Sunday, 30 September 2007

Jog Bras Are Torture...

I was back in the gym again - getting to be a regular gym rat I am! Today was a leg day. My legs felt fine from yesterdays run so I figured all would be well.

It's amazing how fast muscles adapt, I felt much stronger this time in the gym, and bumped the weights up. Just a smidge though. I even added using a medicine ball to my rocker board squats. It's a very good lesson on balance!!

Hopefully my arms will adapt...right now, however, they are rebelling. I am guessing doing three sets yesterday may not have been the wisest decision....but hey, this is how we learn right?! All will be fine as long as I don't move my arms more than one inch from my body or try to get anything off the top shelve. Not that I have many things on the top shelve, after all, I'm a shorty. haha.

Oh and let us not forget trying to take off a sweaty jog bra. The jog bra is a wonderful thing, once you have it on. Try taking one of those contraptions off when sweaty and without use of ones arms though. Not a pretty sight I must say! More like a one woman wrestling match. I was ready to try and hook part of it on a door knob or something to try and get it off, heck, maybe even call 9-1-1, but finally managed to wriggle my way out of it. LOL.

I'm trying not to think about what the second day pain is going to feel like....eep.

Saturday, 29 September 2007

Am I Getting Faster???

My alarm went off bright and early this morning. I was tired still, but knew I needed to get up for a run. Partly because I wanted to, partly because I feasted on Kernel's double caramel popcorn last night, haha. I walked over to the window and slowly opened the blinds.

What I saw was an absolutely breathtaking view. Sunshine, blue skies, white fluffy clouds and in the distance, snow covered mountains....aaaaaah. It was all I needed to get my 'junk in the trunk' going.

I met up with the running gang down at the cafe. It was the first time I'd gone there since IMC. It was great seeing everyone - there were at least 20 of us! Leslie, Paddy, Kerry and I headed out together towards 'Wine Glass Ranch'.

My legs felt really good. We had a pretty good pace going, Leslie and I seem to have a faster pace than we used to. I think I'm going to bring out my Garmin next time so I can actually see my pace rather than going by feel.

We went through the trails along the river then made our way up one of the more challenging hills here. I thought it would be nice to hit our one minute walk break on the hill - but there was noooo way the running gods and godesses were going to let that happen, haha. Not a biggie though, I'm a hill girl.

We got up the hill and starting along the road that took us past a series of farms. Sometimes, if I'm lucky, the horses up there will be along the fence. If they are I always stop to pet them and say hello. Today though there were only a few cows. They tend not to be as friendly and in need of petting, haha. Snobs!

The view along this road is incredible. You can see a huge stretch of the Rockies. It's just stunning! I was amazed at how much snow they got last night. It was raining, and snowing just a teeny bit last night, so I guess that's why they are covered.

I ran with Leslie for about 50 minutes, then turned around. She's training for a marathon in December so had a longer run. I hope to go for long runs with her again soon, but am still building back up to it. I headed back on my own, savouring the view and listening to the crunching of the gravel under my feet.

My pace felt really comfortable, even though my heart rate was up a little bit. I'm going to have to ask coach about that. I'd like to push myself a bit this year, in both the run and bike. I'm not sure if I should have a really low heart rate for endurance runs, or if it should be moderate till my body gets used to it, then it will drop again????? So much to learn in this sport! No wonder I love it!

Anyways, I got back to the cafe in 1:34 hours. Hmm, a negative split? Not bad considering by the end of the run I was feeling that now massive knot in my calve. Urgh! It didn't slow me down too I must be doing ok with my running... I devoured a savoury bowl of morrocan veggie soup and treated myself to a hot chocolate. It was great hanging with the gang and chit chatting. A typical Saturday tradition for many of us around here.

After my run I headed to the gym. I wanted to get an upper body workout in. My upper back isn't very strong these days and my shoulders have been hurting a bit. The nigglies started before IMC, but I knew I'd have to deal with it after. So now it's time to get strong. I did 3 sets of 12 to 15. My workout today was all supersets. Ball bench press/pullups, incline bench press/rows, bosu ball lateral raises/rocker board pushups, and internal/external rotator.

I felt pretty good on most of the exercises...but I can tell where my weak spots are. The front of my shoulders are strong from swimming, but the back bits are really weak. This is causing me some pain, so I'm trying hard to strengthen them. The rotator exercises are for that, but I could barely do 6 reps by the 3 set. Very sad. My pushups aren't as good as they used to be either. All things to work on....and work on them I shall. Hopefully my mobility will increase too so the clicking in my shoulder stops when I do a full bench press....yeow!!! Hmmm...wonder if I will be able to lift a cuppa tomorrow morning...

1:34 hour run...45 minutes of weights....hopefully that takes care of the popcorn feast, haha.

Thursday, 27 September 2007

I Must Appease The Swim Gods!!!

Apparantly I have ticked of the breaststroke swim Gods with my comments the other day....cause I'm now being tortured with this damn stroke! haha

Today Jen wanted us to practice the kick that goes along with the breaststroke....first with the flutter board. I'm pretty sure my 92 year old granny could have swum faster than I was going! In fact I think I was going backwards. The next exercise was even better....

Picture this if you will....we had to clasp our hands behind our back...then try and kick our hands with our heels then perform the rest of the kick....WHILE IN THE WATER!!! I just don't think so! First off, I am a quadzilla - even on dry land there is noooo way i can get my heels to my hands that are clasped in the small of my back. Oh, and let us not forget, this baby got back! So there's a slight impedment with getting heels there.... Secondly, we were to breath while doing this by arching our back and lifting our head out of the water! Two words...utter chaos!

