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Weekly Update 1…

As the title suggests, I will update my activities weekly, rather than trying to keep up with daily updates, plus I am sure daily updates can get very boring. I will of course do other posting not related to my physical activity as they come up.

Since my last update, I have continued to ride but still not to a level that I had planned by this point. The one thing so far this bike season that I have not experienced in past years, is the constant strong winds we have had on a daily basis. In the end, I know this will only make me stronger on the bike. I have taken to doing some sprints on my rides, I usually sprint for 1K. Reviewing the Garmin data once I was finished, I was happy to see a few sprints in the 40km/h and the majority in the high 30s.

Since my last post, I did add another “gadget” to Bonnie. Last year, I purchased a used set of Profile Design T2+ aerobars. It did take me some time getting use to the aerobars but towards the end of last season I was comfortable in the aero position. The one thing I did find with the T2 was the flat position of the bars caused my hands to go numb.

T2

In the off-season, I did some research on the various aerobars to see if I could find a set that I would feel more comfortable with and that would alleviate the numbness. In the end, I purchased a set of Profile Design T3+ Carbon based on several reviews.

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So far, I am very happy with the purchase. I love how my hands feel in the up turned bar position. Over the next little while, I will play with the adjustment of the bars to see if I can tune in my aero position better.

Last weekend was a big weekend for the Ottawa running community, as it was the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. There were almost 50,000 runners competing in races from 5k right up to the marathon. This race is a Boston qualifier so there are runners from all over the world in Ottawa competing. As part of Race Weekend, there is a huge fitness expo with everything a runner might need to compete. I decided not to take part this year but I thought I should at least take in the expo. This would be my first time going into such a crowded place on my own since getting diagnosed with PTSD. Well, I did make it through though it did take a lot out of me. Still, I made the effort and to think that just over a year ago, I would have not even considered going into that big of a crowd on my own.

Though I was disappointed not to be racing this year, I did have several friends running in various races. My running buddy and good friend Jenn was running in her very first marathon. I so wished I could have run with her, but it was not meant to be. As I sat at my nephew football practise, I kept looking at the time on my iPhone and talking to myself, saying, at this time, Jenn should be at this point on the course. I was so happy when I got home and checked her bib number on Sport Stats to see Jenn had completed he first marathon. It was bitter-sweet but I was super proud of Jenn crossing that finish line.

On Tuesday morning, I noticed that one of my friends posted a running challenge that she was taking part in with Runners World Magazine. The challenge is to run every day from Memorial Day to July 1, a total of 41 days of running. I have not run much at all since last December so this was a great chance to get my legs moving again while being held accountable to my running friends. Knowing that I had not run since December, I was not going to run for a time but a distance to start off with and once I got my runners legs back, then I would start pushing for time.

There are a couple of more motivators to run and keep running. The first being that I have signed up to run the Army half marathon at the end of September. The proceeds of this race goes to help the Canadian Soldiers and their families. It is also an emotional race as there are a lot of wounded soldier either running or racing in their wheel chairs. This year, I will wear a special shirt that I will have made up for the race. The second reason for keeping up with the running is that it will help me lose the weight I have put on in the last year. I worked so hard to lose that 100lbs, I cannot go back to that weight again. I went from a 46″ waist down to a 34″ waist, though my pants were a little snug. Now, I am finding that my 36″ waist pants are a little more than snug. My short-term goal is to fit back into my 36″ waist pants so they are very comfortable to wear.

Over all, I am feeling very good and that things are coming together nicely. I so look forward to the next 5-6 weeks of training and then going back to school for six weeks. Things are changing, but all the changes at this point are very good.

Here is a sample of my workouts this past week:

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Until next time, “Pick a gear and disappear”

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Restart Delayed

Well I had every intentions to start back training over the last couple of weeks but I have been battling a nagging “MAN COLD” that just won’t go away. From the posts of my Ottawa friends on Facebook, it seems the strong women have been hit with nasty bug.

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Though I have not been able to train, I have worked my training plan and playing with a race calendar. Right now my “A” race will be the Olympic Distance at the K-Town Triathlon with the possibility of a 70.3 late season race if all goes well so rather than set myself up for disappointment my focus will be the Olympic Distance this year. There is no sense in pushing myself and getting injured. If a 70.3 distance is meant to be this year, then it is meant to be and if not then there is something to shoot for in 2016.

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I have also taken this forced down time to search through the WordPress blogs for other triathletes for inspiration and training tips. One that I like is Katie Hart Morse, as she mixes up her workouts. In one of her posts, she links to a YouTube video of her doing a strength workout half way through one of her runs. I would have never thought to do that myself. It is a great idea, especially for me as I do not do enough strength core training and have always found a way to not do it at the end of the run. By doing the workout half way through, it not only gets the workout in but allows you to cool down part way through the run and get the heart rate down.

With any luck, I can finally shake this cold and the weather will finally make its way into the plus side of zero before too long. Until then, I will keep on keeping on.

