Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Very quick update!

Hey all!

I just got back from Penticton this afternoon and am busy unpacking and repacking right now. We are off to Mike's parent's cabin in Windermere, and then I'll be heading up to Stony Plain on Friday.

Still alive!

Training camp was UNFRICKING-BELIEVABLE. My roomie and I napped (read: collapsed into bed) every afternoon so we'd have the energy to attack the next workout. POOPED!!! :) :)

I'll update when I have some more time...

:) :) :)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Fruit Snacks, Julie-style!

esterday, my good friends, Cath and Jason stopped by. Cath and I headed out for a hilly bike ride, while Mike and Jase drank coffee and bought tools at the local hardware shop! Hahahahahahaha!!

I was so excited to be done with our bike ride because I had planned a special surprise for my buds...

Now over the years, Cath and Jase would stop by our place en route from Calgary to Fernie. Often times, they would be exhausted from the flight from London and arrived at my humble abode ravenous.

It is with great pride that I take sole credit for introducing my English friends to the wonder and joy of Hamburger Helper. Hahahahahahaha!!

Poor Jase is quite the cook, and I remember the look on his face when he took the first bite and said, "Well that's quite tasty." LMAO!!! I can only imagine how hungry he must have been. Hee-hee!

Well, it's been a running joke with us now, I always say I'll be making Hamburger Helper, would they like to come for dinner?

Yesterday, however, I was inspired by a creation my friend Charmaine and I had busied ourselves with the day before. I helped her prepare this dish for her daughter's birthday party and was so excited by it, I HAD to make it for Jason and Cath.

As I was preparing it, I started giggling to myself because I knew how awesome it would be and how surprised Jason would be. Mike was in the other room and came over to see what I was laughing about -- and then he just shook his head and started laughing.

Are you ready?????

First I created my masterpiece -- the Watermelon Basket!!!

Then, you chop up all kinds of fruit to make fruit kabobs. Top with a strawberry dipped in chocolate. (See how gleeful I am! Hahahahaha! I already donned my cycling jersey and shorts so I wouldn't be worried about getting ready for the bike ride...)

Final step: Load some skewers in the basket and place extras around it. Hee-hee!!

I swore Mike to secrecy and made him promise that he wouldn't tell Jason about the surprise until Cath and I returned. :) I even covered the whole thing in foil to hide it from prying eyes if anyone went into the fridge.

Mike kept his promise and I was just about wriggling with excitement to get home and serve my watermelon basket!! Hahahahahaha!! I giggled to myself as I brought out the tray of fruit kabobs. They promptly disappeared, but I realized afterward that I should have made something else. Poor Jason was still ravenous -- I could tell by the sharp glean in his eyes. I should have whipped up a batch of Hamburger Helper after all, eh? Hahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!

Well, I'm off to Penticton tomorrow for a training camp -- I'll be gone 10 days! YAY!!! I am so excited for this camp and the opportunity to learn a ton and gain more fitness. :) :)

I'm going to be sharing a room with another of Sara's athletes -- Tessa. I first met Tessa when I was at the Arizona training camp, but never got to know her that well...That situation was rectified this weekend however!

Tessa also raced at Wasa and we accidentally met up on Saturday -- I was standing in the outhouse line wearing my bathing suit, and Tessa must have recognized my bum from Arizona because I heard her voice yell, "Julie!" Hahahahahahaah!!

I invited her to bunk with me at a motel in Cranbrook to cut costs and she agreed. You never know just how well you are going to get along with someone however....I KNEW we were two peas in a pod when at dinner, we each placed our respective lip balms on the table at the same time. Hahahahaha!!

Good luck to everyone racing this weekend...

Keith -- GO LIKE A ROCKET!! You have a solid game plan. Once you are out of the swim, pedal like you mean it. Solid and strong. Run the entire course -- even if that means running at a pace barely discernible from walking, you CAN DO IT!!! As my friend Kerry tells me, "Lay down the law!" :) :) :) :) :)

Susi -- Have a great, great race! Strong and steady the whole way my dear!!! :) :)

Shannon -- Good luck and make sure you poop before you start the run!! Hahahaha!! No walking allowed even if that means you are clenching butt cheeks! LMAO!!!

