Monday, June 28, 2010

Weekend Wickedness!!

Thankfully it was another beautiful weekend in Calgary!! The last week has been pretty awesome, with some thunderstorms in the evening that only last 30 minutes or so. Finally summer has arrived!!

On Saturday, we met up with a couple of hubby's friends from the past and did part of the Calgary 70.3 loop. We met at Ghost Reservoir. Just as we were leaving the parking lot on our bikes, a motorcyclist dumped his bike right in front of me. His foot was stuck so the 4 of us cyclists had to lift the bike up (heavy!) so he could get out. Good thing we were there or else he would have been there for awhile. Thankfully nothing was broken, but his steeltoed boot had a big dent in it from where his foot was stuck. That is why I hate riding my bike on gravel!!

So the portion of the bike course (full course below) we did was from Ghost Lake, Grand Valley Rd, Horse Creek Road and back to Ghost lake on 1A. We did a total of 65k, although the actual course doesn't go back to Ghost Lake as you can see. It was a hilly and scenic route. The guys road ahead and the Nicoles (yes, the other girl's name is Nicole) rode together. There were a couple nasty hills but Edworthy has prepared me for some tough climbs.

Grand Valley Road isn't the greatest road to ride on- pretty rough and windy since there are lots of bluffs. However once we turned onto Horse Creek Road it was absolutely beautiful and the road was freshly paved. There were rolling hills so the climbs didn't seem as bad and the wind wasn't blowing us sideways. We were able to go pretty fast on those downhills which is such a thrill! The views were amazing and we saw lots of horses and cows.

In total our ride took 2.75 hours, for 65km. The guys were obviously way faster. I was working on getting my cadence up since lately I have been doing only 65-75 RPM.

Saturday evening we were invited to our neighbour's house for a bonfire. It is so nice to have some good weather so we can actually spend time outside! They have a beautiful backyard and lots of people came. We stayed out pretty late enjoying the evening.

Sunday morning was tough to wake up! Our running group starts at 8:30am and while we planned to get up at 7:45am to have a light breakfast, we didn't get up until 8:05! We madly rushed around trying to get dressed and made it to the Running Room in the nick of time. We had 7km on the schedule. I started running with a different lady, Fabiola and we chatted for the first few kilometers. Around 4k I started to slow down and my lack of breakfast and hydration was catching up to me. It was another beautiful morning, 21 C out already. I brought my one little water flask but that wasn't nearly enough. I had some Gu Chomps just before we started which helped keep me upright but isn't enough on an empty stomach. I struggled a little to keep up since I was in the middle (not fast enough for the FAST people, but faster than the slow people). Since the route is new to me and very easy to get lost, one of the pace bunnies, Howard, stayed with me. He is super tall and I could tell he was having a hard time going my pace!!! Once I knew we were getting close to the end I found some energy and ran faster (helped that it was downhill!).

One thing that we did on the run that I normally don't do is 10 and 1s. With the exception of when I was doing my Learn to Run clinic, I always try to run straight through, only taking walk breaks if I absolutely have to (cramps or feel like I am going to fall over). What the instructor/pace bunnies were telling us is for long distances it is best to do 10 and 1s to keep your form together. We did do this for the 7k and I definitely welcomed the 1 minute breaks!! I usually don't like walking because I lose momentum but if I can run faster and keep my form than it is worth it.

My stats for the run 7km/50:53minutes/7:16km/hr pace. Getting faster!! I remembered to turn my watch on and off for this run so I actually have accurate data!

Today is a rest day and I will be going to bed early!! My sister and I went to Lilith Fair yesterday so I am very tired from lack of sleep. I didn't get to sleep in at all this weekend!

5 days till my next race!

Friday, June 25, 2010

I Conquered the Hills!!

Okay slight exaggeration but I definitely found the hills easier (still not easy though) last night compared to when I was doing them last year. Not too sure how that happened since I haven't been training diligently  on the bike. Maybe the running has helped?

Hubby picked me up from work around 3:45pm and we went straight to Edworthy Park. He informed me I had a flat tire so thankfully I got the flat AFTER the race and not during!! Karma did work since I gave away my spare CO2 to an unlucky racer in need. Hubby had it fixed in no time. We ran into a lady we trained with at UCTC. She rides her bike to work and has to go up the Edworthy Hill to get home. It was nice to chat with her and swap stories about training. We will see her competing at the Calgary 70.3!

