Monday, May 25, 2009

Race report number 1 (and the rest of the week)

I'm back and I survived. Barely, but I did.

Friday Graeme picked up my wetsuit rental and after work we headed to Second Beach pool so I could try it out. I only swam 500m because I really just wanted to see what the wetsuit felt like in the water. It felt awesome and I felt and was way faster. I felt like I was paddling a boat! I left the pool with more confidence about the swim.

We headed over to Shawnigan on Saturday morning. We got on the first ferry and drove straight down to the lake. Checked in at our B&B (which was a little odd, but whatever) and then headed over to the site. I hadn't been feeling great that week and had an upset stomach but we still did a lap of the bike course to see what it was like. After the race meeting we went back to the B&B to get everything organized for race morning. Graeme ran a quick 5km to loosen up his legs and I had a nap to try and calm my stomach. We then headed out for dinner and a couple beers at a cute little brew pub in Duncan.

Sunday morning was up early after a pretty good sleep Saturday night. My stomach felt much better and I really didn't feel that nervous. In some ways I didn't feel like I was racing because I am used to getting up early for Graeme's races and this seemed much the same.

We headed to the race site and Graeme set up his transition. His start was at 7am and mine wasn't until 8:45. After his swim I set up my transition area. Once the Olympic people were in the water warming up (for their 8am start), I did a short short run to loosen the legs. I then starting the process of getting on the wetsuit. It wasn't too bad actually, until I went to zip up. The zipper came up, but it didn't close. A few girls around me looked at it and all said it was broken. I knew I would not get in the water without it, so I decided to look for someone who knew what they were doing. The first random guy I asked was able to get it done up though he did say it was likely broken.

Swim - I'm not sure you can call what I did "swim". I tried to warm up but had a hard time breathing with my face in the water because of the cold. Once the gun went off I tried again but I just couldn't breathe properly. I think it was a combination of nerves and the cold. I tried a few times and then gave up. I thought about quitting at that point but decided I needed to at least get through it to know that I can finish it for next time. So I mostly breaststoked the whole way. There weren't people around me, so I wasn't in danger of kicking anyone. I flipped over on my back a couple times as well to try and calm myself down. I was still far from last out of the swim though.

T1 - Not good. I was mad about the swim and was walking to my area when I gave myself a bit of a butt kick and told myself I could still run there. Getting off the wetsuit wasn't great and there are a few things I could do faster. Still I'm not bothered about the slow transitions because it was my first race.

Bike - The bike was good. I could have gone a bit faster I think as I had too many concentration lapses, but I pushed and passed a lot of people and was only passed by one girl on the bike (she was FAST). I am happy overall with this segment. I averaged 30.0km and I am sure I can do better, but I was working.

T2 - My stuff I had laid out had been kicked all around and my towel was somehow on top of everything. Slow again, but oh well.

Run - I hadn't worn socks and I paid for it here. I really thought I could go under 25 mins but I ran a 26:05. I don't think I pushed hard enough though the blisters were part of that. It was a lot of false flats and on a loose trail. The loose trail didn't help my feet either. I have 2 really bad ripped blisters on the inside of my arches and 2 non-burst on the outside of both feet.

But its done. And it can get better.

I wasn't tired at all when I crossed the finish line, which annoyed me. As I started to walk back to my transition area I saw Graeme and knew that wasn't good. I ran over to see what had happened.

His derailleur snapped at 80km and went into his spokes. He didn't bail luckily but it looks like his frame is toast. He had just picked it up from the shop after getting it tuned. Oh, and his headset slid down as he rode too. We brought it back to the shop on the way home. I hope they do something for him. We have a good relationship with the guys there. The owner wasn't in but the guy who looked at it felt they should give him something for it. Poor guy was on his way to a sub 2:30 bike split and is not happy. Well he's more upset about the bike then the race but he is upset about both.

Graeme obviously didn't want to wait around until noon when the buses starting running again, so I rode my bike back to the B&B to pick up the car. While he was waiting on the road for me Simon Whitfield (who swam for 2 relays and rode for one) came over and talked to him and commiserated with him about his bike. He also said he thought the bike course was brutal which makes me feel slightly better!

So as of Monday morning my only soreness is in my groin area. It has bothered me before but it is worse today. I have no soreness or tiredness in my legs which tells me I didn't go hard enough. It was definitely a learning experience! As soon as I have my own wetsuit (the one I rented doesn't fit that well so they ordered in a different one for me) there will be a lot of lake and ocean swimming happening.

