Friday, December 25, 2009

Saturday, November 28, 2009

H2O Audio Interval product review

It's no secret to anyone that knows me that swimming is not my favorite discipline....therefore it is by far, my worst. I often get bored in in the pool and lose focus. After a quick Internet search, I found the H20 Audio Interval. It is a water proof case/headphone system for the ipod shuffle. It is available for the 2nd and 3rd generation models. I was super excited to get an Interval for an early Xmas gift!







The Interval is a very basic system. It consists of a water proof case with attached earbuds. Also included are various ear buds ranging from small to XL. A 30 min test submersion without an ipod in place is done to ensure the compartment is properly sealed.



Before my first use of the the system I watched a video on the H2O audio web page that gave hints to getting the best results from the product. The major complaint that I had read in reviews was getting the earbuds to stay in the ear and poor sound quality related to this. The first suggestion is to choose the best fitting earbuds for your ears (rather obvious). The second suggestion is to use a swim cap over the ears to help keep the buds in.



The system attaches to the strap of your goggles. Controls are very simple, 2 buttons to control volume and 1 button to control song selection. Depressing the button once will start/stop playback. Depressing the button twice will forward to the next song and 3 times with go back one song.



Trial #1



I donned the Interval and did a quick head dunk to test the sound. It did actually sound pretty good but obviously the real test is during the swim. I tried first without a swim cap and quickly found the earbuds falling out. I did take the advice of the video and brought a swim cap to hold in the earbuds. But I made the mistake of using a Lycra cap that wasn't tight enough to keep the earbuds in. The ear buds wound not stay in place. I didn't bring the additional earbuds to try for a different fit. I have to admit that it was a bit of a disappointment. Good points were that the controls worked flawlessly and it was absolutely waterproof!


Trial #2


This time I brought a latex cap to keep the buds in place. I had done a re-fit at home with the other earbud size but in the end I felt like I had correctly chosen the right size already. After placing the buds in a tucking them under my swim cap I definitely felt they were more secure. During the swim session I had a few periods of reduced sound and one episode of the buds falling out. But overall a much better experience with the system!


Overall Impression



The H2O interval can be a bit challenging to use, it involves some trial and error (getting the proper ear bud size and technique to keep them in the ears). Although it is not a perfect system it does provide some a good source of entertainment during swims! It is simple to use and is pretty much idiot proof. I give it a 7/10.





Sunday, November 15, 2009

Last Chance Half Marathon

The LC half was my first half marathon that I had ever run. I really like running races that I had previously run to see how I have progressed. I like seeing time improvements and my next running goal is to get under 1:50 for a half. But going to this run I was pretty sure that I would not meet that goal. My running lately has been...well....shit. I have done one "long" run in the past 2 months I think and it was only 14km. My weekly run totals have been abysmal.

I had signed up for this one almost as soon as it opened up, I know that it always sells out. My wife's original due date was Nov 24th. I figured that even if she was a week early it would be no problem. I wasn't counting on almost 3 weeks early, lol. I have been trying to help Shelly out as much as possible. She pumps milk while I feed Logan and usually change him. I encourage her to nap and sacrifice a bit of sleep to let her rest. My sleep is definitely not great this past week.

For the last week I debated even racing due to the circumstances. Luckily I have a very supporting wife. Last night she let me sleep the whole night and get a good sleep before the race. I had decided that I would make a final decision in the morning. When I woke up this morning I was still pretty bagged. For a few minutes I was thinking...I could just go back to bed and get more needed sleep. But then I had a talk with myself. "Shut the F*#& up and run". OK so I probably would not get the time I wanted but run it anyway. I can sleep later and tough the distance out of I had to. I am running today!

Met up with a few people I know for work and the gym and chatted for a while. I was actually feeling pretty good and was ready to get going. The race started and I pretty quickly got settled in. There was a bit of a head wind as we headed out, I decided to not push hard for the first 10km, last thing I wanted to do was to blow up on the second half. I was getting passed by a fair number of people which normally doesn't happen to the degree it was. I very quickly got over it ;).

I made it to the first first turn around which was manned by Chad from team legend and our coach Greg. Kinda funny getting water from your coach during a race. After a brief stop to drink I was off again. A nice flat path and a bit of a tail wind...wahooo. I really didn't notice the tailwind but I did notice the lack of headwind. Things were pretty uneventful until after the last turn around. I felt pretty good until about 17km. I was feeling good from a cardio perspective but my legs were feeling pretty heavy. But that comes with not running as much as I should be.

I decided to take it relatively easy until km 19 and then give it everything after that. Wellll that didn't really pan out. I just stayed the course for the last 4 km and ran a steady pace. Less than 1k left and we had to run up the ramp to get over to Prince's Island. I did run it, no walking lol. I picked up the pace at the top of the ramp and was going to finish strong.

I decided that sub 2hrs and I would be happy. I saw the clock and saw that I would indeed be sub 2. I had barely looked at my garmin through out the whole race. I actually felt good as a crossed the line...just tired. My finish time was 1:58:45 ish.

I am so glad I talked myself into running today, it felt really good to get out. I came home and got to spend some time with my son and let me wife have a nap. I now have a pair of last chance medals, lol. I laughed when I saw that they were the exact same medals. I would have liked to see something unique from last year, lol. Next up....Hypothermic Half in feb...and I will get below 1:50 ;).

Monday, November 9, 2009

I am a DAD!!!

Disclaimer: the following blog will contain little regarding triathlon training ;)

On Nov 7th at 10:39 PM, my wife and I became parents to a beautiful baby boy, Logan Rhys (pronounced Reese). He came out a little sooner than expected but both mom and baby are doing quite well. Here is how it all played out.....

My wife had a scheduled Dr's appointment on Sat. Sure enough at her appointment her blood pressure was a little high so they sent her off to the hospital to get it checked out. It usually is high initially and then trends back down, but this time it didn't. I was on my way to get my hair cut when my wife called my to tell me. But she thought it would be a quick visit and not to bother to come. We made a deal that I would meet her that after my appointment if she was still there.

So I get my hair cut and head over to the Hospital. Sure enough she is still there and her blood pressure is not coming down...weird. She feels fine other than a bit of a headache she woke up with...but that is a sign of elevated blood pressure. The nurse contacts the Doc on call and she comes over to visit...and we hear the unexpected....."I think we should do a C section tonight". WTF?? She says that she has to run it by the OB doc that would be doing it, but felt it was the best thing. And then the OB resident comes..."yup we should do it tonight but I will run it by my boss". Then the Attending OB Doc comes " Well you guys are going to be parents tonight".

Very soon after my wife starts crying and says "But we arent ready". I told her "Shelly, we are ready, you know we are" I know what she meant though. She had just stopped working the day before and had planned on taking a couple of weeks to get the house "ready" and to relax. We didnt have time to go home and get her suitcase, diaper bag and camera....so we thought.

It was about 4pm when we were told that we would be going to the OR for a C section. But they said it would happen before 8pm but not to leave. Shelly's blood pressure was not elevated to the point of being a crisis but they decided that the baby was term and breech to might as well do the surgery "electively". Well 8PM came and went and there was no OR. The Dr's had switched over at 8pm, so we then saw another Dr. He came by to introduce himself and said he hoped to have it done by midnight. I was a but frustrated because I could have ran home quickly and grabbed all of our things.

At about 10 they came and walked us over to the OR suite. I waited outside as Shelly got her spinal anesthetic and then was able to go into the room. I could tell she was nervous but she was a trooper, I am so proud of her. They had some music playing in the room and I just sang to her as she was getting prepped. And the it was time to start!!

On of the nurse in the room had done a bit of time in my ICU as a student and she remembered me. She was great about giving me info and keeping me updated while I talked to my wife. She then asked me if I wanted to watch....Hell ya! So I stood up and looked over the drape and saw the legs come out! My heart was beating harder and faster than any triathlon or running race ever! Next thing I say was the bum come out... I see the frank and beans, lol. I immediately tell my wife that we are having a boy! We had not found out the sex before hand, we wanted a surprise. Everyone knows that I was hoping for a boy and now he was coming out!

They get to the head and are pulling and twisting him to get him out and then finally he pops out. Not surprising but he was not pink and not crying. They quickly clamped/cut the cord and handed him over to the peds team. They quickly started stimulating him and rubbing him and then he starts to pink up and bit and take more breaths. I got close to him and talked to him.. "come on Logan, cry for Poppa" . I know he doesn't understand but it made me feel better, lol. Then I head the best sound ever, my baby making his first cries.

