Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Website!

I have not put anything up on here lately because I have started using my website! is becoming a reality for me. I'm very excited about this. For regular updates to my training, my schedule, and lots more that will be on my website, check it out!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I was Tagged!

I was tagged by Charlie, a fellow vegan triathlete. I've never done a meme on this blog, but I guess there's a first time for everything - I will try to keep it sports-related.

The rules are as follows:
# Link to the person who tagged you
# Post the rules on your blog.
# Share seven random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog.
# Tag seven random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
# Leave a comment on their blogs so that they know they have been tagged.

1. My first triathlon was a longer-than-Olympic distance race (ie. 1.5km swim, 60km bike, 13km run). People thought I was crazy... now I do too. During this tri, I wore underwear in my wetsuit and under my bike shorts. It took be more than 4.5 hours to complete, my whole family was there to cheer me on, it took place on my 24th birthday, and I almost quit during the swim.

2. My friend Maybel fan dangled me into doing my first Half IM after doing only 4 tris before that. It took me 6:42 to complete - I had absolutely no idea what I was getting into. No wonder people think I'm crazy.

3. After my first Half IM was over, I cried under a tree because I couldn't believe it was over and I was so glad! (Maybel was already showered by the time I came in to the finish line) This year will be my third time doing this race.

4. During Ironman Canada last year, I had to look at the ingredients of a gel before I took it because I wasn't sure if it was vegan. I am officially a professional label-reader!

5. My parents put me in gymnastics at the ripe age of 4 because I was so active. It was their solution to my driving them crazy. It didn't work!

6. I don't listen to music while I train because I do visualization exercises while I am swimming, biking, and running.

7. The whole time I've been a triathlete, I've been vegan. Sports nutrition has become a hobby for me.

I tag:
Franny and Ishmael and Matthew. That's it for now. If I can think of more, I'll tag them too. Beward, friends, beware!

Why the Lull? An Explanation!

I have not posted in almost two weeks. Even I am shocked at the amount of time between now and my last post. I suppose time flies when you are training, get sick, have to work a lot, and am working on my new website!

A couple of weekends ago I went on a lovely cross-country ski trip with some fabulous friends. Unfortunately, their wee child (as I like to call the "Germ Monger") had a virus that included a cold and an eye infection. So almost everyone on the trip had what we called "shiteye" for a few days - mine lasted almost a week. I still don't feel 100%, but I'm getting better. However, I have been training minimally due to this setback.

Tomorrow I plan to be fully back in action, with a run in the morning and dancing at night. Friday's early morning swim will likely be unpleasant, but I get to sleep in a car for an hour afterwards while on my way to a workshop/conference.

This weekend I am organizing and racing in a winter mountain bike race, which will be much fun and maybe even get my heart-rate up. On Sunday is a 10km fun race, which I might partake in just to see how it feels. I haven't run in 10 days, so we will see how that goes. I will test it out tomorrow morning.

Thanks to a friend of mine who is the owner of Saskatoon Web Design, my website is coming along. I hope to "launch" it by the end of March... just in time for the racing season!

Thursday, February 14, 2008


I discovered yesterday that sitting in a car for two hours while driving for work does not help the delayed onset muscle soreness (ie. DOMS) from a run the day before. Yesterday, however, that was what I did. My legs have been sore since Tuesday - my hamstrings, groin, hip-flexors, butt, quads. The whole shebang. My engine and everything around it. The only time my legs weren't sore was this morning when I did half an hour of easy running on the treadmill at my hotel. It really is amazing how getting the blood flowing can make sore legs feel so much less sore. I did some yoga after that to stretch things out and it felt so good. I'm hoping to get in another yoga/stretch session today.

I was planning to do my bike testing today, but I think I will put it off until tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully one more day of rest will be all that my legs need to feel 100% again.

Last night I watched the "How to do flip turns" video on the Beginner Triathlete website (thanks to my new triathlete friend Navarra). So I've decided to incorporate flip turns into my workout. I have done them before, but got out of the habit. I think I'm going to try the steps that are suggested in the video because I'm not sure I ever did them properly. I taught myself how to do them. I do think that they are beneficial to a swim workout because they make things easier and force you to hold your breath longer at the ends. They are just kind of difficult. I'm going to incorporate them slowly into my workouts and hopefully soon enough I will be doing them throughout the workout with ease. Project Flip-Turn will start tomorrow morning.

Last night I also did some reading of trifuel's latest newsletter, which you can read about in my Vegan Triathlete Nutrition Blog. I gave away all my secrets of quick vegan meals.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Testing, Testing... is this thing on?

This is my first week of testing and I have to say... it hurts. A lot.