The rest of the week wasn't good workout wise. I didn't feel great and it was a cut back week which ended up being cut back even more. Hopefully the groin and blisters will be ok as I want the next 3 weeks to be big training wise.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

May Long Weekend and more

As with most Monday's recently, I was pretty tired after the Penticton weekend. But, I didn't feel totally trashed and I made the decision to not make this week a cutback week andinstead to push it out a week. This was for two reason - first - I have a tendency to get sick and/or injured and it doesn't seem to have much to do with training volume - so while I was feeling pretty good, I decided to go with it. The second reason comes later in the post.

Still Monday turned out to be a rest day. I hadn't really planned it that way, but Graeme decided to take a rest day and there aren't too many evenings we both have off, so we relaxed and watched some TV.

Tuesday morning we headed to the 50m pool before work. 45 min swim and it felt pretty good. That evening was 50 mins on the trainer watching the Canucks suck it up and get knocked out for the season.

Wednesday and Thursday were morning runs of 40 and 50 mins respectively. Neither pace was anything to write home about, but my ankle held up which made me happy.

Friday was another morning run of 45 mins and then a 30 min bike after work. I was feeling a bit off and woblly so I decided to turn back. If I hadn't been riding in traffic I might have continued, but I just didn't feel too stable and didn't want to risk it.

Saturday I did a 3hr ride with a girlfriend. She hadn't riden in North Vancouver before so we went out to Whytecliff Park then out to Cates Park before heading back towards my place. We ended up passing Graeme and a couple guys finishing up from the club ride and Graeme joined us for the ride home. He made a suggestion to try out this funny popsicle (actually "fruitsicle) place we have ridden by many times but never tried. The bars are all full of fruit and only have a teaspoon of sugar each and are SO good. It totally hit the spot. The store is the distribution centre but sells individually out of the front. The name is MaxFruit and I would definitely recommend it if you are in the area.

Sunday morning was the first swim on the year at Kits Pool. It was a nice day, but we were there at 10am and I was so not excited about jumping in. It turned out that I had nothing to worry about. I think it was warmer then any day last year! I had been looking forward to this swim for months and I think it was better then expected. At least after I got used to the saltiness and the gross sea taste after the first few laps. I don't remember it being that bad before! Swimming the 137.5m pool made me realize how much I use the wall as a crutch. I hope swimming more at Kits over the next few months will help me push myself to swim longer distances when I'm not there.

The afternoon was spent helping set up for the tri the club puts on. Lots of lifting and twisting and squating and I was sore! Graeme and I still had to run though. I had 80 mins planned and trudged through 76 slow mins. The previous weeks' training and the race set up had my poor body exhausted. We were in bed early Sunday night but unfortunately neither Graeme or I slept well. And then we were up just before 5am Monday morning. Graeme was picked up at 5:20 and I headed down to the race at 6. Volunteering is fun, but tiring! We left at 2pm and were both on our feet the whole time. The race went well and the weather just held out with a small sprinkling at the end of the race. It was lucky as a couple of hours later the downpour started!

So another Monday "rest day" but my body does not feel like it today! My shoulders and biceps feel like I had a hard weights workout and my legs feel like I did squats!

So, this week is a cutback week. As I mentioned I pushed it out one week for two reasons, the second being I am actually signed up for my first tri this weekend. I am nervous! It took a while to hit submit, but its done. Graeme will be racing the half and I will be doing the sprint. I can't wait! Its a weird mixture of nerves and excitment and just wanting the first one to be done and also wanting to enjoy the race! So I guess an actual race report will be showing up at some point on this blog.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Penticton Weekend

Friday was a half day for me and a full vacation day for Graeme. We started off the day with a swim at the Aquatic Centre before I headed to work for the morning. Graeme did his ride and packed up the car before picking me up and heading out at lunchtime.

After an ok but pretty slow drive (including some wet snow driving through one of the high mountain passes!) we arrived to the motel in Penticton around 5:30. We headed out for a run before meeting up with a bunch of people from the tri club. In past years apparently the club has booked out the entire motel, but that is not the case anymore. Still, there was a good turnout and we had the entire bottom of the motel. Luckily I don't think anyone else was staying there as there was lots of activity in the courtyard. We headed over to a local pub for dinner and then sat out in the courtyard until close to 11. Pretty late for a bunch of early risers!