Not long after they handed him to me and I was able to let Shelly see him for the first time. I didn't cry but I will admit that I really welled up, lol. We had a nice few intial moments together as they closed Shelly up. I snapped a couple of pics with my iPhone and just stared at my son.

Since then things have been going well. Shelly's BP is slowly coming down but she is otherwise feeling great. Logan is a perfect little boy so far (except the 2 times he pee'd on me, lol) . Breastfeeding is not perfect but coming along....so proud of my wife being so patient and keeping at it. I have changed my share of diapers and have fed him every chance I get.

If all goes well I will be bringing my family home tomorrow. My mother in law is here helping out thank god! I haven't been to the gym/running/biking/swimming since Thursday and I am lost, lol. I am planning to go to the indoor ride tomorrow night to get out and do something. My wife has given her blessing for this. I am looking forward to it!

By far this is the best thing that has ever happened. I can sit there and stare at my son and I shake my head, I can't believe that he is a part of me. I am proud of my wife for being the trooper that she has been! I think it's time for me to hit the hay. I am beat and I think this will be my last good night sleep for a while, lol. I will post some pics when I am more awake.!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Everything I need to know about life I learned in ICU

Don't drink.
Don't drink and drive.
Don't drink and drive a motorbike.
Don't drive a motorbike.
If you drive a motorbike, please sign your organ donor card.
And wear a helmet.

Don't smoke.
Don't do street drugs.
Don't street fight.
Don't play with bombs.
Wear a helmet.

If you have asthma, don't have a cat.

Drive carefully.
Avoid trees.
Avoid livestock.
Avoid wild animals.
Avoid oncoming traffic.
Cycle cautiously.
Avoid cliffs and sharp rocks.
And always wear a helmet.

Pay attention, never assume anyone else is.
Pay particular attention to your family.
Tell you love them
Tell them often.

And always wear a helmet.

Lana Lovo Aug 21st/2000

I saw this posted on a board at work and it made me laugh, but it is so true. Words to live by to keep you safe and out of ICU!

Yesterday was a welcomed day off training. Still feels weird on those days that I don't do anything. I watched a little TV, got my lunch ready for work and did some web surfing. Tonight was back to "normal", lol. My wife had gone to meet some of her friends for dinner so I was home alone for a bit. I threw a blanket down on the floor in the living room and put my trainer in front of the TV. I did a short warm up and then some cadence work. The one legged drills are getting a bit smoother, lol. I did about 45 mins tonight, probably would have stayed on longer but Shelly came home then.

Tomorrow I will try to get a swim and a run in before work tomorrow night. I am gonna hate missing the indoor night on Tuesday. But with the upcoming Last Chance Half I will probably try to get another run in between night shifts. Can't wait for days off again! Time for bed folks, adios.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Well that sucked....

After getting a few errands done I headed out for the run I had planned. I planned on 15-18 km and figured I would decide during the run. Based on this I chose to run from Edworthy since I know this distances from each turn around point. Can't complain about the weather, mostly cloudy but 11 Deg out. Threw on my headphones and off I went!

The run started off good, felt pretty comfortable. I decided to throw some intervals in there to mix it up a bit. There were a couple of runners I could see up ahead so I thought why not use them as carrots. Eventually by Eau Claire I had passed them but I was not feeling good anymore. I was tired and shaky, maybe the blood glucose was dropping. I stopped a walked while I took a Gu gel. A couple drinks of water and I was on my way again.

After a few minutes I was feeling fairly good again and running at my normal pace. I decided to keep to it and hold off on any more intervals at this point. At about the 12km mark I started to feel the same as I did earlier (about 7.5 km at that time) . But now I didn't have another gel with me. I am not sure it was all blood sugar crash...it was only 5km since my last gel. But at any rate I had to walk. Then I would run....and then walk. About the last km I walked the whole thing. I was feeling pretty crappy. I finished the 15km at 1:36....a usual time for me.

I don't think that I pushed excessively, I ran my usual pace with a few intervals. I didn't take any Gatorade with me on this run. I normally do and alternate it with water. And I have top admit that I was sore to start the run off. I had 6 days off this week so I figured I would get a fair bit of training in....and I did. Maybe I over did it this week. But for today's run I will just consider it an off day. Tomorrow will be a well earned rest day...well from training anyway....I go back to work tomorrow.

In home life news...Shelly is heading to a Dr's appointment tomorrow and will probably find out if she is going to have a C section of not. I am getting more excited each day! The baby's room is 100% complete. I am quite proud of my wife and how well she does despite feeling tired/crappy all the time. She is a trooper! Well I am off to grab some advil and a diet coke. Happy training!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wow....that is not so bad afterall....

I used to really hate my bike trainer. When it came time to get on it I cursed and tried to find excuses not to. But oddly enough, the more time I spend on it, the more I like it. Last week was the start of Coach Greg's spin classes. It is turning out to be fun and good motivation. I think that it will really help during the winter months. In just a couple of classes I have noticed an improvement in my technique.....its good for picking out flaws and then changing them!

I had signed up for the Last Chance half marathon in Nov. I need to get a few longer runs in so I am thinking tomorrow I will do a 15-18km run. The LC half was my first...I think I will try to get under 1:50 for this one and best my time from last year. Hopefully the paths will be clear and we get some good weather......last year it was beautiful and sunny!

It's a little over a month until my wife is due. Strangely enough I think I am the one nesting. I am cleaning like a mad man. I did the 3 bathrooms (and I did a hospital clean) and the kitchen today. I am going to do all the floors and the bedrooms tomorrow and hang more shelves (after my run of course). I think I am trying to get everything done now because the family addition might come sooner than expected. The baby is positioned frank breech....meaning its ass is down and head / legs to the sky. I really doubt the baby will turn...ain't much room in there. Shelly said that she was told they will do a C - section early if that is the case. I think we are ready though, lol.

Time to finish making dinner for my wife and then spin! Adios!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Thanksgiving ride in the snow!

First off, no I didn't go for an outside ride in the snow today, that is just batshit crazy. But as I was driving home from the gym today I saw 2 guys out on their road bikes ride along the 1A. Minus 8 is just a wee bit cold for me, not to mention the snow on the roads. I was glad to be driving in my nice warm jeep but kudos to them.

My day consisted of a 45 min ride on the spin bike with a 30 min run and shoulder/bicep workout. The weight training is going well, making some big gains in my strength. Tomorrow I am planning to go for a 16km or so run. I figure I need to get some longer runs in as I have the Last Chance half coming up. I wish it was a bit warmer out, at least +10, lol.

Spent a while on the trainer yesterday watching the action in Kona. Great performances by Alexander and Wellington!! I had made plans to take my wife out to dinner that night so I had to leave during the run. My wife was not thrilled that I was checking the updates on my iphone, lol. Who knows, maybe someday I will be there. I doubt I will ever qualify, but who knows, maybe I will try my luck in the lottery when I am ready, lol. Better odds than lotto 6/49, lol.

Tomorrow is going to be chicken day...no turkey :(. It will only be the wife and I so it would not make sense to bake a big turkey. Shelly picked up a chicken that she will roast (but I am sure it will be just as yummy!). Hope everyone has a great day tomorrow and gets lots of good eats!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

I just want to listen to my music....

It's been a while since I blogged. It's seems like I sit down to get at it and then I am instantly tired. Last night at the team season ender there was some blog talk, I decided I needed to get back at it. Things have been really good as of late on the training side of things. I got my desire to train back stronger than ever. I have done some cross training, lots of weight training and more running.

I decided to do the Ambulance Chasers run on Friday night. I didn't set any firm time goals but I thought about getting below 50min or at least the same as my last 10km race (51:27). I didn't know anyone doing this race and thought why not run with with some tunes. The course was all on pathways so safety would not be an issue. So before the race I put 55mins of music on my ipod shuffle and off I went.

We got the 2min warning for the race start and then I started the tunes...."Lose yourself" to start. I was hating the first 20mins of the run....I always do. There were a few of us that were "leap frogging" each other and kept things interesting. AT about 5k I one of the girls that I was going back and forth with caught up to me. I heard her talk to me and then I shut off my music. We chatted a bit and then I thought we were done.....until she started talking again, lol. I was thinking "I just want to listen to my music" but I gave in. In the end it turned out to be a good distraction and fun. But it was just that...a distraction....I forgot about my loose time goal. About the last km I said, "ok, lets finish strong" and we both picked it up a bit. I pulled away soon after and crossed the line first. We exchanged a quick high five and parted ways.

