Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Race Report: Barrelman Half-Ironman



What a great event! The swim was well laid out and straightforward, and what's better than racing in what feels like a big swimming pool? The bike was flat and fast, but not boring like most flat courses. The varying roads and scenery kept it interesting and the time went by quickly. The run was deceivingly tough, but you never spent too long on the same road so that made it go by fast too. This is probably my most favourite course I've ever competed on. And I've been doing this for a long time!

Unfortunately, I think this will be the last of the year as I re-sprained my superior tib-fib joint near the end of the run. I want to rehab that properly and get my run fitness back before competing again.

1. The highlights of the day included:

- The course, as I mention above.
- Seeing the TTC athletes I swim coach swim and race fast, having the 5 athletes I personally coach get personal best times and achieve their goals! Congrats to Andrew, Renee, Sara, Rachel and Kevin!
- Feeling AMAZING on the bike. I worked hard to catch the two lead females and overtake them, then I let up my power a bit to save my legs for the run. Being so in control of my race is a first for me. And I set a new PB of 2:20 over that distance and clocked the fastest female bike split
- Getting to lead the race on the run up until the 14km mark was exciting!

2. Learning points:

- My run fitness is still behind. My knee injury, a sprained superior tib-fib joint and some hamstring/piriformis issues prevented me from running long. I only have about 4 runs longer than 20km all summer. So, I need to do a better job of injury prevention next season.

3. Pictures:


Swim: Right off the start a lead pack of swimmers took off on me, leaving me to swim the first 1km all alone. Just past 1km the speedy Mat Reid and Angela (who started 1min back) caught me and passed me and I stayed in their draft for a bit, before getting dropped. Then another swimmer passed me and I worked hard to stay on his feet until the swim exit. (Photo credit: ZoomPhoto)



Bike: The bike started off really well and continued to go well throughout the race. I could see the first and second place riders about 500m up the road and I decided to go above my power target goal, but below threshold, until I could catch them and then hope that I could let my power drop a bit once I took the lead to save my legs for the run. When I caught and passed the first place competitor at around 50km, I was at around 190W and then finished the ride at 183W. Exactly to plan! That rarely happens.(Photo credit: ZoomPhoto)




Run: I knew that my run fitness was lacking. I figured I could get in about 10km at a good pace and then start to fade. While I'm disappointed that this did happen, I'm not surprised. Here's hoping 2017 brings more consistent run training.(Photo credit: Brenda Santos)


Sara on the bike! (Photo credit: ZoomPhoto)



Adam was 3rd in the swim-bike (Photo credit: ZoomPhoto)


4. Interview with another participant:


BERNARDO: His first half-distance triathlon


Q. Name, Age, One word to describe yourself?
A. Bernardo Majano, 34, disciplined.

Q. How long have you been doing triathlons?
A. I started when I was 11 (was a mediocre swimmer at the time) and raced Juniors/U23 until I was 19 in both triathlon and cycling. I had the opportunity to race internationally for El Salvador (my hometown), which was fun but also made me realize I had to go school as I just wasn't good enough to try to make a living out of sports =o) I got back into the sport last December, I couldn't be any happier with my decision. The sport has grown so much over the last 15 years.

Q. What was one highlight of today's event?
A. Too many: making it to the finish line despite having my legs cramping pretty badly on the run, hanging out with friends and family afterward, post race food!

Q. What did you eat for breakfast?
A. My usual breakfast: oatmeal with flax, fruits, vegetable juice and coffee.

Q. What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you in a triathlon?
A. My first triathlon, which I completed on a bmx bike.

Q. How many hours/week do you train?
A. 8 -9 hours per week is my target, although sometimes work gets in the way and have to cut back a bit.

Q. What is one thing you are proud of about yourself, either in triathlon or in the rest of life?
A. Learning how to overcome limited talent and other barriers through hard work, discipline, passion and perseverance.

Q. What/when is your next event?
A. Barrelman was my last triathlon of the season. I will be doing some Fall and Spring running races though: Scotiabank Half and the Boston Marathon.

