Sunday, October 26, 2008

Winter Training

I had an ok run today - only 4 km and I had to walk some of it, but at least I ran. I only did one other run this past week and even that was only because Blackfonzie was taunting me (thank you Dan, you got me up off my butt.)

Erik and I also had a great ride today but boy was it cold out! I was bundled up in base layer, tights, long-sleeved warm jersey, short-sleeved regular jersey, my wind breaker, plus full finger gloves and my head band. I felt pretty comfy but I was really wishing I had toe covers because my feet were frozen when I got home. It was a gorgeous sunny day but only about 6 C (42 F). Erik and I headed out to East Kelowna where we could ride thru the orchards, do some hills, and see the fall colour which is in full swing now. Then we rode downtown and rode along the boardwalk as we usually do on Sundays lately. A nice 50 km ride in about 2 1/2 hours.

Training in General

I have been continuing with my apathtic ways these past few weeks. Anyone who looks at my training log can see I'm not doing much. I continue to be tired and over-worked and have a tough time finding time and energy to do any training. Not only that, with no specific goal in mind, it's hard to get back on track. I've been doing a lot of thinking about the best way in which to maintain my fitness this winter, at least until the end of January when I will start training more seriously again. I'd love the hear any thoughts, advice, or encouragement.

Swim - with my eye surgery looming in only another 10 days, I won't be swimming for at least a month. Once I can get back in the pool, it's easy enough to plan my workouts because I am still such a newbie swimmer. I will try to swim 2-3 times a week and focus on endurance with a little bit of speed work thrown in for good measure. I'd like to take a few lessons again or maybe work with a coach so that I can improve my form as well.

Run - I'm still struggling with various aches and pains with my running so I think that just getting out there and running 5 km, 3 times a week will be all I can handle. Once the pains are gone, I will try to extend my long runs again.

Bike - This is the area that confuses me. I just don't know what to work on. My cycling is my strength and I would really like to see some gains this winter. And yet because I've only been doing easy riding once a week for the past 6 weeks, I feel like I've lost some of my bike fitness. I have the trainer set up in the basement now and I plan to do some drills again this winter - spin ups and one-legged drills to focus on even "round" pedaling - but I'm really not sure what else to do. How long should I ride, and in what heart rate zone? Help? Any suggestions?

General Fitness - well, I still have a lot of "wishes." I would like to do more yoga, more strength stuff in the off season, more core work, situps, pushups, yadda yadda. I need to get a plan and start doing it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The basement

The Floor Plan

I had fun trying to draw a floorplan online tonight. This is not perfect and the measurements are inside, rough openings, but it's close. My problem is that I can see the toilet drain, and I think that's the sink drain. Forgot to show the 12"x16" hole to the left of the drains where the tub/shower would go against the wall. It's a tight fit next to the furnace.

Also, the walls are concrete most of the way up, with 2x6 construction on the top 2'-3' of the wall. The windows are not very deep and look into the recessed cavity because they are below grade.

So, how to finish and decorate? We need storage, a rec room for the kid and the TV (and the piano) and a place for the two bike trainers. Maybe the air hockey table? I think the pool table will have to stay in the garage....

Here's a shot of the current bike area, looking from the door.

And here's a shot from that same door, but facing the current TV area.

Here's a shot of the bathroom/storage area, taken from the centre of the room.

Now I'm standing in the bathroom area and facing the bikes and TV areas.

Closeups of the plumbing rough in. We're thinking corner shower when the square board is on the floor. Then toilet is obvious. The other drain pipe is oddly placed for the sink I assume.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Not much of interest to write about this weekend...

I had another hectic week at school and I'm still feeling VERY tired. (whine, whine, whine... yeah I know, suck it up.) I wasn't able to get a chance to run on Tuesday OR Thursday this week because of meetings and appointments, but because my legs were still sore from Saturday, I wasn't to worried about it. I had every intention of running this morning but I think I've been fighting a bit of a tummy bug for the last two days and I was feeling too fatigued to run or bike today. Kinda sad really because it was sunny all day and the temp got up to 18C and it would have been perfect for a nice ride. Erik has gone out for a 50km ride without me while I stay home, have a nap, and toodle around the house, getting a few things done.

What else is happening?

One thing I've been working on for the past 3 weekends is cleaning out the basement so Erik can start finishing it. First order of business is to build a bathroom, so today I finally got that section completely empty and we were able to take a look at what is there and see if we can come up with a plan. I'm not very good at designing and/or decorating though, and the whole basement area is an odd shape. Maybe I'll post the floor plan and some pics and people can give me ideas? :)


I downloaded the Fdip podcast last night to listen to everyone's race reports and was surprised to hear my own voice! I guess Steve downloaded my mini-podcast mp3 and cut and pasted some of it into the the Fdip episode. That was kinda fun except, like everyone, I hate to hear the sound of my own voice. Ugh, I'm so repetitive. I don't know how those podcasters do it!

