Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Smiths Falls Duathlon: In The Books!

Amy of Amy's Quest reminded me today that I really need to get on with blogging about my Duathlon.  I'd love to tell you that I was waiting on something, but I really wasn't.  I'm trying to heavily remind myself that it was the first of many and the only thing that matters is that I crossed the finish line.

Part of my Fit for What? page, when I finally get around to it, will mention the fact that the reason I turned the healthy eats and exercise engines on overdrive for the last 2 months was the fact that I had decided to do the Smiths Falls Classic Duathlon.   I knew I couldn't last 33k of biking and running if I wasn't at least 90% on my diet and exercise.  Though the goal was 100%.  I also knew that while I do like running, I needed a new goal to stir things up, and to be honest, the idea of a half marathon sounded more tortuous than fun.  So I choose to do the hometown duathlon.

On Friday night, Gregers and I loaded up the Mazerbatty and set off for Smiths Falls.  My nerves were starting to kick in, but the long drive (I drove) kept my mind off things.  And to be honest, I was just scared the bikes were going to fly off on the 401.  Luckily, Greg distracted me just past Kingston with a lot of cursing in the passenger seat at 8:50pm.  Someone forgot his runner's in Toronto.  Whoops.

Luckily the race was on Sunday, so Saturday morning we trucked into Ottawa to pick up some new runners.  Unfortunately for my wallet, Running Room Merivale had these beauts in stock and I couldn't walk away from them.  I've been wearing Saucony Hurricanes for almost 8 years, and I can't pass up a pair that's my favourite colour!

Saturday, I spent some time out on my parents' deck with a bottle of water and a book, trying to get my nerves to settle.  I was jumpy and jittery.  Not only was I doing something new, but I was doing something new in my hometown.  I couldn't hide.  I couldn't fail.  My parent's were going to be able to watch me for the first time, and who knew who else I would run into?

I didn't sleep well the night before.  Saturday afternoon my dad had driven us the bike route so Greg could get a peek at the course, and I could figure out where the hills would be.  Unfortunately, that made me have nightmares about crashing down hills and not being able to get up others.

Soon enough, 7am came and it was time for us to get up, eat, and head over to Lower Reach Park.  I have to say, this was the first race that minimal morning of travel was involved, and I loved it.  It was great to know I had lots of time to compose and not be stuck driving, or bussing, or cabbing.

Tying up my shoes, I picked a spot to rack my bike, spread out my extra water and food, and wait.  Unfortunately, being that early meant that we had to wait about 45 minutes before the start.  Which was probably a good thing since it felt like every 10 min I had to pee.  Because it was such a small course, the line up for the bathroom was only 10 people and I was able to quickly get in and out when I needed to.


I knew the first 2.2k was going to be all mental.  I'm catching up on being a terrible runner over the last 2 years, and while my endurance is improving, my speed is only slowly catching up.  The problem with small races is that you can't hide.  If you're as slow as me, you'll probably be the last in the pack.  I started off running fast then I have in a long while, way too fast, and it was HOT.  I kept it up for the first km, and realized I needed to settle in before I destroyed my legs for the bike.  In doing so, I watched the person in front of me slowly get farther away, and it was Greg and I left at the back.  At this point, I'm almost ashamed to say the kids running the Wylie Run beat us.  That said, we did 2.2k in 14ish minutes, which beats what I had been training at by close to 3 minutes.
I slowed down, and walked into the transition area, grabbed a swig of water, and hoped on Minty.

 Just a couple k in, I passed by where I spent most of my summers, Old Slys Lockstation.  There were my parents, beaming, and the staff, including my old boss, Jack.  Inside jokes abound when you spend a lot of hot and sweaty hours working a manual lockstation, and as I passed I screamed "There's not I in Slys" with a huge grin on my face.  Not long after, Greg pronounced his need for a beer.

With that, I rounded onto the highway and started the worst part of the bike.  It was hot.  It was all pavement.  There was no shade in sight.  Just when I started to doubt myself on the bike, my parent's neighbours drove by honking and yelling.  Maybe doing a hometown race wasn't so bad.

Things got a bit tense as I crossed the Kilmarnock bridge and stared down the hill that I knew was going to be a breaking point, and cursed myself up it.  I should also mention that a few kilometers prior to this hill, the staggered Tri participants were starting to pass us, and my confidence was dipping.  Just a few more kilometres to the other highway I told myself, and that the last of the horrible hills were over.

