Monday, October 18, 2010

Gorilla Run, Oct 17th 2010 (15.something k)

I think the thing I loved the very most about the run was seeing so many people I knew at the race!! For years I would go to running races and not know a soul (hazard of small town training). Sunday morning I a saw a couple from Carstairs (that actually I see at a lot of races). I had a short visit with them ( saw their daughter and her friend on the course, 2 "kids" that I used to coach track). Then I ran into some of my Team Tri Life teammates, got to visit with them and hear about their post Ironman fallout. I ran into a group of runners from Carstairs, had a short visit with those lovely ladies (and got to see them on the course and we did the run by high fives!!!). Then I spoke with 2 different random people about Team Tri Life (was wearing the team running shirt...). Well for girl who is usually very antisocial prerace (neurotic and brooding) I was loving seeing so many familar faces!! I think I will say goodbye to prerace neurotic Sharon, and say hello to social, chatty Sharon. It's way more fun and there are no prerace nerves!!

On to the race....I got lucky for most of this race and had someone to run with. The first 12k I can only describe as smooth, effortless, and strong. I felt like one of those people that get described as having great form, or looking strong. It's just how I felt. I was guaging effort by hr, I wasn't really sure about pace as my Suunto was broke, again... and the km markers were not very accurate. I was patient in the first 5km, and that definitely paid off. The last 3km were definitely more challenging, I was really feeling it in my calves. I think I need to spend more time running on pavement and get off the gravel roads. All in all, it was a great race that felt good from start to (almost) finish.

I finished in 1:07:08, and is the same pace I need to run if I want to go sub 1:30 for my half mary next month....that will be tough.... It's a tough goal, one that I might not achieve this fall, but definitely one shooting for!! Bring on the intervals and long runs!!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

P.S. My Quads are Trashed

Oh yes, that downhill did trash my quads. Did you ever see a bootcamp instructor teach class when she can barely walk? Oh I was entertaining for my ladies this morning!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Melissa's 10km, Sept 25, 10


....not really what I was expecting in a stand alone 10k after consistently running sub 43 mins in triathlon 10's this sesason. However, considering that giantic, huge hill I think I am supposed to be happy with that time.

Let me back up....I started coming down with a cold on Tuesday, and I knew about the hill, so I knew it wasn't to be a superbly fast day, but still, I was looking for something around the 41:30 mark. Between finding parking, race number line up, and porta potty line ups, I didn't really do the warmup I am used to, but hey, it's just a 10k right?

I found my running buddy from the 10k at Footstock in June. There I ran the last 4km with this nice guy who kept encouraging me and I ran 40:48. He told me he had ran a sub 40 two weeks ago and we talked about running together and not taking the first km out too hard. The start went well despite the huge crowd and the tight turn and we were able to stay together. At the first km marker we were 3:55--a good first km. At the hill we stayed together and pushed through it. There was a short out and back on the down hill and I got to see Marty, we tried for a high five and missed, which is funny, because we tend to do that on purpose. I flew down the long hill thinking about making up time and wondering how much this fast downhill running was trashing my quads. Missed the odd km marker through out the whole race, which was good, because with the hill my splits were not at all where I wanted them to be...better to not know in a race like this. I used hr to guage my effort. ONce we started the down hill my running buddy and I got split up a few times. He walked a bit as well, he was having a rough day. With 2km left to go I saw that I was closing in on 4th place. This was encouraging. I was hurting and really needed something to focus on! With about 700m to go I passed a couple guys on a tight corner and yelled out that I was coming on their left. The girl in front heard me and just took off! On this day, I wasn't going to catch her! I came crusing into the finish line hearing my kids and family cheering me in. 42:16, 5th overall, 3rd in my AG.

Once I finished I headed back out to cheer in my hubby in his first 10km, he had a great finish, 49 mins!!!! But we both agreed this race hurt and maybe was too soon after the Banff tri to bring the pain.

We gave away our free beers to our brother in laws, Marty headed back east to Airdrie for Liam's soccer tryout and the rest of us? We went and hiked Sulpher Mountain...and yes, my legs are very sore today!!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Subaru Banff Triathlon

Warning: This might be long.

the sun did come out for the finish....
You were warned....

