Saturday, December 25, 2010

Today's run is optional...did I do it or opt out?

I did not do it....yet. Just waiting for some turkey to digest and then I am heading down to the basement to get on the treadmill. It is only an easy 30-40 min run so its not a big deal. I had a great day with my family so I can feel better about not ignoring them on the holiday. Logan, at 13 months, just is not into the whole present opening just yet. The best part of the day was watching him running around the house with the new boxes and wrapping paper he got...forget the toys. Later in the day my wife cooked an awesome turkey dinner....I wished she cooked more she is great at it! And then lots of calls from both sides of the family, nice to hear from everyone!

We just put Logan to bed so I have some time to kill before I run. So why not try put a entry into my poor, neglected blog. Things on the training front have been awesome!!! I am feeling very strong and quite healthy. I have to admit that I am feeling good about running again. Its coming back, I really did need to tell myself to HTFU.

I am rocking what is essentially a new bike now. My old bike had a bit of an accident (its ok it was the bike and not me). It is amazing how carbon fiber splinters under pressure (insert sad face here). The only damage was the frame so all of my components were moved to teh new frame. I got a 2010 Kuota Kfactor racing edition. Luckily, Roy at Eurotech cycle, was able to get a portion covered under the crash replacement policy (even though it wasnt a crash). If anyone ever wants to know what happened I will tell you if I see you in person...I need to see the reaction when I tell you. But the good news it was only a few days until I was back in the saddle again...wheeewwww. I was going through withdrawal already.

My swim is coming along. I am just need to keep plugging away at it. I am feeling better about it everyday. Still swim just to get to my bike though, lol.

I am looking forward to my next race at this point. I am doing the Hypothermic Half in Feb. It will be my third time doing this one. I wish it was still at the Eau Claire start vs the Fort Calgary location but I will still run it. Races help keep me focused and the helps break up the winter.

Anyway I think it is time to get on the treadmill. I need to burn off some stuffing. And there are only 246 days until Ironman Canada ;).

Friday, November 19, 2010

I think I missed a few months....

Well I have been a little neglectful of this blog to sat the least. Keith made a comment a few weeks ago about my blog being lonely. Life is my only feeble excuse. It is still busy as ever trying to manage a family, work and get my training in. I don't think I need more hours in a day rather more days in a week.

In order to save some time and typing here is what I have been up to........

August - Volunteered at IMC in the medical tent. Lots of fun to see the race from that point of view.

Sept - Raced the Banff olympic distance tri....cold. Nothing like 11 deg water to almost stop your heart. Also ran the Melissa's 22km road race...not sure why it is so popular, kind of an average race. Went for broke and paid for it in the end...walked the majority for the last 2km. I knew it was a possibility that would happen but I wanted to go hard just to see.

Oct - Kind of took a little break after Melissa's for a couple or weeks. Mid month I started to get back into training and then got a nasty cold.....sidelined. Near the end of the month got news that my father in law had a chest xray and CT that was very suspicious of lung cancer. Lots of stress in the whole family meant lots of stress for me. Good news, first biopsy is non cancerous...bad news still do not know what it is. But I am convinced that my father in law taught Chuck Norris everything he knows.

Nov- My son's first birthday!!! I loved this little guy more and more each day. I smile just watching him sleep. One of the highlights of the day is when he is just about ready for bed and I get to sit down in the chair with him until he falls asleep.....awesome. Bad news.....hurt my back at work last week. I was walking around my patients bed and then had instant and severe pain in my lower back/butt/hip. Had to take a couple days off work and stop training for about 5 days. Good news....I am back to training and the back is about 95% better. It feel sore at times but no pain. I think today it might actually be "normal" now that I think of it. Funny how antsy I get when I cannot train.

But right now I am getting into a good routine. Hopefully things will be smooth sailing. Work is busy as always. I work 2 days, work 2 nights and then I am off for 5 days. My family time is pretty limited during my work stretch, my son is in bed when I get home from days, he is at the day home when I am sleeping when I work nights. I do manage to get some training in during my work stretch but the majority comes on my days off.

Here is a typical "day off"

04:00 - Feed my son a night bottle when he wakes up (usually around this time)
07:30 - Logan is up for the morning and so am I. Get him ready to take him to the day home
08:30 - Drop Logan off at the day home
08:45 - Breakfast
09:15 - Head to the gym for strength training
11:00 - Head home
11:30 - walk dogs
12:00 - Lunch, laundry, clean
13:00 - swim/bike/run depending on schedule
16:30 - pick up Logan from day home
17:00 - fed son, make dinner for wife, clean house
18:00 - eat dinner, play with Logan
19:00 - bath Logan
19:30 - Time for bedtime (Logan, not me)
20:00 - spend time with wife
21:00 - get Logan's things ready for the day home
22:00 - A little web surfing, reading or music to wind down
23:00 - bed time (for me)

Of course this is not set in stone and there are lots of other little things in there. But that is an average day. I have sat down many times to write blog update but just didnt have the energy at the end of the day. Maybe my time management will improve and in turn my blogging will?

For now I am doing what I can to keep this juggling act going. My next race is the hypothermic half marathon in Feb. For some reason I really like this one, it is a good off season run to keep me motivated. Other than that I am signed up for the Great White North half ironman and small race called Ironman Canada ;). Yeah....the next year is going to be just a bit crazy!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Tripolar disorder

No its not a mental disorder but it really is all in my head....I think. My personal view on triathletes is that we are "jack of all trades" individuals. We are good at all but master of none. If you put the best athlete of each individual discipline against the best in triathlon, chances are the triathlete would not come out on top. Put them all together and then the triathlete shines.

We all have our favorite/best area in the sport. My desire to swim is largely just to get to my bike. While I like swimming more now than ever, still so much to work on. The bike has become my love. I have so much fun when I get to hammer and just go. I still have so much to learn about cycling however. Descents tend to make my stomach knot...its the speed you see. I am sure in time that will change...or I hope it will. But what of the run?

I guess in a way I started out as a runner. I credit it as being a huge factor in my weight loss. I remember running my first continuous I wanted to be able to run because I was never able to before. It also seemed to be a great example of endurance. I also remember the first time I ran a half marathon without stopping. But right now that is just a memory.

At this point I know I would have to stop/walk on a long run. I have really made big gains on the swim and bike. Maybe at a cost of a bit of the run. Here is where the Tripolar disorder comes into play. Trying to find time for 3 sports and not focusing on one. It does become a bit of a task to manage all three. The good part of having a coach is having someone to largely take care of that. But he one thing your coach can't do is make you like them all.

I am just not feeling the run love right now. I seem to go in cycles with this. Right now my running just seems so much harder than ever before. I did an 8km run yesterday and it felt horrible. I know that I am not even a week out from the Calgary 70.3 but I still didn't like the feeling. Running used to seem effortless.

But right now I can't tell if its some degree or running deconditioning or if its all in my head. Am I just giving up when I think I am having trouble or am I really not running well. I am having hard time selling myself that its deconditioning. I seem to be doing really well (for me) in the other areas.

So what am I going to do about it?!?!? Talked to my coach and we are going to add another run into my schedule. I am planning on doing some 10km/half marathon races in the fall/winter to work on some speed and to keep me racing while in the tri off season. And just a small more immediate playlist. Music usually is a good motivator for me. One of my new favorite songs is Debonaire by Dope. Definitely not a song for everyone but I like really like the sound.

Anyway...enough whining...I have a kick a@@ playlist to finish.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Calgary 70.3

I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to race this one due to work but I managed to get a shift trade that helped me out. I worked the day before the race and was home by 8pm and in bed by 9:30. I almost had to literally drag my behind out of bed at 3:30am to make it to the Dalhousie bus at 4:15. When I got up and looked outside it was dry...get out of the shower....rain. The 60% chance of rain is now 100% I guess, lol. The bus ride out to the start was nice and quiet, but I didn't nap, lol.

It's still lightly raining as we arrive at Ghost lake. T1 is dark and muddy...awesome. I get set up and then run into a few friends and it seems like its go time, well, after the pro's are off. I can't believe how fast it seemed that countdown went! But now its time to get going.


