Thursday, July 28, 2016

Fun and torturous times

This summer is going by so fast! Maybe because of the anticipation of new beginnings in September... and because we're just 3 days away from the end of July, for crying out loud. That's it, the countdown to setting the Christmas tree has started.

My athletic endeavors have been rather uneventful lately, which is probably a good thing. If you remember my plans stated here last week, I managed to keep myself accountable for at least the triathlon related workouts. On Thursday I went to the lake for our weekly OWS and spent most of the time with two new members, helping them to become more comfortable in deep water. This left me with just enough time to do a 750m loop on my own, and it was a good way to clear my head at the end of a stressful day. To add more endorphins to the mix, I also followed the swim with a 6km run around the lake. Judging by the tightness in my knees, it is probably the max distance that I can run right now and I can't really complain. I'll take anything over 30 minutes as a good enough challenge for my wobbly joints.

Friday was another scorching day and Taekwondo did not happen. Neither did the Saturday black belt training as I chose to spend some time with my family instead. I did make it to the little party that our school put for our team representing Canada at the ITF World Championships in London, UK. It was pretty sweet and I hope our team is going to bring some shiny hardware back this week.
His and hers
The next day I had to wake up early for our club's second triathlon simulation day of the year. And 5:30am is damn early for a Sunday. Oh the things we do for our members... After marking the course, Zin and I went over to Professor's Lake to set up the transition racks, the tent and the whole shebang with the rest of the crew. Of course, I also had to set up my own transition spot. I was going to "race" after all.
You can tell how hot it's been this year by the color of the grass.
Aww, isn't he a sweet hubby? Thank you hon.
All set! Isn't Trinity pretty with her red tyres?
I got in the water shortly after 8am and swam 2 loops trying to stay close to Mellen who seemed to have a few difficulties swimming straight, which gave me a little advantage on the distance and made me feel like a champion mermaid. That's what happens when you get only 3h of sleep, eh Mellen? However she swam another loop and biked some 100km afterwards, so I'm just pretending to compete here, haha.

Then it was time to bike. I was supposed to lead the beginners' group, but I only had one taker, so I rode with an older gentleman called Dave who was just about the perfect match for a 40km relaxed ride. He was also quite chatty, so I had a good time. Until I found out that we had an acquaintance in common who died 2 years ago, that is. Unbelievable. A person who I considered the epitome of success in life, who had everything going for him: fame, fortune, a beautiful family, and the most amazing house, where I used to go party with the company I worked for when I first came to Canada. He was one of the kindest and most knowledgeable people I knew, and a genius in the field of mathematics. And cancer took all this away. Yet another reason to say: Fuck cancer.

Oof, that was heavy. Back to our cancer fighting activities (one can hope, right?). Last on the day's menu, the run. Dave and I went running together as well, and thankfully we managed to change subjects in time to appreciate our surroundings. A loop around Professor's Lake and everything was right with the world again. While on the run I was, of course, pokemoning, and trying to make an omelette with a few eggs in my Pokedex. One of them refused to hatch when the time was up, so I continued running in (little) circles until it did, which brought my total to 4.7km run. You gotta do what you gotta do (aka I'm that cuckoo. Some call it stupid too, and I'm totally fine with it - you should see the number of Instagram and twitter users that I lost since I started talking Pokemon Go).
Doesn't it look like fun?
Alright, once that was done I could finally call it a day. We dismantled the transition zone, packed everything and went back home. I had to meet with hubbs later on to pick up his bike because he was doing a "mega" training day (3km swim, 140km bike, 30km run) and he was afraid to leave it in his car in the middle of the Caledon trailway. I spent the rest of the day waiting (and worrying) for him that he was going to melt under the hot sun. I am glad that he didn't, but he came back home 10lb lighter (not a joke).

This week I took a rest day on Monday, not only because there are no Taekwondo classes for two weeks, but also because I was going to start a new Trainer Road bike program the next day in preparation for Barrelman swim/bike where I will be defending my AG win from last year. So on Tuesday, after much procrastinating, I opened my laptop, clipped on my (power) pedals and started the 1h torture (Strava 8 min FTP test here). Zin set the workout for me at 85% down from my previous FTP, where I used virtual power thanks to my speed/cadence sensor and the trainer data. This time, the truth was going to come out, whether I wanted it or not. As I said from the beginning, I was pretty sure that I lost 30 virtual watts between the previous FTP and this one, and I was bang on the money.

Overall I am rather happy how I paced this test and proud that I pushed through when the tough got tougher. One can only look at my max HR during these intervals to feel my pain.

I was surprised to see that the test did not destroy me as I had feared. The next day I even went for another 6km run and I survived it just fine. Tomorrow I took another day off from work and I plan on going on another bike ride with Mellen, then Kingston triathlon race on Sunday! I will be doing the (longer) sprint, while Zin will be doing the long course tri. An exciting week for sure!

If you are in Canada, do you have any plans for the long weekend? For me, any long weekend is good enough reason to be giddy! Have fun, kids!

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