Monday, December 29, 2008

Snowshoe Adventure

Photos from our snowshoe at Joffrey Lakes, just north of Whistler. Breaking trail for 3.5 hrs, with some pretty solid climbs and sketchy descents, followed by an epic 45km journey in the pitch dark up a snow-covered, pot-holed ridden road in search of a hidden hot springs. Armed with head-lamps and swim suits, we trudged through the dark forest to find the springs (we probably didn't even need the lamps as the steam emanating from the woods was enough of a sign). It was a long day, but definitely another memorable annual Whistler snowshoe for the four of us.

Piping hot sulphur bath in the middle of nowhere = heaven

Oh, and before someone comments on the beer can behind me, that was NOT mine!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

More Snow!

I love my new camera!! Thank you, Adam, for the early-Christmas prezzie!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Early Christmas

Last weekend I couldn't wait for the snow to fall but after a week (a long week) of indoor training, I am ready to say goodbye to the white stuff. However, I don't think it is going anywhere anytime soon. We got another big dumping last night and it has just begun to come down pretty heavily again tonight, so the slushy runs and roller rides will continue. Good thing I have now progressed to riding with the remote in hand. 

I got myself a rather unexpected early Christmas present this week: A NEW BIKE! After last week's bike fit we determined that my current bike is too big for me. We were able to make some adjustments to come close to the position I will ride on the new bike, but we were still a little limited with the current frame. And, it turned out the new Gallium Pro wouldn't be available in my size until the New Year, so, I went in search of a smaller Argon frame and found "Big Blue" at a shop in Vic. I am a little sad to say goodbye to my previous Gallium as I only got to race it once, in Beijing (and as Adam so kindly pointed out, I didn't even get to race 40km on it..... thanks ;-)  But, it will always be special to me and I'll definitely be keeping it around. 
Anyway, Blue and I are a great fit and we look forward to getting to know each other quite well this winter. 

There has been lots of excitement outside of training... Adam IS HERE and we had our annual "Christmas at Wendy's" last night. It always seems to be a tradition to celebrate it a few days early as it's hard to coordinate plans for December 25, but I will never complain about two chances to open presents and eat yummy treats. 

Opening one of my many poodle gifts

Adam and I are off to Vancouver on Tuesday, so if I don't get the chance to post again before Christmas, I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

SNOW in Victoria!

We had some REAL snow last night which I had been looking forward to for days. I have to call it "real" because it was actually much more than the than the typical handful of fluffy raindrops that Victorians refer to as snow. And, I am sure this dumping had Victoria's one city snowplow working overtime. 

I couldn't wait to go for a snowy cross ride this morning, but woke up to a blizzard with a windchill of about -20. Those conditions would pretty much take all the fun out of the ride, so, rollers and trainer it was. But, I did have a great run (or shuffle) outside along the waterfront. It was a neat atmosphere with families, dogs and kids walking and sledding everywhere, and hardly any cars on the road. Sadly, I couldn't do my hill strides at Beacon Hill as there were a few too many toboggans....not to mention sheer ice on the hill!

Training continues to roll along and I am feeling stronger every week. I am getting mentally prepared for most of my training this week to be indoors as the lovely white stuff looks like it will stick around. I may need to plan better for the indoor rides so I have some DVDs on hand. I am getting more comfortable on the rollers and can now safely drink from my waterbottle and wipe off sweat without a massive fear of crashing, but grabbing the remote to scroll through the channels is still out of the question. Not wanting to hop off the bike this morning, I spent much too long watching Hour of Power, and I do NOT recommend this program for helping time pass quickly on rides. Not at all. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bike Fit

To stick with the theme of changes for 2009, I had a proper bike fit done today by Don at Fort Street Cycles and Joel. My position on the bike is something I haven't looked at in years and as a result, I have been riding the same position as the days when I had back pain, with a big stack of headset spacers. And, somehow over the years, my saddle height has drifted down, which probably didn't help my knee injuries this year. I am a little embarrassed that I haven't had my position assessed in quite awhile, but also excited that there is quite a lot of room for improvement. 

