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. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Guelph Lake II Sprint Triathlon

Sure it's been a few weeks since I participated in the Guelph Lake sprint tri but good things come to those who wait.....or so they say. I can't say that I've actually experienced this to be true. Any way.... I went into this race with high expectations! I've been swimming weekly, I have an awesome bike that did not come from Canadian Tire and I have two legs that can move fairly quickly when they want to. What could possibly go wrong?!


Race day, Derek packed his lawn chair and book into the car and drove me up to Guelph Lake to meet up with Emma. We got there a little later than I would have liked but I got my kit, body marked and set up fairly quickly. Emma was nice enough to bring me a banana and I ate that before stuffing myself into my wetsuit. I even got the wetsuit on the right way round on the first try! Woohoo. I did have to ask a girl to help me zip it up but that's cool. In hindsight I probably got the wetsuit on a little too easily but what harm could there be in not being 100% fitted properly? I packed up my bag and took it down to the water to find Derek and ask him to hold it for me. At this point in life he is used to toting around my bright pink Under Armour bag at races. I think he may even want to borrow it for his boys weekend one day. Unfortunately I couldn't find him so I ran the bag back up to the transition area and put it under the bike. Hopefully it wasn't in anyone's way! I walked back down to the beach and got into the water to try to warm up a bit. I was feeling pretty nervous but I'm still brand new at this triathlon stuff so that's to be expected. I submerged myself and started to swim and realized that maybe things weren't going to go so great at the swim because I just couldn't control my breathing. I swam for a few minutes and thankfully spotted Derek and went and joined him while we waited for my wave to start. Finally the horn blared but I stayed back a bit so as not to be engulfed in the swarm of swimming bodies. I got maybe 100m out and had to switch to the breast stroke to try to calm myself down a bit. My heart rate was through the roof and I just couldn't get a breath. I looked ahead to the buoy way out in the distance and wondered how the hell I was going to get through this swim. Should I wave my swim cap in the air like they said and call for help? No! I was going to finish this swim no matter how long it took me! I swam behind the same woman for the entire race but I think she was just slow and not having a panic attack like I was. As long as she didn't get ahead of me I was happy with that. So what if I was doing the breast stroke, my most favourite hated stroke. Twice I flipped myself onto my back and stared at the sky to try to collect myself and thankfully as I turned the final buoy my body and mind relaxed enough that I was able to finish the swim. Of course this was also the same moment when the fast swimmers from the wave behind me caught up to me. I also started to realize here that the wetsuit was riding right up in the crotch so at least I had something other than getting the eff out of this water to keep my mind occupied for that final stretch. Finally the shore came and I was on my own two feet unzipping this stupid wetsuit and running to the bike! Frick man, get me outta here!

Get me to the land! And ignore the man from the next wave behind me

Yeah, beat you out of the water buddy! So what if you started 6 minutes after me?!
SWIM TIME 17:09 750m
AG place 16/26



I got into the transition area and found my bike fairly quickly. There weren't too many bikes left on my rack but that was ok. I'd catch up. Maybe. I quickly threw everything off and then on and ran out to the bike mount area. My heart rate was still pretty high so I didn't work too hard at the start and all the fast men from the wave behind me went whipping by. I ate a gel and cruised along noticing that there were far more hills in this 'flat' course than I had anticipated. Hills are the devil. Unless you're Emma. The bike course went by fairly uneventfully until a big trasport truck decided that he needed to turn left, but because of all of the bike traffic on the other side of the road he had to stop, causing me to have to go onto the loose gravel shoulder. All of a sudden my back tire started skidding and I started to fall. Thankfully I got my foot unclipped at the last second and saved myself right before my head cracked the side of the truck. I righted myself and got going again, all the while the girl behind me was screaming. "I'm sorry, are you ok?" I turned and said to her. "Am I ok? Holy shit! How's your heart rate right now?" she asked me. "Through the roof" I replied. She rubbed my back and then rode past, leaving me to catch my breath and notice the cut I had somehow gotten on my knee in all that craziness. I got to the turn around, unclipped my left shoe, and kept as tight to the cone as I could. Once again the ride was uneventful and I was counting down the distance remaining while noticing the crosswind that was a little annoying but still having a fun time out there. Around 22k the top of my head started hurting, like I had a hair clip in or something. I stuck my finger in my helmet to see what was up only to realize my helmet was inches above my head. Doh! I awkwardly fixed my helmet and walla!
I hope I don't need this helmet to protect my head today!
I pedalled along and saw a big downhill coming up! Woohoo I love the downhills! As I flew down a bee flew into my neck. The G force had him stuck there and so he stung me. Aaaaand he was still stuck to my neck. I grabbed the bee and threw him off to the side yelling "ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?!". Thankfully no one was in close enough ear shot to hear it. I had officially had enough of this race. My neck was throbbing like a mother and I was swallowing back tears of frustration. I finally rounded the corner to get back to the park and I rode as fast as I could so I could get off this bike.
BIKE TIME 1:12 30k
AG place 23/26


