Saturday, January 30, 2010

Number Confusion

Today I did a run on the treadmill. Hubby tried to convince me to run outside but I didn't feel like bundling up. Plus that's why we got the treadmill!! It's actually more the sketchy sidewalks and pathways that I would rather avoid.

So I think I am going to stop using my Nike+ on the treadmill. It gives the most inaccurate information. I will still listen to music on my Ipod (for now). Still haven't figured out how to change the treadmill to KM (going to pull out the manual after I finish this post!) but one of the workout programs is 3 Miles. I figured I would test the accuracy of the Nike +. The Nike+ said I ran 6.17km (3.833 miles) so right there it is off in distance. Of course if it has the distance wrong my pace will be off. I kinda knew this from some 5k races I did using the Nike+ since it would always show that I ran more than 5k when I reached the finish line. It is almost a full mile off though!! Hubby also thinks that maybe the pod on my shoe is dying since I have had it for 2 years. His died last year sometime, but he didn't use it that much anyway because of how inaccurate it was. Most serious runners have ditched the Nike+ for this very reason- how can you test your progress properly?? Must start saving for the Garmin- until then I will just use the treadmill programs.

On the treadmill I feel like I am running faster, but based on my numbers I am not! Guess I have to incorporate some speed work into my running too.

Friday, January 29, 2010

I need motivation!!

Well I made it to one organized training session this week- yesterday's swim! I intended on going to the bike as well but due to my workout gear in one place, and me in another it didn't quite happen. Thursdays are hard due to me coming right from work and since I have to pack so much stuff for the bike and swim, I leave my gear in Hubby's car so I don't have to drag it to and from work.

If you saw this bag you would think I was backpacking in Europe for 3 months!

Thursday Bag contents:

- yoga mat (dry land core workout after swim)

- flip flops for walking to and from the pool and in the change rooms

- towel

- toiletries for the shower

- bathing suit

- running shoes for bike (or bike shoes)

- bike shorts

- shirt for on the bike

- socks

- HR monitor watch and strap

- nutrition for between bike and swim

- pants, shirt, and hoodie to wear home post workout (not putting my work clothes back on!)

I dread Thursdays just because of all the stuff I have to bring!! It isn't a short walk between the parking lot and the gym/pool at the U so I get a workout just carrying my bag!! How can I reduce the amount of stuff I bring? I wish I could get a locker to leave half this stuff in!!

Anyway missed the bike workout because Hubby was running late and I couldn't exactly workout in my dress pants and high heeled boots!! I did get some studying done so it wasn't a total waste of time!

The swim workout was my first in 9 days. I really need to make sure I get my swim workouts in because I find I lose my technique and endurance quickly if I don't go at least a couple times a week. We did some drills and worked on speed (hahahahaha). I laugh because I only have one speed- slloooowwww. But that's probably because I skip workouts....

When I was in Lululemon the other day they had a quote on their chalkboard- "The only thing standing in the way is you." I like that quote- it's so true. I didn't bail on my workout that day... maybe I should go to Lululemon everyday!!! Yah right!

I have decided I need some motivation! So this weekend I am going to decide what races I am going to do this year and sign up!!! Dropping all that money should keep me motivated!

On another note, I had my first chiropractic adjustment this week!! My xray assessment went well. Dan recommended that I come for monthly maintenance so I will go back at the end of February. I was really worried about being adjusted because I hate the cracking, but he used the drop

Monday, January 25, 2010

New Week!

After a fabulous weekend in Fernie with friends, snowboarding, hot-tubbing, and some bevvies I am back to working out.

Unfortunately last week I was a couple hours late in booking our bike sessions for this week so we are only able to get in on Thursday, unless we brought our own bikes. Since we only have one spin trainer, we both can't go. Hubby decided to take his bike tonight and I stayed at home to run on the treadmill. I had the H1N1 shot today so I wanted to take it easy in case I started to feel like "I was hit by a truck." So far I feel pretty good- my upper body is so sore from snowboarding on the weekend that I barely noticed the shot!

I decided to try the hill workout on the treadmill. I went pretty slow as my average pace for 6.20km was 7:15 min/km. I liked the variation in the changing incline. It felt really good and I know I could have pushed it harder so I am progressing!!