Right off the bat there is lots of contact in the water. Doesn't really bother me now, I actually think I am getting used to it and really expect it. I know right away that I made a mistake but grabbing my tinted goggles. What the hell was I thinking??? Had the sun been out and not so cloudy I think it would have been ok but that was not the case. And to top it all off the lenses were fogging big time. I had to stop a couple of time to defog them. Overall it definitely affected my sighting. I did find it hard to navigate around the boats in the water. Lesson learned for next time.

Swim time - 45:30

T1 - 4:50

Everything was wet and if it was previously dry it was now wet. My dry socks and bike shoes were soaked even before I made it out of transition. Wet grass and mud...damn you mother nature. The only "dryish" area is the carpets leading in/out of T1. As we are coming out of T1 to the mount line one not so considerate guy stops right in the middle of the carpet to turn on and adjust his bike computer and block everyone behind him..seriously dude, you could not wait?? Anyway now its time to ride.


The plan was again to start off relatively easy and then ramp it up. Slick roads make me pretty nervous. Although cycling is my best discipline I am no Lance Armstrong. I am not super confident in my bike handling yet. I basically did what my comfort zone allowed me to do. I know that I was holding back on the bike. But I kept saying to myself...finish the race, don't let it finish you.

The course itself is not that hard. All the hills are fairly gentle and not really that long. On areas that were flat or dry I tried to hammer through those areas and it helped. At one point, I was pretty much hating the ride...I was getting wet, cold from the rain and then it really got enjoyable when we had some small stinging hail. I could barely see out of my sunglasses at times but I hate not riding with eye protection.

Throughout the bike I was feeling ok physically. My breathing was good and the legs were turning. No cramps so I was happy. Mentally I was not happy. I hated the weather and was severely disappointed by the last of drafting officials and the number of drafters/blockers. In a way I kind of expected it because it seems to be a common complaint with WTC/Ironman races. Not like the GWN where I swear there were more draft Marshall's than riders, lol.

One case that made me ticked was when I was passed by what was a pace line of 4 riders. They pulled ahead of me and then dropped in line about a wheel length ahead of me. I dropped back to the 7m distance so I was drafting and then they slowed down so I decided to pass. This went on 3 f'ing times. Finally I had enough I hammered down and called them out and asked how that drafting was working for reply.

A few minutes later we were turning onto Glenmore so I slowed down to make the turn and take a quick last drink. Sure enough the draft pack passes me and one of the girls says...hey Dan how is your race going?? My reply was "I am having fun enjoying my race and not someone else's". If you want to cheat fine...just annoying when they are affecting your race....don't pass and then slow down(repeatedly). I was ok with my bike time at the course is a little long and I was not 100% with the conditions.

Bike Time - 2:59:31

T2 - 2:00

Kinda like at T1 everything was wet but not muddy here. I had actually put an extra pair of socks into my T2 bag but decided to to change socks as I thought the would just get wet during the change. I could have been a few seconds faster if I had not pondered the sock issue.


Unlike my last Half IM, I felt pretty good off the bike...and luckily no cramps! At about KM 1 I ended up talking to this one guy and that lasted 20 more Km's. We were both running at the same pace and it was good company. We were basically joking around and motivating each other. About 15km into the run he was hurting and told me to go ahead but I chose to stay and walk his issue out. It wasn't a long break and I welcomed it anyway. We both agreed that there was no way we were running the hills in Weaselhead, lol.

We made it back into North Glenmore and I was so happy to see my wife and son on the side of the run course. I ran up and gave my little boy a big kiss when brought out a big "AWWWWWWW" from all the ladies in the area. I told my wife later I was going to say she was my sister and ask for phone numbers...she laughed but boy did I get an eye roll from her, lol. Seeing them was a huge boost for me.

I was still feeling ok but then as Dexter says "my dark passenger" came out. I started to cramp in my hamstrings...usually its my quads but whatever, it hurt. It brought me to a walk a few times and I told Nathan (the guy I was running with) to keep going but he said there was no way he was going on without me. I totally wish this guy lived in Calgary (live in Saskatoon), I think he would be an awesome training partner.

Not long after we were back to running and the finish line was in sight. Just before the finishers shoot I told him I had another cramp and to keep going. I totally didn't and just wanted to give him a chance to cross the line and grab the banner alone. It was his first Half and the extra few seconds would not kill me, lol. The few seconds later that I crossed was some hand shakes and congrats. One of the girls at the finish was a trainer who works at the gym I used to go to. She bravely gave sweaty me a big hug and then took my chip.

Even though I found the run to be a hard one I enjoyed it. It was great seeing people I know racing and getting motivation from it. So many people on the run were telling each other , good run, looking great, keep going, we are almost done, etc... With names being on the bibs, alot of people were calling each other by name. Lots of love on the run today, lol.

Run Time - 2:22:31

FINAL TIME 6:14:22

Overall thoughts....

I definitely made a mistake with the goggles but it was a lesson learned. I am otherwise happy with the swim. The bike was frustrating to say the least. I wish I had more confidence to push as hard as I would like to. The weather conditions aren't something that you can order up for race day and you have to deal with what you are given. I just have to get better at doing that. Maybe I need to ride more in the rain, lol. The drafters will always be there and I have to accept that. The run was neutral I am not thrilled or unhappy. But I do think I need to get my run back to where I want it to be.

I am glad I got the chance to do this race. As for next year, I am not sure I will do it again. I enjoyed it more after the finish then I did during the race itself. Not sure why I feel this way, could be a combination of things I geuss. I am not disappointed in my time despite it being 25 mins slower than my GWN time. It's a different course under different conditions. Next year will be focused on IMC so my race schedule is going to be alot slower.

I am looking forward to ramping up the training again and voluntering at IMC. Hopefully I will ever get a few good training days in while out there. Still debating if I am going to race next weekend at Lake Chaparral, we will see how the recovery goes. I am feeling pretty good today (tuesday) and should be normal by tomorrow. No time to rest...IMC signup is less than a month away ;).

Monday, July 5, 2010

Great White North Race Report

It's funny how waiting for a certain event to happen it seems like forever and then before you know it, bamn its here. Thats what I felt like with the GWN half iron. I was glad when the day to race was finally here. I tried to get a good night sleep the night before, I think I managed 5-6 hrs but I felt fairly rested. I arrived at the transition area right at 6am and was very quickly set up and ready to go. I bumped into my friend Dave and then Dusty and Adrian who also train with my coach. Dave and I had been trash talking for months about this race and it was continuing on before the start, lol. I hopped in the water for a quick warmup and then it we were herded into the start area.

THE SWIM (46:51 512/627)

I seeded myself at the back of the first half. Right off the bat there was lots of contact. Triathlon swim can definately be a contact sport, lol. I can't say that it really bothered me, I am getting more used to it now. I did manage to get a nice kick in the ribs as I was passing someone but it was not something that affected me. The turn around the first bouy was what I expected...congested. People just doggy paddling around it. I made it through there fairly quickly on the outside. After the turn there was still a fair bit of contact but it was starting to thin out a bit. The rest of the swim was pretty uneventful. I was feeling good coming out of the water and was looking forward to getting on my bike. Exiting was pretty smooth, I had my wetsuit down to my hips as I crossed the mat and was stripped and on my way in quick order.


I thought that my transition was on the slower side but my wife said I was in and out very quickly. I decided to put socks on here versus before the run to save some time later. I took a few extra seconds to towel my feet off and then get into my shoes. It did feel smooth but I felt slow.

THE BIKE (2:45:37 173/627)

I was soooo happy to get on my bike. The plan was to stay in the small chain ring for a little bit to give the legs a warm up. I did this for about 10 mins and then it was time to hammer. My legs were feeling warm and ready to go. Once I turned off highway 16 and headed towards Stoney Plain all I saw was a line of riders. I started to pass people left and right. It was easy to get a nice pace going considering how flat the course is. I had driven the course the day before and I knew what to expect. Heading out I could see some dark clouds in the distance. I was just hoping that we didnt get rained on and thankfully we didnt.

