Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Eve 2007

Wow, what a year!

I cannot believe how my thinking has changed in the past year. In 2006, I began to change my fitness level and I became a cyclist. In 2007, I worked harder at riding and improved to the point that I can now consider racing. Who knew I had it in me?! Then this time last year, I began to wonder - if I can ride this well, I wonder if I can run? So I went out and tried it, little by little. I started with walking and throwing in a few running spurts, then I tried running a full km. I could do it! Of course, everything hurt again - I was using new muscles - but that wore off and I once I was up toe 5km, I decided to do the Women's 5km race for fun. I guess I do have a competitive side because I ended up pushing really hard and knocked 4-5 minutes off my regular 5km time, coming in 5th in my age group, against women who race on a regular basis. I amazed myself!

2007 was a learning year for me too. I learned a lot about what my body can take and what it can't. I learned to listen to it, and to stretch more, and I learned the names of more muscles that ever knew I had! IT band, piriformis, gluteus medius, SI joint, shin splints... I was forced to take time off from running and to severely cut back on my riding in order to heal. PT and MT appts and lots of stretching helped get rid of the pain, a gait analysis and a script for orthotics will hopefully allow me to run again in January.

I guess the most interesting things I learned over that injury time was the terrible impatience I have to get back running. That made me feel great in a weird way because I know it's all doable again once I've got it figured out. And I WILL go slow this time. It's not worth the pain in rushing my body.

I had many personal bests in 2007.

• I lost 8 more lbs and became more lean and fit.
* I bought size 4 clothes again!!
• I got my picture and climbing goals in Bicycling Magazine in July!
• I finally mastered Knox Mountain by climbing all the way without stopping.
• I rode my first organized ride - the Shuswap Century Ride in 3:47.
• I ran the Women's 5k in June. 26:17. 5th in age group, 23rd overall.
• Increased my average speed on flat or mild hills to 29.6 kmh.
• I rode 250km in France on my honeymoon!
• I rode my first century around the lake - 162 km, 5700 ' climbing, inlcuding 10+ hills over 10%!!

So what's next? Well I decided if I can ride and run, then I really need to try swimming. I think this will be my biggest hurdle but I've been thinking about it all year and I now believe I have to try. I bought a new swim suit, prescription goggles, a swim cap and I registered for a private swim coach in January. I've love to be able to do the Apple Triathlon in August. Wish me luck!!

Here's a link to my cycling jourmal at

Here's a link to my Running/Biking log at

Here's a link to my new Motionbased account.

And my blog that I started in December 2007.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Oh the pain....

Well I learned something the other day. Do not try to figure out your one rep max. According to the Triathlete's Training Bible, you find a weight that you can lift more than 4 times, but less than 10 times and then you divide it by a factor in the book to estimate your one rep max. Well I had no idea how many pounds I could carry doing a squat with the bar so it took some 'testing'. The bar weighed 45 lbs and I could easily do 8 reps so I added some weight and did 6 reps with 55 lbs. That was ok and I knew I could do more so I stopped and added another 10 lbs. Did 6 reps with 65 lbs, stopped, and tried more. My quads were getting a bit tight and sore but the gym was busy so I didn't want to tie up the bar too long. Tried to shake off the tightness, then added more weight. Did 10 reps with 75 lbs. It was hard but I decided to use that as my max so I wouldn't have to try more weight. So.. with all the calculations, I should be doing 40-50% of 100 lbs. OK. Now on to my actual workout (bad move...) Did 3 sets of 20 lbs with the 45 lb bar. Later in the workout I also did 3 sets of 20 on the leg press. By the time I left the gym, my legs were wobbly and weak.

Yesterday morning, I was barely able to walk and they got worse as the day went on. Ibuprophen did not help and it was really difficult to walk up and down stairs or sit down/stand up. This morning, they are only marginally better. It's kinda funny and I'm glad it is just muscle pain and not like the hip and back pain I've had in the past. I know this will go away - but it might be a few more days yet. I'll go to the gym tomorrow and only do upper body stuff. Ah well, live and learn...

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Starting Back at the Gym

Today I finally went down to the Capital News Centre and signed up for a 3-month term. My plan is to do the workout from the Triathlete Bible 3X a week. If I can go twice after school and once on the weekend, that would be best but if I have to, I'll only go once after work.

It took me awhile to figure out which machines I wanted to use and to find my 1RM. Then I had to figure out 40-60% of that 1RM for my beginning weight. Ironically enough, it was the minimum weight on most machines. It figures.

