Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Team Awesome!!!

I am officially a member of Team Awesome 2010!!! 

And I got our new team kit!  So exciting!  It was actually quite funny how we came to be!  On our way home from the Hawaii 70.3, my friend Larbi and I were joking around at the Houston airport waiting for our next flight.  We decided that we should create a team called "Team Awesome" because we are so awesome! LOL!!!  It was half joking and half serious but after some emails, a logo, and uniform orders, Team Awesome is now in full force!  We consist of mainly triathletes from TO racing all sorts of races from sprints, to worlds, to ironmans! 

Go Team Awesome Go!!!

Our new Team Awesome race kit!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

My reunion with Lake Placid

Probably my favourite sign of the day...after the swim exit!

I had another good week of training!  This time I logged about 23hrs of swimming, biking, and running!  I am also quite happy with how my running is coming along.  Had a tough but good run interval session at Queens Park again on Tuesday, did a brick on Wednesday which was a 90km bike followed by a 10km run, and a tempo 17km run on Thursday!  On Friday I headed down to Lake Placid to train and cheer! 

I love going to Lake Placid.  It is the site of my first Ironman!  It is an absolutely gorgeous place to train and quite tough!  It keeps you very honest!  Lots and lots of climbing is involved!  So on Saturday, I ventured out with some friends to do the 180km IM bike course.  Only Roger and I had planned on completing the two loops while the other two were only going to do one loop.  We went out and I was quickly reminded at how challenging this course can be.  I was faced with sun, wind, rain, heat, and humidity but I did the whole thing, mostly on my own as Roger is a bit too fast for me to draft off! lol!  And I finished feeling great with a smile on my face!  Again, I wasn't trashed or spent and that made me feel good!  I think I am getting better at this endurance stuff!  During the ride I had 2 packages of Powerbar blasts, 1 pack of Clif shot bloks, 2 Powerbars, 1 coke, 1 carbopro/eload, 1 eload, 2 powerades, 5 bottles of water, and an unknown number of salt pills!  That night we refueled at Milano restaurant on Main St where I enjoyed a woodoven thin crust pizza- yummmm!!!!!!

Sunday was race day and it was so much fun spectating.  I did do some more training as well!  I jumped in the water after the swim course closed and swam 2km.  Then I headed out for my long run.  I had planned to run 30km but I didn't quite get there.  Maneuvering around Lake Placid was a little tricky with the crowds and the race going on.  I started off by running some of the run course and then headed to run the last part of the bike course which involved some of the harder climbs.  So I ran up Little and Big Cherry as well as Mama, baby, and Papa bear!  So needless to say...this was a sloooow run for me!  At the end of this past week, my legs were tired.  But I did get to see lots of the racers and cheer them on while I was running.  I wish I had a cowbell while running, it would have been more effective.  During my run, I did have to stop several times to cross sections of the course and had to do quite a bit of walking to get around people.  I was out there for just under 3hrs (total time) and ran 26km and I took one gel and a flask of water.  Ah well!  Not the best but it is my longest run this year.  After my run, I showered, refueled, and then headed out to the course and cheer on the racers!  At one point, I was enjoying an ice cream cone while sitting on a bench and cheering the runners on.  Maybe a little cruel to the runners but I enjoyed my ice cream! :-P

Up next: Steelhead 70.3!!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Slowly logging in the miles.

I had a pretty good week in terms of training!  Feeling a lot better about IMC now!  Pheww!  After my long ride on Wednesday, I did a tempo run on Thursday.  I ran a total of 13km but on slightly tired legs.  Then I forced my way into the pool on Friday morning after shift to put in my 2x1km timed efforts.  I really felt tired in the pool that morning.  Arms were heavy and I wasn't moving that quickly.  I still did both 1km efforts but my times were not stellar.  I was hoping for both of them to be under 17min, but the first one was done in 17:35 and the second was in 18:03.  I had the rest of Friday off which was nice so I got to sleep a little more.  Then Saturday morning a few of us headed up to Lake Wilcox for some open water swimming.  I almost was going to bail because I was tired but I still went.  It ended up being a really good swim.  Lake Wilcox is great for open water swimming because it is a smaller lake and it is used by other triathletes, rowers, and kayakers for training.  There is a line of bouys that goes across the lake that measures 1km so it's great practice for sighting.  The first km, on the way out, I felt a bit tired and my right shoulder was actually quite sore.  I am not a big fan of wearing wetsuits so I need all the practice I can get.  One of the reasons I do not like wetsuits is that I feel constricted and my shoulders and arms get sore and tired.  To me, it feels like extra work to swim in a wetsuit.  But if you talk to others, they would totally disagree with me! ;)  I did the first km in about 16:45.  The second km, we had a bit of a tailwind and I drafted off super swimming star Larry.  Well, I tried to hang onto his feet for as long as I could.  He actually did some backstroke from time to time so I can catch up to him and draft again!  We did the return trip in 15:01 but that was with a short stop when we were trying to figure out if we reached the last buoy and me totally crashing into another buoy!  Haha!  So we probably swam it in just under 15min...woohoo!!!!  Never thought I could swim 1km in 15min!  A couple of us then went out for some breakfast before I headed back home to sleep.  I woke up to do my second workout which was a trainer ride for 1hr30min where I did 3x30min @ 140W on the computrainer.  Sunday came along and it was my long run day.  I left a little late so I couldn't run for the full 2hrs as originally planned.  I felt pretty good at the beginning so I pushed the pace a bit.  Unfortunately I couldn't keep the same pace and I did slow down.  I ran a total of 19.3km in 1:55.  Not too shabby.  Goal was to maintain a 6min pace.  But boy was it another humid day!  Not as hot but still humid, I couldn't believe how much I was sweating!  I logged a total of 16hrs of training this week and that was with me working every night except for Tuesday night!  I am quite pleased with this!  Hard work though.  Currently on night 5 of 6 at work!  Woohoo!  Almost done!  Looking forward to another good and tough week of training! :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

