Monday, May 22, 2017

Monday Musings: Buckling Down + Some News!

Happy Holiday Monday!

I hope everyone is enjoying the last day of the long weekend!  This is always though of as the unofficial start of summer.  I don't think Mother Nature has gotten the memo.   We had two gloriously hot days this past week and now we're back to overcast conditions and temps in the low teens.  If this is what we have to look forward to this summer, I'm going back to Florida.

I had a busy week this week between my part time work, social outings (girls night out and a concert), coaching and meetings.  The big thing that took up a fair bit of my time was going over my personal training practical.  I still haven't booked my exam.  I've been procrastinating like crazy because I'm nervous and I am feeling really overwhelmed about it all.  I spent a couple of days this week going over what was required with Ghina, my study buddy from the class.  She passed her practical with flying colours so she's been taking me through what is expected for the practical.   She was going to be my test subject for my actual exam but she's moving to Waterloo at the end of the month and I don't feel like I will be even remotely close to ready by that time.  My goal this week is to suck it up and book a date.

Speaking of goals, I finally got my butt out and did some speed work AND went to the gym!  Since I got back from Florida I kept telling myself that I'd be more consistent with running and strength training.   I finally got back into the gym this week and I've been diligent about doing core work at home.  My running is the worst it's been in a few years.  By worst I mean slowest.  But that's what happens when you always run the same pace.  You lose the extra gears.  I did a broken tempo run on Tuesday to see where things are at and holy crap was that hard.  I definitely have my work cut out for me over the next few weeks.  I've spent so much time focusing on my cycling that my swimming and running have fallen off.   So it's time to get down to business with my running and my swimming.  I looked at my Strava distance goal for swimming this year and it was 300,000km.  I'm at 82,500.  Normally I'd be well over 100,000 by now.   It's no wonder I feel like I'm always on the struggle bus in the pool, ha ha.

In contrast my cycling goal was 6500km and I'm already at 3100km.   Strava tells me I'm 601 km ahead of pace and I suspect that will continue to climb as now I'm going to be riding 4x a week.  I know what you're thinking....didn't she just say she needs to be working on her running and swimming, why is she adding another ride to her schedule?  Because I'm going to get to hang out with triathletes, that's why.  The Toronto Triathlon club has been looking to offer some more west end workouts so I will be leading rides on Tuesday nights in High Park.  So West End readers, come out for a mix of hills and skills!

Alrighty, so let's see what this sort of back on track week looked like.

Monday:  OFF.   I needed a recovery day after the previous week of heavy training.

Tuesday:  12.3km with 2x3km at tempo effort with 1km easy jog.  Paces for the tempo portion ranged between 4:24-4:35.  I remember when my tempo pace used to be around 4:10/km.  Sigh.

Wednesday:  2150m swim.  I totally died.  It had been 10 days since I had been in the pool and this was an hard endurance set.  Ugh.   I then went straight to the gym and did my physio routine and upper body and core.  50 minutes worth of sweating it out.

Thursday:  43.2km ride around Ellis with Morning Glory.  I set my fastest lap around Ellis this morning (34.6kph average!)  I felt pretty strong for this entire workout until the very last lap.   I had a run planned for after this but it was super hot and windy out and that ride was also very hard so I opted to push the run to Friday and allow for some solid recovery time (this old bod ain't 25 anymore!)

Friday:  9km of hills instead of swimming.  Skipped my swim as I was out late with the girls.  It was the first time we've all hung out since they came to Florida so I wasn't about to cut things short so I could get up to go swimming the next day.  Sometimes training takes a back seat.  It at least got a run in.  And I listened to Rusty Cage on repeat as a tribute to Chris Cornell as I ran up and down Lawrence.



Saturday:  85km out in the howling wind through the hills of Caledon on Tom Sawyer.  This was a bloody hard ride.  It was my first long ride on my tri bike since Florida and it was a LOT of climbing.

I used to love riding Tom Sawyer but I'm not much of a fan anymore.  He's a pig to ride - he's heavy and sluggish.  That being said, even though this ride was hard, I still rode really well, especially given the wind and I'm chalking that up to Tom Sawyer's ability to go fast in a straight line (there were some particularly awesome stretches of new pavement).   I know it was a hard ride because my legs were killing me by the end.  It's time for a massage this week for sure.  I've beat the crap out of my legs over the last two weeks so they need some TLC as we've got another big weekend of training next weekend.




