Monday, July 31, 2006


Swam 40 min. followed by 45 min. cycling, both easy.

Legs didn't feel bad at all ... shoulders and back on the other hand ... OUCH!! Nasty nasty sunburn. Why oh why didn't I use sunblock !!!

I came in DEAD LAST !!!

Saturday's training:
Bike - 50 km, wasn't supposed to be that much but I, um got carried away ...

Run - after the biking, I mixed together a banana bread and stuck it in the oven, then went for a short half hour jaunt in the neighbourhood

Swim - finally got to Magog around 6:45 pm after packing all my gear and food and doing some maintenance on my bike. First time I ever degreased and cleaned my bike by myself. My hands got all black and of course, even today, I still have black around my nails. Good thing I'm not a girly-girl or this would freak me out ... I picked up my athlete's bag from the big tent on the race site then ran into another athlete from the YMCA. We went for a dip in Lake Memphremagog. Neither of us are used to open water swimming so it was a real adventure. So many weeds! And so much gunk on the lake floor, including old shoes and long pipes. I ended up swimming 40 min. and practised my sighting.

Total training = just over 3 hours

The Race - Magog Half Ironman
2 km swim, 90 km bike, 21.1 km run

Was nervous as heck the night before, so much so that when I eventually got around to eating and preparing my bags for the race, it was past midnight before I lay down on my bed. No go ... tossed and turned all night trying desperately to fall asleep. I got up to go to the bathroom before 5 am and my friend DR called me from Montreal to wake me. (Thanks DR!!) Then the alarm went off. My roomie, D., who was doing the sprint triathlon got up with me. She had fortunately slept like a log. Good, she'll be rested enough for both of us.

What a cold morning! We put on the heat in the car and covered our legs with my kids' little polar blankies. We arrived at the race site and I set up my bike, towel and gear, then checked my tires. All I kept thinking was ... am I doing this right? Transition is still a foreign language to me.

The Swim Leg

- We all got into the water, no wetsuits allowed, and I waited for the start at the back of the pack. I got more and more nervous as the minutes then seconds ticked down. I high-fived another athlete and wished him luck just as the start was called. Bad thing about racing is that once you start, you can't stop until you finish.

- I couldn't believe how fast they all went off. At first, I followed in their bubbles, then was quickly left all by my lonesome. Good thing about being the slowest swimmer is that if I started drowning, aid was immediate since the volunteers kayaked very close to me. Great for safety but a little embarrassing for my weak swimmer morale.

- I tried to sight every 3 - 9 strokes, but found it tough to keep on course, which was an out-and-back on one arm of a triangle followed by a complete lap of the triangle. Let me tell you, that lake current can sure carry someone far in a few seconds, as I found out unfortunately with lots of zig-zagging. Race was 2km. I probably swam a good 300-400 m more.

- I heard the start of the Elite Sprint Triathlon. Great ... these swimmers were even faster than the pack with which I started and while swimming the last arm of the triangle, I was quickly enveloped with arms and legs and torsos as the pack quickly passed me at their phenomonal pace, but I kept my cool.

- I swam until my arms stroked the sandy bottom then stood up and *tried* to run through the water then up the stairs to the path that would take me to the transition area. Whew, I made it and didn't drown, and I didn't feel tired.

The Bike Leg

- When I got to the transition area, there were only two bikes there, but I don't remember anyone behind me in the swim ... hmmm ... a DNF?

- I tried the nifty trick of rinsing my feet in a container of water. A #1. I wore a tri-suit that resembles a bathing suit, but with some padding in the crotch. Never rode such a long distance wearing this, but figured with enough BodyGlide on, I wouldn't chaffe. Off I went onto the course and promptly realised that I'd forgotten my cycling gloves.

- I never knew Magog was so hilly. Nary a flat to be seen because the short segments that seemed flat were all false flats that soon become a hill. This was an out-and-back course and while it's great to bomb down hills at 55 - 75 km/h, I realised that I would have to climb up them on the way back. Took it easy though to not mash my legs ... relaxed and climbed slowly knowing that this was just a long training day in sight of the Bigger Prize (IM Canada).

- It was a little unnerving having two police motorcycle escorts for a while, especially when I had to climb some of the longer hills and I'd be as slow as 10 or 11/km closer to the top. I could hear their motors revving slower and slower, almost taunting me ...

- I was so happy to finally approach the end of the bike leg but didn't remember that I had to stop and dismount before the line and ended up doing this about two feet past the line ... The officials blew their whistle and I said I didn't know. They made me lift my bike up in the air as a penalty (don't ask me why). Alright, next stage ... run 21.1 km. Yeah, great. I could feel the hot sun bearing down on me ...