Despite frigid water temp, air temp, and looming rain I was in a really good mood before the race started. They had shortened the swim from 1500m to 750m and although I would prefer the full distance, I was okay with that. Ally and John from Team Tri Life were there as supporters and kept us entertained while we were waiting to hit Two Jack Lake. I slipped into the water found a good spot and somehow got pushed into a not so good spot, race started and I have never been so beat up in a race before like I was in this race. Pulled under by a hand/arm on my back/butt 3 times, legs, feet pulled on multiple times...WOW! Not used to that! I was prepared for cold hands/feet/face, but I wasn't prepared for my body to be so cold. It felt so hard to get my arms out of the water, I couldn't keep my fingers together, and I breathed mostly to just one side. It was so HARD! Got out of the water in 10:41 so actually it turned out to be a very good swim for me, although it didn't feel like it at the time. I was so very happy to get out of the water!!

Ran up the hill to T1 not too bad, struggled to get my cap off a bit, ran to my spot and that's where things started to fall apart. I really struggled with all my gear in T1. My hands didn't want to work, couldn't do up my coat, actually physically couldn't! Couldn't get my gloves on...longest T1 of all time. Saw Ally as I was leaving T1 and begged her to do up my coat for me...should have had her put my gloves on too but obviously my brain was frozen too.

Other than wasting time trying to get my gloves on while riding (dumb) and being pretty darn cold, and the rain...the first 20k went pretty well. Then right at 20k the cable for my front delrailer broke. I didn't know what to do, the thought of doing the rest of the ride in my small ring really upset me. After a minute of thinking I hopped off my bike to see if I could but the chain in the top ring manually and leave it there...well darn, I wish I knew more about bikes because that didn't work. At this point I was cold and frustrated at knowing that I wasn't going to have my best ride and put in my best possible result. I got back on my bike and for about a minute very seriously wanted to quit. I was cold, wet, mad...and then I remembered Shane McKechney at the REgina Beach tri, he crashed early on the bike, broke his front derailer and finished the race bruised and bloody and spinning like crazy on the tailwind portions of the bike. Then I thought of Christine, who crashed in Kelowna and finished, then I thought of John Bosma... John!! Who did Ironman after a crash so bad it could have killed him! This was my mantra for the next 2 minutes while I rediscovered my race mo-jo "John Bosma, John Bosma, seriously? Suck it up!!" From that point on I did the best I could on the bike, it wasn't great, wasn't pretty but I put in a half decent bike time (would have been better if I would have just stayed on my bike and kept working!!). Having John and Ally on the course was extremely uplifting, just knowing they were there and cheering me on kept me pushing. When I was coming into town I had the privilege of calling out a cheater who was very blatantly drafting, that was fun....
T2 was another struggle. My feet were completely numb, my hands were partially numb. Marty was right there (he had already finished, 4th in his AG by the way, and 10th overall in the sprint!!!!) on the side of T2 hollering at me to push through it. I changed my socks and put on my runners, an experience that was both frustrating and painful. Marty's encouragement was vital in my getting out on that run. He was hollering that I had to push through the first 200m and then it would be okay...and here I was actually thinking of Running in Socks Angie, she ran the end of a half iron in suck it up!! Well I actually didn't feel my feet until around 6km but that's when my legs started cramping up...What??? So I walked a little, did some butt kicks, rubbed my quads a bit and the cramps let up enough for me to run again. At this point, knowing that the bike wasn't good and I likely wasn't going to finish where I wanted to I just wanted to put in my best run possible. During the last 3km I kept checking my "status" and it was good so I tried to pick it up...I think this resulted in actually holding pace and I was able to run 42:21- a 10k tri PR!! With a walk to work out leg cramps!!
So all in all...a very tough mental day! Couldn't have done it without my family there cheering me on in the run and John and Ally supporting me out of the water and during the bike. Awesome swim and run times, terribly slow transitions, and the best bike I could muster despite mechanical difficulties. Celebrated after by having a chocolate chai late and a dip in the hot springs.
I did end up placing 2nd in my AG, got to stand on the podium and get a medal, but the coolest part was my prize, it was a red and black jacket from IMC!! I told Marty it was foreshadowing...and that if it fit it was a sign....he claims it doesn't fit...LOL!!The jacket that fits pretty darn must be a sign!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Kelowna Apple 2010

Sharon’s Kelowna Apple Olympic Race Report

I have to admit, I had some big outcome goals for this race. I knew the bike was going to be more technical than I was used to, so wasn’t exactly looking for a personal best time, but what I really wanted was a top 3 finish in my age group, and a top 10 finish. Of course knowing that these goals were also dependent on my competition I also decided that if I raced my best race and missed these goals that I would be disappointed but not devastated.

