Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Training Totals

Beginner Triathlete gives a nice summary of your training along the left hand side of the screen. The downside is that it only shows this year and the previous year so the info chart from the years before is no longer available. You can go in and do a search to get subtotals but I like the chart they have alongside better.

2010 Totals


100h 50m 17s

2366.49 KM


88h 00m 43s

690.33 KM


45h 37m 53s

96600 M


6h 05m

Core Training:

1h 30m

Elliptical Training:

8h 50m


2h 15m


2h 00m


1h 10m

Skate Skiing:

7h 45m




1h 30m




7h 50m

2009 Totals


102h 06m 13s

2152.08 KM


65h 42m 47s

502.33 KM


20h 10m

41250 M


9h 52m

Core Training:



2h 20m

Elliptical Training:

4h 03m


2h 00m


2h 25m 29s






1h 42m

Stationary Biking :



1h 15m




5h 50m

2008 Totals


117h 51m 59s

2743.65 KM


62h 18m 13s

508.07 KM


36h 38m 01s

64450.00 M


26h 35m


24h 05m

2007 Totals


155h 13m 29s

3472.71 KM


18h 04m 02s

156.36 KM




3h 00m


3h 35m

Saturday, December 25, 2010


I was tagged by Stuart of the Quadrathon Blog and Podcast. If you are reading this, consider yourself tagged and leave a comment below, with a link to your blog post.

Merry Christmas to all!!!

1. What are you most proud of accomplishing in 2010?

I know a lot of people might think that I should be proudest of finishing my first half iron in June, but although that was an accomplishment, I'm never really content or proud of simply "finishing" a race. I don't like going into a race simply to survive it - I much prefer to do my best training and come close to a reasonable goal time. I'm really not so concerned about where I place in my age group as I am about meeting goal times that are possible for me.

So that being said, I guess my proudest moment this year is the Oliver Sprint Tri last May. It was the first time I had a good swim, bike, AND run in the same race. It was my fastest triathlon run and as a bonus, it was the first time I actually 'podiumed' in a race.

A very close second is my first half marathon in October - although I again had some ITB issues, I was able to overcome the pain and finish in a reasonable-for-me time.

I should probably mention I'm also pretty proud of swimming across the lake this summer. It was more of a mental accomplishment than a physical one. :)

2. What are your running goals for 2011?

My first goal is to do a decent half iron in Oliver in June 2011. That means I'd be happy to have the same swim and bike time as last year but knock at least 30 minutes off my run - in other words, actually run the whole thing. :)

My second goal is to run a full marathon in October 2011. This one is kind of a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) because I don't know if I can actually accomplish that goal this year but I'll give it a good shot. OK, I know, yes, I can run a marathon next fall - but as I mentioned above, I'm not interested in simply surviving a race - I'm not going out with the intention of running a 5:30-6:00+ marathon. I think a reasonable goal would be 4:30-5:00 and if I can't even come close to that, then I'd prefer to keep plugging away at my running and wait another year.

3. What is your favorite race?

My favourite race is actually the Oliver Sprint Tri - it's fun, it's not too big, and it's early enough in the season that I haven't had summer vacation get into the way of my training. Plus you win a wine glass - I need a second place glass next year to complete my set. ;)

4. What is your most embarrassing running moment?

I've been thinking about this one a lot - trying hard to think of a time when I've been embarrassed during a run. For most people it's a bathroom break issue but I guess I've been lucky in that regard. I supposed my most embarrassing moment running was when I tripped and rolled through a deep mud puddle when was running along the highway down in Osoyoos last summer. It was embarrassing mainly because the trucker driving by, must have seen me go down. It happened so fast, I just suddenly found myself sitting hip deep in the middle of a puddle. I was a little scraped but the worst of it was the drowning of my ipod.

My most embarrassing cycling moment was running into the back of a parked truck after doing hill repeats on Steel one afternoon. Lesson learned - don't hang your head down even for a moment when you are tired. Luckily I wasn't going very fast.... ;)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Lessons Learned

I wouldn't run or ride my bike for 2 1/2 hours on my first day out - why would I think it was ok to skate ski for 2 1/2 hours on my first day? LOL...

