Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Argh, it's the last week or school and I am totally overwhelmed with crap to do. Every night I've been up until midnight working on various projects and I have not been for a run, swim, or bike ride since last Saturday. I came close to heading down for my first OWS this evening but Erik got back too late and I didn't want to go alone. Tomorrow we'll be at the beach all day with our classes but he doesn't want me to be off swimming and leave him alone to supervise 48 kids alone. :) Guess not...

So anyway, I am sitting here now at 9pm, all geared up to go for a run and my STUPID Garmin battery is dead. It's been plugged in for days but I guess it was turned on or something and it didn't charge. At least I hope that's all it is. Trouble is, it happened the last time I used it too. Hope it's not bigger trouble. Anyway, I'll give it a quick 15 minute charge and see if it'll have enough power to do for a short run tonight.

Tomorrow is the last day of school for the kids, tomorrow night is our staff party, and Friday is all day at school without kids. After school Friday, I have to sit at the walkin clinic and hope I can get in for my allergy shot before we leave for Edmonton on Saturday morning. We might take our bikes, but at the very least I'll fit in a run while I'm gone.

Well, back to work...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Run Kelownagurl, Run!

I felt like Forrest Gump on my run this morning - I got into the 'zone', no pain to speak of, felt like I coulda run a marathon. My heart rate was steady at 148, I listened to Podrunner 168 bpm and kept my pace steady. With the rolling terrain, I wasn't running fast, about 7 min/km I think. Did a full 7km in 48:19. I'm ok with that. So yeah, I'm happy!

Then, less than an hour later, Erik and I rode out to Winfield to pick up my new Garmin heart rate monitor, to replace the one that died. We rode out via North Glenmore, with a fair amount of climbing, and then came home via the highway, past the airport following our usual flattish route home. I was doing about a 28kmh avg on the first 60 km, but once I started the climb home, I slowed down to give my legs a rest. Ended up with a little over 26 kmh avg, for 65 km. Not bad considering it was following a long run. It was overcast and warm, threatening rain, and we did hit a few light showers but I think I got sunburned as well. Tomorrow I'll go for a swim, and if I ride tomorrow, it'll be easier I think.

Tonight we're off the see Indiana Jones. I know I'll love it, no matter what. :) I haven't been to see a movie in a couple of years.

And here's a couple of shots of my 10 year old son running relays at school last week. He's a pretty fast sprinter, came in 4th in the 100m I think, out of about 50 boys his age. The pics are closeups and a bit blurry but I like the action.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The end is in sight...

The end of the school year, that is. Sorry for anyone looking for a running/training post. Sometimes life gets in the way. I'm finished my report cards and since they're due tomorrow, that's a good thing. Tomorrow is play day and it'll be hectic and fun in the morning, but easy going in the afternoon because the kids watch a movie. I am so far behind in other school stuff right now that it'll be good to get caught up a bit.

I did have a couple of good workouts this week. I had a good swim on Monday - the last day of the students' swim lessons. I did a warm up and then 4 X 200m, negative splits. On Tuesday, I rode to school, then rode to a meeting at noon, and rode home that afternoon, stopping at the LBS to get my gears adjusted. What a difference that made - no more slipping chain. I cruised up the old Paret Road hill this time instead of climbing Gordon.

Then before dinner on Tuesday, I decided to go for a run since my Sunday run went so well. Well, I didn't get very far without significant shin pain again. So I ran 5 minutes and walked one minute and packed it after only 3km.

I've been staying up late every night this week so I'm pretty tired. I was too busy on Wednesday and today to train. We had a staff meeting after school today and I got home late. My shins are still sore so I skipped the run because I knew it would just be painful. I doubt I'll be able to run tomorrow (time) but I hope I can do a longer run on Saturday and make up for it. If my shins still hurt, then I'll head back to the PT I guess. Argh.

I guess my plan for next week will be abbreviated as well because it's our last week of school and is bound to be busy.

Sat/Sun - at least one swim, bike, and run total.
Mon - ?
Tue - run
Wed - ?
Thu - run in am?
Fri - rest
Sat - on holiday!!

