So close….

As I write this, I have 9 full days before race day… it is getting so close! The weird thing is I am more nervous about it than I was last year, and I am better trained and weigh less!

Last year I just wanted to finish. I just wanted to survive.

And the goal still remains to finish the race. There are a lot of things that can happen during a race to prevent a person from finishing…

-panic attack in the water

-getting punched in the face in the water by another swimmer (accidentally of course;)

-really adverse weather

-a bike malfunction that is not repairable roadside

-crashing on the bike

-severe muscle cramps

-heat exhaustion

You get the idea. Sometimes there are things outside of a racers control that prevents them from finishing the race.

So the first goal is definitely to be able to finish the race.

But having trained more consistently and weighing 25 lbs less than when I did St. George last year, I have higher expectations for myself.

This is my results from last year:

Swim – 59:17

Swim to Bike Transition – 6:14

Bike – 3:42:33

Bike to Run Transition – 6:57

Run – 3:07:36

Total Time – 8:02:37

 

I Can Do Better

I believe I can do the swim in about 55 minutes or less. I have not done as much swim training as I had hoped to, but what I have done, has gone well. The biggest thing will be to stay calm in the water and keep moving forward instead of doggy paddling.

Actually my real plan is to get in the water at the same time as Al, and have him “pull” me… he usually finishes in a respectable time so should work out good for me ;D… LOL!

I don’t know if I can improve too much on the swim to bike transition time. The wet suit strippers help get the wet suit off, but then I have to run over to my bike, (a little wobbly from being horizontal for an hour), change my shirt (I like to wear a bike jersey on the bike… just feels more comfortable), make sure I have my water bottles secure, put my helmet on, bike shoes on, and then take my bike off the rack and run to where I am allowed to get on my bike.

Oh yea, and make sure my wet suit, goggles, swim cap, ear plugs, etc, are all put into a bag with my race number on it so volunteers can bring it to the finish area.

Bike

I want to take 22 minutes off the bike and finish in 3:20:00. Even though I have not done any outdoor bike rides this year yet, I have worked hard on the trainer.

I LOVE biking. But last year I had to push my bike up part of Snow Canyon. I was not trained well enough, and didn’t have a granny gear. I still don’t have a granny gear, but I think I am better equipped to make it up there this year!

(Snow Canyon is the picture at the top of my web page. I keep it there not only because it is incredibly beautiful there, but also as a reminder of what I am working towards!)

Then after being grumpy about the walk of shame pushing my bike up a hill, the fast downhill into town was not fast at all. The wind was very strong and was almost pushing me over on the bike, so that I had to pedal going downhill!!

So if conditions are better this year, I don’t think its unreasonable for me to be able to finish in 3:20.

I think I can drop the bike to run transition down to 5 minutes. After putting my bike on the rack and making sure my helmet and bike shoes are in the appropriate bag, I change out of my jersey into a technical t-shirt. Again, this takes extra time, but I like a fresh shirt to start the run to prevent chafing.

Then I put my socks on and my runners, put my visor on and grab my race belt, if I am using it. Still undecided, but I am thinking I can put a salt stick in there in case I get cramps, Advil in case I am really sore, and maybe little baggies of coconut oil in case I feel I need some quick energy from fat.

Run

The hardest part is running off the bike. It feels unnatural and weird in the legs to run after pedaling for 3+ hours. So my first goal for the run is to run the first mile without walking at all. (Lofty goals, I know… ;D)

Right now the forecast for race day is a high of 32 degrees Celsius. I am hoping I can finish before it gets that hot, but it is indescribable how hot it actually gets up on the red rocks. There is usually not a breath of wind out there, and we run on a road that is surrounded by high red rocks. It feels like a sauna!!

That being said, my first priority is to stay safe, and not over heat. So even though I want to run a lot more than I did last year, I won’t risk heat exhaustion to do it.

I will walk if necessary but I want to complete the run in well under 3 hours… preferably 2:45. But considering my lack of run training this is pretty lofty for me.

All these goals puts me around 7:20:00 finish time. I would be OK with that!!

But whatever happens on race day will happen. I just hope I enjoy the day and finish with a smile!!

I will leave you with this video to see what is so great about St. George, Utah!

 

 

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My First Brick Workout…..EVER!!

When it comes to triathlon, a brick workout is a very good thing to be doing regularly. A brick workout is where you do a bike workout followed by a run, or a swim followed by a bike. Since the order of triathlon is swim, bike, then run, it is good to get used to the way you feel started the next part of the triathlon.

