Monday, May 31, 2010

Quickie Race Report

It was freezing cold. Freezing cold. Had trouble putting helmet, etc. on after the swim. The sun had come out at the beginning of the day, so I opted not to put on a jacket. Bad decision. 4 laps of 20 km were brutally cold in my tri suit.

My teeth were chattering uncontrollably and I kept monitoring my core to see if I would have to drop out. I used all kinds of self talk to try and relax and get through the bike.

Felt AWESOME and strong on the fourth leg -- so good!

Run was my first race attempt with a camel back. There was one dude that had made a semi-snide comment about my camel bak as I arranged my stuff in transition before the race. You have got to hand it to the guy though -- I passed him (I didn't even know it) and he shouted "Great job!" the two times I saw him. :) By the way -- I loved having the camel bak and am definitely going to use it again!

Results: A touch faster than last year but like Sara said, "It's not indicative of your current fitness." Last year, I tapered pretty hard, this year, I raced at the end of a hardcore camp with no taper. All is good -- in fact all is great! Everything is lining up for Ironman Coeur D'Alene!!! YAY!!

I am staying in Victoria with my coach for another week to get more REAL hills in. And train, train, train.

3rd in age group -- I got a hat!! YAHOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Next stop...IMCDA!!!! :) :) :) :)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Where is Jasper Blake?

Why in my hotel room of course!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Tisha and I are sharing a hotel room and last night's group nutrition/triathlon talk was held in our room. Jasper Blake was kind enough to stop by and discuss all aspects of nutrition -- from daily to race day stuff. He even shared with us his fool-proof formula for race day fueling. AWESOME!!

I WILL get faster by osmosis!!! LOL!!

Afterward, Sara gave us homework assignments -- to use the formula to calculate our own nutritional requirements for race day. Some of us are racing the half on Sunday, one is racing the Olympic, and one is racing the sprint. I am super excited to implement this new plan!!!! :) :)

Yesterday was a 5 hour rainy bike ride. My goal was to keep up with the boys -- and I worked hard to do it! The hilly route we took puts the Road to Nepal to shame. I LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!! I want to move and train in Victoria!! No wonder it is a triathlon mecca...

I mean when you continually see signs of 15%, you KNOW you are in another world. Hill after hill after hill. The hills are so steep that standing out of my saddle was a scary study in balance. I would stand up and put my bum way back to help me balance the bike. Standing normally would have tipped me over.

There were a few times I honestly wondered if I was going to have to get off my bike and walk up -- my legs threatened to give out again and again. Hahahahah!!

We had to add a bunch of stuff to make up 5 hours -- we had started by doing the famous (or should I say infamous?) Observatory hill twice, and then added bits of circuitous routes. When we got to the hotel, we STILL had time, so we went back to the Observatory hill and did that one more time. Right after we all peed at the bottom...LOL!!!

By this time, the three of us, Todd, Nick and I had bonded on our rain-drenched odyssey. Todd's cleat came off his shoe and was embedded in his pedal. Nick was fantasizing about the smell of fries and vinegar we had detected going through one town. And I had gone through all of my date balls!! Hahahahaha!!

A quick aside -- at one point during the ride, two coaches (Sara and Carrie) in one support vehicle told us that this was the last time we'd see them as everyone was so spread out. So time to fuel up. I *thought* I was fueled and ready to go, but as I stood there debating about grabbing some more food, my stomach suddenly opened up....

In about 2 minutes, I ate the rest of my date balls, 2 Rice Krispie squares and a Mr. Big bar. Holy crap! And then, I wasn't even FULL -- just ready to go again!! Hahahahah!!

Good times!! :) :) :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Julie - 1, Coyote - 0

Hell hath no fury like a Julie protecting her baby Toby dog. Coyotes can run, but so can I I have a hell of a set of lungs that I can holler and shout with. (I get it from my Dad, both of us laugh LOUD -- talk LOUD, everything LOUD. LOL!!)

The coyote had been following us, and came out of nowhere and was suddenly right behind Toby. For some reason I looked around just at that moment...

I didn't even think -- I just acted. I started shouting and running after it. It looked back once at me as it was running away, it's tail down. But that sucker stayed in the vicinity and I saw it on the way back too.

Off to Victoria!! :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Running in my clogs...

6 hours on the Road to Nepal today (or RtN as Keith has coined it! Love it, btw, Keith!)

