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.
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.
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:
Until next time, “Pick a gear and disappear”
After my bike spill last year and the multiple injuries that accompanied it I knew that it was going to be a while before I ran. My first run was the Santa Shuffle in December, a nice little 5K to help raise money for the Salvation Army. As the run began I felt pretty good but it did not take long before I started to feel some pain. The first place I experienced pain was in my left knee which took a good beating in the bike spill and I was more or less expecting this to happen. The area I was not expecting any pain was in my wrist. How does ones wrist start to hurt while running. I guess it must have been the old foot bone connected to wrist bone thing.
Running causes a lot of impact on the body, so if I wanted to get back to running sooner than later, I knew that I would have to find a shoe that had more cushioning than the ones I was currently wearing. When I did the Rideau Lakes Tour, I talked to a guy in Kingston about the different shoes he was wearing. He told me about how good they were and all the cushioning it provided. It took me a while to remember the unusual name but once I did, it was to the internet to find out more information.
The shoes I am talking about is the Hoka One One Bondi Speed. The first thing I will say about the Bondi Speed is that they are not the lightest shoe on the market, weigh in at 12.4 oz for size 10.5, but if you want that extra cushioning that is one sacrifice you will need to make. These shoes are the poplar opposite to the minimalist shoes that have been all the rage for the fast few years. Though they are slightly heavier than most shoes, you would certainly not notice it on a long run. From the Hoka website here is their techniqal info:
COMFORT AND CUSHIONING: The midsole foam is 30% softer than the material used in traditional running shoes, and there is 2.5 times more volume than in most running shoes. The extra cushioning dissipates up to 80% of the shock associated with heel striking when running and allows for as much as 20mm of compression in the heel, plus extra protection allowing you to soar over asphalt surfaces.
ROCKERED MIDSOLE GEOMETRY & LOW HEEL-TOE DIFFERENTIAL: A 4.5mm heel to toe drop and rockered profile creates a unique rolling motion that encourages proper form by allowing a runner to easily strike the ground near the midfoot.
CONTROL: The unique, patented bucket seat is recessed up to 20mm within the midsole unit so as to best position your foot for optimum precision. This high degree of control also ensures you maintain responsive contact with the ground at all times.
STABILITY: The 25% wider outsole platform is designed to counterbalance the excess height of the oversized midsole. This large surface area ensures that you will maintain a stable footing, no matter how hard you run.
SUPERIOR TRACTION: The outsole is specially designed for use on the road, the high surface volume of the lug pattern as well as the shallow treads ensure good grip on even wet surfaces and high levels of abrasion resistance even when you push your shoes to the limit.
FEATHERLIGHT WEIGHT: Relative to its size, lighter than most road running shoes at less than 10 ounces, they make running uphill as much fun as they make running downhill and with less body fatigue.
BENEFITS: Engineered for maximum cushioning, comfort, protection and energy return, while still offering lightweight, nimble performance and uninhibited movement. Run more efficiently with less injury and quicker recovery.
When you look at the shoes you would think that with the thick sole that it would take a little time to adjust to them. For me, there was no adjustment at all. I really liked the cushioning but the cushioning just did not cushion the impact but also made the foot spring back. The foam does not give that squishy feeling but a controlled responsive feeling.
The one thing I did notice though is that the shoes’ upper was not overly breathable. Having run in them on a couple of hot days now, my feet got very hot and I ended up with a blister on one foot after a long run. Thinking it might be the socks, I changed those with some relief but still at the end of the run my feet were very hot.
The shoes fit like any other running shoe though you will find that your foot sits lower in the shoe. It is a mid to wide shoe and the toe box feels just right to me. The shoe comes with two sets of laces, traditional and speed. I put in the speed laces as that is what I will wear during triathlons. There is also a very strong pull tab at the back for ease of entry. This pull tab has last longer than any other on other shoes I have had. There is no doubt people will see you coming in the daytime with the shoe being bright orange but at night, there is more than enough reflectors for people to see you.
Over all a very good, especially for those with knee or joint issues. I would certainly buy another pair and they would become my long distance running shoes. When I got these shoes, I could only get them from the U.S, I am happy to say that there are a number of Canadian stores selling the Hoka line of running shoes, that will give runners another option to the main stream running shoes.
Until next time…..Keep on running
I am not one to carry a wallet at the best of times and certainly not while I am biking or running. One day while reading a tri magazine, I noticed an ad for a product called Road ID. The more I looked into it the product, the more it made sense to me. As I travel a lot, I decided to go with their Interactive product as it lets me up date my contact information online, so when I am traveling, I can put in the contact info of the hotel I am staying at etc.
I am also using their eCrumb app which sends an alert to your chosen contact should you not move for 5 minutes. A great idea given the number of hit and runs that have happened in the last little while. Click on the picture below to read a story that illustrates how effective the product is and if you have not got one, I highly recommend that you do.
I have spent a small fortune on sunglasses over the years. The reason for the small fortune is that I have either lost or have broken so many pairs of glasses. I have tried the expensive, the cheap and the in between with varying results but eventually, I either break or misplace them. A couple of years ago, I decided that I would no longer purchase expensive sunglasses for this simple reason.
I do realize that having good eye wear for triathlon is important so the task is to find mid range sunglasses that will work well for me. Since starting triathlon, I have gone through at least 10 pairs and I can honestly say I did not find any that worked well or survived the punishment I put them through. In that 10 pairs, I did break down and purchased a pair of Oakley but after a couple of months wearing them, I again lost them. Other than the money I spent on them, I was not heart-broken as I did not find them to be worth the money and the hype did not live up to my expectations.
While I was working the Muskoka 70.3 Ironman, once again I broke my sunglasses and I had to find yet another pair. Luckily, there was an expo with a number of sunglass vendors showing off their wears. After trying on several pairs I ended up purchasing the Bliz Pursuit XT. The reason for the purchase was, one they fit very well which I have always had a hard time due to a narrow face but a large bridge nose. The second reason was the complete package that came with it. One item that I really liked was the replaceable sweat band. I have a problem with sweating a lot and it going into my eyes. The sweat band channels the sweat away from the eyes as well it allows air flow around the lenses so they do not fog up, which is another problem I have.
Another great feature is that the glasses allow you to interchange lenses. This is important especially for cycling on those days that having dark lenses are not needed. To change the lenses is very easy but you do not get the sense that the lenses are going to fall out easily. I had another pair of glasses that had interchangeable lenses and the lenses always seem sloppy or loose.
The package also comes with a sports strap that will keep the glasses more secure on your head. I find this item useful during the winter months while running and wearing a hat/toque. It allows you to secure the sunglasses so that the arms do not have to go under the cap/toque.
The lenses provide 100 UV protection against UVA/UVB and are made of unbreakable polycarbonate material that is that is 10 times more impact resistant than glass or plastic lenses. The lenses are super light when compared to plastic or glass as well. As mentioned earlier, I have a large bridge on my nose, these glasses provide an adjustable nose piece. It is by far, the most comfortable nose piece I have had on a pair of sunglasses.
The one thing I did not realize until after I purchased is that all the components are made from 100% recycled material. A lot of times, items made from recycled material seem cheap or break down over time. I have had the glasses now for six months and they are just as good as the day I purchased them.
So far, I love these glasses, so much so, that I will purchase an extra pair the next chace I get.
The package includes:
Smoke & Blue multi coating lenses
Low Light lenses (available in different colours)
Hard Shell Case
For $109, you cannot go wrong with these glasses.
Until next time…..If someone doesn’t brighten your life, don’t take off your sunglasses, just find sunshine somewhere else.