Monday, October 29, 2012


It's now less than 5 days until I run into the gulf waters and begin the ending to this amazing journey to Ironman Florida.  Time has been playing tricks on me the past week - speeding up, slowing down.  But now I think we will be on fast forward until Friday night.  So much has been done - packing for me and for the kids, organizing their life for the 2 days I'm gone, making sure they have lunches and snacks and rides lined up if the weather is as bad as the forecast.  Not to mention keeping the house in order so I don't return to a disaster afterwards!  I'm trying not to dwell on the fact that the weather up here is not all that great for air travel tomorrow ... I have no control over the weather so that is all I am going to say about that!

My Sweet Gym Friend Jo gave this to me as a special token for the week!
I have been thinking more and more about my race execution.  I run through the entire race in my head over and over again so today I thought I would try to get it out of my head and onto the page.

It will all start Friday night with a nice spaghetti dinner cooked my favourite cook in the whole world - my mother.  I'm looking forward to have a nice early meal with my family and friends and then retiring to my condo shortly thereafter.  We all know that sleep will be restless on Friday night so I'm preparing to lie, with eyes closed and as still as possible for as long as possible.  I'll get up around 3am for a snack to fill my belly. If sleep comes, my alarm will wake me around 5.

I plan on my normal morning routine of coffee, toast and peanut butter.  Followed my bathroom duties and a very hot shower, then I will be off to the race site.  It's a 10 minute walk to transition and body marking so we will leave the condo around 6 giving me more than enough time to drop my special needs bags, get marked, and relish in the excitement of the day.
my toenails are ready (and yes I do have all my toenails... sort of)
The swim
I'll pop my first gel of the day about 10 minutes before the swim start.  I'm planning on seeding myself  in the middle of the pack with the expected finish time of 1:15 even though my expected finish time is more like 1:20 - 1:30.  I would rather be swam around / over by a few then get caught up behind a bunch of slower swimmers and God forbid breast strokers!  I feel very prepared for the mass start thanks to the mass start at Welland.   If I could survive being beaten up for 2,000m in that narrow canal, I'm sure I can handle the mass start in the vastness of the Gulf of Mexico.  I'm just going to go out strong and easy, keeping my heart rate in check and focusing on a strong reach and a strong pull.

It's a two loop swim so you have to exit the water, cross a timing mat and re-enter the water.  I'm not sure how I feel about this.  It will break the rhythm of my swim but it also breaks it up into 2 very manageable swims.  It is what it is so I will just focus on keeping my heart rate low and get back into the rhythm as soon as possible.  If all goes plan I'll be done with swimming in about an hour twenty.

I am swimming in my trishorts and my sports bra so in T1 I just have to get out of my wetsuit (I plan on using the strippers), rinse off as much sand as possible, throw on my bright yellow/green jersey  put on my shoes and out I go.   If the weather is as forecasted I will not need arm-warmers or socks!  I hope to make quick work of T1.

When I first get on the bike I'm going to mentally settle into my long ride.   I'm actually really looking forward to the long ride as I have really enjoyed riding long this year. At this point I know the day is really starting and I have to avoid any mental mistakes.  I've heard it is important to rinse your mouth and get hydration into you pretty quickly as the salt water swim dehydrates you more than fresh water.  15 minutes into the bike I'm planning on taking the only gel on the bike and then settle into my nutrition plan of drinking 200 calories an hour and eating an addition 80 calories of gel blasts with the occasional peanut M&M.  I'll stop at special needs to pick up the last half of my liquid nutrition.  If I lose any of my bottles I am prepared to switch to my back up nutrition plan which utilizes the course provided nutrition.  I have trained with that and while it is sub-optimal, it will get me through to the run.

I'm hoping for a quick T2 with just a quick shoe change - and of course I will have to put on socks too.  Grab the visor, shove some nutrition in my back pocket.  I am putting a full clothing change into my T2 bag just in case my trishorts are too gross (I'll just leave it at that) and I want clean shorts to run in but I think I would rather run in my trishorts than my running shorts.  I know I will see my family at this point and that is going to be a high point of the race for me - mentally I will be settling in for a long, long run.

At this point I will know I am on the backside of the race but I will have to keep it together because 42.2 km is a long way to run.   It's a 2 loop course so that means I get to see my family again and at that point I will be telling myself I only have a half to run, an easy Sunday morning run, my favourite distance. Of course I will be in uncharted territory at this point - I will have been going for longer than I have ever gone before.  And if the weather is as forecast, it could be very hot and sunny on the run so I will focus on keeping my heart rate low and my body temperature in check.  With an aid station every mile, I will break the run down into 9 - 10 minute chucks, running from aid station to aid station.

