Hello – well, I have just returned from a scorching long run on a very humid day here in Caledon! It was the first time in a long time that I just came home and had to lay down on the ground to re-group. Normally, I spend the whole 2.5 hours planning my breakfast – cereal, soy milk, bananas, cottage cheese – very exotic – but today, I just wanted to get home and lay down. That humidity just drained me today!!!
Life has been busy and wonderful at the same time. As you know, I am doing the commentary for CBC’s coverage of the ITU World Cup Series. I spent a few days in Edmonton from July 6th to July 9th helping with the television coverage of the Edmonton World Cup. This was a fantastic weekend – and it was a great recharge for the hard training that I had to do when I returned. Of course, I still trained in Edmonton – but just running and swimming. When you are used to swimming, biking, running, doing strength work and walking dogs most days, it is pretty much a holiday when you just have to swim and run!! And so, I took the red-eye home on July 9th (who knew that red-eye meant that you fly all night long – I thought it meant that you arrive home late – like at 1 a.m.!!!), and I arrived home at 7:30 a.m. and then hoped on my computrainer for a 5.5 hr ride. I had the ride of my life and followed that up with a great run, so my weekend in Edmonton did in fact recharge the batteries!!!
I have also started to do some amazing strength work with my physiotherapist, Steve Hill. We have been “shocking” my normal routine by adding plyometrics and some explosive strength exercises to my training. It has worked wonders because, last weekend, I raced in the Spirit of Racine Half Iron Distance race and I came off the bike in the lead – yes, you read that correctly – I had the fastest bike and run splits to win the 2 km swim – 90 km bike – 21 km run event. I had one of those perfect days. I felt great in the swim – I was working hard and loving it. I got out of the swim about 30 seconds behind Lauren Jensen and about 3:45 down on the swim leader, ITU athlete, Sarah Groff. Once cycling, I found my groove immediately and I was riding hard. The neat thing was that I was riding hard and it wasn’t hurting at all. And I was just loving working hard. Between 20-25 miles on the bike, I caught the swim leader, Sarah Groff. I couldn’t believe it. But I kept pushing because I was having so much fun – although, to be honest, I didn’t know what to do next since I am never in the lead on the bike. I pushed hard for the entire bike ride and rode 2:25 for 90 km. Then I was off on the run – my legs felt fantastic – but my left foot was totally asleep. I had had some calf cramps in the swim and my arch had collapsed and my whole foot was asleep. It was driving me crazy, but I just kept on running. I still wanted to run as fast as I could because these half Ironman races are speed builders for me and stepping stones toward my hopeful solid performances at Subaru Ironman Canada and at the Hawaii Ironman. I went on to win the race in 4 hours and 17 minutes. Kim Loeffler and Sarah Groff finished in 2nd and 3rd and since this race was the US National Championships, Kim is the new US champ. The race was a great indication that my preparations are right on track for Subaru IMC and Kona.
And now, Dave and I are preparing to go to Edmonton this weekend. We are putting on a training camp for the Cops for Cancer athletes who are racing at Subaru IMC. Cops for Cancer is a group of people racing Ironman to raise funds and awareness for cancer. We were asked last year to be part of this special training weekend and so we are packing the bikes and heading west for a few days. It will be wonderful to share my Ironman racing and training experiences with these athletes. Dave has had some fantastic t-shirts made for each of the 53 athletes attending our weekend – I cannot wait for them to see the shirts which Subaru has generously helped us produce. PowerBar has provided us with lots of PowerBars, PowerGels and Protein Bars and Tri Dubai has helped us to organize and advertise this camp. All of my sponsors are always instrumental in everything that I do and so a huge thank you for everyone’s support. In fact, Camp Goodtimes (a division of Cops for Cancer) – a camp for children with cancer – is the official Tri Dubai charity that I am racing for at Subaru Ironman Canada. So this weekend is a lot more than just a training weekend!
As you can see, life is busy but wonderful. It is easy to be busy when you love what you are doing!