Jen was going to get us to add in the arms for this exercise...but we were so dismal to this point she figured we'd learned enough of that for the day....HALLELUJAH! Unfortunately though, this means this exercise will be carried forward to another day. Oh joy, oh rapture, unforseen....sigh.

The rest of the swim was all frontstroke - yay!!! We did 300 m while doing a bit of a breathing exercise. The first 25 m was breathing every third stroke, which is how I normally swim. Next 25 was breathing every 5 strokes...not that bad actually. Next 25 m was back to every three strokes...then we got a bit harder and were to breathe every seven strokes! Needless to say by the time I got to take a breath on the seventh stroke I was gasping for air, haha.

I think I did so well at not taking a breath because I've been having to hold my breath for so long during the dang flipturns, haha.

Last exercise of the swim was to swim on the 1:15's. I focused on my stroke and the flipturn. I realized for a good number of the turns I'm doing more of a roll than a flip, haha. Ah well, it will give me something to keep working on!!!

PS....Legs felt good this morning - I didn't fall out of bed...however by this afternoon I could feel the quads and arse a bit. haha. I could probably up the weights a wee bit, but not by too much.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Well That Didn't Hurt....

Tonight was my first workout in the gym...I decided it should be a leg night as I have to swim in the morning and figured I'd need the use of my arms, haha.

It's been a long time since I'd done a weight workout, but it was good to be there. My background is in weight training so I always feel at home in the gym. Hopefully it won't take me to long to get back into the swing of things!!

The program for tonight was squats, deadlifts, lateral step-ups, and a super set of ball hamstring curls/wobble board squats. I did 3 sets of 15 repetitions. I had thought of doing just one set, but felt pretty good so did all three. (Hmmm...there is a good chance I'm going to pay for this way of thinking, haha.) I only added a small amount of weight for the squats, but just used the bar only for the deadlifts.

The squats were easy. I could feel my low back a bit for the deadlifts, but it wasn't too bad. The lateral step-ups; however, were a different story....I definitley felt the burn, haha. Wonder if they have a shorter stool to step up to - likely not! The whole time I worked out I made sure my core was 'engaged'. I gotta say, it makes a difference when it's not!

I love using wobble boards so doing squats on them are a blast. For this exercise you really have to engage your core so you can stay balanced - it's a great workout.

To finish off my workout I did 3 sets of v-sits with a medicine ball twist. I went from 10 on each side to 8 on each side....I really have to work on these!

I kind of feel like I didn't work out hard enough tonight as I was able to walk down the stairs from the gym. Tomorrow will be the big test....if I try to get out of bed and fall flat on my face, then I worked hard enough. If I can walk ok...then I will take it up a notch the next time...mua ha haaaaaaa.

Just call me mini-Ahnold, haha.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Seriously... NO Breaststroke!!!

I was back in the pool bright and early this morning for my swim technique class. I really love going to the class because I feel I learn something every time. (I'm not only referring to the two classes with this group, but the other classes of Jen's I've been to.)

Today was all about getting more on our side with each stroke. Oh, and of course practicing the flipturn. haha. I'm afraid there is no way I can avoid learning it now!!

We did a few hundred meters of warmup, then did 200 m of one arm kick (staying on one side with arm extended and kicking). Next was 200 m of one arm swimming. Yup, that's right, only using one arm for the stroke. I love this drill, it's a lot of fun and not as hard as it sounds. Honest!! haha.

After that it was 600 m of front stroke to put to practice staying on our sides, gliding, etc. Oh, and the flipturn. I was definitley on my side a lot more. Jen pointed out that I was turning my head a bit to much when I was taking a breath. I've been trying to work on that as I know I do it. Likely has something to do with trying to get air rather than water in my lungs. LOL. You know, that old survival instinct...

I have to, grudgingly, admit it...I'm kind of figuring out the flipturn. FINE! I will agree with does make swimming a bit more efficient. I say 'bit' because I'm still doing it wrong most of the times so end up surfacing and gasping for air, then having to try and get swimming. When it works really works!

To finish off our swimming we first did 100 m of backstroke, which I discovered I'm pretty good at! Oh, except that I splash a lot. Not a great thing when you have your mouth open so you can breath. Cough, gasp, sputter!

Lastly, and most disappointingly, we did 100 m of breaststroke! AAAAGHHH! I was going nowhere with it. Jen was killing herself laughing at us...because apparantly we were all doing the same thing. Well, all except Daniella. She is a born swimmer!! I'm not sure of her background, but she makes it all look super easy - and fast, haha. But back to the rest of us mortals....apparantly we were all reaching ahead and pushing the water under us towards the back (as we should). However, then we were all pushing our arms forward to get them ahead again. This, unfortunately, was driving us all BACKWARDS. haha. So there were six of us doing this funny 'move forward a lot', 'move backward a bit' type of swimming. No wonder it took me FOREVER to get a lap done!

Just another reason people shouldn't do the just doesn't work! LOL.

Monday, 24 September 2007

Say NO To Breaststroke!!!

So I went to the pool for an easy swim before work this morning. It was the first time I'd been back at 'my' pool since before IMC. It was great to be back as my friend Cynthia R was there.

We had a great chat about IMC and how it all went. She'd been following me on the computer during the race and said I was really good at holding my pace, haha. Oh I should mention she happens to be a former Eco-challenge competitor! I keep trying to convince her to get into triathlon - she'd be amazing!! My wish is that one day I might actually keep up to her in the pool....

