Monday, March 21, 2011

moving right along

Ah, spring.
Which really means rain in Vancouver.  But slightly warmer rain.  Who could ask for anything more?

Now that I've fully absorbed my new found 30s, I can return to write a few notes on the last few weeks, nothing crazy, but just steady, consistent work.

The only race I've jumped into in the last few weeks was the St. Patty's 5km.  I am fighting the fight against 5kms - not my favourite distance of race but good for me none-the-less.  Like Buckley's cough syrup - tastes awful, but it works...that about sums up how I feel about it.  The 5km is crazy fast and there are almost no decisions to make, just grab onto your pace and run it into the ground.

Race day weather?  Left a little to be desired.  When you see the patterns of the water on the seawall from being splashed up from the ocean you know there is a little wind around.  But, all said and done it wasn't so bad in the end (the last 500 metres maybe were so bad...but there are so many reasons why they don't feel good anyways).

This was a narrow start, as all seawall races seem to be, and luckily no one fell into the ocean.  Really, the race is mostly a blur to me, I remember working on passing the one girl that ran ahead of me for the first 1/2 of the race, and finally did that successfully (only to constantly worry she'd come back and get me in the last 500m).  Besides that, it was just put your head down and work time.  The one bonus of the 5km is that I can tell myself, "Ok, just run hard for 18 minutes and it's all over and done with".  18 minutes, when I put it in perspective to some of the other races I do, is peanuts.  But damn, they can be very painful feeling peanut minutes.

In the end, I came quite close to the time I had wanted at 18:10, another PB for me (but then again, it's my 2nd 5km so not too hard to PB based on learning experience alone).  I was hoping to sneak in under 18 minutes but that gives me something to work for next time.  I finished 9th overall, which was a great result considering the competition - there were some fast women running there!  Then of course came the famed St. Patty's day race treats and after party and lots of fun!  This really is a great little race that is so well supported and organized - so congrats to everyone involved.  I subsequently went to the pool after the race to do a long swim, and froze my butt off in the pool - so probably won't be trying that trick again anytime soon.  But I definitely got the icebath effect - only bonus to being hypothermic I guess.

So that's the only race, although it seems like lots of races coming up in the very near future for me.  Life still continues though, as one training day at a time.  I've spent the last week largely out of the pool with my very first swimming injury (so proud!  just kidding, I am not...) but it seems to be getting back to normal with a week off.  Incidentally, I really don't think it hurt to get a little extra downtime into my last week either.  I forget sometimes that I am not a "swimmer" and this doesn't come naturally to me, so it takes more energy out of me that I realize.  I just don't pay much attention to that when I'm swimming because I'm really enjoying the process of getting better (you make great leaps when you come from completing 25 m without choking on pool water).  But after one week off and one trial swim, I think I'm ready to get back into it.  Yippee.

In the land of biking I am very happy to report that I have found a bike saddle that I am loving.  Sweet baby jane you have no idea how happy this makes me - and my butt.  I've put up with a painful saddle for so long, that when I turned 30 I decided I was too 'old' to put up with this anymore :)  And it's making a big difference - I don't actually want to get off my bike anymore once I get on it (unless I've been on the trainer for 2hrs and 40 minutes, then I think it's only human to want to get off it).   It seemed so expensive at first, investing in a new saddle, but once I started riding on it, the worry of cost is completely obliterated when you compare it to comfort and performance.  Although I am demo'ing a saddle right now, unless some magical saddle from heaven is created in the next week, I will be going with an ISM Adamo - looks crazy, but is crazy comfortable, and I can't wait to do some long, long rides on it to test it out.  A comfy saddle makes a happy girl.

C'est fini.  That's my update.  I've included a few pictures from some of the drizzly rides I've been doing around Vancouver, trying to skirt around deluges and still give myself hope that one day I can bike outside without fear of freezing.  It's coming.  I know.  In the meantime I still saddle up the ol' trusty trainer and have definitely expanded my cheesy movie collection with such gems as Twilight, Slap Shot and Stick It.  I must however, highly recommend the two best biking movies for trainer rides, as Breaking Away and American Flyers.  So awesome.

With an eye on the weather I am hoping for a bit more solar power to come in the next few weeks.  I am quite delighted with the arrival of daylight savings as a whole hour of brightness has just appeared in my life.  So great!

Hope you're all working hard and speeding up through spring.  Pretty soon it will be make-a-garden time.  I have not been very involved in the past due to energy/time constraints, but am excited to be growing some delicious organic fruits and veggies in the garden this year!

Summer does exist!

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