Thursday, February 28, 2008

Monthly bike test

Whew doggie! Today was the monthly 20 minute bike test. I started with a 30 minute warm up, then did 2x2min. of building intensity to test pace (aka pedal like stink!) then 5 minutes easy. Then the fun began!!! Th idea is to pedal like a mad fool at a consistently mad pace (for 20 min), then record all the important data to give to Coach Greg. Boy, the last 12 minutes made me sound like a porn star. Every inhale and exhale was accompanied by noise! HAHAHA!!! Here are my results:

Average speed: 19.6 mph
Average watts: 172W
Average heart rate: 168
Average RPM: 100
Distance: 6.54 miles

My arms and fingers were all tingly after this monumental effort. After I was able to breathe normal again, I did a proper cool down -- so total bike time was 80 min. Later on, I recovered (I was surprised!) so I went to the gym and did a 4.12 mile run, then some weights. I know you are waiting to hear ... the elusive chinup is getting ever so nearer. I am starting to notice how it feels when I pull myself up a centimeter or two. When I get close, I am going to start bringing my camera -- Woe to the poor sucker who happens to be at the gym when I finally do one!!!! They are going to be the recipient of all my joy and the designated picture-taker!!!! :) :) :) :)

Now, I gotta go read all these other lovely blogs!! Have a good one! :) :)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

#%$&@!* WIND!!!

Today was so bloody windy I unleashed a string of curses to the sky. The thing was -- I had made up my mind to run outside and once I make up my mind, I don't like to change it. I call it being overly patient -- a friend of mine calls it being stubborn. The sun was warm, and apart from that blasted stupid wind, it was a nice day. Once I am off the treadmill -- I just want to stay off it, you know?

All the roads here run east to west -- or west to east depending on your viewpoint. :) So, there is no getting away from the wind. You have to pick your path and then gut it out. The wind blows from the west 99% of the time, and today was no different. The gusts literally stopped me in my tracks. I was running in one spot -- I thought to myself: I may as well be on the treadmill. Then -- something happened inside me -- I sort of forgot about being angry and just dealt with each moment as it came.

And, the way back was awesome!! I flew!! I felt like bloody Steve Prefontaine!!!! HAHAHAHA!! Total miles for today was 9.17. I had done my new core workout at the gym just prior to my run. I am inching ever so closer to an actual chinup --Oh I am going to be so excited when I do one. I'll probably have to interrupt other people at the gym just to tell them!! hee-hee.

Swimming this morning was great too -- I felt like a superhero in the water. The bullet was back in action!! ---Legend in My Own Mind --- :) :) :) :) Warm up, drills (my fave is the fisted drills), then 5x300 on 30 sec rest.

Thought for the Day: Toby versus the Yak. What do they have in common?

  1. Both live at altitude
  2. Both have long shaggy hair that keeps them warm in the winter.
  3. A yak will nudge you in your guts if you piss it off. Toby will nudge you in your behind which will piss you off! :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Summer of '86

I had this trip down memory lane today. I have no idea what triggered it, but that's how memories are sometimes, eh? For the full effect of this entry, I suggest listening to the song while reading...heh-heh!

Back in 1986, when I was in Grade 6, I received a pogo stick for my birthday. I loved that thing. I bounced on it all the time. I even took it to school with me and bounced on it during recess and lunch break. After a time, I grew quite adept at it. I could go for longer and longer periods of time without tiring or losing my balance. I had found that special pogo groove!

One day during lunch break, I started jumping on my pogo stick as usual (and yes, I was a strange child) until something happened. . . I couldn't stop. I mean I could have stopped if I had wanted to, but I had hit that groove and kept going and going. I was bouncing on this thing for like 45 minutes when the other kids started to form a circle around me. Someone asked how many jumps I was on, and then all these kids started to count aloud every time I pogoed. Soon, the lunch buzzer rang, but by this time, the teachers were outside counting too. It was a small school -- so all the teachers and all the kids from Grades 4-6 were outside that day all counting my pogo bounces. Kids started talking about a world record -- and still everyone was counting 1110, 1111, 1112, 1113,1114 . . . then the inevitable happened -- 1115 was my last pogo bounce. There was a sort of anticlimactic sigh and we all went back inside to classes.