So I didn't really have a plan for my swim, just figured I'd do some laps and try the dread flipturn. Sigh. I decided I'd only do the turn at the far end of the pool so those people hanging out at the 'start' end wouldn't see my floundering, haha.

The pool was pretty busy so I tried to pace myself so I wouldn't be too close to someone and wouldn't have anyone behind me. I'd really hate to have another kicking incident. Tee hee. Problem today though was I was a bit faster swimmer than the other two gals in my lane. A very unusual thing!

Let me just say first that I don't mind if people are a bit slower, heck, I'm a bit slower than others too! Today, however, I took offense to one of the swimmers in my lane. Why?? Simply put - NO BREASTSTROKE IN THE FAST LANE UNLESS YOU ARE AN OLYMPIC SWIMMER OR REALLY REALLY FRIGGIN FAST!!!! At the very least, if you are taking your sweet time doing this...when you notice a swimmer practically on top of you by the time you get to the end of the pool - STOP and let them go by!!!! You are allowed not to notice ONCE, but please don't continue every time!

URGH! It was rather frustrating, as you can likely tell by my writing 'tone'. haha. I may just have to say something about pool etiquette if she is there the next time. Either that or grab her by the foot and drag her backwards so she gets a brain enema. Heh heh....

But enough of that....back to the flipturns. Well, there were more awkward ones than good ones. To be expected really. In fact, in the 45 minutes I swam, I think I managed about 4 that seemed to work! haha. There were several where I sort of ended up at the bottom of the pool somewhat disoriented, then would have to surface quickly as I was in desperate need of air. As well, there were many where I flipped to early and my feet weren't anywhere near the wall. Ah well, at least I got a few to work. I have my swim technique class tomorrow morning so I'll get to do some more there. Woohooooo!

I should mention that once again I left the pool with very clear sinuses due to the mass quanity of water I flushed through! Who needs a neti pot when you are practicing flip turns??? LOL.

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Melissa's 10km Road Race...

Even walking to the start line I wasn't sure how I was going to run this race....would I take it easy, or leave it all on the pavement? A part of me wanted to 'race' this, but I really had no idea what my body would let me do...

Before the race I was talking to my coach's sister, Nadine. She was looking for someone to run with and her goal was to come in under and hour - I thought that sounded pretty good so I said I'd run with her. It's always nice to have someone to run with, but we agreed that if either of us wanted to 'giver' that we'd just do our own thing.

We started out at a pretty good pace, still able to talk, but managing to pass many people. The race course was changed a bit this year because of construction on Banff Avenue, but of course 'the Hill' was still there. You could almost feel the anxiety and energy of the runners increase as we neared the base of 'the Hill'.

As soon as I got near it the wee voice in my head started chanting 'kill that hill!'. So I decided that's what I would do. I had a pretty good pace at the start, which of course slowed a bit as I went on, but I was happy with my leg strength. I swear that hill is never round a corner and thinks it done, but no, there's more....then another corner and more hill. It actually gets pretty steep, but nothing I couldn't handle. Heck I have to run up a long hill at the end of my training runs just to get home! I was really pleased as I got to the top that I didn't stop running and I kept a good pace. My heart rate was pretty damn high, about 175 bpm, but that was to be expected.

Nadine was behind me by a bit on the hill, but caught up by then time we ran down the other side. I got a stitch in my side at this point, but just watched my breathing and managed to get rid of it pretty quickly. Phew!

Without actually verbalizing what we were gonig to do, both Nadine and I started to pick up the pace at the 5k mark. I didn't want to look down at my watch to see what time we were at (I never do during races), but after the race Nadine said we hit it around the 30 minute mark.

We still had to run down the cave and basin part of the run, and then soon enough we'd be at the finish. It was about this point when I remembered someone saying to me that 10km is going to seem really short after doing an Ironman. I gotta say, it didn't really feel that short at this point, haha. We had a pretty good pace going and I definately wasn't doggin it. The hill to the cave and basin is a bit decieving, it seems sort of steep on the way down. I had to remind myself it's not as bad as it looks on the way up, and for the most part it wasn't.

It's really cramped along there too. Tons of runners and a very narrow path. It makes it hard to pass people. As we went around the turnaround Nadine started scooching around people. I did my best to follow. I got stuck behind one fellow for a while, but managed to finally pass and get beside Nadine. We definitely weren't talking anymore, haha. Both of us were breathing pretty hard but we knew we had less than 2km to go and wanted to give it all we had. By the 1 km mark I was wheezing and somehow muttered between intervals of sucking air that I needed my inhaler when I was done, haha.

Finally we were back at the top and running through the trails to the finish. With all the people standing around the finish it's hard not to pick the pace up just a smidge more...that smidge more wasn't too much more though! LOL.

My official finishing time was 56:39 and I placed 81/635 in my division. (My first negative split I should mention - hooyah!!) For fun I looked up my 10 km time from 2004 - it was 57:43 and I placed 149/752. Well go figure, an improvment! Not too shabby for someone who has only run 3 times since IMC! haha. Needless to say, I'm totally stoked about my time and my race performance in general.

The rest of the Cochrane gang did really well with their races as well. I was really happy for everyone. After the race we hung out for a bit, then headed out for some celebratory sushi. Mmmm...sushi, my first most favourite happy food.