I have been doing triathlon for a few years now, but this past Saturday was my first brick workout ever!! I have never done one, simply because I am usually too lazy to. I have been told many times how good it is to get used to the feeling of jello legs when you start the run.

When starting the run, my legs will have been used to biking for 3+ hours. It is a weird feeling to have to run on those legs and you can even feel off-centre a little. Kinda the same as when you come out of the water after being horizontal for an hour (less for most people) and then having to run up a ramp… I tend to run like a drunk person out of the water!

Anyways, Saturday I had the time and desire, since it was nice weather, to try a brick. So I did a 2 1/2 hour bike and then went and got my running shoes on and did a 1-mile run.

A 1-mile run isn’t very far considering race day it’s a 13-mile run off the bike, but it’s usually the first mile that really, really sucks.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, especially with my ankle issues, but it was fantastic!! Ava biked beside me and chit chatted the whole way which made the mile go fast, but I actually felt great! I kept analyzing how I felt, whether I could feel ankle pain or not, whether my legs were tired… but no complaints.

Success!

I haven’t run very far lately, and not even sure I will run far before the race. I am too worried about aggravating the ankle. If I do that race day it’s fine, but keep it healthy until race day!

Last year, the furthest I ran before the race was 7 miles, and I was 25 lbs heavier. Not that it is recommended to do that, but it shows that determination and encouragement from the support crew does trump training sometimes!!

Its just not as fun. And my goal is to have fun.

But if I come off the bike happy, I will finish the run happy. No lofty goals, just enjoy the race more than last year 😉

17 Days Until Race Day!!

I just have to share a picture of me after a swim… this picture was taking at least 20 minutes after I finished my swim, and probably closer to 30 minutes after.

I always had issues with goggles either leaking or else so tight they felt like they were sucking my eyeballs out of my head.

John was using Aquasphere Vista googles and suggested I try them, I have been using them for most of the time I have been doing triathlon, but the worst part is that they are so suctioned to my head, the marks stay for a long time!! Lol!

I have been told to loosen them, but I always press the goggles to my face to make sure they don’t leak so I think they will leave marks either way!!

Food

I don’t miss a lot of foods in eating the Keto way, but I do miss sushi (the non-raw fish kind). I don’t really eat rice, though occasionally it’s fine. But this past week I found a recipe for keto friendly sushi and I had to try it!

Instead of rice it uses “riced” cauliflower. I had picked some up at Costco last week, so it was perfect timing. The recipe called for cooking the cauliflower first, but I was too lazy and wanted to eat it sooner rather than later.

So I kept the cauliflower raw, and mixed it with cream cheese. I had Nori sheets from about 6 months ago, so they were a little dryer than their normal dryness and were starting to crumble.

But I was determined.

I very carefully spread the cauliflower/cream cheese mixture onto a sheet of Nori that was still mostly whole. Then I added small strips of cucumber. The recipe called for avocado at this stage as well, but I didn’t have any and didn’t want to run to the store, since going for avocado meant I would end up spending over $100 on other things I suddenly remembered I “needed”.

I had prepared all of this on a piece of saran wrap since I don’t have one of those bamboo sheets for rolling sushi on. I carefully rolled the cauliflower/cream cheese mixture and the cucumber up, trying not to roll the saran into it.

Then the hardest part was letting it chill in the fridge for a few hours to firm up, so it didn’t fall apart when I cut it.

Finally, I got to eat it. It was great!! I will totally make this again, except buy the avocado, since I love avocado, and it is such a great healthy source of fat.

The Stupid Scale

I really can’t tell you what my real weight is at this point, except that I am in the low 150’s. That silly number fluctuates so much from day to day, I don’t know what to think.

Last Saturday morning I was 151 lbs. I was happy.

Monday morning I was 154 lbs. I was frustrated because my weekend was excellent as far as working out and food choices were concerned.

This morning I was 153 lbs. I stepped on the scale this afternoon after sleeping (On night shift last night) , and I was 151.5 lbs.

So no clue what I actually weigh, but whatever.

Just makes me grumpy when it flip-flops like that.

But I am still excited for race day in 2 1/2 weeks!!

P.S. I finally figured out how to get those silly Fitness Singles ads off my site… I think.  Hope it worked!!  

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Categories: Uncategorized

Live Life On Purpose – We Are Only Given One

We were reminded again this past week how quickly our lives can change. The tragedy of the crash involving the bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos hockey team and the semi has deeply affected people around the world. In a world that seems so cold most of the time, it is heartening to see so much compassion!

It is also a reminder never to take our lives or our loved ones for granted. Each day we have together is a gift!

