Thursday, August 29, 2013

Training for an Ironman: a primer

For those who don't speak Ironman triathlon yet, I found this great video that explains it well.

In a nutshell, I'm an idiot. And that's ok.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A weekend at Ironman Mt.Tremblant

What a weekend!! If I could, I'd go back in a heartbeat, right now! Beam me up, Scotty. Mt. Tremblant is truly beautiful, and during the week leading to the Ironman, it really looks and breathes like an amusement park for triathletes. Spandex, race t-shirts and sneakers are the regular attire. Everyone is fit and tanned and oozes health through their pores. There are ski lifts everywhere, shuttles for tired legs, patios, red carpets, stages, screens, water fountains and more sportswear stores than I could dream of. But let's rewind for a bit... TOUFOU and I have a long story to tell.
Toufou and I at Mt. Tremblant
We left Toronto on Friday night, right after I came home from work. Zin had prepared the car, the bikes, the snacks. I only had to put the clothes in a bag and go. On our way, we stopped for a quick dinner and washroom break, then 5h later we finally found our bed at Les Suites in the heart of downtown Ottawa. The next morning we went for breakfast at Cora's and for a quick stroll through the market to stock up on maple butter and apple turnovers. Then we started driving again, destination Mt. Tremblant. We managed to get lost a few times because our GPS was not always aware of our surroundings, and we also didn't know better when we aimed for downtown Mt. Tremblant as opposed to Station Mt. Tremblant, where all the Ironman action was actually happening. We knew we were close though as the streets were full of cyclists and runners putting their last workout on.

Eventually we found a parking lot on the outside of the Station (I'll call it village from now on), among the mayhem of cars, buses and bikes. Got changed into our jerseys, biking shoes and shorts then off we went onto our ride. Our plan was to do one 90k loop of the Ironman course and get acquainted with the landscape. I had read a review of the course that was saying that Mt. Tremblant is harder than Coeur D'Alene, but easier than Lake Placid, with a nasty hill of 17.2% somewhere in the middle. What I had not realized, was that the article was referring to the entire Ironman bike ride, which meant that the hill was at the end of the first loop (and the second!!). So for the first 30k, all I kept asking myself was... where are the hills? This isn't bad at all, beautiful highways, speedy descents, a few moderate climbs, but nothing that looked as nasty as a 17.2%. Here we are at the 34k mark where we turned around on the Hwy 117. We had a snack and a drink, and enough time for a photo-souvenir.
Neo and I riding the Highway
My name is 117. Hwy 117.
Scotty and Zin
On our way back on Hwy117, we hit some headwind and the climbs seemed just a tad more challenging, but overall we were having a great time. Such a great time, that I forgot to eat and drink from then on. Time went by fast, but once we made it back to the top of Montee Ryan, I was feeling deflated. It took me another 5km to remember to get some food and liquids in me. We were 15km from the end and I told Zin: I MUST EAT or I'm going to collapse right here right now. I ate a pack of Clif Blocks and downed half a bottle of Endura, then decided to go on. The parking lot was just one or two kms ahead, but I said no way we're stopping before we see it all.

And guess what? There it was, the famous hill. Sneaky sneaky, in the last 10k - the reviews were right after all. You MUST leave something in the legs to do this climb, TWICE. It definitely felt never-ending and unforgiving. I can't even imagine how people manage it after 6-7h on the saddle, but I suppose that I'll find out, sooner or later. ;-) The descent was magnificent, in its whole speedy goodness, especially with 3 unmarked police cars on my tail. I don't think I went over the 70km/h speed limit, it was a winding road after all, but I got a knot in my throat when I saw them passing me after 5 minutes of downhill bliss.

