Saturday, July 19, 2014

cheapest form of therapy... dancing and blogging... who knew?

4 yrs ago to the weekend
I LOVE this dress
I was dancing around the house this morning, yes, I am admitting this. I dance around the house when the song is just right and sometimes this happens when I'm not home alone, my husband can attest to this and if the cats are REALLY lucky I might scoop one up and carry them along for the ride.  So there some of my secret at home behavior is out there for the Internets to see! lol

Anyway I was dancing around and happen to catch my reflection in the mirror.  It was then I realized how much my body is changing and after the song finished I decided to see just where I'm at.  I have this fantastic blue dress I bought for a friends wedding four years ago and haven't been able to wear it since.  Well I pulled that little blue number out of the back of the closet and wiggled into it! I wouldn't go as far to wear it out just yet but I got that little baby on and zipped up! No way would I be able to sit down in it, but as far as it goes for a measure in how much my body has changed over the past three years or so, it was perfect!

I don't always take the time to sit back and really appreciate all the things I have accomplished.  When I finally do stop to take a breath and actually acknowledge my accomplishments I have to say it feels pretty damn good! I guess that's why it's so important to have goals, know what they are and to have them written down so you can come back them and sit back and acknowledge them.  Sometimes you might not hit them bang on but you can appreciate what you did accomplish and learn from the mistakes and try again.   And for me, sometimes I don't truly learn the lesson until I sit down at my desk and blog about it lol I get it now! I get it!  Who knew having a little ol' blog could be so therapeutic.

So for the three of four of you that are following along on my crazy adventures today is truly a sneak peak at what goes on in my head...I'll understand if you stop reading after today ;)  Oh and feel free to add a comment once in a while folks.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

What am I racing for?

As you know, I had some homework from last week.  I had to sit down and really think about my goals for August 17th.  What was it I was truly aiming for because while yes, crossing the finish line is the ultimate goal that's not the only one.  After I came up with my list and I had go back and really examine it to make sure everything was actually achievable for this race and I wasn't setting myself up for failure.   

So after two rounds of my edits and two different people's review here is my list of goals for this year's Ironman race:
  • Enjoy race day and everything in between and have fun! I've earned it.                                  
  • Finish the swim within 1.5 hours      
  • Stay on the bike when climbing the back 16k (both times)                
  • Start the run by 5pm with transition times that means finishing the bike in 8 hours.  (this leaves 7 hours for the marathon)       
  • Run the first loop and run as much as possible for the second loop        
  • Finish strong between 15:30 and 16:40
  • Follow the nutrition plan on the bike  - at least 1 bottle of water per hour, 1 salt per hour if needed
I feel calm today, quite calm when I consider how I felt last Tuesday.  Even though this weekend I had some tough times while training, they passed and I am that much stronger because of those struggles.  So much, if not 90% of the training and even the race is all about mental strength.  It's learning how to dig deep within yourself to find what you need to get through the workout or the day.  What you need changes throughout the course of race day but one thing that must remain is the belief in yourself to finish.  I lost that last year, somewhere out on the second bike loop and I let it consume me and crush my spirit.  This year that isn't going to happen.  This year has been such a different year in comparison, next year will be too. But when I sit back and think about all the strides I've made I really couldn't be happier.  I feel ready. I feel calm. I feel prepared.  Sure there is still a little fear, I would be lying if I said I wasn't a tiny bit nervous but that is to be expected.  I mean, who are we kidding here it's still a huge challenge. Its still 226 km of swimming, biking and running within 17 hours! That's insane, but I LOVE it!

Monday, July 14, 2014

dark places

Saturday was a looooong ride, in total it was 149 km.  I learned a couple things on this ride.  Full G gatorade is not my friend! Note to self: DO NOT DRINK THIS.  It will turn my stomach faster than anything else. I also learned that I am capable of pulling myself out of the dark place before it was too late.  To do this, I need to take inventory and ask myself honestly is what I'm feeling physical or just mental.  Usually, it's just mental and you can come out of the dark place and leave it out there on the road.  I also learned how important fresh scenery is and to not be afraid of trying new routes and going on adventures in cycling.

Sunday was a looooong run and I was fortunate enough to get another lesson in finding the strength to crawl out from the dark place in my mind.  I almost packed it in and quit at 15km.  It was HOT yesterday, my water was hot and my mood was dark.  I went to go back and re-read an email from my coach and that's when I called in the Calvary and messaged a couple of my Ironman friends.  They wouldn't give me permission to quit and that was what I needed to hear.  I admit I had some tears after I read one of their messages but I regained composure and kept on going.  They sent me a few more notes and I was able to dig deep, way down and find what I needed to keep pushing it.  Around the 3 hour mark I really got my wind back in my sails and was actually starting to enjoy the run.  I decided regardless of distance I was calling it at 4 hours...that was enough out there.  I ended up at the snack shack, refilled my bottles and turned back to wrap it up.

If it wasn't for their encouragement I would have called it back there at Guelph Line and then beaten myself up for quitting.  I'm so happy they will be there in Quebec as I know they will help me through on race day.    I know they probably won't see this but, I say thank you anyway ladies, there in person or even just through messenger you are a great support crew and I couldn't do this without you!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

stir it up, little darling, stir it up - Thanks Bob and youtube

My head was spinning yesterday for a good part of the day.  I realized it this morning, that he stirred up a LOT of emotions I have been carrying around and since last year.  I suppose part of this was motivating me to push myself harder this year but that isn't always the best way to go about things.

