June 24, 2016

Training update

First off, going to go find a huge chunk of wood to knock on... there we go.

Overall, I've been pleased with how my training's been going so far this season. I feel like I should be doing more, but I do need to work, eat, and sleep... and keep a general balance that doesn't revolve around swimming, biking, and running all the time. Not to mention, I'm pretty keen on staying injury-free this year, and so far so good. I race on a J-24 sailing crew every Monday, which I love. There are dance recitals to prep for and attend, school events to volunteer for, garden veggies to tend, laundry that won't wash itself, delicious meals to cook and eat. Additionally, at the end of a long day I have a comfy sofa and a Netflix subscription that beckons. And it will not be ignored. I've made my peace with that.

Where you can find me on a Monday night

I made a brief attempt earlier this month to swim every day. It's my weakest leg, and I thought it would be a good way to make some gains. Unfortunately, after 5 days in a row, I had a sore throat and sinuses, swollen glands, and general fatigue -- which I attributed to the river water going where it doesn't belong. Also, my shoulders were starting to give me trouble... which I promptly took care of by going to my trusted massage therapist. It was just too steep a ramp-up in volume. So I'm splitting the difference, trying to get in the water a few times a week and working on speed rather than just plodding along like I've done in previous years when it was more about getting the distance done. I was super happy at our final swim class, where I swam a personal best 11:07 500m, 1:55 100m and 49sec 50m. Granted they were all-out single shots at it rather than a typical "average of 5" time trial set (for the 100s), but if you've been following my swim updates you know I've been trying to break a 2:00 100m for... well, since I started.

Our last Monday morning OTC swim at Richcraft

I haven't been putting in as much bike volume as I'd like, but the workouts I do are good quality -- mostly thanks to the OTC High Performance Squad. I work a 90% week, and have been trying to time my every other Friday off to have a good long ride. However, things come up and deliverables need to get done. So I find myself on a day off today, but skipping the long ride since I've got a race tomorrow.

At the Champlain Lookout in Gatineau Park

I'm feeling good about my running, coming off a personal best 5k time from my last race (23:52), almost a full minute faster than my previous best. This is where I'm making the biggest effort to keep up the consistency in training, not just for fitness gains but also injury prevention. Around 30k per week is what I'm going for, provided I feel good.

Brick run with Kelsey and the HPS

I've got 3 races (2 triathlons) under my belt so far this season, and another one on the schedule for tomorrow. I love racing not just for its own sake, but I also find it's a great way to push my speed work and ultimately help prepare me for the Canadian Sprint Championships next month. Eep... not so far away now!

June 19, 2016

Race report -- Ottawa River Super Sprint Tri

June 11, 2016
Swim 200m, bike 13.7km (10.4 km timed), run 5 km
1/2 AG, 4/19 OA women, 4/24 men and women

"Really?" I thought, as I sat in the car clutching my Starbucks. Overnight, the 25% chance of rain had turned into 100% chance of cold and wet. Of course, I didn't bother to check for updates before I left the house, at which point it was just mild and overcast... so I found myself without any rain gear whatsoever. Lesson learned. I had arrived at the race and parked, but was having trouble working up the will to actually leave the car. Because transitions aren't timed at this race, I didn't feel the usual urgency to beeline it for the T zone to secure a good rack spot. Ah well -- as a wise person once said, suck it up buttercup.

Swim + run to the transition entrance: 5:03
This was the most pleasant part of the race. The water was flat and a very comfortable wetsuit temperature. Our small group spread out quickly, and I lost track of where I was in the pack. But I swam a straight course, and felt fine about my effort.

Bike: 20:27 (30.4 km/h)
By the time I hit the bike course, it was really pouring. I held back a bit for the first few km, wary of water-covered potholes and potentially slick road surface. My bike was solid as ever, and I managed to keep the rubber side down. Bonus points for not unclipping like a weenie around the u-turns. Unfortunately, by the time I got back to the transition area my back brake was rubbing badly and something in my freewheel clutch was making an odd noise.

Run: 23:52 (PB!)
Because the transition wasn't timed, I was able to confirm the first couple of twists and turns on the run course with volunteer and fellow OTCer Andrew before crossing the timing mat. Within the first 700m of running on wet grass and through a huge puddle, I realized my wet shoes were going to do a number on my sockless feet. Oh well. This was my first time at the Ottawa River Tri, and I definitely needed all the direction given by the great volunteers along a course that twisted on and off the paths, around trees, and onto the road. This is the first time I've broken 24 minutes for 5k -- at least officially, as my 24:07 at the Early Bird a few weeks ago included T2.

The best part of the whole race was being surprised at the finish line by my Mum, who brought me dry clothes and hot tea. Since it was 9 degrees out and I was soaked to the skin, this was like winning the lottery.

Since there are a couple of untimed zones on the course, it's tricky to tell exactly where you finished until everyone's in. I was initially surprised to see that 3 girls came in ahead of me, as Andrew had told me I was the first woman as I exited transition for the run. These young ladies were seriously fast. I left before awards were given out, but I was able to congratulate them on Monday -- as I discovered they're part of the Bytown Storm junior development program that swims at Richcraft when I'm there with my OTC group. I introduced myself as the first runner-up old lady. ;)