Friday, 22 February 2008

Training in Asia III...

As the pool here is the size of a tub - IronGreg suggested I swim down by the Jetty where the IM swim will take place. This would be a great idea, except that I saw a scary fishy in the water the other day when I went running down there, haha. Like, a really scary - prehistoric looking scary! Prickly, pirranha but bigger scary!!

That said, I didn't want to tell IG why it was I was scared to go into the water, because he was going to have to swim in that water in the race on Saturday and I didn't want him to worry about his swim and scary fish! (I am counting on the fact that he is busy with his final prep and likely won't read this post till AFTER the race, haha.) I figured that IG would be with me in the water, and likely other competitors getting one last swim in, so why not go?? Not to mention that I plan on doing an International race next year and it's likely I'd be swimming in an ocean or sea - might as well get over my fear now, right?

The plan was for me to do a run/swim/run. I'd run to the Jetty while IG biked around a bit then he'd meet me there. It's only about a 10 minute run or so.

When I got there, anyone that was in the water was getting out. Rats. IG showed up shortly after and when I said 'we going in?' he replied, 'Oh, I'm not going in today in order to save my shoulder.' "Okay", I squeaked...

Needless to say I was scared. I tried to rationalize this fear in my head, saying it was just fear of the unknown, not to mention fear of a fish that likely won't be anywhere near me...but I was still scared. haha. I thought about not going in - as now it would be just me in the water - but I knew I couldn't do that. One thing about fear, if you don't stare it down, it will never go away.

So I got my goggles on and slowly walked the plank....I mean walked to the pontoon. haha. It was kinda neat going in to swim where the race was going to be. Not that you could tell that was what I was thinking at the time....I was walking quite slowly to the pontoon and yes, a few tears escaped my eyes. (I'm such a loser at times!) I kept telling myself to suck it up and stop being such a wuss! I stood on the steps of the pontoon for a bit when one of the IM dudes that was watching over people going in notified me that the current was very strong and he didn't want me going further than a particular buoy. I see. I then asked him if there were fish that would attack me in this part of the water. He laughed and assured me there weren't.....I'm not sure if he was telling the truth or not, but he did promise to come in and rescue me if need be. Phew! LOL.

Oh, I should mention that I told IG I was scared to go in (I mentioned the fear of fish....I just didn't mention that I actually saw a scary fish!). He too assured me that he'd rescue me, to which I told him he wasn't allowed because he had to be ready for the race tomorrow. So I pointed to a handsome military dude (who closely resembled 'The Rock') and asked that he send him in after me, haha.

Okay, so I took a deep breath, and I dove in! The first few strokes were all out sprint. Wanted to make sure I scared any mean, Susi eating fish away. heh heh. Then I got into a groove. It was pretty quick into my swim that I was rudely reminded that I was swimming in salt water. Gasp, sputter!

I practiced my sighting and finally made it to the buoy. I turned around to see IG with his arms in the air cheering me on. I swear, he's the best coach - not to mention friend! I then swam back to the pontoon. I figured out quickly about the currents - it took me half the time to get back as to get out there, but I was also being pushed away from the pontoon. This would be something I'd let IG know about for tomorrow.

I did one more lap then got out. I was hoping they'd have the showers going, (they have them set up for the competitors tomorrow) but alas, this was not to be. IG sprayed some water on my face to wash off the salt, and I drank a bit to get it out of my mouth too. The rest would have to stay on me as I went for my run.

I said goodbye to IG and headed out. I am not one for busy areas, so figured I'd run in a new direction today and do some exploring. The first leg of my run took me along the water towards the Westin resort. I didn't have to run far to get there so I headed back to the hotel area.

It was really cool running through that section as it was more in the forest. I could hear the calls of about 3 or 4 different birds. All of them with a cry much more pleasant that our magpies back home!

Once back to the hotel I headed to the right, rather than the left where I had been yesterday. I had no idea where I was headed, but I knew it'd be an adventure!

I ran along a road that took me through a bit of a residential area - I think. I can't read any of the signs so not sure what all the places were, I think I went past a daycare, tons of little roadside stands, and houses. There was one industrial section that I went by and I saw a huge tank, but I'm not sure if it was for petrol or water. Pretty big pipes going into the header though!