I never thought about trying to make a record -- I just loved that pogo stick. Of course, in later years I found out the record for pogo stick jumping is just absurdly weird -- they jump for over 24 hours straight. But, I was just in Grade 6 so us kids didn't really know. We were all just excited!

My nickname from then on was "Jumper"!!!! HAHAHAHAHA!! Every evening there was a call-in request show on the local radio. We would request songs to each other using our nicknames -- after that pogo incident, Van Halen's song Jump was forever mine. HAHAHAHA!!!

So -- onto today's workout!! Had a 110 min. ride planned with main set of 7x6 min at 140-150W / 4 min. at 100-110W. I felt great so I ended up riding for 3 hours. Later on, I went to the gym and did some weights. I attempted my chin ups about 15x -- thankful that there was only one other person there!

Also my Mikey is coming back from the north!!!! He is a directional driller and has been working for almost a month now -- we missed Valentine's Day, but the great thing is, is all the goodies are 50% off now!! hee-hee! Yes I am a cheapskate!!!!

Another Sunny Day!

After the snow squall that blew in Sunday, the sun came out in full force yesterday, and melted it all. All the snow/slush/dirt makes this the messiest time of year for dog-walking. Muddy slush gets kicked up onto their bellies, so when they lie down on the floor afterwards, they leave a mud body "footprint." The joys of living with doggies!!

Yesterday, I swam for 70 min: warm up, drills, then for my main set: 3x600 with 60 sec rest. I finished up with some of my do-it-yourself breast stroke! Hey, I must be doing something right, because I get to one end of the pool and back just fine! :) :)

In the afternoon, I went for a 4.72 mile run -- it felt so great!! I think I might be turning into Forest Gump or something -- I just want to run all the time this year. Yesterday was also the first day of my new core routine. I've been following a Runner's World core routine for the last month. The first part of the program calls for 4 weeks of planks, side planks, etc. Now, for the next three weeks I am in the "dynamic phase"! Hell ya baby, I am a regular dynamo now!!! :):) :)

I also have this secret burning desire to do a chin-up -- I have NEVER done a chin-up in my life! SO, yesterday I managed to pull myself so my elbows were bent at a 45 degree angle. hahahaha! Every day I am going to try it -- when I finally do one I am going to throw a party!!! Then of course, the plan will be do to 2 chin-ups.

Today looks like it is going to be another beautiful day. :)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Long Run Sunday

I LOVE my long runs on Sunday. I mean I really, really love them! I get so excited about my weekly long run, I have trouble getting to sleep -- just like pre-race jitters. I lay out my running clothes the night before, and get my water bottles ready and set by the door. I get up every hour (it seems) to pee and I make sure to keep drinking throughout the night. It's so funny -- but I look so forward to my Sunday long run. It's like my treat at the end of the week -- my body gets stronger, I can run further and further!

I am falling in love with running long distances. Today, I ran 17 miles. I was thinking to myself: You know, only 9.2 more miles and I would have run a marathon. What's 9 miles? 6 miles is my regular 10K run, and after that it is only 3 more miles. There are many times when I am running, I just want to keep going! I don't know, the way I am headed, there might be an ultra race in my cards maybe next year or so? Hmmmm.

I do need to update my iPod playlist -- any suggestions? Here are a number of tried and true songs off mine:

  1. Hands Clean - Alanis Morisette
  2. Ray of Light - Madonna
  3. Right Here, Right Now - Jesus Jones
  4. Sinnerman - Nina Simone remix
  5. Soar - Christina Aguilera
  6. Stronger - Kanye West
  7. Unwritten - Natasha Bedingfield
  8. Sweet Dreams - Tori Amos
  9. Closer to Fine- Indigo Girls
  10. Bright Lights - Matchbox 20

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Easy Saturday

My coach, Greg completed Ironman Malaysia in 10:37:32!!!!!! Seventh in his age group and 35th overall -- WOW!!! Congratulations Greg! The heat and humidity just could not beat him down! (I liberally "lifted" this pic of Greg competing from his good friend, Susi - who was kind enough to post it!) Thanks to Susi for all her hard work in updating his fans!!