I ran into the transition area and noticed a sign for my AG on a rack that didn't look like where I had been, but it was my age group so it was right. Right? Wrong! I ended up running around the transition area trying to remember where I had been when I saw my pink bag sitting all alone amoung the returned bikes. There were a lot of them. Oh well. I had a drink, changed my shoes, threw on my headband and ran out of transition. "Go Sammy" my husband yelled to me. "OMG. I almost got hit by a truck and stung by a bee! That bike did not go well". Later Derek told me that I looked like I was having a smoke break in T2, because I was taking my time. Harhar.
Leaving T2
Mid bitch

Immediately I felt hot on the run and was glad that I had brought my handheld water bottle. I heard a girl ask a volunteer how long until the water station and he told her 3k. Yikes. Good luck, girlie! I got a few hundred meters into the run and came across a hill. "What's with all the hills?!" a girl beside me asked. Right?!?! We both stopped and walked the hill and she wished me luck when I started to run again. And then I walked again. And then I ran again. And walked. And ran. It was hot. My legs were tired. I was fed up. Gah! Just run and get this over with I thought to myself. And why the hell are these people looking at me? IS MY NECK SWOLLEN from this bee sting?!?! Am I like Sloth Fratteli out here?
Hey you guys!!!
I saw Emma on her way back from the run and asked her how her morning was going. "I'm on the death march right now" was her reply. Don't I know it?! Eventually I got to the run turnaround and I was feeling a bit better. At least I could focus on running and passing all these girls with D30-39 on their legs and the old dudes who had passed me on the bike. I did not see a single girl from my AG but I was sure seeing a lot from Emmas! I wonder..... With 2k left to go I passed another old guy who said to me "Looking good!" "Thanks" I said "Keep it up!" he replied "I'll try!!" I responded. "I better not see you out here again today!" he yelled out to me and I laughed. Message heard. Finally I turned the corner and saw the finish line. Thank God that's over!
Yeah yeah yeah get me over the finish line



RUN TIME 44:30 7K
AG place 12/26

OVERALL TIME 2:12
AG place 22/26


All smiles. Yeah, that wasn't so bad. Not. 

Turns out my rock star friend Emma finished 3rd in her AG at the Duathlon, and I was lucky to get out of the sprint tri alive. At least now I know where I need to work next year if I want to compete in more triathlons, especially the half iron that Mari has talked me into. Open water swims are a must to get past the panic. I've never liked dark water swimming so I need to get more comfortable there. Even with a good bike (thanks Irina!)I was crap and probably I should actually try brick runs before race day. So after I run the Ottawa Marathon in May my focus will change to the tri and I'll become a crusty bitch as Derek would so graciously put it. LOL 





Monday, June 30, 2014

Barrie Half Marathon

What was I doing all the way out in Barrie to run a half marathon at the end of June you ask?! Originally I had registered for this race when it was dirt cheap with the intention of running it for fun with Patty for her birthday. Unfortunately Patty had to back out, so I made plans to hook up with Robin who had told us about the race in the first place.



