July 31, 2008


I have been finding it hard to get my swims in opting for a run, elliptical or bike session. Maybe I should be a duathlete? I have only swam twice since GWN! Opps! I do love swimming but biking and running have just sounded way more exciting lately. I still have 2 triathlons left; Strathmore Women's Triathlon and the Kelowna Apple Triathlon (this year it will be the Canadian National Triathlon Championships) - and yes those do invlove swimming. I better get my butt in the pool so, if anyone wants a "swim date" - I need one!

I have been loving my marathon training. I am still over 2 months away until the big day, but I am so excited about it. I saw Dr. Myles this week and he is happy with how my muscles have learned to "fire" with me doing all those lunges. However, my planta fasciitis has flared up again in a big way. Dr. Myles sent me for x-rays and we did see heel spurs on the films. Augh! It is very frustrating when you are trying to train for a marathon! As I sit here typing, I am icing my foot to try to calm down the inflamation.

This weekend my friend Lindsay and I are going to have "Linday and Richelle's Training Weekend". More details to follow but if you are looking to get some big rides in (long and slow) around 120km come join us.

July 23, 2008

Tired Legs

Today, my legs are tired!

I saw a new chiropractor on Monday, Dr. Myles (Scott was booked!). He really worked on releasing my lower back and glute muscles. I am used to getting IMS and ART and being in alot of pain when I leave - this is a good thing though! Monday however, he did some ART in my glutes and IMS on my lower back and I didn't feel like he worked me too hard as I left. I was a little concerned....until I woke up the next day! I could feel it! Yeah! Usually, when I "feel it" that means we have released something and things start to feel better! Well, it worked as I ran last night and my IT-band was pain free!

Dr. Myles also has me doing lunges in some different planes - the goal being to strengthen my weak glutes enough so my IT-band doesn't have so many issues. So, after months of not doing any type of strength work, I started doing lunges and 1-leg squats in an effort to get my legs stronger and hopefully, injury free! So yesterday when I woke up although my legs felt slightly tired (and sore) I added a workout to my schedule. I did an hour on the elliptical (with some elevation on the elliptical) followed by another round of strength work. My legs definately felt that.

Well, last night I went to my regularily scheduled workout with Team TriLife. Angie (my coach) gave us one of the harest workouts in her repitoir. The workout is one of my favorites as it is so hard - even though I tell her I hate it! Unfortunately because of everything from Monday and that morning, I SUFFERED though the workout. We started off with a 2km run followed by, 3 x (6km HARD bike with 2km HARD run off the bike). The bike was the hardest for me as my quads and glutes just wouldn't let me pedal as hard as I wanted to. Let's just say last time we did this workout I pushed so hard I puked! I backed it off a bit today simply because I could only push as hard as my legs allowed.

So, needless to say, MY LEGS ARE TIRED!

July 18, 2008

Great White North 1/2 Ironman

I arrived at the race site with only about an hour until the start of the race. The sky was overcast and I just knew I would be racing in the rain today (it is not like I am not used to it!). Although it wasn't raining now it had just stopped and the clouds looked like they had more rain to offer. As I racked my bike in transition it was clear I was behind schedule! Augh! I hate being late! I quickly set up my bike and bike gear and went to throw my run bag into the truck that would take my run gear to T2. I went about doing all I had t do (including the 1/2 hour wait in the bathroom line-up) and before I knew it, Steve King was telling athletes to go warm-up. I scrambled to put on my wetsuit and stuff my warm-up gear into my bag. My friend, Toni told me she would take care of it and to just get going. So I did. That's when it hit me. I am 10 minutes away from my first 1/2 Ironman.

I saw my teammate Josi and started to cry (some of you are surprised right now and others....not so much). I headed down to the beach tears streaming down my face. I couldn't believe how scared I was. I was scared I wouldn't finish for one, but I was more scared of disappointing everyone with my time. I really wasn't that concerned with time but so many had wondered and asked me what time I would do it in. And that completely scared me - other's expectations. I managed to hop in the water and get a 5 minute swim in. My nerves calmed a bit and a friend and I headed over to the swim start. Our friends yelled from the sides as we walked over and we smiled and waved for numerous pictures.I ran into all sorts of friends and training partners once I hit the beach. Many hugs and good luck wishes were given to each other. I was starting to get excited. There was alot of positive energy all around. I saw another teammate (Karen) and went over to her as I knew she was nerveous too; we joined hands and as the gun went off we slowly walked into the water together.

Before I knew it I was on my way.Now the thing I had been most scared about was getting clobbered in the swim. Surprisingly, I did not get hit as much as I had thought. I stayed relaxed and tried to lengthen my glide best I could. Before I knew it I hot the beach of the 2 lap course. When I came out to run around the buoy, I smiled and waved at a few frinds standing on the beach. What! Was I having fun!!? You bet! The second lap was great too. I did get stuck behind a few slower swimmers, but I reminded myself a few seconds slower on the swim would not affect my overall day. I popped up onto the beach after the second lap and ran towards transition. I saw I had done it in 36 minutes. A minute slower than expected, but who cares! I did it!!!!! I grabbed my bike in transition and headed onto the bike course.