We did a warm up along the bike path towards downtown. Speedy hubs got way ahead of me and we lost each other when he turned around and I continued going straight. It was a beautiful day yesterday, high of
24 C so I was glad to be out on my bike!! After 20 minutes I went back to the parking lot to wait for hubby to show up. He had already done 1 hill repeat while I was on the bike path.

I was a little worried about this hill because I remember how tough it was last year. I was pleasantly surprised that while it was still hard, I didn't fall over or die like I thought I might!! I didn't have to go down to my lowest gear until mid-way up the hill which is a huge accomplishment over last year when I started in my lowest gear!! I did 3 repeats in a row.

Originally we were going to do a brick after the repeats but someone forgot the bike lock and I wasn't comfortable leaving our bikes while we ran. Instead we did a loop around the neighborhood after my 3rd repeat. Hubby sorta got us lost by taking us to a gravel trail... I don't think road bikes are meant to be on gravel!! It was slightly scary and there were lots of people going the opposite way of us, probably commuting home from work, all on mountain bikes!
We were going downhill so my hand got a major cramp from holding the brake for so long! I was terrified I was going to get another flat since we used the last spare tube.

After making it down to the paved pathway safely we did another loop back to the car and called it a day.

I feel way more confident and am looking forward to hills next week!! Just have to remember to bring the bike lock!!

Tonight is a rest day and tomorrow we are riding part of the 70.3 bike course!! I am scared of the unknown but I will be fine. It's going to be a gorgeous day!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Three Things Thursday

So I am trying to organize my blog so it isn't a bunch of babbling. I have seen "Three Things Thursday" on a number of blogs I follow so I thought I would borrow the idea!!

1) On Success: I found this post after the link was posted on another blog I follow so some of you may have seen it already. It really made me think about myself and how I have been training/not training lately. Consistency is my main problem and I use all sorts of excuses to avoid training. I totally agree with this blogger.

2) Eating before Running: I need at least 2 hours to digest dinner before going for a run. My 3k (22:55 min) run with the club last night wasn't fun with a heavy stomach. I am either going to have to have something light like a smoothie, or eat as soon as I get home from work. Time to whip out the crockpot!

3) Hills @ Edworthy tonight!! Scared?? YES!! But I know from last year how much they help me improve on the bike so it will be worth it!! I want to be speedy on the bike for Strathmore.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Joined a Running Room Clinic!!

After much searching and debate, I joined a Running Room Half Marathon Clinic. The only way I will get faster is by pushing myself in a group setting. I get too comfortable when I am running on my own and don't want to push myself out of that zone. Plus I have really enjoyed the last few runs with Kim so I like the social aspect of running with other people.

Since our half marathon is September 12th it was a little difficult to find a clinic that worked perfectly with our goal race date. Most clinics had already started or were starting too late (end of July) for us to get much benefit. We ended up joining a clinic at the Country Hills location that is close(ish) to our house.

Last night was the 3rd session but they are only at 7km for LSD so we had no problem joining in. This clinic is significantly smaller than my Learn to Run clinic from a few years ago!! I think there were 50 people in that clinic, and 5 pace bunnies. I think there are maybe 20 people in this group? The goal race for this clinic is the BMO Okanagan Half Marathon on the Thanksgiving Weekend in October so we will be a little ahead of schedule but not a big deal at all.

The pre-run session was by a chiropractor on the bio mechanics of running. He had a pretty interesting presentation and while I have heard a lot of what he said from Dr. Dan it was nice to have a refresher totally dedicated to running. The last couple of times I have been running I have noticed a tweak in my right shoulder blade area so I better get that worked on. I am also going to start seeing the Corporate Massage lady again when she comes in every 2 weeks. I haven't gone to her in awhile because I have either been busy, away or burned when she was here. I need to keep myself healthy!!

Last night we ran a tempo 4km. I found a couple girls that seem to be around my pace (or a little faster) to chat with. I think I am going to really enjoy this group!! Our instructor seems pretty nice also. I am not sure of time because I forgot to turn my watch on until a few minutes into the run. I also heard that the route we did is more like 4.8km so I don't have any real stats to share. Hubby of course was super speedy and I didn't see him after the first turn!!

