Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Race Report: Mont Tremblant Sprint (Swim and Bike)

I had an absolutely wonderful weekend in Mont Tremblant! I'm so glad that I decided to "race" despite my stress fracture.  Don't worry, the spoiler alert is that I didn't finish the race, because I didn't want to risk running.

Pre-race day:  The Ironman Mont Tremblant organizers put on an extremely top notch event.  They have a gorgeous location to work with and pull out all the stops to make sure that the event is a great one.  As Meredith Kessler put it, it's a "luxury course" and the weekend did feel quite luxurious.

On Friday morning, I went for a pre-race shakeout ride along the Petit Train du Nord, a lovely bike path.  Then, I went down to the race site with a friend to pick up our bibs and wait for the rest of the gang.  We were the first ones in line for packet pick-up and the first ones to wander through the race expo.  After a few photos in the village, I was on my own to wait for my friends and explore.  I took the cabriolet up to the top of the village, then wandered back down, stopping for some beet juice and a delicious quinoa salad.  Once everyone else arrived, we got settled into our lovely condo.  It was just up the hill from the race site and even had a great view of the T-Zone.  All the Saturday racers attended the pre-race briefing, then packed their bags for race day and checked over their bikes.  We made a big family style dinner of chicken, kale salad, rice, and roasted sweet potatoes. After dinner, I did my pre-race ritual of painting my nails. This time in Essie "Boom Boom Room" and "Jazzy Jubilee."  We got to bed a bit late, probably because of all of the excitement of the weekend!

Sunset over the T-Zone, view from our condo!

Race Day!!

Going into race day, I had already adjusted my expectations and wrapped my head around the fact that I wouldn't be finishing the race.  It was a tough pill to swallow at first, but the priority race of the summer is Worlds, and I didn't want to jeopardize my recovery to run in Tremblant.  My focus instead was on my friends and on my mom, who was also competing in her very first triathlon on Saturday a few thousand miles away in Saskatchewan.  Of course, I was hoping for a good swim and bike to give me a bit of a confidence boost and to see where my fitness was.

Race Morning:

We got up around 5 a.m. in order to have plenty of time to eat and get our transition ready.  My breakfast was my usual oats with protein, almond butter, banana, seeds and nuts along with a coffee (with cream this time).  We changed and trekked down the hill to the T-Zone. Setting up my spot was a bit quicker than usual, since I didn't need my run gear.  After body marking, we made our way over to the swim start.  It was an absolutely gorgeous morning.

Swim: 12:23

In the weeks leading up to the race, I was pretty nervous about the water temperature, but after braving a "warm-up," I was pleased to discover that the water was cold, but quite pleasant.  It was also calm and the conditions looked perfect for our race. The fog hanging over the other end of the lake gave a majestic air to the already beautiful scene. Gillian came down to the start with me and snapped a few pre-race photos and I ran into Dale at the start as well. Before I knew it the men were off in the water, and we were lining up on the beach.  My plan was to get into the water and swimming as quickly as I could, despite the fact that I needed to walk into the water.  Luckily it became deep fairly quickly so I was able to start swimming and make my way to the front of the pack.  I took a pretty early lead and settled into my stroke. Soon, I was catching up to the wave in front of us and had to start avoiding the men doing breast stroke.  I was trying to stay close to the buoys and not get kicked in the face, so I found myself sighting a lot more frequently than I normally would.  After turning toward the swim exit, I was blinded by the sun and could hardly see anything, so I just looked for lime green caps and followed them toward what seemed to be the exit.  To avoid having to walk too far, I swam until I was dragging my hands in the sand, then stood up and began the looooooong WALK to transition.  My swim seemed quite slow for me if the course was actually 750m, but after looking at the men's times (fastest was only 10:52), remembering that I walked to the timing mat, and realizing that I had not only the fastest women's time, but also the third fastest time... I decided that I was okay with my swim.


Well, walking 300m to transition totally sucked, I have to admit.  Nothing like having all those people you worked hard to pass, run by you as you walk.  And the lovely fans cheering were all giving me fairly puzzled looks. They were shouting, "You're the first woman," and "Run!" and "Go! Go!" And I wished I had a sign that said in French and English: I can't run / Je ne peux pas courir!! Anyways, a few girls, including Dale, raced by me into the T-Zone and were already off on their bikes before I even got to mine.  Once I got to my bike, things went pretty smoothly and for the first time ever, I successfully put my shoes on while pedalling.

