Sunday, November 1, 2009
Our first summer in Vancouver I got back on my road bike and started to get back in the pool teaching Mark how to swim. We also started running together and found that between the two of us, we had 2/3 of a great triathlon! I competed in a couple of local sprint triathlons and found that I was itching to try something a little longer. This summer Mark and I put together a solid, but brief training plan to get me ready for both the Victoria and Vancouver Half Ironman races. The training plans worked out great and I had some really solid races with the limited amount of training I put in.
Since I definitely do not think I can "wing" an Ironman, Mark has started to put together a training plan that will work with my unusual work schedule as well as the local swim, bike and run sessions that are offered by our club.
I will be sending a LOT of time on the trainer, set up on our balcony as I try to develop my cycling legs. I will also try and get out on the road when the weather permits, but with the shortened daytime hours, most of my training will be in the comfort of our condo.
My goal will be to get on the bike 2-3 times a week and work through a series of drills and phases to improve my cadence as well as increase my power/speed. With Mark's experience I have no doubt that I will be well prepared to tackle the 180km ride next August!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I didn't really have a goal in mind when the race started but I knew that a PB was possible. I have been doing some great training with Steph and Shannon and have pushed myself much harder than normal with weekly tempo runs, hills and speed work. Thanks girls!
The race started off downhill, so I tried to take it easy and get into a good tempo. Although I was a little chilly starting off, I quickly warmed up when I hit the hilly section of the course along Dollarton Highway. I wore my Garmin and was a little concerned when I was averaging under 7min/mile pace, but I felt good and went with it. Around mile 8 I started to feel as though I went out a little too quickly and tried to settled into a more reasonable pace (7:20/mile) that I could maintain for the final 5 miles. As we neared the finish line I was quite surprised to look down at my watch and see that I would be finishing under 1:40. In fact, I finished in 1:30:31 which was good enough for 3rd in my age group, 6th female overall and a 20 minute PB. Not a bad start for Ironman training, eh?!
I am not sure what is up next as Mark and I are off to Jamaica Nov 9th for our "better late, than never" honeymoon. Depending on how things go, I may do the Seattle Half Marathon at the end of November. For right now I will keep training with the girls and start getting into a more structured Ironman training plan when we get back from our honeymoon!
Thursday, October 1, 2009
This summer I have met, become great friends, and trained with a fabulous group of people. Training has honestly never been this much fun. As much as I try to avoid getting up at 5am every morning, the lure of a killer run or tough swim with my training buddies, far outweighs the sleep. Morning after morning, I get "talked" into doing something.
Sunday was no exception. I got talked into doing a 26km trail race!
The Rubble Creek 26km trail race is by far one of the most beautiful races I have ever done, as well as one of the toughest. Although it is in its 25th year, the race is still relatively small and boasts no race numbers, aid stations or chip timing. The race organizer stood on a rock, said "ready, set, go"and we were off. The race started with a pretty tough uphill, taking us up 2600 feet, leveled out for a few km's before descending 4000 feet to the finish.
Needless to say, I didn't exactly race the run. My goal was to get out and get a solid 3 hour run in with some great friends in the beautiful West Coast trails.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
In fact, all of the North Shore Tri Club that competed that day had a great race and it was so much fun to watch. We finished off the weekend with a swim in the lake, lunch, and mini golf before heading back home. Hopefully we'll see Mark back in action next summer!
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
- The first week in August Mark was busy organizing the World Police and Fire Games. He was in charge of directing all 5 road cycling events which were great to watch. We were also invited to the opening ceremonies - 10,000 police and firemen all in the same arena - so much fun!
- Next up was Allison and Ramsey's wedding. Mark and I had the pleasure of being the MC's for the evening and we got to meet and hang out with all their friends and family for the week. The weekend kicked off with a pre-wedding run and finished up with a post-wedding Grouse Grind! Congrats Allison and Ramsey!
- The next weekend we did a great canoe/hike with some old cycling friends of Mark's. It was a relaxing day with lunch at the waterfalls, a little cliff jumping into the freezing cold water and dinner at Shera and Basse's.
- We ended up the summer with fun filled weekend at Ironman Canada. Corey came up from Texas and we met up with Mandy and Fraser from Calgary for a weekend of camping and cheering. We arrived on Saturday and met up with everyone at the campground before going for a swim in the Lake and checking out all the pre-race festivities. Later that evening we met up with a few others from the NSTC and went for dinner. Sunday morning we woke up nice and early, stopped for coffee at Tim's before finding a great spot on the beach to cheer everyone on. The rest of the day was spent cheering/eating our way around the Ironman course. Everyone was having such a great race and it was so much fun to watch. A big congrats to everyone from the North Shore Tri Club - especially training buddies Steph, Shannon and Karen - you girls rock!
