27.7.11

Frustrated (F2)

It's been one week since I crashed. Today I got back on the bike and rode home after dropping the mom-mobile off for a tune-up. I have been nervous about this ride since oh, last Tuesday when I got home from my spill. The ride started off super great on some lovely paths along the Bow river until I hit a detour. Thanks Calgary for the crappiest detour signs ever. So instead of sticking to the nice safe paths I found myself biking through industrial Calgary to get home. Courteous truck drivers - not so much. But I made it home with no more scrapes or cuts than what are slowly healing. It was a big push to get the bike moving today after a strenuous weight session yesterday and a big head wind. I would have loved to see better numbers on the Garmin when I got home but it wasn't to be. I'm going to have to find some nice open road to get a good consistent cadence going and so I can really push the speed. For now, first ride back on the bike though, I'm just happy not to have crashed again.

Other great news! Hubby bought a bike too! We just need to go get him some more gear (nothing essential, just a helmet) and then we can hopefully find someone to watch M and we can go riding together. My fear though is that just like running, his long man legs will have much more power than mine and he'll be out riding me. Thankfully I know that if we eventually end up doing some triathlons I can out swim him. Not that it has to be a competition but when he makes running look so easy and I feel like I'm dragging our house behind me... You get the point I'm sure.

25.7.11

First of Fifty - Challenge Me

Here it is, the first of fifty 'F' posts. I thought I'd keep with the alliteration and thus Fifty F Posts - sure I could have chosen four, fifteen, or forty, but that wouldn't be much of a challenge would it? So I've compiled a list of fifty F words that I think I can tie into fitness (not a post title) but here's the challenge - I want you to propose an F word for me - it could be as obscure as you want - and I will somehow try to work it into a post about running, biking, or anything else health related that ties in with being Faster, Further, or Fitter. My extra F for the day - Falls. We hiked to Bow Glacier Falls on Sunday - what a fantastic day and the scenery was beautiful!

Speaking of health I'd like to report on something outstanding I just discovered. My cholesterol numbers are fantastic. I don't just mean on the low end of the healthy range - they're below. How can this be though? I eat butter, I drink whole milk, I consume red meat at least once a week if not twice, I have the occasional bag of potato chips for lunch... All that aside cholesterol is much more complicated than what you eat. I'm fortunate to have good genetics (thanks mom!); I exercise regularly; I consume all the good foods to counter the 'bad' - whole grains, fruits, veggies, healthy oils (mmm, olive oil); and I have relatively low levels of stress. The most important thing about knowing my cholesterol number is that it is a positive affirmation for a balanced and moderate lifestyle. It is also a great benchmark to have going forward as age increasingly factors into declining health markers (bone loss, muscle mass loss) which I am going to strive to keep at bay. So on that note it is time to get off the computer and into some workout gear and push some weights around. I am hoping my road rash and accompanying bruising heals quicker than it has been. The shin is mighty bruised and very sore.

Don't forget - Get me your F words!



20.7.11

Crash. Bang. Boom.


Well it had to happen - but did it have to be today? Today, the first day I went back to work - ok just casually for a shift or two but still, today? Today when I was already pushing the time bracket in which to ride, get Mallory ready, get myself ready, and to work, today? Well as it happened, yes, today. And how did it happen? Multi-tasking. I have a lot to learn while riding the bike and I don't even know why I thought I could adjust my clothing without swerving madly all over the road. As it was slightly chilly I thought I could pull my sleeve over my garmin and use the thumb hole for some extra warmth. As such I weebled when I should have wobbled and wham! Turns out I could pull my sleeve over the garmin - after I crashed that is. I was on the road when I bailed so my front tire actually hit the curb and I ended up on the sidewalk. I didn't hit my head so I don't need a new helmet (big sigh). Thankfully a nice guy stopped to help me get my chain back on. Otherwise the bike seems fine but Stu is going to go over it for me tomorrow to be sure. Above are the pictures that got taken this am.

And bless my dear husband Stu. He is genuinely concerned about me. Who are we kiddin?. After 1. laughing, 2. laughing some more, he asked if I was ok. He hesitated to ask about the bike but I think he might have actually been more concerned about it, he just knew he couldn't ask about the bike before asking about me. But he truly loves me. I got a call at work this morning - what do you want on your RoadId? Ok yes, we should have had these long ago but now it'll be one more thing to add to the checklist of things to take on a run or ride. Shoes. Check. Helmet. Check. Sunglasses. Check. Garmin. Check. You get the idea.

Thankfully the garmin can provide all the nasty details pertaining to the crash for when I'm coherent enough to decipher them. Let's recap: 0.6kms into my ride this morning I crashed. Yep, 1 minute 59 seconds. And how fast was I going when I hit the pavement? 25.4km/hr. I guess it's a good thing Stu and I put on my new speed and cadence sensor last night. I mean, what is crash if you can't provide all the facts? Too stubborn to quit so off I took for a measly 18km round trip. Yes I was definitely more nervous and cautious as I rode - probably not a bad thing as it was rush hour on the pathways as people commuted to work.

