Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Life on the West Coast

A quick update of my few days here so far in California!  I am in San Francisco right now visiting my family!  I am having a blast and love catching up with everyone.  The flight here was a little bit of an adventure with a possible strike and then getting a plane much smaller than what was booked.  Luckily, I got on the plane with no hassle and it was a first class plane to boot!  Woohoo!  That will probably be my first and last time on a plane like that!  Wide, big comfy seats that can fully recline with pillows and tons of leg room!  The weather on the other hand has not really cooperated and for a couple of days it was actually colder here in San Fran than back home in TO.  I did get one sunny day and I am hoping for another one tomorrow!  On the one sunny day I took advantage of it and decided to take my bike out of the bike bag and ride on the Pacific Highway.  This was the one thing I wanted to do while here in San Fran and I did it!  I rode for 3hrs along the coast and took in some breathtaking views!  It was spectacular!  I did not get that many miles in, I managed just 70km, but it was a hilly ride with a good head wind on the way out.  Some of the climbs took me by surprise but it was awesome and I was treated with amazing views.  And a plus, I actually felt good.  I was expecting to feel more sore than I did so that may be a positive sign???  But then I usually cover more distance in 3hrs, so who knows!!!  Today I ran a pretty solid 14km around Lake Merced before the rain came down.  I felt pretty good out there and am happy with where my running is right now. foot did not hurt! Yay!  I think this shockwave therapy is actually working!!! :):):)

Here are a couple of pics of my view during my bike ride yesterday:

at Half Moon Bay

At Pacifica

Monday, March 19, 2012

California Dreamin'

In just a few days, I'll be loading myself onto a plane to California!!!!  First stop, San Francisco to visit family and then I'll be flying to LAX to head to Oceanside for my first triathlon of the season.  Eek!!!  Afterwards, I'll be heading to Santa Monica for a week of cycling in the hills and hopefully try out some surfing!!!! 

Right now, I am panicking a bit about the race because it is a half ironman, Oceanside 70.3....this is business.  I knew back when I signed up for this race that a March half ironman was not going to be easy.  It is really early in the year for a Cannuck to be doing a race of this distance but it is a race I have always wanted to do.  And when the opportunity came up I decided to jump on it.  Luckily for me, this winter has been unseasonably warm and I went out for my first bike ride of the year!!! Yay!!!!  In mid- March!  I was going to go out on Saturday but some thick fog prevented me from going out as I wanted to make sure I was seen out there.  So I bailed and took Saturday off.  As I was going to start packing my bike today I could not resist going out with the 20C and sunny weather we were having.  So I went out for a 2hr ride to get a feel for Limey and I could have stayed out there longer.  I was having a blast.  I did not particularly enjoy the city riding I had to do but my timing was pretty good and traffic was not that bad and I got the car pool lane to myself on my return trip home.  It was sooo much fun to be out there again today on Limey.  I also realized that this race is going to hurt.  My muscles are not quite used to staying in aero for a long time and the saddle is not my best friend at the moment.  It normally takes a few long rides to get myself used to the tri bike and I won't have that luxury this time before the race.  I just need to survive 90km! ;)  Easier said than done.  I don't think I'll be able to hammer the bike and I may be suffering a bit out there on race day.  But who knows!  Either way, I did get this ride in and it was fantastic.  What was not so fantastic was the run I did afterwards.  Lol!!!!  Legs were not ready for a run off the bike and they were a bit confused and unhappy with me.  I was running well over a 6min/km for the first couple of km and then by 3km I got my running legs back and was able to run a bit faster.  Hmmm....race day, 90km bike + 21.1km run!  Uh...ya....that will really be interesting!  Let's say Coke and Redbull! ;)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Canadian Masters Indoor Champs

This report is a week late but I have not had internet access for the past week.  I went on a ski trip with my second family to Magog, Quebec at Mont Orford.  This was my first time downhill skiing (well, first official time was a day school trip to Mt. St. Louis Moonstone back in grade 6)  and I had a blast.  We skied for 4 days all day and I had 5hrs worth of lessons through the week.  The instructor even took me onto the black diamond trail without telling me, lol!  I was slow on the steep parts but more because I did not want to lose control and get injured and ruin the rest of my season; which was my greatest fear.  I know one too many folks who tore their ACL or MCL from skiing and I did not want this to happen so I was a little on the cautious side out there.  By the end of the week I was much more comfortable and even pushed the speed a little until I crashed, lol!  Here are a couple of pics from my ski week:

maneuvering a turn

yay! my skis are actually parallel! lol!