Is there anyone else I missed? If I did, tell me, and I will personally wish you good luck as well!


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Wasa Olympic Race Report

Here is the down and dirty race results: 2:25:12, but the swim was screwed up and 250m short I think. 5th in age group, 23rd woman overall, and this other lady beat me by 4 SECONDS!!! Hahahahah -- More on that later...

The venue changed for the tri this year due to the explosive number of entrants. My eyes just about bugged out of my head when I saw how MASSIVE transition was. As my Dad would say, "Holy-Oh Crap!" :) :) :)

This was the first race where I actually knew a LOT of people. A huge chunk of my Arizona training group were there as well as other buds -- I even ran into my high school French teacher!! Go figure! Hahahahaha!

The water was so warm this year, I even felt a bit hot in my wetsuit if you can believe it. Normally the water is freezing cold...Okay onto the race itself...

The men had their own wave start about 15 minutes or so ahead of the women. What a nice change -- swimming with a bunch of women is a much more enjoyable experience than having to deal with testosterone flailing and punching men. Nobody rammed you on purpose, nobody tried to swim over top of you -- what a relaxing time it was! :) :)

Swim time (remember it is not a true 1500m): 23:18

BIKE -- 1:11:51
My legs felt terrible for about 15km of the bike ride. Just really fatigued and heavy. I just did what I could and knew that the time to push what little I had would be in the final 20km when the wind would be blowing hard against us. As the course had changed from last year, I was totally surprised when the 20km turn around appeared -- I just about fell off my bike...literally.

I was pushing a big gear and was just passing this girl and a man when I saw a placard in the middle of the road and people sitting in lawn chairs behind it. SHIT!! I had no time to shift into an easier gear, so I just slammed on the brakes and turned in slow motion around the corner. I actually unclipped just in case I couldn't make the turn -- it was that close.

As soon as I made the turn (YES!) I said to the two people I had just about taken out, "Sorry guys, I didn't realize the turn around was right there!" The man was a total dick -- he said, "I can turn my motorcycle faster than that." I thought to myself, "You a$$hole, you're just mad that you are getting chicked." The woman said to me, "I don't mind! It's OK!" What a difference in attitudes eh?

At this point, I had my cycling legs back and I just went as hard as I could. It was awesome, I felt great biking as hard as I could into the wind.

When I got into transition, someone had put their bike in my place (That's the THIRD time this has happened to me at this race), so I just laid my bike down on the fence and grabbed my running stuff.

RUN -- 50:05
All the girls I had passed on the bike very promptly passed me on the run, but I felt good with my effort. A friend of mine, Erin (another Arizona pal) was yelling at me to "Dig Deep!" and "Push hard!" Bless you Erin -- you have no idea how much that helped me get through the run -- I wish I had the energy (and the breath!) to shout encouragement back to you!!! :) :) :) :)

Here comes the major dorkiness part. Nearing the end of the run, there were two people in front of me that I could not get by. It wasn't because they were going faster than I could, it was because the spectators lined both sides of the narrow path, making it impossible to pass. I think one was a part of a relay, the other maybe part of a relay too -- in any case, for all I know it might have been their very first tri and they were both soaking in the atmosphere. There were all these kids lined up along the path and these two people were giving high fives as they ran -- at least at this point, I had the presence of mind not to plow over some poor kid to get by.

OH MAN, but here comes the bad part....

I had energy left and I wanted to get by these two people SOOOO BAD. There was just NO room to pass until the very end --- and I mean like the last 5 meters before the finish line. A tiny opening appeared between the two people and darted in between and around them to get ahead! OH MY GOD I AM SUCH A DORK!!! My very good friends, Cath and Jase were there cheering me on, and Jase captured the moment on film -- you can see the look of disgust on the spectators' faces at the stunt I pulled!! And you can see the guy and the girl I managed to squeak by.

Page 2 « Lake Wasa Triathlon It is the first picture on the left hand side of the post.

LMAO!!!! If there is anyone who will understand this -- it will be Chad!! Remember you and your precious seconds that separated you from 3rd place last year? Well, 4 freaking seconds separated me from 22nd overall!! HAHAHAHAHAH!!! Yes, I have turned into the total tri dork, and I would do it all over again if I had the chance.