The couple days leading up to the race I had these feelings of dread, like I wasn’t quite ready to bring the pain. Even race morning on the beach I was feeling unready to bring it. Always my number one supporter, my husband reminded me why we were here and that I would bring it as soon as I got into the water. Even during the swim warmup I was having a tough time getting my race “mo-jo” on. I am not sure why I was feeling this way, my only explanation I can think of is I worked my nerves out on Friday and Saturday watching other events and at the prerace meeting and I just wasn’t as nervous as I usually am.

Once the race started I found my mojo in a hurry. From what I could tell after the initial plunge into the water was that I was in second, although I wasn’t sure. I was following the trail of bubbles, losing them from time to time. Around the second last buoy on the first lap I became confused and was looking at one of the buoys on the log boom, a nice kayaker pointed me to shore… At this point I know I slowed down some and felt a couple swimmers on my heels. As I exited the water for the beach run and got back in 3 swimmers had caught me and I was swimming alongside two of them while the third was tucked in behind. This is when I got smart and tucked in behind and we became a pack of 4, 2 in front and 2 getting the draft. This worked well until we started running into some of the men from the wave that went before us and we became a train of 4. Earlier I had realized that this group was swimming pretty darn straight so I had quit sighting and was simply following the bubbles. At one point the lead swimmer had turned to the left too early and was leading our foursome off course. A seadoo came and turned us back on course, but as I was the fourth in the line I was the last to turn back and so lost the pack. I worked hard to catch back up and unknown to me we had become two packs of two. Once I realized this I pulled along side the girl I was drafting and and decided we were doing okay and dropped back behind her. I was 5th out of the 30-39’s out of the water, with a bigger gap between first and second and the next four of us pretty close together.

My transition went pretty well, Marty had made his way to the pathway along side transition and was loud enough that I could hear his encouragement where I was. Could have been a little faster, but all in all, not too bad.

To the best of my knowedge I exited transition in 4th of the 30-39’s and passed 2nd and 3rd (although I didn’t know it at the time) as we ran to the mount line as they were in shoes and I was barefoot and faster! First lap went well, I had some trouble with my rear derailer cable and had to get off my bike at the top of the hill to put it back where it belonged ( it was rubbing on the derailer sprockets as I went up the hill, somehow it became flipped down??). I was a little hesitant on the corners and there was lots and LOTS of bikes I had to pass from earlier waves. I got faster on the second and third lap and saw a female walking a bike on either the second or third lap. I believe she was a lady from my AG, but I am not sure. On the third lap I encountered too much bike traffic at the bottom of the hill, all going pretty slow. I had some good speed and didn’t want to lose it so I took a small risk and went through some hard packed gravel on the left…it paid off and my last climb up the hill was great! Overall the bike was a blast!! The volunteers and crowd were amazing, and it was so great to see and hear my family 3x during the ride. All the corners at the end of the loop were actually fun and I think I had a big smile on my face for most of the ride.

T2 was fast and as I was leaving one of the kids I coached in cross country from a few years ago was there in transition as I went by and yelled out “pick up the pace, coach!”. Thanks, Mike—that was awesome! My pace felt good and smooth, much like it did at Chinook. I did some butt kicks to make sure the quads wouldn’t cramp and I settled into a good rhythm. I was making some passes, but no one with 30’s on their legs, and really didn’t see anyone from my AG chasing me. It was really frustrating not knowing where I was positioned in my AG. Looking back I think I might have been able to push harder in the run and maybe be a little faster, but it felt good at the time. Again, on the run course the volunteers and crowd were awesome! Seeing my family and hearing them cheering me on was such a big boost!! I picked up the pace a bit on the last km and my son and father in law were 300m out to cheer me in. My son started running alongside me up on the grass and he tripped on a hole and did a complete summersault in the grass, it was so funny I started laughing and other spectators were laughing too (not sure if at me or at him). Just made the race that much more enjoyable… My daughter was at the bridge cheering me in and my hubby right at the finish line taking pictures. So cool to run on the blue carpet and have so many people cheering at the finish line! One thing that really stood out in my mind at the finish was the fact that the volunteers weren’t accosting me for my timing chip. I am so used to being ready to fall over and someone wanting me to take that thing off, it was weird, they were all just standing back waiting for the athletes to come to them when they were ready…weird!!