I finished about 51:30 so I was happy with that. More importantly I had fun. I wasn't in a bad mood at the start but I wasn't in a good mood either....lets call it neutral. By the end of the race I was in a great mood. Not even sure what my "friend's" name was, lol.

I really enjoy listening to music when I train. I am always looking for new tunes. Lately I have been on a bit of a techno/rock mix kick. I like just zoning out and getting my workout in. The music has been a big factor in getting my motivation back. I have a big year ahead of me!!

I signed up for my second half IM! I will be racing Calgary 70.3 baby!! It's one month after GWN but I am confident I can get them both done. Its going to be a lot of work because I don't want to "survive" them...I want to kick ass.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Taking the plunge....

Well tonight I did it....I signed up for my first Half Ironman. I have heard alots of good things about the GWN half I decided to make it my first. I am feeling excited already, I think its going to be a good training boost! More on this later....my bed is calling!

Monday, September 14, 2009

So, here is how my anniversary race went....

So here is how my anniversary race went.

I had a surprisingly good sleep the night before the race. I woke up in the morning to find my wife not in bed. I went down stairs and found her asleep on the couch. I woke her up and asked why she was there and not in bed. She told me that she was restless and thought she would keep me up and that I needed a good night sleep before the run. God love her but that made me feel like shite. I would rather be sleepless than have my very pregnant wife sleeping on the couch. I gave her a hug and a kiss and then sent her back to bed (not the couch).

I hopped in the car and cranked the music. I was feeling pretty good this morning, better than I had in a while. I really do love the drive out to the mountains. I can say that I wasn't nervous or even as excited as normal.....I would describe my mood as neutral.

I got to Canmore and bumped into a few friends. We chatted for a while until they had to start (doing the half not the 10km I was doing). Then I bumped into more friends that were doing the 10km. I was getting a bit excited at this point! Finally it was time to line up and start!! The horn blew the usual walk to the start line progressed. It still annoys me that people who should not be anywhere near the front put themselves right at the start. The first 1km I spent getting around people....grrrrr.

Things started to thin out and I was feeling comfortable. Like I had said previously, I didn't set any real goals (other than definitely be under an hour...but this is a standing order for me). I looked at my garmin a few times but for the most part just ran by how I felt. I remembered clearly why I liked running this race. The scenery in Canmore is awesome! I lived there for a short period after my university graduation. Loved it then but I do hate how touristy it has become.

Back to the race...it was perfect running weather. Sun was shining but not too hot! Before I knew it we were on the last 2km! We came off the river pathway and onto the final stretch....a 750m straight shot the the finish. I didn't really pick it up much at this point, I kept my steady pace. I crossed the line at 51:27 by chip. I was pretty content with this, it was 4 1/2 minutes faster than last year with not as much effort. It was a good day and I was smiling.

After meeting up with some friend afterwards for the race food, I headed home for some cycling. Greg had said to do an hour of easy cycling.....and for the most part I did ;). I headed out west on 1A and fell into a nice cadence and speed. I noticed that I could hear my music nice and clear.....that usually means a nice headwind on the way back.

Sure enough I turned around and there was the wind. I just put my head down and kept the legs moving (the felt surprisingly good). About half way back a guy passes me quick fast. I was thinking "wow that's some speed, nice work"! But as we kept riding I was getting closer...and then he would take off. This happened a couple of times after that. I don't know why but that drives me nuts...absolutely F'ing bonkers. All right the easy ride has ended.....shift gears and get aero. Very quickly after that he was behind me. I can have some degree of speed when I want too, lol. I came home and did a few laps around the neighbourhood to cool down. I felt awesome!!! Then there was today.....

I decided to go to Bootcamp at the gym for a change. The class is basically an hour of hell but you do it in a group setting and feel great for having done it. I had to stop going when my program was getting bumped up...I didn't have the time to do everything. So I go back today and what a rude awakening. The class started with 3 laps of a track....sweet easy. Then a short high kick warm up. Next wast the stop and go sprints with push ups and squat jumps. Next was push ups, squat jumps, and v sits reps. Ohhh can't forget the crab walk!!! Then its bent over rows with resistance bands and running. Finally it's time to run and do stairs (thank god now I can rest, lol). I would been happy if we had done that the whole time, lol. I am so freaking tired right now. My upper body strength has suffered over the summer (much like I am now). It was a good reminder that I need to work on my core!

On a personal noted, its crazy how life can change in a heart beat (and lack of ). One of the girls at work was supposed to be getting married one month from now. Last week he fiance died suddenly from a cardiac arrest. I had never met him but I don't think he was that old. I was just reading her facebook post about trying on her wedding dress. I can't imagine her pain. Anytime things like this happen it makes me appreciate life that much more. The last year has been very good for me. I got a great lifestyle change (thank you triathlon), got married and am awaiting the birth of my first child.

Photobucket

I am pretty excited to see this little guy ( I don't know for sure on this one...we aren't finding out the sex but I am hoping for a boy, lol). I think he/she will be the best thing I have ever had a hand in. I am planning to be in Hawaii when he wins in Kona ;). Bye for now!

D.

Friday, September 11, 2009

My anniversary!

Sunday marks the anniversary of my first year or racing! It's hard to believe that a year has passed since my first running race. I remember the feeling when I crossed the finish line so clearly. I had never imagined myself running in any kind of race so it was a big thing for me. The past year has been awesome. I have raced one 5km, five 10km, 5 Half marathons, 1 duathlon, 2 sprint Tri's and one olympic Tri.


How am I celebrating my anniversary? I am running the Canmore CAUSE 10km run, the first race that I ever did. I had hoped to go to Montreal to do another Tri but decided that I needed be a bit more tight with the wallet. With an impending birth of my child its kind of a priority. The next best thing was this race. So I went an did an almost last minute registration today. I am looking forward to it now! I am going to just run this one solely for fun and not worry about time.

The last couple of days have been good on the training front. On Friday I had a really good ride in the evening. As the summer comes to an end I am realizing how much I am going to miss riding outside. I have developed a love for cycling! But on the good side I think my running will pick up a bit more. I will run in any weather and will continue to do that this winter. My swimming will hopefully continue to get better and better.

I am quite happy with the past year. I am pretty much where I had hoped to be. Next year I really want to make some big gains. I realize that this will require big commitment and effort but I will find a way. I have been fortunate to meet some really cool people in the whole process. Here is to a fun year past and exciting future!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Hey.....I am over here......your mojo.....remember me??

For a little while now I can't say that I was thrilled with training. It seemed like training was becoming a chore.....I just didn't have my heart into it. I don't know 100% why this was happening. I had planned on going to Penticton to volunteer and sign up for IMC 2010 and this was stressing me out a bit. I was able to get the time off except for one stinkin' day...the sat before the race. I had planned to get off work, fly out there that night, drive out to Penticton in the AM, volunteer from 8-midnight, drive back to Kelowna, then back to Penticton to sign up. Wheeww busy time it would have been! But it didn't happen....

I had been having some doubts about being ready for it. I think my last race (Oly distance) "scared" me a bit. I had some cramping issues that really affected me. It made me think about my plans for next year. Then on a group ride, I was talking to Greg (my coach) and told him about my plans. Greg gave me some really helpful advice and basically said what I was thinking. In the end I decided to not sign up for IMC 2010. In a way this was hard choice...I really had hoped to be there racing. But in the end I feel very OK with it. I felt alot of pressure off my shoulders. My new goals......next summer I will try to get in 2 half IM distances and as many other races as possible. I will have 2 years of build to the big race now instead of 1. I am thinking GWN and Calgary 70.3 for my big races.

Since I wasn't going to sign up, I decided to stay in Calgary and volunteer next year. I just could not justify the expense to go out to volunteer, I would not have even gotten a "vacation" out of it. I was glued to my computer and iPhone for updates on race day. I did go out for a ride/run that day and I was motivated more than I had been in a while. It felt so good to be out training that day.....I missed that feeling.

A few days have passed and my mojo seems to be coming back quite strong. I am actually looking forward to getting out there each day. I am not sure if the "what should I do" stress was affecting me.....I think it did. Unfortunately my tri season is done. I had considered going to Montreal but I decided to skip that too. With a baby on the way, I want to get rid of the credit card debt. Looks like its running races for now!