I came to a 10% grade hill. Huh. 10% looks pretty steep! I started to run up it, but my HR was climbing too high so I stopped and walked a bit. Not to mention I was starting to wheeze, haha. The humidity hadn't bugged my asthma too much, but I think it would kick in big time if I tried to run up the hill.

I came to a junction that said 'Kuah' or 'Something Beach'. I decided it was to the beach I'd go! This whole section of road was like running through the jungle, but on a paved road. It was awesome! Part of the time I had CCR's 'Run through the Jungle' going through my head, haha. I savoured all the sights and sounds. Lots of animal sounds - I was hoping none of them were sounds an animal makes before attacking, haha. It was truly beautiful through there.

Finally I came to the beach and a very small resort. The beach was in this little alcove and totally deserted. How cool is that?! There was a little hut that indicated they could take you on adventure tours around the area - hiking, fishing, etc etc. I walked on the beach for a bit and collected a bunch of sea shells and then just stood there looking out at the water and thinking to myself 'I can't believe I'm here!!!'

I realized I'd better get running again as it was getting hotter out. First a quick stop at the resort to grab some cold bottled water. I got my water and learned how to say 'thank you' in Malay..."Tarima Kasih".

The run back had a few steep hills in it, but they weren't super bad. Of course I got to run down the 10% grade hill. Yay!

Along my run there were many people that drove by or that I ran by, who were sitting in the 'restarons'. I have to say the people here are wonderfully friendly and most will smile or say hello. I really must learn how to say 'Good morning' so I can greet the people I see. One fellow shouted at me 'Keep steady!'. haha. I also got an offer for a ride on a motorscooter, of which there is an overabundance here. The fellow who asked me was wearing a purple outfit, which I thought was quite fitting as it is my favourite colour! I thanked him, but said I was fine.

The reason he asked was because I had stopped along the road...and the reason I stopped along the road? MONKEYS!!!! I was running along and thought that I saw something up wasn't until I got closer that I saw what it was that had moved. Two of them made for the trees, with one of them grunting. I took that to mean 'stay away', so I did! There was one sitting on the cinderblock fence that seemed quite interested in me. I stared back for a bit, then figured I'd better get running. I wish I'd had my camera!!! They weren't more than 6 feet away from me!

In no time I was back at the hotel. I got about an 1:15 run in. I was hoping to do 1.5 hours, but in all honesty I was burning up. As I thought how hot it was out, I thought about all the competitors that will be in the IM this weekend, especially our IG. I truly hope everyone has a good run and isn't affected too badly by the heat and humidity here. That said, there is a reason they call Ironman 'The Toughest Show on Earth'!!

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Training In Asia II...

We are finally here in Langkawi - home of Ironman Malaysia! It's awesome to be at an Ironman event again, even if I'm not racing. I still have to train for IMCDA of course, and it's great to be training around all these athletes who are ready to attain their goals next Saturday.

I wanted to get outside for a run as the last two had been on treadmills. IronGreg was headed out for a short one so I figured I'd follow him as long as I could. Needless to say that was about a millisecond, haha. Not that I'll ever be able to keep up, but one must also factor in that he's at the peak of his training and I'm in base endurance mode, which means working out at low heartrates.

We thought it would be fun if I ran one of the IM loops, so that's what I did. All I can say is I sure as hell hope there isn't that much traffic out on the course come race day! It's insane here! There are cars, trucks and a million mopeds.

For safety reasons I decided to run towards oncoming traffic so I could see if I needed to bail. This was definitely a good plan as I realized in short order that the mopeds, and bicycles will ride on the road edge, which is where I was running! I was a bit nervous as I had two options to get out of the way, either into the traffic, or into an concrete irrigation ditch that ran along the road. It was about a 3 ft drop into that one - not a great option. At least with having to be totally aware of all this it kept me occupied!

I should mention that Malaysia is predominantly Muslim. I wasn't sure how it was going to go over with me wearing shorts and a t-back sports top. Overall, no one minded. However, I did say hello to a Muslim L.O.D. (little ol' dear) as she was walking by me and she just looked ahead but persed her lips in a way that made me think she wasn't too pleased I spoke to her.

I also had a fellow say something to me out his car window... not sure what he said really, but I'm assuming it was 'Hey! Nice running technique!'. haha.

Oh, did I mention that they drive on the left side of the road here?? When I had to run across an intersection I had to look in a million directions because I wasn't sure where people were coming from. I also would run very quickly across the roads to get the hell out of the way fast! My heart rate did some interesting jumps then. haha.

