Monday, July 30, 2012

TTF and big training week!

Again, I have been a delinquent in the blogging department! My bad!  Hey...maybe it's just proof I am busy training and working! Lol! ;)

Well, a couple of weeks ago I headed up to Parry Sound for a good solid week of training!  I took the week off work specifically for this and I put in some good hours.  I logged about 26hrs of training in five days so not too bad!  I rode my bike everyday which was awesome!  I logged about 8km of open water swimming, 482km of biking, and 50km of running!  I did another big training day where after an early morning run interval workout I did a 6hr ride and followed that up with a 20km run.  And this time as oppose to previous years, I felt pretty good on the run.  Maybe it was the coke and peanut butter Gu gel I had before the run but I did not fall apart and ran at about race pace.  I think I may want to try a bit faster run pace for race day but if I run what I did on that day I would be pleased.  I also had the opportunity to participate in the Thursday night Nacho tri club time trial.  I had pretty tired legs by the time Thursday rolled around but I was interested to see what I can do!  I was the fifth person to start with my friend/rival since IM Cozumel ;) right behind me!  I gave it all I had on the bike and almost PB'd the bike portion.  Last year I PB'd wearing an aerohelmet and using a disc wheel.  This time I was just in my regular training gear and was just 5 seconds off my best time!  Woohoo!  I averaged 34.8km/hr on the bike over 16.3km!  The run was a sufferfest but I'll take it! haha!  Thank you sooooo much once again to the Bialkowski family for welcoming me into your home and allowing me to train in beautiful scenery and some hills! ;)

I headed home Friday night after a solid day of training and to get back for the Toronto Triathlon festival.  My last tune up race before Ironman! This was an olympic distance race and it was the first time this race was being held in TO which I thought would be fun to do!  So on Sunday July 22nd I raced at the TTF after my big training week and see what was left in the tank.

The swim in Lake Ontario was actually not that bad.  The water appeared to be clean and it was not cold at all.  The swim course itself was a bit of an awkward shape as we had to get around the marina but not that bad.  I tried to go hard at the beginning once again but found myself having to get settled before I could push the pace.  I managed to find some feet and drafted off another girl for pretty much the whole swim.  We ended up swimming into the slower male swimmers from the previous waves and had to manoeuvre around them.  I swam a 24:57 for the 1500m swim and that placed me in 5th in my age group.

Got onto the bike course and we had to run up a concrete ramp to get to the bike mount which was a bridge overlooking Lakeshore Dr.  It was a pretty steep ramp and not the greatest for running in bike cleats.  If anything, it was a bit slippery and we had to be a bit careful.  One day I will learn how to do the fancy bike mount and dismounts.  Got on the bike and I just went for it!  I was using my disc wheel and wearing my aerohelmet and I felt FAST!  And because I was using all this gear I felt like I had to prove that I deserve to be using it so I worked hard to stay fast! Lol!  I was passing lots of guys on the first part of the bike and I am pretty sure I made some of them unhappy as they passed me back only for me to pass them again! Lol!  It was a lot of fun riding on the Gardiner and the DVP!  The roads are in good condition and it was smooth sailing.  The course itself wasn't as easy as I thought it was going to be.  I did have to work hard to maintain my speed and although the trip home was more of a downhill, we had a bit of a head and crosswind so there was really no free speed.  I did have a slower second half along with a couple of tight turns we had to make. I rode the 40km in 1:10:34 which was the 6th fastest time in my age group and a 34 kph average!  My best in a race!  Mind you, I started my bike computer once I hit the mount line and I actually had a faster split of 34.8kph but the chip time included the run up and down the ramp to transition.

I started the run wondering how much my legs had left.  I essentially hammered the bike and wasn't sure if I could put in a decent run.  The run course was pretty flat with one little hill and I really should have managed to put in a faster run if I paced the bike a bit better and if I wasn't coming off a big training week.  However, all things considered, I am pleased with the run.  I pushed my pace as much as I could and had some good kilometer splits.  I completed the run in 53:44 for a 5:22min/km pace.  Almost a run PB for an olympic distance race.