Bike: 45:00

Duplessis is a monster.  I knew that going into the race since I had a few opportunities to bike it in the previous weeks.  Coach and I discussed a game plan for tackling the hills, maintaining energy, and taking advantage of the downhills.  It was a bit harder to execute, given the crowded course and what seemed to be a lack of respect for the drafting / passing / blocking rules by many of the riders, plus my fear of pushing too hard on my injured leg.  So, I attacked the three big hills by spinning up them with a high cadence and tried not to get stuck behind the guys as they slowed down at the top.  In the end, I definitely could have pushed harder, but I'm sort of glad that I didn't since my time didn't really matter, but staying in recovery mode and not injuring myself further does matter.  The way back to the village was a lot of fun for the most part, and I hit some fast speeds coming down Duplessis.  As I crested the last "party pooper" hill (18% grade at kilometer 18), I reminded myself that this was it, the race was pretty much over and I could use up the last of my energy in the last 2k toward T-zone.  That was the best part of the race, realizing that there was absolutely no pressure and that I could let loose and enjoy the end.  I hit just the top of my goal time (was hoping for under 45).


I got my feet out of my shoes while pedalling and dismounted.  As I walked into the T-Zone, I looked for an official to give my chip too.  He also reminded me that I needed to leave my helmet buckled next time.  In my excitement to be done, I had unclipped it, remembered immediately that it needed to stay clipped until I racked my bike, but then couldn't do it up with one hand. Anyways, my race was over.  I left my bike, put on my running shoes and walked to find my friends who were cheering for those still racing.

A somewhat anti-climatic finish to my race was quickly forgotten as I cheered on Dale to her finish. She ended up winning the Sprint as first overall female! All of my friends had an amazing day and it was exciting to hear about their adventures on the race course. I'm so proud of all of them for all of their hard work!!!

On Sunday, I got to experience my first Half Ironman event cheering on my friends from the Ottawa Triathlon Club and beyond.  It was incredible. I am completely in awe of those who raced and so happy that I got to witness their amazing performances.  Seeing the pros race was a lot of fun - go Meredith Kessler!! And then, my friend Gilly punched her ticket to go to 70.3 Worlds!! So proud of her!

While I definitely experienced some disappointment and wished I could have finished my race, I'm also really glad that I decided to participate in the weekend in the way that I could. My swim and bike went well and I got to have that race day excitement. Sharing the experience with my friends was the highlight and I will have great memories of the weekend. It was a lot of fun and I definitely will be back to race in Tremblant again!

A special thanks to Coeur Sports for my amazingly comfortable and gorgeous team kit, to team sponsor ROKA for making awesome goggles, and to Osmo Nutrition for keeping me hydrated all weekend!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Training and Life Recap: Week of June 15

Keeping this one short and sweet! More to come in the form of a race report and an injury update!

Monday: Rest day and my bone scan appointment.

Tuesday: A gorgeous ride on the bike path with my roommate. The weather was perfect and we had a nice hour long ride.

Wednesday:  I swam in the morning with ROCs and again did mostly pull, which was a bit brutal since the main set was 1500s (I only did one though). I'm obsessed with my new ROKA F1 goggles. They are so comfortable and clear.  Then, I had my sport med doc appointment later in the day. The bone scan results were in and it was confirmed that I do have a stress fracture.  After work, I got in one last hard ride before Tremblant. Hill repeats were on the agenda. I was meant to be practicing maintaining speed and staying aero into the hill. It was fun / hard and good practice for Saturday.

Super happy to be riding my bike!

Thursday: I was supposed to swim, but ended up needing to take my bike to get a quick fix for the rear derailleur before I got on the road to Mont Tremblant.

Friday: A nice, easy shakeout ride with some bursts of speed thrown in to get the legs ready for Saturday's race.  Then a visit to the race expo to pick up my race kit and a nice afternoon in the village. I'll share more about race weekend in the next post!

Saturday:  Up for the race early on Saturday. I did the swim and the bike leg, then handed my chip in before the run for my very first DNF.  It was a great day, despite the fact that I really wished I could complete the race. Again, more to come!  Later in the afternoon, we went out for an easy hour spin down to the Old Village.