I guess I have to start thinking about how I'm going to train once my time is my own again.

And somehow, I HAVE TO get into the lake. Yes Paul, I know. I need to do it SOON! :)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Procrastination and a little w(h)ine

OK, I am supposed to be working on my report cards right now. All the other primary teachers at my school have apparently FINISHED theirs and I have yet to begin. I'm not that worried about it quite frankly, because they aren't due until NEXT Friday so what's the big deal?? I'll get 'em done, maybe Thursday night. :)


1. I skipped my run on Tuesday because my quads were really quite tight and sore after the race on Sunday. By Thursday they were feeling much better, with only a little residual tightness so I decided to do a easy 3-5 km run and see how it went. Well, it hurt. And it was my shins that hurt. WHAT? They didn't hurt at all during or after the race, at least not when I was walking around. They do hurt if I touch them, but they always hurt if I touch them so that's nothing new. (And by 'touch', I mean, push my fingers into the tender spot of the muscle, close to and under the inside of the shin bone.) So anyway, I ran about 2-3 minutes, and it wasn't settling down so I walked a minute and tried running again. I ended up running 2 minutes and walking 1 minute for the entire 3 km. They did eventually start to feel a bit better but I was also pretty tired and didn't have a lot of gas in the tank so I just took it easy. I skipped Friday as usual and although I normally run on Saturdays, I decided to wait one more day and try again tomorrow morning. Oh please, please, please, let the pain go away and don't make me have to start ALL OVER AGAIN with the stupid walk/run thing! Aaaaaackkkkkk! I am going to freak out.

2. I haven't been able to give my new bike a good test ride yet because I really have been so tired this week and my legs were sore as I may have mentioned above. We did an easy 35 km on Wednesday and got caught in a rainstorm so my poor bike got all muddy and wet. But she does ride like a dream and shifts super smoothly. I hope to be able to get in a proper hard ride soon. It may not be this weekend though. I am still tired, and I have a lot to do this weekend. Today I am going to swim and Erik will do a hammer fest while I swim, then I'll join him and we'll do another easier 20-30 km together. And I won't ride hard tomorrow because I am planning to try another run. Only 9 more days of school left though and then I can run, ride, swim to my heart's content...

3. Weight - ugh. My weight isn't bad, it's just not going down. That's mainly because I've been eating crap again. Not really bad crap, just less than perfect crap, and too much of it. And I do NOT think it's fair that I have the same appetite as my 6' 1", 175 lb husband, or that he burns TWICE as many calories as I do when we exercise. Argh. My biggest complaint is that stupid roll of fat around my middle. Even if I do all the ab exercises in the world, the fat would cover my 6 pack (if I had one :)) I was doing so well with the 10 in 10 challenge and then I just fell off the wagon, mostly due to laziness in the food preparation department, and I slipped back onto eating too much bread and fat and dessert-type stuff. OK, time to get back on it, NOW!

4. Last "whine" is really more of a "wine" actually. We've found a new use for our home made red wine - (which isn't all that bad on its own) - I've been making Sangria - yum! It's so nice to sit out on the the deck on a Friday or Saturday evening, with cold jug of Sangria, and watch the world go by. Life is good! (Edit: I suppose this could also be related to my weight complaint, lol...)

Evening Update on a Positive Note:

I had two PR's today! The first was a 1500m swim in 37:52. That's my longest endurance swim so far and I'm sure I could have gone longer. So now I'm ready to do an Oly swim, although not very fast. :) I've decided to sign up for th Across the Lake swim on July 19th - it's 2 km and I'm sure I could do it.

My second PR was climbing Gordon Hill on my new bike.I was a bit tired, and I'd swum 2000m and ridden 45km but I still managed to climb the hill in 03:20! My previous record was 03:30 and that was only once. (Gordon Hill is the last climb before I get home. It's a bit longer than 1/2 mile (.7 km) and it's 10% pretty well the whole way.) I did not go under 10 kmh the entire climb. I LOVE this bike!