My solo long ride...

Training has been going a lot better lately!  And I am quite happy about that!  Since I got a new coach and someone else for reference/advice, it feels like I got a renewed sense of motivation to put in some long rides, and in particular, RUNS!  After my big training week with Terri and the Peterborough Swim/Bike I did not put that many hours into training.  It was a little bit of a recovery week and I am now right back at it!  I also have been working lots!  I am currently in my last long stretch of 2 on, 1 off, 6 on, 1 off, and 6 on which started the night of the Peterborough race.  Yikes!  But so far, so good!

The week started with swim practice with the UofT masters swim club after my 5th night, so I was a bit tired.  The next day I did an interval run workout, where I did mile repeats, followed by swim practice again.  Not too bad!  The mile repeats went relatively well.  Then yesterday I ventured out on my long ride - solo!  My goal was to reach Lake Simcoe but I wasn't sure how far it exaclty was.  I rode to Lake Simcoe before but starting in Markham.  This was the first time I rode from home, in midtown Toronto.  The first 26km or so took forever.  I left just before lunch time and I must have been caught with the lunch hour rush.  There was lots of traffic and it felt like I was being stopped at every stoplight.  At least the first and last hour of my ride was for warm up/cool down.  It took almost an hour and 15 minutes before I was able to enjoy some nice cycling roads.  However, in exchange, rural roads meant no stores or gas stations.  So about 2 hours into my ride I ran out of water, all 3 bottles that my bike could hold.  It was a hot and humid day with no store in sight!  I was not sure how much further my destination was as I didn't pay attention to my bike computer when I reached the normal starting spot, about 53km to the lake.  I was also a little worried about the time as I had to get back home and get to work and start my final stretch of 6 nights.  I ended up hitting a point of no return.  If I turned around, it meant another hour of no water and I was sure that I was closer to the lake where I know there is a store.  So I continued and tried to pick up the pace a bit while scavenging the area for any convenience store or gas station.  I made it to Willow Beach at Lake Simcoe in a little over 3hrs, about 80km into my ride.  I refilled my bottles with free municipal water courtesy of the township of Georgina and visited Angleo at the corner convenient store and drank an ice cold can of coke.  I met Angelo, the owner of the store, last year when training for IMC.  So it was nice to see him and chat with him for a short bit before I made my return trip. 

I knew I was pressed for time so I tried to keep a good steady pace on the way home.  Good thing it's slightly more downhill then up on the return trip.  However, I think I was so preoccupied with the time I didn't really feel some of the hills I usually feel when I ride this route.  I also once again ran out of water.  Before I knew it I was back in Markham and stopped at a gas station for another refill.  Some guy took an interest to my bike and we chatted for a bit while I was refueling but he also held me up for a bit.  I REALLY had to get going!  I had about an hour to get home to give myself enough time to get to work.  Finally, I was soon on my way and was just so focused on the time.  Unfortunately, I did hit rush hour traffic so I had to do the stop-go thing again and deal with stoplights.  I made it home and was in very good spirits!  Usually after a long ride I am tired, just want to get off the bike, and can sometimes feel a bit miserable.  However, I think I distracted myself enough with the time that I did not feel tired, or miserable.  I felt happy that I did this ride all on my own.  Happy that I made it with just enough time to get to work (I really cut it close though, haha!).  Happy that my legs were not trashed. 