Let’s Start From the Beginning…..Again

It has been six months since my last post and not much has changed. I continue to fight my PTSD symptoms, though there has been some progress, there is still a lot of work to do before a full recovery happens. My fitness level has taken a huge hit and that has been mostly down to me. Shortly after running the Montreal Rock-n-Roll half marathon, I went into a fitness funk, I had no desire to swim, bike or run. I went so far as to isolate myself from the groups that I ran and cycled with, as well as “unfriend” these groups and people from my FACEBOOK contacts. Why did I do this? The only answer I can give is that I did not want to see other people reaching their goals, enjoying themselves doing their activities and that it was a conscious decision to isolate myself from people again. I even stopped visiting the blogs of people I have befriended over the last 18 months. The other part of my fitness funk is that one of the medications that I am on causes me to crave carbs and I have given in to those cravings way too much!!

Today, I start from the beginning again. I will return to my daily routine as much as possible, connecingt with all those people that have been some of my biggest cheer leaders. In terms of fitness goals, I will start small and work my way up knowing that I cannot just pick up where I left off. As to avoid disappointment, I will not sign up for any races too far in advance of race day. I realize that I run the chance of events being sold out but I will maintain the attitude, if it is meant to be, it will be.

My blog going forward will be a twice a week update that will cover my training and what is going on in my life. I will try to refrain from dwelling on my PTSD, but it is a part of my life and hopefully, this forum will give me another outlet to help the healing process along. I will try to be up beat, but there will be times that my not so happy mood will seep in.

There is one thing that is new since my last post, I got a tattoo!!! Yes, I got a tattoo. So many people that know me would have never guessed that I would get a tattoo. My orginal idea was to get Wile E Coyote chasing the Roadrunner but once I saw the art work, I decided to go a different route.

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Outline

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Inking the outline

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Feeling o.k and no pain

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Starting to fill in the colour

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Finished product

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Close up

In the end, I am very happy with the result and I think it will match up nicely once I get an M dot tattoo on the opposite calf sometime in the future.

That’s all for now and my apologies for the disappearing act and I do hope to be more present from this point on.

 

Hopefully The Last DNS For Awhile

This weekend is premier running event for the year in Ottawa. It is Ottawa race weekend time and normally at this time I would be starting to gear up for my race. Unfortunately, after much soul searching this will be yet another DNS (did not start) race for me. Early last week, I thought I just might be able to run my race, but the more I thought about it, the more my anxiety grew and I came to the realization that for my own sense of peace and health it was better to sit this one out. I just could not imagine myself in the sea of people, I believe it is a 10,000 person cap for the 10K, for any amount of time.

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I will certainly miss all the fun and excitement that goes along with Race Weekend but mostly, I will miss toeing the start line and celebration party after finishing the race with my friends the most. I will also miss working the race expo this my buddies from the Running Room as I get a charge from hearing the stories from so many people on how they started running and what their goals are for the future. Their stories also gives me motivation to continue on my own journey to IRONMAN.

Today, I being my 12 week training program for my “A” race this year, the St.John’s Triathlon Olympic Distance. So, in preparing for this race, I place to do at least two sprint triathlons before the August 10th St.John’s race.  The two sprints I have decided to do are the Smith Falls Classic on June 28 and the Valens Sprint in Cambridge on July 13th.

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I am looking forward to training and hopefully getting back out there with my friends for bikes and runs over the next four months.

Until next time…..”I am keeping my chin up and moving forward” me.

Another Week Done

So last week my goals were to complete at least two bike rides of 50K or more. I ended up doing three rides, 51.12, 50.09 and 53.13 averaging about 24KM/h. Two of the rides were on the Rideau Channal pathway system and there were a lot of people on the path so I kept my speed low, the other ride was on the Osgoode Line Path which is still pretty soft in place with water still in some sections. I am more than happy with the speed given that I was on my Trek DS 8.3 versus my road bike. I will admit that there were a couple of times that I was nervous but with each ride, I get more comfortable.

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I planned to get in three runs of 5K, but I ended up with only two. One of the days I was supposed to run did not happen as I was having a very bad, well a couple of bad days actually. Given what I am going through, there are still bad days but it seems and feels like the good days are out numbering the bad days. Again, I used the Osgoode Line Path system to do my runs as the ground is soft so running on it is easier on my knee. My time was ok at 36 minutes for one run and 34:24 for the other run. I am also breaking in a new pair of shoes, which I hope to have a review on shortly.

As for swimming, well that did not happen due one of the bad days. I will get in the pool this week but I am not going to put as much pressure on myself to do it as I did the last week. The big win for last week was that I did not visit Timmie (Tim Hortons Donuts) at all last week and I was able to eat much better. I have not weighed myself but my clothes are feeling better and I drop two belt notches so I am on the right track.

The goals for the coming week will be a repeat of last week as I know they are doable and I will not feel as much pressure. I am moving forward slowly but surely.

