Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!!!

Just wanted to take a second to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!! 

On the training front...well I am still in my "honeymoon" phase as Ming puts it!  Still taking a break and actually just started running earlier this week.  I did a 4.5km run and then an 8km run and it felt great!  I am glad I waited until I was ready both mentally and physically.  I am heading up to Parry Sound tomorrow to try out some cross country skiing and probably do some other activities, which I am not quite sure of yet!  But I am excited nonetheless!!! 

Merry Christmas!!! :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

IM Cozumel in pictures!

Here are some of my race pics! Enjoy!

2200+ start the swim for 3.8km

heading out of T1 for the 180km bike ride

this is my favourite pic!

almost done the 42.2km run

official finish time 12:43:00!

Yay!  We all finished!!!  Congrats to all!

Friday, December 10, 2010

100 x 50...

That was our swim set last night with the masters club at UofT.  We did 100 x 50m long course!  That is 5000m...5km!!!!  This was my first attempt at any sort of physical activity since the Ironman and this is what I was faced with.  I chose a generous pace time for me knowing that I was not in peak swimming shape and still recovering from almost 13hrs of effort from a couple of weeks ago.  And this way I actually had someone to swim with as well which is always more fun.  So...we started our 50s on either 1min or 55sec, depending on where we were on the set.  The further along we got into the set, the more 50s on 55sec we were doing.  And on top of that, we had to breathe every 7 on every lap divisible or had the number 7 in it!  Haha!  It forced me to focus and stay on top of counting.  I normally get lost when we start counting lots of laps because my brain usually shuts off when I swim.  This time I had to stay focused or I was going to be completely lost.  I actually felt pretty good in the pool.  My body did feel a little tired when we started but it wasn't that bad.  I also felt a few twinges here and there but they worked themselves out.  I just tried to focus on my strokes while counting away.  We were cutting it close with pool time but we were determined to finish the set.  And we did!  And it felt awesome!!!  I think this was the first time I completed a 5km swim set in the pool.  I remember a couple of years ago it was a goal to complete 4km in our 2hr workout!  I do not think I ever got to 5km before.  This fall I have reached 4km and 4.5km.  Last night we did it in about 1hr40min.  Yay!!!  But my arms were dead weights when I was done!  They just wanted to fall off and were yelling at me! Hehe!  I was also winded by that effort for a while after getting out of the pool. 

I am suppose to start with short spins and runs of about 30min this week but I am not mentally ready for that yet.  And I am still a bit sick!  Yes...I got sick while in Cozumel by the Tuesday after the race and I was really bad by the Saturday.  Looking back, I think I was getting sick again starting the Friday before race day.  I wasn't feeling very well at all at the athlete's pasta dinner but I thought nothing of it and just continued on.  I have been working almost every night since I got back and haven't had a chance to really rest and get over my cold.  So I do not want to start training again with a cold and prolong it any more.  I need to get 100% completely healthy.

On a side note...when I went to the Vancouver Olympics earlier this year I fell in love with the red Olympic hoodie.  I was hoping to get one for my birthday from my parents as it had been a traditional gift for years but this year they did not get me one.  I searched high and low for one and it was sold out everywhere.  Well, The Bay just released another batch so I went in search for it at the downtown Bay stores and they were sold out.  I just checked online and they are available in my size!!!  Yay!!!!  So I just ordered one with free shipping and cannot wait to get my hands on it!!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Ironman Cozumel!

Ironman Cozumel Race Report
November 28, 2010
Cozumel, Mexico

Well I guess I better get my act together and write some sort of race report.  This was Ironman #2 this year and #6 in total.  I cannot believe that!  Crazy!  I was ready to be done for this season and needed to get through this race.  I was hoping for another PB.  Based on last year, I figured I should have been at least 15-20min faster than IMC but I also knew that I had such an awesome race at IMC that this may be difficult.  However, if anything, I wanted and figured I could come in under 12:30. 

