Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I won my first triathlon of 2011 on the weekend!

Ok, so in actuality, it may have only been a training day that happened to consist of a swim, a bike and a run, and I may have been the only one ‘competing’ but I like to think of it as a win ;)

So yeah, I had a pretty solid outing on Saturday. I’m not sure if Kelly intended I do all of my workouts back to back to back, but I had a meeting with a physic in the afternoon (umm, yeah, really), so time was limited.

I started the day with a pretty decent swim workout. It was only about 2100m, but was a nice mix of drills, hypoxic breathing exercises and some steady state efforts. From there I transitioned to the bike (had it actually been a race, my transition times would have been, oh, just a touch slow) for a 90minute aerobic effort.

I decided a bit of an out and back on the Goose (with a few loops on each end) was in order. Not long into the ride, I spotted a roadie up ahead and noticed he wasn’t really pulling away from me, but that I was in fact gaining on him (ever so slightly). My effort level intensified to a little more than aerobic and just when I thought I might be able to actually get within striking distance and catch him, he noticed me and dropped the hammer. Before I knew it, he was gone from my sight. So, after being dropped, I took my effort back to a more level and sustainable pace and carried on. The day was gorgeous and the ride seemed to fly by. It was definitely nice to be out on the road and not sitting on the trainer.

T2 was a little quicker than the first (since I didn’t have quite as many clothes to change this time around) so I answered a few texts, put my bike in the car, and then was on my way for an easy 30minute “+” run. (The “+” stands for 6 hill repeats at the end of the 30minutes).

In typical brick fashion, my legs did take a little bit to loosen up and find their place in the world. My calves cramped and I must have looked really bad in those first 10minutes or so, as a mountain biker who passed me told me I was “doing great”. Ahhh, words of encouragement from complete strangers – you know you look bad when…. Once I found a decent rhythm the run quickly passed and before I knew it, I was sprinting up (and walking down) a giant hill. Finally, with the repeats complete, I jogged back to the car in cool down mode, happy to have put in such a solid day of effort.

Otherwise, training really has been coming along pretty well. I’m working more on speed, which at times feels a bit weird compared to the long slow blocks of training that came with Ironman, but I am enjoying the change and the new challenge all the same. I have also learned that a 14minute workout can be sheer hell! You think 14minutes will be easy, but, oh no, you can definitely make yourself hurt - and hurt good - in that short period.

This coming weekend I’ve got a couple time trials on the agenda. I know it’s just me versus the clock, but I am feeling a little nervous about it. So please, anyone who is reading this, send me speedy thoughts over the next few days!

Anyway, until next time…. Thanks for reading :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Prairie Inn Pioneer 8K - Race Report

This past Sunday I took on the first race in the Frontrunners Island Race Series – the Prairie Inn Pioneer 8K. I’d never done this race before and didn’t really know what to expect coming out of the holiday season – what with being all plumped up and lazy after two weeks of active recovery.

That said, there wasn’t a whole lot of expectation. The note on my calendar from Kelly went a little something like this: “Run this as an even steady-strong effort, but I would like to have you say at the end that you could have run faster.”

This was the perfect thing for me to hear. Essentially, run it hard, but don’t kill myself. There was no pressure and in the end, I was pretty happy with the race and had a lot of fun.

My calf has been bothering me a bit again lately (I’m sure it’s because I've been slacking on the massage and stretching routine that kept it loose and functioning through Ironman last summer), so when Kirsten and I did a bit of a warm up and it felt super tight and unhappy I was a little concerned for what lay ahead. I stretched the ol’ calf out as best I could before the race and it seemed to help.

I didn't really go out very fast – more because I hate weaving through the crowd then anything – but by 1km in, I had managed to find some open space and was getting into a good pace. The downhill slope of Wallace Drive was definitely helpful for finding and settling into a nice rhythm.

This rhythm carried through the 3km mark, and even as we turned onto West Saanich Road and the little bit of uphill, I felt good. I felt relaxed. Around the 4km mark I noticed I was starting to pass more and more people and that I was pulling away from people I had been around from the start. There was definitely something about this that was encouraging, as I was still feeling pretty strong.

I continued to feel this way – strong, but like I could be going harder – up until about 1km to go, when it turned into an all out effort. At this moment, a girl who looked very much like she would be in my age group passed me. She went by fairly easily, but stayed only about 10-15 feet ahead of me. I got a tad competitive and just couldn’t let her go. (I think Kirsten’s competitive nature has rubbed off on me a little).

As we turned the corner into the Saanich Fairgrounds and up towards the finish line, I surged. I passed her, feeling strong and like I had left her in my dust. Then she came back! I think I actually began to laugh as I kicked again. We jockeyed back and forth like this right to the finish line, where I think I may have edged her out by about half a step (although, I think she got me on the chip timing by about 6 seconds and, it turns out she wasn’t even in my age group, haha). Regardless, it was really a fun way to finish the race! (I just hope my competitor felt the same way and didn’t think I was a jerk for trying to out sprint her for like 311th place).

In the end my chip time was 38:57. I believe this was the first time I’ve run 8k under 40:00 and had an average pace of less than 5:00/km over this distance. So the fact that I did feel so relaxed through the race was a definite bonus and was really encouraging.

Otherwise, I've just realized this is my first post of the new year... HAPPY 2011 everyone!