Friday, January 30, 2009

7/25 Things about Me

My buddy Phil, from Twitter and founder of Runcast TV, tagged me recently. Now I have to blog 7 things about me. So it works like this, when you get tagged, you’re supposed to share 7 things about yourself that people don’t know. So here goes my 7:

1. My dad was killed in an industrial accident when I was 15 and the impact of that tragedy is something that still affects me today.

2. I quit high school half way through grade 12 and never did graduate, yet I now have a Masters degree in Educational Administration. Go figure. :)

3. I have had many jobs over my 30 years of adult life - waitress, dishwasher, cook when I was a teen; bartender, DJ, doorperson, and manager of a night club when I was 21; farming grain, sheep, and chickens in Saskatchewan in my 20's; small business manager, book keeper, new home construction in my 30's, elementary music specialist, and now, primary teacher.

4. I love to dance to loud music - anything with a good beat will do. If music starts playing, I start dancing no matter where I am.

5. I am huge procrastinator. That probably comes as no surprise.

6. I sometimes sit cross-legged on the kitchen counter drinking wine and eating garlic prawns.

7. I have a secret wish to be a rock star. I took piano lessons until grade 9 Royal Conservatory, taught myself how to play guitar as a teen, hack on a banjo, and played flute in band in high school. I love to sing but sadly, my voice is only good enough for choir and backup, not solo. Ah well...

And then a few days later, Lisa Survillas, tagged me in the 25 things about me - yikes - so I will add another 18 things below.

8. I believe red wine goes with any food.

9. I believe chocolate is a food group.

10. The best ten days of my life (so far) were spent riding through Provence for 10 days in July 2007.

11. My hubby and I got married under a huge old tree in the courtyard of our favourite restaurant.

12. I am on my 6th Mac computer.

13. I don't like lamb or duck or game yet I'm not a picky eater. I just don't like fancy restaurants.

14. I usually kick off my shoes where ever I go.

15. I sit cross-legged on all chairs, including stools.

16. I feel like a poser at most things in life.

17. I am very uncomfortable being in large groups of people. I have nothing interesting to say and usually sit in one spot hoping someone will come to me to talk.

18. When I was a kid, I was always the owner of the neighbourhood business, the leader of the club I had started, or the writer, director, of the play. No wonder they called me "bossy".

19. I like to be involved in the organization of things that interest me - I'm a do-er, not a watcher.

20. I watch the cooking channel if I'm ever home sick.

21. I had my tonsils out when I was 8, and bunions removed from both feet when I was 19.

22. I am addicted to twitter.

23. I love 'meeting' new people on social media. I met a group of women who were all pregnant with babies due in December 1997 and we are still connected online. I have only met 2 of them in real life.

24. The fastest I have ever gone on a bike is 68.1 kmh (42.3 mph)

25. On August 24, 2007, we rode 162 miles around the lake, and climbed about 4800' in elevation, including more than a dozen hills that were over 10% grade, in 7 hours, 15 minutes. Temp was 30+C (90F). Then, about 10k from home, I was stung by a wasp and had to go to the ER because I'm allergic. I was ok so after my release, I rode the last 10k home.

OK, so now I'm supposed to tag 7/25 people who are supposed to do the same thing. Trouble is - in the time it took me to finally sit down and do this, pretty well everyone I know has been tagged by somebody else. So I'm going to do it a different way.

If you read this, and you have a blog, consider yourself 'tagged'. Do this on your own blog, link it back to me, and let me know you've done that. I'll put a link to your blog in this post.

So far I have 'tagged.' Their names will be linked once their post is done.

John Frenette AKA Hellasound
Dan Medeiros AKA Blackfonzie from Nik and Dan's 4 Feet Running
Jeff Swain from "Running with the Pack"
Susan Knight from 99.9 SUN FM in Kelowna
Gary Wall from "Kinverkid"

Sunday, January 25, 2009

January 25th

Well I had a pretty good week in some ways, yet in other ways, not so much.

My shin splints continued to dog me - I did a walk/run with Erik last Sunday (he was starting his couch to 5k program) but my shins were pretty sore so we only did 4km. My run on Tuesday felt even worse and I only did 3km and then finally I decided to skip my Thursday run altogether in order to rest my lower legs. That proved to be the answer because on Saturday I felt much better and I was able to do just under 5km with only minimal leg soreness. I made sure I stretched and then wore my Zensah compression sleeves for the rest of the day after I ran, and I'm optimisic that I won't have any problems this coming Tuesday.

