Monday, June 21, 2010

Bust my pump

Had my cycling lesson with coach Nancy tonight.  With her program I also get an hour of one on one time to work on whatever I want.  My first choice would have been yakking over beers but I can't imagine she would go for that so I chose an hour of cycling. On the way home from work I stopped to buy a tire pump and even got myself a bicycle rack for the car.  SO much better than fitting it into my car!!  I got to the parking lot and asked her to show me how to pump up my tires but when we would pump air into the tire it kept coming out.  I'll be exchanging the pump tomorrow.  I could easily see if it was just me that couldn't figure it out but if she couldn't it has to be broken.  We went back to her place, got it sorted with her pump and headed out.  I was explaining to her (in my super technical bike speak) about the gearing and where I was having trouble.  We stopped on the road and went over it and then she cycled behind me watching me change the gears and finally she got it, something weird is going on.  At least I'm validated.  Other than that the bike works fine and I am figuring my way around the weirdness.  I think she originally had planned to do sideroad #1, more hills I think but because we changed venues we just cycled around her neighbourhood.  It was good for me because I asked alot of questions and learned a ton. Things are looking up.

She and her husband Gary were helping make a few adjustments on the bike rack, he came out to the car to put a bungee cord on my bike to keep the tires from spinning and was quite impressed with the bike.  A few minutes earlier I had mentioned that my bike might be 'too much bike for me' and after seeing it he understood.  We discussed potentially getting another bike at the end of the season but he figured since I'm learning on this one stepping down might not be a good idea.  I dunno, I need more practice and then I'll figure it out.  

My apologies to those that were waiting on injury photos, none this time but I'm sure there will be more in the future.  

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Like I'd forget

Tonight I had my first ride with the Thursday riding group.  I had emailed Nancy after Tuesday's ride asking her if I was too new to ride with this group and she said no.  She may be rethinking that.  Up to now I've done pretty easy rides, flats mostly trying to get used to the bike and rid of my fear.  Fear that at my age is not easy to rid myself of.  On Tuesday I tackled my first hill and was pretty darn happy about it.  Tonight, completely different!  I should also mention that we were supposed to go out on Saturday to do some one on one biking but she was sick with the flu and canceled so I'm still riding blind.  

I have driven on the side roads around here and they are pretty hilly but I'm usually going north/south, I stupidly figured that there wouldn't be alot of hills on going east/west.  I joined the group at Walkers Line and Dundas and we headed out, I was the sweep, shocking right.  I barely made it up the flipping hill at Walkers to Sideroad #2 and had to stop to get some water, and take a rest.  The first downhill looked to me like a flipping ride at Wonderland so I also needed to get my head in the game.  I headed out and braked my way down the hill, big mistake cause as soon as you get to the bottom you're going UP again. WTF BBQ?  I did all the hills over to Appleby Line and contemplated my options.  Nancy had said she had a 'surprise for us' on Sideroad #4 and even the avid cyclers were groaning at the hill.  My legs were already toast and I was questioning whether I'd even make it back, nevermind up Appleby Line and across #4 so I told her that was it for me.  I headed back and had to walk up two of the hills before I got back to Walkers Line, the walk of shame.  A lovely gentleman (triathlete) was out for a 'joy ride' and was riding back with me giving me pointers and waiting patiently for me as I trudged up the hills which is not easy in those damn shoes I might add.  We headed back down to the start and I am happy to say I didn't brake on any hills, nor did I walk.  Slight redemption there.  The bike I am riding is cool and I get loads of comments on it but I can't for the life of me tell you which gear I'm in or how to 'gear down, gear down!!!!'.  I am getting the hang of how to make it easier, stay with me folks, this is really technical but sometimes when I press the gear thingys to make it easier nothing happens, I'm just hitting buttons and levers. That guy tried to show me and he said 'oh you have strange gears'.  

Next week we are doing hill repeats at Snake Road, she even put 'woohoo' in the email.. really? woohoo?  really?

I've had a hot hot hot bath with my new best friend Epsom salts and am hoping I can walk tomorrow.  After riding on Tuesday, then running, then bootcamp last night, which also kicked my ass by the way (thanks Tawnya) I may not make it into work tomorrow.  Anyone got a wheelchair I can borrow? 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

and she landed it!!

Oh yes, that's right my friends.  I did it AGAIN.  You see I was feeling all awesome and stuff from Sunday, nevermind my swim wasn't great but I felt so good about the bike, slow but much more confident but I can't ride that wave forever.  Nope god or someone decided I'd had a little too much of myself and decided to smack me down with a little humility.  