I know IMC 2009 was hard for some this year (my one friend with 26 IM races said it was by far his hardest). But congrats to those that pushed on despite the rough race. It was fun watching the updates!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Lake Chaparral Olympic Tri Report

As per usual lately, I had a hard time sleeping before this race. This time, I had no trouble getting to sleep but could not stay there. I should have just got up but I stayed in bed until the alarm went off. A quick "wake up" shower and then I packed the car up and left. Later I realized I forgot breakfast....F#%K! Luckily the traffic was light so the drive was quick.

I went straight to get my chip and body marked to avoid the line up. I started to set up my transition and realized I forgot the strap to hold my aero bottle in place....F&#k! It's not essential but I find it encourages me to drink when its right there. I had an extra timing chip strap so I used my raw boy scout talent to fashion it into a makeshift solution. Then I looked at my garmin...32% battery??? WTF.....I charged it last night!! Again not essential but a convience.....oh well. Finished setting up and then it was time to wait.

I met up with one of the Doc's at work that was doing the Men's Oly as well. It was nice to have someone to talk to wait for the Women's wave to go by. We get the 15min warning and then we hop in the water for a short warm up. And then its showtime.....

THE SWIM

I stayed off to the side and back-ish for the beginning. I felt pretty good in the water and again more comfortable than previous races. My sighting has improved as well...I was swimming more straight then back and forth this time, lol. My 2 laps went quick and then it was a straight shot to the finish. Other than for balance I barely used my legs so I started kicking a bit after the last buoy to get some blood flowing to them. But as I took my first step on the boat ramp I felt instant cramps in my quads......F#$K!! I took a quick look back and realized that my swim time wasn't quite what I felt I was doing. I was one of the last coming out of the water. I ran to my bike, cramps and all.

Swim time 40:31 Pace 2:43 (177th/192)

THE BIKE

Running up to the mount like I was cursing the cramps in my quads. I was able to hop on my bike and start the legs moving. The bike course was five laps of a 8km "ish" loop. The first lap was rough with the cramps but I was not going to stop. I was just finishing my first lap and passing transition when one of the race officials yelled out "WAIT...STOP". WTF....why am I stopping? You're helmet is on backwards"......F&$k! I think I just came out of the water stupid....I must have placed it on the aerobars facing the wrong way setting up. Strange thing was that it didn't feel weird.

So back to the race...thankfully the cramps went away on the second lap. I was actually starting to feel pretty good even! The course was mostly flat except one hill located close to mid loop. For comparison I would say it was close to that of the "Tuscany Home Depot" hill. It wasn't too bad but I can't say that I was loving it by the 4th time (definitely not the fifth). I have found that I tend to pass a fair number of people on hills....not the case today. Not my best ride but not my worst either.

Bike time- 1:24:26 Avg Speed 28.4km/hr (85th/192)

THE RUN

I had a fairly quick transition from the bike and headed out on the course. But within a very short time the cramps in my quads were back with a vengeance. This time they were not alone....GI cramps as well. I was feeling a bit tired and it was starting to get hot out. My plan was to drink the Ultima at the aid stations and hopefully replace some lytes but I found out there was none! I am not sure if they had it prior and ran out or didn't have it at all but either way I was not happy. I would have brought my fuel belt and carried my own Gatorade had I known this was the case. In hind sight I train with Gatorade I should carry Gatorade.

The quad cramping was getting worse but thankfully the stomach cramps went away. I took a couple of walk breaks to see if I could massage them out a bit. It didn't help and at that point I figured I might as well run and deal with the pain. I will admit it seemed like the longest 9.6km of my life. I should have smoked this essentially flat course but I didn't. Very frustrating run for me.

Run Time- 1:05;40 Pace 6:34 (152nd/192)

Nutrition

One power bar before the swim (make up for the missed breakfast), 2L Gatorade on the bike, 3 GU chomps and 500ml Water (approx.) on the run.

Overall Time 3:10:36 145th/192

I am a bit disappointed with the day and my place. I am pretty sure that as the distance gets farther the competition gets better. I think if I had not had the cramping issues I would have done a bit better. I am not obsessed with place but I feel like its a general indicator of how you do on that day. I have become competitive and I want to see my name higher up on the list ;). I did have fun overall...don't get me wrong. The was no way I wasn't going to finish so I am happy with that even. I just wish a few things had been a bit different. Now it's time to find another race!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Group ride...flats and intervals (no really ...FLATS)

So tonight was a group ride and the plan was for flats with interval training. Well we got the flats alright. After a warm up we got into the interval part and it was going well. I look up and Darryl is pulling off to the side, I ask if he is OK and he yells back that he got a flat. I thought I would catch up to Greg and Trevor and let them know (or try to anyway). All of a sudden I hear an noise coming from my tire and then really hear a noise...F&#K me dead...I got a flat too!

SO I pull over and start working on that. Greg and Trevor see me from the other side of the road yell that they will be back. I was thinking...don't worry I will be here, lol. Could not for the life of me find the hole in the tube. (mental note..bring your spare tube next time). Greg made it over to me and starts to inspect my tire and finds some fine metal filaments sticking in the rubber. We get those out and then Greg breaks out a spare tube for me. Not long after the tire is fixed and we are back on the road.

We meet up with Trevor and Darryl and find out that Darryl had gotten a second flat! Not cool when there are 4 riders and 3 flats. We decided to head back to teh church via the 1A (same route we took out there). Greg and I had made the u-turn to come back and he tells me to go ahead and be "the carrot". I laughed to myself but hell why not. I know thew will catch me but it was a matter of when, lol. Good thing is this does push me harder as well. Not long after I see a shadow coming up behind me and Darryl was there....and then Greg zoomed by..... and then Trevor..... and then good bye Darryl, lol.

Despite the flats it was still a good ride. The weather turned out to be not too bad at all. I don't mind being at the back right now, it gives me that incentive to try harder. A good training week thus far!

After the ride, I came home and had a quick bite to eat and then watched some TV with the wife. And then it was back to painting the nursery. My goal is to get the room all done by the time I go back to work this weekend. I am pretty sure I will but its not like I have a looming deadline, Nov 24th is a long time away. I am off to read a bit and then head to bed. Training awaits in the AM.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Canmore Sprint Report

Six days after my first triathlon I found myself in race mode again. I definately was not as nervous about this one, pretty gald about that. The night before can't say that I slept great ....again. My wife was pretty restless and I couldnt get to sleep. Then I woke up at 4:30 to hear her coughing and vomiting. She was quit miserable and obviously not going to be coming out to Canmore with me. However I did question if I would be going at this point. I made sure that she would be ok before I went and she assured me that she would be. After a quick shower I checked with her and gave me the thumbs up. But damn I am running behind!

I had decided the day before to take my wife's car instead of my Jeep and had already loaded it up. I hopped in and turned on the tunes and thought "gawwww forgot my ipod". I like music to get me motivated and it was going to be a "long" drive. But then the music came on and it was my new "Daughtry" CD that she had bought for me...whew this will do just fine, lol. I am not going to publicly admit to how fast I drove...but I did, as the saying goes, "drive it like I stole it".

T1 setup was quick and then up to the Nordic center for the pre-race meeting and T2 set up. And then after that it was the long wait until my wave started. The race briefing was at 7:15 and I started at 10:15...ughhhh. I went down to the lake to watch the other heats and headed into T1 for one last check of my gear. I looked over and thought I recognized a gentleman a few bikes down. Can't miss that moustache....Keith! I had never met him before and knew him from blogging, but the stache is a give away!

THE SWIM

Fast forward a couple hours and its my time to start. Water felt a bit cold which made me cranky, lol. I was far less nevrvous about the swim this time. It was going to be my longest open water swim to date but I did 750m last week and knew I could do the extra 250. My sighting was much better this time, I didnt have to correct nearly as much. I just kept thinking about my techique and keeping to my plan. I didnt want to try to push the pace but rather do the distance comfortably. Another good thing this time was that I didnt care about contact in the water....its part of open water swimming that WILL happen. I felt better as the swim went on and at the finish thought I could have kept going.

SWIM TIME - Time 26:47 Pace 3:35 (74th/97)

THE BIKE

T1 was a bit faster than my last tri. One thing I might try doing is going sockless. Putting on my socks consumed the most time by far. I was glad to get out on the bike...have I ever said how much I enjoy the bike ;)? Off the bat I was feeling strong and started to pass alot of people. Thie course had much more elevation change than coral springs. On the hills I really put in the effort to get up them quickly and make some gains. I was a bit frustrated when people were riding 2 and sometimes 3 across going up them. I just made sure that no cars were coming and went around them. The volunteers on the bike course were awesome, very vocal! I liked the added challenge of the short hills this time.