The little valley we had to cross over was nothing compared to what I have been doing on my training rides. I stood up a couple of times on the way up but that was more to stretch out the legs than out of necessity. I was 2km from the turn around when I saw my friend Dave..4km on me...I can make that up, lol. One not so fun moment was on the way back I was flying downhill and catching up to another rider. As I approached they moved over, for what I thought was to let me pass. Turns out they moved to avoid the rumble strips that I hit about 55km/h. I had a brief wobble but managed to keep it together. I hate those damn things.

I was still feeling pretty good so I decided to step it up a bit. With a bit of a tailwind and a slight down grade I was able to cruise at 40+ km/hr for a nice bit of time. Once we made the last turn back into town I had to turn it down a notch because of the crosswind and the road condition. I was leaning into the wind just to keep a straight course. But not much longer I was turning into the residential area and headed towards transition. I dropped into my small chain ring to spin my legs out.


As I approached the transition area they volunteers were all ready to take me to my run gear. The voluteer took me to my bike and then asked me if I needed help. I was fine but talk about great volunteers. I felt like this transition was one of my best..nice and quick. I am not sure what my time was I forgot to hit my lap button.

THE RUN (2:17:02 470/627)

I was feeling quite good when I initially started the run. My coach was there to give some encouragement and to let me know my friend Dave was just ahead ;). I quickly caught up to my friend and we started some trash talk. But it wasnt long before I could feel some not so good feeling in my legs. My quads were feeling a little tight and that rapidly progressed to full on stop all forward motion cramps. I stopped to massage them out and was joined by a woman who was doing the same. The only thought that was going through my mind was "this is going to be a long 21k". I would have crawled if I had to but I was going to finish.

I started to run despite the cramps still being there and eventually they faded out a bit. Not much later I caught back up to my friend Dave. We joked that we should just run this together and I suggested that we don't try to out sprint each other near the finish (this is how I beat him last race). But as it turned out, we did run most of the 21k together. I must have been in my own little world because I missed seeing so many people on the run. I did manage to spot Keith on the run but his height stands out. Leana saw me on the run and I managed to get out a hi as she went by me. I had looked for her out there but there were quite a few TriLife jerseys out there! A few girls that I know and had passed on the bike (don't remember seeing them) passed me on the run course. They were smoking the run! I was so happy for them. My friend/coworker Daniel who trains with TriLife looked so good..I knew she would pass me on the run, lol.

I was feeling ok for most of the run, felt like I had lots of fuel in the tank but the legs were often on the verge of cramping again. Once we got to about 17km my friend Dave was hurting and told me to push it if I could. Well I did so I started to pick up the pace a bit. But around 19km the quads started to cramp again. I had to stop a few times and let them pass. But I knew I was almost home. I managed to get under my goal time of 6hrs and I beat my friend Dave by 2mins, lol.

Final Time 5:49:29 (359/627)

Overall thoughts...

I am quite happy with my time for my first half Ironman. Was it a perfect race??...hell no. My swim time was a touch longer than I had hoped for. I wanted to get closer to the 40min mark but I am not that disappointed. My bike I was quite pleased with...I wanted to be under 3 hours and I did that. I felt strong and didnt feel like I had pushed beyond what I wanted to do. My run was a bit slower than I wanted. My last 2 half marathons have been just about 2 hours on fresh legs so I expected a little bit longer. But I did hope to be a bit faster. Given the cramping issues I was ok with my run time.

The cramping issues have been ongoing for me. I am still trying to get to the root of them. I have tried longer warm ups, more eletrolytes different nutrition, etc... Very frustrating to say the least. I will one day conquer them!! I was fine after about an hour and to my wife's surprise I wanted to drive home, lol. The drive was nice but it was nice to get home and relax.

I am looking forward to the Calgary 70.3 at the end of the month. I am not expecting to best my GWN time as I think Calgary might be a bit of a tougher course. Regardless it will be a little more long course experience. It's now thursday and I feel pretty much back to normal. The first couple of days after the race were daytime walks and working nights. Yesterday was an easy swim and today was just 90 mins of biking. Loving the nice weather and looking forward to some good training days!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Cold my @ss....bring on the race.

Getting a cold a 1 1/2 weeks before my first Half Iron was not exactly in the playbook. I was worried that I would be unable to race the Great White North on July 4th. But luckily I have been on the mend and each day I have been feeling a bit better. I may not be 100% on race day but I am hoping to be close. Given how much I was looking forward to this race I decided to not let this cold get me. I coughed until I hurt to the secretions out of my airways. I just keep thinking I had to keep it out of my chest. with some luck that was pretty much the case.

The past few days have been relatively good training/taper. Friday was my first day back at it and was an easy 1 hour bike ride. Lots of coughing and snot rockets and a high heart rate but at the end I felt OK. Sat was a 50 min run with sun race pace intervals with lots of coughing and snot rockets. Sunday was a brick with no coughing on the bike, some coughing on the run and snot rockets on both. Today was a swim and no coughing and lots of sno...haha you thought I was going to say snot rockets. No, no snot rockets in the pool.

So yeah, overall I am feeling much better. Still a bit of pressure in my head but my breathing is coming along. No rattle in my airways, easy breathing and somewhat clear nasal passages. And now I am looking forward to race day again.

On friday I will be heading up to Edmonton with my wife and son to stay at my sis/bro in law's house in Edmonton. I am oping to get out to Hubbles Lake to get an open water swim in. I am debating driving the bike course just for the hell of it. We'll see what time allows.

On another note I would like to say congrats to the guys from the may long training camp that raced IM CDA this weekend. From the sounds of it there were a few rough days in there but everyone finished (with some awesome times too). I spent a good portion of the day watching the feed and following peeps on the tracker. Its a good feeling cheering on guys that helped make my training weekend so great. I don't know how I would have done that weekend without them. So congrats to Darryl, Curtis, Trevor and Mark!

Looking forward to seeing some of you bloggers at GWN this weekend!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Seriously bad timing..

Last week my wife and son went to visit some family in Dawson Creek, BC. Shortly after arriving home my little boy started coughing and had a open tap for a nose. His "voice" was barely there. Yup he got a full on cold...his first one. Very shortly after his Dad got his not so first cold. Normally its not a problem but I am 2 weeks out from my first Half Iron.

Good thing is I have almost 2 weeks to kick it. Right now its mostly in my head, just really stuffed up and a bit of pressure. I get up in the morning, cough up some nastiness and then feel ok from a breathing perspective. I started taking Cold FX to see if that would help...I never take it but am willing to try anything.

Despite the cold I managed to get in a 100k ride and a 3km transition run yesterday. Besides being the king of snot rockets I felt ok yesterday. I really have to get used to running in the heat again...I was sweating tuns but felt ok. Later that night I felt pretty tired. But I was happy to get my brick done.

I am gonna just keep up some level of activty, get as much rest as possible and drink lots of fluids. My son is doing much better so thats some stress off my mind. My wife has unfortunately become the third victim of this cold in out household. Just hoping to feel better by July 4th!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Lake Summerside Olympic Tri race report.....finally.

This race was totally one of convenience. My brother and sister in law live in the Lake Summerside Community in Edmonton. And to top it all off, they are about 300m from the start! It was a no brainer...roll out of bed and do a tri, lol.

My wide and I drove up to Edmonton on Saturday and as soon as we made it our family's place I took off to go get my race package. Luckily, United Cycle was not far from where we were staying and was easy to find. After getting my package I decided to check the store out and I walked into a friend that was also competing in the LS tri.

My friend Dave and I used to work together at the Foothills in Calgary until he and his wife moved to Edmonton. Dave and I have been talking smack to each other leading up to this tri. We both have said we are going to kick each others asses..yada yada yada...but all in good fun. He has been in to all aspects of triathlon much longer than me bit I keep telling him I have youth on my side (like 4 years max, lol). After catching up for a bit we decided to head on over to LS and check out the transition walk through they were having.

The biggest reason for me going to was to find out about the status of the swim. Earlier in the week we had received an email from the race organizer that the water temp was concern and that the swim may have to be shortened or cancelled. AT the briefing one of the first things discussed was the swim and the news did not appear encouraging. The water temp needed to be 13 deg Celsius to have a swim at all and at that point it would be 1/2 the planned was at 11 that AM.