So my training schedule is going to have to change a bit to accommodate the 3 group runs a week. I think we will end up swimming after our Tuesday run since the pool opens for lane swimming at 8pm so that will work perfectly until we get to the longer distances.

I found this neat site called Swim Plan that creates swimming programs for you based on your distance, time, and experience. Best of all it is free!! The last few times I have been swimming I just swam freestyle for 1500m or so. I haven't been doing any drills since I just needed to survive the triathlon and not worry about technique. Now I need to start focusing back on my technique so that I can get faster and more efficient.
I will be trying out a program for the first time tonight so I hope it goes well!

I also found a Fuel Belt!! I tried it on before the clinic last night and I am just waiting for my 20% off coupon that I get from joining the clinic before purchasing it. Hopefully it will be warm enough to use this weekend!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Beautiful Weekend!!

So after a week of rain, rain and more rain I was ready for a sunny weekend! Hubby was away all weekend at a bachelor party so I was on my own.

Friday night I ran a bunch of errands after work and picked up some groceries since I had to fend for myself.

Earlier in the week Kim and I decided to meet up on Saturday to run around Glenmore Reservoir. I have biked this route plenty of times, and ran part way around MANY times since this is where I took my first Running Room clinic (Learn to Run) a couple years ago. I LOVE this area and there are quite a few races that use this route, including the Race to Pace 10km that I am doing in 12 days!

So we met at Glenmore Landing at 10am. This time I remembered to slather on the sunscreen and wore a tshirt to protect my back. Unfortunately since this is my longest run to date, I was not well prepared in the hydration department. I only had a small handheld water bottle which is enough to last on a cool 10km run, but not a hot 14km run. Kim offered to share her water since she was full loaded with her fuel belt. I must buy something like that (or carry a bigger water bottle) the next time I run over 10km because I would have died with only that small bottle. I knew there was a water fountain about 8km into the run but the last 6km are mostly out in the open in the blazing sun so the refill didn't last long.

It was a beautiful day for a long run. There were lots of people on the pathway but not crowded. We ran a pretty slow pace and I was afraid to push it because of my lack of water. I was a little worried at first it seems like a big jump from 10k to 14k but I think because I ran so slow it wasn't as hard on my body. Once again, Kim and I had a great run together and I was amazed at how quickly the time passed. I had a package of GU Chomps to fuel me along the way and they worked perfectly.

It took us about 2 hours to run 14km which is really slow but I did it!! Kim is a great running partner because she is a bit faster than me so I have to push to keep up with her.

Doing that run made me realize that I really need a Garmin. It is so hard to figure out my pace and how far I have run. I tried Map My Run which is a decent reference guide but not perfect because the pathways aren't on the map so you don't really know how far you have run. So I think we ran 14km but I don't know for sure. Maybe I will get one for my birthday??

Sunday- I woke up to another sunny morning so I decided to go for a quick easy run in my neighborhood. There is lots of construction going on in our neighborhood right now with houses going up and concrete being fixed all over our streets. The last two weeks our driveway has been inaccessible due to repairs but the rain has prevented work from getting done. I had a dodgy run along the streets to get to the short pathway. I ran the first loop quicker and started to fade about 20 minutes into the run. Maybe if I had a Garmin I could have pushed myself more...

Total for Sunday run was 27:30 minutes. No idea how far I went- maybe 4k?

My goal is to run my next 5k in 30 minutes or less. The Strathmore Women's Tri is a 5k run and that is where I hope to get a PB. I think this is a good goal and totally achievable. 

My legs are the sorest they have ever been. It is definitely from the 14km run on Saturday. I stretched lots and have been using my roller which has helped tremendously.

Here's to hoping the good weather sticks around for awhile since my workouts are way better when the sun is out!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Wasa Lake Olympic Triathlon Race Report- June 13, 2010

After a pretty decent sleep, the alarm woke us up at 5:30am. I pressed snooze a couple times and finally got out of bed just before 6:00am. There are benefits to being 5 minutes from the race! I had a light breakfast of yogurt and melon before getting ready. Hubby had this great idea that he would go down to transition with our bikes and grab us spots around 6:30am and then come back and get me. He left at 6:50am and I packed up the rest of our stuff, stripped our bed and sat around waiting for him!! I started to get nervous that he forgot about me but at 7:30am he came back. Looking back that probably wasn't the best idea since it rushed him a lot and he ended up starting late.
Transition area around 7am

Luckily the Olympic ladies started after the Olympic men so I had plenty of time to set up in transition, get my timing chip and get body marked. The disposable chip was a pain but it didn't bother me because I put Body Glide under the crappy strap.
Tweety in the transition area- that towel goes everywhere with me!
 I did have sunscreen in transition, I just didn't apply it enough!