Actually, my legs felt pretty good over the next couple of days after my first ski, but my inner thighs/groin? Not so much. I've got old scar tissue at the attachment of my psoas or sartorious that has been there for about 4 years. The only time I can feel pain is when I pull my left knee towards my chest but it doesn't bother me when I swim, bike, or run. However, in the act of skate skiing, there is a lot of lateral movement, and this exacerbated my old injury. I didn't feel it at the time, but the next day, when I bent down to pick something up off the floor, the tendon "slipped" and hurt like crazy for about 2 minutes. I was literally lying on the floor, with tears in my eyes waiting for the pain to stop. Once the spasm stopped, I was able to get up and cautiously move around. Once I knew it could happen, I moved very carefully for the next few days. It seemed the most likely way to make it slip was to turn my knee outward.

Four days later, on Wednesday night, I had a repeat- only this time with the other leg. I had just got into the car and I shifted my hips to adjust my position so I could drive home. Something slipped in my right hip and I had severe pain on both the inner and outer thigh. I couldn't lift my knee without pain, and had to use my left foot to brake the car. Luckily I was only 10 minutes from home and once I got home, it began to relax and in about an hour or so, it was back to normal.

I was supposed to have my first actual ski lesson the very next day and I highly suspected I wouldn't be able to participate. I was afraid that the movement of my leg in the skating motion would trigger the same severe groin pain. However, I went to the lesson anyway and told the instructor what was up and that I was going to be careful and see how things went. I found I was able to do most of the ski lesson with no trouble and I was just extra careful not to fall because I think the main thing that hurt me in the first place was forcing myself to get up without help after falling (before I had been taught how to do so properly).

Two days later, we went up to Telemark again and practiced everything we had learned at our lesson. I really felt like I was getting the hang of it - I even skated the short easy trails with Jesse and Erik. I was still afraid of going too fast downhill, mainly because I was afraid of falling and tearing one of those sore groin muscles, so I went over to a gentle hill, and did hill repeats. I went 1/4 way and skied down. Then I went 1/2 way and skied back down. And so on all the way up the hill until I had skied down it 3 times without feeling too nervous.

Our next lesson is this coming Thursday night so I think I will stretch and rest until then instead of going out again. I have a cold right now anyway so it might be best to get healthy and feel good on Thursday.

I posted a video of me "skiing" on my Posterous blog. Click here to take a look.

OK back to cooking, cleaning, shopping, wrapping, sniffling, coughing, and whining...

PS Here's a great shot Erik took of the lunar eclipse. He actually held the camera up to the binoculars - amazing!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A New Level of Incompetence?

If you thought I was bad at mountain biking, you should have seen me skate skiing today. I tried so hard and I was SO uncoordinated. Erik was off hitting the trails within a short time and managed to skate twice the distance I did during our 2 1/2 hours up at Telemark, while I plugged away, "skating" back and forth on the flat "Stadium" where the kids take their lessons. I watched all those videos that made it look so easy before I left and had tips and ideas written down on a paper that I carried with me, but holy moly, was it ever hard! Balance, strength, body awareness, control - all so important. I can really see how skate skiing is an excellent cross training sport for triathletes and I hope to get out and do it regularly this winter.

For those of you who don't know what skate skiing is, I've inserted a couple of YouTube videos below, but in short, you don't follow a straight track, you move your legs as if you are ice skating. The skis are narrower and a little shorter, and they are waxed differently so that they are slick all the way down and have no grip on them so you can glide and push off from side to side. The poles are longer than XC ski poles.

There are several styles of skate skiing, all involve different ways to use your poles.
This was the style I was trying to do.

Erik bought himself a nice pair of skate skis last spring but I decided to try it a few times first before I spend any money. Luckily, my friend Carmelle just got a new pair of skis and boots so she lent me her old ones to use for awhile. The boots fit me well but the skis are a little bit long for me because she is taller, and I had to use my XC ski poles which are about 10 cm (4") too short - but overall, the fit was good enough to be able to get out there and have a good day trying it out.

Today, the conditions were quite good, with groomed packed snow, not too soft, not icey. Air temperature was perfect, only -3C (26F) so my winter running clothes worked well. I did put a pair of lined nylon track pants on over top of my Sugoi Sub Zero running tights, and I wore long sleeved base layer, Mid Zero jersey, and my windbreaker up top. The only clothing issue was my gloves. I don't have a good pair of mitts for skiing so I had to wear gloves and my fingers got quite cold a few times.

For the first 45-60 minutes we just went back and for trying to get our legs and arms moving in some coordinated kind of way. Soon, Erik was able to skate ski across the stadium with relative competence. I decided to toss my poles and try freestyle skate skiing. It was a little harder to keep my balance without my poles but I was also unable to rely on them so I started to get the feeling much more quickly. Soon I was able to skate, albeit slowly, across the stadium. I did that a few times then I got my poles and tried again. Now that I had a better feel for it, I was able to do much better. Erik said he was going to try an easy trail again so I decided to join him this time. I did ok on the flats, but I really struggled on the few gentle inclines and declines. Back to stadium for me.