Thankfully there was race day pick up so I got up bright and early on Saturday morning and met Robin at the park and ride in Bradford where she then drove us into Barrie. On the way Robin informed me that the front half of the race course was pretty hilly (wtf?!?! isn't this on the lakefront where it's typically flat), the back half is mainly gravel and that the printer had shrunk the race shirts so they were going to be mailing them to us at a later time. Perfect. I was running a hilly race on a hot day without the friend who was the sole reason that I signed up and there weren't even shirts to bring home? Well all of these minuses have to turn into a plus right? Probably I'm going to go out here and have the race of my life because of all this!!! Soon enough Robin and I made it to the venue, found a sweet parking spot and got our race kits. They did offer us the shrunken shirts to have in the mean time, but the woman's large that they held up was wider than it was long. Um. No thanks, I have enough potato sacks. We then made our way over to the bathrooms where Robin bragged about the fact that they had real toilets at this race. Nice! Too bad the city didn't get the memo and they were locked. Over to the porta potty line it is! After a bit of puttering around it was time to make our way to the start. Robin placed us behind a cluster of girls in tutus, I suggested maybe we should try to start ahead of them....



.......And we were off. There was quite a bit of congestion but it didn't take Robin long to pull ahead of me. No worries, she said she was going to try for a 1:40. I was going to be happy if I could come in around 1:50. Not that I knew what pace I needed for that was. I figured I'd just run and see what happened. That's how the races of your life are run you know! They're the ones where you just run and then you look at the clock at the finish line and your entire face lights up because you freakin' rock. Just like Oakville.

Not like Scotia.

There wasn't a lot of conversation going on around me to listen in on but that was ok. I was just running and being happy, no need to eavesdrop on anyone yet. I passed a lot of people on the first out of the two way out and back and I was feeling good. It was hot but fairly shady in the residential area that we were in. Hot, shady and hilly. Urp. Uh oh? Is that my prerace banana coming back on me? Probably nothing to worry about I'm sure. I just continued running at a decent pace and kept on passing people, slowly feeling my face getting redder and redder. It didn't take long for the leader to make his way back from the turn around and then I started looking for Robin. It was quite a while before I saw any women so I started counting them just to see how she was doing in gender placing. I stopped counting after 10 but soon saw Robin looking strong after that. We smiled and waved and kept on. Soon enough I came to the turn around and started my way back. The field got a lot more congested on this portion of the run because now we were mixed in with the 10k runners. They didn't really get in the way at all though which was good, we all seemed to be running the same paces. I did take the time to let a woman know that her skirt had ridden up and she was flashing everyone. What comes around goes around and all that. Eventually we were out on the lake front where the shade gave way to full sun and the sweat really started pouring off of me. It was around this point where I started thinking that I wasn't having much fun out here. I was hot, sweaty and bored and I'd really love to get off the course with the 10k runners. They only thing was, if I did that I would have run 12.75k. Obviously that wasn't going to do so I sucked it up and took the turn to stay on the half course while the 10kers made their way to the finish line. Boo. There were a lot of spectators in this area and I took the time to high five some kids who had their hands out. I was kind enough to make sure that I only touched them with my finger tips. Obviously my hands had some serious sweat going on. It was in the park here where I really started to fade. The gel that I had taken around 9k had upset my stomach, I was head-achy and light headed at times and my get up and go had got up and went. A lady yelled out my number and told me to catch the people ahead of me. Meh. Not right now.

