Sunday, November 21, 2010

No Turning Back

Ironman 70.3 Steelhead.  Guess who's all signed up?!  I am!

We had a little pre-Mexico get together last night with lots of good Mexican food and Margaritas!  Inevitably the discussion turns to future races and Steelhead next year.  All of our friends are signing up and racing to support me and Paul and Sydney in our first half.  Next thing you know the laptop's out and we're signing up!  I'd already decided this would be my big race next year so it's not as if this was some sort of drunken double dog dare but actually completing the registration and paying the entry fee felt like a big step! 

$225 paid.  There's no turning back now!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Saturday Swim and Stateside Shopping

Paul, Sydney, and I headed to the pool for an early morning lap swim yesterday.  I had a 1000m workout printed from but mostly Sydney and I wanted to video ourselves swimming to send to our coach.  That video of me reinforces just how much work I need to do.  My body wiggles all over the place and I can just see all the energy I'm wasting!  Watching Sydney she's so smooth and rolls side to side with no effort. 

The 1000m workout consisted of a 1x100m warmup, 1x25m one arm (6 left, 6 right) then 1x25m catch ups - done 4 times, 12x25m freestyle (kick every 4th 25), 6x50m pull, and ending with 1x100m cool down.  1000m swim is not a huge workout by any means but I'm just getting back into it and with the drills thrown in I felt like it was a decent workout.

Dave and Nicole, two of our friends doing Ironman Cozumel were there as well.  After our workouts we had some fun reinacting the swim start and the crowded conditions that they're going to face on the 28th.  The pool we were at doesn't put up lane markers so we were able to pile into the deep end and simulate an inwater start.  Sydney, Paul and I started in front of them to help them with getting past people in front and as they went by pulling on them and bumping into them.  We also did a couple of lengths of swimming side by side up against them.  Paul really got into his role and knocked Nic's goggles off of her at one point.  They appreciated the practice and it was fun too!

After getting cleaned up Sydney and I went Stateside for a little shopping.  I found an awesome pair of tall black leather boots at DSW, we had a delicious lunch at Panera, and we hit REI to stock up on Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews.  If you haven't tried these you need to go out and get some.  Of all the energy chews, bars, gels, etc. that we've tried Paul and I definately love these best.  The consistency is really good so you're not prying them out of your teeth or choking them down.  The flavours are delicious - cherry blossom is my favorite but you can't go wrong with any of them.  They're dairy free, gluten free, and certified organic.  No weird ingredients that you can't pronounce.  I've turned a couple of friends on to them and I ended up buying out what REI had on the shelf.  I picked up a couple of the bars to try and would like to try the gels eventually. 

When I got home I helped Paul with some outside work.  He had put the Christmas lights up, taking advantage of the nice weather, and we bagged some leaves and branches.  We still have lawn furniture put away and some more work to do but we got a nice start.  In the end, it was a perfect day for me.  A nice workout with friends, fun shopping, and some work around the house.  Monday morning I'm joining Nicole at a new yoga studio for some pilates.  It's my first time doing it and I'm worried but looking forward to getting my butt kicked!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Remembrance Day Ride

In the spirit of tradition, and because we've been blessed with gorgeous weather this week, I tried to organize a group ride for the Remembrance Day holiday thursday.  I'm lucky enough to get this day off but unfortunately, most of the rest of the world still had to work so the group was smaller than usual.  Four of us that had the day off headed over to Kensington Metropark, about an hour over the border, in Michigan.  Kensington is a popular training spot for triathletes where I live because it is comprised of continuously rolling terrain.

The weather on Thursday was gorgeous for riding.  50 degrees and sunny and clear.  No wind to speak of but the climbing would make up for that.  I wore my new Cervelo jersey that Paul got me for my birthday with my lululemon arm warmers.  I had the matching bib shorts on but pulled on a pair of tights overtop as it was too cold to have just the shorts on.  This ended up  being the perfect outfit for the weather of the day.

