Sunday, April 27, 2008

And the winner is ...

Before Ironman Canada, I tried four different bike saddles and they all hurt, so I went back to the original one my friend Dirk put on my bike when he put the bike together for me.

Now, two years later, I am still having the same sensitive female soft tissue "issues" so I bought some new saddles to try a little while back. A Fizik Italian one at $75 and a cheapo one at $25.

And the winner is ...

The Fizik!

Well, it didn't solve all my "sensitive bits" issues but at least I didn't come out completely ... ahem .. shredded. My sit bones hurt of course since I'm still getting used to the saddle, but I'm sure that I'll callous up real good where I'm still being bothered in front. Still better though than that torturous ordeal I used to have to endure.

Total cycle = 40k

One thing for sure, I can always count on some sort of headwind during my out-and-back on the north shore ... false sense of power and speed one way, then BAM, wall of wind the other ... always a good workout!


No supper for this little girl!

It's been an intense week ... what with a cold, play rehearsals, and planning upcoming events for Operation Triumph. Come check out Jonathan Clark's amazing show on India on Wednesday, April 30 at 7:00 pm to benefit the Canadian Cancer Society. Details on the website. Tickets still available on-line. Show WILL sell-out!

Last night, after my swim, I lay down for a nap and had even arranged a wake-up call by LifeAny. Brrring, brring! Fate would not have it ... my intended long run of 15 km would have to be put off.

I finally got up around 9am this morning after an uncomfortable but deep 14-hour sleep on the couch. I probably would have been more comfortable had I had a real blanket, instead of just the small polar throw. I woke up several times going brrrrr ... Actually, I would have been most comfie in flannel PJ's lying in bed all sprawled out with my thick blanket covering me. Doh!

Good thing I'd eaten a snack before putting my head down as I'd missed supper entirely. Oh well. I needed the sleep.

Here's my recent training (with my cold ... cough, cough):

30 k ride
800 yd swim = 730 m, before the pool closed

I would have swam more had my grumbly tummy not insisted I cook dinner when I got home from cycling. So, go to pool right away hungry or eat some spicy eggplant with minced pork, broccoli, and jasmine-scented rice. Not a difficult decision to make, huh?

25 k ride

1800 m swim
My first ladder = 200 m + 400 m + 600 m + 400 m + 200 m

Well, I'm off for a cycle later this afternoon! It's sooo gorgeous outside!

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Good-bye Mr. SB!!

Recently, I've felt the urge to purge, simplify my life. Possessions are just that, possessions, and what should they really mean to us? Nothing really ... they just make our lives easier or more interesting.

I decided to put some listings on Craigslist and within an hour, I had responses! The next day, an elderly gentleman came to pick up Mr. SB. He climbed on top of the seat and pedaled a bit ... "This is hard."

I tried not to let him take too much notice about Mr. SB's fallback. I responded, "Well, for sure, he's certainly not a spinner, he's not meant to go that fast ... a spinner bike costs at least $1000." The gentleman buyer lowered his offer, "40". I sighed inside ... "Alright, sold."

Then off he went, Mr. SB, with his new owner. I don't even know if he noticed. He can be obtuse sometimes. I wonder if he'll flirt with his new owner the same way he flirted with me?

Tonight, after a long day of rehearsals, I am pondering whether or not I should go for a swim ... or whether it would be wiser if I just went to sleep. The measly 5.8 km I cycled on my mountain bike to and from rehearsal was grisly and I felt exhausted during every centimeter of it. Why? 'Cause I have a miserable cold.

My week in review ...

Quick 1000m swim. Wanted to swim a bit longer but got booted out since the Juniors Club was starting.

10.8 km run. Felt like way more. Coughed a bit afterwards ...

I'd gone cycling with RN around Ile Bizard, a very lovely part of the West Island, just outside Montreal. He told me it was such a pleasant ride for him, so easy-going. I was dying. Mind you, my bike is heavier than his by a good 6-7 lbs. and the route we took was not totally flat. Then we followed the ride right after with a 6k run while the sun beat down on us and I suffered even more. Coughed a bit ... must be my asthma acting up ...

Later that afternoon, I had no choice but to take a catnap before going to a friend's birthday party where I ended up swing and blues dancing for more than three hours. Don't know how I did it since I could have happily spent the entire evening in bed snoozing ... good music does amazing things, doesn't it?

Day off!

What I'd thought was a bit of asthma bothering me since Saturday night had turned into a full-blown chest and sinus cold by that morning. Cough! Cough! Sniff, sniff ... I managed to make myself go to the pool but had to nix the cycling. Though I felt fine while swimming, the fatigue was evident after I got out of the pool.

