Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Pt.1: The Audition, Pt. 2: Guerilla Filming Rocks!

Had an important audition today ... Now, everyone repeat after me:

"Bonnie, you're perfect to play the role of Ms. Chang! I have no doubt that you'll land it, no doubt at all!!"

Told you I prettied up real good ...this is me looking corporate. Happy I took the time to blow-dry my hair last night as I would not have had the patience this morning. I was still trying to learn five pages of text.

Next on the agenda ... the indie film shoot and learning yet another bunch of new text. (Can you tell I suck at memorizing lines? Oh, why did I become an actor!) Small cast and crew, great intimacy. After getting kicked out of both Complexe Desjardins and Place des Arts (time was too tight to get a permit during the day), we lucked out and were allowed to shoot in Baton Rouge, that restaurant with the amazing ribs. (If anyone ever wants to go there with me, just let me know.)

Wish I had remembered my digital camera 'cause I would have had a great group pic to show you, and you could have seen me in my sequined top. Don't laugh but I decided not to go swimming this afternoon just to keep my hair nice. Well, I was busy with the fund-raiser too, you know ...

CK played another reporter/animator and it was a lot of fun bringing in the New Year with him (that was our scene). I first met him about 7 years ago and it was nice to get reacquainted with him. I told him about my Ironman project and he was incredibly supportive. I told him about my mother, and I knew by the softness in his eyes that he had his own story - his mother had just come out of a bout of breast cancer and was in remission. I knew he understood my pain and my fear and it was comforting. He understood why I race and raise money for charities. I told him about C.'s ignorant assumption that cancer victims will be fine. I could feel CK's outrage without his having even made a sound yet to react.

All in all, a good shoot. Kudos to Denise and Janet of Jade Pictures for following their bliss and believing in dreams ... and thank you to the wonderful crew.

Oh yes, no training today. Came back late from the shoot and found Mr. SB on strike ... a little miffed that I chose to run last night instead of keep him company during CSI. I called my mother and and found out she starts her chemo treatments next week ... sigh ...

Experiment #1: Running with a thong (cont'd)

Running with a thong ... your butt cheeks get cold.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Experiment #1: Running with a thong

Running with a thong ... annoying. Not recommended, don't do it, folks. To the men, don't even try it ... well, unless you like that sort of thing.

Went for my swim session with my tri club. With drills, etc., swam about a kilometre and a half. Picked up something new about rolling the shoulders and making the hand dive. Hopefully it'll help me glide better. My coach, Eric, expects me to be able to sprint a lap in 16-17 sec. Yeah, right ... my fastest is 23 sec. There's a good reason why I am in the SLOW lane of the tri club.

Walking outside after the practice, I remarked how nice it was, mild and a little misty, so I went home, downed some juice, told myself I wasn't really "that" hungry, and went for a short half hour run around my neighbourhood. Felt great, and I was happy to have finished a good training day. Total training time: 2 1/2 hours. You'd be proud of me Dirk!

But ooooh ... now I'm paying for it. Full tummy, good supper ... sprawled myself out on the couch and watched some CSI on the tube ... oh my gosh! Fatal mistake! The couch! When will I ever learn!?!?!?!?

I've just made some tea and hopefully that'll get me through until midnight since I have some lines to learn for an audition tomorrow. I actually took the time to dry my hair after my bath tonight. I never dry my hair and I can't imagine having to do it every day, like the women I see at the pool. It's killing me just to have to wash my hair so often and shower so frequently every day, what with all this training, sweat, and chlorine. I'm not particularly girlie girl, though I know how to look the part and walk the walk. Tomorrow morning, I'll put on my make-up "professionally" then as soon as I get home, off it goes, so I can train in the pool!

I knew my work would interfere with my training sooner than later. Not that I mind THAT much ... 'cause work as an actor is scarce, so I am grateful, universe! :-) Can't attend my spinning class tomorrow night 'cause I play a reporter on a short indie film and they're shooting my scene.

Long live projects built on guts, dreams and passion!

"Maybe I should stop raising money for charity to get C's approval." Snarky rant #3

Thought I would quickly share this with you.

Got an e-mail from C. today criticizing the Team Diabetes program of fund-raising and racing. Yes, they do cover certain costs, like race registration and welcome and celebration dinners, as well as either airfare or hotel, but what he fails to recognize is that the target amounts we need to raise as members of their team incorporate this overhead and guarantee our also raising "X" $amount way beyond the overhead. It's simple ... it's called incentive.

So far, I've raised $22,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada. Maybe I just wasted my time. Maybe I should have just made it a selfish issue and trained harder to get a better time instead of undertraining so I could fund-raise instead. Yeah, that would have been wiser ... not raising a penny. Anyway, I didn't really need to run that third marathon that year after also having run three other half marathons. I shouldn't have squeezed in the training and fund-raising at all as I was already working full-time and a single mom of two. CSI is a great show and I should have been laying down on that fabulous couch of mine watching it instead ... what do you think?

C. also complained again about the lack of time I gave him.

I wrote C. back and told him that maybe I should just do Ironman Montreal and not raise a cent for charity, which would for sure cost me less personally too! He doesn't quite get it either that if I'm not even fitting enough sleep in for myself, which is essential to my well-being, then I highly doubt that he, as an immature man, should take priority.

He wrote back again, and I did one thing. DELETE.

Medicine balls have absolutely no bounce

Went to my kick-boxing class today to get in some cross-training. After the shadow-boxing warm-up, we set up a circuit with four minute rounds (4 min on, 1 min rest). First exercise was to throw a 7kg medicine ball with my right hand off the front of my shoulder as if I was throwing a punch, but hard enough to hit the cement wall and bounce back at me to catch in my stomach. Four minutes! Do you realise how little medicine balls bounce? I think my swimming has been helping though, as I used to not be able to do this exercise that long, but today I toughed it out like a good Ironwoman wannabe.

So that was the "start" of the circuit ... then lots of double kicks and great punching combinations for a fantastic anerobic workout! Finished with an exercise that I particularly like called "Impact" where we punch each other in the gut for a few minutes each (with gloves, of course) and aim for the solar plexus and liver where it really hurts.

Ouf, what a great class today ... my hands shook for a half hour afterwards. Wolfed down what seemed like 2000 calories in a high-carb lunch but it's already passed right through me!

Off to swimming ... ta-di-da ...

Late to bed, early to rise ... wait, there's something wrong with this picture!

Boy, it sure felt good to sleep in today! Still didn't get enough sleep, but after this fund-raiser for the Canadian Diabetes Association is over, I'll have a lot less work to do.

Managed to get to a pool today with the kids, albeit for a short period. Well, I figured an intense swim was better than no swim at all, so I did mainly front crawl for 35 min. Still find it so hard ... when will this get easier?!?! If I could express myself with an angry/frustrated emoticon, it would go here X but alas, I am confined by Blogger capabilities. Alternate is just to do this:

ARGH !!!

Alright, am I feeling better now? Nope, not really ... doesn't change a thing about how I swim. Good news is that Dirk will be coming to train me soon, he's just figuring out dates for his flight. He told me about a woman who came in dead last for her swims and after only three sessions, finished with a good hundred swimmers behind her. Hmm ... I'd like to be able to finish before her. No, no, I'm not competitive :-)

Got on Mr. SB tonight because the alternative was running outside in cold blowing snow & 40-60km/h winds and I just didn't feel like it. I have to find some way to adjust my stationary bike better ... feels like I am always on a hill-climbing setting and that's on the easiest one too! Bad news is that I counted my rpm's incorrectly the first time I used it ... doh! So I'm not cycling nearly as fast as I'd like or need to. Felt pretty good about my 45 min. cycle and even though it was 11pm, I contemplated for a minute whether or not I should get dressed and go for that run after all ... Good thing no one could see me jogging up and down my hallway in my undies, aka home cycling clothes, checking out the feel of my legs right after cycling and wondering what it would be like to run a marathon after cycling 180k.

