"Men often become what they believe themselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn't have it in the beginning" - Mahatma Gandhi

Friday, July 31, 2009

The weather outside is weather

After some delays at the airport and then at the car rental company (they had me down as a no-show since I was late...), I made it to the hotel pretty easily and got settled in. The expo is fairly small and package pick-up involves a line to sign a waiver, a line to get your waiver checked, a line to get your race package, a line to get a spot on the shuttle bus, and then a line to get your chip. Then there are the lines for merchandise...

There are many things you can do to make the lead up to a race as stress-free as possible. One of them would be remembering your nutrition...I forgot. Today the mission is to go and find a place that stocks cytomax. This morning I awoke at 4:30am to a dripping noise. Before I had gone to bed I'd noticed the A/C unit dripping from the ceiling but by the middle of the night it was dripping harder and the floor was soaked which made the noise even louder. I put a dry towl underneath to stop the noise, but by 6:30 it was back. I was ready to get up anyway. The hotel has been really great. They moved me to another room, even though I was happy just to have it fixed. So, by 7:30am I had already moved rooms and was ready for breaky.

Adam and I are off to drive the course this morning/afternoon. The weather reports change every half hour to hour for sunday. Right now it's supposed to rain (?). Hard to say...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I love airports

First time flying with Westjet and my flight was cancelled! Right now I am sitting in the waiting lounge for my 11:35am Air Canada flight thanks to my awesome travel agent! A couple of hours late, but getting into Calgary at 1pm instead of 3:30 is much better.

Time to get a magazine and relax

Monday, July 27, 2009

MS Thetis lake swim

This was not a race. Yet, it was. A charity event that brought out strong swimmers and triathletes from Victoria. But nobody is competitive...

I only did the 1500m...once around was good enough for me. Got in a better warm-up than I did in Vancouver and then started to heat up in the wetsuit. I swam in my tri-suit in Penticton but I didn't want the young swimmers to hand my ass to my at this one so opted for a wetsuit...I'm not sure how much of a difference it really does make as I can keep my hips up without the suit.

Anyway, I went out fairly hard and held a decent pace through the first buoy and thru about quarter to a third of the distance to the next buoy. At that point I watched the train of NTC juniors go by me. I'm not the best at drafting so I didn't catch and stay on the feet. At that point I was ready to puke anyway. I went out too hard and was just holding on. It took the turn and the head for home to finally feel better (but still wanting to puke), and smelling the bbq way out at the small island made me eager to get into the beach. I saw a couple of others closing on my right but I had a tighter line to shore so just held them off long enough to get out the water and cross the finish before them.

My lats and triceps hurt after, like I had just done a gym workout. I didn't do the same amount and speed of swimming last week so maybe that is why.

This weekend I head to Calgary. I leave Thursday for the race on Sunday. I am more nervous about the weather than anything else. Calgary is so unpredicatable that it might be scorching or cold and wet...or snowing?

I will post an update early next week, or even from the hotel if I am really organised....I wouldn't hold my breath though!

Penticton training camp

It was such an awesome week down in Penticton! I put in some good mileage both on the bike and the run, but less on the swim than usual.

First day we get there: 1hr run followed by a 1hr swim (starting at 5pm)
Day two: up at 4:45am for a 6am start riding the IMC course. The first 90km felt so good and comfortable without much effort. The slight downhill all the way to Osoyoos helped too... At pretty much 90km Adam passed me. I was expecting it and knew it would be somewhere near the descents as I am chicken s*!t when it comes to fast descending (moreso when it is a training ride). The rollers sucked and the headwind before the turnoff to hte out-and-back was mentally draining more than physically. I missed getting sprayed with some sort of pesticide on the out-and-back, then got scorched and put into pain going up yellow lake, then back into Penticton for a 40 min brick run, which turned into a 30 min run because it was so HOT...and I was done. What did I take away from this experience? Well, I know 110% for sure that I am not going to be doing ironman any time soon.
Day 3: I think there might have been a "recovery ride" in the morning, which ended up being more of a sprinting/ego ride with a couple of people...oops. Not sure about what we did the rest of the day (don't have a schedule... :D)
Day 4: Monday...hmmm, was this the 2hr run day? I think it might have been. Maybe a ride in the morning first? Can't remember. Anyway, the run consisted of running from the head of Skaha lake in Penticton towards OK Falls as 20 mins EZ/Warm-up, 20 mins steady, 20 mins some sorta half-iron pace (not really sure what that will be yet but I'll post that one next week...). Made it to OK Falls in about 56mins, got some water and turned around. Going back I suffered way more than going out. I ended up walking for about 30 seconds total and took 1hr 2mins to get back to the house. Was this the getting-tossed-about-like-a-ragdoll swim day? It was FUN! Waves in OK lake are pretty decent.
Day 5: Tuesday consisted of hill repeats on the bike and a total ride time of 3hrs. There were some other workouts in there....ahh yes, a run off the bike which felt GREAT but my foot started feeling painful so I stopped 7 mins before my 40 min run time. There was a swim I think (?).
Day 6: Final Day. ahh yes, running hill repeats. I cheated. It took me the full 90 seconds the first time to get to the point where I placed my water bottle up the hill, but then every time after that it took 65 to 68 seconds to get to that point. There wasn't really anywhere further to go so the 90 second hill repeat got cut short. Easy 90 min or 2hr ride (can't remember) and then off to tickelberrys for some well-earned ice-cream!

