Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Thoughts and Prayers to my fellow Southern Albertans

It's been a surreal week for me. Last week most of Southern Alberta was either put on flood watch or completely evacuated. I first saw things posted on Facebook Thursday morning starting in Canmore. Then from there sh*t hit the fan. High River, Okotoks, Black Diamond, Turner Valley, Crowsnest Pass, Pincher Creek, Medicine Hat, and of course Calgary. It was very hard for me to watch. Although I now live on Vancouver Island I was born and raised in Southern Alberta. I lived in Calgary the minute I left home at age 18 and that is where I got married and started my family. All of those areas that were affected are places very real to me and my heart aches for every single person affected. The house I lived in when the husband and I first met most definitely was underwater. Restaurants and business I frequented destroyed.
I had several friends evacuated. 
~These towns are just south of Calgary~

~Memorial Drive in Calgary~

~ Military was definitely needed~

One of my good friends (who was evacuated at some point) kept us all updated via Facebook. She kept posting pictures of her area that was affected (downtown). The only words that come to mind is surreal and sadness. So for those of you affected we are all thinking of you. 
If you would like to help I believe the Canadian Red Cross is probably the best organization to do so.

On to a lighter note, while watching the madness in Calgary unfold it occurred to me that the Calgary Ironman race was now 5 weeks away. Some people might be concerned that the race might be cancelled. Not me, I was secretly hoping it was ; )
I kid you not. I am so nervous about this race that I only admitted my thoughts today to a good friend. She burst into laughter and I looked her in the eye and said "I am dead serious". She then laughed even harder.  Why am I so nervous? I'm not entirely sure. I'm pretty confident I will finish even if in last place. I've done the training. My coach definitely thinks I'm ready. So what is it? I'm thinking just good ol' fashioned nerves. 
This past weekend we decided to confirm I am indeed ready for this race. We decided to do a long and very hilly route. We headed up this climb that is supposedly a 24-26% grade. I have been dreading this climb for months. 
~Before the monster hill, still happy~

So after doing moderate climbing for an hour or so we seriously hit the pavement. I'll be honest I was cursing my 2 riding buddies as I sweated every ounce of liquid out of my body. I contemplated walking but then realized if I don't conquer this I'm going to have to try it again and again until I succeed. Next thing I know I can here something. Was it success? Yes! Yes it was.
I have never been so happy to reach the top of a climb. As far as I could tell my partners in this crazy adventure were also happy.
~I think I was slightly delirious trying to take this picture~

So after this defining moment in my cycling, I have now realized that my climbing skills are perfectly fine. I'm not some super uber hill climber. In fact I'm pretty sure I will still get passed on most climbs but I now know that I am capable of achieving success on any hill climb. It really was all in my head.

So what does all this hill climbing mean? Well, if I survive this:
Then I think I will try to tackle this:

I read a great blog today from The Swim Bike Mom. She definitely inspired me to at least give Ironman CDA a try. After discussing with the husband I think I will plan to try it in 2015. Unfortunately due to my unplanned knee surgery that was decided for me 2 weeks ago I figure I better not make too many broad goals for 2014. 
Here's to big crazy hairy goals!!!

Onto a foodie note. Normally I try to eat super healthy. I follow a plant based, gluten free diet. I make everything from scratch and I've been told for eating so healthy my food actually tastes great. Tonight though I needed some comfort food. I had a hankering for Broccoli Cheese Soup. How do you make that happen when you're vegan? 
Well, lets just say it required some Daiya cheese and I'm guessing because it used an entire bag that this soup wasn't the most cost effective but holy moly was it good. 
Another unhealthy find that made me fall madly in love with it is this delicious treat.
I picked it up at Planet Organic in Victoria. I think I died and went to heaven. I even tried to save half of it for a friend that recently went GF and Dairy free but I just couldn't stop eating it. 
I don't promote eating these deliciously decadent treats frequently but once in a while you just need to enjoy.
Now I am off to get a ride in. After all I've been consuming all of these delicious calories.

Monday, June 17, 2013

What a Weekend

Another Olympic Distance race under my belt. How was it? Well, I had a ton of fun, there were some ups and downs, I did not reach my goal of sub 3 hours but I'm okay with that and I survived all of the crazy crap that came with our adventurous weekend. I'll try to keep this short because there is a lot to tell.
Friday afternoon we were ready to roll out to our destination. Only problem was the road to our destination was closed due to an accident. So we took our time getting ready and left 2 hours later. Ces't La Vie!
Got our parking lot.. I mean camp spot all set up.

