Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Breaking out the feather duster

I suppose it's time to write my blog post for the quarter. Not a whole lot interesting going on around these parts = not much to write about. Sure I ran the Niagara Falls half a few weeks ago but I can sum that up in one word. Suck. Unless you like running into 21 straight kilometers of headwind. Then it was awesome.
I for one do  not. I did however have a fun weekend out there. The day before Derek and I went for breakfast, hit up the expo and then did some geocaching. That's always a good time. Especially in a muggle infested area like Niagara Falls. LOL
Doing the tourist thing at the falls

Lately I've just been trying to maintain my fitness. I'm just starting to be able to get up in the mornings again after the time change. Why do they have to muck around with the time?! I'm trying to run 3x week, do the trainer 2-3x week and get in a swim every week. Baby steps with the swimming seeing as I'm back to ground zero there and I don't need to aggravate my shoulders. Who knew lugging around jugs of beer and plates of wings for 20+ years would have such an impact on my body. Any way, so far I'm doing ok. Things should get interesting in January though when (maybe) marathon training starts. Seeing as Nicole is on the fence about it, so am I. I'm nothing if not a follower. Ha. I think it all depends on how ATB goes for us this year before the final decision will be made. If you can't hold MP for 30k one month before the marathon then really, what's the point?

So far I've registered for 2 races for 2016 and have a few of others that I'll sign up for after Christmas. Chilly obviously I'll do because who doesn't like to run in the cold for a bowl of canned chili?! Not signed up for it yet though because there doesn't seem to be a price increase. ATB I'm registered for because their price increase is $20 and I'm super cheap! It's also my favourite race so why wouldn't I be registered? I'm hoping that with a female race director this year we'll get an amazing coloured shirt. Fingers crossed. Goodlife will either be the half or full depending on ATB and Nicole. I'm pretty easy going, whatever happens with that happens. I'll do the Welland sprint tri because I want to swim back in the canal. Dream swim right there! I'm registered for the Muskosa half IM but haven't come out and told anyone yet. Actually, one person knows. Two think they know. The rest of the world is finding out right here. And by world I mean all two of you who may read this. After that life is up in the air. Maybe I'll finally find a race that has THE medal. The one that can not be beaten therefore I can never race again because all other medals will be ruined for me. Wouldn't that be something?!?!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Barrelman 70.3

Looks like it's time to dust off the ol' blog to tell you all about my first 70.3 adventures! What do you mean who does a 70.3 when all they've done before that were a try a tri and a sprint tri the year before?! Isn't that what all normal people do? No? I guess normal people don't have pushy friends like mine. LOL


Race morning rolls around and my pushy  friend, Mari picked me up at 6am to head down to Niagara Falls where we quickly found parking and hopped on the shuttle bus to get over to Welland for the swim start. My stomach was in knots but that quickly disappeared when I checked my tires as Mari had instructed me to do and realized that the rear tire on my bike had gone flat over night. CRAP! The girl 2 bikes down from me had a pump so I asked her if I could borrow it. She said yes. YAY! As I unscrewed the valve the whole thing flew off the wheel like a cannon. NOOOOOO! What the hell had happened?!?! Thankfully I remembered that there was a bike mechanic set up just outside of transition so I raced my bike over there and asked him to change my tube. PHEW! As he was fixing it for me the guy who's bike he fixed before mine came up and paid his $50 invoice. Oh. My. God. I have no money and no form of payment on me. What the hell am I going to do now?! I took off and went to try to find someone, anyone that I might know that would have money. I ran into Emma right away who passed me her sunglasses which I had asked to borrow because I couldn't (and still can't) find mine. "EMMA! Do you have any form of payment on you?! No?! EEK!". I went back over to the mechanic guy and asked him how much it would be because I'd have to borrow money from someone. "Naw, you provided the tube so there's no charge.". * insert angels singing here * Thank the Lord for this man! Shout out to D'Ornellas Bike Shop here. Having my bike crisis taken care of I then went and saw Nicole for hugs and body marking. She had gotten up at 4am to surprise us and volunteer at the race. Who has better friends than I do?! No one! As Nicole was marking the number on my arm she then moved over to my shoulder blade and wrote something there. I didn't think much of it until later in the race. I said goodbye as some other people had the nerve to want her to body mark them as well and made my way to the loooooooooooooooong bathroom line. I really had to pee so skipping it was not an option. Thankfully I made it out of there with 15 mins to spare to put on my wetsuit and make my way down to the canal. I found Emma, Zin and Irina on the way but could not find Mari anywhere. *sad face* I talked to my insta friend Dana (who had introduced herself at ATB, just before Nicole puked) and then spied Mari from a distance for wet good luck hugs. My favourite. I was feeling pretty relaxed and excited to start the swim. The rest I could wait for.

