Tuesday, July 31, 2007

First Tri Stress Dream

I had my first Tri stress dream this morning. It was race day, and nothing worked like it was supposed to. The swim took place in a very tiny pool, no one would tell us when we were finished swimming the required distance and at some point, there was no water... Then, I realized that I didn't get bodymarking (which I am so looking forward to!)... I couldn't find my bike and I didn't remember setting up my transition area... and then, I realized that it was super hot and I had only brought a shirt with sleeves... No one was respecting the rules, and people were all over the place... Worst - no one enforced those rules! I gave up on the Tri during the bike course, because I wouldn't know what I was supposed to do and it made me so frustrated. I hope this is not what will happen!

It's official - I am now one level away from being freaked out about my Tri.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Riding Stardust

On Thursday, I got my bike fitting in the morning and I went for my first ride with Stardust in the afternoon. I only went for about 5K, just to see how it felt and I was... speechless. Stardust is wonderful!

The difference between Stardust and my nameless hybrid bike is unbelievable! I was shocked during the whole ride at how light and fast Stardust is. On flat ground, Stardust kept going forever without me pedalling... i climbed a small hill without ever going below 15 km/h when I would reach the top of the hill at about 9 km/h with the nameless hybrid.

My knees didn't hurt or crack AT ALL. My quads didn't work as hard. The only problem is that my shoulders hurt so badly - they already hurt a lot before I went for the ride, even when I sat around doing nothing. The road bike position, which is totally new to me, probably isn't helping.

I love her already. I can't wait till tomorrow to go on another Stardust ride again! :-)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Further Outside of my Comfort Zone...

Yesterday, I was writing that buying a road bike and trying the clipless pedals for the first time was completely outside of my comfort zone. Today, I moved even further out of my comfort zone by trying an open water swim. I don't think I swam more than 25-30m at once, because it was so scary! I couldn't really see the bottom of the water, and all I could think of was how I had no idea where I was going... I will admit that I panicked a little at first. I tried again a few times, and the last time I tried, I was able to swim a little more comfortably.

I had been thinking about doing the Try-a-Tri which takes place in Ottawa next weekend, but I'll pass. I will make sure I do open water swims in the coming month to get used to the feeling of swimming outside...

The journey to becoming a triathlete is a much harder one than I would have imagined at first.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

New Bike and Clipless Pedals Adventures

I am about to receive a backpay cheque from work and I decided to treat myself to a new bike with this money. JF and I went shopping and I looked at/tried on every main brand that had a road bike that could fit my needs and budget. This morning, I finally found THE ONE:

A 2006 Specialized road bike, at a clearance price, with good quality components and even aerobars! The perfect bike for me. The one that they just put together was my size - perfect! I tried out the bike outside and I really liked it, so I decided to buy it. I'm getting my bike fit on Thursday morning and since I'm not planning to make any changes to it, I will probably bring it home before the end of the weekend! Yay!

Now that I'm getting a road bike, I decided that I really need to start using the clipless pedals that I bought last Winter. I've been so scared of using them, that I kinda forgotten about them for many months... Today, I decided to be courageous and install them on my hybrid bike. JF helped me out and showed me how to clip and release from the pedals. We went to a soccer field and I practiced...

I fell twice. The first time, I lost balance and fell on the side where my foot was clipped. I scratched my knees, elbows, upper thigh... and bruises are now appearing and I'm hurting. The second time, I tried to clip without success and just when I decided that I would put my foot on the floor and start again, my shoe clipped and I fell. This time, I fell on my handlebars and I hurt my pecs. This is very painful right now, and I'll probably have a bruise.

After the second fall, I decided that it was enough practice for today. I will try again tomorrow. With this, I am officially completely out of my comfort zone.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Time Trials

Yesterday, I went to the pool. I ate crap all day prior to going to the pool and it really affected my swimming (note to self: eat better next time). As a result, I wasn't able to swim for 200m yesterday, but I did 100m twice. The first one took 2:45 and the second one took 2:15. Based on that, i could say that my baseline for swimming 200m would be somewhere between 5:00 and 5:30.

As I already mentionned, my baseline for the bike is about 48 minutes, and my baseline for the run is about 41 minutes.

This would give me a finishing time of 1:34 for the distances. Add 5 minutes for the transitions, and my overall Try-a-Tri time would be close to 1:40 on September 1st. If I had done a 1:40 Try-a-Tri last year, only 3 people would have completed the distance after me... but then, the results state that the run distance was 4.7k last year... which means I could have cut about 2 minutes off my time, for a 1:37 finishing time. At 1:37, 4 people would have finished after me.

