Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Stupid Snow

This post may end up sounding kind of whiny. Don't say I didn't warn you!

We had another winter storm here Sunday. After a beautiful, Spring like day on Friday it turned cold again on Saturday (but sunny!) and what started out as a few flakes late Sunday afternoon turned quickly into the predicted winter storm. By Monday morning we were under a 30 centimeter (11.8 inches) blanket of snow. This made running Monday morning a joke as even the busier streets hadn't been plowed yet and it was all we could do to stay on our feet and not get run over by cars (forget the sidewalks), much less intersperse the assigned bursts of speed.

Paul's ankle injury was aggravated by the shoveling Monday so he didn't get to finish the driveway or clean the walkway/front steps/porch. I took care of the walkway/porch/steps before work and finished the driveway in the evening. No big deal. It was deep but I did it in two layers so it wasn't too heavy and used the narrower shovel.

Cue to this morning and my pool workout. My triceps felt a little sore but nothing out of the ordinary. I started the warmup (500m) and felt a pain in my left shoulder. WTF? After 300m the general soreness loosened up but this pain was still there. Every time I brought my left arm out of the water I could feel it. And it hurt. After my 500m warmup I started the 6x75 set. 4 sets into it Paul finally looked at me and told me what I already knew.  I needed to stop.  I was starting to try to change up my stroke a little to compensate and make it not hurt.  I know I dont want to hurt myself more seriously for the sake of one workout but man, only 800 metres done?  I was bummed. Since Paul still had to finish I got into the therapy pool, and tried not to cry, for 10 minutes, then sat on the pool deck and sulked. I don't have another swim scheduled until Saturday so I'm hoping a couple of days rest, and ice, will help it. Volleyball tomorrow night is worrying me a little but if it hurts I'll have to stop.

Just when I was starting to see improvements. Stupid snow.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

What A Difference A New Pair of Shoes Makes

Now anyone that knows me in real like will probably laugh at this post as I'm not averse to buying shoes and in fact have, well let's just say, alot of shoes.  For some reason though, buying new running shoes is something I put off.  It may be that I haven't found the perfect shoe yet - the one that I'm loyal to for years on end and would never think of straying from.  I've had a couple of great pairs but the shoe companies always seem to come out with updated models and the updated versions have never felt as good.  This probably makes me sound like I have some real issues with my feet too, but I don't.  I need a slightly wider toe box but other than that I have a normal arch, regular width, size 6 foot.  No pronating, nothing.

For the last couple of weeks I've been really feeling that my current running shoes have bit it.  I get soreness in my hip and knee (usually the right side) and can feel it in my feet.  Coach Mary finally had to tell me to "Go get new shoes!"  Okay then.  It was a gorgeous day here on Friday so I took a couple of hours of vacation from work to head over to the running store.  I wanted to make sure I had a new pair in time for my run Saturday.  I told the girl what I was looking for and she brought out 5 different pairs for me to try.  It came down to a pair of Saucony and the New Balance 1080s.  After a couple of laps around the store I decided on the 1080s.  They're pretty low key in colour and I noticed they had a pair of 1080s on the wall that were predominately red.  I love me some red and really wanted those shoes.  Unfortunately they didn't have my size - boo! - but she offered to order them in for me.  I hesitated for about 5 seconds and thought that I really needed the shoes sooner than later and I'd have to take the ones in stock.  20% off later from my Windsor Tri Club discount (score!) I had me a new pair of shoes.

Saturday's training plan had a 2100 metre swim and a 45 minute run.  Paul and I wanted to go to the States for some shopping so I decided to run home from the pool to get everything done in the shortest amount of time.  I also love running when I have a destination.  It breaks up the monotony of the roads around my house or Sydney's house that I've run past hundreds of times.  Since Paul had to do pool running (he's healing from an injury) he would stay after the swim workout, do his pool running and get showered there.  That would give me plenty of time to run the 45 minutes home.  My house is almost 7.5 kms from the pool so I thought it work out almost perfectly.

The swim went awesome on Saturday.  I'm pretty slow in the water but have started to really feel an improvement and managed to finish the workout almost 15 minutes quicker than Mary had allotted me.  I was stoked!  I then ate a Clif Bar while changing into my running gear, put my stuff in the car for Paul to transport home and headed off.  It was colder this weekend than it had been the last couple of days so I bundled up before heading out.  The wind was gusting at 30km/h which was tough but luckily the sun was shining.  I was a little overheated because of the sun and my ponytail was frozen solid but overall it was a beautiful day for a run.  As soon as I started up I could feel the difference in the shoes and was happy that this was looking like a pain free workout.  I concentrated on keeping my heartrate in zone 2 and enjoying myself.  The 45 minutes was up before I knew it and I was less than a kilometre from home.  I ran the extra few minutes and made it home.  I felt great after!  No hip or knee pain!

Paul pointed out a great feature on Training Peaks that allows you to input your equipment and it will track the mileage.  I entered my new shoes so will actually be able to keep track of the mileage on them instead of just trying to guesstimate.  I'll have to figure out how many miles/kilometres a pair of shoes can generally handle before replacing and keep an eye on my total.  I have made a pact with myself to replace these shoes at that point and stop being such a nerd about it! 