It was so great running into all the TTL athletes at the finish line and hearing how everyone did, and Ally, well I am not sure how one girl volunteers in so many different spots!

Overall this was an amazing race for me. Swims leave little time or energy for thinking, but I can definitely say I biked and ran happy the entire time. I had more smiles in this race than I can ever remember doing in any other race, ever.

Here are the final results:

Swim: 24:24 (20th in the women, 4th in AG), T1: 1:40 (26th W, 6th AG), Bike: 1:08:56 (6th W,3rd AG),T2: 1:00 (20th W, 3rd AG), Run: 42:48 (9th W, 1st AG)(21:20 and 21:29 laps).

Overall time: 2:18:46 7th out of all the women, and 1st in the 30-34 AG.

I very much want to thank my family for the awesome support and putting up with my quirky prerace activities (oh my gosh and putting up with all my training time when it interfered with family stuff!! And I could truly write an entire blog about my terrific hubby!! Maybe I will….), my teammates for being so supportive, and my awesome coach Angie!! You know me so well, kick my butt when I need it and give me “rest” when I need that too, and you are in my head just when I need you to be!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

2010 Regina Beach Race Report

There is something about being at the cottage that makes me want to eat junk food and drink pop…we arrived at my family’s cottage 2 days before the race and I tried really hard to behave myself nutritionally, and I didn’t even go wakeboarding even though the lake was like glass both days.

I slept terribly the night before the race, the whole family was out and there lots of activity in the cabin. Race morning came early, but nevertheless I felt great!! My stomach actually tolerated all the food I feel I need to stuff in it race morning and it was the first race that my hubby and I were both doing. Having him with me for the drive and registration/transition set up/warmup was an awesome distraction. He helped me with my wetsuit and kept me calm. Usually I have a stomach ache from the nerves, but on race morning it felt great.

I have to admit I had been creeping on my competition…I had checked her race results from a June race so I knew she was faster than last year, but then again so was I. Marty was doing the sprint, which started 45 min after the oly so he told me he’d be at the swim exit to tell me how far ahead of me she was when I got out ( last year she beat me out of the water by 1:07). The swim went pretty well. I was between two swimmers for most of the first leg and the guy on my right kept running into me. I was working pretty hard to keep up with both of them so made the decision to drop behind him. The effort immediately felt easier, and I stayed on his toes until rounding the second buoy at which point I began doubting my effort and passed him. I had clear water for the rest of the first lap and all of the second lap. I was completely surprised when I came out of the water and Marty was pointing to Emma just in front of me! I came out just 2 seconds behind her! The RB tri has a unique element in it….the lake is in the Qu’Appelle Valley so they have a T1 where you strip off your wetsuit, put on your shoes and run 650m to the top of the valley to head out onto the bike. They actually take the time from the hill and add it to your total run time, and subtract the distance off the final run (this makes for a slow run split) We jogged up the hill together and had a brief chat about how long the swim course seemed (she was 2 mins slower than last year and I was 1 min slower than last year).

Once I got out on the bike I realized I was pushing a little harder than I wanted to. Emma was behind me so I was the prey being chased. I figured I would be able to outrun her so decided on a little experiment…I was going to push really hard on the bike and see what the result was on the run. The bike was great, I wasn’t passed by any men and really enjoyed digging in and seeing how fast I could go. My bike split was 5 and a half minutes faster than last year although the conditions last year were not as favorable as this year. As I finished the bike I saw my family there cheering me in; that was awesome!!

After speeding through transition I hauled off down the 650m hill thinking of the time I wanted to make up because of how slow it is going up (I really wanted a fast run split on this course). Felt great, got to the bottom, they announced my name, went through the first water station at breakneck speed and then it happened…my vastus medialis on both quads started to cramp up. I slowed down and did some butt kicks, finally had to walk, couldn’t stretch them because then the hamstrings wanted to cramp. So did some walking butt kicks for awhile, then eased into a slow jog and finally got back up to a reasonable pace. I walked through the next two water station to make sure I got enough, took it really easy at the turn around point which involved a good hill climb before turning around to head for home. Was passed by a couple of guys on the run which made me mad because I knew I could be faster, but I hung in there, ran through the last water station and finished the run. The guy at the finish line was asking for my chip and I told him I couldn’t stop walking because my legs would cramp up…managed to get it off while walking, which was kind of impressive…. Almost my whole family was there at the finish line which was fantastic, Marty had come in just before me too so got to congratulate him on his first open water triathlon.

