Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Swimming in the 'D' Lane

Happy Holidays!! You know it's time for an update when your Dad calls you and says..." you really need to update your blog Lisa..."

Well, after a short but sweet Christmas break, I've been on 'Christmas training camp' with my swim group. I've been relegated to the back of the distance lane or the D lane. When I swam, I avoided the D lane, it wasn't somewhere I ever wanted to only meant longer sets and swimming more meters....funny how things turn out!

Here is how to tell if you've been swimming too much lately:

  • You've swam a total of 31km in 3 days

  • Sometimes when you try to go fast, you can't feel if your arms are moving!

  • Half way through the workout you daydream about how good your Powerbar is going to taste

  • After workout you are so hungry that you HAVE to eat your Powerbar in the shower...gross I know, but I was beyond hungry

  • You aren't sure you'll be able to hold onto the steering wheel while driving home after practise
  • You've stopped showering between workouts, there just doesn't seem to be a point & Richard doesn't seem to mind the chlorine smell
  • Because of the above, you have also ceased to brush your hair, again, no point

  • This is how you feel after 3 heavy days of swimming: more practice tomorrow and then thankfully, the swimming gods have closed every single pool in Calgary on New Year's Day, so it's a day out of the water!!! Then, it's a weekend of snowshoeing and skate skiing on the books...I hope my arms can use the poles!!

Happy New Year everyone!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

1900 Kilometers....+200km....

After my last post, Richard and I snapped, we had enough of the -20 something weather and packed up the car and headed south. We drove and drove, lil' Blue (my car) had developed a shutter, a cold weather wobble....we even had to stop an hour out of Calgary to spray it down in hopes that the chunks of ice on the axles and in the wheel wells would melt....the wobble persisted for about 1000km, very annoying.

Our destination was St. George Utah & my parents place down there. Our heads were filled of visions of palm trees, clear roads, tons of biking & running outdoors and maybe even walking outside without a jacket & gloves. So south we drove, the snow persisted...we made it to Idaho Falls the first was still -20...this poor Llama was outside all night, we checked to make sure it was still alive in the morning...guess Llama wool is pretty thick, poor guy!
We pushed on in search of warmer weather....we willed the snow away, we wished for the St. George to be BELOW the snow line....about 10' outside of St G we finally dropped below the snow line, just barely, but the next morning we woke to this:
The locals blamed a "Canadian cold front" that brought the abnormal snow, we called it "a cruel joke". After a couple cups of coffee, a swim at the local pool, thoughts of jumping on my trainer (yuck), and a couple clicks on expedia, we made the decision to drive a further 200km south in search of some heat--we weren't expecting the tropics people, temps above the melting point were all we wanted! So Vegas it was! I'd never been, so we thought is might be fun. Since gamblin' & drinkin' aren't really our thing, we opted for hours of people watching, hitting bike shops (I'm looking for a new mountain bike) and running down 'the strip' instead. Oh the sites you see when you run down Las Vegas Boulevard at 8am....and YES it started to warm up in Vegas and finally in St George! I also heard a rumour that there might be an ITU World Cup/Champ race in Vegas!

Us at the Bellagio fountains:
Richard petting what I dubbed 'the ode to global warming' in the Venetian. A polar bear and cub growing flowers instead of fur, floating on a lone piece ice....
After the quick Vegas stop, it was back up to St G. The drive back into Utah is beautiful, even more so once we saw all the snow was gone!
The last few days have been filled with swimming and exploring the local area by bike and foot. Richard and I rode a loop of next year's Ironman St George...if you are planning on racing this one, just let me know and I can give you my scouting notes! All I can say is you better start riding hills!!

I did a fantastic training ride up in Snow Canyon Park....don't worry, no snow here, in fact I was down to just shirt and shorts after my first hill repeat! The road through the park is almost exactly 20' of uphill riding (only 10' down!), precisely what coach wanted me to do: 2x20' at low rpm, perfect! What made the ride even better was the rocks! I could spend all day on that road going up and down and looking at the Geology. Here are some pictures from today's ride. The petrified dunes:
With signs & lookout stops like this along the way, it made descending dangerous and I was rarely looking at the pavement in front of me!
Apparently these guys like the rocks too...I only saw a couple small furry things dart across the road:
Ahhh....Igneous rocks (basalt lava rocks) capping the Navajo sandstone....does it get better than this??
That's all to report for now. Up next a run on the red rocks.....

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Ol' Man Winter

He is here and he means business...I managed to get in a training ride outside on Nov 26, which is pretty late for Calgary but winter is now in full are some pictures from a chilly walk with Shaggy in the dog was so windy all the snow was blown away!

Here's a video in case the pictures didn't give you the full effect, check out the snow blowing across the field:

The snow drift on the side of the house:

You know that you live somewhere cold if:

  • your toes are cold & steam rises off you when you are riding inside with the door propped open during spin class
  • you're wearing long underwear 24/7
  • you've bought a new pair of boots that are rated to -40 degrees
  • the only jacket you've worn in 4 days makes you look like the Michelin man (see 1st pic)
  • you've considered paying insane amounts for a last minute flight to somewhere warm

Bundle up. I'm planning a trip south....