At about the same spot, both Greg and I got into some trouble.  My right hip flexor seized and I started praying I could make it through the bike.  Luckily, changing my form helped out and I was okay.  Greg was not.  His calf started to spasm but he was a trooper and kept biking, and I didn't know til we hit the t-zone.

 As I climbed off Minty, my legs were jello.  I knew that I had to fight through it and just go for it.  I looked back and realized Greg was struggling, and for the first few 100 metres we tried to run.  Luckily for me I was staying apparently VERY safe, and totally forgot to take my helmet off, whoops!  I threw it on the ground and kept going.  But it wasn't looking good for Greg, every time he ran, his leg worsened.  I decided that we were in this together, and the two of us would walk it out if it took an hour and the finish line was already down.  Walk we did.

Just past 3.5k, we rounded a corner to again see my parents.  We may have been walking but they didn't care.  They were just happy to see me.  Some sweaty hugs later and we were off walking.

 Greg let me know that if I felt like I could run, to just do it, so I started counting pylons and running 4 walking 4.

I was about to start walking again when I realized that the photographer was just up ahead so I willed my legs to keep moving.  Just after, I started thinking about walking AGAIN, only to see a high school teacher cheering at the sidelines.  I was going to do this.  I was going to finish.  And I was going to do it again one day. 

Hot and sweaty, I didn't even want the food.  All I wanted was water, and a cold shower. 


And maybe a beer.  Or two.

Am I going to do it again?  Heck yes!  And it looks like Greg and I will have company as Amy has decided to join the Duathlon crew and hit up the Ottawa Fall Colours course!  I can't wait!  And I'm determined to do better.  The course is slightly shorter 2.8/16.2/3.1 but apparenly hillier.

Luckily, I've got a few months to plan! 

(Also, Amy, if you've made it this far, I'm planning on getting out another post soonish with what I'd do differently ;))

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Taper Week

Today started taper week and boy am I scared.

At least with running, I kind of know.  You get close to the 10k mark before you race, maybe you even go past it, but this time, I'm going in blind. 

I've been really close in training to completing the whole Du distance but where I have to bike (biking the streets in Toronto scares me) doesn't allow for me to go as fast as I need to.  So far I can keep about 2:30min/km which should put me at a decent bike time.  My second run is what scares me.  I have no idea how I'm going to do it.   And really, how I'm not going to get frustrated when I'm in the back of the pack.

Oh well, the only thing I can do this week is get my run/bikes in, breathe, and eat as clean as I can.

Let's do this kids.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

The Bright Side

Negative self-talk has been rampant in my head over the last 26 years.  To be honest, the way it can cripple me is down right scary sometimes.  I can spend a day, a week, a month, beating myself up for how I look and what I have or haven't done.

Today is a 'fat' day.  I feel bloated and gross and the voice in the back of my head is telling me that I'm not going to be able to do this.  That my failed run this morning means I won't be able to finish the duathlon. 

This time though, I'm not going to let those thoughts take over.  This time I'm going to beat them down with positivity.  I'm going to tell myself that I can do this.  That it's now or never, really.  Time to kick my own ass and get in shape.

Also, these pictures were taken 5 days apart... I actually think I see change!  Whoa!

Time to keep it up and just Du it.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Smiths Falls Duathlon

Once again I've left it too long between blog posts.  But bear with me, I'm getting used to getting this into my routine again.

One of the major reasons that I started this journey again was my bike.  Easter weekend, I spent some dough and bought my first 'good' bike.  That said, it's on the cheap range, and still only a hybrid, but I love her.  
She needs a name by the way.  Anythingggg?

And from there, I made a tweet about if I could do my hometown sprint Du (2k run, 26k bike, 5k run) on June 24.  A few people said yes! of course!  You're about to run a 10k and you just rode 26k.  You can do this.

So G and I signed ourselves up and I set out to find my training groove.  I also made the decision after the 10k to eat like an athlete.  I wanted to lose weight, of course, but what I really wanted was to make sure I was in good condition for this Duathlon.  I couldn't do it chugging beers on a Saturday night and training on Sunday morning.  

Right now my brain is divided.  I'm so excited to do this Duathlon and so excited to finally have my parents see me complete a race.  I'm also scared s**tless because I'm not sure I'm going to be able to do this as fast as I should be.  With two weeks to go the doubt is finally sinking in.  