When I heard that the swim was "in jeopardy" I was quite bummed. Swimming is by far my worst discipline but I have been working hard to improve it. I also want every chance I can to gauge my improvement and to work on better open water swimming. But alas the final decision was going to be made in the AM. I went home and enjoyed a BBQ with the family and tried not to think about it.

The next morning I woke up a bit earlier than I had planned. I planned on getting up at 7 am when transition opened up but at 6 am I was wide awake. My son was in a crib in the same room we were staying in and was wide awake and staring at me when I looked at him. I got up and enjoyed a few minutes with him and then he went to sleep again. I grabbed my things and headed on down to the transition area at 7am.

Being that I was one of the first people there I pretty much had the choice of where I wanted to set up. I got the exact spot that I had scoped out the day before! I never place too much importance one the location but it is nice when you have the spot that is easy to find and easy to get to/exit. After setting up my gear I took my bike over to the United Cycle tent to have them do a quick look at it. After putting on my rear race wheel, the day before we left for Edmonton, I noticed a grinding noise coming from my rear derailleur. I took it to Eurotech cycle the day before and very quickly they were able to correct the noise. But when I took it off our vehicle's roof rack when we arrived in Edmonton and when for a test ride the noise was back. Luckily the On site tech from United Cycle had the problem corrected within seconds and I was good to go.

I saw the race director as I was setting up and asked him about the swim....and the news was awesome! Full distance swim today! The temp had come up 14.8 degrees. I do find it hard to believe that the lake temp would rise from 11 to 14.8 in one day...I am thinking there was some inaccurate measurements in there somewhere. Regardless I was not going to complain. Better run back and grab my wetsuit!

I had run into Darryl and he set up next to me and then my friend Dave came along later. Always nice to have a few people you know around and that you can pass the time talking to. We had a bit of time to head to the lake and get a warm up swim in. The water wasn't exactly warm but very tolerable. Then it was on to the pre race briefing and then it was time to race!


I decided prior to the start to just relax and do my own thing. I used to get a bit freaked out by contact in the water. I was not afraid of getting hurt but more of getting in others peoples way. This time I didn't care, I was going to swim and if contact was made so be it. I had just as much "right" to be in that space as anyone else. Given that the race numbers were small, just under 100 for the Oly, I didn't worry much about were to start. As soon as the signal went I headed in and went for it. The first turn buoy was fairly close to the start so it didn't take long to get there. I made the turn pretty clean and without hesitation. The next turn buoy was the longest distance away. I just swam and made sure to sight frequently. Eventually it was time to turn and I made the turn clean again. Now time to head to the beach and do lap #2.

During the Legend training camp in Penticton we did some open water drills on exiting and re-entering the water during a lap swim course. They came in quite handy!!! I swam up until the point of scooping sand and then headed onto the beach for the turn. I headed back into the water and then remembered...your heart is going to be up, you need to relax. I took it a bit easy until I felt the HR was coming down and then was making the turn on the first buoy. I felt mildly tired at this point but not exhausted. I also thought I was swimming just a bit slower on this lap. Later my wife said that on the first lap I was probably in the first 40% but for the second I was in the last 40%. I was happy to see that the beach exit was approaching and would soon be on my bike!

Swim time 31:27 (69/93)


Exiting the water I felt "ok" and by "ok" I mean my usual feeling of bunk. I ran into the bike rack and had my wetsuit down to the waist. Once I reached my bike I stopped and took a couple of deep breaths. Not sure of my actual time but it was probably about average.


The bike course was a flat, 2 lap route. After winding out of the Lake Summerside community it then went onto a secondary road for the majority. The pavement on the secondary road was bumpy to say the least. I hate getting shaken around like that but just had to roll with it. My goals for the bike was to keep aero as much as possible, don't kill my legs and be a bit more confident on my turns.

I felt ok coming out of T1 and it wasn't long before I found my cycling legs. The first lap was passing a fair number of people that had been ahead of me on the swim. Even though I am becoming a better swimmer I am still not that fast. I passed Darryl when he was heading back to finish. I didn't say hi because he looked really focused and he was motoring!

The turn around to start the second lap was right next to the transition area so as heading towards it there were athletes from the spring race just getting on their bikes. I was just coming out of the turn around when I noticed another rider swerving towards me from the other side of the road. I look over and this moron was trying to get his feet in the shoes he already had clipped into the pedal. I started yelling at him to watch out and he is coming closer and closer. I have to admit at this point I started letting out some rather non family friendly words. This guy had not business trying to put his feet in his shoes in this location. And it was obvious he was not good at doing it either. Just before he hit me he managed to turn away and avoid colliding with me. Anyway...rant over.

The second lap was pretty uneventful. I was feeling pretty good and was a bit disappointed to be getting off the bike. I was happy with the speed I was maintaining and the time I was going to have. But alas it was now time to run.

Bike Time 1:15:17 (32/93)


AS I was rolling into transition my friend Dave, the one that I had been talking smack with, was just heading out on the run course. He yells out something like "Hey Dan I am beating you". Ohh not what you want to yell at me, lol. I racked my bike, threw on my shoes and visor and was heading out of transition. I was happy with my exit time.


I was determined to catch up to my friend Dave. I knew I would do it too. I wasn't going to go all out but I picked up the pace a bit just to narrow the gap. I think it was about 700m into the run and I caught up with Dave and promptly gave him a slap on the ass as I passed him, lol. But I decided at this point just to ease up a bit and to run with him. The pace turned out to be comfortable and we ran very consistent. Darryl ran by us a couple of times and no surprise he was smoking the run.

The course was a 4 lap route for the Oly distance athletes. I had run it before while visiting my family so I knew what it was like. No bike hills, just a minor false flat. I took in some gel and fluids at each turn around, it was my first time using a gel flask to do this rather than taking a full gel packet. I will definitely do it this way in the future. I like the idea of spreading out the fuel.

I was still feeling ok at lap #4. I had some muscle "twinges" that I though were going to turn into cramps at the begging of the lap #1 but the faded away. I could tell that my friend Dave was a bit tired. As we headed toward the finish we had 2 turns...a right and then a left. Dave had the inside but as we entered the turn I started my sprint and "closed the door" as he called it. I sprinted ahead of him and didn't look back. After I crossed the finish I turned around and waited for Dave to give him a big high five...and to taunt him, lol.

Run time 59:18 (62/93)


I am pretty happy with a 25min personal best but more important I felt I had a solid race. I was very happy that I took about 10 mins off my Oly swim time. It was good to race with a few people that I know. Talking to Darryl just before the race start helped keep my mind off things. Running with my friend Dave and our friendly trash talk made the race even more fun. This race has helped with my race confidence. I am really looking forward to GWN!

Overall time 2:46:00

Saturday, May 29, 2010

So ....IV team it is!

Tonight I got a call from the Medical Tent Captain for Ironman Canada 2010. I had submitted my name to volunteer there since I was going to be there signing up for 2011. I knew the general idea behind a medical tent but got a few more details about the roles/expectations.

At IMC there are 3 areas of the tent. Number 1 is do a quick assessment to see who needs what and goes where. Number 2 is the chairs...
"I have some blisters". And number 3 is the cots....I need a ton of IV fluids and give me some medications while you are at it". As for personel, for every 6 athletes there is one Dr, one "bedside" nurse and one "IV" nurse.

Not to toot my own horn but there are very few people that can start an IV as well as me. So I am going to be assigned to the IV team. My role will be to start the IV, give fluids and I may have to administer medications. Intersting enough, some of the nursing personel may be nursing students. Given their limited scope of practise this will be one of the instances where I would be administering meds.

I am pretty excited to do this. I think it will be lots of fun and a way to give back to the triathlon community (and yes, easier sign up is a good perk). I don't wish a trip to med tent on anyone but it happens and I don't mind being there. Hope I don't see anyone I know there!!

On a personal training note, I am pretty much recovered from training camp. I am doing the Calgary Half in the morning. I can't say that I am too excited about running tomorrow. This weather is bringing me down!! I remember how great the weather was last year! I just want to run in shorts and a t shirt, no more jackets or tights. Anyway, I am sure I will be more postive tomorrow night after I am done,lol. I will keep you updated!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Legend training camp weekend!