Back to the car, I swallowed an apple turnover whole and drank two full bottles of water. Legs seized up, I could barely move. It was my fastest 90k ride ever, I didn't feel like pushing much, but body said otherwise. You can do a 3h12 bike split, but you also must eat. Good reminder for my upcoming 70.3 race: I should not get caught in the frenzy of the race or the novelty of a circuit. In case of doubt, stop and think: am I doing everything right?? (*taking notes here*)

After my legs decided that the break was over, I changed back into "triathlon chic" clothes and hopped in a shuttle bus that took us straight into Mt. Tremblant village. There, as I said at the beginning of this post, we were in IronmanLand - even if you wanted to, you could not hide from triathletes, many of them already sporting their decal numbers on their arms and age on the calf. And of course, wearing their favorite race tshirt - the perfect conversation starter. I opted for the black Toronto Triathlon Festival tee; there is something elegant and bad ass about their cryptic symbol, which only people familiar with would recognize. Even though I was not part of the Ironman "family", at least I could talk triathlon. ;-)
The only thing missing on these slopes is snow
I wonder if this hill is part of the run course?
You know where triathletes live - look for the wetsuits hung out to dry
Everyone wants a photo by the Ironman sign
The gates to Transition
We walked around the village, took pictures, sneaked inside the "big tent", goofed for a bit on the big red Muskoka chair, then went to the volunteers' tent, wondering if it was time to check in for duty yet. We were told that we didn't have to be there a day in advance, all we needed to do was to follow the instructions in the email that we received from our team captain. Okeydokey, no problemo! We were both due to come back the next day at 7am to get our volunteer tshirt, wristband and lunch tickets. So, on this mental note, we left the Ironman expo and went to look for a place to eat.
Riri in a Muskoka Chair - how fitting!
Insert $$$ here
The red carpet
Time is up, literally.
Zin and the Gadget Man
We parked our tired bums on the sunny patio of Restaurant "La Forge", in front of a pint of Stella Artois. Zin had a beef cheek and goat cheese burger, while I settled on a duck confit salad. It was scrumptious! Around 9pm we decided to call it a night. We took the shuttle back to our car, then drove the 35km to our hotel, the Super 8 in Sainte Agathe des Monts, the closest hotel with rooms available, even 6 months in advance! It was not bad at all, we had a very comfy King bed and enough soap and shampoo for 2 days. In the Ironman spirit, we turned off the lights shortly after 10pm and went to sleep.

The alarm clock went off at 4am and we jumped out of bed, ready to go go go! In 30min tops we were on our way. The wrong way. The long way. The scenic way. With deer in the headlights and winding, narrow, potholey roads in the middle of the forest and around a lake, and another, and another... the GPS confusion had stricken again. We didn't pay enough attention, the direction seemed okay, but once on this path, we hoped it would take us back on the highway... and the further we were getting away from it, the less we wanted to come back to it. I am not going to say how fast we went, but I was sure hanging on for my dear life, praying that we don't collide with any animal and the car doesn't do a flying jump in the lake nearby.

Eventually, after what seemed like an eternity, we found our way back onto the highway, then onto an airfield that got turned into a parking lot, where the shuttle buses were going to pick us up. Just in time I'd say, we arrived in the village with 30min to spare before the swim start. I went to the women's tent to check in with my team captain, got my volunteer tshirt, wristband and meal tickets, then headed towards the lake to spectate the swim start. On my way I caught up with Zin who was also ready to start his day as bike handler.
The delicate light of the sunrise
U2's "A Beautiful Day" was blasting in the air, helicopters were hovering above, dozens of boats all across the lake were trying to find the best viewing spot, and on a platform, 6 military officials were getting ready to load a real cannon for the official start. When the time came, jets flew by, the cannon BOOMED loud, and pro men, pro women and finally age groupers started the adventure of their lifetime. Out of 2300-and-something participants, 660 of them were there for their first Ironman.