Just before the guys started we took a couple pictures around transition and the lake.

Kim and I
Dr. Dan, Kim and I

Dr. Dan, Kim and hubby
Hubby and I

At 8:15am the Sprint started and we watched for a minute or two all the yellow caps bobbing in the water. I was surprised to see so many heads "up" and not "in" the water like they would be for freestyle. Kim and I decided to head back to our spots in transition to get our goggles, swimcaps and put the rest of our wetsuits on (they were only half on). When we got back we went down to the beach where all the Olympic women were waiting as the Olympic men had already started. One of the ladies staying in the cabin with us told me that hubby just got in the water now because he was in the washroom when the men started 2.5 minutes ago! Typically J style!!

Kim and I went into the water to get ourselves used to the temperature. It was warmer than yesterday but when I put my face in the water I was panicky! We watched the guys swim and I saw Keith go in for his 2nd 750m and he was looking pretty strong in the first half of the pack. I was relieved when I saw hubby because he didn't appear to be too far behind Keith so he caught up. Dr. Dan was a little behind hubby but he didn't look so good. Turns out he was drinking the lake!!!

The Oly ladies started at 9:00am and I stayed to the back so I didn't get run over by hundreds of flailing bodies!! My strategy worked because I was barely touched! I was super calm when I started and I didn't have any breathing problems at all! I went off course tons and I am sure I swam 500m more than I was supposed to but I didn't care. I checked my watch before the second loop and I was at 25 minutes. Yikes! I picked it up for the second loop and finished in 47 minutes. I did more sighting so that I stayed on course. I didn't have any kayakers yelling at me to get back on course so that was good.
When I finally got out of the water I was so happy to have finished the swim! I looked back and I wasn't the last one out of the water!! Yay!! I stumbled up the beach and headed for the wetsuit strippers. They weren't very busy by the time I got there! My parents were there and they cheered me on which was nice to hear!! I walked through most of transition because I didn't want to get on my bike all shaky. I quickly sprayed the sunscreen, put the rest of my bike stuff on and headed out.

I checked my watch and I think it was about 6.5 minutes from the time I got out of the water to when I got on my bike (I don't have a fancy Garmin, just a stop watch). Not my fastest transition but I wasn't trying to be fast. When I got on my bike I could already see the "elite" Oly men coming back on their bikes. I saw hubby and Keith just as I turned onto the highway so they were both going pretty fast. I almost felt like I was riding by myself because there was one girl a bit ahead of me and that's it!! About 15km into the bike there was a girl changing her tire who asked if I had a spare C02 cartridge which I had!! Hubby picked up a couple spares for us the night before at the race Expo. I knew karma wouldn't let me get a flat if I gave this girl my spare cartridge- I am so thankful it wasn't me!

I think I need to pull out the manual for my bike computer because I can't seem to remember how to use it!! I couldn't get it working until I was out on the highway so it didn't record at least 5-10 minutes. Somehow when I did get it working I switched it from kilometers to miles and I couldn't figure out why I was going so slow! I spent the entire bike mentally converting how many kilometers I had gone and how fast I was going!! I know I could have pushed wayyyy harder on the bike since it was flat and my legs weren't burning. For nutrition I had Gu Chomps in my bento box and they worked perfectly!! I drank lots of fluids and had to pee soooo badly for the last half of the bike.

