mission accomplished

This morning I got up early, donned my long underwear, fleece, toque and mitts, acted like a good Canadian and stopped for a tea and breakfast sandwich at Tim Horton’s, and headed out on a mission. To register Elliot in kindergarten.

I had no idea what to expect. I’ve heard of people lining up in the wee hours of the morning to get into the elementary school of their choice. This goes against every grain of my being. We have one elementary school that is near us. The idea of having to WAIT IN LINE to register my son in the only PUBLIC school close to us just seems ludicrous. And had it not been for me requiring after school care for him, I would have taken a much more relaxed approach, stopped off at the school at a reasonable hour and then continued on to work.

But I really want to get him in the care facility that is physically in the school, and I was told that the registration for it started today as well. So there I was, ready to wait in line in the cold. I actually didn’t arrive that early…it was about 7:30. I drove into the parking lot and there were all of four cars there. And no one waiting outside. No lawn chairs set up, no blankets out. No people. I think I was expecting a concert ticket line up.

I debated what to do (sit in the car or leave and return at 8:00) when I realized I may as well check if the school was open. It was. And they’d set up a long line of chairs for parents to sit (in order) to register. And there was one person in line. One. I sat down beside him and we laughed at how keen we were.

Everything proceeded very smoothly and Elliot is #2 in the list for the French Immersion program (and #1 does not live in the catchment area) and he’s #1 on the list for after school care. The manager pretty much guaranteed that he’d get in.

So I may be a keener, but I got the job done (and stayed very warm in the process). And I was surprised how good I felt getting it done. I think it was weighing on me a bit.

117 days to go: baby steps

I got out again today, for an hour. Once again there was a break in the middle (I think I’m a slacker at heart). But it was for a good cause — watching the last period of my goddaughter’s hockey game. I’m not going to say how far I went because it’s embarrassing. Especially when I read some of the tweets today. “Just did 107km of the 140km Tour de Victoria course.” “Was out for three hours today…” Yeah, whatever. I bet they weren’t riding a mountain bike with knobby tires! Speaking of which…a note to (some of) you roadies. Just because I’m on a mountain bike doesn’t me you can’t still at least acknowledge my existence. Believe it or not I’m training for the same ride you are.

Anyway…it was a COLD ride, made colder by my 30 minute stint sitting in a hockey arena. By the time I got home I couldn’t feel the bottom of my feet or my thumbs. But it was still a good ride. There was hardly any traffic, and the sun was out. I may be feeling a bit overwhelmed at the thought of riding 90 km, but I don’t regret signing up and I’m enjoying getting out there.

This week is going to be busy as we prepare to go away, but I’ll try to get one more ride in before we leave. Then it’ll be heads down when we get back.

Now it’s back to my glass of wine and the company of my partner in crime.

120 days to go: my butt is getting tougher

I got out for another ride yesterday, although it was shorter than planned. I had wanted to ride for about 45 minutes, but it ended up only being about 35, with a break in the middle as I tried to figure out the $2 iPhone app I bought to track my distance and route. Doesn’t work so well when the app isn’t finding a GPS signal. Even though the actual GPS on the phone was working fine. Freaking technology. But I digress.

So a break in the middle and then I cut the ride short because I decided at the last minute to stop at a bike shop that is near home. When you have two young kids and a full time job it’s difficult to find time to shop for a new bike, so I’ll take any chance I can get.

If you’re tracking my husband’s progress you’ll see that he went out for almost 2.5 hours today, it wasn’t long enough, and he’s looking for hill repeats. Gulp. I’m still getting my butt toughened up for a bike seat (although that’s coming along well). One of the reasons I signed up for this race was to train for a common goal with Greg, and right now I’m feeling a bit behind in my homework. However, I’m currently riding a mountain bike with knobby tires, so maybe that counts for something.

This weekend I’ll go out for an hour. We are unfortunately away a third of February, in a province that’s covered in snow, so there won’t be any riding while we’re gone. I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed at this point, but the days will just get longer and hopefully I can soon get into a routine of riding three times a week. I have to remember that this is supposed to be fun (and healthy), not stress-inducing.