A couple of us stuck around until Friday morning. Thursday we did some wine tasting and picked up some local Okanagan wine. Then for the bacon-wrapped stuffed chicken and stuffed bell peppers on the bbq. Great way to end off the week.

Legs felt pretty dead but otherwise all was good.

Vancouver Sprint

I headed over to the mainland for the sprint race put on down at jericho beach in Vancouver. I spent the night out there on saturday, had a decent sleep and felt fine going into the weekend. It was a training day so I wasn't expecting too much but still wanted to build on my training.

Sunday morning I went for a very short "warm-up" swim (which I think may have been why I was so flat on the swim) and then headed back to the beach for the start. Starter lets us go, run into the water, and push out the first 100-150 metres. At the first bouy 3 of us were turning and I was in the middle so ended up getting a thrashing, then took a nice elbow to the eye between the first and second buoy which made me stop and adjust my goggles. Came out the swim a few places back than I would have expected and hopped onto the bike. The first 7km or so was really ugly as I didn't find the power to put into the pedal stroke. I was passed by a girl on a relay team and didn't re-pass her until the top of the hill at spanish banks. The bike ended better than it started, but the lack of speed right off the bat cost me. On to the run I felt ok and slowly built into it, passing 2 people and being passed. I almost caught 3rd but the finish came too soon.

Overall, not great but with the training for Calgary 70.3 I wasn't expecting it to be spectacular. Definitely found things to work on and focus on more, but also found that my running is slowly improving which I am pleased about!

Onto the next post....

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy C-day

ANOTHER beautiful day out on the island!

Last night I capped off the day with a 14-inch pizza and cheesecake (both wheat-free!!) from The Joint down on Warf Street. I iced my legs at Willows beach, which was much colder than I had imagined. WAY colder than throwing some ice in a cold bath (to me anyway).

Today I was up at 5:45am and out the door just after 6, headed up to Matticks Farm to ride into Sidney. The Sidney Days 5km was held today so I rode up and back (not from home since it would take a while). I was feeling fairly good. I had a good run off the bike yesterday, got my legs turning over fast. So, my goal today was to obviously go faster than 3 months ago in Vancouver and push myself.

I lined up at the front (even though I never end up hold that position) and went off. I had no idea about my pacing so just went out comfortably but not putting myself into problems by going too hard. The first km went by in 3:14, which was surprising as I felt really good. After that I fell apart. At about 1.5km I asked the guy next to me what his goal time was, as I wasn't sure what my pace was. I was watching Paula Findlay right in front of me and figured if I kept her in sight I would be fine. There was no 2km marker so I had no idea how much I was dropping off until 3km, which I went through in 10mins. The last 2km wasn't great but I tried to make sure I kept it going. A guy right in front of me pulled off to the side to puke so I was left with a gap until the next person. I think mentally not having somebody right in front of me to pace off broke me down too.

The end result was a 17:30. Over a minute faster than in Vancouver. It is a good indicator of where things are going and I'm happy with it. This is a training day so I will take it just as is.

A quick coffee with coach Noa and a ride back to Matticks Farm. Almost T-boned a kid on a bike coming off Lochside that didn't look BOTH ways. All good though.

Happy Canada Day everybody! If nothing else, it is great outside!