5. Course Information







6. TrainingPeaks/Quantitative Race information for those interested

WARMUP: 10 minute bike, practicing getting my feet in and out of shoes while they were in the pedals, 5 minute run, 500m swim warmup with 3x40 strokes fast

SWIM: 2000m, 28:51 (~1:26/100m)

BIKE: Speed - 37.9kph, NP - 183W (3.45W/kg, 90% of FTP), Avg Power - 180W, Avg Cadence - 80rpm

RUN: 21.1km, 1:36:41 (4:36/km), Avg HR - 169bpm

7. Thank-you:

- My parents for their continued love and support throughout this crazy adventure of mine.
- My health care team of David Lamy (RMT) and Bill Wells (Chiro).
- Adam, my coach and partner, and just a great guy in general.
- All my readers for their support and for following me in my triathlon endeavours
- MultiSport Canada and all the volunteers!
- Fellow athletes at the race and training partners, especially those at WattsUp and TTC!
- My other coaches: Kim and Nigel from NRG
- My sponsors: High Rock Capital Management, WattsUp Cycling, MultiSport Canada, The Urban Athlete, Fitt1st Bike Fitting

Friday, September 9, 2016

Off Season Training

It's happening. September is upon as and that means that the end of triathlon season (at least in Ontario) is only weeks away. Hopefully you have had a successful season and are looking forward to some time off the race course.

One big question that people have after their last big race is, "how long should I take off?" Some athletes will feel guilty taking any time off training, while others want to take the entire winter off. When making this decision, keep in mind both ends of the spectrum. If you take no time off, you are more likely to become overtrained and suffer an injury in the upcoming season. If you want to take a lot of time off, you should know that it only takes about 4 weeks of inactivity for you to revert to a pre-trained state.



My recommendation is to take about 1-2 weeks off triathlon specific training. Yup, you heard me. Now, I didn't say not to do any activity during this time. Walk as much as you want (within reason), take yoga classes, dance or play soccer or basketball with the kids, get on your commuter bike for a family bike ride. Do not turn on your Garmin, do not log in to your TrainingPeaks or Strava account, do not track every detail of your sleep, nutrition and weight! Have a glass or two extra of wine, catch up with your friends and sleep in (if you can).

What do you do when you do get back into training mode? Well, what you shouldn't do is get back into the same training routine as you had in race season. Take some time to plan your season, write down your SMART goals, write down some habits you want to change. Then come up with a plan of action [or hire a coach like me :)] Break-up your 2016 to 2017 training plan into 4 or 5 phases so that you change up your training every once in awhile. Have a different focus for each phase that is more and more specific towards your race as it gets nearer. Keep in mind that you should include a swim, bike or run once every 3-4 days to maintain fitness in that sport. Focus first on what you need to improve the most, and spend a majority of your time in the fall training that sport. As your get nearer to race day, spend a proportionate amount of time each week on each sport relative to the time you will spend on that sport during the race. For example, don't swim 3 times a week if it means you can only bike 2 times a week.

Here is an example of a triathlon season plan for someone training for a half-ironman:

Phase 1: October, Goal: (1) Improve muscle engagement of weaker muscles like core & glutes (2) Improve swim technique

- Strength training (3 times per week)
- Swim - Technique focus (2 times per week)
- Bike - Aerobic, one legged drills (2 times per week)
- Run - Short, base (2-3 times per week)

Phase 2: November & December, Goal: (1) Strengthen muscles like core & legs for cycling & running (2) Improve swim endurance with new technique

- Strength training (2-3 times per week)
- Swim - Increase mileage without compromising technique by doing a lot of swimming with lots of rest (2-3 times per week)
- Bike - Aerobic and slow cadence, high power intervals
- Run - Aerobic running, one short brick run, your longest run at about 1/2 your goal race distance (2-3 times per week)

Phase 3: January & February, Goal: (1) Improve FTP on the bike (2) PB in 400m in the swim (3) Improve run efficiency