Task 1 for the weekend is done! Decided to go to bed a little early to catch up on some much needed sleep for my race on Sunday. Only problem...
someone forgot the pillows. UGH!!!!!! I was not happy even though the blame doesn't go 100% onto hubby because I know I'm equally responsible for that one.

Next day woke up super cranky thanks to no pillow. Had to run a few errands (including shopping for pillows that stay in the trailer). Then headed over to the race site for package pickup and bike drop. The Subaru Western Triathlon Series are a great bunch of events. They had a ton of stuff going on. The place was packed. Todays tasks included grabbing my race pack, dropping off my bike, have kids run the kids fun race, do a short run and a quick swim.
Both of my girls ran the race. Big sis did awesome even though I don't have a photo because I was busy running with little sis who bonked after the first lap.
We spared her by not taking a photo of the aftermath. Let me just tell you there were a lot of tears and then after she recovered she wanted to run again despite the race being finished. Don't worry though she did get a prize anyways.

Had some lunch back at the trailer.
The husband and I had a super awesome rice bowl that I concocted.

The kids had the same thing but of course their food can't be layered in a bowl.

Met up with my coach briefly, got my run and swim in and then we headed out for some food to celebrate Fathers Day a day early since I would be busy racing.
I then put my racing stuff together and double checked that I had everything I needed.
The hoodie underneath everything came in my race pack. It is super cute.

We then took some time to relax by the campfire and roast some marshmallows. We met a lovely family from up Island at Comox who the husband was also racing. Turns out there were a few of us camped here (my coach included).
Off to bed.

Race morning I was up at 5:30 to be at the site for 6:30. As I was getting ready I had a very sad and very sick little girl.
Turns out she had the flu. After a few bouts of the barfs I got her to go back to bed and wished my husband a happy fathers day. He later got barfed on. Sigh, I did offer to stay home from the race but he said he would be fine. I now realize his day was less then desirable. I'll have to make that up to him.
My coach and I got dropped off by his lovely wife which worked out very well because there was no parking anywhere. The line for the porta potties was 15 minutes long. I eventually got my transition set up.
Then off to the lake to start this race.

Unfortunately due to a husband who had to deal with a super sick kid and a naughty great dane we have no race photos except this one of me yelling to see how little sis is doing. She was definitely on my mind the entire race. So was the fact that I was considering not running the race due to my knee being very painful. 
I totally look like I'm going so slow here. Apparently my average speed was 29km/hour though.

My spectators getting bored.

My other spectators getting a little pep into her after barfing on her dad.

So once I crossed the finish line I had some great friends come and congratulate me. There was someone missing though...
My coach. So I started asking around. Normally he finishes about 30minutes ahead of me and waits at the finish line for me. Turns out he was in the medical tent : (
He stubbed his toe on the run and hit the ground hard. He tore up his hands, his knee, his shoulder was all scratched up and he even popped a rib out. Craziest part is he still won his age group! 

So all in all I had a great race. Yes it totally sucked that I missed my goal time by 1 minute and 31 seconds but looking at all my times I'm really proud at what I did. 

Swim: 26:51 (fastest in my age group)
Bike: 1:34 (45km)
Run: 55:59 (a little slow but considering I wasn't going to run, not too bad)

My transitions weren't as fast as I would have liked so I need to practice a few more of those but overall I thought I did pretty good. 
So we are less then 6 weeks to my Calgary Ironman 70.3 
I'm feeling a little more confident that I can do it but I have a bit more work to do on the bike and run... after I recover.
 This is all worth it right?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Klutz is my middle name