BIKE TIME - Time 52:46 Avg Speed 22.7 (25th/97)

THE RUN

T2 was super quick this time and then I headed to the run. I felt surprisingly good off the bike this time but that only lasted a short period, lol. My legs felt tired and I didnt get them back until 3.5km into the run. Unfortunately it was only a 5km run :(. I wonder if the elevation change was a factor, I am geussing it was. One of the voluteers said "you're doing great, keep going!!". I replied "I have to, got no choice" and she said "Sure you do, you can lie down here" The woman next to me says " I sweat to God if you do I will too", lol. I had a good laugh there.

RUN TIME - Time 30:22 Pace 6:05 (41st/97)

Nutrition - 1 Serving GU chomps before the swim with water. On the bike 1L gatorade and some water. The run was GU chomps and water/HEED sports drink.

Overall- Position 35 of 97. I knew I would be a bit longer time due to the longer swim and more challenging course. I had a really fund day. I still would have liked to have had a better run I think but I will take it. I don't think doing 2 sprints in 6 days hurt me, I rather enjoyed it :). I am looking forward to Olympic distance in August!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Coral Springs Tri race report

So here it is...my first Triathlon race report.

Night before I decided to watch the UFC pay per view, relax and get to bed at a decent hour. Well, I did get to bed at 10:30 but damned if I could actually sleep. At this point, I can't say that I was nervous but I was thinking about everything. I have no idea what time I did fall asleep but it was late. At 6am I dragged my behind out of bed..a mixture of nerves and excitement in my head. A quick shower, some toast and my wife and I are out the door. It was nice on the way over, she sleep and I got to play my motivation music.

I get to the transition area and quickly set up my gear and then head into body marking. I had found out a day before that a girl I used to work with was doing the sprint as well so we waited in line together. I still am not that nervous at this point. After all the pre race business we headed down to the water. I look at the course and I get a bit freaked out...looked kind of far and I had some self doubt....I was nervous.

THE SWIM

First wave was the Tri-it distance racers followed by the Olympic. And before I knew it the 2 minute warning was announced for the Sprint. In all reality it turned out to be more like 30 seconds...someone defiantly was not using a watch. The horn blew and off we went. I planned on staying somewhat back and off to the side being that it was my first open water swim. I remember walking into the water, diving in and then thinking...holy $&it.....I am actually racing. It seemed like this day would never come.

Initially I felt OK. I definitely noticed the buoyancy advantage of the wetsuit...wow. I am a master scuba diver but it is defiantly not the same wet suit feeling. I was heading to the first buoy and did a look and I was off course...F^%k! Corrected and got back on track, no problem. I made the turn around the buoy without getting killed. But at this point I started to feel super tight and tired in my shoulders. I started to panic a bit in my head. I was thinking I have so far to go and I am already tired. But then I thought ok you have no choice you HAVE to do it. I knew I could do the distance. I knew I was safe but I was worried about know being able to continue. Then the drive kicked in....follow your plan and relax.

Things started to go a bit better and I started to feel better. Heading out to the second buoy I went off track again...I need to get better at sighting. Corrected and got back on track, no problem. I am feeling better and motivated. Made the turn and was heading home! I made it a point to concentrate more on sighting on the way back and it helped, definitely more straight this time. I was actually feeling better as the swim went on. My shoulders were still not used to the wetsuit but it was better. Passed the final buoy and headed for shore! I did a quick exit and then didn't look back...literally. I made it through the swim, that's all I cared about. Once I hit the sand I took off running.

SWIM TIME 18:30 (80th/128)

Running to T1
Photobucket

Hint of a smile
Photobucket

THE BIKE

I started stripping my wetsuit on my way through the transition zone and was quickly out of it when I got to my bike. I decided that I would not Rush myself and make any mistakes. All the sand had come off my feet running so I didn't have to use time cleaning them off. I quickly throw on socks, my shoes, jersey, sunglasses, helmet and then grab my bike. Just before I leave I took in a gel, drank some gel and then started heading out of T1. My plan for this leg was to hammer down and have a good ride.

I felt great from the get go! As soon as I was on my bike I was passing people left and right. My legs felt strong and I was loving it! We hit the biggest "hill" of the circuit...an overpass. It was pretty much flat after that. I got into the aero position and kept focusing on people ahead of me. One by one I catching them and passing...wahooo! After the first 5km the road got a bike rougher and the wind was a bit stronger. I didn't feel stable enough to stay down in the aero position so I stayed up and focus on keeping the bike straight and a high cadence. Quickly I came up on the turn around.

At this point there are less people ahead of me and its getting harder to pass. None the less I was still catching people. I was still feeling good and was getting more confident as the race went on. Less than 2km from the bike/run transition I finally got passed by 2 riders..they were flying! Had to happen sometime, lol. I was very sad to see the bike ending but bring on the run.

BIKE TIME 43:46 (23rd/128) Avg speed 27.4km/hr

Heading out to the bike course

Photobucket

THE RUN

The bike/run transition went well, pretty quick and easy. The legs didn't feel too bad initially until late in the first lap. I didn't cramp but just felt tired. The second lap things were back to normal. I wanted to make sure I didn't fall below 10km/h for speed and I was able to do that. I did get a bit of motivation on lap #2 though.

Right off the bat on the run I passed this one guy. On lap #2 he passed me about 1/3 into that lap. I didn't think much of it and kept my pace steady. But then I noticed as I got closer to him and was about to pass he would speed up and get ahead of me. This went on 3 or 4 times and we were getting close to the finish. I decided that there way no way I was letting him finish before me, lol. The finish turned into an all out sprint. I ran my ass off and blew but him in the chute! But we both laughed and high fived each other when we crossed.

Heading out at the start of the run
Photobucket

RUN TIME 28:49 (70th/128) Pace 5:46/km

NUTRITION

Simple for this race...had a few sports beans before the swim. Consumed one Gu gel as I got on the bike with water. On the bike took in approx 1L Gatorade using by aero drink (found this very helpful). On the run stopped approx 1.25km (lap 1) and 3.75km (lap 2) took in small amount of Ultima at the aid station. No GI issues, cramping or low energy.

Crossing the finish.....
Photobucket

OVERALL TIME 1:31:05 (39th/128)

Overall thoughts on the day.....

I need to get better at sighting but I know this will come with practice. I was happy with my swim. My plan was to get through it and hopefully get an "OK" time and I think I did this. It was a huge confidence boost to get thought my first open water swim!

Again the bike went as I thought it would. Given that I only really started cycling in Feb I think I did well. I really thought running was going to be my strong discipline but I am thinking the bike is going to be now. It seems to be getting better and better. Still a long way to go but I am ready!

The run...I would say average. Nothing extra ordinary but again it went as expected. It was pretty steady and consistent and I felt good!

Most importantly I had fun!! I need to thank my wife for being the best cheerleader ever and Coach Greg for helping me meet my first goal (thanks for reminding me to have fun and smile....I think the pics are proof that I did). I hope this all doesn't come off as being high on myself....I am just thrilled with the results. In the end I am happy with the day even if no one else had been there racing. Next race is in 4 days and I am more excited than ever.

D.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I am officially a triathlete!

Just a quick post for now. Did the Coral Springs Sprint tri today...I had a great race for me. I am pleased to say that it pretty much went how I planned it. Oh yeah...I am definitely hooked! I will post a race report when I get my times. Wahoooooooooo!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Cue "lose yourself" and go.....

Kind of a weird feeling right now. My first triathlon is in less than 24 hrs. No physical training is going to help me at this point. I know right now its all in my head. I can't lie and say that I am not nervous, my stomach is already doing some flips in waves. I know I really shouldnt be nervous....I know I can do this distance, I am not going to win anything. I do however want to place as high as I can. I want to enjoy it as my number one goal...I know I will though.

A little later I am going to head over to Coral Srpings just to drive the routes and see the transition area. After that I am going to look at cribs, lol. Right now I am more nervous about the tri than the birth, lol.

Interstingly enough, I wasnt listening to Lose Yourself as I typed this...it was "no easy way out" and "momma said knock you out". Until tommrow....

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I never really liked the taste of chlorine anyway....

Man, am I tired. I worked the last 2 nights and I figure in have had 6-7 hour sleep in the last 72 hours. Night shift kills me nowadays and given how busy it was it made it a bit more of a chore. My first night I took care of a burn patient and the second night I was the ICU charge nurse. Despite the foothills having a burn unit, we (ICU) take care of the critically ill ones that are too sick to go to that unit. These patients are often quite busy to take care of....and this was the case for me, lol. And being in charge is never my favorite role. By the end of the night I hate hearing my name. But having said that I am on days off now!