Sunday:  Cheering for my amazing friends racing the Mont Tremblant 70.3.  I'm in awe of their hard work, strength, perseverance and overall kick-ass-ness.  I'm so proud of all of them for wonderful performances, especially Gilly, who punched her ticket to 70.3 Worlds in Austria!!! Woo!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Random Injury Musings

As my first race of the season approaches, I can't help but be filled with excitement, anticipation, and nerves.  While I'm only doing a swim-bike, and skipping the run, I'm still approaching this as any other race. It is an opportunity to have FUN, demonstrate my fitness, compete, and push myself.  Sharing the experience with friends this weekend will make it all the better!  This weekend is not just the 5150, but also the Half Ironman, at Tremblant and I have dozens of friends and teammates joining me.  Plus, I will be virtually cheering on my mom, who is doing her very first triathlon on Saturday!!

One of the biggest lessons that triathlon has taught me, and that my current injury is reinforcing, is that triathlon is for fun, first and foremost. If I'm not having fun, then I might as well quit the sport. I've discussed this many times before on this blog, but I want to talk about it a little bit more.

At first being injured sucked.  It came with a lot of question marks, unknowns, waiting, and anxiety. Did I have a stress fracture? Maybe. X-ray said nothing. So then I had a bone scan, and viola, it showed irregularity and weakness in the distal fibula (aka a stress fracture).  So, it's been confirmed (as of this morning...).  It's been almost 3 weeks since my last run and I've been told to come back in 2-3 weeks to see the doc.  And I don't know what caused my stress fracture.  Needless to say, I've done a lot of Googling over the past few weeks. And I've obsessed over calendars and how many days I have until my races compared to when I stopped running, compared to how long it takes to get back into running.  So, I've also done a lot of pulling myself from a dark place in my mind.

While it has been difficult, keeping a positive attitude has been key these past few weeks. I haven't always succeeded, but I've been trying my best. I've been looking for the good wherever I can.  For example, I've been pumped about biking and swimming. I can still do those things, which means I'm not losing any fitness and I'm strengthening my weakest discipline (cycling). And I've had some opportunities for fun in my training over the past few weeks (transition practice, cat-and-mouse intervals, etc.).  Time is flying and I know that I will be back to running before I know it. So in the meantime, I'm going to enjoy the swim-bike life as much as possible.  And I'm not going to worry about my running or my calendar, because worrying doesn't get us anywhere.

Finally, triathlon is a really rewarding sport and I've always said that what makes it most rewarding is the amazing people.  I'm lucky to have some great friends who've been super supportive during the past few weeks. And I'm so freaking excited for all of them to race this weekend, because I know they have all worked super hard and I know they will all crush their races. I love the rush and atmosphere of a race whether I'm racing or spectating, and seeing the success of others is always inspiring!!

This post from Life with No Limits Coaching on being empowered through injury helped a lot.

So did this post from professional triathlete Linsey Corbin.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Training and Life Recap: Week of June 8

Last week was full of question marks. The biggest one is whether or not I actually have a stress fracture and what that means for my training and upcoming races.  It's been a trying time, but I'm doing my best to maintain a positive attitude.  I'll share a bit more later, but for now a quick update on last week's minimal training (maybe we can call it a taper). And now, it's the first triathlon race week of the season!! I may just be doing a swim-bike, but you can bet that I'm treating this as I would treat any other race week.  Needless to say, I'm pretty excited to get out there and test my fitness!

Monday: Appointment with my doctor and an X-ray to kick off the week.

Tuesday:  I took the day off. Mike advised that the emotional stress of the stress fracture was probably enough to deal with and that I could take the day off if I wanted to.  In the end, I was glad to just relax and try to get my mind off my injury.

Wednesday:  A morning swim and an evening spin! The rain in the evening kept me inside for the spin, but I was glad to see some friendly HPS faces and have a nice chat. I kept things really light on the bike, but still ended up feeling like my leg was swollen afterwards.

Thursday: A day off since my leg felt the worst it had since the injury began.

Friday: Swim in the morning, almost all pull since kicking has been bothering my leg.

Saturday: In place of my long ride, I did Thursday's interval ride out at the parkway.  It was hard, but it felt good to push the pace a bit after feeling so discouraged all week.

We realized we had to bike to the beach... after putting on our wetsuits!