Saturday is my free day -- so I tried to sleep in. I always get up around 6:30am anyways though! The day started off fantastic with a phone call from my two best buds in England -- Jason and Cath. Cath is an avid triathlete and I think Jason is going to be someday . . . somewhere in the future. I keep hearing things like he's getting fitted for a bike -- but not too compete; and how he is learning to swim -- but just to keep Cath company; and running now and again -- just to stay in shape. You better watch out, Jase -- you are a prime target for the tri-bug!! Hahahaha! Cath is an amazing swimmer and loves triathlon as much as I do! Can't wait to see you guys in a few weeks!

The sun was brilliant today, but the wind was starting to pick up again. I won't be doing my long run tomorrow outdoors. :( I like to get up at about 5:15am-5:30am to just get out the door and run, and the sun ain't that brilliant that time o' the morning. I can't wait until summer is here. Sigh.

Diva and Toby did get to go on a nice walk today. I thought I'd post some pics of what February looks like in the Crowsnest Pass. Diva found a stick along the way, and proceeded to carry it for most of the walk. This road winds through the Frank Slide. It is an isolated spot especially in the winter and prime doggy-walking territory.

Here is a picture of Turtle Mountain. It is a mind-boggling spectacle any time of the year. A large chunk of the mountain split apart and literally fell down in the wee hours of the morning on April 29, 1903. 90 million tons of limestone rushed down the mountain and spread out across the valley in 90 seconds. Approximately 70 people were killed. Today, the highway intersects the slide -- it is an awesome sight to drive through and see a blanket of far-flung boulders -- some as big as a Hummer (hee-hee!) on either side of you. I had a friend who worked at the east end tourist hut for a couple of years, and she told me the funniest comment was by a man (I REFUSE to reveal his nationality!) who asked, "How did the slide miss the highway?" HAHAHAHAHA!! Allright -- he was from Texas -- but I have had my share of dumb-dumb moments too! hee-hee!

I never get tired of looking at the mountain -- the best scenes, in my opinion, are to be found during early summer mornings. If you catch the mountain when the light has that special quality of rose-pink -WOW!! The limestone somehow captures and diffuses the light in a special way. I'll step outside my house (in Frank) and look at my hand, and it's pink -- the sidewalks are pink -- everything is pink! It is a surreal experience.

There are still deep cracks and fissures in the mountain. Occasionally you can hear deep rumblings or see a puff of dust as scree tumbles down. The sounds are deeply menacing -- they sound like the mountain is crumbling from within into the depths of the earth with this terrible groaning noise. What is especially disturbing however, is the troubling fact that your eyes can't reconcile with what your ears are hearing. For such a lot of racket you expect to see something!
The few times me and the doggies have been caught on the old road below the mountain when the mountain is talking, have not been very pleasant! Toby just takes off like a bat out of Honolulu, and I'm left thinking . . . is this it?

Turtle Mountain is closely monitored by strange scientific devices that sit atop the mountain, and researchers have assured us that the mountain WILL fall again one day -- not upon the new town of Frank, but into Hillcrest. Just when this will happen is anyone's guess. Still, if you ever get a chance to hike Turtle Mountain - do it! It is a beautiful, non-technical hike, and the deep chasms at the top are magnificent to see. The view of the actual spread of the slide is amazing from up top as well.

This afternoon, I watched the 2007 Ironman World Championships and kept getting all emotional! The stories of the individual athletes get me every time. Have great Saturday everyone! :)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Great workout day

First, I have to say good luck to my coach, Greg, who is racing Ironman Malaysia as I type this. I am continually checking on his and Susi's blog to see how things are going. Susi was kind enough to take and upload a few pics of Greg racing already!!! I am so excited for him -- GO GREG GO!!!