The challenge is to reduce my time on the bike, and the time spent in transitions. I will concentrate my training on this, at the same time that I'll try to improve my swimming and maintain my running.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

I REALLY can do this!

This morning, I woke up and wondered if I should go to the gym, run, bike or try a brick. I decided to do a brick - something like 10K bike, 2K run - had breakfast, relaxed a little and got ready to go. As I was getting ready to leave, I thought to myself that I should bike for 15K, just to get a sense of how long 15K is. I figured 15K would take me about 45 minutes and that I could go for a short run around the neighboorhood to make my workout 60 minutes long or so.

My bike ride turned out to be a 16K one, completed in about 50 minutes. At some point during my bike ride, I was feeling quite good and decided that if I kept feeling this good, I may as well try to go for a 5K run. I got home, did my transition from biking stuff to running stuff, and off I went. My legs were so heavy, I couldn't believe it. I had tried to stretch my calves on the bike, but I didn't feel a stretch and I thought they must be loose enough. Turns out they weren't. I had to stop after 3 minutes of running to stretch my calves. I felt like I had a huge knot in my calves and that they were so tight!

On top of this, I decided to try a new path, which was a mistake because it was a slight uphill for about 0.5 K. My calves were screaming: "if you don't stop this now, we'll just seize and you'll fall to the ground and never be able to get up again". So, I stopped another time to stretch the calves and I walked a lot. Despite the stetches and the walking, I wasn't doing much better until I was back on a flat path again. At some point, even walking was difficult. But I kept at it, within my capability, and I did run about 2 minutes and then walked about 3 or 4 minutes.

I was surprised to realize that I was running way faster than usual, although I felt like I was going so slow. I had been told that this may happen, but I didn't think it would be that way: I felt I was running 8:30/K when in fact, I was running 7:00/K. The problem is that I couldn't slow down, even if I tried. My legs wouldn't let me slow down, as if they wanted this to be over.

After about 3K, I started feeling better and my legs felt looser. I was very grateful for that, and decided that I was doing 5K today. And I did it! :-) Despite the fatigue, I did 5K in a very respectable time of 41 minutes something. I was expecting to do it closer to 48 minutes, which is my slowest 5K ever - and this was achieved without having done a 16K bike ride before!

That was SO hard physically. When I finished, I was overwhelmed by emotion and I couldn't stop crying. I can do this. I have no excuse now. I can be a triathlete. It's up to me.

Wow. What a great feeling!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

SO proud!

I went to the pool tonight and I followed a part of Vicki's advice to do a time trial. I say I followed a part of the advice because I didn't time myself, I only covered the distance without stopping.


It was the first time ever I swam that long, non-stop. I'm very proud of myself and I'm more confident about my triathlon on September 1st. I should say I swam at least 200m, because I did 10 lenghts of a pool that's somewhere between 20m and 25m long. The best part is that I did half of it by swimming front crawl - I still can't believe I was able to do this!!!

One year ago, I couldn't swim. I was uncomfortable in the water. I didn't even want to do a triathlon yet, I was just dreaming about learning to swim... A year later, after many hours of hard work in the pool, I can swim at least 200m!!!

I can do this triathlon thing:

Swim 200m. Bike 15K. Run 5K.

I can be a triathlete!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Bienvenue dans la famille Jake!

Nous avons adopté un nouveau membre pour compléter notre famille. Il s'agit de Jake le chien, un épagneul Springer anglais de presque 4 ans. Jake était un chien d'élevage, et il est placé dans notre famille pour vivre sa 2e vie. Nous sommes allé chercher Jake hier dans la région de Peterborough, à plus de 4 heures d'ici. L'éleveur avait apporté 2 chiens à sa maison pour nous les faire rencontrer: Jake et Danny. Danny était un Springer noir et blanc de presque 6 ans et il nous a tout de suite adoptés. Jake avait un peu peur au début, mais il s'est par la suite habitué à nous et nous a laissé le flatter et le coller.

Malheureusement, nous devions faire un choix car ces chiens doivent être dressés complètement et un seul chien demandera beaucoup de travail. Après de longues minutes d'hésitation, nous avons décidé d'adopter Jake, même s'il était moins amical à prime abord parce qu'il semblait le plus énergique, parce qu'il est plus jeune et parce qu'il a un physique plus athlétique que Danny. Danny faisait de l'embonpoint, et n'était pas loin d'être obèse, alors on s'est demandé s'il serait le meilleur chien pour nous.

