Thursday, October 29, 2009

Things I'm Learning...

1. When I would watch swim club kids swim in the lanes next to me, I was always amazed how their little arms would windmill through the water so quickly...I've just started to get that feeling!!! YAY!!! :) :) :)

2. Whilst biking, my legs feel like they are working independently of my body -- I didn't think I swayed my body all over the place before, but my back and bum are locked down on the bike seat and it feels like it's just my legs that are moving now -- I know this description will contradict what I just said, but it feels like I am biking from my back now...

3. Pedaling feels like my legs are going down a water slide or a ski jump...

4. Running faster feels GOOD (even when I'
m breathing hard and my muscles are burning.) :) :) :) :)

5. When it's that time of the month, my ankles and knees are weaker for a few days - I have to be a little cautious for that time.

6. Fatigue can be a largely mental thing. Listening to your body is often confused with listening to your mind. The body can go through a heck of a lot more than we think it can. The mind reacts how we teach it to react --- If I was truly in control of the electrical impulses that carried ideas around my head, I would never have to battle thoughts like, "My muscles are burning, I should just slow down a little," or "Man, I'm bagged! Maybe I won't push myself as much." I would send constant positive thoughts to myself -- this is a work in progress! :)

I'm learning to ignore these thoughts as REAL
thoughts. They are chemical reactions in my brain in response to external stimuli -- Take away the emotional attachments I have to the words "hard" and "easy" and the workout becomes a blank canvas.... :) :) :) :)

7. Forcibly analyzing and changing (for the better) my instinctual reactions to people, situations, workouts, etc. is an extremely liberating thing - both physically and mentally.
:) :) :) :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

If Pain is a Train.....

Then my body is the station!!!!!

I blew out my trainer tire yesterday....

That's right, folks, I WORE out my trainer tire and got a flat!

I am such a stud. LMAO!

:) :) :) :) :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Turns - Freestyle Flip Turn Step #1

These are the videos I used to teach myself how to do a flip turn -- it took me four days before my first bonafide flip turn! Stick with it -- these noodle drills WORK!! :) :)

Turns - Freestyle Flip Turn Step #2

Freestyle Flip Turn Step #3

Turns - Freestyle Flip Turn Step #4

Turns - Freestyle Flip Turn Step #5

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mental revelations

I had a GREAT training day yesterday -- primarily because of the many things my brain finally "got."

Swimming yesterday was going along as usual, until I reached a section of 100s on "solid effort." Now last year, I had to force myself to swim more than one speed -- I never knew that you could! In my ignorant naivety, I really believed that you were wither a fast swimmer or not. (Same went with being a fast runner and a fast cyclist. It was only after I met my coach that I learned I could be fast too if I trained my butt off...)

Lat year, in order for me to go to "hard" in a swimming session, I had to basically thrash my arms as fast as they could go. (Which wasn't very fast at all, but hey, you have to start somewhere right?) And kick like a mofo.

Yesterday, I realized that "hard" and "solid effort" mean different things to me now! I have more control over my form when I am going hard or *solidly.* I can even control my speed a bit! I felt like a streamlined tadpole (best way I can think of to describe my fast wriggling sensations! LOL!) doing my few sets of 100. I really felt my hips working with my stroke and it was so flipping exciting. :) :)

I was bagged after my swim and had a nap before I did weights -- then I was REALLY bagged and had another nap -- a drooling nap -- before I went for a run. Now the run was going to be a challenge...

The main set was 6 sets of 2 minutes HARD and 1 minute easy. Even more so than swimming, running has always been one speed for me...But over the last year with Sara, I have been making progress and yesterday was AWESOME!!!!

I felt so tired and all my muscles were sore, but I knew from Sara's Ghetto Camp in June that I can still do a a great workout even when my body feels like utter crap. I was hesitant about the 2 minutes hard bit -- how would I do this? I've had trouble going 1 minute hard, now 2 whole minutes? Would 1 minute be enough to recover? Would I be able to actually run easy and not walk for that minute?

The run was AWESOME!!! I felt similar to when I ran the Calgary half-mary earlier this year -- I looked down at my legs in disbelief and thought, "What do you know? I'm RUNNING HARD!!" I was wheezing and gasping for sure, but the terror of pushing myself hard whilst running was gone. :) :)

I actually wasn't thinking about running too much when I did the hard segments....The only thing I focused on was pushing off and using my butt and hammys, and keeping a high cadence for the hard parts. Then, I thought of swimming 100s. I do a lot of swimming 100s on 2:00 -- so I would imagine I was swimming 100s and would have 2 ENTIRE minutes to swim them. It made the running so much......easier. Does that make sense?