Finally made it back to transition and my parents were hiding in the trees behind the barriers with sweaters over their heads cheering me on!! I laughed a bit because they were quite the sight trying to hide from the sun!!
I ran my bike through transition and saw Kim at her spot in transition so she was a bit a head of me. Hubby saw me come in and cheered me on! I didn't check my transition time but it was pretty quick, especially compared to my swim/bike transition!!
I grabbed another pack of Gu Chomps and hubby said to not worry about bringing my handheld waterbottle since the run course had lots of water stations. I took off and tried to mentally prepare myself for this 10km. It was getting pretty hot out and it was about 11:30am at this point. Heat of the day! I thought for sure Kim was way ahead of me, but about 5 minutes into the run she came up behind me. She had stopped at the bathroom in transition.
I was so happy to have her along for the run!! She is a little faster than me so I knew she would push me. I also had to go to the bathroom so I stopped at the first potta potty I could find. It sure is a pain to get in and out of the tri suit!! Kim stretched while I was in the PP. We just ran for fun- there was no racing!! We walked through water stations, stopped to put on sunscreen (missed my back), laughed a lot!! Kim was struggling with a side stitch/cramp so she walked a bit while I ran ahead. The run course was great because it was mostly wooded pathways so there was some shade from the sun. When we reached 5km I felt great and knew that I would have no problem finishing. I wasn't pushing very hard because I didn't want to fall into a bad place mentally. I was having a GREAT time, loving the whole experience and I knew pushing myself in the run was not going to be worth it. When we reached the 8km mark which brings you back by transition I was so excited to see Dan, hubby, Keith and all the other racers/spectators. Everyone was cheering, high fiving us etc. We were acting a little silly (as you can tell by the picture below). This shot makes us look tired/defeated but we were actually hooting and hollering, waving our arms in the air!!

The last 1k was a little tough but mostly because it was a residential street in the blazing sun! We ended up passing a couple people walking which felt good. We picked it up the last few hundred meters and sprinted to the finish!! Yay!!!!! DONE!!
I had a grumpy moment that there wasn't any water right at the finish line but hubby grabbed me some and I felt much better!

My parents and I at the finish line

My official times were:

Swim: 49:20
Bike: 1:39:40
Run: 1:20:30
Total: 3:49:29

The good news is my time won't be hard to beat next time!!! I haven't written off Oly Tris yet but I will definitely train harder for the next race! I didn't have any despair moments but I know I can go faster.

We stayed around a bit after I finished. I didn't have much of an appetite so I picked at my food while we waited for the Awards/Prizes to be handed out. Of course they started late so we just decided to pack up and go.

After saying farewell to my parents we headed to Fairmont and stopped at the hot springs. It felt so good!! It stung a little on the sunburn. It is so beautiful there with the mountain backdrop.

Unfortunately there was a delay in Radium so we had to wait an extra half an hour. At this point we were getting hungry again, especially since I didn't eat much after the race. We decided to stop in Banff at Melissa's Misteak for dinner. We had mussels to start and I had a delicious pizza! So satisfying!!

We finally made it back home around 9pm and unloaded everything before crashing. Long day!

Race shirt (technical with reflective strips on the arms) and my race number

I would definitely do the Wasa Triathlon again! It was well organized, the volunteers were fantastic and the course was great. Unfortunately we won't be able to make it next year since my cousin is getting married that weekend. Maybe 2012?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Weekend Recap (Before the race)

We wanted to get on the road as early as possible so I left work at 2:15pm and met hubby in the NW at Crowfoot Station around 3pm.

We headed out of town quickly and I promptly feel asleep 30 minutes into the drive. I am a bad co-pilot/navigator!! I only slept for 40 minutes or so and we were past Banff. The traffic was fast moving and we didn’t experience any delays until Radium. There was a rock slide on the road so they only had one direction of traffic moving. I sure wouldn’t want to be anywhere near there when those boulders fell!
Boulders on the road

We decided to stop in Radium for dinner at Back Country Jack’s. It was a small country diner with good food.
We arrived in Wasa just before 8pm. Turns out we were the first people at the cabin other than our hosts.
K & D got to Wasa about 30 minutes or so before us and checked into their motel just up the street from the cabin. They joined us at the cabin to hang out.

View of Wasa Lake from the cabin

Awhile later our host’s co-worker and friend arrived. Turns out they are a couple ladies that we trained with at UCTC this winter!! Small world! It was great to catch up on what’s been going on with training at UCTC and all the gossip! Both ladies are runners first, and new to Triathlon this year. They were lots of fun!
The last couple to arrive came in around 10pm. They are long time friends of our hosts and we have met them a few times before. Turns out the wife trains with Jill, the assistant coach at UCTC. This triathlon world is getting even smaller!! She was involved with Iron Girl which sounds like a great program. Everyone in “our group” was doing the Olympic except for 2 people.

