Thursday, March 31, 2011

Talking Points?

So, it’s that time again where I can’t focus any of my thoughts into one succinct post, so instead what follows is a a random mish-mash of ramblings…

Off the bike trainer and on the road ~ Trekking the Trans Canada Trail (ok, really, it was just a long(ish) run) ~ Ankle. Pop. Stop. Lock. ~ Sugar and Chocolate. Please, no more sweets. Gimme healthy eats? ~ Training Camps and Racing Feats.

So, let’s see... The bike!
I’ve had two really memorable rides lately. The first was on the Wild West Coast a couple weeks ago when Shane and I spent the weekend in Tofino with friends. When I set out for my ride the weather didn’t look too bad, but not even 20mins into my 90min ride, it was pouring! Yet, for some reason, I didn’t really care. The wind blew, the rain pounded down, and the hail bounced off my helmet… but it was fun! It was my first ride outside in a while, in new surroundings, and it felt so good to just give’r. It doesn’t hurt that I absolutely love Tofino and Pacific Rim Park.

The second was this past weekend. I saddled up for an out and back ride along the Goose/Lochside trail. It wasn’t the most challenging course obviously, but I tried to push my pace a little and again, just kind of enjoyed not being stuck on the trainer. The best part came toward the end though, when I met up with this young(ish) girl at a stop light. She had spent the past week in a cycling camp and was super friendly and chatty. I didn’t want to be rude as she talked away at me (and I was enjoying talking with her too), so I felt the need to try and keep up. So, for about 15mins I worked harder than I have in a long time on the bike. I was giving it everything I had to keep up with this [my guess] future elite cyclist, and while it just about killed me (not really), it was awesome.

Another equally good workout was a long run I did with Kirsten this past Sunday along the Trans Canada Trail. It was 1:45, with some efforts in the last 20-25mins. I haven’t done a lot of runs longer than 60-75mins lately, so was pretty pleased at how good this felt (for the most part). It was also nice to have some company and to revisit the Trans Canada Trail, as I haven’t run there in a while.

The only downside to this outing was at the end; my ankle decided to revolt and completely locked up. I spent the better part of Sunday and Monday hobbling around, stretching, icing, massaging and just “willing” my ankle to stop hurting and to move again. It’s still not 100%, but is definitely miles better than it was.

What else? Ahhh, chocolate. I have been craving sweets lately in a bad bad way - and I have definitely been over-indulging. My office always has mass quantities of candy and chocolate readily available, so, my goal for the last couple days has been to avoid the sweets at work. I realize "everything in moderation" and I'm not about to cut out sweets entirely, but I was finding it was becoming a bit of a reflex at work, that every time I walked past the reception desk and saw the bowl of chocolate and candies I would take "just one" - but "just one" every time you go to the printer or the washroom starts to add up. So, for the last couple days, I've vowed NONE - it an attempt the break the habit. Now, I repeat to myself “no sweets, no sweets, no sweets” as I walk by the delicious pile of sugary goodness. So far so good, but it ain’t easy. Anyway, I figured by making a note of it on the blogosphere, and just generally “putting it out there” will help in my quest to lessen my sugar intake. So, if you happen to see me with a caramel egg or a donut in hand – slap it away!

Last but not least, my motivational slump has continued slightly, but at the same time, I have allowed myself to be a little more flexible with my schedule and have been enjoying a bit more of the ‘play’ aspects of training. Also, thankfully, I’m in a bit of a taper/rest week as I lead into more time trials this weekend. The rest has definitely come at the perfect time (almost like Kelly planned it that way, haha). This rest, coupled with a mini-training camp and even some races on the horizon, I can tell I’m already starting to feel rejuvenated.

Also... testing out a new look for the blog. Can't decided if I like it or not yet. Any thoughts?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Training has been going fairly well as of late – not spectacular, but not badly either. I’m kind of in this weird state where I sort of feel like I’ve just been going through the motions a bit. I suppose my motivation has been a bit low. I'm not entirely sure why, as most of the time, once I do get out for a workout it feels pretty good and I've been happy with the workout and the results and happy to have done it – but there has been more of an effort to get myself out of bed in the morning or to put on my runners after work, etc., etc. (I’m sure any endurance athlete has these periods).

I suppose, sometimes I worry that I'm turning all my training into a bit of "must-get-workouts-done" rather than just enjoying them and having fun. Thankfully, I realize it's probably just a bit of a slump (or that maybe, just maybe, I'm completely over analyzing) and given another week or so, all these feelings will be gone. Who knows?

Anyway, I am currently reading “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall. I’m only about half way through, so I can’t really give a full review at this point, but I am really enjoying it so far. The story really is captivating, and the “characters” all seem to have a certain joy about them – a wonderful and curious reckless abandon. I feel like the key for each of these runners seems to be their ability to enjoy running. To be happy and present in the moment, and yet, to lose themselves in that same moment as well. They seem to have the ability to have fun - to play.

Kelly often mentions how as adults we forget to just play – and it’s so true. I’m totally guilty of this. Maybe I’m just hyper aware of it right now, but the theme seems to keep coming up lately - over and over (in yoga class, in books…).