Sunday:  3200m swim with so much pull my arms felt like noodles.  I don't think it helped that we were out late on Saturday either.  We went to see Midnight Oil, which was an absolutely PHENOMENAL show.  My swim was followed by a 16 km sufferfest.  My legs just didn't want to go.  I've switched shoes and I think that's part of the problem.  I'm back in my Zoot Solanas as I'm supposed to race in them and they are taking a bit of getting used to.  On the plus side, I didn't have one single blister and I was at the low end of zone two for the entire run.  WOOHOO.

Seen on my run.....

Totals:

Swim:  5350m
Bike:  128km
Run:  37km <--- my highest run mileage since February!  

Total time:  10h 15 minutes

I hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend!  

~ Coach PK









Monday, May 15, 2017

Monday Musings: Short and Sweet

Have you ever gone on a trip that seemed to be longer than it was but also went by too fast?  I know that sounds weird but I can't think of any other way to explain this past "long weekend".   I went to Lake Placid and spent 5 days with 12 other likeminded women that I had never met before.   In fact most of the women there didn't know each other.  Groups like that can go two ways, either everyone gets along or, you have a group of opposites that just don't mesh.  I can safely say that this group got along really well - it was like we'd all known each other for years.  There were different levels of ability but that didn't matter.  We all supported each other and learned from each other.  I am so glad I decided to go to this, even after my girlfriend canceled.  I feel like I've gained a new network of ladies who love to ride.  Not to mention our awesome hosts in Lake Placid, Brian & Karen from High Peaks Cyclery.  I'm so excited to go back there in September to race the 70.3 and see them again, along with my new pal, Liz who is also racing and turned out to be the best roommate ever.  Brian will be racing as will one of the other guides, Karen (we had 3 Karen's in the group!) so it's going to be a big reunion, ha ha.  I had forgotten just how beautiful Lake Placid is.  It's changed a lot since I was there last in 2013 but the rugged beauty remains.

I will probably do a separate post on the camp itself and what to expect when going to a training camp but for now I will just say that it was a super fun experience!

Suffice to say this week was all about the bike.  I knew I wasn't going to get much swimming in and I had hoped that I might get at least one run in while I was in Lake Placid but sadly that didn't happen and it was probably for the best.  It's been a long time since I had done back to back to back days of riding and I think had I thrown a run in the mix, my legs wouldn't have made it to the end of the week.

Since I'm going to save the camp details for another post, I'll get right down to the nitty gritty and fill you in on how my week rolled out.  Literally, ha.

Monday:  2900m swim.  I knew I wasn't going to get any other swims in this week so it was off to the pool on Monday morning.

Tuesday:  FTP Test (30.2km on the trainer).  It had been over a year since I buckled down and did one of these and holy crap, I had forgotten just how much they hurt.  Thankfully I was rewarded with a shiny new FTP.  I'm chalking it up to all the riding I did in Florida.

Wednesday:  This was our first ride in LP and it was an easy spin to have Brian, our guide assess our skill levels.  I had forgotten to turn my watch to outdoor mode until about halfway through the ride so I missed a fair bit of the distance.   I think we covered about 30km or so but I only captured 18km of it.  Grr.

Thursday:  86.3km This was the climb up Whiteface and around some of the back end of Wilmington and Lake Placid.  The last time I climbed Whiteface was probably in 2005 and I remember suffering through it.  This time it hurt but definitely not as much.  I was very happy with how I climbed it.  I used to surge and fall back, surge and fall back, now I am a much steadier climber.  I get into a groove and I just chug along.  It also helps to have the right cassette on your bike!



Friday:  100km on the nose.  This was a ride around Saranac Lake which is somewhere I've never ridden before.  It was an "easier" ride in terms of elevation so we managed a nice steady pace.  We practiced pace line work both two up and single file, which was so much fun.   We pulled into the parking lot with about 700m left to cover so myself and two other ladies rode in circles around the parking lot until we hit 100km.  Yes, we have a problem.   This was followed up by an hour long yoga class led by one of the girls came to the camp.



Saturday:  101km +  This was supposed to be a shorter harder ride but I think our guides got us a bit lost.  This ride featured my nemesis, the descent into Keene.  It's an 11km descent that has some wide sweeping turns and I have white knuckled it every single time I've gone down it.  We were also going to climb it on the way back into Lake Placid.  My legs weren't feeling terribly fresh at the start so I was happy to just spin them out as we climbed out of Lake Placid.  We climbed a lot that day and I was concerned about climbing back up Keene.  But as usual, my body was capable of so much more than my mind led me to believe.  I crushed the descent with NO tears or fear or panic and I ate the climb back for lunch.  Steady effort all the way up and I felt strong the entire time.  If I had actually remembered to start my Garmin when I started the climb, I would have known how long the climb took me.  But alas, I didn't.  UGH. I think I missed about 2-3km of it.  So annoying.  So really I probably rode closer to 105km on the Saturday.  I was smart about the climb back.  So much so that I had enough energy to hammer it back into Lake Placid and spin around the lake to make it to 100km.  This was the best ride of the camp for me.  I burned every single match I had left on the way back in to Lake Placid and had a blast doing it.   This was the elevation for the day.  Yup.  All the climbs.






