Monday, September 29, 2008

First Day Back!

I've officially started triathlon training again -- and what a swim workout I had this morning! I had a bunch of sprint kicking and a couple of sets of hard/easy swimming. I thought Charmaine was the only person who could make me sprout another lung -- guess I was wrong! Hee-hee!!!

Yesterday, I went for another mountain bike ride up my favourite climb. Holy Cow. Literally. The cows up there are strange ... 'fraidy cows actually. As soon as they see me, they start stampeding in panic away from me. Not all of them, but most of them. You can see the panic spread from one to another as they run. And can those suckers ever run!! Have you ever seen how fast a cow can move? You'd be quite surprised!

I've ran and biked by plenty of cows in my time, and I've never experienced the sheer terror of The Cows of Frank. The first time it happened, I thought it was an anomaly. Two black cows (a Momma and a kiddie) took a glance over their shoulders and started running. They quickly picked up the pace and kept glancing over at me. Then -- all hell broke loose! The two cows made a dash for the bush -- but had to get through a barbed wire fence first. One cow made it, the other cow got stuck. My God, that cow was flailing around in that fence like I was the Grim Reaper himself. Finally, the cow broke free and I heard a loud PING! A big metal hook that secured the fence to a post popped up through the air as I watched it fly in front of me and land over to my right.

OK -- So I learned that the cows up there were especially afraid. In the past couple of weeks, I've tried all manner of ways to calm them down. I start talking to them in a calm and assertive voice. I slow right down and talk calmly at them. For the most part, I think they are starting to get used to me. But I still run into the odd 'fraidy cow that takes ones look at me and bolts. And these suckers don't bolt in a logical way. I've had a couple of close calls when a cow decided to run right into my path instead of away from me...Geesh! What are the mountain biking skills necessary for this situation, Susi?? LOL!!!!!!

Can you imagine getting blindsided by a frigging cow?


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Meet My New Coach...

I'd like to introduce all of you to my new coach, Sara Gross!

I just received my first three weeks of workouts -- I officially begin Monday, September 29. YIPPPEEEE!! I am so pumped to start training!!!

Can't wait...

:) :) :) :) :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What I Call Mountain Biking

I had a neat surprise last week...I woke up one morning and felt fully rested. The Ironman fatigue was completely gone and I felt like my old self again. YAY!!

I've started swimming again and have been mountain biking up this monster set of hills right behind my house. My love/hat relationship with my mountain bike's clipless pedals has somewhat dissipated; however, the fear lingers on. The fear of what you ask? The fear of tipping over and not being able to unclip in time. I HATE THIS!!!

There is one section of the steady climb that has a particularly steep pitch. The dirt road is also very rough here -- very rocky and streams of gravel. It is all I can do to keep my bike pointed in a straight line going up the hill -- you have to pick your path oh so carefully and then pedal your butt off. If I slow down even for a minute, it's like trying to balance on a stopped bike in the middle of a hill. I've discovered that I can't be in too easy a gear or else I'll be going too slow up the hill, and risk falling and getting my legs chewed up.

I also learned a new trick from Charmaine. When going down a really steep road, you stand up, squeeze the seat with your inner thighs, and hang your bum over the rear tire. It really stabilizes you! She had me practice this first on a flat portion of road. I would stand up and lean toward my handlebars, then contrast that feeling with leaning backwards. What a difference!

Leaning towards the front makes you very unstable -- the bike wants to veer all over the place. So, after I reached the top of my "hill," I tested this out, and it worked!! Hee-hee!

I am still not at all comfortable biking on single track, hilly, rooty, and rocky trails. I might drive you mountain bike purists crazy, but if I am biking on a road or trail where I can't ride my road bike -- that is mountain biking to me! :) :)

The real fear stems from the fact I can't unclip as easily as from my road bike. There is no worse feeling than trying to unclip, and your foot is LOCKED in tight. I just about have a panic attack, and whip my ankle so hard to get me out.

I'm learning. I'm getting better, and I am stubborn! :) :) :)

Yesterday was also Day 1 Kelly's Core Bootcamp. Heh-heh-heh! I started off with high hopes...3 sets of 25 for EVERYTHING! I did manage that lofty goal for the first few workouts, but then I quickly degenerated into a shaking mass of tired muscle and did 3 sets of 12 for the rest.

I improved my push up count from last week! I did 3 sets of 10 instead of 3 sets of 8 so YIPPEEE for me!! HAhahahaahah! Look out chin up bar... you are so mine this year!!!!!!!