Speaking of commuters - thanks to the jack @$$ in the black car who saw me bail hard and didn't stop to check if I was ok. Thank you to the nice guy runner and the little old asian man who offered me a tissue - no, I wasn't crying but my knee was clearly bleeding. The road rash sucks - good thing it's summer and my legs were decently shaved a day or two ago. My leg is swollen and is going to have a date with an ice pack tonight. The rest of my body is going to have a good long soak in epsom salts - to cleanse the wounds and help alleviate the pain in my right hip. I am sure I am going to bruise pretty good. I am hoping having made friends with Tylenol today and in keeping up the relationship that I'll be well enough to join Lisa for our regular Thursday trail run. Here's how the wounds are looking tonight.



So there you have it. I'm an idiot. I take full responsibility for my actions and I can't believe how utterly avoidable all of this truly was. There is nothing glorious about road rash.


19.7.11

Quickie

No, I'm not blogging about my sex life but rather my run this morning. Yes, last night I said I was going to bike this am - one problem - I have yet to purchase a water bottle for the bike and I thought it'd be silly wearing a fuel belt. So running it was. Alarm 6:45. Ugh. Never helps when the husband is next to the alarm and is in charge of the snooze button. Doesn't help when the only alarm I've woken up to for a long while is Mallory waking up (usually 7:30 or later). So I gave the teeth a quick brush, put on a tried and tested feel good outfit, and was at the pathway by, eep! 7:23? Alright, shorter it is. But quicker? That wasn't the intention but I put in a fantastic 6km at a 5:30 pace. My goal has been to train around a 5:45 for continuous runs. Now, I was tired at the end but I was elated with my pace. I'm going to take a page from hubby's training regimen and repeat the same run a few times to hopefully see improvement - as I'm not in a rush to increase my distance I think this is going to be a fair, and fun, way to train.

18.7.11

Obstacle Course Training


Obstacles can be literal or figurative. In my case I've got a bit of both leading up to the Warrior Dash in 19 days and the Spartan Race in just a few more but lately they've been pretty literal. When you're living in a two bedroom condo with a one year old there are obstacles everywhere - toys, books, pillows, toys, food on the floor. I am constantly stepping over or around something multiple times during my day. With the dishes piled up in or near the sink I chose to get my workout in today before I let any more domestic obstacles get in my way and make me more fatigued than the 30 degree weather already had. Ah yes, the weather. Is it possible to be too nice out? I was sweating before I even started warming up today. Speaking of warming up - I went to the door to get my bike shoes knowing I was going to have to sort through the piled up sneakers to find them and no joke - this is how I found them - perfectly on the rack while our numerous runners were piled up on the floor. Somehow M knew I needed to find them. So domestic chore or replacing shoes on the rack was (temporarily) averted.


But enough about the obstacles in my day to day life - here's what I'm really going to be facing in Whistler and what I've been doing to train. 3.07 miles. Huh? 4.95 kms in which I will:

Scramble over a tower of hay bales
Stampede through a junk yard
Crawl through tunnels
Rappel down a rope
Conquer a wall
Walk a tight rope over water
Navigate a web of ropes
Traverse planks over a gully
Climb up and over cargo nets
Leap over fire
Scramble through the mud under barbed wire

Phew, it's exhausting just writing this. But I have a plan in place to help me. Tonight I pushed and pulled my way through a grueling workout at home. Step ups with heavy weight for power to leap; rows for back strength to climb and descend; one legged squats for stability; mountain climbers for scrambling at speed; and core galore for all of it. I think I'm going to hit the ropes at the park when I take Mallory. There's a couple spider web like objects I will attempt to maneuver through. More importantly, I've got an early date with the bike to beat the heat.


16.7.11

Happy Hiking



We got out for our second hike of the season (I know, pathetic) with Mallory in tow. She loves the idea of being in the backpack, ie. tries to climb in while getting things packed in the morning, but after 45 minutes she's ready to be out and exploring nature from her height, not Dad's. Such is life and we can only hope she'll become more patient, and start napping on the way out instead of singing us songs. Today our goal was Memorial Lakes - the hike chosen by Stu. But alas, Gillean led him astray and rather than the hike being 7km from the parking lot to the lakes, it was 7km from the trail head to the lakes; The trail head being 4kms from the parking lot. So, a tired babe won out over trekking on and we turned back to the lot after a short distance on the Memorial Lakes trail. With her grump we wouldn't have made it to the scenic ribbon falls either. But! We were out of the city and the weather was absolutely amazing. This was the view just a few hundred metres from returning to the lot.