- Strength training (2 times per week)
- Swim - Speed, pull paddles and race pace efforts
- Bike - VO2max and FTP+10% work, one longer ride/week
- Run - Hill repeats, one short brick run, your longest run at about 2/3 to 3/4 your goal race distance (2-3 times per week)

Phase 4: March & April, Goal: (1) Improve 2-3 hour power on the bike (2) PB in 1500m in the swim (3) Improved endurance for running off the bike

- Strength training (maintenance mode)
- Swim - Longer race pace efforts
- Bike - FTP & Tempo efforts, one longer ride/week
- Run - Hill repeats & speed work, one longer brick run, your longest run at about +/- 10% above your goal race distance (3-4 times per week)

Phase 5: Triathlon Season, Goals: PB or finish goal race

I encourage you to use the above as a template when planning your own season. Keep in mind that this will vary depending on the individual, your own abilities and the distance you hope to complete.

By: Miranda Tomenson, Triathlon Coach, RMT, MSc

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Race Report: Toronto Island Triathlon

I competed in the Multisport Canada Toronto Island Triathlon on Sunday. I have always loved this race. I get to sleep in my own bed on race night, the ferry ride to the island boasts spectacular views of the city, the looped course means you are surrounded by spectators and you get chocolate milk at the end! This year added a special twist to the day...the race crew was unable to set the swim course due to high winds and wavy conditions. This meant that the Tri was turned into a Du (5km run - 20km bike - 2.5km run). Without my strongest leg (the swim) to give me a head start on the competition, I knew I would have to work hard to continue my streak of never losing a race on Toronto Island. Thankfully, I was able to find that competitive drive that seemed to be lacking in previous races this year and I fought my very hardest to take the win on Sunday.

Highlights

- Running with Nina and Leah side by side for the first 5km of the race. It kind of felt like we were ITU athletes racing hard to win a championship. I may have even fantasized that I was Gwen Jorgenson running with Nicola Spirig at times!

- Actually having the fastest bike split among the women. Knowing that my bike fitness isn't what it used to be, I have worked incredibly hard at being as aerodynamic as possible. My time this year was just a few seconds slower than my time in 2013 and the normalized power was 25W lower. (Or maybe my power meter is broken?)

- Seeing so many of my fellow TTC athletes racing, seeing old friends and meeting some new people.

Learning points:

- So much of racing is mental. I realized that today. In training, I haven't done ANY speed work..nothing faster than 4:30/km. But I told myself today that I could run with the other girls, and we averaged 3:53/km for our opening run (actually 5.3km). Then I ran a 4:06/km pace in the closing 2.5km (actually closer to 3km). So, sometimes a little competition can drive you to reach that next level in a race.

Pictures









Interview with another participant: PIETER

Pieter is new to the sport of triathlon and was 2nd in his age group (35-39) in Sunday's sprint Triathlon turned Duathlon. He is also an active member of the Toronto Triathlon Club.


Q. Name, Age, One word to describe yourself?
A. Pieter Wijnhoven, 34, happy

Q. How long have you been doing triathlons?
A. Since beginning this year

Q. What was one highlight of today's event?
A. The sprint for the finish with three other athletes

Q. What did you eat for breakfast?
A. Oatmeal mixed with strawberries and blue berries with soy milk

Q. What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you in a triathlon?
A. To me personally not much, I saw this weekend somebody on an electrical bike and people wearing their bike helmet on the run :)

Q. What did you think about on the bike today?
A. Push harder! But be careful with the wet roads.

Q. What is one thing you are proud of about yourself, either in triathlon or in the rest of life?
A. I am proud of my positive attitude in life and enjoy every day!

Q. What/when is your next event?
A. Next weekend Wasaga beach triathlon

Q. What do you like best about the MultiSport Canada race series?
A. It’s great to have some many races close to Toronto with such a good organization!

