Week 13: Go Time!

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distracting myself from planking by taking selfies, of course

Hello internet! Today I’m blogging in the middle of the day because as of Friday, I’ve completed all of my clinical rotations of medical school! All that’s left to do is pack up my place, study for my licensing exam, and walk across the stage to get a very special piece of paper :)

Yesterday I met with the Koala’s Koach (hi Rob!) and we talked about what my newly free-d up schedule means for training. I want to be a bit aggressive in these 7 weeks while I have some time, because I know that moving to Vancouver and then getting to Sweden will mean lots of travel days and probably a bit of a drop in fitness right before the race.

So, the plan is to go full steam ahead, and starting yesterday we’re increasing my training volume to around 16 hours per week. Hopefully this will also mean that I’ll have more time for afew extra blog posts besides the usual training updates – I have a few on the go that I hadn’t had the time to finish.

So, here’s the recap!

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rush to the gym –> tape ankles –> don’t notice you missed half your face in your selfie

Wednesday On Wednesday I had justttt over an hour to get a workout in before finishing the day at work and then going back to the hospital for a call shift. I got on the bike for an hour and then rushed home to shower, but to be honest I kindddd of phoned it in. Ended up doing shorter intervals at high intensity (L15 / L9) –> 60 min/24.6 mi

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car selfie I sent to my Mom after Thursday practise because I’d missed her call :)

Thursday Post-call Koala’s workout! I was pretty tired, but once I got going I felt ok. The swim was 2100 m with mixed sets of long/slower and short/fast. I love this because it simulates my heart rate on race day. Usually, I get nervous, which gives me a high HR to start (same as doing a fast 50 here), and then I have to settle myself over the first 400m of the swim (same as doing a consistent 400 in the pool).

Steve, Rob and I ran outside after the swim. I’m still loving every outdoor run I get, because they seem so rare! We did about 4.5 mi.

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Friday This was an optional rest day, but it was also the last day of structured medical school, so I got let out early. After a 30 min nap in the afternoon, I was more than ready to give my legs some running work to do. I had a GREAT treadmill progression run – worked up to 8 mph and even threw in some 30 sec efforts at 10 (Total: 4.2 mi). Wooo hoo!

My sister came by for dinner after and we made one of our favourite dinners – maybe I’ll try to get a recipe up soon!

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getting off the bike = big smiles over here!

Saturday I met my good friend to go shopping, and after the mall we hit the gym together so she could run while I did the first part of my long bike. I love when friends come and talk to me on long trainer bikes because otherwise the boredom is endless. After she left I finished my ride and then did a little 12 min run just to find my legs – I had planned to run at least 20 minutes but I had plans and it was getting late :).  Totals: 2:00 bike (45.5 mi) and 12 min run (1.45 mi)

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Sunday Another exciting workout! Since I’ve been complaining worrying expressing concern that I have to swim 4k in Sweden, Amanda (another one of the Koalas!) agreed to meet me at the pool on Sunday and prove to me that I could do it. So, we jumped in and just started swimming. 160 laps later I was done! YEAH FOUR K!! I feel so much better now that I know I felt fine. (Total: 4000 m, 1:22)

Later in the day I also did a run – usually Sunday is my long run day, but we backed off the mileage a bit this week due to last week’s fatigue, and I only had 7 km on the schedule. Banged them out easily – no ankle pain either :). Total: 4.3 mi, 34:00

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Monday This marked the start of increased volume! At lunch I went to a 1 hour yoga class to get some stretching in. Later, I started the workout off with a 1 hour bike (60 min/ 22.1 mi – I did the intervals I posted here), and then followed that up with a progression run (4.0 mi/34 min). I also included some strides on the run! Finally I did a strength workout including abs and upper body (and took the selfie at the top of this post :). Pretty solid day! I slept like a b.a.b.y.

Tuesday Koala’s workout planned for tonight – likely ~2000 m swim and easy outdoor run (4 mi).

Totals for the week: Swim 8100m (3:22) / Bike 92.2 mi (4:00) / Run 22.5 mi (3:15 ish) + 1 hour of yoga and a few strength sessions

You can definitely see that the long run took a chunk out of my run mileage, but I’m pretty happy with the week overall and looking forward to this next training block. How was your week?