I joined Nancy's 12 week tri-group as you know, what "I" didn't know is that I joined a "Mommies in Motion" group.  I'm not a mom, I think I'm the only one so I feel a bit weird. At least when I wiped out there were many moms there to help me out and at least one of them always has wet wipes right?  and maybe some gum.  Note to self:  get a little first aid kit for the car.  We are getting team shirts and they say "Mommies in Motion", I need to amend mine somehow.. Motion is lotion maybe?  ahhh no.. 

So first brick workout was good, sort of.  We cycled along Upper Middle past Brant St and there were many red lights and the cars were completely freaking me out and my clips were not cooperating and let's not even talk about the damn gear thingys but I kept pedaling.  Once we got past Brant is wasn't so bad and I tackled my first ever hill which was incredibly painful but I did it twice.  It was kinda cool going fast down the hill.  Did I mention I did it twice?  I got back up the hill on the second run up to the turn around and stopped for some water.  Once I stopped, I turned my upper body to talk to the girl behind me and I started to teeter to the left, sadly I was still clipped on the left side and I started to go down.  I thought oh NO, not in front of this girl!! so I added a little tuck and roll at the end and jumped right up.  I thought it was a scrape like last time but as I cycled back the blood was trickling down my leg as you can see. By the time I got back to the school for the run even the wet wipe didn't help cause the blood was all caked on, ewwww!  I've now wiped out twice, who's taking bets on how many times I'm going to fall this season?  I ran the track two and a half times and then we stopped to stretch.  I could have done all four rounds except I was wet wiping my knee.

The worst part, I bled all over my ugly shoes.  Tomorrow bootcamp and Thursday more cycling, oh yay.. not so much

Monday, June 14, 2010

Let's pretend......

Sunday I had my try-a-tri race simulation with my coaches group at Gulliver lake. The dog had me up at 5am so I had plenty of time to sit and stew and try to talk myself out of it but in the end I went. My friend Sukhi came with me to help me out and I’m so happy she did. I’m enough of a scatterbrain nevermind in the middle of a race. The group that were really racing were prepping for a race in Guelph this coming weekend and they had been training with Nancy these last 12 weeks. They were all extremely nice to me and really helpful with tips etc and they didn’t even laugh out loud at me in my wet suit.

The swim: I have not had any trouble in the pool with my stroke, only my endurance so I was unsure how I would do with no rest stops in between. I haven’t been in open water since I was about 16 but I wasn’t too nervous about that part. The swim was 300m and kicked my ass. Totally strange experience swimming in open water in a wetsuit. I decided I would do the crawl as long as I could and then switch to breast stroke and I was shocked at how quickly I had to switch over to breast stroke. I even did backstroke for a while when I really had trouble catching my breath. I was last one of the try-a-triers out of the water but only 2 seconds behind the second to last girl. I thought I had been in there for about 30 minutes, I’m not kidding so when I asked the girl’s father who was keeping time and he said I was 12 minutes 22 seconds (I think). I nearly fell over! Note to self: work on your swim!!! 

Transition 1: this was great cause transition was at my car plus I had a helper who handed me stuff (especially water). I have no clue how long it took me but getting out of the wetsuit was a breeze. 

The bike: well you all know how I feel about the bike. We did our riding on the road with traffic which really sucks but I have to suck it up, this is how things go. We rode up Safari road, down Brock to some concession road, turned around and came back. There was a guy with a big sign at that concession road who was cheering and helping us get turned around. When I got there I had some traffic so I got off and walked my bike across, had some water and took off again. Total distance 8kms. I can say it was a lot better than I thought it would be, I went faster than I thought I would but sadly my bike computer didn’t register any of it. I completed the bike in about 25 minutes. Note to self: work on your cycling!! 

Transition 2: going from bike to run is much better, more water, change of shoes, change helmet for baseball cap and off I went. 

The run: We ran once around the lake which they estimated was about 1.5kms. I thought I would end up having to walk most of it but I started out at a very easy jog and only stopped a few times for about 30 second walk breaks and got back to my car in 10 minutes. CRAZY, that is close to my normal pace. Note to self: no slacking your run still needs loads of work. 

All in all what a fabulous experience. I’m glad my coach encouraged me to join in, I’m feeling a lot more comfortable about the upcoming races because I’ve done it at least once and know a bit better what to expect. I hadn’t met her until yesterday and she is really supportive, I am going to enjoy working with her. The group that attended were really great, encouraging me as they raced by me on the bike and the run. I think this team atmosphere is really going to help motivate me and push me forward.

It’s true what they say, you do forget about the pain pretty much as soon as you are done and I’m already really looking forward to the real try-a-tri on July 18 to see how improved I am. The post race rush is still here AND beer never tasted so good as it did when I was done.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

what was I thinking?