I made a point of not sitting on my couch tonight, 'cause I knew I would be a goner. I lay down for a couple of minutes earlier this evening to cuddle my son, and I could have fallen asleep. Alright, with that said, it's time for shut-eye. Have to recuperate properly before I start my "easy" base-building schedule that Dirk will give me "soon". I asked how many hours of training were in the first week and he said "Eleven". That averages to an hour and 50 minutes every day. I don't even get to sleep that much some days ... ugh.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Look what I got in the mail ...

Went snowboarding today with the kiddies. What great fun! Someone please tell me this counts as some form of cross-training otherwise I will feel like a sloth. Snowboarding is like holding a squat position all the way down the hill ... Hey, my thighs were burning by the end of the evening!

So a little while back, Dirk my trainer asked me if I had gotten it yet. I said, "What?" He told me he had sent me a package. Alright, cool ... I didn't question him as to what it was, figured it was something cool, 'cause Dirk is a real cool guy, you know. Boy was I surprised ... it was more than cool, it was UBER-INCREDIBLE WOW !!

Here are the things in the box ...

1) Go Gels, not just a couple of them, but a box of 24 of them! Woohoo! Only one problem though ... I'm not actually doing anything strenous enough yet to merit them. Good thing they keep in the freezer. Nice to know you have faith in me Dirk!

2) A nifty cycling wind jacket ... this I can't use right away either ... but I loooove cycling gear so will definitely get around to using it! And hopefully sooner than later. I definitely won't be needing it when Mr. SB (stationary bike) and I meet up. Anyway, he's not too picky about looks, doesn't need the sexy sports clothes ... lets just about anyone sit on him. Dirk also included a really nice cycling jersey which I will be using too soon ... Sorry no pic of that as my photographer son got hungry and I had to feed him a snack. Can't wait to get my bike tires changed from slicks to knobbies so that I can start outside ... this week! I need to take a Bike Maintenance 101 course ... Hmmm ...

3) A triathlon suit!!! You're the BEST, Dirk!!! Here are several views:
If I had short hair, I'd be a man ...

I am Woman, hear me Roar!!

And one of my back, at Toulouse's insistence ..

Yes, Dirk, I have a few more muscles than when you last saw me 4 1/2 years ago ... :-)

4) A real cool tri top modelled by Toulouse at MY insistence ... I would wear it the other way round for personal reasons though.

*By the way ... all photos click open to bigger ones ... in case you want to check out the Go Gels ...

Saturday, January 28, 2006

The sleep fairy came and took me away ...

Busy day running around and worked a little later than I thought I would. Everything's in for my article for Asianwave, made the deadline and even included a few pics.

Never got out to run on the mountain :-( not enough time. Plan B, run around Lafontaine Park not too far from the kids school. Glitch - two recycling trucks on my street, couldn't get the car out. Plan C - run around my neighbourhood for, don't laugh, 2k, then hop into my car to go pick up my kids at their school. Ran another 2k in that neighbourhood while waiting for them to get dressed. What was all this for? Why the rush? To make the free swim period in the pool close by my house.

As I said, I haven't swum since Monday, but it felt like I hadn't swam all month, but caught up quickly thank goodness. Met up with Claude, a beautifully graceful swimmer who's been very nice in giving me good tips. She said "swim beside me" and I felt like we were a pair of dolphins. Then on the lap back, I hit her leg with my arm accidentally, then hit the lane divider with my other arm, getting a bit embroiled with it, ruining my rhythm and of course glugging down some pool water. I wondered how the heck am I going to be able to manage swimming out with over 2000 swimmers during the Ironman?!!?!!

After the kids went down, I did dishes and laundry and lo and behold, while folding the laundry, the couch, oh the couch ... My son woke me up at almost 5am and told me that I should go to bed. The television and all the lights were on (not my style I swear!) I got up and shut everything off and got ready for bed and my son was happy to crawl in with me to cuddle. Slept 9 1/2 hours altogether.


Oh yes, I received a surprise in the mail from Dirk, my trainer .... stay tuned ...

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Those unintentional days off suck !!

Sorry for the silliness last night ... just too heady a combination of dancing, good music, good food, and great wine, and of course, a much needed evening out for both of us! Not something either of us get to do too often, hit the town and spoil ourselves ...

Got woken up at 6am by a supportive friend who thought I still had a pool workout. He was right in waking me though, as I had asked for the wake up call, and had I not been so exhausted, the call would have been mucho helpful and appreciated and I would have gone. Drowning or drinking half the pool water just didn't hold much appeal either ... there are some states of fatigue when one knows that it's not a good idea put your face in water.

So I slept in a wee bit, actually another 2 hours, and got up feeling better. Worked on the fund-raiser, did some dancing with S. in my living room before he headed back for Ottawa, then had some afternoon appointments. Headed to the pool with the kids after the appointments but was met with a huge disappointment.

"It's locked," my son said.

"What?!" Yup, the pool was closed all day today. So no swim workout tonight either. What a drag, and I had been looking forward to it. This is not good ... I'm used to swimming 5 days/week, and I have not been swimming since Monday. This is turning out to be too easy a week and I feel guilty ...

Good news is that I will hit the hay soon. I promise ... I'm not fooling you this time ... really ...

Oh yes, I landed an audition and got a role as a reporter in a short film! Shooting next week ... hope it doesn't interfere with my training!


W is for "wow"
I is for "I'm in the mood for love ..."
N is for "Not tonight honey, I have a headache."
E is for "feeling gooood!!"

Wait, that's not an "e" ... um ... well, there are two "e"s after the "f". Does that count? If not, let's try this:

E is for "eeling goood!!"

Alright, back from an evening out ... a "d-a-t-e" ... Actually, S., a good friend from Ottawa dropped in and we decided to hit the town! Here's S. with the report:

"mmm... blues dancing... :) Kinda like having sex standing up in public with all your clothes on. How can you beat that?"

For all those wondering, yes, I did manage to train today, albeit the 3 hours of sleep I had last night. Would have liked to have hit the pool as well, but just couldn't time it with S's arrival. Anyway, a friend criticized me for my original plan of only a short 20-25 min. run. "So what is that going to do for your Ironman?" So I nixed Plan A and went for Plan B in the park and did 7k.

Wait ... does this count as cross-training? Swing danced like a madwoman tonight to some amazing music by Shelley Stevens, pop and jazz diva, at Le Blanc on St-Laurent.

Thanks S. for bringing me out! Nice to pretend I have a social life still!

Big question now ... will I make it to my tri club swim at 7am tomorrow ... Tune in tomorrow folks ...

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

God, I love my unintentional days off !!

Felt emotionally drained today. Guess I'm feeling a little burnt out from everything that's happened recently. I spoke with my mother tonight and she is feeling better, apart from some bad nausea this morning. She definitely sounds better, which is a good thing. We'll see what the doctors say next week ...

In my mind, I had a huge training day planned today, but as I sipped my tea later this afternoon and contemplated running, somehow, my body assumed a horizontal position on the couch ... the couch ... I love my couch ... zzzzzzz.

The phone rang and it was my trainer Dirk. He asked me how many hours I have available per week to train, and I told him that my schedule is flexible, we would adjust on a per week basis if necessary (depends on work, the couch, and kiddies, ya know!) He said he got a chance finally to read my blog in its entirety... uh-oh ... I wasn't sure what he was going to say about my inconsistent training.

You know I don't have a program yet ... um, you're going to give me my program soon, right?"
About your training, I only have one thing to say about it ...
What, I know, it's all over the place. I'm just trying to do some base-building ...
Well, you certainly are active.
But what do you think of my training so far?
There's only one thing you really have to change.
(thinks for a second ... "not enough biking")
You need to get more sleep.