Sadly, I didn't see any buffalo babies the entire time -- only horses. One was a l'il pony with a tricked out mane that reminded me of Elvis.

It was COLD to start - I think it was 4 degrees Celsius. No matter, I turned my mind off and got the ride done. At about 5:15 into the ride, my body wanted to stop and even the littlest hill saw me barely pedaling. It would have been funny if I could have mustered up the energy to laugh...As it was, all I could do was groan. ;)

Now, each time I have made the 2 hour trip to RtN, I have usually forgotten something. Or had a close call. Well, today, I was halfway there and realized I forgot my running shoes. I had a 30 minute brick after and all I had brought were these:

I was happy I hadn't brought my flip flops. I even thought of running sock feet...but then that thought quickly passed. Hahahahaha!

I finally finished the ride -- oh man, I was BAGGED -- and put on my clogs. I was sort of nervous at first as my foot is still not 100%, but thought, what the heck? When I was in Nepal, the Sherpas would carry 100+lb piles of stuff on their backs and climb mountains covered in snow/ice and be barefoot in flip flops. I can channel the Sherpa!

And I did! I ran 30 minute in those suckers, and they weren't too bad!! Although I must have looked like some sweet action with my cycling jacket and clogs. Oh yeah baby. Hahahahahaha!!

By the way these are my favourite pair of shoes -- and the ones I have been known to wear with compression tights in public. (Facebook mini-discussion last night -- HAHAHAHAHAH!) Such a hawt look, I know. Hahahahahahaha!!!!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wind - 1, Julie - 0

On today's agenda was a 4 hour ride: 2h10 one way, and then time trial back. The wind had other ideas. It was blowing HARD from the west (the normal way). I decided on a southerly route so I would have a monster cross wind both ways, and a head wind coming home.


I took 4 big Balls of Fury with me and ate them all before the 2 hour mark. I was working hard in the wind and I was starving. I made it to a gas station and ran in there and grabbed a Snickers and started eating it right then and there. The guy was outside filling gas and there was no way I was waiting for him to come back in -- I was ravenous. I threw down a $10 bill and just kept eating as the man finally came back inside, and went behind the counter. He asked me what I wanted to buy...

I still had my sunglasses on and was standing there at the counter wolfing down the Snickers -- I held up the half-eaten Snickers bar and kept chomping away. Hahahahahahaha!!!

The rest of the ride was just as brutal -- even more so, when I had to pedal past my house as I still had time to make up the 4 hours. But WHOOIIEEE when I turned around and had the wind at my back -- YEEHAWWWW!!! :) :) The ride was more like grind in your easiest gear for 3 hours and 50 minutes, and FLY for 10 minutes.

And no, I will never tire of telling everyone just how windy it is here. In fact, "windy" isn't even the right word. "Wind" gives the impression of something soft, wispy, airy, breezy. What happens in the Crowsnest Pass is something out of a horror film -- violent surging gusts --- you want to know what a speed wobble feels like? You don't even have to cycle fast to get blasted every which way.

The "wind" is like a screaming, raging banshee. We don't own patio furniture in the Crowsnest Pass - no nice little lanterns or garden wind chimes, or any of those other nice outdoor paraphernalia. Because they will literally blow away. BLAST away. Even parts of my fence have blown down....

This is why I get such a kick out of hearing other people's stories of "wind" while cycling. A typical day in the Pass: When you try to open your car door, you struggle as though you are lifting an elephant. Then, it takes all of your strength to hang onto the door (now the elephant is jerking about) and not have it ripped out of your hands. Now THAT's a wind, my friends.


OOH yeah -- and the fun part is when a big semi truck comes by and the "wind" is just right and it feels like a brick wall of air hits your whole body and bike. This happened once today. I closed my eyes involuntarily -- like I knew it was the end. Hahahahahahaah!!

Had a 15 min. brick afterward which went surprisingly well -- even into the wind. But, as soon as I got inside the house, I started eating again. And continued to eat for the last couple of hours. Hahahahahaha!!

And of course now, the wind has died down: Wind - 1, Me - 0. Until next time....

:) :)

Monday, May 17, 2010


These are my new favourite long ride food......I call them BALLS OF FURY! When I talk about them, I talk about them in capital letters as well. Hahahahaha!!

