Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What's Next?

After taking one full season off of structured training and racing, I was itching to get back into a steady routine and take a second try at Ironman. All I needed was to find some solid training buddies to keep me honest and push me throughout the year. Luckily I had two eager volunteers who jumped on board and we all signed up for Ironman Coeur d'Alene.

Once again, Mark agreed to set us up with a solid training plan and off we went. Diane is a first time Ironwoman who is an awesome cyclist and one of the toughest girls I know. She is always up for anything and keeps us entertained on an daily basis. For Steph and I, this will be our 2nd go at the Ironman distance, but our first time racing together. Steph and I have trained together for the past couple of years and you won't find a harder worker or a more enthusiastic training partner.

Who wouldn't want to try with these chicks?!
(Diane, Steph and I - preride coffee at Bean Around the World)
 We have been training consistently for the past 8 weeks and so far everything is going great. We have been focusing on getting strong and fit, without too much intensity at this point of the season. I am still in the process of confirming my race schedule up until IMCdA, but I think it will look something like this:
  • November 20 - Fall Classic 10k, Vancouver - 42:05 (2nd in AG)
  • December 26-31 - Training Camp, Vancouver
  • February 12 - First Half Marathon, Vancouver
  • March - Training Camp and Olympic distance race - TBC
  • May 27 - Shawnigan Lake Half Iron, Victoria
  • June 24 - Ironman Coeur d'Alene
Stay turned for more updates for from Team SDS (Steph, Diane and Susie)!

Friday, September 2, 2011

What Happened to the Summer?????

As I am sitting at my office on Friday afternoon - before the long weekend - it occurred to me that summer is quickly coming to an end.

My big plans for training and racing this summer got wildly sidetracked with an insanely busy working schedule. Before I knew, the summer was over and school officially starts on Monday - yikes!

Although I didn't end doing as many adventures as I had originally planned, I did squeeze in some fun into my busy summer. To keep things short, here is an outline of the summer.

1. Oliver Half Iron - June
Diane and I had a fun weekend with Mark as our driver, coach and mechanic extraordinaire! I had a decent race considering the amount of training under my belt. I had a good swim, a great bike and a terrible run. I am most please with my bike as I managed not to get passed my any girls and was in 3rd overall - until the run .... we won't bother talking about the rest of the race :)

2. Trip to Toronto - June
I took a couple of days off of work to jet over to Toronto to visit my family and to cheer on Mark's team at Cycling Nationals. I had a great, short visit with everyone and enjoyed cheering on Team H&R BLOCK.

3. Penticton "Work" Trip - July
I had the chance to head up to Penticton for a Whitecaps Women's game in July which was conveniently the same weekend as the Axle Merckx Gran Fondo. Once I got through with the work obligation, I managed to squeeze in a little training and a really fun ride.

4. Whistler Weekend - August
Mark and I managed to get away after a crazy summer for a few days up in Whistler. We had a relaxing time and enjoyed the sunny weather with some hiking, SUPing and downhill mountain biking. It was the perfect way to celebrate our 3 year wedding anniversary.

5. Thetis Island - August
We had a wonderful mini trip to Thetis Island to celebrate Adam & Sally's wedding weekend. We had a fun trip over on the float plane, followed by lots of swimming, running, bocci tournaments and wine! It was wonderful to be a part of their big day - congrats!

Here's to the fall and more adventures to come.....

Monday, April 18, 2011

April Fools Half Marathon and Sun Run Race Reports

I started the 2011 season off with two solid runs. Although road races aren't my favorite thing to do, I certainly recognize the importance of getting outside my comfort zone to improve my run.

Fools Half Marathon

This was my second year racing the Fools Half Marathon on the Sunshine Coast. Similar to last year, the weekend started off with a long ride on Saturday morning in Vancouver before hopping on the ferry to spend the night in Gibson's before the race. I travelled over with a big crew from the NSTC and had a wonderful prerace dinner and relaxing evening as we cheered on the Whitecaps and Canucks. Race morning was very relaxing, especially with a 9am start. I did a short warm up jog and lined myself up in the middle of the pack just before the gun went off. I started off much more conservatively than last year and spent the first few miles chatting with Scott and Dave as we settled into a steady pace. Scott and I were running really well together until the 15km mark when Scott picked up the pace. Unfortunately I couldn't stay with him but was able to hold my pace for the last 6km into the finish. I had a solid finishing time of 1:32:57 which was 5 minutes faster than last year and just off my PB. All the NSTC group had a great race and we were rewarded by a wonderful post race lunch at the Lyne's before heading back to North Van.

Sun Run

Yesterday I ran the Sun Run for the 2nd time since moving to Vancouver. The Sun Run is a really great race with 50,000 runners of all ages and abilities. The start line is unbelievable when you can look back and see just how many people have shown up to participate!

Nick and I made our way to the start nice and early and lined up in the yellow (2nd) corral. As I haven't raced a 10k in years, I didn't have a qualifying time to start in the seeded area. I wasn't sure what to expect as I rode a hard 115km ride on Saturday and I didn't know what my legs would feel like when I tried to push the pace. It was pretty crowded when the gun went off and I spent lots of time weaving in and out between people. I settled into a 6:35/mile pace and tried to maintain that while dodging people throughout the course. In fact, I must have done quite a bit of weaving as my Garmin showed I ran 6.4miles, instead of 6.2! I was able to maintain the pace I started with and finished in 41:36 which was good enough to be in the top 100 female finishers out of 21,632!

Now if only I could learn to run that fast off the bike.....

Monday, April 11, 2011

2011 Season

It took me a while to recover from a long season last year. For the first time since collegiate swimming, I was back into a regular training/competition routine. I had a wonderful season and could not have asked for a better outcome. That being said - training full time and working full time took it's toll on my body and I needed a good off season break to recover.

I took most of November/December off and slowly started getting back into shape in January. Without Ironman Canada looming at the end of the summer, I was able to start back slowly and do some "other" activities this winter that didn't involve swimming, biking or running.

I have had a little trouble committing to a race schedule for this summer. Part of me wants to try and qualify for IMC - and why not, I had such a great race last year? The other side of me realizes that realistically I won't have the time I did last summer to dedicate to improve my performance. I have been going back and forth for quite some times and have come up with some sort of a race plan for this summer.

April 3 - April Fools Half Marathon
April 17 - Sun Run with the Whitecaps!
May 6-8 - North Shore Tri Club Training Weekend, Penticton
May 8 - Blossom 10 miler (maybe)
June 5 - Oliver Half Iron
July 3 - Vancouver Half Iron (maybe)
July 10 - Desert Half Iron
August 14 - Lake Stevens 70.3 (maybe)
October16 - Nike Women's Marathon (hopefully!)

There are a few "maybes" and a few "unknowns" but I for the most part, I think this will be a fun summer of "shorter" races!