Tuesday, 27 November 2007

How Do Dogs Do This???

Well I was 15 minutes late getting into the pool this morning. We got a wee bit of snow overnight, but it was enough that even at 5:45 am it was chaos on the roads. Sigh.

As I drove into town I passed a semi that had flipped, and when I got into town I had to zig zag all over downtown just to bypass fender benders. At least I got a good 45 minutes swim in!

The first drill was 6 x 75 m (50m drill/25 m swim). For three sets we did the zipper drill, then the last three were the three touch drill. Basically the three touch drill is where you make like the zipper, touch your hip, should, noggin, then stroke.

Next up was 6 x 75 m kick drills. These ones were made all the more interesting as we were not to use a kick board...hmmmm. The first 25 m was kicking with head submerged, using sculling to take a breath. The next 25 m was kicking underwater. Always a challenge for Ms. Junk in the Trunk, haha. My arse ALWAYS wants to surface, haha. The last one was, well, near impossible. We were to extend our arms in front of us, keep our head above water, and kick.

Hmmmm....tricky....I kicked as hard as I could, trying to keep my head above water. As I did so I felt like a golden retreiver or something, haha. My tongue was hanging out too as I gasped for air. Luckily we were to take a 20 second rest at the end of the 75 m. At one point I thought my heart was going to pound out of my chest! As I'm stubborn, I managed to get them all done - even if it wasn't very graceful. Meh, graceful schmaceful, haha.

After that it was an easy 300 m. I practiced my stroke and kept an eye on the hair tumbleweed that was floating along the bottom of the pool. Thankfully it was in the deep end. Hack!

Monday, 26 November 2007

Feelin Hot, Hot, Hot!!!

So I tried out hot yoga tonight for the first time! I went with my friend Katie, so she explained to me what happens. I have to say, it was -23 C yesterday with the windchill so I was very excited to get into a room that was heated to 100C and 50% humidity, haha.

When we got into the hot room there were people just laying about. Getting in 'the zone' I would presume. Katie and I picked a spot by the far wall and in the back. Ya, I'm a 'back of the class gal', haha. As a newbie I didn't want to be front and centre...nor did I want to be in front of the handsome fellas in the back, LOL.

The teacher came in and got us going pronto. It was a vinyasa flow class so we did a lot of the Sun Salutation routine, with varying poses in between. I've done this one a few times so wasn't too bad at it, although she did call it out quite quickly. Hmm...aren't I supposed to be meditating and breating with each move?! Rather than trying frantically to keep up with each pose?! The teacher was quite sweet, but she did not have the voice of a yogi master. There was no calm or soothing melody to it, haha. Actually, she'd be quite good at running a boot camp class I think!

No worries though, I was enjoying myself as I stretched, bent, and breathed each pose. I really enjoyed where we'd stop and just lay down on our mats in between. It was to let our spines relax.....sure, whatever you say...wake me up for the next move. Forgive the drool...

We did a few sets of balancing and flexibility as well. For some of the poses I had to observe my neighbor as I wasn't sure what to do. However, I am happy to report that I am still a ninja princess and can balance with the best of them. My ahnold like muscles (yes, I'm totally being silly here) did not like being twisted around though. I just can't cross my quazilla legs and wrap my foot around my calve. It isn't going to happen, haha. Not unless I lose some serious muscle bulk, tee hee. At least that's what I like to tell myself!

The last thing we did was a set of ab workouts. Let's just say that it's obvious I haven't been in the gym in a while. YEOW!!!! "Lift legs and switch, switch, up, down, back, forth, yada, yada!!!" " NEXT MOVE KEEP THOSE LEGS UP THERE!" Riiiiiight. Drill sargeant!

