Monday, March 30, 2009

Only 5 more months.....

I can't believe how time flies. It seems like it was just yesterday I registered for Ironman.

Overall the training seems to be going okay - or at least I think so. I go back to the pool tonight after a forced rest hopefully it does the trick and my shoulder is fine.
I finally got a call about my MRI appointment for the Shoudler - wait for it - NOVEMBER 4th - yep NOVEMBER 4th! That would be exactly 13months to the day after I was hit! You just have to love public healthcare. I won't even be in the country then I will be in Ireland. I did not cancel the appointment - yet - I have put a call into my lawyer to see what he thinks I should do. I know the owner of the private MRI clinic I just don't want to pay for it and don't think I should have to - I did not jump in front of the car.... I am of two minds - I don't really think the MRI is going to tell me any more than I already know but I understand why my lawyer and doctor want it.

Honestly, some days I get so tired of all the hassles with doctor and physio and chiro appointments. The only time I can go is on my rest day Tuesdays or Saturdays before my workouts or I get up super early and do the workout and then go to my appointment. There are times I am tempted to say you know what settle it - just sign off but then I get in the pool or I go for a ride or run and the pain hits and it reminds me that if I settle then I don't get physio or chiro any more. Ah what are you going to do?

In two weeks I am going to be in my first Cycling race - apprehensive - you betcha. It is a time trial and coach wants me to do it so we can get a benchmark. Should be fun at the very least.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Achoo yeah Spring is here

Not much to report, still feeling terribly lethargic but now I know why it is the darn flowers and blossom - stupid hay fever.

Confirmed it on Saturday while doing a beautiful trail run with the dog up to Cleveland dam in N Vancouver - by the time I got back to the car besides my leg throbbing (more on that later) my eyes were swollen and my nose was like a bloody faucet. Did not get much better on the Sunday ride in Richmond by the time I got home I had a pounding headache and had to admit that Spring fever had officially hit my house. I finally broke down and went and bought some Claritin last night.

On other news did my first official ride up Cypress last week with my cycling group it was great. Going up to the highway from Marine was not too bad - tough but I just put my head down and rode I got to the highway and was like okay at least Cindy is still with me so that felt pretty good since I know Cindy has been training really hard and is much stronger than last year. We got to the highway and she dropped me like a bad habit -something to work on the flats - it is all good that my climbing is coming back but I need to pick it up on the flats....We got to the base and started out together again and I again just put my head down and focused on getting to the first look out. Larry who is one of my coaches, circled round and near the top rode down to us at this time I was in front of Cindy I just did not know how far and then he was pushing her so she passed me SH*T! Then he slowed down to me and started talking and pushing me go - catch her - you are NOT going to let her beat you are you! NOOOOO so I dropped a gear (which I now know means making it harder) and then another and just went for it and I did it with about 20 feet left I passed her and finsihed in front it was AWESOME. On the way back I got dropped by the group again - I just never got on their wheel and then got caught behind a few other riders and that was it. Overall very pleased though - the only problem was that when I got back to the car my leg was throbbing. I did get to my swim that night but the next day I opted out of doing the actual speed workout because it was still bugging me and just ran an 5km easy run.

Leg is still sore and shoulder has been aching since Friday night when I did 2000m straight but physio is working on both and they seem to be getting better - it is just frustrating it just feels like I make 2 steps forward in recovery only to slide back. Well at least the slides backward are not as long and I seem to be able to pull out of them faster but still I just wish they would go away completely.

Trying to enjoy the flowers


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The beauty of team support

Once a coach always a coach

Mondays are the last day of my 6 day training schedule and I look forward to Tuesdays because I know it is a rest day or more appropriately my Physio/chiro day.

Mondays I ride to work and back and then swim in the evening. Last night I was exhausted - I am usually a little tired - mostly because my club meets at 9pm but once I am in the water I am usually fine. Last night I dove in the water and started my lengths and I just felt lethargic, even my arms felt heavy. After the 600m warm-up I still was not feeling it - so I moved over to the other lane so I would not hold up people.

I continued doing my laps, I figured I could work on my form - ever hopeful that I will discover the magic combination that will turn me into a sleek aerodynamic swimming machine. Anyways the beauty of team support - there is a lady who comes out and swims she uses flippers and basically does 50 m and then takes a break and I was in her lane now. I had just finished a 100m and was changing from paddles to pull buoy and overheard her talking with our coach. She was saying that it was impossible for her to do 200m - never going to happen and he was trying to coax her saying that she could and just go for it. She said again she could not and Coach was looking a little frustrated.

Being a running coach I know how frustrating it can be when someone just does not believe. So I looked at her and said of course you can do it. She looked at me and said oh no - I could never do that. I said to her - I know you can do it, coach knows and you know you can- youjust have to believe. I told her your mind is holding you back. She said "believe" and I said yes believe - you are completely capable the only thing holding you back right now is your mind. You are physically more than capable and you just need to believe cause I know you can do it. Really it is only 8 laps - you can do it. Go for it. I then turned and swam off for my next 100 m.

As I was swimming I noticed her leave the wall watched her get the first 50 turn and keep going... then the next 50, I called out to coach and pointed and he nodded and smiled. She kept going until she had done the full 200. When I finished my next set she was taking a breather and was so excited - it was great. She was like THANK YOU - and I said "you are welcome but you did the hard work so congratulations" - I knew she could do it, everyone in the lane told her what a great job she had done. She was so pleased that she went out and did another 200m two more times!

