Playing Catch Up

 

After my last post and this long stretch of silence one might think that I had, indeed, decided to give up blogging completely (ahem, Martha).  In fact, I was overwhelmed by the flu-cold that has been going around (everywhere, it seems) and since I was doing nothing except sleeping and trying not to cough too hard I figured I’d spare you the boring details.  Also I just didn’t feel like writing.

That’s changed now that I’m feeling better and I’ve started to, you know, do stuff again. 

I started back to working out this past weekend, which is good considering I have a half marathon in just over 2 months.  On Saturday I went to open gym at my CrossFit box and did a short 30 minute workout from Catalyst Athletics.  I really want to improve my Olympic lifts and I figure incorporating some of these workouts into my week can only help.  The workout was from their “Classic Cycle” and looked like this:

  • Snatch – 75% x 1 x 3 (60lbs)
  • Clean & jerk – 70% x 1 x 3 (75lbs)
  • Snatch pull – 90% (of snatch) x 3 x 3 (70lbs)
  • Snatch deadlift – 100% (of snatch) x 3 x 3 (80lbs)
  • Front squat – 75% x 3 x 5; follow each set immediately with 3 box jumps (90lb front squats with 20” box)

I followed this up with 3 rounds of plank and 10 sit ups.  My quads are still shot from the front squats and box jumps (that is a killer combo, by the way).  I am most definitely out of shape.

I followed this up by a quick 25 min easy flop swim in the pool.  I floated around, used the kick board, used the pull buoy, and generally reacquainted myself with the pool.  It was lovely.  My shoulder, however, is angry at me today from the swimming this weekend and the weights as well, so I’m icing and taking it easy today.  I have a run on tap (well more walk than run, to ease myself back into training) after a meeting at work this afternoon.

Shawn was snowed in in Newfoundland this weekend due to a blizzard, which in theory sounds fun but not when you’re staying in a hotel without power.  While he dug himself out, I decided to get a little crafty and attempt a few Valentine’s day decorations.  Not that we celebrate it, at all, but the house was lacking something after I took all of Christmas down.

I bought this cute little bird while I was at Michaels:

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I don’t even like real birds – well I do, I’m just afraid of them. But I have a tendency to collect little fake ones.  Soon I’ll have a whole flock.

Anyway here are my attempts at Valentine’s Day bunting:

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Cardstock, decorative paper, and some ribbon.  It was super easy to put together.  Not bad for a Sunday afternoon.

What did you do this weekend? Any great workouts?

Change Room Etiquette

Ok so there must be something about me. 

Something that encourages women in the pool change room to strike up a conversation with me when I’m in various stages of undress.

Last time this happened, a woman commented on my tan lines.  Yes, I still have tan lines from running and CrossFitting this summer, and they are still fairly prominent on my  back (I’m generally fairly pale).  But if you don’t know me, and you’re half naked, and I’m trying to get changed, then maybe that might not be the time to comment on them.

Today it was less creepy – I was in my towel and applying moisturizer to my face when the girl across the change room said “Don’t you hate that? When you get out of the pool and your skin is just so dry?” Like I said, less creepy than commenting on my actual body, but again – you’re half naked, I’m wearing a towel, now might not be the time to make friends. We continued our conversation though, and she was very nice and on my way out of the room said “Have a good night!”.

On the flip side, I can talk to the girls at CrossFit while we are changing but I know them – it seems less weird when you’re friends or at the very least friendly with each other.

Am I just being overly sensitive or are there some unspoken change room rules that I don’t know about??

Weekend Highlights

Friday I spent the day shopping with my mom across the border in Niagara Falls, NY.  It’s only about a 2 hour drive so it’s an easy day trip for us, and we go fairly often.  Somehow a bag of sale candy corn made its way home with me – I have no idea how it got there, I swear.

Saturday morning I made the trek over to CrossFit for a good workout.  Lots of cleans, jerks, kettlebell swings and box jumps – all of my favourite things in one WOD.

After my workout I had a swim scheduled.  The pool I normally go to was closed for a swim meet so I tried a different local pool.  I was one of the first in, and since I’m not a super fast swimmer AT ALL, I stuck to the slow lanes.  I ended up having to switch lanes due to the “water walkers” that took over the slow lanes.  I had to wait in between lengths for them to swim out of my way and it was just frustrating.  I understand everyone has a right to the pool, but when I was there first and clearly working, it would’ve been nice if the one guy hadn’t parked himself in the middle of the lane and just floated there. End rant.

Saturday wrapped up with us buying me a bike trainer (yay) and watching The Campaign (which was pretty cute).

Sunday I headed down to the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair with my friend Jenn.  We go every year, occasionally buying tickets to one of the horse shows, but usually just going to shop and of course eat.  By 11 am we had already eaten apple dumplings with ice cream and caramel sauce (so good).  Jenn got the winter riding boots she was looking for, and I got Scout a new coat, the dogs some toys and a bottle of wine. 

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Show cows!