I'm going to put a small bottle of carbo-pro + NUUN in my run special needs bag just in case I'm sick of plain water and perform.  I'm not sure what else I will put in there ...

And then there is the finish line.  Just like that - a full day of swimming, biking and running.  This year the time change comes later (in fact it changes the night of the race) so we will be given an extra hour of light at the end of the day - if everything goes perfect I should be finishing between 7 and 8pm.  Any time before 9 and I'll be thrilled.  And of course, just finishing is a feat in itself!
I hope delta lets me carry on both my carry on sized pieces on tomorrow!
And that's that!  Next post will probably be my race report unless I try to post from my Ipad before the big day!  So if you think about it on Saturday, send me some good vibes as I complete my journey to becoming an Ironman!

Monday, October 22, 2012

My last ride to Lake Simcoe this year

Today was a bit bitter-sweet   The weather was down right perfect for a long bike ride today.  Of course I'm in taper so my "long" ride was just under 4 hours - but enough time to ride up Lake Simcoe one last time.  Last week I told the nice old man at the Lakeside Convenience Store that I wouldn't see him again until spring.  He was happily surprised when I rolled up today to grab a bottle of water.  He said the weather was sure to be nice again next week and that he would be sure that he would see me again.  I explained that sadly, no, I would not be riding up again this year.  He wished me luck and sent me on my way.

I enjoyed my ride today, soaking in the beautiful fall colours and warm sunshine.  I've been so lucky to have such great weather this year to train in.  I can't wait until spring and I can ride up there again!

11 days and 6 hours to Ironman Florida!

I'm off to the pool!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Mental Game - 12 days and Counting

I've been told by every Ironman I know - it's the mental game that you have to win on race day.  I've thought through how I'm going to deal with the mental game at Ironman Florida and in fact, I've trained that mental game.  I've ridden most of my long rides alone.  I almost always run alone.  I've rehearsed in my head, while training, exactly what I'm going to think about when my glutes decide to stop firing or my quads seize up, when my big toes feel like they are on fire or when the pinch in the back of my neck just won't ease up.
But what I haven't prepared for was the mental game that is presenting itself in these final days leading up to race day.  The fears, the doubts, the worries - they cloud  my mind.

I worry about my tight right hamstring - I've never had a problem with a hamstring like this ...

I fear blowing out both my CO2 cartridges and not inflating my flat.

I doubt my ability to run.

I worry about hydrating enough, about eating enough without over eating, about sleeping enough.  

I fear this nasty cold virus is going to settled in to my sinuses for one nasty sinus infection.

I doubt my ability to maintain my good form swimming for 2.4 miles.

I worry it's going to be too hot, too cold, too windy, too rough, too rainy, too sunny.

I have to trust in my training - like my training partner and Ironman mentor Christina said the other day " We must think of ourselves as a cooked lasagne and in the next 3 weeks we are letting the cheese bubble- that's is done!!! "  

I still have my taper week ride of 4 hours to do tomorrow then I enter taper week 2.  Let the cheese bubble baby - let the cheese bubble!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

14 Day Weather Forecast IMFL

Well, it only goes to say, if I can see Saturday, November 3rd on the 14 day weather forecast on my Ipad then Ironman Florida is officially less than 2 weeks away!  The first week of taper went quite well, and really it's still a lot of work.  I got through it all but the 4 hour ride which is scheduled for Monday - with a forecasted high of 17*c, sunny and light winds.  I'll take it!

But let's not beat around bush - it's not the weather forecast for Monday that is taking over my mind!  Weather is clearly out of my control - so I shouldn't give it much thought - but everything about the race seems to revolve around the weather - is it going to be hot and sunny?  Cold and rainy? Windy and rough? or just perfect conditions ...

So here it is ... 14 days out ...
that's 79*F - 73*F
I know, I know - it's 14 days out and it will probably change daily ...  and I'm sure the first thing I will do every morning is turn on that Ipad and check!  I know on race day I will focus on what is in my immediate control - my swim start seeding, my effort and nutrition on the bike, and my mental toughness to push through the pain on the run.  But leading up to the that day, I will also scrutinise the weather forecast but being aptly prepared for the weather is also in my control!