Sunday:  12km easy spin.  I had hoped to do a bit more than this and had I looked at my mileage for the week, I would have found I way to ride the extra two km to take me to 350km for the week, ha ha.  This was a very easy spin around the Lake and into the back areas of Lake Placid.  My legs didn't feel great but they were happy to be moving.  If I hadn't done this, I'm pretty sure they would have been super stiff after the drive home.

Totals for the week:

Swim:  2900m
Bike:  348km
Run:  ZERO

Total time:  15 hours and 2 minutes.

So, this week will be a bit easier.  I really want to get back on my bike tomorrow but I think I should probably give myself another day and go for a bit of a longer run instead.  Last week's TSS was pretty high so I need to dial things back a bit.

Have you ever gone to a training camp?  If so, where?  

What are your goals for the week? Whatever they are, tackle them at 150%!

Happy Monday peeps!

~ Coach PK













Monday, May 8, 2017

Monday Musings: Adventure is calling!

I hope everyone had an awesome weekend.  It was a big race weekend here in the GTA with the Goodlife Marathon and the Mississauga Marathon taking place yesterday.  The weather didn't look awesome but it turned out to be some pretty darn good racing conditions.  Cold, but good.  I had athletes racing in both races.  Everyone had good races, with one of my athletes completing her first marathon!  (YAY STACY!)

The sun has finally come out in Toronto but the temperatures are still lagging behind normal.  I am hoping things start to warm up soon!  It's hard to believe that I'll be racing a half ironman in 8 weeks. Apparently there's still SNOW in Tremblant.  That's not good because that means that the lake is probably still very cold.  It's a big lake that will take a while to heat up so it will be interesting to see what happens come June.  But I'm not going to worry myself about things I can't control.  I'm just going to make sure I've got my neoprene cap, ha ha.

Speaking of cold weather, I'm off on a bit of an adventure on Wednesday this week.  No, I'm not going skiing, ha ha.   It's the Morning Glory ladies trip to Lake Placid.  The weather forecast there is looking pretty darn crappy.   I've packed every single last bit of thermal clothing I have for the 5 days of riding.  I was really looking forward to this trip but my girlfriend that was going had to cancel so now I'm going solo, which is a bit of a bummer.  I'm not going to know anyone which would normally make me uncomfortable but this year is all about putting myself out there so I'm looking at this as an opportunity to meet a bunch of like minded women and potentially come away with a few more riding partners.  Here's hoping this forecast changes!  It is in the mountains so if there's one thing DO know from my many trips there, it's that the weather changes from hour to hour so, who knows!  My goal for the week is to log about 400km so we'll see if I can make that happen!


Knowing that I was going to be putting in some serious time in the saddle this week, I opted to dial things back a bit this week.   I had plans for some solid work but this week ended up being a bit of a gong show with a failed FTP attempt (power meter wasn't working), missing my Wednesday swim and dealing with a massive sinus headache / migraine on Thursday.   The crappy weather didn't help either.  So, the FPT test is going to happen tomorrow and I"m going to try to get at least two runs in while I'm in Lake Placid.   I'll miss about a week of swimming so I'm sure I'm going to pay for that when I get back.   Oh well.  At least this is the last trip I'll be taking before Tremblant so I will have time to get back into the pool on a regular basis.  I also found a brand new pool near our place that is FREE.  Yup.  FREE.  So, I know that is there as an option if I want to get some extra swims in.

With that being said, let's see how this past week rolled out...

Monday:  2500m swim.  My swim bag wasn't in the car so I ended up having to borrow goggles, a swim cap and fins from some of my teammates.  Not wearing my own fins ended up causing blisters on my feet and they were totally chewed up by the end of the swim.  OUCH.

Tuesday:  28.7km ride on the computrainer.  After spending about 3 hours trying to find my ANT stick to update the software on my pedals, I gave up on doing my FTP test and just decided to ride.  I chose a hilly course and made sure I worked the climbs.   By the time I got myself sorted, it was late afternoon and the rain had also started so there wasn't going to be a run either.  #trainingdayfail  I at least managed to get 25 minutes of upper body and core work in.