My friend Charmaine was bugging me saying, I might as well try to take out the guy in the wheelchair while I'm at it....EEEEEEP!!!!!!!

Even with the screwed up swim, I still shaved off time from what I did at Lethbridge last month, so I'm pretty tickled at that.

Lesson of the race? Go ahead -- Embrace your inner dork! LOL!!!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Why Does Broccoli Stink When You cook it?

Just a question...but really why does it stink so much? When I cook broccoli it stinks up the whole house. If you were to go out of the house and come back in, you would gag because of the stink. If you stay in the house, you still gag, but you are a little more used to the smell.

Not too much to write about -- I've been pretty pooped until I got my groove back on Wednesday. It was on Wednesday that I noticed I was back to my usual self -- goody! Just in time to race on Sunday! :) :)

Swimming is coming along -- but I need to get smaller paddles because my elbows drop with my big elephant ones. :)

That's it for now!

Monday, June 8, 2009

A Verbal Spanking: That's What Friends Are For

I debated whether or not to post about my bike ride on Saturday for two big reasons:

One, I would be letting the world know how stupid I was, and Two, That I can be a complete ass at times.

However, for the sake of educating those around me to (hopefully ) prevent them from repeating my ass-like mistakes, I decided to go ahead and post...

Keith and I had planned to meet about 4-5 km away from the beginning of Highwood Pass on Saturday. We had talked about it throughout the week, and Keith had warned me of the shite weather that was coming. I kept warning him about how stubborn I was.

Sure enough, Friday night, the weather was so unbelievably crappy -- snow on my front lawn and freezing cold, that we decided to call off the ride in terms of safety. Highwood Pass tops out over 7200 ft, which is higher than Turtle Mountain right across the street from my house. I could very well see the amount of snow that was "up top."

A quick aside for non-mountain living folk -- when we talk about the weather we invariably talk about how much it has "snowed up top." Here's a conversation for example, "The weather looks like it might change." "Yeah! Did you see how much it snowed up top?" LOL!!!

Saturday morning rolls around and it was frigging cold outside. I was determined not to waste my hilly ride on my trainer, but to get out there and brave the elements.

Here is where my stupidity began to peek through...

I geared up -- read: double layers of everything except any kind of beanie under my helmet -- and headed out at 3:00pm.

About 35 minutes into the ride, it began to snow. The sky was black and dark gray -- it looked like it was 10:30pm, not the middle of the afternoon! The snow wasn't too bad, but the roads were drenched and full of puddles. I sort of took it easy going downhill, because I wasn't too sure about my skinny little tri bike tires on the wet surface.

Very soon thereafter, the snow turned to hail -- terrible hail. The kind that is accompanied by blasting wind. Sandblasting the hail against my cheeks, my face. Holy crap, it was so painful, I put my head down to look directly down and would only sneak a peak once in a while to see the road ahead.

Then it rained -- pummeling, cold rain. All the while, I kept asking myself, "Should I turn around? Is my core cold? Naw! I'm doing fine!" All the snow/rain/hail completely soaked my lower legs and feet. I never realized how thoroughly wet your feet can get in those cycling shoes during inclement weather.

Well, the saga went on and on. I could have (should have) turned around many many times, but I wanted to get in my full 3 hours outside. At one point, I was riding through a white out! On my frigging bike.

When I finally turned around, the weather had really deteriorated. On the way out, there were the occasional patches of dry pavement. On the way back, it was just a shitstorm all the way home.

There was a period of about 500m where I heard a funny noise from my tires and realized that it was because I was riding through a hail/slush/ice mix that had accumulated on the highway. Holy crap! I couldn't stop, I kept on pedaling.

When I finally got home, I was already planning ahead to change and go out for a 30 min run -- well that changed as soon as I started taking off my wet and filthy clothes. My feet were frozen solid. Then, when they started to warm up, they hurt so bad I wanted to cry. You know that feeling? Oh man, I sat on our heated bathroom floor and kept squeezing my feet trying to grimace my way through the pain.

I tried to talk to Mike and my voice was about 2 octaves lower than normal. It sounded like I was hungover from one heck of a party!

I missed my run and had a hot bath instead.

I was a dumbass on Saturday!