We're basically going to start from scratch, but we will have to ease my body into the new position, so the changes will happen in increments over the new few weeks. We also discovered that my frame is actually too big for me, so my wonderful sponsor, Argon 18 has agreed to send out a new frame next week. This bike fit comes at the right time as Argon has just released an update on the Gallium, their top-of-the-line road frame. The Gallium Pro will be equally stiff and speedy as the Gallium, but just a little lighter.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Quinoa Cookies

You know I am back to training when I put my pj's on at 5pm without a second thought. One nice thing about the shorter days is that I am forced to finish training before the early sunset, so my evenings are rather relaxing. 
Tonight I finished my ride on the rollers at 4:30, ate dinner just after 5, lounged around and baked some cookies a little later. Yes, I am a big NERD sometimes. 

These quinoa cookies are fairly healthy and tasty. They may be a little too healthy-tasting for someone needing a real treat, but packed up in your jersey on a long ride, they would be perfect! I will test them out on my ride tomorrow just to be sure ;-)

My inspiration came from an ingredient that I actually really dislike. I have had this box of quinoa flakes sitting around for too long, but it wasn't until this morning that I finally came to the realization that as much as I love quinoa, I hate the flakes. I find they taste nothing like quinoa, with a chalky taste and texture. I have tried drowning them in agave nectar, adding frozen fruit and even some dark chocolate chips one morning, but could never make them palatable. I found a recipe on the back of the box that called for a full-cup of this stuff, so I had to at least give it a try. And, I figured you can't really go wrong when butter and sugar are involved. So, if you happened to buy a box of this stuff and feel the same way I do, then these are definitely worth a try.

Here's the original recipe and I have added my changes in brackets:

1/2 cup honey (1/3 cup agave nectar)
1/3 cup organic brown sugar
1/2 cup organic butter (I used a little less)
1/2 cup organic peanut butter (almond butter would be good too)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla
3/4 cup quinoa flakes (1 cup....need to use them up!)
3/4 cup rice flour (stone ground whole wheat flour)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup nuts (walnuts)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat honey, brown sugar, butter, peanut butter and vanilla in a medium bowl until creamy. Combine flour, quinoa flakes, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Add to mixture and beat until well blended. Add nuts. (at this stage, I had to add a little almond milk and extra nut butter to make the batter sticky enough). Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 15 minutes, or until light golden brown (I baked them until they were crispy on the bottom but still soft on top). 

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Rolling Along

This week has flown by, and I am thinking I am going to be saying that for the next month, and then the next, and before I know it, I will be on the start line at my first World Cup. Eeek! 
First up though is the Fast Triathlon in Brazil on January 11th. It's a team-format series of three super-super-sprint races. I haven't raced since August 18th so this will break up the lengthy stretch between races. As much as I am looking forward to it, I am quite glad that it's still a month away as my speediness seems to be hiding these days.

Training is going well.... there isn't too much excitement to report. I am just getting the work done without putting too much focus on the numbers. Some days I have been feeling strong, and others I think the lifeguards are almost ready to do a rescue. Over the years I have learned not to read too much into the paces, times, speeds at this time of year, and just to roll along and put in the work. 

CHEERS, to a good first week of training!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Monday was the start of my winter program and I am now settling in to a great routine. I can't remember the last time I have been this excited to get back to training so I am taking that as a good sign. The program for the month is fairly simple, focusing on frequency in the pool, and building strength across the three sports. I have kept fairly active over the past few months so it isn't a massive shock to my body, as is often the case when I start back after a break. I have made a lot of changes since the summer and I don't know if it's because change is refreshing, or because I feel very confident in my decisions, but I am simply loving my training right now. 

The biggest change I've made is my coaching situation. After three incredible, fun and successful years with Siri and her squad, I have made the decision to work with Joel Filliol and his group in Victoria. It was a difficult decision, but I felt it was time for a change and I felt very strongly that this was the right place for me at this point in my career. Thankfully, Coach Joel and the group welcomed me, so as long as I can toughen up and handle a daily dose of teasing from the guys, I think I should be just fine ;-)

Outside of triathlon, life is great. Christmas has absolutely exploded at Wendy's house and there are already a million presents under the tree. We have had fun decorating and I don't think there is one inch of this place that doesn't have some sort of festive knick-knack. 

My quilt is slowly but surely coming along. All the blocks are sewn together so next up is the borders and then the backing. I really hope to get this done by the weekend so I can start to use it.... Ok, the real reason is I am dying to start on my next project!

And, I am saving the best news for last.... 

We have a special guest staying at the house right now: NAPOLEON! He might be the world's most lovable chihuahua, such a sweetheart and a real character. From the extra long tongue, to the venison breath, to the snorts at night, he is one of a kind and it's a treat to have him around the house this week.