I rode the trainer for 1:15 on Monday and then another 45 minutes today. Today I tried something that I heard (but I can't remember where) for testing fitness level. I warmed up for about 10-15 minutes then got my heart rate up to mid zone 2 (about 144 bpm). I hit the lap button on my Garmin, noted the gear I was in, and rode for 10km trying to keep my heart rate as steady as possible. Today it took me 20:58. My goal is to do the same test ride on the trainer, in the same gear, and the same heart rate, and in theory, if my fitness level increases, my time for the same 10k should decrease. We'll see how it goes.

Swimming - swam on Wed 1500 m and today 1600 in 45 minutes each time. I feel good and the workouts on this plan are working for me.

Strength - ok this is where I am severely lacking. I just haven't been able to get back into the stride of doing my strength workouts, even though I now have a plan to follow. I will try harder to do that this week. I know that once I start, I'm usually able to stick with it. Hope so.

Diet - it sux. I'm not gaining any weight, but I'm not losing any either. I need to eat less.

Monday, January 19, 2009

January 19th

OK, I figured out the strength workout schedule.

Upper body weights, and pushups challenge on run days - T, Th, Su

Lower body weights, abs, core on swim/bike days - M, W, Sa

I tried doing the core workout in my new Strength Training for Triathletes book and some of them are SO hard! I did my best and will see improvement over time I'm sure.

I rode the trainer after work today. 1 hour 15 minutes in zone 2. I had the laptop on the aerobars and participated in the chatroom in the first Triathlete's Coffee Shop on Talkshoe while I rode. Mangorunner (Tri the Mango Podcast) initiated it I think. Mango, Coach Adam, Brett from Zentri, Triboomer, Jeff from the Age Grouper and at least one other I can't remember were the 'panel' and I had fun chatting with a few fellow triathletes in the chatroom. The whole thing was very much like Runners Round Table except at a better time of day. :) You can download the episode right now at the link above or wait and download it from the Tri the Mango Podcast.

I met JerseyWillTri who I now follow on twitter, and Average Bloke who has a triathlon podcast that I just downloaded.

So here's my adjusted plan for the week:

M - bike, abs, core, lower body
T - run, upper body, pushups
W - swim, abs, core, lower body
T - run, upper body, pushups
F - rest (or bike)
S - bike, swim, abs, core, lower body
S - run, upper body, pushups

Sunday, January 18, 2009

January 18th

Well I had a so-so week. My eating habits were up and down and I regained the one pound I *may* have lost the week before.

I missed my trainer ride Monday, I ran too hard on Tuesday, I swam Wednesday, and I did a short run on Thursday. Friday was my day off and I had a lovely dinner with my honey - garlic prawns, bruschetta, a baguette (oh, La Boulangerie, where have you gone?!!), and a wonderful bottle of Township 7 2006 Chardonnay. I'm normally not a big white wine fan but this was delish! Check them out - great local wines!

Saturday I did a one hour trainer ride and some upper body work, Sunday I ran 4km with Erik. My shins were killing me most of the time and I walked quite a bit (partly because it was Erik's first run). We recorded some audio for my next week's podcast. I hope it turns out.

I did not swim this weekend because there was a swim meet at the Y.

Plans for the upcoming week

M - trainer 30-60 min
T - run 3-5 k
W - swim 1400-1600 m
T - run 3-5 k
F - rest
S/S - trainer, run, swim

Somehow I have to fit in my core and upper body workouts. I have not been consistent in doing them. I'll work on that.

Secondary goal:

Get more sleep.
Drink more water.
Eat properly, more often,a nd lose at least 1/2 lb.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

January 15th

Went for a run today. Not the greatest - my shins hurt a lot so I only ran 3km. I guess it's from my harder run on Tuesday. I HATE MY LEGS! OK, got that out. So, back to doing all sorts of shins and lower leg stretches and strengthening.

It's all good. I'll be fine.

To celebrate I ate crap today. Not all the time, but more than I should have. Not a good sign when tomorrow's my regular crap-eating day. Hmm. I'll be good for breakfast and lunch for sure.

Crap = too much chocolate, spaghetti for supper, burger for lunch, cheese, crackers with butter, bites of hubby's dessert, a bit of candy, two handfuls of marshmallows, and probably other crap I've forgotten.

OK, no excuses, I'll be better tomorrow.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

January 14th

OK, that last post was in jest but I'm really still curious about Chris's middle names. :)

My training has been going well so far. I'm tired from work but I'm making myself get out there and do something everyday if I can. The only day I bailed was Monday - I was just so tired by the time I got home, I didn't get on the trainer as I had planned. I fell asleep instead. In the middle of playing a game of Yahtzee with my son. He had to wake me up to take my turn and it was at that moment that I knew my body was telling me something.