My training the last couple of days has been "adequate". Kinda hard to give it your all when you are dragging you ass. My wife had a good chuckle when she caught me nodding off watching some tv. I was switching channels and would pause to "rest my eyes' and then pick up where I left off. I am, however, still very happy with how my swimming is coming along. You have to remember that its all relative.....I am am making some big gains for me. Still no where near where I eventually want to be but I am none the less pleased. I was doing some 300m repeats yesterday and I realized that I barely swallow any pool water now. When I first started I was thinking the chlorine was going to do me in. Not to mention I can't say that I am ever thrilled with swallowing water that strangers swim in. My repeats are becoming easier but its strange that I judge my progess on how much chlorine I ingest ;).

I plan to get a good night sleep and have a good training day tommorow. My week is pretty easy since I race on Sunday but I will make sure I keep the intensity that I want. I took my bike to Bow cycle for the "bike check" today. Not sure why, I knew it was fine to race and they looked it over but there is no record keeping to tell that it had been done. And on Saturday I am going to head over to Coral Springs to do a quick drive of the run and bike course. I know I could get away with not doing it but why not.

Anyway, I short post tonight. I hear a bed calling my name and I am not going to make it wait any longer. Adios muchachos.......


D.

Friday, July 3, 2009

I am doing this for me...

I was cleaning the desk in my computer room and glanced up and noticed my favorite mug...
Photobucket

A friend game my this mug after Ironman Az last year after I told him that I wanted to train for an Ironman. The one thing he did say to me was "but you have to get your own finisher mug". That's going to be alot of work for a mug, lol. Why do we do this?? What is the motivation that keeps us going on days that we would rather do absolutely nothing?

I have asked myself that many times and I am sure I will ask myself many more times. But each time I come up with the same answer....I am doing this for me. I think I have come a long way but I don't want to stop. Training takes up alot of "free time"!! Life is going to get even more hectic with a baby on the way...and that is an ultrasound image of my future child on the monitor in the mug pic. I know there will be hard times ahead and will require me to dig deep. But I will...I look at it right now as I have no other choice. There are days that I really don't want to get on my bike or hop into the pool. But I feel so damn good when I do.

Right now I feel awesome. With the exception of a healing blister on my toes that I got running the other day, I am injury free. I have no nagging aches or pains (a quick pause to knock on my desk now). I haven't felt this good since I can't remember when. I am sooooo ready for next weeks tri. Who knows I could have the worst race of my life but I can't say that I wasn't "ready". I will be giving it 100% that day.

So on the training front...I put my race wheels on today. A pair of Reynolds strike carbon fiber rims and conti tires. Behold.....
Photobucket

I also raised my seat about 1/2 and inch after Greg suggested it. And then it was time to try it out. Today;s ride was high cadence and about 60-75 mins followed by a 20 min run...also high cadence. Raising the seat was fine, didn't notice it on the short ride, cool. The new wheels I did notice that occasionally a gust or wind would grab the wheel a bit.....not much but enough to notice. Other than that the ride really nice. I tried to keep a cadence of 100 +/- 5 and that seemed to work well. I made it back to the house at 59mins and felt moderately well. My legs were not sore from last nights hills but a but tired I guess. As for the run it was good as well. I am often shocked at how fast I am running off the bike despite feeling like my legs weight 100lbs each, lol. But that is why they call it a brick n'est pas?

Another great day to be out in the sun! I can't believe the tan I am getting...too bad its all on my arms legs and face, lol. I need to get some sun on the rest of me, lol. Tomorrow is a rest day and I am back at work. I can't complain...I go back for one day then I am off again. Speaking of work, I have to get my meals ready for tomorrow. Until next time....

D.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Finally...Cochrane hill!

S0 tonight was my first group ride. I had done a few rides with others on mountain bike rides but never on road bikes. And in addition it was hills night! Finally I was going to climb Cochrane hill. Drove up it many times but never rode up it! I was actually almost "nervous" about it...kinda almost like before a race.

I decided to just bike over from my place to the meeting point...other wise that would just be lazy considering its just around the corner, lol. It was good to meet a couple of the other legend athletes (Darryl and Trevor). Greg showed up and then the four of us were off. Easy ride out there thanks to a bit of a tail wind. Since this was my first group ride, Greg gave me a quick drafting lesson. I can see how this helps when riding in a pack....no wonder it's a racing no no.

So we get to the top of the hill and we are off!! I am still getting used to the speed, no doubt about it. My max speed was 60km/hr. And yes I was on the brake levers quite a bit. The unfortunate thing about where I work is that I see what happens to people that crash at high speeds...be it car, motorbike, road bike, etc... I have to almost get this out of my head and get comfortable in my abilities first. Last thing I want to do is end up in the very ICU I work in...and since we are the only Trauma ICU in southern Alberta...I would be going there, lol. My coworkers would have a field day with me, lol. Anyway....back to the ride.

I knew I would be riding the hills solo, I know my speed and I cool with that. The guys were on their first trip up when I got to the bottom. A quick turn around and I was on my way up. I ain't gonna lie...I was dipping into the granny gears. But I did shift out of them for periods to make it a bit harder and would stand it up for a bit a well. I knew my heart was pumping hard, I maxed out at 178. As I was getting to the top, the rest were heading down (thanks for the encouragement guys). A quick drink at the top and I dropped back in.

Second time down was a bit better...a little more comfortable. The second climb wasn't too bad, a little more tired for sure but I was still feeling good. On the way up Greg met me near the top and gave me some climbing pointers. Always good to get a little feedback. I have never really learned proper technique in cycling, swimming or running for that matter. I guess that's why I have a coach now ;). Once at the top we stopped, had a drink and decided to head back down about half way. I didn't look at my timer to see how long it was taking each time. I figured it was close to 20 mins but Greg though more like 13 (looking at my garmin it was about 14)Trevor and Darryl were making their way back up from #3. A quick turn around and we were following...and then finally at the top!

I was surprised that my legs felt as good as they did on the trip back. I think it just shows that my conditioning is getting better. My thighs feel good...I can feel a bit of tiredness in my hips. Funny because Greg suggested bringing my seat up a bit to help prevent this. I am sure that tomorrow I will be feeling it, lol. The group ride turned out to be a good boost. On the way out and back I know I was travelling at a faster speed then my average and I felt great. It really makes me want to push hard during the Coral Springs Tri.

Thanks to Greg, Darryl and Trevor for making my first group ride a fun one.!!

D.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Awesome Canada Day run!

Today was a run day. I was actually looking forward to a longer run. It seems that I always hate the first 20 minutes or so but then I get warmed up and into the groove. I had planned on heading down to Glenmore landing and running the reservoir but then figured I might as well do the run from Edworthy to Center street. This way I could check out the Canada events down in Eau Claire. Maybe not the smartest move, lol.

The run down there was pretty uneventful, lots of people out and about. But as I got close to Eau Claire I was mobbed. Sooo many people out!! Luckily I was able to, for the most part, run through them. Things thinned out just before the center street bridge. The weather was perfect today though!! I put my run off (yet again) until the afternoon to let things warm up a bit. The only thing that wasn't good about today was my heart rate. I had an average of 154 which was high for me. I didn't feel that I was that "stressed". I will just keep an eye on that! I did 15km in just under 90 mins. I took it somewhat easy and didn't push it today. Overall a really enjoyable run !

Tomorrow evening is my first group ride.....hills! I am glad to get out with the team. I have a feeling that I will be the slowest but I will do what I can. This will be my first time climbing Cochrane hill....I am pretty sure I am ready, lol. This week had been a good training week and I am glad. Ten days until my first Tri!! It feels like I have been training forever for it (if you consider February forever, lol). I am excited yet nervous at the same time. The bike and run don't bother me. Even though I know I can actually do the distance, the swim still in on my mind. I guess that is normal? I am trying to think positively...those that beat me in the swim, I will hammer them on the bike/run, lol ( or try to anyway ;) ).

On the home front I mowed the back yard and went and picked up a new tree to plant there. Our last tree we planted there died. It was a Crimson Maple...we decided this time NO MAPLES!!! What did we come home with you ask?.....I frickin' Maple. Hopefully this one lives. Tomorrow morning I will get that sucker in the ground and then we shall see what happens.

From the True North strong and free......Dan out!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hot damn I love the sun.....