At the very end they dim the lights and let you lie down on your mat. Aaaaaah. Now this is the life. At one point I thought I heard someone behind me making what can only be described as a very low foghorn like hum. I was thinking, 'Dude, I'm trying to relax here...have a little consideration!'. It started getting louder and louder so I wondered if he'd been to some fancy schmancy yoga centre in India and learned some meditative hum. I was not impressed. Then I realized what it was....a cd. haha. The instructor had turned on a cd before she left the room so we could relax to, uh, to.....foghorn humming?!

At least I wasn't the only one that thought that. I brought it up with Katie and she thought it was some guy in the class too, LOL!

It was a fun class though and I know it will help with my flexibility, so hopefully I'll get there again soon!

Thursday, 22 November 2007

What Was I Thinking?!

I hadn't been in the gym in a while, so yesterday when Esther said she was going I thought, hey, I'll join you! I ran for a half an hour on the treadmill in the new bounce shoes, then got into an upper body workout.

I was feeling good, so of course did what I normally do 3 sets of 12: pull ups, seated rows, bench press with bar, one arm bench press on the ball, pushups and flys. No problemo.....until I got into the car and went to drive. Hmmm....why are my arms shaking?? Oh, ohhhhhh....

When I woke up this morning I could feel my pecs, shoulders and whatever muscle that is in front where your arms attach. I had a swim session this morning so figured it would help work things out. Riiiiiight...

I didn't feel too bad in the pool, so, yep, you guessed it, pushed myself. Big mistake.... (At least I had some rest moments when I was fartin around with my stupid goggles cause I couldn't get the darned seal right!)

How tired and in pain are my arms? Well today at work I told someone I'd bring them the scotch tape holder....I extended my arm to reach for the holder, picked it up and just about fell to the floor screaming in pain, haha. I could barely lift it! I swear it felt like 20 lbs!! Ow. Ow. Ow. Too funny. Needless to say I took a ribbing for that one.

Oh yeah, I'm Ms. Big Tuff Ironman - can't even lift a wee scotch tape holder! Sheesh.

Saturday, 17 November 2007


Went for a short run today - just over an hour. Mind you I stopped to pet a really cute looking pug, in addition to a very chatty orange tabby cat, so actual running time was likely an hour. What's the point of running if you can't stop and pet animals?!

The run was really nice, just along the town's pathways. I ran with Sue and Trish for 30 minutes, then turned around and ran back on my own as they were going a little longer today.

I felt pretty good for the most part, although I noticed my heart rate was a wee bit high. I have GOT to stop running in 'the junk zone'!! Practice, practice, practice.

When I got back to the cafe, the usual suspects were there. As I was chatting away, Lisa came in with my spiffy new shoes. These are the shoes that I will wear for a few runs then do my second guinea pig test in. I put them on, then immediately proceeded to jump up an down...yup, I definitely can jump higher in theses shoes. I swear! Afterall, they are called 'Bounce'. In fact, everyone in the cafe could see I jumped higher, haha. Actually they are super cool looking, as you can see in the picture below. How they will feel running....well now....that's to be determined....

Thursday, 15 November 2007

The Navy Seal...

I got to use my new fancy dancy 'The Seal' goggles this morning. Yay! I was tired of wearing the little goggles that squish my eyes - I figure I'm getting old and one day the skin isn't going to bounce back and I'll have little squishy eyes forever....so I bought the Seal type.

These are the big type, that I will assume by the name, are designed after something similar to what a Navy Seal would wear???

The first thing I thought when I put them on was 'Holy Suction Batman!'. I pushed on them to create a seal and for a while I thought my eyeballs might suck out of their sockets, haha. I finally got a good seal going without the strain on the eyes. Phew. When I finally got my noggin in the water I was amazed at how much I could see! Thankfully this pool is clean so I didn't have to see any heeby geeby things...aka stray hairs. Gack!

We did a 400 m warm up, then went into a 500 m swim doing 75m swim/25 m drills. We then did some kicking 200 m with 25 m kick, 25 m hard kick. One of the guys in the class was swimming beside me in the other lane so it gave me incentive not to get left in his wake, haha. Noooo, I wasn't being competitive or anything...I just didn't want to be last. Tee hee. Needless to say I was sucking major wind trying to keep up.