Wednesday:  Missed my swim so I could take G to the doctor.   The sun finally came out and the temps were actually quite nice so I went for a very easy run in the afternoon + 20 minutes of core & physio work after.


Thursday:  25.8km bike + 8.5km run.  I dragged my butt out to ride with Morning Glory.  I was totally overdressed and I felt like crap.  I managed 3 loops of Ellis before I called it a day.  I rode around the top of the park until I hit 25km and then went back to the car, grabbed my run stuff and went to meet my friend David for a run.  We ran trails and hills in High Park and stopped to visit the capybaras in the Zoo (because that's what you do!).  It was a tough workout and I felt horrible by the afternoon.


Checking out the capybaras

Friday:  2550m swim.  I still had lingering sinus issues when I woke up on Friday so I skipped my masters swim and waited to see how I felt.  By mid morning I felt much better so I opted to go to the brand new York Rec centre.  I had a lovely swim in an equally lovely pool, despite the fact my Garmin ate 25m of my swim for lunch.  



Saturday:  17km run.  This was a bit of a struggle.  My legs didn't feel great.  I really tried to focus on keeping my HR low, which wasn't that hard given how crappy my legs felt.  I think I'm training in the wrong zones these days.  I should have had my HR / V02max tested at the beginning of the year once I started running regularly again to establish my zones but I didn't.   I think I'm going to do that when I get back from Lake Placid.  

Sunday:  OFF - CHEER SQUAD DAY!   No good pics from the day because I am the worst at capturing any sort of running shots on my phone.  I need a real camera for that, ha ha.  I have to say that watching everyone  race yesterday and seeing the smiling faces, the medal pics, the tales of PR's all over the place really lit a fire in me to get my running mojo back.  It's been missing for the last few months.  So it's time to find that speed again.  Onwards and upwards!

Swim:  5050m
Bike:  54.5km 
Run:  31km

Total time:  7 hours on the nose

Congrats to everyone who raced this past weekend!   Enjoy your achievement and your recovery!!  

~Coach PK























Friday, May 5, 2017

Five Things I've Learned in Five Months of Self Employment

It's the fifth day of the fifth month and it's a Friday so it's a fortuitous day to do a "Five Things" post, don't you think?   Fittingly, it's also 5 months of self employment for me (amazing that I've littered a sentence with a bunch of F's and not one of them is an F-bomb, ha!) Anyway,  I can't believe it's been 5 months!  Time flies when you're doing what you love.  That being said, being self employed requires a fair bit of self discipline if you want to get things done and work at building / maintaining your business.



1.  Make a daily schedule.  If I don't do this, I guarantee that I will putter around and get nothing done.  I like to schedule my day into time blocks so I will schedule my work time, errand time, studying time etc.   It helps to keep me on track in terms of what I want to accomplish during the day.  Because left to my own devices, I could easily spend my day training, watching silly animal videos and reading.



2.  My calendar has become my life.  Now that I'm not leaving the house for work on a regular 9-5 schedule, the days of the week start to blend together.  So if I have athlete calls or meetings, they go in the calendar along with alarms / reminders.

3.  Don't be afraid to ask for advice and create a network!  Talk to people about how they started their business.  What worked for them, what didn't.   People are almost always willing to share their experiences.  When you're self employed you don't have the same network you would if you were working at a company so you need to create your own.  That was the weirdest thing for me when I left Westside.  I was completely on my own.  But I'm not really on my own, I know several triathlon coaches, therapists and personal trainers that I can turn to for advice.

4.  Not everyone I chat with / meet is going to work with me.  That is true of pretty much any business, especially one as personal as coaching.  This is still something that I struggle with from time to time but that's life and I'm learning to not let this bother me that much.  The world is a big place and online coaching allows coaches to work with anyone, anywhere so I've learned to look at the bigger picture.

5.  Each day is a blank slate and I get to choose how I fill it.  I am so grateful for that.   I'm learning to be open to new opportunities and I am slowly learning to put myself out there, which is something I've never been very good at (in my opinion)  I'd be lying if I said there weren't days that I've wondered if I'm cut out for this but I think that pretty much every self employed person has probably asked themselves that question at least once.  Even with those days, this was still the best decision I've made in a long time.

With that, it's time for me to get to work!  Happy Friday Folks, stay dry and stay safe!

`~Coach PK 








Monday, May 1, 2017

Monday Musings: It's MAY!

