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)