Tomorrow is a swim workout and Wednesday I will do another run on the treadmill. I had my xrays done today so on Wednesday the Chiropractor will determine what treatment I need. I am also getting a quick chair massage tomorrow at work which I am definitely looking forward to. I haven't seen Diane, the RMT that comes to our office every 2 weeks, since November!!

This is going to be a good week!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I haven't had much to update on since I took a bit of a workout break. Didn't intend to but on the weekend I just couldn't get myself out of bed in the AM to workout. I have now come down with a cold so I have been trying to rest up.

Last weekend we had a good friend, Vicki, visiting from California so I had dinner with her and some other girlfriends on Friday night. So much for date night honey! On Saturday I spent the day studying and getting ready for Vicki and Agatha to come over for dinner. Hubby does the cooking, I do the cleaning. We had a delicious broth fondue with tilapia, salmon and shrimp. I was a little hesitant at first because I have never had broth fondue before, or fish fondue! It was really good and of course we ended it with chocolate fondue and fruit!! Yummy!

On Sunday, I attended an annual brunch. It was great to see lots of my friends that I haven't seen in a long time. The brunch was at Selkirk Grill at Heritage Park. The food was really good and the setting was nice. We usually have this event at a hotel so it was fun to try something different.

The work week started and I wasn't feeling so great. I felt flu-ish but nothing materialized. On Tuesday, my friend Laura and I finally decided to have a consultation with our chiropractor friend, Dr. Dan. He also does triathlon and marathons. He and his wife have signed up for the Calgary 70.3 and are trying to convince me to sign up also!
I have never had any back problems but I do know I have terrible posture. Sitting at a desk in front of the computer all day isn't good. Plus I am terrified of the "cracking" that you always hear about chiropractor adjustments but Dr. Dan promised that he can adjust me without the cracking- he has a special drop bench that he can use. So Laura and I came out of the consultation with the knowledge that we are crooked and need to reduce our high heel wearing!! Boo! We now need to get xrays done so he can see the curvature of our spines and treat us accordingly. He is a pretty holistic doctor and I trust that he knows what he is doing. Plus he is a good workout partner!!

Okay so the workouts for this week... Wednesday brick!! Yup just the one! The spin was great except that hubby later told me that I need to lower my seat because I was bouncing lots. Opps!!! That's the disadvantage of using the spin bikes- you constantly have to adjust them. I can't remember the majority of the workout but the last 12 minutes we split into 2 groups and did 1 minute high cadence- as fast as you can go, and 1 minute easy. We would switch between the groups and cheer each other one when the other group was going hard. I love the group atmosphere and it reminded me of when I am racing and people are cheering you into transitions and the finish!! The run was 4 laps around the track, and 4 sets of stairs for 30 minutes. I felt pretty good considering I haven't run for a week. I felt like I maintained a decent pace for the run. Overall it was a good workout.

We are off to Fernie tomorrow with some friends. It is going to be a great weekend- hopefully I will get rid of this cold and be ready to start working out again on Monday.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Bike/Swim Brick

Thursdays are long days since the bike starts at 5:30pm. I go right from work, which is good because I don't get the chance to skip out, but makes for a super long day.

The bike was supposed to be 1.25 hours, but our coach forgot and we only ended up spinning for an hour. We did lots of standing reps, high cadence and one legged drills. I didn't go too hard because I knew I had to swim after and was afraid of drowning if I pushed myself.

After the bike we changed and got into the pool. Again we worked on drills, focusing on our kick. My kick isn't that great. When I don't use fins I don't go anywhere! When I do use fins I am like a fish!! Oh how I wish I could use fins or a pull buoy during a race- I would be so much faster! There were a couple girls in my lane that didn't have fins so I felt speedy! I really need to work on keeping my core strong and not snaking around when rolling. I find my head rolls sometimes too and I end up all over the place. We did a total of 1500m which was pretty much made up of the same drills as Tuesday.
The one thing I like about UCTC is the dry-land core training after each swim session. It is a 12 minute workout that gets harder each week. You definitely feel your abs after!! I am terrible at working out my core on my own so I like having this added into the program.

Turns out that my Learn to Run coach from a Running Room clinic a couple years ago is a member of UCTC now! I thought I recognized her and finally asked her. Small world!! It is nice to see more people get into triathlon.

I signed up for my Alberta Triathlon Association membership this week!! Now I can register for some races!

Total workout: 2 hours

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A couple more workouts

I am still trying to figure out the best time to blog! I haven't had much spare time the last couple of days so here is a quick overview of my last two workouts.