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Mmm potato rosti…

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Cute goats

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Scout and her new pink plaid coat

After dinner at Shawn’s grandparents I spent 1.5 hrs on the bike on the trainer while rewatching Rock of Ages (more like listening to and singing along with).  Scout then accompanied me on my short 15 min run off the bike – she is going to make a great running partner I think!

What was the best part of your weekend?

Tri Training Tuesday & Weekend Recap

It was a long weekend here in Canada, so I spent Saturday and Sunday at the cottage.  The dogs were busy (sunbathing and sleeping).

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On Monday we went and saw the movie ‘Ted”,  which was both hilarious and heart warming.  I loved the little inside “Family Guy” jokes that were thrown in there as well.  It was a lot of fun!

Onto the training – week one in the books!

As I said before, I did a track training work out last Monday, and open water swim on Wednesday.  I also finally made my return to CrossFit after this wicked illness, and had 2 good WODs on Friday and Saturday.

Saturday’s workout was brutal though.  It was really hot out, and we did the workout in the parking lot.  I felt faint for a lot of the workout, so opted to just go slower and take more breaks.  This was the workout:

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We did 135# for the prowler pushes, and 15# for the ball slams.  I ended up doing air squats for the last 3 rounds.  My hamstrings were so sore on Sunday – the prowler is no joke!

This week’s training looks something like this:

Monday – CrossFit
Tuesday – CrossFit/Yoga
Wednesday – CrossFit/Swim
Thursday – Bike/Run (Maybe CrossFit)
Friday – Swim/CrossFit

I work this weekend so there will be no workouts scheduled, so I gotta cram everything in to the 5 days this week. 

As for swimming I’m hoping to build endurance in the pool, so that the distance is less daunting for me next time (since the open water part will be taken care of with the tri club).  I found this workout online and will be using it both times I swim this week:

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Alas, no tri club for me this week at all – there was no practice last night due to the Canada Day holiday, and I work Wednesday night this week and Saturday so I miss both open water swims.  I’ll make up for it next week though, since I can go to both swims (Wednesdays are just swimming, while Saturdays are swim/bike). 

I hope all my Canadian friends had a great holiday weekend, and I hope my American friends enjoy their 4th of July holiday!

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!

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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Tri Training Tuesday #3

 

In case you missed one:
Tri Training Tuesday #1
Tri Training Tuesday #2

I didn’t get all the workouts in that I wanted to last week. I know, clearly I’m not as dedicated as I should be, but life does get in the way sometimes around here – which I don’t always mind truthfully! 

My bike ride was better last week, my runs were pretty good (except I need to find a backpack made specifically for running – the over the shoulder one I used on Friday chaffed my shoulder), and my swim was WAY better than the week before.  I didn’t panic while trying to breathe, and I swam 4 more lengths for a total of 400m.  I’m hoping that this week I’ll be able to string more lengths together, and do some 100m repeats. Fingers crossed. 

My favourite workout was definitely the 3.4km run to the pool, my swim, and then the 3.4km walk home in the most beautiful spring weather.  The walk had me really appreciate the beauty of my neighbourhood.  We have a lot of greenspace around here!

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Very pretty!

This week training kind of looks like this (kind of because this weekend is a holiday here in Canada, and that involves cottages and race cars and various other things so I need to be flexible with my workouts):

Monday – Off (mental health day! haha)
Tuesday – CrossFit
Wednesday – Off or CrossFit
Thursday – CrossFit + Swim
Friday – Bike + maybe CrossFit
Saturday – Run
Sunday – Run

Looking forward to swimming on Thursday – I definitely think I’m going to keep up with swimming after the triathlon.  I’d like to get better for one, and two it’s great cross training for everything else I do.

Hope your week is going well!

Do you sometimes take a mental health day? And are there backpacks made for running?? Help a girl out!

Silencing the Inner Critic

I managed to get out for my run yesterday, in the brief reprise between the thunderstorms of the day.  I did a 5km route from my house and finished it a bit faster than my 5km the other weekend.  My problem isn’t the speed when I’m running – it’s that I don’t have the endurance to stay running for very long (either that or I talk myself out of continuing – “Oh it would just be easier to walk right now” or “You deserve a break”).  I’m always my own worst enemy.

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(I swear that really wasn’t my pace haha)

And the best news of all – I went to a different community pool and I finally SWAM. I ended up doing 12 25m laps for a total of 300m.

So I know how to swim – I took lessons when I was younger, and grew up with a pool in the backyard, so the concept of swimming isn’t foreign to me, but apparently I have zero cardio when it comes to the pool.  After the first few laps I wanted to give up, like seriously wanted to get out of the pool, go home, and completely forget about the triathlon.

But I didn’t.  I changed my stroke (from freestyle to breast stroke) and continued to plug away at the laps.  And I got it done. But, like the run, I am definitely my own worst enemy, and have a lot of trouble silencing my inner critic.  I get in my own way more than my body fails me.  My body is strong and willing, but my mind is weak and stubborn.  I believe I could be a better athlete if I could just tell myself to shut up sometimes.  This is why running with music is so important to me – it distracts me from my thoughts, to a degree, and I’m less likely to self sabotage.  But clearly, I need more coping strategies if I’m going to improve.