I thought as it was so nice out I'd take advantage of the creek and dip my tired tootsies in the creek. Brr! Still really chilly - as you can see I barely have them in the water for the photo. We hope to get out twice next weekend but we will see how the weather holds. Happy Hiking!


14.7.11

Fancier

Last night I bought a new-to-me road bike. She is a thing of beauty - at least to me, Stu, and the former seller. I hadn't been looking for a bike and for some reason I jumped on kijiji out of curiosity. Voila! There she was - a great four year old bike anally maintained for a reasonable price. And, as I am training for the duathlon in September I figure I better get my bike on. I took her for a spin to the park with Stu and Mallory tonight - M was very excited for me - or loved being in the wagon on the road for the first time. Let's say both. In fact she's been all over the bike since this afternoon while we were tweaking the settings a bit. She got chain grease on her hands a few times and just wanted to keep touching it. Stu too keeps eyeing it longingly - yes, his oversized frame wants to take my xs bike for a spin.

There were a few bikes on for sale but this one jumped out at me - perhaps because it's blue. When Dave joined me for a few colours during the half marathon we got talking about power colours - shades you draw energy from. He drew from orange and yellows. I hadn't thought about it before but I got wondering - what is my power colour? I do draw energy from pink - perhaps a little 'girl power' but I am not comfortable wearing the colour while being sporty, why is that? When I see other women in pink I get sentimental about women being active and it makes me proud of them - they are likely mothers or grandmothers, wives, and lead very busy lives. So why don't I wear pink then too? I guess I don't like to stand out - call attention to my cause or in the last bit of any race a face that is pinker than any top on the course. My go-to colour is blue. Serene, calm, pretty. Blue is not my favorite colour, in fact, fuchsia (pink) is. But in the realm of sports I love blue. Even bright teals and royals - but they probably attract just as much attention as any pink does. So what is it exactly about blue that appeals to me? I've been racking my brain trying to decide exactly what it is but I can't pinpoint any particular reason. I like it, I feel good in it, so there, that's a good enough reason for me.



Ok, I haven't really relegated Stu to the couch but you get the idea of how much I'm loving the idea of having this bike.

12.7.11

New kicks to change my attitude.

Here's Mallory all decked out in her new kicks due to a small foot injury. But this blog isn't about her and how darn cute she looks in her Nikes - or fast for that matter. When you get a pair of tights on that girl the chub looks like strong legs and a super kick-ass butt. While I hope she gets her dad's long legs I wouldn't be opposed to her having my more muscular build. A combo would be ideal - I dream of her athleticism - or maybe she'll be into music, that would be ok too, wouldn't it? M has become pretty fearless and cruises over and around just about everything. We can spend an hour exploring the park - up stairs, down slides, over beams, crawl, crawl, cruise, cruise. She is a bundle of happy exploring energy - I need to take note and follow her excited and enthusiastic lead.

Don't mistake lack of blogging for lack of work. Ok you can a little bit. I've definitely scaled back the km's and I'm not pushing so hard while doing weights. And it's not that there isn't a whole bunch of stuff coming up. Like in 3.5 weeks I'm doing the warrior dash in Whistler; 2 weeks after that the Spartan race here in the city; Less than 10 weeks from now the Blitz Duathlon. I am also contemplating more half's this fall - one, maybe two. I've been logging a mere average of 13km a week. Time to ramp it up! My hopeful motivation - I will either be purchasing a new-to-me road bike this weekend or borrowing one for duathlon training. I've also made myself an activity calendar and I am going to bust out the star stickers again.

The best thing I've done lately is hike with M and Stu. We finally got out and purchased a pack to carry her. We hiked to Baldie Pass last Friday and if it weren't for the wind we could've climbed a bit further. The best thing about hiking with Mallory - I can keep up to Stu finally. The extra weight from carrying M slows him down to my pace so I'm finally not running up the mountains to keep up to his long legs. M loved the trip especially the part where she got to get out and play with the rocks and sticks. I loved mixing it up and being out of the city during an insane week of bad western wear and drunken non-sense.

I will blog more about all the good work I'm going to be doing and hopefully it will pay off with some great results in August.

1.7.11

Dirty Love

It's not everyday that you can convince your 15 year old sister to join you for a run. It's not everyday that she can make it more than 1km without stopping. So, being the good sister I am, I left her - after all, she knew her way back, I didn't (well I had a vague idea). I veered off the gravel path onto a well worn trail with lots of undulations, tree roots, logs to scale, puddles to jump. All in all it was a perfect trail. I am in love with trail running. This could become an amazing but time consuming adventure. I'm dreaming of hitting the trails in and around Bragg Creek and Canmore - a good hours drive away. Here's the thing, can I justify leaving the family for that long? I am going to have to do more exploring at Nose Hill and find some more trails in the city.

Well, off to pound some weights and keep the strength up, especially since the next two scheduled races are going to require some heavy lifting, pulling, and/or pushing.