Swim (2k)
Time: 44.12
Pace: 2:12/100m
Overall: 316/496
Gender: 83/162
Age group: 15/34

The pros were off and then one minute later it was our waves turn to start. We had stayed at the back and I was happy to keep myself there to avoid any kicks or being swum over. I had given myself permission to just enjoy the swim seeing as it would probably be the only part of the day that wouldn't completely suck so I just went slow and easy. At the turnaround is when the fast people from the wave behind me caught up but they were cool and didn't bother me at all. My mind was pretty empty, I just swam. About 3/4 of the way through the swim I started to get cold. I could feel myself shivering and my nose was running like crazy. I kept having to wipe my nose mid stroke because if you've ever had a runny nose in the water before you'll know that snot does not just wash off by itself. It's like having a jellyfish stuck to your face. Not very attractive for race photos, it tends to take away from the weeds hanging off of your body. Before I knew it the swim was over and a man was helping me out of the water. It seemed to be kind of chaotic at the swim exit. There were so many people in the stands cheering and I was trying to figure out which way to go. I tried to find Nicole for a high five (obviously I wouldn't tell her that my hands were covered in snot!) but I couldn't see her. Boo. I ran into T1 and took my time getting myself together. I even put on deodorant which judging by my smell in the car on the way home, didn't really help.

Looking at the ground would explain why I didn't see Nicole

Bike (89km)

The bike was the part of the race that I was least looking forward to. I just don't have the same passion for riding as my friends do. Sure I enjoy it, but my heart belongs to my running shoes. I was cruising along at my intended pace for quite awhile trying to make sure that I was eating and drinking. People were passing me like crazy, most were nice and said "On your left, Samantha".... "Have a great ride".... "How're you doing?" but others had their game faces on and didn't say a word at all. So may people spoke to me that first 25k I began to wonder what exactly Nicole had written on my shoulder blade. Did she write "70.3 virgin" "newbie" "killer"?! Maybe I should ask someone, but I never did. At some point we turned a corner and were greeted with a headwind that never went away after that. "Well this isn't fun anymore" a man said to me as he passed me by. "Nope" I replied. Now I was beginning to regret not going to the bathroom before I left T1. After awhile the fact that I had to pee was all I could think about. Thankfully an aid station with a porta potty soon came into view so I pulled off and jumped in. As I stood up to leave the porta potty my left leg suddenly felt terrible and I actually grunted. Hopefully the girl who was waiting outside didn't hear me!!! I gingerly made my way back to my bike and had a bit of trouble getting going again. The left side of my leg from the sit bone to the knee was really hurting and made riding very uncomfortable. I was constantly standing up and readjusting my positioning on the bike trying to find some comfort. I was also so bored by this point I started singing to myself just to try to keep my mind off of my leg pain and to keep myself entertained. People would talk to me every now and then but because of the no drafting/blocking rules we could only speak for a few seconds so it didn't really help pass the time much and the route wasn't as exciting as it had been made out to be. There was some cheer-leading going on, on the sides of the road and at one point I came upon a group of girls. A group of girls who I recognized!! I waved and smiled to Kerry, Becky and Janine and they shouted and whistled and yelled my name. A girl passed me shortly after that and said "Your cheer squad really gave me a boost there!!!". What?! Get lost! That was my cheer squad and my boost! Get your own!! I also saw Kevin and Lynn out there which was an unexpected surprise. Shortly after I saw them, around 65k Mari passed me. "I've been waiting for you" I said to her. She asked me how I was feeling, I told her my leg was hurting. She told me to hurry, I'd catch her on the run. I told her I hoped I'd be able to walk. DRAMA QUEEN! There were several points in this ride I wondered if anyone could possiblly be left behind me. SO MANY people had passed me. I was getting passed by grandmothers for goodness sakes! With about 25k left to go I'd finally had enough and picked up the pace a little bit I was so finished and done with this ride. Go figure, I was finally passing people now. And one of them had a 40 on her leg! As long as I could keep her behind me I wouldn't be DFL in my age group! It's the little things. Ha. Eventually I came up to the bike dismount and scrambled to get the hell off of this contraption!! I have no official bike time or placing because at one point in the ride I had tried to readjust my timing chip because it was too tight and ended up having to wear it on my wrist so the mat didn't pick me up so all I have is a cumulative time between the ride and T2. Not that I care about my time, it was pretty fricking terrible but I'd really like to know how much ground I made back on the run!

Heading out on the bike, Flatwater Centre behind me

Run (21.1 km)
Time: 2:06:48
Pace: 6:02/km (first loop 1:00 second loop 1:06)
Total race time: 6:41:04
Overall: 397/496
Gender: 110/162
Age group: 23/34