My long term goal right now is Ironman Canada 2011. It's something I decided that I wanted to do and I am pretty good at doing what I put my mind to. My coach's may long training camp would be the perfect chance to see exactly what I was getting myself into. I knew that going into this it would be a bit of a test for me. My longest ride ever has been 100km and that was last summer. This year's longest has been 60km...inside and on the trainer. The plan for the camp was two 150-160km rides and a true hill climb. Just a little more than I am used to, lol. My coach said "you can tell me if you still want to do an Ironman at the end of the weekend". So how did it go....

Day #1 Friday

The plan for the day was the IMC course but in reverse. By doing it in reverse you get a hill climb early in the ride and the "rollers" are a bit more work. We started the ride early in the morning (not too early). At this point it was nice to be out on the bike. Very quickly into the ride I learned that I was not a climber, lol. I have usually done ok on "hills" but know when I think about it they were just rollers. I was very quickly getting my first taste of true hills out here. Going up Yellow lake was a grind but it was still early so I felt ok. Going down Yellow was FREEZING, still somewhat early in the morning and in the shade of the mountains. We stopped at the "The Bear" and got some refills on the fluids.

We bypassed the out and back, didnt sound like I was missing much. For the next while it was nice and flat and were had a nice pace line going. I took the lead for a brief period and that was the end of that. Definately a skill I need to work on. I thought I needed to pick it up to overcome the drag at the front but I ended up breaking up the line. Next time I will be more aware.

And then came on the rollers. Up down, up down...a couple near the end were nasty. I remember being a bit tired going up the last one, lol. Not too long after the rollers we were heading up the backside of Richter's pass. It was just another climb at this point. I admit that I was often in the easiest granny gear...I got no shame, lol. Coach Greg came back to check on me and give me some motivation....thanks. And then finally we were at the top...hell ya. Lots of people heading up Richter that day. And then the decent....brrrrr. I thought my thigh was cramping at one point, but no, it was just that cold.

So at the bottom we stopped at the Husky and refueled. Aint gonna lie...I am tired at this point, lol. But still 60m to go at this point. Quick break and its back on the bike. No big hill sclimbs left but just feels like a long way to go. I really was happy that we were getting close to home. We stopped at Tickleberry's (awesome ice cream place) but we didnt get ice cream, lol.

We decided to take the "run course" route home. It was nice to get to see this part. I have pretty much decided that this part of of the run when I do IMC will suck. The turn around for the run is in this area and it is a little bit hilly, lol. But then it turns into nice flat road. Very nice to roll back into town on. I started to pick it up a bit and hurry my ass back into town. I had a feeling that the rest of the group would be waiting ahead. My quads were a bit on fire and I was afraid they were going to cramp up. I hit a small up swing in the road and decided to stand it up...big mistake. My quads, especially my right, started to cramp. I streched them out for a second and then kept my legs moving.

I wasnt sure how my transition run would go but I decided to give it a shot anyway. I did a quick change and started to run. My legs are pretty dead at this point. I made it about 1km and the cramps came back in the quads. I gave them a brief massage and then started back to the hotel. The cramps were getting progressively worse to the point of reducing me to a standstill on arrival at the hotel.

I hobbled back to the room and started to take in any food I could get. I was so hungry. My wife later confessed that she really thought I looked bad when I arrived and could not believe that I even attempted a run, lol. Day one over time to sleep.

Day #2 Saturday

The morning was an open water swim in Oliver. I was feeling surprisingly ok by morning, the quads were a little tender but functional. I was excited to try out the new Xterra wetsuit I have bought. The water was cool to say the least, lol. We did a little work on sighting to start things off and get warmed up. After that we did a few exits and entrance drills. It was nice to get out of the pool for a change. I ended up being quite pleased with the new suit....much more comfortable on the shoulders!

Next on the plan was a 20 km warm up ride from Oliver to Anarchist to start the hill climb. I wasnt sure how it would go....15km up. My plan was to start the climb and to just keep my legs moving. For the most part I did the climb in my easiest gear with brief perios in some harder gears. About 1hr and 15 mins of un upward grind and I made it. The rest of the crew were there waiting for me...they did that alot this weekend, lol. Decending is another area I have to work on. I need to gain confidence that I wont die on the decent. I get a bit freaked out by the speed on some of the hills. The ride back to Oliver was pretty uneventful..with the exception of having to call Greg andget directions back to the lake, lol.

Day #3 Sunday

Last biking day of the camp....IMC bike course in the normal direction. The weather looked like it had the potential to turn was cool, cloudy and some wind going on. We threw on some extra layers and headed on out of town. As we were on our way out we came upon a half marathon that was being run that day. Not exactly great weather for that either. We made our way through Mclean and headed towards Richter. Along the way, one of the other riders and I (Curtis) rode together and had a good talk. Always nice to meet new people and it surely helped pass the time.

We hit the Husky and again we refueled. Greg told me to head out when I was ready. Pretty soon after I was back on the road heading up Richter. Not much after that they group was passing me on the way up. Some fast riders in out group...I dont feel bad getting passed by guys like Greg, Darryl and Trevor. It was good to have seen what the part of the course was like even though in reverse. I just kept telling myself...keep the legs moving. It was nice to get to the top and to see the group waiting there.

We started to get a few sprinkles of rain and the roads were a little wet. Not cool for someone that hate decending at the best of times. But I keep a little tension on the brakes and used some techniques that Greg had told me about. Obviously I made it down ok, lol.

And then came the rollers! Definately much easier this way! I decided to keep pace with another group of riders ahead and just to keep them in my sights. It wasnt long before the we were out of the rollers and on some flat surface again. I caught up to this other group and then decided to draft with them for a while. I thought about passing them for a short period and then though...why? Its not a race and I still have alot of riding to go. I stuck with them until Greg and Darryl came back got me and Curtis.

We hit "the bear' to get more fluids. Unlike friday, we had a hill climb near then end of the ride....not looking forward to it at this point. Keep the legs moving, just keeping telling myself that. I was happy that at this point I was not having any muscle cramping and actually felt better than I had on friday at the same distance in the ride. One thing that I had changed was my nutrition. A sponsor for the camp was Hammer nutrition. I decided to use Hammer gel, HEED and Perpeteum on Sat and Sun. I had been using Gu and Nuun before this. I really think this switch helped cramps, GI issues and I felt stronger!

So after a little while I was at Yellow lake and getting ready to decend. Always good to see your coach come back down to check on you and the goup waiting at the top, lol. Pretty much all downhill from here!! We got a little sprinkle going down ....again, not cool. I was glad to see the flats again. As we were coming into town I realised that I was feeling ok. I was hoping for a good transition run.

Getting back to the hotel was a good feeling. A quick drop off of the bike and a change and I was out the door. I felt tons better than on Friday!! The legs felt pretty good, tired but still good. I was actually running at close to half marathon race pace. Not sure how I would feel later if I had to keep running but for now I was ok. I did 2.75km in just over 15 mins....not bad after 155km on the bike. And then to top it off was a nice cold water immersion of the legs in the lake sipping on a recovery drink, lol.

Day #4 - Monday

The goal for today was a longer run. I decided to shorten the run up a bit to 1 hour just to get on the road a bit earlier. I knew it was a long drive back home and wanted to get my wife and son back at a reasonable time. I did 10km in 1:05 which I was ok with considering the volume I had put in over the weekend.

Overall it was a great weekend. By far it was the most volume I have put in that short amount of time. Got a bunch of confidence in my riding skills too. On the flip side I have realized how much more I need to do for next year. It was awesome riding with some really great guys as well. Over the weekend I would my totals look like 1km of swimming, 400km cycling and 15km running. Would I do it again...hell ya.
And to answer your question Greg....I still want to do an Ironman.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

UCTC super sprint

The tri season has officially kicked off for me in a rather gentle way. I figured the UCTC super sprint would be a nice and easy race to get back into the swing of things. Being that it was only a 300m pool swim, 12km bike and 3km run I expected it to be a quick one too.

I had no plans to get there super early as I knew where I was going and didn't really care about my transition spot. I decided that the extra sleep would be better for me. I made it there at about 6:45 and was quickly set up and ready to get the show on the road. But like all tri's you get set up and then its time to wait.

