Wednesday, March 31, 2010

exciting stuff!

so, it is almost tomorrow, and I am still awake.

I have a lecture in the morn, at 8:30, and I am still working on the slides. ooooops. Apparently, I still have been tired. but, at least I have a wide open afternoon, that can allow me to workout in the afternoon, and evening, instead of the morning and afternoon.

I had a great meeting tonight with my coach, after the team "webinar." kinda crazy to think that there was 20 other people "in attendance." Anyway, we talked about testing, and bike commuting, and swimming, and run form, and race schedule and nursing and nutrition.

right. and race schedule.
so, here is what we have come up with :) kinda exciting to have this a bit more solidly planned!!!! woohoo!

18 April: Montreal scotiabank ½ marathon

May 10th: chambly duathlon

June 6th: Mooseman70.3

June 19th : mayor’s 1/2 marathon.

July 11th: graham Beasley olympic Tri (Carleton place, ottawa)

August 8th: Ste-Agathe Olympic Tri

September 4th: Canadian 1/2 iron, Ottawa

"Courage is not a freedom from fear; it is being afraid and going on. Once you have looked fear in the face and have overcome it, you can do it again and again."

Sunday, March 28, 2010

5km race, and dancing in spandex!

so, what a weekend.

it was really my first weekend in a long time (at least all of march!) where I have not spent the entire time stressing out about school work. What a relief. I was able to spend time with friends, I was able to laugh. I was able to race. I was able to go to palm sunday service. i was able to not think about school for a while (right now, though, I am back at it.)
Let's talk a little about what was going on.

Friday night started with not one, but 2 birthday parties.

first it was louis-andre, at Hurley's pub. Louis, and Steph are two of the UdM rowers. And they are fantastic, and It was sooo enjoyable to have see them, since I haven't been able to coach for the last month.

Second, it was my favourite man nurse, Will. Will takes fantastic photographs, but, I am not so sure I look great in this. However, here we are. Happy birthday Will. I am glad you are in my life!

Then came saturday. All I did on saturday was sleep in until 11:30 (what are you expecting after two birthday parties?!!?), catch up on a bit of house cleaning, ride my bike for 2 hours while watching rent, and then went to the bell centre (where the Canadian's play.) Me, leanna, and another friend, Ben, were going to stand there and raise money for our team in Training endevours. but, we got there, and lo-and-behold, there were cute hockey playing children raising money as well. so, we knew that we would be useless there. So, we made out way downtown, and stood on corners, clad in spandex, our TNT shirts, and neon headbands, and jars. We would yell things like "i'm not just standing here in spandex for nothing. Donate to cancer." and ben: "do you love life? do you love money? then donate!" "Nous courons les demi-marathon pour la societe de leucemie et lymphome. Aidez-nous!!!" it was hilarious. and, literally, i was bouncing up and down so much, and running in place, and whooping, and yelling for 2 hours straight.

and, we made 150$ each (300$ in total). so, not too shabby. Look out for us on the streets of Montreal. Cause we will be there! (hopefully take some pictures next time!!!)

And, finally: today!
I got to run a 5km race! :) yay! it has been ages since I ran the last time. It was wayyyyy out yonder, in lasalle. but, it was a fairly big race. Which, is always fun, and a super flat (but windy!) course. We tested nutrition for a longer race, which was kinda fun. Meaning, that I got to eat a nice pancake breakfast on saturday. Had some pasta on saturday night. And, it has been ages since I have eaten pasta... I used to love it!! now... just meh. but pancakes?! still love!

so, woke up this morning, not really feeling 100%, and feeling like I was going to be late, so the stress was a unnerving. But, got there, and it was coooold out. I was worried that I would be underdressed on my upper body, but I was okay. After the warm up, i was okay. SO, get going on the race, and we go 3 times around a few blocks. one half of each loop into a head wind, one half feeling like no wind. So, every time I turned that corner, i planted myself behind another girl to draft. Kinda cheating. Kinda wise. But, i started off, and I wanted to hit somewhere between 4:30-4:45/km. knowing that 4:30/km is fast for me. quite fast.