Final results: swim 25:07 (7th with the men,last year 24:12), bike 1:06:58 (5th with the men, last year 1:12:28), run 48:22 (11th with the men,last year 50:31) total time: 2:20:26 (1st female overall, 6th with the men, last year 2:27:10).

Oh, and Marty was 7th overall in the sprint and 2nd in his AG!!

Side note: I think the muscle cramps were perhaps a direct result of my fast bike, but also the fast run down the hill…I need to try the experiment again when there are no huge descents at the start of the run! Oh and the aftermath of muscle cramps-delayed onset muscle soreness, it’s like doing a thousand squats with heavy weights, severely aggravated by wakeboarding and waterskiing. 2 days post race, having trouble going down stairs or hills and sitting down in chairs. Easy run scheduled for tomorrow…might not happen.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Chinook Olympic Race Report-June 2010

Are all distance runners superstitious? I am….so after my success in the 10k at footstock last weekend I had to replicate the night before food. Last Friday, I had popcorn before bed, so I made sure to do the same the night before Chinook….must have been the popcorn!

I was nervous all week about this race…first race of the season, first race after rediscovering my speed in the 10k. I do everything wrong when it comes to race goals, everything we are told not to do…I could do “this” in the swim, “this” on the bike, “this” on the run, I should be under “this” time…. I put so much pressure on myself to do well instead of just appreciating the opportunity to train, race, be healthy and develop friendships with a great group of people. I definitely do appreciate those things, usually after the race is done!!!

Woke up feeling great, but of course nervous!! Hard to force breakfast down with my race nerves, but I got it done (it’s a strange combo of oatmeal, banana, and wait for it…canned salmon—don’t ask why). Got transition set up and proceeded to be a recluse and go hang out by myself. I think I probably would do better with the nerves by staying with the group, but it’s an old habit I developed in high school track.

Swim wasn’t great, my sighting to the first buoy was off and I couldn’t see the second buoy for part of the second leg. Every time I found feet it felt too slow and I had to pass. Second lap was better, less congestion, better sighting. I had to remind myself to swim smooth lots, and probably not enough! I though I would have been faster out of the water, but I will definitely be thinking about ways to improve the swim for next time.

T1 was fast, but should have done the elastic band trick for my shoes on the bike (first time leaving my shoes on the bike!!). Bike felt good, keep my hr in the 160’s (my last tri I over did it on the bike and crashed on the run). Only one glitch, riding through the water that was on the road I got some gravel between my rear tire and my aero frame so at the risk of a puncture I jumped off my bike (going up a hill), and wiped my rear tire down with my hand. Coming into T2 I came off the bike great, doing a gliding dismount (first time!!). I had a tough time getting my running shoes on because my feet were still numb, and it definitely hurt my feet the entire run, both when they were numb and as they thawed.

Other than the feet, the run felt awesome for the first 8km. My pace was on or under what I wanted and it just felt great…then at 8km I saw the first place female and I looked at my hr and new I could go higher. I made up my mind to catch her and the last 2 km were tough, a real mental challenge going up that hill “second is really awesome”…”you can catch her”….”second is good!!”….”nope, go get her!!!!”. I caught her with 600m left to go and thank goodness she didn’t make a move to go with me because I did not have much left! I hung on and followed the bike in (yes, a bike!! That was cool!!). There was lots of cheering down that last stretch as I came in, it was absolutely amazing!! It was so thrilling, an experience I won’t forget!!

After the race I wound my way down to the home stretch to cheer my fellow teammates in. It’s so much fun going to these races knowing there are teammates supporting you (and having teammates to support!!).

I came in under my goal time for the season ( I know…goal times are bad….) so I was thrilled with that. I was absolutely thrilled with my run time, running only 5 seconds slower than my first stand alone 10k of the season at St. Patty’s Day. I will continue to push for my super secret goal time of the season ( under good conditions…I know!!). All in all it was a great opener to the season!

I will definitely be thinking of the team on the 4th….I hope everyone has a great day at GWN!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sometimes the long run makes it all better...