Until next time…When adversity strikes, that’s when you have to be the most calm. Take a step back, stay strong, stay grounded and press on. LL Cool J

The Week That Was

Last week I posted what my goals were going to be for the coming week:

1. At least one bike ride of one hour or more

2. Get at least 2 runs in of 5k

3. Stop going to Timmies to avoid the temptation of carbs

And the results were

1. I did an out and back ride on my bike to the Running Room for a total of 32K and about 1.5 hours of riding. At first, I was a bit nervous as this was my first ride since my crash and that the bike I was riding was very similar to the one I crashed on. It took a good 20 minutes or so to feel comfortable, especially riding in traffic. By the time I reached the Running Room, I was feeling more at ease and confident on the bike.

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The ride back home was a easer but boy oh boy was it damn cold. It is hard to believe it is May and the temperatures have remain in the single digits.

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2. Well I got in only one 5K run, but I will blame the weather for not being able to get out to do the second run. At the moment I am a fair weather runner, but has to change or I will not be able to achieve the results I want for my big race in August.

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3. I did manage to curb my carb craving this past week and only went to Timmies once and that was due to running late one morning and not having anything to eat at home. I skipped the chocolate chip muffin, Timbits or cookies for a bran muffin. Still not the best choice but it was better than what I was eating before.

So this week my goals are as follows:

1. Get in at least two 50K rides on the bike. Not at any land speed record time but just to start the legs and but used to longer distances.

2. Three 5K runs in any weather.

3. Now that my shoulder and neck are better, to swim laps at a pool for 45 minutes at least once this week.

Last week, I pushed beyond my comfort zone and did a goal setting talk at the Running Room. Though my anxiety did start to build towards the end of the talk, I was able to hold it together. I am still having good days and bad days but I think the good days are out numbering the bad one, at least in the depression area. The anxiety is still giving me trouble but I will continue to work on that until I can get it under control. I am hoping the more I put myself in situations that induces the anxiety at the present time, I can build up a tolerance to the anxiety.

Here is to the week ahead of getting stronger and healthier.

Until next time…..I’ve worked too hard and too long to let anything stand in the way of my goals. I will not let my teammates down and I will not let myself down. Mia Hamm

So What’s Next

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Well,  it has been just over a week since I “came out” about my current challenges, I would like to thank all those that have contacted me to offer support, encouragement or well wishes on a speedy recovery. I also realize that there are a lot of people who just d0 not know what to say or how to react to my situation and to those I say, do not worry. Heck, I am not sure how I would react if one of my friends told me they were suffering from depression/anxiety/PTSD. The one thing I do know is that people do care and they have different ways of showing it.

So what’s next? Well, the race calendar has been tossed out the window though I do plan to draft a new one in the coming weeks. The St.john’s Triathlon is still a go as I have paid for everything associated with the race. The plan is to start consistent training beginning the week of May 18th. Between May 18th and August 10th, I do hope to get in a few other race but I will be looking for races that do not have a large number of people. Luckily in Ontario, I will have a great deal of race of races to choose from.

Beside the race changes, there will also be some life changes as well. Some of those changes will be drastic, that some people will find disappointing but upon the recommendation of my doctors it is best for my overall health. Other changes will be less noticeable to people but to me, they will be dramatic. As I make those changes, I will let everyone know so that people do not hear about it through the grapevine.

In the mean time, over the next few weeks, I will be working on getting my weight down. One of the side effects of the medication I am on, is  that I crave carbs all the time. For the past number of years when I go to Timmies, I would just get an extra-large tea and have no desire for anything else. Now when I go there, before I order my tea, I order three cookie, 20 pack of Tim Bits or a couple of donuts. So, it is time to get back on track and start eating a lot better than I have over the past four months. I am hesitant to ask the doctors to change my meds as they do seem to be working but if I cannot correct the carb craving then I might just have to change the meds. There is no sense in having me feeling mentally ok but doing damage to the rest of my body. One of my fears is that I will put back on a lot of weight and this might cause my depression to become deeper as I do not ever want to go back to the way I was four years ago.

As most of you know, I am a big goal writer. At any given time, I will have short, mid and long-term goals that I would be working on. Right now, my focus will be on short-term goals only, be they one day, one week or one month. Going beyond those time frames is just too much for me to handle right now. For the coming week, my goal is to get out on my bike. Ten days ago, I brought up my Trek DS 8.3 but have not had the motivation to get out on the road. I also wonder if there is some fear that is causing me to not get out there after last years accident.

Here my goals for the coming week that I hope you hold me accountable for:

1. At least one bike ride of one hour or more

2. Get at least 2 runs in of 5k

3. Stop going to Timmies to avoid the temptation of carbs

I have to start somewhere and this seems like a doable list to start with that I hope that I can get mind and body working together in unison again.

Until next time….“I’ve had some dark nights of the soul, of course, but giving in to depression would be a sellout, a defeat”. Christopher Hitchens