So my plan for the day was to get up for a run and then head down to the pool for a swim. Well when I took the dogs out this morning I quickly decided that the run would not happen until this afternoon. It was about 10 deg and windy! I have become a fan of heat my friends! So I decided to take the morning easy and then start my day this afternoon.

I headed on down to the Talisman Center about 2 pm and the parking lot was packed. Aww crap...I hate it when the place is crazy. And sure enough it was for a swim meet. Luckily the training pool had a bunch of lanes open, 25 m lanes, but open none the less. I ended up having a really good swim again today. Greg had mentioned that at some point things would come together and I think finally it is! Kick ass! Did some lengths and drills for about an hour in total and then it was off for a run!

When I left the pool I was pretty glad to find that it was warming up. I tell ya, since losing 90lbs I always feel cold! I seem to function better when the temp is at least 20deg C. I ended up doing 10.5km in 55 mins with the first 30 mins being easy and then stepped it up for the last half. I was going to do an even hour but I ran into a friend walking her dog. I was essentially back at my Jeep so I called it a day.

It was a great day to be out (once it warmed up). I like running with others but sometimes it is so good just to throw on my earphones, hit the tunes and run. Its is nice to either get lost or do some deep thinking, depending on what you want. I try to do some training with music and some without. I don't want to be a person that is dependant on it. I try to mix up my playlists every couple of weeks or so. Hmmm maybe I will start posting up the weekly playlist.

Tommorow I have a 90min run on the books. I will try to get this one done early so that I can try to get some yardwork done. Getting this yard done is a distant second to Tri training, lol. But I have to get it done...I want it to end this summer! Next summer I want to be able to focus on my family and training and not about flowers beds, lol.

D.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Good training ...bad luck

Well have been pretty good the last few days on the training front....well kinda...but I will get to that. Saturday was a pretty good brick. Rode out to the top of Cochrane hill and then took 262 back twice. A good ride but damn that headwind was fierce. I have to admit that it was a little unnerving a couple of times, I would get an occasional crosswind that almost sent me off my bike. I struggled to keep 25km/h heading out there but 45km/hr coming back was easy! My run afterwards was short but good.

Sunday...not a great day. My wife had planned for us to meet up with some of her friends from work for lunch downtown. I was going to head to swim right after that so we took separate vehicles. Went and had some awesome dim sum and then it was time to get to the pool. Opened up my Jeep door and saw stuff from my glove box and console spread all over my drivers seat. Instantly I knew someone had been in my Jeep......F&#&^!!!!! On the initial look nothing seemed to have been missing...wow..cool. Then I took another look in my glove box and noticed my ipod was gone. I am more than a little pissed at this point but not much I can do...luckily it was my 3 year old ipod video and not my iphone. But on even closer inspection I see that they cut the connector from my stereo to the ipod. They could have just unplugged it but no they had to cut it.

This really, really pissed me off. To be 100% honest, if given the chance, I would physically hurt the person. Some people may say that this is an over reaction, that it is just an ipod. And to some degree I can understand that. However, given my personality I look at this as more of a threat and I don't deal well with those. I think I would have been perfect for the military, lol. I have a conscience but I would have no problem dishing out "justice", lol. How did I end up being a nurse? At that point my day was shot from a training perspective...I was far too angry to do anything. Went home and did hours of yard work instead. I missed a swim day which I didn't like doing but it was probably the best choice.

Ok now for today!! Another brick day....wahooooo! Did a 2.5 hour ride and then a 25 min run. The ride was good but dang ...windy again. The run was here in Tuscany which means hills no way to avoid them here. And it was my first run with the new shoes. Quite a difference running in the new shoes! Glad I remembered to get a new pair. Overall a good day.

Tomorrow is swim/run day. Looking forward to getting back in the pool after missing the other day! Then its come home and do more yard work, lol....I swear its never ending.

Until next time....Stay classy Calgary.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Wow.....all I can say is wow!

Wow what a day! I started this one off by going to an ultrasound appointment with my wife. She works at a radiology clinic so she was already being scanned when I got there. All I can say is....wow. Nothing has ever made me feel what I experience when I see my future child moving around in utero. I was always somewhat indifferent about having kids...now I would cut my own teeth out for that child. We are not finding out the sex, why run one of the best surprises in life. Definately the highlight of our day!

On the training front I had a pretty good day as well. Started off with an hour swim. I am so glad my swim is progressing. I am swimming longer distances and not expending anywhere near the energy I used to! Again many thanks to Greg for the help! I used to dread swimming...used to have to sit in my jeep for a few minutes and get myself ready for it, lol. Now I actually like it, lol.

After the swim I went for a 55min run in Tuscany. I was supposed to do 40-50 mins but I decided to run a route I hadn't run prior. My running has become a chore at times. I had been running the same routes and places and that was getting a bit boring. I think since I have been enjoying the swim and cycling more, my desire to run had died a bit. But today helped alot. My schedule has a 90 min run next week..I think I will hit the Glenmore reservior that day. I always enjoy that run!

I managed to find time to pick up some new runners today as well. I have become a big fan of the Saucony Triumphs but I always seem to have a hard time finding my size (8.5). It can be quite a PIA at times. I yesterday realized that my current pair was 7 months old and had alot of km's...it was definately time for a new pair! The tech shop only had 8 or 9 so I hit a running room and luckily they had a pair! I just have to put my Yankz laces in them and I will be good to go! I have decided that I am done with regular laces. They ALWAYS come undone no matter how I tie them. And I really get annoyed with laces flopping around.

This evening, after dinner, I had a fire in out back yard. When I bought my house I put a fire pit in the back yard. Myself and a friend layed about 500 paving stones for a base and then I put a pit in the middle. I absolutely love just sitting around it listening to music. I don't care if anyone else is there, lol. I geuss in a way it reminds me of camping. Great for get togethers too!

So tommorow is a brick workout for me. Two hours on the bike and 20 mins run..sweet. Followed by lots of yardwork, lol. I have to built flower beds, pathways blah blah blah. It seriously bites into my training time, lol.


Until next time.....D.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A rest day....

So today is a rest day from training but not from work. We all have an idea of what nurses do but not many really know what an ICU nurse does. We tend to be a different breed...on one hand we are type A...if $hi^ needs to get done...we do it! On the other hand it's amazing how low someone's blood pressure can go before we need to care. In general we work in ICU because we like taking care of critcally ill patients...the sicker the better! Don't get me wrong..I don't want people to get sick for my enjoyment...more like if they are sick I don't mind being their nurse!

Today was one of those day though that make me glad when the end of the day was near. My patient was far from "sick" (remember...in ICU sick is a relative term). He was confused and aggitated and really driving me nuts. I can't say that on days when I patient tries to kick me in the head that I love my job.

I almost wish I has some training to do tonight but it was a day of rest. I feel a bit lost on my rest days. Tommorow is only hours away and I am ready to get going. I am pretty sure I will be back in the pool tommrow and a run in there maybe. At 11am I am going to be meeting my wife for her last ultrasound. A bit of history...my wife is 18 weeks pregnant....can't believe I am going to be a dad! So after that I will be going out for a good day of training. And I need to pick up a new pair of runners too!

Not much to say tonight...I think I will relax but playing some video games. I am not really a "gamer" so that is weird for me. Or maybe I will sit on the deck and listen to some tunes. Good training days for everyone!

D.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ethics and cycling....

Today was supposed to be a day off but I had signed up for an ethics workshop for the ICU where I work (I am a Trauma ICU RN for those of you that may not know me). Ethics fascinate me...how do we determine what is "right or wrong". In my job I do many things that I think are just but also many things that makes me think something is not right. Sometimes I give the impression that I don't care but I am learning that I often care too much.

The day consisted of a lecture from a philosopher, an ICU physican and a lawyer. All provided slightly different thoughts for dealing with ethics dilemmas. However they all pretty much agreed that not all law is ethical and not ethics does not always follow law. We did a hypothical case study of a 17 year old boy in a serious car accident that would die without a blood transfusion. Ahhh but he is of the Jehovah's witness faith and does not want a transfusion. He is carrying a witnessed card, signed by him that states this, verbally stated that he does not want it and had a parent present that does not want him to have blood. He is beginning to "crash" and will die iminently without blood....what are you going to do???? Are you going to transfuse him or not...make your mind up quick....you have minutes to decide.