Dans la voiture, Jake a été un ange. Il a même dormi! Nous sommes arrêté dans quelques haltes routières sur le chemin du retour, mais Jake ne voulait pas manger, marcher ou faire ses besoins. Il avait peur des camions et des voitures. Nous sommes finalement arrivés à la maison vers 10h hier soir, avec un chien stressé et peureux et des chats intrigués et pas très heureux de le rencontrer. Heureusement, tout s'est passé de façon pacifique malgré quelques grognements de Jake, causés par le fait que Maia et Litchie allaient tout près de sa cage et le fixaient intensément, ce qui devait le rendre mal à l'aise et incomfortable.

Ce matin, JF a fait sortir Jake dehors assez tôt et comble de malheur, c'est ce matin qu'un transformateur situé dans un poteau chez le voisin a choisi pour exploser et faire un gros vacarme qui a effrayé Jake. Heureusement que nous avons une cour clôturée!!

Lorsque JF a donné un peu d'intimité à Jake, celui-ci a décidé de faire son premier pipi. Il était temps, le pauvre n'avait fait aucun pipi depuis 2:30 hier après-midi et il était rendu 1:30 aujourd'hui! Depuis ce temps, il a fait un bon nombre de pipis, mais nous attendons toujours qu'il se sente assez à l'aise pour le # 2!!! ;-)

Bienvenue dans notre famille Jake. J'espère que tu t'habitueras à nous et que nous aurons de belles années avec toi!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Emilie's Run 2007 - My Heavy Mental Race

Q: Why is Kelodie a BOP (back-of-the-pack) runner?
A: Because her mental is too heavy


My goal was to PB on this course. It’s a flat and fast course, and I thought my 10K training would have helped me improve my 5K times. But then, life happened: I hurt my toe while in Victoria and wasn’t able to wear shoes for 10 days; I had a tough cold; I travelled for work to both ends of our country. In the 4 weeks between my 10K race and Emilie’s Run, I ran 3 times only and it never went well.

Still, I thought I could PB if I got my mental on. The mental part was crucial for this race, because I’d have little outside motivation to keep me going when it got difficult - there aren't a lot of spectators on the course and this race wasn't an A race for me. I knew my legs had had plenty of rest and that they were good to go, but I wasn’t too sure about the cardio and the mental.

What Happened

I was on track for a 35min finish after 3K, but I lost a lot of time walking and trying to talk myself into being strong between the 3rd and the 4th kilometre mark. My stupid mental won!!! It’s so heavy that sometimes I feel like I carry a pack sack full of rocks with me when I run.

I missed my PB by the time it takes to say “I almost got a PB but my mental was too weak that day”… 7 seconds!!!

My splits:
@1km 7:01
@2km 14:00
@3km 21:56
@4km 30:02
@5km 37:14

- I’m impressed that I achieved such a result after 2 months of “almost zero training”
- Last year, I ran this course in 40:45. I shaved 3:50 off last year’s time!
- I tried to focus on running with joy and being grateful to be out there – it worked for a while, but then I didn’t care about joy anymore!
- Having a plan (be as close to 7:00/k as possible in this case) and sticking with it works, as long as the mental doesn’t interfere
- There was an article in RW about how going all out on a 5K race was a good strategy, even if your second half was slower: I tried it and it works good (again, as long as you don’t crash before the end!)
- It was great that Joe was shooting pictures at the 4K mark: it motivated me to keep running to have great running pictures (and my pictures are amazing!!!)
- I “forced” my parents to come see me do this race. You should have seen my mom at the finish line: it was priceless how proud she looked. This sure made me feel good.

Bottom Line
There will be other races to get my mental on and PB.

My thoughts on this race a week later...
Looking at my stats for this race, I realized that my HR was very high during the whole race (average HR was 175 and it went up to the 180s many times). A HR that high can't be a good thing and certainly explains why I needed frequent walk breaks. I'm happy that I didn't feel too bad after the race, like I did after my 10K, because I could easily have puked and felt very sick after keeping my HR that high for so long.

From this race, I understand that I need to get back to consistent running. This morning, I ran by HR. It was quite discouraging to be back at doing 1:1s, but if this is what it takes to get back to where I was, I'm willing to do it. I still have the endurance to run longer, but I don't have the ability to do it within healthy HR ranges and I have to do something about it. I can't run at my lactate threashold all the time!

I'll be back with a revenge next year, you can count on this, Emilie!