After what seemed like forever the race began. I was in the second heat which started at 8:30 and was happy to get in the water. During registration we had to provide out approximate 300 m swim time, I had figured my out to be 6:30. Each heat started 15mins after the first, four swimmers per lane and each swimmer began 10 seconds after the person ahead of them.

I can't say that I really enjoyed the pool swim. I think there might have been a combination of me swimming faster than the time I gave them and the person ahead of me swimming way slower than she told them. A 25m pool and 300m distance equals 12 lengths and I was on the heals of the person ahead of me on length #2. I could not pass because of the narrow lane and I would have had a head on with the other swimmer. I basically had to stop swimming at one point and wait. I was pretty frustrated with that. My swim time was 6:45 which included a walk from the pool area. Not happy with that time since I felt like I was held up. Not going to cry about it, it is what it is. Regardless I was glad to be heading out to the bike!

The bike course was 4 loops of a 3km route. It ended up being a bit technical and fun in that sense. Lots of turns and short sprints. It was hard to keep speed due to the short distance and turns but it was not a big issue. My time was 25:02 for the 12km.

The run was a simple, flat out and back. I think I could have pushed it a bit more here but that doesn't really help me now does it, lol. My time was 15:45 for the 3km. Not much to say about this one.

Overall my time was 47:38, good enough for 26th/102 people. It was a fun season opener for me and to get the race drive going. Looking forward to the next race!!

At the time I am hitting the publish button here I am back from the Legend Training camp in Penticton. I will hopefully writing my blog about that later tonight but until then, in one word.....EPIC.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

OMG...your legs are getting big!!

The other night I was getting into bed and my wife blurts out "OMG...your legs are getting big!" I kinda chuckled...they were always "big" but then she clarified by big she meant muscular, lol. I still chuckled when she cleared that up, lol. I don't really notice the look but I am definitely noticing some performance.

This weeks training has been awesome. I feel unstoppable on the bike right now. One work out was 7min time trials x9. I felt better and better as the workout went on. Today was 8 x 4min big gear hills, I was able to push and keep a 80+ cadence and still feel good. Loving the bike!

My swim has felt great too. Although yesterday it was rough getting up at 6:45 to head to the pool. I had just been up at 5:00 to 5:30 feeding my son. It took all I had to get out of bed. But I just reminded myself that GWN is only a couple months away. I am not worried about the swim cut off, I know I will make it. But I don't want to just survive it..I want to kick its ass ;). It was a good swim but I was getting tired at the end. I think that was due to sleep and not the exertion.

After that swim I went home and we got our son ready to go "swimming" for the first time. We went to Cardel Place and I was not surprised at how many families were there! It was great being in the water with my wife and son. Normally in the bathtub he is splashing around like crazy but in pool he was not as active. I think it was just a different experience that he wasn't used to. He didn't cry or seem unhappy by any means. It was fun and I we will probably try to take him weekly.

Later that day it was time to get my run in. I debated to do a treadmill run or to venture outside. With the weather being so crappy as of late, I have had very little desire to run outside, despite my usual disdain for the treadmill. But I decided to suck it up and run outside. I started at the shouldice pool and headed east along the bow pathway. Ended up doing a good 8km run at not quite race pace but faster than I normally run in training. It was a good run with the only exception that I was starving by the last 2km. My stomach was growling so loud! I didn't bring any calories to eat so I headed on over to a grocery store and grabbed some chocolate mile...totally hit the spot.

I am really feeling good about training right now. I am feeling pretty strong and my toe is feeling much better now! I am looking forward to this month too. I have the UCTC super sprint on the 16th ( 300m pool swim, 10km bike and 3km run)...this will be a balls to the wall race! May long is the Legend training camp in Penticton. Having never been to Pentiction I am very excited to go there. I think its going to be a hard few days of training but I will love it! And then at the end of the month I have the Calgary Half marathon. Had lots of fun with this one last year and I think I will enjoy it again...just another training day!

Hmm what else...ordered a new wetsuit yesterday. With the Legend team partnership with Xterra wetsuits it was an easy choice to try one of these. Only bad part is buying a wetsuit without being able to try it on. I have a good idea of my size but I can always exchange it if need be. I will let you know how it works out!

Friday, April 30, 2010

OK your thing!

So I have this on going issue with a toe of mine. It started out with clipping my toe nails and has ended up somewhat (definitely) infected. Initially it was just red and swollen and then it was starting to get better. Well it then started getting worse. To the point where it was hurting when I would kick in the pool. Despite being a nurse, I hate going to the Dr's office. But enough was enough, I gave it some time. It was obviously infected and needed more care than I could give.

I got up early this am and went to the local walk in clinic. I would have gone to my family doc but that would have most likely been a few days wait. By chance I got there just as the clinic was opening was put on the walk in list. Only a woman and her child were ahead of me and then it started. People just started to pour in right after I got there. Within minutes there was 10 people waiting...ohh and the Dr. was late!

A few minutes later I was called into a room. To my surprise the Dr. was only seconds behind. After a brief hello and "so what brings you here today", I tell him my diagnosis and he agrees, lol. A scribble on the prescription pad and I am out the door. Ten minutes later my antibiotic prescription is filled and I am now on a 10 day course of therapy. One Kelfex tab and Bactroban cream 4 times a day.

I am awaiting the drugs to do their thing and I can be done with it. Its more of a pain in the ass at this point. Lets see what happens over the next few days.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Police Half Marathon race report

I really enjoyed running the Police Half last year so it was very easy choice to sign up again this year. I like the course and there seems to be a fair bit of crowd support and volunteers. And I think I have mentioned before that I like running races that I have perviously run to judge where I am with my running, lol. Sooo here is how it went.....

I wasnt sure how the weather was going to be today but I was hoping for no rain/snow at the least. Luckily it did neither...just no sun. I was at Mount Royal relatively early at 7am and walked around looking for my friends but no dice. I decided to race with my ipod last minute, walked back to my vehicle and grabbed it. At the time it was helping with the boredom, lol. Before I knew it they were annoucing that it was 5 mins until start! By the time I got ouside I had been in the start line for 30 seconds mad and it was go time.

Right off the bat I felt pretty good and fell into a nice pace (about 5:05/km). The crowd wasnt too bad right off the start. I find that normally its horrible and claustophobic (and I am not claustaphobic). I thought I had recognized someone in the crowd a little farther up and it was a fellow blogger Leana. We had never met but I recognized her from her blog. It was nice to meet you Leana and I am sorry for misspronoucing your name. I have a friend that has the same name but different pronounciation. Hope you had a good race!

So back to the race...I felt really good at 10k. My time was about 50 mins and my pace was steady. But I decided to back off very slightly for the next 5km. I felt it was a harder section and didnt want to kill myself for the rest of the run. I took a gel and some water and contiued on.

At km 14.5 ish was the hill in Weaselhead which I didnt find that bad. I still felt pretty good at this point. No walk up the hill for me! I was glad that this part of the race was done. Pretty much flat from here on in.

I started back into my 5:05 ish pace and things were going well. But then at 16.5 km I noticed a bit of tightness in my left calf...and then a few minutes later my right. F&$#!!!! After a few minutes they went into cramp mode. I had to stop and walk them out. As the race went on I was able to stave off full on cramps but I was very close. Each time I stopped and walked briefly which helped. It was a bit frustrating but not much I could do.

The last couple of Km's were a bit better and not as tight. The last km I just ran and had no plans of stopping for the tightness. I could see that it was going to be close for my sub 2 hour goal. I gave it a good go down the chute and crossed the line at 2:00:04 by chip. I was almost 4.5 mins faster last year but I was ok with the result. I am already looking forward to the Calgary Half.

After the race I came home for some daddy/son time and let my wife have some alone time. I had planned on having a nap with Logan but he had other plans. So I ened up just playing with him for a while. Later when Shelly got home I headed on down to the basement to do an easy hour on the trainer. And I did just easy hour, followed up with some stretching. Feeling pretty good tonight....we wull see how I feel in the morning!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

But I thought I already ran the Hypothermic Half...??