My good friend, Keith, let me have it in a very appropriate email he sent me the next day. What if a car had lost control and hit me because of the crap conditions? No race is held during conditions like that, so why ride outside? He laid a verbal smackdown and I deserved every single word of it.

Thanks for being a true friend, Keith!

I promise not to be a dumbass anymore! ;)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Local Pool Finally Open!

It's that time of the year again -- when our outdoor pool is open for business! You have no idea how excited I am about this! No more having to wake up at a Godforsaken hour in the morning to wolf down breaky and then drive to Pincher Creek. Now, I can hop on my bike and buzz down to the pool. It is still CRISP outside that early in the morning, but I'm so delighted to be saving so much moolah on gas. :) :)

In other news...did you hear about my coach? She came in fourth at Ironman Brazil!! YAY!!

Let's see, what else has been going on...Oh! BIG NEWS!!

I reconnected with a long lost friend on facebook two days ago. We went to school together in Cold Lake and kept in touch for a few years before he just disappeared. I thought he might have died...It was my brilliant Mikey who suggested I try facebook. And Lo and Behold -- I found him straight away!!! He is married and has two kids, a puppy and a 3 legged cat named...."Julie." HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!

We were best friends for a number of years and I am so excited to reconnect with him!! Years ago, he was singing in a band, and I had to iron his long hair before he went out to perform. Hahahaha!! Oh man, the stories!!

I also sussed out another friend from high school who has just been accepted as a pilot for the Snowbirds! (I found out he creeps my blog and hasn't commented yet, so yes, Dano, this is a shameless attempt to make you comment! Hahaha!!)

OKAY...training news:

Swimming these days is all about "ELBOWS UP!" My armpits are on fire! And so are many more little muscles in my arms. Hehehehe! Plus, I've been doing these Pilate ball exercises to help imprint the proper arm swimming position. Me poor little arms. :)

I've been grimacing when I do a hard bike set -- just found this out yesterday when I had to do 6 x 5 min at Oly race pace. I think I might have been snarling when I turned around and was racing into the wind. I was making enough huffing and puffing noises to certainly do justice to the grimace. Hahahahaha! My coach had me drop my aero bars down a wee little more, and I am feeling even more comfortable on my Cervelo. He/She still doesn't have a name or a gender for that matter. I feel rather ambivalent about the whole bike-naming thing. My old bike (Magic Bullet then renamed B.M.F. -- Big Mother F$#^er) was easy to name, but my Cervelo is just great bike. :)

Back to the Pilates ball...Mike had purchased this ball for me a number of years ago as a Christmas present. I never needed it until now. So, after hauling it out of the back of the closet, I went about the task of inflating it. What a gong show!

They give you this cheap and ridiculous "pump" that technically you could use your foot to pump with...if the pump wasn't so cheap that each time you depress the pump the cheap connecting hose shoots off and other sundry pieces hit the floor and roll underneath the computer desk. If I were to use that stupid pump, it would have taken me two weeks to inflate that ball.

The directions specifically said not to use a compressor. BAH! I hauled my partially inflated ball over to my Dad's where he promptly inflated it for me. But this ball is a big pain in the a$$. The plug is cheaper than the pump, so if it isn't on just so, a little bit of air slowly leaks out.

Then, yesterday as I was rolling on the ball doing my swimming exercises, the plug came out and all this sand that was inside the ball came out all over the carpet. I'm sure there is some very good scientific purpose why my ball has sand in it, but at that point I was ready to throw the damn thing out the door and let it blow down the highway to Lethbridge.

I hauled it over AGAIN to my Dad's and this time we put on some snazzy red tape to cover the plug...And then it occurred to me! My ball wants attention! Here she was trying all manner of ways to get my attention, and I just kept ignoring her. I decided we had to make friends and I've been giving her all sorts of TLC. So far so good. No air leakage, no plug popping out, just good times for me and my ball. Funny, I have a name for my ball but not my bike...

Here she is folks, meet Big Blue.
She likes to sit on the kitchen floor and watch me blog.

Big Blue wearing my running hat and chillaxing on the couch...

Big Blue sitting on the deck enjoying the morning sunshine.

Big Blue out on the lawn catching some rays.

Big Blue tentatively making friends.

New friends, good times! LOL!!!