I always love the bike (baring no mechanical issues that is) and settled into a great pace. The rain pelted my arms and it hurt for a bit until it settled down to a steady down pour. I just kept riding. The bike seemed to go by so quick and I just stayed calm, on pace and watched my heart rate. Around the 35km point I heard a clicking. I looked down and my cadence sensor was dangling from my bike. I stopped, pulled it off, threw it into my Bento box and started riding again. Major catastrophe averted!!!!!! I continued to feel good, including up the hills and felt strong (I have no doubts climbing Cochrane hill every week helped me here). I waved and yelled encouragement at my teammates who were still heading out to the turn-around as I was very excited to see them on the course. It made me feel as if I was not alone. Some say triathlon is an individual sport and I guess that is true but with a team like Team TriLife, you are in it together. Working together and cheering each other on - you are never alone on that course! The last 20km of the bike were a bit tougher on my quads as they started to feel a bit fatigued. I did my best to stay in a gear that I could keep my legs turning over at a high RPM in an effort to not further tire my legs. As I hit town I knew I was ahead of where I thought I would be coming off the bike. I realized that once I left transition I would have about 2 hours to do the 1/2 marathon to reach my secret goal of 5:30. I was still a bit skeptical I could do it, and had to remind myself my goal today was to simply finish. Angie saw me as I came of the bike and I knew whe would be surprised to see me there already. "How fast did you do that?". I knew she would think I went to hard and I didn't want to worry her but, I finally replied "2:44 ride time". She was so excited and kept telling me to hurry up with my running shoes. I hurried as fast as I could trying to make sure I had everything I needed before I left transition.

I started on the run and within the first km, found myself catching some of the boys who had passed my on the bike. I wasn't moving as fast as I normally would run, but I was moving! I knew ther were girls in front of me who I wanted to catch but, I reminded myself to be patient and stick to my pace. One girl, and then another, and another. I continued to move through the field passing a number of male and female competitors. And the best part....I was feeling great! I was happy with the pace I had chosen and was sticking to it. The fact it was a loop course I loved seeing my teammates and cheering each other on as we passed. I also appreciated the comments from other competitors on how strong and comfortable I looked as I ran. I mainly looked at my heart rate and a bit at my pace. I finally gave myself permission to look at the time at the 11km mark. If I stuck to my pace I knew I could realistically do a 5:20, 1/2 Ironman. I reminded myself that that was not my goal. My goal was to finish, and preferably finish happy - whatever the clock said this time didn't matter. I continued to run as strong as I could. Around the 15km mark I got hungry......I already had 2 gels and I was wishing I hadn't have left the 3rd gel I had packed in T2! Darn! Lesson learned! I promised my stomach I would eat alot when I finished. At the 17km mark my IT band twinged. I stopped a stretched a few times over the next 2 km to help relieve the pain. When I saw my buddy Luke at the 19km sign and he reminded me (loudly and with a cow bell) I had 2 km to go. At the 20km mark I stopped and walked. I knew there was only 1 km left but I was so hungry and my quads ached! The thought of another km did not appeal to me. The wonderful volunteer directing traffic urged me on.

When I finally turned the second last corner I could see the Cochrane crew standing on the side of the road, and I knew they would cheer me in. As I got closer though it was apparent that because I was not wearing my Team TriLife colors (I was wearing my sponsor gear from Polar) they didn't recognize me. "Hey Cochrane! What, no cheers?" I yelled. They all looked and immediately a burst of cheers came to help me get through the last 300m! (Thank-you guys!!!!). Angie ran into the street and started to run with me. "What the hell are you doing here?" she looked at me and then her watch. I shrugged and continued to run. She was still screaming about how fast I was. I then couldn't help myself "Am I gonna break 5:20?" I hesitantly asked. She told me it was 5:15! I couldn't believe it. She gave me a high five and told me to run faster. I ran in for a 5:16:01 finish! When I crossed the line and received my "Survivor" medal from the fabulous race director, Wade. I was so happy; I had accomplished my goal (and then some!). I grabbed one of the famous non-alcoholic strawberry daiquiris that athletes get at the GWN triathlon, waited for a few of my friends who I knew were close behind me to cross the finish line, and then went to cheer the rest of my teammates in. I knew how awesome it felt to receive those cheers in the final few hundred meters!

Thank-you Coach Angie!
Thank-you Team TriLife members - you are all amazing!
Note: For those of you who have never done this race, this was hands down the best race I have ever been to. It was a fabulous course, so well organized and the volunteers absolutely amazing.

July 17, 2008

First Blog Post

I just realized my website address (www.richellelove.com) expires next month! I searched for other options (ie. less expensive ones!) and I realized I could use this.

I oficially have just over 30 days until the Kelowna Apple triathlon! I am racing the Olympic distance again this year. My initial goal was to qualify for the 2009 ITU World Triathlon Championships in Australia but, after realizing that the race would be less than 2 weeks after Ironman Canada 2009 my coach said I had to make a decision. I chose Ironman. I will however, still race Kelowna as hard as I can.