Saturday morning we woke up and had a delicious eggs Benedict breakfast prepared by our hosts. The one couple did a practice swim in the open water early in the morning as they wanted to test the water when it would be closer to the temperature of the race. The rest of us waited until about 11am to go into the lake. It was pretty cold at first but I was able to warm up quickly. The first time I put my head in the water was a pretty terrifying experience. I started to hyperventilate and my stroke was all over the place because I just wanted to breathe! I had to close my eyes in the water because I saw a fish and that freaked me out and made me panic more!! We didn’t swim long- just enough to get used to the water and sighting. I zigzagged a lot and started to question my sanity… why was I doing this again??

Practicing for the open water swim

After the brief swim we sat around the cabin and enjoyed the beautiful weather. It was about 25 degrees outside and I was determined to work on my tan! A few people road their bikes to check out the course and transition. Hubby played around with his gears as he was having issues with them again. I just relaxed! Around 2:45pm we left to go to the Race Package pickup and pre-race meeting in Cranbrook. It didn’t take any time at all to pick up our packages and we had a drink on the patio while we were waiting for the race meeting to start.
What a gong show the race meeting turned out to be! This is the first race I have been in where the race meeting wasn't just before the race started. People were crammed into a banquet room at the hotel with no air conditioning. The meeting started about 15 minutes late and the race director appeared to be very disorganized. The majority of the information he gave out is either available on the website and/or in our race package. People started asking stupid questions ("Will the wetsuit strippers help with my 2-piece wetsuit?", "How long is the swim?" etc.)  and it was a waste of time. The meeting lasted an hour so by the time we got back to the cabin it was 7pm. What a waste of a beautiful afternoon!!

Our amazing hosts had a carbo load dinner ready for us when we arrived back. We had 2 kinds of pasta, salad and garlic bread. I know this isn't the proper way to carb load before a race but it was really good!! My parents joined us for a bit and visited with everyone. We went and checked out the transition area together with my parents since they will be bringing their motor home down with them and wanted to scope out where they could park the massive rig.

Carbo load dinner at the cabin

After our little drive, we put together all our stuff for the race and packed up since we weren't going back to the cabin after the race. Everyone went to bed before 10pm since we were going to be up so early the next day. Most of us were pretty nervous about the race!

Race report to come tomorrow!!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Packed and Ready to Go!!

I am all packed! There are still the last minute items that can't go in the bag until just before the trip, but all my race stuff is together and ready to go in the car. Hubby will be picking me up after work and we will head out to Wasa!!

I picked up our wetsuits today- we rent them from Tri-It. I never did get fitted so I tried it on tonight. I know it is supposed to be this way, but I looked like a stuffed sausage!! So not attractive!! I sure hope this thing makes me fast because it sure doesn't make me look hot!!!

So usually people talk about their goals for their races... usually people train for their races...
Since the last 6 months have been a gong show (where the heck did the last 6 months go??) and my training hasn't been my #1 priority, my minimum goal right now is to FINISH!! I am sure I can- the distance is definitely do-able, the course is good for beginners (or non-trained people like me). I looked at the race results from last year and I am optimistic.

I would like to finish under 4 hours which I think is achievable. I think the swim will take me about 40-45 minutes, bike will take 1:45-1:50 and the run 1:15. I would prefer to be closer to 3.5 hours but I don't think that is possible right now. I think my best bet to make up time is on the bike. I have padded the run a bit, but I have never run 10k off the bike before so I could be slower if I need to walk more.

I am still hoping that Wasa is not getting the rain we have been getting in Calgary so the water levels don't rise. I am not counting on it though- I can do 1500m, I just don't want to!!

So other than the race, I am looking forward to spending some time with friends and family. My parents are coming down in their motor home to watch us race. They are super excited!! Although my dad keeps calling it a marathon...

This will be my last update until Monday (or maybe Sunday if you are lucky!). Hope I have good news to report!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Splish, Splash...

Yesterday (Tuesday), I went to the Thornhill pool for lane swimming just before 9pm. I was busy watching the Glee season finale so I went a little later than normal. The lanes were surprisingly quiet and there was only one other person in my lane for most of my swim.

I swam 1500m and did not drown!! I felt pretty good, however slow. I did the first 500m in about 13:08 which is about normal for me. Not bad considering I haven’t been I completed the next 500m in about 14:00m so a little slower. The last 500m were my slowest (15:00) since I hit the wall weird and got this creepy cramp in my toe. I was flailing my legs all over the place to get rid of it and had to stop for a minute at one point to get rid of the feeling. It didn’t hurt, it just creeped me out!! So with that mini-break I ended up doing 1500m in 41:46 which is nothing to be amazed by but considering the lack of training I am happy I am less than 45 minutes!