13 days, 14 hours, 5 mins ... and counting!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Because I Can - Ironman Florida

If you go to the Ironman Florida site you will see the count down clock ... in fact right now it reads 14 days, 13 hours, 33 minutes and 16 seconds! Wait, 15 seconds! Wait ... you get the picture....

I get to run today and I get to run pretty long considering it's my first week of taper.  My plan calls for an hour and a half run this weekend.  Since our weekend is now are filled with hockey (4 times this weekend), and Theatricks,  plus a family photo shoot this weekend, I am happy to get my runners laced up and hit the road for a nice, easy long run on this Friday.  The sun is going to shine once this fog burns off and the winds appear to be light and it's going to be a great day for a run.

As the excitement builds and race day gets closer, I think a lot about the things I will think about during the long day that will be November 3rd.  The thoughts that will push me through my 6 hour bike ride and especially what is going to get me through the "hurt" on the run and across the finish line.  There will be thoughts of my kids, my husband, my parents.  Thoughts of kids who have touched my life, that no longer can run, like Darcy and Stella.  Thoughts of people I have lost, my Papa, my grandmas, my Ma Beatty.  Thoughts of those who are battling something much more than the Ironman.  There will be happy thoughts too - like knowing how many friends will be tracking my progress as the day goes by, cheering for me from far away places and of course my family at the finish line!

I often get asked why I'm doing an Ironman.  I get my fair share of head shakes and "wow you are crazy" or "a FULL marathon???" but mostly over the year my friends and acquaintances have just realized that  once I put my mind to something, I'm going to do it and I really don't care what other's think.

When I was a child, I was not athletic at all.  I didn't play soccer or hockey, I didn't swim competitively, I didn't try out for the track team.  I did keep the 5th grade basketball and 8th grade volleyball benches warm.  I was an pudgy kid and struggled with body image and my weight my entire life.  Luckily I could fall back on my academics to give me a path and a purpose, but sport never presented me the opportunity to excel.

I became a bit of a gym rat when I was at university but my weight yo-yo'd throughout my 20's as my professional life had me travelling all the time which wasn't conducive to a healthy lifestyle.  It wasn't until after the birth of Calli Anna that I decided to focus on a healthy lifestyle, and now, 8 years later, I no long struggle with my weight, though I will always struggle with my body image.  And now, 8 years later I'm running an Ironman, and if you want to know why - the answer is simply because I CAN.

A year ago, I could NOT swim 2.4 miles.
                        I could NOT ride my bike for 6 plus hours.
                                                   I could NOT run a marathon.

But, today I can.  And I will.  And I will relish every moment, because I can.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I couldn't have done it without you ....

On November 6, 2011, nearly one year ago, I took the leap and registered for Ironman Florida.  In just over 2 weeks, on November 3, 2012, I will race in the biggest event of my life.  As every Ironman will tell you, it's the journey to becoming an Ironman that will change you forever.  And throughout that journey, there are many people along the way that sacrifice for you, inspire you and mentor you.  And to them all, I am grateful!  Here is a call out to a few of them!

First and foremost I have to thank my husband Barry.  He convinced me 2012 was the year I should do Ironman instead of putting it off to 2013. He has been my biggest supporter, footed the huge financial bill, listened to me go on endlessly about training, allowed me to watch as much triathlon "porn" as possible on uTube, and has put up with going to bed obscenely early. I'm so proud of him for getting into the best shape of his life and joining me in the sport of triathlon (and duathlon).  I look forward to racing with him at Mt. Tremblant 70.3 in June 2013 and one day supporting him in his journey to become an Ironman!

Next I have to thank my kids: Calli Anna, Jensen and Griffin.  They have put up with a momma who is usually tired and grumpy and sore.  I hope that one day they look back on this year and see the grit and determination I put into this training to accomplish something amazing.  I also hope they realize that I tried my best to not let the training affect our family life.  I tried my best to do my training while they were in camp this summer and in school this fall.  Of course this didn't always happen and I know they spent a fair amount of time with sitters.  I hope they know how thankful I am that they have allowed me this opportunity. And knowing they will be at the finish line is all I need!