What's that smell?!
We were now on the gravel and I was totally dialing this race in. I truly would have walked at this point but I just wanted for this to be over and done with so I kept at it. Now people started passing me but whatever. I didn't even care at this point. I didn't even have any sort of interior dialogue other than I refused to come in over 2 hours! You know things have hit rock bottom when! A piece of hair had fallen out of my bun so I stopped and put it back in because it was annoyingly hitting the back of my neck like a wet noodle. Then a water station came up so I spent a little time there. People kept on passing me and then eventually we came up to a large hill that led up to a residential area. I couldn't even muster the energy to run this so I walked. Walking hills is ok on the trails, and Barrie is practically up North so it's kind of the same. A short time later I passed Robin again. "I'M DYING!!" I yelled to her. "Yeah, me too" she replied. Well at least I'm not the only one having a rough go of it I figured. As I came up to the final turn around I saw a lady who I had been going back and forth with for the entire race. Spotting her seemed to put a little life into my sails, and my pace started to pick back up. Frick, just get me to the finish line! I started passing people again, pretty easily as a lot of them were fading on the back stretch. I played back and forth with a man for a couple of minutes. He would stop and walk, I would pass him, he would get pissed off that I had passed him and start running again only to start walking once he got past me. If there was anyone who I was going to beat this day it was this man. Right here. Finally he muttered an expletive and that was the last I heard of him. I passed a downed runner, but there were people all around him so I kept going. He was curled on his side with his back to me, but flashbacks of Road 2 Hope played in my head. I passed a medic slowly walking down the path so I told him there was a man down. Apparently he knew. Good thing he was rushing to get the man some aid! *sarcasm* I passed a couple of vomit splatters and turned the corner to the finish line.
Get me the hell outta here!

Finally my legs found their get up and go and brought me over the finish line. "Fuck me" I muttered to myself as I pressed stop on my Garmin. Too bad I noticed the photographer after this part. Channeling my inner Nicole I was not.
Phew. No F bomb detected. Just a look that says 'Thank God that's over'

Robin was there at the finish waiting for me so I gathered my big ass medal, made my way to the water jugs(?!) and saw that they only had pizza to eat so we made our way back to the sweet parking spot. As I peeled my sweaty shoes and socks off Robin asked if I was going to come out and run this again next year. Yeah.....probably not.
Me & Robin at the end



Monday, June 9, 2014

Binbrook Try a Tri


A few months ago I asked my friend Mari who I've been tagging along and swimming with most of the winter if she thought that I'd be able to pull off the swim in a try a tri. Mari said definitely. I then asked about the sprint distance, but she told me not to bother with the bike that I had. So for a couple of months I went back and forth back and forth about whether or not I actually wanted to do a try a tri event. I didn't really tell anyone that I was thinking about it just so I wouldn't have any issues with backing out....which I tried to do 1000 times but a certain someone wouldn't let me. Out of the 1000 things that Mari said to me every time I tried to get out of it the one thing that really stuck was "You've put all this time into swimming this winter, use it for something' . I did put all this time into swimming so I may as well use it.....

It was the Wednesday before the Binbrook Triathlon that I finally bit the bullet and registered. Nothing like leaving it to the last minute. On Friday I made my way to Foot Tools and picked up the wet suit that I was renting and got a quick tutorial on how to put it on  take it off. Apparently the wet suits that you get on Barrier Reef tours are not the same as the wet suits that you wear for a triathlon. It's probably a good thing because people on an Aussie booze cruise would not be hooking up after watching each other try to grease their way into one of these tri suits. I brought my suit home and tried it on in the privacy of my bedroom. It took two attempts because on the first one I put it on backwards. Taking this thing on and off twice was a serious workout. Probably I should have logged it on Daily Mile. 

Saturday morning I woke up bright and early and made my way over to Mari's house so that I could follow her & Kerry in to the race site. My race didn't start until noon but I wanted to cheer Mari on at her race and also watch how things were done. I don't think that what the elites do on the tri's that I watch on tv is the exact same as what the weekend warrior does. I was literally Mari's shadow while she set up (once we finally got to the venue after some terrible website directions) and listened intently to everything that she was telling me. We bumped into Phaedra who asked me what I was doing here(?!?!) and between her, Mari & Kerry I was feeling a bit better about the scary dark water swim ahead that was weighing on me. Soon enough Mari had her wet suit on and we were down at the beach waiting for her race to start.
Mari with her friends Kerry, Janet and Anna. I'm pissed that they got pink caps!
It was really cool to watch the swim, the leaders opened up such a huge distance on everyone behind them it was going to be a lonely race for them up at the front. Eventually Mari's wave started and we cheered them on. In what seemed like no time she was out of the water and running up to the transition area and then off again on her bike. Shortly after the male winners made their way in from the run we went over to watch Mari come back from her bike ride and cheer her on once again when she started the run. It's great that your spectators can cheer you on at every station! Finally Mari was finished and I listened with great interest to all of the stories that she & her friends told of the race. Someone got their goggles punched off their head?! People were grabbing ankles in the swim and not allowing them to pass on the bike?! What the hell had I gotten myself into?! 