This year at the GWN I used this trick a friend told me about right before the race -- he told me -- when running gets tough keep saying to yourself, "I'm not running, I'm not running." Think of lying on the beach, swimming, whatever. Well, I have a new mental trick now!!

I'm going to think of swimming when I am running hard now -- It works for me! :) :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Peanut and Vitamin E and Training...

Has anyone ever heard of a cat LOVING vitamin E pills??? Peanut hears me shaking out my vitamins in the morning and comes running...

She stands on the bathroom sink and stretches up to knock off my vitamin E pill so she can gum-suck it. (FYI -- Peanut is on my back gum-sucking my head as I type this...) Man, is that cat ever heavy!! She is always jumping on my back -- I call myself the Peanut Express. She jumps on my back and then I walk over to her food (on the counter) where she dismounts.

Sometimes she doesn't want to disembark and I have to throw some shoulder into it... LOL!!!!

Back to the Vitamin E thing....

To try and save time in the mornings, I would take out my vitamins the night before and lay them on the bathroom shelf -- well, Peanut quickly discovered this and my Vitamin E pill would be gone by the morning. I even tried hiding the pills on a shelf in the medicine cabinet, but Mike thought it was funny to leave the cabinet door open just a little bit so he could watch Peanut pry it open and steal my pill...

A few mornings ago, I took my pills and set them by the computer where I was going to eat my oats and peruse my email... I had settled into the chair when Peanut came out of nowhere LIKE A BOLT OF LIGHTENING!!!!

In a series of perfectly-executed movements, she jumped on a stool, then the computer desk, grabbed the vitamin E pill in her mouth and jumped down and ran away! I gave pursuit --- but it was like she was on catnip! She was bucking like a bronco and gum-sucking that pill and scratching the carpet -- I just stared at her....

What else could I do??

Have you ever watched a gum-sucking, bronco-bucking cat? It is an alarming sight.

I've resolved the issue by taking my Vitamin E AS SOON AS I OPEN IT. Hahahahahahaha!!


Had a grrrrrreat trainer ride yesterday. I am so in love with my Computrainer -- I fall in love with it every fall. Sigh. :) :) :)

The weights I've been doing, I feel, have been helping me out immensely. I honestly feel like they have been my *missing link* among other things -- hahahahahaha!! The strength I've gained in my back and legs and arms and chest -- wow - I've noticed a big improvement in the watts I can push out on the ole CT now. YAHOOOOO!!! Let the sweat pour!! Hahahahahahahaah!!

One other note about The Nut...

After every workout I have a 7 minute stretching routine I do on the yoga mat. Peanut loves the yoga mat even more than Vitain E -- she rolls on it, meowing and errrking and rubbing her orange body all over my sweaty face and legs as I try to stretch. Orange fur sticks to sweat.....



Monday, October 19, 2009

GP Wedding and Crab Apples

My best buds from the UK (NOW OFFICIALLY HERE!!! YAY!!) stopped by for a visit. As you can see, my crab apple situation was in a heightened state of emergency, thus I equipped my good friends with special footwear to save their shoes and their pants!!!

Yup! I sho' do things in style, here in the Crowsnest Pass!! LMAO!!!!!

As they were leaving, Cath turned back and said, "Julie! This is definitely a first in my life!" Hahahahahahahahaha!!

Want to come vist me in the fall? Remember your plastic shopping bags! LOL!!

Here's a pic of Mikey and me at a wedding in Grande Prarie two weeks ago...

This is one of the few times you'll see me with war paint and hair *done.* LOL!!!

The Grande Prairie trip was actually pretty good -- apart from the 22 hours of driving there and back...Keith called Mike's cell every hour or so with updates on the Ironman World Championships; and on the morning of the wedding, Amber picked me up and I joined her and her group for a great run.

AWESOME fun!!! Amber gave me one of her "Women of Strength" toques -- I need to take a pic of this -- it is sooooo awesome. We ran back and forth among her gals and chatted the whole way. Amber pushed me -- she is a great training partner and person in general. :) :) She is one of those people like I feel I have known my whole life. I've never talked so much on a run in my life -- but I was pushing myself the entire time too. :) :)

As for training -- had an hour and a half hilly run to do on Sunday and did the Frank hill 4 times and a little bit!!!! I totally beat my record from earlier this year -- Sara is turning me into a runner -- believe it or not! Hahahahahahahaha!!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Run, run, away

I had to laugh to myself when I spoke with my coach about *easing* back into training. You see her definition of "easy" and mine are nowhere near the same -- although I am learning! :) :) :)

For the last three weeks, I haven't felt like there was anything EASY about my EASING back into training -- my God it is full on!! Hahahaha -- I love it though!! :) :)

Swimming is going great guns -- my arms and shoulders are pretty much sore all the time. Hee-hee -- and my bum and legs are sore from running.

