Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Cheating Paddle....

The other day, I noticed a long blond hair twisted around one of the elastics of my swimming paddle. Cheeky little bugger, isn't he? I guess he wasn't getting enough action from me, and must have sidled off into another lane in between sets...

Although to be honest, I'm glad said hair didn't end up tangled in my mouth like Susi's worst nightmare. LOL!!!

I had "The Attack of the Killer Quads" today during my brick session today. I was off and running, when WHAMMO! Both quads jumped on the bandwagon, so to speak. I thought to myself -- Oooh! There's another new kind of pain to familiarize myself with.

One of my cats, Mandalay is standing directly underneath my face as I type this -- she keeps rubbing her body along my chin, and there -- her tail just flicked my eye. Gotta go and tame this wild beast -- she needs some lovin'!! :) :) :) :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Arizona Camp Report


My Mom came home from the hospital yesterday and I've been able to get a bit more rest. She's very weak, but getting stronger and is perking up. So, now I can give you all more deets about the Arizona camp. :) :)

I've tried to really condense this post -- a week's worth of workouts into a not-too-boring post. :)

The weather was mild but not hot -- not until the last two days of the camp anyways. I pretty much wore my arm and leg warmers and/or wind jacket the entire time I was there. It was funny, everybody else would be stripped down to shorts and a tank top, but I was bundled up. Hahahahaha!

Day 1
We biked up Mt. Lemmon the first and the last day -- you gain 5000 feet and it was just an awesome climb. I got such a kick out of seeing all these cacti on the hillsides. I forget at what elevation, but there was snow at a certain point. The roads were clear, but immediately off the road there was a lot of snow. I really, really, really love climbing. It takes me a little bit to warm up, but then something settles and I can keep going and going and going. :) :) :)

The best part was descending the mountain -- WHOOOIIIEEEE!! It was pretty windy that day, but even with some cross wind action, I felt very stable on my Cervelo -- big change from my old bike! :) :) At one point, the wind was so powerful, it blew my left contact out! HAHAHAHAHAH!!! Now THAT is a first! LOL!!!! (I spent the rest of the day with one contact in -- heh-heh-heh!)

Later on we had a run session, and I think we did core. I can't remember! HAHAHAHA!

Day 2
We had a choice of a 2 hour trail run, or a 2 hour road run. Both were very hilly. I chose the trail run -- what a trip! I blissed right out straight away -- we ran in a national park and the views were spectacular. We ended up running up a mountain -- the best was running back down. I literally felt a light switch go off inside me and the endorphins release -- I was giggling and running around like a little kid. One of the camp members ran with me for a bit and we were both giggling like mad fools. :) :) :) :)

Almost everyone got a little bit of blood from the trail. ;)

Next we had our first swimming session. I learned a number of new drills, and had a go at the vertical kicking thing. Good times!! Hahahahahaha! Over the next two days each of us were videoed from 3 different angles. Our swimming coach graciously made the time to go over each of our individual videos with us throughout the trip. He thoroughly explained what we needed to work on, etc. What an opportunity -- it's amazing how rapidly you can improve when you are shown what to do from a qualified expert. No kidding -- he could tell you one thing, and right away you could feel the difference. He knows his stuff!! AND he knew how to explain it.

Day 3
Duathlon DAY!!

We loaded our bikes and drove out to the middle of the desert. :) We started whenever we were ready -- you had to ride two loops of this hilly awesome road, and then run hard for 10 min. It was frustrating on the ride -- our goal was to go hard on the bike, but as my legs were crapped out from Mt. Lemmon, I couldn't get my heart rate up! It was pretty funny -- I went to stand to get over this little hill, and my legs locked down. They refused!! Hahahahaha -- so I know I'll be working to get stronger.

The run was a lot better -- I managed to keep a quick tempo and I did justice to the workout's description of "hard."

Swimming was later, with more fun sets and drills. Again -- I can't remember if we ran afterward or not...

Day 4
We had a choice of long bike rides -- I chose the longer one --120km. We biked to Patagonia!! And of course we all made jokes about a clothing factory there. This was the day I learned how to ride in a paceline. I was freaking terrified at first, but our massage therapist hung back with me and with just the two of us, taught me all about technique and paceline etiquette. When I say I hung back, I was like 2 km away from everybody else -- I wasn't going anywhere near them!! LOL!!