Last week I felt I had the worst training week ever ( little did I know the stomach flu was around the corner and worse was yet to come...). Monday's swim was slow, I was mentally and physically exhausted at Tuesday night's ride after an interval run earlier in the day. I actually quit working on the last interval...I don't think I have ever done that!! Wednesday's swim was slow and I felt so tired on Thursday that I totally skipped my workout and went to bed. Friday was a new day. I went to the pool and silently thanked my coach that it was a swim workout that wasn't on the clock. The swim was fine, nothing spectacular. After my swim I went out for a 90 min long run. It was my first long run outside in a while. I had some issues with my feet so I had slogged out my last few long runs on the treadmill. The run was amazing. It felt easy from start to finish and the route itself was healing. I ran my regular route, which involves heading north on my gravel road. Along my path I was witness to all the awesome signs of spring. Ducks, geese and red winged blackbirds were all around. New calves in the pastures, and even a herd of deer watched me warily as I strode by. I was listening to my ipod on shuffle (ALL my songs) and felt almost giddy at hearing a couple of really old faves ( I HAD to repeat Calling Baton Rouge by Garth...). I ran farther than I had since the half marathon training in the fall and it felt good to know this was the farthest I had ran this year. I finished this run feeling rejuvenated and revived. This one long run seemed to wipe clean the slate and remind me why I train. And the week, although almost over, would continue to get better.
On the weekend I was off to Sylvan Lake for a coaching course where my own coach reminded me that it was okay to be tired and take a day off (guilt gone!!) and we had a couple great workouts while we were there, including a great indoor ride with the group and outdoor run down by the lake with Angie and Sarah.
I went to bed Sunday night vowing to take better care of myself so a week (well, half of a week) like this wouldn't happen again.
And in the end, it all was made to seem really small when an email came to me from my coach reporting on our injured teammate who was hospitalized after a horrible bike crash. He is happy to spin free on a recumbent bike and kick on his back in the pool... It makes me a whole lot more grateful for those "crappy workouts"...

Friday, April 23, 2010

I have discovered oatmeal, and I don't mean with chocolate chips, butter and flour in cookies....

Knowing that lots of competitive athletes eat oatmeal for breakfast still didn't get me switched over to this awesome breakfast....never was a big fan of it. Besides, what could be better than toast and pb?? The big change for me came with teaching fitness classes at 6am and 9:15am four times a week. I found I was eating 2-3 "breakfasts'!! So, at the urging of a friend I tried oatmeal, but with protein whey powder. Now, each to their own, but WOW, oatmeal with whey power tastes like mush!! I tried, but could not choke it down. So, scooped out some more oatmeal, threw in a LITTLE brown sugar and a LITTLE maple syrup for flavor and some slivered almonds for protein....and the verdict is....Yummy, AND.... I am staying fuller longer. And, if you compare the list of ingredients on the bread or bagel I used to toast up to the oatmeal combo, I would have to concede that the oatmeal is waaay better for me!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Marty's (Almost) Fat Free Brownies

I llllove these brownies!! Courtesy of my hubby Marty, and nicely reminded by my daughter who made some for us today:

Heat oven to 350

3/4 C sugar
1/2 C flour
1/4 C cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
2/3 C sugar free applesauce
2 egg whites lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla

combine ingredients, blend well. Pour into greased 8x8 pan.
Bake for 20-30 minutes (almost clean toothpick)
cool on wire rack

Thursday, March 25, 2010

It's been awhile...

Wow, I have neglected this blog lately. What's been happening?? I have been busy working on Fit Element ( and have been loving it. Why did it take me so long to find the perfect job for me? I guess it was obvious to everyone else besides me. I spend all my free time working now, and it's been great!! I am beyond excited about this. What a joy and a pleasure it is to enjoy my job. I have boot camp classes starting up in Didsbury and Carstairs in just over two weeks and I can't wait to get started.
In training news, I ran the St. Patty's Day 10km two weeks ago and had a great race, 42:19, which is not a personal best for me, but I it's the fastest 10km I have done since switching to triathlon training as opposed to just racing 10kms. I am very excited about this, it's early in the season and my run fitness is good, I am swimming faster than ever, and I know I am making gains on the bike, I just haven't had a chance to test it out yet. At this point I will try not to put too much pressure on myself, but my subconscious is whispering, you can go sub 2:20 this year, and maybe, if the conditions are perfect, just maybe 2:15??? What pressure????

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Joy of Exercise (aka the inner workings of my mind??)

