Thursday, February 17, 2011

I Fought the Wind/Curb and the Wind/Curb Won

It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster week on the training front… I had a couple late nights on the weekend (which is fairly rare for me) and the interruption in my sleep pattern has definitely not helped my mental state. That said, I’ve probably had more good workouts than bad workouts, it’s just that the bad always seem to stick out in one’s memory. Why is that?

The weekend was pretty solid. I had another mini-tri of sorts on the Saturday. I started at the pool, with a lane almost entirely to myself (heaven!) and just had a really strong swim. It wasn’t anything spectacular or record breaking, but I felt loose and relaxed and while I was putting out a decent effort, it felt almost effortless at times. Since the weather was atrocious, I opted to do my 90min bike on the trainer, and as such, my transition time was probably about 45min or so by the time I got changed and drove home.

What can you say about a 90min trainer ride really? It was steady. It was strong. It was a tad boring. I pedaled and watched a show about overweight teenagers. Good times.

My transition from bike to run was much quicker, and before I knew it, Rusty and I were absolutely drenched. I would guess it took less than 2 minutes to be soaked through to the bone. I could not believe how hard the rain and wind were pounding… So, while it wasn’t necessarily a fun run, it got done.

Sunday’s long run was a nice outing around the Lakes. I’d kind of been itching to run there for a while so Kirsten and I met up and headed out. I will say, I’m glad it wasn’t a solo mission for me, and that Kristen was there to keep me going, as I was feeling a little drained and sluggish as the run wore on. All in all, it was good though and definitely falls in the positive column. It was mucky, but the sun was shining and our legs were moving…

Monday was a day off, which was nice, because my ankle decided to rebel. I’m not sure what happened, but it just started aching on Sunday night and by Monday morning I was walking with a noticeable limp. I could feel the swelling gradually increase in my boot throughout the day. I gave it a pretty good self-massage treatment when I got home that night, which helped relieve the pain a bit, but on Tuesday morning when I got up, it was still aching (and I was still limping).

I headed to the pool in the morning and actually had a good swim. My ankle felt much better in the water, and kicking didn’t hurt it (go figure). As soon as I got out though, it was “locked” back up and swollen again. Of course, what do you do when it hurts to walk – well, you run of course!

I had planned to do my Tuesday fartlek workout at lunch and figured that the run might help loosen up my aching joint (and it actually did, but that was about the best thing to come from that run). Plain and simple, this run sucked. It was possibly one of the worst run workouts I have had in a very very long time. My ankle loosened up about 15-20mins in (and hasn’t hurt as badly since thankfully) but I must have been carrying myself funny and my calf was absolutely screaming at me. On top of that, the wind was so spectacularly fierce that at one point during a 2min RP effort (going uphill no less) I think I may have actually moved backwards! Elements and aches aside, I think the worst part was that I just couldn't shake the negative thoughts. So yeah, the wind won.

I had to put that bad run behind me though, as this week is Time Trial 2.0 week. [I’m going out of town this weekend, so my TTs have been moved up from Friday (swim) and Saturday (run) to Wednesday (swim) and Thursday (run)]. The anxious TT tummy is slightly less, but still not gone.

So, Wednesday morning rolls around and it’s swim TT time! It was decent. Not spectacular, but not horrifying either. I definitely didn't feel as smooth as I had last time and unfortunately, felt like I was working a fair bit harder, but when I hit the stop button on my watch, it wasn’t any slower. Exactly 6:51 yet again. So apparently I’m owning that 6:51 pace at the moment. Next time I’m hoping that if I stay a little more relaxed my time will improve.

Wednesday night, bike trainer class with Kelly. Fun. Great. Good effort. Not much to say really. It was another on the “YAY HAPPY” list for the week.

Then comes today, Thursday…

I decided to get up early to do my run TT as I know I will be rushed after work and well, I just prefer morning workouts. It was icy, but manageable and I seemed to be finding my footing well enough. I had a really good warm up, did some drills and strides and was ready to run! At the 3 minute mark of the actual “time trial” part, I was flying – although not in a good way. In the dusky shadows of the morning, I didn’t see a curb and went half flying, half skidding across the pavement, full on Superman style. My hands now full of gravel and my knees throbbing, I popped back up, walked a few feet, realized I was a bit stunned, allowed myself a few tears and contemplated what to do next. In hindsight, I should have just kept running, but I knew my time was shot and well, I was completely frazzled at this point. So, I turned around, tears in my eyes and did a slow “cool down” run home. So yeah, the curb won.

So now, here I sit, frustrated that I got up early and didn’t actually get my TT done, and now have to try and fit it in to my schedule on a weekend with other priorities (it is Shane and my 5 year anniversary + one of my best friend’s stagette in Whistler). Perhaps I will be able to squeeze it in after work today or tomorrow morning before I head off to Whistler, or maybe even Monday???? (Can you hear my brain churning?)

Or, maybe I just need to stop being so neurotic and remember that I do this for fun. *sigh*

Friday, February 4, 2011


When I last wrote, I was having “pre-race jitters” over my upcoming weekend of time trialing. Ok, so my nerves were not totally the same as pre-race jitters, but I was a bit anxious about finding out what sort of times I could put down.

The time trials I had to do were a 400m swim and a 5k run. Overall, I was pretty happy and I’d say that both TTs went fairly well. I think I laid down some decent times (for me that is – 6:51 for the swim, 23:54 for the run – both efforts were PBs) and gave myself solid markers to try and beat as the season wears on.

I know I will be doing time trials quite often as this season progresses, so now that the first set is out of the way, I’m hoping the next ones will be a little less butterfly inducing.

Since the TTs, I’ve had a week full of short hard workouts - lots of those “14minutes of hurt” workouts. Wednesday night, however, was a break from the training action, as Shane, Kirsten, Tyler and I made the pilgrimage to Silver City to check out Chasing Legends. Anyone who knows me knows I could sit in front of the tv for the entire month of July and watch nothing but the Tour de France. So, needless to say, I really enjoyed the movie. It definitely made the idea going to France and following the Tour rise up the old bucket list, which got me thinking about all the other fun stuff I would love to do before I kick it.

So, here are a few tidbits in no particular order:
- Follow the Tour de France – live and in person.
- Cycle across Canada
- Volunteer at Ironman Hawaii
(while I’d really love to race in Kona, qualifying would be a hell of a long shot, and I don’t seem overly lucky with lotteries, so volunteering seems the next best option)
- Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
- Spend some time backpacking around Europe and Central America
- Learn to speak Spanish

On a different note, I’ve read two different blog posts that I quite enjoyed recently. (I’m just now noticing they were both written by Adams).

The first can be found here. It is totally non-tri related, but well, it really stuck with me. Since reading it, I’ve been trying to make a more concerted effort not to avert my eyes and ignore strangers. I find this particularly satisfying while out running as a little smile from a fellow runner passing in the opposite direction can be quite a positive little boost.

The second can be found here. This one hit me for a bit of a different reason, as I had a similar "I feel lucky to live where I live" moment the other day while out on a walk during my lunch break from work. I wandered down Government Street to the inner harbour and was amazed by the quiet calm that surrounded me. There was no road construction, there was no wind or rain, and there were barely even any other people. The harbour was all mine and it was perfect. I think sometimes when I am running, I forget to look around and take it all in, but that walk, on that day, did everything to remind me how beautiful Victoria is. The weather was crisp, the sun was shining, and the day just felt incredibly peaceful. While I may want to travel a little and explore other parts of the world, Victoria will always be home, and this walk just reminded me how very lucky I am to live here.