I did manage to give my Madone a better test today. Although it was right after my swim and I was a bit tired, I did manage to do some great sprints and I passed Erik a couple of times. It accelerates SO quickly, it's amazing! I guess the next real test will be to do the TT route, and our North Glenmore route, and the Lakeshore route on days when I'm feeling strong and it's not windy, and see how my times and speeds compare. At this point, I think there's no doubt that it's a faster bike.

I REALLY hope I can do a good run tomorrow. At least 3km without stopping, and without pain. PLEASE!!! Crossing my fingers.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My Madone, and other purchases

I picked up my gorgeous new Trek Madone 5.1 this afternoon. I had 165's put on, a 38cm handle bar, black bar tape instead of white, and I kept my SPD's but got the single-sided roadie pedals instead. I'll get used to the flip I guess. Then I got fitted and took it for a quick spin in the rain to make sure everything was feeling ok. Wow, I loved it even in the parking lot. The weather was crummy and my quads were still a bit tight so I decided not to ride it home.
When I got home, I took a few 'naked' pictures and then put my seatbag, bento box, aero bar, mini-pump, and Garmin sensors on. Sweet. This is one awesome looking bike - sleek and sexy, even with all my stuff on it! 

Finally I was ready for a quick spin around the neighbourhood before supper. First off, I could not believe how smooth and effortless it was to ride - the road just disappeared beneath me. When I gave it a bit of a push, wow, was this bike responsive! It was easy to get up to 40kmh on the flats and hardly feel like I was working. Finally, I had to try it out on a hill, so I rode down Steele where I often do repeats and I know my data. I easily rode about 14 kmh all the way up the hill - that's a climb that always slows me down to 9.5-10 kmh in the last 3rd. Yahoo! And I was happy with the compact double. Slipped into the lowest gear, but it was still spinny enough. I didn't feel like I was mashing. Of course the real test will be climbing Gordon Hill. I'm curious to see what kind of time I can make, and whether or not I'll miss the low gears of my triple. Time will tell.

In Other Shopping News...

I picked up a few other handy items this week. First off was some Body Glide - apparently a necessity for wrestling with the wetsuit. I'd like to try it as chamois cream as well and see if it's as good as the messy stuff. I did use some for my run but quite frankly, I don't chafe when I run 5k so I have no idea if it was actually effective. It didn't feel sticky or noticeable though so that was a good sign.

Another excellent buy was Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunscreen SPF 30. After the severe sunburn I got 10 days ago (remember the sun??), I decided I really should start wearing sunscreen, but I despise the sticky, smelly stuff. I decided to drop $12 and try a relatively small tube of this dry touch sun screen and hey, it was awesome! I even put some on my face and it didn't gross me out. I can see myself actually willing to wear this so it's worth the money I think.
I finally bought myself a fuel belt so I can carry some water with me now that the temps are getting hotter and my runs are getting longer. I decided to go for the two 10 oz bottle size instead of the 4 because I don't think I need that much and it will be lighter. I like the little pocket too - I can put my ipod and other stuff in there. Gotta figure out some way to carry my honking big epipen though. I might try to find a way to strap it on the outside but I definitely don't want it to dangle and bounce. For now, I'll have to stick with keeping it in my back pocket or in my sports bra even though it gives me a weird boob profile. LOL...

Last but not least, I traded the black running cap that I won in the 5k race on Sunday, for a nice white one. I thought it was serendipitous that I had been thinking about buying the fuel belt and a white hat on Saturday, but opted for the belt only, being too cheap to spend $20 on the hat. Glad I won one! Here it is. Pretty.
Pain Update

My quads were definitely complaining yesterday and last night, my lower left leg hurt just above the achilles tendon. They were still tight when I got up this morning so I skipped my regular Tuesday run. They seemed to loosen up as the day went on though and I think they'll be feeling pretty normal by tomorrow. If so, I'll go for a short, easy run on Thursday.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

2008 Women's 5km Run

Well, I did not have a very good night but I felt ok in the morning, if only a little tired. My tummy was unsettled all night from something I ate yesterday, most likely the two sips of Erik's Ice Capp. That ALWAYS does it to me and I should have known better than to even let myself have a sip. Anyway, I was feeling better in the morning so I had my usual plain yogurt, banana, and dry oatmeal mix, skipped the coffee, and we headed down to the race at about 7:10.