By the time I got back to the hotel (I ran about 1:35 hours) I was soaked! I think it was about 30C outside and quite humid. I got into the elevator and one of the young boys that works here said, 'Were you out swimming?'. haha. Uh, no. This is all sweat. Good stuff eh?! haha.

Don't worry though, I'm not complaining about the heat, in fact I loved it!!

Later on I went for a swim. I was hoping to get an hour in, but the pool here is ridiculously short. So short that I could swim a length in FIVE strokes! Yup, you read that right.

At one end was a tile outcropping that was just about forehead height when you come out of the water to grab the pool edge. Nice....

I managed to swim 30 minutes in this tub of a pool, but that was it. Tomorrow I'm going to run to the jetty - Greg will bike there - and then swim some of the course with him. Then I'll go for more of a run after the swim. Hopefully there are no scary fishy's in there!! No wetsuit to protect me. Gulp!

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Training in Asia I...

Finally I can train in warmth!! Well, kind of, haha. We are finally in Singapore and I need to get some training going. After sitting in planes and airports for about 26 hours or so, I needed to move!

We had done a fair amount of walking on our first day in Singapore and I realized it'd be hard to get a good run in. For a few reasons really, there are a ton of stoplights - not to mention traffic! For that reason I decided to do my running on the treadmill in the gym at the hotel so I wouldn't have to constantly stop and start. Yes, I know, I chose a treadmill over running outside!

I actually had a good run yesterday and today on it. I put on some Jack Johnson and got into a groove. Funny thing was they had a mirror placed in front of the treadmill so I had to stare at myself the whole time. Urgh. How boring is that?! I did watch my technique though and tried to get my arms to stop swinging as much - to no avail of course.

I gotta say, even though they had some air conditioning on, it was friggin hot in there. Within about 15 minutes I looked like someone threw a bucket of water on me!

All good though, both days I ran for an hour at a 7:13 km/h pace and kept my heartrate in mid zone two (so between 130-135). Hopefully as the months go by I can keep my heartrate down, but pick up the pace a bit!

I managed to get a swim in on one of the days as well. It was not easy I might add. The pool was definitely not 25 meters....more like about 15 it was getting boring really fast. I was trying everything to keep myself going! One arm drills, sculling, kicking, backstroke...

When Greg had got back from his run he came to the pool as well. Not to swim of course, but to take pics of me, in addition to a movie, when I didn't know it, haha. At least I also got some good tips on my stroke - it seems I was reaching quite far out when I'd go to take a breath. Will watch that from now on!

Every once in a while I'd bob my head out of the water and Greg, who was relaxing on a lounger, would yell out how many more minutes I had, haha. What a guy!

It was great though - I felt like a pro triathlete with my coach being right there!!

Oh we did get some fun pictures too...

Thursday, 14 February 2008

I'm Here!!!

Okay, so just because I haven't been blogging does not mean I haven't been training. Well, ok, I didn't work out on Wednesday, but we'll get to that shortly... what did I do on Monday....OH! Right! It was as slick as snot outside so I decided rather than go for a run and risk breaking my leg (I have a vacation to go on in a couple of sleeps!) I'd jump onto the handy dandy Nordic Trak. No, I do not have a treadmill like some of my counterparts...but as all well know, Susi hates treadmills, so it's likely better that way.

The Nordic Trak was fine. Not as fun as being outside with the wind and snow in my hair and having snotsicles hanging down, but it would have to do. I was moving along just fine when I looked down and saw 32:16 minutes had gone by. Sweet. Not much longer to go. Slide. Slide. Slide. Some time had passed so I looked down...32:16 the display read. Cool, not much longer to go. (Apparantly my brain shuts down when I'm on such a mindnumbing piece of equipment, haha). Slide. Slide. Slide. I look down again and see 32:16. What the....?? (Yes, my brain FINALLY clued in.) Alrighty then. I guess I can dismount this bad boy as I'm sure I'm at my time goal, haha.

As for Tuesday, well let's just say 'I hate Tuesdays'. I never seem to have ANY energy on Tuesday. No idea why. Perhaps it's because I know it's going to be a long day. Swimming was fine - but as mentioned, no energy. Hmmm...nope, can't recall what we did... WAIT! I do remember doing a LOT of kicking. I'm not fond of kicking, which is likely why my brain tried to block out the painful memory, haha. I do try hard at kicking though, because I know I suck so badly at it and I want to get better.