Carole @ Ottawa Marathon

My biggest fan, after Barry of course, is Carole.  Oh what would I have done without Carole?  If ever I was in need of just about anything, Carole would be there.  In a pinch with the kids, Carole to the rescue.  I'm frustrated, tired and low, Carole was there to pick me up.  I'm high on endorphins and want to talk endlessly about my incredible workout, Carole was always there to listen, without complaint.  AND, she is coming to my race, flying down with Barry and the kids - because goodness knows, how could he fly with the kids on his own?  Carole, from the bottom on my heart, and from the entire family - thank you for being you!

Speaking of childcare, my next big shout out goes to KatD!  While I wanted to get my long rides in while the kids were at school, I just couldn't make it back for pick-up   Not to worry - KatD is here!  Thank you for always being willing to grab the kids after school or look after them early before the school day started.  You gave me those precious extra minutes needed so I didn't have to rush and I could get my training in.

Clinton and Julie: clearly they are both triathletes!
Now, how did I exactly get into triathlons and eventually the Ironman?  For that I have to thank two of my childhood friends: Julie and Clinton.  It was September 2009 and through Facebook I found out my most athletic childhood friend Julie was racing the Nation's Tri - an Olympic distance in Washington DC.   Then in November 2010, Clinton, who used to ride the bus home with me in Middle School to be dropped at MCHS pool as he was a swimmer, raced in Ironman Florida.  That sealed the deal and I knew in 2011 I would complete a triathlon (Nation's Tri was my "A" race that ended up being Wasaga Beach) and the seed of one day becoming an Ironman was planted!  If they had not lead the way, who knows if I would have ever found and fallen in love with the sport of triathlon!

The year after Calli Anna was born I joined my gym - the Mayfair.  One of the best decision I ever made.  I have to thank the Mayfair, and in particular some of the trainers especially David, Sabine, and James.  They have supported me, pushed me, and mentored me every step of the way and most important they never stopped believing in me.

And I cannot thank just the trainers at the Mayfair but also the dear friends I have made there. It's friends like Joanne and Lawrie that making going to the gym extra special.  It's that extra little push to get you to your workouts knowing a friend will be there and after the sweat there was sure to be a coffee (or beer, or wine) and chat to follow.

Training for an Ironman takes a toll on your body.  I want to thank my medical team - Jen, my ever wonderful massage therapist who changes her schedule to accommodate me, Will, my chiropractor who tortures me with ART and electric acupuncture (and doesn't get too mad when I forget my appointments) and finally my sports doctor, Howard Chin - who thankfully, since healing my "hip" injury I have not had to see!

TTC Group Ride
And last, but by far not least, I thank my training partners and the Toronto Triathlon Club.  Riding with Cavin, Chad, Michael, Dushan,  and Phil pushed me to become a better cyclist.  These guys had the patience to ride with me knowing it would slow them down.  I remember my first "long" ride out of Wilcox.  I think it was 80km - and it appeared no one was riding that distance - and Michael stepped up and said "I was only planning on 40 -50, but I'll ride with you".   And I'll never forget Chad taking off work one Friday (very last minute) to join me for my first 100 mile ride - he went from a longest ride of 105k to 180+k that day!  You boys really taught me a thing or two about cycling - stop getting faster so that one day I might catch up!  Joining the TTC was a great decision and I have formed friendships with like-minded (crazy?) people that I look forward to training and racing with in the future!  Mt. Tremblant 70.3 will be one heck of a fun race!  When the going gets tough at IMFL, I will think about all of you following me, I will imagine the words of encouragement being posted in real-time on Facebook and I will draw from your collective strengths to persevere!

I'm sure the moment I publish this post I will think of someone I left out.

To all of you who have listened to me go on endlessly about my training, thank you for listening.

To my friends who I don't get to see very often any more because I'm either training or sleeping, thank you for understanding.

To my Facebook friends and twitter followers, thank you for the supportive words, encouragement and accountability.

And to my mom and dad - thanks for everything - I love you and I'll see you in 2 weeks in Panama City Beach!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Taper Time - 3 weeks until Ironman Florida

Really?  3 weeks?  It's been 49 weeks since I registered for the biggest race of my lifetime and now only 3 weeks!

This past week was a recovery week in the plan before taper  - seems strange to me but after running the Chicago Marathon (not on the plan) - it seemed like a good idea.  Unfortunately I missed my last big bike ride due to family, weather, and Chicago.  So I'm still striving to put at least 5 hours on the saddle tomorrow.  If it gets put off any longer it will just turn into my 4 hour taper ride on the plan for next weekend.

