Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Check this out!

I have had the pleasure of taking yoga classes for just over a year now at Fireflow Yoga!  And I really do love classes there!  Well...owner and yoga instructor, Jonathan, asked me if he could interview me about being an athlete and taking yoga classes.  I was honoured and below are two You Tube clips he put together of the interview and from a yoga class that I took.  He did a really good job if I may say so! ;) Thanks Jonathan!

Friday, November 16, 2012

On the "DL" list! :(

As in the MLB, I am officially on the "Disabled List"...which in my world means no running, and possibly no yoga! :(

I started the year with plantar fasciitis and a sprained ankle.  The ankle healed and I was getting treatments for the PF; which I am still getting treatments for just not as intense.  The foot is actually doing quite well and just flares up once in a while.  It really did not bother me this past race season.

Somewhere along the way, I developed a hamstring strain.  I remember feeling my right hamstring get tight in March during Oceanside but I thought nothing of it.  As the race season went on, my hamstring was getting worse.  Unfortunately, I put quite a bit of stress on it preparing for the Ironman and I think I destroyed it during the IM.  I continued to race and train for the remaining races I had for the season but really backed off on the run training.  I was running very little to give it as much rest as possible.  I got through my races, in pain, but I got through them with awesome results.  The pain got worse at the upper hamstring where my hamstring meets with my sit bones.  I got to the point that everything hurts - sitting, walking, swimming etc etc.  I was in constant pain. :(  I do have a high pain tolerance though so I was and am able to continue with my normal activities of daily living.  My chiro has been pretty awesome in treating me the whole time but I know I did not do myself any favours by continuing to race.  So after my last race (B2B) I was told to stop running and see if I can start healing.   I ended up getting an ultrasound to make sure there was not a complete tear in my hamstring.  The good news: no tear!  The bad news: my tendon on the injured side (right) is 50% thicker than the left with some calcium deposits.  Basically, tendinitis that is chronic.  Saw the doc and was basically told to not run because it would just prolong the healing.  Also, there may be a chance that I have a stress fracture but at this point he doesn't think so.  So, continue with the treatments and hope for the best.  I was hoping to begin some real training in January - I guess I will have to wait and see! :(

Not gonna lie, I am not liking this!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming!

Since I am on the do not run list (more about that in another post soon), my off season training is right now limited to swimming and yoga.  In fact, swim and yoga are two of my favourite activities!  I haven't jumped on the bike trainer yet for any serious training, that will come soon though.  So, since I could not participate in the OMA XC meets this fall, I decided to try out an Ontario Masters Swimming meet, at the very last minute to boot!  So on Sunday, I headed to the Etobicoke Olympium with our coach and other swimmers from the University of Toronto Masters of the Universe swim club and swam in my very first swim meet ever!!!

I am not going to lie, I was very nervous heading into this meet.  My strongest sport in triathlon is swimming but I did not grow up as a swimmer.  I learned how to flip turn when I joined the club a few years ago and I really do not know how to dive off the diving blocks.  Many of the swimmers at these Masters meets are ex-varsity and ex-competitive swimmers and they are fast!  I did not know the rules for swim meets but because I was just sticking to free style I was safe! ;)  My biggest fear - losing my goggles during the dive starts! Lol!!!  I decided to swim the 100, 200, and 400m free as well as the 4x50m free relay!

The first event was the 100m free.  I am not a sprinter, I am a long distance swimmer so this was going to be hard!  I seeded myself at 1:30 knowing I could swim faster than that but wasn't expecting anything faster than 1:20.  The start gun went off and I dove in and swam as hard as I could for 100m.  This was an all out sprint for me and I definitely felt the lactic acid building up!  I swam it in 1:17:56 and I was ecstatic!!!!  That was the fastest I ever swam 100m!!!!  Woohoo!!!!  But I gave it my all and red-lined the whole thing.  I could barely get out of the pool and my legs were absolute jello!  Lol!  I could barely hold myself upright let alone walk!  Haha!  My teammates and coach were waiting for me to congratulate me and I was having a blast!  I was 5th in my age group and 2nd in the heat.

Next event was the 400m.  My biggest problem at swim practices is pacing.  I can pace running events but I have yet learned the art of pacing in swimming.  So when the gun went off, I started off too hard for the first 100m.  Then I tried to settle into a pace telling myself to slow down, slow down.  I led my heat for most of it until the end when I was losing gas.  Then I wasn't sure if I was on my last lap and actually held up a bit to see if the girl next to me was going to do another flip turn or finish.  Well, she finished so I tried to kick the last little bit to get back some time! Haha!  I swam a respectable 6:06:42!  I seeded myself at 6:15.  This was the fastest I ever swam a 400!  I was 4th in my age group and 2nd in the heat.

Now for the 4x50m relay.  I was swimming with ex-swimmers so I was swimming second! Lol!  I was given a quick tutorial on the rules and how-to of relays!  Again, an all out 50m is hard for me and I gave it my all.  I finished barely able to breathe or even see straight! Haha!  I swam my leg in 35:30 which I believe is the fastest I ever swam 50m.  We came 2nd in the relay in our age category and won our heat.

Our 4x50m relay team!

 After a little break was then my final event for the day.  The 200m free.  I had a blast racing this one.  I had the slowest seed time in my heat at 3:05 so I wasn't expecting to stay with the others.  However, I started off sprinting the first 100m and then found myself fighting to stay up there.  I think I was leading the first 100m, lol!  The girl next to me decided to do this event all fly.  As I was dying, she caught up to me and passed me.  With about 50m left I just put my head down and kicked with all my might!  I saw my coach at the side of the pool cheering me on since I had the outside lane!  So much fun!  Well, I managed to catch up and pass the girl next to me in the last 25m and won my heat! I swam the 200m in 2:53:55 which is for sure the fastest I ever swam this and came 3rd in my age group.  My coach was excited as he said it was fun to watch me lead, get passed, then fight back and out touch the other girl!  I even could hear the crowd cheer loudly!  I got out of the pool and was dizzy probably from the lack of oxygen! Haha!  I had to sit down and then I decided to jump in the pool for a little cool down.  I had no legs left, once again, they turned into jello!

Too bad I didn't grow up as a swimmer!  I think I could have actually done well.  I held my own being a non-swimmer and had so much fun!  Having a team and coach for sure helped too!  It was awesome getting cheered and cheering others on!  Of note, one of our team members is 75 years old and he did a 200m fly! If you have ever done fly you will know how hard this is!  He is absolutely amazing and an inspiration!!!  I still cannot do 200m fly!  Lol!  I am actually looking forward to the next masters event!  Oh...and I did not lose my goggles in any of the dive starts! Yay!  Much better than the warm ups when I lost them twice in four dives!

Members of TMU plus our coach (minus one swimmer!)

Two days later, and I am still sore! Lol!  I did not expect to feel so wiped out the night of the swim meet and to feel so sore! My shoulders and abs actually hurt! Haha!  I really did push myself to the limit but it was so worth it!