Sunday, June 11, 2017

Ottawa Half Marathon

I participated in my first real race of the year, (I'm not counting the NYE run), on May 27th - the Ottawa Half Marathon.  This race was actually a friend's of mine idea.  She lives in Newfoundland so it was a chance for us to reunite.  She is a real runner!  A pro at the ultra distance stuff!  She did what they called the Lumberjack challenge: 2k, 5k, 10k on the Saturday and the full marathon on the Sunday.  I was going to do the Voyageur challenge: 5k, 10k on the Saturday and the half on the Sunday.  However, with being in an air cast in January and having to slowly rebuild my run to prevent re-injury, my coach and I decided to just stick to the half marathon.  I only got to 15km two weeks before the half and did a 16km run the week before.  I only started getting my pace back below 6min/km so I knew my goal of sub 2hr was going to be tough.  I knew I was no where near ready to PB this run but I was deeply hoping for a sub 2hr.  This would be my longest run in a loooong time.  Since this was more of a training race, I brought my bike with me and on Saturday rode in Gatineau park and along the Rideau canal with another old friend of mine who now lives in Ottawa.

Race day was actually quite warm.  Not uncharacteristically warm but all of a sudden warm so our bodies were not acclimatized to the heat and it made the run a bit more of a challenge.  I tried to settle out in a steady pace but of course adrenaline got the best of me and I started out quite quickly.  I was hoping my legs and feet would feel light and fast like my 15km run a couple of weeks ago but it wasn't meant to be.  I felt like I had to work hard to maintain pace.  I was steadily holding about a 5:41min/km pace and I thought I was right on target for a 2hr half and I was actually quite excited about that.  With 4km to go I decided to go for it!  I was going to try for the sub 2hr and deep inside me knew it was a bit of a mistake as I knew I was going to destroy my legs going for it.  With 2km to go, the wheels fell off - haha!  I struggled to keep a 6min/km pace.  But I thought I did enough for a sub 2hr.  Turned out I was way off mark.  Not sure if my garmin went wonky at some point or the distance markers were inaccurate.  My watch clocked in at 2:01 for a 5:42min/km pace but for 21.33km, even though I started my garmin late.  My official time was 2:02 with a 5:48min/km pace.  So not sure what exactly happened but either way I was actually quite pleased.  I only started getting my pace back under 6min and here I managed it for 21km.  The next day, or days, I paid for it though.  My legs felt like I did a marathon, haha!  But I was happy!  Woo!

Up next: Syracuse 70.3!!!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Where Am I At?

I've been busy putting in the hours both at work and training.  I am logging anywhere from 14-17 hours a week of training and consistently working 48-60 hrs a week.  Life is trying to get in the way again on a personal level but I am keeping focused and working hard.  I do thank coach for that as I am accountable to him and I have to keep plugging away despite what is going on, and hey, it's a good distraction really.

My last 20min test was a success!  I had another improvement and I am super happy with that!  I clocked in at 217W!  Woo!  My 3min test was not all that well executed as I went out pretty hard and died off.  I believe that was just a 1-2W improvement (cannot remember exactly!).  I believe I clocked in at 278 or 279W.  That is ok though because it still was an improvement which means I keep getting stronger! Yay!

My runs are slowly getting longer and I am almost feeling like my old self when out there!  I did a 15km run a few weeks ago and I felt just awesome out there and I was smiling!  My pace is improving and I just hope I keep getting stronger.  Also been continuing with the outdoor rides now and I am at just over 100km.  So awesome to be outdoors!  So I am slowly and steadily increasing the distance and intensity.  Things are looking pretty good so far! :)

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Plugging Away

I have been a bad blogger!  I will use the excuse that I have been so busy training and working that I haven't had a chance to sit down and update here for a while!  I have been diligent in making all my workouts and although I had some rough patches, overall, I am happy with how things are going.  

April was a particularly hard month to get through.  My work schedule was, for lack of a better word, insane.  I was working 5-6 12hr shifts a week for the whole month.  Add in 12-14 hours a week of training to the mix of things and I learned that there is only so much I can take.  I got sick at the beginning of the month, then I went through a couple of workouts where I missed the mark.  However, I am continuing to build on my run and I am steadily improving on my cycling.  Furthermore, I got my Kona accommodations all sorted out! Woo! So things are looking good!

20min test and goal! 

I did another test set at the beginning of the month - actually the week I got sick.  Even though I was sick, I still saw some improvements.  My 3min test saw a huge 10W improvement!  Sweet!  I went from 267W to 277W.  I may have paid the price for that one though as I had a terrible cough and chest pain from my cold that it may have taken more out of me than expected.  I did the 20min test at the end of the week and saw more improvement but not as dramatic as the 3min one.  I was aiming for 215W but at the end I managed to hold 211W.  An improvement from 208W from my previous test.  And I was dry heaving at the end of that test - a first for me!

Here is the data from my 20min test.

I am now doing my long rides outdoors as long as the weather cooperates.  I have done three of them so far ranging from 2-3hrs.  I am running just over an hour now as I am steadily building up to the Ottawa half marathon.  I need to be careful that I don't overdo it running as I do not want to go back into the aircast.  So things are steadily progressing and I am getting myself into decent shape! (Thanks to coach!)