Friday, July 31, 2009
A surprise proposal on a helicopter ride over Niagara Falls, ON
Moving across North America from Ohio to Vancouver
Friday, July 24, 2009
The Bay Challenge was one of the craziest swims I have ever done - and throughout all my years of swimming, I have done a LOT of crazy swims. First of all - the swim has rules
- The swim can be done either solo or as a relay
- Relay teams can have as many people as you want
- Each swimmer or team must provide their own support boat, as the swim crosses the shipping channel (think big giant freighters!)
- The time limit is 4 hours!
Steph swimming by one of the big freighters in the Bay
Now.... if you thought our swim was tough... read on!
My crazy but wonderful husband caught wind of our Bay Challenge plans and didn't want to be left out. A week out from the race, I got a text message at work from Mark that says "I hope you don't mind, but I registered for the Bay Challenge too - solo!"
My first reaction was - is this some sort of joke?!?!? Mark doesn't exactly come from a swimming background (cycling is his expertise). Sure, he swims masters swim workouts with me a couple of times a week, but nothing more than about 4000m. However, he was gonna give the 10km ocean swim a go!
As I was swimming along, I tried to keep track of Mark. Luckily Adam sent me text messages from time to time so that I knew Mark was well on his way to make the crossing.
After Steph and I finished, Meyrick and I headed back across the Bay to return our rental boat and stopped to see Mark along the way. Not only was he getting close to the finish line, but he looked great. Mark stopped briefly to say hi but was quick to start back swimming. I was soooo impressed!
Meyrick and I cheering on Mark
And our day didn't stop there - after a quick little snooze, we made our way out to White Rock to watch the Tour de White Rock Crit to cheer on all our friends.... what a weekend!
Monday, July 20, 2009
The Vancouver Half was a completely different experience than Victoria. Both were great races with wonderful support, but they were very hard to compare.
The race started with a two loop ocean swim off Jericho Beach. This is the first time I have had to start a race with a run into the ocean and my biggest fear was falling flat on my face! Once I made it into the water, the first 200m or so were rough, but eventually I found some open and few men/pros to pace off of. The second swim loop was a lot smoother and I even managed to be the 3rd woman out of the water after Bree Wee and Magali Tisseyre!
The bike was four loops of a challenging course with one big climb each loop. As usual, a TON of people blew past me on the bike, but I managed to get myself into a relatively good rhythm. Because of the design of the course, it was great to be able to see and cheer for people along the way. Each loop, I looked forward to hearing the cheers from Steph and giving her a big wave. My bike split ended up being a big improvement from Victoria. I finished in a faster time and the course was 4km longer... but I still have a long way to go to keep up with the fast girls!
The run was by far the most challenging part of the course. By this time, the sun was in full force and I was hot! I tried to get myself into a good rhythm and follow some of the relay runners that looked a little fresher. Because of the figure 8 design of the course, I was able to watch the pros and wave to Steph a couple of times each loop. As I approach the finish line, I was shocked. Because I don't race with a watch on (nor a computer on my bike), I had no idea what pace I was holding throughout the day. However, when I crossed the finish line, I had almost the same time as Victoria....5hrs, 5min... not bad considering the swim was in the ocean and the bike course for 4km longer!
At the end of the day, Steph and I finished 2nd and 3rd in our age group and ended the day with an ice bath in the ocean and lunch with Doug, our great photographer and race crew!
Up next... the 10km Bay Challenge Ocean swim!
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Within a short drive from Vancouver, you can do any one of the following events (and I am probably missing a few!)
- Tour de Delta - awesome pro cycling stage race that Mark organizes!
- Knee Knacker - crazy trail race from one end of the North Shore to the other!
- Osoyoos Half Ironman - head to the Interior and test out Richter Pass... twice!
- Vancouver Half Ironman - ocean swim, 4x up UBC hill and a run along the ocean!
- Seattle to Portland Bike Race - name says it all!
Good luck to everyone racing this weekend!
Monday, July 6, 2009
On Canada Day, Mark and I both raced in the Sasamat Lake open water swim race. Mark was only signed up to do the 2km race, but decided the day before he wanted to try the 4km... without a wetsuit! So, on race morning we met up with Steph, Allison and Ramsey and had a great sunny swim. I had a solid race - 55min for the 4km and ended up 2nd overall. It was really hard to figure out where I was in the race because the men started 5 min ahead of the women. Once I started passing the men, it was really hard to tell who was with each race. In the end, I was only about 2osec off of first place. More impressively, Mark had a GREAT race. Considering he had never swum 4km before and the fact that he didn't have a wetsuit, he did awesome! He had a solid finish and was pretty pumped to complete his first swimming race.
