Sunday, May 31, 2009

Yay Sasamat!

First open water swim of the year - I lurv swimming in Sasamat. It was almost too bad we had to get out of the lake.

I did the long swim/10km ride workout option but skipped the hard run. Once the folk who were recovering and/or tapering for the half next week were done our one set we took off for a run around the lake while the others set off for another swim/bike/run. This run was fine on my lungs, making me think I'll go for it in Oliver. I'll take it super easy out of T2 and see where I end up.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Random Ride Reflections

  • I'm not used to leaving the house at 7 for ride. Actually, I'm not used to leaving at 6:50am for a ride, which is likely why I left at 7.
  • It only takes me 20 minutes to get to Bean Around the World on Cornwall when there's no traffic.
  • Biking when there's no traffic (cars or bikes) is great, makes getting up that early worth it.
  • Seeing Dave head up the mountain for the second time made me feel less studly for going up once.
  • I haven't been to the top of Cypress in a long time. It was great.
  • It takes me longer than 15 minutes to get home from the top of Cypress (I may have gone over my prescribed bike time).
  • Descending is FUN, even if I'll never be as fast as Bronwyn.
  • Randomly meeting friends and clubmates along the way is all part of the fun.
  • I've found a new source of post-ride cinamon buns at the Trout Lake Farmers' market.
  • I shouldn't buy more than one sweet thing after my long ride. I won't save the second (or third) item for later, I'll eat it as soon as I'm done the first.
  • My legs hurt.

In non-biking news - tomorrow is our first open water swim - helloooo Sasamat Lake! I've missed ya.

Friday, May 29, 2009

I am so done with this

I frustrated and trying hard not to get into a pity party, although the only other option right now seems to be anger and that isn't terribly productive either.

2/3 of my training is going great - swimming feels awesome and although I haven't set any crazy PR's overall I seem to be faster. Despite missing a fair bit of training I'm comfortable on the bike, Amy was accusing me of being a mountain goat on Wednesday when I kept dropping the pace line any time I was leading it up a hill.

Unfortunately I can barely run. Anything faster than a slow jog and I'm toast. Running 500m off the bike on Wednesday was extremely hard, I finished it after the first TTT but the second time I had to stop after 100m as I was out of breath and my HR was close to 190 going downhill. Before last night's 1 mile track TT Andrew told me the word from Alan was nothing under 7min was acceptable. Like an idiot I paid attention to that rather than how I was feeling.

Did the first mile in 7:14 and felt like hell the whole way through. Did the first lap of the second mile on pace for 7 (1:45) then my lungs quit. Followed shortly after by a mental meltdown. Ventolin didn't help so I did a cool down run, with my HR through the roof the whole way, then watched the group finish their miles.

I've been in a foul mood the last few days - nasty anxiety punctuated with spells of anger or sadness. I have no idea if this is queuing the breathing issues or the mental stuff is because I'm not getting enough oxygen. Right now everything is pretty bleak so I'm just trying to keep my head down and wait for it to pass.

Monday, May 18, 2009

North Shore Tri

North Shore Tri was my first race of the year. I had a temper tantrum about UBC ("I don't wanna race in March!") and was sick for Delta so this was my only other in town option for a race prior to the Oliver half.

After being sick for so long in the winter/spring I was going into this race with low, low expectations. I decided I'd try for a PR swim as my breathing is okay in the pool, a decent pace ride as it's only the hills that kill me and survival run as that's where my breathing is the worst.

I biked to the race as my new abode is super close to the shore and I've now discovered the secret to riding over the Second Narrows (look ahead, if you look down at the sidewalk you'll get sick from the seizure-inducing strobe affect of the railing supports flashing by). I got to the race in good time and was happy to find out the only thing I forgot was a pair of pre-race shoes. Turns out that was nothing compared to other LETC'ers.

Club members and the things they forgot:
- Bronwyn - bike shoes
- Doneen - timing chip
- Stephanie - timing chip
- Natasha - bike helmet
- Dave - ITU legal aerobars
- Alan - lap 4 of the bike :(

The Swim - 740m
On the ride over I thought about a survival strategy for the swim. I tend to get ticked off when people are in my way, and a pool swim is all about people being in your way. I decided it would be swim-dodgeball and I'd lose points by being hit by other swimmers. Turned out that the swim wasn't that bad. It was still annoying but I've become much more comfortable with contact and more assertive in general in the water.

No other excitement in the swim as my lap counter got it right (or we both got it wrong), although I did lose a ton of dodgeball points.

Swim time: 14:17

The Bike- 20km
When I got to transition Stan was already at his bike. I whipped on my shoes and taunted him "You can't let me beat you out of transition!" Apparently he can.

