Monday, January 30, 2017

Monday Musings: Home Away From Home


I feel like this weekend went by in a blur.  Oh wait, that's because it did.  I spent it in a car.  Traveling south.  I am now somewhat settled in Clermont, Florida.  We left Toronto on Friday just before noon as the snow started falling and drove to Pittsburg.  We spent the night there (and drove through a TON of snow).  We spent all day Saturday in the car so we could get to Savannah, Georgia.   I was hoping for some nice warmth but alas, Savannah was only 12 degrees.   Although truthfully 12 degrees is much better than the -2 that it was in Toronto.  I have to say Savannah is beautiful.  It definitely warrants a trip back for another visit.  G and I stayed in this awesome little hotel right downtown.  We had dinner at the Moon River Brewing Company (had an AMAZING Dubbel there, 8.1% pretty much knocked me out, ha ha).  I slept like a baby and we got up around 7 am and went for a run through various parks and then down by the water.

Along the waterfront

We went UP these ridiculously steep steps!

Running around Forsyth Park
We grabbed a coffee, packed up the car and tackled the remaining 4.5 hours to Clermont.  The weather could be a bit warmer here but at least there is no snow!  It should be back up to normal (low to mid 20's, woohoo!) by Wednesday.

I had some grand plans for training last week but life took over and I was feeling a bit run down so I ended up skipping some workouts.   I don't like seeing those red boxes in my Training Peaks account but c'est la vie.  Life happens.  Now that we're in Florida, I can get back into a routine.  I'm really looking forward to logging some solid early season miles in the sunshine as well as exploring more of Florida and hopefully meeting up with some of my American IG / Facebook friends!

Here's how my last week of training rolled out.

Monday:  2700m swim

Tuesday:   60 minute strength workout + 10km run with 2x2km tempo effort intervals.  That was hard.

Wednesday:  2400m swim.  I had a 60 minute easy ride on the schedule but I was totally exhausted so I skipped it.

Thursday:  60 minutes strength training with my trainer + 30 minutes of body weight work with my friend David and a 2.85km run.  Normally I run with David on Thursdays but both of us felt really crappy so we called it a day after making it around the block, ha ha.

Friday:  Slept in / travel day.

Saturday:  The only thing that got a workout today was my butt from sitting on it for 10 hours, ha ha.

Sunday:  6km run around downtown Savannah

Total time:  6h and 2 minutes

I'd say that's a nice solid recovery week.   I'll probably have another fairly easy week this week since I'm racing on Sunday.   Yup.  First race of the year.  YEAH!  Watch for a recap on that next week!

How did your week of training go?  Who's training for an early season race?

Be awesome!
Coach PK

Monday, January 23, 2017

Monday Musings: The Countdown is On

Happy Monday!

This time next week I will be enjoying the Florida sunshine!  I CAN'T WAIT.  Two whole months of warmth and sunshine, which I desperately need.  It's been grey and dreary for the past week and it looks like the rest of this week is going to be much of the same.  On the plus side the temps have been mild so that's been nice.   So much for this being the worst winter ever!  I've been running around trying to get things sorted before we take off.   I had an eye doctor's appointment (hello progressive lenses ugghhhh), had lunch with my cousin and went to visit my folks this week.  I've also finally got someone on board to re-design this space AND create a new site for my coaching business.  YEAH!

In other news:  I PASSED MY PERSONAL TRAINING THEORY EXAM!  I got 92%.  I am Gobsmacked.  Now I've got 6 months to write, practice and execute my practical exam.  I'm SO EXCITED!    I'm looking forward to having one more certification under my belt and being able to integrate what I've learned into my coaching business.

Remember last week when I was saying that I felt good?  Well I think I jinxed myself.  Literally two days after I said that,  my quads cramped so hard at the gym that I had to re-jig my entire week of training.  I'm chalking it up to not properly warming up.  I really should know better but I didn't give myself enough time to get it done.  Lesson learned.   I may have been doing this a long time but I still do stupid things, ha ha.  All that being said, I still ended up  having a decent week of training.

This is how things rolled out:

Monday:  2100m swim + 30 minute recovery ride

Tuesday:  Super icy out so skipped run.  60 minute strength work (full body)

Wednesday:  2300m swim + 40  minute base ride.

Thursday:  9.64km run + 60 minute strength work (mostly upper body due to sore legs)

Friday:  OFF

Saturday:  17km run with the last 7km at tempo effort.  I am happy to say that I smashed this workout.  I wasn't sure what I'd be able to hold pace wise but I'm thrilled to report that there is still some speed in these legs!

Sunday:   2:05 hour trainer ride.  I was going to do a run off the bike but my gluts and low back were really bothering me so I foam rolled, stretched and put my compression tights on for the rest of the day.   There will be plenty of time for brick workouts in the coming weeks.  And, I won't have to layer up for them!  BONUS.

