Wednesday, February 27, 2013

February 18-24

The week that wasn’t, basically.  Let’s see….

Monday – rest day – I rode the computrainer for 30 minutes.  Light watts.

Then the depression hit.  The joy of the bipolar, I guess.  Tuesday and Wednesday I struggled to leave the house (read:  I didn’t) but I did managed to ride both days, light watts, nothing long.  Still, I think getting the exercise in helped with the depression, because by Thursday I was returning to normal – a little bruised emotionally, but getting there – I didn’t get Thursday’s tempo in, but I did get out for a run with Neb.  It was really good mentally to get that done.

I was actually pretty proud of myself – generally when I get depressed exercise goes out the window, but I was able to really commit to good self-care and continue to work out through it.

Friday I took as a rest day, and Saturday I went out to Hilton Falls for a 2.5 hour trail run.

Which didn’t work so well.  I wore my microspikes, since it has snowed a bit and I figured the trails would have ice under the snow – but I was sliding around a lot.  The microspikes were being a pain, I had to keep adjusting them.  I never went over on my ankle, but at 45 minutes in it was really starting to hurt.  I decided to hike it back and to do my long run on Sunday.  Towards the end of my hike back, I thought I’d try running again – ouch.  I think I only ran 430 metres before deciding that was a bad idea.

Sunday the ankle was still quite sore – dusting the apartment and cleaning the kitchen in the morning set it off, so I reluctantly decided that a run wasn’t in the cards.  Bah!  I need to be getting in my long runs!  But it will be fine.  Absurdly, perhaps, given my lack of experience at the distance, I am not worried about finishing the 50 miler at Sulphur – I am worried about how long it will take me.  If I could run a 50k race on a long run of 12k a few years ago, I’m way ahead of the curve for the 50 miler, and I’ve got plenty of time to get in other good long runs.  But how fast will I be?  Absurd to worry about with my first one, but I am a professional worrier and I need something for my soul to gnaw on….that or I need more Ativan hahahahaha.  Seriously though, Saphris has been a great med for me, and Lamotrigine continues to plug away, but I do have more anxiety on Saphris.  Seroquel I wasn’t as anxious on, but I gained about 40lbs and was constantly sedated.  You can’t have everything, I guess.

Edit for pics from Saturday!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

2013 Dion Frozen Ass Snowshoe Race Report

It was a fun day.  Not a fast day, not a day that went as planned, but a fun day.

As my shins were bothering me, I had the best snowshoe sherpa EVER (Toby!) work on my legs before the race, so everything was feeling in tip-top shape race day. 

We woke up about 6 am Sunday morning for the race, I got dressed, got the dogs out the door, and then made up some travel oatmeal and yogourt to eat while we drove.  The drive went pretty smoothly - one stop for coffee (Toby can't function without it, yech on my part) and then we got to Trenton and found our way to the Batawa Ski Hill.  It had snowed in Toronto, and I wanted to make sure we'd get there in good time, but it hadn't snowed east of the city and we got out there in great time.  I think we were the first ones there! 

Toby brought out his fancy pants camera and helped me set up the Go Pro which I wore on the chest harness to make a video which if I can work it I will link to here. 

Since the race is part of the Dion Eastern Ontario Snowshoe Race series, we got a Dion beer glass with the race entry (which is awesome, now I have two) as well as some Clif products, who are another sponsor of the series. 

The race started down the road near the power lines.  After some race instructions, which I did not hear over the crunching of people walking on snowshoes towards the race director (more on this later), we got started.  There was a 4k race and an 8k race.  I was doing the 8k.

I know the race was likely to be short, as Coach Derrick's wife Sara who was running and had done the race previously told me it felt short.  The race started on the hydro lines before entering snowmobile trails.  Fairly soon we hit the 4k turnaround - I had passed the one guy I was pacing off of, and traded places with another runner who had passed me again and was running not too far ahead.

Then we got to a spot on the trail where there was a small tree down across the trail and the red marking tape on it.

Apparently the race director had said 'turn left at the tree'.  This was probably said while everyone was crunching, because I didn't hear it.  And it was a hard left, leaving the snowmobile trail and going onto smaller less defined trail.  The girl ahead of me went straight, and even though I felt some disquiet - why was the tree taped?  Were we supposed to turn?  Or was it taped so that people would see it? - I followed her. 

I then spent a fair bit of time wondering if we were on the right trail, and when we would start seeing the leaders coming back.  I wondered if the girl in front was looking to see if she could see snowshoe tracks on the trail. 

Eventually I passed her, and couldn't really see any.  As I was deciding that in fact there were none, we came to a spot where there was an intersection and no flagging tape.  There had been flagging tape, old compared to the course flagging tape, but still flagging tape.  So the girl and I consulted and decided to go back.  At this point I was certain the tree was flagged so that you didn't go straight.  Sure enough we got back to the tree and saw the front-runners coming down the big hill.  I have to admit, I walked up the hill - I figured I had added at least a kilometre onto the course, and wasn't racing anyone other than the other girl who went off course, and she was now behind me.  I saw Sara on her way down, and started running again once I got to the top.  Heading towards the turn around I saw the guy I'd passed ages ago and he said I was almost at the turnaround (which I got to and realized that the course was definitely short).  I headed back up another good-sized hill and saw the other girl heading towards the turnaround.

I was ahead of her, but I wanted to beat her - totally MY fault I went off course, my responsibility to know the course, and my dumb for following another racer - but I still wanted to beat her.  So when I got to the start of the hill I tried to run at a good pace and heading down the big hill I figured I had an advantage with my Dion snowshoes and good cleats (she was wearing the Northern Lite running snowshoes, and I have Northern Lites for backpacking and the cleats suck on the descents, one reason why I went with the Dions). 