Sunday: A fun transition practice with the other Mile 2 Marathon athletes. We did an open water swim which included skills practice (sighting, breathing, beach starts, etc.) and a 400m time trial.  I was really happy with my time for the TT - 5:23!  Feeling good about where I am on the swim. Then we practiced our other transitions, as well as flying mounts and dismounts. I need to keep practicing those, as evidenced by the bruises all over my right leg, where I was run over by my own bike!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Interview Sessions: Garry

It has been a while since I've posted an interview with one of my triathlete friends, but I'm here with my friend, Garry.  Garry is a lovely, inspiring man.  He has a kind soul and relentlessly pursues his goals, despite setbacks along the way, with passion and courage. I met Garry when I first joined the Ottawa Triathlon Club's triathlon training program.  During the winter of 2014, I would stop in to the Monday night TTP class for an extra ride, since back then I basically refused to use my trainer.  Garry kept us all entertained and I quickly learned that he was a really special person.

At the moment, he is working on recovering from a few different injuries with the goal of completing an Ironman next summer.  I'm always inspired by Garry and I am certain that you will be too!

First, tell us a little bit about yourself. Who are you? Where are you from? Typical race distance?Background in athletics? Whatever you think we should know...

Hello everyone, nice to meet you! My name is Garry and I'm a work in progress!

I was born in Fort Rucker, Alabama; my father was in the Canadian military doing helicopter training at the time. I spent the first 10 days of my life in a dresser drawer because my parents didn't have a crib for me. To this day, I believe they kept the dresser drawer shut most of the time. To those who know me I think this explains a few things, wouldn't you agree?

Professionally, I became intimately involved with the internet around 1990 when I lost the capability to speak. At the time I was working for the Royal Bank of Canada. After months of self directed internet research, and 23 specialists later, a doctor confirmed my findings. I was given a diagnosis of Laryngeal Dystonia, a rare neuromuscular disorder which affects less than 50,000 individuals in North America.

And so my journey and passion for the internet began........

I had to find a way to support myself that didn't require speech. So I turned to the internet and taught myself to code. I also completed my Masters degree online. Along the way I've developed websites and web applications reaching users in 19 countries and 14 languages. Today I'm the Founder & CEO of QuickSilk, an Ottawa based Software as a Service (SaaS) Content Management System (CMS).

Growing up I played a lot of recreational sports, along with competitive volleyball (Canadian Juvenile National level) and rugby (Regional level). I basically did every sport you could imagine that didn't require excessive amounts of running, swimming or biking - d*mn those endurance sports.

In my thirties I became passionate with the sport of power lifting ('cause power lifters can have bellies!).

Three weeks away from my first competition, and after 18 months of intensive training, my right foot slipped off a platform while I was lifting 805lbs, doing standing toe raises. I tore a muscle along my spine and sublimated 10 discs (4 in my neck and 6 in my back) which prevented me from competing. My doctor asked "Why are you lifting such heavy weight at 38 years of age," because I can I replied. "Not anymore," he said. And that was that. The recovery process took more than three years.

After my recovery, and a self-imposed hiatus from exercise, I needed a new sport. I started triathlons as a young man at the age of 52. I don't have a typical race or distance, though I seem hell bent on completing an Ironman distance race. I blame all my inspirational friends at the Ottawa Triathlon Club, regardless of the distances they race, for my triathlon related obsession.

How did you get into the sport of triathlon?

I'm passionate about and thoroughly enjoy my career, but it involves a lot of time in front of the computer. As a result, I had poor eating habits, poor sleeping habits, was lethargic and wasn't doing any form of exercise. I gained a lot of weight over the years and found myself at a body weight of 292 pounds. Having been a power lifter for many years, weighing in at 252, I have to admit I wasn't initially phased at a weight gain of 40 pounds.

I made a decision to start my journey back to health in 2011, and started working out at Greco (Kanata).

I quickly dropped 30 pounds. During my time at Greco I started working with a personal trainer (Adam Bracken) and met Natalie Cayer Pilon and Brent Pilon when we used to share a room during our personal training sessions.

I hold Natalie and Brent personally responsible for introducing me to the sport of triathlon, and
introducing me to the most wonderfully amazing group of amateur athletes I've ever met at the Ottawa Triathlon Club.

What advice would you give to a new triathlete or someone considering signing up for their first triathlon?