This time around I travelled with a group of triathletes from the Parry Sound area from the NachoAverage triathlon club and boy did I have a blast!  Made some new friends and great memories!  We arrived the Wednesday before the race and did the usual packet pickup, registration, short training sessions, and bike and gear bag drop off with some lounging and play time sandwiched in between.  Race day finally came and I did my usual morning routine of taking a quick shower to wake me up, drank three high protein chocolate Ensures, half a bowl of oatmeal, a banana, and this time two cups of coffee.  Boy was I pretty hyper in the morning!  The caffeine really hit me and I was basically bouncing off the walls! LOL!

We were one of the first to arrive at the race site and waited for transition to open up.  I loaded up Limey with my bottles and nutrition, took a potty break, and then just hung out with the guys waiting for the race to start.  It wasn't until we were waiting on the dock at the swim entrance where I was surrounded by nervous energy that I started to get a bit nervous myself.  I just really wanted to get into the water and start swimming.

The dolphin show right before the swim start

Swim: 1:06:21

I had originally planned on taking the same approach to the swim as last year and start close to the shore and avoid the masses.  However, when I got in the water it seemed that lots of people heard about the awesome current we got to experience last year and were heading in the same direction.  So I made a quick decision change and swam out to the starting buoy as no one was there.  I treaded water for a bit waiting for the swim to start and had to continuously swim forward because the current kept pushing me back behind the starting buoy.  The horn went off and all ~2200 of us started to swim.  I had pretty open water for the start so there was minimal man-handling until I got to the first turnaround buoy.  At this buoy I came to a complete halt and stopped swimming.  It was sooooo congested it wasn't funny.  Seriously, does everyone have to turn right at the buoy?  If I could I would have swam wide but I was swimming to the inside of the buoy so I was basically stuck there.  A canoe with some race officials were yelling at us not to swim underneath the buoy and other people started to panic.  I just wanted out so I grabbed the buoy and somehow pushed my way around it and then started swimming.  Unfortunately, there was no magical current this time around.  The long leg of the swim was very difficult to sight.  I felt like I was zigzagging the whole way.  I got to one buoy, looked for the next one and felt like I had to swim way out to try to reach it.  The current kept pushing us towards shore.  My goggles then started to leak and I was a little worried that I would come out of the water with swollen eyes.  So I closed my eyes anytime I felt the water but it did not affect me at all, pheww!  I felt like I was swimming great, my strokes felt great and I felt strong but it felt like it took forever.  Got stung by a few jellyfishes which to this day I still have some markings from the stings.  Finally made it to the exit steps 10min slower than my swim last year.  Ah well!

Link to my Garmin swim stats (prob not very accurate!)

T1: 5:04

It was pretty straight forward in T1.  I had no assistance so I just went about putting my bike gear on and spraying myself with sunscreen and off I went to go and grab Limey for the 180km bike ride.

Bike: 6:31:32  

I had the same approach for this race as I did for IMC and that was to keep my HR between 140-155bpm.  For the first 30min or so my bike computer had a hard time picking up the HR but it eventually did.  I felt pretty good for the first loop of the three loop bike course and just maintained my goal HR.  However, I made a BIG nutrition error that I do not think I will ever do again!  While on the first loop I decided to take what was suppose to be a SIP of my concentrated carbopro/eload bottle.  However, for some reason I decided that the mix actually tasted pretty good and I started taking big gulps as though I was drinking water.  Well, I guess I did not chase this down with enough water or it was just too much carbs for my poor belly to absorb and I started to really get bloated.  This followed with painful stomach cramps and I was unable to stay down in aero and it really hurt to breathe.  I was in so much pain that tears were coming out of my eyes.  So for most of the second loop I was struggling to keep going.  I quickly went from wanting to PB this race to just wanting to finish.  I did not know what to do.  I first thought drinking more water would help but it just sat in my belly.  Then I stopped taking any nutrition whatsoever for about two hours and was trying to wait it out.  I even thought about sticking a finger down my throat and try to make myself throw up and then start my nutrition from scratch.  My speed went from 29-31kph to 22-24kph.  Then I decided to try an Imodium which I was carrying with me.  I was hoping one of the guys would catch up to me so I can ask them what to do.  I was lost!  I then decided to start downing the salts.  Not sure what worked but I slowly started feeling better.  Maybe it was the redbull I had picked up at special needs. LOL!  I had a second super concentrated bottle in special needs which I picked up and then shortly after just chucked it as I wanted nothing to do with it.  I went back to my three shot bloks every 20min and taking lots of salt until I ran out of all my salt pills.  I was feeling better on the third loop and was passing people that had passed me on the previous loop!  Yay!  Even though I was feeling better, I started to worry about the run.  I wasn't sure how my belly was going to respond to some jostling around.  I was hoping to come in under 6:30 but my computer read the course a little long at close to 182km and so I came in just over 6:31.    According to my Garmin, the temperature reached a scorching 34C!  Yikes!

