A-Z About Me

A is for age:  30

B is for breakfast today:  gluten free chocolate Chex

C is for currently craving:  Strangely, salad

D is for dinner tonight:  Probably said salad

E is for favorite type of exercise:  CrossFit

F is for an irrational fear:  heights, spiders, popsicle sticks 

G is for gross food:  seafood

H is for hometown:  Ajax

I is for something important:  my family

J is for current favorite jam: Payphone, Maroon5

K is for kids:  just the furry foursome – Max, Oliver, Scout & Rocky

L is for current location:  Ontario

M is for the most recent way you spent money:  bought new glasses

N is for something you need:  way more sleep

O is for occupation:  vet tech

P is for pet peeve:  being late, poor grammar

Q is for a quote:  “Finding beauty in the dissonance.” – Tool, Schism

R is for random fact about you:  I’m afraid of puppets

S is for favorite healthy snack:  apples with peanut butter, or yogurt with granola

T is for favorite treat:  something sweet

U is for something that makes you unique:  I have no idea…my knowledge of theoretical physics?

V is for favorite vegetable:  cucumbers

W is for today’s workout:  800m swim & CrossFit

X is for X-rays you’ve had:  chest, hips, knee, feet, hands

Y is for yesterday’s highlight:  shopping in Buffalo!

Z is for your time zone:  Eastern

Five for Friday

1. I started training with the triathlon club this week.  We had a track workout on Monday which was something like this:

2 x 400m warm up
8 x 200m hard, 200m recovery
2 x 800m (1min rest in between)
2 x bike skills or 5km bike/run 400m

It was a good workout, but my lungs were screaming at me so I took it easy and even sat out the 2 x 800m.

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We had the open water swim workout on Wednesday night and that was a BLAST. The water was warm, but the weather was windy and so there was a fair amount of waves.  They set out 3 buoys in a triangle that was 275m around.  I worked mostly in the more shallow area and just swam back and forth between 2 of the buoys, but I did make it around once before I was too tired.  It was an awesome workout and I’m feeling way more confident in the water now.

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2. My new glasses arrived today! I’m still getting used to them but I like them a lot.

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3.  This also came in the mail for me today, from Endorphin Warrior. I love it, and now I won’t have to write on my arm with pen for my next tri ;)

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4. I’m halfway through season 4 of Lost on NetFlix (yes this is my first time watching the show – I know, I’m a little behind the times).  As it progresses I’m learning to love Sawyer more and more, and Jack less and less.  He really isn’t that nice of a guy!

5. It’s a long weekend here in Canada – Canada Day is Sunday.  We are taking the dogs to the cottage since it’s Bubba’s last weekend with us (more on that next week) and it’s supposed to be a HOT one.  I plan on spending the warm weather in the sun, by the lake, with a cold beverage in my hand.  Happy Birthday Canada!

Half Marathon Madness (Or, How I Took A Week Off and Survived)

For the record, I do not like being sick.

It has been a week since I have done any sort of physical activity other then turning NetFlix on to watch Lost (I did have to go to work but that was unavoidable).  This cold took me down hard, and instead of fighting it and pushing through it, I decided to give in to what my body was requesting – rest.

I took the self imposed week off and decided to finally come up with a half marathon training plan (don’t worry, it didn’t really take me a week to figure it all out).  The plan is a lot more complicated now, since it starts midway through July when I’ll still be training for my second triathlon.  

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I plan on running 3 days a week, and using the track day of tri training with the triathlon club as one of these days.  I’m going to use a hybrid CrossFit Endurance plan – I believe I need the distances that long runs will provide, but don’t want to have crazy mileage each week, so my other midweek run will be one of the CFE workouts.  2 shorter, high intensity workouts and 1 LSD.  Experimenting is FUN.

I’m not 100% recovered from the Illness of 2012, but I’m well on my way, so tonight will be my first foray into tri training with the triathlon club.  Bike and run tonight, open water swim on Wednesday. It’s time to get back on the training wagon – August 12 will be here before I know it!

Do you workout when sick? How do you know it’s time to rest instead of pushing through?

Tri Training Tuesday–Wait, What?

Yup, you read that right – I’ll be training for the next 8 weeks for the Niagara Try A Tri on August 12.  Oh yeah, while training for my half marathon, too.

