Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Blog on the move

After 4.5 years of blogging here I've finally decided to move to a new blog address:  
I'm sticking with Blogger but I think this address is a little bit more "me."  Please update your Google Readers and your bookmarks and join me at my new home!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ironman Canada 2012

I have to admit that I have been rather cagey about this whole Ironman Canada 2012 thing.  From the moment registration opened in August I’ve thought about signing up.  If you can remember back then (from the only post I wrote in August) I knew that signing up right when general entry opened was not the right thing to do. 

I had so many questions I needed to answer.  I’d taken so much time off that running and working out was really hard.  I had no idea how difficult or how easy it might be to fall back into training.  You ask a lot of your body as you build towards Ironman and I had lost my base training that I had going into training for my first Ironman.  As I continued to get back in to regular training the legs came back and the workouts started to feel better and better.  I started to believe that I could be ready.  Thankfully I had quite a bit of time between when general entry closed and when the community fund slots would open up to gain confidence back in my athletic ability.  Friends and old teammates would ask me if I had signed up for Ironman and my response would be, “No, I’m not registered for Ironman at the moment.”

With my body and brain feeling more ready came the next question to answer.  I want to train for Ironman and I want to be a good wife.  The first time I signed up for Ironman I was single so it was easy to be selfish and say “I want to do this for me and it isn’t going to affect anyone.”  I now know that signing up for Ironman is really not an individual decision.  During training you are busy, tired, grumpy and hungry!  It can be difficult to be the best friend/girlfriend/fiancĂ©/wife during this time.  I’m going to do my best to ensure that I take time out for us during training.  The Husband is terribly supportive of me racing again (in fact it is one of the things he loves about me) so that helps to make this crazy journey a bit easier.

So I’m sure you are wondering about why I wanted to sign up for 2012.  After all, didn’t I say that Ironman will always be there?  Why race in 2012 instead of waiting until 2013?  The truth is I really want to race with my friends.  Ironman is a big journey and having close friends going through it at the same time as you is huge.  My closest girlfriends and teammates Tara, Kelly and Pam are all racing in 2012.  I would have been really sad to miss out on this experience with them.  They certainly reminded me of how much they wanted me to race with them as well on a fairly regular basis these past few months.  It feels great to have such amazing friends.

5-cocktail-076Photo by the amazingly talented Sakura Photography

On August 26th, 2012 we’ll be on the beach together in Penticton…no doubt wearing decidedly different clothing.  I’m looking forward to it!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Here we go again…

There is so much to say, but I’ll let the picture do most of the talking for the moment.IMC2012Ironman Canada 2012.  Let’s do it!! 

Immediately after registration the Husband said, “I’m so excited for you!”

I said, “I think I’m going to barf!”

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Banff Winterstart 5 Miler–Race Report

This weekend the Husband and I set out to Banff so that I could run the Winterstart 5 Miler on Saturday night.  The Husband was right in the middle of working night shifts and he managed to get one night off to come out to the mountains with me.  After he finished work early Saturday morning and had a bit of a nap we hit the road.DSCN6629With the race starting at 7 pm I was in a quandary about what and when to eat.  A twitter friend suggested small meals.  I had oatmeal in the am.  When we hit the road around 2:00 we popped by Starbucks so I could grab an eggnog latte (maybe not part of the meal plan but boy is it yummy) and a cheese and fruit box.DSCN6631I had a couple pieces of apple along with a couple pieces of cheese – just enough for a little snack.DSCN6624Soon we were at the Banff National Park gates!  It was a gorgeous day…DSCN6627After checking in to our hotel we made our way to the Elk & Oarsman for a late lunch/early dinner.  I really wanted pasta with tomato sauce and chicken.  Thankfully they had that option on the kids menu.  Yup…33 and ordering from the kids menu!DSCN6635Beer is carb loading, right?  And yes, I know.  The Husband and I are totally matchy matchy with our striped sweaters over white t-shirts.  That was not planned.  DSCN6637I ate maybe half of my pasta and maybe half my side green salad.  It wasn’t amazing, but it hit the spot.IMGP4335IMGP4337I then had to make a quick stop at the packet pick up to change my race registration into my name.  I missed officially registering for the race but I managed to find someone selling their spot on the Calgary Road Runners website.  IMGP4339The host hotel, the Caribou Lodge, was decorated for the event with brightly spray painted running shoes.  IMGP4345After taking care of everything we want back to our hotel, the Fox Inn and Suites, to relax before the race.  Our one bedroom suite was awesome.  A huge and comfy King bed…IMGP4326…with a sofa, TV and kitchenette attached.  It was perfect for us since the Husband was on night shift time and was not ready to sleep at the same time as I was.  Anyhoo, back to the race report.IMGP4324The sun set, it was about -6C and it was time to get ready for the race!  I layered up but I planned to wear my Run: Swiftly long sleeve tee, my Team Tri Life jacket (which is crazy warm), tights, Smartwool socks, a toque and gloves.  I also brought along a bottle of water to sip on and a gel to eat 10 minutes before go time.IMGP4351Before I knew it, it was time to line up for the race!IMGP4358Winterstart is an out and back course.  You run 1.5 miles out of town, turn right to run up Tunnel Mountain for a mile, then turn around and run back.  I really wanted to run a sub-11:00/mi pace and to run that hill as best as possible.  I had to walk a couple of times but I felt pretty strong overall heading up.  I tried to take advantage of the downhill and wanted to keep going strong to the finish line.  I had a couple of walk breaks in there, but overall not too bad.  It was going to be tight to come in under that 11:00/mi goal!  I tried to pick it up over the last 1/4 mile…and when I crossed the finish line my Garmin said 54:45.  Sweet!  The Husband found me and we made our way to the after party in the parking lot of the Caribou Lodge.  I didn’t go in search of food too much, but I did find a post-race beer!DSCN6643We hung out with some teammates for a bit, then went to the Chili’s in our hotel for a bite to eat.  The good news is my stomach felt great on the run so what, when and how much I ate obviously worked.  Unfortunately my stomach was not interested in any more beverages or food after the race so it was off to bed for me.  All in all it was a really fun weekend in Banff and I really enjoyed the race.  It was a nice little weekend away!DSCN6652As for the official results…