I registered, stood in line for the bathroom again, and deliberated several times over what to wear. It was 13C, and the sun just starting to break thru the clouds. I was feeling chilly when the sun was behind the clouds tho, so I switched into a regular jersey instead of the sleeveless.

We did the mandatory warm up then went to line up. I got myself set fairly close to the front, since I was in the top 25 last year, I didn't want to have to weave around a lot of people at the beginning. I had my ipod set to 170 bpm Podrunner and my Garmin was on. I set off a bit too fast at first I think because my HR seem to soar right away, but maybe that was just nerves. I settled into a steady pace right away and had to run right off the road to get past a few people. Later, I'd wish I'd done that sooner because it turned out I was only 9 seconds short of a PR.

I kept up a fairly steady pace and soon found myself running on my own. As we got close to the turnaround point at about 2.3 km, I was able to count the people ahead of me as they passed me going the other way. It looked like I was about 21st at that point. I was thirsty so I grabbed a cup of water at the turnaround and had to walk and almost stop just to slurp it down. That was my second mistake that cost me a few seconds. Next year, I'll wear my fuel belt. In the last few kms, I passed a few more people and one woman passed me but I couldn't keep up with her so I let her go. The last km was hard and I couldn't wait for it to be over. I didn't feel like I could pull off a sprint at the end and was just happy to get to the end. Erik got a few pictures of me coming in and this time I wasn't quite so bagged at the end.


km1 - 5:22 (1% grade)
km2 - 5:41 (1% grade)
km3 - 5:10 (-1%)
km4 - 5:10 (-1%)
km5 - 5:13 flat

Avg Pace - 5:22
Avg HR - 171 bpm
Max HR - 185 bpm
Avg speed - 11.2 kmh.

I made sure to keep on walking so my legs didn't cramp up and I ate some shot blocks, drank lots of water, and did a lot of stretching afterward.

After the run, we watched the rest of the 5k's come, followed by the 10k's. Then we headed into the hall to see if we'd won a door prize. There were over 250 women in the race (5km and 10km total) and I think most of them were in that hall. I didn't win any of the cool door prizes, but I did manage to come in 3rd place in my age group and 18th over all and I won a nice running hat!

So it was a fun race and I am really happy I did it. I am even happier that Erik ended up being in town this weekend and was able to come and be my SAG crew. It made it all worthwhile having someone to cheer me on.

Thanks for all of your support!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Pre-Race Strategy

Well, tomorrow morning is the Women's 5km - my second race. I've been telling myself that I am only going in it for fun because I've been doing well with my shins lately and I don't want to get injured again and jeopardize my triathlon. Not only that but for the past 3-4 months, I have focussed on building up my endurance and staying injury-free - I haven't been working on speed at all.

Last year, I had been running 29 min 5ks on average before the race, then I did the race and went really hard and had a time of 26:17. My average heart rate was 174 and for 18 minutes of the race, it was at LT or higher. I was totally spent when I finished and my legs cramped up after. I ended up with shin splints the next week and couldn't run for awhile. Now - to be honest, I did not stretch properly after that race and I generally wasn't doing much stretching at all back then, and I did a long run too soon after the race which was also dumb.

So fast forward to tomorrow. My fastest run this year was a 30 min 5k. I am feeling good, my shins haven't been hurting and although I haven't gone all out, I think I COULD go faster, especially if I take my ipod and put in a 180 bpm podrunner song. Dare I try to truly race tomorrow and see if I can get a PR? Will I hurt myself? And if I do hurt myself, can I heal quickly enough that I don't put a big dent in my training for the triathlon?

I wish I wasn't so competitive... :)

I took yesterday off and I swam 1600m today by the way.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Oh my...

