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.


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!


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.