Tuesday night I hoped onto the bike. Funny thing heart rate would not go up. I had it in the same gears as Sunday and my heart rate was 103 bpm. That would be about 37 beats LOWER than on Sunday. What the... GREEEEEEEG!! WHAT IS MY BODY DOING??

Now I know that IronGreg (IG) said he'd like it if I could stay in this particular gear and not have to go one easier towards the end of the work out...but seriously...did my body really just change over night just because IG wanted it that way?! I think not. It's way to stubborn to do that. I shifted two gears harder, but nope...the old heart would not pump harder than about 113 bpm. In the end I turned up the resistence in order to reach my goal heart rate.

What I forgot was that when your heart is doing something funky, it's likely trying to tell you something. The next day I had a wicked migraine. Ow. Hmmm, perhaps yesterday was a wee warning?! I was supposed to get on the bike that night, and I did try with the headache. However, I only lasted about two minutes. With every heart beat my head wanted to explode. Uh, ya. So not staying on the bike. I was super bummed as I was adding in another bike workout that night because I won't have access to a bike in Malaysia. (I could maybe borrow IGs...however I'd never be able to reach the pedals, haha. Oh, and lets not forget he'd be using it for a very important race!)

Okay, now where were we...swam, biked, tried to bike....right, back to swimming! Today's swim wasn't too bad. Jen was trying to drown us again, haha. One of our drills was to do the chicken swim. I'm sorry, did you say chicken swim....uhhhh, we do know that chicken's don't swim right?? I did my best and it wasn't pretty, haha. Just further proof that you can't swim like an animal that doesn't swim!!! tee hee.

We also did 10 x 50 m sprints. The first 5 were on 1:05 minutes. The last 5 were on 1:00 minute. My asthma acted up on the 7th set. Unfortunately I had to stop for a bit of a rest, but then was able to finish it up. It was cool being able to swim within the minute though!

Tonight I was on the bike again. My heart rate was back to normal, although I am happy to report I was able to keep it in a gear harder than on Sunday. Exceeeellent. It's always encouraging to see some progress, especially when you were starting to wonder because your body is doing weird things. I guess my body does listen to IG - at least a little bit.

I'll make up my missed bike ride tomorrow night. Somehow I'll squeeze it in with all the clothes washing and packing that I'll have to get done for Saturday. Yup, that's right....ONLY TWO MORE SLEEPS TILL WE LEAVE FOR MALAYSIA!!! Okay, actually it's Singapore first. haha. I so can't wait!! More on that later though. Time to get some shut eye.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

The Many Thoughts...

Managed to put in two hours on my bike today...indoors of course as it's like friggin Narnia here still...only colder. How many sleeps till Malaysia?!

My goal for today was to sit on the bike for the alotted time and do 6/4 minute intervals of higher/low heartrates. I actually love my Sunday bike rides. I get up whenever I get up, eat me oatmeal and get on the bike. No rushing like during the week. Then I have blank number of hours of uninterrupted thoughts....