PS – Strava lovers, find me here!

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Week 12: Still Chugging Away

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midnight on a Friday #wheresthecoffeeat

Sorry for the radio silence this past week! I meant to post a few times but things got away from me with friends, family stuff, school, and – of course – training. I’ve been feeling kinda off – like I’m not sleeping that well and I can’t really get my legs going during workouts. It felt like I was slacking all week, but when I look back there are actually some decent numbers here. I always have my optional Friday rest day, so maybe I’ll take one of those soon. More thoughts on this to come. For now though – a glance at the week:

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post-ride, my shirt is more sweat than anything… tmi? 

Wednesday Got a quick bike ride in between school and a session I had to attend at night. Since I couldn’t handle the idea of a sufferfest ride on such a long day, I just made up my own interval workout: 6 min easy WU / 3 x (12 min hard, 6 min easy). For me and my spin bike, “hard” is around level 13 with >75 RPM and “easy” is around level 9 with >100 RPM. Total distance was 23 mi!

Later in the evening, around 10, I was able to do a quick swim again at the university pool: 1100 m easy swimming

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 facing down the freezing cold pool

Thursday Koala’s workout:

Swim – warm up, mix of pulling and kick sets, then long set and a few sprints to finish – 2400 m

Run – was supposed to be a tempo run in the park, but the combination of the bike the day before and the bigger than usual swim (and, ok, I hadn’t eaten since breakfast) meant my legs were d.e.a.d. My heart rate was barely 120 and I could hardly pick up my feet. Converted this run to an easy 4.1 mi

Friday In the spirit of taking it easy, I went for an easy 5k run in the neighbourhood on my lunch break.

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the fact that I had banana bread waiting for me did make the biking a little easier :)

Saturday By the weekend I was feeling ready to take it up another notch, so I did 2:00 on the spin bike at level 11 (44.8 mi). My legs felt good and strong and although I was working, I definitely wasn’t dead when I got off.

Sunday In the afternoon I enjoyed a veryyyyy overdue hot yoga class and finally felt like some of the muscles in my hips and back were loosening. Lately they’ve been really tight, so I have a deep tissue massage scheduled for tomorrow morning to work out the last few kinks.

After yoga I grabbed a snack with my family, who came for a visit, and then headed to the treadmill for my long run. It was just way too cold and windy out for me to attempt 2 hours outside. –> 12 mi, 1:56

Monday Quick bike again in between work and life – I managed to squeak out an hour of intervals and then a little ab workout before dashing home to shower and get going again:

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Tuesday Koala’s workout:

Swim – warm up, drill set, main set (the pulling! it will never end!) and cool down – total 2000 m

Run – nice easy run outside since we’re enjoying some slightly-less-chilly (ie 3 degrees) sunshine around here. Total 4.5 mi

Whew! That’s it. Totals:

Swim 5500 m / Bike 90.2 mi (4 hours) / Run 23.7 mi + 1 (amazing) yoga class — 11.5 hours

PS: for more details, pics, and up-to-date happenings, you can find me on Strava and Instagram!

Week 11: Behaving, But I Really Love to Run

75 thoughts every runner thinks while running…laughing so hard right now. Every one, every time.

I’m sure I’ve posted this before but this article always cracks me up

It’s Tuesday again! Training went fairly well over the last few days as I’ve actually stayed on track with the plans in Training Peaks. For a while I’ve been running a lot more mileage than I was supposed to, and the sore ankles I keep mentioning are probably a result of that. On Thursday my coach and I went out for an outdoor run (spring!!!!) and he told me that he gets it – I love to run, I’m fit, it feels easy… but my body will break down if I continue to push it every day.

Honestly, I really do love to run. But he’s right (Rob, did you read that!??). So I tried really hard to drop the mileage this week, and I tried a lot harder to feel ok about that. On the plus side, I got some good bike miles in? OK :)

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 post-Sufferfest phoning in the smile… I’m too tired :)

Wednesday Did the Sufferfest video (the Hunted) again… and it was still super hard, haha. 1 hour, 21.5 mi. After that, I ran a little 2 mi just to find my legs (not in Training Peaks but also ok according to my coach). Later in the evening I went for a casual lane swim with a friend. We didn’t have much time, so I got 1000m in and called it a night.