I'm swimming with the Toronto Triathlon Club's Master's swim on Monday and Wednesday nights and I feel like my stroke and form are improving.  I want to get in the pool this week and complete a 3,800-4,000m continuous swim - aiming for Tuesday at the public pool - always fun.

I got back on the bike trainer for a session this week and lasted 1:22.  I forgot how much I dislike the bike trainer.  I'm going to have to find a way to mix it up and enjoy it for at least one "long" ride a week during the off season but I'm happy to say I won't be on the trainer again before IMFL.  The interval work I get at spin class will suffice!  I'm feeling very ready for the bike.

This week I only ran once, for 30mins on the treadmill after a spin class.  My run has been going great and my performance at the Chicago Marathon has me feeling very prepared for the run.  I'm looking forward to getting back to some running this week especially the long run next weekend.

I started my packing list yesterday while watching Kona on the internet.  It was so awesome to watch Leanda Cave persevere over Caroline Steffen and Miranda Carfrae.  Carfrae left it all out there on the course, collapsing at the finish line; her efforts on the bike took it's toll on the run.  As if it couldn't get any more inspirational, Natascha Badmann finishes 6th at 46 years old!  A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

The packing list is work in progress and I hope to have it complete by the end of the week.  I've raced quite a few overnight triathlons so the basic swim-bike-run aspect of packing is there.  But since I'm going for nearly 7 days, I have to bring loads more stuff.  But I remind myself, there will be shopping to be done there too!

So this week I start my 3 week Taper - after my long ride tomorrow of course.  The plan looks quite civilized actually and I'm looking forward to enjoying some shorter rides and runs.  My swim will stay the same with the 2 master's swims plus one session of 3,800 - 4,000m continuous. The taper week ends with a 4 hour bike followed by a 30min run and a long run of 1:30-1:45.  Still a lot of work to be done but I'm feeling good, healthy and strong!  Main goals are to stay injury and accident free!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The week I wasn't supposed to run a Marathon - Week 12 training update

Training Week 12 is gone and we are now less than 4 weeks until Ironman Florida!  The bib numbers were published recently and I'm happy to report I will be running with bib 647 on Nov. 3rd!  It's really getting close now!

This past week was supposed to be my final build week but unfortunately a few things got in the way.  First, I felt really crummy starting on Tuesday.  I called it the "Ironman Flu" as I just came off of a 180+km ride, 20+km run and a hard swim workout all in less than 48 hours.  My body ached and just felt icky mentally and physically.

I struggled through a weight workout on Tuesday and a spin class on Wednesday.  Wednesday was Carole's 45th birthday - and she is my dearest friend and is my biggest supporter - I couldn't have done this Ironman without her - so I wanted to give her a great birthday so a few ladies and I went to Niagara Falls for the night - so that set me back a bit too.  Friday I hit the gym again but just felt rotten.  And then of course Barry and I flew out to Chicago on Saturday for "Barry" to run the Chicago marathon.

So really, this week was more of a recovery week than a build week.  Well a recovery week that ended with me running a Marathon that I wasn't supposed to run!

You can check out the details on that in my Chicago Marathon non-race report!

So I'm putting this past week behind me.  I am really happy I ran the full Marathon distance as now I have swam 4k, biked 180+k and ran 42.2k.  Now all I have to do is put it together!  I truly believe the Ironman is 90% mental and having run the full marathon distance will give me a mental advantage.  My body feels the same as I did after my 30km run a few weeks ago and actually I feel better than I did last Tuesday!

So this week I'm focusing on swimming and will have my last long bike ride either on Friday or Saturday weather permitting.  Then I will officially enter my taper plans and before we know it I'll be leaving for Florida!  I guess it's time I start making my packing lists!

2012 Chicago Marathon non-race report

Way back when the Chicago Marathon registration opened and Barry registered, I was determined I would not run this race as it was 4 weeks out from Ironman Florida.  Then as I got into my training plan I realized that the week of the Chicago Marathon was also the weekend of my longest training run.  So I decided I would run with Barry, however I would bail out at 30-32k, keeping in line with everyone's advice NOT to run a marathon that close to my Ironman.  So Barry tracked down a bib for me and that was the plan ....

Fast forward to last week.  My running has been going so well and I've been feeling strong.  Barry wanted me to pace him at 6 min/km, which is quite a bit slower than I normally run...  then the idea of running the entire race started crowding my head.  But I kept remembering everyone telling me NOT to run the full distance, to stick to my plan, don't ruin my "A" race ...