At the Dion Frontenac Snowshoe Race, I got passed in the last 50 metres or so,  and wanted to avoid this happening, so when I got to the flatter section (some slight rolling hills, I suppose, but mostly going down) I tried to stay consistent and speed up a bit.  I crossed the road and headed back into the powerlines and knew I was almost done.  In the end, I put quite a bit of distance on the girl and came in ahead very comfortably. 

My Garmin showed 8.28k.  I played the track in Garmin Connect and going off course for the additional out and back added on 1.2k.  I finished in 1:02, so not fast, but I'm still good with it.

I realized I need to learn how to pace a snowshoe race.  Obviously I need to do more snowshoe running.  I can run a lot faster not on snowshoes (duh) but since snowshoe running is so much harder I think I pace myself easier than I need to.  That said, my legs were tired biking the next day, but not terribly so.  I just hadn't expected them to be at all.

One positive - when I ran the Frontenac race, which was shorter, my core was tired at the end (cardio and legs fine).  This time, my core was fine - I've been doing some easy core work 3X/week and it looks like it is paying off.  

Coming in at the finish:

Despite going off course, I had a great time.  I got to see Derrick and Sara, which was nice, and picked up some new UltrAspire product from Derrick as well as borrowing a Joe Strummer book, which is a good read so far. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Feb 11-17

Another good week. 

A couple of rides in there - including on Valentines so I could help with an ill-fated meal - and a decent interval workout despite having cramps the whole run (chocolate for lunch bad!).  Despite hating the computrainer, I'm starting to enjoy the rides.  I'm paying more attention to the watts I'm riding, though I still shudder to think what my watts/kg ratio is, but I haven't done a FTP test in years so we'll pretend mine is good even if I don't ride heavy watts on my easy training rides.  Mwuahahahaha.  I am going to try to get some more rides in on off days (shhh don't tell Coach Derrick ;) ) and so we'll see how that improves. 

I don't think I've had big speed improvements lately, but I've also not been doing a lot of tempo/interval workouts due to some medical stuff, so that should improve now that I'm dizziness-free! 

And, of course, I need to be better with eating.  Losing more weight will help with my speed too - I need to get this back under control.  Hopefully not feeling good about my eating will help with this.

My shins are doing okay, which is good as well.

Friday I took off - mental health day, except it's called 'vacation day'.  Bah.  Went for a little hike on the Sulphur Springs course and decided I'm not going to worry about pre-running it - where does the little cutoff from G. Donald down to Martin go?  WHERE?  I am just going to incorrectly preprogram my head into thinking where I think I should go, so yeah.  I know the terrain, the trails aren't technical, so it's all good.  Though the hill at the start/finish is going to make me want to cry.  Especially by the fourth loop.

Neb and I also did a short run later that day.  Saturday was a planned rest day and I took it since I had a race the next day and wanted my legs to be fresh. 

On Sunday (the 17th) I had the Dion Frozen Ass Snowshoe Race.  I had fun, and will write a race report later.  My wonderful snowshoe sherpa helped me prepare, took great pics, and in general was awesome as always.  I don't know how to pace snowshoe races - I don't get how to do a hard sustained run without killing myself.  I can do it without snowshoes, I know how to push that, but since snowshoe running is harder, I tend to take it easier.  I guess I need to run more on snowshoes to really work that out. 

Oh!  And I got some new UltrAspire gear.  Can't WAIT for my long run this weekend, get to use, use, use, the Spry vest.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

February 4-10

A decent week of training.  Realizing how close I am starting to get to the 50 miler at Sulphur Springs on May 25, and starting to worry.  Low volume, as my shin has been bothering me, but all enjoyable.  Took Neb (the dawg) with a few times - he slowed me down (and I'm already slow), as he's not a fast runner, but he had fun.  I'll try to get out with him a few times a week during the cooler weather (hey, part Husky, doesn't love the warm). 

Highlights of the week - hill repeats on trail after the blizzard (without snowshoes, WHAT was I thinking!!!???  Damn near killed me), and a family snowshoe outing on the 10th to Dundas Valley Conservation Area to scout out part of the Sulphur Springs course (me, Toby, and the dogs) followed by a 19k long run. 

May seem far away but isn't.  I have some good things to look forward to before then, including some snowshoe racing, fastpacking, and self-supported trail runs (including the very important Runaway Golf Cart Marathon/Half-Marathon/10k on Masters Weekend...for the golf fans).  I can't forget the Toronto Marathon either, three weeks out from Sulphur, so I'm running it as training.  I have a goal time for Sulphur, though ultimately I'd just like to run respectably and finish.  My first 50 mile race, so it will be a matter of sorting stuff out.

I moved back to Infinit from gels for the long run on the 10th.  Since I lost ~30 minutes, if not more, to tummy troubles at Haliburton Forest in 2012, and that was down to not taking in enough water with my gels, I think Infinit may be the safer option.  I need to be aware so that I'm getting enough calories, but it shouldn't upset my stomach.  I'd rather take myself out of a bonk (though I think I can manage to avoid it altogether) then try to calm an angry digestive system - Immodium did not help at Haliburton.  Ordered some new Infinit, as I'm currently training on expired stuff (heh) and I lowered the protein, to try to help with the foaming, and added caffeine.  We'll see how it goes.

Weight-wise I remain plateaued.  I need to get serious about this again, have the fear of slowness put in me - I have races coming up!  Time to get in gear!