Total Time:  9 hours and 3 minutes

This was my longest cycle I've done without a rest day.  My last rest day previous to Friday's was on January 9th.  I was curious to see how my body would respond to easy recovery efforts vs a day off after my hard weekend efforts.  Given that almost all of my running has been in the moderate aerobic zone, I'm not surprised I was able to log two full weeks of training before taking a day off.  Moving forward, I think I will probably end up doing 7-10 days of work and 1-2 days off depending on how I feel.  We'll see how that works for me.  It's still early in the season so I have some time to figure out what works best.

How was your week of training?  Who else is missing the sunshine?  

Be Awesome!
Coach PK

Monday, January 16, 2017

Monday Musings: Boogity Boogity Boogity I'm Going Racing!

Happy Monday!

Last week totally FLEW by.   Whatever worries I had about keeping busy have flown right out the window.   Although truth be told most of my week last week was taken up with studying for my PT exam.  I wrote that on Thursday night and I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.  It was a tough exam but I think I did ok.  You need 80% total between the case study and the multiple choice to pass so we shall see.  It was definitely a lot to take in / remember over a 3 week period!   As much as I stressed out about the exam, I found that I quite enjoyed the learning process.  I found a lot of what we studied very interesting so I am planning on reading the entire textbook.  I suspect it will be a good resource moving forward as well.

It's exciting for me to be in a place where I look forward to learning because I love what I do.

I've finally put the ball in motion for my coaching web page so I'm aiming to have that done by the beginning of March.  Just in time for my birthday, ha ha.

In other big news, guess who ran 22km yesterday???  YEAH THAT'S RIGHT!  That was my second longest run this year.  I had NO pain, no issues what-so-ever, other than a tight glut / hip at about 16km, which I stopped to stretch.  So, you know what that means?  I'm signing up for a race.  It's not going to be fast, and I can guarantee you, it's not going to be pretty but it's going to be FUN!  G and I are heading down to Florida at the end of January.  We're going to be in Clermont so of course I poked around on the internet to see what sort of races were happening nearby.  I remember reading about the Daytona Beach Half a few years ago so that was the first race I checked out.  Daytona is an hour and 20 minutes away from Clermont.  AND, the fun part?  You start and finish the race with a lap of the historic Nascar race course.   Given that G is a huge Nascar fan, I think this is a no brainer.  It's the first weekend after we get down there so I'm not sure if I'll be used to the heat by then but we'll see.  That being said, it hasn't been terribly warm there either so who knows.  Either way, it looks like that will be race number one of 2017.  WOOHOO!

I can't believe that only 3 months ago, I couldn't run more than 5-6km and I felt like crap every time I went out running.  The body is a truly amazing thing.  I felt like I'd never find that flow again and yesterday's run was pretty much perfect.  It was a tough run because I chose a very hilly route but, I felt great until about 17-18km then my legs started to feel tired.  Which is pretty darn good considering it's only been about 4 weeks since I hit the "teens" in my running.  I'm chalking it up to hitting the gym regularly again.  I cannot begin to tell you the difference that has made.  I am a huge advocate for strength training in ANY sort of endurance program.  I have all of my athletes do it.  Even if it's just body weight exercises, it's better than nothing. list bit of news, I had thrown in the towel on racing for a team this year because of last year's injury.  I was going to just do my own thing and then research some teams this year for my 2018 season.  Well, the wonderful folks at Zoot have asked me back so I will be donning the Zoot logo once again for 2017.  YEAH!

On the training front, this week has been pretty solid.  Normally I used to take one full day off, now I'm doing an active recovery day which is usually swim and a short 30 minute easy spin.  That seems to really make my legs feel better by Tuesday.  I haven't taken full rest day since January 6th.  So we'll see how this week goes and then I suspect I'll probably take a couple of days off.  I have a massage scheduled for Thursday so I know that will help with recovery as well.  I can't believe how good I've been feeling.  It's a nice change of pace!  Anyway, here's how my week went down this week.  I have failed miserably at my Instagram game this week so I hardly have any pictures!

Monday:  30 minute recovery ride

Tuesday:  12km run, 60 minutes strength training

Wednesday:  90 minute ride

Thursday:  5.7km run + 33 minutes strength training

Friday:  2200m swim - first time back in the pool in over 2.5 weeks!  Look at how happy I am, ha ha.

Saturday:  2 hour ride

Sunday:  22km run

Total Time:  9h 57 minutes

How was your week of training?  

Coach PK 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Monday Musings: 2017 "Adventures"

Well, my first week as an entrepreneur FLEW by.  I was a little concerned about not having a regular routine but I've enjoyed being able to do what I want when I want.  It has helped that I have an exam to study for.  I've spent most of my last week with my nose in various text books preparing for my personal training certification.  Can I just say that it's flipping HARD???  This old brain of mine isn't used to working this way, ha ha.

Anyway, on to the FUN stuff:  the HAPPENINGS for 2017.