My current plan for now is:

M - Bike (45 min)
T - Run 30-40 min, upper body strength, pushups/situps
W - Swim, lower body strength (legs, squats, core)
T - Run 30-40 min, upper body strength, pushups/situps
F - rest
S - Run 45 min, bike (60-90 min), pushups/situps
S - Swim, lower body strength (legs, squats, core)

The strength stuff gets a moved around a bit and in theory, I'd like to get on the trainer more but it's hard to fit it all in.

I went for my run on Tuesday, after school with some friends. Running with other people forced me to speed up, a lot. We did 5k in 32:20. not fast overall but oh so much faster than I've been running of late. My shins are a tad sore today but not too bad. I hope they'll feel ok tomorrow so I can run again.

I am trying to record a podcast episode on the way to and from swimming, and on the trainer. That seems to work much better than running, as least for now.

My student teacher started teaching 30% this week and he's doing well. He'll be teaching 50% next week and I'll start to have some time on my hands. It'll be ncie to get my room cleaned up and reoranized while he's here.

Well that's all for now folks!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

January 10th

I have stuff to write here some time this weekend but I will update later. For now, we need to decide what Chris Russell's middle initials stand for.

If he won't tell us, maybe we should make something up!

Chris Y. T. K. Russell

Tell us your suggestions as a comment on this blog post!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Kelownagurl Tris Podcast

Hi everyone!

Thanks so much to everyone who has downloaded and listened to the first two episodes of my new podcast.

I have submitted the feed to itunes and it is now live and should be 'searchable' within a few days. (Maybe my Sunday or Monday?)

For now you can subscribe by going to my podcast blog and clicking on the "Subscribe with itunes" link on the right hand side of the page.

Click here to go to the Kelownagurl Tris Podcast blog.

My goal is to post a new episode every Sunday afternoon/evening. We'll see how that goes. :)

Thanks again for listening!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

January 7th

I guess a blog update is in order. I've had a 'not-bad' week so far.

Monday - sucked as far as eating was concerned. I didn't get organized on Sunday night and then once I starting "eating crap", I didn't stop. I did do a good strength workout Monday night though.

Tuesday - eating was excellent. Healthy breakfast and lunch, not perfect but ok supper (in a rush), NO BEER or SNACKIES at the bar after volleyball that night, and only one small chocolate. Approx 1400-1500 calories. (Here's Tuesday's food and exercise log at where I will be logging my intake for the next few weeks as I get my eatig habits back on track.) I went for a 4.1 km run after work, then played volleyball (not too vigorously :) in the evening.

Wednesday - Another good eating day, so far. I'm starving right now and trying hard not to cave to cravings. Luckily it's 10:30 pm and I need to go to bed. Click here for today's food log. I went to the YMCA and did my first swim in 3 months this afternoon. I was VERY tired all day but made myself go, with a little help from my friends on Twitter. I was amazed that after the first 4 lengths, I felt like I hadn't been away from the pool. I guess it's like riding a bicycle. Yay!

The Kelownagurl Tris Podcast

On the podcasting front - I have been recording bits and pieces all week and will spend some time putting it together this weekend with the hope to post Episode 3 on Sunday afternoon/evening. I continue to waver between confidence and insecurity throughout this whole thing though. Idiot. I hate that aspect of my personality. Ah well, soldier on, and continue to do things that scare the shit out of me... :)

If you've listened to my first two episodes and have any suggestions, questions, ideas for things you'd like to hear, or comments, please email me! I've had a few requests to talk about cycling/bikes for beginner triathletes but I welcome any other ideas.

For now, you can download, and even subscribe to, the Kelownagurl Tris Podcast at I hope to get the hosting thing set up this weekend and get linked to itunes ASAP. Thanks for your patience and encouragement!

Big thanks to Dan (@blackfonzie of 4 Feet Running Podcast) and Nigel (@Nigelrunner of Running with the Reaper Podcast) for their wonderful technical support. Also to Rob (@Ultradad of the Ultradad Podcast) for answering my many questions. And a big thank you to Chris Russell (@cyktrussell of the Run Run Live Podcast) for his kind shoutout on Episode 49 of his podcast. You guys are awesome!! I also want to thank the many people who sent me emails, DM's, twitter messages, and comments at with nice things to say about my first attempts. It made a HUGE difference - thank you!

Update: I also have to add a big hug to the Scarborough Dude who gave me a wonderful plug on his podcast Dicksnjanes this week. Thank you so much, and YES! get on that bike this spring! I will hold you to that! (I love his podcast but if you decide to give it a listen, be forewarned that he uses the F word frequently, LOL... :)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

January 4th

The end of a two week vacation....