Just imagine my surprise when I downloaded the latest Phedippidations podcast today and found that mine was the featured blog of the week! Holy cow. I don't know what to say. I'm a bit overwhelmed I guess. I write this thing mostly for me and don't really think about anyone else actually reading it - I am almost a little worried that it would be a bit too boring for others to read since I tend to go on ad nauseum about every little thing [insert sheepish grin].

Anyway, I am humbly thankful to Steve for the recognition of us 'average guys (and girls)' and truly appreciate the 'kind words' (as he would say). I'd like to take a moment to let Steve know how he first motivated me to get out and run.

Three months ago, about a week after my eye surgery, I was lying in bed feeling sorry for myself. I couldn't swim for 2-3 weeks, there's no way I could ride my bike, and I didn't even feel up to running. I had downloaded a new podcast so I decided to listen to it while I dozed. I only got through about 20 minutes of it before I was motivated to stop whining and just get up and at least TRY to go for a run. That turned out to be a turning point in my recovery and I was able to get back into my training with renewed confidence. As I listened to the archives over the next few weeks, I learned about the World Wide Half, and was introduced to other running podcasts. Soon, I began to envision a specific running goal, in addition to training for my triathlon.

So thank you Steve for the mention in your podcast. I don't know if you truly realize how much you touch other people's lives and how even a simple suggestion can help to motivate people like me to just get out there and try.

As Steve says - "Run long, and taper".

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Eye Appointment

Well, I saw the eye doctor today. I am three months post-op (PRK laser eye surgery for anyone who hasn't read my voluminous earlier chapters. :)

Anyway, both eyes have improved marginally in the past month so I got a new contact lens for each eye. I will continue to wear the right contact all the time, and save the left one for biking only.

May 5th

Right -1.75
Left -2.25

June 4th

Right -1.50
Left -1.75

My left eye is pretty well at the level we want it to be but it's hard to say how much more the right will correct (or regress) over the next few months. It's unlikely that it will get down to '0' though so I will probably need an 'enhancement' surgery next fall on my right eye only.

I wore both new contacts this afternoon when I went for a 20km bike ride by myself after dinner. I rode the hilly lakeshore route and although it was windy going out, I made fairly good time with a 24.4 kmh average over all.

I'm hoping to get up early to run tomorrow morning again. I only have a few more weeks until school is out so I think I can force myself to do the early morning runs until July. We'll see.

Over and out.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Mid-Week Update

Tuesday evening

Well, I haven't been eating as well as I should, and my weight is steady around 120lbs as usual, but I have been doing more training in the past 10 days. Since I had close to 10 hours of training last week, this week should be a little easier, according to my new plan. I'm only going to swim twice, I'll make my midweek runs a little shorter and/or easier, and I'm not doing a long run this weekend because of the race. Since the weather is wet and cool, I won't likely do as much riding either, but if I can, I'll squeeze one in tomorrow.

Monday I did my swim while the kids had their lesson and that worked out well. It'll be nice to be able to do that for two more Mondays and be able to get my swim workout in during school hours.

This morning, I got up at 5:20am and was out the door for my run at 5:45. Only ran 4km in a half hour but I was ok with that. I'll try to do that again on Thursday if I can because it works out really well.

I finally have my eye appointment and I'll be really glad to find out what the acuity of my right eye is now. I'm pretty sure that my contact lens is too strong, or else my astigmatism is worse, because my vision is really crappy right now. I'm also going to talk to him more about getting a medium contact for my left eye, to bring it a little closer to the vision in my right. The difference just seems too great to be able to see well and my brain is just not adapting, even after 4 weeks.

So, that's all for now. My bike still isn't in yet, and I haven't been called to pick up my new heart rate monitor either. Hopefully both will arrive by the weekend.

Erik's not going to Edmonton this weekend after all so he'll be able to come cheer me on in the 5k race this Sunday. That'll be nice. :)

I'll post an update tomorrow if I get any interesting news about the ongoing laser eye surgery saga....