Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Back In The Saddle Again...

Be Yourself. Be Beautiful. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

As Aerosmith used to sing 'I'm BAAAAACK! I'm back in the saddle again...' Okay, I may not have the lips or voice like Steven Tyler, but I can do a wicked dramatic impersonation of him.

Normally it's a year between Ironman races...this year I went for the gusto and have two planned. One down, one to go...and the next (Ironman Cozumel) is just a little over two months away. Gulp. When I decided to sign up for two almost back to back, I did wonder how the old bod would take it.

Well, so far so good! (That doesn't mean we shouldn't keep our toes and fingers crossed that it stays that way.)

After two weeks off, for the most part, I started back into the groove of training slowly last week. I had an amazing hike/walk near Lake Minnewanka in Banff with my buddy Trudie on Thursday. We were going to follow the path along the lake, but decided to veer left and follow the river/creek that poured into the lake.

I asked about one path that went up to Aylmer Pass and Trudie, who's trained as a guide, let me know that that would take me right up into Grizzly area. Yup, that's where they hide out and collect berries for the winter. Hmm, I think I'll pass on going up there. Interestingly enough there were no signs on the Alymer Pass sign that said 'You should probably not go this route right now...'

The path we chose was perfect, which meant it was along the river and in the trees. Just what the doctor ordered. I love being in the trees. I walk by and smile at them, caress them and even hug them. The trees had been calling me for a long while now so I was ecstatic to be back in them!

The best part of the day, aside from the trees and wonderful company, was that I walked for two hours and my hip didn't hurt!! This is a miracle. Lately I haven't been able to walk five minutes without it hurting. All the pain and suffering from the massage treatments is working and my hip is staying in the socket like it's supposed too. This put a little pep in my step that day!

Later on we celebrated my walking ability in this uber cool cafe in Banff. They make all sorts of yummy stuff that I can eat! In other words they cater to the gluten intolerant vegetarian granola cruncher. YUM!

On Saturday I headed out early for a 3 hour bike ride. It was another gorgeous day and being out in the morning was glorious. There wasn't much traffic and the temperature was perfect. I loved being out there. I even rode up Cochrane hill to start things off!

Actually, I decided to ride to the house where I am looking after a kitty cat. It took me about 1:05 hours to get there and when I did the cat was wondering what the heck I was. I guess the helmut kind of through her off her game. I sat on the floor so should could sniff me out and decided if I was cool or not. I guess she didn't like the smell because later on, after getting all her food ready, I went near her again and sat down, and when I reached for one of her toys she smacked me three times very quickly with her wee paw.

Uhm, excuse me little furry feline, but for the next two weeks I am the one who feeds you, so I'm thinking that you don't want to be smacking me too much. Hmpff. Oh, and I will admit my ego was a little crushed. I mean, I'm Dr. Doolittle for crack and ice. Animals LOVE me and I LOVE them. I swerve on my bike to miss grasshoppers and little beetles not to mention the little gophers that like to play chicken with me. How could she not like me??? Sigh.

After that little break and kick to the ego, I went back up the road I came and noticed another road that lead off into, well I wasn't sure where. Hmmm, I had gotten to the house 25 minutes early than I had planned, so I figured why not go on a wee adventure and see where the road went.

Turns out it goes into Bearspaw Village. Very nice homes tucked away on nice parcels of land. Some of these houses have amazing views as the road I was riding along overlooked the Bow River and the mountains. It was great riding through there because there was no traffic, except for the Porche, BMW and Mercedes that passed by, and it was super quiet. In fact a little too quiet. Why is no one outside?? They have these big wonderful yards and I see no one. Oh, and if you want to purchase a lovely parcel of land that is 8 acres, it's only $1.3 million CAD. Yipes.

The roads were a lot of fun to ride on because they went in loops and were rolling so I could get some good speed work happening. At one point I finally did see someone, a fellow running, as I swoooshed down this little hill.

After riding through that area for about a half hour I headed back to Hwy 1A and went back west. I had totally lucked out in that there was no head wind at that point. Later in the day the skies turned dark and the winds kicked up to an insane velocity, so I was really happy I went out early.

Again, no hip pain after the ride. Yeah!

On Monday I started back into a regular program. I biked on Monday, swam yesterday, then went for another bike ride today. The body is feeling really good so far, but I'm paying close attention to it. I've been having a bit of troubles sleeping lately and have been waking up feeling a little stuffed up. I'm sure I'm recovered enough to work out, but want to make sure that I don't get sick or something if I push too hard right off the bat. So far the workouts seem perfect and I've really enjoyed getting back into the routine. This is a good thing because although I am listening to my body, I don't want to slack off, I want to be ready for this race.

It's easy to love biking in September when you can still get outside because you are having freaky global warming weather that puts you at 33 C (91 F) degrees on September 23! I don't know what that's all about but I will take it! Hmm, I wonder how long heat training lasts and if this will help with Cozumel...

I still am not allowed to run right now until we are sure my hip will stay in place, so instead I'm going to do more biking or do some hikes. I can't complain about hiking in the woods again - I love it. Speaking of the woods - I'll leave you with some photos from my trip last Thursday. Enjoy!

Peace out my beautiful friends!


  1. Don't worry about the kitty -- he/she will come around soon enough...after all I've seen you with my animals!! They glom onto you like you are covered in catnip and treats. Hahahah!!

    Another Yay from me for no hip pain!! :) :) :)

    Gorgeous hiking pics! I think this is the best time of year for hiking -- the colours are so vibrant and beautiful. :)

  2. Loved the pics and I'm glad your hip is feeling better!

  3. Wow I just clicked that you are doing TWO Ironmans! I did that last year and had a blast. Talk about 2 very different turrains for you! No pain-I am happy for you...

  4. Great news, Girl! And I love your quote! Beautiful, inside and out, you most certainly are!!! :)