Today I had a fabulous workout day -- the sun was shining and there was little wind again! I swam for 70 min. Main set of 10x25, 10x50, 5x100, 10x50, 10x25. Then I decided to do a reverse brick -- heehee! It was so beautiful outside, I just had to get out there and run. I ended up going for 8.10 miles. After that, I biked ez for 70 min. I quickly headed to the gym to do my core routine and now I am pooped!!!

Keith -- I think I am one of those people who emit some kind of EMP or something! HAHAHA!

Cath -- I hope you had a wonderful 3 hour ride! I am jealous that you get to bike outside already! :) :) Nice to hear your Hamburg certficate finally showed up -- next one . . . Australia World Championships. I have a feeling I am going to be starting a nice collection of British Triathlon fleeces!! Hey -- I should get you some IM merchandise!

Bye all -- gotta eat then crash!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bring Back the VHS!!!

Oh how I miss the good old days of the VHS. . . when I could simply press pause and the tape would (gasp) pause! Or if you accidentally hit a button on the remote, the worst that could happen would be a stopped tape. Not like now! First of all, do you know how many DVD players I have gone through? I lost count after 5. All of them stopped working for one reason or another. Here is a list of a few of them:

  • One only plays certain DVDs -- don't know why, so I bought another one.
  • One had to be propped up in a special way, usually with a DVD case underneath it to give it just the right tilt.
  • The same one only responded to Mike's loving touch.
  • Our newest one also likes Mike more than me --I will push buttons on the remote and the machine and nothing will happen. Mike waltzes by and it promptly works! He looks at me like I am crazy!!
  • One just stopped working -- and it was more expensive than a WalMart special.
But the worst thing about DVD players is the amount of times you hit the wrong button on the remote and it sends you to the main menu where you have to search through the scenes just to get back to where you left off. Or if the disc isn't absolutely clean it just won't play. NONE OF THESE PROBLEMS EXISTED WITH MY OLD RELIABLE VCR!!!!!!

Fortunately, I do have a combo VHS/DVD player -- and guess what? The DVD side doesn't work anymore!!!! I have combed through multiple garage sales and accepted VHS tape donations from my sister who "updated" to a DVD player. I have quite the selection in my VHS library -- I just wish I could update it with newer movies. I've watched all of them many, many times - and you can't buy VHS tapes anymore. :(

For those of you who enjoy the technological superiority of a DVD player -- all the power to ya! However, give me a good old VCR any day!!!! LOL!!!!

Onto the workouts for today: Weights in the morning. Then I had a doctor's appointment . . . with Dr. Oetker that is!! HAHAHAHA!! I made some brownies and they were really, really good! Then I had a brick workout -- 1 hour 40 min. bike: warm up, one legged drills, cadence pyramid work, then more cadence work. Then a 30 min. run of 3 miles.

Good times!

:) :) :) :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

First Run Outside!!!!

Today was absolutely beautiful!! The sun was powerful, the snow and ice were melting, and there was very little wind!!! Can you believe it? Days like this are rare -- so I giddily went for my inaugural 2008 outdoors run. Mind you, the wind was blowing (just not as hard) from the west, so I had my neck warmer pulled up to my sunglasses. I am used to getting strange looks from people -- but the air is just too cold for me poor little lungs.

I actually got used to breathing with my face covered on my Nepal trek. The air is so thin and dry at 18 000 feet -- our guide and our porters covered their faces with bandanas and strongly encouraged anyone who had the slightest cough to do the same. At first, it felt claustrophobic, but it passed -- now I wouldn't dream of running outside with my face exposed (when it is blowing cold!).

Anyways, my workout today called for a 2 x 10min tempo pace after a 15 min. warm up. My legs were really sore and tight after the weights yesterday, so I warmed up for 30 min. instead. It was so beautiful, I just wanted to keep running. I ran sans doggies -- up one side of the highway and back down the other. On the return trip, it was positively blistering with the wind at my back. Neck warmer down, gloves off, and sunglasses firmly on. Ooh I can't wait until summer is here and I can run outside all the time! All in all I ran 7.21 miles.

