Friday, April 22, 2016

Live, Love, Run, Bike!

Wow, how has 3 months gone by since my last post? It's been an exciting 3 months and I'm eager to share it with all of my readers.

What's New?
I spent last week in Penticton at a cycling training camp with Peloton Racing. Gorgeous weather and a great group of people made the week a success. But I was also pretty proud of myself, comparing myself year-over-year when I attended this camp last year.

Last year at this time I rode my "Longest Ride Ever" (strava title) which was 112km. Two days later I rode 144km, marking a new longest ride ever. I came home feeling pretty accomplished - 256 km over a course of 4 days seemed pretty hardcore to me!

Let's go forward a year to last week. 456km over 4 days and a new longest ride ever of 155km (thanks for being my good? influence Ania!). Following that new milestone, the very next day I chased a fellow teammate, Karel Bergmann, up Mount Baldy in Penticton capturing the QOM by over ten minutes and increasing my FTP. For those of you not familiar with these terms, QOM means Queen of the Mountain. It's a strava term and if you haven't heard it before you need to get on strava! FTP is your functional threshold power. Make sense? Didn't think so - dumbed down it is essentially the power (measure on a bike) you can hold for one hour.

Here is the victory shot from the top of Mt. Baldy, along with my tow-rope, Karel! @visitpenticton featured this shot in their IG feed, so I was pretty stoked about that!

I am also happy to report that I'm back with my coach from last year and I'm also back running more frequently! It's been over a month now where I'm able to run without any pain at all and even able to push the paces a bit. I surprised myself by running on feel* about a month ago and ended up running 10k at 4:10/km pace. I'm on my way back! And I need to be, because I have some other exciting news:

What's Next?
This year the Great White North Triathlon is also hosting a duathlon event for the very first time. It's a world's qualifier and the world's event just so happens to be held in Penticton of next year.

I know what you're thinking - how are you going to race that if you're pregnant? What happened to those plans? Well, obviously, I won't race if I'm pregnant. And I have to qualify for World's first, anyways, which could be a MEGA challenge considering it brings out the best. But, like all things in life, nothing is for sure. I am not guaranteed I will even be successful in getting pregnant, so I'm carrying on as I would and will obviously adjust my schedule should I end up pregnant in the near future.

I have learned through one failed marriage and many other personal obstacles over these past few years that there are many things in life out of your control no matter how hard you work at something or how badly you want something. So it's always good to find happiness in the now, in the things that are going your way, because plans can change whether you want them to or not.

So, what makes me happy now? My bike, my running shoes, my husband, my dogs, and chatting with my sister. This is my now!

Food for Thought
*I have been seeing more and more posts and articles lately on running and cycling based on feel. Many of us endurance athletes are data junkies. We swear we are "Garmin powered" or whatever device it is one uses. We spend more time analyzing our data than actually performing the activity. Without it, we are certain our legs wouldn't even move! We can't wait to upload our activity; in fact, we do that before getting out of our sweaty gear!  Aside from making us look like crazed lunatics to the regular person, it can also have detrimental training effects. A few of the studies I've read claims it puts more pressure on ourselves to get faster, better, stronger and push through paces we have pushed through before, even if we are not feeling it that day. It can lead to injury and burnout faster.

So I challenge you all to put away the watch, or the power meter, (at least hide it from your view), and go for a "free-ride" or "free-run" every once in a while. You might rekindle your love for the sport if you find you are not making any progress.

Guinness World Record
As many of you know, the Guinness World Record attempt is going down in just over a month. We are well on our way with fundraising events. If you have not purchased a calendar from me yet, please do! For just $25 you can support such a great cause and get some fun reading in, as each month includes a bio of the runner and a picture or two, or three (some of them ladies were just too photogenic!). I could be your Miss June (Mrs. June, in reality) of 2017 ;)

Taking the lead on the female team has been so inspiring. I am continuously in awe of the things this group of ladies has accomplished, even in just the four months of getting to know them. It has shown me the beauty of running. Running is so much more than personal bests and podiums. It's about the community and everyone trying to do better for themselves, and even more often, for others.

"Life is a marathon, so let's train for it!"

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