Lastly, before watching a swim video, we did 5 x 50 m sprints. During the other freestyle swim Jen pointed out that my arm wasn't entering the water at the right angle. My arm was too straight. Hmm...this is how I'd been swimming the last two years....

So I started entering the water on an angle, likely around 45 degrees, then pulling. Holy hannah that felt weird!! I wasn't sure I was doing it correctly, but Jen watched me do a couple laps and said she could see an improvement in my speed right away. Hmm....it did seem that the tiles on the bottome of the pool were whizzing past a bit faster. (I can see them now with my new super duper goggles!)

The big test came when we did 5 x 50 m sprints. I had a send off time the same as one of the guys. The last while I noticed I have not been keeping up with him. This time though, was different. We started at the same time, but with my new improved stroke I was able to take the lead. Very cool. I was pooped at the end of the 5 sprints, but felt great.

The fun part now was taking off my goggles. Jen was killing herself laughing at me cause I was pulling and pulling on the goggles and the darn seal wouldn't break! Finally I wedged one of my fingers under the gasket and broke the seal. At least I know they shouldn't get kicked off in an open water swim! LOL.

Oh, and no squishy eyes! Just a really nice ring around my eye area.....sigh.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Where Is All This Red Fluff From?!

I didn't get to swim this morning as I have to let the stitches in my arm heal a bit. No need to worry about the stitches....although I did tell Keith they were due to a treadmill mishap, which he believed cause that would be something that would have happened to me - they are actually from some very minor surgery I had yesterday.

So no swim stories to share. I do; however, have some more lab rat stories! First off, OW!!! My nose is bruised! Now I know you are thinking, "What the heck - her nose??? How would she have hurt her nose on the treadmill?? Unless of course she DID fall and didn't tell us...that shifty little.... "

No, no, it wasn't due to the the treadmill. It was from the oxygen mask! My wonderful, royal dutch nose is pretty darned solid. Seriously. I'm talking so hard I'm sure I could crush things with it. It's just skin and rock solid bone. Well, then a bit of a flare and cartiledge at the nostrils, but that was a given! Okay, back to the nose. I was having troubles achieving negative pressure on the oxygen mask, likely because of my strong sturdy boney nose. We positioned it a few times and got it pretty good...but the plastic that formed the mask wasn't as soft as it could have been. It was a bit uncomfortable during the run, and today it is bruised. haha. My poor nose! It doesn't help that I wear glasses and the bridge of the glasses is riiiiight where the bruise is, haha. No worries, we're tough and shall survive.

Another thing I forgot to mention yesterday was how they stuck all that stuff on me. One of the adhesives used to stick electrodes and balls on me was called 'medical glue'. Now at one point, Lisa called it 'SUPER glue'. She laughed it off and corrected herself, but I'm now starting to wonder...I seem to have sticky areas that still have red fluff and blue fluff stuck to it. AND YES I SHOWERED THIS MORNING!! It still wouldn't come off though....even with scrubber gloves. Sigh. Medical glue indeed, I think Super Glue is likely what it was! I should mention it took me a bit to figure out where the hell the red fluff came from...then I remembered the red fleece shirt I was wearing last night. (The blue is from the shirt I'm wearing today.) Ohhhhhhh....

The second thing used to hold the many wires etc to me was medical tape. The fact that it held even with me perfusely sweating, or rather, uhm, glistening, should have been a clue. It wasn't so bad ripping it off some parts of my leg...but it would seem that I didn't quite shave close enough on the back of my leg. Let me just say this, I started to rip the tape off when I felt that distinct ripping, pulling, stinging sensation. At this point I thought, okay, here we go, just like Mum would do....1-2-3 RIPPPP!!! Mmpgfff....

