Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Well, here I sit, in Penticton. 3 days, 20 hours (and change) until the cannon fires and the race officially begins. The last few days have been pretty good. I’m definitely enjoying the taper and some down time. I had a decent run yesterday along the channel here in Penticton.... Even though its pancake flat, I really like running along the little waterway. On the way out I felt like a gazelle, smooth and quick – then I turned around and realized the wind had been at my back the whole time! Needless to say, the second half of the run wasn’t quite as graceful (although it was slightly faster so that was nice).


This morning Kirsten and Tyler are in Kelowna visiting a friend, Shane and his Dad are out shooting guns (boys) and Di is at work, so it’s just me and the silence. I figure I’ll take this quiet time to write down my race plan and then just put it away until Saturday. I want to give the day some good thought, but then get it out of my brain for a few days.

Last night we had a visit with Sue, one of Di’s friends who did Ironman last year. I remember seeing her after she crossed the finish line and thinking how great she looked. At that moment I remember saying “I want to look as good and as happy as Sue when I finish next year” and that thought still holds true. She gave us some good tips and thoughts about the day, and like everyone her biggest piece of advice was “Enjoy the day!” Take it in, love it, don’t worry about the weather or other people or the things you can’t control. Just enjoy it. So, I suppose, that really is my race plan:

Enjoy. Stayed relaxed. Eat. Enjoy. Drink. Enjoy some more. Remember to smile. Enjoy.


Penticton really is an amazing little town and it sure does embrace Ironman and all the competitors. I love seeing all the business marquees welcoming athletes and wishing the racers good luck. As well, all the well wishes I’ve received from friends and family; be it in person, over the phone, over email or even facebook have been amazing too. It’s neat to feel the support of so many people – to have so many people from such different aspects of my life, all rooting for me on this one day. So thank you.

Tomorrow we will head down to Okanagan Park to register and check in, and then Friday is the big carbo load dinner and welcome. I’m looking forward to experiencing every bit of Ironman that I can this week.


Anyway, as you can probably tell from this post, my thoughts are a little scattered, so I should probably sign off. Time to get my race plan on paper and turn off my brain.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Penticton Bound

Well, the taper is officially here and the last of my workouts in Victoria are complete. I’ve swum my last 2 loops of the big island at Thetis for the season. I’m packed and ready to go. In an hour or so we depart for Penticton. Less than one week until the big day!

It’s somewhat surreal...

When this journey began a year ago it sort of felt like race day would never actually get here. Even as the season got underway and the half irons and other pre-Ironman races slowly came and went, it always still felt as if it would never actually get here. I’ve definitely had my ups and downs emotionally this week (but have been assured that comes with the taper) and am now feeling pretty ready.

I’m nervous, but excited.

[More to come from Penticton]

Monday, August 16, 2010

Where was I?

Well, where to begin....

The past 10 days or so have been slightly different. Following an extremely soggy (but fun) 6hr ride in the rain up to Nanaimo a week ago Saturday (August 7), I took my training to Washington, DC! Well, actually I was in National Harbor, Maryland… but DC sounds better. Oh, and it wasn’t really an Ironman training trip, as much as a work training trip – a big ol’ Tessitura conference. [Tessitura is the software I use at work].

I’ll admit, I was very worried leaving home and my training routine so close to the race. I was afraid by being away I might screw something up. Of course, this wasn’t the case. In fact, it may have actually been a good thing, as it allowed me to focus on something other than triathlon for a few days. Yes, actually, now that I’m back, I can say with confidence that it was a good break for me mentally. The conference was pretty full on, so I didn’t really get a lot of down time, but I was able to get most of my workouts in, and found that by being so busy with the conference my mind wasn’t completely consumed by thoughts of Ironman.

While in “the Nation’s Capital” I got up early each morning to get my workouts in before breakfast and the daily conference sessions. The first thing on order each day was a swim. I was very lucky that the hotel pool was 25m long and always had one lane roped off for length swimming. The pool was oddly choppy (the filtration system I think?), a little murky/dirty and had no lines on the bottom, so it was kind of like swimming in an over-chlorinated square lake.

The fitness centre was very nice, but extremely busy. I had a great run workout on the treadmill one day, but opted to skip my other treadmill workout later in the week to participate in the conference 5k fun run. The course for the 5k was 3 loops around the resort and conference centre, with one very long gradual uphill and one equally as long downhill on each loop. It started early in the morning, but I would guess the temperature was still 30+ degrees (or hotter) – and humid! There were probably about 60-70 conference goers (aka. Tessiturians) who participated in the race, and I’m very proud to report that I was the 4th female to cross the line – 7th overall. While the competition maybe wasn’t the stiffest, I was still pretty pleased with the outcome. I’ve never been near the front the pack before and it felt pretty good. It was also quite nice to race in the heat, and while it wasn’t my fastest 5k ever, it was definitely up there.