Alright, I've had enough comments from the peanut gallery. The People have been heard! I will try to get some more sleep ... soon, I promise! But right now, I have to go write an article for the magazine "Asianwave" to introduce the column I will be writing that will chronicle my "Ironman Journey." Deadline is Thursday at noon! And I still have fund-raising invitations to send out!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Our reality ...

A day in the life of Silly Sally

Was supposed to wake up super early and actually had a friend give me a wake-up call at 6am since alarm clocks and I don't quite see eye-to-eye. He chatted with me for a few minutes to try to keep me awake but had to continue his day so we said good-bye. Not good. Obviously the 2 1/2 hours sleep just wasn't working for me and I shut my eyes again. Didn't wake up for another 3 1/2 hours. Alright, 6 hours total sleep, interrupted mind you, but much better than usual. I got up and worked on my fund-raiser, sending invitations. There are so many things to take care of to make this event work ... good thing I am quasi-organised, well, at least I think I am.

Noon came and I scurried off to my kick-box class, which I haven't gone to since early December, before the Honolulu marathon. I am going to be sore tomorrow!

Then I met up with Grommit briefly - he had a present for me from him, Roly and Chops, all members of my running group. An Ironman blanket from IM Lake Placid! Uber-cool! I am a blanket fiend and will no longer have to fight with my kids over the throw blankets in my living room. They can keep their teddy bear blankets ... I have my own IM one!!

Then back home to work more on my fund-raising ... great ... two more sponsors. Sent more invitations out. Some friends have also told me that they would help to get the word out. Ideally, I would complete all my fund-raising earlier rather than later, before the heavy training program hits, which will be soon. When it does, I won't be able to subsist on 3 hours sleep/night. I won't even have a social life, not that I have much of one now ...

Anyway, just look at that clock ... time flies! And so did I, out the door. Would have loved to have run to the pool but didn't feel like getting all geared up just to peel it all off then put it all back on, damp and cold an hour later to run back home. Not tonight. The pool work-out ended up being more than sufficient enough cardio-wise, and combined with the kick-boxing earlier ... OUF!!

Well, back to work on my computer and the fund-raiser. Good thing I don't have any contracts going on right now. giving me more "free" time.

A day in the life of my mother

I called my mother, who lives in Toronto, right after I finished eating supper. I needed to know how she was feeling, I needed to know she was alright. I had been worried about her all day. I had talked to several friends during the day about my sadness and also about how scared my mother felt. When I spoke with her, her voice was weak and she spoke slowly. She was resting on the couch. She had finally eaten something and I'm happy she did.

My mother had spent the day in the hospital being poked and prodded, actually six hours worth of it. She told me that even with the freezing, she could still feel pain from having the long needle stuck into her repeatedly to aspirate tissue. She told me how afterwards, she was sitting and wondering why she felt wet - she had bled through her punctures and soaked her blouse.

My mother was in the hospital having the tumours in her liver biopsied. You see, that close family member that I was so upset about the other night is my mother and she has cancer. The biopsy is to help the doctors figure out what kind of chemo drugs to give to my mother to prolong her life. She will need a liver transplant.

Grommit, you mentioned previously in a blog comment that you wanted to know what was in my mind. So here I am telling you, I am telling all of you. In fact, this is not just what is in my mind, this is what is in my heart and in my soul, and I am crying inside and out with rage and with grief and wish so much that it was me suffering and not my mother, because I'm strong and I would come out fine, and of course run another marathon ... But this is my mother and I am so incredibly sad that I want to crawl on my belly and become a puddle of tears on the floor.

I deliberated not telling any of you, since cancer, though prevalent everywhere, still tends to remain intensely personal, too hush hush. But I don't think I would have been able to hide this from you and I would have exploded. And perhaps my mother might not even want you to know, but what does it serve to not talk about it? If one does not ever confront a horribly saddening reality and continues to believe that things will be just fine, then one will never be able to better the situation. Change comes with awareness and desire. I promise, I will do my utmost to try to change this horrible situation.

My mother's story:

- operation with blood transfusion
- couldn't figure out why she felt so ill and weak
- tainted blood scandal
- hepatitis C is diagnosed but half her liver has been destroyed
- her health and life in general is further complicated by hypertension and diabetes, type 2
- she tries to control her diabetes with diet and medication but starts to be afraid to eat much of anything
- her blood sugar level is still too out of whack and on a recent check-up, the nurse wonders how my mother is able to walk around at all
- the doctors find lumps in my mother's liver due to the cirrhosis (damage) and it is diagnosed as cancer

When I joined Team Diabetes and committed to doing the Ironman, I decided to dedicate this race to my mother because I realised how much diabetes complicates her day-to-day life. Never did I think that this race would come to symbolise so much more.

In my last big fund-raising project, I mounted a Campaign of Hope. I ran for a special little boy named Thomas who had cancer, and asked that notes and cards of encouragement be sent to him to let him know we cared. Thomas is a good friend's nephew and it is actually this friend, Phil, who convinced me to join Team In Training with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada the year before. I ran to honour my Uncle Kai who had passed away from leukemia.

This time round, I will race for HOPE and FAITH. I want to believe that the universe will parallel my mother's battle against cancer with my Ironman journey to the Finish Line. WE WILL SUCCEED!! Ever swim stroke, bike rpm, running stride I will take in training and during the actual race day, I do this with love for you, mummy.

I ask all of you to please say a prayer as often as possible for my mother and wish her well and success in her chemo treatments. I believe in the power of positive thinking and in sending good healing vibes. I'll keep you posted ... thanks so much for believing ...

"Cancer Batting Average" Snarky Rant #2

To C., here are some interesting stats that goes completely against your "I assume that someone who has cancer is gonna be okay" belief. Thank you for your wonderful sensitivity to my emotional state.

People I have known directly who have died from cancer = 6
People I have known directly who have had someone they love die from cancer = 7
People I know directly or indirectly who have survived cancer or at least in remission = 5
People I know directly or indirectly who have cancer and are/will be treated for it = 6

Total cancer sufferers in my life = 24
Total that have died = 15 = 62.5%
Total that have survived = 5 = 20.8%
Total that we don't know yet but cross our fingers and pray to God about = 6 = 25%

Total cancer sufferers that we love or have loved = 100%
Total cancer sufferers that we worry about or will always miss = 100%

When I woke up this morning, my eyes were still puffy from having cried so much last night, worried about those that I love who presently have cancer, and remembering those that did not make it. I did not feel like running, but my training called for a long run and I had told other runners that I would be there.

I know though from the past that no amount of pounding hard into the mountain during a run can eradicate grief. I recalled all the tears I shed as I finished each run, tears for my Auntie after her death from breast cancer, tears that failed to obliterate my sadness. I don't want to feel that kind of grief again and if thinking about this brings such turmoil to me, I cannot fathom how those who are in the midst of cancer are feeling.

"What is there to understand?" Snarky Rant #1

An acquaintance questioned me recently about my reasons for writing a blog. He asked me how I was but was offended when I asked him to read last night's entry instead of having to rehash my sad feelings to him personally.

"Imagine if all my friends had blogs and wanted me to read them, I would be reading blogs all day long."

Yup, C, that's the case now, all your friends have blogs, I'm not the only one, right? Sorry I wanted to share my dark moment of grief with you by asking you to read my blog. You did ask me how I was, didn't you? And sorry if my blog writing takes up precious time away from you. Yes, I know, it is "impersonal". You are correct there. I only write coldly about "fake" moments ... fake pain, fake triumphs, and fake happenings. I'm sorry if being naked and honest and intimate with my words does not hold any value in your life.