Here's a sampling of what goes through Susi's brain when she has to sit in one spot for two hours:
  • Damn. Nuun makes me thirsty. Or maybe that's a side effect of having wine for Paddy's birthday last night...hmmm. Naaaah. Must be the Nuun.
  • I love Eddie Vedder. I love how he serenades me every time I'm on the bike. Sigh. Eddie is my Rock God.
  • Wind trainer...what a misnomer...if there was wind then when I broke wind I wouldn't have to suffer through the residual odour just hanging in the air around me...cough, cough.
  • What DID I eat last night?? Jayzus. haha. I should set up a fan!
  • I want to marry Eddie...even if he's involved with extremist environmentalist groups. At least I'm a vegetarian...that has to make me somewhat appealing to him. Right??
  • OOOH! Are those muscles I see peeking out from under my insulation?! Please let it be so! I want ripped legs with lean long muscles just like our IronGreg! Only in my size cause really, his legs are as long as I am tall and that would just look silly on me. I'm sure of it. No. Really.
  • I love flannel. Eddie wears flannel. We are SO perfect for each other. Sigh.
  • Booger from 'Revenge of the Nerds' would be so proud of my burps. Excellent tenor and duration. What DID I eat last night?? Huh, wonder if I'll be able to say the whole alphabet one day? Good thing the roomie isn't around this morn, haha.
  • Huh, wonder what that person is doing walking out the back road. It's so cold out! Better them than me. They can't be running? Oh. No. Not running. Still. What are they doing walking out there?
  • I wonder if Eddie would be interested in a triathlete....huh, wonder if they have any triathlons in Seattle? Not that that would help me meet Eddie. But maybe...
  • I can't wait for the day that my legs are so ripped that my inner thigh does NOT hit the damn seatpost. Unless of course they do because my adductors are so HUGE from muscle that it's just pure power slamming into the post. haha. Gotta dream big right?!
  • Oh, shite, HR is too low. Focus Suse. Hey, I'm in a tougher gear. Sweet. Perhaps I'm getting efficient! Belieeeeeve.
  • I love this song!
  • Close your eyes and focus on what 90 rpm feels like at this heart rate....
  • I wonder if I should pack some spare clothes in my carry on just in case my luggage goes wayward? Shorts and bathing suit. That should about do it. Heh heh. I can't wait for the glorious heat and humidity!
  • I can totally do this ride. Getting a little tired now, but nothing unmanageable. Could probably go longer.
  • Oh, look at that. I'm done and still have two more albums of Pearl Jam I could listen too. Awesome!

Just imagine what I'm like in meetings at work, haha. This is only a mere fraction of the thoughts that zing through my brain. I have to admit though, I'm getting better at focusing on my cadence and pedal stroke. So my non 'silly' thoughts are pretty much all about how I'm feeling and what my body is doing. Afterall, that's why I'm doing this. To get better on the bike.

Although, it can be nice to have some time just to let thoughts go zinging through my brain.....tee hee.

Friday, 8 February 2008

Stupid, Icky Treadmill...

It was -32C with the windchill tonight....and tomorrow is supposed to be even I was forced inside and on the treadmill tonight. Blech. haha. Actually, tomorrow is supposed to be my run day, but I have a million and one errands and appointments, so I figured I'd get my run in tonight - the cold was just an extra motivator.

I had the tunes cranked and was doing my thing when my stupid guts kicked in. Sigh. The pain was growing and I thought to myself, ok, just get to the half hour mark. At the same time, frustration started to seep in. I didn't want to stop running, but I hurt. So I made a deal, I would get to the half hour mark, then I would walk for a few minutes, and if I had to, I'd stop.

As I started walking, the frustration I felt started to turn into worry. Shite. What if what happened last year at IMC with my guts happens this year at IMCDA?! Dammit!! I don't WANT to have it happen again. How am I going to deal with it?? Crap! AAARRRRGGGHHH!!!

At the 0:35 minute mark the anger set in and took over any worry I was feeling. F*** this!! I'm not going to let this stop me. I'm going to run dammit. So I started to run, but slowly at first. Then my favourite 'go kick some ass' song came on. Eminem's 'Lose Yourself'. It was at that point I increased my pace. No, I'm not going to let myself worry about all the 'what if's' of the race. No, I'm not going to give up if my guts bug me. I will decrease my intensity, but I sure as hell am not going to give up! What I am going to do though, is I will make sure I get on my mental game - NOW.

Last year about this time I started working on my mental game. And let me tell you, it got me through many races, especially the big one when things started going all pear shaped. It's time to get back into it because you know what?? Triathlon - it's 80% mental baby. I'm soooo not exaggerating. I don't give a damn how physically fit you are, but when you are tired, and not sure how you are going to make's not your physcial ability that gets you through the day. Nope. It's your mental attitude. You need to know how you will answer yourself when your mind asks 'Why are we doing this???'. You need to know what tricks you will play to stay positive when you are tired and you hurt and you want to take a nap in the ditch!

This is why I had to keep running. Why I couldn't just turn off the damn treadmill (which I absolutely loathe I might add) and say, my tummy hurts so I'm going to stop now. I had to work through the pain. So I did. I managed to run for an hour and I have to say I'm super stoked that I did. I'll admit it though, even with all this mental training....I really, really hope that I don't have to deal with my guts on that day!! LOL.

