Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Splish Splash

Living in Vancouver has lots of advantages especially at this time of year.  The big thing is little to no snow but it is called the "wet" coast  for a reason.  The rain is here and is not going anywhere for the next 3 months. 

I am up to riding 3 times a week again at a minimum  - Wednesday rides with the club, Saturday mornings and I have been riding to work at least once a week.  It has been very wet  and I find myself chanting to myself Coach Larry's words - Do when others don't and you will be able to when others won't!  It came in very handy last Wednesday doing hill repeats on  one of our local mountains in the ice cold rain and wind.  After the 2nd hill repeat Coach told us to go home!  I don't think he actually expected that we would be there (only 4 of us showed up) and came out on his Vespa just to make sure no-one was out there.  SURPRISE - we are hard core!  This week thankfully Coach Barb has told us to ride on the flats. 

I also was able to get 4 runs in last week - again in the rain and the tempo runs were averaging between 5:45 to 6:10 per km which pleases me as it means I am recovering from my Dublin adventure.  And my plan to take it a little easier on the intensity seems to be helping my leg/hip.  I had an MRI on my hip last week and the good news is there is no tear but it also means that there is still no conclusive reason as to why I am not recovering.  Next up Prolotherapy just waiting for approval from ICBC to go forward.

Last but not least I actually got into the pool last night - first time since Ironman.  Shoulder held up quite nicely.  Coach Brad was pleased with my overall workout in that he said, "Good news is that all the gains in your form we made are still there!  But your strength has definately decreased but that will come back quickly."  I guess swimming only once since Ironman will do that to you.  I plan on going again on Friday and making this a twice a week thing going forward.
The only thing I want to look into and would like to add to my repertoire (spelling?) is some kind of weights/core program at least once a week. I am making some inquiries into programs for runners/triathletes.  I think it may be the missing piece of the puzzle and well quite frankly I need to do a course or work with someone because I am too lazy to do it on my own.  So if anyone out there has any suggestions of personal coaches or programs in the Vancouver area please let me know.



Monday, November 16, 2009

Getting back into it

I know, I know I have been remiss in posting.  First off Ireland & Northern Ireland were amazing - even with the emergency room visit and being sick for 4 days after.  We have to go back because I did not get to see even half of what I wanted to.

fort on Aran islands built in 200 bcKylemore Abbey  built in late 1600's

Giant's Causeway  - one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. STUNNING

The day after the marathon we caught the bus to Belfast to spend a few days with Joe's family and do some sightseeing in Belfast.  The first night we got there his parents had arranged for a family gathering/party as his brother Jim and his family were over from London, it was Jim's 40th a week prior, and to celebrate Joe and the rest of us being there.  It was a typical Smyth gathering with many, many, many people there - June and Pam fit right in, it was going well and then all of the sudden I did not feel so good and starting get sick - this went on all night and I kept it pretty much to myself so as not to wreck the party.  The next morning I woke up not feeling any better and just wanting to stay in bed but the girls and Joe were looking at me and I felt bad so I thought it was a probably a wee bit of food poisoning and I would be fine.  This was not the case and by the end of the bus tour it was decided the girls would go to the pub(s) and I was going to emergency (BOOOO).  The end result was I had an intestinal virus and could not eat for 4 days. 

Finally in Sligo I got so hungry I was like I have to eat and had some Thai Hot & Sour soup with Lemon Grass - BIG MISTAKE - they almost made me go to emergency again but I refused.  The good thing is I think the Lemon grass must have acted like a cleanse because the next morning I woke and felt hungry, was able to eat, keep it down and not have any cramping.  That night we hit the pub HARD (LOL) - I was back.
Guiness brewery in Dublin

Famine graveyard in Donegal

If you have not been to Ireland you have to go - it is stunning and the history is incredible - the people are beautiful and well - as you can tell - I am totally in love with it - despite the fact of my Irish heritage.  The only disapointment to the trip was that I only got to spend 5 minutes - literally - in Armagh - where my grandmother is from.  It was very emotional for me to be there and upsetting that I could not spend more time - the next time we go I plan on spending a couple days there investigating and going to my family's grave site - I don't think Joe or the others realized how important it was to me.  In their defense I did not push it - next time I will. 
Church in Armagh city

We got back home a week ago and I am still trying to sort myself out.  I have just started leading another half marathon clinic - goal race Fort Langley Historic Half in February, I have gotten a couple of rides on the bike in but have not been able to get organized enough to get to the pool.  Feeling a little guilty about it - need to rectify that.  Got all my hair cut off and donated it to the Cancer Agency so they can make a wig with it.  Oh and I am finally going for the MRI on my hip/leg - my lawyer was able to get me an appointment at a private clinic so hopefully this will shed more light on to what I can do to continue to rehab.

 hope you enjoyed some of the pictures. Joe and I took close to 900.  I should go and finish my curriculum for the clinic.  

cheers S

Monday, November 2, 2009

The one I should have walked....