I just realized something...

I am meeting Nancy (my coach) for private cycling session for one hour on Saturday. I thought that would mean that I don’t have to do my swim on Saturday because I’m cycling instead but I just checked my schedule and that is not the case, she's got them both in there.

I did bootcamp last night, cycling tonight, off tomorrow, then swim AND cycle on Saturday and then swim, bike and run on Sunday.  Then I start all over again on Monday with a swim, Tuesday cycle and run (my first brick training session), Wednesday bootcamp, Thursday another 90 minutes of cycling....

What have I done?!?!?!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin

Yes the challenge has started!! So far I have completed a run, a swim and a cycling session. The swim was pretty good but I have never gone immediately after work and need to remember a few things like bring eye makeup remover and use it before I get in the pool. Also a hairbrush would be helpful, oh yeah and face moisturizer. It’s also good to know that on Monday evenings the open lane swim stops between 6 and 8pm for swimming lessons. Thankfully I had left work earlier than normal and arrived in time to get about 40 minutes of swimming in. I wrote my workout on my hand (ala Rodney) but in the end it didn’t matter because I lost count and just did laps. It’s so bloody boring during the swim that even counting becomes too much. I tried to go as many laps as I could without rest and when I was losing steam with the crawl I would just do the breast stroke. Cycling last night with Craig was great. He’s a really good sport despite my list of ‘cycling requirements’ and I ended up learning a TON. We did a bike trail between Guelph Line and Appleby Line and back and I didn’t wipe out. There was a lot of stop/start at side streets and on the way back we had a pretty good rhythm going where he would go ahead, look for traffic and give me warning if I needed to stop. I was able to unwrench my hand off the handlebars at least 3 times to adjust my sun glasses and I even got my butt out of the seat a few times. I’m definitely getting more comfortable. We are heading down to the waterfront on Thursday, less stopping and hopefully not too many people. Tonight it’s Tawnya’s bootcamp and I can feel the pain already, it’s been WAY too long since she kicked my ass. Friday is my only day off training and I am REALLY looking forward to it. No training and a few beers.

In other news my coach emailed with information about her race simulation for her current group who are racing next weekend. In the email she had mentioned needing volunteers so I sent her a note back saying I could help out, I thought it would be good to get out and meet some people and have some fun. She responded with ‘You should be participating’. Um really? I have never done even a brick (bike/run) but after some thought you know what, it might not be a bad idea. It is only a simulation, there would be absolutely zero pressure and give me a good idea where I may really have trouble. There will be another simulation for my group closer to my September race but it couldn’t hurt to do this one. The distance is shorter than try-a-tri, 300m swim, 8km bike and I think a 2km run. I even contacted running free (thanks @rbuike) and they have a wetsuit available. So the stars seem to be aligning.

Just wanted to post an update on the program. I feel A LOT more focused now thanks to the program and the group training that I’ll be doing starting next week.
 That’s all I got.

Whoops, I lied I definitely need to make a batch or seven of these.. yummy

Thursday, June 3, 2010

rut roh

Well folks I have been unable to workout due to this flipping cold all week.  By the time I get home from work I'm lucky to sit upright nevermind get a workout in.  It's really taken the mick outta me and I think I have a mild case of bronchitis.  Monday night I got home from work by 6pm, fell asleep on the couch, moved to my bed around midnight and woke up at 6am to start all over again.  Yesterday was better throughout the day but again when I got home that was me done. 

On the upside I got my program from Nancy this morning (she's fast) and it sounds like she has taken my bike fear to heart and is determined to conquer it. I'm going to be doing 2 group rides per week, about 2.5 hours total.  2.5 hours or until I fall off.  If that doesn't knock it out of me I don't know what will!!  The rest of the program is as I expected although I think she may secretly be trying to kill me looking at Tues/Wed/Thurs workouts.  Some great stuff, I've joined her women's tri training group as well as her weekly cycling group and I'm also attending Tawnya's bootcamp weekly.  These group sessions will really keep me on track.  She has me down for 2 pool sessions per week, totally cool and I'm excited to see how I measure up to what she's laid out for me.   Two runs per week, one right after biking session, my first ever brick (OUCH).  She even has 3 races plus a bonus 5km run in there.

I just wanted to update quickly, but have to get back to work now, it's freaking crazy here this week. If it's not raining I might go for a walk or light jog if I feel up to it tonight.  It would probably do me some good to get out even for a little bit.  Sunday is the first day of my official program starting with a run and I don't care if I have to crawl, I'm going!!!

Official dates for this challenge are June 6 - July 3.  Sorry PedalmanTO, you don't get that extra week but you do get a full 28 days and I intend to go again for the month of July.