But in the end I won because her excitement helped me to dig deeper and do the workout. I had told her it was a state of mind and that she was totally able to do it and in the end while I still felt lethargic I picked up for the last 20 min and pushed through because of her energy. I told her thanks later that she helped me also get through the workout. So in the end we both helped each other.

Oh and Happy St. Patty's day everyone.

Peace out

Monday, March 9, 2009

So Close....

Yesterday was the UBC Tri and I was in the Olympic. It is the first race I have done since being rear ended by a jeep last October. I was anxious but optimistic.
I had decided that no guts no glory so I was going to go for a PB and not just a PB but I wanted sub 3 hour. Again no guts no glory.

Thankfully the weather was gorgeous – clear with a small breeze now less than 24 hours later it is a winter wonderland?!?

The swim – last year with Transition I had done 45:44 - this year I wanted to swim in 36:30 minutes and be out of transition in 40 minutes. Nope – my watch read 38 minutes (still faster than last year) and I came out of transition at 45:42 – 2 seconds faster…. Shoulder started to ache right near the end but overall I was pleased – at least with the swim – transition not so much but I was not riding in a wet bathing suit – while it was clear is was very, very , very cold. I wore 3 shirts and my jersey, riding pants, and 2 sets of gloves on the ride.

The bike course was great – I felt really good and stayed in the big ring (love the technical bike speak) all the time – I did not get passed by anyone in my heat. A few things that frustrated me they extended the course – it worked out to a total of 3 km extra. Not a big thing since we were all on the same playing field but frustrating when you are trying to improve on previous year’s results and the course is now longer. As well they changed the order they had the “slow” swimmers start first and that was great but on my last lap of the bike I almost got taken out on the first corner by an elite guy who came flying up and for whatever reason tried to turn on the inside and just about smoked into the side of me and another guy. Thankfully he stopped at the last second and was like I am so sorry not sure what I was thinking but gave me a fright anyways. Then I guess the first heat of the Duathletes was coming out and I was literally surrounded by bikes – drafting – ha ha ha – it could almost had been mistaken for a riding club they were all that close together. I managed to pull out and get around them all before the next corner. Bike time this year 1:27:25 last year 125:39 – I am going to say due to the extra 3 km so really the same time (sigh ) but again in the end not too bad on the last 2 laps my hip and knee starting to make themselves notice – nothing serious but I was aware of them.

Run – I just went out and ran and hoped for the best – I did not do 10 and 1s – a mistake probably but can’t cry over spilt milk. I did not listen to my own advice – race like you train. Ah well - it was all good once I could feel my feet again (LOL) I got passed by only one person on the run in the Olympic and that was at just over 8km. I passed quite a few folks and actually did enjoy the run – my knee and hip started to act up around 8 km but I kept humming I feel good in my head and thinking no guts no glory. At one point I passed a guy and he said quit making it look so easy – I just about had to stop because I started to laugh – if he only knew – EASY not so much – but as coach says keep a smile on your face and never let them see you hurting. So by this point I knew the 3 hour time was not going to happen but I was still hopeful I could pull off a PB – not this time….. Run time 1:04:38 this year – Last year – 1:00:47. Total time: 3:17:44... Last year 3:12:19.
I still feel upset about it – I really wanted to PB – I did not want to let my coaches down. I have mixed emotions – I know I am still in recovery so in some ways I am very happy with my results it means that my recovery is going well, and that I am able to put up a respectable time even though I did not taper – coach had me train right through to race day, but I REALLY, REALLY wanted a PB. I need to sit down with Brad my swim coach and talk about arm speed – I felt better this year in that I was not as winded and such but darn I need to be faster…. Bike – I am pleased that I was able to reproduce last year especially with all the trouble my hip and knee have been giving me so if we keep working on rehab I should be able to start excelling. Run – that bothers me – it is usually my strongest and well you can’t argue with numbers. Need to sit down with my running buddies and come up with a plan of attack.

Next “Race” is Oliver Half Ironman in June – in between I am pacing the Vancouver Half Marathon but maybe I will throw in the St. Paddy’s 5km – I was not going to but as I tell the peeps in the clinic to run faster you must run faster – really it is a state of mind.

Peace out Shaun.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Only 2 more sleeps

UBC Triathlon is only 2 sleeps away. I am both anxious and excited to see how it plays out. This will be my first race since the accident and well let’s face it I am not 100%. If I was honest I would say I am at about 75% of where I was. Which everyone assures me is great but me being me I am frustrated.
I am anxious to because there has been no real taper, coach says that this is just a step along the way and so I train through . It feels weird to me but you have to trust the process. She has won lots of races and championships for a reason so I will listen.
Having said that I am going to try for a PB I am going for 2 hours 50 min – I know probably reaching since I just said I am not 100% but if you don’t try you can never succeed so what the hell let’s go. I know I will finish it really is just going to be a matter of when and how pretty I look. Big concern is the shoulder will it hold up? I have done 1500 meters a few times and it has always started to ache near the end but again no guts no glory and really after the swim I don’t need it. Last year I injured my right shoulder the day before and could hardly lift it without pain and I got through it so really how bad can it be.
The bike course is pretty flat so my leg /hip should hold out, I have been doing mini bricks and after about 5 min I feel good and generally on runs it is usually about 14km mark now where the leg and hip really start to ache and this is only 10km so easy peasy!
Finally I have been visualizing me successfully completing each section in the time I would like. I have even gone so far as to start playing my theme song – I feel Good – so that it is constantly in my sub-conscious. Not much else to do but wait for the starting gun.
I will post how it went. Wish me luck
Peace out Shaun