Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Beautiful days

There are certain days that remind you why you live in Vancouver. Not that this city is ever bad, but on a blue sky day when everyone and their dog is out enjoying the sunshine and the ocean and city and mountains are all glistening it somehow makes you whole body relax in a "there's no place like home" way.

The heel thing has been on and off, but I still managed to get in some good training leading up to and on the weekend.

Wednesday - I decided to try out the leg. I did 4 x 15 mins on the trainer, getting off after every 15 mins to walk around for a minute and make sure everything felt ok. It wasn't getting worse and that was good enough for me.

Thursday - 32 min run. Not great, but it was beautiful out which made up for it. Chilly, but the sunrise on the Lions was awesome. I wish I had my camera.

In the evening I rode 20 miles out towards Horseshoe Bay. I didn't feel as strong as I thought I would. Graeme says I hadvn't been on my bike enough and that is definitely part of it. But i am having a hard time rationalizing what an ok number of hours is to train when I don't have an event like Ironman which makes the hours realistic. Not that my hours are anywhere near IM hours.

Friday - 5.1 mi run in 45 mins which is a great pace for me, especially on a hilly run. And in more sunshine! Followed by a crappy swim which I cut short after only 20 mins. It wasn't feeling good. I had to swim in the fast lane as the slow was way too slow and I couldn't really keep up. I was frustrated and embarassed and PMS got the best of me and I left. Then of course I felt worse after. I hope that is a lesson learned but I seem to do that way too often when it comes to swimming.

Saturday - First ride with the tri club. I did the first half of my ride with them (28 mi in 1:28). I was working hard to stay with the fast group, but I managed. I had thought they were going a lot father so I split off from them on Iona and headed back. Of course going home there was no drafting. I tried to keep working as hard as I had been in the group and made the reverse trip of about 33 mi in 1:45ish. Ish as my bike computer is dead and I had my Garmin with me only to have the Garmin battery die at the half way point. I checked the time at the halfway though and then did mapmyride for the distance home (its not exactly the same route back). Total of 3:15 ish and 61 mi. Whatever hurt my left heel on the previous ride, decided to also make my right heel hurt. So now both are bad! It's a very weird pain in that it comes and goes both during riding and when I'm not riding. I need to have Graeme watch me spin on the trainer so he can see if there is anything obvious.

Later Saturday I went for a swim, but I was just tired. The swim wasn't too bad, but I only had 35 mins in me.

Sunday - Up early again and headed out for 40 min run at 9mm pace prior to helping my youngest brother move out of his dorm room. When I got back I headed up for a quick ride for just about 22 miles. It needed to be short as my in-laws were coming over for dinner. My stomach had been upset all day and the ride wasn't an exception. At the turn around I had 3 Clif blok shots and amazingly my stomach felt fine the whole way home. I need to cross the border to the US and stock up on blok shots and Clif bars. We have them here, but not in all the flavours, and the bloks here don't have caffeine or extra sodium, both of which I like.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A new freestyle?

Interesting article on Michael Phelps new freestyle. I wonder what the change will be?

At least its my favourite colour

Well there hasn't been too much to update about recently, and this is why.

That is kiniseo tape. In bright turquoise.

Following my long ride on Good Friday, I had some soreness on the outside of my achilles. It was a bit annoying, but really not that bothersome. I had run the next 3 days including a 10 mile run and it had been fine. I ran again on Wednesday morning and in general it was one of those runs where you have weird aches and pains everywhere, but the achilles wasn't too bad overall.

But when I got home from work on Wednesday evening, it was not good. And it hasn't been since. So all that has happened since last Wednesday is swimming. And not even a lot of it because I wasn't feeling that well at the end of last week. But, I do feel like my swimming is coming along. Now I just need to build my swimming muscles more.

