Tag Archives: cycling

Epic Tour – A not so Epic Fail

11 Sep

I’m  back and I have good news regarding the Epic Tour of Halton. I had to transfer from the 140k tour to the 80km ride because of lack of training – I know, shame on me! But I’m glad I swallowed my pride and opted for the shorter distance. I had a great time despite waiting in the cold at the start. I was literally shivering until about 5km into the ride. 

Making my way to the start line

Making my way to the start line

The whole day, ride included, was really well organize. For my first tour, it could not have gone smoother. There was plenty of parking, coffee at the start line, well marked course directions and aid stations stocked full of food. After the ride, the riders were able to enjoy free food and craft beer. I had a green apple beer that was real tasty. 

Food and beer after the ride

Food and beer after the ride

The marathon training continues. I did not do a long run this week because of the ride but the week before I ran 25km. It was a good run but I started to chaff under one arm around half way. It was the worst chaff I’ve had in a long time. 

Mark and I have started running together on some mornings to get used to each other’s pace.  Thankfully Mark was with me on Tuesday morning when I had to make a pit stop at a port-a-potty. It was still dark out when nature called. We came across a port-a-potty but, of course, there are no lights in them so Mark had to hold the door open a little while I unfortunately had to use the facilities. True love, ain’t it? 

Our region is going through, what I hope, is our last heat wave. Thankfully it looks like it’s only last two days but the mercury has been hovering over 40C (or 104F). I’ve been trying to drink as much water as possible before and after our runs and running before the sun has risen.

Do you have any tips on staying cool when running in the heat? When it’s really hot, do you prefer to run on a treadmill to avoid the sun and humidity completely?

 

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Four Weeks until Race Day

4 Jun

As I approach the final four weeks of training for the Half Ironman in Peterborough, there is rarely a time when I am not either training or thinking about the race. My days either begin or end with some kind of training – swimming, running or cycling. Although I am enjoying pushing myself I have to admit I will be happy when I cross that finish line. I’m four weeks out and I’ve already started race dreams. I don’t think I was having race dreams this far out from the marathon!

I cycled 90km today and I have to admit that I had a great ride with a smoking time! It was a tough ride filled with hills. They were rolling hills but steeper than your average rolling hills. If I would have known that I would not have mapped my route on such roads. But that’s what you get when you live beside the Escarpment.

90k

To get a better look at the route, you may need to click on the image. In hindsight, while looking at the elevation map, it doesn’t seem so bad. But after 50k and another 40 to go – those hills seemed like mountains.

I’m slowly getting everything ready for race day. I rented a wetsuit from a local tri shop. I would have liked to buy my own but renting a wetsuit for $40 instead of purchasing one for $200 makes way more financial sense.

I’m also prepping myself mentally because the course for both the bike and the run are out and back courses. I think the course will be toughest on the run. So what I’ve started doing is going on long runs that are out and backs. Sunday, after work, I ran 6km down one road and ran back the same way. This particular route did not seem long because of the hills and the farm animals in the fields. I swear some of the cows and horses were looking at me thinking “What is this crazy human running from?” If only I had an answer.

Cycling for Coffee

28 May

After months of waiting for the perfect day to cycle out to Cafe Domestique in Dundas, we finally made the journey on Sunday. I can’t remember how I came across this cafe but I’ve always wanted to check it out. Cafe Domestique is a cyclo cafe where coffee, beer and food are served. Cycling to a new town is always a great adventure. But cycling towards a destination that is friendly to cyclists and has coffee?! I was so totally there!

The ride into Dundas was definitely an adventure. Before leaving, we mapped out our route that totaled 35km. Half of the ride was great and scenic. Unfortunately, we hit a bit of road that was busier than we thought. When we finally got off the busy road, things started to go downhill. We got lost and tacked on an extra 10 or 15kms. We met up with some cyclists and Mark asked them for directions. When we were finally heading the right way, we arrived at a road called Sydenham rd. The road started to decline and I realized this was going to be a big hill. Off to the left was a lookout point. Mark and I stopped briefly for a view and pictures.

Sydenham lookoutThen we started our descent. I was breaking the entire time. Mark flew ahead of me and yelled “Meet you at the bottom!” And I just kept coasting along. I kept thinking “I will never make it back up this hill…” But I tried not to let those negative thoughts get the better of me and kept my mind on Cafe Domestique.

When we finally made it, a scone and a cup of coffee never tasted better. Mark, of course, had two chocolate chip cookies and a grilled cheese.

DomestiqueWe took the same route to get back home (without getting lost this time). And I am proud of say that Sydenham Hill did not get the best of me. I pedaled the entire way! Mark kept looking back expecting to see me walking but every time I was just a pedalin’ away.

I am so happy that I was able to make it out to Cafe Domestique after months of waiting for the opportunity. Our total kilometres was around 80-85km. Now all I have to do for the Peterborough Half Ironman is cycle the whole 90km without a coffee break.

