Saturday, January 28, 2012

Si se puede!

I have been MIA from the blogging department lately but with good reason - I took a trip to Peru!!!!  It was an absolutely amazing trip! Unforgettable with some breathtaking views!  The main attraction of the trip was the four day hike on the Inka trail to Machupicchu.  Specatcular!  And our motto for the trek was "si se puede!" which is "you can do it" in Spanish! Lol!  So even though this post isn't exactly triathlon related there was some high altitude training involoved during the hike, well sort of! Ha!

The main concern I had going and doing this trek was the high altitude.  I read all about high altitude sickness and its symptoms and I was hoping my body was strong enough to fight it off.  I did not take any precautionary meds like Diamox as my friend did so I was hoping for the best.  Well, besides a bit of a headache on some days and a couple of dizzy bouts I was just fine!  Maybe all the training and hypoxic sets we do in the pool got my body used to doing physical activity in less than perfect conditions.  The trek was definitely a challenge but not the hardest thing I have done.  It does push you but it is also achievable by everybody.  I also carried my gear with me which weighed in at 12.5kg for some additional weight training, lol!  I am super happy I had the opportunity and the capability to experience such a wonder of the world.  Below are some pics of the trek and the trip.  I have posted a couple of albums on Facebook as well if you want to see more.  I have also posted the links to the albums.

Now that I am back I am trying to get back into serious training which I need to do ASAP!  Unfortunately, I am fighting a bit of a cold right now so I am trying to hold off on too much training before I am bedridden.  I think my body just may have had enough.  I have not been sick in a long time and I have been niggling for the last little while.  Guess I just ran my body in high gear for too long now.  I am also getting treatment for my plantar fasciitis on my left foot.  I am getting active release and shockwave therapy.  Had my first shockwave therapy session yesterday and boy was it interesting!   It initially hurt quite a bit and literally feels like someone is jackhammering into your foot.  Hope this works!  I am looking forward to a pain free season!  My sprained ankle on my right foot is still healing and does get sore at times.  I will be doing some proprioceptive exercises for that.  Hope these injuries sort themselves out before race season starts!!! 

At Dead Women's Pass - the highest peak and the hardest day of the trek (day 2)

Arriving at the SunGate just above Machupicchu - We did it!

Practicing some yoga! ;)

My favourite shot, in a market in Pisac

Lake Titicaca - the highest navigable lake in the world

The Sacred Valley

Here are my facebook links to the albums I posted:

Friday, January 6, 2012

Looking back at 2011.

First of all, Happy New Year!!!!!

Looking back at 2011, I would say I had a pretty successful season.  I improved in the running and cycling departments and I am quite happy with that.  I managed to PB in all of the running distances I did this year which is a huge bonus!!!  I even tried out cross-country for the first time.  I broke some barriers in cycling and had an awesome time trial at one point.  I had fun travelling and racing around the world and locally. 

In a nutshell, my 2011 season went like this:

I started the year trying out cross country skiing for the first time and joining the UTTC masters club.  Then race season started with the Chilly half marathon and I was just short of my PB at that run.  I then went to a cycling training camp in North Carolina with the TO gang and nearly froze to death in a couple of our rides but it was still a fun adventure.  I followed this up with a PB at the Montreal half marathon!  Tri season then started with a last minute decision to go to St. Anthony's in Florida where I posted my best Olympic time and had an awesome bike ride.  Following this race was the infamous American Triple-T in Ohio.  This was another extremely last minute decision to race the whole event (5min before the first race started last minute decision) but I am extremely proud of finishing this extreme event.  Four triathlons in three days on some of the toughest courses I have ever done was no easy feat.  But I finished it and am happy with my accomplishment there!  That was a battle of mental strength.  I then raced at a couple of local events at Milton and Guelph and continued to lay down some strong bike times! :)  Then it was time for my A race, Ironman France!  One of the toughest Ironmans in the world and it did not disappoint.  I had a rough day out there but I battled it out for a strong finish and my best IM run time to date.  The bike was another story but we simply do not have mountains like they do in the Alps and I am not a strong technical rider.  Just leaves me with more room for improvement.  Hehe!  After a bit of a break I had a decent showing in Belwood and a strong performance at Steelhead.  Steelhead would have been another PB for me if they did not cancel the swim.  I did have my best bike and run times to date in the half IM distance!  I also did another cycling training camp with the guys in Vermont/Williamstown and had my butt kicked but I impressed the guys and myself with my determination to not quit on the mountains.  After Steelhead I PB'd at the Midsummer Nights 30km run, podiumed at the Guelph sprint tri and then struggled at the Muskoka 70.3.  Muskoka is another tough course and it just simply was not my day.  I then participated in my first cycling event at the Centurion in Collingwood and then switched my focus to running.  For the first time, I ran XC and participated in four XC events and had a blast!!!  I ran the Chicago marathon, one of the big 5, and managed to PB there as well although shy of my goal time.  But that was a great weekend!!!  I then ran my first 10km in five years and was super happy with my PB there!!!  I finished off my race season with a fun 5km run!  I also got back into yoga and am really loving it!!!  All in all, I had a great season and had tons of fun training/racing with friends and team mates and meeting new people!!!!

Here are my stats that I tabulated for the year:

Total swim: 300.08km, 113.77hrs
Total bike: 3379.5km, 202.67hrs (time incl. trainer rides)
Total run: 1315.3km, 171hrs (time incl. treadmill runs)
Cross training (i.e. yoga, XC ski): 50.31hrs

Total time spent doing physical activity: 537.75hrs...that's quite a bit but I wouldn't change that for the world!

Right now I am slowly trying to get back into the swing of training after an easy December and some time off over the holidays.  Also, giving my sprained ankle some time to heal and trying to sort out my plantar faciitis.  I just did my first trainer ride today in a very LONG time and it felt great!  I am looking forward to improving even more this year and breaking more PBs and travelling to races and training camps!

I wish you all a great year ahead and a fabulous race season! Hope you all can put down some fast times in 2012!!!