I spent a good part of it a school today, getting organized for the week. While I was at school, I recorded an second episode for my podcast and then spent several hours playing around with it in Garageband. I'm still learning the program and I ended up messing up the whole thing so I had to start over after dinner. By the time I was done, I was sick of listening to it and barely had the courage to upload it.

I've been looking into the various options for hosting a podcast, most are reasonably priced or even free. Given my tendency to insecurity, I may go with the free version in case it doesn't work out and nobody ever listens.... :)

All of this will be moving to a permanent home in the next few weeks. I bought an Olympus VN5200PC voice recorder and I'm going to order a Giant Squid lapel mic as soon as I can. I hope to be able to put out a podcast every Sunday night. That'll give me time to record some audio during the week, and edit it on the weekend.

What'll it be about? Me - mostly swim, bike, run, healthy eating - all from from a newbie woman's perspective, but also thrown into the mix - my life - teaching, being a mom and a wife, my dogs, my cat... who knows?

So, here's the link to Kelownagurl Tris Podcast Episode #2.

Show Notes:

• I review my rough training plan for the next 2-3 months.

• I mention:

• I interview my husband, Erik, about his goals for 2009.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

January 3rd

Well, my first podcast seems to have gone over fairly well. I had lots of positive comments from my friends and didn't receive any hate mail so it's all good!

I bought an Olympus VN-5200 PC today (a digital voice recorder) so I can record away from my home computer. I think it could come in handy for all sorts of things besides podcasting. I took with me on a run today and put the audio together for Episode #2 but I wasn't happy with it so I have not posted it yet. I am going to listen to it again on my ipod tonight and see how it sounds but I'm pretty sure I'm going to re-record it once more and try to speak more slowly and more clearly. And I'll try not to sniff so much. It's cold and I always have a runny nose when I run, what can I say? :)

I will eventually upload my podcast to a hosting site and connect with itunes, but for now, you can download (or even subscribe on itunes via "dropcast") by going to (note the "i" in girl).

I hope to upload Episode #2 later this week.

A huge thank you to everyone who has listened and sent me feedback! I'm working on the volume issue - I know that for some of you, the volume is a bit low. Hopefully I can tweak the problems over the next week or so.

Thanks ffor listening and feel free to email me constructive criticism at


My workout today? A 4.7 km run in 39:20. Still trying to stay slow and steady, taking walk breaks to avoid shin pain.

Oh, and I did the new 200 Situps Challenge exhaustion test. 100 crunches before I got tied (and bored). I've been doing 5 sets of 2-30 crunches for a long time so this should be much easier for me than doing 100 pushups. (I am once again repeating Week 5 for the pushups challenge.)

Friday, January 2, 2009

January 2nd ~ goals and such

Really, my goals for this upcoming year are pretty simple - continue with what I've been doing for the past year or two, and build on that. It's been working for me!

I am constantly adapting my goals to match reality so I am pretty flexible but I have to start somewhere so today I will outline my rough plan for the year, and start figuring out my training plan for the next month or so.

If you read my blog, you probably know that last year, my goal has to been to gradually increase my running mileage after my triathlon so that I could run a half marathon in the fall. Well that just didn't happen - my body still fights even small increases in speed and distance, and I'm just not going to be able to focus on a half iron triathlon for 2009.

I did a lot of thinking over the past 6 weeks and have decided that my strength really does seem to be in the shorter races - 5ks, and sprint triathlons. If I move to longer distances, I will be able to finish them but I won't be competitive. I figure I only have a couple of years to be competitive in racing so maybe right now I will focus on getting faster instead of going further.

It hard to believe that I will be able make any dramatic gains as I have the past few years, but even cutting off a few minutes would make me hapy at this point. Although it would be nice to podium, I'm mostly interested in just improving my time from August 2008. Making the podium is beyond my control - it really just depends on who races next year.

If I had done the same time for the sprint in 2007, I would have been in first place in my age group (the winning time for my age group in 2007 was 1:37:09.) In 2008, my goal was to do 1:35 and I surprised myself by coming in at 1:30. But the winning times for the 45-49 age group in 2008 were 1:13:20 (and she came in 4th overall!) followed by 1:17:01 and 1:27:26. There's no way I could come close to the first two times, but I might be able to be closer to 1:25 if I worked hard. Anyway, my goal is to PR the race, regardless of who will be racing against me.

So - I want to do 2-3 sprint triathlons next summer - possibly the Oliver Sprint in May, and maybe one other as a warm up. My "A" race will definitely the Apple Triatlon at the end of August.

I will also do a few 5-10k running races throughout the season, some to race and some for fun as a training run. They are always good to help work out the nerves.