Thursday Finally got to the pool on time. The Koala’s workout had a few longer sets, which are nice for me to settle into. Lately I find that I’m ok on the first 100 of a set, then I get a bit worked up for the next 200, and then I settle and feel good. Getting into some distance training will be good, because that 4 km swim is inching closer every day. Total for the practice was about 2050.

After the swim we did the run (4.2 mi) outside! The weather here is finally turning around (I hope I don’t jinx it by typing that) and it was just so nice to be out in the park with the sun still up at 6.30 PM. I literally live for summer running.

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no workout but my bike travel bag got delivered! woo hoo!

Friday Rest day – I did nothing! This was extra great because it meant that I had time to have dinner with friends.

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long ride – done and done!

Saturday I had a 2 hour ride scheduled, and even though the weather was nice on Thursday it was cold and foggy on Saturday so I did this one inside. Consistent effort in zone 2, which put me at 42.8 mi. I thought about a little run afterwards but then decided that 2 hours of cycling was enough for me :)

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family dinner at my teeny table

Sunday Long run scheduled, but the day got away from me and then I had my family over for dinner so I did this one on the treadmill at night. Usually treadmill running gets boring, but I just felt really good during this long, slow run. A few friends were in and out of the gym while I was running, so I chatted, thought about plans for the week, and generally just chugged along. 11.3 mi / 1:47.

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feeling good post-long run! maybe lower mileage is ok after all? haha

Monday 1 hour bike – did a little interval workout of 5 min WU, then 3×12 min hard with 4 min resting in between (level 13/9 on my spin bike) and 7 min CD to finish the hour. It was definitely not easy but I feel good that I got it done and put in the effort.  I also did about 40 min of strength training.

Tuesday Koala’s workout planned for tonight: ~2000 m swim, 6 km easy run

Totals: Swim: 5050 m / Bike: 84.3 mi / Run: 21.2 mi (breathe) / Time: 10 hours

How was your week? 

Lately | 14 March 2015

Happy weekend! For some reason this week seemed like a long one :). Here’s a little update of life lately around these parts.
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Enjoying morning coffees and a nice start to the day before I go into work. Some people tell me that it’s crazy to get up extra early, and while I do love sleep, I also love easing into things with a good cappuccino and a newspaper or (if my brain really needs to warm up) my instagram feed.

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Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 presetTrying Rumble supershake! I won a whole bunch of Rumble (which comes in Vanilla Maple and Dutch Cocoa) from Jessica’s giveaway on Laces and Lattes. Thursday, it came in the mail just in time for me to down a bottle after working out and before heading back to work. I like Rumble because of their philosophy on food – what we put into our bodies matters. Plus, now I can attest to the fact that they taste good! The shakes have 250 cal, 20g of protein and 8g of fibre. They’re also non-GMO and made with ingredients that are real foods. The only thing I would say about them is that I really prefer them cold. I stuck one in my bag on Friday and ended up having it for lunch between surgical cases, and it really wasn’t as good at room temperature. But not a big deal at all.

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Also trying Quest peanut butter cups. All I have to say is yuck. If Rumble was the perfect protein solution, these PB cups are the opposite of that. They’re so chalky you can barely swallow them, and they taste terrible. Some people have pointed out that when you’re basically trying to make candy that has almost no carbs and is full of synthetic protein, you probably need to lower your expectations, but seriously – these are barely edible.

Processed with VSCOcam with a5 presetWorking on strength workouts in general. Long story short, my body is starting to tell me that I can’t just run all the time without putting in the legwork (haha).

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You – you alone will have the stars as no one else has them…In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night…You – only you – will have stars that can laugh

Loving a collection of some of my favourite pieces of literature. I’m sensing a new addition to my gallery wall

Reading A few things, as usual. Just finishing To Kill a Mockingbird so I’m all set to read the sequel when it’s released. Next up is Self-Help, and The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing, both of which came recommended by Caroline. I also just bought my Mom Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake for her birthday, which I fully intend to borrow when she’s done :). Finally, I loved this piece in the Washington Post this week: Exhaustion is Not a Status Symbol. More and more I have been realizing that it’s ok to take a break. Sometimes, especially when I’m in the OR, I feel like exhaustion is a part of the culture – if you’re not tired, you must not be working hard enough. Every once in a while it’s nice to be reminded how silly that is, and that it’s ok (and normal!) to take a break. Last but not least, my thoughts are with the Kalanithi family this weekend as they say goodbye to Dr. Paul Kalanithi, Stanford neurosurgeon, and author of this beautiful essay.