Stan caught me on outward leg of the ride and I figured he'd disappear but I managed to keep him in my sights and eventually pass him. We ended up playing leapfrog the entire ride. The bike course is four (boring) laps of a 2.5km stretch of Mt. Seymour Parkway, one of my least favorite bike courses but chasing/being chased by Stan made it fun. I went super hard on the return of the last lap, my mantra being "Must. Beat. Stan."

I may have received a drafting penalty, I deserved it but in my defence it was right before the messy turn around that's also the course entrance/exit where everyone was getting squirelly on their bikes so I didn't really have anywhere to go. But rules are rules ...

Bike Time: 38:29 (includes both transitions)

The Run - 5km
I beat Stan out of T2 as well. He must have had a very slow transition - he's a super fast runner and he took a long time to catch me on the run.

The start of the run was tough, I haven't done any real brick workouts so far this year so I'm not used to running hard after a hard ride.

As I expected, the run was a challenge. I had to walk a few of the hills as my breathing was out of control but then I'd think "I'm NOT walking in a sprint" and I'd start running again. The last km was great as we lost all the elevation we'd gained in the first four or so km so I could pick up speed and breath easy.

Run Time: 26:27

Total time: 1:19:15*
*unless I got a drafting penalty

I think this is my fastest ever sprint. The last one I did was Delta in 2007 and that was 1:31:?? I'll take that!

Nest race - Oliver Half.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Best "Support My Cause" Letter I've Ever Received

Maybe I'm lucky that my friends haven't suffered much, or maybe Dave is just one heck of a writer:

Dear family and friends,

We are writing you on behalf of Tyler.

We will never forget that day – October 1, 2008 – Tyler 's doctor called us late that night and said "Tyler has Type 1 diabetes". Our family's life (and especially Ty's) changed forever after those words were spoken. First we cried and then we were thankful that it wasn't something a whole lot worse...and then we stepped into a world of constant 'needles and poking' our little three year old.

Next came three intense days at Children's Hospital learning to give injections to our baby and check his blood sugar. It was unbearable holding him down and listening to his pleas and screams to not hurt him anymore and begging us to stop. It is something that we hope no other parent has to go through.

We learned to check his blood sugar 5 times a day, which requires using a pen type device to poke his little fingers to draw enough blood for the glucose meter to read his sugar levels. Already his little fingers are riddled with small holes and calluses.

Tyler is not old enough yet to really tell us how he is feeling or indicate if he is high or low ... we constantly watch and listen through the day and night for indications that he is out of his target range. Most children sleep peacefully at night, but no longer our little guy. Tyler must endure another finger check at night while he is sleeping and if it is a low reading, we must wake him up and give him food to eat. Imagine how tough that is for a little person! He no longer sleeps soundly through the night as his body will often naturally wake him if his blood sugar is going low.

We have learned to count carbohydrates to calculate the quantity of insulin to inject. He must eat 6 times a day of carefully monitored meals...and he must eat, even if his little tummy doesn't feel like it. Learning what he can eat and only at specific times has been challenging...birthday parties, holidays, special days, dinners at friends, or eating out has to be well planned and discussed. Gone are the days of grabbing a quick bite to eat or just showing up somewhere and letting whatever happens, happen. A chunk of his childhood is just not the same as it is for most children.

To this day, every time we calculate the insulin we second guess ourselves as we struggle to keep his blood glucose in his target range. There are so many additional factors to consider such as sickness, activity level, time of day, stress and previous blood glucose level. Simply put, we have had to learn what to do to prevent Tyler from going into a coma from a low blood glucose level as well as prevent him from suffering from a high blood glucose level which can lead to ketoacidosis. Even simple stomach flu can cause plummeting sugar levels which require emergency hospitalization; a virus which results in simple bed rest for the rest of us. Although somewhat in denial, we also have to face the possibility of other complications that Ty may have to deal with such as:

  • kidney failure
  • blindness
  • nerve damage
  • strokes
  • heart disease
  • reduced life expectancy.

We refuse to go there!

Reality sets in each day when we see the sharps container on the counter full of needles and lancets. To date, Tyler has had:

  • 1,350 finger checks
  • 540 needles
  • 1 low-blood sugar seizure

and it has only been 8 months since diagnosis. It is not easy giving an injection when your child begs "Please don't hurt me."


We have learned that every high and low is not life or death but still very serious for his health and how he feels. We have also learned how very strong our little boy is. He IS the strongest member of our family.

So, we are asking for your support to help change this. We understand that these are tough economic times for everyone but those factors will not stop this disease. Research into Type 1 Diabetes is making huge progress. If you are able to help out, we greatly appreciate it. Just click on the 'support me' button below. E-receipts will automatically be issued for online donations of $20 and more. We want to thank you for your support and would also be honored to see you at the Telus Walk on June 14th at the Greater Vancouver Zoo. Let us know if you'd like to join us and we will get back to you with more details.