I went to the gym afterwards (because I don't have a Swiss ball) and did my core routine. Plank is still at 2min 10 sec, but I got up to 45 sec for right and left side planks today!! After the core work, I then did some major stretching.

This morning I swam for 70 min. I like warming up and using the kickboard to strengthen my legs so I am always in the pool a little longer than I have to be. I do like tooling around after the workout too. I recently learned how to do the breast stroke from youtube, and I like to do the breast stroke at the end of a workout. It stretches out my legs and feels so good! My main set was 5 x 400 with 30 sec rest.

Meanwhile, after reading an article about "geriatric" dogs (heh heh!) I have been taking the babies out on two small walks a day. They had a great time outside with the sun shining. This pic illustrates why my Mom calls Diva and Toby, "The Bookends." Our evening walk was amazing with the lunar eclipse. Again, there was very little wind.

I tried taking some pics of the eclipse, but this was the best I could do!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Triathlon Song

I have been meaning to post this video for a while. It encapsulates what it means to be an age group triathlete!! Enjoy!!!

Here she is!!! I took Diva to the vet's bright and early today to find out just what was going on. It turns out her anti-inflammatory meds for her arthritis are to blame. No platelets in her blood. So, she is on a mongo regimen of steroids for 1 week and then she'll go back on Monday for more bloodwork. My vet told me that as a result of the steroids, Diva will be drinking LOTS of water, her appetite will increase, she will pee like a dingbat, and she will be panting a lot. HAHAHA! The funny thing is, is we already call her "The Panter." In the middle of the night, she will get hot and start panting right by the bed. It drives Mike crazy!!

Thanks for the good wishes Cath!! I cried a little bit when I was at the clinic, and it took every once of strength to hold them back. I was on the verge of a full-on blubber -- but I managed (somehow) to keep it together and then the tears went away. I wanted to be really calm for Diva.

After Diva gave some blood, I went for an easy 3 mile run, then did some weights. I had taken a 2 week hiatus from the weights as the extra fatigue generated from it was wearing me down. Well, that is not exactly true -- I found that my nutrition has to be pretty much bang on with all the working out I'm doing. Not to say I don't love my treats, but one of my problems was I wasn't eating enough and thus would fatigue quickly. Oh well, live and learn, eh? :)

Later on, I biked for 2 hours 10 min. Peanut was in her usual spot -- right in front of me, just waiting for the chance to jump on my back. She is close enough to watch but not close enough to make it on my back when I'm in aero. I do have to pet her chin a few times when I bike though. Hey! I wonder if IG should some how integrate that into my bike workouts? Intervals of Peanut cheek scratching?? :) :)

I warmed up, did some one-legged drills in the harder gears, a cadence pyramid and for the main set, I did:
  • 7 x 6 min @ 140-150W/ 4 min @ 100-110W
I had a great workout. After taking IG's advice, Lo and Behold! I felt very good. You see, when he says bike at 140-150W, I would automatically try to go harder. Of course by the middle of the workout, I am ready to die and have not accomplished the purpose of the workout. So -- thanks AGAIN Greg!!!!

Monday, February 18, 2008

"Family Day" in Kalispell!

Today for Alberta's Family Day, me and my Mom drove down to Kalispell, Montana and did some shopping. I was on a mission to find some spandex running bottoms to eliminate my chafing problem and I ended up buying 2 pairs of capris and 2 pairs of shorts. You gotta love the sizing in the US -- here my size is always a medium -- there I am a small or extra small.

I woke up early to get a 4 mile run in and then some core work. I am now up to 2 min. 10 sec in plank, and 40 sec on both right and left side for side plank!! Yippee! I can't wait until I get past a minute for the side plank. I missed my swim, but that's OK!