I was supposed to do the squats with a 30-35 lb bar, but the lightest bar I could find at the time was 45 lbs. I could not do 20 reps of the leg curls, and the abs workout was too hard on the decline bench so I think I'll do regular abs work with a twist, and/or on the ball.

My current goal is to do 3 sets of 20, working my way up to 5 sets of 30.


6 minute warm up on rowing machine.
10 minute cool down on bike. (I won't bother with this next time. I'd rather ride the trainer at home.)

Exercise Sets Reps Wt. (lb)
LEGS Squats 3 20 45
BACK Lateral pull-downs 3 20 2
LEGS Leg Press 3 20 2
CHEST Seated Bench Press 3 20 2
BACK Seated row 3 20 3
LEGS Hamstring curl 3 10 3
ABS Crunch, Twisting 3 20

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Running, sigh...

Frustration sets in once again. I don't know why this is so hard. I was doing so well, increasing my running by a small amount each week, going easy, and trying to run consistently 3 times a week. Week 1, fine. Week 2 great, Week 3 -up to a 2 min run, pain again. I can't even run the amount I was doing last spring. AAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!@#$%^^$#@@#!!!!!!

So, I took 6 days off and felt better so took a step backward and went for an easy 1 min run/walk. Calf pain started again only a few minutes into it. Tried to run through. Tried walking more in between. No go. Did only 3km and had both calfs (calves??) sore for the next few days.

So.... I went for my gait analysis on Monday and it was really interesting. It took about an hour and she took all kinds of measurements and videotaped me walking and running, barefoot and in shoes. Long and short of it is that I have metatarsal overpronation, which means that my toe pads collapses in, causing my ankles to turn in and put strain on my shins and calves. In other words, I need $325 orthotics. Thankfully they are covered by my health insurance. Once in my llifetime.

I posted the data on TE:OTA for Knottedyet, my online bike buddy and she agreed with the diagnosis. Today I called to make the casting appointment and because it's Christmas, I have to wait until January 2nd for that, and then another week for the orthotic. I may not be able to run until around the 10th of January. And that's only if they don't need any other adjustment.

So now the real question. Do I keep trying to run between now and then and probably have pain when the orthotics are ready, or do I stop running AGAIN and hope my legs feel completely back to normal in January so I can start all over again?

Logic tells me one thing, my EXTREME impatience tells me another. FRICK!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Continuing calf/shin pain

OK, Week 3 is taking a decidedly negative turn. I did NOT run today as planned. I thought I might go out for an "easy" walk/run but forgot my runners at home. I think it was probably for the best. I guess I need to make this feel completely better again before I run. I sure hope the gait analysis helps.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Pain. Argh.

Rats. I am feeling shin pain today. Not really bad but enough to make me think twice about running again tomorrow. My hips are tender as well but not as bad as they have been. My back has been stiff during the day and I need to do the Soft Shotgun again. It's hard to know what to do. I've been icing my calf and also put some heat on it as well.

Today I picked up Chi Running and it is very encouraging. I don't know if I can teach myself to do run that way but if I do, he claims I will be able to run pain free! Long distances and faster as well. I guess I'd better get back to reading....

Monday, December 10, 2007

Week Three Plan

Monday - 3.5 km, 2 min run, 1 min walk.

Tuesday - Strength workout

Wednesday - 3.5 km, 2 min run, 1 min walk.

Thursday - Strength workout, trainer if time/energy

Friday - 3.5 km, 2 min run, 1 min walk.

Saturday - TT DVD, strength workout

Sunday - 3.5 km, 2 min run, 1 min walk.
- Endurance ride on trainer if I didn't ride on Thursday.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

End of Week Two

Well I did well with my running over all - went out 3 times this past week and bumped up to 1 minute intervals. It felt good. I also did the trainer twice this weekend - one TT DVD and one recovery ride. I switched the recovery ride to Sunday instead of Saturday and thought that went better. I definitely had more energy. Also, I only did one run this weekend, on Sunday morning, so I felt stronger overall and in less stiff. So next week, I'll try to do runs on M, W, F, and Sun and bike 1-2 times on weekend. If I have the energy, I will try to do one ride midweek - maybe Thursday? We shall see.