Oh, and as a reward treat, I picked up my second most favourite happy M&M and caramel covered apple. An awesome end to an awesome race day!!! YIPPEE-KAI-YAY!!!!

Friday, 21 September 2007

I'm Am WEAK!!!!

This morning I went out for a short, 'day before the race' run. Was out for 30 minutes and did two 3 minute race pace intervals. Needless to say the intervals were not fun. Darn it!!! My breathing was laboured and my legs were a bit heavy. Somewhat disappointing as I kind of hoped, in the back of me wee brain, that I would 'race' Melissa's. Ah well, such is life. Tomorrow I'll just go by feel and see what happens.

In the afternoon I went to the gym and got a new strength program from Patrick. Yet another IronGod here in Cochrane, and also a fitness centre owner, coach, and personal trainer extraordinaire. I haven't done strength training since May, so I wasn't sure how I'd feel.

I should add that I've been a gym rat since I was 16 years old. I love strength training - I find it meditational and the one place I can just zone out and focus on what my muscles are doing. For a person who's brain never stops, this is a blessing.

Today; however, I realized just how much strength I'd lost during training. It was disappointing really. At the same time it was a good thing because I know where my weak areas are now and I know what I have to work on to be stronger for next tri season.

My shoulder had been bugging me the last month of IM training. Today I learned it was because the muscles in my back aren't strong enough, and the front ones are compensating. So we are going to work on that. Also, we'll continue to work on my core. Definitely needed during race season!

I love the exercises Patrick gives because they are for strength, but triathlon related. Hopefully this year I can keep going to the gym even during triathlon training.

I'll have to start slow....I think I hurt even from just doing the 'here's how you do this exercise' workout today. Sooo sad. I'm not too worried though. I know I'll be just like Ahhnold in no time! LOL.

Strike a pose....

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Ow! Ow! Ow! Water Up My Nose!!!

Finally I am back in the pool!! My tattoo put a stop to not only my running and biking, due to shoe issues, but also to my swimming. Finally though, I got to go for a swim. It was HEAVEN!!

It's a little amusing that I think that swimming is heaven now...ask me what I thought of it last year! I used to swim as a kid, but as an adult all I did was frollick in the water and think it was swimming. haha. Talk about a rude awakening when I decided to give triathlon a go and had to swim 25 m. I thought I was going to die!! I was gasping for air, head held high while doing front stroke and I clung to the diving board at the other end while begging my coach not to make me swim back!

At the end of last year though I signed up for some swim technique classes. They were once a month, but wow did it make a difference for me for this year! Plus, I re-discovered my love of swimming!! As last years classes were so great, I signed up for more with the same coach.

My classes will be on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from now until the end of December. I'll also throw in swims on Monday mornings so I can practice what I learned.

This morning was my first swim since IMC, and I gotta say, it felt great. I felt strong and, well, for me at least, I felt fast! We did a 600 m warm up to start, then Jen, our coach, broke the news. We were to learn flip turns today. (Boy did I ever pick a great day to start swimming! haha).

I have tried the dreaded flip turn before. All I ended up doing was getting a brain enima, haha. I tried to use the argument that I only do lake swims in my triathlons, but Jen wasn't going for it. Her point was that we spend most of our time in the pool training, and doing flip turns will make us more efficient in keeping our pace. She had a point there. Dammit!!

I don't think I need to go into great detail here...let's just say it was chaos at first. I would flip and be totally disoriented and facing sideways. Hmmm. Then I kind of got the flip, but was no where near the wall to push off. haha. I even managed to bump my head on the lane divider when I surfaced one time! How the heck that happened, I have no idea....I started off in the middle of the lane!

After a few tries she had us swim 200 m and we had to do flip turns at each end. She's a slave driver I say!! I did so-so in the shallow end, but the deep end threw me off. I'm not sure why. Maybe because the line that signaled I was to take a stroke then flip seemed distorted due to the depth of the pool? Oh, and did I mention I managed to kick the guy behind me after I did a pseudo flip? Lord only knows where! Thankfully there was no blood and he was a good sport about it. I felt horrible!! haha.

Jen said that we'd get lots of practice because she wants us to do this each class with our drills and swim. Ah well, practice does make perfect. Even if it means me floundering at each end of the pool for a while.

One good thing from this little sinuses are nice and cleaned out now!!!

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Okay, Let's Try to Run Again....

Okay, so I decided I'd better get, at the very least, one more run in before Melissa's Road Race this weekend! Last Saturdays run was quite painful, well the last bit anyways. I might add that that pain continued to linger for a few days. You'd think I'd never run before!!

I had planned to run right after work; however I didn't get much sleep the night before. For some unknown reason I woke up at 2:30am and if I did manage to fall back asleep, it sure didn't feel like it when my alarm went off at 5:15. Urgh! I am impressed I didn't manage to fall asleep at work. My body sure wanted to while I was driving home though - quite unnerving I must say. So when I got home I hit the couch and crashed for an hour!

When I finally managed to wake up I had some grub and studied for a while. At about 8pm I thought, why not go for a run now?!

