Saturday 14 April 2012

The beast is born…

The drama of my Tri-bike purchase finally came to an end yesterday. What should have been a pretty straightforward purchase, turned into a really lousy experience. I waited patiently for months, just to be told that not only would I not be getting my tri-bike to train on in Arizona, but there was a good chance that I wouldn’t even have it in time for my Iron in August! Cervelo is to blame.  I guess their amazing deal was just a little to good to be true.  Oh well, in the end it turn out to be serendipitous.

My coach came to my rescue (again), and set me up with Heath at La Bicicletta. With zero decent (in my opinion) tri-bikes available in this city that would fit me (what a crazy sport this is), he magically found one, in my price range, and he also spent the time to size it to me. All within two days. What a beautiful machine the Specialized Shiv is. I took it out for its first ride today. I was scared when I clipped in, because I have never been on a Tri-bike, but within seconds I felt like I had been riding it for years.  

The Beast

An hour into the ride, I felt funny, but in a good way. I know I have been training hard for some time now, but today I felt incredibly strong, and somehow I knew it wasn’t just me… it was the bike! I guess with the aero position, I have more power. I was going faster but with far less effort – it was amazing. However, it did feel like I was cheating (lol).  

So all in all, a happy ending to the tri-bike saga of 2012. I am Arizona-bound in one week, and climbing Mt. Lemmon on my new, sweet ride has just made the trip more exciting for me. I wonder just how fast I can make this beast go. 

Friday 6 April 2012


Yesterday I said goodbye to my oldest daughter. With suitcase in hand, she boarded a plane to Europe.  As a parent, I constantly worry about my girls, and whether I’m doing enough to raise them properly. I had hoped that by now, one or both of them would have found a sport, any sport, that would have given them the joy and life lessons that I had found athletics had given me. “Lead by example”, has always been my mantra but, as it turns out, my daughters appear to be “allergic to sweat”. That said, I’m starting to think they have just translated my lead in a different way.

Last year when Jessica asked me if she could go on a class trip to Europe, I said okay, but that she would have to pay for it. I figured at the age of 16, there is no better time to teach the importance of saving. With a $3k price tag, Jessica’s reaction wasn’t altogether surprising: “How am I going to get that kind of money at my age? It’s going to take forever!”.  I resisted the alligator tears and puppy dog eyes, and stuck to my guns: “Jessica, if you want something badly enough, you just have sink your teeth into it and not let go.”

Caitlin and Jessica (left) on the first day of school 2011

Over the past year, guilt was my constant companion.  I watched as my daughter dragged herself out of bed, exhausted from juggling work, school and friends. She maintained her straight “A” average, but her moods were sometimes challenging. Many times, I wanted to give in. Picking her up from work late at night was getting exhausting for me too, especially with what I am doing.

With each passing month, her excitement and bank account grew. She made the installment payments for her trip on time, and even had enough money to buy a really nice camera. Her year-long journey to the finish line ended yesterday. As we said our goodbyes, I told her how proud I was of her. I told her that she would enjoy this trip all-the-more because she had worked for it. I also told her that she inspires me. Jessica smiled, paused, and looked at me… “Mom I’m just like you,” she said. “I’m a dog with a bone, too. “

Sunday 1 April 2012

No pain no gain…right?

April is the month I hope to be running again.  The last two months have been difficult physiologically. Dealing with injuries is part of training, and I have learned a few things, the most curious being:

Pain… is what I need.

I figure, if the cure hurts, it must be good. Last week my deep tissue massage was 90 minutes long. When I booked it, I asked John to spend most of the time on my very tight calves. I should have brought something to bite on, as his fingers dug deeply into my tightly bound muscle. “Breathe,” John directed, but somehow holding my breath and clenching my teeth was all I could do. “OK John,” I said, starting to breathe through the pain. “This is good for me… yes?”

Jump starting my calf muscle 
The next day I saw Jaclyn, my acupuncturist. As she tried to push the acupuncture needle into place, she told me that she could feel the muscle wrapping around the needle, resisting its incursion.
“OUCH, I can really feel that,” I told her. “Breathe,” she said. I was starting to get the idea from my rehab team that breathing was important. “I thought this was supposed to be pretty painless,” I said, trying not to sound like I was whining. “Well, if your muscles are inflamed, like they would be after a hard workout, then yes, it can hurt.” “Ok,” I said, breathing through the pain. “But this is good for me… yes?”

Then there is my once a week session with Trevor, my personal trainer who is also a trained chiropractor. His exercises are specifically designed to aid in healing my injuries, while building muscles and stamina. I am in pain for days after a one-hour session. “Yes,” Trevor says, “this is good for you.”

My injuries are painful but the cure... ouch!!!!