Thank yous

- My parents for their continued love and support throughout this crazy adventure of mine.
- Adam, my coach and partner, and just a great guy in general. He keeps me calm when I get anxious and so it helps so much to have him there on race day.
- Saige, Rhys and Mack. They surprised me on the Island for awards after the race and ran towards me with open arms and huge smiles. That they can accept me as their step-mum and give me so much support is amazing.
- My health care team of David Lamy (RMT), Bill Wells (Chiro) and Michael Hong (Acupuncture). I wouldn't have been able to race this one without you.
- All my readers for their support and for following me in my triathlon endeavours
- MultiSport Canada and all the volunteers!
- Fellow athletes at the race and training partners, especially those at WattsUp!
- My other coaches: Kim and Nigel from NRG
- My sponsors: High Rock Capital Management, WattsUp Cycling, MultiSport Canada, The Urban Athlete, Fitt1st Bike Fitting

What's Next? BARRELMAN HALF-IRONMAN!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

What would I do without Bill Wells at Urban Athlete?

What would I do without Bill Wells at The Urban Athlete?

This summer has been marked by niggles and injuries that have really taken a toll on my running. So, I thought I would take a moment to thank the individual who has been there to ensure that I can get back to full training ASAP: my amazing Chiropractor, Bill Wells at The Urban Athlete.

Someone referred me to Bill saying that he knew a Chiropractor who could tell your injury just by looking at you and cure you just as fast. In 2010? I was three weeks out from an important race and was not able to run at all due to a knee injury, so I booked an appointment with Bill ASAP. Sure enough, on my first visit I was in awe at what Bill could tell by just looking at me! Among many things, he knew that I had been a swimmer and that I must have specialized in breast stroke without me even mentioning this fact. Not only this, but I was back to running within a week, which allowed me to compete in the race that qualified me for the World Championships. Since then I have struggled with MANY injuries: strained muscles, IT band syndrome, a bruised tailbone, a stuck fibula, strained peroneal muscles, hip flexor issues...you name it, I’ve had it. All of these injuries might have kept me from training and even racing, but Bill didn't only keep me on my feet, he kept me in the pool, on the bike and in my running shoes throughout them all!

Most recently, I had a strained peroneal muscle in the weeks leading up to Calgary 70.3. I was booking 2-3 appointments a week with Bill. He'd fix me. I'd train hard. I’d reinjure myself...he'd fix me again and the the cycle continued. Even though I knew that rest was probably what I needed, he NEVER told me to stop training. He would just keep fixing me. So, not only was I able to complete the race in relatively good shape, I was also able to get back to training right after and compete and win the Bracebridge Olympic just two weeks later and then Toronto Island after that.

I whole-heartedly recommend Bill Wells to any of my athletes, family, and social media followers. You won’t be disappointed.

The team at Urban Athlete also includes physiotherapists, naturopaths, and personal trainers (check out: www.theurbanathlete.ca for a complete list or their services).

Thank you Bill for helping to keep me going!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Race Report: Bracebridge Olympic Triathlon

What a weekend in Bracebridge! On Saturday I got to watch the racers complete the Try-a-Tri and the Sprint distance events as a volunteer. I had a few athletes I coach race in both events, saw some familiar faces and got caught up with athletes I hadn't seen in awhile. That's why these events are so great. Local races really bring ALL Ontario triathletes together and help to keep our triathlon community strong. Let's keep the participation high!

On the Sunday, I got to take part in the Olympic distance event in Bracebridge. I have always loved this race. I competed in this race back when it was a half-ironman, and anytime it fits my race schedule I aim to participate. Last year I competed in the swim-bike (knee still recovering), so this year it was great to be able to complete the full race.

1. The highlights of the day included:

- My swim. I think I finally am back on track with my swimming!! In looking at the results, I won this race based on my swim time!
- Seeing my sister (Sara) finish 1st in her age group (F25-29). Sara has been training consistently and very steadily building her fitness, while balancing her role as a mum and teacher. It was great to see her patience and dedication pay off!
- Running pain-free! My long run in the past month was at the half-ironman 2 weeks ago. I have only run every other day in the past 4 weeks. So, putting together a half-decent run that was relatively pain free (still had some tightness in my hamstrings) was HUGE! I hope this means I can run consistently until Barrelman.
- The venue and course itself. What a beautiful place to host a race. The swim course was easy to navigate, the bike course was varied and challenging, but not too hard, the run course was along the river and mostly on paved roads (not gravel - I am not a fan of gravel!)