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Opening Exciting mail! My bike bag just got delivered and I’m in L.O.V.E. with the Canadian red+white. Suddenly Sweden is seeming closer and closer!

Hope your weekend is off to a good start!

 

 

Double Digits! Training Week 10

Hello! I’m a little bit late with this Tuesday training update, but still going full steam ahead with training for worlds :)

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 giant cookie my aunt brought over this weekend :)

 I’ve been struggling a bit to juggle training with lots of celebrations and weird scheduling that have been happening since I matched to a residency program last Wednesday. Suddenly I’m realizing that in a very short period of time I’ll need to write my licensing exam, graduate from medical school, move across the country, and – oh yeah – race the longest distance I’ve ever attempted. deep breath :)

Good news is the weather is really turning around! We’ve had lots of sunshine, temperatures above zero, and longer days! I love Spring and Summer so I’m pretty pumped for Winter to be done.

Wednesday I got my match results on Wednesday, and after freaking out/calling my family/letting it settle in, I decided to go for a workout and let myself process everything. I ended up doing a nice 1:00 ride at even pace, a 5k treadmill run, and some stretch/strength. I’m so glad I checked out for a few hours and got myself centred before meeting up with my friends and classmates and getting sucked into all the excitement.

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 post treadmill run – still taping my ankles most days

Thursday Well, Thursday was a bit interesting since I was still recovering from Wednesday night :). I missed the Koala’s practice because I worked a bit later than usual. Finally dragged my butt to the treadmill around 8 pm for 4 miles. I felt good afterwards but they weren’t pretty.

Friday I felt much more like myself on Friday, but we had a big celebration scheduled in Hamilton with the entire graduating class, so I took a rest day. With all the running around I did at work, then dashing home to get ready, and making the trek to Hamilton, I feel like I was on the move enough. According to my FitBit, I clocked just about 13,000 steps for the day. 

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taking my post-workout smoothie game very seriously

Saturday After driving home from Hamilton and getting my life somewhat organized (clean! laundry! groceries!) I got my workout started slightly late. I ended up doing 1:45 on the trainer at even pace. This was so. incredibly. boring. I know a lot of people who watch movies or TV shows while on the trainer, but somehow that’s not quite enough to distract me from the fact that I’m slightly uncomfortable. I’m also not a big movie/TV person, so that would be a long time for me to watch even if I was sitting on the couch.

After the bike I did 4 mi on the treadmill/elliptical. I’m still dealing with some ankle pain (that’s why they’re taped in the Thursday pic), so I figured splitting my run with the lower impact elliptical made sense.

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bright and early at the gym & taking car selfies in traffic

Sunday Sunday morning I got started bright and early – hence the crazy hair :). I was supposed to do a long run, but I was feeling fatigued from the week’s events, plus the ankles, so I just did 9.2 mi on the treadmill/elliptical. I felt good! Later that day my sister picked me up and we drove to Hamilton to get my cousin (who’s at McMaster) and the three of us goofed off for the entire drive home to celebrate the match and my sister’s birthday.

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 post sufferfest. at least i got to wear a pair of my SOAS tri shorts!

Monday Ohhhh, Monday. I had a bike/run brick planned, but after the boredom of Saturday’s bike I felt like I needed to change it up. I loaded up a Sufferfest video (the Hunted) from Strava and got started. OMG – they are not kidding about the suffer part. The description for this video is “A 20 minute climb followed by the worst 5:00 known to mankind”. When the ride was done I pretty much just sat on the floor and tried to stay alive. Eventually I got myself onto the treadmill for a quick 1 mi to find my legs, and then I crawled home to shower and sleep. LOL.