As for shopping in Kalispell -- anyone that knows me, knows I am a clothes fiend and will be stunned to hear that I spent an all time low in the States today . . . Drumroll, please . . . Only $180.24!!!! And the money was spent on things I actually needed -- biodegradable kitty litter liners, a pair of polarized driving sunglasses that fit over your glasses, etc. (Well, Ok not things I REALLY needed, but a marked improvement over more shirts, tanks, and jeans!) This is for you Cath -- I was quite "chuffed" with myself!

Diva has had a nose bleed since Thursday night -- why do these things always happen on a long weekend?? She has been snorting every once in a while and a spray of blood and little clots will spurt out. The snow in the front lawn looks like a crime scene - sorry about the gross factor, but it is true. Her eyes are really red and I have been watching her closely. When I came home tonight, her eyes were tearing and when I wiped them, it was blood!! I called my vet, who is also a very good friend and after ascertaining that Diva was still acting normal (the usual happy puppy), she rescheduled her appointments so I can bring Diva in tomorrow at 8:30am. Diva is just as frisky and playful as normal, but I was on the verge of a mini-meltdown when I wiped the blood from her eye.

Keep your fingers crossed for me!!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Long Run Sunday

It's funny -- when I talk to non-triathletes, the question invariably arises, "So which sport do you like the most?" Now, how can I possibly answer that question without going into a long, rambling, philosophical diatribe? A triathlon isn't simply a race composed of swimming, biking, and running. A triathlon really starts the moment you start training for one. The early morning swims, the bike rides, and the long runs segue into a lifestyle -- eating right, getting enough sleep, being in tune with your body. You learn your weaknesses and see how sometimes you can change them into strengths. The ultimate goal is in achieving a balance - a seamless flow between all three sports. And, like life, the journey is far more important than the destination.

Through triathlon, I have blasted through self-imposed limitations I didn't even know existed! Things that I was afraid of trying, became things I had accomplished: Like the first open water swim race in which I had a panic attack, but then pulled it together; Or the first time I actually changed a flat tire in the middle of nowhere. Triathlon not only heaved me out of old ruts and bad habits, but it rekindled my joy in life -- Anything IS possible! This is a powerful lesson that has carried over into my work, my relationships, and all facets of daily life. So, when asked the question, "Which sport is your favourite?", be prepared for the can of worms that is about to be opened!!!

In keeping with my goal of increasing my running mileage this year, I am tickled to report that I ran 16 miles this morning. That brings me to a total of 36 miles for the week. Yeehaw!! I wore longer spandex shorts to eliminate my inner thigh chafing problem and had a great run.

Well, that's it for tonight! Onward to the new week of training!!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Saturday Spaghetti Night

Saturdays are my day off training, so today I just took the babies (Diva and Toby) out for a walk. The freight train known as the wind was really blasting today and I discovered I am quite adept at walking backwards! Diva (my blind dog) was having a hard time running today -- when it is really windy her sense of direction/smell goes haywire. Poor thing, she was running back and forth from snowbank to snowbank head first trying to get her bearings. As usual, she recovered each time and went barreling down the trail, made doggy-snow angels every once in a while, and rammed headfirst into Toby's bum when Toby would stop unexpectedly.

Diva is my biggest inspiration -- she suddenly went blind 5 years ago. One vet visit and two specialist appointments later, the diagnosis was official: SARDS (Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome). I was devastated. Diva was not! She bumped into things for a while, (as a matter of fact, she still does on occasion) but we worked it out. Actually, Diva worked it out. I was the one that was in denial and had a difficult time trying to accept that my baby girl was now blind. Today, strangers have a hard time believing Diva is blind. Her sense of smell and hearing are incredible -- she navigates through the woods, trails, and roads with ease. Our relationship expanded to another dimension too -- she relies on my eyes and trusts me even more. When I take the girls out -- they run sans leash. (Another plus for living in rural area!!) She runs off down the road at breakneck speed but will stop if she hears me say "Watch Out!" to avoid a big pile of snow, or running in the ditch, etc. It's to the point now, where all I have to say is "Chow" and she immediately comes to my side. Running with a blind dog is one of the most inspirational things I have ever done -- I recommend it to anyone!! It really puts my own problems into perspective when I watch how Diva runs and play with Toby and my two cats.