54:47 (10:58/mi)
Overall 1051 out of 1410
F3039 243/330

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Three Things Thursday

  • One of my goals for November (that I completely forgot to write down) is to incorporate core work into my routine more often.  I already get a few minutes of core at my Tuesday and Thursday strength classes, so 10 minutes after my Sunday spins seems like the perfect time to add some extra work in.  The problem is - 10 minutes is a long time!  And you can only do so many crunches.  What are some of your favourite and most effective core exercises?  Please feel free to share!
Image by Sarah A. Friedman/via Runner's World

  • Through the wonders of twitter last week I won a free Chef's tasting dinner from Home Tasting Room here in Calgary for the husband and I.  We sat at the eating bar and got to chat with the chef about where he gets his food from and it was truly an amazing experience.  Hot house tomatoes with wild arugula and local mozarella, bison tartare, slow cooked lamb shank with bone marrow mashed was all amazing.  If you live in Calgary I highly recommend it!  Because I was too busy scarfing the yummy food down to take pictures here's a view of their open kitchen.

  • I'm racing this weekend!  On Saturday night I'm running the Banff Winterstart 5 Miler.  I last ran this race back in 2007 (old race report here).  Back then I ran it in 51:30.  I'm not quite back to low 10:00 miles (I don't think) so we'll see how I do this weekend.
Image via The Tech Shop

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

October in Review, November Goals

Can you believe it is November already?  Where has this year gone?  It seems to be flying by in the blink of an eye.

My goals for October were to:
  • Continue to get comfortable with running again.  I signed up for two 10Ks in October to keep me motivated.
  • Create a training plan that incorporated three days of running, up to three days of spinning and two strength workouts per week.  Attempt to follow that plan!
I did a pretty good job of following the plan I laid out for myself and I felt great along the way.  I wasn't sure if that many workouts would be asking too much of my body but I feel like every single one of my workouts has been a quality one.  The spinning and strength training is definitely helping my running.  I can tell that slowly but surely my legs are starting want to go a bit faster.

In October I:
  • Ran 57.82 mi in 11 hours, 33 minutes
  • Cycled 9 hours, 9 minutes
  • Went to 7 early morning strength classes

My hopes and plans for November are to:
  • Start building the mileage on the long runs.  It is time to start building to the Disney Half Marathon in January!
  • Keep on doing what I'm doing with spinning and strength training.
  • Focus on what I'm eating a bit more.  I'm eating out more often than I'd like.  I'd really like to start doing a better job at meal planning and having things on hand so I don't have to resort to eating out as an easy fix.
  • Drink more water!
  • Monitor my health and wellness.  I've been using the Sleep Cycle app on my iPhone to monitor how much sleep I'm getting and its quality.  I definitely notice a difference between getting 6 hours and 7 hours of sleep and the alarm system on the app means that I'm waking up at just the right time.  I'm jumping out of bed instead of hitting snooze.  I also recently ordered the Withings wi-fi body scale (awesomely reviewed by DC Rainmaker) to help monitor my weight.  Of course all of the sleep and weight data then goes in to Training Peaks so I can see what happens with that and my training.

What are your goals for November?  Do you have any tips or tricks to help me with my trickiest goal of all - focusing on eating better and not eating out as much?