The Run Leg

- When I got to my transition area, an official told me to run around the cone before heading out to the run leg. I said I had to go to the bathroom but he kept telling me to run around that cone. Sheesh! So I ran around the cone to appease him just so that I could finish getting ready in peace. Then off to the bathroom ... oooh, I just love that BodyGlide. This was not a particulary fast transition.

- The course was a 5 km loop that served all the race distances. The half Ironman racers needed to run an extra 1.1 km (4 x 5 km = only 20 km) so they designed one segment of this loop just for us and added a long hill. Great. Just what my legs needed. I walked up this hill every time - didn't want to destroy my legs and I felt lazy. We also had to run through a field and through a small section of woods on loose gravel. That was cool. Coming out of the woods, there was a volunteer with a hose to mist us ... AHHHH ...

- The unfortunate thing about being nervous for a race and then travelling is that my body gets thrown off balance. What I could not do for two days, my body told me that now, after running 4 km, was *the time*. Great. Mother Nature calling. What horrible cramping. I located a nearby public bathroom (why go port-o-let when there's a better and more comfortable alternative?) No luck. So I ended up running with cramps for the other three loops. Walked through the water stations when I took water and made sure to splash my face and arms. Felt good because the day had heated up considerably.

- Because I took it fairly easy during the race, I was able to pick up my pace during the last 50 km and "sprinted" in.

Yay, I am a half Ironwoman !!!

Overall time - 6:53:17

Swim plus run to transition area - 56:45

Bike plus transition - 3:36:04

Run - 2:20:28

      Check out the fast field here.

      No finisher's medal though ... Hmmm, I'm going to have to reconsider this sport. Humph!

      If I was to change one thing about my race, it would have been to put on sunscreen ... Oh the pain of a 7-HOUR SUNBURN !!!

      Labels: , , , ,


      Cocktail fund-raiser with gastronomic tasting menu
      to benefit the Canadian Diabetes Association

      Originally scheduled for Wednesday, August 2, has now been postponed until a date to be determined in September. Check back here for the new date to be decided soon ...

      Sorry folks!

      Friday, July 28, 2006

      Kermit is MY MAN!!

      Alright, I had a rest day in my schedule today. Good stuff. Been feeling burnt out emotionally and physically recently what with everything going on.

      Brought my car to the garage today and got chastised for being late on getting the oil change. Not good for the car and I agreed. While I was waiting for it, I went to a friend's house for lunch, and I don't know what was with me, but I couldn't open the door from their porch into the kitchen. I couldn't understand, then M. looked at me, and told me that it would help to turn the doorknob (instead of just pushing). Ugh. I think I'm exhausted.

      So I picked up my car and went to my physio session. Nerves are healing well - I have had a lot less trouble with my shoulders and arms this week. Good, good, but on the other hand, my neck was hurting, but C. found the spot that was causing trouble and worked on it. OUCH!

      And since I didn't have to train today , we can move onto another topic.

      This is my dream man ... Kermit the frog. He can sing and he can dance. He's nice to all the animals and humans and considerate and well-mannered. He's intelligent and witty, has a great sense of humour. Kind and generous ... honest, a natural leader, quiet but confident. He's perfect for me, except he's green ... and a frog ... and a Muppet.

      Thursday, July 27, 2006

      Come to my party!

      Cocktail fund-raiser with gastronomic tasting menu
      to benefit the Canadian Diabetes Association

      Wednesday, August 2, 2006 / 6 – 10 p.m.
      $50 in advance per person / $60 cash at the door

      540 Duluth Street, Montreal (corner St-Hubert)

      A special Vertige martini, 14-course gastronomic tasting menu, the fun “Lock & Key” game, great prizes to be won, deejayed music, exciting dance demos

      For more details and to register:

      The Menu

      Chick pea humus
      Chipotled beans with aged cheddar
      Goat cheese on yellow beets
      Tomato bruschetta

      Classic salmon tartar
      Grilled shrimp with exotic salsa
      Fried calamari with Asian sauce
      Bites of white herbed fish

      Stuffed won ton with duck confit
      Beef carpaccio with sesame seeds
      Curried poultry delight in filo pastry
      Lamb kefta

      Sinful mini chocolate lava cake

      Fresh fruit brochette

      Yesterday's training:

      Swim - 40 min. non-stop front crawl. I counted my strokes while doing a really relaxed lap ... 16! I'm probably averaging slightly more than that, around 18 or 19, but just felt really good that lap. Or maybe I'm just getting better faster than I'm crediting myself.

      Bike - warm up with the long slow climbs of Cote Ste-Catetherine, then twice over Camilien Houde. 1:30+ training ride.

      Today's training:

      Brick - 45 min. spinning, followed by an hour run

      - I thought about my mother and about how difficult it must be for her right now, what she has had to endure both mentally and physically to get through chemotherapy and now to get through a liver transplant.