We waited until the first age groupers were on their way, then went back to transition where our day as volunteers was about to start. My job was to help women as they were coming through the changing area. Basically, to be there to put on sunscreen, socks, shoes, gels in pockets, empty transition bags and pack them back up, strip wetsuits for those who still had them on (mostly pro women), chit-chat, encourage, console, assess whether someone needed medical assistance, etc.
Pro bags
The pro men and women already had their transition bags waiting for them, but for the rest of age groupers, they were given their bag when they were entering the tent. It started pretty slowly with pro women arriving at 2-3 minute intervals, but then a huge mass of athletes got in at once and it was complete mayhem for about 2h. At some point I wondered if we were going to have enough chairs for everyone to sit. The first pro woman, Mary Beth Ellis was dominating the field, but as usual in an Ironman, you never know what can happen, so we were curious to see who was going to come back first in T2. We also noticed the first AG girl, Darbi Roberts, coming through before all pro women got out of the water. We cheered for her loud and proud, she was killing it out there!! I also saw Jennie Hansen for whom I have a serious sweet spot. I was crossing my fingers that she'd have the best day as she needed a top placement to qualify for Kona.
Some bikes will stay
Once the athletes were leaving the tent, we had to take their bags and store them in a corner, until the next phase of our shift, when all athletes had passed through. Then this operation started.
The Bag Dance
We had to take each bag and line it up on the floor in the order of the numbers, 100 bags per line. With 40-50 people participating, it was all done in 30 minutes. You should have seen the whole thing, it was like a dance. Efficient, fast and truly impressive!

We had about 1h of downtime afterwards, enough time to grab a bite in the volunteers' tent, go to the washrooms and check out the Expo. I found myself a pair of 2XU Recovery Compression Tights at 30% off, which I had been eyeing for years, a tube of DZ Nuts Bliss chamois cream (I'm a convert!) and a bottle of electrolyte tablets. I bought Zin an Ironman cap as well, but I could not convince myself to buy any other Ironman branded apparel, not yet anyway. It just didn't feel right.
Bono doesn't swim
Back in the women's tent after lunch, and soon we heard that the pro men were just finishing their bike. I helped setting up the water/sunscreen station inside the tent, then watched them zooming through. These men were determined to battle it out since they weren't far apart.
Mary Beth Ellis was back in first again and she was looking so strong out there, I was having doubts that someone was going to catch her that day. Darbi was also holding onto her first AG spot and was giving some pros a lesson. As for Jennie, she passed so many women on the bike, my heart jumped with joy when I saw her coming in T2 in 8th place (down from 20-something).
For the rest of the day, until 5:45pm, it was a constant stream of athletes finishing their bike - or not, and a lot more people needing medical attention. The routine was almost the same, helping out as much as we could, only this time, most of women were taking their time. Some of them had been in accidents, and my heart goes out to a girl named Faith, who most likely had one or more bruised/broken ribs and who had pain breathing. After a long session with a chiropractor in T2, I was really hoping she'd be released to go on the run, and she was eventually, only to come back 30 minutes later to hand in her chip. She had awesome split times and she could have finished strong but alas the pain was too much for her to continue I suppose. I gave her my phone to call her hubby, then a hug to send her on her way. I hope she's OK now and she'll be back next year, healed and ready for redemption.

I also saw some of my Facebook peeps, Mary Eggers (who also happens to be Jennie's coach), who was doing her last Ironman in honor of a friend who passed away last year, killed by a drunk driver, and Wendy, my redhead neighbour extraordinaire - I connected with both in the past few months, but they are real sweethearts and amazing athletes. My ultimate goal that day was actually to finish my shift and look for them on the course, cheering from the sidelines, until they finished - because I knew they would, they are both so passionate about the sport and obviously fueled by good karma.

After 5:45pm, only a handful of unopened transition bags remained, but another big pile was asking for our attention. Same as in the morning, we had to line them up, but this time we also had to find their twin and attach them together. Like a well oiled machine, the volunteer team got the job done in the blink of an eye, then we all got released from our duties. I met with Zin in the volunteers' tent again, we ate more food then we went to put our phones in charge as they were both drained. Just like us, but it was shameful to even think of aching limbs and knees when 2000 athletes were battling with their will to keep putting a foot in front of the other.