Very, very easy to make: Take a whack of dates and a bunch of shredded coconut put in blender. Form into balls. Finito! I freeze the bunch and take out what I need and then wrap them individually in saran wrap for rides. You can fit a lot in a bento box and even more in your jersey pockets. :)

I still like the occasional almond butter and jelly sandwich, but lately I've been passing over the sandwiches in favour of the date balls.

On Saturday, I was on the Road to Nepal for 5 hours and every time I ate a ball, I imagined this deep voice saying, "BALLS OF FURY!"

And yes, it takes very little to amuse me/occupy my mind on long rides...


Friday, May 14, 2010

It's official!

I have gone down a swimsuit size. :) :) I am now 34/8 in Speedo!!!!!

I started "Operation Lean Down" after the November Calgary camp. The first 8lbs I lost were easy -- I stopped eating $hit. No more chocolate almonds from Costco, no more nachos and cheese, no more crap.

Then, with some tips and advice from my coach, I started to eat way more protein, fruit, and veggies. I think the key for me has been in finding what fruit and veggies I enjoy and incorporating easy snacks and recipes into my diet.

I've gotten creative in finding ways to add protein to my diet too: hemp hearts, cottage cheese, black beans, chick peas, and chicken breasts are my best friends. :) Oh yeah, and LOTS of good fat too: avocados, walnuts and raisins, olive oil, almond butter

Poor Mike is even more frustrated with all the veggies that are in the fridge now. He opened the door and said, "LOOK! The whole bottom half of the fridge is GREEN! AAARRGGHH!!!" Hahahahahahahahahahaha!!

So...from a high of 140lbs, I am now sitting at 126lbs....

:) :) :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Race Report

Yesterday I raced in the Lethbridge Olympic tri and ended up 2nd female overall. While I am happy with that, I am not content....

You see, where I place in terms of other people is not as important to me as where I place in terms of competing against myself. My focus is always on kicking my own butt and improving.

Thus, even though I had the fastest bike split by about 2 minutes, and improved on my run by another minute, my slower swim left me extremely disappointed. I was 2 minutes slower than last year!

You have no idea the depths to which I sunk last night. My chest felt so heavy, I was so disappointed in myself. Why haven't I improved? I am training full-time, I have no excuse for this slower time. I didn't focus on the bike or the run times, I was totally immersed in my swim time.

Now, I did have the sense to realize that these negative emotions and fears (namely: No matter how much I train I will not get better because I suck so bad, etc.) were stemming from race fatigue. I knew if I could not get too lost in the emotions that I could ride it out.

This morning, I got up early to go to the pool for a recovery swim. The heaviness had lifted and I felt back to my usual self. I decided to see what drills I could do this morning to determine what I might have done wrong swimming yesterday.

When I do drills, I like to do the same one over and over and over again until I start to *get it*. I'll do the drill for 50m then swim 50m -- I'll do this until time is up and lose total count of meters swam.

After the first catch-up drill, I timed myself for an easy 50 m swim. I noted the time, then did another catch up drill. This time I really focused on flicking my catch powerfully back like Peanut kicking up kitty litter. Then, I timed myself for an easy 50m again. This time it was 2 seconds faster. Did it again, then it was 3 seconds faster.

I feel a little bit closer to understanding what the water is supposed to feel like -- I know I can do this.

Here is the SWEET transition backpack every competitor received instead of a race shirt! It is a proper triathlon transition bag -- and I JUST ordered one for over $100 -- this one came with the race -- so AWESOME!!!

Couple of side notes:

  • A cop directing traffic waved a car through right in front of me -- I screamed and slammed on my brakes. Oh man. Cop yelled out "Sorry!"
  • Traffic control was a gong show -- there was a gap between racers, I was out there alone. Two cars again were waved in front of me, I had to pull over into the left lane of traffic (4 lanes on divided highway, so I wasn't biking into oncoming traffic) and was riding beside them until the one car slowed down so I could get back onto the right shoulder again. Very scary.
  • I was THAT athlete who tried to get on the bike with the shoes clipped in already...let's just say I won't be doing that again. Hahahahahahaha!! And yes, I looked like a total idiot.
  • Wind was nuts even by my standards. Bike times were slower across the board. Came this close to asking a volunteer to take off my helmet, my hands were frozen.
  • Iced latte, cups of fruit, a yogurt, maple salmon (lasted Mike's picking -- LOL!) and some hardware made a great day. :)
Next stop Victoria and the Shawnigan half where I am going to SERIOUSLY kick my own butt and HARD too. :)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Monday, May 3, 2010