It's been a busy week in my house. We are gearing down with the last 2 weeks of school. Between beach days with the school, volunteer time at the school, appreciation teas at the school... you get the picture. Well, trying to fit in some training this week has been tough. I've got patients I need to treat, and I need treatments for myself too. I did manage  a pool swim with Masters Monday night, Tuesday I squeezed in a very quick run between volunteering at my littlest ones school, running home for a quick lunch and then off to my other little ones school for another round of volunteering. Which by the way I was not prepared for. Nothing like using my muscles to stir thick concrete, wearing "nice" clothes to stir said concrete and get splashed in the face including my eye. Don't worry though I am getting over it ; )
Today after I pick the kids up we are off to the lake so I can practice some transitions to prep me for this upcoming triathlon in Victoria.
I am feeling not too bad. A little nervous since my knee still isn't right. I did have a decent run yesterday but there is definitely things going on in the pesky knee. Today I saw my super awesome sports med. He fixed me up last year with my other knee surgery. Anyways, options aren't ideal right now because it's only six weeks till my first 70.3
So he said if I can push through the pain to get me across the finish line then that's what I need to do. I won't do any more damage (isn't that reassuring) but we just don't have enough time to fix it up within 6 weeks time. I would lose too much training. Bottom line is that I will probably be going in under the knife this fall. I'm okay with this because I have been there 2x's before. I have a tendency to wreck myself...
~Another example of my klutziness~
Saturday I was out for a 60km ride when I caught my finger in the shifter. Yup, only I am capable of bleeding on the bike without actually falling off. 
So bottom line is if you are a klutz, get used to it because it never goes away.

Anyways, back to racing. I'm starting to feel very nervous about this weekends race. More so that I don't want anything to hurt. I have a specific time goal in mind but I don't know if I can achieve it with this knee issue. I hate excuses but sometimes we do have to be realistic with ourselves and realize that pain is not good and if it hurts that bad it is okay to stop. I'm still working on this. I just have to remember I tried my best. So here is to a fun racing weekend with as little pain as possible!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Rough week

Happy Friday everyone. I've been meaning to post all week but I've got to tell you, I've had a rough week. I've been a single parent while the husband is away (in Santa Monica...sooooo jealous). I've had the flu, I'm having troubles fitting in workouts while husband is away and I had the post race blues...
As many of you know I've been battling a slight injury and wasn't sure if I was going to be able to run the Victoria Goddess Run last Sunday.
Well after being away last week in Calgary Alberta, I flew into Victoria Saturday afternoon to my lovely husband waiting for me with a beautiful bouquet of pink peonies (my absolute fav!!!). 
From the airport I had to go pick up my race package regardless of me running or not. I got to the expo grabbed my package and decided despite not being ready to race I was going to do the half anyways. Don't worry my coach was okay with it as long as I promised to stop running if there was pain. Now a lot of people give me grief for racing when I'm not optimal but here's the thing. Not all races are going to go well. My theory was that when I race my Calgary Ironman in July I might be hot, I might be very tired, things could go wrong in my estimated 6 hour time and I need to be able to still finish. So last Sunday, despite not having run more than 8 km in 4 weeks I decided to just do it.
~pre-race photo with my lovely Goddess Girl Friends~
I have to say this was a super fun race! I had lots of friends running the half, the 10km and the 5km and I love seeing my fellow girls out pounding the pavement. 
So how did the race go?
~At the start~
My start was great! I felt really good and had a great pace. I thought I might even break 2 hours. Only problem is I might have gone out a little too fast. I lost steam around 8km (maybe because that's the longest I had run in 4 weeks). Then my injured knee got sore so I had to back off. I even walked for a few minutes. I was still happy around 15km but then I started feeling nauseous. I was scared to take in another gel. I had to stop at all of the water stations to sip some Gatorade. It started getting ugly. Yet I was still on track for getting a sub 2 hour. At around the 18km mark I was falling apart. My knee was getting more sore, I was fighting my body to not throw up and my legs were seizing up. I was not happy. That's when I decided There was not going to be a sub 2 hour today. I sucked up my pride and slowed right down. I stopped at the last water station and took my time. I had a couple of friends on course cheering me on and I put on a big smile but inside I was miserable. I honestly was not confident that I was going to be able to run to the finish. But, I did, and I got this cute necklace.
I filled up with oranges and water at the finish and regrouped with my lovely half Goddess's.
~We had lovely weather~

So all and all, I am happy I did it! I know I can keep going when the going is tough.

Now I am preparing for my next race. The Subaru Victoria Olympic Triathlon.
This is not a priority race for me so I will be treating it more as a training session but it will be good. I'm really looking forward to it. 

Before I sign off today I just want to send a little shout out to all of those single parents out there. My 1 week has nothing on what you guys do day in and day out. Parenting is tough enough as it is.
Also, for those in the San Fran area See Jane Run has a super fab race this weekend. If you live in the area it's worth checking out.  They do still need volunteers and there will be chocolate!