As the ride progressed, I became more confident and graduated to a 5 person paceline. It was such a blast -- if you have the right mix of people who are pacing properly, you can really go like stink! :) :) :)

Our goal for this workout was to go easy on the way out, and then we could do whatever we wanted on the way back. Another girl and I took off for the return trip -- her name is Michelle and she is an AMAZING athlete and person. She set the pace the whole way while I clung to her wheel. I offered to lead but she was content at her job, so I settled in for a great ride back! She is a fantastic rider and I was very comfortable riding on her wheel -- Thanks Michelle!! :) :) :) :)

The weirdest part of this ride was riding through the border patrol brigade -- of course I was thinking "Make a run for the border.." LOL!!!

Day 5
We ran hill repeats in the morning where I just about died -- every single person cheered for each other going up and down the hill. Except me! I felt guilty -- I was pushing it from the beginning (like everyone) but I honestly didn't have any extra energy to cheer for anyone else. I went around apologizing to everyone afterward -- nobody cared, but I still felt like a tool!

The swimming session to end all swimming sessions occurred later that day. Basically, we swam as hard as we could for different periods of time, ending with 3 sets of 200 at V02 max. We were all dead tired from all our training, but we did it!!! I got spunky and even led my lane!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA -- I actually LED OUR LANE!!!!! LMAO!!!!

Yoga that evening was a sight to behold. Those of us who showed up, were so fatigued that it didn't take much to set us off laughing. Oh yeah -- and Amber -- you are right the yogi Jen is such a cool chick!!!! :) :):) She picked up on our oh-so-obvious cues and asked if we wanted to try "laughing yoga." Of course, we were up for the challenge.

Here is what you do -- you arrange everybody in two seated lines facing each other -- everyone sits cross-legged. Then all together, we said, "Ho, Ho, Ho!" We said it twice in unison, before the hysterical laughter kicked in. It didn't take long. OMG -- I was looking at my partner who was looking at someone else, and we all couldn't stop laughing. We were doing this out on the pool deck of the condo complex -- so all those old fogeys playing golf behind us and in their units, must have wondered what the hell was going on. Hahahahahahahaha!!

Then we had to say, "Ha, ha, ha!" God -- nothing could stop us. I had tears streaming down my face and I couldn't stop laughing. It was such a chore to settle down into Shavasna after. You'd be lying there and suddenly your face would contort and you'd try to suppress the giggles. It was such a release -- if everyone did this, the world would be a much better place! :):) :) :)

Day 6
Last climb of Mt. Lemmon with a 20 minute run off the bike. Better climb than the first day, and all of us were high on endorphins -- giggling, cheering each other on, clapping hands, etc.

This camp was such an amazing experience. I met a whole other group of tri folks -- excellent, kind, funny people! Every work out we would do, we would cheer each other on -- each of us would smack hands and say "Way to go!" Sara and Chris were consummate professionals -- they did EVERYTHING for us.

They sacrificed their training to cook, shuttle, change tires, herd us together, etc. Unbelievable -- and all with the utmost tact and diplomacy. To be sure, I believe our group dynamics took their cue from the leadership provided by Sara and Chris. What an amazing experience. :) :) The aim of this camp was to provide us with all the food and support necessary so we could just focus on training. I cannot say enough positive things about this camp -- Man -- I ate 3 shrimp skewers and a salmon steak and couscous AND salad on Friday night!!!!!!! I had a heaping helping of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and assorted fruit every morning. Plus eggs, oatmeal, toast, muffins, the list goes on and on. We did not starve!!! :) :)

Now, I am getting rest so the ole bod has a chance to absorb this extra training. I am so excited about REALLY ramping up my training now!! :) :) :) :)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Arizona quick update

Hey Everybody!

Sorry I couldn't blog whilst in Arizona -- there was literally no time other than eating, working out, and sleeping. Our camp cook was amazing, Chris and Sara fully supported all rides with tons of food and goodies (and LOTS of tubes and C02 cartridges), and our swimming and running coaches worked us over good. :) :) :)

I'll write more later, but I just found out when Mike came to pick me up last night that my Mom fell and broke her hip, had surgery, and is currently on oxygen at the hospital. Toby went missing one night when a neighbour lit fireworks in their yard (remember this is the Pass), but thank God, Mike tracked her down in two days.

I'm going shopping to prepare meals for my Mom and Dad and then will start blogging again.