Okay. Enough of all the 'deep' postings. I really hope I can get outside and train soon cause all this indoor shite is making me too serious. LOL. I need some wacky adventure to occur!!! I NEED HUMOUR!! Too bad I didn't catch my shoelace in the treadmill or something. Now THAT would have been funny. You'd hear a 'yelp!' then a 'thud!', some sort of rock rolling down a hill sound....then absolute laughter! I guarantee it!!

Thursday, 7 February 2008

A Gentle Reminder...

So I was sitting in my wee cubicle, well really it's an open-air-concept-end-of-hallway cubicle, when my coworker, Ali, stopped by. He was showing me how to request some documents etc. Anyhow, he was looking at my monitor when his eyes wandered upward on the wall to where I have a picture of Tigger and I crossing the finish line at Ironman.

He pointed to the picture and asked what the picture was from and if I had finished a running race. I told him it was from a triathlon. He then had a quizzical look on his face, 'Triathlon?' He didn't know what it was so I explained that it is a race where you swim, then bike, then run, one event right after the other. He thought was pretty cool. So I mentioned that this was a long triathlon. He asked what the distances were. I told him the swim was 3.8 km. His eyes got a bit wider. Then I told him the bike was 180 km. He repeated what I said with a question mark behind it. haha. His eyes were even more wide then. Then I told him about the run distance. He said 'that's a marathon!'. Yes sir, it is.

He then looked at me, and with his quiet voice said 'What an amazing accomplishment to finish something like that'. Well, I gotta tell ya. I just about cried.

You may wonder why the heck that just about brought tears to my eyes. Well, for one you have to know Ali, he's a very kind, quiet man and so just the way he said those words got to me. The second reason is I sometimes forget just what an achievement finishing an Ironman is. I'm surrounded by many who've completed Ironman - even many Ironman. A lot of them are pretty darn fast too. So sometimes it's easy to forget how huge an achievement it is just to finish. It seems so normal to do one!

The last reason that tears were brought to my eyes...and this one I'm very ashamed that I often think, yes, I finished an Ironman, BUT my time was 16:05. Like that means that my completing the race somehow means less than the others that came at quicker times!! Uh NOOO. I certainly wouldn't think that of any of the other competitors why do I think that about mine?!

Well you know what? Ali didn't care about my time. He just thought it was awesome that I finished. He even said that he could see doing each event one at a time, if you took all day...and had much rest in between. But all together?! And he's right. I'm very humbled by what he said and very thankful he put it into perspective.

So why am I confessing my shame about how I feel about my time? Well, because we are now headed into another season of triathlon. Some of my friends are going to be attempting their first Ironman, some their first half Ironman, and I'm going to be attempting my second Ironman. I was given a gentle reminder about what it means to attempt and complete these challenges. I know, I've been reminded before....but I sometimes forget. So I want to be the first to remind you guys...

No matter what happens on 'the big day', be proud! Remember how completely amazing it is that you are out there and that you are giving it your best. Know that not everyone has the gumption to attempt any distance of triathlon, much less a half or full Ironman! Try your best not to compare yourselves to others or worry about the time. Sure, we all set some time goals. It's natural. It's not the be all and end all of the race though!!

Savour every moment of the day. In fact, savour every moment leading up to the big day!

And just as every parent says to their child before a big event. Just do your best!!

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Do Coyotes Wag Their Tails???

Went for a run after work tonight. One thing that sucks about running at dinnertime is all you can smell is good food cooking, haha. This wouldn't be a problem, but I was soo hungry after work that I scarfed down a pack of Sharkies just so my stomach wouldn't be grumbling while I ran. Then when I was running all I could smell was yummy food....Sharkies just don't cut it sometimes!

Ahhh, the sacrfices one makes in order to squeeze her run in before eating as she has to get to bed before 9 so she can wake up before 5am to swim!!! LOL.

Anyhow, the run went well. Just ran around the neighborhood along the paths that weren't too spooky. Everything was fine and dandy till I was just about home. I was on a bit of a darkened section of path when I saw two pairs of glowing eyes looking at me...gulp! I had my trusty LED ball cap on so was shining it in the direction of said glowing eyes as I tried to figure out what the hell it was I was looking at!!!

Finally I could see wagging tails. Hmmm...coyotes don't wag their tails before they kill do they?! After a few tense moments I saw it was a big and small dog. Then I saw the owner of the dogs running along the path. All was fine and dandy! PHEW!!