But it does mean something to me and those who choose to read it. Someone asked me tonight to whom am I writing ... I told him it is to "YOU". To each and every one of you reading these words right now, I thank you for your time and attention. You are special to me. When you come to my blog to share my day, I realise that you care and it is this encouragement that will help me get through this training and help to bring me to the Finish Line. It tells me that you believe in my project and that you believe in dreams and in Good.
C. couldn't figure out either why I would want to devote so much time to training and fund-raising, why not spend time with friends, i.e. him, and other activities? ... No way, he wouldn't do it. What a waste of time! Nope ... he just doesn't get it, or me ... and that C., is why we could have never dated. Imagine if everyone thought like him, selfishly - there would be no progression in mankind. I believe there is a lot of power in ONE. And collectively, we CAN make a difference. Terry Fox believed ...

Got stood up by Grommit on the mountain today. Nope, no canary yellow jacket to be seen anywhere ... I was just starting to think that I would have to run alone but then I heard my name being called. It was Nicholas, a tri guy from my club, and I was elated! I had company!!Great run today, crisp, but pretty good footing except for the icy patches. The trees were beautifully laden with snow and ice and the sun shone brightly. Lots of fun conversation, and kudos to Nick for doing a double loop with me without batting an eyelash. We picked up the pace for the last straightaway. 13.2km. You're a good runner, Nick, and thanks for keeping me company.

Grommit? Who dat?

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Regular programming tonight will be pre-empted by ...

Day off from training today. Jane crossed over ...

In my Chinese culture, we have a strong belief in the afterlife and when someone dies, there are certain things that we do to help this person "cross over" to her new life. We burn money so that she will never have a lack of this and we offer food so that she will never be hungry ... there are other things as well, but that is all that I will mention here. Oh yes, we also wear white ...

My friend R, who is Chinese too, and I are actors together, having auditioned and acted together several times. We've hung out together, we understand what single parenthood is about, he's acted as tech support when I needed computer help, we've seen each other's acting careers and love lifes evolve. There is also a certain understanding and intimacy that we've shared over these 13 years of knowing each other because of our similar cultural backgrounds and life choices. His having played the role of my husband three times on different productions, and even once having beaten and killed me (for T.V.) has added a certain dimension to our friendship, a certain special kinship.

I was very sad to learn this week that Jane, R's mother, passed away from cancer. She was a wonderful vibrant woman and I know how much she meant to her family and friends.

I have known too many people in my life directly and indirectly that have been affected by cancer. At the present moment, I have a good friend and also an extremely close family member who will both be starting chemo treatments. So when I cried at Jane's simple but intimate memorial service, it was not only for her and those that loved her, but also for my friend and relative who are presently ill, and for those I loved who have already passed away from cancer.

So I did not train tonight but chose to stay with R's family and friends, and what started out sombre ended in friendly chatter, stories and laughter, and Jane would have liked that.

Life is so precarious. I hang on to every moment of good health because things can change so abruptly. And if I can help in any way to make things better for everyone, then I will. This is what motivates me to join these charity racing teams ... because I am grateful that I can.

"The Reality of Cancer" by Bonnie Mak, Asianwave, March/April 2005

I must not be human ... or just very stupid ...

Some of you may be wondering why I am not asleep after yesterday's training ... How am I able to stay up?!?!

Yay!! My site is up and running! Check it out!
And please come to my Canadian Diabetes Fundraiser at Karina's on Crescent St. on Feb. 13!!
All the details are on my website ...

Hey, here's a pic of myself at the Honolulu marathon - notice the warrior braces on my left leg. You know, my ankle and knee STILL hurt! Argh!

I especially love the stuff flying out of the other runner's nose ... Egads, I hope I never come across in someone's finishing shot like that.

Alright, time to fold some laundry, then off to bed. Learning lines can wait until tomorrow. Have to try to get at least 5 hours sleep!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Oh my gosh ...

... I just realised that I worked out for over 3 1/2 hours today. Feels so different than just running for that long ... the fatigue "during" is not the same, I felt okay, but the "after" certainly is. Or maybe I just have a bad memory and my tired mind is forgetting all the painfully exhausting bits.

I just ate supper and all the energy left in my body has just gone to my stomach. I could sleep n-o-w-w-w-w. But I've got too much stuff to do so I'm going to have some tea and wolf down some chocolates. Caffeine and sugar, yes, that should help ... I hope!

I have to psyche myself up for tomorrow's workout ... stay tuned!

Veritable orgy!

Quite the gang today ... Mr. Pool, Mr. SB, Mr. TM, and a surprise visitor ... Ms. Elliptical ...

Mid-day workout:
Running: 25 min. - light and breezy to and from pool (I swim at many different pools)
Swimming: 55 min. - I was a really good girl and practiced all the drills we did yesterday morning in my tri club swim workout, and you know what? They help! Added some sprints in at the end for some pizzaz ...

Evening workout:
- met up with the advanced members of the tri club
- we did the spinning bikes for a half hour and kept a solid 90 rpm pace throughout after the quick warm-up. Simulated sprinting and hill climbing.
- afterwards, we jumped off the bikes and some of us jumped right onto the treadmill, while I got alloted the elliptical trainer. Mr. SB and Mr. TM I can handle, but hmmm ... don't know if I swing that way ... sorry Ms. Elliptical. You're cute and we chatted for a good 15 minutes, but I was happy to jump onto Mr. TM for another 12 minutes after the others finished. Then I got booted off by Eric my trainer who needed it for the other tri members. Eric told me "Good job. " Yay!
- Alright, now that I've met Ms. Elliptical ... Mr. TM, I must apologize for my lack of warmth and respect towards you and I promise not to diss you (as often). I had some fun running mainly at 6.5, speeding up to 7.0 and 7.5 for a while and even did a bunch of short intervals at 8.0 and 9.0. I felt like I needed a KICK in my legs that Ms. Elliptical didn't provide.
- There was another runner on the other TM and he was running like a maniac for a while. I went over to him and saw his speed at 10.9 and thought instantly of Grommit from my running group. But I'm sure that fella isn't crazy enough to run a TM marathon ...

Spinning: 30 min.
Elliptical trainer: 15 min.
Treadmill: 12 min.
Stretching: 10 min. (I'm bad and don't stretch often enough ...)
Swimming: 75 min.

Pardon? Yes, I went for a second swim and it would have only been for 55 minutes, but I started practicing the butterfly stroke and I couldn't get out of the pool just like that ... had to cool down a bit, and then well, um, I got distracted with some sprinting. I still think the butterfly stroke is way too awesome - happy I'm gettting smoother and faster and stronger at it ... I think I wowed some people. (pat pat pat ... oh that feels good to my swimming ego :-)

Now it's time for supper. Good thing I ate some toast before this 2 1/4 hour+ evening workout. Who thinks I will sleep well tonight? I'm actually all excited from my workout, but I'm sure once I start working on my audition and learning lines tonight, I would rather be snoozing ...

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Double Whammy!

Woke up entirely startled in my very dark room at 6:11 a.m. to my alarm clock ringing. It almost gave me a panic attack since I couldn't figure out why it was ringing so early ... What day was it? Was it a school day or weekend? Did I have to get the kids to school? No, they're with their father this week. Did I have to go to a shoot somewhere? Yeah, I wish. And then it dawned on me and I remembered. I had a date with Mr. Pool and my tri club. Argh - I had to be there for 7am. I downed my tea and ate a croissant quickly, packed my swimsuit and towel, and get this ... got dressed in my running gear. It had snowed overnight giving some traction to the other day's ice. Cool!

Out the door I went! A very excited camper! Got to the pool just as the warm-up was starting. Then countless laps of drills, and I was happy to learn a thing or two. We had about 15 min. left and Eric, my coach, told us to do 2 x 500m front crawl, and I said, "Excuse me, how many laps is that?" 'cause I was sure I didn't hear him correctly. He said 2 x 20 laps ... (I thought about this ... alright, hmm ...) I told him I didn't think I could do 40 laps in 15 min. He said it should only take 6-7 min. to do 20 laps. (Yeah, right ...) So I did what I could. I must have done at least 20 laps, but lost count and then cooled down with another 12 laps of breast and back crawl.