Total time was 2:31:43 for a new olympic distance PB! Woohoo!!!!  I came in 8th in my age group.  As one of the guys told me later in an email, I laid the smack down on the bike! Haha!

Last week was my last hard week of training and I did another 160km ride to Lake Simcoe and back!  It was a pretty good ride as well!  Here are a couple of pics from that ride:

I logged about 15hrs last week and now I am heading into my TAPER!!!!!  I have one more long run to do and then it's all easy workouts after that!  Less than 2 weeks away from the big show!!!! OMG!!!!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

One month to go!!!!

Only 4 short weeks to show time! Eek!!!!

I have been putting in the work but I am a little worried that I have been doing too much.  If it was just training alone it would be just fine. But working full time plus overtime shifts feels like it's taking a toll on me and my poor body just a bit!  Still logging about 16-23 hrs of training a week.  On top of this I think I am lacking in the sleep department!  Hmmm....need to fix this asap!!!!

I have to date put in two 30km runs which is more than I have ever done before any IM.  One run was good the other one was a bit of a suffer fest!  And on Wednesday I put in my biggest training day for the year (for now) - 4.5km swim with the masters club, 164km bike ride, followed by a 10km run.  Afterwards, I jumped straight into the shower and then went into work for a 12hr night shift!  I still cannot believe I did that and that I pulled that off!  The ride was pretty awesome though!  Rode to Lake Simcoe and back and here are some pics:

The water looked so clear and so tempting I really wanted to jump in and swim for a bit!  Maybe next time!  I also had company on the ride which was awesome!  We'll have to do that again for sure!

In the injury department - my left foot with the plantar fasciitis is doing really well!  I am almost pain free!  It only starts to hurt me for the last 5km or so of my long runs.  But at least I can wake up now and not limp to the bathroom.  My first few steps after sleeping are pretty much pain free!  Woohoo!!!  I can't say the same thing about my right hamstring though.  It seems that I may have pulled it as well as having a piriformis issue too! Boo!  It hurts immediately when I start running.  Walking hurts too.  Funny thing is that when I run 30km, by the time I reach about 20km everything hurts anyway! Ha!  I have been getting treatment on that as well so I hope it sorts itself out so I can race IM relatively pain free!  I guess there is always Advil!

I took next week off of work so I can focus on training and recovery for my last big week of training!  And guess where I am going!?  To my 2nd home and my favourite place to train: Parry Sound!!!!!  I hope you guys are ready for me!? lol! ;)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

And now I am a Tinman!

On Jun 30th, 2012 I have become a Tinman!

I raced at the Tupper Lake Tinman half ironman triathlon on the weekend.  This was my first time at this event but I have been wanting to do it for a little while as I have heard good stuff about this race.  So I went down to Tupper Lake, NY with two other friends in hopes of becoming a Tinman!

This race turned into a training race for me as I did not taper at all for it.  I ran 30km on the Monday before the race and did a hard bike on Thursday.  We left Friday morning for the Saturday race.  I brought Limey with me sans race wheels so I can get a power reading for the 90km effort.  So Limey was a little heavier than the her normal race weight.  Tupper Lake is a small town just outside of Saranac Lake and about 30min away from beautiful Lake Placid.  Therefore, the terrain was very similar to Lake Placid = hills!

Saturday morning I had my boost and a bowl of oatmeal as my pre race meal.  We got to the race site with plenty of time and I set up my transition area.  Jumped in the water for a quick warm up and was ready to go!  My plan was basically to swim hard, bike hard, and see what I had left for the run and try to run hard.