Quite the difference a year makes! Last year I remember the weather being quite nice for the Police Half Marathon and this year...not so much. Its not really that hard to believe that it is snowing in Calgary in April. But given the weather we had be experiencing it is disappointing that this weekend it is snowing. I enjoy the Hypothermic half for what it is...a winter half marathon. I would actually like it if was -20C on that day....might as well live up to the name. Ultimately I would prefer to run in "nice" weather and nice being not snowing and above 15C.

Not much I can do to change the weather ;). I will run in anything anyway and I am sure I will have fun. Like the hypo half I am not sure how I will do. I know bike swim and bike are way better than last year but not about the run. I am going with the goal to get under 2 hours...its been a while since I was over and I want to keep it that way.

I am debating whether or not to bring my ipod. Last year I had my friend Detlef to talk to during the race. Its not that I need the motivation to run but sometimes I get bored during the runs. Races are usually much better in that repect. I am leaning towards not bring it but we shall see. I personally don't see it as a safety issue. I run with it at a low level and I feel I am safer than most people out walking without one. I remember a few weeks ago running down the side walk by my house and I could see a guy texting on his phone. Could he see me....hell no, his face was buried in the phone. And the guy he was walking with who I know saw me didn't even try to warm up. I wasn't moving, they were walking side by side taking up the side walk. I run up as far as I could then I just stopped in front of him...he almost walked into me. I just shook my head. So when people talk about it being a safety issue...I don't drink that koolaid.

With bigger goals comes bigger preparation. It used to be that I would run my marathon and then come home and relax. That's how my schedule used to be ;). After tomorrow's half I am to do a 45 min ex ride (most likely indoors now) later in the day. I was first thinking that Greg made a typo but quickly remembered our talk about how things will get longer, lol. Definitely time to HTFU.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I totally deserved this one....

At the start of the week, Greg asked me what I would like for the weekend. I learned that "whatever you want to dish out" is not the correct reply, lol. I looked at my schedule when the email arrived and new I was going to be a bit sore by Sunday. So here is how it went...

Friday....Started off with a 1 hour-ish swim which felt pretty good. And then it was a 70-80 min run with some faster than goal half pace intervals. I decided to start from my house in Tuscany and to run to Edworthy Park. I was thinking its pretty much downhill and then flat...not so much. It was downhill in the beginning and then it turned into up, up, up and then down and then up...etc... Finally I hit some flats and got my intervals in...took a bit out of me since I was already tired from the hills. The run was 16km and a little longer than planned but not much.

Sat....Planned for 2-3 hours with some tempo pace on the second half. I had put my bike in the shop for a spring tune up and I wasnt able to pick it up until after 2pm. Despite being right there at 2pm I didnt get out on the road until 3:30 ish. Lots of head/tail winds going on. ON the way out west I was averaging 37km/hr and on the way back east I was about 20-23 km/hr. Not much for tempo coming back so I did it when I turned around for a return trip. All in all a beautiful day to be out on the roads!

Sun....Today was my hard day...a 2hour bike with hill repeats and then a 30-40 min transition run. I headed out the 1A for a 45 min warm up and then it was down to the Tuscany home depot for hills. I punched out the 8 hills that were called for and then headed on home...pretty much all uphill, lol. After a quick transition it was back out on the road. My legs were feeling dead!! Not long after I started I was getting into some ...oh...yeah...hills. But the legs were starting to come back. About 3km into the run the legs were starting to feel OK and I was able to pick the pace up a bit. The way back was more downhill so that helped as well ;). I did 6.5 km in the 40 mins..not as fast as I like but considering how the legs felt I was happy, lol.

The legs feel surpisingly good tonight. Very mildly sore but overall ok....won't even need any advil, lol. I am geussing that this week will be somewhat "easy" since I have the police half coming up on the weekend? Not sure how I will do there...I doubt I will beat last years time. We shall see what happens!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What's your motivation....a play list deconstructed...

We all have our own reasons to participate in the great sport we call triathlon. Whatever our reason is I think we all need a bit of motivation to keep up the training. But where do we get that motivation? I get mine through emotions, both good and bad. I find there is no better way to produce emotion during exercise than with music. But I was making up a new play list and started thinking about my choices. I don't always pick the particular song because of the music it self. Sometimes its the lyrics, sometimes the memories associated and sometimes it is just raw emotion provoking. I thought for this blog entry I would deconstruct my play here goes....

1) Stricken- Disturbed...This one is all about the anger. Lots of guitar and loud drums.

2) Eyes Wired Shut - Edgewater....making change and becoming a more confident person.

3) Lose yourself - Eminem....I think if you have ever listened to this one you know why its on the list.

4) Kickstart My Heart - Motley Crue...The title says it all, adrenaline producing lyrics combined with fast music.

5) Poker face - Lady GaGa... A nice tempo for an easy run, nice when I am supposed to be running easy.

6) Dreams - Van Halen... One song that reminds you to keep looking forward and if you do you will get what you are looking for.

7) HeadStrong - Trapt...Totally about the lyrics..."back off...I'll take you on...head strong to take on anyone"

8) It's not my Time - 3 Doors Down....So this song is about a relationship but I substitute my triathlon goals. "There's a fear in's not showing"

9) Little Bird - Annie Lennox...Maybe a surprise to be on my list but a nice beat to warm up to on the bike.

10) Technologic - Daft Punk... A great tune to hill climb on the bike, not too fast and consistent.

11) Addicted - Danny Fernandes...I have no idea, lol. I just like the song.

12) You don't Belong - Daughtry... Last year I was running late for the Canmore Triathlon and I was a bit panicked heading out the door. I forgot to grab my ipod to listen to on the way and when I got in the car this song started to play. It pumped me up and calmed me down at the same time.

13) Down with the Sickness - Disturbed...see #1

14) Hold On - Korn...see #1 (again)

15) Walk this earth alone - Lauren Christy...Reminds me of a relationship that went bad that I never got over until I met my wife. It brings back a place in my lfe I will never be again. Don't worry, its ok I am over it, lol.

16) Hot Dog - Limp Bizkit...not many songs drop the F bomb as much as this one. Despite that it is a "slow me down" song, great when I need to be kept in check.

17) What I want - Daughtry featuring Slash...Lots of great guitar, enough said.

18) Faint - Linkin Park....see #1 (yet again)

19) Beautiful People - Marilyn Manson...As much as I think this guy is a freak, see #1

20) Reach up for the Sunrise - Duran Duran... A great song to transition for a slow run to a quicker pace, its all about the beat here baby.

21) Last - Nine Inch Nails... Not sure if anyone has more anger than Trent Reznor..see #1

22) Not Over - Paul Oakenfold feat, Ryan Tedder- This song makes my legs want to move! Love the lyrics too " Time to say goodbye..its time to make a move..nothing left to hide...everything to lose".

23) Ready Steady Go - Paul Oakenfold...One of my favorite intro's to a song. Gets my legs pumping on the bike.

24) Nothing but a good time - Poison...Yup, this one is totally cheesy but it makes me laugh when I am running.

25) Face Down - The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus...Great beat pretty simple on the one.

26) Dragula - Rob Zombie...Lots of loud drums and guitar. Seen him in concert and he puts on a great show.

27) Rock DJ - Robbie Williams...Another song that gets the feet moving but keeps them in check.

28) Hypnotised - Paul Oakenfold...Oakenfold is one of my favorites...this one is a great beat to get me moving.

29) No easy way out - Robert Tepper...A favorite from the "Rocky" soundtrack. Reminds me that if I want something I have to work for it, you don't get things handed to you.

30) No limits - 2 Unlimited... Simple techno that makes you move. I remember warming up for hockey games with this song.

31) Kryptonite - 3 Doors Down...This one reminds me that despite how good we feels at times we will have bad days. We just need to get past them.

32) life is beautiful - Sixx AM... It's funny how after you experience the bad times how much more you appreciate the good times. My health didn't hit rock bottom by any means but it was headed there. Losing 90lbs has helped me become who I want to be...I am 37 years old and in the best shape of my life...doesn't that sound like a bowflex commercial?

33) Training montage - Vince of the best hill climb songs ever! The beginning just reminds me of a heart beat that is getting stronger.

34) Ghost of me - Daughtry ... Just love the song, plain and simple.

35) Just because - Jane's Addicton...All about the guitar!

