Monday, August 16, 2010

Some down time...

My "down time" has been interrupted with obsessing about the 70.3, specifically my running....

My run predicament has been in my thoughts alot. I want my run to be as strong and consistent as my bike. I don't really stress about the swim, in fact I find it quite relaxing during the race.

I think I've developed a "run plan" since I had a chat with Grant on the pool deck last week. He made some good suggestions to work on - try to improve my running base throughout the winter without too much focus on speed, and try to do this by decreasing my intervals, to the point of getting rid of them. In the new year, work on speed and getting my time down. I think this will help me focus through the fall & winter. I still need to work on my form and efficiency. I'll have to talk to Grant more on these topics. Incorporating "run school" into my workouts will help with my technique. Not only doing "run school" (ABC's) but applying the techniques during a run. Definitely a work in progress.

Between all the obsessing, I have taken a break for the last 2 weeks. Finished up my swim classes with the Talisman Triclub last week, rode my bike out to Bragg Creek last Saturday and today. Yesterday, Pauline and I went for a short run (damn stairs, my legs are sore, again!) and an even shorter swim. Has that been a break?? Other than that, spending time at home and providing my condo with a little TLC has been good.

Taking a break from training is always interesting for me. I love taking classes, but when I'm away from the routine I think I need to balance things out a bit more. A few years ago I signed up for a "drawing for the totally intimidated" class. It was interesting and a nice break from the physical side of things. This year I'm going to try a photography class. I still don't own a cell phone, but I did buy a new digital camera before my trip to Europe in June. Slowly draggin' myself into the 21st century.

The other thing I'm going to focus on and change are my eating habits - mainly lunches. I eat out at restaurants for most of my work day lunches. Not only is this expensive, it's not always healthy. I'm trying to pack my lunch at least 2 of 4 days each week. I don't want to go cold turkey, I like the social aspect of the group I eat out with. But I also know that I pack a much more nutritious lunch compared to what I order off a menu. I'll have to work hard on this. I can easily be persuaded to leave my lunch in the fridge and give in to peer pressure. Wish me luck.

Ciao, Cindy

{Off to use my foam roller, I love my foam roller, it feels so good, it's my friend, (I am not convinced)}

Saturday, August 7, 2010



Relaxing by the pool, Mojito in hand, blue sky, sun shining..... (Oh, don't I wish)

I have been relaxing this last week since I completed my 2nd Half Ironman in Calgary (Viterra 70.3) on Aug. 1. I had a great race, although I didn't quite make my goal of 1.5 hours faster than last year - I was 57 minutes faster than last year. I can live with that.

My "Top 10" list of improvements:
  1. I liked the change in start time/swim wave this year. My swim went well in calm waters and I relaxed into a steady rhythm.
  2. I took a surprising 4 minutes off my swim = 39:24.
  3. I was much more consistant on the hills on the bike and transitioning from downhill -> uphill.
  4. I missed the tailwind from last year, but was even happier to not have to deal with a headwind instead!
  5. I nailed my nutrition on the bike and didn't have to stop at any of the aide stations.
  6. I gained 18 minutes on the bike = 3:25:01.
  7. My legs were pretty solid coming off the bike -> run; I maintained my intervals of 9 minute run, 1 minute walk and carried my nutrition with me. 3:08:54 = 35 minutes faster than last year.
  8. Didn't have to deal with constant leg cramps, but I did get caught at km 15 with leg cramps as I forgot to keep up with my electrolytes. Had to walk km 15 -> 16 as a result.
  9. I was able to keep a positive attitude, especially on the run, b/c I watched all the people I passed on the bike pass me on the run, with words of encouragement. The volunteers were great!
  10. I finished strong and was able to run across the finish line = 7:26:05 (57 minutes faster than 2009).

With every success comes "lessons learned" to improve on the next challenge....

  1. I need to push myself harder on the swim.
  2. I need to keep working on hills on my bike - 3:15 would be a better time.
  3. 200 Watts on the bike this year!
  4. I need to run faster! My run time needs to match my swim and bike efforts (ie: another hour faster on the run).
  5. I need to improve my efficiency on the run - is there a run coach in my future?
  6. According to "others", 7+ minutes in T1 is still excessive. Can I help it if I need dry feet in my socks/shoes? (T2 was a little better.)
  7. Continue to try to lose weight - this will make ALL of it easier.
  8. Continue to encourage others and feed off this positive energy.
  9. With steady improvements on form/technique, perhaps the need for Physiotherapy and Massage Therapy will decrease. This will allow more money for races!
  10. Continue to love the training. (I think I've got this one).

I also want to say I was in awe of Jon and Grant. They had amazing finishes. I wish I could've seen their race (I was a bit busy) - congratulations to both of you and good luck in Kelowna!

Next up - cheer on the people I know heading into Ironman Canada at the end of August.

Ciao, Cindy