New Trainer

We ordered a second Cyclops Fluid 2 trainer and it arrived the other day. We bought one last year and really enjoyed it but switching the bikes back and forth all the time was getting to be a pain so we decided to get another one so they can always be set up. We will also be able to ride our trainers at the same time so that will be nice. I have put my Giant OCR1 on the trainer for the winter. The fit is very similar to my Madone so I figure why take a chance on damaging my good bike.

New Blog
I've been exchanging recipes with a few internet buddies and had planned to post some of my tried and true recipes on my blog but I was worried they'd just get lost in a sea of training posts and would be hard to find so I decided to create a new blog that was strictly for recipes and diet-related discussion. I have lots of ideas that I can put on there but building content takes time so for now, I've just posted 3 of my favourite healthy soup recipes and will add more stuff as I find the time.

Both blogs are linked to each other in the upper right hand corner. The new one is

Swim-Bike-Run-Eat ~ Kelownagirl's Recipes and Healthy Eating Tips

It's usually at this point that I write a long list of my fitness-related accomplishments for the week.

Here it is.

1. No exercise at all
2. Ate ok some of the time


I'll try harder next week. :)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Zen Run 10K Race Report

Whoo hoo! I set a new PR for my 10K "race" on Saturday! My previous best time was 3 weeks ago when I ran (and walked) 12km. I did my first 10K in about 1:14:00

Saturday's time: 1:08:07

I was actually a bit disappointed in today's time because I really thought I had a good shot at coming close to, if not under, 1 hour. But by the 5K mark, I had aching knees and my IT band and quads tightened up so much that I had to resort to walking a little every 200m.

My first 3 km were great and I went quite a bit faster than I've been running as of late. My usual runs have been in the 7 min/km mark and today I was trying to stay under 6:00 if I could. That was probably my undoing because at the 4 km point, my right knee started to act up and eventually I had to do the walk/run thing for the last 6 km.

Still, I had a fairly decent time overall considering how much walking I did. My avg pace for the whole "race" was about 6:48 min/km.

(For all you Americans out there, 6 min/km = 10 min/mile)


Inspired by my Twitter friend Snowshadow, I tried taking some cell phone video before, during, and after my run. The quality was pretty bad once it was uploaded to my computer but I have posted it below so you can take a look if you want.

I also ripped the audio and used Garageband to make a mini-podcast just for the fun of it. I even added a little canned music between my audio clips so it's kind of fun to do. It's about 10 minutes in total and a bit repetitive because I was never sure which clips I'd be able to keep and which ones I'd toss.

To listen, just click play.

Zen Run 10k - Kelownagirl

YouTube Video (with the same audio)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Downward Spiral (and back again, I hope)

Man, I really gotta get it together! Diet, and exercise, and sleep... Oh my!

I weighed in at 122 lbs today. Not a lot but still, a steady climb up from my low of 118 in August. I'm content to hover around 120 lbs but I am above that now and will continue to climb a pound every week or two if I don't make some changes.

But it seems like a constant battle I face every September. I am too tired to exercise every day and I'm too busy to make healthy food at every meal. I do ok part of the day, but I seem to lose my self-discipline when I'm tired or busy.

Somehow I need to get back on track before this downward spiral gets out of control.

Step One: Fatigue


(Funny as I'm writing this, I am downloading the latest podcasts and see that Ultradad's topic this week is sleep. I'm looking forward to listening to it and maybe getting some tips!)

If I get enough sleep, I have more energy and more self-discipline to follow through on my plans.

Plan: Go to bed by 10pm, if possible, be asleep by 10pm sometimes. That means starting to get ready for bed by 9:30 pm.


Step Two:
Diet and Exercise

Goal: Lose 2 lbs and get back to a regular exercise program with a focus on maintaining cardio fitness, and building strength and flexibility.

Write up a plan for exercise and diet and stick with it.


Breakfast: The usual yogurt and fruit
Lunch: veggies, fruit, protein
Dinner: a lower fat version of whatever I feed the boys.
Evening cravings for sweets - one small piece of chocolate only. Junk food and treats at work - take healthy snacks and treats to eat when I can.

Run: 3 times a week
Bike: on weekends outside as weather permits, or on trainer 2 times a week.
Strength: lower body-MWF, pushups-TThSa,
Flexibility: yoga nightly? (9pm?)
Swim: not until late Novemeber when my eyes have healed.
Other possibilities: Could work out at the YMCA for free any time I want. Maybe one day on weekends?


Step Three:

Goal: Improve attitude and negative feelings about myself by making better choices instead of making excuses. I can choose how I feel and how I act and I can change the way that I live.

Don't bail when I've had a bad day. If I skip a workout, or eat crap, don't use it as an excuse to quit for the rest of the day or the week. Get back on the wagon as soon as it happens. Accept it and move on. I'm not perfect, life happens.

OK, let's turn this downward attitude around. Yes, I can do it!


Running Update:

Not great running this week.

Monday: Walked 3 km up hills.
Tuesday: Only ran 3km but did hills so back of shins were sore.
Thursday: Very tired, too busy, didn't have time to run. :(

This coming weekend: Still planning to do the Zen Run 10K.