Again I tossed the poles and practiced without them and again I found it much easier when I picked up the poles again. This was definitely a good strategy. We were up there for about 2 1/2 hours plus a short snack and bathroom break and by the very, very end, I was kind of getting the feel and could skate ski across the stadium ad back a few times without too much trouble.

This is a video of free skating, without poles,
which I found really helpful in getting the feel for skating.

Before I started, I was mostly worried about how to stop, but a much bigger issue turned out to be how to get up once you've fallen. I didn't seem to be able to unclip my boots from my skis when I was on the ground so I had to find a way to use my poles to push me up. It was NOT easy and I struggled quite a bit the 3-4 times I fell. I was worried about pulling a groin or twisting my knee when I fell because you feel like you are quite locked in with those boots. I guess I need to learn more about that before I go out next time.

Anyway, in 2 1/2 hours, I skied just under 6 km. I was wearing my Garmin but I had it set to stay on continuously, even when I was stopped.

So there you have it - I need shorter skis, longer poles, better mitts, and more coordination.

Can't wait until next time!

Here's a little snowman I painted today. I think he's probably a better skier too. ;)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

December 9

I went to a funeral this afternoon - for a man whose life was stolen by alzheimer's. We have another friend who is now in the early stages - such an awful disease.


I've been out running - short and easy - only 30 minutes on Tuesday because I had to get back in time to take the boy to guitar lessons. I figured a 30 minute run was better than nothing. Shins are still dicey but ok.

Today I did the "Leg and Core" workout at home. I've been able to adapt most of the exercises and do them using the exercise ball and the therapy bands. I haven't been as consistent as I'd like, but I think I'm getting back on track now. Maybe blogging will help.


Today is the third day in a row I've not eaten meat. I wasn't planning to go vegetarian, in fact I'm still not, but it is interesting. It's not that hard to go meatless for breakfast and lunch - I do that most days - but it is a bigger challenge to not eat meat at dinner time. It's not so much that I love meat - I could probably live without it most of the time - but it's such a pain in the ass making two different meals - one for the boys and one for me. Some things are simple to make meatless, but others are not.

Last night we had burgers and I realized that I usually only eat half the meat in mine anyway, so I decided to make a big pile of fried mushrooms and build myself a mushroom, cheese, and veggie burger. It was delish! I liked it MUCH better than hamburger.

Today, I made chili and I bought a package of that fake Ground Round from the soy department. I didn't tell the boys, and I put a lot more veggies in that I usually do. The chili was great and although they did eventually notice the meat was a bit "different", they said it tasted great and agreed I could make it again.

So now that I have had 3 days of no meat, how many can I go? My only concern is how to get enough protein - I believe I need at least 60-70 grams of protein per day and I don't know how I can get that much without eating meat once in awhile. I do still eat dairy products (plain unflavoured yogurt in the morning, 1 % cottage cheese for lunch), but I need to do some calculating and figure out how much protein I would get if I cut out meat.

Undiscovered Talents

On Wednesday, I went to a water colour painting workshop to teach us how to teach kids. Of course, in order to teach painting, we need to experiment ourselves. I was so frustrated at first - I couldn't make the brush do what I wanted but after a bit of playing around, I started to have some success and I managed to make a couple of Christmas cards. I left wanting to head to the art store to buy paint and brushes and watercolour paper. I don't have that natural artistic ability that my super artsy kids have - they can pick up a pencil and scribble and suddenly an image blossoms on the page. Me - I can only copy other people's work - I don't seem to have that creative vision. However, I had a lot of fun and I think it would be great to sit down for a few hours every now and again and play with paint..

Here's my favourite - Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 5, 2010


It's funny - when I don't blog every day or so and let too much time pass, it's so hard to get started again. I don't seem to know where to start and so I don't.

Anyway, I'm going to start again and I think I'm going to do what I did at this time last year - blog a short post every day, writing what I've done for a work out. That will make me more accountable to get it done. I have big goals for next year but somehow, I don't seem to have the wherewithal to get it done right now. I procrastinate when I get home from work, and the next thing you know, I'm tired and it's too late to work out.

That's not to say I've been doing nothing - I have been running. Funny how I love running so much that it's never something I have to get up the motivation to do. I don't know why I love it - by all estimations, I should hate it - I'm not even any good at it - but still I persevere.