Can any of my eighteens of readers help me out with how many miles a pair of shoes can handle before they need replacing?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

I've been inspired by all of the yummy recipes on everyone's blogs lately so thought I would do a post about one of our favourite meals.  Black Bean Enchilidas are a a delicious meal that I first learned of from Sydney.  What's wonderful about this recipe is that you can change it up to suit your tastes and to be honest, it never turns out the same way twice.

1 sweet onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced very fine
1 cup (give or take) frozen corn
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
cumin to taste
your favourite salsa
cheddar cheese (or monteray jack, or jalapeno cheddar, whatever you like)
10" flour tortillas (whole wheat hold up better but you'll notice we got regular by mistake this time)
fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish

The makings of a yummy dinner

Saute the onion, red pepper, and jalapeno in a pan with a little olive oil.  I use a cast iron skillet because it allows me to use very little oil.  Add cumin to your taste.  Once the onion and peppers are nice and soft add the corn.  You don't need to cook it very long after that since the corn just need to be warmed through.  Add the black beans at the very end and carefully mix through.  Don't cook and mix too much after that as the beans will get a little mushy (unless of course that's how you like it!).

Ready for rolling

Lay out a tortilla and add salsa, a couple of scoops of the filling, and some cheddar cheese.

Roll it up by folding the ends in first so the filling doesn't fall out and put into a baking dish lined with parchment paper so it doesn't stick.  Once you've used up all the filling (the number you end up with depends on how full you make the enchiladas) cover with remaining salsa and shredded cheese.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until bubbly.  I like to put it under the broiler for a few minutes as it makes the cheese all nice and crusty and delicious.

Garnish with the chopped cilantro (one of my favourite herbs) and serve with sour cream if you like.  I normally slice avocado or make some quick guacamole but the avocados were a little overripe this weekend and I was afraid they wouldn't last until Tuesday's dinner.


Also, I want to send a shout out to Aimee for sending me an awesome tri cling.  My only dilemma now is where to put it!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Weatherman Is Always Wrong. Right?

If Snowverated 2011 was any indication, weather forecasters tend to be wrong.  Alot.  In fact, I'm sure I'm not the only one to have heard the "being a weather forecaster is the only job where you can be wrong so often and still have work" type of comments.  Now, to be fair to weather forecasters everywhere I know that predicting the weather is dependant on SO many factors that are constantly changing.  Or so my Atmospher and Climate 101 professor in University taught me (elective class). 

The forecasted weather for tomorrow morning is currently minus 25 degrees Celsius (-13 F for my U.S. friends) with the wind chill.  That is so damn cold.  I have a 45 minute run on the schedule that must be done in the morning because I have volleyball in the evening.  I'm so over having to wake up even earlier than normal to account for the layering of clothes required to run in this weather.  The freezing my ass off despite the layering of said clothes.  Over.It.  Hear me Mother Nature?!

Let's hope the weather forecasters got this one wrong.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Frosty Run and January In Review

My neck of the woods was braced for the "storm of the century" or "snowmaggedon" as it became affectionately know on Tuesday evening.  Businesses were announcing on Tuesday afternoon while it was still sunny and clear they would be closed Wednesday.  True to form for our area "Snowmaggedon" became "Snowverated" when the storm we received was actually far less than anticipated.  It was still a pretty good dumping for this area mind you, with high winds, but not the worst we've seen here. 

On Thursday I had a 50 minute Fartlek run on the training plan.  I was a little concerned about running outside because of the snow and ice but gave it a go anyway.  Sydney and I headed out at 6 a.m. and it was COLD!  Running down one of the side streets by my house during our warm up there was a man out shoveling his driveway.  We said hello as we went by and he called out, "You guys are really inspiring!".  We laughed, but that made me feel really good.  I guess there are alot of people that would have bailed on that run and we were out there in the cold, running down the middle of the road because of all the snow, just doing it!  It turned out the be a really good run and I liked the structured ladder intervals as it really made the 50 minutes go by quickly.  I found that my average pace during the hard intervals were pretty consistent regardless if they were 1, 2, 3, or 4 minutes long and I did a pretty good job of keeping my hr in the right zones.  Sydney and I laughed at each other because we each looked like we had walked in front of a snowblower; each covered in an icy film.  My eyelashes were frozen to the point of it being hard to see while I was running and my face warmer had formed a block of ice in the front from the condensation from my breath.  We snapped this pic when we got in the house but it doesn't do justice to how we looked since the 30 seconds in the warm house was enough to melt alot of the ice (my headband thing had been completely white).

Otherwise, training has been going really well and I've been really consistent with my workouts.  The planned workout times are increasing with 11 hours planned for this coming week!  I love having a coach and getting feedback, and feeling like this is all leading somewhere.  Today's swim saw a 9 second improvement in my 100 meter hard time.  That's huge for me, and although I'm still pretty slow by most standards it's a step in the right direction.

Without further ado, January workout totals looked like this:

January 01, 2011 to January 31, 2011
Swim - 12,550m in 8.26 hours (22.34% of total workout time).  That's +1,550 m from Dec.
Bike - 9.5 hours - no distance as it's all been on the trainer (25.71% of total workout time)
Run - 58.39 kilometers in 9.2 hours (24.88% of total workout time).  That's +14.67 km from Dec.
Strength training/yoga - 4 hours (10.82% of total workout time)

Well I'm off to add 1:10 to my cycling time!