I started off, and told myself to chill out a bit. quick cadence, remember that a goal was pacing. first mile, second mile, and 3rd being within 5 seconds on either side of each other. drop the hammer with about 1/2 mile to go. and, i felt pretty rock on. i think it is a personal best, but not 100% sure.

and, for a 5km, that is pretty much as much of a report as i have to offer.

so, here are the stats.
chip time: 23:07.0
overall time: 23:12.3
avg pace: 4:39.0
age group (women 20-29): 11/37
overall women: 47/182.
first lap (1.6km... 1mile ish): 7:41
second lap (1.6km again): 7:38
3rd lap (1.8km): 7:55.

some shots from the run.

#1: when i sucked a lemon, then went to run.

#2: when the girl beside me almost had a physical breakdown because she was breathing too hard.

#3: when i got annoyed at my garmin for not counting laps. and when i realized that I am twice the size of both of the other runners beside me. oh right. I am 6 ft tall. you, however look about 4ft tall.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

hill bounds

so, i really like this HR graph. you can clearly see when I start running up that hill. yup. legs are feeling it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Deadlines looming

SO, this morning, I was out for an endurance run. In the rain, and just above freezing. It was one of those runs where you think "if it is like this on race day, i will be trained. repeat to self. if it is like this on race day, I will be prepared. oh.... what the hell! it is not going to be like this on race day! what am I doing out here?" it was dark. cold. my feet were wet. and, the only thing that seemingly got me through it was the fact that misery loves company. there were other runners out this morning.

at least I am not the only crazy one.

it brought great comfort to see others out there, doing the things that we love to do. to have the chance to do the things we love to do.

I have been a little stressed out, and very tired in the last days. I had no weekend. I have papers to write, and lectures to give, and labs to teach, and deadlines to achieve. right. that deadline.

when I run, I think. Unlike when I am on the bike, or when I am swimming. Running, despite it being the hardest of the three disciplines in triathlon for me, running is where I get my best thinking done. Sometimes I think about school. sometimes I think about faith. Sometimes I think about racing.

but, this morning, I thought about cancer. I thought about the stress that I am feeling, because of the fundraising deadline that is upcoming. On april 9th, I have to have a "Recommitment" and at least 25% of my funds raised for Team in Training. I am currently at 12%. the gifts that people have given, are going to change lives.

but, what I thought about, is that the stress that I am experiencing right now is nothing. NOTHING. compared to the stress that families of people with blood cancer experience. I am dealing with raising money. They are dealing with their lives, and relationships, and living not knowing definite outcomes. I am stressed for a few months. They are stressed for years. for a lifetime.
and, when I think of it like that, it really gives perspective.

TODAY. right now, give a gift. Partner with the Leukemia and Lymphoma society (and myself) to help change lives. Your donation goes far. You are giving life and research and hope.

Click here to sponsor me on Team In Training.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

feeling the changes

So, at about this time, last week, when I got my training schedule, I looked and got excited. Since I started working with Mary, i started with a nice easy 5-6 hrs a week. it then jumped to about 9, and then for two weeks, I have had 12 hr training weeks planned. The first one, I was a sick dog. so, it was hit and miss... this week, though... nailed it.

some of the changes that have taken place:
  • last saturday I did my first brick workout. 2hrs bike. 30 min run. and, despite the fact that it was raining ice, the whole workout felt amazing. totally one of those "let's get psyched!" workouts.
  • this week, I discovered a 2.50$ yoga class at mcgill, that actually fits into my schedule. and, then I got the whole "oh yeah! go for yoga! it counts as functional training!" And, it reminded me of how much "progressive overload" is good for you. The whole thing about moving your body in new ways, is that it places a stress on it, and it has to accommodate. Yoga stressed my body. I felt it on saturday. I still feel it today. but it feels sooooo good.
  • had a great run yesterday morning. things are getting long. and, when things get long, and it feels good, that is showing you that you are getting ready. it also makes you realize that your GI needs to be trained. I was soooo thankful for the Esso at Km 9!

I have been teaching labs for the class that I am a TA for. And, despite the extra time, and a little bit of extra stress that this places on my life.... it is so much fun. I love teaching students. I love learning; and, as you teach, you learn. the information that you are getting from the students is information that may be new, or may be old, but you haven't thought about it for a long time.

I have known for a long time that I like teaching. I like it, because it challenges people. I like it because you can interact with people. i like it because it expands peoples views. i like it, because knowledge is power. And, I guess what is really cool about this whole experience is that it makes me want to do more. It confirms the thought that I do want to have a portion of my career to incorporate teaching. nurse educator? clinical practice? rural-clinic starter? african lady? checks after all of those. those are things that i would like. Those are things that I would love.