Chatted with the life guards, tri club members also, about technique and then there I was, off again to try some of their advice out. Good stuff! I'm finally starting to feel like a real swimmer! I got changed quickly afterwards and ran back home, happy like a cat in the sun.

Run = 6k
Swim = 1.5 hours

I told myself that I would try to run to the pool from now instead of driving. Mind you, it felt a little strange in the pool right after the run, and then again at the start of the run after the pool, but all in all, quite do-able and refreshing, and the strangeness went away quickly.

Let's see if I can do it again tomorrow morning, and just for that, I will try to get a little more sleep!

Where does one find the balance?

I am up from a long nap as I write this entry ...

Was up until the wee hours last night, er, early this morning, Wednesday, working on my website and fund-raiser. Trying to get enough done to give to my web designer who himself is squeezed for time too. Was up so late that another runner colleague who gets up early was surprised, but not too much, to find me online and she bid me good morning on MSN. I should stop this habit of going to sleep after people get up in the morning. Well, I got my two hours sleep and then had to get up and finish prepping for a Fido commercial. Needless to say, I sorely paid for my lack of sleep today and did not train at all.

What horrible weather today! It took me over two hours to get downtown, 9-10km ... rain, ice, police, firemen, accidents, stalled cars, overflowing sewers, blocked-off and closed streets. I was lucky the audition people didn't say anything about my being uber-late. The cameraman told me that he even got in late, and the director didn't even make it in at all because he got into an accident when his car slid.

I can't believe anyone was able to run outside today in those icy streets!

Well ... the recent lack of sleep decided to club me over the head. Been suffering from a headache all day. Had a massage this afternoon, care of a friend's b-day present to me. I was impressed with how many knots I had in my butt muscles. I contemplated going for an easy swim tonight, but thought that I might be wasting all that deep tissue work the massotherapist did on me, and of course, that idea got really nixed when I passed out on the couch from exhaustion.

Alright, I do know that part of training is smart recuperation. I've never been really good with either, training or resting, probably not disciplined enough, or as a friend pointed out, I get distracted too easily and want to do too many things.

As with all my other charity races, I've always found that I had trouble balancing the necessary fund-raising part of being on a charity team vs. the necessary training for the actual event. Unfortunately f0r me and fortunately for the charity, it has always been the fund-raising part that has won out and I have raced all too many times totally undertrained. Of course though, being able to finish a marathon pales in comparison to being able to finish an Ironman. Now that scares me.

Because of all the races and miles I've already run, I know I can finish a marathon, even severely undertrained. Ironman ... well, as Gustav, my son put it ... "Oh mummy, I don't want you to drown."

So I'd better shape up and learn to rest better so I can train smarter. My real program will be arriving soon from Dirk and I'm a little leary ... Well, I'm back off to bed now, then swimming bright and early tomorrow morning (meeting Mr. Pool at 7am).

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

What a great albeit busy day!

Wow, I got to sleep in until 9:30am, 6 1/2 hours sleep. I should have gotten up earlier, but after yesterday's shoot, I was BEAT, especially considering I had had only two and a half hours sleep the night before since I was up working late on my website. Lots of phone calls today with regards to my upcoming fund-raiser ... it's so exciting! I'm working on details with my sponsors for what will be an AMAZING event. Hope you will be there! I'll let you know when the website becomes ALIVE officially.

Long day, and I haven't eaten supper yet but just wanted to say I had a good training today. Don't know if we're ever going to get music for my tri club spinning class, but I actually find that the time goes quickly as we're all talking and laughing and asking questions ... and of course spinning and sometimes "burning" too. Today, we were just five people, so it felt more like we were on a training ride together, except I couldn't draft anyone. My coach Eric is cool and the members of the club are really friendly.

After the class, I changed as fast as possible and hopped into the pool for a very short and intense workout. Had to be, I only had 15 minutes. I started with a warm-up of 25m breast stroke followed by two laps of front crawl, then I thought, heck, I'll add another lap of front crawl before I do a lap of breast stroke, but something happened and I don't know ... I just continued doing front crawl non-stop for another 25 laps or so ... then I took a 30 sec. break and did 25m of my precious butterfly stroke to finish with a bang. Nicholas from my tri club who had come down to the pool to his locker (he's a lifeguard there) saw me and screamed out "butterfly!" and it made me laugh as I had told him in the spinning class that I had just recently discovered it and how much I loved it.

Wish I had had more time in the pool ... I'm actually quite enjoying my trysts with Mr. Pool. He's exciting and still a little mysterious to me ... gets my heart racing!

Nicholas told me that the advanced members of the tri club meet on Sat. for a more "open" swim ... no lanes, just circumference laps of the pool. They cover 3.5km in all during the practice. I'm tempted to go, if even for part of it, but am I ready? Hmmm .... I do like a challenge.

Not bad for a girl who couldn't do more than five strokes of front crawl last November and who failed even Level Two swim classes when younger. Yes, I failed it many many times until I passed it at the age of 13 and then I never swam again really until this Ironman thing ...

The power of the mind is incredible ...

I was a slave girl today ...

No training today, er yesterday (Monday) ... no time ... worked on the set of "Spartan 300" all day (16 1/2 hours) as a quite Gothic-looking slave girl, skimpy outfit and all. I think the costume designer had a field day when he landed this period film. I know the hair and make-up people had a blast! Heck, we all had a blast today!! The set was pure fantasy, right down to the hump-backed man with the bad eye and teeth and the limbless transvestite concubine. The half-naked Persian king was pretty hot!

Off to take a hot bath and get a good night's sleep. Double training day tomorrow - swim and bike. Pardon? No, no ... I haven't forgotten my running roots, but it's presently -21c outside with the wind chill!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Mr. SB forgave me :-) and we came to an understanding

Yes, I'm up late once again, and the only reason why I'm not yet asleep is because I have too much work to do on my website and fund-raiser still. Yawn ... and a batch of laundry to do too ...

Anyway, cycled for a little over half an hour on my stationary bike. Counted my rpm ... warmed up at about 85-90 for about 5 minutes and the rest was between 110-120. With the tension feeling so high with the magnetic resistance even at the lowest setting (tougher than the spinning bikes at the YMCA), I felt like I was going uber-slowly. Obviously, I was more than happily surprised that this was not the case when I did my little rpm counting exercise and found out that I was spinning faster than I spun last week in my first spinning class. The time actually passed quickly and I enjoyed it. My only wish is that I had been organised enough to catch the first half of Grey's Anatomy, as I would have had an hour cycle instead. Maybe Mr. SB isn't such a bad fella after all, just a little misunderstood ... I'd definitely see him again.

Alright, my break is over ... back to work ... Speaking of which, ironically, I get to play a slave in a film tomorrow. LOL!! Hey, I might even get an entire day off from training what with the shoot during the day and working with Geoff on the website at night. Should I consider that a good thing? OH!! Training withdrawal!!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

I promise I'll make it up to you, Mr. SB! I swear!

I stood Mr. SB up last night for our cuddling session in front of CSI. Not really because I wanted to, I did want to see him, but I got distracted by other things I had to do, like bake a cake and um, catch snippets of some flick with a younger Reese Witherspoon in it, and um, do dishes, and work on my website. Oh I am so bad with my stationary bike! Alright, must clamp down, must cycle tonight ... anyway, I think Grey's Anatomy is on ... cool ...