You'd be so proud of me - I did not scream aloud! I did not scare all the students or researchers working. Instead my inner voice screamed a scream that any B Horror Flick director would have been be proud of. LOL. I'm ok though, I survived...

Now what I want to know is...how the hell do women wax their friggin legs??? YEOOOOOW!

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Susi The Guinea Pig...

Yup, that's me behind all that gear! I gotta say, what an experience!
As mentioned yesterday I was asked by my friend Lisa if I'd like to participate in a running experiment for a running shoe company. As I'm always up for an adventure I said 'Sure!'.
Actually I was flattered that she asked me as I'm just your 'Average Jill' runner. Not that you needed to be a speedy gonzales for this experiment, you just had to be able to run a half marathon distance. Yup, I could do that! In fact I'm running a half marathon this coming Sunday, haha.
Today was the first of the tests where I'd be all hooked up. As you can see in the one picture I had many electrodes hooked up to my right leg. These would measure how my muscles were firing. I also had reflective dots on me so the many sensors that surrounded the treadmill would record my movements. You can see the red light from the sensor in the other picture. Oh, and if I didn't have enough gadgets attached to me I also had an oxygen mask on. Too bad it wasn't pumping oxygen IN to me. haha.
Getting all hooked up was quite the process. I give full credits to Lisa for knowing all the many places to stick the little cables and dots! I had to laugh at a couple moments as the electrodes had snaps that she had to push on...well my legs aren't solid muscle (YET!) so the little snaps would just goosh right in, haha. Then there was the time when she was attaching things to my hamstrings, I'm quite a ticklish person and it was everything I had in me not to squirm and jump. I did giggle but managed for once in my life NOT TO SNORT! It's a friggin miracle, I know!
While all of this was going on I was silently praying my stomach would hold out. Once again I was having issues. I didn't want to let Lisa down though so I sucked it up and went for the testing. After all, I have run through these feelings many of times, and could do it again....especially in the name of science!
I wasn't sure how I was going to run with all this gear on, but for the most part it didn't get in the way. I did have one of the little balls fly off, thankfully I didn't step on it, haha. As I was going through all this I couldn't help but feel like a real athlete. In fact I kinda felt like Michael Jordan...albeit shorter, whiter, more girly,and without the vertical, haha. Why? Cause I've seen him all dolled up with these wee dots so he could be taped going for a jump shot. I think they do this with athletes for use in video games???

Anyhoo, the time had come - the Ironman Canada 2007 DVD was loaded into the computer so I could watch while running, all machines were working and the treadmill was started! Muscle monitoring? Check! Heartrate? Check! Wee reflective dot recording? Check! Now all I had to do was run!

So run I did.

I've been told that it's amusing to know my thoughts as I go through certain experiences....so here is what I was thinking....

"Hmm, this isn't too bad. Damn, Keiren Doe looks hot in a wetsuit! Look at his quads! Oh, I wonder if they can see my heart rate just increased looking at him?? haha. Come on tummy, hold on! If you ignore the pain it will go away. Hey, where'd that cute dude go in the other lab? Not that it matters cause I look sooo attractive with all this gear on, tee hee. Good thing I went pee before I got on here. There's Angie on the DVD!!!!! Go Team Tri Life! Man, what a day. I can't believe I was actually a part of that race. I hope I don't get all choked up or something, I won't be able to breath. AAAAGGH. Itchy nose....can't reach with mask on! Do not think itchy, do NOT think itchy! I wonder how long I've been going? Can you imagine if I trip? Hopefully the cables will let go as I fly off the back. Yipes! Ow, shooting pain through guts. Dammit! Okay, focus on tv. Hellooooo Keiren....I love Keiren's dreadlocks! Holy crap look how he rides up that hill? Go Lisa Bentley Go! Man, I SO hope my stomach does not drop out of me...cause there is NO WAY I can get off this treadmill quickly and that would just be soooo icky! It is a treadmill afterall...ew. Bahahaha. Ok, laughter is good medicine. Ow, I think the freezing in my arm is wearing off...starting to feel stitches. I wonder what I look like on the computers running on this thing? Oh! There goes a ball. I wonder if that just flicked right off the back of the treadmill, that would be funny to see. I wonder how long I've been on here? Likely only two minutes longer since the last time I thought that, haha."

