Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Are you nervous?

In the last few weeks leading up to today I've been asked this question a lot.  The answer: "No, not really"
The next question is then "Are you excited?" My answer: "No, not yet.  It doesn't seem real yet.  I will be once I drive into Penticton"  I think the most fun question is "Are you ready?"  I always laugh when I answer that one "Well, it doesnt really matter if im ready or not, cause its 1 week away.  Whether Im ready or not, Im in it!"

So, am I ready?  While swimming at fastlanes, the coaches told me I look like a real swimmer my technique  and speed are there.  While riding around on my bike, I've been told I look like a real cyclist nice bike, tight lycra, and I guess I actually look like a cyclist  While running, I've been told I look like a real runner strong, speedy and good technique.  Someone even told me they try and look like me while running :) I wasn't sure my muscles were...bigger and stronger then previous years.  Maybe it's just my technique that's improved.  But no, my physiotherapist assured me that the muscles on my legs were bigger and stronger then last year.  Well, I look like a real swimmer, cyclist and runner.  My technique is on and I've got bigger and stronger muscles.  My body is ready.  Is my mind?  

That's what this week will all be about.  Getting my mind ready.  Visualize.  Reassure.  Most importantly, recall all the words of support that are coming in my way from friends and family.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

less then 30 days to go...

...and in the last 3-4 weeks I've gone through a lot of different emotions.  When I realized I only had 7 more weeks left I suddenly felt like I wasnt ready.  Not nearly as ready as I had been the first or second time.  I rarely got through a week of completing all 11 workouts!  I shouldnt have slept through so many bike rides, or slept in on those long runs.  Why didnt I just ride on my trainer at night?

And then, it happened.  The injury. Tenosynovitis in my leg.  Not too serious, but serious enough that it left me unable to run for two weeks.  Now instead of worrying about whether or not I would finish under 12 hours because I chose sleep over training, I was worrying about the prospect of having to speed walk/limp the marathon...or worse, pull out of the race completely! 

I was suppose to be leaving for Penticton in a few days for a training weekend.  Was there any point of me going up to Penticton to ride the bike course and run and swim too of course?  Well actually, the morning before I was suppose to leave for Penticton, I woke up unable to lift my arm any higher then shoulder height.  I must have slept on it funny so really, was I going up to Penticton just to ride 180km?  I've already ridden the course at least 5 times, do I really need to go? Might as well.  Hotel is already paid for.  Armed with compression socks, ibprofen and the idea of getting a teeny tiny "vacation" I departed for my summer home, away from home; The Rochester. 

Overall, the weekend was a success!  My shoulder re-gained its mobility with lots of stretching and ibprofen, my leg held out for the run, and the ride...I made my peace with those 180 kms.  Most importantly though, the weekend left me feeling ready for the race.  Finishing sub 12 is still within reach!  I'm going to have to work really hard and use my head.

Other thoughts...during long solo rides where I loop UBC and Iona repeatedly thinking about how Im unable to go watch a movie, go to the beach or just hang out with friends...while they're doing so at that moment I tell myself that this will be the last Ironman I ever do.  Now, with less then a month to go, yes I'm excited for it to all be over, but I'm also sad that itll all be over.  I dont want to see it end again.  I've even thought about registering for next year.  A tiny, tiny part of me really wants to.  Seriously. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

a very late post-oliver race report

i think i see moths flying around....its been awhile.. too long....

So, Oliver.  Half ironman.  2k swim, 93km bike and 21km run.
39:57 swim, 2:59 bike, 1:55 run.  Finish time 5:44 (and that time includes a 2 min penalty that I got...)

10 out of 37 women in my age group, 44 out of 327 women and 232 out of 783 athletes.

Im going (to try) to keep this short and sweet.
Strictly looking at time, I had a great race! I finished 10 mins faster then last year and I landed in the top ten for my age group (females).
Mentally, it was the worst race i'd ever done.  I was pretty nervous getting into the water to do my first open-water swim of the year and during the mini-tri the day before I totally panicked while splashing around in the lake.  It took some time, but I finally calmed down and managed to get about 15 mins of swimming done.  The ride and run to follow was cake.  Nevertheless, the swim experience didnt leave me feeling too positive the morning of the race.  Determined not to let it get to me, I set out in the lake for a 15 min warm up pre race.  However, after getting into a rhythm, another swimmer and I swam right into each other  you would think in a huge lake the chances of swimming head on into someone would be slim It wouldnt have been so bad if it hadnt been for this guy's hand punching me in the face though!!!  There i was, treading water in the lake, crying slightly as the other swimmer asked if i was ok.
Back on shore.....I was doing everything I could to keep myself calm.  It didnt work too well.  3...2...1..go....i get into the water and im hyperventilating and swallowing water while arms and legs and bodies are pushing me around and water splashing everywhere....I decide ill head to my far left where its not as congested to try and get away from the mean crowd of swimmers.  Well, after that it was too much zig zag swimming and not enough straight swimming.  I should have had a better swim time. I know im faster.  
lesson learned.  dont freak out.  im a fast swimmer.  dont let ppl push me around.  im going to be a whole new menacing swimmer for IMC this year.

the bike.  it wasnt fantastic, but it wasnt bad either.  no wait, let me take that back.  It was fantastic because I finished 10 mins faster and under 3 hours, but it was bad because I got a penalty.  After riding 93km (actually 91? 92?? according to garmin gps systems) I go to dismount and because I unclipped just after rolling over the dismount line I got a penalty! what a bad ass triathlete i am.  oooh im a rebel! im gonna win the race by dismounting just after the dismount line  rules are rules! so I walked the walk of shame over to the tent and stretched and re-fueled for 2 mins all while trying not to make eye contact with other tri-athletes because the penalty tent is RIGHT in front of the entrance to the bike transition.
In retrospect, the 2 mins of rest was a welcomed rest for the legs and mind before changing into and getting ready for the 21.1km run (which again was longer then 21.1km according to garmin gps systems)