I’m signing up with our local triathlon club and joining them tomorrow night for an open water swim.  They meet 2-3 times a week, once for track night (running and biking), once for the swim and then once for either a long bike ride or swim and bike.  I hope that the open water swims will help me prepare better for the swim portion of the Try A Tri.  Of course I’ll be putting in time at the indoor pool as well – the more swimming, the better!

I took yesterday off from everything and had an easy day at home, cleaning and getting things done around the house.  Today might turn into another rest day as I’m developing a cold (I think my body is protesting how much water I inhaled on Saturday) but I WILL be in the water tomorrow night.  It’s going to be something like 42C with the humidity here in Southern Ontario and swimming will be awesome in that heat.

So here we go again!

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My First Triathlon–Guelph Lake One

I’m going to try to recap Saturday as succinctly as I can, but no promises. 

The nerves set in Friday night and I had a hard time sleeping.  After a restless night I woke up a bundle of nerves on Saturday morning.  We were meeting my mom around 6:45 so were up and out of the house by 6:20am.  Guelph is about a hour from Ajax, where we met my mom, and I wanted to be there around 8 am.  Registration started at 8:30, and I wanted to be set up and have enough time to figure out where I had to be when before my start time of 10am.

The trip to Guelph was uneventful, although a little longer than we thought.  We arrived around 8:15am.  The conservation area was clearly marked and easy to find – my fee to the conservation area was covered but we had to only pay $5 for the car to cover my mom and Shawn’s entry to the park.  Not too shabby.  Parking was easy to find and we had arrived early enough to get a good spot.

Transition was located close to the parking, so I left my “entourage” and claimed my spot on the rack.  I only have my mountain bike, so no fancy bike shoes to worry about, so my transition area looks so little!

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Headed over to registration after racking my bike, and again everything was easy to find and figure out. The different registration areas were numbered, so all I had to do was go from #1 to #2, etc.  Loved my swim cap (bright pink!) and my t-shirt.  How cute is the design?

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At this point I had probably 45 minutes until I wanted to get into the water to start warming up, so we went down to the water and tested it (cold but not freezing – like an unheated pool rather than a lake.  Which is good, since I was without a wetsuit).  When I’m nervous, I can’t sit still, so I left my mom and Shawn by the swim start and headed back up to transition to fiddle around with things and find out exactly where the run and bike started.  And then it was time to put on my pink cap and head down to the water.

This is when the nerves really set in and I wanted to back out.  I’m not going to lie, I was so scared that I really did contemplate being a complete baby and going home.  Getting into the cold water and trying to swim some warm up strokes helped, but only a little.  The cold and waves caused me to start hyperventilating and it was all I could do to not walk back up onto the beach, up the hill to my car and go home.

Standing back on the beach with my wave I found a few other girls to start chatting with, and they eased my mind a little.  Then it was 10am and the first wave headed into the water.  And at 10:03, we joined them.

As soon as I started swimming I knew I was in over my head – literally and figuratively.  My swimming had not at all prepared me for the current, or the waves, or how hard swimming with both would be.  I made it my goal to finish the swim and not be pulled out.  I wouldn’t drown (although I felt like it a few times) but I wouldn’t be out of the water very fast, either.  The plan changed from swimming to surviving, and I swam from kayak to kayak, taking breaks when I needed too, and shamefully swimming on my back for most of the swim. 

I have never in my life been so happy to be able to touch ground as I was when I reached closer to the shore.  As soon as I could touch I started walking through the water rather than swimming.  I wasn’t last out of the water but I was pretty frigging close. Embarrassing? Most definitely.

I calmed down a bit on my lengthy trudge up to transition and started to mentally prepare for the bike and run.  (Off topic but I’m SO glad I bought a number belt to wear – it made transition so much easier.)

The bike was fantastic.  I passed a bunch of people on both the out and back.  I felt strong the entire time and unlike my duathlon last year, I never wanted to quit on the bike.  The scenery was nice, the other athletes were lovely, and the route wasn’t too hilly.  There was one big hill that was worse on the back part of the out and back, but overall it was more “rolling hills” than big hills.  I can’t speak enough about how happy the bike made me, I still get a little giddy thinking about how it turned out.  I hit my own time goal perfectly for this portion of the race, and still had a tonne of energy left in the tank at the end.  Maybe I need to start biking more…

Back to transition! Racked my bike, took off my helmet and put on my hat, and headed out for the run.  I ran by my mom and Shawn who were cheering – I just shook my head at my mom and she laughed and yelled “You’re still standing!”