Now I just need to find someone a little faster than me to draft behind in the race and I will be golden!! And maybe the wet suit will shave off a few minutes- wishful thinking!!

I also practiced my sighting since this is my first open water triathlon swim. I am going to practice for a bit in the lake on Saturday so I can get used to the cold water, wet suit and swimming blindly!!

I started packing tonight. We will be leaving Calgary around 3pm on Friday so I need to be all packed by tomorrow night so we can jet as soon as I am done work.

A long(ish) ride and a long(ish) run

Couple more workout recaps-

Sunday, June 6th- Ride from Westhills to Bragg Creek.

We met up with our friends around 11am just past Westhills along Highway 8. The weather looked way better so we made sure we put lots of sunscreen on, had lots of nutrition and water and headed out. I love this ride. It is the perfect amount of time and the scenery is great. It is a favourite among other Calgary cyclists so we saw plenty of other people enjoying the day on their bikes. It was a little windy.

Hubby was having some problems with his gears so he had to stop a couple times to fix them (the cycle shop always messes up his gears when he brings it in the maintenance- I don’t think they check them when they are done the tune-up). Kim and I went ahead (we are slower) and we rode most of the way to the traffic circle by ourselves. We took turns drafting which was helpful. It took Kim and I about an hour and 25 minutes to get to Bragg Creek. The guys were quite a bit faster and made it in about an hour (of riding time).

We stopped at the cyclist rest stop aka Cinnamon Spoon to re-fuel and bathroom break. We were back on the road after about 25 minutes. The ride back to the traffic circle at highway 8 and highway 22 is a slight downhill so it takes no time at all to complete that portion. Once you turn onto highway 8 there is a long gradual hill. I drafted Kim and once we reached the top I rode ahead to give her some relief. It is amazing how much easier it is to draft someone. Too bad we can’t do that on race day… the rules obviously don’t favour undertrained people. The guys took off as soon as we left Bragg Creek so we didn’t see them the entire ride back. After another long, steepish hill we reach the cars. Finished!!

My bike computer wasn’t working for the first 20 minutes of the ride so I didn’t get an accurate distance/time but we left at 11:25am, stopped for about 25 minutes, and got back to the cars at 2:25pm. So 2.5 hours total riding time for Kim and I. The guys were obviously faster but they only made it back to the car 8 minutes ahead of us girlies. Based on MapMyRide, we rode for 63.43km. I felt great after the ride so I am confident that I can do the 40k leg of the Triathlon no problem. It’s the other 2 events I am worried about…

Monday, June 7- Long(ish) Run

The forecast this week is rain- every day. WTF???? I decided that I am sick of running in my community and needed a change of scenery. Since I work really close to Princes’ Island Park (link) I brought my running clothes to work and hoped the thunderstorm would hold off until I was done my run. I can’t run at lunch because 1) I don’t get a “lunch hour” at my work- its an industry thing and it means I get to go home early and 2) even if I could run at lunch, I am so sweaty, and red-faced after that I would need to shower, re-apply my makeup and do my hair again. C’est la vie!!

I started my run around 3:50pm and ran from Eau Claire to just past Crowchild Trail along the pathway (see map). Right at Crowchild it started to rain and I could see the big black clouds off to the west. I originally planned to go down another 5 – 10 minutes before turning around but the last thing I wanted was to stuck in a down pour so I turned around. I went over the bridge at 14th street for a change of scenery only to find that there is pathway construction along Memorial so it was a little dodgy. I ended up doing 9km in 1:02. I definitely could have gone for longer (which I will have to next weekend…) so I am feeling good about this. Not super speedy or anything but I ran the whole thing without any walk break and my legs felt fine. If I can keep up that pace for the tri I will be happy.