Joy?? A lot of people find exercise a chore, something they dread, something they do because they "have" to. But what are the joys of exercise?

For me, one of the big reasons I exercise is competition. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to compete, so I work hard to get faster and stronger. When I am in those really hard workouts, when I feel like I can't do another interval, when my legs are burning, my heart is racing and I can barely catch my breath, I think of race day -- and I keep on pushing.

But I also exercise for other reasons. I exercise because I love the way it makes my body feel. Firm and muscular feels good in my favorite jeans. I love feeling fit and healthy. But I also love the way it makes me "feel". I have more energy and feel more vibrant when I am exercising. During rest periods where I might take a few days off in a row I feel sluggish and tired. Plus, you can't forget about those great endorphins after really hard workouts. Although I think my husband could probably do without those moods, because I talk nonstop when I am on a "runner's high".

I also exercise because I purely enjoy it. To me there is nothing like getting outside on a country road (in good weather) and heading out for an easy run. I let my steps go without looking at my wristwatch, and my mind wanders... And I usually come home and say to my hubby, "you know what I was thinking..." and he just laughs at me. My best thinking happens on my long runs.

Exercise is also family time. When the kids were little I would load them up in the chariot and we'd head out along country roads and take notice of horses, cows, wildflowers (weeds), a variety of native four legged furry creatures, birds, and even the circle of life by witnessing decomposition over time (how road kill can be interesting to kids...). They would pet ponies, pick flowers in the ditches and get out for the last bit and run home. They sometimes still talk about those rides. Now that they are older we exercise together. Sure, it's not the hard stuff that makes for personal bests, but it's quality time (and calories burned!), out riding bikes, walking (and now running with my soccer girl!), roller blading, skating, and cross country skiing. Exercise has become a family affair. And the best part is knowing the example I am setting for my kids. They know that exercise is just another normal part of life, like brushing their teeth. Being fit and eating healthy is the norm in our house (I will save the fast food frequency for another post).

And some days? Well, yes, even some days I exercise because I feel like I "have" to. But that's okay. Because there are so many reasons to get out the door, on the bike, in the pool, on the treadmill, to the gym, that the days when I don't feel like it, I can dig deep and get 'er done.

We all exercise for different reasons, but the very best, is when we find the JOY in exercising!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Crazy Soccer Weekend

Chasing two kids around at one tournament is a challenge...thank goodness for friends and Grandma!! Both kids had a blast and Grandma and I survived (when I say Grandma, I am indeed referring to my MIL extrodinaire!) I am tired, and missed my long run this weekend, but wouldn't trade it for the world. We did the rides at Galaxy land, shopped the mall, swam, ate out and had lots of team bonding time! Oh and attended some soccer games too!! Ayden had some great moments on the field, including a great goal from the "blue line". A couple unlucky goals kept them out of the medals, but all in all a great weekend of soccer for the girls. Liam's team went undefeated and won the gold medal!! Super exciting for these little guys!! And Marty was able to get back from his sledding trip to catch the kids in both Sunday games.
My soccer mom sydrome muscles are wore out from leaning and phantom kicking, the bags are half unpacked, the dog is still at the kennel, but the kids are in bed...time for me to follow!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Mean, Mean Coach is True to Form

I attended my first ever spin class with my mean, mean coach Angie Anderson. She's not really mean, that's just me teasing...she's actually really great, motivational, inspirational, etc.... Was the spin class tough? Heck yes!! Did I work harder on my bike than I do at home in front of the TV?? For sure!! So, the verdict?? Spin class with Angie is going to be awesome!! I went straight from spin class to the nearest gas station to buy a 1L jug of chocolate milk. I drank the whole thing on the way time, I think I will bring some sharkies to eat on the bike. Wow, was I exhausted!!

p.s. sorry for the excessive use of exclamation points on this post.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Twisty Ankle...

