Monday, November 17, 2008

Off Season

I find triathlon off-season hard.

On one hand you want to rest your body from all you put it through over the past 8-10 months. On the other hand, you get the itch to train. You want to keep in shape. You miss the weekend routine of swim and bike on Saturday and long run on Sunday. You miss working out with your tri-friends.

I find as soon as I can't go outside to ride any more, I get these cravings (not sure how else to describe it) to go riding. Especially when driving on the roads I would usually ride on.

But I just try to remind myself that this is the time to relax, and to do things that I don't usually do in the summer because of training.

I have decided to get a coach this season. I'm so exicted about it. Yes, it's expensive, but I think it will be worth it. I want to see what I can accomplish in triathlon. I'm going into my 4th summer of racing triathlons so I'm over the beginner hump. Now I have to get better, push myself and see what I can do.

I start my coaching in December, so this is my last few weeks of 'off season'. I'm planning to make the most of it, enjoy my week in Mexico, get some rest in (as hard as it is to do) and then start prepping for the 2009 season on December 1.

I can hardly wait.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Things that never fail to amaze me at the pool...

I am part of a tri swimming club at my local leisure centre. I've been a member for a few years now, and it's pretty good. We share the pool with the aqua-fit ladies, so we have 3 lanes in total for about 15 people (if everyone shows). The ability levels of the group range from intermediate to advanced. There is another class for beginners. Most of us are triathletes.

Here are the things that amaze me about the class or more often the people in the class:

1. Ego guy. This guy has an ego. He wants to swim in the fast lane. Even though he's not fast. Even worse, if you get behind him, he will not move and let you pass. This has been going on for a long time. Drove me nuts. One day it was just Ego guy and me in the lane. We became friends (ie he talked about himself and I listened). Anyway, Ego guy has been away for a while and it turned out that he hurt his knee quite badly and could not swim. He is on the mend now, and it seems his doctor gave him the ok to start swimming again. So... one might think that after not swimming for oh about 2 months and having a bum knee that he might choose to swim in the slow lane, or perhaps the medium lane if he was feeling particularly optimistic. Nope. He beelines for the fast lane. Why? He's Ego guy, that's why.

2. Fly guy. This guy is fairly new and joined our group in the last few months. First time I saw him, we were all swimming in the medium lane. Now, I'm not the fastest swimmer, I usually go between the medium and fast lane depending on who is there. But I could easily pass this guy in the medium lane. And as I did pass him for the first time, I got a whack in the back of the head. I didn't think much of it, until I was swimming towards him and he hit my arm with his arm. Hmmm.. being hit twice in one day - unusual. Until I stopped at the end and looked at him swim. It looked more like a bird taking off from the lake than someone swimming. His arms instead of lifting up and over, were extending out to the side of him. Result - he clotheslined anyone in his path. It got so bad that I had to dive under the water whenever I was passing by him because I was afraid to get hit. Luckily this guy doesn't show up very often or else I'd have a complete complex about swimming in the same lane.

3. I do whatever the heck I want girl: I have no idea why this girl comes to the TRIATHLON swimming class. She does not follow our workout. She just gets in the lane and swims whatever she wants. Breast, fly, back, whatever goes. Which is all fine and good for her, but what about the other people in the lane? Actually I'm not sure why the coach allows this, but not for me to say.

Lets just say the pool tends to be an interesting place!

Last 5lb boot camp:

I went bikini shopping yesterday and got a really cute brown and white polka dot bikini!! Yay, now I have 3 which should be enough for my trip. I have been really good with not eating bad foods, although my portion control could be better. As for working out...
Sunday - 10-11 k run (still recovering from the weekend before)
Monday - Swimming 1 hr 2000m
Tonight - Planning on 45 mins bike/trainer and 30 mins weights.

On another note, today is Remembrance Day so I have been thinking a lot about the sacrifices soldiers have to make when they go to war. I can't even imagine having to go through what they went through (or are going through). I am thankful for what they have done to make Canada the place it is today.


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Going Shopping!

Today I'm going out shopping with T2. We are on the hunt for running tights, so we're starting the search at Lululemon. Now Lulu has some nice clothes, but I've always avoided buying anything there because it's so damn $$$. I love the look of their yoga pants, but I'm not really the type to wear them out and about, so I couldn't imagine paying $100 for essentially what would be house pants. However, word on the street is that they have some really nice pants that are suitable for running outside in cold weather. Now this I would pay $100 for. Priorities.

For the last 5lb boot camp, I realized my one flaw in my plan - I didn't weigh myself in the beginning. So how am I going to be able to measure if I was successful? Ach, no worries, the number on the scale is not what's important anyway, it's feeling like I'm in tip-top shape for the beach. Similar to being at the starting line at a race and knowing you've done your best to train for it. It's that confidence that you get mentally. Here is my progress from the past couple of days:

Food - good
Workout - 45 mins bike on trainer, 30 mins weights

Food - not so good. Went out to a really good funky bistro type restaurant. V. cool atmosphere. V salty food. Ate a lot. Vegan carrot cake at Fresh after, which was amazing (as usual) however does not qualify as low calorie. Oh well - definitely worth it - I loooove vegan carrot cake.
Workout - 42 min run before work. Running in the early morning is the best - haven't done it in a while and forgot how much I like the quiet morning stillness.