The run.  Again, not fantastic but not bad either.  I normally get my running legs back after 3-5km, but this time it took a good 10km and even then something was off I had the engery to push, but I couldnt push.  I know now, that its because my new bike shoes were too tight you know when you wear tight shoes for too long or heels for too long and after you take them off the first few steps are tender, well thats what it was like running for 21.1km...but i was a buttercup and i tried to suck it up 

And, that's that! 
There, now I dont have to feel guilty about not blogging about the race.  And now I can freely blog about other random training stuff....


Monday, April 18, 2011

Cheering from the Lee team

Delta Sprint Triathlon (700m pool swim, 20km bike, 5k run):  April 16th, 2011.
Finishing time 1:12:33 - Swim 12:38, Bike 38:05, Run 21:50
2nd out of 22 female age group, 6th out of 165 women and 31st out of 318 athletes.

A great way to start the tri season.  I love racing triathlons!  I felt smooth in the swim, consistent on the bike and strong on the run.  

The best part of the race though, other then placing 2nd in my age group, was that for the first time in my 5 years of racing, my mom and dad came to watch and cheer me on.  Now they know exactly what it is that I do.

Monday, April 11, 2011

running attire for the rain

Last Sunday was a pretty miserable day to run.  Rain.  Rain.  Rain.  That's okay though because whether it's rain, snow or sun, I'm prepared to run.  I put on my warmer thicker tights, wool long sleeve, thicker t-shirt and waterproof jacket.  On my head I stuck a tuque on to keep my ears warm and a hat on top of that to keep the rain out of my eyes.  I even put socks on my hands because I couldn't find my gloves.  As I'm leaving the house, my mom calls out "it's raining outside! Don't let your hair get wet.  You're going to get sick" and then throws a bright yellow poncho at me.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

"weirdos" at the pool

Okay, maybe they aren't weirdos, but certain people display behavior that I find unusual and others downright irritating.  I'll let you be the judge  I already mentioned the male swimmer wearing camouflage speedos.  Fine, maybe he really, really likes camo, or he's in the army, or it was on sale?? But what about the man wearing white speedos?  Yes, white does become transparent in most wet bathing suits.  It's a good thing that most bathing suits and speedos will double layer the front side to protect from this.  Unfortunately, the back side lacks this protection.  Then there are the swimmers who like to drown themselves in cologne so that they don't drown in the pool? It must be that cheap cologne that helps them float If I can smell you in the water, as in, as I'm swimming towards the end of the pool where you happen to be catching your breath after that fabulous all out sprint, then you've put on too much.  Speaking of fabulous all out sprints, if you know you cant hold your pace for the full 50 meters of the pool, then let me go first instead of cutting me off and splashing and kicking water everywhere.  I'm just going to pass you half way down the lane!  If you get to the end of the lane, please look before pushing off to do your next lap.  If I'm right there behind you, its because it was too dangerous (on coming swimmers) for me to pass you, so I slowly swam behind you until you got to the end of the lane.  If you and your swimming posse are doing some drills that require all 4 of you to wear fins on your feet and paddles on your hands and you MUST draft off each other's current while fabulously sprinting 100 meters only to spread out and catch your breath at the end of the lane.....DONT! this is a PUBLIC pool, not your own private pool! you cant take up a whole lane to yourselves by not letting anyone else swim before, you or between your swimming posse.  Heaven forbid I should try and swim before you because you'll drown me under the waves of water kicked up while you pass me using your fins and paddles....all FOUR of you.
My ultimate, NUMBER ONE PEEVE are the men who stand in the hot tub facing the jets.  Does that "massage" feel good? Happy ending??  You are in a PUBLIC space, STOP IT!!

Well, I guess this post turned into a swimming rant more then anything.  But the original inspiration for my post stemmed from two swimmers this evening who seemed to be observing how I swam.  This is normal.  Sometimes I do it before getting into the water or after I'm done.  So why did I think this particular instance was unusual?  And I'm not being egotistical, it was the two-beat kick they were interested in Well, instead of standing on deck or watching from the end of the lane, these two guys decided they would swim two thirds of the way down the lane and while standing on the opposite side of the swimming traffic/flow, watch as I swam past them.  After a few bouts of this, they used a new method of observation.  The under water kind. 
If I knew who these people were, or even if they had asked permission to observe so closely, then I wouldn't have been so weirded out!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Harry's 8K, I dont think I like running

First race of the year! Harry's 8k.

The race, which took place in Stanley Park, was a great race!  Beautiful scenery, very well organized, nice and flat.

I didnt do TOO bad.  Finished in 38 mins and 15 seconds.  I was 168th out of 959 runners, 36th out of 489 women and 10th out of 94 women in my age group.  Top ten!! 

I didnt walk away with any medals, but I did walk away with the realization that I dont like running races.  At least not short races like 8k.  The first 10 mins of the race was like playing Frogger, dodging in and out, weaving around slower people.   After things cleared up, it took another 15 mins for me to fully warm up.  You know that feeling where everything is burning:  legs, feet, lungs, stomach, throat... It wasnt until I saw the 6k marker that I tuned into "race mode."

I think I'll just stick to triathlons for now.