I saw Jennie Hansen walking by with her hubby David, who also competed in the Ironman (and finished under 10h!), and asked her if she got her spot to Kona, to which she replied that she came in 6th and qualified!! I could no longer contain my excitement, so I asked her to take a picture with me. I knew I was standing beside a great champion. David was very kind and took the photo below. I was so freaking happy!!
Meeting Jennie Hansen
We walked for a bit along the streets, cheering on athletes and taking pictures. There was so much joy and pain in the air, you could see it in people's eyes as they were approaching the fork on the running path. To the left, you are an Ironman, to the right another half marathon. It must have been so hard to run with a smile. We cheered harder.
The crowd embrace
Fireman Rob
After a little while we returned to check on our phones and hubbs decided to take a break. As athletes were walking by eating fries, I said that's it, I've had it being good this weekend. I'm in Quebec, I'm having a Poutine, dammit! So I left Zin sitting on the bench and went to buy myself a box of grease mix, and no, I am not talking about the movie soundtrack: fries, cheese curds and gravy - YUM. Then I went to the finish line to watch Wendy become an Ironman for the second time. Twenty minutes later, there she was!! I figured she'd be a while until I could give her a hug, so I went back to sit with Zin and plan the rest of the evening.

One thing I knew, I was going to stay until midnight. Hubbs needed a nap, so he decided to go sleep in the car. I waited for Wendy to finish eating and get changed, then we went together to the finish line where the party was just getting started. Mike Reilly was on fire, and so were we. Athletes kept coming in, and with each new finisher, the crowd was getting louder.
You are an IRONMAN!!
I saw people collapsing, tripping, tumbling, but eventually getting up to finish the job started. They all became Ironman. The last finisher, Eve, came in with 5 minutes to spare, escorted by the "Angels". It was purely amazing. Words fail to describe the joy I felt for these complete strangers.

After the crowd scattered, I took the shuttle bus to the airfield where I found Zin sleeping like a baby. He didn't even notice the messages I had sent him. I woke him up, then we drove back to the hotel, without getting lost this time. We collapsed in our bed in seconds and set up the alarm clock for 7am. We were going to sleep in, yay!! The next morning we returned to the Mt. Tremblant village. I had one more mission. At 9:35am this happened. BAM!!

I guess we'll meet again, Mt. Tremblant. My journey has just begun. Please bear with me, I am training for the Ironman.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Memories should last forever

There are days when I wonder what the purpose of my blog is. I have been writing for over 10 years at this address, but I never had a blog with a "theme" so to speak until I started this one earlier last year. It just happened that today marked the 10th anniversary of one of the most significant blackouts in North America, and people had been posting all day long memories from that day. I realized that I had none, like my brain had been wiped out. Not surprising though, since I barely remember what I did last week... but thanks to the Wayback Machine and some pages saved on my computer, I could dig out the tale of that day and share it with my friends on Facebook. So today I wonder, what will become of this blog 10 years from now?

My photography motto has always been "Memories should last forever", but it means captured on film or digital memory, then transferred on paper (if ever). Will the memories of today and this past year, in which fitness and well being have taken such an important role, remain? Will I remember? Maybe the reason that I want to do an Ironman IS to remember... maybe I'll get that tattoo as a mnemonic more than anything. My body may not be the same in 10 or 20 years, and for sure, some of the scars I got while running or biking will remain, but what about the memories of today, tomorrow, everything that's going to keep me moving until then?
This. The sweat, the salt on my skin, the dryness on my lips, the burn in my back, the ache in my stomach, the tiredness in my legs, the thirst - oh that thirst! - this is what this blog is for. It has my ups and downs, my (small) victories and (big) defeats. The days when I was counting visits or comments are way behind, like 10 years behind. I still appreciate them and they truly make my day, but I find it a huge waste of time (and source of disappointment) to always wait for someone else's approval. Blogging is like a book club of sorts, where fitness is the main topic and instead of books, we read into each other's diaries without asking for the key. I am an open book, I've always been. I may not be the best writer or fastest athlete out there, but I put my sweat and soul in everything I do. So today, I have no problem telling you that I feel defeated, that I had to take one more day off because stress and exhaustion were creeping in.