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(See? I went swimming! I need a cooler swim cap though)

That being said, I’m proud of my double day and I’m even more determined to get better in the pool.  Two swims on schedule for next week!

In CrossFit news, we did the CrossFit total today:

The CrossFit Total is the sum of the best of three attempts at the squat, the press, and the deadlift. (Source)

I was a little disappointed with my squat effort – 145lbs.  The last time I did a 1 rep max at the squat I got 150, but I know now that I definitely wasn’t going deep enough (ass to the grass!) so at least this time my form was way better. I also deadlifted 215lbs again, and was so tempted to go for 220 but decided to give my body a break.  I only pressed 60lbs – I totally lack upper body strength. Added up my total was 420lbs! Not too shabby.

We have a killer workout on tap for tomorrow, and I hope to grab a little video of it to share with you!

Have a great Friday night and a fabulous weekend!

How do you silence your inner critic? Do you have any mantras that help you get through the mental rough spots?

I Just Want to SWIM

Today has been one fitness disaster after another.

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I had a swim on the agenda today, and after figuring out a nice, easy workout to get me started, I headed over to the pool.  If you recall from last time, I had issues with the lanes not being set up and the pool full of people not lane swimming.  But this time, I thought, I was prepared.  There was ONLY lane swim available at this time, no family swim, no leisure swim. So to the pool I went.

Apparently, lane swim only still means only one lane set up (with 2 people already swimming in it) and the rest of the pool full of people floating on pool noodles. So I left. And wrote a complaint to the recreation department of the city, also asking how I could better approach the situation.

I came home and decided that, after some lunch, I would head out for a run.  Immediately I heard a clap of thunder, and then another, and then the skies opened up.  So much for that idea.

In my grumpy state I basically wrote today off, fitness wise, and proceeded to have a nap while watching HGTV with Scout on the couch. When I woke up the sky was clearing and the sun was peaking through the clouds.  Ok, maybe today isn’t so bad after all.  I did some chores around the house, and now the sun is out, the air is the perfect run temperature, and I’m dressed and ready to go.  Oh I’m also going to a different community pool tonight, where they have more lanes, and I doubt many people will be just floating in the pool at 9 pm. Let’s hope so, anyway.

So my double workout day has (hopefully) been saved.  I could have just as easily stayed on the couch all day and wallowed in my own self pity (which I am wont to do from time to time) but gave myself a swift kick in the ass to motivate myself out the door. I know I’ll feel better, and as they say, you never regret a workout. (I always say you never regret a nap…or chocolate)

How do you motivate yourself when you don’t feel like working out?

(and yes I realize wont is  3rd person but I like it and I’m using it in this context)

Tri Training Tuesday

You like that alliteration, don’t you? I’m so clever.

Happy May 1! I can’t believe it’s May already – it still seems like New Years was just here.  Time moves way too quickly for me these days.

May means – eye doctor and therefore new glasses, one month closer to my June specialist appointment, VACATION at the end of the month, and yes, one month closer to my try-a-tri.

Uh so I attempted to swim last week.  Attempted because I got dressed in my suit and went to the community centre pool (yes I did wear normal clothes over top of my suit, it is Canada and still cold here) at 10:30 like the times indicated for lane swim.  Although on this particular day they had decided to change it to 11:30.  So I left and came back at 11:30.  But there were no lanes put up, and the lane pool was full of older people (and a gentleman in a wheel chair?) and thus not conducive to swimming laps.  So I went home and had a nap instead.

This week I have a new plan of attack – I’m going to go to a different pool, at 7am, and hope that I can beat the crowd. And that maybe they’ll have lanes set up.

My training for this week will hopefully look something like this:

Monday – rest (I was just lazy, and tired from working 3 overnights in a row)
Tuesday – Run + CrossFit
Wednesday – Bike + CrossFit
Thursday – Swim + CrossFit
Friday – Run + CrossFit
Saturday – Bike + CrossFit (or just CrossFit – and if so then Sunday will be Bike)

I’m still not sure how many workouts a day is normal – I feel like a crazy person scheduling 3 in a day, but I’m hardly running 19miles, and I’m used to doing 2 a day fairly often.  If anything the CrossFit will go from 5 to 4 days this week, but I really need to get the 2 bikes and 2 runs in (oh and the swim, clearly).

Things I have learned so far:
- my bathing suit doesn’t look that bad on
- I’d really like a funky suit – kinda like this: http://www.swimoutlet.com/product_p/30423.htm?color=29915
- I need a new bike!!

On another topic – I was chosen to become a FitFluential Ambassador! I’m very excited to be joining the ranks of other inspiring, fit, like-minded ambassadors. 

Not sure what FitFluential is? Check out their site at www.fitfluential.com and read the “About Us” and “Ambassadors” sections.  I’m really flattered and honoured to be chosen!

Now back to bed for a nap (hard life, I know, but I work again tonight) then off for a run and then the gym.  Apparently we are doing Fran today – I’m going to be so sore tomorrow!

Fran

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Thrusters
Pull ups

Happy Tuesday everyone!