My race schedule is pretty much finalized.  After the Ottawa half marathon, I will race the Syracuse 70.3, then IM Canada (Whistler), Rev3 Niagara Barrelman half, and then KONA!  This will be a heavy year - two IMs and two half IMs!  I am hoping my body just stays healthy and in one piece throughout the year.

So you see, I have been keeping myself busy and training hard!  Just keeping one foot going in front of the other.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Happy birthday to me!

Besides getting my Kona confirmation yesterday on my birthday, I also got to perform another 20min all out test.  This will benchmark where I am now after a solid month of hard interval training on the bike!  And I pleased to report, I passed!  I put out my best average ever and I am pretty pumped about that!  Here is my garmin summary for the 20min test - 208W!!!! Woo! That is a 6W improvement from my last one!

Today I did the 3min all out test!  I have to say today's test hurt a lot more.  After yesterday's 20min effort and then a hard swim set this morning, my legs were not happy with what I was asking them to do.  However, I did improve over my last one.  I actually held 268W until the last second when it dropped to 267W, lol!  Something to improve on next time.  Here is my garmin screen from the 3min test:

To top off these efforts, I did get a lovely ice cream birthday cake from my parents!!!  Here is the awesome cake they got me, complete with a musical candle!  :)  I am a pretty lucky and blessed gal to be able to do what I love and to enjoy all the little things in life with the people I love!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017


This was in my inbox this morning!!!

So it's official!!! I'm heading to the big island for the grand show!!! So exciting!!!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Power tests and more!

Training is coming along fairly smoothly over the last couple of weeks.  I am super happy with my new coach and I am seeing some gains.  I am also happy to report that I am out of the aircast for now!  My x-ray was negative so the doc gave me permission to stress the foot and try running again.  I do have an MRI coming up to make sure we did not miss anything.  I have tried running but only short runs for now and I only ran three times so far.  I cannot say I am completely pain free but it really isn't too bad.  If my foot does get bad again, I am to go back into the aircast until I get the MRI.  I am being very optimistic at the moment!

On my fourth week of my training program I did the ever dreaded but very important 20 min all out test to determine my power ranges.  I dread these tests because it hurts soooo much!  Breathing hurts, the lactic acid buildup is substantial, my muscles shaking - you know you are giving it your all.  I actually did two tests, a 3min all out, and a 20min all out.  I am pleased with my 20min all out as I may have met or close to met my previous all time best.  I am not 100% certain but I am pretty sure I matched my best!  Woo!!!!!!!  Super pleased with my effort and how my training is coming along.  My average power for the 3min test was 263W and for the 20min test it was 202W!  My coach created some charts based on my results with my different power zones which I was pretty impressed with - meaning him creating the charts! 

After my tests, I had a little getaway to visit my roots!  I had a fantastic and eye-opening time meanwhile, I got a bit sun-kissed too!  Once I got back, I started my next block of training and it has been a bit tough!  But this is what I signed up for and I think I am getting into pretty decent shape!  I am even swimming 5km at the 2hr masters swim practices.  I only broke 5km once ever at masters swim - years ago!  So far I already swam 5km twice this week.  2017 is looking like its shaping into quite the year!!!  I am very excited to see what happens! :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Week 2 Down!

I am back into the swing of training again!  I am actually very excited to have a training program again that I have to follow and a coach to be accountable to!  It's been tough to get back into the swing of things and I have to be much more organized to be able to fit everything in but I am loving every minute.  Week one and two were a success.  I completed all planned workouts and met all current targets! Woo!  Last week I even logged almost 12 hours of training! I'm ba-ack!!! :)  

Now though, I am faced with a minor set back!  If you refer back to my previous post you will see that I mentioned turning my ankle at the fun NYE 5km run I did.  I hoped it was just a sprain, but alas, injury hits me again.  The top of my foot ended up getting bruised and caused some concern for me.  If I sprained my ankle, I would have expected my ankle itself and the area around it to be bruised like my other one did back in September.  But this bruise was on the top of my foot on the baby toe side.  I did initially get it checked out and got an x-ray and it was clear.  I was told to not run and give it a couple of weeks.  Yesterday I had a follow up and the news was not so good!  I ended up getting put in an air cast!  Noooo!!!!  The doc assessed my foot and there is still pain over top of the 5th metatarsal bone.  He said there are no ligaments or tendons in that area so it is a bone injury.   I have very loose ligaments so I either turned my ankle so far that I landed on the top of my foot to cause this pain or the ligament was so strong that it pulled on my bone or I plain and simple just broke it.  He said there was no point in getting another x-ray at the moment since nothing may still show up.  It may or may not be fractured.  Either way, he said the treatment will be the same.  If it isn't broken, it is a bone bruise and a stress reaction of the 5th metatarsal.  And I am not to weight bear because I can risk making it worse.  So I am in a walking boot for two weeks and then I will reassess at that point.  He actually also wanted to put me on crutches but I must have given him some look that he decided not to.  My plan right now is to replace my run workouts with water running.  I am very determined not to fall too far behind in running.  I can keep cycling and swim training as long as there is no pain.  Getting around will be a challenge with it being winter though.  I just ordered a waterproof cover so I can be more mobile without getting my poor foot wet or freezing it to death.

My new footwear!  Didn't plan on starting 2017 in this!