This morning I did three intervals: 200m, 800m, and 1500m. I thought I was going to die after sprinting for 200m and it scared me for the other two. My lungs burned and my legs felt like bricks after the first 100m. I thought I was going to puke, but luckily I did not. That would have really ruined the rest of the workout. My running buddy was all optimistic and reminded me how great it will feel after I've been training for a while. "I guess so," was my reply. The 800m and 1500m actually weren't that bad, which makes me think that I didn't push myself 100%, but the 200m really did really hurt. Oh well, here are my times:
200m in 0:48, rest for 5'
800m in 4:40, rest for 10'
1500m in 9:10

Yesterday was my swim test. It was weird to sit in the pool for so long while resting. I felt like I was pruning! Here were my results:
100m in 1:40, rest for 5'
300m in 5:35, rest for 10'
600m in 10:45

The rest of the workout was evil on the part of my coach... I wasn't allowed to do freestyle. It was weird doing 500m of back crawl, butterfly, breaststroke, side stroke, and whatever else I could come up with.

I just have one more test to do this week: the dreaded bike. Luckily, I have a treat to bribe myself with!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions

Yesterday my good intention was to complete one bike workout for the week, but I only got through half before I cut it short to head to yoga. Yoga was definitely my priority yesterday because I have been having some neck problems lately in the form of a neck headache that lasted almost 3 days. I went to the chiropractor to get it adjusted and he said it was a little swollen at the top of my neck. I've been icing and stretching and it has gotten better, but it was a wake-up call for me to continue with my yoga practice. However, it was also nice to get off my dreaded trainer.

This morning my good intention was to get to the track early to get in my run workout before meeting a fellow triathlete to talk about the women's triathlon program that I'm volunteering for this spring. However, as I was perusing the local newspaper, I noticed that there is a track meet today. I swore a little bit as I called the track to see if it was open this morning. Nope, not open. Damn! I was REALLY looking forward to FIVE intervals at a high pace. (Note: that was sarcasm) So I looked at the good ol' thermometer to see if I could get outside to do at least a few intervals. This is what it looks like:

Needless to say, I am not running outside.

My good intention today is to get on the trainer this afternoon and do my complete bike workout for the week. Perhaps tomorrow I can get in my other run workout. Only time and circumstances will tell!

Friday, February 08, 2008

100th post!

So after BRAGGING that I hadn't missed a workout yet this week, I missed a workout last night. I was tired and actually fell asleep against my wishes after supper. I was in no mood to hit my dreaded trainer. Even watching "Sex and the City" didn't inspire me to get on my trainer. The biking has definitely suffered this week. I need to love my trainer. Tonight I'm going to make up this missed workout by getting in a session after work and before yoga. I hope my coach doesn't yell at me! (Just kidding)

Also, I noticed the other day that the two toenails I lost after Ironman have grown in and need to be cut for the first time in four months. Losing toenails is fairly common after Ironman and I was not spared from this experience. At least they grew back!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Back to regular programming

This week was my first week with my coach's training schedule and me being ready and raring to go! My coach and I had a good chat last weekend about a schedule, my goals, and how I'm going to achieve it all. We talked about the burnout the I always feel around the beginning of August (although last year it was in June) because I train too hard in January and February. This year is going to be different... and so far it is!

My training schedule seems so free right now. I mean, I don't even have a workout to do on Sunday. So I'm going to go cross-country skiing! I FEEL SO FREE!!! It just feels so good to get all of my workouts done in the week, as opposed to skipping workouts and planning to skip workouts. I really enjoy the sense of accomplishment I get from doing everything I'm "supposed to."

Also, this week I have discovered the beauty of a training buddy. My coworker and friend J. and I ran on Tuesday and this morning. It is so much easier to get up at 5am when I know that someone else is going to be there waiting for me at the doors. J. is a great training buddy because she is a positive person, like myself, and seems to have an endless amount of positive energy to give as we pass the halfway point of our workout. She has exercise-induced asthma, which I am learning a lot about, and I feel a little bit guilty about running along breathing heavily, but not laboured, as she is huffing air through what apparently feels like a tiny straw. However, she assures me that she is fine and "just needs a minute." My training intensity is a little bit higher than hers right now, but this week she cheered me on through my session of intense intervals. It was nice to have a cheerleader. :o)

Another part of training that I have thoroughly enjoyed this week is the City of Saskatoon Leisure Pass. I get to go to all of the leisure centres in Saskatoon for the low price of $37/month for 7 months! That will take me to the end of summer and this week I've used it enough to be worth my while. I get a strange sense of satisfaction when I scan my card in and it "dings!" me through. I am very proud of myself and my leisure card.

I'm really getting into my training groove this week and it feels great! Next season is going to be awesome and hopefully I don't burn out before my peak races. Things are really coming together right now and I can't help but think about what it would be like to train for Ironman knowing what I know right now. Maybe I'll give myself another year to think about it. :o)

Monday, January 28, 2008


The past couple of weeks have been wrought with travelling for work. This makes it slightly difficult to keep a steady training schedule. So I have found myself kind of binge working out. Some days I'll do all of the workouts I want while other times I feel completely worn out from driving and meetings that I just don't want to do anything but eat peanut butter toast. However, I think that I've done pretty good lately.