So that was the majority of my day. I skipped out early so I could get my ride in before dinner. Talk about great weather...not too hot and the sun is shining!! Hopped on the bike and headed out the 1A. I am getting more and more comfortable on my bike. I love schedule days that have a long ride! Today I did alot of thinking about the ethics day. I can't help but think that there may be a day when I cannot continue in ICU because of the things I have to do that I don't really agree with.

Nothing particularly exciting about todays ride. I came back on road 262 to add some rolling hills into the mix. That felt quite nice...I used to hate hills and now I don't mind them at all. The wind was playing a bit of havoc with me but it's something I need to get used to. The second loop was even more windy !!The ride was supposed to be 2-3 hours...I felt ok with 2.5 and called it a day ;).

As of now I am about 2 1/2 weeks out from my first Tri....starting off with Sprint. I feel like I am ready. Alot of training and hard work has been leading up to this. I am ready to rock it ( and by rock it, I mean give it all I have). I am confident with my running and cycling for this...lets just hope the swim follows suit.

Dan......out!

PS In the Province of Alberta, legally the 17 year old must recieve that life saving transfusion despite his and his parents objection....this is also the case in 2 other Canadian provinces.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Not a great start....

OK so its been a bit since I posted. But I figure that no one is reading at this point, lol. None the less I think writing this might be good therapy....help me reflect on things. Life has been good the past couple of weeks. Training has been going well and managed to get a couple of races in there too.



The first race was the Footstock Duathlon in Cochrane. It was my first multisport race and man, was I pumped. The weather turned out to be awesome and I had a good race. The first 5.5 km was an uphill grind for a little bit....good thing I don't mind them, lol. Coming up to the first transition I felt pretty good and was ready to hop on the bike.

Photobucket

The transition went well except fiddling with my helmet strap for a minute. Ran to the mount line and off I went. Things were going well but very quickly I started to get some bad cramps in my calves. I have to admit I was a bit freaked out by this, could not help but wonder how this would affect my race. But very quickly I decided I would not let it stop me. I stretched them out the best I could while still turning my legs. Luckily they went away...for now.

I felt better and better as the bike went on....I was starting to pass people...woot! And strangely enough...passing people on hills. I was keeping a cadence and speed that I normally don't. It's amazing what race adenaline can do. I made it to the turn around and heard them call out my split. I can't remember what they said but I do remember thinking...pick it up!

Photobucket

I am by no means a strong cyclist so the thought of someone drafting off me kinda annoyed me. Very soon after the turn around, a guy tried to kling to me like white on rice. I passed a couple of people and he followed suit...right behind me. He was making no attempt to pass evene after I slowed slightly to see if he would. Enough of that...I stood up and hammered down..that was the end of that. I never saw him again.

I was almost back to transition and I was somewhat sad the bike leg was over. I really enjoyed it (later I learned that I was #44 of 178..kinda of a big thing for me). I was approaching the dismount line and unclipped and started to bring my leg over the seat. That didnt go as I have planned! I must have clipped back in on my left foot...when I was swinging my leg over I delievered a nice round house to my seat mounted water bottle. Luckily my left foot then unclipped and I caught myself. I kinda laughed to myself and shook my head.

After a quick transition I headed back on the run course. My legs felt dead...going back up hills. And those cramping calves came back with a vengence. I run when I could and walked when I had to. Finally the uphill turned flat and then downhill. I felt better the closer I got to the finish.

Photobucket

I was happy with my 2:08 finish. I am now a Duathlete! One more sport to add!


So a week passes and I had signed up for a marathon relay. The fallen 4 relay was to rememeber four RCMP officers that were gunned down in the line of duty. I knew none of my team but I really though this was a good cause. I ended up getting the longest/hardest leg...12.7km with a majority of it being up hill. My calves had just recovered from the Footstock Du and it wa stime to put them back into action.

I woke up early to drive down to the opening ceremonies. My wife informed me that the rain was coming down quite hard...$%#T!!! I am the type of person that will pretty much do whatever in any condition...but that doesn't mean I have to like it. I headed down to the opening and waited for the race to start. It was a staggered start and I headed out to my relay checkpoint to wait.

Geussing that I had at least 2 hours to wait I tried to nap...nope didn't work. After what seemed like enternity I got out of the vehicle and stood waiting for my leg 2 runner. I wasnt sure who was handing off to me...I had not met anyone from my team other than the guy who I replaced (he had to drop out for medical reasons). Lucikly he was at the checkpoint and pointed out the runner as she approached.

So off I go...its raining and 10 deg C. I started off pretty stiff let me tell ya. After a short flat period, the climb started. But in all reality, it wasnt that bad. The rise turned out to be quit gradual and its a nicely paved highway!! After about 5km I was starting to feel good. I wan't cold anymore and was passing people left and right. The hill peaked around 10km and the downhill was awesome!!! I was able to make up some time there! I finished my leg in 1:08! After quick high five to yet another person I didnt know, I was done!

I hopped in the car and headed back to my in laws place to quickly change into dry clothes. Then we all headed over to the finish to meet up with my team. I found the runners from the first 2 legs and we waited for our 4th leg to come in. I could tell she had a rough run but she wanted to finish strong!! As she approached the chute we joined her and ran across the line as a team at 4:35 (I think). Not bad considering no one on my team had ever run a race before except me!

I dont race for the medals themselves but more the memories they represent. But this one seemed to bring me more pride than any of the other ones I had recieved. I am thankful for the law enforcement officers that put their lives on the line to protect us. If me running can help pay tribute to their honour its the least I can do. One of my most rewarding races but one that I really wish I had never had the reason to run.

Ok so back to the present...I have a 3 hour bike ride on the books for tommorow. I am looking forward to it!! I had a great swim today and a "meh" run but that is life. My last swim session with Greg helped tremedously!! I actually think I can do it now, lol. Anyway...I have an early and busy day tommorow...time to call it a day.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Here goes nothing.....

So how this all started....

Over a year ago I felt like crap. I was 35, overweight (270lbs) and hypertensive. I went to see my new Doctor and wow what a wake up. When you are told that you have a 100% chance of becoming diabetic if you don't lose weight...not cool. Being an ICU nurse made that a hard pill to swallow. I had already decided that I needed to change my lifestyle but this reinforced it. My doctor considered putting me on meds for my blood pressure but decided to give me time to make some changes...here is how it went.

First this I did was sign up for a gym membership. One of the hardest things I initially did. I found it very intimidating at first. I didnt realize how my self esteem had plunged until I started training. Props to my friend Bryan for being there for me 100% . It really helped having a friend push me to not give up!

The next thing I did was join SFL (Simply for Life) and get eating healthy! And somewhat like gym experience...I didnt realize how bad my eating was! This is where I met Leslie, my nutritional consultant and now teammate. Leslie was instrumental teaching me how to eat healthy and always offered encouragement. Althought I was there for nutrition, we always ended up talking about training. I don't know if she knows how much I appreciated this.

After a very short period of time, I noticed that the weight was actually coming off. I was dropping 2-5 lbs a week......wahoooooooo. My training was progressing as well!! When I first started running I would have to run a lap and then walk a lap (A 237 m track) and could only do this twice, lol. I found this very discouraging . So I decided that every day before weight training I would do 20 mins on a stationary bike. Well, one day I decided to try and see how the running would be.....I did 5 freaking laps!! For me, at the time, that was HUGE! Next day I did 10....then 15! I think then my desire to run started.

I started running outside.......weird feeling. I drove myself down to Edworthy park and started to run. Did my first 5km run there....I was beaming. Each day I progressed a little more...wow now I am up to 7km! I knew I wanted more though and thought of ways to keep motivated.

A couple of people at work had mentioned putting together a running group.....seemed interesting to me. One day I approached one of the people...Detlef...an ex German special forces, now nurse and current endurance athlete. A rather intimidating guy until you get to know him! He has done his fair share of IM races (24 at the moment) , Powerman, Marathon des Sables..etc..... You would think running with him he would leave you in the dust and wait for you at the end. Truth is, he was either right beside you or one step behind you making sure you were ok. I ran a number of races with Detlef and can't thank him enough for all the support. He is one of the huge reasons behind my Ironman goal. In case you ever read this D., you always let me finish first, thanks my friend.

So at this point I am at my goal weight and I decided yes! ...I want to train for an Ironman! Leslie gave me the name of her coach.....IronGreg. After more thinking about it I emailed Greg and told him of my goal. Greg offered nothing but encouragement from the start! And then I became a member of the Legend Coaching team!

So fast forwarding a few months and lots of training...here I am. The only thing that has changed is I train more than before, lol. Thats my story so far, I am sure there is more to come.