2. Learning points:

- I need to work on my mental state on the bike. In training, I have been able to consistently perform at the level I want to be at. On race day, however, I seem to lose confidence in my ability and I can't hold my power at the same level as I should. This only causes me to lose about 5W, but still, I want to be able to tolerate pain a little more so I can bike stronger on race day.

3. Pictures:







4. Interview with another participant: SARA



Q. Name, Age, One word to describe yourself?
A. Sara, 28, Outgoing

Q. How long have you been doing triathlons?
A. 5 years

Q. What was one highlight of today's event?
A. Winning First Place in my age group as well as taking about 7 minutes off my time from last year.

Q. What did you eat for breakfast?
A. Blueberry Muffin from McDonalds, thats what I eat before every race.

Q. What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you in a triathlon?
A. It was my second triathlon (Bracebridge Sprint Triathlon), I was coming out of the water, after the swim, and saw my family cheering, but didn’t see my husband. So i yelled really loud, “Where’s Kevin?” He was running late because he was up late the night before and didn’t set his alarm. I can laugh about it now.

Q. What did you think about on the bike today?
A. Winning & that these hills are killer

Q. What is one thing you are proud of about yourself, either in triathlon or in the rest of life?
A. I am proud to have finished all the Triathlon races I have competed in: Sprint, Olympic and especially Ironman 70.3. I am proud of making podium in two of my three races this year. I am proud that my sister is able to coach me and be there at all my races, either cheering me on or racing with me. She is my inspiration! I am proud that my husband, Kevin and daughter, Maddy are there to support me through my training and for all my races. Especially when I keep saying, “Just want to do one more race.” I am proud of Family and everything that they do!

Q. What/when is your next event?
A. I am thinking about Barrelman, but will be competing in the Scotiabank Half-Marathon.

Q. What do you like best about the MultiSport Canada race series?
A. The organization, all the great people who put it together, the volunteers, these races wouldn’t be possible without them. And the chocolate milk at the end ;)

5. Course Information







6. TrainingPeaks/Quantitative Race information for those interested

WARMUP: 30 minute bike, practicing getting my feet in and out of shoes while they were in the pedals, 5 minute run, 400m swim warmup with 3x40 strokes fast

SWIM: 1500m, 20:33 (~1:20/100m)*I actually managed to stay on course!*

BIKE: Speed - 35.85kph, NP - 185W (3.4W/kg, 90% of FTP), Avg Power - 176W, Avg HR - 164bpm, Avg Cadence - 83rpm

RUN: 10.35km (according to my watch), 43:59 (4:15/km), Avg HR - 168bpm

7. Thank-you:

- My parents for their continued love and support throughout this crazy adventure of mine. Yes, they drive 5 hours to be at Bracebridge for the race
- Wheels of Bloor for coming to my rescue the Friday before the race. I had a broken elbow rest (not the pad, the actual rest) and they came up with a solution that worked wonders!
- My health care team of David Lamy (RMT), Bill Wells (Chiro) and Michael Hong (Acupuncture). I wouldn't have been able to race this one without you.
- Adam, my coach and partner, and just a great guy in general. He keeps me calm when I get anxious and so it helps so much to have him there on race day.
- All my readers for their support and for following me in my triathlon endeavours
- MultiSport Canada and all the volunteers!
- Fellow athletes at the race and training partners, especially those at WattsUp!
- My other coaches: Kim and Nigel from NRG
- My sponsors: High Rock Capital Management, WattsUp Cycling, MultiSport Canada, The Urban Athlete, Fitt1st Bike Fitting

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Race Report: Ironman 70.3 Calgary