After my run I went to the Running Room in Eau Claire since that’s where I ended up. I had to buy new sport sunglasses since I brought mine to Europe and I think they fell out/were stolen from my suitcase. When I picked up my bag in Atlanta, I noticed one of the front pockets was slightly open. I took a quick peak and didn’t notice anything missing at the time but once I unpacked I couldn’t find my sunglasses and that’s where they were. Thankfully they weren’t very expensive and I found the exact same pair so I am happy (other than having to spend the money again). I also bought a different roller since the foam roller is a little hard to maneuver to get the knot in my calf. The knot from Friday reared its ugly head after my ride on Sunday. It didn’t hurt during the ride but after the area was definitely tender. I tried to roll it out on the big foam roller but it didn’t work very well. Hopefully this smaller one will do the trick.

Here's the link for my run route on MapMyRun. Seriously I need to get a Garmin...

New training program- taper first, then cram workouts in!!

I don't really recommend this training program but it's kinda what I have been doing to prepare for this race!! I have been working out pretty hard since we got back from Europe- I just haven't posted about it!!

So here's my workout recap:

Monday, May 31st- ran for 25 minutes on the treadmill. When we got back to Calgary the weather was terrible so I was banished to the basement to do a hilly run on the treadmill.

Wednesday, June 2nd- ran outside for 35 minutes. Big change from a couple days before. It was pretty hot out (22 C, which is sad that I consider that hot!) so I wasn’t really feeling it. Our neighborhood is pretty hilly so I felt like I was trudging along and started to doubt my ability to do a 10k in 10 days!!

Friday, June 4th- Bike/Run brick. First day of the year outside on our bikes- pathetic!! We spent more time trying to find a bike path around us than we did riding. I miss Fish Creek so much!! The NW sucks- they better hurry up and develop this area faster or else I am jumping ship back to the South. No pools, no bike/running paths, bad weather… it’s only redeeming quality is my house. Anyway, back to the workout- we rode along the bike path for about 35 minutes. It kept ending so finally we turned around and took the bikes back to the car. We put our running shoes on and went for a run. This particular area is really hilly so we ran downhill for about 15 minutes before turning around to run back up hill!! It was tough!! When we first started running I developed a wicked calf cramp in my right calf. I had to start walking to stretch it out. I vaguely remember getting a cramp like this before and sure enough after a couple feet of walking it went away enough for me to run again. We ran for a total of 30 minutes. My speed isn’t there but right now I just want to get through this triathlon- I can worry about speed later.

Saturday, June 5th- Swim. We planned on going for a long bike ride with some of our friends/training buddies (they have trained as much as us!) but the forecast for rain, hail and thundershowers convinced us to switch our ride to Sunday and hit the pool. OMG the swim might kill me! The news so far is the swim has been reduced to 750m from 1500m due to low water levels. I have never prayed so hard in my life for no rain- I really want the water levels to stay low so I don’t have to swim as far!!! I don’t think it is working. I swam 750m and it took me about 20 minutes. I forgot to start my timer so I don’t know for sure. I did another 500m (again didn’t time it) and I was done. I hit the hot tub and steam room afterwards. It was heavenly!! My poor arms were so sore the next couple of days which is why I truly hope I don’t have to swim a full 1500m. Serves me right for not training enough…

Back Home!!!

Our trip to Europe was amazing! Almost everything went perfectly as planned and the things that didn’t were minor. We went to Paris, Provence, Barcelona and Madrid. I will do a bigger recap with photos in a week or so. Now that we are back home and we have a triathlon in 5 days so training has become the priority!!!

Right now I am feeling severely undertrained and unprepared for this upcoming race. Here I am doing my farthest distance ever (Olympic) and I have barely trained! I honestly don’t know what I was thinking. I blame it on the volcano- it really messed up my plans in a lot of ways!!

So we got home from Spain late Sunday night, May 30th. I was supposed to work the next day but I had a voicemail from my boss saying to not come in because he knew I had a late flight and it was going to be a quiet day. So happy to get that message!! Not having to work the next day really helped me get over my jet lag quickly. It also jumped started my training!!

I only ran once while in Europe (Barcelona) but I walked 100 kilometers a day (or so it seemed) so I figured it kinda worked out. I ended up doing quite a bit of biking in Paris as they have a free bike system. I loved biking in Paris!! I think that may have been my favourite part!! I felt like a local rather than a tourist and we were able to see so many cool places that we wouldn’t have seen if we had to walk everywhere. I definitely recommend biking in Paris if you plan to go there. It saves your feet big time!!

So I will definitely post more details about our trip and pictures (cuz we all love pictures!) next week once I am back from Wasa and survived the race!!