Friday, 29 August 2014

Let's do this

Well I can not believe August is almost over, where did the time go?  I know I spent a great deal of it training for my next race in 9 days (yikes) and I celebrated my 25th anniversary but I want my summer back, it went too fast.  

On August 17th we headed to Mont Tremblant to watch some friends do the Ironman and to volunteer.  We were at a run station last year and this year we would be at the swim start.  I wanted to be a wetsuit stripper but we were on the wrong team so I opted for my second choice and stood in the water, cheering on the athletes as they exited the swim.  It was great but the weather was not optimal and the air temps were colder then the water.

After we warmed up we headed to the bike turn around to watch the athletes and cheer on our friends. Later we moved to the run course and saw the lead men and women finish and saw some amazing athletes, one lady doing the marathon in a boot and she finished.  We stayed to watch our friends finish and headed back to our B&B, we ever up at 3:30am to get to the beach so it was a long day.  The next day, at 9am, we were in line to register for next year, both of us!  So proud and happy that Neale signed up as well, he is such an amazing athlete and will kill it next year.  

After we got back home, I knew my bike would not do for a full IM so I started looking around for a new ride.  I had a limited budget so I was looking at a road bike and not a tri bike.  A friend suggested I at least see what frame size I was for a tri bike as you can get some good deals second-hand.  I called a local bike store that had a bike I liked to see if they had any small or extra small tri bikes in stock and they had one extra small of my dream bike, marked down to $1299.  I could not get to the store fast enough to try it out and it was a perfect fit.  I did not try it out too much, I trust my gut and this bike was made for me.  Meet Skyrider, my new bike.

I have an appointment to get fitted at the end of September and then we will be spending long hours on the trainer together this winter.  I had been admiring this bike on the website for months but the $1999 price was more then I could afford and they just marked it down that morning, I know it was meant to be and Skyrider and I will have many great races together in the future.  I am taking my current bike, Ella Blu, to my next race, it will not be our last I am sure and I look forward to sharing the 94km of hills in Muskoka with her.

So I knew my big race for next summer, time to add a few more and to have a meeting with my coach.  I lost my confidence a bit this summer, my disastrous half marathon in May and my less the stellar 70.3 in Tremblant sure did a number on my head.  While I am not back to full confidence, I have a renewed sense of enthusiasm towards my training and I am ready to get this done.  I trained well this summer, I worked hard but I know I could have done better but you can not cry over spilled milk and you have to let it go and move forward.  This next year will be a crazy ride but I am not afraid of hard work, I have the determination to finish what I have started and awesome friends and husband to support me.  They can not do it for me, I have to do that and I am ready, ready for the good days and the bad days, the sore muscles and overwhelming tiredness that is to come, I AM READY so let's do this. 

Monday, 4 August 2014

Learning Lessons

So Saturday we did the National Capital Olympic Tri at home, for Neale it was his first one, for me it was a chance to see how much I had improved from last year.  I was happy with my bike time, I took 12 mins off my time from last year but I was slower everywhere else.  My swim was slower but I will take it but my run was terrible, the negative thoughts flooded in and I gave into the dark side.   Neale was not happy with his time either, especially on the bike but he finished 14 mins ahead of me.  Neale is great at climbing hills and not as great on flats, I am the reverse.  Last year, I hit almost every race goal and this year I hit only two.  I know you can not always get a PB and I am trying to stay focused on moving forward, I am trying to learn from each experience and I know it will make me stronger in the long run but it sure sucks at the time.

Today we had a 65K bike ride and 6K run on the schedule, we were going to go to Mont Tremblant for a change but forecasted thunderstorms keep us closer to home.  We have a great park about 45 mins from home and we bike there most weekends and sometimes through the week.  It is a great place to bike, lots of hills to climb and downhills to speed down.  For some reason I did not want to do this workout,  I knew it was going to be a challenging day when I had to use my climbing ring on a hill I usually don't have too.  I kept pedaling and when we got to the lookout I noticed I was 2 mins faster then any other climb.  We kept going and at the end of the 42K loop I wanted to stop, I was so done.  I knew I could not stop, nothing hurts more then giving up so I headed out again and once again the first hill seemed so much harder then it should have been.  Did I mention that my hubby likes to climb hills, I have a love/hate thing going on watching him climb hills, he makes it look so easy and I am envious but at the same time I am so proud of him. 

So I guess I read my schedule wrong, I thought I had to do a 6K tempo run after the bike, it just said 6K, oops.  Neale racks the bikes and I start to run, he is a much faster runner then me so I get a head start and he usually passes me before the turn around.  Today, I just wanted to be finished, I put my music on, and set up runkeeper to record my run (I forgot my watch).  I headed out and it is uphill to start, did I mention I hate hills, but I kept moving forward, determined to do the best I could.  I had never used runkeeper before and I did not know it announced your ave pace and distance every 5 mins.  The first time it announced my pace I was like, OK you suck girl and you are never going to hit your tempo pace but I kept running.  The next time I was surprised, I was speeding up, yeah me!  At 15 mins I was at the same pace and no where near where I needed to be so I stepped it up a gear and I made it to the turn around and Neale had still not caught up to me, yeah me again.  Every 5 mins my ave pace kept getting closer to my tempo pace and I kept moving forward and at the 35 mins mark it announced my pace was better them my tempo pace, OMG, I was there now keep running and don't slow down. I managed to hold my pace and finished strong and still ahead of Neale...OMG!!!!!

So this weekend I learned a few important lessons, I was reminded what I wanted and how badly I wanted it, I don't want to just finish my IM, I want to do it to the best of my abilities. I learned to keep going even though you want to stop and most importantly I learned if I want something enough, I CAN DO IT!