I must say, I had difficulty picking what to wear. Noooo, not because I had to be some fashion statement out there...I mean, that's a given! haha. I had troubles because it's been a while since I had run in 'cold' weather and the wind was gusting big time. I decided to forgo a fleece mid layer and was glad I did when I got out there. (I might add that I was wearing a stunning tights, grey reflective jacket, lime green fleece touque and bright red gloves....oh yeah, I know how to stun 'em! )

The wind was sooo blowy it was pushing me sideways as I made my way down the hill. It wasn't as cold out as I expected though, which was nice. I stuck to the trails for the most part just enjoying being in the trees. It was absolutely stunning out there with the sun going down and all the leaves a beautiful golden yellow. Sigh... I'm thankful to live in a province with seasons. Well, ok, lets be real here, the fall season is about two weeks and then we hit the deep freeze. But still, I really cherish those two weeks where the leaves are ruby read, golden yellow, and burnt orange. There is nothing better!

I felt much better on this run than on Saturdays run. I even threw in a couple fartlek (damn I love that name, haha) intervals. My heart rate was still a bit high, but that could be because I haven't been running. Go figure! I managed to do about 45 minutes, and, of course, ran up the hill to my house.

I'm not sure what my plan is for Melissa's. It's a 10k race (there is a 22km race too, which I usually run, but after doing IMC I didn't think it would be a good idea to try that....). I'd like to give it a good go, but I'm not sure if my legs can handle it. I'll likely just figure it out as I go along. If I feel good, or if I'm just in the mood to challenge myself, I'll push it. Otherwise, I will make sure I wear my IMC finishers cap and be like 'uh, ya, I just finished IMC so I'm going to take it easy this time.....' LOL.

Did I mention there is a really big hill at the start of this thing?? Good thing I live and train in hill country!! Not sure my calves will agree the day of the race though.

Oh well....all I have to say is... Bring It On! haha.

Sunday, 16 September 2007

The Sun Is A Shinin'.....

What a beautiful, amazing bike riding day it is today!! A good thing too - cause my legs are SO not up for running today, haha.

Got up this morning and felt it right away....major muscle pain in my quads. My own fault, I know. Don't worry, cause I'm paying for it with every step I take, haha. In fact, the pain is more than I felt after doing Ironman, if ya can believe it!! Then again I did get an IV after IM and I hear that really helps with recovery! Stairs are my enemy right glad I live in a two story home. Ow, ow, ow. haha.

So I met up with Leslie at lunch time to go for a ride. I was sooo excited about the ride I could barely contain myself. It was a gorgeous day out and we were headed to Horse Creek - one of my favourite areas to ride.

With the first few pedal strokes I was in heaven! It felt so good to be on the bike, and even my legs didn't mind. I was like a kid in a candy store. Heck, I was like ME in a candy store happily munching on my ever favourite caramel and mini M&M's covered apple....ahhh, yes... pure heaven.

Les was wearing her IM bike jersey and we both still had our IM bike number stickers on our bike. It was cute. There were a ton of other IM jerseys and numbers out there too. I giggled every time I saw someone with that - it was really great to see. We are all so happily proud of our accomplishments - as we should be I think!

I am almost embarassed to write this...but of course I will because I'm always happy to make others laugh at my own expense. When I saw Les and the others with their IM jerseys on I was a little jealous and like "oh....I wish I had one to wear so I could be part of the 'clique'". It was almost an hour into the friggin ride when I remembered that I do indeed own an IMC bike jersey!!! I totally forgot I bought one out there. DOH! What an eeejit!! I told Les and she couldn't believe it. How could I forget?! Stupid recovery brain - can't think straight. It better be nice out next weekend so I can wear it!!

The ride was totally amazing, we had a great pace and we both felt awesome out there. It seemed so easy, I just wanted to ride forever. I'm sure I had a million aphids in my teeth because I was grinning ear to ear. The wind seemed to be coming at us at all directions, but we didn't care. It was truly one of those days when you thank the universe many times over because you are alive and doing what you love!!

While I was out riding and savouring every moment of it, I was also thinking of my good buddy IronGreg. He recently learned that a close family friend, a father figure really, had suffered a heart attack and was in the hospital in a coma. I talked to IronGreg last night about his friend, Ned. He described Ned as one of those people that is always smiling and happy. He definitely has a 'joie de vivre' and loves to make people laugh and smile.

I have a favour to ask everyone that reads my blog....take a moment today and send your positive energy to Ned in Regina. I truly believe this will have an effect!! It doesn't matter that we don't know Ned - we will do it because he is a person just like us who loves life to the fullest and who likes to spread joy to others. Let's do what we can with our positive mental energy!!! Thanks so much!

Saturday, 15 September 2007

I'm A Runner Again!!!

I did it!!! I went out for a run. Ohhhh, to be running again....Oh Joy, Oh Rapture, Unforseen!!!

Of course I had grand plans for how long and how far I was going to run....however, reality would soon change those plans.

It started out great...had the tunes going, it was 23 C out, and my feet and legs felt as light as clouds. The first few minutes I was running along thinking - what is all the fuss about not running after doing an Ironman?! I feel great! Then the little voice in the back of my head said 'Uhm, Suse, you are running downhill dude....of course it feels great!' haha. No worries, I'm sure I'll be fine on the flats.

I ran one of my usual routes, along the town pathways. It was awesome being out again. I had worried about my IT band and plantar fascia....totally forgot about the shin pain I had last massage! Everything seemed to be working just fine. Phew!

I even managed to find a new little path! I was running along and noticed a well worn 'unofficial' path that seemed to lead down to the river. I was in an adventureous kind of mood so veered off course and took it. It turned out to be quite the little gem of a path...short, but very scenic as it ran right beside the river. It ended near a little rocky beach section. Mental note, this would be a great spot to sit and read!