Seriously, I am cursed....Stepping out of a big truck and landing on a crack in the pavement wouldn't equal a twisted ankle for most people, but for me, it does. So I twisted my right ankle, (this one has only been sprained once before) and felt the "crunchie, crunchie" on both the inside and outside". I hollered and screeched (yes, screeched) and the kids both hopped out of the truck and ran to my side to see if I had seriously wounded myself somehow. Nope, just me doing my thing, twisting my ankle on nearly flat ground (wearing sneakers too-not running shoes with an elevated heel, but skater type shoes, flat as can be)!!!
The good news is this morning there is not a lot swelling, some general soreness, but what concerns me is the spot that is the most sore is right on the ankle bone. So I am thinking, what? Did the tendons try and pull off the bone avulsion like? Hopefully it's nothing...I won't be doing my tempo run this am, but I am still planning on going to my very first ever spin class (with my mean, mean coach)!!!!! Can't wait!!!! Should be barf-o-rama fun!!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

8 Random Thoughts

1-Awesome swim breakthrough last week...took 38 seconds off my previous 1km pool time trial. Down to 15:22 and that is pretty darn exciting. I am going to try and not put too much pressure on myself as a result.
2-Terribly slow swim on Monday (ever wonder how you can be brilliant one day and fade the next...). Back to better form today.
3-My brain is fried from studying for my adol psych course.
4-The kids aren't really good at doing dishes while trying to watch olympic hockey and bobsleigh. And I'm not very good at studying during said olympic events.
5-The gold medalist in women's bobsleigh is a super cool young lady who spoke to my daugher's soccer team (they practice at the Bob Niven training center where all the local sliders train).
6-I think that spin ups for a warmdown after a long, hard indoor ride are mean. What I am thinking signing up to do weekly spin classes with my mean, mean coach.
7-It's 8:50 and I am getting on the treadmill for an easy run...should keep me awake afterwards to cover one more chapter before bed....
8-Found a cool swim pace calculator today

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Let me tell you about my first triathlon...

It was Father's Day, 2007. It was raining and cold, around 12 degree Celsius. I had a rented wetsuit, a borrowed steel frame bike with shifters on the down tube, pedals with clips. I had no clue about how transition would go. BUT, I was so excited!! There was nothing keeping me from competing that day. I was entered in the sprint distance race and that, at the time, was a huge undertaking! My feet were frozen coming out of the lake, and stayed that way in my asics running shoes that were sopping wet on the bike after running through puddles in T1. The bike was very tentative, I had only been on this bike a handful of times and never on wet pavement. I took it easy on the big downhills, thinking self preservation was important. I went out onto the run with the same frozen feet, wet socks and shoes. I actually couldn't feel my feet. It felt like I was running on stumps. I hung in there though, and had a great result for my first tri. Swim and run times were good, bike was pretty slow but at least I stayed on it. Found my wonderful and equally soaking wet husband and kids at the finish line (it was so good to know they were there for me that day). I sent them home to dry off while I enjoyed the awesome post race meal and awards ceremony. One of the best things about that day was the people I met after the race. There I was, alone, at my first triathlon and no one to eat my pasta with, BUT, I just sat down with a group and had a great visit with some other soggy athletes. There was such a feeling of camaraderie that day, and still I will chat with people about that day..."were you at Arbour Lake in 07"...."it was crazy, man!!"
My feet hurt like you wouldn't believe, near hypothermia and still, after that one day--I was hooked!!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

To Run or Not to Run

It's 9:35pm, I am tired, I left my home this Sunday at 7:45 am to do the soccer mom thing, just got home and guess what, I still have a 75 min run scheduled for today...sigh...all I really want to do is sit on the couch and watch more olympics (got to watch Alexandre win gold in the men's moguls during a soccer party-woop! woop!) BUT, I have had a really great training week and don't want to finish off with a skipped workout.... So, off to the treadmill I go, to cap off an awesome training week. I think my coach would be proud.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Why I love chocolate milk...

Before I share my love of chocolate milk with you I must confess--no core last night after my post and rice works hot chili flavor for a snack as I watched the replay of the opening ceremonies.

Chocolate milk?? When I have just finished a workout and I am starving and don't have time for a snack ( I am usually running out the door somewhere) I down a big glass of chocolate milk. I would actually prefer to guzzle it out of the carton but I guess I should be a good example to the kids...haha! It fills me up, I am refueled and I LOVE it.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Blogging and Core strength....

What do these two have in common you ask? Well, I am new to both of them...maybe not so much to core strength, but new to a focus on it. Inspired by something my coach said I have been working more on strength and core than ever before. Ideally I would like to add a strength session twice a week to my regular training and core work six times a week. I've been pretty good about the strength for past few weeks, the core isn't up to six times but is a huge improvement over my past track record of hardly ever. As for blogging? Well I am brand new to that so we'll see how I do. I am not entirely sure I have anything interesting to say but I will give it a go!! to consider whether I need an evening snack or not....