Once we chatted with Phaedra once more and Mari collected her gear and packed it back into her car it was my turn to get set up.  I lugged the ol' Supercycle out of my car and brought it to the transition area where they gave you two numbered bands. One for your wrist and one for your bike which they would check after the race to make sure that you weren't leaving with a bike that wasn't yours. Hear that people?! Don't try to steal my bike because you're gonna get caught!! I was honestly surprised to see that all of the bikes over in this area were road bikes. Why the hell did these people not have Supercycles like me?! I had secretly thought that I might be able to AG place here but upon seeing these bikes I knew that wasn't going to happen. Then Mari took me down to the body marking area where I got my bib number written on my arm and my age written on my calf. These triathletes are nothing if not competitive!
According to my son Noah you're not old until you're 50 so I've got some time to go

Now it was time to collect my swim stuff and make my way down to the beach where I would shimmy myself into the wet suit. As I was struggling to get into this damn thing I heard Mari take a picture. "I love Tri Newbies' she said. Har har. Just as I was about to pull the wetsuit over my hips Mari asked "Are you putting that thing on backwards again?!?!". DOH! 
Shit. Backwards again?!


If this sexiness doesn't make you want to do a triathlon!

Finally I got the wet suit on and I went down to the beach to get into the water and see how this was going to go with a warm up swim. Swimming in the wet suit wasn't so bad. Trying to watch out for people around me in the murky water was not good. My swimming history goes like this. Gun goes off, dive into the clear water, swim in a straight line until you come to a wall, flip, swim in a straight line until you come to a wall, flip, lather rinse repeat. This was way out of my comfort zone just like I knew it would be. Just take it nice and easy Mari said. Do the swim on your terms Phaedra said. Use the swim as a warm up Kerry said. Ok, I could do this. The gun went off for the old peoples wave and I was swimming! Shit I'm swimming on top of someone. Stop swimming. Start swimming. Shit I'm swimming into someone. Stop swimming. Start swimming. Ok no one is around me now phew. Where am I on course? Am I going off course? Crap I'm way over to the side. How do you turn and swim? I only know straight line swimming. Ok I'm on course. Shit, this guy is swimming on me now. Oh there's the green buoy, turn. How do you turn? This turning is weird? I don't like this. What am I doing out here. Am I off course? No but that guy is still here. Swim away old man, swim away. Ok, turning again. Don't go off course now, the finish line is right there. Ack, there are so many people ahead of me, am I last?! WTF?! I can't be last. I made it to provincials for swimming dammit. Don't go off course. Get me the f**k out of this water. I don't want to be here anymore. Ok the end is getting closer. I can stand up. Probably I could swim faster than wading to the finish line but I need to get out of here! Finally the panic in my mind subsided as I was emerging from the water. "Yay, Sam!!" I heard Mari cheer. "I didn't like that!" I yelled to her. "Is there anyone even behind me?!"I asked. Yes she assured me but I wasn't sure I believed her. I ripped the top of the wet suit off and ran past Moses' two brothers. How did they finish before me?! I made it to provincials!!!!! 
SWIM TIME 10:51 
AG place 3/12
Finally finished!