As I was running along I kept checking my heart rate. I noticed that it wasn't as low as it should be. In fact, running up even the most minor of inclines seemed to make it jump quite a bit, and it took a long time to come down. At the half hour mark, I was watching it very was about 30 bpm higher than what it should be for my pace and for running on the flats....and it isn't going down. Rats!

The little voice in my head started bugging me again....I knew this was an indication that I was not totally recovered from my IM. I guess I had hoped that the amount of time I had spent in the last few weeks doing not much of anything would miraculously 'heal' me. Apparantly not. haha.

I decided that even though my legs felt good, my heart rate was telling me something and I'd better turn around. I've never had to recover from an IM so I have no idea what to expect. That said, I need to use some common sense. My body and I have a deal you see...I promise to listen to it and in exchange it promises not to spring any acute pain or injury on me! A pretty fair deal I'd say. haha.

So turn around I did. I started making my way along the path again, took my new found little path along the river, desperately tried to remove all the little spider webs, that I have a habit of running through, off of me....EEEK! Spit out a few aphids, gack! Shouldn't they be gone by now?! And sang a little to the tunes I was listening to. All was well....and then I hit the 45 minute mark.....

UGH! Hey! I've been robbed!!! Someone stole my legs and replaced them with cinder blocks!! What the heck?!

Holy hannah! Okay, I'll admit it...I'm not recovered. My heart rate was skyrocketing and my legs were now like lead. Perhaps I should have been doing 10 and 1's before...but nooooo, I had to be IM Susi and just run!! I'm an eejit! haha.

I was pretty close to home, but I still had 'The Hill' to climb. The voice in my head started piping up again....we started chatting and formulated a plan to get home. I WAS going to run up that hill. Why? Cause I'm damn stubborn. First though, I was going to let my heart rate come down a bit and give myself a wee break by walking over the bridge before hitting the hill.

Up the hill I went....very slowly...heart rate was about at about my 'I'm racing a 10km pace'...and climbing. Breathing was a bit laboured...but I was doing it! I was going between two foot in front of the other, and Jack be nimble, Jack be quick. Slowly but surely I was doing it....

When I got to the top of the hill I was at the 1 hour mark of my run. Yup, that was good enough. I could walk the last little bit to home and let my heart rate come down to normal....I hope!

Today was a great lesson...Even though I can run....I can only run for a short while. It's going to take a bit of time to get back in the swing of things. I'm ok with that though, as long as I can run a little bit!! I've really missed it.

Tomorrow's get back in the saddle again! I can't wait!!!

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Inhale...Exhale... which one is more representative of Susi's form of yoga?! I'm thinking the guy near the tree!! Pass the Jack Daniels!!! haha.
KIDDING! Sort of...I'm thinking a little nip of Jack just may help me out with this know, limber me up a bit, haha.
Actually, I am enjoying it. I can feel my core activating again!! I worked a lot on core strength at the beginning of the year, and boy did I need it!! Unfortunately as training progressed it was really hard to fit it in. Not a good thing for me because when things start to go on me it's my low back and hips. The very things that good core strength keeps in check!!! One of my goals when I get back into training will be to maintain the core training, even if it's just for a few minutes each evening.
Yoga is such a funny thing. It seems relatively benign....but holy hannah do you feel it the next day! For me it's mostly my hamstrings and core where I feel it. Further proof that these are areas that need some serious work.
Along with the physical aspect of yoga, I enjoy the calming affect it can have. It's one of the few times I can get my brain to go quiet (a feat in itself!) as I focus on my breathing.
I really really do want to go out for a run...but tattoo is still healing so I'm still not able to put on a shoe. By next week I'm sure all will be healed...and then I'll head out and get some running in before Melissa's 10km Road Race on the 22nd. I can't wait for that!! It's always a great event.
Until then..... Inhale and raise your arms to the ceiling...

Monday, 10 September 2007

Future Triathlete???

What a gorgeous day it was today! I hope we get a few more of these days when I can finally put a shoe back on so I can get out for a bike ride. Would be so much fun to ride to Bragg and back. And seeing as I'm not in official training it would be ok to actually stop there for a tea or a smoothie before heading home!!

I did get outside for a while today. My great bud Danielle stopped by with her wee one, Jack. I like to tease that they named him after my favourite tipsy bevvie, Jack Daniels. haha. He is absolutely adorable, as his picture shows.

I've made it very clear to his parental unit that I will be grooming him as a future triathlete. I made sure I got him an "Ironman Canada 25th Anniversary" t-shirt and my hope is that his first Ironman will be the 50th Anniversary. Of course I will be there with him to complete it!

He starts his "swim" lessons soon too, yay! Well, okay it's really a bob in and out of water lesson with mum, but it's a start!! As soon as I'm able I'll be buying him his first bike too. I can't wait!! Granted he's only four months so I will have to wait a bit....but I'm ready when he is!
Today though we took a stroll along the river. It was just awesome outside. So warm and sunny. I carried Jack for a while so got quite the upper body workout. He's not huge by any stretch, but damn he can get heavy after a while! LOL.
Tonight I'll do a bit of a core workout. When training got heavy during the season I kind of slacked on that. I'm paying for it now as just holding Jack for that short period has my back in knots, haha. I'm such a wimp!!
Just another reminder I need to get into the gym - PRONTO!

Sunday, 9 September 2007


So with the new tattoo comes the inability to wear a shoe, although I can still wear my beloved flip flops all the time now! YAY! See, I have to let the tattoo heal and don't want to 'rip' any of the scab off cause that can leave it looking icky. After all my work at IMC I definitely do not want an icky M-dot!