You have nothing to prove to anyone!

Don't measure or compare yourself to others. We all have different physical and psychological makeups. We all come into the sport with varying levels of experience, or no experience at all, with swimming, biking and running. As a first time triathlete none of this matters. What matters is that you enjoy your first race and the training leading up to your first race.

Enjoy being present in the moment and fully embrace the spirit with which fellow participants (pros and amateurs), volunteers and event organizers will support you through simple words and acts of kindness and encouragement. Triathlons really are a unique and rich personal experience.

Being a triathlete is a journey not an event!

What has been your greatest / proudest moment as a triathlete?

My proudest moments are watching my friends and fellow triathletes realize incredible mental and physical outcomes, in pursuit of their individual journeys.

The back story of so many triathletes is simply amazing, and there are so many sources of strength and inspiration to be found in this sport - it's infectious!

What has been the biggest challenge for you in the sport?
Well, there've been a few challenges, to date. :-)

The first challenge was health related. Although I was working out religiously I had stopped losing weight and I sensed something was out of whack. Blood work and a battery of tests confirmed my suspicions. Three months into the sport I was given a diagnosis of intermediate to advanced prostate cancer. I was told to stop my triathlon training.

I made a decision to continue with my training and further improved my eating habits and sleep patterns. I chose a completely natural course of treatment with an amazing Naturopathic doctor (Dr. Maureen MacDonald), and did a lot of spiritual healing, energy healing and Reiki with Kelly Sabara. I spent 20-30 hours a week hooked up to an IV of high dose vitamin C and did my work and training in between. In six months there was no further indication of a tumor.

I'm deeply grateful and feel blessed for this experience as it opened my eyes and my heart to so many

wonderful aspects of my life and spiritual being. No one at the OTC knew what was going on at the time, aside from Coach Geordie who had been sworn to secrecy. My fellow triathletes at the OTC unknowingly played a huge role and were accomplices in my recovery, for which I'm forever grateful. The OTC, my triathlete friends, and the experiences we share help ground me!

My second challenge centers around my weight. Having done a significant amount of power lifting in the years prior to starting triathlons, I have a lot of muscle mass. I had a body composition done in 2014, weighing 238 pounds, and was told I had 195 pounds of lean muscle mass. Obviously a goal of 190 pounds is not currently a realistic short term goal, as I need to significantly change my body
composition. It's no longer about a specific number for me, it's about a healthy weight that supports my goals.

Running is a challenge for me, as I suspect it is for most individuals of a larger frame. Psychologically, it's the discipline that challenges me the most. My self-talk now centers around running as the discipline where I can realize the most growth.

Finding balance between my triathlon training, family and work is another challenge. This remains a
work in progress for me, as I don't tend to do anything half-hearted. In 2014, my second full year in the sport) I over trained preparing for the Kona half ironman and Ironman Mont Tremblant; as a result I had severe muscle cramping throughout the season, which impacted my participation at both races. As a result I've had to take a step back in order to recover and take the next step forward.

As I am writing this profile, a quotation appeared on my Facebook wall that perfectly describes my understanding of the many challenges we each face in our lives:
Sometimes you have to fall down because there is something down there that you are supposed to find. - Unknown
In that light, I feel it's important to state that I don't regret a single challenge that has been gifted to me, for there was a lesson to be learned. Each challenge has made my life rich beyond compare and reflects that I remain a work in progress.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of the sport?

Those who have known me the longest (prior to my tri days), know me as quiet, reserved, introverted, and shy. I can hear all my OTC friends now saying yeah, right! Were calling bullsh*t on that one! But it's true. When combined with my speech disorder, that I've always been deeply self conscious of, I tend to enjoy my own company.

My triathlete friends seem to have a knack for pulling me out of my shell; and today I'm a willing participant. I still not super comfortable talking in public, but I'm growing past that self-imposed limitation.

So, it's the people that fill with my journey with friendship, laughter, encouragement and support that make this sport so rewarding.

How does life as a triathlete translate to other areas of your life?

It's only in the past two years that I've started talking openly about my life experiences. I've come to
realize that if sharing my personal journey helps even a single person, than I am grateful for the
opportunity to pay-it-forward and be of service.