Link to my Garmin 500 bike stats
Link to my Garmin 310 bike stats

T2: 2:10

Rolled into T2 tentative about starting this run.  Handed my bike to a volunteer and quickly switched into my running shoes and grabbed my run stuff.  I was also feeling quite dizzy here.  Well, I just ignored that and got out of T2 as quick as I could and started the Ironman shuffle.

Run: 4:57:53

Since my race wasn't going as well as I had hoped I started this run in survival mode.  I was just going to see what pace I could hold.  I really felt the sun and heat when I started the run.  It was about 2:30pm or so and it was a scorcher!  I had to walk through the first aid station just to take in some water and pour some over myself.  I found myself struggling to keep a 7min/km pace but I just kept trotting along.  I stopped at every aid station which was every km or so to drink and pour water over myself.  I also started my Coke drinking very early, at about 12km into the run.  I normally wait til the half way point but I felt I needed it and I wanted it.  So began the water/gatorade/coke/salt or the gel/water aid station stops.  I saw David when I was on my first loop and I was waiting for him to pass me but I managed to hold him off until I reached the turnaround of the 2nd loop. Hehe!  I slowly tried to drop my pace and go a bit faster and also decided that I didn't want to overdo it at the aid stations so I started taking things at every other aid station instead.  Then I started to run through some of the aid stations that I was taking stuff from as well.  I managed to shut my brain off from any thoughts of pain or despair and kept by brain busy by looking out for the other Nachos.  I guess I was in the "zone".  Since it was a three loop course and they were a bit spread out, I got to see someone often and yelled out words of encouragement.  It was the only time I was able to say anything and it took some extra energy to do so!  I was feeling ok during the run and was feeling stronger and just tried to push myself through.  This was actually the first Ironman I have done that I did not take an advil or tylenol on the course.  I even managed to pass one of the Nachos and gave him a good butt smack! LOL!  I surprised myself as to how strong I mentally got.  I got down on myself a couple of times because I knew I wasn't keeping the same run pace as I did at IMC but then IMC had better running conditions.  I just kept pushing myself and I even managed to negative split the run and still did it in under 5hrs which is always a goal of mine.

Link to my Garmin run stats

Total: 12:43:00

Got to the finishing chute and was a little disappointed when I saw the finish time.  I wasn't paying attention to the overall time while I was running so I had no idea where I was in regards to time.  I was more disappointed that I was 7min slower than IMC.  This time David wasn't at the finish line as he got lost on the way to the condo and missed my finish.  But I was thankful I was in pretty good shape when I finished since I usually refuse the med tent regardless of how I feel.  I guess I didn't give it my all but I do not know if I could have done more.  I'm pretty sure I left it all on the course.  I was 26/72 in my AG, 117/460 women, and 804/2248 overall.  After talking to the others I felt better about my race and was pleased with what I have done!  It was a pretty solid and consistent race for me so I will take it!  It is my 2nd fastest IM to date!  Ironman #6 is now in the books!

I was happy I got to see the other guys finish!  Congrats to all of you!  It was a hard day out there and you all came through!  And a big thanks to my family and friends for all their support and advise!  I greatly appreciate it all!!!  Bring on 2011!!! (after a nice long break of course!)