I made my way through T2, racked my bike, changed my shoes and used the porta potty (at least I know I'd hydrated well so far) and made my way onto the run course. This was where I had actually given myself a goal for this race. It was the only part I'd done so. Two hours. Off I went where I was immediately greeted with a woman yelling to me "You're almost there!!!". LMAO  After about 500m I saw Derek, George, Kevin and Lynn and I yelled over "This is balls!! What was I thinking?!" But at that point it didn't feel like balls really. It felt like running and it felt great. "Great pace" a woman yelled out to me and I quickly dialed it back. That's the trouble with the run off the bike. Your legs have no idea how fast they're going. Out of nowhere Emma appeared here and I was so surprised to see her. Holy crap I thought to myself, she's gotta be like 50 minutes ahead of me!! Soon enough I also saw Mari on an out and back and I gave her a high five. Haha Mari, I wonder if I still had snot on my hands! I also saw an aid station with a huge hill right behind it that people were making their way up. Holy crap I thought to myself and made a mental note to skip that aid station because I was walking that hill! On the second hill is where I caught back up to Mari. "Keep running!" I yelled "I'm coming!!!!!". We walked the top portion of the hill together and then I went on ahead. Passing, passing, passing, passing. No one passed me. I came up behind one woman and she said "I hear a fast runner coming. Are you on your second loop?". "I wish" I said and she looked startled. "Fast runner, slow cyclist" I laughed to her. A short time later I came upon another woman just as a girl with a 20 on her leg went blazing past. "I used to be 20 once". she said to me. We all got a good laugh about that one. Except the 20 year old. She was long gone.
Running past the falls! 

At 8k I reminded myself to take a gel. At 8.5k my tummy let me know that it was not cool with the gel. Great. Was this going to be another Ottawa?! I came back into the park and made my way back out for my second loop. I was ok with the double loop. Mentally I broke the run up into two 10k runs and that really helped me. I ran past Derek again who took my picture and told myself no walking until the hill.

 I saw Emma again in pretty much the exact same spot I'd seen her before and told her how awesome she was doing (and lucky she was almost done!). She truly killed it out there. I kept going with my sore tummy until the first hill and was proud of myself for not walking before it. Too bad I couldn't keep up with that mental toughness after that though because the walk breaks were coming more and more from this point on. At 16k I forced myself to take another gel. At 17k vomit started coming up the back of my throat. Finally I was passing the last aid station. "Do you need anything?" they asked me "I need to be finished this race!!!!!!" I yelled to them. "You're almost there, girlfriend" the woman said. Yep. Almost there. My tummy started rolling after this part and the heaves began. I leaned over to the side and almost vomited on the 9k sign that was there for the first loop. "Oh boy" I said aloud. My eyes were watering like crazy but I would not stop. I was not going to feel defeated like I had in Ottawa. I walked and ran and walked and ran my way to the finish where people kept telling me how close I was. Yep. Finally I saw Derek cheering for me and knew that NOW I was almost there. I laughed when I saw that they were holding the tape up for me to run through at the finish line. So absurd. I threw my arms up into the air, broke the tape and gladly accepted my medal. I had just traveled 113km by my own locomotion and I was damn proud! It hadn't gone the way that I had envisioned but when do races ever? Go me!

Yeah baby! 

So easy to forget the garbage once the race is finished! Let's do it again!


Despite my upset tummy and sore leg (which strangely never bothered me on the run) I actually enjoyed myself out there. The swim was amazing, the bike was boring, and the run course was awesome! Running past the falls twice, feeling the mist and watching people take selfies in front of one of the wonders of the world was so, so great! Will I do another 70.3? Yes. Mari is relentless in her quest for me to do a full IM but I'd really need to get my tummy figured out before I even contemplate it. Plus I have no idea how I'd fit the training in. Not to mention I still have the BQ goal with Nicole to do. Any way, while your medal was TERRIBLE, Barrelman (You couldn't throw a little writing on the ribbon or make the barrel spin?!?! WEAK!!) I truly enjoyed myself and would recommend this race to anyone. The volunteers were all incredible, especially the ones body marking. :oD And if you're wondering what it was that Nicole wrote on my shoulder blade it was #oldboobs and #dontfuckitup

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Ottawa Race Weekend

My story starts on Friday night. Still in Burlington. Sleeping in my own bed. Or at least trying to, except I have the worst case of heartburn. I get up, take two tums and get back into bed. Still burning, so I get up and take one of Derek's prescription Zantac and prop up some extra pillows but the heartburn is getting worse and not better, my chest is on fire and I wonder if I'm actually having a heart attack. LOL Downstairs I go again and take one of Noah's Prevacid (yep, lots of stomach issues in this household). Finally that helps enough for me to be able to fall asleep around 11:30pm.