I'm off to shop....


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Barack Wins!

I didn't manage to stay up to see who won the election, although Obama was winning when I went to bed. I woke up at 5ish and immediately turned on the tv and saw he won. I was surprised at how happy I was. Which is rather odd considering it was a US election. But what the US does has so much impact on Canadians, and I guess like everyone else I am feeling the effects of the mess that Bush has made. Anyway, enough about politics. Glad it's done and turned out well.

Happy to report I have been good in the food dept over the past couple of days.

Tuesday - 45 mins bike on trainer, 30 mins weights, upper body and abs (legs still sore)
Wed. 40 min run at lunch (it was beautiful and I ran in shorts). 1hr swim-2150m tonight.

I'm reading Ultra Marathon Man by Dean Karnazes... that guy is hard core. I'm near the beginning where he is doing the Western States 100 mile endurance run. I can't even fathom doing that. There is a graph showing the elevation profile of the race, and it looks like a heart rate machine in a hospital for someone with an erratic heart rate. Also on the graph is the profile for the Boston Marathon, and Heartbreak Hill is barely distinguishable. Wow. That really put it into perspective for me. Anyway, I'm enjoying the book, it's really inspiring to read about Dean and his mental and physical strength.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Last 5lb Boot Camp - Day 1

Yesterday was the first 'official' day of my Last 5lb Boot Camp.

Food - I'm happy to report, no junk food eaten! Except that I was desperately hungry at 4:30pm before leaving the office and didn't think I could make it home without eating something, so I ate a Clif Bar I had stashed in my desk. Not technically junk food, but not something I like to eat unless on a long ride!

Exercise - Swimming. 1hr, 2000m. It was a hard swim because I was still sore from the Half Marathon on Sunday. But glad I went because I think it helped loosen up my muscles a bit.

In other thoughts, I'm actually pretty excited to hear about what happens in the US election. I think it's more because I'm sick of hearing about it than actually caring who wins. Well, maybe that's not true. I'm rooting for Barack, but I think it will be closer than the polls predict. I guess time will tell, and hopefully by tomorrow we will know!


Monday, November 3, 2008


Last week I was in Orlando for a work conference. It was a great conference, but tiring due to events from 7:30am to 10:00pm. Food was a big issue. Even though they asked about food preferences (vegan was a choice). But alas, it was like pulling teeth to get a vegan meal, and even then it was not well planned, usually rice and veggies. For 5 days. And yet it would have been so easy... leave the cheese off the salad at the buffet and instead put it on the side. Also have some chick peas on the side. See? Easy. But instead the waiters often looked at me like I had two heads when I asked for something without any meat, fish, cheese, milk and eggs. Ah well, I'm trying to put it behind me and just be happy that I'm home and once again have control over my meals!

I also ran a half Marathon on Sunday. It was a pretty good race, hilly and challenging, but I just couldn't pull it all together. I finished 6 minutes off my PB that I ran the same time last year. Just makes me realize that I need to put in some good training in order to run really well, I can't just wing it, especially after a tough week (and a bad diet). So I was all ready to sign up for the new Women's Half Marathon in Toronto on May 31... however it is SOLD OUT! Already. And it's just the beginning of November. Wow. I guess it's good that so many women are out there running, but I'm still a bit disappointed. Luckily, there are many half-marathons in and around the Toronto area, so there will be something else I can do for sure.

Finally, I have booked a trip to go to Mexico the week of November 22. I'm sooo excited. I'm going with one of my girlfriends, and I haven't been down south with a friend in forever. I'm looking forward to sitting by the pool, relaxing, reading, eating, and dancing! Of course this means that I need to get in tip-top bikini shape. So I have dubbed the next 3 weeks 'Last 5 pounds boot camp'. Yes, it's after the Last 10 pounds bootcamp on tv which I love. The thing is I eat well for the most part and I exercise so there isn't a clear and easy way to do this. But, I have a plan. ..
1. Absolutely no bad food (ie leftover Halloween candy)
2. Continue exercising with an added emphasis on muscle building (abs, pushups, squats lunges etc)
3. Try to cut back on portion sizes (as I tend to eat a lot - probably because I need it when I'm training heavily, but don't cut back as much as I should when it's off season)
4. Drink lots of water (within reason - no hypoaptremia (sp?) for me)

I'm going to try to keep myself accountable by posting on this blog as to whether I'm keeping to my plan. Hopefully 3 weeks from now I will be feeling 100% confident about hanging out by the pool in my bikinis!