I should point out that Lisa had to ask me a question about whether or not my mind was quiet while doing the test....Riiiiiiight. My little mind gerbil never stops!!

As it took a bit to get all hooked up I didn't run for the hour I thought I would. It ended up being about 25 minutes. Lisa also knew my guts were killing me so perhaps she stopped it early for that too. She did say she had good data, phew! If not, I'd be happy to go in again. In fact I will be going back in in a couple of weeks to run with the 'special' sneakers on to see if there is any change in how I run etc etc.

I am very thankful to be part of this experiment. I mean, how many people get the opportunity to be involved in something like this??? It was SOOOO cool! I look forward to the next time!

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

The Bionic Woman...

Today was most definitely a triathlon day....I swam...I biked...I ran....I am now one very tired princess triathlete, haha.

First off was the swim. We did a 400 m warm up, then went into a kick drill. The purpose of the kick drill was to stay on our sides and reach slowly as if we were going to do the pull of the stroke, but not pull and bring our hands back. Amazingly enough I could actually do this - although I must admit at the time I wasn't sure! After we'd done 50 m of this Jen asked if I could demonstrate to the class how it was done. Why yes, yes of course I can, I said with a great big grin across my face!! Go ahead and say it.....KEENER, KEENER. haha. We did 50 m more of this drill using fins...then it was on to 50 m sprints.

We did the following 50 m sprints 5 x 1:15, 4 x 1:12, 3 x 1:05, 2 x 1:00 minutes. I was pretty happy with my swimming because I was completing 50 m in under 50 seconds. This was pretty consistent throughout. On our last 50 m we were to go all out and breathe every 5 strokes...my time was 44 seconds. I worked hard and it was a great swim!

After work I headed to the Human Performance Lab at the University. My friend Lisa is conducting a study for a running shoe company. What do I have to do? Well, the first thing was a threshold test to find out my lactate threshold. Next I'll do a one hour run at that threshold level (so basically run at my 10 k race pace). I'll do that one more time, but with the fancy new sneakers! (Yes, I get new sneakers....there has to be SOME incentive, haha.)

Tonight was my threshold test. I ran for 10 minutes to warm up, then put on my bionic woman attire. I had a harness that had a battery pack and some sort of thingymajig (yes, I know, very technical) that recorded stuff and transmitted it to the computer. Along with that I had on an oxygen mask whatchamacallit. Damn I looked fine! A good thing too as there was a rather handsome fellow that kept walking past the treadmill...

Lisa had started me off at a pace of 5.2 miles/hr, it then went up in 0.3 increments every 2 minutes. There was a very nice woman helping out. Her job was to count down the last 10 seconds then increase the speed. It was pretty funny cause she had this wonderful German or Swiss accent and would say '3, 2, 1 and now we go up!'. haha. Perhaps you had to be there. As the pace got harder, the 'now we go up' got even funnier. I will add that I was not laughing however, I was concentrating very hard on the little Buddha statue on a desk nearby as I ran my tush off!! I think I stopped after doing a 7.0 mile/hr pace. I was pretty comfortable, but it was getting hard.

Once I finished my run test I rushed over to the tri shop for IronGreg's spin class. Tonight's class involved a 20 minute time trial...also known as ANOTHER threshold test, haha. We did some one legged spinning, then speed ups, etc. After a couple of 3 minutes steady state intervals it was time for the test! Woohoooo!