Fall and Early Winter

Going back to school signals the end of the triathlon season for me. This year, it was extended long enough for me to do the Victoria Half Marathon, however marginally, and with any luck next year, I will do the Okanagan Marathon in the same October weekend. But other than that, I seem to lose interest in triathlon training in the fall as my life shifts back to a focus on school and my body decides it needs a break. I don't want my body to take a break - I want to keep on doing some form of exercise at least five days a week, even if it's something completely different from swim/bike/run, but it just doesn't seem to happen. I don't seem to be able to figure out how to equalize my training enthusiasm so that it stays steady for a whole year. I know it's normal to need a few weeks off now and again but I find that once I take a break, I have a hard time getting back into serious training. Right now, it just seems like a relief that I don't have to swim, and the thought of heading down to the "Triathlon" room to ride the trainer seems daunting. And so I run.


After the season was over, I met my physio therapist at the gym and he tested my strengths and weaknesses. Not surprisingly, my quads and calves are strong and my glutes and hamstrings are weak. In addition, I need to strengthen my core and abs so I don't have lower back pain caused by my spondylolisthesis. Roy created a strength workout with a focus on legs and core and suggested I do it twice a week. I'm able to do the workout at the gym using machines, and at home using my ball and bands and I've tried (but not hard enough) to do it twice a week as he suggested. My goal for December is to stick to that plan.

At first, the lunges and steps were killing my legs and I could barely walk for 1-2 days after the workout so that was affecting my running. I went back to doing the workout with body weight only and that helped a lot. I think I'm ready to add back the hand weights so today I used small 3 lb weights. We'll see how I feel tomorrow. I've decided to go on a 3 day schedule and repeat it - run, weights, trainer ride. That will give me a day's rest after my weight training so it doesn't affect my run.

Diet and Weight

I am not eating as well as I could. I'm not doing badly - my breakfast, lunch and daytime snacks are good and I am drinking lots of water. I've been making regular dinners for the boys and eating smaller portions of dinner but I have also freely been eating junk when it's there. Someone brings treats to work, I eat some. If there are cookies or chips in the house, I indulge. This adds something in the neighbourhood of 300-500 extra calories per day that I do not need. Couple that with less training and you can see where this is leading.

I have gained five lbs since the summer. Well actually, I gained two pounds during the summer and another three this fall. If I eat what I feel like, I could easily gain twenty pounds in a year. It's a constant battle. Normally I don't let myself gain more than three pounds before I cut back calories but this time I managed to let five pounds slip on before I noticed. And now I have Christmas staring me in the face. My goal will have to be to maintain my current weight for the month of December and then get back on track in January. It'll take me 3-4 months to lose the weight that I could easily gain in a month. Being female sucks sometimes.


My dad died 35 years ago today, December 5, 1975. He was killed when a rotten log broke off and hit him where he was running the saw at Eburne Sawmill in Vancouver, BC. I am still sad when I think about it. Sad and angry. He went to work one day and just never came home. I was 15.

I did talk to him on the phone that afternoon. I was learning to play guitar and I had learned a new song. My Dad called home to chat with my Mom while he was on his dinner break and I insisted that she hold the phone to my guitar so I could play the song for him over the phone. I knew that it couldn't wait until the next day.

That night I was cheerleading at a basketball game at school. Near the end of the game, my best friend saw my Dad standing across the gym watching the game and pointed him out. He was wearing his blue work clothes and carrying his lunch kit. I figured the mill had broken down and he had come home early, stopping by the school on his way home. Our team scored a point and we jumped back into action and when I looked back, he was gone. My friend and I were both surprised that he wasn't there any more but we decided that it must have been someone else.

An hour later, back at home, the police came to tell us that Dad had been killed. The time of the accident was about the same time that we had seen him at the school. I don't know what I believe, but maybe he came to say goodbye. I think Dad hung around for a few weeks after he died. There were several other strange happenings. Yes, I suppose they are just weird coincidences but it helped my 15 year old mind to think he was close by.

Losing my Dad at that age really screwed me up for a few years. I made a lot of bad decisions, I made my mom's life harder than it already was. She had four teenagers and I was doing nothing to set a good example for my younger siblings. Somehow, I managed to turn my life around and do some good but it was a hard struggle.

Anyway, I guess I just want to say that if you have kids - take care of yourself. Be safe. Don't take risks. Be healthy. Your kids need you.

I still miss you Dad and I love you very much. I hope you are proud of the way I turned out.