About 1.5 years ago, on Feb 23, 2015, I woke up after having knee surgery. For whatever reason, when I woke I cried, violently, and even started screaming. The doctors had a hard time controlling me. I still am not sure why I cried so hard...but I think that it was all the pent up tears that I had held back during the struggles of the year before: being injured and not knowing what the injury was, being frustrated, watching girls I had beat win Ironmans and qualify for Kona, feeling lost and out of control. I tend to hold everything inside until I burst. So, perhaps it was the effect of the anaesthetics that made me lose all inhibition and react the way I did. Unfortunately, the struggle was far from over on that day. My prognosis was grim. The surgeon said that if I was lucky, I might be able to run again, but never over 10km.

People have asked me if I'm happy with my performance in Calgary. I will be honest, at first I was disappointed. The Miranda from 2013 would have run faster, placed better, been a podium contender. But then I think back to that day of my surgery, when I never thought I would compete in triathlon again, and I think, "yes, I am so HAPPY!" To be able to finish a half-ironman was a dream on Feb 23rd. And I came 10th and clocked a 4:35 for a competitive 70.3, with a top 5 swim performance, a bike performance comparable to pre-surgery and a run that I did with a strained peroneal muscle! So, I am really freakin' happy :)

Unfortunately, the after effects of this race have left me with a lot of aches and pains! Apparently 31 year olds don't recover as quick as 27 year olds :) I'm currently dealing with a peroneal strain, medial knee pain on my left and a possible strain in my right lateral quad and hamstring! Not sure where the season will go for here, but I will take it one race at a time!

Next up (hopefully): Bracebridge Olympic Triathlon!

Normally, I leave my thank-yous until the end of my post, but the following deserve a HUGE thank you early on in my report:

- One Capital and One Sports: One Capital Management has included me on their team of elite age group triathletes and supported me so much in the past few years. I've been able to train in California in the past and I got to visit and compete in beautiful Calgary for the first time.
- Bobby Libin: Thanks for opening your home to us and being such an amazing host and keeping the house supplied with lots of carb and good food pre-race.
- My parents for their continued love and support throughout this crazy adventure of mine. They travelled all the way to Calgary to be with me on my race, and that's just a small example of what they do for me every day.
- My health care team of David Lamy (RMT), Bill Wells (Chiro) and Michael Hong (Acupuncture). I wouldn't have been able to race this one without you.
- Adam, my coach and partner, for being designated sherpa and driving everyone everywhere this past weekend.
- All my readers for their support and for following me in my triathlon endeavours
- MultiSport Canada for getting me race ready for this event!
- Fellow athletes at the race and training partners, especially those at WattsUp!
- My other coaches: Kim and Nigel from NRG
- My sponsors: High Rock Capital Management, WattsUp Cycling, MultiSport Canada, The Urban Athlete, Fitt1st Bike Fitting

1. Pictures:















3. Interview with another participant: TROY

Q. Name (first name only is fine), Age (or age group):

A. Troy out of San Diego. 55-59 AG

Q. One word to describe yourself?

A. After asking several people, the best word to describe my self is "Determined", it was a toss up with "obsessed" and " Plain Crazy" coming in Third.

Q. How long have you been doing triathlons?

A. 20 years this month

Q. What was one highlight of today's event?

A. going out of T2 and the announcer saying I was down by one minute on the leader in my AG. I thought I was 4th or 5th with a bad swim, but glad to hear I made it up on the bike. I caught first place guy (Miles out of Calgary) at 17k, and went by as he was walking aid station, at 19K I heard footsteps and pushed harder thinking he was about to pass. My left hammy was going into a cramp and did not know if I could hold on for 2K. He stayed right behind my until the last K when I started up the slight hill and ran like I was on fire to win by 16 secs. I collapse at the finished and went immediately into cramps. I was taking to Med since I could not walk and my competitor, Miles came over and stayed with me which showed great sportsmanship. We will see each other again in the 70.3 World Championship 2017

Q. What did you eat for breakfast?

A. I always have my Bagel with Nutella, 2 Ensure drinks with Beta Aline, and a salt pill mixed in. Us old folks don't eat much.