Yesterday morning also saw the fruition of a plan Charmaine and I had hatched a while back. I had purchased matching swim caps at the IMC expo -- pink camo caps with eyes and a open shark-toothed mouth on the front. To top it all off, there is an actual pink fin sticking up from the cap, so that when you are swimming, the eyes, mouth, and fin look hilarious -- a lane shark!! Hahahahahah!! Well, we did our workouts and then played around with fins to achieve the best "look." We finally got it right. With one arm extended in front to swim, the other extended to the back held up a swim fin. Then, we waited for the senior water aerobics to start...


We lurked at the far end of the pool, in our lane and waited until the last person entered the pool. Then we waited until all the water aerobic people shifted to the front of the pool and started to walk backwards. With a mutual nod, we dove under the lane ropes and began our attack...

We swam in and around all the guys and gals. One time when I went to breathe I heard the aerobic instructor say, "Watch out for the sharks!" HAHAHAHAHAHA!! You could see, some of these guys didn't know what to think! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!! AWESOME!!!

Let 'er rip! Time to get back into training!! YEEEHHHAAAAWWWWWWW!!!! :) :) :) :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Addicted to Wii!!!!

For a long time, Mike has had a secret somehow get me excited about a video game/computer game. Nothing has worked. I don't like computer games. I don't like Star Wars, Age of Civilization, World of Warcraft, Battleships (oops, I mean Battlefield), or the latest, Conan. I hear him talking to his online buddies about "leveling up," and getting a green gem or whatever, and I just shake my head. I had my fling with video games back in the day of Atari and my Mom was the pinball queen.

Well, all that changed a couple of days ago when Mike set up the new Wii system. It was so much fun! I was initially skeptical but played along when Mike asked me to box with him. The first round, was sort of a learning match, and then the next round I KO'd him!! AND the next one! Hee-hee! That was it, I was hooked, and on fire! We proceeded to play bowling, tennis (I can't hit the ball if my life depended on it), golf, and baseball.

There are training options within each sport that enables you to work out by yourself -- these are my favourites. For example, there is one boxing option where you see how many bags you can knock off the chain in a minute. FRIG!! It was so awesome -- I was punching the air like a maniac and panting up a astorm. I punched that bag until my arms nearly fell off --- and then I had to do it again!! Hahahaha!!

I made my Mom come over the other night so she could try it out. She was sooooo reluctant to come over, because her interest in computer games is even less than mine. Well 3.5 HOURS later we were still bowling and laughing our heads off. We were so loud that Mike had to take his headset off while he was playing Conan to ask us to quiet down. Of course, you can guess how well that went over. We upped the catcalling, and booing, and cheering. Poor Mike! Hee-hee!!

Yesterday, my Dad came over and played a round of golf and a game of bowling. Later that afternoon, he went to Wally's world and bought a Wii for him and my Mom!! HAhahahahahaha!!

Onto triathlon news....

Went on another mountain bike ride followed by come core work afterward. This was before Kelly sent me her awesome new routine, so I just did my usual thing. I BARELY managed 3 sets of 8 push ups -- and Oh My GOD!! The push ups coupled with me boxing at the Wii has left my arms and back really, really sore! :) :)

Yesterday I went for a 30 minute swim. I still feel pretty heavy and sluggish in the water (and it is so not because of the Mccain cake!!) But things are coming along. I know that for me, this time of year is the worst. Any physical activity feels so intense and difficult. Like I've never worked out a day in my life. I know it takes about a month to pass...

In the spirit of Jenna, Kelsey, and now Susi, I decided to finally update my blog. :) :):)

And, by the way, Jenna -- when I finally come up to see you, I'm bringing a cake for each of us... THAT'S how I go dutch!! LOL!!!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I can run! Sort of...

While I am not back into training by any stretch of the imagination, I did haul my sorry butt off the couch to go for a 20 km mountain bike ride on Thursday. A very easy ride. Where most of the cycling was done on paved roads. :) I was pooped by the end but my lungs and body felt great. It was like they were thanking me: "Thanks, Julie! We were feeling so gross, now we're feeling awesome!"

In keeping with my new-found pep, I decided to attempt a 30 minute run yesterday. I took my dogs out, and started off feeling great. I was feeling awesome, and made it to this one point that has traditionally taken me 10 minutes to get to. Yesterday, I was just going easy and it took me 7.5 minutes. I looked at my watch and thought, "WOW! I feel great! Maybe I'll just go a little further..." I should have turned around at 15 minutes, but the weather was beautiful, the babies were having a blast, and I just felt so darn great.

I kept running. Very soon, I was at the half-way point of my 8 km loop. It was shortly after this that I hit the wall for the first time in my life. At exactly 26 minutes, I couldn't run at all anymore. I was POOPED!! Hahahahaha! So, I had a nice long walk back. Plenty of time to think about just how tired I was. :):)

I might be pooped from barely any exertion, but I am definitely back!!!!!!!!!!!!


:) :) :) :) :):)