I'm going to do this and I will succeed.

And oh yeah, kinda changed out my hybrid tires for road bike ones today.  Anything to finish.


Monday, 4 June 2012

Bad Runs Happen

After being all sunshine and roses on my opening blog post, of course my next run had to suck.  It was a frustrating run for sure.  But every run up until the Sportinglife 10k felt like a bad one.  My legs were lead.  Nothing wanted to move, let alone move faster.  The 175lbs was weighing on me the entire time.  
I've had some really good runs since finishing Sportinglife, including a short 20min run last week that saw my pace time finally slip into my 'normal time' even if it was for only a few minutes.

Today could have defeated everything I've been working towards.  Normally it would.  Normally, I would want to come home and kick something for the terrible job.  This time though, I shrugged my shoulders and reminded myself that bad runs happen.
6k in 57min?  Not cool.
I can tell you exactly what went wrong.  I had too much dairy between last night's froyo and this morning's overnight oats (by the way, making them with non-steel cut oats, YUCK) and well... you can imagine where this is going.  It didn't feel good off the bat.  As I was looping back I could feel the cramp coming on and then.... well I needed a bathroom.  Knowing there was one just 3-5 minutes away running I stuck to my guns.  I got there and it was locked.  And that's where my ambition ended.  I ran/walked the rest of way home, shrugged my shoulders and called it today.

Tomorrow will be a glorious rest day and then a 2 hour bike ride the next.  But since this is happenning:

It may have to include a 1 hour warm up to the 1 hour spin class at my gym. 

Sunday, 3 June 2012

It's Finally Happening

So who am I?  Why a blog?  And why now? 

Let's start with who.  I'm a 26 year old girl (yes girl, no way I'm a woman yet) living in the big city.  It's been a crazy journey for me.  Living all over the 401 and trying to figure out who the heck I am. 

I was never a 'normal weight'.  I was never active.  I spent up until my second year of university hating my body.  I was fat.  I was uncomfortable.  I didn't understand how to lose weight.  I had tried to do Weight Watchers in high school and obsessively tried to eat under my points.  My lunch was usually a diet coke.  That sounds healthy, doesn't it?

Not even at my biggest, but probably my most awkward.  Look at that hair!
In between my first and second year of uni, something pretty bad happened and I was stuck hobbling to school.  Hating my body even more.  Do you know how embarrassing it is to end up in emerge, with a gaping hole in your leg, and wonder how the fuck they're going to get your too tight uniform shorts off you?  Not cool.  I spent the first four months of that year recovering.  On January 1, 2005, I decided enough was enough.   So I lost 70lbs.  I went from edging on 200lbs, to around 125.  I thought I did it the healthy way.  I definitely didn't.  I wasn't fueling my body right.  I wasn't eating enough. 
Who knows what I'm going on about here.

And so, like everyone that does it wrong.  I gained it back.  Well, 50lbs of it.  Yes, 50.  God that number hurts.  

Maybe this didn't help?

So why a blog?  And why now?  

I've spent the last year battling the scale.  I've gone up and down, but mainly up.  I didn't get it.  I still don't.  But my blood work came back clean, so it's up to me to do this.

This year has been a rough one.  I moved from Ottawa to Toronto.  The small town girl ended up in the big smoke.  What?  Yeah.  I said that would never happen but it did.  I had a lot of job issues.  This place is weird.  And my head wasn't in the game.  My stress level was/is through the roof.  And the scale went up. 

I read a lot of blogs.  I stalk others blog rolls (ahem, Amy) and read the new posts.  So yeah, that's a reason to have a blog of my own.  I debated whether I needed to step away from them.  If they were bringing my OCD out and my dislike for my body.  And then I decided I should join them.  Make myself accountable.

I've lost 4lbs in a week and a half. 

What changed?  My attitude. 

Something clicked Victoria Day weekend.

I had a duathlon staring me in the face. 

And I knew that the only way I'd get through it happily would be to be as healthy as possible going into it.  So I started to fuel myself.  And the booze ban started.  No more drinking until June 24 (or at least no more getting drunk).

 It's been amazing.  I can run again.  I've trained over 2 hours in one day.

So that's my story.  I'm sure they'll be some bumps along the way, but this time, this time it's for keeps.