The trials, tribulations and nonsensical babbling of a triathlete training for her first Ironman.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006


I read my horoscope yesterday and laughed out loud when I read it. After struggling with trying to stay positive in regards to my training (mainly my running) I found this to be very appropo: "The important thing today, and for the rest of the week, is that you focus on what is going right in your life rather than what is going wrong. The sun in Aquarius at this time of year means that you tend to have an overly negative attitude to events but that can be countered by conciously and regularly counting your blessings--there are plenty of them." Oh so true. It's amazing the things we take for granted sometimes. Like being able to train for something like this. Just being able to actually get out of bed and do something physical. So many people out there can't. One of our training partners just found out he has Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. He's 38 years old and in great shape. He had signed up to Ironman this year with the rest of us. Now he can't. He has to now focus on taking care of himself. I'm sure it's turned his life upside down but he has chosen to be postive and deal with this in a positive frame of mind. All I have to think about when I am having a bad day is that--things could be worse. Having a bad workout is not the end of the world. I should be grateful that I can do this at all.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Ride On

For all the whinging I've been doing about my running, I seem to have managed to ignore all the positive gains in my cycling. I had to do a lactate balance point ride on Tuesday night (well, it was technically 2.5 beats above my lactate balance point) for an hour on the trainer to see what pace I could hold. The last time I did that ride was 2 weeks ago at my actual lactate balance point (137.5) and my average speed for the hour was 23.7 km/hr. This week, my average speed was 25.4 km /hr. I was supposed to keep my average HR at 140 but it ended up being 137. So, it looks like I am at least getting faster at a lower heart rate on my bike. YAY! I'm looking forward to getting outside! There is a group of us that is planning on heading to South Carolina at the beginning of April to ride for the week. I can't WAIT! I have never been there and the riding is supposed to be stellar. I hope to have a new bike by then as well. WOOHOO!

Work has been busy so I had a couple of days this week where what I was putting in to my body was less than ideal. At least the stuff I was snacking on anyway. Yesterday in particular. We were shooting and when we're shooting there is always so much CRAP around--I have the WORST sweet tooth so I'm constantly munching on cookies or candies. I had far too many licorice allsorts yesterday afternoon. I paid the price dearly--I had a HORRIBLE sleep and no energy when I got up this morning. And my swim was a struggle to say the least. I really need to learn a little self control when it comes to the "goodie table"!

Monday, January 23, 2006

The Sky is Falling!

My first official easy week has come to an end. I now have a 12h:45min workout week. Yay. I had a little meltdown on Sunday--once again to do with my running. I got back to the house and checked my average pace and I was pretty pleased with myself (5:20 kms--yay!). Even though my heart rate was in zone 3-4 for most of my run (Not always a good thing but HR wasn't something I was supposed to focus on for this run) and then I chatted with the hubby to see how his run was. He ran WAY faster than me (which is usual) but at a much lower heart rate. Which, for some reason, totally set me off. I started getting all anxious / frustrated and went from thinking I had a good workout to thinking that I was even slower than I imagined and that I wasn't going to get any faster, blah blah blah. Oh it was messy. I never cease to amaze myself at how I can turn on a dime. I eventually stopped snivelling like Chicken Little and saw the positive side of my workout (it was a beautiful day out and I'm faster than I was in September). So all is well in Phaedra's head right now.

I just have to make sure I remember that the next time I start to have a meltdown. Who knew that training for an Ironman would turn me in to even more of a headcase?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Ok, so this week is *supposed* to be an easy week (only 8.5 hours of working out vs. the usual 12-13--yay!) The swim workout that Richard had us do this morning was EVIL. No other way to describe it really. It was 2800 m continous and it varied from 400 m straight swimming, to 200 m kick, 400m pull, 200 swim, 400 m pull with paddles and so on for 2800 m. I am NOT very strong when it comes to pulling so this was torture for me. To top it off, I had to use paddles, which I haven't used is well over a year so my shoulders were screaming at me by the end of that first 400. I was so tired when I got out of the pool I could have fallen asleep in the shower. I am going to hurt big time tomorrow morining. Thank god I have a massage scheduled for tomorrow night. Now, I just have to try to keep my eyes open for the rest of the day.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Super Size Me

