Friday, August 18, 2017

Some Canadian Beauty

In light of recent world events and with not so good news happening in my life, I thought I share some of the beauty that I got to experience out west during my trip!  Enjoy!

On top of Whistler Mountain

Bridal Veil Falls

hiking Matthew's Traverse

canoeing on Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake beauty - I think this is my favourite lake!

And I took a dip in this glacier lake - 4C! It was cold!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Just a little bit frustrated!

2017 hasn't been panning out as I had hoped for so far.  I got a coach and my training has been progressing really well to the point I felt like I had some PBs in my pocket.  I felt like I had an awesome comeback brewing until injury struck me, AGAIN!

I went into Syracuse 70.3 feeling like I was in shape but I was already hurting.  I had stopped running 2 weeks before the race for a hip pain that felt awfully familiar and suspicious.  I couldn't see my chiro or sports doc before the race so I proceeded with caution.  I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to get through the run but my mental strength prevailed and I finished!  Not a pretty time at all but I crossed the line.  The week after that I got my diagnosis of a torn left TFL.

IMC swim finish- 1:08

IMC bike- 7:01

Fast forward to Ironman Canada in Whistler and my coach and I made the tough decision to go into that race to DNF = Did not finish.  The tear was too fresh to have healed, and if I would have tried to finish it I may have been looking at a complete tear.  Not a good thing when I have Kona later this year.  Kona is the grand show and my main goal!  So we decided to pull out after the bike and enjoy Whistler instead.  I actually had an awesome trip out west visiting my good friend and exploring BC and Alberta!  So beautiful there!

However, the week before Whistler I managed to have the good fortune of getting the "door prize".  I was doored while on my commuter on my way home from swim practice.  The same day I was to leave and catch my flight to Edmonton.  I made my flight but not without being bloody with new bumps and bruises.  I hit the pavement hard and injured my whole left side, including landing on my already injured hip and splitting open my elbow and knee.  I was a whole beautiful array of purple, blue and green coloured brusies, lol!  Not quite what I needed but there must have been forces out there that made sure I wasn't going to run in Whistler.

I had a great swim at IMC, felt like my old self out there!  They have changed many of the ironman swim starts to rolling time trial format or by age group which allows for way more room.  I had my own water the whole time and just swam my stroke.  The bike was a tough one.  We treated this as a dress rehearsal for Kona, so I biked as though I was going to run after as opposed to just doing the bike.   I was actually feeling very strong and was doing well until the last 30k or so - uphill into the wind.  I felt like I was not moving at times.  I also lost a lot of time on the downhills because I am a bit of a chicken out there and ride the breaks.  I still did improve my bike time by 9min from 2014 so I was pleased with that, and we didn't have the wind back then like we did this year.  It was tough pulling out after the bike though.  Being surrounded by everything IM got me going and I wanted to run, but I planned for this and did not pack my running shoes.  I actually packed my flip flops in my run transition bag.

After a wonderful time out west, I am back to the grind and back to training.  I am also trying everything possible to heal as much as I can so I can be ready for Kona.  I am panicking a little as I have less than 10 weeks left and I somehow need to heal and be prepared to run a marathon by then.  I don't know what will happen but I know I will cross that finish line in October one way or another.

I am trying to remain optimistic and keeping my fingers crossed that I will heal in time and be able to run a strong IM marathon.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017


In hopes of expediting the healing process, I went for a PRP injection last week.  PRP = platelet rich plasma injection.  Basically, about 30cc of my blood is withdrawn, the sample is then spun down for the platelets, and then the platelets are injected into the site of insult.  It was actually my swim coach who brought it up.  I did not think about it since I did not go the PRP route for my right TFL tear.  However, this time it's a bit different as time is of the essence right now.  I asked my chiro if it was even an option and he went to the doc to see what could be done!  Well, according to my chiro, the doc must like me because he was going to squeeze me in the very next day!  I actually asked for it to be pushed by one day so I could still teach my spin class and the run clinic that I lead.

So early Friday morning I went to the sports medicine clinic to hand over $600 and get the PRP injection.  The doc was quite impressed with the tear - another good one!  Still smaller than the right one though, lol!  Memories of my last PRP injection into my hamstring came back quick with the pain!  The actual process is not THAT bad.  I mean, you still get a huge a$$ needle being stuck into your hip to get into the muscle and then your blood is injected into a small area.  But once I stood up, that pain!  It was difficult to put full weight on my leg, yet I think this one was less painful than my hamstring injection.

I had to back off training completely over the weekend to not stress the area too much and get the PRP to do it's job.  I really do not know if this will work but I was and am willing to try anything to get me back to training.  At this point, I think I may have to let go of IM Canada.  I will at least swim/bike the ironman but the long term goal is Kona and I have to keep that into perspective.  I am not going to lie, this is going to be real difficult for me.  I have never DNF'd a race and I know I will have trouble pulling the plug.  I have to get my mind around this one though.  I need to be healthy for Kona.

Here's hoping for the best!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017


Well the injury bug got me again! :(  My tensor fascia latae...or aka: TFL!

tensor fascia latae muscle - TFL

I did not know about this muscle until I had my big tear during the NYC marathon in the fall of 2015! 

Here is a little info on the little muscle that is oh so important and can cause so much pain when unhappy.  The function of the TFL is to stabilize the hip and the pelvis. It also aids in flexing the hip by raising the leg out in front, abducts the hip, and medially rotates the hip.  It attaches at the top to the pelvis at the anterior iliac crest and inserts into the IT band. The IT band basically acts as a really long, thick tendon for the TFL.

In 2015, my hip was niggling and I thought it was something that was just going to bug me during the marathon.  Nope!  4km in and I tore it, and it tore big! 2.3cm partial tear off the pelvis.  That muscle took me a very long time to heal but I can finally say I am completely pain free!  That is in my right hip!  I guess my left one was feeling left out.  I felt some niggling for the past month or so but it would go away as my runs progressed.  That is until 2 weeks before I raced Ironman 70.3 Syracuse.  My left hip was really starting to bother me but I still managed to complete my training runs.  Well, it started to hurt when I walk too and I feared my TFL because the pain was so familiar.  I was really hoping it was bursitis or something.  Then I went out for a planned 2hr run the week before the race and cut it at 42min because the pain was getting worse and I was just getting slower.  So I stopped running until Syracuse and went into Syracuse not knowing if I could finish it.  The long term goal this year is Kona so I have to keep that into perspective.   I managed to finish Syracuse with not too much pain so the week after the race I started running again.  Well that lasted all but 2- 30min runs.  I had my sports doc appointment anyways so I thought I give it one last test.  Walking hurt again so I knew it wasn't going to be good.

My worst fear was confirmed: I tore my TFL in my left hip - right of the iliac crest!  I guess it's a bad sign when your sports doc knows you well and knows how I react to pain and when the ultrasound tech knows you as well! Ha!  I asked why this happened again since I was so diligent in keeping strength training as part of my training routine focusing on my glutes and hamstrings.  I did not over-train and have a coach to make sure I kept everything on track and not go crazy in training.  So I was quite disappointed!  Back to no running!  Argh!  I actually did some retail therapy after I got the news, haha!  Good news, the tear is about 1cm!  So not as big!  I have no idea if I can complete Whistler and deep down inside me thinks not!  But I am still going as I paid for everything and I am allowed to swim and ride like heck! Lol!

Back to the bench I go! (For running at least!)

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.