One other “training session” that wasn’t your typical swim, bike or run – but was definitely a highlight – was a walking tour of many of the monuments and memorials that dot the capital. The reason I’m opting to categorize this as training, is simply for the fact that we walked for about 2 hrs in approximately 37+ degree heat (again, plus extreme humidity).

I arrived back home in Beautiful BC on Friday morning (about 15 hours later than planned due to a massive thunderstorm in DC and an unplanned stay at the Not-So-Quality Inn in Toronto) and pretty much got right back into training with my last long ride on Saturday and last long run on Sunday.

Saturday’s ride was pretty good. Kirsten and I explored some different roads in and around Victoria and, I must say, after these last two long rides I’m starting to feel like I’ve got my ‘on the bike’ nutrition pretty dialed. The stomach upset has definitely been kept to a minimum (yay!). I did have one small crash (okay, I turtled) that resulted in many many bruises on my knees and one big ol’ raspberry on my right knee cap, but my bike was okay, and I actually didn’t bleed quite as profusely as I would have expected.

Sunday’s long run was decent as well. I opted to head out in the midday heat, and well, it was hot. Very hot. Kirsten was away, so Shane accompanied me on his bike and was a complete life saver, as he carried water bottles for me, and even went to the store to get some cold water half way through the run to dump on my head and neck. It was a slow go, and I felt a bit sick at the end of it, but overall, I kept a pretty consistent pace and was pleased to have made it through.

I can't believe there is just under two weeks to go… thank goodness the taper is finally here :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The final dress rehearsal...

I sat down today thinking it was Wednesday and that I should probably try and update the ol’ blog since it feels like it's been forever since I did write something. Then I realized it was Thursday and it’s only been just over a week since I last wrote. Anyway, ramblings aside, I’m a bit shocked at how quickly the past week has gone by. I feel like I’ve been lost in a whirlwind of training and working and wanting to sleep, but not really ever feeling like I’m getting to do that enough. My house and bed seem like this foreign land that I only get to visit in a dream.

I’ve been trying really hard to maintain my positive thinking that I vowed in last week’s blog post, and some days it’s there and comes easily. Then some days I’m overwhelmed with exhaustion and the only outlet is emotion, not necessarily negativity, just emotion. My fear of the unknown (the race) and my need for more sleep seems to come out in tears. Inevitably someone will ask me what is wrong, and my answer is usually “I don’t know.” And really, I don’t, it’s just the way my emotion manifests itself I suppose. In tears.

I went for a massage this morning and Lysanne asked me if I was at that point where I was tired, and sick of training, and just wanted the race to be here and to be done with things. It was weird, I couldn’t help but answer yes – that is exactly how I’ve been feeling. Every feeling she described was pretty much like hitting a nail on the head. She laughed and said “Perfect. You’re right where you should be then.” Oddly, that statement made me feel better.

All that said, while training has been more of a slog this week from a mental standpoint, I’ve been pushing through and getting it done.

As mentioned in my last post, we traveled to Penticton for the long weekend. I had a great chat with Kelly on the Thursday night before we left and was feeling really confident going into the weekend even though I was feeling a bit drained.

On Saturday we took on the bike course. It wasn’t as hot a day as I expect August 29th will be (it was a bit overcast), but it was still warm none the less. The ride felt different from the last time we did it, maybe because I knew what to expect a little bit more. Oddly, Richter felt a little harder than I remembered, and Yellow Lake felt a little easier. Coming back into town and down Main Street we managed to get stopped at every red light and also behind a bus. This stop and start routine sucked a lot of my remaining energy and left me drained for our 20 minute run off the bike. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the best final impression on a day that really wasn’t that bad.

Sunday was time to take on some of the run course. I didn’t feel too bad when I woke up and thought the run would go well. At least, that’s what I kept telling myself. As we took our first few steps out of the parking lot at Skaha beach and began heading to OK Falls, I was a bit shocked how tired my legs really were. That said, I think we settled into a nice pace and I felt like everything went really well through the turn around at OK Falls, and even back over the hills on the return trip to Skaha. I think it was probably around the 15/16km mark that I started to fall apart. We hit the flattest part of the run, and I lost focus. My legs began aching with every step. My mind wandered and I questioned my ability. I struggled just to keep up with Kirsten. I wanted to cry. It took me to about 19k to get myself back together. I could do this. It was fine. There was water waiting at the car. Just put one foot in front of the other. I made it back to the car (26k) without walking and was thrilled to be done. Tired and ready to finally relax.

I came out of the weekend a bit shattered, both mentally and physically. I guess really, a bit scared. Thankfully someone reminded me that you never want the dress rehearsal to be your best performance, so I’ve decided I'm putting the weekend behind me and looking ahead. Race day will be different. Better. I can feel it already.