Meanwhile, I'll give you all a few things... :):)

1. I made a LOT of great new tri friends -- what a great group of people. We all cheered each other on, it was like crossing the finish line of IMC every day.

2. My big watts on the Computrainer since I switched bikes was accurate after all. :):) :) :) :) Read: Mount Lemmon twice and with the front pack. :)

3. I learned the correct way to ride a paceline and became quite comfortable being inches away from a wheel.

4. Laughing yoga is the greatest invention EVER!!!!!!! I cried, I was laughing so hard. :) :) :)

5. Chris taught us how to fine-tune our bikes so they switch gears properly -- AND I am competent at dismantling and re-assembling my bike now. LOVE IT!!!! :) :) :) :)

Here's a few pics from our camp photographer...

At the beginning of our duathlon...

Team Cervelo... Hahahahah -- there were other brands there too!

I'm loving it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I'm biking in Arizona!! :) :) :) :)

The "finish line" -- we had to run 10 minutes as hard as we could off the bike and 10 minutes easy.

My personal favourites -- I LOOK LIKE A REAL SWIMMER!! Hahahahahahahaha!!!!! :) :) :):) I worked my little butt off in that pool! :) :) :)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Off to Arizona

See you all later -- I'm off to Arizona for a training camp extraordinaire. Can't wait to work out with a real swim coach!! And a run coach too! YEEHAWW!

I'm coming back on Sunday, Feb 22 -- until then my friends...

:) :) :) :) :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

New year, New pool

I've officially switched pools...

My house lies smack in the middle between the Pincher Creek pool and the Sparwood pool -- 42 km either way. I had stopped swimming in Pincher (locals call it this, no need to add the "Creek" LOL!), as the chemicals they used assaulted my nose and eyes in unthinkable ways. But things were getting pretty congested at the ole lima bean pool in Sparwood. Picture 6-8 people crammed into the only 2 lanes they allow for swimming and keep in mind that it is only a 20m SHALLOW pool.

I took the plunge today (oh, I am so punny, I know) and decided to try Pincher again. IT WAS BLISS!!!!!

The bad chemicals were gone and the 25m pool (25m!!! Can you believe it??) was wide open for lane swim. The WHOLE pool was lane swim! YAY!!! You could even DIVE at the deep end -- it was truly deep. Hahahahaha! I shared a lane for about 8 minutes and then had my own lane. Everybody cleared out by 6:30am and I pretty much had the place to myself.

Now I just have to start making new pool friends -- it' s funny, there was this one older guy that was looking to cross the lane and he had a slight look of fear when he was thinking of walking in front of me. I laughed and told him to honk his horn and then I would get out of the way. When I get to know some of these people better, I'm going to bring out the pink piranha cap and chase some old guys... they love it, really!!! Hahahahaha -- Well, I love it!!!! LOL!!!!

It was so awesome to swim in a real pool this morning. :) :) When I got out, I told the lifeguard, "This is a nice freaking pool, man." I don't know why or how I channeled surfer-dude lingo, but I also started thinking maybe my comment about that old guy honking was horn was perverted? Ahh well-- speak first and then think -- THAT'S the way to make pool friends! :) :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Well, I thought I'd try to blog again. I haven't felt like blogging at all since Diva passed away.

Life moves on and time passes, and Mike and I are slowly healing. :)

Training has acted as a healing agent. I can completely focus on what I need to do and work to do it. I have control over the effort I put in, and the very act of control assuages the pain of not being able to control death, you know?

Ahhh well. :)

Last week was a "challenge week." :) :):) Need I say more? Hahahaha! I had this one brick workout where I had to do ten sets 30s hard/30s rest and then run for 10 min. easy. There I was, running up the highway, full tilt, into the wind for 30sec. For the next 30s, I would barely walk, just try and get my breath back.

I didn't feel too bad at first...Until the 5th set kicked in. Something altogether unholy was going on down below. All at once, I felt like I was going to pee/poo and/or my uterus was going to fall out. AIIEEEEEE!

By the 7th set, I was feeling like I was going to puke. I wasn't sure I could even make it to 10 sets, and if I did, I was thinking, I'm not going to be able to run for 10 minutes easy after all this! I won't be able to move -- let alone walk!

But, I did do it, and although I was burping a bit on the way back, I did actually manage to run home.

Hahahahahahaha -- I am learning that I actually have more than one speed! :) :) :)

Can't wait for Arizona!

:) :)