Q. What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you in a triathlon?

It’s not why you may think. On the morning of IM AZ race with little time to go until the start I realized I forgot my salt in my car so I needed to run about a mile back to get it. By the time I got back the pro's were just talking off so I hurried to fill my dry clothes bag, put my wetsuit half way on and started to run towards the truck to drop off my bag when mother nature routed me to the nearest porta potty. I set my after race bag next to me while I did my business. When I stood up the bag fell over and my cap and goggles dropped into the forbidden hole. YES!! I was HORRIFIED to say the least!! I looked down and stared at my bright green cap on top and quickly retrieved it throwing it out the door with no sight on my googles. At that time I heard Mike Reilly announce 6 minutes to race start. It was still dark out and even darker in the potty. Basically I could not see anything. So for 2 seconds I started thinking of options and came up with only one that made sense. I went for it.....I plunged my arm down the hole and started fishing. They always tell you to expect the unexpected in Ironman, but this was ridiculous. I finally found the goggles in the bottom right corner where I quickly grabbed them, grabbed my bag (with the other hand) and open the door with about 50 athletes waiting to use the potty. You should have seen the look on their faces when they saw me opening the door standing there with one blue arm all the way up to my shoulder. I quickly ran to drop my bag off when a volunteer said they would take it to the truck. I immediately used water bottles lying around the ground to clean myself and the goggles off the best I could while running to the water’s edge. I made the front line within 30 seconds to the start!!! All I could think of was some disease I would have in my eyes by the time I started the run, Haaaa! Note to self: Never take your race bag into the potty!! Woohoooo!!!

Q. What is one of your top achievements, either in triathlon or in the rest of life?

Have been fortunate to have several achievements in life including bat boy for the LA Dodgers, my Pro card in Supercross, Free ride Pitching for San Jose State Spartans Baseball, but the biggest achievement was getting to the start of Kona 2013. In Feb of 2013 my father received news he had stage 4 lung cancer. I was getting ready to do Los Cobo Ironman in March. We were sitting together on a Sunday and he mentioned how proud he was with me throughout my athletic career, but would really like to see me race in the World Championship before time was up for him. I told him I will try my best to qualify to get him and Mom over to Kona Well I Finished 4th in Cabo with only 2 spots given so I signed up for Kentucky to see if I can still qualify for 2013 race. I had to take Dad in for a check up on a Sunday which was weird, and we were sitting in the waiting room on April 14th 2013 and I get a text, "Man, couldn't happen to a nicer guy" Huh? From a good friend Ron Anderson, I asked him if he was drinking or what? He text "congrats, in getting chosen in the legacy program of going to Kona".....WTF???? I forgot I signed up for the legacy program several months before so this came out of no where.. Well needless to say I am looking at my dad with his oxygen mask on, in a wheel chair, thinking, boy old man do I have some news for you.... and tears started to roll. I am going to Kona... for HIM!!!! That night I took out the family to dinner and wrapped up the email I received inviting me to Kona and gave it to the old man. He just said, I knew you would make it there with a tear in his eye and yelled, right on!....Woohooo!! Months went by and in Sept dad started going down quickly, He no longer could make the flight to Hawaii, but sent me off telling me he will be tracking me all day. Nothing can stop me from starting Kona, Not the double hernia I managed to sustain 9 days from the start, nor the Bee sting I received 4 days from the start while on a training ride. My face was swollen for 30 hrs with 103 body temp. Race day morning I felt tired and lethargic but nothing was stopping me to get that medal around dads neck..... The race started and by the time we were heading back on the bike I felt 100% Even the duct tape around my hernia wasn't hurting...Ha!! I finished in 11:20 and as soon as I crossed the line, My daughter handed me the cell with dad on the other line, we cried together that both of our dreams were achieved together. When I got home I placed the IRONMAN Medal around his neck and it was the last picture we have together. Dad died one month later.... So Kona 2013 was my biggest achievement and always will be. Woohooooo!!!!!