We rode for three hours and I learned alot about riding hills.  I learned to make sure that I kept the weight off of my hands and relax my shoulders.  I tend to lean forward with my weight on my arms to "attack" the hill but it turns out that just tires me out easily.  Leaning my weight back slightly helped to keep me from tiring out and keep my heart rate down.  The end of the ride saw us climb the two biggest hills of the day.  On the first climb Pete slowed down beside me to coach me through it.  My quads were burning with every pedal stroke and I was slowed to the point of almost falling off the bike.  He kept reminding me to keep my head up, relax my shoulders, and keep pedaling.  I was down to 8 km/h but as long as my legs kept turning I kept going.  I really did not want to get off and walk!  My legs were numb from the effort but at the top came sweet relief!  The downhill scared the crap out of me.  I really have to work on my fear here.  I was going so fast that I just felt like I was going to lose control from going over a bumpt.  I hit 52 km/h and tapped the brakes.  I'm such a chicken!  The second hill was worse than the first.  A steep climb about twice as long as the first with a curve to boot.  Again I didn't think I'd make it and wobbled from going so slow and not being able to feel my legs.  I made it to the top though!  I was so proud of myself!  At the top of this hill was the parking lot where our car was and Paul and Nicole were waiting for us.  Paul was surprised that I had made it up without having to get off my bike and I got a big hug from Nicole.  What a satisfying way to end a great ride.

A quick change (the restrooms in place were spotlessly clean!) and we were off for some food and drinks.  We went to an eco-conscious restaurant in Rochester called Mind Body and Spirits.  This restaurant serves locally grown/produced, organic food.  They even have their own greenhouse that you walk through to get to the restrooms.  We shared some amazing appetizers (bacon wrapped dates - soo good) and drank an organic chilean wine that was delicious.  Our meals were really good - I had the fish tacos and for dessert we had chocolate coconut vegan ice cream (made with coconut milk).  I would definately go to this place again as there were alot of things on the menu I would have liked to order and the service was great! 

I did have to get up for work today but my legs felt surprisingly great!  Tomorrow it's an early morning swim followed by some Stateside shopping to spend a "Happy Birthday" coupon I got from DSW.  Happy weekend everyone!

Friday, November 5, 2010


In the form of a black and pink bikini.....

It's my birthday tomorrow and Lola the dog (okay, more like Paul the husband) gave me my gift early.  She got me the above pictured black and pink QTKini by De Soto Sport.  SO cute.  I love the drawstring waistband that will keep me from worrying about my bottoms coming off in the ocean and the top is really flattering.  Wow though.  Nothing like a brazilian cut bikini bottom to kick the workouts back into high gear.  This might be just what I need.  Thanks Lola!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Off Season

I'm new to this off season stuff.  Considering that this year was the first that actually saw me devote a large percentage of my time not spent working, training, and I raced more this year than last, this is my first off season.  Two weeks into it and I have to say, I'm not a fan.  Maybe I need to find an off season sport? 

It has become blatantly obvious that I need some type of goal, or race, or event to train for to stay focused.  I used to be a gym rat - working out at least 4 times a week but let me say this - I HATE THE GYM!  And since finding triathlon I just cannot make myself go back there.  I haven't had a gym membership in two years and have (well had this summer anyway) the best body I've ever had.

Since the half marathon October 17th though I have done a handful of (pathetic) runs, a couple of rides and swam once.  What the heck?  I can't even take any satisfaction in having caught up on all of the things that have been neglected around my house.  I unpacked my fall/winter wardrobe, packed the summer stuff away and that's about it.  My house needs a deep cleaning, the spare room is still only partly transitioned into our cycling room and the ensuite bathroom renovation is still not done (ahem - Paul).

Oh yeah.  And I feel like crap.  It didn't take long for the doughy, bloaty feeling that had disappeared by the end of the season to rear it's ugly head again.  And have I mentioned that I'm going to Cozumel at the end of November?  With three Ironman Cocumel participants?  My friends Dawn, Nicole, and Dave are racing it this year and I'm going as support crew/cheerleader/observer.  And to enjoy the beach (my favourite place in the world) of course.  I just can't wait to hang out in a bikini next to Dawn and Nicole, in all their Ironman muscleness.

Maybe I can take up mountain biking again?