5 x 200m
200m kick drills front
100m kick drills back
100m zipper
2 x 200m

Total = 1800 m

So what should I do? To swim or not to swim ...

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Oooh ... I've got to kick my butt a lot harder!

I've been doing a fair bit of cooking recently, probably to provide me with great leftovers so I can be lazy for the rest of the week.

This was fairly easy to make:

- chicken and portabella mushrooms alfredo
- endive and cucumber salad

And actually, so was this ... which is actually my first attempt at making salmon ... DELICIOUS! And I used to hate fish when I was growing up.

- sauteed potatoes with onions and spices
- salmon (olive oil, chives, special mix of seasonings with orange, topped with Italian breadcrumbs)
- sauteed veggies (I added some chicken stock for the seasoning, just perfect for this meal!)

I'm getting a wee more disciplined in training, but just a tad. I think when I finally make up my training schedule and post it somewhere, it'll be easier, 'cause frankly, having too many choices makes me end up doing none of them. I am too easily distracted.

In reverse order (as I try to remember my week ...):

Cycle = 23km
Swim = 750m
- ride on my mountain bike up the mountain path and around through Outremont, a picturesque and wealthy part of town. Some good climbing for JC and I!
- super quick swim before joining a friend for supper. Worked in flip turns at every lap 'cept for two, once since I didn't want to kick a girl resting at the end, the other to adjust my cap

Cycle = 14km
- had too much to do and also had to change my tire so only got in a short symbolic ride. Still good to get out on my mountain bike though I feared puncturing my tire again.


Run = 14.5km
Swim = 1000m, with flip turns

Swim = 1500m
Cycle = 30 min. on Mr. SB 'cause I was too lazy to set up my trainer

Cycle = 1h 10min on my trainer
- I watched "Ray" while riding and have to admit, was distracted enough to stop a few times 'cause I didn't want to miss out on what was happening. Jamie Foxx's performance is amazing! Ray Charles was such a dog.
- the best films to cycle to though are action ones, like the Matrix series. The action and music just keep me pumping!

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Week in review ...

Let's go backwards ...

First of all, after a good half hour of creative blogging, what I thought was saved wasn't and my orginal post is lost in cyberspace. Oh well, such is life ...

I have a headache and nausea right now. Is this the start of a cold or am I just feeling the effects of a super busy week and ugly damp cold weather? I think I'm going to go lie down and relax in front of the television.

Slipped in a 1200 m swim but felt really tired so decided to call it early.

Sandwiched a short swim inbetween my run. Felt strong slicing through the water ... YAY!

Run = 6 km
Swim = 1200 m

Had lots to do to get ready for Soul Travel, Burning Man, which was a huge success, by the way. Check it out here.

I managed to slip in a short but strong swim followed by my first bike ride outside. I've been hesitant to get out onto real road because of the potholes and other crap leftover from winter. No way I was going to do this with Freida, my road bike, but figured I'd be safe with my trusty Rocky Raleigh mountain bike.

Or so I thought.


At first, I thought it was the brake pad rubbing. I braked and released. Nope. Then I got off my bike and thought, "Oh no, the tire valve must be broken!" since the sound was loud and fast. Nope. And then I saw it. A huge honking piece of glass jutted out from my tire.


"I'll just change the tube! I might not be fast, but I'll be riding in no time."


Reality check when I remembered what I'd remarked just a few minutes earlier. I suppose it was an omen when I looked at my water bottle thirstily and noticed I'd forgotten to transfer my pump from my road bike. I started walking but after 15 minutes, I realised that I wasn't getting anywhere fast. I was 8 km from home.

I've never hitch-hiked before and deliberated for many minutes before I courageously stuck out my thumb as a minivan approached. The vehicle stopped ... YAY! I was saved!

Donald, an elderly gentleman with white hair and a friendly smile, told me that he cycles too and that the same thing might happen to him one day. He kindly drove me to my door. This was his second good deed of the day since he had actually been on his way home from giving blood when he stopped for me. We were both very happy that he could help.

I went and picked up JC during my run. He doesn't have my endurance nor speed (yes, there are worse runners than I) but it's always cool to run with a friend. Longest run of the year so far and I was surprised I could tough it because of my tight hamstrings from all the recent stair-climbing. JC elbowed me hard in the upper arm accidentally at one point ... OUCH! Not a good thing 'cause I was so soooore from my previous days' cross-training.