Then, on the flight to Chicago on Saturday morning I read about Sarah Reinertsen in Runner's World.  As a child single-leg amputee, she was running the NYC Marathon 2 weeks before running Ironman Arizona.  Ummmm, OK, ... that put things into a different perspective.

To complicate things even more, I had been fighting some sort of virus all week AND I had a late night, party night celebrating my best friend's 45th birthday on Wednesday.  It was going to be a game day decision.  I had the opportunity to bail at 32k and jump on the train back to the finish line - I had the $2.25 tucked in my pocket and everything. I also knew that if I was feeling awesome I could finish the race!

We arrived in Chicago on Saturday morning after a very pleasant Porter flight and went directly to the Chicago Hilton - the Host hotel.  Traffic was a disaster and the crowds were awful.  I tried to keep my anxiety and panics in check as we checked into the hotel - which we were happy to hear we didn't have to pay for the second night (2 night minimum when we booked) and could get 4pm checkout for an extra $50.  It was a bit stressful as Barry was meeting up with the guy we bought my bib from, I was checking in and the crowds were wearing on me.  But then all that stress was over and we were happily checked in, grabbed a quick bite and then off to the expo.

The line for the shuttle to the expo was incredibly long and it was quite chilly out so we grabbed a cab - great decision.  The expo was crazy busy. We picked up Barry's race kit and made our way through the expo. It was a madhouse! We grabbed a few things we were looking to buy - compression calf sleeves for us both and compression shorts for Barry and a couple of pieces of official race wear.  Then we high tailed it out of there back to the hotel for a short nap before dinner.
why did I think racing with 45,000 people was a good idea?
We had decided to partake in the race sponsored pasta dinner at the hotel and it did not disappoint.  It was nice to watch the coverage of the 2011 Marathon while stuffing ourselves with 3 types of pastas, salad, bread and cookies.  A++ for the pasta dinner.  Then it was off to bed to try to sleep.

I had the typical night of restless sleep before the race and we were up at 6am.  The biggest decision was what to wear - I settled in on my 3/4 length lulu pants and my long sleeve thin lulu top with a warm and cozy hoodie to keep me warm before the race and hope some Chicagoan enjoys it this winter!  I choose perfectly and was comfortable the entire time!

We were in the second wave starting at 8am so we watched the TV coverage of the start of the elites at 7:30 and then left the hotel for the short walk to the start line.  The race organizers do a very good job and while there were about 38,000 people running, everything went smoothly.  I was in the corral ahead of Barry but was able to slip behind the gates and join him before the race.  Before we knew it we were pushing forward, then running, then finally crossing the start line.

This race is AMAZING - the spectators are insane.  It is like running through a 42.2km parade route with spectators lining the entire way!  There were times when they were 10 deep and only a few times just a few but every second of that race there were spectators cheering you on.   Of course the course was crowded and there was a lot of bobbing and weaving and dodging.  Barry and I were running well and nailing the pace.  My Garmin was a little screwy the first few KM because we had to run through a pretty long tunnel so it wasn't very accurate with our actual pace but we were the KM spilts 6:05, 6:02, 5:58 ...  I kept checking in with Barry making sure he was doing ok as this was his race, not mine.

We continued on with most KM clocking in just under 6mins.  You feel like a rock-star running this race with all the spectators.  We had to stop somewhere around 9km for Barry to pee in the park and somewhere before 20km for me to hit the port-o-potty but besides that we just kept running.   I felt awesome, singing and dancing, high fiving and running.  Barry was doing awesome; I kept waiting for him to start walk breaks but he kept running like a champ.  We took water at most aid stations and were bang on taking a gel every 45 minutes.  I also took a few sticks of twizzlers, a mini snickers bar and a few jolly ranchers along the way (I like candy).  I did take a few sips of gatorade now and then to keep my electrolytes from dipping too low as I didn't have salt pills.  Luckily it was cool and it wasn't a problem.

Then I came to the 30km mark.  I felt amazing.  My feet felt great, my legs were strong and I felt like I could run forever.  I had to make a decision.  And while I had planned, and I had the train fare ... I think I always knew that as long as I wasn't flighting any pain I would finish this race.  I asked Barry what he thought I should do and he wasn't very pleasant so I decided to see how I would feel if I pushed my pace a little.  So off I went and I felt great.  I stopped at the next water station and waited for Barry.  When I saw him I told him I was going on and I would see him at the finish line and off I went.  I felt great - I was flying - passing everyone, singing, high-fiving and loving this race.  I was clicking off the kilometres with the last 4 coming in at 5:27, 5:25, 5:26 and 5:12!  Yes, I definitely negatively split the race!

