Thursday, February 28, 2008
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
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?
- Both live at altitude
- Both have long shaggy hair that keeps them warm in the winter.
- 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
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!!!!
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
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:
- Hands Clean - Alanis Morisette
- Ray of Light - Madonna
- Right Here, Right Now - Jesus Jones
- Sinnerman - Nina Simone remix
- Soar - Christina Aguilera
- Stronger - Kanye West
- Unwritten - Natasha Bedingfield
- Sweet Dreams - Tori Amos
- Closer to Fine- Indigo Girls
- Bright Lights - Matchbox 20
Saturday, February 23, 2008
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
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
- 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.
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.
:) :) :) :)
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
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
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
Monday, February 18, 2008
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
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
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
- Balaclava, neckwarmer pulled up to eyes, toque, earwarmers over toque to keep out wind.
- Long sports bra top, 2 thermal long-sleeved tops, thermal jacket, wind jacket
- 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!!!!!!