Fast forward to Saturday morning and my 4:45am alarm where I shower, have breakfast and grab my things and go. Derek drives Nicole and I to the airport in perfect time for me to arrive to find that my flight has been delayed an hour. An hour that I could have been sleeping off my heartburn rather than waiting for them to swap out the plane that had been struck by lightening in the night(!!). I finally got to Ottawa without any further problems (except the stale donut that I got at the airport Tim Horton's) and we made our way to the hotel and then over to the expo.
Bye bye Toronto
We picked up our race kits, said hello to my RMT who was working at the Running Room booth (who went in for a hug at the same time that I stuck my hand out for a handshake *awkward*), attacked the mountain of potato chips that was set up as a free for all (I got 5 bags, 2 of which turned out not to be plain but smoked meat and mustard flavour! Bleck.) and then hit the Rideau Centre for lunch and to kill time before the route bus tour started. Nicole and I both had pizza and water. I picked most of the cheese off of mine (I'm lactose intolerant but typically small amounts of cheese don't bother me) but maybe not enough. Have I mentioned that it had dipped below zero in the night and it was flipping freezing out?! We were a bit worried about being underdressed at the race start so we went to a dollar store and bought some kids socks for mittens and a pack of garbage bags. Then we went and sat on a mall bench to wait for the bus tour to start. As luck would have it Kenny and his friend walked by, spotted us and stopped to talk. Kenny told us how excited he was for us and Nicole told him our plans ".......and if nothing else Sam is getting a PB because her current one is 4:10!!!" *JINX* Finally the time came for us to board the tour bus and head out to check the route first hand. I really enjoyed this drive, even if we were gone for close to two hours. The traffic downtown is crazy! We had the best tour guide, he was so knowledgeable and was a runner so he really knew what points to tell us about. Best of all he was pretty funny and told some great stories. After the tour was over we tried to find somewhere to eat dinner.
Best bus tour guide ever, like!

As luck would have it Nicole noticed that there was an Italian restaurant right next to our hotel so we were able to order take out and eat it back in our room, in our jammies while watching the 10k race live streamed on the runottawa website. The best part was seeing Barb cross the finish line with a new 10K PB!! In my PJ's! Then we watched Spirit of the Marathon 2 and went to sleep around 9:30pm.

This is how a lot of time in our room was spent

2:30am and I'm now wide awake

3:30am I hear Nicole get up and I'm still awake.

5:30 my alarm goes off. Thankfully I had fallen back to sleep. I get up and notice that Nicole isn't there, wash my face, go to the bathroom (perfect, I have the runs) and go down to the Starbucks attached to the hotel to get some oatmeal with lactose free milk and a tea. Come back up to eat and Nicole still isn't there. I'm starting to get worried and am about to call her when she comes back to the room. Loooooong Tim Horton's line up apparently. Way to be prepared, Timmies. We get dressed and make our way over to the start line with the thousands of other people crazy enough to run a marathon. Nicole is worried that she hasn't been #2 yet but there's no time to get to the porta potties to try one last time because it is 10 minutes to race start. I'm so friggin nervous at this point. I had received so many texts and PM's wishing me luck, I really felt a lot of pressure to perform out there, but as soon as the gun went off that all went away and I just focused on running our paces. I was feeling really good and I was honestly amazed at the spectator support out there. So many families out at 7am to cheer on total strangers is so amazing to me!  We trucked along and held our pace well. At the 9k water station Nicole told me that she had to use the porta potty so I started walking. I figured I should keep my legs moving while I waited for her but I started to get pretty far away and didn't want her freaking out about where I was so I pulled off to the sidewalk and waited. Another runner stopped to ask if I was ok and I waved him on assuring him I was just waiting for my friend. The 3:40 pacer passed us here and the 3:45 caught up and I was going to suggest we just stick with him for the time being when Nicole caught back up to me. We ran along some more ticking off the kilometers and I was still feeling great thinking that we would for sure get the 3:45! We reach the 15k water station and Nicole has to hit the porta potties again. "I'll walk again" I tell her. "I'm starting to get a stomach cramp any way". Again I stop to wait for her so that I don't get too far ahead. No one asks if I'm ok this time. While I'm standing here the 3:50 pacer runs past and I tell Nicole as she runs back to me. "I am finishing sub 4 today if nothing else!!". I ask Nicole for a walk break around 18k because my legs are a bit tired and I'm getting super hot. I've been sweating like crazy the entire race and I can feel the salt on my face. I tell Nicole that we can only run the race that we're given and if we're not going to get our goal times that we should just enjoy ourselves. Nicole agrees and rips off her pace bands. This makes me laugh for some reason. Probably because the ones that she made me are still on the dresser in the hotel room. The race turns into Quebec and all of the spectator cheers turn from "Go Samantha!" to "C'est Bon, SamanTa!". We stop for a walk break and a guy tells us to keep running, we can do it! "I've got the shits!" Nicole says to him. "Sorry that you're having a shitty run" he replies. Nyuknyuknyuk. We also notice a guy running and talking on the phone which makes us laugh. It is even funnier when we see him about 7k later still talking on the phone! Somewhere around 25k my tummy is really starting to hurt and strangely Nicole is feeling better. It's like we tag teamed the sickness. Nicole suggests that I hit the next porta potty and see if anything happens. I jump in there and only a trickle of pee comes out. I'm a little worried about that because I've been sweating so much. (Apparently more than I thought because Nicole let me know today that at one point we brushed arms and she was grossed out by how wet mine was! LOL) As we head back into Ontario my stomach is really starting to cramp up and I tell Nicole that I think I might be sick. "Well just be sick then" she tells me. Unfortunately I can't. "If we can keep up a 5:40 pace we can get your sub 4" Nicole tells me. I don't give a crap. About anything. I just want to be done this stupid race. What am I doing out here?! Why did I think this was a good idea?! Don't I remember how crappy it feels? Where is the pleasure in this?! I want to go home. I want my mommy! I want a beer. I want a salad! I miss fiber! I see the turn for the half marathoners and wish that I was taking it. Instead I make the turn the other way and head deeper into the suck. Derek's cousin told me that she would be around the 30k mark so I look out for her but can't see her. Probably for the best. I probably look like hell. (Turns out she was at the 35k water station and saw me walking). At about 32k we were in a park like area and my entire day falls apart. I'm fighting nausea and cramps and finally break down and begin to cry. I feel like hell and I'm ruining the race. Nicole gives me a pep talk and tells me that we can walk it in if I want. God no. That would mean being out here even longer! She then suggests that we do 10s & 1s which sounded like heaven to me. Then she pulls her pom poms out of her pockets and goes into full Nicole mode. "Look who we get to run beside! This guy right here! I think he's an ironman! He's so hot!!" Even through my crying eyes I can see that yeah, he's pretty hot. Poor Ironman though. We ended up passing him as I clutched my stomach and shuffled my feet while Nicole danced to the music and played to the crowds.
That hair hanging off my bun drove me crazy for 42kms!