I know the signs well by now. After finishing one of the longest and toughest training weeks ever, I had Monday as a rest day, but then I saw 1h30 of hill work on my bike, followed by 1h swim on Tuesday. I started battling with my will to even get out of bed. It also didn't help that I was still in much pain from the sunburn and I hadn't had the greatest sleep for several nights in a row. When I returned from work that day, I found myself a good reason not to go with Zin scream up and down the hills - it was extremely cold for a summer day and windy as hell. If there is something that scares the bejeebus out of me, is handling my bike on the downhills with cross winds: 35km/h NW, thanks but no thanks. So I buried myself in the basement and managed to spin my legs for 1h, then called it a day. I watched "Troy" on my bike and cried, then I went on my couch and watched "So You Think You Can Dance" and cried some more, even when no one was dancing. It was because of all emotions going through my system, from feeling guilty of having had an ice cream, to having missed my scheduled workouts and everything in between. I was trying to rationalize it all, to no avail. I emailed my coach and spilled my guts: I may need another rest day.

And here I am now, in my bed, having skipped today's speed work on the track. And I feel less guilty already, even though I ate ice cream again and had a cranberry scone from Starbucks with a gazillion calories in it (please don't tell me) with my second coffee this morning. Oh, and I had pasta for lunch, and for dinner too. My scale will be cranky at me tomorrow, but whatevah. I am aware of the risks of over-training and I wouldn't want to jeopardize my first half-Ironman for anything in the world. I already worked hard enough to get here and I do remember well how I felt when I had to pull out of my first marathon. Not pretty.

Tomorrow I will most likely go for my open water swim, in my cold bubble of bliss, then for a quick loop around the lake. Friday I have a long 18k run, which I will take easy, then on Saturday I'll be having fun on the Mt. Tremblant bike course before volunteering the next day at the Ironman. I apologize in advance to all athletes whose energy I will use as a fuel source, because there is no better inspiration to start your own Ironman journey than being immersed in one, or a thousand of them. I promise to pay it forward.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Race simulation day

I knew this was going to happen, it appeared in my August schedule highlighted in yellow. I could only imagine what simulation meant... Other than doing all three sports in order, the lengths/durations were left to coach Dave's last minute decision. One thing for sure, I was going to start by swimming at the quarry at 7am, then take it from there. Our friend Carol joined us, as well as another dozen of brave souls who also decided to put their fate into the hands of the coaches, be it for fun or not. One thing for sure, there was going to be sweat (and no blood, fingers crossed).

We woke up at 5am, knowing that we needed at least one hour to get ourselves ready, including shower, breakfast and coffee. The drive to the quarry took about 25min and we found lots of people getting ready to put their fish on, most of them being members of the C3 triathlon club. It was their turf afterall, so I felt a bit like an intruder for a moment, but once in our wetsuits, it no longer mattered, we were all there for the love of the triathlon. The quarry loop is 1km long, so I decided to go the full 70.3 distance and some more. The water was very warm but quite rough in some spots, so I was glad to be done with it after 2 loops. 46min, not too bad, given how much I felt like going off course, over and over again.
Which means that maybe, just maybe, I could finish the Muskoka 70.3 swim in 45min or less. Wouldn't that be great?

Anyway, as great as that sounds, I still need to work on it. The pros do the FULL Ironman swim in the same time, but who am I to compare myself to them? Just wanted to point that out... I am a slow poke in the grand scheme of things, if you count them turbo engines in it, that is.