Monday evening I went to my lovely chiro office and my chiro thinks its probably not my achilles at all. I also had some tightness higher up in my calf and he thinks its the muscle/tendon that runs down the outside of my leg and then splits at the ankle. So that is why the tape. Yesterday it felt a bit odd and I got lots of funny looks and questions both at the pool and work, but it does seem to help. I can feel while walking that it doesn't allow that muscle to fully contract. So its on for a couple days and everything does feel much better today. I may try to spin on the trainer tonight and see if it holds up and if it does, then I'll ride outside.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Weekend

After work and swimming on Thursday we headed to Victoria to see my mom and brother for Easter weekend. My youngest brother was supposed to come with us but was sick and decided not to come home.

I had been exhausted all week and the weekend reflected that. Although good workout wise, I really did little else except sleep and eat. But I guess that is needed every once in a while. And really, what else is a long weekend for?

Friday we did a long ride. I really hadn't planned on riding too far, but ended up with 51mi/81km is just under 3:20mins. Which meant it was sloooow. It was a hilly twisty ride and I hadn't felt that great when I had woken up. I felt like I had sickness in my legs, which I know sounds odd but they just didn't want to turn over and the lethargy from the week continued. The ride ended up being so long because I listened to Graeme and didn't turn around at my halfway time point. He said that the loop ended just ahead and that the going back route was more direct. He was right on one part, but the additional distance until the turn around meant I rode way further than originally intended.

Saturday morning I was tired again after not having slept well again on Friday night. Still I managed to run 45 mins at 8:53 pace for 5.07mi. One of my fastest non flat runs ever. I felt much better after the run, but still ended up falling asleep during the hockey game. The Canucks won and clinched the division! There is playoff fever around these parts! We went to the local to my mom's pool before dinner. I used to teach swimming there in high school (yes, I could swim at one point - though not lengths - just with good form from above the water) and its weird to be back each time we go. I swam the longest I have swam there since I was 16 and it felt great.

Sunday was another run/swim day but it started with a swim. This time we headed to Commonwealth Pool. The last time we were there at Christmas the water felt freezing. I am swimming more continuously now though and had no issues with the temperature. After getting home from Victoria I went for a 45 min run. I had planned on doing my long run, but just was not up to it and decided to push it to Monday instead.

Today was back to work. At least for me if not for most people. While I was at work (for a short day as I worked through lunch and left early) Graeme did lots of cleaning and laundry. I then went for my long run (10 mi - the longest in way way way too long) and Graeme bought stuff for dinner, prepared it, and once I got home barbequed it. And he didn't stop there. He cleaned my whole bike including my chain and cassette. He makes a great house husband!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Back at home

We got home to actual good weather! After a nap and some food, I headed out for my long run in the evening. It was 17C/63F. Nothing to complain about for somewhere that had snow while we were away (in April! that is ridiculous!). I did a 90 min/9.16 mi run as I knew it would help me get to sleep and hopefully start me on a good sleep pattern. It worked and Sunday night I had a great sleep.

Back to work on Monday to a whole host of changes I don't want to get into, but needless to say, the changes led to a sleepless night on Monday. So much for getting back to a good sleep pattern! The rest of the week wasn't much better and the first half of the weeks working out was definitely affected. A combination of work stress, work lunches and work related evening functions doesn't help!

To recap
Mon - 40 min swim including 30 min lesson. I think this lesson really helped
Tue - Off
Wed - 45 min run. I was supposed to do the group ride with the tri club but couldn't get out of work in time. I managed to get a 45 min run in before heading to the club social. Met some nice people.
Thu - 45 min swim after work

Sunday, April 5, 2009

More photos!

New to me Tahitian beer

Outside Lava Java

Kona Brew Pub Sampler

Natural Energy Lab


Kona Town

King Kamehameha

Kona Aquatics

Waikaloa - Kings Trail Petroglyphs (way less windy then the ride day!)


Gecko friends!


Driving through lava fields!

Coming to a close

I am not one of those people that is glad vacation is over and is "ready to go home". If I could I would probably add a week, heck a year on to every vacation. There is always more to do, more to see, and of course more relaxing to be had.

We returned the bikes on Thursday which meant Friday and Saturday were a bit more mellow in the workout department. Running and swimming on both days. And of course more beach, eating and drinking. I really enjoyed the Kona Brew Company. Both the beers, which were excellent and the food which we ate two nights.