I am NOT doing well with my strength workouts though. Must think that through. Is it motivation or lack of energy during the week or laziness? I don't know. I know that if I don't do it regularly, 3 times a week, it's almost no use. I probably should try to get into the CNC but then I'd have to rethink my run schedule. Next week, I want to do my runs right after school. Not sure how I can go to the gym as well unless I run on MWF and go to the gym on T and Th and weekend. So much to do, so little time...

I found a solution to my SI Joint pain. The Soft Shotgun. It is so easy and it eliminated my pain in 5 minutes. Unfreakingbelievable. Thank god for Knot. She's a life saver.

Well off to bed. Maybe do some crunches too. My dieting sucks this week but I am down to 118 so can't complain.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Running Girl

I did walk/run #5 today and I felt great! I bumped it up a notch from last week ~ only did a 5 minute, 1/2 km warm up, then I ran 1 minute and walked 1 minute for the next 2 km. Finally, did a 5 minutes cool down walk at the end. I really felt like I could have run more but I think I can contain myself for 2 more runs. I'm not sure what to do next week - maybe a 2min run and a 1 min walk?

My eating has sucked the last few days. Cookies are around now and last night we had an appie supper while we put up the tree. I had all of my favourites plus shortbread cookies. But my tummy isn't used to all that fat and I felt pretty gross for the rest of the evening. It's actually good because it will discourage me from eating too much junk next time.

Anyway - off to force myself to do at least 2 sets of upper body strength exercises.

It's December 5th today. 32 years since Dad was killed. :(

Monday, December 3, 2007


Oooh, I'm already making excuses. Felt sore and achey from all my workouts this weekend so I really enjoyed getting my massage after work today. Downside was that I had to help in the gym after school and didn't get home in time to go my my planned run - argh - an I really don't like to go after a massage so I guess workout number 1 will be missed this week. I do plan to do my crunches tonight, even though my abs are sore too...

Good News!!

My new prescription goggles arrived today! Whoooopie!! The seem to fit fine and are reasonably comfortable. Looking forward to trying them out in January...

Sunday, December 2, 2007

First week of "training"

I'm doin' good so far! :)

This week, I went for a walk/run FOUR times and forced myself to doing way more walking than running. I walked about 1 km, then did 1 km of 30 second spurts of gentle running with 30-60 second bits of walking in between. Finally walked the last km home. Oh, I wanted to run the whole way so bad. But I don't want to hurt again so I didn't. Next week, I will extend the running to 1 min with 1 min walk in between.

I also did my stretching most days and managed to do my abs/upper body workouts a couple times.

Here's my plan for this coming week:

Mon - 3 km walk/run (1 min of each) (+ MT appt)
- 100 crunches, plank 2X30

Tue - upper body workout plus 30 pushups

Wed - 3 km walk/run (1 min of each)
- 100 crunches, plank 2X30

Thur - upper body workout plus 30 pushups

Fri - 3 km walk/run (1 min of each)
- 100 crunches, plank 2X30

Sat - 3 km walk/run (1 min of each),
- recovery ride on trainer - zone 1, 30-60 minutes.
- upper body workout plus 30 pushups

Sun - TT DVD or recovery ride on trainer, depending on how I feel.
- 100 crunches, plank 2X30

I have found that one big stumbling block to working out during the week is fatigue. I am sometimes SO tired when I get home that I can't even consider working out. I found that when I made myself go for a walk/run twice during the week and I actually felt great afterwards. I MUST remember that, even if I don't feel like it, getting some fresh air will make me feel better. I don't find I get that feeling with riding the trainer or doing weights though so it's even harder to get motivated. There is something I can do about this though. Go to bed earlier. I'm just lazy, that's all. Plus DH doesn't go to bed early. But I can make changes if I choose to.

Other goals I have this week?

• Take Omega 3 and glucosamine, 3X a day
• Take Vitamin E in the morning.
• Take Calcium at bedtime.
• Do stretching routine 1-2X a day, EVERY day.

Wow, I'm tired just thinking all of this. And in a perfect world, all of this will happen. BUT it's not a perfect world and I have a Christmas concert to put on this week so I can only promise to do my best. :)

Friday, November 30, 2007

Baby Steps - in other words, I think a lot...

I swear to god I'm actually going to start writing this blog for myself one of these days...

I think it's interesting to watch the way my mind works. Once I realized I could ride, I started thinking about running. I was curious if I would be able do it now that I was fit. Then last winter, after thinking about it for about 4 months, I actually went out there and tried it. Wow. I realized I could run too. Who knew? Certainly not I. It's funny how a 47 year old woman who has never been "athletic" can become fit and actually think about competing. In June, I decided to do a 5k race for fun. Whoo hoo, I came in 5th in my age bracket and 23rd overall!! My goal had quite honestly been "not to come last." I thought that was realistic.

