Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Olympic Fever

Since February 12th, my life has pretty much revolved around watching the Olympics. When I’m not training or at work (well actually, even sometimes when I am at work) I am watching the Olympics on tv or on the computer, or really wherever I can get it. I’ve always been a bit of an Olympic junkie, usually preferring the summer games to their winter counterpart, but this time around, it doesn't matter, I just can’t get enough of the winter action. Gimme moguls, gimme speed skating, gimme biathlon, gimme hockey, heck, I’ll even watch ice dance! I don’t know if it’s the excitement of cheering on team Canada on our own turf, or the festivities happening in a city that I recognize, but I just can’t get enough.

This weekend, rather spontaneously (and with the rest of Victoria apparently), Shane and I decided to make the trek over to Vancouver to take in some of the merriment. We were absolutely, incredibly lucky and managed to get tickets to see the much anticipated Canada vs. USA hockey game (and legitimately, at face value, none the less – no scalper tickets for us!).

To say the least, the energy in the arena was incredible. It was such a surreal moment, to be sitting in Canada Hockey Place amidst the sea of red – at the Olympic Games! During breaks in the action they interviewed two of Canada’s newest gold medalists, Alexandre Bilodeau and Jon Montgomery. As goofy as it may sound, it brought a little tear to my eye. I don’t know why the Olympics are so captivating to me, but they are. It’s inspiring to see athletes who have worked so hard and in most cases for so long (and especially in ‘lesser known’ sports) become instant heroes.

Of course, Canada didn’t get the result they wanted in the hockey game, but it was thrilling none the less. After the game, my body felt very strange – my tummy was anxious and I just felt a bit drained. I think it was the excitement and the nervousness and maybe even the slight disappointment all mixed together. It was a rollercoaster of emotions watching that game! I truly can’t imagine what it must feel like to take part in the Olympics.

As for training, things are going well… I figure with all this Olympic watching I’m really filling up my “inspiration and motivation” bank and while I did skip my long run this weekend to attend the Canada/USA game I figure that’s okay, cause well, who wouldn’t? Otherwise, I’ve had some really solid workouts and my swim is starting to feel pretty good. My stroke is feeling nice and relaxed without being “too relaxed” and I’m noticing a consistency in my times that I haven’t seen/felt in a long while. It’s nice to be in the middle of a swim workout and think to yourself “oh, this is it, this is right.” I like that feeling.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Funny Stuff

I came across this video/commercial the other day and it put a big smile on my face. Anyway, I couldn't resist, I felt the need to share...

Monday, February 8, 2010

1:45 Hilly

On my calendar, my long run for the week read “1:45 Hilly”. I set out on this run on Saturday afternoon a couple hours after a decent 2x 1200 swim. I wasn’t dreading it by any means, but wasn’t super pumped about it either - it was more just one of those days where I knew I needed to get the workout in and I was ready to do it. My Mom was nice enough to accompany me on her bike so I had someone to chat with (which has got to be pretty boring riding for her since the pace is pretty slow). I did a two loop route (mainly so Rusty could join us for the first hour) that wasn’t quite as rolling as it probably should have been, but it had quite a few really big climbs and equally big descents, so at the end of it, I did feel like I accomplished the “hilly” aspect of the run….

Anyway, WOW… what a great run!

I had one of those days where everything clicked. My pace was consistent throughout and all the drills (mainly C’s) Kelly has had me doing lately feel like they are really paying off. Simply, my stride felt great. My body felt great. The hills were even - dare I say it - great! Everything was so good, that I was even able to pick up my pace pretty significantly in the last 15 minutes or so. At the end of it all, it was just really nice to have such a good outing after having been a bit tired the week leading into it.

Who would have ever thought I'd think a run (and an hour-45 run at that) would be the perfect "pick me up".

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Day Off

Sometimes I feel like I need to come up with these wonderfully eloquent blog posts, that have one clear theme from start to finish and make me seem like some brilliant writer (which is clearly not the case), but today, I think it will be different. Mainly because I start writing one thing and it suddenly turns into something else (actually, come to think of it, most of my posts do that don’t they?). Anyway, it may jump around a little, so bear with me, but, well, here goes….

Over the last three weeks since we returned from Hawaii I’ve had a pretty solid training schedule. A consistent weekly routine of about 4 runs, 3 swims and 2 bikes (give or take the odd run/bike/swim). So really, nothing too overwhelming, but solid none the less (and with no days off). Anyway, when we got back I looked at my calendar and saw the plan for the following 3 weeks (which has been this past 3 weeks – confusing, I know) and I vowed to myself that I was not going to skip a workout (not that I usually skip workouts, but sometimes things come up and you have to miss one, right?). Anyway, I’m happy to say that I have not missed a single one.

One notable workout during this time was this past Saturday when Kirsten and I set out for a 2.5hr ride. It was raining pretty hard, but we geared up in all our new Christmas goodies (thanks Mom and Dad – or was it Santa?) and headed out. We decided to go out Millstream way and loop around to Prospect Lake (via Millstream Lake/Munns Rd). Neither of us had really ever ridden that way and so got a very very rude awakening on Millstream Lake/Munns Rd - I really don’t know which road we were on, just that the hill was big and steep and long and I was very underprepared, both mentally and physically… it’s been a long time since I’ve attempted any sort of climbing and let’s just say, I did not gear properly (and that was the least of my problems). Needless to say, it kicked my butt! I was a little disappointed in myself at first, but then realized it would be great to come back to this route later on in the season and see how far I’ve come. I guess I realize it will be a good measure of my improvement. Anyway, the rest of the ride was fairly uneventful – a few 60 second efforts in the mid section, capped off by a relatively flat ending on the Goose. And you know, even though my rear end and bike were caked with mud so thick it fell off in chunks, it was good to get out on the road and not be a "fair weather" rider.

Other than that, I met with Kelly yesterday for a bit of a catch up and the usual check in – you know, how are things going, making sure everything is on the right track, etc. etc.… During our chat I was reminded that these past few weeks were realistically the least amount of training volume I will probably have from here on out – something I knew deep down in my heart of hearts, but still had a little ‘gulp’ when it was said out loud.

Anyway, it was great to get some pointers on swim technique and talk about run stride and have Kelly reassure me I’ll be ready for August. I know I will be, but it’s always nice to hear it from someone other than myself or my family.

During our chat, I also mentioned that I’d been feeling a bit tired this week. Again, not overwhelmingly so, just in that I am really ready for bed by the end of the night and a bit fatigued in general. I have since noticed that my scheduled run for tomorrow has magically changed to “OFF” on my calendar… and you know, I must admit it was a nice surprise. Like a small reward for not skipping any workouts over the last little while. That said, I know by tomorrow night I’m going to be feeling antsy and like I haven’t had a workout in days. It really is amazing how your body gets so used to the constant state of exercise (and fatigue) in such a short period of time.

Well, I think I’ve rambled on long enough and since it feels like months ago that we were actually in Hawaii and I miss it so, I thought a few pictures from a great vacation were in order… so here they are :)