For the past few weeks I was already starting to feel the pre-race butterflies and getting way to amped up this early in the game.  I was starting to feel aches and pains when I really shouldn't be.  I was pushing way too hard at the wrong times, focusing too much on the wrong things and not truly listening to the advice I was given.  I heard them, but I wasn't listening.

I had an appointment yesterday morning and after the treatment he sat down and we talked a lot about what's going on my head right now and what I need to do to make sure I prepare properly.  I have been putting so much pressure on myself for the past year for fear of history repeating itself. I have been driving myself and pushing myself too hard for too long and by doing this, getting myself worked up.   It's time I calm down, settle down and just relax, breath and believe.

So on that note, I took the day off from training yesterday, went and had myself some retail therapy followed by some wine therapy with a great friend.  It was just what I needed when I needed it.  I started making a list of goals for the race this year too, that was my homework. Some are time related and some aren't and I think for me, both are important.  This year is about so much more than just finishing. It's about taking care of unfinished business, getting my medal, getting my title, finisher shirt and hat and let's not forget that tat!  But with all this in mind, it doesn't mean I need to get worked up about it now, not yet, not until it's time.

Every year is going to be different with different lessons.  For now I will enjoy the journey for what it is, what is is for me this year, for this race.  

On the path to the Ironman, the journey is different for everyone. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Ironman Mont Tremblant Training weekend

My friend and training partner Jules and I ventured to beautiful Mont Tremblant for a weekend full of Ironman training.  We realized on the way there that the one way trip would take as long to drive as we were going to spend o our bikes!

We ventured outside Friday morning rolling into the village around 6 or 7 pm. We unloaded the car and brought our mound of gear up to the hotel room which was more like a condo.  Had some dinner and basically called it a night.

Saturday we were planning on getting a 160 km bike ride in. This would have been two loops of the race course.  We loaded up the car and headed over to the parking lot near transition and got ready to roll.  The loop went pretty well, I was pushing and working to keep up with Jules, I kept in her in sight for most of it.  We headed back towards Montee Ryan and then made the ascend upon"the mountain ".  In total we did 84km.

We were heading out for the second loop when a car passed me yelling something in French, I turned back and didn't we Jules. I stopped and walked back and she was walking her bike towards me. She had crashed, thankfully it wasn't serious and she went down away from traffic instead of into it! Her bike was pretty messed up and wasn't ridable.  I bike over to get help but we ended up taking it into the local shop where they needed to cut the chain and do a tune up.  We realized our big bike  plans were quashed and the universe had other plans for us. Thankfully the bike shop got the repair done and we made alternate plans for Sunday. We decided that we would do the second loop following with a short run and then a swim.

Sunday arrived and we got our bike done, I was struggling a bit physically and mentally but kept reminding myself that this was great practice. Math works wonders when you need to get your head out of the hurt locker.

We got the loop done,another kick ass climb up the mountain and back down. My computer crapped out on me all weekend so I only had cadence working for me which was probably better considering I think I went the fastest I have ever gone on my bike.  

We got back and watched our friends become a 2 time Ironman as they were racing in Austria. It was amazing and brought tears to my eyes. 

Afterwards we headed down to the beach area to get our 3k swim done.  Again, a monkey wrench got thrown into the mix. We got there after 3 to find d out the swim course had already closed. So again we were left to reorganize our plans.  Instead we ended up going  for our 21k training run. We were  laughing when we realized we were basically doing an impromptu half ironman that day.

The run was OK, it took me longer than expected but I just know that I need to get back off my bike asap to buy myself as much time as possible on race day.

All in all it was a great confidence boosting weekend and I know that this year, I will become an Ironman!!!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Training, training and more training

Last week was a rough week training wise. My knees were giving me a hard time during my runs.  Saturday was really tough as my knees just kept buckling over and over.  I forgot how much this happened last winter and that I was getting taped up almost weekly.  It takes a lot out of me mentally when my knees buckle so this past week I went back for more tape to see if that would take care of things. What a difference it made and honestly I don't care if it's just helping mentally! We are keeping an eye on my running form too and it gets checked and corrected when necessary, which is pretty much weekly.

Running this week improved, Thursday was still a rough one but because my nutrition was off and I felt like the gas tank was empty so I struggled. My long run this weekend was much better than last weekend! No buckling, none what so ever!  This made me very happy.

I felt the 18.5km in my legs today on the long ride and next weekend I am for sure getting back to the ride run approach, it makes a difference.

I'm back to strength training twice a week which also makes me feel better knowing I'm getting stronger with every workout.  My swim distances have also started ramping up and I already hit the 3k mark.  I crawled into bed tonight when it was still light out, you know you are training for an ironman when!

Last week our new tri tops came in and as soon as we saw them we agreed that matching shorts were a must.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Post Injection Follow-up

It's been a week since I got my injections and I have to say, the knees are feeling pretty good! It's amazing the difference I can feel within a day or two, walking up and down the stairs is easier and just in general there are less aches and pains, these shots are amazing.

I was pretty much benched last week letting the shots settle in but I did get a few workouts in over the weekend.  Saturday I cranked out 2000m in 40 mins and that felt great! Sunday I didn't have as much wind in my sails but I still managed to knock out a solid swim.  I also ventured out for an easy 45k ride but Mother Nature got cranky and the rain turned me around after 15km so I added about 40 minutes to that on the trainer.

Yesterday I was back at Chiro and I found the sweet spot for my running form. Tonight the trick is remembering how good that felt and what my posture was like when I hit the pavement for my first run.  I met up with a few of the girls for the Masters Swim last night and that was no easy session let me tell you, Drew was definitely making us work but it always feels great after.

It's recovery week this week so it's a little easier overall but it feels great to get back into the full swing of training again, especially with 12 weeks to go, OMG!