My last Ped's rotation was on friday. And, I am relieved, but I am also really sad about the whole thing. This TB clinic ped's rotation has been the best rotation that I have had so far at school. a little excerpt from my recent "Reflective journal..."

Thursday, March 18, 2010

count down, already!?!?

i would just like to mention...

only 11 weeks and 3 days until 1/2 ironman.... REALLY?!?!?!?!

so exciting!!!!!

I know for some people it might seem that is a long time. but really. with the speed that these days and weeks are going... it is going to be a flash of time.

Here are a few mappy maps!!!! Just so that *you too* can get excited.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

one of those days...

... where you just kinda finish off the day feeling such a smorgasborg of thoughts and emotions. not so much conflict, just enough thoughts to barely keep up with them.
... where at the end of the day, you can barely keep your eyes open.
... where you wonder how it is possible that 16.5 hrs can pass so quickly.
... when you think about people in your life that you wish were around more often, but they are not.
... when you wish that you could just sleep in longer tomorrow, but know that there is so much to do!
... when you write your professor, and ask for a day's extension.
... when you get 10 billion messages in your inbox.
... when you try to figure out what goes wrong, how to make things right, and everything in between.
... when you get a 9.5/10 on a lab report :)
... where the workouts are nailed, and you are excited about where your training is right now.

just one of those days. and, maybe because i am so exhausted right now, but, i guess that it is days like this, where I can remember that *clearly* God has something going on in myl life. because, honestly, if God wasn't keeping me going through all of this, i don't know what is. because certainly, it is not my own ability of keeping sane.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Music Discovery

Recently have discovered Craig Cardiff . Great musician, and great lyrics.

And I met God
On the edge of town
Where the wind meets the stillness
The darkness meets the light
Where the ocean reaches up to the sky
The desert meets the rain
But the earth meets the heavens
I met God

when feeling like crap overpowers the guilt...

that has been the theme this week with my work outs: does the guilt of missing a workout overpower the feeling like crap my body is sensing, or, does the feeling like canned crap overpower the guilt of missing a workout?

I have been sick this week. it started on sunday, and today is the first day that i can actually say "i feel better." Yesterday consisted of a lot of jammie time, a lot of bed time, and some movie watching time. Days like that, does the body good. but, like I said, when the body is sick, every single athlete goes through the questioning of "Am i too sick?? Is missing this workout going to be a benefit, or a loss?" and, there is always the tried and true "is your sickness above or below the shoulders?" line to say a yes or no to a work out. but, I struggled with that a lot this week, because, recently it has seemed like there has been a lack of consistency with my week-to-week programming, in my mind. and, as soon as I am getting to a heavier week, something goes wrong. But, i know it is not quite true. I have been able to get *most* of my workouts this week. Some of them have been easier than others, and at other times i have definitely said "nope, that was a bad decision." like yesterday, in the pool. on the first of 10x100 free recording your times, i was wheezing. i was hacking. i got out.

felt a little defeated. but, i know. i know. if i were not me, i would tell me to rest. feel good now, so that later you can feel great. where the guilt comes, though, is as you get closer and closer to race time. every training period is important. because every training builds on the thing before.

i rarely get sick. and, i hate being sick, when I am. ugh.

in other news,
this week from crazy busy land is done. relatively harm free. my mind these days seems to be running on overdrive. last night, despite the fact that I was tired and feeling ill, i had to take a gravol to get myself calm enough to fall asleep. and, I can only sorta peg my finger on exactly what is going on.

My thoughts are being filled with school, and missing africa, and trying to stay in touch with people, and thinking about what the future does and doesn't look like, and hearing from friends that I haven't heard from in *years* and stressing out about this whole fundraising for team in training thing, and wishing that I had taken an opportunity when it was presented, and hoping that it will present again.