Not too much else to write (so far) except that during my hard interval run on Wednesday, I was almost taken out by two vehicles and for the first time ever......

A guy pulled over on the opposite shoulder and asked me if I wanted a ride!!! LMAO!!!!!!!! Can you imagine? Hahahahahahahahaha!!!!

So far, my defintion of easy is still evolving, my defintion of "hills" are as well, and when I am supposed to run HARD, I am no longer afraid of sounding like a dying asthmatic.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

11th Annual Dog-Tossing Contest!!

There's something about the winter -- it's a time of ending, of letting go, of saying goodbye. Diva passed away earlier this year, but I couldn't bring myself to change my blog pic. Everytime I went onto my blog, I would look at her in the pic and feel a mixture of sorrow and joy.
However, time marches on and my heart (and Mike's) has slowly healed. Our other dog, Toby has filled up our hearts with even more doggie love -- and although we all miss Diva, life goes on. :) :)


What is there to do in October when the snow has DUMPED and the roads are terrible?

Without further ado, allow me to share with you photos of Toby's 11th annual dog toss. (Happens every winter...Hey, you have to get creative at amusing yourself when you live in the Crowsnest Pass!! LOL!!!)

Toby gets a running start -- she jumps in my arms and gets prepared to be *thrown* ....

Getting ready for the jump!!!

We have lift off!!!


Getting ready for the TOSS...HEAVE....


Feeling bored this winter? Go toss a dog. :) :) :) :)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Winter's here all right.

We have this old minivan that has over 280 000km on it. This is what I use to barrel around town with and go back and forth to the pool in the winter. You see, our minivan has STUDDED tires on it -- these suckers ROCK!!!

In the last few days, when I have headed out at 5:15am, there has been virtually no traffic on the highway on account of the icy conditions. But our good ole minivan is out there, holding its own against the elements. The traction on those studded tires is amazing -- no kidding I can take corners like it's summer time. Not that I do, of course...We only did it a couple of times when we first got the tires. In a parking lot. :) :)

Not much news to report...Swimming is so blissful in the Pincher Creek pool. I'm usually the only one there in the morning. Occasionally a couple of other people show up, swim for 20 min and then leave. IT IS SO AWESOME!! :) :) :)

The sun was shining yesterday, so I was feeling optimistic as I headed out for my run with Toby. The optimism dulled when a FREAKING snowstorm blew in half way through my run. There I am on the side of the highway running in clothes that totally blend into the dreary snow flurries and clouds. Very smart, Julie.

Toby was covered in mud and dirt. All the running kicked up vast quantities of crap into the fur of her undercarriage -- and, when we got home and the stuff started to melt, there was an unholy mess to clean up!! Big splats of mud dripped all over the floors from Toby's belly. It was so bad, Mike got off the computer and gave Toby a bath!! LOL!!

Good thing I had cleaned the bathroom only the day before...

She was so filthy, Mike at one point stood up and said, "That's it. I have to take drastic action." He went outside into the snow and fed the garden hose through the bathroom window to help blast off the belly dirt! Hahahahahaha!!

40 minutes later, Toby was shaking, rattling, and rolling all over the house -- she was frisking out like she's never done before. It's funny, when she's in the tub, she HATES it. She stands really still and licks her lips over and over again. But as soon as she's out, it's like she's on catnip. Hahahahahah!! She was rubbing her back along the towels we placed on the couches, and then she would jump around barking and attacking Peanut and Mandalay.

It was hilarious!! But, I'm not taking her out again until spring. LOL!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Biking with my people

Big surprise -- there were wind warnings in the Crowsnest Pass yesterday...Gusts up to 100km/hour.

I was in a sour mood because of the wind and ended up coming up with a plan to fight the wind!!

I couldn't bear the thought of biking in the back hall, and then having to strip down, dry off, change, and then run. Plus, I was feeling kinda lonely...

So, I unplugged my Computrainer, folded up my old school trainer and brought the whole works to my local weightlifting club. I set up right beside the rowing machine -- had 4 facecloths and a big towel spread out underneath me to catch all the sweat.

Cranked my iPod and I was off. It was great working out with other people! Just to be around other people was a nice change. The BEST was hopping off my bike, and jumping on the treadmill. No toweling off, no change of clothes and layering up, just a pure run. What a treat!! :) :) This is what a brick is supposed to feel like! Hahahahahaha!!

One thing that was made apparent during the workout was that I sweat more than ever on the bike. I remember when it was a novelty for me last year when I was able to squeeze a few drops of sweat out of my sports bra after a bike workout. HOLY MOLY, the novelty has long since worn off -- I sweat like a pig!!!!