We all need to live life on purpose. Stop being a spectator in your own life and start being a participant! That can mean different things to different people, but definitely be proactive in things that are important to you!

That is partly why I participate in triathlon, running, biking…. because it makes me feel good and energetic. I like working my muscles, I want to stay fit, and I want my kids to be inspired to stay active through their adult life.

But I definitely feel guilty too. Especially around this time, when I am only 3 weeks out from the race. My bike rides are up to around 2 hours, I need to go to Lethbridge or Claresholm to swim, which is altogether at least 2 hours out of my day, and now I am needing massages and physio for tight muscles and other things.

That combined with working does take me away from the kids a fair amount. I am working mostly nights so I am home more often during the days, but kinda foggy at times.

And when I am home, we are making sure all the school work gets done. We definitely don’t see grandparents and siblings as much as we would like! And fun activities as a family haven’t been in abundance lately either.

But I remind myself this is for a short time. After the race at the beginning of May, we can go into chill mode.

My workouts will be shorter and more relaxed, the kids start swim club (which they love) and as it warms up (Because we know it will….) we will start mountain biking, hiking, and making trips to Waterton again.

And besides, the kids are so excited for going to St. George! They love it there so much and are disappointed the years that we don’t go!

Massage and Physio

Last week I went to a physiotherapist to see if we could figure out why my ankle is being wonky. He found the giant knot in my calf, which I knew about, but thinks the problem may be a nerve. The knot in my calf could be giving this nerve issues on its way down. So he gave me some exercises to try and I have been using the TENs machine on it. (Electrical nerve stimulation.

I go back to physio on Friday for a follow up. I went for one run last week and took it easy. I could feel the pain a little and had to stop and stretch my calf a few times, but hopefully its on the mend!

Today I went for another massage. It is costly, but I feel it is so necessary right now!! I just can’t seem to massage my muscles good enough on the foam roller at this point. And it just feels so good! I just need to stop scheduling Costco after my massage… that definitely needs to be pre-massage as it is stressful to go shopping there!

Workouts

So I just did one little half hour run, a couple 2 hour bike rides, and this morning I did 1900 m in the pool. The swim felt really good today! Once I got into a rhythm, it seemed to go fast. I actually got so in the zone I almost hit the end wall a few times!!

Even though I don’t generally love swimming, I am thinking about joining the Masters swim class that Fort Macleod Swim Club is doing this summer. Maybe with a little instruction, I might start to really enjoy it!

What I am REALLY looking forward to doing after St. George, is getting back into Crossfit. I like the variety of the workouts and the strength training. I think on my body frame I can stand to lose another 20 lbs… but I never want to be considered scrawny or skinny!

The Scale

The scale went down and up this week, but settled back at 154 lbs, so no change since last week. This is to be expected and I don’t mind. I am still happily following the Ketogenic Diet, and it isn’t a struggle at all.

I very rarely crave any food that is sugar or carb filled, but I still enjoy my wine, which has a bit of both. This summer will be interesting with camping and day trips, but I think with a bit of planning, it will be very doable to stick to the plan!

24 days until Race Day!!

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Categories: Uncategorized

What Are Your Health And Fitness Goals? I Have Suggestions!

I talk a lot about myself on here. I have many fitness and health goals, but I want to know… What are your health and fitness goals? Do you have specific goals? Are you waiting to shed some pounds before going to the gym or signing up for a race?

I am here to say, don’t wait! So often, especially as women, we wait for the day we will feel comfortable enough in our own skin to get out there and try new things.

The problem is… that day doesn’t always come! The weight might not come off soon. Circumstances in your life may come and take opportunities away.

It can be so liberating to get out of our comfort zones!! It is scary, it can be uncomfortable, it can cause a whole range of feelings that you are not used to. But in the end, it is likely to be exhilarating!!

The first race I ever signed up for was the Moonlight run in Lethbridge many years ago. I did the 6km, and I did not think I ran very well. Looking back it was my fastest 6km Moonlight run to date!! 😉

I don’t remember doing very much after that until John got into triathlon and running. I was whining one day about him always going out running with other people, and his response was, “Come along!”

I didn’t want to embarrass myself and I was overweight… What would these people think of me? I was sure I would feel like people were laughing inside because here was this fat chick pretending to run.

One thing a person learns very fast in the southern Alberta running community… EVERYONE is welcome!! In fact, people are so friendly and excited when a person begins their running journey. Seasoned Runners love to give tips on what to do and what not to do when you first start running!

I took a Learn to Run class at Runners Soul and that was probably the best thing I did. It made me feel successful and it made me feel like I was part of the running community!