I didn't like that at all! 
The run back to transition was a long one but I finally got there. I grabbed a drink of water and ran to my bike where I unceremoniously tried to get out of my wet suit. Mari was yelling at me over the fence to step on it but the leg was caught on the timing chip. I finally got it off the way you do on a Friday night after a lot of drinks and threw on my shoes and helmet and tore out of there with my bike. "Go Sam!" Mari yelled "Wooohooo" I laughed and yelled back. I tore down the driveway and passed (!!) two girls. Yeah! I friggin rock with this bike. Woohoo. One minute later the two girls that I passed passed me back. No worries, I got this I thought as my legs turned a million miles an hour. The rolling hills came and went so I was constantly shifting gears. Clunkclunkcluck the gears went. "On your left" the people passing me would say. Clunkclunkclunk. On your left. A few people would say encouraging things to me as I peddled like crazy. Maybe they started out on piece of crap bikes too. I thanked the people for their encouragement, thanked the police officers, even thanked the people who took the time to tell me that they were passing. Whatever, I got your numbers people. I'll remember you on the run. Clunkclunkclunk. On your left. The freedom that you feel out on your bike fed my soul,  even the lady in my AG who passed me on the fixie couldn't bring me down. I was having fun even though these people were kicking my ass. Finally I was turning back down the driveway and I could see Mari beside the dismount area. "Yay Sam!" she cheered. "People were picking me off like crazy" I laughed to her. "Now it's time for you to pick them off" she said. Yep! I ran my bike back into the transition area where I saw a photographer and pulled on my inner Nicole. I racked my bike, ripped off my helmet, threw on my hat and took off. And then stopped again at the water table to rinse my mouth out because the Super Cycle doesn't come with a drink holder.
BIKE TIME 24:31 
AG place 10/12
No need to unclip from the Super Cycle!


Dadadada Super Cycle Power!!
I've never before done a brick run before. After only 10k on the bike it wasn't too bad but I didn't really like running on the uneven grassy terrain and it took me awhile to get my breathing comfortable so I kept the girl in front of me with a 41 written on her calf in my sights. Once my lungs were fairly normal I overtook her. Sorry sister, read my 43 and weep. Then I came upon a girl with a 40. See ya. Another 41? Bye bye. The hot sun was beating down on me so I took a quick drink at the water station and set my sights on the others in my path. I wasn't really giving it much effort and was surprised that no one had passed me. Up ahead I could see a lady who had passed me on the bike. I remembered noticing that she was in my AG so I passed her. Then a guy who didn't even say on your left when he went by me on the bike came into view. "Go on" he said. If you say so. And then in the blink of an eye I was turning the corner and coming to the finish line. "Way to finish strong" someone from the sidelines yelled to me. I crossed the finish line and saw Mari holding a medal up for me. The lack of hardware at the race was a sore spot for me so Mari went through her old medals and brought me one. Just like I always say. Running friends are the best! 
RUN TIME 13:23
AG place 1/12

OVERALL TIME 53:00
AG place 3/12

I laughed at the folly of my first triathlon with Mari and then collected my stuff and left. "I'm sure that I didn't place so let's get out of here" I said and we were off. It wasn't until Nicole texted me when I got home that I learned that I had finished third in my AG! That's ok though. The medal that Mari gave me was all the prize I needed from this day. Would I do another tri? Yes, but not on my bike. Irina has since offered to lend me her old bike whenever I want so I now have another option which is amazing. I'd also need to learn my happy place in the swim and work on my sighting. All in all I had a really fun time and am glad that Mari wouldn't let me back out of it. Go me. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Mississauga Half Marathon

Ah, the good old Mississauga Half. If you'll remember I had originally signed up for the full marathon here but my husband's cousin decided to have a wedding in Ottawa this same weekend so I had planned on scrapping it. Then it turned out that our kids weren't invited to the wedding so we were no longer going and I changed my registration to the half where I could then tack on some extra km's for Ottawa marathon training and get a medal out of the deal. Win win. Well we all know how this plan turned out thanks to my friend plantar fasciitis. Dun dun duuuuuuun.





Fast forward through the terrible terrible winter and here we are on race day. I had no idea how things were going to go after the horrible experience I had at the Chilly Half, but my foot was feeling WAY better, like almost 100% and I was cautiously optimistic. My plan was to run with Mari (who was going for a sub 1:50) for as long as I could and see what happened. The farthest that I'd run since ATB was 16k and I've done absolutely no speed work other than on the elliptical so who knew what would happen out there. If my foot started to bother me I would pull back. I was honestly terrified that just as things were feeling good I was going to put myself back to where I was a few months ago, and that is not somewhere that I ever want to be again. Plantar Fasciitis is the worst, especially when you work on your feet! So I taped up my foot with some KT Tape and hoped for the best.