      - She is at home finally. Her incision is like a T under her breast area, one foot across and half a foot down. Thinking of my mother humbled me and put me back into perspective ... no amount of pain or discomfort that I suffer because of this Ironman and all its training could compare to what she is going through. And she has not complained.

      - I have so much admiration for my mother. She is my inspiration.

      Tuesday, July 25, 2006

      I hate when lousy things happen to good people!

      After running around all day with my head cut off like a chicken, super hyped and working like a dog on the fund-raiser, I finally got ready to head to my friend's birthday supper. Wonderful night and enough Italian food to stuff an army. Great to meet K's friends and celebrate a special occasion. As expected, K was touched when she opened her present from me and saw the Mathesis Box that she's been desiring for a while now. A few others were intrigued as well, as they quickly whipped out their business cards and asked me how to get one of these amazing puzzle boxes for themselves as you can't buy these in a store ... yet.

      So now for the horrible ending to a fabulous evening ...

      K's car got smashed into and her laptop and MP3 player got stolen. She had hidden it away but the thief must have had a flashlight to be able to see any of the black case in the dark. Our suspicions were confirmed when just across the street, we noticed more smashed glass, this time tinted quite dark. Ain't no way you can see through that glass easily.

      Sigh. Life can be really unfair sometimes ...

      p.s. No training today. Thought about squeezing it in on the wind trainer when I got home, but thought it was better to spend the time with K who was quite upset.

      Monday, July 24, 2006

      I have a surprise for my friend tomorrow ...

      I have a really good friend named K. We met over ten years back originally and didn't know it until we met back up again earlier this year and figured it out. She's really cool and kinda like a soul sistah ... been through some of the same sh*t as I've been, but just a little older and wiser and more patient. She's been great to me - we laugh a lot together and I adore her. And I love our inside jokes.

      I'm very lucky with my friends.

      Anyway, I went to another good friend's house tonight to pick up her birthday present, a Mathesis Box. Geoff is my webdesigner and also an industrial designer. He took many years to develop this puzzle box - no sliding doors or levers - so how do you open it?

      I showed K. this a while back online and she was enthralled with it. Wait until she gets one of her own tomorrow :-) Don't worry, I know she won't read my blog soon; she just moved and won't have the time. Hehehe ... I hid something inside.

      Training: Ran to the pool, swam for 40 min. pretty well continuously, except when I had to adjust my goggles, and then ran back home. Running = 40 - 45 min., maybe about 8k or so. I might have ran faster than an "easy pace" but my legs felt surprising good and quick! Short easy training today!

      Now I'm feeling it ...

      Procrastinated productively today with my training. Worked on sending invitations out to my Lock & Key gastronomic fund-raiser. Still lots of work to do on it ... sigh.

      126 km cycle tonight in 5:04. Longest ride I've ever done. Hit the 90 km point at 3:36, which is not great, but not bad, considering that some of that time was manouvering through downtown traffic to get to the Lachine Canal path. Then of course there, I had to deal with slower cyclists, roller bladers and walkers. Only hit more open road once I got to the Lakeshore Blvd. Went out to the West Island and through Senneville.

      There are some really crappy roads out there.

      I stopped to take a "break" and got the most wicked toe cramp just from crouching. Why does this happen? This is not the first time. I would have relieved myself at the gas station but was told the toilet didn't work and that they had to call a plumber. I asked the clerk how does he go, and he said he doesn't. Yeah, right ...

      Anyway ...

      I continued east along Gouin for a long while, then finally double-backed and went towards home, but feeling determined and strong still, I decided I needed to add in a few hills at the end so went back and forth on Cote Ste-Catherine from Mont-Royal to Decarie.

      I really had to push myself to feel motivated enough just to do one "tour de l'île" (90+ km) but ended up doing a lot more. It's interesting ... My legs actually started feeling stronger and faster after about 40km or so. I sure take a long time to warm-up. I could have gone on longer, but figured that it had been dark already for a long time and it was time for supper and bedtime.

      Riding in the dark is really cool, 'cept for the sudden unexpected bumps. Peaceful with hardly anyone around, and almost no cars ...

      Got home, took a bath and ate some leftovers. I was really wired but now I'm not. What happened to that adrenaline? zzzzzzzzzzz ....

      Saturday, July 22, 2006

      Discipline is not a word in my dictionary

      22 km romp with Grommit on the mountain path and through the woods. G. had his headlamp, thank goodness, 'cause I tell you, it gets really dark after 9 pm. It was easy enough running on the path, but running through the woods was an entirely different matter. That little circle of light emanating from his headlamp sure helped to light up rocks and branches and roots, but it being in front of Grommit meant that by the time I got to that rock or branch or root, my foot landed in complete darkness. OOF! Grommit said "Isn't this fun?"

      He told me today that we should train for and run something ridiculously long together, like a 100-mile race, and raise money for charity. Yeah, sure ... 100 miles ... LOL!!!