124 days to go: rain or shine

I got out this morning for a 30 minute ride, in the pouring rain. I discovered that the tights I use to run in are awesome for riding in the rain — my legs were warm and toasty. So were my feet, thanks to the neoprene booties that Greg lent me. My upper half was a bit chilly, but I wasn’t out long enough for it to bug me too much.

I winced every time I sat in my seat, but that should go away soon. There were a couple of good hills on the ride, and I tried to push myself a bit. I probably could have gone out for longer, but I’ll just keep increasing slowly.

As for a route, I rode directly to the Goose and turned around just before the Douglas overpass. I love having the Goose to ride on, as I’ve never been 100% comfortable in traffic. One day I’ll figure out how to use my phone so I can actually track my distance.

This week I’m swimming tomorrow night and I’ll plan for two rides.

126 days to go: the bike has moved!

I went out on my mountain bike for about 25 minutes today, with a 15 minute break to stop at a bike shop and look at a couple of bikes. Thought I’d kill two birds with one stone.

My mountain bike needs some work (I can’t shift to my big chain ring, my brakes are rubbing and my seat needs to be tilted forward more) but it was still a nice ride. In the sun.

Next up is a ride on Sunday morning.

129 days to go: bike still hasn’t moved

I haven’t been on my bike yet, but I did swim again on Monday. A friend and I have been trying to swim on Monday nights. We took a bit of a hiatus through Christmas, but we’re back at it. We swam for about 35 minutes and then had a nice soak in the hot tub.

And I had every intention of riding tomorrow morning, but I gave blood this afternoon. Last time I tried exercising the day after giving blood I thought I was having a heart attack. So no go on that one. So instead I’m going to work a few extra hours tomorrow afternoon and hopefully take an hour off on Thursday or Friday to go for a quick ride.

I’m also hoping to get to a bike shop on Friday and start looking for a road bike.

131 days to go: we’ll call it cross-training

I had every intention of getting on my bike this morning. I woke up feeling a bit…um…dehydrated. But I was still game. The plan was to just get out for half an hour on my mountain bike to start getting my butt conditioned for sitting in a saddle again.

When I looked out the window I was happy to see it wasn’t raining. But of course we live in Victoria and five minutes later it was raining. Sideways. Not so good for a bike ride. I thought maybe I could run instead. Then it stopped raining and the sun came out. Then it started raining again. I was just about to get ready when Greg suggested an alternate plan. He asked if I was still going out, and my answer was yes, but that I was still deciding what sport I was doing.

We had been planning to take the kids swimming, so when Greg suggested I head down to the pool a few minutes ahead of him and the kids and get some swimming in, that’s what I did. I swam 750 metres before they arrived, and then we had a great time playing together.

So. Have signed up for a 90 km bike ride and still haven’t been on my bike yet. But I had a good time with my kids. 🙂

My plan for this coming week is to get out twice for half an hour, and also visit a couple of bike shops to start checking out new bikes. At least it’s a start.

next up: tour de victoria

From a fitness perspective, I do better when I have a goal. Not the “I’m going to run three times a week” type of goal, but the “I’m going to do something that kind of freaks the shit out of me” type of goal. Ok, it’s only a bike race, and not even a race at that, but seeing as it’s a good three times longer than anything I’ve ever ridden, it does kind of freak me out. Plus it’ll be with hundreds of other riders. That in itself freaks me out.

I signed up for the Tour De Victoria today. It’s a 140km or 90km ride (I chose the latter) on Ryder Hesjedal’s “favourite roads that he uses to train for the Tour de France.”

There are several reasons why I did this. One, when I read about it, it got me excited about getting fit again. Something that hasn’t happened since my first couple of years of doing triathlons.

Second, I’ve been wanting to buy a road bike for years, but there’s not really a point unless I’m going to actually use it. This will make me use it.

Third, it’s something Greg and I can (sort of) do together. He signed up as well, and although we won’t be able to train much together, we will be training for the same goal, and we’ll be able to do the actual ride together.

Fourth (and not the least important), I’m hoping training for this ride results in me being able to once again eat what I want without having to think about it. Lately with my couch potatoness I’ve been experiencing some guilt (and other obvious side effects) over what I eat post dinner.

And as an added bonus it’ll give me some blogging material.

So…now I need to buy a bike, build up some callouses on my butt, and start getting my cycling legs and lungs. Also I should probably figure out how to pronounce Ryder Hesjedal’s last name properly.