Run = 13k for me, 7k for JC

Sunday and Monday
Five hours of cross-training. Had to empty the flooded cellar so I could get the bikes out from storage. Not fun repeatedly climbing steep stairs, trudging through the backyard, then hoisting heavy buckets of water over the fence to empty into the sewer drain. The right side of my upper body had to do all the heavy work since I'm still too weak on my left side to even lift 5 lbs. because of my car accident.

RN told me that it was good upper body training and it'd help my swim. Maybe he's got a point but I wish he didn't. The melting snow has flooded my cellar again. Back to square one.


Tonight, I think I'll take it a little easier and just cycle a bit ... try out my new saddles. A cheap one and an expensive one ... guess which one cost triple the price? I don't care about the cost difference. I just hope and pray that one of them is more comfortable than what I've got now. I've already tried three other ones to no avail.

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

What a small world ...

Once-a-week blogging is not enough, neither for you nor for me! Just too much happens in one week and I am starting to lose track of what I do and how I'm training.

I have vague memories of being on my bike trainer (55 min or so, that thing is soooo boring) and also a half hour on Mr. SB (my stationary bike where the easiest setting is equivalent to climbing a 6-7% grade). Did I run? Hmm ... can't remember, but I did get in a couple of swims. Just a short 1000 m, then a 1500 m session another day. 1000 m straight-out followed by 5 x 200 (100 m fast + 100 m slow).

Still, not enough training hours in the week. They say a rich social life is good for the soul ... but it's bad for the training!

I went to my first press conference a week ago for the Festival TransAmérique. Here I am flanked by JKR, my publicist, and in the middle, Annabelle Soutar, director and playwright for Import/Export.

It's funny how small the world is ...

JC buddies, told me that he was going to see a performance by pianist-composer Stephan Moccio. I said, "Oh, I know him, JKR sent me a song from him as a holiday's greeting!" JC said, "Well, I just did his website." How cool!

Then later that afternoon, I speak with JKR and ask her what's she up to later that evening. Similar thing, she brings up Stephan Moccio then invites me to attend his performance. Sure! I tell her about JC's involvement with him ... "No way!" she exclaims.

We all meet up before the show, and lo and behold, one of JC's invitees is also one of JKR's good friends, and we laugh about it ... yes, what a small world.

Great concert. Talented musician. Here's a cell phone pic of Stephan and I.

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

I've got a new look to my website!

This week has flown by ... I don't even remember exactly what I did as training this past week ... some running and some swimming but I never got around to the cycling even though I had set up my bike on my trainer.

GB, my good friend and webdesigner, called me back at 10pm Thursday evening. I needed to redesign my website and had a deadline. Shortly before, he had given me bad news. He had too much work to do to be able to help me out on such short notice. But being the amazing person he is, he set me up with a basic template and gave me a quick tutorial on how to use Joomla!, the hot CMS (Content Management System) these days.

I worked all night and learnt what I needed to do to create my website. Good thing I'm a quick study!

Geoff checked out my website the following morning ... "Holy sh*t, it's bursting at the seams!" Some adjustments to the colours and bits of editing to text and lo and behold, we were basically ready to go live the next day!

Then I finally got some sleep ...

- swam 40 min., lost count of laps because the pool was so busy and the swimmers were so fast. Besides, I had trouble keeping my goggles snug on my face which was really annoying and made me take extra breaks. I swam about 1500 m, I think.

Later that evening, I met up with some friends and we went to a Meetin' Montreal meet'n'greet at Brutopia. Terrifically fun evening! We played this hilarious icebreaker game. We had been asked to submit three non-evident "secrets" about ourselves a few days previous. Our responses were compiled into a list and it was up to us that evening to figure out which statement belonged to who by mingling.

I wasn't particularly interested in meeting the person who matched this statement: "I am Supremely Intelligent." Seems like I wasn't the only one who felt that way ...

- ran 11k, part of it with a hungover JC who had gone out with me the night before. Needless to say, he didn't fare too well. I felt surprisingly good, probably since I had had an inspiring week full of change. As I ran by two men out chatting on the porch, they cheered me on. How cool was that!

That evening, Operation Triumph celebrated some new members and the official launch of the website with a potluck supper. We got treated to some superb singing. Find out more here.

- Excellent swim today! I experienced a technique epiphany that really made me feel and go faster ... or perhaps it's just the exercises I've been doing with my arms - my pull might have gotten stronger. All I know is that I had a good feel of the water and felt like I was slicing through quicker than usual. Woohoo! I hope to develop more and more of that feeling. I've gotta better my swim time at Ironman, you know!

2 x 500, 5 x 250
Total = 2250m

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