My powertap measured a normalized power of 137W for the whole ride, that includes the crappy city riding I had to do.  I really need to learn the PT computer more and set intervals so I can separate the good and the crappy riding.  I do not think I was stellar in the nutrition department but it must have been enough for me to feel good at the end.  I had about 2 packages of clif shot bloks, 1 powerbar, 1 bottle eload/carbopro, 1 bottle eload, 2 cans of coke, and 6 bottles of water.  My legs also felt ok, a little tired, but ok.  I actually really didn't feel my legs all night at work until I had to run for a code blue at about 5:30am...then I felt the stiffness a bit! LOL! :)  Today I ran about 13km steady before heading into work for shift 2 of 6.  Yes...I am counting down!  My legs were tired but it was an ok run.

All in all I am quite happy with how my training is going so far!  I am feeling a bit more confident now about going to IMC!  I was really worried before, even earlier this week, that I was not going to be quite ready because I would really like to PB this year!  But now I have this long ride under my belt I think I will be ok.  I need to get some more long runs in but I still have time.  I have a 20km run scheduled for Sunday so I hope I am disciplined enough to complete this run!  That's it from me for now - over and out! ;)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I'm in!!!

It's official!  I did it!  I signed up for my first Ironman for 2011!  On Jun 26, 2011, I will be toeing the start line in Nice, France.  So excited!  Who else is in???

Friday, July 9, 2010

Peterborough Half Swim/Bike Race Report

I decided to just do the swim/bike option for the Peterborough half IM.  I was tempted to do the whole thing but after talking it over I decided to save myself and my body from a long recovery and race the swim/bike.  I was also doing this race coming off of almost 20hrs of training this week so I knew it was going to hurt...and hurt it did! 

Running out of the water to start the 2nd loop

 Running out of the water to T1
The swim was not my best swim at all!  The first loop was a bit chaotic.  I have been in really rough swims before but this was rough chaos!  I got scratched, pushed, and almost swam over.  I was not a happy swimmer out there.  Finally got some clear water on the way back on the first loop and exited the water in just over 16min.  Then I sprinted out of the water and jumped in to start the second loop.  I may have ran a little too hard though as I almost completely seized when I started swimming the second loop.  Haha!  I also started feeling really tired...whole body tired!  I then knew I was in a bit of trouble and couldn't hold my pace.  I exited the swim, ran out of the water, and crossed the timing mats which were at T1 in 35:42.

The bike was quite the battle!  As soon as I started I knew I was in trouble right off the bat!  My legs were hurting!  My muscles were toast and it took a lot out of me to get going.  I was quickly reminded of the tough course Peterborough is.  So I just pushed on and struggled through the first half of the course.  I felt a bit better after the turn around and tried to push even harder.  There was a pretty strong headwind on the return trip making the rollers even more challenging.  Then around 70km or so Marianne passed me and yelled something to me that made me wake up a bit more.  I then repassed her and worked my hardest to keep her away.  I was successful but it hurt and I had to dig deep to do so!  Thanks Marianne for that extra push!  I needed it!  I really wanted to finish the bike in under 3hrs but it just wasn't happening!  I finished the ride in 3:07:39 with a normalized power of 159W.  I decided to race in my training wheels so I can use the powertap and get some sort of baseline value.  Not my fastest ride but I worked hard on tired legs!

Total time was 3:44:56.  Not bad for a training race.  I then did a short 20min run off the bike and felt ok, slow, but ok!  It was also a very hot and humid day so I was glad I did not have to race the whole thing.  Now for some recovery days and a crazy stretch at work.  I am looking forward to Steelhead to see what I can do on fresh/taperd legs! :)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Cycling adventures with Terri!

I have not had a day off training since the Welland Half.  On the Wednesday, I travelled to St. Catharines to stay and train with my friend Terri and had a great time!  We did a short 50km ride when I arrived.  The next day was Canada Day and we celebrated by riding to Niagara Falls, Fort Erie, Queenston, and even through the Friendship Festival waving the Canadian flag!  Total trip was 145km.  Longest ride of the year for me so far.  In the evening, we went to Terri's friend's place and enjoyed some food, wine, and music.  Friday we were planning on a 100km ride with a stop at Hutch's for some fries and ice cream.  Well, because we went through the escarpement it took us about 75km to get there.  We did enjoy some fries and coke but was too full to have some ice cream.  We decided to ride back on the Service Rd to prevent us from having another epic ride.  However, we weren't that successful. 
At the end we still rode about 135km and we finished tired.  We did have a great ride though.  We ended my stay with an early 45km ride on the canal this morning at 7am...nice and easy!  I had a great time and put in some good mileage.  My legs definitely feel it now.  I will soon be off for my long run tonight and then I will have to prep for the Swim/Bike at the Peterborough Half IM tomorrow.  A very last minute decision to race the Aquabike but it should be fun.  Legs will be tired after this week so it will be interesting.  I almost want to do another half again, maybe see if I can redeem my run from last week.  I did do back-to-back Half IMs last year so I know its doable, however, it may not be the smartest thing to do.  So I will force myself to run tonight so then I will not pull any silly stunts tomorrow! Haha! :)