ironamy

Tales of triathlon, travel, and trails

Training update and what’s wrong with my back?!

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The weekend after Vineman I flew home to Kelowna, because I haven’t been home for a while and because WestJet now charges only $25 each way for a bike! Big ups to WestJet for that!

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Flying into Kelowna. WestJet is the only way to fly! (My brother is a pilot at WJ 🙂

Growing up in Kelowna I always wanted to do the Across the Lake Swim, but I think the biggest barrier and the reason I never did it was because they used to require each swimmer to have their own kayak/canoe escort across the lake. So basically logistics prevented me from ever doing the swim. Now, the event has become so big (1200 swimmers this year!) that personal escorts are not required but you can still have one if you desire. Since I’ve been doing Ironman I haven’t lived at home and the weekend of the swim has never worked out for me. Until now!

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I had a really fun time with the swim. It is billed as a 2.1km swim but my garmin clocked me at under 2km. Who knows. It was a beautiful day and there was no crazy lake current like they had last year. I think I picked a great line to swim and actually swam in a straight line (shocker). For some reason, almost everyone else was off to the right, closer to the bridge, and then had to swing around to the finish. The finish was great, just like Ironman. I think pretty much all of Kelowna was down in City Park to see the swimmers finish! It was a great event, awesome swag – a swim bag, towel, and swim cap!, and I will definitely be doing it again!

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Looking back on where I swam from

That evening I ran 20km which went quite well despite the heat. I had to wait for the sun to be setting because I can’t tolerate training in 38C heat!

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Beautiful sunset from downtown Kelowna

The next morning my mom and I drove to Penticton so I could get out on the Ironman Canada course on my bike. It was brutally hot and I wasn’t feeling great. As I was riding up Richter Pass I looked at my average power, which including Richter Pass, was 108. Wow. That’s bad. Up to that point I wasn’t sure if I was just being soft but that number really showed me it wasn’t just in my head! I descended Richter, which felt like having a hot hair dryer blowing in my face, and luckily my mom was with me for SAG support so I jumped in the car and we headed home to enjoy the relief of air conditioning! I think my poor performance that day was a combination of having raced at Vineman the week before and the heat. Again, it was 38C and that is just too hot!

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Getting started on the (old) IMC course, in my wicked bright Betty Nytro kit

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I used to laugh at my mom when she said her ideal temperature is 25C. I used to LOVE the heat. But now something has changed and 25C actually IS the ideal temperature!

Monday was a swim at Gyro Beach on the Manteo Mile course. It was awesome! I love fresh water, I love open water swimming, and I miss home! If only Kelowna wasn’t already so jammed up with dentists!

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Too hot for a wetsuit!

Goofing off with the gopro

Goofing off with the gopro

That week back in Calgary was full of afternoon storms which made for beautiful photos but Rob and I got caught in a fierce storm, just about 5km from home, but man was it brutal. I have never been so drenched on my bike before, soaked right to the bone!

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Looks like a spaceship. This storm didn’t hit us thankfully, because it was twisting.

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It took almost 2 hours of this storm stalking us to catch up and when it did, we got absolutely drenched.

A couple weeks prior my Betty Designs teammate and fellow dentist Mel, asked me if I would be the runner for her team in Calgary 70.3. Without hesitation I said yes! since I needed to do a long run that day anyway (longer than 21.1km but that’s besides the point). Our team also included Quinn who is also a Betty fan so naturally we were Team Betty. I’ve never done Calgary 70.3 before, I’m not interested. I can ride those roads any day I want so it’s not exciting to me. I like to be excited when I race. Also, I hate running around the Glenmore Reservoir. I don’t know why I agreed to run so quickly! I’ve jsut never had a good run around there and I find it boring, but that’s just me. Lots of Calgarians love the reservoir, I am not one of them. I do wish we could swim in it though!

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Generally hating life running around (or rather, 3 out and backs of) Glenmore reservoir

It was interesting waiting in T2, not really knowing when Mel off the bike would show up. I still get confused when I do open running races because I have nothing to set up. I always feel like I’m missing something. Quinn had a tough swim because of some confusing buoys and course markings in the lake and Mel had a great bike. It was weird to be running “fast” because I was fresh and passing people doing the race on their own. I felt bad, like I wanted to tell everyone “don’t worry, I’m just in the relay!” I started off around 5min/km pace. I have lost all my speed I had at CIM and all I could think of during this run was how the hell did I run 42km at this pace?? I was good until about 12km when the wheels started to come off. At about 17km you’ve just run up a substantial hill from the water and they make you run past the finish line to and out and back. The third out and back on this course.  Did I mention I hate running around the reservoir? It was pure torture. I don’t remember a half marathon being this much torture ever. It’s true I haven’t been training for speed since CIM but I’m really disappointed I’ve lost it all so I was was not happy with that run. Oh well. The beer gardens and race beer mugs helped ease the pain a bit!

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Team Betty at the finish! Next time Quinn has to wear her wetsuit, cap, and googles and Mel has to wear her cycling shoes and helmet

Then we stalked pro Magali Tisseyre since Betty makes her awesome tri kit this year so we could have a photo. Unfortunately she ended up being disqualified from her race win because of the aforementioned confusion in the swim.

With Magali and her awesome blue version of our team kits

I had a couple more hard rides, including one with soon-to-be pro (I’m sure of it) Emma who completely smashed me for 100km between Banff and Lake Louise. It was full gas for me just to hang on her wheel. But, I did it, surprised the hell out of myself, and was tired for 2 days after!

Hanging on for dear life

I am really looking forward to Mont Tremblant, largely just for it to be done! I am not planning on doing a full IM next year, I need a break from the long stuff. Turns out I didn’t have patience for 100 mile rides this year, so I just didn’t do them. I’ll let you know how that turns out after Tremblant!

Also, my back needs a break. The butt and hamstring issue I’ve described before, that prevents me from straightening my leg, has been diagnosed as a “back sprain” and disc bulge with sciatic nerve involvement, and it’s this nerve involvement that causes the pain in my butt and down my leg. My physio is very positive and expects a full recovery, which doesn’t involve complete rest (because exercise makes it feel better) but likely IM/ultra training is not helping. I am really looking forward to having an actual off-season (I haven’t had one for 3 years) in which I’m planning to hit the gym, yoga, and maybe barre or kettlebell classes to strengthen my weakened body.  I’m glad to have a diagnosis finally so I can work towards full rehabilitation. The thing that bothers it the most and that I’m most worried about is sitting on the plane to Montreal. Prolonged sitting (like over 30min) can be really, really uncomfortable and it’s about a 4hr flight to Montreal. Robaxacet and pain medication might be my best friend! But now, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and some poutine waiting for me (hopefully) at the finish line in Tremblant!

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Alberta canola fields make for beautiful photos in bright Betty gear!

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