I finished with an "official" time of 4:13:04 - Ok really it's Manuel Villarreal's time ... I felt so awesome when I finished I actually thought to myself - 3:45 for a BQ - no problem!  Of course the race conditions were perfect.  Cool temps, light winds, flat course.  Had I not been pacing Barry, I would have definitely come in under 4hours - but this was NOT my race!
my first marathon ever!
It's 2 days after the race and I'm happy I ran the entire thing.  My legs feel just as good as they did after my 30km run 2 weeks ago and I'm sticking with my training plan.  I think mentally running the full distance was a huge positive for me.  I know exactly what 42.2km is so when I tackle that distance again in under 4 weeks I know I can do it.  Running an Ironman is a very mental game and now I have tackled a 4km open water swim, a 180 km bike and a 42.2km run.  Now I just have to put them together!

The Chicago Marathon is amazing and if I don't get into NYC next year - I will run it again!

Monday, October 1, 2012

The week I rode 112 miles - week 11 training update

This is my week 11 training update - and 4 weeks from tomorrow I leave for Panama City and in just less than 5 weeks I will be completing Ironman Florida!  While I missed the mark on many parts of my training this week, I feel very confident in my training and my fitness to carry me nicely through IMFL!

The Numbers - week 10- September 21 - October 1

Swam 1 times (Wed): 1,100m, 24 mins
Biked 5 times (Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sun)292km, 10 hours and 20 mins
Ran 3 times (Mon, Sun, Mon):27.8km , 2 hours and 41mins
Weight training twice (Tuesday, Thursday) 

Ok, so I really dropped the ball on swimming but I have a good excuse!  Public lane swim is impossible!  It's crowded and annoying and I knew that I would be starting my master's swim with the Toronto Triathlon Club this week so I blew off the swim.  It was frustrating and I wasn't getting the practice I needed. I felt like I was wasting time and I didn't have time to waste! 

I also slacked off on the run a bit.  After my amazingly quick 30km last Sunday I decided to pull down my mileage knowing that next week I will be running 32 - 34km with Barry at the Chicago marathon as my final long run.  I'm very confident in my ability to run the marathon right now and I'm playing a little defence as I don't want to get injured!

Now what I did nail this week was the bike!  I did some hard interval classes during the week and then I hit my major milestone of 112 miles + (180km + ) on the bike.  It was exceptionally wonderful.  While I fretted over the weather the 4 days leading up to my Sunday ride, the weather was near perfect with temps climbing up to 17*c and light winds from the North.  Chad met me at Leslie and Elgin Mills around 8:30 and we hit the road near 9.  Both Chad and I had recently purchased aero helmets and we both decided to try them out on this ride.  While we might have looked funny ...

We had an amazing ride!  Yes that is a lightening bolt down the center of the helmet and yes it did make me feel faster!

I nailed my nutrition and felt great.  My tri shorts I have been wearing all summer kept me perfectly comfortable - much more comfortable then the bike shorts I wore on last weeks 100 mile ride.  And the new helmet was perfectly comfortable!  
That's a pretty far way to go - but it felt great and we did it fast too - took us just over 6 hours with an average speed of 30 kph according to Chad's watching, 29.8 kph according to mine.  We did a very short run after - 2.5km but they were pretty fast and my legs felt great - I could have run a marathon if it were the Ironman!  I'm really hoping that training on this hilly route will pay off on the flat Florida course!

So while I didn't hit all the numbers on my plan, I feel amazing about my training and my ability right now.  This week coming up is my last "build" week and again life is getting in the way a little bit.  My hubby is running the Chicago marathon on Sunday which happens to coincide with my long run - as much as I want to run the entire 42.2km, I have been strongly advised against it so I'm running the 32 km as per my plan.  Unfortunately, due to my little guys hockey, I won't be able to do my long ride as planned on Friday, I'm out of town Wed and Thursday for a friends birthday, so my long ride is going to be pushed into next week a bit - either Monday or Tuesday ... and then I will start my taper.

Other than that, this week I will get one master's swim in tonight, a good fast midweek temp run on Wednesday morning and my interval bike work on Thursday and Friday.  

I still cannot believe only 33 more sleeps until the big day and only  4 weeks until I leave for Florida!