Tuesday Late for the Koala’s workout, so I only made it to 20 mins of the swim. Instead of interrupting the group, I just jumped in the lane next to them and cranked out 1000 m. Afterwards, I did an easy 7 km on the treadmill.

Totals Swim: 1000 m / Bike: 3:45 (78.2 mi) / Run: 25.6 mi

Once again I’m happy-ish with the volume but I definitely need to swim more and I would have liked to see 30 for the run. But – progress, not perfection, right? As always, you can see more on Strava and IG!

How was your week? What do you do to stay entertained during long rides on the trainer?

Mantras

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Well, that’s another weekend in the books! Mine was full of time with friends and family, celebrating the match and my sister’s birthday. I also squeezed in some bike/run (no swim, though). I took a rest day on Friday, but I spent the whole day going over my past few runs in the back of my mind. I’ve been focusing on shorter runs, mostly off the bike, with one medium and one long run per week. The medium and long runs usually go well, but the short 5-6 km ones have been tough lately.

Then I came across this post by the Hungry Runner Girl , and the lightbulb went off for me! It’s not until I’m really warmed up that I get into a run. Since I’m always struggling to jam workouts into packed days, I’m often really bad about things like warming up, stretching, and strength workouts. I’m sure that if I warmed up properly, those first 5km wouldn’t be so rough. The same is true for races. I worry that a 5 or 6 km warm up is too much or will tire me out, but really, it’s what I need to finally find my groove.

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Aside from realizing that I need to be better about warming up, I’ve been thinking about mantras that get me through tough miles… things I repeat to myself that bring my focus away from any suck (nausea!) I might be feeling.

Some of the things I repeat to myself during a tough race (or even the odd hard run!):

Some other ones I found online:

  • Just keep pushing
  • Pain is temporary
  • Find your strong
  • Dig deep

I think mine could be a little more inspirational! Maybe then I’d be faster? Haha!

Do you have a mantra or go-to phrase to get you through a tough race/set/workout/day?

Matched

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This has been the single most eventful week of my life. It’s all a giant blur, and I’m so blown away by what the next few months will hold. On Monday I started my general surgery rotation, having just finished my plastics placement. This has involved a lot of clinic time and seeing post-op patients in the hospital, which is interesting and makes the day go by very fast. On Tuesday I spent most of the day at the hospital doing colonoscopies and gastroscopies.

I went to a Koala’s workout and then out with a friend on Tuesday evening, which made for a very long day that was a welcome distraction. I’ve mentioned this before, but now that I’m in my final weeks of medical school, it was time to apply to residencies.

I wrote my applications, traveled to interviews, ranked my programs, and have been waiting to see where I’d be matched. March 4th was the day that I’d finally find the results.

I didn’t sleep at all on Tuesday night.. just tossed and turned until about 5 am. I had to be at school all morning for didactic teaching sessions, and sitting through them was so tough. My classmates were worked up about their own matches, and that plus my own nerves plus the lack of sleep made the morning hard to get through. Around 11.30 I packed up my stuff and headed home to my apartment to sit for a moment and get ready to find out where I’d be living for the next few years and what my career would look like for the rest of my life.

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at 12:05 on Wednesday I took a deep breath, logged onto my CaRMS account, and saw this awesome news

I was more shocked and happy than I think I really expected. I am so relieved to have a job and beyond grateful that I got my first choice – I’ll be one of 12 new family medicine residents working in downtown Vancouver for the next two years. In a few weeks I’ll pack up my apartment here in Kitchener and move across the country.

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seeing off some of my favourite people

I’m sad to be leaving many of my friends behind, but also excited for everyone who matched to their first choices as well. Hard to believe my best friends are going to be OB/GYN’s, physiatrists, anesthetists, pediatricians, psychiatrists, internists, and other family docs.

I’m also sad to be leaving the Koala’s behind but I am definitely going to be back to visit and I feel like I owe a huge thank you to my teammates, who were not only fantastic company for the past 14 months but who also showed me how awesome the world of triathlon is.

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Somehow, there’s a bit more (tri-related!) news from this week, but for now I’ll just leave the focus on my match. Stay tuned for an update on what happens next and what it all means for training (I’m still going to Worlds, don’t worry). See ya in Vancouver!