And so I began to wonder if maybe I could swim. Now let's get things straight right at the start. I hate getting wet. I hate being cold. I hate feeling like I'm drowning. I hated swimming lessons. I haven't put my face in the water for over 25 years because I can't see without my glasses. I have mastered getting on my air mattress without getting wet and I cry if someone pushes me off. I can barely survive swimming in a pool let alone a cold lake with 100's of other thrashing bodies. So why would I even CONSIDER doing a triathlon???

Good question. I guess it's because I never believed I could ride or run before and I learned that I can. Maybe I just haven't given it a serious try. So I've been thinking about it since last spring. I had decided to work towards doing a duathlon next spring and then perhaps tackling the swimming the following season when the new pool opens. But I'm kind of impatient. I mean, I think winter might be a great time to do a little cross training and start swimming.

I thought about it and started reading about it and asking my tri friends a lot of questions. It seems that prescription goggles aren't all that expensive. I can wear a swim cap. I can wear nose plugs if I want. And in an OWS, I can wear a wetsuit which is supposedly more bouyant and might actually help me swim. Hmmm. Sounds like some of my reasons are starting to sound more like excuses.

I kept looking at the winter swim programs and noticed the schedules for private lessons. I learned a bit about the Masters swim program and found out that my friend's hubby who coaches, might be able to help me out. I found goggles online and ordered them! So I think I have finally decided - sign up for swim lessons in January. Just do it. Once I do it, I know I'll go. And if I listen to the instructions and try really hard, maybe I can learn to swim as well. Right? Gulp. I hope so.

So I've been reading my Triathlete's Training Bible and it's funny how unbalanced I am. I mean, it's not like I'm a competitive cyclist, but I'm not far off. And I could certainly compete in my age group. But running? I am a novice at best - a novice with potential perhaps, but still a novice. And coming off an injury and starting over again. Well, let's just say I will have to work hard and smart to be able to do the duathlon or the triathlon. And my swimming? - yikes. I am at the "can you put your face in the water and blow bubbles" stage. Friel doesn't mention anything about that in his book at all. I don't know if I can even swim an entire length of the pool at this point. Well I could if I could do the dog paddle but probably not front crawl. Although it sounds like they don't even call it that anymore - it's freestyle now.

I went to the Beginner Triathlete site to look through their freebie training plans but none of them fit me. The basic one assumes you are a beginner in everything. 12 minutes of running, 24 minutes of riding? Huh? 24 minutes? That's just a warm up for me. Then swim 10 laps? AACK, I don't think so. So I am off to devise my own personal plan using Friel's book as my guide.

Step 1 - Sign up for swimming lessons next weekend when the new guide comes out. Find out where I'm at and make some plans on how to improve.

Step 2 - Try to figure out when the best swim time would be for me. Right now I can't visualize swimming in the early mornings before work. I don't know how Carmelle does it. I think I'll try evenings and see how that works for me. I would be nice to have the new pool open but I guess I'll have to wait another year for that. In the meantime, it'll be a 20+ minute drive each way, 30 if I go to Athans. Hmmm. More thinking necessary....

Step 3 - Sign up at the CNC for Dec-Feb to use the gym, cardio, spinning classes, indoor track

I KNOW I can do this. I am so excited. Here's what I'd like to accomplish next season if possible.

May - Bare Bones Duathlon
June - 5-10k Women's Run
August - Apple Sprint Triathlon (or the try-a-tri if I suck)
October - Half marathon

Other possibilites
• Duathlon in Kamloops in June
• 8km run in Kelowna in July

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Getting started again

I don't know why I am having such a hard time getting started. If you ask me, I'll tell you that it's because I am so tired but that's really more of an excuse. I mean, I AM tired, but I could go to bed earlier and have more energy. I have all my plans set out and I just need to go DO it! Ok, that's it. I'm logging off right now and go do my stretching and the foam roller so I'm at least healing. Bye...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Setting the Stage

I need to put some thought into what I want to say here - where I've come in the past 1-1/2 years, that sort of thing. Can't find the time wander down that road right now so I think I'll just jump right into the middle of my story for now and come back and do this later. Kind of like the way I used to write paper - middle first, opening paragraph last... :)