      I have horrible discipline ... Was supposed to run and swim today, but the arch of my foot was still sore from last night - I had gotten a foot cramp while swimming earlier in the week and my run only made it worse. So I skipped the run and planned for a swim later in the afternoon. Got on my computer to do some work on the fund-raiser, and lo and behold, I was already late for the pool. So only a super easy breezy work-out today. Half hour swim, concentrating on gliding and pulling and pushing. I felt good. A member of my tri team who was there told me I look pretty smooth. Cool.

      Caught the live feed of the Just for Laughs gala hosted by John Cleese in the VIP tent. He is just SUPER AMAZING. Grommit and I ended up sitting beside some fellow actors and their super fun friends ... We had a great time. Always a nice thing to share laughs with friendly people.

      Friday, July 21, 2006

      Slogging through the days

      Thursday's training: nada

      I haven't been a good girl. After a day of meetings and appointments and getting home at 7pm yesterday, I was exhausted and hungry, having only eaten a bowl of cereal and muffin all day. Not enough for one day, and certainly not enough to train on.

      I made some calls and did some paperwork and skipped training, yet again. Had to meet a friend for supper and a show at the Just for Laughs Festival which we had planned to do over a week back. Can't cancel last minute now, can I?

      Today: still have to train, had to go to a supplier/sponsor this afternoon and this morning, I worked on the fund-raiser. Who knows what training I will end up doing today ... All I know is I am up over my eyeballs in this Ironman training and fund-raising. Sooooo muuuuch wooooork ... I have to fund-raise as part of my commitment to Team Diabetes so that I can participate in Ironman Canada - if I don't, then I can't. And on the other hand, I have to train to even complete this event and can't fake my way through it like a marathon. Where is the balance? Which is the priority?

      Both. Ugh. Not that either is horrible, just the two together is intimidating.

      Thursday, July 20, 2006

      Life is so precious and so fragile

      To the beautiful Diane, aka Mrs. Mercury ...

      I'd like to thank you for having been such a wonderful person. Thank you for your kindness, laughter and honesty. I loved your eccentricity, sincerity and your amazing warmth and positive outlook albeit your failing health. You will be missed, and I'm sorry that I didn't make it in time to go see you at the hospital - you slipped away so suddenly, I still can't believe it.

      Thank you for all your support in my training, and for having raised such a wonderful daughter. She is one of my best friends. Thank you for making me feel special and like one of the family last Thanksgiving when I could not spend it with my own. It meant a lot to me, as did all our conversations and jokes, and also when you came to visit me with Mr. Mercury for my dessert party.

      Yes, I will miss you, sweetheart ... I can't believe that you are gone ...

      love Bonnie xoxo

      Wednesday's training:

      - short dip in the pool, 35 min.
      - made a mistake with the new summer schedule and toughed out swimming half lanes as long as possible but couldn't stand not being able to get any rhythm going because I'd already be at the end of the half-lane and have to turn around
      - did some drills, concentrated on long strokes, pushing and pulling, did some sighting, some breast stroke ... dilly-dallied a bit and forced myself to continue swimming as long as possible though

      - short slow cycle, spinning = 20k in 47 min.
      - ugh, legs felt heavy and slow - not recovered from Tuesday's workout

      - my right foot arch is killing me
      - I got a bad cramp in it while swimming on Tuesday and had to stop swimming to massage it out. It's come back though ... OUCH!

      Wednesday, July 19, 2006

      Climbing out of the slump

      Alright folks, yes, I've been feeling in a slump recently. Too much on my plate with my mom's operation and other things to concentrate properly.

      Good news! My mom is out of ICU and is healing well and in good spirits! Still a way's to go before healing completely but even the doctors are amazed by her rate of recovery.

      One huge cloud lifted from my mind ... whew! The load is lighter :-)

      No training, no time! Appointments both AM and PM then almost straight to set, just some extra work for a television series. Night shoot. Finished at 4 am, almost 12 hours later. Went to bed at 5am. Ugh.

      Tried to make up for the lack of training the day before. 3.5 km swim sandwiched by a 10k run, followed very shortly afterwards by a 76 km ride. Over 5 hours of training. I should have brought food with me for after the pool. Almost couldn't run home - was STARVING!! So fun to get to ride with someone, nice change of pace. Thanks JR! Tried e-load as my electrolyte drink - A-OK so far ... tried Carboom strawberry kiwi gel - alright. Nothing to write home about ... just a little mention here. Doesn't come close to my favourite gels - Energice!

      I should be asleep now. How come I'm able to stay awake? Am I an alien or something?

      Monday, July 17, 2006

      Midnight Cycling

      Procrastination can be an ugly animal. And sometimes this animal lives in my house.

      Yesterday, I got my bike ready, clothes ready, drinks, food ready ... bike by the door, tires pumped, but I didn't go out for the longest while. In fact, it took a long time just to get everything ready.