Energy Bites

30 Apr

I’m happy to announce that my hours (although not as many as Mark would have liked) on the trainer have paid off! I have completed two hill repeat sets – one last Tuesday and one today – and a long ride. Although the hill repeats were extremely hard and I felt my heart was going to explode out of my chest, the long ride was a lot of fun and I was proud when I finished the whole 56km. I know, strange kilometerage but I got a little lost which tacked on a few kilometres.

Of course, the trainer has prepped my muscles for long rides and holding myself up on the handle bars. It did not, however, prep me when I could not unclip my shoes fast enough. I had a pretty nasty fall with a couple of good scrapes and bruises to show for it. Nothing too damaging though.

With my biking and running right on course for where it should be in my training, I suppose I should mention a little something about swimming. I have been going to the pool early in the morning quite faithfully twice a week and debating whether I want to add a third swim. There is an other triathlete with whom I share a lane with who is good motivation. He is quite an experienced swimmer, friendly and offers great advice.

Since my swim workouts are early in the morning and I’m an a big breakfast eater, I am always looking for a good quick snack before my swim. I often turn to toast and peanut butter but sometimes I feel it is too filling. I recently came across these Energy Bites that are just the right amount of food for a morning swim.

Ingredients:

  1. 1 cup of rolled oats
  2. 1/2 cup peanut butter
  3. 1/2 cup of chocolate chips
  4. 1/2 cup of ground flaxseed
  5. 1/3 cup of honey or maple syrup

Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate for 1 hour. When chilled, roll mixture into 20 – 25 balls. Keep Energy Bites in an airtight container in the fridge.

DSC00996

Per serving: 86 calories; 8 gramsof  carbs; 5 grams of fat; 3 grams of protein; 2 grams of fiber; 4 grams of sugar.

Indoor Cycling and an Interview

4 Feb

This is just a small post on a Monday evening.

Our Sunday mornings look a little like this:

DSC00878
Mark and I set up our bikes and find something motivating on Netflix. I’ve been working my way up to cycling for an hour – sounds easy, but is pretty daunting on an indoor trainer.
My workout for now is pretty easy. I warm up for about 15-20 minutes, do 3 hard sets of 5 minutes, and then an easy fast cadence spin for 10 minutes. The last 10 minutes is cool down. I’m hoping by the time all the snow melts and the north wind dies down I can cycle outdoors for a few hours.

In other news, Mark started his own blog and has decided to start an interview series with average joes and pros. He interviewed me on Saturday about endurance sports, goals, accomplishments, and lifestyle choices. If you are interested in reading the interview, you can find it here: http://bluecollartri.wordpress.com/2013/02/03/interview-with-the-boss/

Anniversary weekend

6 Aug

Mark and I always look forward to the long weekend in August. It’s our anniversary and we look back on our first August long weekend together with fondness as our two first anniversaries were spent at my family cottage.

Unfortunately, busy work schedules and life just seems to get in the way of making the trip to the cottage in order to celebrate with family. So the last few years we’ve been celebrating in our own frugal ways.

Although it was a special weekend, there was no break in the training schedule. I ran 23km Saturday morning and came home to roses. Mark had stopped by the farmer’s market after his run to buy me flowers.

For supper on Sunday I made a bean and veggie stew, guacamole and bread, and blueberry pie for dessert.

I included the beautiful roses in the picture. They are so lush and fragrant! Not pictured is the blueberry pie. I must confess I didn’t photograph the dessert because I was too busy eating it!

To complete our anniversary weekend, we went on a bike ride this morning. Mark showed me some of his training routes and brought me up into the Escarpment. My gosh! The hill to get into the Escarpment is the longest and steepest hill I’ve ever climbed – and I couldn’t even make it half way so we walked our bikes up. We had planned to visit Hilton Falls but when we arrived we were informed that we needed to pay.  Neither of us had brought any money and $13 was a little too expensive for us. So we took a little break and biked back home.

Pumpkin Pancakes and Spinning

20 Apr

Mark has been quite the chef these last few days. I have not been overly motivated to cook in the last week so Mark has been taking over. He makes these wonderfully tasty pumpkin pancakes that I top with one tablespoon of plain yogurt and local apple syrup.

Recipe

Ingredients

2 cups of pancake mix (the box mix is fine)
3 tbsp of brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (cinamon, nutmeg, ginger)
2 1/2 cups of pure pumpkin (canned is fine when pumpkin is not in season)
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. You can mix, separately, the dry and wet ingredients. But, to be honest, I don’t do that unless I’m making muffins or a loaf.

Pumpkin is a great source of fibre and Vitamin A. These pancakes are so flavourful and yummy! Love them!

I had a great spinning class too last night.  Worked real hard and felt the burn! I know it’s so cliche, but it’s true. I hit the road for a ride this afternoon. Felt real good and strong following all the spin classes this winter. However, outdoor cycling is much more different and difficult than indoor. So my legs were real sore after 40 minutes. I’m looking forward to building some more endurance in the weeks to come.