Tuesday- Swim
I admit I haven't been in the pool since my last triathlon in August!! Yah I took a bit of time off from the pool and the bike! I wasn't too sure what to expect at the first workout back because the swim isn't my strongest point (although I seem to do relatively well in the races, it's the run that kills my time!). I was pleasantly surprised that I instinctively remembered what to do! My technique was by no means great but my endurance was a little better than I expected. I am also no longer the slowest swimmer in the club! I felt like an old pro explaining some of the drills to the newbies and reassuring them that it does get easier over time. We focused almost completely on drills- one eye breathing, fingertip drag, roll like a log, catch up, reach for the wall, etc. I actually really enjoyed the swim! There were lots of people, which is typical of the first couple weeks of the semester. Overall swim distance was 1500m.

Wednesday- Run
The workout for today was supposed to be another brick like Monday. Hubby and I were meeting some friends we haven't seen in a few years for dinner after work so I decided that rather than go to the U for training I would just run on the treadmill at home later in the evening. I think for the next little while I won't attend the regular training sessions on Wednesdays since I really need to get some studying done during the week and it just isn't happening right now.
Treadmill run details: 30 minutes, 4.55km, 6:36km/hr pace

Coming up tomorrow... bike/swim brick!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

First UCTC session for the year!

So the first UCTC (University of Calgary Triathlon Club) training session of the year was a bike/run brick. Hubby and I recently bought a trainer but we don't want to lug it to and from the University each session so we are just going to use the spin bikes for now. It took a little while for everyone to set up as there were lots of newbies. There were lots of people- probably close to 60 which is a great turnout. We will see how many continue to stick around for the semester!

Our workout was pretty easy to get us back into it. We had some high cadence sets and a few hill climbs. I didn't crank the tension too much because I haven't been on a bike for a few months (even with the spin trainer at home!) My seat is sure sore though!! I really should have worn my padded bike shorts!! After a couple sets we did a quick 5 minute run off the bike. Surprisingly it didn't feel that bad at all! I didn't have the typical lead legs. After the quick run we did another 2 sets of the main workout and a short cool down.

Following the bike, we had a scheduled 30 minute run. I grabbed my ipod and hit the track. I enjoy running on the track because you get to watch other people either running or working out on the machines. I saw a couple girls I know on the stationary bikes. I started out quickly and held that pace (around 6:20) for the 1st 10 minutes. Hubby was running with this girl that I recognized from somewhere- she is new to the club but I was sure I saw her at a race this past summer. Sure enough she was spectating the Foothill Triathlon in July which is where I saw her! Small world!! I ran with her for a bit and we chatted. She is an experienced runner but new to triathlon. She is super friendly!

Overall I ran for 30 minutes, 4.46km, 6:43km/hour. Good first official workout!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Quick Study Break

I am slowly getting back into the regular routine of working out. Monday I just didn't feel like running and yesterday I didn't get home till 10pm so a workout wasn't possible. I get up pretty early in the morning for work (5:30am) so I can't workout too late or else it affects my sleep. Anyone that knows me knows that I am a bear if I don't get my rest!!

I am in the middle of a course for work (required to keep my licencing, therefore my job!) and I have a couple exams coming up in March/April. Of course I procrastinated over the last few months and didn't get in as much studying as needed so now I need to hit the books. Plus in February I am having laser eye surgery that will make me unable to study (or workout!) for a week so I am trying to prepare myself as much of possible now. So with UCTC starting next week, and studying every spare minute I have, my social life is fading fast. Except that it isn't... I am still trying to cram in coffee and dinner dates with people I haven't seen in awhile. Not sure how I am going to do it all, but my housework is definitely going to fall behind. I won't be at home much to notice I guess or maybe the hubby could help out since he works at home most days?? :)

Tonight, I took a quick study break to go for a run. It took some motivation but I got it done! Again, inaccurate information from the Nike+ but the details for fun:

30:11 minutes, 4.46km, average pace 6:46 min/km

The run felt really good and I increased the speed a couple times in the last 10 minutes. One thing I have noticed in my races, and runs in general, is that my sprints aren't so great. I end up hyperventilating (paper bag please) and not really going too much faster. Hubby says we need to do some drills to work on that and hopefully we will this season. I find it so much easier to sprint on the treadmill because I push a button and I have to go faster!!!