After the swim, I changed into my biking shorts and jersey and drove with hubbs and Carol to Inglewood, where coach Dave and Lorene had set up a true transition zone with a bike rack, food and drinks for us. Just like in a race, I took possession of my little piece of real estate, ate a banana, put in my pocket one of the 28k loop maps (I was planning on doing the loop 3 times), filled up my bottles, then at 9:15am sharp I started my ride with Carol and Tammy for company.

Right off the bat, I noticed that my bike gears were skipping. This wasn't new news, but I realized that I had not fiddled with my rear derailleur in almost a week (I know, I should not have to!), and it had probably gone out of alignment once again. Anyway, the train was in motion so to speak, and I told myself that it's not a big deal, it was happening at random anyway. Suck it up and don't sweat the small stuff. Alas with the wind and the constant change of pace, the skipping never stopped and by the second loop I was ready to throw my bike in a ditch and cry on the side of the road until someone would stop and give me a hug and an ice cream.
Winston Churchill, a mean combo of head wind and hills.
Are we there yet? Get this wind off my face!!
More Winston Churchill because I'm so slow, it hurts.
Carol and hubbs weren't having the greatest day either, the wind was truly testing their patience. To add irony to our misery, Carol and I also missed a turn on our first loop and ended on the 21k loop, which included a long stretch of shitty pavement and twice the distance facing the relentless head wind. The only reward of this course was the descent on Old Base road, which we got to do thrice in the day. Faster and faster each time. At each loop, I tamed my anger with adrenalin, it worked like a charm. I ended biking almost 78k in 3h07 and that was more than enough for both my legs and nerves.
When coach asked me how I was doing when I stopped to refuel in between loops, all I could say was "I hate my life and everyone in it". He replied, "one of these days, eh?". But by the end of the third loop, I had managed to empty myself of negativity and embrace the serenity now, most likely thanks to the top speed of 64.2kph in the last descent. Almost empty, actually, I still wanted that ice cream. I had another banana instead, then asked coach, "what now?". He said that I should do an 8k run, which was spot on what I was hoping for. It was 1pm by then and the sun was bright and mean. But I had asked for this, I had even paid for it.

Put on my running shoes, had some fluids, emptied my bladder, then off I went. The run was going to take me on the Caledon Trailway, for an out and back of 4km. I could not wait. I absolutely adore running there, it's so peaceful and there is SHADE (on some stretches, not all the time, unfortunately)!! Oh how I miss the shade... in my burbs there is none, unless you adventure yourself on one of the wooden trails, which isn't very convenient or safe for someone who easily freaks out. But here I had no fear, I knew I wasn't going to be alone and all critters were most likely having a nap.
Shade? Right on!!
Bridge? Uphill? Nooooooo!!
Almost time to turn around? Yeaaaahhhhh!
Because I was the last one to start the run, I saw Carol coming back after 1km, then hubbs just before the turnaround. I was finally having fun, yet I was looking forward to being done with it. Too much pressure knowing that I was the last one out there, I was feeling somewhat of an inconvenience to all those waiting for me. So I put on the turbo and ran even faster than the week before with an average of 5:34/km and without feeling my heart ready to explode.
And there you have it. A 4h40 monster workout and enough good and bad moments to mimic the stress of race day. The coaches put on a great simulation day, with well marked routes, a safe and well positioned transition area, water, Gatorade, technical and even moral support. We even had burgers, salad, watermelon, pineapple and cookies at the end.