We were up and ready to ride for 8am on Saturday morning. We had 4 support vehicles which was such a luxury. 3 of the vans had Gatorade, water, coke and snacks, and I put some sunscreen in a couple vehicles just in case. After photos we headed out, and 3km into the ride I had my first flat. Yes, ever. Very very luckily for me, 2 really nice guys stayed back. I am sure I could have fixed it myself, but I have never done this ride before, and I'd probably have been heading back to the hotel. After we got the tire changed (which yes, one of the guys very nicely did for me!) we decided to do a pace line and see if we could catch up to the rest of the group. I felt bad that they were missing the group so I pulled as much and as hard as I could. I had no idea I was working them as hard as I was, but later that night they were bugging me about hammering and that they were going pretty much all out. I wasn't planning on riding the whole IMC course and they were and when they realized that they decided to slow the pace a bit. Along the way we picked up another girl from the group (the gf of one of the guys) and then we eventually caught up to the main group at the first rest stop in Osoyoos. 2 hours of hard riding later.

After shedding some layers and shoving some food (but not enough!) down, we left Osoyoos and headed up over Richter Pass. It is a loooong climb. Over 9km of steady uphill. I didn't find it too bad though, as the incline is steep, but not too steep that you can't keep turning your pedals. I was well within the main group the whole climb, but lost everyone on the downhill. Apparently I need some desending pratice. And a bag of rocks Graeme says. Though there were smaller girls in the group who had no issues speeding down the hill!

After Richter there are 7 rollers before getting to Keremeos. I actually wished there was more uphill. I would make up some time to the group on each uphill and then lose most of what I had made up on the downhill. I was on my own this entire stretch and that definitely hurt my concentration. I eventaully realized I was hungry and ate all the rest of the food I had in my jersey. That was a big help and I rolled into Keremeos not too long after the main group. That was it for me though. I hadn't planned on going any further and I didn't. In retrospect I am sure I could have ridden the whole thing - especially with more fuel. But still, I am happy with the 112km and 3:53 of riding I did do. I got a ride back from Keremeos in one of the support vehicles and relaxed in the sun with a few other people who had headed back early.

Saturday evening was a BBQ in the courtyard with salads and dessert provided by the club. And a bunch of draw prizes. I had been talking about how I never win anything, but this time I did! A gift certificate for 30 min massage therapy - and I'm pretty sure I won it because of my flat. But hey, I'll take it! After dinner we pulled a TV outside and all sat around and watched the Canucks game - which unfortunately they lost. It was still a great evening though.

Sunday morning we slept in though I was up before my alarm went at 7 (which I had meant to turn off). Graeme and I went and grabbed some breakfast and read in the sunshine for a bit before heading a couple hundred meters from the motel to the finish line of the local 10 miler which a few club members ran. After cheering them all in we finished packing up and started to head home.

We stopped at the in-laws on the way back, changed and went for a run, then had a mothers day dinner there before heading home. I only managed 12.5km on my run, mainly because I was starving. The ankle wasn't great, but it did warm up as I ran. Of course it wasn't too happy when I woke up this morning!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Where does time go?

All of a sudden I haven't written in almost 2 weeks. Again. It's more that too much is going on and there just hasn't been time. Work is busy, training is going mostly well, and then I am involved in a couple other things, both work and personal related. I am actually feeling a bit overextended at the moment, but it is all my own doing. I need to learn how to say no better. Still life is good. I'm going to post all my workouts for my own records (I mean not that people really read this anyway aside from 2 or 3 faithfuls) so the actual dialogue will be short, therefore making it boring to read, and definitely not garnering me any more readers!


Mon Apr 27 - Off

Tues Apr 28 - 50 min run. Ankle wasn't great, but ok.

Wed Apr 29 - 80 min bike on my own as I was too late for the club ride (which is normal because they start too early for me with work)

Thu - Run 15 min. Ankle wasn't happy so I turned around. Bike 45 mins on the trainer I think.

Fri - Swim 45 mins at the 50m pool. Run 43 mins with ankle still not great.

Sat - Bike 3:27 with the Club. Hard hard ride. My legs were not feeling it. Split off at the half way point again as Graeme's calf was bugging him. 35 min swim in the afternoon.

Sun - 50 min swim, 32 min run. Again with the ankle issue

Mon - Rest - and a chiro appt for more work on the ankle and more work on my hip/groin area. 10 min run after chiro but decided it was not a good idea.

Tue - 90 mins on trainer watching the Canucks game

Wed - 50 min run which felt ok, 20 min swim. I was having reflux issues for a few days and swimming and reflux apparently do not go well together!

Thu - 40 min run in the am another 90 mins on the trainer watching the Canucks game

And yet another thrilling update!