I bought a plane ticket for the may long weekend to go home to vancouver for my old roommate's wedding up in northern BC. Super stoked about that one.

easter is soon. And, i love easter.

racing season is starting soon, and i love racing.

here is to hope because without hope, things become... lonely?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


so, apparently, some sort of bug has taken up residence in my Upper Respiratory tract. at first, I thought strep throat. Now, i just think URT infection. but, either way: not fun.

especially not this week. ugh.

one thing i can say that I know... running makes you hack lots of things up when you are sick. and, despite the coughing not feeling good, it clears things out a bit!!!! :)

can't wait for friday to be here.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

blueberry almond pancakes

so, sometimes i like to eat pancakes. but, since I am trying to stay "in the core" which means no grains outside of a workout window, you have to accomodate how you make your pancakes.

so, try this:
handful of almonds
some flax seeds.
2 eggs.
milk (i used vanilla almond milk this morning)

grind up the almonds and flax seed into a fairly fine powder (my coffee grinder does not serve as coffee grinder all the time, i grind things like this in it all the time!!!). Beat eggs and some milk into a bowl, and add the powder. Add more milk, or water into the mix if you don't like your pancakes thick. Whip it up real well. add some berries in (i used blueberries this morning!)

cook on both sides (slightly above medium heat) until sides are hard. unlike normal pancakes where you will normally have lots of bubbles coming through, there will not be too many here. Just be aware so you don't burn!

top with cinnamon, and enjoy! top with what you like!
I coupled this with a cup of chocolate soy milk this morning, and the meal served as my post long ride breakfast :) YUMMMM!

also, quick not to a friend of mine from Maine, if you happen to be reading! sorry to have had to run off so fast! hit the "contact me" link at the top of this page to shoot me an email!!! it would be great to hear from you again!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

lots of work, small cauldrons, and giant penguins.

Preparing for the busiest week of the semester! friday, in all aspects, was a good day: fantastic day at clinical, followed by a bit of time at the athletic centre for some "functional training" and a swim, where i was sharing a lane with some super fast graduate students, who proceeded to include me in their workout and subsequently kick my ass. good times :) then, since i was ravenous, i went to a friend's to cook myself some dinner: sauteed portobellos with a bit of mozza on top of a veggie paddy, brussel sprouts, a wee piece of trout, and glass of red wine+spending quality time with a friend=fantastic.

but, all in all, the 3 assignments, presentation, mid-term and the start for the lab in the class that i am TA'ing (oh, the joys of graduate school!) that I have next week are keeping me busy today and tomorrow, that is for sure.


had a long run this morning. felt great to be in the sun to start the weekend off.

random point of the week: on my thursday bike ride, I was out by the olympic stadium, and it was strange. first, the montreal olympic cauldron is the smallest cauldron i have ever seen. in addition, there were people dressed like giant penguins. not something you see every day. ha! i am laughing about it right now when i think about it.

stolen from my mum, a photo of her, and my uncle, and me at T.O airport, on way back from bahamas, last weekend. And, on the bottom, her and i at the Nassau airport... i make fun of her for liking taking airport photos. when you travel, you look like crap why would you ever want a photo taken at that point!?!?

Friday, March 5, 2010

first ride outside!

remember what it is like to ride your bike outside?!? cause, I was almost forgetting.

Yesterday, I had the great opportunity to get onto my bike at about 5:30 in the evening, and bomb around town with a new friend. it was soooooo enjoyable, but also sooooooo cold. I mis-interpreted how cold it would be. but. frigid. not quite spring time yet. but, also not quite winter anymore, either.

strange place to be.

but, it was so amazing to ride and feel my bike move, and have the alternating power needs, and having to be aware of traffic, and biking beside someone and having a conversation, and exploring new places in the city that I have never been too.

those are the types of things i love. and those are the types of things that make me long for the summer, when I am able to ride outside all the time.

sigh. i understand what people mean when they say montreal has long winters. and, this is long, even though it has not been a harsh winter. it has been quite mild, and yet... i long for the spring time.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

new look

so, i like this template. a lot. but, it is strange to figure out how to make it work. there are some bits that I don't like. but, what do you think!?!?

Fundraising for Team in training is going slow. Please donate. anything over 10$ gets you a tax-receipt. Please click on the links to the right hand side for both a blog about our training, and for my donation page.

running this morning was on ice.

THis was me, less than a week ago.

I know that the crux of winter is January, and Feburary. However, i want the ice on the trails to melt faster. I want to race sooner. I want to ride my bike outside without the fear of the road salt eating my components into a rusty nasty mess.

sigh. post holiday blues?