As far as health and fitness goes, I need to lose 5 lbs again, and get back into my healthy eating habits. That's not too hard to do. I try to eat healthy all year long but I relax and enjoy life when I'm on holiday - March break, Christmas, and on and off throughout the summer. I also allow myself one day a week to eat out or have less healthy meals - because I think mental health is just as important as physical health.

The Nitty Gritty

1. Focus on increasing speed and strength. PR in sprint triathlon.

2. Continue to work up core and upper body strength, as well as balancing out my leg strength by doing some of the exercises my PT recommended. Do pushups, crunches, upper body weights at home, core (plank etc, stability ball, yoga), squats and other lower body exercises.

3. Swim 2-3X a week. Take another set of lessons. Focus on form and start to increase speed. New pool opens in April. - can't wait! Get in the lake earlier.

4. Run 3X a week. Follow a roughly similar to Galloway's 25 minute 5k plan. More on that later.

5. Ride the trainer 2X a week in zone 2, as well as intervals and drills until end of February. Get outside on mountain bike as soonas weather allows and back on road bike as soon as roads allow.

6. Eat mediterranean style diet - fruits, veg, whole grains, lean meat (more fish and poultry, less red meat), nuts and seeds, good fats.

7. Drink more water and green tea. Wine on weekends. One cup of coffee per day (with cream and sugar)

8. Take Vitamin C and E, glucosamine, calcium, and fish oil.

9. Enjoy life!


Today - I'm feeling pretty good after my ride yesterday but my knees are a bit sore so I don't think I'll run today. I'm also stiff in the shoulders and have a sore butt but all are survivable. I'll do some kind of workout later today - probably upper body strength.


Update: OK, I didn't get around to working out but I did do a one-shot podcast recording tonight. I just sat there and talked steady for 25 minutes with a little intro and outro (?) music. I was tempted to cut and paste and re-record but decided that once I started trying to 'fix' things, I'd never stop. Hopefully, most of it is tolerable and hopefully, if I do more 'episodes' later, they'll get better.

For this first episode I just talked about who I am, where I've come from, and a little about where I'm going. I guess I'm thinking I'd like to do a podcast with a woman's perspective on triathlon, fitness, and life in general, and yet still interesting enough for male triathletes or runners to listen to as well.

I listened to it once and didn't cringe too much so I guess I'm just going to throw it out there and see what happens.

Oh, and the sound isn't perfect. I need to learn to stay closer to the mic and I have to figure out the volume settings a bit better because sometimes I fade out a bit. Sorry about that. Maybe first time podcasts aren't always that great right? LOL...

To download, just go to (note it's kelownagirl with an "i". Just to be confusing.)

(There I go, scaring the crap outta myself again. :)

No use putting money out for libsyn or podbean until I know this is something I can actually do. LOL...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

January 1st, 2009!

Wow, a whole new year to play with! How cool is that?

I got up late-ish again this morning (9:30+?) and had coffee and breakfast. By 11am I was in my bike gear and challenging my hubby to a 100km trainer ride extraordinaire! We each have a CycleOps 2 Fluid trainer side by sidein the basement so we got all set up with water bottles, snacks, and movies and hit the pedals. Every 10km, I posted my progress on twitter and it was fun reading the encouraging comments on the itouch as we rode.

I had one gel after the first hour and then after 50km, I stopped to stretch a bit and grab a snack (a bowl of cold mashed potatoes and salt, and a couple of cookies) and then I was back on the bike. We watched Ironman (the movie, not the race) and then The Perfect Storm. By the 70km mark, my butt was pretty sore and I ran out of chamois cream but I kept at it. The last 20 km got harder and the final 10km were actually painful on my quads. I could normally do a 100km ride without too much trouble, especially when I'm sticking around 25 kmh, and zone 2 HR, but I only rode 40km in December and not a whole lot more than that in the two months previous, so it was a bit of a stretch to do 100km straight.

That's what I like - a challenge!!!

I definitely wouldn't have gone past 50km if Erik wasn't riding alongside me, and if I wasn't tweeting my progress as I went, because the committment forced me to keep on going. It was a great way to start the new year!

I still haven't got my goals and training plan written down yet but I think I'll be able to get that done tomorrow some time.

I do know I want to swim 2X a week, ride the trainer 2X a week, and run 3X a week, plus do strength, core, and yoga exercises. Part of the strength workout will be to continue the Pushups Challenge and start the 200 Situps Challenge. I just have to figure out how to fit it all in.

I also need to get back to healthy eating, drink more water, take my vitamins, get more sleep, and lose 5lbs. That's not too much to ask is it?

Of course not!!! :)