This is what it sounds like, when doves cry

Eventually we switched to 5s & 1s because I couldn't make the 10s. And we were walking all of the water stations. And then I got yelled at for walking and not telling Nicole. "We're finishing this together!". Finally we turned back onto Sussex St and I know that I am going to finish this damn race. And that I am only doing half marathons from now on. Forever. And my God, what the hell was I thinking even considering doing a half iron sometime in the future?! I could barely make it though this. Maybe I'll quit running altogether. Maybe I'll just ride my bike. PeeWee Jackman. Up ahead I know that Barb is waiting at 38k to jump in and run us to the finish. Just make it to Barb I think. And I do. She asks how I'm doing and I tell her that I feel like shit. She then offers me peanuts and oranges. Ew. No. Who the hell eats peanuts while they're running I think to myself. Turns out she was offering up Kleenex, not peanuts. Barb asks if I want her to talk or be quiet. I tell her to talk to Nicole. Nicole points out the big spider to me, the one thing on the route that I really wanted to see. I think that this amused Barb. I think that it made me smile. At least in my mind it did.
Picture of the spider stolen from the internet
Nicole hands me a sponge that she's been keeping in her tank top strap and I wipe my face and neck with it. Then Barb takes it and carries it to the end. Thank you for taking our nasty ass used sponge, Barb! The half marathoners have joined in the course now and it is so congested. And the sun is out full blast. Perfect. And there are so many spectators! You can barely move. I'm forced to walk for a few seconds from the amount of people around me and Barb tells me to come on, we're almost at the finish. I stop to retie my shoe because my foot is really hurting and my toe stings. The massive blood blister I find when I take off my shoes and socks would explain that. Finally we are turning into the finishing area and Nicole asks if I want to take the final walk break. No. Just run. With 800m left I'm thinking that I REALLY want that walk break but I don't take it. This is where Barb leaves us and then Nicole grabs my hand and like that it's over. 4:11:11 . So much for that PB eh, Nicole.LOL

Smiling because I see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Thank God that's over!

Despite feeling like garbage for 17k I really enjoyed this weekend. Nicole was a great travelling companion (I already know that she's a great running partner), I got to meet Barb even if the only talking that I did was complaining, we met up with Sarah & Maggie for lunch and the race itself was outstanding. The medal even has a double spinner, and if you know me you know that I like my spinners! There was crowd support for every step of the 42.2km and that was awesome. Water stations every 3k and even sponge stations! Those were my favourite part. I feel badly that the race couldn't have gone any better for me, but shit happens. A day later and I know that I'll be out there again for redemption. I'm not quite ready to become PeeWee Jackman.....

I got my beer!

And enjoyed it!

I also got to add a mug to my 'You are here' collection. Now I have two! LOL
Best ending ever. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Ottawa training....two weeks in!

So it's been two weeks since the start of my training for the Ottawa Marathon and things have been going pretty well. Both weeks I've gotten in all 3 of my runs, and at least 2 cross trains so yay me! I've also caught a cold right after my sinus infection went away so that kind of sucks, but better now than during the peak weeks right?!?!

Week 1
Monday. Snow storm. Drive to the gym? Impossible. Use the trainer for a workout? Not allowed yet. Answer, watch Downton Abbey and ride easy. 16.65km.

Tuesday. 3x1600 in 7:02 on the TM at the gym. These were super hard. My head was not into them from the get go and even though I didn't *have* to stop midway through each of them I did. Mind games. Bah. Zindine has since suggested I just try to bring the pace down a notch rather than stopping. Duly noted for next time.

Also this day Bernie came and adjusted the seat on the bike for me as suggested by his friend the professional bike fitter Dr Richard Nyguard. Ok, that's not his name and you won't get my joke unless you watch Parks & Rec but the man's name is Richard and he will be doing a proper bike fit for me in the spring. Oh, did I mention that I'm going to be buying Laura's husbands old Trek? Yay, bike! It's a pretty sweet bike and although it looks like a dudes bike, I'm really excited for it and can easily pink it up.