Q. When is your next event? Q. When is your next event?

A. Next Race is IM CDA followed by Kona followed by IRONMAN Cabo Oct. 30th to see if I can get a spot for 2017 Kona

4. TrainingPeaks/Quantitative Race information for those interested

WARMUP: 550m swim warmup with 3x40 strokes fast, then 3x20 strokes fast

SWIM: 1871m, 26:35 (~1:25/100m),

BIKE: Speed - 36.6kph, NP - 175W (3.25W/kg, 85% of FTP)**forgot to calibrate power meter, so this may not be accurate**, Avg HR - 160bpm, Avg Cadence - 85rpm

RUN: 21.1km, 1:39:10 (4:41/km), Avg HR - 174bpm, Elevation gain ??



Lastly, I'm going to close this blog with the lyrics from "Try Everything" by Shakira:

I messed up tonight | I lost another fight | I still mess up but I'll just start again | I keep falling down | I keep on hitting the ground | I always get up now to see what's next | Birds don't just fly | They fall down and get up | Nobody learns without getting it wrong

I won’t give up, no I won’t give in | Till I reach the end | And then I’ll start again | Though I’m on the lead | I wanna try everything | I wanna try even though I could fail | I won’t give up, no I won’t give in | Till I reach the end | And then I’ll start again | No I won't leave | I wanna try everything | I wanna try even though I could fail

Look how far you've come | You filled your heart with love | Baby you've done enough that cut your breath | Don't beat yourself up | Don't need to run so fast | Sometimes we come last but we did our best

I'll keep on making those new mistakes | I'll keep on making them every day | Those new mistakes

(Source: http://www.directlyrics.com/shakira-try-everything-lyrics.html)

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Here we go!

My first half ironman in about 2 years is just 10 days away! So, I thought it a good idea to post a little update...

I'm not the same pro triathlete as I was 3 years ago when I was at my peak fitness. Since 2013, I have been battling injuries, recovering from surgery, going back to school full time, working more, struggling through the stress of significant life changes and trying to be the best stepmum I can be. This is markedly different from being the (mostly) care free triathlete I was. Back then I got to head south in the winters to train and my biggest worry was how to best recover for the next training session or whether my Garmin was working :) As a result, I know my fitness is not as good as it was - but I think it's still good enough to compete at the Pro level. I get to put that to the test on July 24th in Calgary and I'm looking forward to it!

So - what has my training been like in 2016? Well, I've been lucky enough to get some local races in! I placed second female in both Multisport Woodstock Sprint and Multisport Welland Long Course. We are so incredibly lucky to have the Multisport Canada series in Ontario. They put on the best organized races and ensure that everyone, from the beginner to the elite athlete has a great day. Since Welland, I stepped it up to 20 hours of training/week. Whether that was a good idea remains to be seen. It's always tough to find a balance between overdoing it and under doing it.

My swimming endurance has definitely improved (I'm swimming 5-6 days per week instead of 2-3). I get in 1 OWS with NRG on Wednesdays where I try to stay on the feet of speedy Brandon and Nigel. In the pool, I was even able to do 10x100@1:25 pace time again!

My cycling seems to have gone up a notch based on my last training session, where I held a NP of 183W over 55km (within a 105km ride) on the hottest day of the year - and split a PB for 40K of 1:03! This has largely been due to consistency. I built a strong base with regular training over the winter at WattsUp, without overdoing it. All the short, high intensity work on the trainer helped to develop my top end power. Now that school and exams are over (3 weeks ago), I have been able to get in some longer outdoor rides and develop better endurance. I'm hopeful this will allow me to put together a pretty strong 90k in Calgary!

My running, however, has taken a small step back. I have had some lower leg issues recently, possibly stemming from a stuck talus and fibula, that then caused all my lower leg muscles to tighten up. As a result, my running hasn't been very consistent. I did run a 4:20/km for 15km in a descending run on Monday - but have paid for it! I've been unable to run since. So let's hope all is well for Calgary.

So that's where life is at! Thank you for following along.