Found some "gerbils" today at the local gym. Some members of my running club decided to do a treadmill marathon (42.2k). I personally want nothing to do with Mr. TM since he's such a bore, but you know that male bonding thing ... Grommit was there and albeit having BQ'd (qualified for Boston), he still smelled like a flower. Roly succeeded in finishing his first ever marathon, and I say kudos to him for having done it on a treadmill, 'cause no way in he** would I even think about attempting that. I'm actually grateful that I don't just have running as my training anymore ... how many options does one have when it's friggin' freezing outside and the windchill is at minus 20something?

Alright, one thing for sure though ... after the post-race celebration at my house, I had a WICKED session with Mr. Pool. Warmed up for eight laps (4x breast, 2x back, 2x front crawl) then took a minute break to stretch (7 min total), then went for the gusto. What I couldn't do yesterday because of being kicked out of the pool, I decided to do today ... and more! 42 continuous laps of 2x front crawl followed by 1x breast stroke and in 25 min., about 35.7 sec/lap. WAY COOL! Mind you, the laps are a little short of a regular pool, I think about 24m only, not the usual 25m. Finished off with a lap of butterfly feeling strong, and then one last casual lap of breast stroke before they closed the pool for the day. Grand total with warm-up and cool-down and two short rests: 52 laps in 35 min. or about a 40.4 sec./lap pace. I think I'm getting better ...

Saturday, January 14, 2006

It was going great until ...

It's just amazing what 10 hours sleep will do for someone. Would have slept longer but I eventually had to feed the kids. There are only so many cartoons they can watch in the morning but they were happy because they were television-starved and I was sleep-starved. Pretty even trade, I'd say!

We went to the pool this afternoon. It's so funny ... I wanted to go earlier when all the pool toys are out, buoys, floaters, etc. ... but my kids actually griped to me about how they'd rather go later when the toys aren't out. They said that there are too many people and the toys take up too much space ... they want to be able to swim in a straight line. Good, good .. I might have the souls of some real swimmers developing here ...

Yup, so we get to the pool, the kids are playing, and I do my warm-up of 8 laps breast stroke, nice and easy. Then I decide no drills today, and thought how it would be neat to just keep on swimming one day until I have to get out (flashback to Hawaii and swimming "forever" in the ocean). I decided I would start out two laps front crawl and give myself a chance to recuperate with one lap of breast stroke. I did a bunch of those then decided "10", I would do 10 sets of these to make 30 continuous laps. It's one thing doing them all breast stroke, since I've already swam more than that distance before, quite another to include all that front crawl. I concentrated hard on my efficiency ... where the elbows go, how to breathe on the side, entry of the hand in the water, the follow-through right down to the hip, not kicking too quickly ... I was soooo happy, there I was gliding almost like a fish and not gasping desperately for air. I had found a rhythm!! "7" ... Wow! I thought as I started an eighth set and did a lap of front crawl to the end of the pool. And that's when things went sadly wrong ...

The lifeguards decided to close the pool!! Problem with the chlorine, and with so many people in the pool that day, they were finding it difficult to see to the bottom of the 12 ft. pool. DRAT!! I was on a ROLL!!!

So I ended up finishing with 30 laps in 23 min. Short but sweet and I even got a bonus with my workout today ... One of the women I chat with who works at the pool wants to train with me since we get along so well. Turns out that she used to lifeguard, and even better, teach! She can give me pointers, and hopefully, I can hire her to give my kids private lessons! Woohoo!

Oops, I just realised the time ... have a late night tryst with Mr. SB tonight. We're going to watch CSI together!

Friday, January 13, 2006

I've hit a wall ...

Can't ... think ... straight ... too ... tired ...

My body is shutting down and I've hit my limit. Going to get ready for bed and crawl under my covers ... need sleep desperately ...

Night folks.

I imagined the last 10k of the Ironman while running down my hallway

Got all excited today with the flurry of e-mails I got from Dirk, my trainer, David, and Metalboy about aerobars for my bike. I guess it's that same type of excitement parents get when buying a crib for their baby, even though she is only 3 months old in her mother's tummy. Means that this Ironman is becoming real and not so much of a dream ... w-o-w ...

Worked on my website and CDA fund-raiser all day, too much so ... would have liked to have gone for a longer run, but had to find contentment in just a 25 min. run around my neighbourhood. I hopped into the car afterwards and scooped up the kids from school, then we hit the pool where I swam pretty well non-stop for 35 min. Did all the strokes, no drills, but of course concentrated mainly on front crawl. Didn't count laps, too confusing, but I did manage to slip in 3 laps of my precious butterfly (happy, happy, happy!) I wonder what the other swimmers think as I push all that water everywhere ... it creates quite a commotion in the pool. Or perhaps that is just my perception and my flailing body, legs and arms are what's really causing the commotion.

Anyway, good training day, short ... but intense!

Bad news is ... I worked hard at timing the cooking of a braised beef to coincide with my afternoon schedule. Should have been ready to put the veggies in with the beef when I got home with the kids from the pool ... realised that I had forgotten to turn the oven on when I came back from my run to pick up the swimming bags. Oh well, late supper tonight, but tasty! Gosh I love food!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Yay, a good swim today!

Just taking a break from doing dishes. Still have to fold the clothes, but now I've got more of them to fold, as I discovered a wet batch I'd forgotten about in the dryer. Doh!

What a flurry of a day! After my afternoon appointment, I went straight to the pool and got in an hour and quarter of solid swimming before picking up the kids and doing the groceries.

I felt tired to start and then tired during, but somehow, I managed to have a bit more rhythm today. Perhaps this came from my own head telling me to tough it out and just do it, as I haven't been able to swim more than two laps of front crawl at a time recently, but today, I swam 10 straight! Alright, sometimes I got 2 or 3 seconds break between the laps cause of the traffic jams, but does that nullify my achievement today? I'm trying real hard to breathe on both sides, but sometimes I feel like I've run out of oxygen and need to breathe on one side only and hope that I make it to the end of the lane without drowning. Mind you, I could probably just put my feet down since the pool gets so shallow, so I guess that fear of drowning is unfounded. I definitely swam more than 60 laps today, that's for sure! Even got in 3 laps of butterfly stroke. Still real cool ... too bad I never got that novelty rush with front crawl though.

Alright, so some of you are probably asking, "Why so much emphasis on swimming, Bonnie?" 'Cause if I can't swim 4k by the cutoff, then I can't finish the Ironman. Secondly, even if I do finish by the cutoff, which I plan to, but I don't swim it well, then I won't be able to finish the Ironman either. Dirk told me that the swim is incredibly essential and I have to be super efficient, i.e. with that long a swim, I would only need to kick once or twice per stroke. I slowed my kicking down today, and look how much farther it got me, and I wasn't that much slower, just less out of breath.

For those not in the know ... Up to fairly recently, I could not put my face in water at all, couldn't seem to keep the water out of my nose ... and deep water, especially open water, scared me immensely (bad panicky feeling). When I was younger, I only managed to pass the first two levels of swim instruction, tadpoles and beginners, and I think I had to do that last level three times before I finally passed at the age of 13. I remember being grossed out by mouth-to-mouth resusciation ... ick. Mouth-to-mouth has become a less icky concept now ...

Needless to say, no cycling today. Tomorrow? Run and swim ... I hope!

Thanks to all those who commented on my last blog entry - it's nice to know you care. I'm going to hit the hay soon. Up early though as I have still a lot of work to do on my website. Maybe if I'm lucky, I'll manage 5-6 hours sleep!

Utter exhaustion

How far can a person push themselves? I ask myself that since I am presently subsisting on four hours sleep a night, sometimes less. My alarm rang at 6:30am. I had gone to sleep at 4:30am after working on my fund-raiser and website a bit more. I contemplated for 30 seconds if I should really go to my tri club swim. I turned off my alarm, shut my eyes and said, "Don't be stupid, Bonnie." I am looking forward for this "crunch period" to be over and things to be more manageable. Slept until 8:30am and then got up and ready for a 9am meeting with another event planner to help her out with one of her events. Now I'm off for a meeting with one of my sponsors followed by an afternoon appointment.

