Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I looked at my blog today.
I’ve looked at it a few times over the last two weeks – more than a few actually.
I look at it almost every day (even though a lot of the time it is simply a means for me to link through to the many other blogs I read on a regular basis).
I looked at my blog today and realized I have not written a post in just over two weeks!

Where has the time gone?
Am I suffering from “blog fatigue”?
Or have I simply been too busy training?

Maybe the reason is due in small part to each of these things.

Training: check.
I’ve definitely been doing a fair bit of training.
Work: check.
Work has been busier than normal... and since I still have not struck it rich, I’m still there almost 40 hours a week.
Blog fatigue (aka “writers block”): maybe.
I’m not really sure.

Because of each of the above things, I’ve decided to mix things up a bit with a short list of the highlights of the last two weeks of training. While I’ve been slightly fatigued this past week, overall I feel like training has been going really well and overall has been really positive.

I haven’t missed a workout and I haven’t doubted myself or my abilities at all lately.

I feel strong. I feel fit. I feel healthy.

- Having a consistent, smooth and relaxed swim stroke.
- Having that same consistent, smooth and relaxed stroke translate into a number of workouts with ever improving times.
- A quick spin up Stebbings Rd to Goldstream Heights... and while I didn’t ride all of Goldstream Heights, it was nice to ride a bit of it and know that by the end of the summer, that hill will be my bitch.
- My first 100km+ day on the bike (following the “iron distance” swim of 3.8k).
- Feeling like I’m starting to get the hang of nutrition on the long workouts and discovering how much I love peanut butter Clif Bars.
- Running at Elk/Beaver lake.
And last but not least...
- Starting my recovery week with a nice massage!!

Well, until next time, thanks for reading [even if it is just you Mom] :)

Monday, March 15, 2010


This weekend (well, Saturday mainly) something just clicked. It was one of those training days where everything felt right, everything connected and came together and just felt plain wonderful no matter what I did. Strange too, considering when I woke up my stomach was feeling pretty horrible and I was afraid my long bike would be a series of short bursts between bathroom breaks (and a whole different sort of bursts). Luckily (and thankfully), this was not the case.

Kirsten and I started the day a little later than normal at 9am with our swim workout. It was about 3.2k with the main set being 6x 400 (each 400 we alternated who was the lead and who got to draft)… and, might I just say - CLICK! What a great swim. The whole week leading into this swim, I was feeling more natural in the water and like my stroke was coming “back” to me and Saturday was no exception. I don’t know what I was or wasn’t doing to make it feel so good, but I think it’s probably best not to over think it and just go with the flow, cause I sure felt great when we got out of the pool.

From there we took a short break to gear up for a nice 3.5 hour ride. Thankfully, it was not raining (yet) which was a nice change, as it seems every ride lately starts in a downpour and ends with the two of us looking like we’ve returned from a downhill mountain bike session! I'm definitely getting good use out of my winter and wet weather riding gear this year.

Neither of us was really in the mood to go out and "kill it" so we decided a nice out and back along West Saanich would be the route for the day… and again, CLICK! My gearing was working, my cadence felt perfect and while the hills still made me huff and puff a bit, I just didn’t care.

About 2:45 into the ride Kirsten got a flat. While I don’t think she was too thrilled, I was secretly kind of excited to get to practice changing the tire. You know you’re having a good day when eh? It seems like her tire is actually a bit small for her rim, so it probably took us far too long (about 15-20 mins) to get the darn thing back on the rim, but we sure had some good laughs on the side of the road (or at least I did). Unfortunately the skies decided to open up while we were working on her tire, which cooled us both down significantly and brought on a good case of the chills, but it didn't take long to get warmed back up once we were on the road again….

And you know, before we knew it, we were home, another solid day of training in the books.

Monday, March 8, 2010

174 days, 8 hours, 52 minutes and 27 seconds

When I sat down to write this post I decided to take a look at the IMC Countdown Clock... as you can probably tell from the title, at that time there were 174 days, 8 hours, 52 minutes and 27 seconds left until the cannon goes off.