This however, leaves little things to do exercise wise in the sense I can't put on my sneakers or bike shoes. Probably a good thing in that it's forcing me to take it easy...but a bad thing in the sense that I just want to go ride my bike or run! Oh, did I mention swimming is out too? For at least two weeks till the tattoo has healed.

Today though I finally got off my butt and did a workout that would not require fact I just needed a mat and my barefeet! I dusted off my yoga DVD and settled in to do some strength and stretching work.

One thing I realized very quickly - I am SOOOO not flexible right now, haha. Okay, I never really was...but my muscles are tighter than all begeebers right now. So much so that it's hard to get my calves to stop cramping. Urgh! Ouch!

I managed to do an hour of yoga today, even with the lack of flexibility it felt good to be doing something again. I will try and do this every day, at least until I join the gym again. Which I hope to do this week. Being in the gym is another one of my happy places - it's almost meditational for me.

On top of the yoga I went for a nice walk with my friend and 'sister' Esther, aka Chester. She teased me that I had to wear flip flops whenever we walk cause then she could keep up with me, haha. We went out last week before I got the tattoo, so I was wearing sneakers and was oh so close to breaking into a run. (I can't believe how much I miss it!) It's true, we triathletes have difficulty just relaxing and sauntering!

We walked along the river and dog park, one of my favourite places because I love dogs and this way I can stop and pet them all. Yay! What a great afternoon for a walk too, it was so warm and sunny, the last of our summer days I suppose.

Better savour all the sunny days for soon it will be fall and time to go back into the dungeon to do trainer workouts! EEEEK!!

PS Does anyone know how to edit ones photo on the blog??? I went to put another one in, but it didn't work, now the original one is all stretched and wonky! Hmm, just like I was today! LOL.

Friday, 7 September 2007

Holy Hannah!!!!!

I'm a nutbar. It's confirmed....

Just before I went to Ironman Canada I submitted my application for a 'Community Fund' spot at the 2008 Ironman Coeur D'Alene. Why?? Because I really loved the long distance training that had just finished and because I know 13 others from my town that are going.

When I first saw there were spots left I started to think a lot about signing up....I watched as the spots as they slowly dwindled down....81...68....53....31. When it hit 31 spots I thought, what the hell, lets do it! Afterall, what good reasons did I have for not signing up??

Actually it was my coach that asked me that question. 'What reasons do you have for NOT signing up Suse?'. Huh, know, I really can't think of any. (Remember, this response was from someone who had yet to actually participate in an Ironman and was still on a training high!!)

At the last moment I filled out the forms and rushed to the bank to get the money orders, gulp, that's a LOT of money! I then rushed to the UPS on Friday morning and sent off everything. I was told that they likely wouldn't get the package until Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning because apparantly there are no couriers that work on weekends!

I spent the entire weekend sweating it out.....checking the far the number had not moved from 31 spots left. It was silly really, I needed to be worrying about what I needed to pack for IMC!

On Monday morning I checked the websites, it said 'Coeur d'Alene CLOSED'. Bummer, I didn't receive the email stating I'd gotten in. I was too late sending the forms and moola in.

After IMC I figured it was the universe giving me a break. I obviously needed more training. Not to worry, I'd sign up with Les and David next year and go in 2009. All was definitely most well.

By the time I'd gotten back from Penticton, I thought I would have gotten the money orders back but there was nothing there. So I decided to call NA Sports to see what the procedure was. Did I mention it was a lot of money??? Did I mention I'm dutch/scottish and we don't like don't like 'throwing away' money??? LOL.

I called all week to no avail. No answer and the answering machine was full. Well yesteray I finally got through. Here's how the conversation went, 'Hello, this is Melody speaking' a kindly Southern voice said on the other end of the line. "Hi there, my name is Susi, I applied for a IMCDA community spot, but I didn't get in. I was wondering what the procedure is for sending the money orders back?" 'How do you spell your name again' So I spelt it all out. 'Oh, we accepted your application Susi, we sent an email confirming it on August 20th'. "I'm sorry, what did you just say??" 'You are in, we just need you to fill out the online application form.'. The conversation after that is a bit of a fog.

Once I hung up the phone though I stated very loudly 'Holy crap, I got into Ironman Coeur D'Alene!!!!' I believe I repeated this over and over again whilst bouncing up and down in my chair.....My office mate was killing himself laughing at me.

Yes, I had thought taking next year off of Ironman's was the way to go, but I admit it, I'm totally stoked about the fact I'm going to do another one. Totally stoked in a stunned, holy shite, kind of way. I made sure my Mum was sitting down when I called her with the news. Of course she didn't even miss a beat and said 'Okay, whats the date and where do we need to be?' Explained to Dad that there were others from town going so it was ok. Leslie laughed with joy when I told her. My coach screamed with glee when I gave her the news. And IronGreg patted me on the shoulder and congratulated me all the while having a huge grin on his face!

I think the funniest thing though was getting an email from David this morning. It said, 'Susi, I just happened to check the IMCDA participant sign up list tonight....I think the reason you didn't get your money back is because YOU ARE ON THE LIST!!!' Hilarious! I had to send a note back saying, uh, ya, I was going to call you guys about that.

And so the journey continues..... Ironman Coeur D'Alene, here I come!!!

Thursday, 6 September 2007

The Tattoo....