Today I act as a mentor with Imerman Angels, an organization that provides free one-on-one support to individuals and families dealing with cancer. I made this connection through a new and dear friendship I made with Brent Smyth, a member of the OTC. Brent recently became the Ottawa Ambassador for Imerman, because of his tireless efforts for others. He is a gift!

I am also deeply inspired by many friends from the OTC who have shared their personal stories with me. Their stories are not mine to tell, but they have made a lasting impact on me and those around them - whether they realize it or not.

In that light, I want thank Kelsey for this opportunity. She truly is a gifted athlete, and we all gain inspiration from watching her work ethic and the amazing results she has achieved as a result of her

What is your dream race?

Any race, and every race, I do with friends!

What is your favorite pre-race meal? Any other pre-race rituals?

1. Favorite pre-race meal: Food! Ok, I'm still working on this one! :-).

2. Favorite pre-race ritual: Chill'in with friends and fellow participants.

Swim, bike, or run?

When I first started in the sport, I would have said Bike, Swim, Run.

Since then I've become completely enamored with outdoor (open water) swims, especially my training swims at Meech Lake. Nothing replaces being embraced by the natural beauty of the open water swim and the connection to nature.. .... so today I'll say Swim, Bike, Run.

Favorite motivational quote?

As you can likely tell by now, I have a few.

We can start with a few that I've personally created for myself over the years ......

1. Any day I wake up is a good day! - Garry Brownrigg

2. We don't always control what happens to us, but we can ALWAYS control how we respond! - Garry Brownrigg

3. Yeah, it's tough right now, but this is when I can grow and get better ! - Garry Brownrigg

4. Will it hurt more to do nothing, or to do something. - Garry Brownrigg

5. I'd rather feel the pain of progress, than regret! - Garry Brownrigg

And a few of many inspirational quotes from others that keep me going when needed.....

1. Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough - Og Mandino

2. It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop - Confucius

3. Always do your best. What you plant now will harvest later - Og Mandino

4. A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others - Ayn Rand

5. Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines - Robert H Schuller

6. Either I will find a way, or I will make one - Philip Sidney

7. Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. - Arthur Ashe

Monday, June 8, 2015

Training and Life Recap: Week of June 1

Wow, I can't believe we are a week into June already! Time is really flying and the first race of the season is almost here.  Well, things have potentially changed for me in the past week and my first race of the season now comes with some modified goals and a modified distance. After learning that I may have a stress fracture (waiting to get some official confirmation via imaging), I'm off of running.  With the Mont Tremblant 5150 only 2 weeks away, I decided to switch the sprint distance from the Olympic.  I figure that if I am cleared to run by then, a 5k will be a bit gentler on my body than a 10k, especially after the very hilly Tremblant bike course.  For now, I'm feeling okay swimming and biking, so my last week included a lot of #bikelove and a lot of perspective and reflection.  When you're healthy and uninjured, always remember to thank your body for all that it does for you and make sure you take care of it!! Now that I may be injured, I'm thankful for what I can still do and making the most of it by focusing on the positives - like, cycling has always been my weakness, so now I have an opportunity to really focus on it! A friend shared this post from pro Linsey Corbin that helped too.

Monday: Rest day as usual.

Tuesday: Swim in the morning felt awful. Mentally, I felt awful all day. So I booked a chiro appointment for Wednesday, and I took Tuesday night off instead of doing a bike time trial.

Wednesday: An early morning appointment with my chiro to determine what might be going on with my leg. I had been thinking it was a tendon issue, but after a full examination, he gently told me that I may have a stress fracture. The muscles, tendons, and nerves all seemed fine, but I winced in pain every time he touched my fibula. In the evening, I joined the HPS for a ride in Gatineau Park. We did a cat and mouse type game and I was lucky to have Coach Dave hang back with me. We ended up pushing pretty hard at times, and I felt great! This was a big test for my fibula, as I was able to determine that it didn't bother me during or after the ride, and I didn't experience any swelling which might have indicated something other than a stress fracture.

Thursday: Another chance to get out on my bike! I was happy that my stomach settled towards the late evening (I stayed home from work since it was really not doing well in the morning, yuck!). I got out for some interval work in the park, and I even got to see the women pass by twice during the Grand Prix Cycliste Gatineau. It was so cool to see these super fast women racing, especially since I actually follow some of the riders and teams on Instagram. It definitely gave me some motivation for my own ride. Again, my fibula felt good during and after the ride.