If you've been reading my blog since the beginning, you know that I am a very goal oriented person.   Every year without fail, I have a small list of goals, mostly athletic, some personal.  This is the first time in the entire 5 years that I've been writing this blog, that I DO NOT have any athletic goals.   I'm not chasing a certain race time or aiming to crack the top 5 in my AG.  Nope.  My only goal is to STAY HEALTHY.

Last year's injury really did a number on me both mentally and physically.  Yes, I still stayed active but I stopped pushing myself.  All of last years unsettledness / busy-ness tired me out to the point where I stopped caring and stopped taking care of my SELF.  That resulted in weight gain and lost fitness.  I am starting this year the heaviest I have been in the last 5 years.  I'm not the slowest I've been in the last 5 years but I'm not far off.   So, I know I have work to do.

I'd be lying if I said that my injury doesn't weigh in the back of my mind.  I want to start running fast again but I'm afraid that I'll re-injure myself and I can't face that again.  Those were some dark times that I don't care to ever see again.  I know right now that I don't really NEED to work on any speed.  It's still early.  So, I will continue to challenge myself in the gym and run hills when I'm out pounding the pavement.  My legs need to be strong again before I attempt to push them.  I'm currently working with a powerlifter (YEAH!) who has gotten my deadlift and squat form pretty much perfect.  He's really making me focus on feeling the movement vs. watching myself DO the movement, which is exactly what I need.  I need that mind / muscle connection.

As for races this year, right now I've committed to two:  Tremblant 70.3 and Lake Placid 70.3.  If all goes well and I stay injury free, I suspect that I will probably have a pretty solid race at Placid as I think it will take me that long to really dial in my run speed.   There is another adventure that I am super excited about.  My friend Lauren is doing The Canada Max Extreme Triathlon with her hubby and they needed a swimmer and someone to pace her for the last 8km UP the mountain in Lac Megantic.  So I volunteered to pace her and G said he'd do the swim since we were going to be out there anyway, ha ha.  So now they have a team.  I think this is going to be an amazing experience.  They also have a sprint race on the Saturday which I am seriously contemplating.

I'm easing back into a pretty solid training routine.  My run mileage is coming along nicely but of course that means I've slacked off on the bike.  That's ok.  I will have plenty of time to build that fitness when I'm in Florida.   As for swimming, well I haven't done that since before Christmas.  I'm not allowed in the pool for two weeks while this heals:

It's my fourth tattoo and I absolutely love it.   Unfortunately it's kept me out of the pool for the last week and a bit.  My last swim was December 21st so getting back into the water later on this week is really going to suck.

It's been a LONG time since I've done a training recap so I'm due!   This is what I got up to last week:

Monday:  OFF
Tuesday:  10.8km run + 1 hour strength
Wednesday:  1 hour ride
Thursday:  10km run + 1 hour strength
Friday:  20 minute recovery ride that was foiled by a flat tire!
Saturday:  2 hour ride
Sunday:  18.6km run.

Total time:  9 hours.

Pretty happy about that.  Once I get to Florida, I suspect my weekly training hours will be between 12-15 hours / week.  I upgraded my Training Peaks account so I can schedule my workouts and monitor my fitness / fatigue.  I know it will be way too easy for me to want to get out and do something every day so I will have to watch it.

Only 18 more days until we leave!

How was your week of training?

Coach PK xo

Monday, January 2, 2017

Goal Setting

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had fun and relaxing holiday.  It's a stat holiday here in Canada so things aren't quite back to normal yet.  I had a very low key New Year's Eve and started 2017 with a 17km run.  That's been my longest run in a while.  It was a perfect day to be outside.  My legs felt tired around the 13km mark but that's probably because I did a pretty hard bike ride the day before.  I can slowly feel my fitness coming back.  Finally!

Yesterday my social media feed was filled with posts about 2017 goals and I find it so inspiring to see what people are hoping to achieve in the upcoming year.  I always encourage people to dream big.  I feel that pretty much anything is possible IF you have a plan and, most importantly you allow yourself the time to reach it.  Wanting to run a marathon in 8 weeks when you've never run more than 10km might be possible for a very small segment of the population but for most people, it will result in frustration and potential injury.

So how do you go about achieving your BIG goals, or any goal for that matter?  Obviously that starts with a solid game plan.  But it also requires some SMART goal setting.  And by SMART I mean:

S = specific
M = measurable
A = attainable
R = realistic
T = time sensitive

As athletes we don't have a problem being specific with our goals.  Pick a race, any race.  That's the specific goal.  The measurable part is the distance you're going to cover.  The ART of a successful goal boils down to are you giving yourself enough time to realistically attain your goal (attainable, realistic, time sensitive = ART).

Setting a BIG goal can be daunting.  It's also very exciting.  That's why we do it.  If it's a big goal, then allow yourself the time to achieve it.  Set smaller goals along the way to keep yourself on track and to keep you motivated if required.  Not allowing yourself the time to get where you want to go usually results in frustration and disappointment.

Here's to a successful year of being smart and crushing goals!

Coach PK