Wednesday. As the only member of the #530amswimclub I was able to get in 2000y because I had no one to talk to. One is the loneliest number......

Thursday. Tempo 2 miles @ 7:35/mile. I got through this no problem. Probably because it was only 2 miles. Easy peasy. I also bitched at the gym that TSN has not been working. Update. It is now fixed. You're welcome all the other women at the gym who also like to watch SportsCentre.

Friday. Spin. I love spin. It's why I'm opting for this rather than the disgusting 5x3.5min 5+MHR intervals that Zindine wants me to do. Friday spin gets my HR up and my sweat on and I don't want to lie down on the floor and weep when it's over. Spin for the win!
Just showing you my 2L water bottle. I love it even if Derek says you can't
take me seriously drinking out of it. 

Saturday. Supposed to be 21km @ 5:30/km average. Hahahahahaha. Oh Run Less Run Faster. You joker you. I figured 5:45/km was a decent compromise and even easily convinced Emma to run with me. Then the snow happened and that whole plan went out the window. The roads were way to greasy to get any sort of traction so we just ran. Oh well, the effort was there anyway. The run also started off with Patty and Mari so that was fun.

Week 2
Monday. I got up to do my 5x5min MHR intervals on the trainer but the battery on my Garmin was dead and it was too late to get myself ready to go to the gym and use a bike there so I opted for back to bed. I didn't sleep well Sunday night so it was an easy choice.

Tuesday. Tempo 8k @ 5:15/km. This will probably be my last tempo run with Mari for a while as my paces get faster and she's in taper for Pheonix. It went great. We totally nailed the paces and had donuts after! What could be better?!
Still Tuesday. Seeing as Mari wan't going to be able to make it for swimming on Wednesday morning I decided to try out the pool around the corner from my work. I swam 2000m. There were no lines on the bottom of the pool so that was a pain in the ass when I'd zone out and the place was full of weirdos. Oh well, I'll probably go back just for the convenience. And for the people watching although I'll have to keep my water bottle over by the life guard or something so I don't have to worry about weird old guys drinking from it!

Wednesday. I was going to do my intervals on the bike but instead I woke up with a cold and hit the snooze button for 90 minutes. No workout would be happening this day.

Thursday. 4x800m on the TM at the gym. Even though my cold had moved into my chest I nailed this workout. I finished each set strong and felt way better about myself than I did after last weeks speed session.

Friday. Spin. Still loving spin. Except for when she announces that we are doing a 10 minute hill climb. Uh. What?! I come to this class for the speed not the slog. If I wanted hills I could have just ridden with Emma. LOL Also went to pick up my baby from school this evening and stopped in for a quick bite at Burrito Boyz where I had my fav sweet potato burrito. I need to learn how to make these because it was the best pre long run dinner ever!

Saturday. 24k with the last 8k at HMP as per Nicole's coaches instructions. I just came along for the ride. And the donut. Like I do. My average pace was supposed to be 5:41 for this one. We finished with an average pace of 5:35. I'm super happy with it. Later this day my cold started getting worse and I ended up in bed for most of the afternoon and evening and then felt like death the next day so that really sucked.

Monday, November 17, 2014

So far so good

So you may have noticed that I didn't do a R2H recap. I didn't feel the need to repeat everything that Nicole and Emma said so you can just read theirs if you really need to know the sordid details. Suffice it to say I came I ran I went. Nothing too spectacular or horrific.
So far in my pretraining training cycle things are going pretty well. Last week I was able to get all 6 workouts in plus 2 rest days so yay! The Wednesday bike is a bit of a pain to do but it'll be alright.
Monday I did the MHR test Zin told me to do. 20min hard as hell. Yikes. I maxed out at 173 but my average HR during that time was 168 so that's my target for now.
Tuesday was #5amrunclub with 6k tempo with Mari. Afterwards she bought me a donut. Donuts make everything ok.
Wednesday was #530amswimclub. This would have been fun if it weren't totally busy and I had to go in the fast lane to avoid sharing. Some loser ended up swimming over top of me so in hindsight I should have just stayed in the medium lane and shared with Mari. That afternoon I hit the bike for 5X5min MHR intervals on the bike. Fun times.
Thursday I went to the gym and did 8x400's on the treadmill. It's way to dark to go to the track in the mornings so the TM is the way to go now. At least I can watch Sportscentre at the gym.
Friday rest day! Yes! I went and bought new shoes so I guess I did something sporty.
Saturday 15k long run. The first 5k I did by myself. The sunrise was AMAZING so I took my phone out to take a picture and ended up dropping it and the bottom of the screen cracked. Grrrrr. Then I met up with the girls (Emma, Patty & Amy) for 10k along the lake path. It was nice to get together, it's been awhile. I also went to the opera with my dad Saturday afternoon. We saw Verdi's MacBeth. It would have been fun except for the stupid pulled muscle in my back which made sitting for so long uncomfortable.
Sunday rest day! Or as rest day as my crappy breakfast shift allows for.
This is how everyone in the world leaves the spin room right?
Hard work on the spin bike
Beauty long run sunrise.
8x400s are always fun!
Pretending to work hard on the bike