Tuesday, 5 February 2008


Holy hannah, it's Tuesday and I'm writing a post!!! Well I just had to as I'm happy with my swim time this morning. We did a timed 750 m swim and I did it in 14:39 minutes. I don't know if I've ever done it in that time...must go check back. Usually my timed swims are for 1000 m. But I'm still happy!

I am very proud of the fact that I managed to do flipturns for 90% of the swim AND I 'expanded my comfort zone'. haha. I started out a pace that felt good to start, but that I knew might be a challenge to hold. Any time I felt like I wanted to 'slow down' I would repeat my mantra for this year 'sustained power'. I think actually it was IronGreg's voice that I heard in my mind saying that, haha, as he usually does say that whenever I look like I'm getting tired!

The big test in a few months of course will be whether or not I can hold that pace for 3.8 kilometers!

My bike tonight was alright. I felt tired for some reason and really I shouldn't. In fact, I ALWAYS feel tired on Tuesdays. I have no idea why. I usually have rest days on Mondays (although that will switch to Friday from now on) and you'd think my body COMPLETELY forgets everything I've ever done in that one day!!

The first part of my swim this morning I felt tired. Then on my bike I was having to have a little chit chat with my legs to get them going. They were stubborn and didn't want to work, but I prevailed. Hah! I had to switch up my gears again to make things a bit more challenging to get the old heart rate up. I really do hope that's a sign I'm getting more efficient on the bike. Please, oh please!!

To finish off my ride during the cooldown I got a bit of a shock....apparantly I didn't tighten the lid on my second water bottle so when I went to take a drink...

Yup, you guessed it. SPLOOSH! haha. Cold water on my lower regions. YIPES! It wasn't too bad. At least it wasn't the whole bottle or anything....but any feeling of being tired was quickly replaced with a sudden feeling of absolute alertness! haha.

I'm such a dork!

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Favourite Words...

Four of my favourite words when it comes to sushi...'ALL YOU CAN EAT'. And, Ladies and Gentlemen, that's what I did last night. LOL.

Personally, rather than call it gluttony, I like to refer to it as carb loading. Afterall, I had a bike ride to do this morning. Yes, that's my excuse for eating so much!!!

Okay, okay....I'll admit it....I ate enough to load me up for an Ironman, tee hee. So yeah, it was more like gluttony. I made sure I ate my $22 worth and some. Uh, did I mention I'm Scottish/Dutch and will always make sure I get my money's worth??

So I was quite proud that I ate eigth spicy tuna cones...which would have cost me $40. heh heh. (Actualy, I ate six...couldn't get the last two down, but they were damn yummy after my bike ride today!!) On top of the cones, I managed to ingest 2 rainbow rolls, bbq mussels, squid, salmon, avocado rolls and some spicy scallop rolls. heh heh. Oh, and I musn't forget the miso soup! When I told Mum about my feast she asked if they banned me from ever returning to the restaurant! haha. (They didn't by the way...silly restaurant.)

When I got home last night I could barely move. I was soooo stuffed. The sushi was put to good use today though. I had a great bike workout, even if it was just for 1.5 hours.

I noticed a couple of things during my bike today. One, I need to stretch and roll my IT bands more. I felt a bit achy for quite some time at the start of the ride. Two, I think my aerobic endurance is improving. At least that's what IG said.

After my workout I mentioned to him that I noticed that when I started it wasn't too hard to get my heart rate in the zones I wanted. (I was doing 5/5 sets low/high zone two heart rates.) But by the last three sets I had to increase my gearing and cadence for my sets just to get my heart rate up!

Before that I had been visualizing my muscles working and telling them this is what 'sustained power' will feel like. So I wondered if it was that, or just the fact that I'm getting more efficient on the bike. (Please, oh please!!). IG said it was likely both reasons.

Whatever the reason, I really hope this is an indicator of what my season will be like. Now if I could hold that power for 'blank' hours in IMCDA.... tee hee.

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Colder Than a Witches…

As many out in the wild west have noted in their blogs….it was freaking cold out this week. I'm talking eyeglasses giving me a slurpee headache cold. Snotcicle cold. Dressing like the Stay-Puff Marshmellow man cold!!! -46 C with the windchill cold!! I’m not sure if it was the cold that finally got to me or just all the changes that have taken place this month, but last night my knees finally buckled under the weight of it all.