Well the last race for the year is done - Dublin marathon.  Mixed emotions to say the least.

This is the race I should have walked - I said I was going to walk it, I should have walked, I did not walk it.

Overall though I am satisfied - not my best showing by far but I got the bling and the shirt and # 5 under my belt. 

The weather was absolutely amazing - actually regretted wearing a long sleeve shirt under my Nathan Jersey it was almost too warm.  As predicted Pam was the healthiest of the 3 of us.  June bug was totally siezed and was struggling with walking let alone running.  The plan was we would all start out together and just enjoy the day - no pressure, nothing to prove just get the bling and shirt.

Absolutely amazing to see over 10,000 people at the start line and spirits were high.  We had on our Irish for a day pins and shamrock tattoos.  We finally met our other girlfriend Hazel just before the start and we were off.  It took us about 8 minutes of walking to get to the starting line.  We all started out together and June was actually running but she quickly fell off within the first 1km or so and that brought us down to 3.    At this time I should have been rational and stopped running and went back to June but for anyone that knows me - well suffice it to say that did not happen.

So Pam, Hazel and myself were running a nice pace - this was Pam´s second marathon and she just wanted to be faster than her previous - 5:40 so the pace was quite leisurely at around 7:10/15 a km.  We maintained this off and on for the first 10km - during this whole time my right leg/hip/IT band was a little achy but same old - same old for me and of course I did not heed the warnings.  I was thoroughly enjoying the run with girls, the crowds and counting how many different colored front doors we could see.   Of note there is absolutely no crowd control after the start in this race so people, strollers, dogs, bikes, and cars!  randomly cross the course in front of runners when they feel the need to.  It is a little frustrating to have to dodge stuff at random continuously through a race.

The crowds were amazing and there were so many little kids - people literally line the course from start to finish and hand out stuff. I high fived lots of little kids but did not take anything from anyone since I have never tried any of what they were handing out.

We continued our nice pace to the halfway mark and things were going well and that is when it happened - I pulled a Shaun and instead of being reasonable and rational and following the plan I had decided on for weeks I did it I picked up my pace and left Pam and Hazel.  I was feeling good the leg had settled into a dull ache - nothing new here so against all reasonable and better judgment I went for it - the next 15 km went great - I was strong on the hills, I was running 6:15 - 6:45 km quite comfortably.  Every once in a while I would think - this is not a good idea but then I would shake it off and continue on my merry path to self destruction. (LOL)

It was like a bad car accident - you know - you do not want to look but you just can't stop staring.  And then it happened KABOOM - mile 22 - OW - leg not too happy but not to worry still ahead of Pam and only 4 miles to go - easy peasy - just suck it up princess.  22.5 miles Pam and Hazel have caught up to me - right - should have just stayed with them - aw well just run it in with them - mile 23 - leg has now totally siezed up - send Pam and Hazel on their way.    Mile 23 - Mile 25 the limp/shuffle of shame as my leg is now totally refusing to cooperate and do anything I am asking it to do.

Mile 26 - I am now officially well over the 5 hour mark and chagrined over my foolishness however because I have  admitted to myself that I am dumb-ass my leg decides to rejoin my body and allow me to run/hobble the last mile to the finish in complete agony.  It is the one finish line photo where I am not smiling and I always smile - this one hurt.  Final time 5 hours and 30 minutes.    I did not even see all my family waiting along the finish chute!  Joe , as always, was at the finish line and just shook his head at me. He was like what happened to walking?  I said - ME - that is what happened. 

We waited for June who walked the race and finished in 5:59 - only 29 minutes behind me - again should have just walked it with her and I would have been much happier and in far less pain.  Pam did get her PB of 5:22 so that was awesome!

Overall I am okay with the time just miffed at my poor decisions - I knew I was not ready or prepared for this race - 7 weeks post Ironman - I was unable to train for 4 weeks due to a major sinus infection and then the longest run after that I got in was 2.5 hours - I had no business trying to run this.

I would do this race again in a heart beat it was well organized, crowds were amazing and the course is stunning the only thing that really bothered me was the absolute waste.  At water stations they hand out small individual water bottles and energy drinks in bottles - what people do is take a bottle - take one sip and then toss the whole bottle to the side - it was astounding to see and more than a little disappointing - there were thousands of water bottles and energy drinks with one or 2 sips taken and tossed to the side, especially when there are concerns about water shortage around the world - not to mention the hazard it caused to runners - I saw more than a few runners being taken from the course with sprained ankles which I am sure were due to stepping on a stray bottle.

I will post pictures when we get back to Canada - we are for 2 weeks of touring the Irish country side now.