I actually have never done this before so was looking forward to it. My legs however, weren't so sure... I got into a gear I figured I could handle for 20 minutes and started pedaling. At first my legs felt tired, then they felt uncomfortable, then I didn't feel a heck of a lot...haha. I have to say it all went pretty quickly, every two minutes IronGreg would ask for our heart rates and cadence. In all honesty I am way too tired to remember what I started out at...but I do know I held the gears and my cadence at 90 and my heart rate got to 157.

Needless to say it was a very, very long day...but a productive one!!!

I think this day calls for a great big HOOOOYAAAAH!!! I AM a bionic woman. tee hee.

Monday, 5 November 2007

-7 Degrees and Clear...

I went out for a run this morning around 6am...and boy was it c-c-c-cold! The great thing about going out then was that it was so dark I could see all the stars - Orion's belt, the big dipper, and this really bright star that was beside the moon. I see it most mornings - it's one of the brightest in the sky, but I'm not sure what it's name is.

Because it was so dark I decided to stick to running along the sidewalks in the neighborhood and do some loops, rather than going on the trails. Afterall, I really didn't feel like dealing with coyotes, the boogeyman, or any other saskwatch like creature that was lurking behind a tree just waiting for an unsuspecting short blond jogger to happen by...

It was pretty quiet out there, just the swishing of my jacket, pants and the calming hum of the many diesel trucks being started up and left running. Sigh... damn rednecks! haha. Gotta love breathing in diesel fumes while running! Cough, gasp, sputter!!

My run was easy, only a half hour and I kept my heartrate down. I loved being out there in the dark and on my own, it was actually pretty relaxing. Well, until I got to a cul-de-sac and decided that if I were to do a loop I would have to go through a walkway that would lead me partway down 'the Beast'! Normally this would be ok, but we had some snow on Sunday, which was now ice. So it made the Beast even more beastly!

So now I had to quickly step my way down an icy path, which ran along a spooky dark field. Needless to say I tried my best to get down that area of pathway as quickly as possible without slipping! Eep.

Thankfully I made it down safe and sound. I ran around the neighborhood below min then finished my run off by climbing up the hill to my place. A pretty great way to start the day if I do say so myself!!!

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Banff Winterstart 5 Miler 2007...

Last night I participated in the Banff Winterstart 5 Miler for the first time. I have to say, I doubt it will be my last time!

I headed to Banff with my good buddy Tigger, who was also a Winterstart first timer. We were meeting up with about eleven others from the Cochrane running club, which was awesome. We do like to take over in our nifty neon yellow club jackets!!

Before congregating at the start line a couple of the veteren Winterstart gals handed us some glo-stick anklets, braclets and necklaces. Hmmm, glo-stick you ask?? Why for? Well, let me tell you, Winterstart is not your ordinary race. It's starts at 7 at night, and you run out of the Banff town centre and into the dark streets heading up Tunnel Mountain.

I wasn't sure why the girls brought out glo stuff as I knew we'd be getting a glo-stick at the start. But as we made our way to the start I started to understand. There were tons of people with glo-stick glasses, Christmas lights around them, head lamps and all sorts of fun stuff. Now these were my kind of people!

When I got my glo-stick from the race gal I had an immediate flashback to Ironman...I looked at Tigger and could tell she was thinking the same thing. This time though, running through the dark would be different...for one...we'd be friggin RUNNING! LOL.

The countdown began and finally we were off like a hurd of turtles! As always in a race like this there is a bit of walking and shuffling at the beginning, but soon enough we were running. The Cochrane gang started as a group and then we naturally split up. Janice and I ran together the majority of the race.

Running through town was easy, but once we got past all the streetlights it was hard to adjust the eyes. Cars would be coming towards you and with their headlights glaring in your eyes you'd lose perspective of the road.

In addition, the organizers had arranged little flashing orange construction lights along the road to guide us. A good idea in theory, but when you have hundreds of people running en mass the lights were hard to see and many a runner tripped over them...including Janice. I'm pretty sure she managed to take out a few of them even with me yelling 'LIGHT!!!'. It was pretty funny actually, I'd yell light, then hear her trip and kick a light, then a laugh as she said she'd gotten another one! At least she didn't fall. In fact, I think it almost became a game!

