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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.

bars

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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run2

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Until next time, “Pick a gear and disappear”

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.

 

Why Do I Run

Recently I gave a talk at a Running Room Clinic about goal setting and motivation, though it took a lot out of me, I was able to get through the 30 minutes but doubling up on my meds that day may have had something to do with that. At the end of the talk, one of the people in the clinic came up to me and asked why did I start running. The simple answer was that it is something I could do right away without a lot of training.

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The advantages of running is that it is a sport that can be done solo or in a group. Other than getting a very good, properly fitted running shoes, the investment to start is very low compared to other sports. You can run anywhere, whether on vacation, traveling for work or during a lunch break. Depend on how hardcore you want to be, you can run in just about any type of weather.

There are days that I just enjoy running by myself, it allows me to clear my head and concentrate on my pace as well as my stride. I also like running with just one other person, in this situation, it allows me to encourage and to be encouraged. I have a very good friend, Jenn, she and I run together a lot. We have both been through many struggles as we strive to improve our running and we push each together to improve. Group running is a lot a fun as it allows you to float through the group to be social with so many people.

Since I have started running, I have noticed that so many of my Facebook friends have started running. I do not know if I was the inspiration for them to take up running but if I was, then that is an added benefit. Seeing others working on improving themselves, motivates me to improve and encourages me to get out there on days I just do not have the desire to run.

This is a great time of year to start running while the temperature are not too hot and the days are getting longer. I would encourage anyone to attend the Running Room Wednesday and Sunday run club or even join a learn to run clinic. If there is not a Running Room in your area, most likely there is another running shoe store or local club that organizes weekly runs. If you do not want to start out in a group there a couple of great learn to run apps, such as Ease Into 5K or C25K .

So get out there and run, enjoy the outdoors and all that it has to offer.

Until next time…...”In running, it doesn’t matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say, ‘I have finished.’ There is a lot of satisfaction in that.” Fred Lebow

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

The Decision Has Been Made

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After some research and soul-searching, I have decided the St.John’s Triathlon will be my “A” race for 2014. Why did I pick this race? Well for one, it will be back in my home province of Newfoundland where I have not spent any amount of time in almost six years. It also does not hurt that the George St Festival starts right after the race. The second reason is, if I do not have a good race, I can try to redeem myself three weeks later at the Cornwall Triathlon.

When looking at the course, it seems to have a some degree of difficulty and a little bit challenging which is another reason I chose this race over Cornwall as my A race. As anyone knows, the weather in Newfoundland at anytime of year can present its’ own challenges to what you do outside. I noticed in the 2013 race that at the beginning of the race, the weather was nice but then the wind picked up and a short time later the rain started to pour.

I am excited to return home but more excited for solid race performance. So let the training begin.

Until next time…..Goals are dreams with deadlines.

New Year, New Goals and New Challenges

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Only a few hours to go and 2013 will be behind us, so it is time to look forward to 2014. With the beginning of each new year, I am always optimistic that the new year will be better than the past year. This coming year is certainly no different. During the time between Christmas and the New Year, I take time to write new goals and create a plan to reach those goals. Without a plan, goals tend to be wishes that fade over time. It is very important to write your goals down and review on a regular basis. Below are my fitness goals and my race plan for 2014.

Goals

1. Be more consistent with my training. (I have a plan)

2. Get rid of that last 20lbs (meal plan is already written)

3. Give back to the sport of running and triathlon by volunteering at least 6 races/events

4. Set up training bank account and do auto deduction from business account

5. Network with my realtor colleagues to generate referral income to buy a dedicated tri-bike

Running Goals

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I did not indicate goal times for each race as I will set a realistic goal based on my training and progress as I get close to each run. You will notice that the longest distance for the coming year is one 30K. The reasoning behind this is that I want to take it a little easier on my body so I figure I will do shorter distances than a few longer distances. It will give me a bunch more race t-shirts and medals!!!

Triathlons

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I am so looking forward to heading back home to compete in the St.John’s triathlon. It looks like a great race and I hope to visit with so many friends while I am there. The Cornwall Triathlon was my first triathlon ever so I just may switch to the sprint distance so I can see my level of improvement but that is something I can change as I get closer to race day. If at all possible, I do hope that I can compete in an end of year IRONMAN 70.3 somewhere in North America, most likely Miami or Austin.

So, there it is but there is one other goal, that for the most part I will not have any control of and that is to make it through 2014 without any major injuries that will impede my training. Bring on 2014 and all the glory that will come with it.

Until next year….“Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” Carl Bard