      In fact, the only thing that motivated me enough was the supper invitation out to Ste-Anne's 47 km away. BBQ steak. Yummy. So I hopped onto my bike and finally headed out the door at 7 pm. Got there around 9 pm what with the traffic I had to fight to get onto the bike path.

      Left around 11:30pm with a very happy Buddha belly, lights flashing on my bike, and cycled lots more, taking the long way home. Nice thing about night cycling ... no cars. Got home at 2 am. 117 km done.

      Incredible the number of dead bugs on me. I looked like the front of a car that has driven at night for hours. Couldn't count the number of little dead critters alone on my sports bra (I had been wearing a tank top with an open neck). Icky. Definitely not time for a bath, but a shower that would wash them all away.

      Felt exhausted but wired afterwards. Ate some cereal. Couldn't fall asleep until 4 am.

      Sunday, July 16, 2006

      Eating, training, eating, more training, more eating

      Yesterday, I had some yogourt for breakfast than went for a lazy 15k run with KJ (well, more like a jog because I was creepingly slow). We happily went onto the mountain path. With all the cycling and swimming, I find that my running has really gone south. Not enough mileage in them. Legs feel heavy and hard to turn-over. Perhaps it was just the heat and humidity. Perhaps not.

      Came home and cleaned up. Had a big snack. Chicken wings, carrots and some nan bread with tomato sauce. Breakfast hadn't been too substantial. My "lil' brother" TurtleBoy called and invited me out for lunch. We went for Tonkinese soup. Yum. Then I dropped him off on the way to the pool. 45 min. non-stop swimming with drills thrown in.

      Went back home to make some calls and met up again with TB and we caught "The Devil Wears Prada" together of course with more food - popcorn and iced tea (I'm not a soda pop drinker). Anne Hathaway is adorable and gorgeous. Meryl Streep is to-die-for devilish. What an incredible talent she has as an actor to make such a despicable character actually three-dimensional and "likeable". I'd see it again, not just for the great lines, but also to see how well Anne Hathaway wears the sassy fashions ... make me dream a bit about a more glamourous life. Reminisce about my youth and that fresh young innocence.

      A great line in the film:
      Miranda Priestly - "Yes, move at a glacial pace. You know how that thrills me."

      More food afterwards ... peanut beef satay on rice noodles and key lime pie. Yummy. I kept telling myself everytime I stuffed myself that it's in prep for today's big cycling day.

      Sometimes I'd like to take some days off and not have to adhere to a training schedule. I've been doing races for the past 5+ years. I'm thinking of taking a break, not from exercise, but from the pressure of always preparing for a race. It used to be that having a race in mind would motivate me ... now, I'm feeling tired. I miss my swing dancing, and my kick-boxing, and socializing without guilt about what time I have to turn in or if I can drink or about not getting too crazy and tired before training the next day.

      I mentioned that I may not race at all next year to both KJ and TB and they laughed at me. I just want to be a lazy unmotivated sloth ... well, maybe not everyday ...

      Please say a prayer for my mother

      When I got home last Thursday, I called my mother to tell her we'd gotten back home safely. She did not answer. My spidey-sense tingled but I told myself that perhaps she had gone to sleep early from being tired.

      I got awoken from a call from my cousin. My mother was in the hospital. They found her a liver donor and as I write this, she has had a liver transplant and is in stable condition. It is a fluke that she is the recipient of this donor organ as my cousin told me she was only 6th or 7th on the waiting list, but the hospital could not reach anyone that evening. Organ transplants can only be done in a small window of time. When I had talked with her doctor earlier this week, he had told us that it could be up to a three-year wait for a liver, on the urgent list. Pretty grim, especially knowing that Justin Poy has been waiting for five years ... I thank her lucky stars for this "lottery win". This liver will give her a chance against beating the cancer.

      So please say a prayer for her and send good vibes so that she heal quickly without infection or rejection. Thank you.

      How was Toronto?

      Long drive to Toronto last Sat. night.

      Confession: I've been dreading this drive since the accident. Just the thought of it stressed me out. Every time I've been in the vicinity of where I lost control of my car going somewhere else, I've searched in vain for "the site", never finding it. I don't remember where I had my accident. I can't find that open area between the two sides of the highway where I travelled so quickly into another collision or that guard rail that "saved" my life. In fact, there are hardly any guard rails.

      But I did it. I drove the distance, and back, sometimes clutching my steering wheel really tightly from anxiety, but I overcame a huge hurdle. Driving still scares the heebie-jeebies out of me, especially when I get drivers like the one that cut me off on the 401 in Toronto by crossing over three lanes in one fell swoop and ignoring that I was in his blind spot.

      I have become hyper-aware of bad dangerous drivers. Defensive driving, I suppose. It's incredible even the number of drivers that go through stop signs ...