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

New Plans

Training plans? What are those? I haven't followed a training plan since summer 2013 when I was training for the 1:45 half with Nicole. Sure I had PLANNED on following a marathon training plan last winter but plantar fasciitis ruined that for me really quickly. I am going to be following the Run Less Run Faster marathon plan for the Ottawa Marathon which will start February 1. I want to be able to keep my fitness up with the bike and swimming over the winter so that I can transition right into triathlon for the summer once my marathon recovery is over so with this it all fits in great. Since my goal is to BQ at Ottawa (Boston 2016 I will be 45 *gasp* so I "only" need a < 3:55 finish) my friend Zindine (Oakville pacer extraordinaire and my girlie Irina's DH) suggested that I do a 10k build up plan before hand. Sounds good to me. I do plan on tweaking it a bit though because I've been running tempos with Mari the last few weeks at her tempo pace which I'm enjoying and I still want to do my long runs with the girls. I run for the friendships that I've made just as much as I do for the joy of it, so while I'm base building I don't mind cheating a bit. Obviously during marathon training I won't be able to make sacrifices like that, so for now this is cool. The track workouts I'll do on the treadmill at the gym, and Zin has helped me figure out what to do on the spin bikes over the winter to make me stronger. Add in some pool time on Wednesday mornings and I'm excited to get started. Which I will be next week including a 20min hard ride to figure out my HR zones. Apparently these bike workouts will make me scream (hopefully it doesn't get me kicked out of the gym!), which has now been coined as #youwillscream and will be posted with all of my bike workouts. LOL

So this is how my weeks look to be shaping up:

Mondays- bike w/ 5x5min hard ass intervals
Tuesdays - tempo runs w/ Mari until marathon training starts then they'll be my proper tempo paces
Wednesday mornings - swim
Wednesday afternoons - bike w/ 5x3.5 min harder ass intervals
Thursdays- speedwork on the TM
Fridays- Zzzzzzzz
Saturdays- Long runs w/ the girls - hopefully someone will be cool with running my marathon plan LR paces              with me once that starts....
Sundays- Work shift from hell

I'm planning on taking a week off between plans, but hopefully since the Tuesday and Saturday runs aren't that crazy at the start it'll all work out ok and I won't feel burnt out by the end of it. As far as races go for the new year, same old same old. Chilly Half (1:45 or bust, baby!) ATB, Mississauga Half & Ottawa Full. We'll see where the road takes me after that.....

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Oakville Half Marathon 2014

Oakville ON
BIB # 314
Chip Time 1:49:33
Official Time 1:49:54
Pace 5:07/km
Place 200/672
Gender Place 55/332
Category Place 18/99

Another fall season, another running of the Oakville Half Marathon. This was to be my comeback race! Picking up where I left off so to speak before all of the crazy calf issues and PF saga began. I've been feeling fairly healthy and kicking ass at the track so why shouldn't I get that elusive 1:45?! I even had Zindine (Irina's husband) to pace me!

I think that this race report needs to start off with the day before. I had planned on sleeping in so of course my eyes were wide open come 6am. I picked up my phone and saw an email from the Oakville Half with the bib number 2898. Sounds familiar? Weird. Then Nicole messaged me her bib number (I was picking up her race kit). 469. Why is your number only 3 digits when mine is 4? I asked. Then Emma tells me that her bib is 3 digits also. And it says that she's running the marathon? Wait a minute!! These are all of our Mississauga Marathon bib numbers! Ru-roh! Sure enough I arrived to the kit pick up to pandemonium. The line up was huge because people were reciting numbers that were not truly theirs for this race and there was some confusion. Finally someone figured it out (other than me) and I was able to get my, Nicole & Zindine's bibs and move on over to the t-shirt pick up. Oh, pink! Me likey! But then the volunteer says that these are the 2k &10k shirts and the white ones are for the half. Boo! Wait a minute. These white shirts are cotton. And children's sizes! Dude! In the end I got everything that I needed and made my way back home so we could drive out to my nephews university football game for the afternoon. If I'm going to veg out I may as well do it outside cheering on my nephew!
Yeah #2!! York Lions vs McMaster Mauraders