Yesterday that Justin Timberlake meme was all over my FB feed and it had me wondering what the heck happened to April.  Florida seems so far away.  I don't remember what HOT feels like.  Ok maybe that's a bit dramatic, it was hot last Sunday.  But I haven't ridden in hot weather since Florida.  I can't wait for the day I don't have to wear an extra layer or full fingered gloves on the bike.  Yesterday was particularly horrible.  I wasn't on my bike but I was playing sherpa for G who was riding Paris to Ancaster, yet again.  It was FREEZING and SUPER windy.   Kudos to all the crazy people that were out there racing because if I woke up to that, I would have bailed.   It was so windy it actually felt like November vs. the end of April.   The original forecast had called for rain during the race but thankfully that never happened or else it would have been truly miserable.  That being said, it was still pretty muddy and G's bike was definitely gross by the end of the race.

G at the start - nice and clean

G at the finish.  Not so clean.
I finally got back on track with hard work this week.  Well at least hard work on the bike.  I'm still not there yet with running.  The weather finally cooperated and I managed to get out with Morning Glory on Tuesday and Thursday morning.   The mid week rides are hilly circuits that are done up to 5 times.  There is a lot of surging and riding at close to or over threshold.  Tuesday morning was my first real test of my winter fitness and I passed with flying colours.  I actually managed 5 loops of Edenbridge. I can't remember the last time I've done that.  I think maybe ONCE last year.  This time I made it around 5 times, and out of the those 5 times, I managed to climb the big hill in my big ring three times.  Normally I'm in the small ring.  This means my leg strength has improved immensely over the winter, which I'm ecstatic about!  I know I went pretty hard because my Garmin said it was going to take me 53 hours to recover, ha ha.   I felt pretty tired on Wednesday but I was good to go again by Thursday.    Thursday we rode Ellis and I always struggle with staying with the group through the park due to all the twists and turns on the way out of the park.  This year, I managed to stay with the group through all of the turns, with the exception of the right turn out of the park onto the Queensway.   That is also HUGE for me.  I'm feeling much more comfortable in my bike handling skills and I'm chalking that up to all the riding I did in Florida.  All of this has me very excited for the season!!

This last week was spent doing a variety of things: attending a healthy aging workshop, trying to figure out my personal training practical, getting my CPR "A" certification and attempting to empty out a few boxes around the house.  I also went to the Toronto Triathlon Club Open House on Thursday night which was a lot of fun.  I saw a few people that I haven't seen in ages and met a couple of new people.   And I got these awesome socks from Courtney.  Ha!


I feel like I'm finally getting into a groove in terms of a schedule.  It's taken daily lists and some discipline but I feel like I'm on the right track.   There have been days where it's been too easy for me to sit on my laptop and link follow.  Sure I'm generally reading things that will benefit me as a coach but I'm also guilty of watching silly animal videos for a substantial amount of time, ha ha.  Time to buckle down!

Ok so, let's see how this past week rolled out shall we?

Monday:  OFF - my feet were in rough shape from my run and Mondays are usually fin days so I didn't want to subject them to any more torture.

Tuesday:  37.2km ride with MGCC.  This was hard.  Followed by an 8.5km run with my friend David.  This was also hard, mostly because my legs felt like crap.  This wiped me out for the rest of the day.

Wednesday:  1800m swim.  I was tired so I cut this short.   I also skipped my strength training workout.  Tsk tsk.

Thursday:  32.7km ride with MGCC.  This wasn't as hard as Tuesday, probably because I didn't do all 5 loops.  I only wanted to ride for 75 minutes and I had to be home by 7 am so I could get myself sorted and get out to my CPR class.

Friday:  1850m swim.  Tired once again.  I was also very disinterested in this swim for some reason.

Saturday:  42km ride.  This was a gong show from the get go.  The plan was to ride with MGCC but we left the house a bit late, then I flatted just before the lights at High Park so G changed my tire but we missed the group.  I didn't have another spare tube or C02 cartridge so we rode back home grabbed some extra stuff and rode solo.  The wind was so bad and we were both so cold that we turned around early and rode back home for coffee.   G didn't want to ride that long as he was racing the next day so this was good for him.



Sunday:  16km run in Ancaster, some on trails some on pavement, all of it in the wind.   It was beautiful though!


Swim:  3650m

Bike:  112km 

Run:  24.5km

Total time:  7h 27 minutes.  

April was a bit of a low month for me.  I still got some good workouts in but I definitely feel like I was lacking in direction and motivation.  Here's to May being a much better month!

How was your week of training?  

Happy Monday folks, make it a good one!  

~ Coach PK