Before I delve into that though, let’s cover off some of the week first though…did I run? Hell no! haha. Instead I replaced my Wednesday run with a bike in my, kind of warm, home. I say kind of, because when it’s minus a freakin billion outside, even my furnace wasn’t strong enough to make it warm in here.

I got to the pool on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, but I was late getting there on Tuesday. Apparently, our train system doesn’t like the cold weather either, so I only got a 40 minute swim in. After being a literal popsicle waiting for the train and walking in the cold, the water felt as warm as bathwater. Normally it would suck to swim in that, but I just loved it at that point. It was like a warm blanket!

Thursdays swim was amusing…for our coach. I have to say, it’s been a while since she tried to drown us. What did she get us to do this time?? We had to swim, with our heads up out of the water looking straight ahead, whilst inserting our arms straight down in the water and doing a mini-pull, so to speak.

What I want to know is how the hell do dogs swim?? Cause I’m pretty sure this is the type of technique they use! Works for dogs, kind of worked for me. I had to kick like heck and I swallowed vast amounts of water. Of course each time I swallowed water I couldn’t help thinking of Jenna’s damn email stating that one can ingest 1.5 litres of urine for every hour they swim. GACK!

Friday night I had SweatLab. It was to be my last session with the gang as I find it difficult to get there after work. It was a hard 2:12 hr workout with many hills. At one point my pedals were barely spinning. Urgh. Ross had inserted a video that was of someone biking. They had a camera on their helmut so basically it was like we were riding along the street. Was pretty neat, but didn't take my mind off the fact like I was getting nowhere fast!

By the time I got home after SweatLab that old feeling of being overwhelmed had started to cover me. It had started building early on…and now it was taking over.

The past month I’d been trying to adjust to a career change (same field, but new area, so all new stuff to learn), a new and longer commute, and starting back into IM training. I love my new job (even though I work longer hours now), I don’t mind the commute so much (except when I don’t get home till mega late because my car is frozen in the train parking lot, or when the trains break down every day because they don’t like being run in the cold…), and of course, I LOVE being back in training. So why was this feeling of being overwhelmed sneaking up on me??

When I got home I checked to see if IronGreg (IG) was online. Thankfully he was as he’s not only my coach, he’s one of my best friends and I knew I could vent and freak and he’d be able to help me. As soon as I logged on I started typing rather vigorously about how I was feeling.

Let’s put it this way, I’m a woman, and so my mind goes around and around quickly trying to solve several problems at once at the same time as worrying about things. IG knows this, so knew how to handle it, haha.

I was spazzing about a few things like how to reorganize workouts around the longer work day and commute time and not lose training time, at the same time as feeling like I would never get to the point I want to before IMCDA. (There was a lot more too, but I shall spare you the details.) At one point in the midst of all my frantic typing IG wrote ‘Breathe’. Which I did, and ‘eat something!’ cause it was 9:45pm and I still hadn’t had dinner. I kept writing and in all honesty was a bit teary eyed and sniffly when I saw IG write ‘Call me!’. I didn’t want to talk to him while I was sniveling so wrote him that. Next thing I see is a ‘PICK UP THE PHONE!’ haha.

Now, even though I was all weepy, I still had my smart a$$ attitude and thought of picking up the phone but not calling. Then I thought that if I didn’t call that when we were in Malaysia IG might make me run for 4 hours in 39C weather to teach me a lesson, haha. So I called him.

Needless to say he had me calm in no time. Really, I just needed to have a short weepy moment to clear my head. That and talking to IG helped me figure out some things about training and how I want to switch things up so that I could juggle everything that’s going on.

I felt much better about things this morning. I got up, got some things done around the house then headed out for a run. It was gorgeous out today! Oh it felt sooo good to have the warm sun on my face while I ran. I loved every step. I also knew I felt like my old self again. I even managed to do a spazzy thing as per usual. I kept running while I tried to blow a booger and thought at one point that I got it on my leg, haha. Of course I didn’t want to stop and check as I had just passed a fellow walking his dog so didn’t want to show that this may have happened!! LOL.

Thanks IG for once again being there for me and keeping things in perspective. You’re the best!

PS I saw that Faris Al-Sultan will be racing in Ironman Malaysia....he's an awesome triathlete....Kona winner too...shame about the speedo though! LOL.