Whenever I look at the countdown clock I get this sort of nervous (and yet excited) butterfly-like feeling in my tummy. No matter what the clock says, it always feels like very a long amount of time until race day and yet, a very short amount of time all at once. Go figure.

Anyway, since my last two posts have not been very training specific, I decided a little reflection on the last week or so of training might be nice... and while I’ve had days of feeling tired, days of bruised and cramping calves, and even a few days seriously lacking motivation, in the grand scheme of things, the last block of training has gone quite well and the positives definitely outweigh any negatives.

During the work week, training has been consisting of 2 or 3 shorter/speedier runs, two somewhat challenging swims and an intense bike trainer session on Wednesday nights. This is followed up with bigger volume days on the weekend (usually a long swim and long bike on Saturday followed by a long run on Sunday). I find it’s a good mix, in that things are similar enough from week to week to get into a nice routine, but each workout is different enough that I’m not bored with it.

A week ago Saturday, I had a great “long” bike with Kirsten – a 3:30 outing that turned out more like 3:45. It wasn’t super hilly, but had a few nice little rollers. As we rode and my mind wandered, I realized that it was probably one of my longest bikes ever... and while I did find I was losing energy a bit in the last 20 minutes or so, I realize this was probably because I didn’t consume enough food/gels, so I figure, with a little tweak here and there to the nutrition, the long bikes will just get easier. Otherwise, I felt like we covered a large portion of Greater Victoria that day, and am quickly realizing that the biggest challenge of a long bike is going to be finding decent routes to ride!

After that outing, this last week has been a bit of a recovery week (which has been nice), ending with a treadmill test on Saturday. I'm not great at treadmill tests. Each time I've done one I hit the stop button on the treadmill thinking I've reached my max, only to feel like I could have pushed harder, could have held on just that little bit longer. I find usually when I hit stop, it isn't so much a matter of feeling like my lungs or heart are going to give out, as much as I feel like I'm going to be shot off the back on the treadmill cause my legs just won't turn over fast enough! This usually leaves me feeling slightly disappointed in myself, although I'm trying to shake that and focus on the more positive aspects of training.

Anyway, all that said, I do feel pretty positive going into the next few weeks of training and have decided that one of my new missions for the coming weeks is going to be to find a nice brightly coloured tri suit to wear this race season. Triathlon and shopping... I like it :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

We are all mortal.

A few weeks ago Shane asked me a pretty straight forward question. A straight forward question without a straight forward answer.

“Are you afraid to die?”

At the time it seemed like a question that came out of nowhere, but I realize now it didn’t. Shane had recently found out that a buddy he plays hockey with was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cancer in his liver - and at that time, the doctors were predicting it would take his life. Since that day, he has had surgery to remove the tumour, and from what I know is doing well (although by no means out of the woods yet). I’ve never met him, and yet I find myself thinking about him a lot. I find myself asking, in his situation, would I be afraid?

It was also interesting timing in that I had been asking myself the same question not long before Shane posed it to me. It ran through my mind as I embarked on my first solo bike ride since being on anticoagulants. Setting out on my own was a bit scary, as I thought about the fact that should I crash or be hit, my risk of a severe hemorrhage is much greater. I realize if something like this happens, my riding partner probably won’t be able to do a lot, but I like having that person with me to dial 911 or apply pressure if needed. It offers some comfort knowing you wouldn’t be alone. Morbid thoughts I suppose...

So the question keeps popping into my mind. Am I afraid to die? Am I afraid of death? I keep coming to the same conclusion... no, I don’t think I am. I don’t necessarily believe in heaven or hell (although I do like to think my loved ones who have passed before me are with me in some way) and while I like to believe I’ve had many exciting past lives, I obviously don’t remember them from one lifetime to the next. So why should I be scared?

All that said, I think about how lucky I am. I think about what a great life I have and what I would be leaving behind. I think about all the things I’d still like to do, all the adventures I still expect to have... I suppose when it comes to death, for me at least, it’s more a sense of not feeling ready than of being afraid.

"Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal."
-John F. Kennedy