Another run is on the schedule for tomorrow. We are going to Fernie this weekend so I probably won't be running again until Sunday night or Monday at the 1st session back at UCTC.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sunday Evening Run

After a day of furniture shopping (found a leather chair for the living room and a small table for the top of our stairs), I decided to go for a run on the treadmill. Right now I use Nike+ attached to my Ipod so probably the most inaccurate way of tracking my progress!! I do enjoy listening to music and seeing my approximate pace so it works for now. Probably in a couple months, pending moola, I will get a Garmin 305. Hubby got a Garmin 310XT ($$)for Christmas which is waterproof so he can use it for all his triathlon training. The 305 isn't waterproof so I could only use it on the bike and run. I am mostly concerned about my running since I have a bike computer and I don't need a fancy gadget to show me how slow I swim...

Anyway the point of the above rambling is to say that my running information isn't totally accurate and I need to read up on my treadmill so I can at least use its information to tell me how fast/far I have gone. It is probably way more accurate than the Nike+, which told me my pace was slower even though I had increased my speed on the treadmill!! For the next 4-5 months most of my runs will be on a track or treadmill so it doesn't make sense to buy the Garmin now. Man, there are so many things you can buy for triathlon... does it ever end?

So the inaccurate details for my run tonight is 30 minutes at an average pace of 6:50/km. Also the treadmill is in miles right now which I have never trained in, so even though I can see how many miles/hour I am going and my pace it means nothing to me!!

Tomorrow will be another run- probably 35 minutes. I am slowly increasing my distance. Now off to read the treadmill manual...

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2010- My Resolution to Blog

After spending the last year reading other people's blogs and finding them inspiring, I decided it was time to start my own! I was using Runner's World log to track my workouts but it wasn't quite the same.

I started doing Triathlon 2 years ago, in 2008, with my first race at the Strathmore Women's Triathlon. My hubby had done a sprint triathlon the year before after sort of falling into a triathlon training group at the YMCA. After seeing him do the Vulcan Triathlon I knew that I could also do it- I just had to learn how to swim, bike and run!!

I had never been particularly athletic- didn't participate in sports growing up, no gymnastics, soccer, dance or anything. The only thing I had done in my teens was ride horses. I had no idea how to "train" my body to do something.

So in January 2008 I decided that I was going to train for a triathlon. I liked the idea of a women's only triathlon so I knew that Strathmore was the race for me, and it gave me 8 months to train since it was held in August.

I signed up for a triathlon swimming class at the YMCA that was twice a week. I also joined a Learn to Run clinic at the Running Room. As for the bike, I bought a cyclocross (pretty much a road bike with more clearance for knobby tires) off ebay and went for rides in Fish Creek Park. My training was pretty basic but I had pretty low expectations. I couldn't even do front crawl at my first swimming class! I hadn't been on a bike in years, and the 12 minute run in highschool was brutal!! I was determined to do this though!!

My first triathlon was an amazing experience. There were lots of first-timers like myself, as well as many seasoned runners/triathletes. My sister and her family came out to cheer me on. The swim went relatively well, the bike would have been good had I not had a mechanical malfunction (my brake rubbed on my tire for the 1st 10 km which slowed me down!), and the run was well... running! Overall I was pretty happy with myself and knew that I wanted to do it again!!

For the 2009 race season I knew I would need more training- so hubby and I joined the University of Calgary Triathlon Club (UCTC). It is a great atmosphere with all sorts of experience levels of members. We trained about 4-5 days a week and we both improved greatly from the previous year. We both did the Tri-This-Try in May, and the Vulcan Triathlon in June. Only hubby ended up doing the Foothills Charity Triathlon in Okotoks because I got sick a week before the race and was still not feeling well enough to race. I did the Strathmore Women's Triathlon for the 2nd time and I was about 13 minutes faster than the previous year!

I definitely need to work on my running so this winter that is what I am focusing on. We ran a 5km race in November- Jingle Bell Run, so that kept my motivation up in the fall. Once Daylight Savings Time kicked in, I didn't run much due to it never being light outside! Thankfully Santa brought me a treadmill for Christmas so I will have no excuse to not run now!!

That brings us to the present- hubby and I are signed up the UCTC again which starts January 11th. Hubby has signed up for Calgary 70.3 (Half Ironman) and I am strongly considering signing up. That means lots of training for 2010!!
My cheering section from my 1st Triathlon, 2008.