waiting for our lesson
Now....back to my original reason for posting.  I wanted to write a brief recap of the Canadian Masters Indoor Championships which I decided to participate in.  I ran the 3000m again and did this in between my night shifts.  I managed to get about three hours of sleep after work before I headed to the track.  I wanted to improve on my previous time and I am happy to report that I did!  I again ran behind a target, but this time when another guy was passing us I then passed the person I was following and tried to stick to the faster guy for as long as I could.  This helped me tremendously and I stuck with him for about 10 laps or so.  And this time I was more aware of what lap I was on and knew when I had two more and was able to push it a bit and give a final kick on the last lap.  My result: 13:30:61! Yay!  I shaved off another 21 seconds!  And I even passed other runners!  In addition, UTTC was the winning club for the Ontario Master Indoor Club series over five events!  Yay team!  We were also the winning club at nationals! :)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Chilly Half Marathon

My 2012 season has started off on the right foot!!!  I PB'd at the Chilly Half by just over 2min from my previous best half marathon time which I set last year at the Montreal half!  And I am ecstatic!!!!

I went into this race seriously under-trained and really just wanted to get this long run in and prepare myself a little more for Oceanside 70.3 coming up at the end of the month.  I decided race morning to run at or near the race pace I ran at last year's Chilly for as long as I could until I blow up and then just hang on to the end.  I decided to run with a friend who had a very ambitious goal and see how long I could run with her.  I figured the goal pace was about 5:15-5:20 based on a 1:55 half marathon time.  And I also figured that I could not hang on to this pace time for 21.1km.  I ran a total of 20km for the whole month of January and only 20-30km a week for the whole month of February (only one week I hit 30km total mileage).  My longest run was the week before at 16km and all my other runs were in the 8-12km range.  I had to back off the mileage due to my injuries and was really just getting back into training after taking time off in December and going away in January.  So I honestly was not expecting much from myself.  Well did I ever prove myself wrong!

We started the run and the first km was a bit congested and was the second slowest km for me.  And I think that actually helped a bit.  Then we were running pretty much side by side and I felt pretty comfortable.  We were running about 5:14-5:20s and I decided if my friend wanted to go faster I was going to let her as I was feeling pretty good and comfortable.  Well, she was struggling to hold the pace we were running and by about 12km she told me to go ahead and she was going to slow down.  I turned around and asked her if she was sure and then I told her she may end up catching up to me when I blow up.  When I dropped her I decided to then push the pace a little more.  I was still feeling pretty good and figured why not.  I did take a Redbull shot at about 11km and had a gel at about 15km.  At 15km I was just waiting for the combustion to happen.  I started calculating what time I would finish if I dropped to a 6min pace.  And I did this at each km.  But I was still feeling good and continued to push the pace.  Last year I fell apart at 19km and I was just waiting and waiting for this to happen.  Nothing!  I targeted a guy ahead of me and I kept focused on him and did not let him get too far away from me.  I still felt good so I went even faster.  I ran a 5:08 and a 5:06 from 19-21km and passed many other runners.  I ended up crossing the line in 1:51:33!!!! Woohoo!!!!  I wouldn't have ever expected that!!!  My dream goal is under 1:50 but I was not considering that yet!

The only thing I could figure that got me here are the weekly speed workouts I have been doing with the UTTC Masters club!  I have been going pretty consistently every week, once a week.  I get pushed and it looks like I am actually getting faster!  Last year at this time I had just joined the club for about a month.  I have now been with the club for a year and I can see the results!  Wow!  Thanks guys!!!  I have managed to maintain my fitness while getting faster!  No doubt the swimming, cycling, and yoga has been helping too.  I have been logging about 12-13hrs a week of training and something has to be said about that!  I just honestly didn't think I could pull this run off like that!  Yay!!! :):):)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

My first race as a 34 year old... set for tomorrow! Eek!!!!

I am running the Chilly Half marathon tomorrow morning in Burlington and am a little worried about it. I am severely under-trained for this. So I will consider it a really long taper! ;) Since getting treatment for my PF in my left foot I was told to back off the running. I continued to run so I wouldn't lose all running fitness but I did not do any distance stuff. I did short runs just to keep the running legs going. I am afraid that this will not be enough for a good performance over 21.1km. Furthermore, I worked last night so I need to do a short turnaround to wake up early tomorrow. I stayed up quite late today in hopes of being able to sleep tonight, however, right now I am doubting my decision on staying up late. I feel terrible! Lol! So I will see how it goes tomorrow. I am also hoping I do not aggravate the foot too much. Treatment is not cheap!