I picked up Patty and Amy at a plaza near my house and drove us all into Mississauga where we hooked up with Daily Mile friends. Everyone made their way to the starting line and then we were off. It was really cold and windy at the start and I toyed with the idea of keeping on my throw away jacket. Just as the race began I ripped it off and skillfully tossed it to the side without hitting a single person! We did the usual bob and weave and waved to friends. The cold wind didn't seem to be too bad until all of a sudden a huge gust came up and blew the hat right off of my head! Thankfully a man behind me grabbed it for me because with that wind my hair would be in my face the whole time. Plus I like my Sulphur Springs hat and would be sad to not have it. We chatted and ran and dodged and weaved some more and laughed when a guy running beside me decided that 2k into the race would be a good time to do some stretching (?!?!) and almost punched me in the head. "Woah. Sorry. I guess I'd have to carry you to the finish line if I hit ya huh?" He joked. Um, yeah! And at Mari's pace too! As we turned onto Mississauga Rd I started to feel really hot and ripped off my gloves and ditched them at the water station. Then off came the arm warmers and I looked around and noticed that a lot of other people were stripping down too. The sun was really warm and the wind was actually quite pleasant. Now I know that my friends who ran the full will wholeheartedly disagree with me there, but on the half course the wind wasn't too bad and I found it nice and cooling. I was still feeling pretty good as we passed UofT and my foot was behaving. Was I actually going to pull this race off?! I got a little winded at the uphill out of the campus but felt strong again once we crested it. Things were going well and we were soon approaching the dreaded hill at 10k. "I don't want to run up that hill". I said to Mari. "Well, you don't really have a choice" was the response from a random man running beside us. "Just keep your head up and you'll be at the top before you know it!" were his words of encouragement. "Yeah. I like to keep my head down and be surprised!" I told him. We all laughed at this and then Mari and I left him in our dust. At the top of the hill I took my one and only gel and wondered if maybe I shouldn't have brought another. Up ahead we could see a pace bunny. "What's his sign say?" I asked Mari. (I can't be bothered to get my eyes checked but I clearly need glasses. Shhhhh.) "3:45" she said. "What's half of 3:45?" I asked her. Um, "1:47?" Mari answered. *silence* "I don't think it's "1:47." I said after a minute. "I don't know. I can't do math right now!!" she responded. Haha. Glad I'm not the only one who gets stupid while running. We chugged along a little more and Mari asked me if I minded that the conversation had dropped off. "I'm tired. I don't want to talk right now any way" I told her. My IT bands were getting a little achy and my quads were reminding me that I hadn't run at a fast pace in 6 months and they were not liking this. Just before the split for the half and full I waved Mari on. She had a goal to make and I was going to have to slow down soon. Aaaaand probably walk a little. Shhhhh. I kept Mari in my sights for quite a while but once we hit the park lands I took a quick walk break and she was gone. Then I ran again. Then I walked a little again. Oops. Photographer! Better run. I brushed all of bugs that were stuck to my shirt and sweaty face away and smiled for the camera. Then I said to a girl who was walking and taking a gel "Stop walking, there's a photographer!!" so she started running with her gel hanging out of her mouth. Looking at the photos here, I see none of me so total false alarm. I could have still been walking!! I ran through the parks with one goal in mind. Get to the finish. My legs were tired! My main goal was to finish sub 1:55 but also to have a better race than I had at Chilly. My foot was still feeling fine so at least I wouldn't be limping over the finish line this day. WIN!! I finally made it through the final clearing and the finish area came into my sights. As I went to pass a man along that final stretch he saw someone he knew and threw his arm out to wave once again almost hitting me in the head. This time I wasn't laughing and pushed his arm away. I ran as fast as my tired legs would carry me and crossed the finish line with a 1:52 showing on my watch. Woohoo. I'm back baby!


(Sorry, Blogger is being a huge pain in my ass at the moment and so there are no pictures and God knows if there are even paragraphs!)