I knew there was a hill on this course, but wasn't sure what to expect. Would it be as long and grueling as Melissa's? Would my Cochrane hill training assist me once again? We were about to find out.

As we rounded the corner onto Tunnel Mountain Rd. all you could see were bobbing little lights. I could tell people were running uphill, but couldn't guess the gradient. As it turned out I rather liked this. There wasn't a visual to psych me out or intimidate me. I just kept my steady pace and let my feet and legs do all the work figuring out where they had to go. There seemed to be several around me huffing and puffing, but I felt quite good. It was dark out so I have no idea of my pace or heart rate, but I knew I was running harder than I would on a Saturday morning run and yet not so hard I wanted to puke my lungs out. A perfect balance I think! haha.

We rounded the turnaround point and headed back. I decided it was downhill so why not pick it up a bit. I didn't have a time goal for this race because as far as I was concerned it was all in good fun. Personally, these are the best races!! It was still hard to see, but it was a blast running downhill in the dark!! We were bobbing and weaving around people and their wee lights, silently praying that there wasn't a pothole, or in Janice's case a construction light, ready to trip us up as we passed the next person. Weeeee!

At the bottom of the hill we turned the corner and headed back onto the main stretch towards the finish. It was then that I reflected on how much has changed in the last two years with my running. I had a lot of strength and felt great. I was challenging myself, but had a ton of energy to do it. I can't wait to be able have this type of steam at the end of a long race!!

Finally I was back into the light of town and only a few blocks from the finish. I picked the pace up a wee bit more, rounded the corner and finished under the strings of white Christmas lights. My time was approximately 49 minutes. Nice! I had a great run and felt awesome!!

After the race they had a gathering in the underground parking of the sponsor hotel. Beer and treats were available and a ton of door prizes were given away too. Alas, I did not win anything. Is all good though, the race shirts, although cotton, are pretty cool.

Later on Paddy, Doug, Tigger and I got cleaned up, had some grub then headed to the Rose and Crown where we met up with Chris and Chantal. A band was playing named Silo, who were awesome and sang a bunch of my favourite alternative rock tunes. I was in head banging, grunge loving, doc marten heaven!! Of course a couple glasses of Jack Daniels, aka the sweet nectar of the gods, were consumed in honour of the race. Then it was time to dance or jump up and down like a maniac, depending on what your preference was... I managed to get Tigger onto the dance floor and into a mini mosh pit that had formed too!!! Hooooyaaaaah!!

What a great ending to a great race!!! Now if only I could have this much energy and feel this good after an Ironman race! LOL.

I'll definitely be back for next years Winterstart!

Friday, 2 November 2007

This Is Recovery?!!

Okay, so I distinctly recall that Ross's email about this weeks SweatLab said the word 'recovery'. Riiiiiight. Someone please tell me how a hill that has an 11.5% grade is part of a recovery ride?! DUDE!!!! haha.

The course was about 48 km in length and had two hills. As there is no elevation chart it's hard to tell just how high and hard these hills were going to be. Sometimes ignorance is bliss....

I haven't completed a test yet to figure out what I should be aiming for on my watts etc, so my goal tonight was to maintain a decent cadence and make sure my pedal strokes were 'perfect'. I tried to watch what was going on with my watts and cadence, but then I started my climb up the first hill. It was a loooong hill and the grades went up and down. The ups were 5, 6, 8, 9, and 11.5% grades. YEOW! Feel the burn baby, feel the burn.

During the climbs I chose not to look at the screen. I focused on lifting my knees and watching my pedal stroke so I was getting hung up everywhere. This worked for a while...then the pain set in. I needed better motivation! My thoughts went like this:

Ow this hurts. Focus Susi, focus. I better have totally shredded hot legs by May. Still hurts. Hmmm, I don't think my thighs hit my seat like they used too - that's a good sign. Ohh, good tune - gotta love Elvis. Ow, ow, ow. Holy Hannah just how long is this frigging hill?! Damn you Ross! Work it baby, this will make you stronger. You WILL improve your endurance this way - just do it!!