After the swim, we all went downtown to watch the Yaletown Grand Prix Crit. It was a great afternoon and I love watching how fast the cyclist are able to maneuver the tight corners. It just goes to show me how much more work I have to do to be more competitive on the bike. We finished the great day off with a few beers with the Trek Red Truck Cycling Team that Mark worked with last season.
(Picture courtesy of Steph)
Next up this weekend:
Tour de Delta for Mark!
Vancouver Half Ironman for me!
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Finishing the swim
Loop one of the run course - and trying to smile for all the cameras and cheering squad!
Mark and I after the race - I couldn't have asked for a better husband, coach and support crew!
The whole NSTC crew after the race - sporting our new hoodies since it was so cold out!
Friday, June 26, 2009
The weekend started off with a fun ferry ride with the NSTC crew. There were about 12 of us that either competed or cheered and we all had a fun time together. Once we arrived in Victoria we headed straight to the race course to get in a little ride and run. After testing out parts of the course, we stuck around for the pre race meeting to get all our last minute instructions. We had a GREAT dinner at Re Bar in downtown Victoria and then settled in for the night to try and get some sleep.
On Sunday morning I actually woke up feeling rested (which I was surprised about because of the crazy work week I had). We got to the race start nice and early and got body marked and chipped and I even made it to the bathroom before the line ups got to long!
The race start was a little hectic. We all started in waist deep water, but with 600 people all starting together, it was hard to tell where all the fast swimmers were. So, I just started out in the middle of the pack and hoped that I would find someone my speed to swim with. Turns out, I didn't. Out of 600 people, I didn't find a single person to swim with and swam the whole thing by myself. I still managed to have a pretty good swim and came out of the water in 25:02, the fastest woman! I had a solid transition and was off on the bike. I had a great first lap on the bike and even managed to stay in my aerobars for the majority of the ride. Unfortunately, my lack of training with the actual aerobars started to hit me on lap 2 when my legs completed tightened up and started cramping (not to mention it started raining and I got a little wimpy going around tight corners). I had to back off the pace quite a bit and finished the bike course in 2:54. When I came into T2 my feet were frozen. I racked my bike, put on my running shoes and headed out for the run. It took a good 3-4 km before my feet warmed up and I felt like I was running normally. I settled into a good solid run pace and managed to find a few people running my speed. Going into the race I was most worried about the run because I hadn't done anything longer than an hour run in months... stupid shin splints. Going into the 2nd run lap, I still felt surprisingly strong and picked up the pace a little and finished in a strong (for me!) 1:42. and 5:04:40 for the day!
Mark was there at the finish line to cheer me on along with the rest of the NSTC, including Nick who blew by my on the bike to finish 30 minutes before me. Allison also had a great first half and finish just behind me in 5:13. In fact, Allison and I even managed to make it to the podium with a 2nd and 3rd place in our age group!
All in all it was a fun race in a beautiful location. Mark was great coach and managed to get me much faster on the bike (although I still have a long way to go!). Even better, Mark is fabulous husband for putting up with all my training and supporting me all along the way. Now I have to decide what comes next!
Pictures of the race to come....
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
As for a race strategy for next weekend... swim hard, bike hard and try and survive the run. I have nothing to lose and this will surely be a good learning experience. More than anything I am out there to have fun. We have a big group of people racing from the North Shore Tri Club, so it will be fun and encouraging to see lots of familiar faces.
Oh yeah... I also bought a wetsuit on the weekend. I haven't actually tried it out yet, but I hope to do some open water swimming this weekend.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Me - with a few cuts and bruises after the Saturday ride.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
- Mark and I bought our first home together after moving to Vancouver - in the fabulous Lower Lonsdale area - 3 blocks from the Pacific Ocean and 10 mins to the local mountains - it doesn't get any better than this!
- We both got settled in the West Coast - Mark started his own business which is doing great and I started working for Starbucks in their Retail Management Training program.
- We took up a bunch of new sports: cycling for me, swimming for Mark, skate skiing for me, running for Mark, and lots of hiking and exploring the West Coast for both of us.
- We got MARRIED!!! By far the most wonderful day of my entire life - to have all our friends and family together in one place!
We both have a busy summer up ahead with my brothers wedding in early May, lots of new work projects for Mark and my first Half Ironman in June!