I was more than still standing – I was running.  My legs felt strong, way stronger than after my duathlon last year.  as with the bike, I passed people on both the out and back portions of the run. By this point it was really, really hot.  Both the water station and the gentleman with the hose were greatly, greatly appreciated.  As I came closer to the finish, I again saw my cheering section and this combined with being able to actually see the finish line made me push it a little bit harder (and I actually passed a girl right before the finish line. That never happens).

The food after the race was okay – I got a veggie sub from Subway and a pop.  The expo was nice too – lots to look at and buy, but I was too nervous before the race to look and too tired (and hungry) after. 

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So what did I learn? I learned that I need a swim coach.  That I’m tougher than I think sometimes. That I’m stronger than I know, and that I really should have and could have pushed it harder on both the bike and the run, as I had so much left in me at the end. I learned that triathlon is HARD.

And I think I’m addicted.

August 12 – Niagara – Try A Tri #2?

Let’s do this.

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Spandex Is Not Flattering On Anyone (Or The Last Tri Training Tuesday)

Yes that’s right, the last Tri Training Tuesday, which means my tiny Try A Tri is THIS SATURDAY.

I’m slightly terrified.

But also ok with it, too.

I’ve come to terms with my running and biking and I know what I’m capable of. I had a great bike session yesterday – I felt strong both on and off the bike, and could have definitely pounded out 2.5km of running once I was done. 

This is a good thing.

I keep comparing my bike skills to the bike portion of the duathlon I did last fall.  That was indescribably horrible, but I had barely biked and was no where near as strong as I am now.  Yesterday’s bike ride proved that.

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I’m still nervous about the swim.  After rereading the FAQ’s on the tri’s website yesterday, though, I can ask for help while swimming and can rest without being disqualified.  The thing is, I KNOW I can do this, I just haven’t done it before, and with the unknown there is always fear.  So I until Saturday, I have to figure out a way to deal with this fear.

I also (I think) have solved the decision of what to wear.  I bought an awesome pair of Under Armour compression shorts the week before we left on vacation, and have worn them to CrossFit and biking, and I am deeply in love with them.  Light and form fitting, they will be great in the heat that’s been predicted for this weekend.  I also stopped into Wal-Mart (yeah, I know, but it was a last resort) yesterday and picked up a spandex/polyester blend tank top that’s fitted, and a sports bra made of the same material.  Both are comfortable and aren’t cotton so shouldn’t absorb water – I promise I’ll test it all out before Saturday! Nothing new on race day and all.

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Fingers crossed Saturday goes well. 

The count down is ON.

Healthy Living While on Vacation–revisited

We’re back!

We arrived back in Ontario Thursday night at about 11:30pm after about a half hour delay.

I gotta say, I really miss the mountains, the lack of humidity, and the gorgeous temperatures. 

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As for my goal to stay committed to healthy living while I was away, I would give myself a 60-75%.  I got in 4 workouts, plus a hike, and hours of walking, so my exercise goal was definitely met. 

Eating healthy, however – I didn’t eat healthy as much as I’d originally intended, but I didn’t go fully off the rails (except for the Jelly Belly jelly beans – but they are virtually impossible to resist).  So I consider that goal partially met. 

I did make Shawn and I a smoothie in our hotel!

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As I posted here and here, I did a few travel WODs in my hotel, either in the room or in the tiny gym of the hotel.

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This is the one I did last Monday:

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On Wednesday I made a visit to CrossFit Calgary and met with Leigh.  It was great to finally meet her in person and to have a familiar person to do the WOD with!

The workout was:

5 Rope Climbs
50 push presses
1000m row

I did ok with the rope climbs – the first one I got 3/4 of the way up the rope, the second 1/2, and the remaining ones way less than 1/2! But my arms were toast then.

I did 20 of the push presses at 65lbs, and the remaining at 55lbs, and my row was great! It was a hard workout and I loved it.

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I wish it was vacation all the time…but back to the real world…oh and a triathlon this weekend, too!

Last week I asked about your dream vacation – this time, what is the best vacation you’ve ever been on? And why?