It all started last year. I knew if I finished Ironman Canada 2007 I'd want to get the M-dot tattoo. However, I didn't want to get the tattoo that everyone else got, afterall, one of my motto's is 'dare to be different!'. (This motto has been with me for years - the parental unit will back me up on this one as they had to deal with having a punk rock daughter when I was a teenager, haha!)

First I decided where I wanted it. I figured my foot would be a great place because I use my feet to kick in the swim, pedal on the bike, and take many, many steps on the run. It didn't matter to me that it wasn't 'out there' for all to see. This was for me and nobody else. (The fact that I'm now boasting about it on a blog though has not been lost on me, LOL.)

So I started to think about what I'd want. I definitely wanted a maple leaf as I'm a proud Canadian and I was going to be doing Ironman Canada. I found an awesome design that I brought into Deano at Deadly Tattoos (figure I should plug his shop as he's a great artist). He took my design and made it even better. The result can be seen on the right.

For the last 10 months I have looked at the blank space in the middle of that maple leaf knowing that one day an M-dot would be added.

Before I left for Penticton I made an appointment with Deano. On September 5th at 6pm I would show up at the tattoo shop the proud finisher of least I had hoped I would. LOL.

I have to say there were many things that got me to the finish line on August 26th, one of the bigger things though was the fact that there was no way I was going to have to miss that tattoo appointment!! I WANTED MY M-DOT!

And now I have it!!! I should note that getting tattooed on the top of the foot where there is nothing but skin and bone, is not the most pleasant experience. In fact it is one of the more painful areas to get tattooed. You wouldn't have known that though by looking at me because I had the biggest shite-eating grin there was, haha. (Okay except for when he first started, tee hee). My friend Sk8trboi was kind enough to take some photos of the process of which I have attached for your viewing pleasure.

And the finished product.....

Now THATS an M-Dot!!!

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

One Step At A Time....

As mentioned in 'The Aftermath', the time after Ironman can be a difficult one. A lot of us were so busy with training that we had to put all else aside and now with Ironman done, it's time to deal with all that 'stuff'.

This can be a hard process to go through because this can be a very down time for some. There is a certain sadness that comes along with all the training being done and the big day being over. This leaves a lot of time to think about 'things'. I'm sure the same thing happens after weddings and final exams etc.

I myself have been a little melancholy since leaving Penticton. I knew there were some things I'd have to face when I got back as well, which I was apprehensive about. I recieved some really great advice today - actually it was more of a reminder. Something to help me through a rough time and I share it in hopes that maybe it will help others....

"Everything --- everything --- we learn in training must be applied to life because, as cliche as it may sound, life is the real endurance event ... and, in the end, the only one that counts. If we do not apply the lessons we learn in training to our lives, those lessons lose their meaning."

For me, this means savouring the journey of life for all it delivers. It also reminds me to learn from all my experiences, and to be at peace with it all. Everything will work out in the end, one just has to remember to have patience with the process.

How did I get through Ironman when it was getting tough? No matter what, I kept moving forward, one step at a time...and that's what I need to do now.

Hugs to all.

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Say Cheeeese!

Okay, I have some photos uploaded for ya. If you look at the left menu bar on my home page you'll see a link 'My Photos'. Click on that and you'll be able to see some of the photos from IMC. I'm still figuring this program out so they may be scattered, haha.

I do have my 'official' photos from the race, but just as hard copies. I'm going to scan them then upload them as well.

OOOOH! I should add too that I'm now 'famous'. It would seem that I somehow got into the Official Ironman Canada 2007 DVD! Go figure.

I knew that a Team Tri Life gal was on the DVD turning the corner on their bike, but didn't know who. When I watched it in Grand Forks I thought maybe it was Tigger. I watched it again at Les and Robs and Leslie says 'Susi, that's you!'. I didn't believe her, but we rewound it and watched it in slo-mo and sure enough it's yours truly. Waaaaay too funny!!!

It must have been my perfect form that prompted them to add me....NOT! LOL.

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Ho, Hum.....

Okay, all this rest is getting boring, haha. I'm sooo used to doing something everyday that I'm getting bored. However, the fact that I keep wanting to nap, even though I'm bored tells me that likely I still need to recover a bit more. Well, there's that and there is how I felt during my massage today. One word.... F************!!!!! (That's a long, drawn out f-bomb in case ya don't know.)

My back was super sore in so many areas. I figured my lower back would hurt some because it siezed up on me by Tuesday after the race. Driving in a car for hours definitely didn't help either, haha. I thought my legs were doing ok though. I was even thinking of going out for a short run, on the other hand, I'm thinking I'll give it some more time. Why?? Cause when my massage therapist worked on my shins I damn near hit the ceiling! Searing pain, that's what I felt. I was like 'what the heck is that???' OW!!! Can I have a leather strip to bite down on please???

Apparantly my shins have taken a bit of a beating. I felt fine walking, but I can barely touch them without much pain. My RMT suggested that I not subject them to any impact for the next while lest I suffer from the dreaded shin splints in future. Actually, I think she said I had shin splints. Perhaps I felt them on the run at IMC - who knows, everything hurt then! LOL. My left IT band was a bit tender too. This would be the one that protested when I tried to run across the street as the light was changing the other day, haha. Just the bod saying 'hullo...uhm, can you take it a bit more easy please??'

So no running for a while...good thing I went out today and got some new tubes for my mountain bike!! Snoopy happy dance time!! I hear the mountains calling - time to get out there on the bike before the snow flies! I'm sure I'll have some interesting stories to tell from those rides. It's been a while since I've been on a bike that isn't a road or tri bike!