      Here's my past week's training:

      - nada

      - After only four hours sleep, I cycled 118km over way too many hills. Just outside Scarborough, there's an awful lot of them. I was quite happy to do all of them on the way "out". On the way back was another matter ... into the wind. This has been my longest cycle, but I am still sooooo behind in mileage.
      - My friend MetalBoy told me that I would have to "do the miles" if I had any hope of finishing the Ironman. Because of the accident, I have two less months of miles. Sigh.
      - Exhausted when I went to bed at the same time as the kiddies.

      - Got up early to get to the pool, but not early enough. I misread the schedule. Drat. Only 20 - 25 min. to swim. Got in a slow 900 m.
      - Torrential rain. Thunder and lightning. I made myself go out and run after I got back from my swim. I whimpered to my kids before leaving and sought out encouragement kisses and hugs.
      - 15 min. warm-up. 5 x 8 min. just-under-race-pace with 2 min. recovery (fast walking). Finished with 20 min. cool down. Total time = 1 h 25 min.
      - Went to Canada's Wonderland in the afternoon and got there when it was still raining. Waited 15 min. in the car for the thunder and lightning and torrential rain to subside. Never had to wait again that day for any of the rides. Great day for an amusement park!
      - The kiddies and I met up with friends for supper. We could have fallen asleep in our plates. What a big day!

      - Up before 7am. Absolutely gorgeous day outside, not too warm, sunny. I had planned to cycle a bit in the afternoon. Nada. Never found a spare moment what with my mother's doctor's appointment in the morning and visiting friends and family all day long. Getting around in Toronto sure is long! Everything is so far away!
      - Again, I crawled into bed at the same time as the kids. These earlier nights have been good for me though I wish I could sleep in with the kids but alas, I have to train.

      - This time, I planned the pool a bit better. Difficult thing about the "fast" lane at this particular pool is that it is slower than the medium lane back here in Montreal. Lots of Chinese retirees.
      - Still got in 200 m warm-up followed by 10 x 300 m slow swimming concentrating on pushing and pulling. Total = 3200 m. Not too shoddy.
      - Followed this by a cycle in the pissing rain. 68 km. Wasn't supposed to be but I got lost for 10 km before I figured it out, then had to double back.
      - Caught the film "Cars" with the kiddies. Not bad. I was so tired during the film, I think I snoozed off for 10 min.

      - So glad to spend a relaxing evening at home, well until I had to go out and meet Justin Poy, a man whom I had written a magazine article about.
      - Justin's raised several millions for charity, has seen way more adversity than the average Joe, and remains incredibly chipper and positive about life. He presently has a cast on his leg from having broken it badly, having also had a cast on his other leg earlier this year from torn tendons. More incredibly, he is awaiting his third kidney transplant and for the past five years, has had to hook himself up to a dialysis machine 4 or 5 times a week. Incredible man.

      - I cheated with training today. Had laundry and packing to do and I also decided to sleep in with the kiddies. Never good to do a long drive on a lack of sleep.
      - Cycled for 45 min. then changed shoes for a run. Got kisses from the kiddies again for encouragement. Went for a run in the blazing heat and humidity. 29C with humidex making it 34C. Sunshine. Hardly any shade. Ugh. Was supposed to run 1 h 50 min. Finished with 1 h 05 min. and blamed it on dyslexia. That was long enough, and besides, my mum was waiting for us to go out for dim sum for lunch.
      - It seemed like a longer drive home than the previous times ... argh ... tired ...

      Fun week in Toronto. Would have been more fun if I had gotten in some much needed R&R.

      - Nada again. Busy with the kiddies until their return to their father's then just some much-needed hanging out with a good friend. I had a lot on my mind.

      Friday, July 14, 2006

      I'm back ...

      ... but utterly utterly exhausted ... what a week! Update soon :-)

      Saturday, July 08, 2006

      Off with the kiddies!

      Going to visit Grandma ... she will be happy to have some company and some hugs.

      Yesterday's training: besides the cycling, a little bit of swimming - laps and drills for 35 min. then playing with the kids

      Today's training: who the heck knows ... it's a long drive to Toronto, and I haven't even finished packing

      Good news: I got my wetsuit! And it fits! Pic to come later upon our return

      So that's it folks, 'cause off we go, and I don't know if I'll be able to blog for a while. Wish me luck on fitting in my training. All my equipment is coming with me. Good thing I have a bike rack on top of my car, 'cause Greta, my Chevy Aveo, would never be able to fit everything in.

      Have a great weekend!

      Friday, July 07, 2006

      Playing catch up

      I rode to Cycles Technique to get the aerobars that Dirk gave me put on. It is a difficult thing riding with a bag on the handlebars, especially when the bag breaks! ... Had to turn back 5 min. into my ride to get a thicker bag.