The downhill portion didn't seem as easy as I had hoped it would. I decided since I am trying to maintain endurance and strength that I shouldn't just slack off and coast. Nope, I was going to go for it. And I did. I felt really good about this ride. It wasn't easy, and I had to really push myself to maintain speed, cadence etc, but it was worth it. I really feel like with every pedal stroke I'm getting better at my bike. Yay!!

We rode for about 1:40 hours with all of us mumbling something under our breaths about how we could get Ross back, haha. Poor Ross. Oh! I forgot to mention he wasn't there tonight, hence our mumbling and plotting. Tee hee.

I really enjoyed the ride tonight - it was hard for me, but I felt like I made a good effort towards maintaining power for a long period. We'll see if I'm still as excited tomorrow when I try to get out of bed!!!

Thursday, 1 November 2007

So That's How To Kick!!!

Apparantly the last two year I haven't actually been kicking during my kick drills...or my swim drills...or at all. My coaches will be really happy to know that. LOL. In my defense I would like to state that I thought I was!

This morning in swim class it was all about the kick....

We started out with a 400 m freestyle warm up. I have lost my flipturn technique I might add. Waaaay too far away from the wall. I admit it, I went back to just touching the wall. I know, I know, I'm a wimp. Ah well. I promise I was concentrating on form so just didn't feel I could fit that in as well, haha. It's early in the morning and my brain can only handle so much!

Next up was 800 m in sets of 100 m in 2:10 min. We were to practice keeping our chests out, leading with shoulders and kicking....hard. Jen wanted to see splash! Yet another excuse not to do flipturns. You see, if I do a flipturn I have to hold my breath for a rather long time....and now that I'm kicking, hard, I notice that I'm out of breath a bit more. Hmmm....something to work on! I really liked this exercise as I had to focus on many many things and so the laps went by quickly. In fact, at one point I asked Daniella if we were on the fourth set and she said, no, only one more to go. SUHWEET!!

After that it was more kicking. This time we did 25 m each of 8, 6, 4 and 2 count kicking. Two count was insane. You are to kick with each stroke. My body did not want to synch up, unfortunately, but it was still cool trying it. Jen said if you can do this one, it's great for open water swimming as you can swim with head up so you can pick off who you want to swim over! Niiiiice! Perhaps I will try this once I get the courage to move more into the middle of the pack!!

After that it was 8 x 50 m of kicking. We kicked for 8 counts for the length of the solid blue rope, then 4 counts for the blue/white rope, then back to 8 counts for the solid blue again. I gotta tell ya - this is where I realized what kicking was all about! I have never felt my legs work that hard in a swim before....EVER. Okay, okay, that is partly because I'm lazy triathlete who depends on wetsuit buoyancy. But even in kick drills I've never kicked that hard!!! Can you imagine what I will be able to do if I can actually kick that hard, swim, AND do the flipturn??? I'll be friggin unstoppable!! haha. Or so I hope (she writes meekly....).

To finish off the morning we did a 100 m medley, butterfly (highly amusing - I am impressed I didn't drown), back, breast, then free.

Oh, and you will all be shocked to know that when she said to do an easy 50 m - I actually did the breast stroke for 25 of it. I know, I know...you don't believe me, but it's true! I think I've almost got down the weird timing of it all.

I have to congratulate my swim coach, Jen, because this is the first time ever that I've felt my legs got a workout in the pool. At this rate I may actually achieve Desiree Fickers triceps and (insert any female triathletes name here) legs. Okay, that last bit may be wishful thinking...but as I was doing all that kicking I couldn't help but think...hmmm....this may actually give me a perky arse!!

Hey, you gotta think whatever motivates ya!!