If you would like to join Team Tyler and raise pledges yourself, please let us know and we will send you pledge sheets and more information.

much love, Lonnie, Dave, Tyler and Sydney

Support Tyler!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

I'm back! And bailing on workouts already.

I finally made it out to a bike workout last night - my first outdoor w/o on the bike all year.

It was also my first outdoor bike w/o heading from my new place so I gave myself lots of time to get there. For the record, it takes significantly less than an hour to get from my house to 4th & Highbury.

I thought I was well prepared as I brought leg warmers and a Buff to add layers in case I needed them on the way home and wore gloves. Leaving the house I figured the gloves would be too much in about five minutes and that I would be overheating. Instead I was chilly most of the way out, a light drizzle didn't help matters much.

The workout was hill repeats - the out of shape and/or recovering from racing/plague crew were to do two repeats of a steep hill (as opposed to the wall of doom the fit folk climbed) then two to four repeats of Spanish Banks hill.

As we road to the hills (doom & not-quite-doom) the rain went from drizzle to downpour and I was enviously eyeing clubmates' booty covers and rain jackets.

Doing the second not-quite-doom hill repeat I was thinking how stupid it was to be cold and soaking wet when I was recently recovered from the plague. Then I thought of biking home in the gloom when I didn't have adequate lights on my bike for long ride home. Poorly prepared and recently recovered - not a stellar combination. At the top of the hill I figured it wasn't my night and headed for home. (Apologies to the riders behind me who ended up following me several blocks out of their way before they figured out I was bailing.)

It was frustrating and a bit of a waste of time but entirely my fault for showing up unprepared.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The first rule of East Van ...

I've been in my new place for five days and I'm wondering when I get my copy of the rules. Or, considering the political leanings of many of the denizens here, perhaps it's a manifesto? Regardless of whether it's a manifesto, guidebook, contract, etc. I know there has to be some sort of 'Rules of Living in East Vancouver', with a specific section dealing with not telling the rest of the city how cool it is.

C'mon, how else is it that there are so many incredible little parks, pretty houses, crazy gardens, wicked bike paths, neato stores and no one tells the residents of the sunset side of the city? Couldn't possibly be that the West-siders ignore their Eastern peers!

Until I get my copy of the rules I don't know if I'm allowed to talk about the great running track around Trout Lake, all the Co-op cars super close to me, or the bike route I discovered yesterday that could quite possibly be the coolest in the city (down by the tracks and the docks no less, who'd'a thunk it?). Oh yeah, what about New Brighton Beach Park - a beautiful outdoor pool hidden out of view close to the Second Narrows - can I talk about that? Someone in Safeway yesterday even spoke to me in line then let me go in front of her because all I was buying was an onion (when would that ever happen in Kits?) - will that treatment stop if I spill the beans?

So, until I know what I'm allowed to say I guess I'll just have to not say anything at all.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Deja Vu?

So another post talking about how I'm getting back into training after being off sick. Hopefully I stay healthy and don't have to write another one of these for a long, long time!

The last week was a total wash as far as training went, I didn't do anything more energetic than pack and walk to/from the bus. As the week went on I kept feeling better and by moving day I was feeling pretty good but by that point I had a move to deal with so two more days of no workouts.

I went for a ride yesterday, I felt okay on the flats but any hill was tough. It felt like my lungs had shrunk! Craig (UBC rowing coach) assured that it'll take just over a week to get my lungs back to normal.

Today's swim was a nutty workout but it started well. We did six sets of:
- 100m with band (a.k.a. Alan's trying to kill us)
- 100m with pull bouy
- 100m free
- 100m free
- 100m free

The intervals for each set were based on our long distance pace - the first set was our LD pace plus 45 seconds, the next LD plus 35 seconds, the next LD plus 25, then 15, then 5, then 0. Craig and I decided our LD pace was 2:00 so the first set we went every 2:45. I could hold my pace for the first three sets but started falling off in the 2:15 set then had to give up leading the lane (Justine should have been in front anyway, it took wacking my toes for 100m to make her do it!) on the 2:05 piece. I picked it up a bit for the last set but it was tough.

Normally I'm all about the pacing and this would be frustrating but today I was just happy to be in the pool and completing a 3,150m set.

The run was hard but I was expecting that. My HR was way to high for most of it but I was enjoying running with the group. Alan has me getting back into the swing slowly so hopefully I'll be back to normal soon.

And how about the move? It went well. Paying for movers and someone to clean my place was totally worth it. I even managed to find someone to take all my boxes!

My Mum came out for two days to help out, having her there made a big difference. She did more lifting than I had intended but she's hard to stop! By Friday I was almost entirely unpacked and as of today I just a have a few boxes waiting to be sorted. I need some furniture (TV stand, shelving, etc.) so I have space to put the rest of my stuff. I'm also looking for a futon couch for my office so I can have somewhere for guests to stay. Know anyone looking to get rid of one?