The gun went off and I started swimming.  I have been trying to start more aggressively this year in my swim starts as I pretty much suck at them.  I positioned myself more or less up front and in the middle.  I tried swimming hard but I just found myself hyperventilating a bit and almost panicking.  Ugh!  I had to pull myself together and calm down and then I was able to swim strong.  This all out sprint at the beginning is not working for me very well.  Once I was controlled I was pulling the water and passing lots of people.  I was feeling great and strong in the water.  Got to the turnaround ready to head back to shore only to be met up with a beautiful and bright sun which was blinding.  I felt like I was swimming blind and had no idea where to go.  I could not see a buoy and could not see the shore.  I just continued swimming in the general direction hoping I was going the right way.  Then I was able to see a couple of other swimmers in front of me so I pushed to catch up to them and sighted off of them.  I just tried to see arms in the water and I aimed for that.  A few times I wandered off a bit and had to go back and follow their line.  Eventually I saw the swim finish and I must have zigzagged all over the place.  I came out of the water in a decent time of 34:47 when I crossed the timing mats and was 2nd in my age group.  And it looks like I was 3rd or 4th female out of the water!  Woohoo!

Got out of transition as soon as I could and jumped on the bike for 90km of fun! ;)  I started the bike focusing on my pedal stroke.  And then I quickly noticed the huge headwind we were faced with.  It is a pretty hilly bike course and the wind just taunted us.  I pushed hard throughout the bike and my goal was to get off the bike in front of my two friends who are stronger cyclists than me.  As the wind slapped us in the face and we climbed the rolling hills, I continued to push hard and focused on other cyclists ahead of me as targets.  Since the bike course was an out and back we then got the luxury of some tailwind on the ride home.  Some of the hills were now much easier to contend with as the wind was at our backs.  I wanted so badly to average over 30km/hr for the bike I really started pushing hard.  I was at about 28km/hr at the turnaround.  It also helped that I saw my friends about 1km behind me so I knew I had my work cut out for me.  I managed to come in under 3hrs for the 90km and clocked in at 2:58:10 and averaged just over 30km/hr!  I also came off the bike ahead of my two friends, where one of flatted and the other rode just 4sec faster than me.

Now came the run.  I struggled right off the bat.  I was running well over a 6min/km pace and thought to myself it was going to be a long day.  Not only was the run HOT with little to no shade, we also had to run on grass for a little cross-country and then sand and railway tracks.  I laughed at the sandy part!  The first loop of the run consisted of long hills in open traffic and was just not fun.  I just focused on putting one foot in front of the other.  I thought this run was a straight out and back but then I was getting very confused.  We tuned off the main road and started doing a loop and then I was questioning whether this was a two loop run course and I was really dreading that!  I did not want to run up those long uphills again.  So when we headed back to the finish area and turned off to head towards another direction I was relieved not to run the first loop again.  It did not bother me that I was so close to the finish line and had to run away from it again.  By this time I had some running legs back and noticed I had managed to drop my pace.  I was then focusing on keeping this momentum going and keeping some sort of strong running form.  At times I was getting a little worried of overheating as I was really feeling it and got dizzy a couple of times.  I actually thought I may  collapse but just soldiered on.  I was making gains and started passing some people.  And my one friend who is a much faster runner than me never did catch up to me.  I saw him at the final turnaround with less than 1km away from me and we were at the 14km mark.  I was just waiting for him to pass me but he never did!  Yay!  I was running fairly well at this point and managed to run a third best half IM time of 2:05:24 on a pretty challenging course.  This run course was being compared to the Muskoka 70.3 run.

Final time was 5:41:17.  Ten seconds off my PB for a half IM but this was a much more difficult half IM than Steelhead where I got my PB.  I was 10th in my age group and  placed 26th woman overall out of 128.  I also got a sunburn even though I lathered myself in sunblock.  The following day we headed to Lake Placid and rode the Ironman bike course minus the out and back section for a total of 140km!  Not too shabby!  Not a very fast ride but very pleased we did this the day after the race and on another windy day!  All in all I had a great weekend and had lots of fun!

6 weeks left to Ironman!!!!!