and that was off the bike at Toronto Island in August this year.  I know I have a sub 20 5km in me.  I'm not sure where or when I'll aim for this but it will happen this year. 

2.  Do another 70.3.  Again, not sure where or when but it's going to happen.

3.  Reclaim my AG title in the Recharge with Milk Triathlon series for the third year in a row.  I'll be 44 next year (!!!) so I'll be at the top end of the 40-44 y/o AG.  I'm going to have to up my game big time this year as I'm sure a whole slew of younger fast ladies are aging up.  I've got my work cut out for me for sure.

Other Goals:

I've never done a vision board but I've started gathering images and I plan on spending a large part of tomorrow putting things down on paper.  Literally.

In addition to my athletic goals, I have a few other things I want to work on for 2015.

4.  Learn more.  Specifically in regards to coaching / health and wellness.  I feel like this is a path that needs more exploring.  It's a huge part of my life and it's something I'm very passionate about.

5.  Give more.  I get so wrapped up in work, training and racing that it's hard to find time to do this.  Whether this means volunteering at a race or elsewhere, it's something that I need to do more of.

6.  Work on cultivating my friendships.  I have met so many amazing people through blogging and triathlon and we see each other during race season and sometimes we train together but when it comes to just hanging out, that doesn't happen often.  Sometimes it's too easy to say I'm tired or I'm busy.  Friendships, like marriages, require some give and take and effort to make them work.  I find that when I take the time to get together with people, I'm a much happier person.   I may be tired or busy going into it but afterwards, I'm always in a better mood.

For once I can actually say I'm looking forward to the "unknown".  I don't have much planned and normally that would kind of a freak a planner like me out, but I've slowly become ok with this.  It's kind of liberating to not be too committed to anything.   I don't know why but Monty Python's "And Now For Something Completely Different" keeps running through my head.  Perhaps that's what 2015 will be all about.  Who knows.  One thing I do know is that I'm up for the adventure.

Wishing you all a healthy & happy 2015! 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas, Chaos & Colds

Happy Monday!  I'm still on holidays this week so today it's Happy Monday.  We'll see how I feel next Monday, ha.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!  Ours was the usual bit of crazy.  It didn't help that both G and I were recovering from various sicknesses.  G had pneumonia and I got a crazy sinus cold that knocked me sideways last week.  It only lasted 3 days but it really put a dent in my workout plans.  It's just as well, I needed an easy week, ha ha.  It actually kept me out of the pool for 10 days!   It was quite nice to just putter around the house though.  G and I spent Christmas Eve day lounging on the couch watching movies all day.  THAT was awesome and much needed for the both of us.

 Christmas Day was spent driving around between families and Boxing Day everyone came over to our place for the usual Kennedy / Rodrigues Boxing Day Feast.  I cooked up a storm.  We did a massive ham on the BBQ so I had room in the oven to make roasted sweet potatoes with garlic and thyme and roasted maple bacon brussell sprouts.  I made fresh buns for the first time ever (thanks to our bread machine!) and we also had green beans, a spinach salad courtesy of my brother and this awesome turnip and parsnip dish courtesy of my mother in law.  Of course I had to save room for dessert which was a delicious cheesecake courtesy of my sister in law.  Thank goodness for jeans with lycra, ha!

The weather this past week has been phenomenal given it's late December so G and I tried to take advantage of that on Saturday and went out to Durham Forest to ride.  Unfortunately the trails were icy and slushy which meant that they were super slippery.  I was not comfortable riding on that so I went out onto the road and rode along the grass and gravel wherever I could.  G stayed on the trails for a bit and then came out and met me.  It was short but it was better than nothing.  The temperature got up to 9 degrees later on in the day so of course I had to get out and enjoy it.  I had done a pretty hard run on Friday and normally I wouldn't run the next day but it was too nice out to NOT run.   I've run 4 times this past week.  That is more than I've run in ages.  And, I am happy to say that I had no knee pain on any of these runs AND, MY GLUTES WERE WORKING!!!!  Things have finally clicked.  That's the only way I can explain my ability to run the paces I'm running at the effort level I'm running at. 

This was a pleasant surprise
New kicks & bare legs in late December.  Heck YEAH.
This week ended up being nice and easy in terms of volume and intensity and it was just what I needed.

Monday:  3.29km run - breaking in the new orthotics
Tuesday:  5.8km run - yet another run.  This one in new shoes.
Wednesday:  OFF
Thursday:  OFF
Friday:  7.76km a-ma-zing run.
Saturday:  8.72km mountain bike ride, followed by a 7km easy run.
Sunday:  3000m swim followed by a 1h 20 minute computrainer ride. 

Total time:  5h 9 minutes. 

I need to get back to the gym this week as well as the pool.  Coach Kim has decided that the remainder of our swim sessions this year are going to be hard - like a "mini training camp".  Awesome.  I missed a week and a half and I came back to a hard workout and got bumped up a lane.  Amazingly I didn't die.  My arms and shoulders were totally fried by the end though. 

I finally sat down yesterday and started working on a plan for myself for 2015.  I also did this:

It was weird to be signing up for the 5km vs. the half but I promised myself that the first half of the year would be all about short stuff and I don't like to break promises.  I've started thinking about my 2015 goals so expect a post on that sometime this week.

How was your Christmas? Did you get any cool gifts?