Here's my bib image!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Extreme Makeover or just a healthy lifestyle?

And now for something completely different.

My friends were laughing at me the other day - they said I was going thru an extreme makeover. First the weight loss, then the fitness kick, then laser eye surgery, then the triathlon, and now braces. While I must admit I have done all those things in the past 2 years, an "extreme makeover" was never the intent.

The fitness and weight thing have always been goals - it's just that I was finally able to find an activity that motivated me enough to stick with it. It started with cycling, and then running, and finally triathlon. Yahoo!

The laser eye surgery has been a goal ever since it was first invented. Why now? I finally had the money and the motivation to do it - especially in relation to my outdoor activities as of late.

The braces? Well, they were DEFINITELY not on my "list of things to do before I die." But my dentist has convinced me that he will not be able to correct the ongoing wear of my front teeth without first realigning my jaw. He told me that a year ago. I've been thinking about it for a year. If I'd just gone ahead and done it a year ago, I'd only have one year left to wear the stupid things. At any rate, I have now decided to think of it all as another tough training session and just "get 'er done."


But today I want to write about the Laser Eye Surgery experience. Am I happy that I did it? Well the jury is still out on that one.

For anyone who has not read my blog, I had stage one of my laser eye surgery last March. Nothing at all has gone the way I expected but as you have probably noticed, I am always an optimist and have a great deal of patience. If I have to wait a year to find out if I am content, I'll wait a year.

A quick bit of background - my eyes were VERY near sighted, about -11 diopters in both eyes. That's like 20/4000 or something I think. Anyway, it's a bit of a dicey decision to go for laser eye surgery when you are that near-sighted. I was unable to do the Lasik so had to have PRK which means that instead of cutting and peeling back the epithelium layer before they laser, they actually completely remove the layer. This means that I have to grow that layer back. It takes a looong time and it's fairly painful, and it can come in uneven and cause abberations in vision (luckily that was not an issue for me.)

Because I was just beginning to lose my close-up vision for reading, I opted for mono-vision which means that my dominant eye is fully corrected and my non-dominant eye is slightly under-corrected. The idea is that the stronger eye takes over for distance vision while the under-corrected eye still allows me to read without reading glasses. In my case, I've been wearing a single contact in my right eye to bring it up to 20/20 while I wait for my second surgery.


• My eyes are currently -1.5 and although I have not yet had my 2nd surgery, I really can function without glasses now. I can even drive without contacts.

• I hated wearing glasses but more so, I hated wearing strong glasses that limited the style I could wear and distorted my face. That is no longer an issue.

• I can now wear good quality sunglasses, which is particularly important when I'm running and riding.

• I can see when I swim!!!!


• I will have to have two surgeries so while I wait the 4-6 months between surgeries, my eyes are not 20/20 (about -1.5 in each eye) and I still need to wear contacts or glasses.

• So far, I HATE mono-vision. My brain does not seem to want to have my right eye take over and things are still blurry and distorted. I am particularly uncomfortable riding my bike, especially at high speeds, so I have taken to wearing contacts in both eyes when I ride. If I still hate it in January, I will get the left eye touched up as well and live with reading glasses. (That's still better than regular glasses in my opinion.)

• The nerves in my eye are still extremely sensitive so I have a lot more pain and irritation that I used to. This makes wearing contacts much more difficult.

• I have severe stabbing eye pain on occasion, for no apparent reason. It comes out of the blue, stops me in my tracks, and then goes away in about 1-2 minutes.

• My eyes are extremely dry. I wake up two to three times in the middle of the night with one or both eyes 'glued' shut and I can't open them until I squeeze some Refresh drops into them.

Should YOU get laser eye surgery?

• If you have a moderate prescription, it's probably fine. If you have a high prescription, you have much more to consider, yet much more reason to do it, too.

• It does take a long time to get used to mono-vision if you opt for that (more likely if you are over 40). If not, you will have to wear reading glasses because laser surgery cannot correct for it.

• If you have Lasik, you will not be able to work for a few days after. If you have PRK, you will have severe pain for 2-3 days (Day 2 being the worst and rest is manageable) and you will not be able to function for 2-3 days. You may not be able to drive for 1-4 weeks.

• You can't swim for 3 weeks after.

So, I am now booked for my second surgery - November 6th. It won't be a fun weekend but hopefully, I'll have 20/20 vision in my right eye afterwards.



My running this week has been pretty good. I had to force myself to go out on Tuesday and Thursday but felt motivated on Saturday. My Saturday run was awesome. I ran the entire time and didn't have ANY GI issues. I only started to feel tired about the last 300m. I am hoping I'll be able to do 10K next weekend. I rode a hilly 30km later that day and my left glute is a bit knotted up. I think it will work itself out over the next day or so though.

Tuesday - 4km
Thursday - 5km
Saturday - 8km

This week, I plan to do the same but run the Zen 10k on Sunday. Will probably do it alone instead of paying to run the 10k at the Okanagan Marathon. Still could change my mind though...