Big question now is, do I take a complete day off from training, or do I slip myself into the pool again to work technique. Ideally, I should get a short run in there too ... Is this just a simple question or has it become a dilemma?

How does one juggle training, work and single motherhood? And grocery shopping too? My basket of clean laundry sits in the living room waiting to be folded. At what point is missing workouts and getting some more
S-L-E-E-P more essential? I remember once, when training for a certain marathon, working all day then doing an 18k run then picking up the kids, followed by the evening ritual of supper and homework. And this after only 3 hours sleep. Mind you, I remember once running a marathon after only 2 1/2 hours sleep.

How much is the body's actual ability to push and how much is it the mind controlling it? We endurance athletes know the answer ...

This is my present reality or am I sleeping and is it a dream?

It's super late at night or rather super early in the morning and I just got back in. I was at Geoff's working with him on my website. This is all for that fund-raiser I'm organizing at Karina's on Feb. 13 (mark it in your calendars!) Did I tell you I have to raise $7,500? Now, is the fund-raising or the training harder? Which one do you think will take up more time? Why am I not getting any rest though I don't have a day job? Alright, this is admittedly a crunch period as the event is only a month away and I still have yet to get the invitations out, nevermind hitting up all my friends for donations, meaning I'm not yet one iota closer to my fund-raising goal ... sigh ...

Good news! My neck is a bit better. A friend heard about my condition and pitied me ... came over to work all the good crunchy bits of knotted muscles out of my neck and shoulders. I have some mobility!

Training today, er yesterday ... short swim with David. Too tired to do more than two laps at a time. Mind you, I was working hard and doing some sprinting. Really trying to watch my technique now and try things out to get me further with less energy. It must be working 'cause today I seemed to be passing lots of women, though I don't know if that really counts as there was only one lane so included the extra slow swimmers.

Tomorrow I'm supposed to train at 7am in the pool with my tri team ... hmmm ... who thinks I will make it? I was supposed to train in the pool with MetalBoy Wed. morning at 6:15am. He even gave me a wake-up call, but I figured it wasn't a good idea getting into the pool after less than two hours sleep.

It's probably not a good idea staying up to write this blog either ... alright, I will drink my tea and behave. Good night, folks!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

I think I'm gonna be alright ... maybe ...

I hurt my neck yesterday and have since been sucking back Robaxacets like candy. Thing is, now I've run out and haven't had a chance to hit the pharmacy. It still hurts a lot. I think the next move is codeine. Ironic thing is, I didn't even hurt myself training, I hurt myself checking out tiny batteries in one of my kids' toys. I couldn't get the casing open and had to hold quite still while forcing it open, and when the casing finally decided to pop open, my stiff little neck made a "ggkk" sound and I knew I was in trouble. Now something is misaligned and all my neck and upper shoulder muscles are tight. I suppose my swimming last night only served to exacerbate my condition. Or maybe it was my saviour and if I hadn't kept my muscles moving, I'd be worse off than now ...

Tonight's spin class was probably not the best idea either 'cause I had to hold my head up in that bent-over position. First ever spin class for me in my entire life. I've heard about how wonderful it is and how it gets you in such good condition. Where was the loud music I expected? Eric, the tri coach, talked through it all about what to expect for the season. I couldn't hear much through the whir of the machines. We warmed up for about 20 min. or so at 80-85rpm, then increased to 90. Then we did a series of 30sec sprints. We were told to increase the resistance and we cycled some more. We did some 30sec intervals where we had to increase the resistance a lot, both seated and standing, then back to the previous resistance and keeping at 90. It was hard keeping the rpm so low. I'm used to spinning much faster, like 110, and found myself doing so at one point. Guess all those hours I put on my bike oh so long ago will start paying off soon. I think I'll be fine for the ride portion of the Ironman, that is if I'll be able to get used to the saddle.

Grommit: You will be happy to know I got some rest today. My body couldn't tough it any longer (been a little ill with a weird stomach virus recently, anyone else get this?) and decided to take a nap. It was supposed to be a half hour but I overslept by two hours. Oh well, missed my swimming, but I've been told that recuperating properly is essential to Ironman training.

Talked to David today and was happy to find out that he felt tired after Sunday's run and actually ended up napping for two hours. Guess the thrill of running through the wintery woods and the endorphins wore off. I'm glad to find out he's not SuperAthlete after all ... whew! He's human!

Talked to my trainer, Dirk, today as well. He told me he's still working on my 28-week program and I will be officially starting at the end of the month. He'll be coming to Montreal for business at one point hopefully soon. Alright, show of hands ... who wants to meet him? I'll organize a get-together ...

Monday, January 09, 2006

I joined a Triathlon Club!

Went to my first Triathlon Club meeting tonight. Swimming. Boy, did I feel intimidated. I saw a whole bunch of life guards. There were three lanes: slow, medium and fast. I say it was more like medium, fast, and extra fast. I tell you, if it weren't for the fact that a whole bunch of people were all doing the same drills, I wouldn't have toughed it out, but I didn't want them to think that I'm a sissy or worse, find out I'm a fake swimmer.

150m warm-up, any style
6 x 50m kick drill
50m front crawl with fins, head out of water for 25m
150m front crawl
6 x 25m front crawl sprint, 70sec for each lap incl. rest
(this one really hurt - if you take too long to get across, you get no rest, but I tried to be a good fast girl and made it across in 25+ sec.)
3 x 75m (25m breast, 50mback crawl)

I think that was it, maybe I'm off a couple of laps. My tired head can't remember.

It's great training with people and having specific times set up to meet them. If I didn't have this, I wouldn't be motivated to move and would most likely be sprawled out on my couch as much as possible, or better yet, in my bed, finally getting some zzzzz's ...

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Didn't you get the memo this morning?

I woke up, stretched, and immediately felt the effects of the previous night's Butterfly. Well, small price to pay for a little piece of exhilaration.

David and I arrived this morning at the bottom of the mountain path and found the others already waiting. Grommit and Chops were stunning dressed in sunflower yellow, while Roly and JoeBoxter looked gorgeous in royal blue. Grommit was ecstatic that David too was dressed in blue and the men took a few minutes to bond over their incredible fashion sense.

Let's run, I said ...

Beautiful sunny day to run, so pretty how the snow covered the trees. A little on the cold side but the hard work uphill quickly had me rolling my ski mask up onto my head. The mountain clamoured with activity. Lots of runners, cyclists, and skiers.

Obviously not eating breakfast, getting only 3 1/2 hours sleep, and a late night rendez-vous with Mr. SB is not conducive to fresh mountain-running legs. Were it not for JB's insistence and my rubber arm, I would not have run the 13.2k that I did - thanks JB. Felt like I took a quarter step backwards though with every step forward in the squishy slippery snow. Ugh. JB and I stayed on the main path while the others ran off into the woods, losing Roly amongst the trees, but he eventually caught up with the rest of us on the way back down the mountain. We all finished in fine form - good run and I'm happy to have done it.

Afterwards, I felt the run in my hips and quads a bit. Haven't felt that for a while ... Noticed it moreso while doing some swing dancing at a friend's house later that evening. It's great to have friends that cook well and feed me and dance with me :-)

David, who is not a runner but a cyclist, told me that he didn't feel the run at all in his legs. Drat these natural athletes.

Yamachiche Half Marathon - July 14, 2001

This race will forever be in my heart as it was my first real racing event.

Taper, what’s that? This race was the fifth day straight of running for me that week, just another day in my marathon training.

The field was full of elite and sub-elite runners. Little did I know what I had plunged myself into. I will never forget the Start and the relative feeling of not moving since everyone else was running. I remember the farm fields and country roads, the people cheering, my trying unsuccessfully to drink from a water cup while running and then being informed by another runner to pinch it.