I started signing up for more races and started feeling more confident in my abilities. And if I ever had questions, John or someone else would have answers for me!

The thing about races is that they are FUN! You can make it as competitive and/or as fun as you want to make it! It is so much fun signing up with friends, though have a plan on whether you will be doing the race side by side, or simply both running/walking the same race… this can prevent some hurt feelings!

Local Races

Some people may not be aware of local races in the area so I thought I would highlight a few that I have done. These are Saturday races except for the Little Souls Marathon, which is on a Wednesday evening.

1. Willow Creek Wilderness Walk and Run – May 26, 2018

It has been a few years since I have done this one, because there is a womens run in Canmore the same weekend that I have been doing for many years. But I decided it was time to stay local this year and do the half-marathon right here in Fort Macleod!!

This is a fun, relaxed race, with some people enjoying the competitive aspect of it, and others simply out for the enjoyment of being part of something organized that raises money for local benefit!

Willow Creek Wilderness walk/run is such a great race for people who have never participated in a race and want to test the waters on what it is like, and for people who like running trails and some gravel.

And the volunteers are fantastic!

 

2. A-T Walk For A Cure & Bike Ride – June 16, 2018

This fundraiser in honor of Randy Van Hierden and Alex Olive, is a fun family oriented event. There is a 5 km walk, or a choice between a 50km or 80km bike ride.

I used to participate in the walk with my kids, but in the past years have joined the bike ride as I love to bike!! But my kids really want to do the walk again, so I think this year we will try to do both….

This is always a fun time for entire families. There is a silent auction, pony rides, childrens play area, petting zoo, face painting, coffee and donuts and a buffet lunch!

To learn more about what A-T is and the research that is being done, check out www.atcp.org.

 

 

3. Ladiesfest 8km – June 9, 2018

Ladiesfest is a great, women only, race in Lethbridge. This is a fantastic race to sign up for with you mom, daughter, sisters or friends… especially for a first race!

This is an event to promote women’s health, fitness and well-being in the community.

This race starts and ends by the Lodge, but runs through the river valley… so yes, a big downhill in the beginning and a rather good climb to the finish, but it is so worth it! When you cross the finish line you will receive a flower and chocolate, and then can head inside for a delicious brunch.

Kiera and I have been doing this one together for a few years now, and always look forward to it!

It may already be sold out, but keep an eye online, as people will sell their bibs if their plans change before race day.

 

 

4. Coulee Cactus Crawl – June 2, 2018

If you ever wonder if you would enjoy trail running, this is the race for you to test the waters… along with 4 of your closest friends 😉

This is a 20 ish mile trail run through the coulees of Lethbridge. It can be done solo or on a team of up to 5 people, but if you have never run the coulees, I highly suggest doing it on a team!

Each leg of the race is anywhere from 5-7km and are all challenging! I love trail running, even though I have never been really great at it, I still enjoy it. I just make sure that I am on a team that is not concerned so much with the teams time, but more concerned about making it to the beer and tacos waiting at the finish line!!

 

 

5. Little Souls Kids Marathon – May 30, 2018

 

If your kids are under the age of 12, and you would like to introduce them to running, the Little Souls Kids Marathon is a great way to do that!

The kids will run 40 km over 4-6 weeks and then run the last 2 km with all the other participants.

A suggested timeline with distances to run each week can be downloaded from runnersoulevents.com. This can be such a great way to teach kids to break down big goals into bite size pieces and therefore accomplish great things!

 

If you are interested in running events in Lethbridge, just check out the Runners Soul Events page for a brief description and registration details!

 

Back to Talking About Myself…

Well, another uneventful week, especially since I already posted about the first three days last week!

I didn’t try running again after Wednesday, but I have an appointment with a physiotherapist this Wednesday to hopefully figure out whatever my problem is, and hopefully fix it!!

I am not expecting great things for the run on race day, but it would be rather awful to not be able to finish the race because of wierd ankle issues!

I did a Ramp test on the bike this morning, which is another way to measure FTP. Trainer Road will send me the result of that hopefully tomorrow or the next day. I have done the 20-minute FTP test a few times, but I just am not confident that it is totally accurate for me, as my target power for rides seems a little too easy!

I was down 1.5 lbs on the scale this week, so am currently 154. I feel good and will need new clothes soon! Though I am impressed that my clothes are versatile enough to have endured a difference of 22lbs… lol!!

Anyways, I hope to see many of you out at some local races coming up!

One of these days we should be able to safely run outside…. right?

 

 

 

 

 

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