Sunday, April 28, 2013

Viva Las Vegas!

A couple of weeks ago now, I had the opportunity to go to Las Vegas with a couple of friends for a cycling training trip! And it was awesome!  I was scheduled to work some shifts during that week but my awesome co-workers allowed me to make some switches so I was able to escape for 6 days of cycling heaven.  I even asked my awesome chiro if it would be ok and he pretty much gave me the go ahead, just to make sure I do not go crazy!  I also put the biggest cassette I own on my bike on the docs recommendation to make the hills a little bit easier on my hamstring.

On our first full day there, we headed to Lake Mead National Park for our first ride!  It was 2hrs of bliss!  We had a long winter and I haven't been out on my bike yet; and it felt soooo good to be outside in the sun! Plus my hammy felt pretty good so I was super happy with that! :)  That night we went to Cirque du Soleil's O! Wow!  Was that ever a fantastic show!

On the second day we had wind warnings up to 60 mph!  It was raining in the morning so we waited it out a bit and decided to try out the riding and see how bad the wind really was.  If it's a head or tail wind that would not be much of an issue, I was worried for a cross wind because then I lose control of the bike.  Well,  the wind was not that bad so we ventured out to Red Rock Canyon.  We had a good headwind for most of the ride until we got to Red Rock Canyon.  It started raining so we waited that out and the sun came shining brilliantly so we went ahead into the state park.  The loop was about 22km and the first half was all climbing.    It got pretty warm with the sun but all of a sudden the weather turned for the worst in an instant!  First it started to rain and the wind really picked up.  Then the rain turned to snow and then HAIL! Yup, hail in Nevada in April!  Who would have thought!  Since we were not dressed for below freezing temperatures, we were also getting very cold and the hail stones hurt!  I was ready to bail on the ride but was fighting the urge as we started the descent.  It was so cold and windy I was having trouble controlling the bike.  Well, one of my friends bailed first and tried to take shelter under a tree because she could no longer feel her fingers.  We were facing hypothermia and thoughts of the Mt. Mitchell fiasco in Ashville, NC came into my mind!  After climbing 979m we managed to hail down a pick-up truck who thankfully allowed us to hitch-hike back into Las Vegas.  I really wish I could have taken a picture of the three of us in the back of this pick up with our bikes all huddled in a ball trying to get warm while the wind and rain continued to hit us!  Oh another story for the books! Haha!

After that little blip in the weather department, the rest of the week was great!  On our third day we found an awesome outdoor 50m pool and did a swim workout before heading out on our bikes for a long ride on the 70.3 World Championship bike course.  It was another very windy day and that made the bike course difficult.  There are rollers in the desert but no one real difficult climb, but with the wind howling you are essentially climbing the whole time.  We climbed 1110m in total. We went back to Lake Mead on our fourth day and rode our bikes to the Hoover Dam and crossed the Nevada state border into Arizona climbing a total of 987m.  On our fifth day we headed to the Valley of Fire state park.  That was a great ride!  Another difficult one with the climbing but just beautiful!  There we climbed a total of 1220m and then we went to the pool for another outdoor swim!  On our final day of riding we went back to Lake Mead NP and did part of the Vegas 70.3 course for a total climbing of 988m!  Six solid days of riding and climbing!  Spectacular and so much fun!  Plus, I got an awesome tan!  We did head down to the Vegas strip, Freemont street, some outlet shopping, and even tried out our luck on the slots.  I had a great time!  My hamstring held up alright as well! :)  By the third day I was feeling it a little so I backed off when I felt like I was going too hard.  Having that extra gear on my cassette did make me a climbing rockstar that week! lol!

The week after, I did a 20min TT test on the bike while on the trainer, first for the year and first since just before IM NY.  I hit an average of 200W!  Woot!  Woot!  That was my highest EVER!  But I did remind myself this was the first power test on my Quarq, last year I was using the it may be a bit skewed but it was still a solid test!  Hopefully I can gain some more strength on the bike and can at least be a strong cyclist if my running is not up to par when my race season starts!

Thursday, April 18, 2013


For the past six months I have been sidelined from running due to injury.  But things definitely go into perspective in light of what happened in Boston.  I had many friends and teammates running the marathon and when I first heard about what happened, a moment of fear set in.  Luckily, no one I knew was hurt but that does not change the disgusting and unimaginable of what happened to the victims and their families at a world class sporting event.  It just breaks my heart and brings me to near tears when I think how these people's lives have changed forever.  Sports usually are exempt from the awful stuff happening in the world.  Has this changed? I really hope not!  So as I slowly restart my running (I did 2km yesterday!), my mind and heart and prayers are with the families and friends of Boston.  I will continue to run and hope that somehow sports can still unite the world and be a symbol of peace and harmony.  I am a runner.  I will run.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Good News!

I just received the best news I could have gotten all week!  I had my follow up with the sports doc today post PRP.  I was going into it a bit bummed because I honestly cannot say that my poor hammy feels better. It still hurts walking, doing my rehab exercises, and even standing.  I can bike but it hurts afterwards.  I told him all this and after some poking and prodding and testing my strength he told me I may actually be doing better than I realize.  I really hope that is the case.  He said there is no muscle atrophy and my strength is good.  So he gave me the ok to start some easy running and to go back to yoga! :) Super happy about that!  The plan is to start running 2km every other day and to increase it half a km every week until I get to 20km a week.  I am to see him at the end of the month for another follow up!  I also just got orthotics and hopefully they will help with the PF I am still dealing with.  Oh ya...and along the way I managed to develop peroneal tendonosis in my right foot! Ha!  Armed with this news, I am going to give running a whirl!  Not today though...too tired and sleep deprived!  I will start tomorrow and am looking forward to it! :)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Being optimistic!

I decided to post my tentative race schedule for 2013.  Initially, I was just planning for the Calgary 70.3 and Ironman Mont Tremblant.  But my ol' self is creeping in and is planning a couple more races.  I will keep it very tame though since I am pretty sure my tendon will not be completely healed and I will be disrupting the healing process by planning on racing and training.  I hope to run the Sporting Life 10km as my return to racing although I will not be holding my breath for that one.  I will be taking a charity spot for Mont Tremblant 70.3 (more info on that in the near future) and adding in the TO Women's Half marathon, and the Toronto Triathlon festival as well.  And that will be it!  I swear! ;)  I see the doc this week for my post PRP follow up!  I will see what he has to say! Keeping my fingers crossed!!!