Race morning arrives and there is rain in the forecast. And wind. And humidity. Perfect. Who doesn't love a little bit of the elements on race day?! No one, that's who! I got up, got dressed, ate my breakfast, filled my water and put my gels in the little hand held's pouch. I then put everything else into a pile so that I wouldn't forget anything. I'm not going to be the butt of a joke this year. No, no, no! I'm on time with everything that I need. Then Patty, Emma & Amy arrived to pick me up. I walked out through the garage, got half way to the car and realized I forgot to close the garage door. Doh! I got into the car and we were on our way. A minute later I realized that I had left my water at home. Crap! This wasn't going to be good, my water bottle is my security blanket and if I don't have it, it can really get into my head. Not much I can do about it now. It wasn't until we were getting out of the car that I remembered that I had put my gels in the pouch of the water bottle so not only did I not have a drink, I did not have any gels either. This day was getting better and better. Thankfully Amy had an extra gel so I had at least one. I usually only take one gel when I'm racing because they can upset my stomach, but Zindine suggested I try two because one wasn't enough for me when I'm working hard. We then went and made our way to the spot where we were going to meet up with Irina & Zin. My stomach was in knots and as soon as he saw me Zindine said "You don't look relaxed at all". Ha. That obvious eh? We chatted for a short while and then went on a warm up run where I took advantage of a lone porta potty around the corner. Zin asked me how I was feeling and all I could think was 'thirsty'. I went and found Emma in the starting line crowd and put on my saddest face and asked her for a drink of her water. Literally this entire race was sectioned off in terms of the aid stations for me. That was my every goal. Just get to the next drink station.
Emma, Amy, Patty, me, Kim & Zindine before the madness. And rain.

Waiting for the suck to start.

Soon enough the gun sounded and we were off. I think we were positioned fairly well, I don't really remember spending too much time trying to weave around people. Zin had us settled into the pace fairly quickly and I was just counting off the km beeps to the drinks. Beep. Two more to go. Beep. One more to go. You're ok. Beep. Phew. Drinks. I put my hand up and grabbed a Gatorade, drank it and we were off again, counting down the beeps. My mind was fairly blank during this entire race which is strange for me. I was mainly focused on getting to the aid stations and giving out an 'uh-huh' every time that Zin tried to say something encouraging. "Listen to these people breathing hard already. We are relaxed." Uh-huh. "Maintain your effort. Save yourself.". Yep. In retrospect the time actually flew by even though the suck really started to creep in fairly early. It was so friggin humid at the start and I was melting. Thank God I had given Irina my hat to hold onto (Doh! She still has my hat!! LOL) because I would have been way to hot with it on. Not far into the race it started to rain and while others were probably inwardly grumbling about it, I was happy for it because it was cooling me down. It rained for the entire race with a few extra special down pours which resulted in some nasty bra chafe for me but I'll take that over the pounding sun any day.
It's raining it's pouring....

The usual incline around 8k took the wind out of my sails once again and I decided to take my one and only gel at the aid station right after this. I remember thinking to myself around 10k "Pfft. I got this". I really need to stop thinking that because less than a km later my legs were starting to feel like cement blocks and I was falling further behind Zin. "We should have just done the 10K" I whined. Stop talking! Come on, you got this" Yep. "Let's go! You trained for this". I know. But wait?! Did I train for this? Sure I was consistently doing my track work but I had put in very few tempo runs and it was biting me in the ass now. Crap. "You're slowing down too much. Come on. You need to speed up. You're not even breathing hard anymore!". I'll speed up soon. "Come on Sam! You can do it! I believe in you!" One girl turned and said to me "Oh! He's so motivating! He's even inspiring me to run harder". *Stage whisper* "He's getting on my nerves!!" Haha. He wasn't really getting on my nerves but I like to find the humour in every situation. Even the ones where bricks are tied to my feet. A short time later a lady ran by and complimented my outfit and started asking questions. As I answered them with probably a little more enthusiasm than I was showing for this run I could literally read the thought bubble above Zindine's head.....are you effing kidding me right now?!?! Put the effort into this race not your fashion! Thankfully we saw Irina a few minutes later and she took his mind off the fact that I was an idiot. Hahaha. We hammed it up a little for her camera and kept on moving.
Me: This sucks Zin: Walk in the park

"Let's go Sam! 5 minute km's now ok?! Super hero is just ahead of us. Let's catch her". Yep, I'll catch her later. And I'll speed up when we turn off Rebecca. All these false promises on my part. I wondered if he was buying what I was selling?
Superhero was around us the entire race. She finished maybe 15 seconds ahead of us

Around now my husband drove by and honked at us and then soon enough the turn off Rebecca came and there was a light at the end of this tunnel. This race was almost over and Derek was there to take me home! "Come on now! Let's catch those girls in pink!! Get the pinkies!". Yeah! Let's get those girls in pink! They can't wear pink! That's my colour! Why am I not wearing pink today?! And finally I had a little more zip in my step. Pfft. I may let the girl in the orange cape beat me today but I am not letting these two girls in pink beat me! Right at 20k I got a little bit of a side stich and my brain was screaming at me. JUST WALK! It'll be fine. Zindine is ahead of you, he'll never even know! Just walk off the stitch. And I almost did. I literally took one half of a walking step and said NO! Phew! That was close. And then the stitch went away. And so did the cement blocks. And everything else that as standing in my way and I just ran all the way to the finish line. And it was over and my B goal was achieved. Sub 1:50. I'll take it because I worked my ass off out there and at the end of the day that's all I can ask from myself.
Shoulders up around my ears, yep not tired at all! Haha.

Go towards the light....

Aaaaaaand that sucked.