Last Monday I was in Regina and used the stationary bike for a good 35 minutes while watching some really bad television. The next morning I got up for a 35 minute run, which I felt pretty good doing. Wednesday I went to my beloved yoga class. Thursday I got in the pool early in the morning. Friday morning I did a good run and was completely wiped out by Friday night. Saturday I went for a pretty good long-run of about 40 minutes (see map below). Sunday I did a good 2000m swim and then went cross-country skiing. It was a busy weekend.

However, today I feel tired. We are in full winter mode right now and a cold front has just moved in to make sure that us Saskatchewanians know that it is winter. It is currently -28oC (-43 with the Wind Chill). So I am in hibernation mode. I just want to curl up with a good book all evening, which is what I'm probably going to do. However, my coworker and I are starting our half marathon training this Thursday. We are going to do our long runs indoors on a track together... as long as it is like this outside! Tomorrow morning I'm going to hit the pool again to get the last bit of use out of my YMCA membership that expires at the end of this month. It's funny how I forgot what winter really feels like - it's very cold.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Training In the Dead of Winter in Saskatchewan

After a bout of insomnia last night, I decided to use my lack of sleep and tiredness to get in a good swim this morning. A nice 2000m in 1:15, but I'm not really worried about time right now. I'm focusing on form and just getting back into the pool. It feels pretty good and I'm committed to working on my swim technique right now and my arm strength. I am hoping to get in 3 swim workouts this week, 3 runs and at least one bike workout (2 would be nice).

Yesterday I went for a 35-minute x-country ski, which is a lot considering it was pretty cold. We could have went longer, but my eye lashes were sticking together, so tea was had afterwards. Getting outside in this weather is challenging, at best. However, I'm going to keep getting outside a bit and running on the treadmill or on the track.

Last week I was out of town for most of the week at a very intense training workshop for work. This left me less than motivated to do one workout a day, let alone the two that I was hoping for. So I ran twice on the treadmill for 35 minutes each time and got in a good 4km while watching Canada AM. Treadmills are not my favorite things, but I can sure get my heart-rate up on them. I just dislike feeling like a hamster in a cage. Preferably while I'm running, I'm also seeing beautiful trees, some birds, other people, and feeling the wind. None of that happens while running on a treadmill. However, it's what has to happen occasionally in the dead of winter in Saskatchewan.

This week will be less busy for work and I hope to get in all of my workouts. I guess we'll see how it goes.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Back in the Saddle and on the wagon!

This week was my first week transitioning back into training. I would say it was pretty successful. I only missed two workouts, which is pretty good considering I gave myself a pretty difficult schedule.

On Tuesday I got "back in the saddle" and rode my trainer for 45 minutes on Sky, my trusty road bike. This was the first time I've rode her since Ironman. She still has the IM stickers on it and I had to re-set the computer because it still had 8:17:34 on her time tracking. It was a good 45 minutes on the trainer, with the help of my new cordless phone that I got for Christmas that I used with my headset and some good friends to talk to while trying not to count down every second on the trainer. After that, I did a small amount of arm strength exercises and my first core strength workout also since training for Ironman.

I have to say that the past few months have been great, not worrying about training, and just taking it easy. However, I have been itching to get back into it. This week was a really great week to get back on the wagon.

On Tuesday and Friday I got into the pool for the first time in months as well. Tuesday I did a solid 1500m swim at a pretty easy pace. On Friday, I did 45 minutes of also fairly easy swimming, but didn't keep track of my distance. It was probably around 1000m.

I won the CFCR members draw, which was a one-month membership to the YMCA. I'm definitely going to take advantage of the free pool use for the next few months, that's for sure.

This morning I went for a good 40 minute run along the river. I struggled quite a bit with my breathing, but I figure it is probably because my body isn't used to so many different types of exercise. I did some yoga afterwards and now I feel great! There really is nothing like a good yoga session after a run. Yoga is now imperative to my training and will continue to play a big role as I continue to train.

Next week will be very different because I am out of town the whole time. So I probably won't do as much, but it'll be a nice resting week with a little bit of running and cycling. Soon enough, I hope to create my plan for the next few months leading into my 6th racing season.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Strength Training

Each off-season I make a resolution to myself to do more strength training, but have yet to find a workout that works for me. Nonetheless, I believe it to be helpful and I'm trying to figure out how I can do it without it boring me.

I found this good knowledge to have when it comes to strength training:


Upper body exercises reduce the amount of oxygen you use when running, lowering your heart rate and improving your endurance. Always maintain proper form when exercising
– even when fatigue has set in. Do 3 sets of 15 reps of each of the following exercises:
• Incline Dumbbell Presses
• Lat Pull-downs (handle only)
• Upright Rows
• Dips
• Biceps Curls
• Regular and Reverse Crunches
* Workout specifics: Do lower body exercises 2 times per week, immediately following your hard runs. Do the upper body portion 2 to 3 times per week, on alternate days. Rest 90 seconds in between lower body exercises and 60 seconds in between upper body ones. You may choose to do abdominal exercises in between upper body sets.

It comes from Brendan Brazier's article in a Canadian publication called "beyond Fitness: Strategies for a Total Body Workout."