I don't even want to get into what a gong show the airport was leaving Kona. No need to relive the 3 hours of waiting to check in and almost missing our flight (along with about half the plane). Thankfully we got our connecting flight from LA and made it home on time.

Some pictures (more following!)

Yummy bbq dinner and beer at our place

Surfing at Banyanz in front of our place

Sunset (you guessed it, in front of our place)

Place of Refuge

On the way to Place of Refuge

Friday, April 3, 2009

Riding on the Queen K and going nowhere

After Tuesday's ride I was a little concerned about trying the same ride just 2 days later. I really had no idea how my legs would hold up. Starting off I held back a bit but eventually my legs did warm up. The weather was once again a mixture of sun and cloud, but with more cloud this time. The weather seemed like it was ideal for the first part of the ride. But that didn't last long. Soon the wind picked up. And I mean real wind. I got scared every time a large truck sped by that I'd end up in the lava or the guardrail. I have never felt my bike skip to the side like that. I was scared to ride in the drops at all. Still the worst was yet to come. About 18 miles in the wind turned from the side to a straight on headwind. Throwing all notions of conserving energy out the window, I was pedaling as hard as I could, downhill and turning out an impressive 8-10 mph. I told Graeme to go ahead because his pedaling backwards to wait for me to get in his draft was way worse mentally then what I was facing on my own. I was so so thankful to see the palms which signaled the entrance to the resort and was really hoping the wind kept blowing in the same direction. I couldn't imagine doing that for another 27 miles.

After the same drink/sunscreen ritual we headed back. And while I had never worked so hard going downhill on the way out, I was rewarded with the tailwind on the way back. It felt really nice to go 28mph uphill with no effort - and to pass Graeme while doing so.

Still I was glad when the ride was over and unlike Tuesday I definitely did not feel like I could ride another few hours. Total - 55 mi/88 km in 3:25.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

My longest ride!

Tuesday morning was up early for a ride out to Waikaloa. I have never ridden this long before and was a bit nervous about it, but Graeme told me I would be fine and I really had no choices other than believe him or not go and have wasted money on the bike rentals. We made a good breakfast at home then headed out shortly after 7am. It was mostly sunny, but luckily for my very pale skin the clouds were here and there, which along with the 50 SPF sunscreen kept me from going pink.

I practiced trying to stay in Graeme's draft. I have never ridden in a group before but we have joined the local tri club and so there will be group riding in my future and I both needed the practice and needed to conserve some energy to be sure that I made it home. The way out was really not that bad though I worried pretty much the whole time that coming back would be hard. The last 15 miles or so in to Waikaloa seemed like they were all downhill. In Waikaloa we stopped and refilled our bottles, had iced lattes (my favourite time to have them is mid/post ride!) and reapplied sunscreen. The short break made the ride back seem way less daunting. I wanted to take some pictures on the way back which would also serve as a quick breaks.

From the scenic view point

For whatever reason, on the way back it seemed like there was a lot more up and down while the way out had seemed all downhill. I was certainly not going to complain about that!

We had been told by some tourists to watch out for the lava tunnel, which we somehow had missed completely on our way out. When we came upon it on the way back, we also ran into 3 cyclists. They asked immediately if we were Canadian, which I attribute to our "lack of American accents" (and probably the fact that I am so white) and we discovered that the daughter of the couple had graduated from the same high school as me. And it's not a big school - my grad class has 132 students! Small world!

So, total for the ride was 55mi/88km in 3:20. And I really felt like I could have ridden another few hours.

We relaxed, played around in the waves and then ran. And the run was NOT pretty for me. The combination of the heat and dead legs made it tough. But I slogged it out. Even with the a combination of running and walking (at the end) I ended up at a 9:33 pace for the 30 min run.

Wednesday was a lighter day with a 30 min run, which felt way better than the day before, and a 36 min ride to the bike store and back to get the tires pumped up. And of course more playing in the waves!