      Anyway, I got down to the store and one of the owners, Luc, fitted Freida my bike with the cool aerobars and then fitted them to me! He even cut them so they wouldn't interfere with my knees while climbing and sprinting. They almost look like a bat or something!

      I have to say, I am really impressed with Cycles Technique and how I've been treated there so far. Nothing but exceptional service. They are a small bike store found on Notre-Dame close to Atwater and the Lachine bike path. Super friendly and helpful. I highly recommend going there and will for sure get all my stuff from them, even though it's a little trek for me to get there ... but they are worth it!

      So, afterwards, I continued my ride and did hillwork in Upper Westmount by Summit Circle and the like. Good workout, though I noticed the lack of strength from having not cycled since last Sunday (ugh). Finished with 48km.

      Then a painful physio session (yeah, nothing new ... recovery rate is too creepingly slow for my taste). At least my arm has been much better.

      Later that evening, I called up my friend KJ for a run. Great, albeit how late it was, she was game! Ran to her new nifty apartment, then ran a little 8k park circuit with her, then back home, quite late and very tired. 18km.

      Can I say "late night"?

      This morning was something. Wake-up call at 5:30 am from a runner friend, DragonsRouges, after only 3 hours sleep. I couldn't handle it. Slept another hour. Got in an hour cycle though before the kids arrived for their week with me. Felt the workout still from yesterday as my legs had no power nor speed. Cycling was slow and ardous, but it was nice to take in some fresh air so early in the morning and I got to test out my new aerobars. Peaceful ... nary a soul around at 7 am.

      Thursday, July 06, 2006

      H-E-A-D-A-C-H-E !!!

      Been working non-stop on my fund-raiser since after breakfast. Wanted to go out riding today and got ready in my gear early afternoon. Never made it out. I did try an attempt at going to the pool but just ended up going around the block deciding I wouldn't have enough pool time to do the whole swim workout on my schedule and also knowing that the wiser thing to do would be to finish up what I needed for my deadline tonight.

      Did as much as I could before handing off to my website designer, Geoff. He's been so patient with me putting in all this hard work. I'm really lucky.

      300m warm-up, slow swim - 7 x 350 m with 30 sec. recovery concentrating on pulling and pushing in the water, increasing in speed over the last 50 m

      As I said, I got as far as putting on my gear.

      I've been working too hard lately ... hardly any training and bad nights of sleep. Now I have a migraine and feel nauseous. Having trouble keeping my eyes open because the light off the screen is making me feel worse.

      Just a little bit longer to finish the site ... then off to bed ... zzzzz

      Tuesday, July 04, 2006

      Have you ever googled yourself?

      Well, I just did, to see if my website would come up. Other websites came up and I found this picture of me that a wonderful, intelligent and sexy girlfriend of mine, Lightspeedchick, took at her place. We had spent an evening together eating and laughing and trying to "figure out" men and came to the conclusion that as much as men say they want a strong woman, they don't really. Grrrr ...

      Alright, I tell you, it's really hard to get back into the groove of intense training. That 3-hour bike session? Well, I wanted to go outside so I waited a bit for the rain to subside and the thunderstorm warning to go away but it didn't, so I lay down on the couch to take a little break, which turned out to be a little nap, and then ended up working on the fund-raiser some more.

      So no run, no ride. Sigh.

      I feel tired. Haven't been sleeping well. Insomnia. Lots on my plate.

      The thing about belonging to a charity team is that it's hard to juggle fund-raising and training. When I joined Team Diabetes Canada, I made a commitment to raise a certain amount of funds, and to be able to complete Ironman Canada, I will need to do a certain amount of training. I can only do so much each day - where is the balance? When I ran as part of Team in Training with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, I always exceeded my fund-raising goals but never came close to my training ideals. And I'm afraid that this is happening again ...

      I have absolutely no discipline

      Environment Canada's Official Weather Warnings
      Metro Montréal - Laval5:05 PM EDT Tuesday 4 July 2006

      Severe thunderstorm warning for Metro Montréal - Laval continued

      Many heavy thunderstorms are affecting the mentioned areas. These thunderstorms are moving east-northeastward at 40 km/h. These thunderstorms will produce gusts of 90 km/h or more - hail of2 cm or more - heavy rain - and frequent lightning.

      Beware, some of these thunderstorms could produce a tornado.


      So I did it again ... waited too long to go out and train. Today I had a very valid excuse though. Worked on my Aug. 2 fund-raiser all afternoon. In fact, still working on it. Trying to figure out what to do with my training. Do I risk going out in this changeable weather to get caught in a storm or worse, in a tornado? Should I try to see if I can dodge between the giant hail? Or do I sit on my trainer and watch television all evening :-) ? I was supposed to run last night as well ... should I add that as a brick after my 3-hour cycle?

      Or should I pretend I don't have to train at all today? Darn, not an option.