I can easily wring out my sports bra AND shorts after a 1hour 20 min. workout. It is GROSS how much sweat there is -- and that doesn't count the puddles that collect underneath my bike. (I not only need facecloths to mop my face when I bike, I also need a big, honking towel underneath me.) The sweat literally pours off my face, belly, and back -- dripping everywhere. I even hike up my bike shorts to my chest to try and staunch the flow...

No kidding, when I get off my bike, it looks like I've taken a shower with my clothes on. Dripping everywhere and leaving sweaty footprints all over the floor. I'm POSITIVE I grossed out a couple of people yesterday. Hahahahaha!!

Anyways, there was no faffing around (stole this word from my coach -- I steal words, phrases from everyone -- even accents, LOL!!) to get my bike and trainer set up at the gym. It was just such a nice change to be working out with people!

I'm going to have to do it again sometime -- look out Pass, the Hermit is emerging from the cave. :) :) :)

Monday, October 5, 2009

In Denial

I don't ski -- I should have been born in Hawaii. I don't watch hockey. I don't like snow!!!

Looking out my back deck and this is what I see?? COME ON, Mother Nature!! WAHHHHH!!!!

It's only the beginning of October and I had to layer up with my merino wool thermals, balaclava, toque, and mitts to go for my run. WAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

I don't mind the trainer -- I actually really like my Computrainer, but I am already pining for summer...

Got to get Daddy-o to put my winter tires on. WAHHHHHHH!!!!!!

I had to run through the snow and mud and my dog got FILTHY. WAHHHHHH!!!

The stupid crab apples are now in the mush state and there are still TONS hanging in the tree. WAHHHHHHH!!!!!

I had to scrape the windshield off this morning. WAHHHHHH!!!!

OK, no more whining. Keith told me I was only allowed one whine for 2009, and since I already whined to him (a private whine doesn't count), I thought I'd make a solid public whine and get it right out of my system... :) :) :)


Friday, October 2, 2009

Another one of those pass it around thingies...

Leana gave me this award....

In order to accept the award, I have to answer all these questions with one word answers...

DISCLAIMER: This seemingly simple task will illustrate that I CANNOT answer a question with only one word, hence cannot actually accept the award. This however does not prevent me from trying to answer the questions anyways!! Hahahahahahahah!!!!

Besides, when you see some of my answers, see if YOU could make my answer in only one word...

1. Where is your cell phone? I don't own one! HAHAHAH!!
(See right from the get go, I have to break the rules...)
2. Your hair? Blonde
3. Your mother? Hardcore
4. Your father? Nuts
5. Your favourite food? Yams
6. Your dream last night? None
7. Your favourite drink? Water (Room temp, no ice thank you v. much)
8. Your dream/goal? Sub 10:00 baby
9. What room are you in? Kitchen
10. Your hobby? Blogging
11. Your fear? Intestinal Worms
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Podium
13. Where were you last night? Fernie
14. Something you aren't? Greedy
15. Muffins? Yes
16. Wish list item? CERVELO
17. Where did you grow up? Ontario, Germany, Alberta
18. Last thing you did? See #15...
19. What are you wearing? Perverted question
20. Your TV? Big
21. Your pets? Shedding
22. Your friends? AWESOME
23. Your life? AWESOME
24. Your mood? Content
25. Missing someone? No
26. Vehicle? Normal (HAHAHAHA! Right, Tessa?? LOL!)
27. Something you're not wearing? Bra (forgot to bring it to the pool after swimming) Another perverted question.
28. Your favourite store? Ebay
29. Your favourite color? Pink
30. When was the last time you laughed? See #27...
31. Last time you cried? IMC
32. Your best friend? Many
33. One place that I go over and over? Pool
34. One person who emails me regularly? Keith
35. Favourite place to eat? Kitchen

OK folks, you know what's coming next... I get to pick a lucky 6 of you to join in.... LOL!!!

Keith -- You nailed me once with one of these things, and now it's payback time, my friend. Hahahaha!! Keith is training for Ironman Canada next year -- his first IM!! YAY!!

Jenna -- A teammate of mine, also training for IMC next year -- it'll be her second one. Jenna is my sistah from another mistah, I swear!! :)

Susi -- Beautiful, wonderful, zen-like Susi Q! Hardcore chickie that did IMC this year and is tackling Ironman Cozumel in November. SOOKIE!!!! LMAO!!

Darryl -- Last time one of these things went around, I recall you were inadvertently snubbed -- not this time, my friend!! Hahahaha!! They don't call him the running man for just any reason!

Chuck -- Totally rocked out on the IMC course this year and is no longer an IM virgin. He liked it so much he's going back for seconds next year! :) :)

Shannon -- Dude is super fast and going to Clearwater on a mission. Felt like I've known him my whole life, but WE STILL HAVE NOT MET!! Hahahaha!!

Enjoy, people!!!!! Muah-hah-hah-hah-hah!!