Yesterday the hubby and I went up to Orangeville to spend the day with our coach and a bunch of other like-minded masochists for a "Supersize Training Day". This consisted of a 2 hour swim session in by far, THE nicest pool I have ever swam in, lunch, followed by a 3 hour spin session on our bikes / trainers. During the swim session, Richard (our coach) filmed us swimming. It was quite entertaining to see myself swim--it looks much more different than the way I think it does when I'm in the water. I feel like I have a long, fairly fluid stroke, but I don't really. He then made us do single arm drills and filmed us doing those. Now THAT was REALLY entertaining. Those drills are really difficult to do well / properly. All the weaknesses in your form become painfully obvious. There was a whole lot of thrashing about in the pool, some did much less thrashing than others. It just made me realize how much I have to work on in my swim stroke. But it also made me realize how far I've come from when I started swimming 2.5 years ago. All in all, it was a fun day. Long, but fun and needless to say, I slept like a baby last night.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Be Positive

That was my new year's resolution. How quickly that flew out the window after my run yesterday. It was such a beautiful day out and for the first 10 minutes of my run, I was truly enjoying it--it was uncommonly warm for January (8 degrees!) and the sun was trying to come out. The birds were singing--it was almost like spring!! And then the wheels fell off the wagon. For whatever reason, I couldn't get my heart rate to settle down. I had to do a lactate balance point run--which means I run for 40 minutes with my heart rate at 137.5 (my lactate balance point). I could barely keep my HR at 139 without slowing down to an almost walk. It was SO frustrating because I know I'm not a slow runner. Out of the 3 disciplines, I consider running to be my strongest. I got so down on myself I almost wanted to stop. My coach responded to my training log with "this means we have to work on your endurance fitness". What the HELL have I been doing for the last 3 months then?!?!? I started training at the beginning of October and I honestly expected to see better results by now. My husband, always the voice of reason, reassured me that it's not about going fast now, which I know, but it still didn't put me in a better frame of mind. He also reminded me that I'm going to have good and bad training days. I guess I'll just chalk this one up to a bad training day.

On a postive note, I managed to swim 2500m in 49:41, which made me happy. And I had no panic issues in the pool which was nice, since I was a little apprehensive about this swim. I always get squirrley when I have to swim a longer distance non-stop, I don't know why really. I kinda have to get over it if I'm going to swim 3.8 km straight in July. So, this morning's swim was a step in the right direction. We'll see what happens when I get in to open water again.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Meaning in the Madness

Thanks to a couple of charity minded training partners, I decided to utilize my "Journey" as a means to raise money for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. I have put the wheels in motion and submitted my fundraising proposal to them. The fellow I spoke with seemed quite enthusiastic about my ideas about how to get the word out. One of the girls I work with had a GREAT idea--she thought we could issue a challenge to creative teams in the industry to come up with an idea for an ad to promote what I"m doing. The winning creative (the one that I like and that gets approved by the CBCF) will be photographed by one of the guys I produce for. The ad will then get posted on this website called that ad industry people in Canada go on to discuss / rate various ads, talk about the industry etc. We might even be able to do a little countdown / timer thing that shows how many days are left till the race and how far I've gotten with my fundraising. Now THAT would be AWESOME!! I'm really excited about doing this! I think it will add a little more meaning to the madness that I am subjecting myself to on a daily basis. Doing something like this could be seen as selfish by some since it is VERY time consuming--you're almost always training and when you're not, you're so tired you're lucky if you can stay up past 9:00 pm. You become rather "unsociable" (I won't say anti-social because the good intentions are there, you just can't seem to help nodding off like a 90-year old after 9:00 pm) and your quality time with friends and family slowly disappears. Thus the idea of supporting / giving back to a cause that is important to me. Several members of my family have been affected by breast cancer and unfortunately 2 of them died as a result of it (both of my grandmothers). My mom's mother died when I was 13 years old and my dad's mom died when he was only 3. I never had the opportunity to know her, and I'm sure my father has only vague memories of her. Both women left us well before their time (My dad's mom was only 39 and my mom's mom was 67). Even though she died over 20 years ago, I still really miss the one grandma I knew. I'll carry my memories of her throughout my 140.6 mile adventure on July 23rd.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

And so it begins....

Last week one of my training pals sent me a little "Countdown to Ironman" clock and it had 199 days left. Seems like a long way away, yet I know it will be here before I know it. For those of you that don't know what an Ironman is, it is a long distance triathlon consisting of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and and 26.2 mile (marathon) run, all done consecutively. I have signed up to do one of these in Lake Placid, NY on July 23rd of this year. Am I insane you ask? Somewhat, I think. Why you ask? Because I can, I say. Am I scared? You bet. As my lovely husband always reminds me: "Fear is a great motivator". I am also quiet excited too. Yes, I said excited. I must be insane to get excited about putting my body through 140.6 miles of pain & suffering. There is something about Ironman.....I don't know what it is.....I have been down to Lake Placid almost every year since 2002 (when my husband did it) to watch the race. The excitement and energy is palpable. I think that is what I am looking forward to being a part of--as a participant instead of a spectator.

Giddy up.