      I'm hungry ... :-(

      Sunday, July 02, 2006

      It's wicked out there!

      I was really scared while driving home from my friend Geoff's, who's also my multi-talented web designer. He's helping me with my next Canadian Diabetes fund-raiser on August 2 at Vertige. It's going to be a Gastronomic Supper Cocktail with a Lock & Key theme. Come on out and support me as a member of Team Diabetes Canada!

      Yup, major thunder storm going on out there ... Had to nix my late night run. I like the smell of bacon frying, but not of ME frying.

      Bad day for training.

      Good thing about Canada Day is it's a holiday and there are cool fireworks that one can watch with the kiddies (as I did Saturday night). Bad thing is that the local community pools are closed before and after this holiday. I found this out as I arrived at the sports centre this afternoon.

      Disappointed, I scrambled to find another pool and managed to squeeze in a short swim at the local Y. Unfortunately, I couldn't get my workout in since I only had 25 min. before they closed, so I settled for just doing plain old non-stop laps and worked on stretching out my body and rotating my hips.

      Bad news ... I've been having trouble with my left arm and shoulder, something that's become more apparent recently with my "improving" technique. Only the right side of my body is continuing to improve. Saw my physiotherapist today. I have quite a ways to go before the nerve damage caused by my accident last February heals completely.


      I can pretty well do most things with my left arm, except that the nerves aren't sending the signals to the muscles the way they should so that I can have the speed, power and flexibility that I used to have. It takes a lot of effort to make my left arm do half of what my right arm can do and it often feels a little achey, sleepy, and heavy.


      Going to try to be a good girl tonight and hit the hay ... real soon!

      Blow me over kind of wind ...

      Dear Stupid Driver,

      There are inherent dangers with cycling at night. I'd like you to know that you are one of them.

      We are in travelling in opposite directions. I am riding on a main street because it has way better lighting than a bike path at this time of the evening. I have little lights on my bike, front and back, that flash. Do you not see me? Every other driver does.

      Please do not think I enjoy sudden braking and having to let out a blood-curdling scream at you when you try to cut me off by turning left into my lane. I am going down a hill and rolling at 40km/h. Contrary to popular belief, bicycles, much like cars, need braking distance.

      I do not enjoy the adrenaline rush from a near-accident experience that makes me want to vomit and go home straight afterwards. So please be kind to us cyclists, Mr. Stupid Driver, as I am sure that the sight of our blood all over your car will haunt you forever.

      Yours sincerely,

      Silly Sally


      So, only a short 1h20min. cycle tonight, about 30k. Really slow. Lots of traffic lights. Rolling hills. Didn't feel safe with the friggin' wind (40 - 60 km/h) and all the bumps in the road - can't see as well at night. Almost got blown off my bike countless times. UGH. The thought crossed my mind to climb Camilien Houde, our little mountain, but I nixed it ... decided it was too dangerous if I were to get blown off my bike. I have this aversion to being smushed by a car.

      Me and my Buddha belly ...

      Me and my Buddha belly went to the beach today. I'd forgotten about him until everyone saw me in my bikini. Hmmm ... the effects of no kick-boxing since early February (my physiotherapist won't allow it until I heal more).

      First real open water swim and it was COOL. Took the kiddies to Le Sablon, a man-made beach with a man-made lake. Swam back and forth within the confines of the corded off "safety zone" but it was still longer than any pool I've been in. I stayed as zen as possible and concentrated on relaxing and making myself l-o-n-g. I had to spot. I had to deal with waves, albeit small ones. I had to not freak out (entirely) at seaweeds and other plants (ick). I got to see the sun and clouds and land and trees. What a gorgeous day.

      The water was a little chilly but I warmed up quickly enough. Don't have any idea of what temperature it was but was happy to be able to swim without a wetsuit. I've heard that swimming with one makes one very buoyant, so if I can swim bare Buddha belly, then I'll be rockin' when my wetsuit arrives.

      I think I did really well. What a wonderful swim.

      All in all, with three swims, got in about an hour and a half. My back is sunburnt, but I don't care ... today was just the right thing for a swim confidence boost.

      Saturday, July 01, 2006

      Good news!

      I finally got the "official" training schedule from Dirk for this week. I had been winging it based on the previous weeks' schedules. So it looks like this week was supposed to be an easy week anyway, meaning NO REASON TO FEEL GUILTY!!


      This week's training hasn't been too far off the mark. And Sunday's ride is supposed to be only 2 hours, which I can do after I drop the kids at their father's. Whew! Now to get back on track and feeling good, 'cause the schedule for the next few weeks is straight from Hell. July will be my toughest month, I think.

      I will have to be a good girl and schedule things better, including specific training and sleeping times. The problem with working contractually though is that you can't schedule what you don't know you have ...

      Hey, I finally ordered a wetsuit today ... update to come soon :-)