So, this morning, on my easy/aerobic 65min run – I played. I didn’t think about tempo, or fartleks, or intervals, or even my pace. I just ran happily and comfortably – picking up the pace when I wanted, challenging myself on small hills – and took in the beautiful ocean air and the natural silence around me. Hell, I even stopped to take a few photos – and you know, I really enjoyed it. I guess maybe I’m already on my way to overcoming my “slump”.

So, here’s to playing more and “over analyzing” less!

Sunrise, Dallas Rd. styles

Monday, March 7, 2011

Bazan Bay 5k - Race Report

I must admit to having mixed emotions about this race.

It was good in the sense that I set myself a new 5k PB (23:27 by my clock, 23:37 ‘official’ race time – it took me 10secs to cross the start line I guess). It was good that I survived after a week of feeling rather crappy. Also, I was happy to have placed 13/39 in my age group and to finish within the top half of the field overall.

And yet, deep down, I feel like it should have been better. I know that with this being a flat, fast course, PB’s are often broken at this race, and I think (even if it’s unrealistic), in the back of my mind, I was hoping to really smash my previous best. Or, maybe it was just the fact that I feel like I could have run a stronger race mentally.

Anyway, the race started out decent enough. As with any race, the start required some bobbing and weaving through the crowd, but I felt like I found a good pace and was happy with my split as I passed the 1k marker. Up to the turn around, I found myself getting a bit distracted at times as I watched the front runners racing back toward the end (I think I forgot for a few moments that I was racing too, and not just spectating... they make it looks so easy!). That said, I maintained a steady pace through the turn around and even had moments where I felt really great and relaxed and like my form and pace were impeccable.

Then unfortunately between the 3-4k stretch things got a bit difficult. The wind was coming off the water and creating a bit of a headwind, but I don’t know that that was really the reason for my struggles. I think I had just checked out a bit and let a few negative thoughts creep into my brain. I got passed by a handful of people in this stretch before I snapped myself out of my daze and realized this race was going to be over before I knew it. So, from 4k through to the end I tried to focus on my form - and even got a very good reminder from Kelly (“use your arms, lean forward” or something of the sort) with about 500-600m to go. I was happy to cross the finish line, and while I don’t think I looked very good, I actually didn’t feel too too bad.

All that said, there is definitely something exciting about a race that is over so quickly. It was really fun to race a 5k that was not at the end of a triathlon, and to take part in an event with such a deep field of incredible athletes. Victoria really does have an amazing running and triathlon community, and even if I’ll never be one of the “elites” it’s fun to be a part of this great community all the same.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Sickness

I must admit, I didn’t realize it had been so long since my last post. Time continues to fly by.

I recovered nicely from my early morning fall during my last time trial and was thankfully able to put it out of my mind enough that I could enjoy an evening with Shane and the subsequent girl’s weekend in Whistler that followed. I spent the better part of my Saturday in the Whistler ER catching up with my good friend Laura - luckily for me (and not lovely Laura) I was not the one with the broken arm! Anyway, broken bones aside, it was a great weekend with amazing friends and the thought of training and time trials rarely even entered my mind.

Also, Shane’s anniversary gift finally arrived. Yay!

Custom Shane Bobblehead

The Monday following Whistler, I managed to get my 5k TT done (although, not as well as I had hoped), had a great massage thanks to the ever-wonderful Lysanne (Equinox Health Clinic), and then, well, the week progressed…. The snow hit Victoria and the sick hit me!

So yeah, training over the last week has been sporadic to say the least. As of right now I am definitely down with the sickness. I spent a couple days last week where my head hurt so badly that I thought my brain might be bleeding, and since I can’t take anti-inflammatory’s (and that is what every doctor seems to prescribe for everything and anything… “tension headache” in this case) this lead to my first experience with muscle relaxants. This helped shake the head pain (or so I thought, in reality it was probably just the progression of my illness), so I then spent the weekend at a mini training camp thinking I was all good, only to be knocked back over on Tuesday morning by this awful stuffy nose, raspy chest, utterly congested, feeling completely blah, “cold” – aka, the sickness.

I’m hoping to be well enough to race the Bazan Bay 5km on Sunday and *fingers crossed* get a new PB at the 5k distance, but we’ll see. I'm not really putting any pressure on myself at this point.

In other news, the Half Marathon clinic I was going to be leading has been cancelled due to lack of registrants, so I’m back to a completely selfish training focus for the season and will think about just me, myself and I. Well, that’s not entirely true, as I plan to be the best cheerleader there is for Kirsten, as she attempts to qualify for Boston at the Vancouver Marathon on May 1, as well as for my parent’s and my co-worker Mandy, when the 3 of them toe the line at the Oak Bay ‘Kool’ Half Marathon on May 15. I’m seriously considering pom-poms.

Oh, (man this post is all over the map), I’ve also been giving some thought to my race calendar and this is what I’m thinking so far:
Shawnigan Sprint (May 29)
Victoria Sprint (June 19)
Vancouver Sprint (July 3)
Transcendence Olympic (July 31)
Sooke Sprint (August 7)
Kelowna Apple Tri Sprint (August 21)

Following Kelowna, some down time in Penticton will be in order - soaking up the Ironman atmosphere and volunteering at this year's race!