Friday: I barely made it to swimming, but reminded myself that even if I was late, it was better than skipping. We did a pretty easy workout with two times through of 8x75 best average with lots of rest. I pulled for most of practice since kicking seemed to aggravate my leg a bit.  After work, I drove up to Mont Tremblant.

Duplessis is tough, but super pretty!

Working on my selfie while biking...

Saturday:  A gorgeous morning for a ride in Mont Tremblant! I got to ride the course twice, each time getting to know the ups and downs a little bit better. My mantra for Tremblant will be, "let your downhills carry you uphill." There were a few moments where I felt a bit sorry for myself and thought, "what's the point?" since my race plans for Tremblant may have to change significantly (i.e., it could be my first DNF). BUT, no feeling sorry for myself allowed, because I CAN ride my bike, and I CAN demonstrate my fitness, and I CAN get out and enjoy the absolutely beautiful scenery in Tremblant via two wheels.

Sunday: A late afternoon bike ride from Old Chelsea to Wakefield on the bumpiest road ever.  I almost turned around at a few points because the road was so awful, but I continued on and finished my ride. Along the way I had a chance to think up a few metaphors for life and training: "You'll hit a lot of bumps in the road, but you just have to keep riding," or, "if you focus on the bumps in the road, you may miss the beautiful scenery along the way."  Good reminder to enjoy the journey and focus on the good stuff rather than dwelling on the negative, and to always keep going! After, I did my first open water swim of the season. It took me longer to put my wetsuit on than it did to swim, haha. It wasn't as cold as I expected, but since I was alone, I didn't want to spend too long in the water.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Training and Life Recap: Week of May 25

I didn't really realize it until Saturday, but last week wasn't really a great week for training.  I had some lingering issues with my peroneal tendon, which luckily are starting to go away.  And I was just super tired.  But, unlike previous crappy weeks of training, my mindset was the opposite.  I was happy to be out there, even if I wasn't quite getting it done the way I hoped.  I felt good mentally, despite not feeling well physically.  I like to think that is progress.

Monday: Rest day!

Tuesday: An easy 40-minute recovery run to get the week started.

Wednesday: I missed Tuesday's swim and realized that Wednesday would likely be my only other chance to get to ROCs for a workout, so I went to the pool.  It was an okay session, but could have been better.  I had a great meeting with Mike to chat about training and goals for the rest of the summer, and just go over how things were going in general.  In the evening, Mike cut my brick to just an easy bike ride given my ankle issue so I could have some time off from running.  The ride was not going well, so I cut it about 45 minutes short. I just had zero energy.

Thursday: A rest day and it was probably needed.  In the evening, I took a little adventure to Montreal to see Joel Plaskett. Gilly and I also had a great meal at Bon Vivant, down the street from the theatre... that is Kimchi Poutine, so delicious!  It was a super fun night!

Friday: Since I didn't get home until late from the concert, I skipped my morning swim. After work, I did a TGIF brick - with 3x10 minutes at Z4 on the bike, followed by an easy run. It was a gorgeous night and I was happy to be out doing something productive, moving closer to my goals.  It's a far cry from my old life of hitting up happy hour after work on Friday, but training definitely makes me happier! And I had the "golden hour" for a little run photo shoot by the river.

Saturday: Hill repeats at "track" practice.  These were brutal, but I was so happy that Andy was also doing the same workout.  We both would have likely only done maybe 5 or 6 if we had been alone, but instead we powered through all 8, and finished the last one strong.  Mind you, my pace was closer to 5-10k pace instead of the prescribed 3-5k pace, but oh well. It was also super hot and so humid, yuck! After teaching a few barre classes after track, I made my way out to the grand opening of the new iNSiDE Out Studio location in Stittsville. It is GORGEOUS! And I am up on the wall there, LOL! After checking out the studio, we grabbed a coffee at Quitter's Coffee in Stittsville, a super cute place with great java!

Sunday:  I took a solo ride out to my favorite cafĂ©. Sometimes it is nice to not worry that I'm holding someone back and to just be alone with my thoughts for a few hours.  This ride was nice, though a little chilly, and easy.  I took the opportunity to reflect and think about lots of different things.  And I indulged in a bacon-chive scone and an Americano once I got to Alice's. All in all, a beautiful way to end the week.