Am I ready for the real thing? Hell yes I am! And someone better get me that ICE CREAM!!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Crazy busy times

Hey guys!! How's life?? I can barely remember what mine looked like a few months ago when I was out of job and I could sleep in and train at random times... Now, don't get me wrong, I am not complaining, but the new workplace does know how to put the word "crazy" in your day. Just when I was planning to write an update for you all, I had to start working shifts (temporarily) and all my free time went out of the window. I could only fit in my workouts and then, not even all of them. Given that I have been spending at least 10h daily in the office, workouts shifted to very early mornings or late nights. Sunrises are definitely my new thing.
I am not even sure how many hours of swimming, biking and running I've done lately, but who cares, let's say plenty. Among the most memorable times, a 100k ride on the hills of Caledon with hubbs and our friend Orville. We got up at 5am just in time to see the beautiful sunset from the first picture above, then we biked north into Hockley Valley, then east to Orangeville, then south on Mississauga Road through Belfountain. We chose to head back west on the scenic Forks of the Credit which led us straight to Hwy 10 where we had no choice but hang on our handlebars for our dear life while competing for speed with the cars zooming by us (not recommended, but we didn't know that Mc Laughlin Rd was not paved in that area and we were not ready to add 10k and one insane hill to our ride by going back to Mississauga Rd).
Made it back home in one piece, but then we had to go out for more. The longest brick of the year so far and it called for an 8k run off the bike. I quickly said goodbye to Orville, put my sneakers on, then ran. I was really surprised to see how easy that felt and I swear, I'm not on steroids. Those hard speed sessions on the track are definitely paying off. I averaged 5:45/km and that for me, was quite monumental, especially after 100k in the saddle.
With a little drizzle to cool me off, this day ended being one amazing milestone on the map of my journey towards the Ironman.

The following week, so just this past Wednesday, I had more speedwork on my schedule. The weather gurus called for rain, so the group workout was cancelled, but since the coach gave us the workout description anyway, we said what the hell, let's do it. And hell it was. Yassos ring a bell to any of you?
That's short for 800m repeats with enough rest time in between to get the heart rate under 100bpm. For me, that was going to be 2 min. So hubbs and I headed to the track nearby, exactly a mile away and by the time we got there, the rain was in full force. My capris and shoes were already soaked and were feeling heavy. I started the repeats and was surprised by the 3:55 repeat time, which again was faster than I expected, even though I was feeling tired. I knew I was running with horrible form too, but somehow that was working for me. I did 6 repeats, then tried to run with good form and my time got worse. 4:03. That was a significant slowdown, so I returned to my old bad form and voila, 3:55 for the last round (what was that all about? Another mystery that's going to torture my OCD brain). I never thought these would hurt so much, but they did. Two thumbs up for embracing the suck!
So according to Bart Yasso, if you manage to do 10 repeats, you could extrapolate your repeat time to estimate your marathon time. I only did 8, but I could have probably done two more. Does that mean I can run a 3h55 marathon? Yeah, riiiight. Moving on...

Another memorable time was my return to the pool for an actual workout, not just swimming long with a pull buoy between my legs. I even brought my fins and my board and did drills and kicks and all the the serious shit that makes you chase that clock with funny numbers and colored arms on the wall. No pictures for proof, but it's in Training Peaks, Garmin Connect and Runkeeper.

On Thursday, the open water swim got cancelled because of high counts of bacteria, but I was too tired after work to be willing to drag my ass to the pool again. I managed to end the day on a positive note anyway, as I made it from work just on time to pick up a package from the Post Office. In it, the SOAS tri kit that I ordered online after TriSports published a 25% coupon on Twitter. I was pretty upset that I could not find those kits in Canada, that I jumped on the opportunity right away. Alas only L, XL and XS sizes were available, so I went with the L and prayed that it would fit. It's not skintight, so I could have definitely fit in an M. Oh well, next time, maybe. These kits scream quality and they feel really nice on the skin, so I finally understand why there is so much hype around them.
I will still need to double bag the girls though. The curse of the C cup, of course. Thankfully I just bought a ShockAbsorber bra in white with a grey line at the top and it looks like it was made for it. At the back, not so much, but what else can I do? Even though it's for Muskoka, I can't wait to start wearing it because nothing new on race day, right?

Ok, enough with this post. I rather finish it on a smile, because I have a few more posts in the queue and they're not all so cheerful. Long weekend and all, I may even blog again tomorrow. Two in two days, now that's progress!