Mike's minivan had been plowed under about 12 feet of snow and consequently, it was visited by the bylaw officer yesterday afternoon! Yes -- unfortunately . . . I am one of "those" neighbours. You know the type: barking dogs, vehicle parked on street making life difficult for the snowplow, cats wandering around outside. Fortunately, I have GREAT neighbours!! Hee-hee! (I have been known to bribe them with baked goodies.) But seriously, to live in my area is to live with animal lovers. Almost all my neighbours (including me) have cats that play outside and poop on each others' lawns -- hey - it all works out in the end! This is another benefit of living in a small community -- no uptight neighbours that never speak to one another except to complain. People are very relaxed here.

My Dad came over early this morning with about three different shovels to attack the mountain of snow/slush/ice that surrounded the minivan. I wanted him to come over later as I had a hair appointment at 9:00am and I wanted to help out. But, you can't argue with my Dad. My best neighbour friend (I got my youngest cat from her: My Peanut and her Rupert are siblings) lent my Dad her snowplow to help and by the time I got back, a definite pathway had been dug out. Tomorrow we boost the sucker and back it out! I have to say, the bylaw officer was so nice and kind. She gave me a call in the afternoon and said that it wasn't really a big deal and that she could come by and help with boosting it. It is days like this that I LOVE living here!!

As Sundays are my long run, I have managed to convince my Mom that Saturday is the official "Mom's Spaghetti Night." She makes the best spaghetti in the world and hey, if I am to reach my Ironman goals, I need to get a good carbo load in, right? Heh-heh!! To be fair, I made chocolate cake this afternoon and will be bringing it over.

Oh NO!!! As I am typing this, ANOTHER dump of snow is coming down!! AAAARRRRGGGHHHH!!! Gratuitous whine now: "I don't wanna shovel anymore!!!!!!"

Friday, February 15, 2008

Blasting Inferno or the Infernal Blasting

So, living in the Crowsnest Pass has its pros and cons. Beautiful mountain vistas, secluded trails (where bush pit stops during long runs are possible without peeping onlookers), tons of wildlife, no mosquitos and clean mountain air. The downside? The eternal blasting wind. 80 - 100km per hour wind. All the time. Therefore, after 7 years of winter running with ever-increasing layers of clothing, I have decided to take my running indoors to the treadmill. The last time I went winter running, I was so garbed up, my heart rate escalated just from all the clothing:
  1. Balaclava, neckwarmer pulled up to eyes, toque, earwarmers over toque to keep out wind.
  2. Long sports bra top, 2 thermal long-sleeved tops, thermal jacket, wind jacket
  3. 2 pairs thermal tights, wind resistant lined pants.

Don't get me wrong, when I drive to Sparwood for my morning swim, the CALM winter weather entices me to run -- but after 7 years (or 7 circles of Hell??:) :) of blasting cold) I feel quite entitled to call it quits! My poor doggies on the other hand . . . Besides, my big races are done in 30 degree Celsius + heat. For anyone who has ever attempted long runs on a treadmill, you will know just how much I hate the wind when I find 2.5 hour treadmill runs enjoyable!! I happily run along with my new iPod and am truly blissful!

Mind you -- as soon as spring hits, I will be outside in all my glory! :) :)

My big goals for this year are to greatly increase my running mileage. Last year, I began increasing my running volume 3 months before IMC and my body felt really good with it. This year, I am more aggressive in my plan to rack up the miles. I have a great coach - Iron Greg who has coached me through three IMC's and all my doubts, questions, and worries. He still astonishes me his patience and calm demeanor. He is flying out to Malaysia tomorrow to compete in his umpteenth IM in hopes of achieving his dream of earning a Kona slot. Good luck Greg!!!!!!

Day One

Well, I finally decided to cave in, jump on the bandwagon, and start a blog. It is taking me a while to figure things out -- but we all have to start somewhere don't we?