I will never forget how exhausted I felt at 17km as I had run faster than I ever had for that distance. There was no special hoopla when I finished, no finisher's medal, and no friends to congratulate me. I had gone alone and don't even think I had told anyone ahead of time. I ate a snack and rested a bit, drove home, and then later picked up my friend and trainer, Dirk, at the bus station. We went to eat Chinese food that night and I had absolutely no clue as to what I had just achieved.

Gun time: 1:55:28, which still remains my PR (personal record)
Overall place: 243/285 (see what I mean about the fast field!)

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In response to your queries ...

Q1. What's in that head of yours?

I can't believe I've committed to an Ironman !!


Q2. Are we following a training plan?

Training plan, I'm supposed to have a training plan? Kidding aside, no, not yet. Real training starts when I get my program from Dirk, which should be soon, the thought of which scares the heebie-jeebies out of me. Everything I've done so far since I committed in November is absolutely fake training, including the last marathon.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Though Mr. Pool gives me butterflies, I finally gave Mr. SB a chance

Good swim in the pool this afternoon. Started with 20 continuous laps of breast stroke. Concentrated on my glide and basic technique and tried to be efficient. Followed with 4 laps of just kicking then 6 laps of just arms. Who else hates that kicking drill? Relaxed with 2 more laps breast stroke. Ten minute rest as the lifeguards took a break and then right back into the pool. Did 20 laps (non-continuous) of front crawl mixed in with a tiny bit of breast stroke and back crawl. Then I lost track after that and did a whole mish-mash more of front, breast ... and BUTTERFLY!!! During the break, I took advantage of reading the technique posters on the wall and decided to try it on for size ... and you know what?

Butterfly rocks! I LIKE!!! Though it's difficult, I had no problem getting across the pool with it. Didn't do more than one lap at a time (total newbie at it ya know) but I totally loved the "RUSH" from it ... sooo much power and the way the water surged all around me was simply incredible! Bet your bottom dollar I'll be doing more of that!!

Later tonight, I finally met up with Mr. SB for a half hour acquaintance session. He wanted me to sit on him. I thought "yeah, right" and wanted to roll my eyes, but I thought it would be wiser to try to at least develop a civil relationship with him. Haven't used my stationary bike for years and I had forgotten that the Level of Difficulty knob ranges from "hard" to "hardest". Maybe it's the way magnetic resistance works. Maybe it's because the bike's getting old. Maybe it's because my cycling muscles suck.

Hey, anyone know if stationary bikes normally measure speed and distance in km or miles? My bike is about 8 years old. I just see numbers and of course, I can't find my manual.

Friday, January 06, 2006

My stationary bike has become a piece of furniture

For the past few weeks, I have been eyeing my stationary bike in my living room, or rather, he's been eyeing me. He's actually been flirting, even more so this past week, but I've been too interested in Mr. Pool whom I frequented again today. Maybe I'll give Mr. SB a date soon ... I suppose I should be fair. Anyway, I'm sure he's much more exciting than Mr. TM whom I find rather a bore!

No counting laps today, did some drills but didn't emphasize them. Mainly tried to be more observant of my technique and how I moved through the water. Hmmm ... interesting ... boy, I have my work cut out for me ...

Alright, it turned out to be a rather lazy training day, but I'm still rather tired and having the kids all the time make it difficult. Well, it's almost the end of the holidays for them and it will be easier to get in more training hours once they're back at school ...

In the meanwhile, am I taking advantage of catching up on sleep? Noooo ... got some work to do for my fund-raiser for the Canadian Diabetes Association. Mark this date in your calendar - Feb. 13. Fun night guaranteed! I hope to see you there!!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Blues, finally!

Cross-training day today (well, I like to think of it as such!) Went snowboarding with the kids. Got them to do "blues" ... real cool. Just have to get them to turn and carve properly and we're really gonna fly! First descent is always so hard on the quads. I feel so stiff! Was a good girl today and wore my knee band. Not as painful.

My ankle hurts. For those not in the know, I am still healing from spraining it 7 or 8 times since Sept. Don't even realize anymore when I'm turning it except when it's too late and more damage has been done. When I ran the Honolulu Marathon in December, I wore both an ankle brace and knee band. Guess I didn't look like a warrior, but just another silly addicted runner refusing to accept injury.

I need someone to slap my wrist. I haven't been doing my physio exercises ... who has time?! My conundrum ... fitting in Ironman training with the kids, work, my charity fund-raising, and all sorts of too many other activities. I'm tired now and I still have to put away the snowboard equipment and work on my fund-raiser. And oh yes, do my physio exercises ... :-)

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Will the swimming ever get any easier?

Trained for almost an hour in the pool today. Kick and arm drills. Breast stroke and front crawl too of course. I did some back crawl but I'm always weary about hitting the end of the pool, which I did today but just with my hand, so my fear is not totally without basis. Just happy it wasn't my head. I'm not very good at watching the ceiling. It's very daunting swimming beside David though. He's 6'5", 13" taller than I am, and I have a short reach to begin with. I tried front crawl sprinting against him while he did breast stroke, and I still couldn't beat him. Dang.

I think my cold has been lingering on too long. (Go away now!) Just couldn't stay on top of my breath and do continuous front crawl laps, well not more than a couple at a time. Perhaps all those late nights, tons of driving, and filling my belly over and over again in the last two days in Toronto didn't contribute much to my endurance.

There are moments when I feel so powerful and glide gracefully through the water like a fish. Other times, I feel like the little tiles on the bottom of the pool taunt me as I try to swim over them, one by one, as I desperately suck in air when I can.

Sigh. Will I ever get it right? Well, at least I was able to count up to almost 40 laps before losing track of the rest.

Dirk, my trainer and really cool 22-time Ironman friend, called me to say hello. He's been working on my program which I'll be starting soon and told me not to worry about my swimming distance or time for the next three months, just technique. He said it's incredible how much energy can be wasted in the swim portion of the Ironman, so I will need to learn to swim as efficiently as possible. Dirk got me through my first marathon over four years ago, and taught me how to train for one ... I recently ran my 10th. Most importantly, he taught me to believe that I could do it.

I hope he teaches me that again! Refresher lesson, please ...

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Ouf! Guilt run ...

Ate way too much at supper last night. Slipped in a very short run (about 25 min.) around my mum's neighbourhood just before heading out for dim sum to stuff my face again. Kinda refreshing to run with no danger of snow or ice twisting my ankle - that's Toronto for ya! ... Just a super cold puddle to totally wet my foot though. Ugh! Serves me right for checking out the changes to the park that I used to play in when I was a kid ... Just got back from Toronto from a very long drive and I could use some zzzz's. Hard to train when travelling during the holidays. Just way too much good food and late nights ...

Monday, January 02, 2006

Piddle paddle in the pool

Went and took a dip in the my friend Kathryn's short condo pool. Just 10m long. I had to do a lot of laps to get anywhere. Good thing was that there was a m-u-c-h slower swimmer than me there at the same time and it made me feel like an Olympic athlete :-) Cool. Swam for about a half hour straight, then gave rides under water to both my kids. Good exercise for holding my breath. Would have given the kiddies longer rides but didn't want to drown them. TMH and I checked out how far we could swim under water ... not bad, not bad. Then I swam some more laps so I could pretend that I had had a decent training.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Gong Hay Fat Choi!! Happy New Year!!

Day off from training, not because I wanted or needed one though ...

Spent a good chunk of today driving to Toronto to see friends and family. I hate highway driving - boring as heck and synonymous with drowsiness. Was doing really well, not feeling tired at all, until about the last hour or so of driving when the kids FINALLY fell asleep. It was as if someone had pulled the "sleep switch" in the car ... ARGH!!