36) Down - Jay Sean...Another keep me in check song

37) Closer - Nine Inch Nails....A sick beat great for long slow hills.

38) Vertigo - U2...easily one of my favorite bands, yup that's about it.

39) Guilty - Gravity Kills...yup, you guessed it see #1.

40) More Human than Human - Nine Inch Nails version...Reminds me of indoor cycling this year...totally stole this one from Coach Greg.

41) Blue Monday - Orgy...A great cover that has just enough more anger than the original, are you picking up the theme yet, lol?

So there it is...why I chose these particular songs for that playlist. I am excited to get out and rock it out on the bike tomorrow! Anyone have any music suggestions?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Work is putting a serious cramp on my training.

When I work a day shift, I find there is really not much time for anything else. Usually my weekly day off is the first day shift in my set of shifts and then a relatively easy day on the second day shift. Tonight was a 45-60 min run that nothing special, just aerobic. I have to admit that I wasn't really thrilled with the thought of running tonight...dark, cold and windy. However I dragged my tired behind out the door.

Usually I get into the groove after a few minutes but not tonight. I admit that I was pretty tired to start and the weather wasn't helping. I ended up doing a 42 min 6km run, definitely slower for me but I ok with it. Considering how tired I was to start, the effort matched it.

I am looking forward to tomorrows swim. I get to sleep in, wake up, go swim, have a nap and then work nights. Its all good except the whole working part, lol. Just keep telling myself...only 2 more nights.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Today was set to be a busy day after my missed swim workout from last night. The plan was to try to get both my swim and bike in and then the training karma would be restored. I finally had a good sleep last night so I was ready for the extra workout. It was nice to get into the pool again. I am liking it more and more....funny how when you get better at something you tend to not hate it, lol. All in all it was a good swim today. The other day I had a 1000m timed swim as one of my sets. I was quite pleased to see when I was reviewing some data from my garmin that I was about 5mins faster than I had thought. I am geussing that I will probably take 10mins or so off my Oly distance swim....that will be sweeet.

I headed on home to grab a bite to eat and relax for a bit. We are expecting some family this weekend so I ended up helping my wife get the rooms ready and do some general cleaning that we had been meaning to get to. So I didnt get to "relax" like I had hoped, lol. But it was time to get out on the bike and work the legs! And on the schedule for today.....hills.

I did a short warmup and then headed on down to the Tuscany Home Depot and got right to business. The wind was starting to pick up and I was getting cooold. As I started up the hill I could tell right away that I felt stronger than last year. I remember last year huffing up the hill and then needing to rest. This year my rest was just the trip down the hill. Once I hit the bottom it was straight back into the climbing and repeat X 10.

I was glad when it was time to head back home as I was getting very cold (despite the hard work). I made it in the door and not long after it was starting to gently rain. Next thing I look out the window and its a blizzard. Seriously....I was just out cycling! I was happy was a good training day. Only bad part is that I don't think tomorrow's ride is gonna be outside ;).

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sorry but the pool is closed!

SO I went in for my OT shift today and luckily it was a day I really didnt have to think. Having said this, its all relative. While I do have someone's life in my hands, its somewhat routine. Some illness is pretty straight forward. After a poor sleep last night this "easy day" was ok with me. I didnt need a challenge today.

But the plan was to do my shift, run home, grab my swim gear and get back to the pool for a swim. I hussled out of work, drove home, said hello/good bye to the family and headed to the pool with about 15 mins to spare. Me and another fellow ended up walking into the lobby at the same time to be greeted by a "sorry but the pool is closed"....WTF???

Turns out that a circulation pump was on the fritz so the pool was shut down. I said a few choice words in my head. I was dissapointed but its no one's fault so I cant be mad. But damn I wanted to get that workout in! I really hate missing swims because I know how far I have to go to be where I want to be. After talking to Greg tonight I will just add it on tomorrow! It will be a busy day but I am ok with that!

But instead of a swim I ended up coming home and getting some bonding time in with my son. He is 5 months old today...very hard to believe. Lots of change in my life that still amazes me. I just put hime down for the night and I think I am going to follow suit. There is a hill repeat workout waiting for me tomorrow...and my mother in law is coming into town. This means a date night for me and my wife tomorrow...mmmm sushi.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A run through the hills of Tuscany....

Really its not what you think. I wish it were Italy but sadly it is in my community, lol. There is not much flat in my community. Its very easy to run hills here. My scheduled run was a hill day and there happens to be a great one for doing any kind of hill repeats. My house is, for all intensive purposes, on the other side of the hill I like to run. So its about a 20min run to get to the hill...perfect warmup....and its all downhill.

After I ran down to the bottom of the "Home Depot hill" it was time to start on the repeats. Only 90 seconds of work up hill and then a walk down for recovery times 8. It was the first time in a while I have done my hills here. I was very pleased that my distance in 90sec was almost what my 2min distance was last year. I have to admit the recovery starts off boring but near the end of it repeats it was pretty welcome.

Around #6 its starting to get a but dark and the temp is dropping. My hands are freezing! But I know that I am almost done! On my last run I just kept going instead of heading back down. Its all up hill from here! It ended up being 11km in just over and hour...not bad considering the hills and recovery walks.

Yesterday was a late night indoor spin. I hopped on the bike at 10pm. Not ideal or what I had planned but I wanted to get that workout in. After a good warm up, it was time to get on with teh main set. Four minute time trials with 2 mins rest, times 10. I cannot remember the last time I sweat this much!! It felt so good! Near the end my legs were starting to feel it a bit but I was able to hold the same intensity.

Tomorrow was to be bike hill repeats but I picked up an OT shift at work...I am awaiting the coaches response to see what I should do. Maybe move it to the next day? I hate altering my schedule but can't say no to the OT when they call. Its ridiculous what I get paid to work OT...although I am NOT complaining at all. I look at it as extra cash to pay for race fees ;).

On a non training thought...I saw a preview for a new "Nightmare on Elm Street" movie. I think the original was a "classic". Sure it was cheesy and a typical kill the naked teenager movie but it was the creating of a horror icon. I think good ol Freddy Kruger has become a easily recognized "monster" . I am very curious how this one will be seeing how it is a remake not a sequel. They should have stopped after the first one many times can yoy kill and bring a villian back to life. I am not expecting an Oscar winning film here but I wonder if it will be some enterainment value. I doubt I will see it in the release for sure.

Time to hit the hay...6am comes early!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

tha tha that don't kill me..can only make me stronger

Cue the Kanye West (even though I think he is a douche bag). Kinda does say how I feel lately. Not that training is the problem, it's everything else right now. I didnt really think that having a child would be as much of a change and stress as it has been....well I did , but you know.

Money....I love my son more than life itself and would NEVER trade him for my "other" life. But every once in a while the stress creeps up on you. Money is definately an issue...I am not broke by any means but my expendible income is pretty darn low right now. The EI system is great on one hand, my wife gets to stay at home and raise our child for the first year. However the amount is somewhat a kick to the junk. Definately have to be more frugal and boy does it suck when those not so cheap and very sudden extra expenses pop up.

Time.....Not enough time in the day/week/month. Between work, training, housework and spending time with my family (note..these are not in order of importance) I feel like i dont have much time to myself to wind down. Training is probably the closest thing I have to downtime. It is definately my "ME" time. I struggle to fit everything in some days. I know that I am not the only person that experiences this.

Work....This has been weighing on my mind alot lately. I am not sure how much longer I want to stay in ICU. I do enjoy my 2 days, 2 nights then 5 off. But the frustrating part is getting time off. As of now I am scheduled to work both half IM's that I am signed up for and the weekend of IMC (which I need to be there to sign up for next year). Hopefully I will get my time off requests granted. But besides those issues, I am feeling more and more ethical/moral distress at work. I can't really elaborate because of confidentiality but it sucks. Just because we can do things doesnt mean we should. Not sure what will be the final straw but we shall see.

Family....I have a great wife and you know how I feel about my boy. I love just holding him and talking to him and watching him smile...and now laugh. I love it when I get to sit down with my wife and have a nice meal. I think we have our best talks on our worst days. I do hate the guilt I sometimes feel when I am out training. I probably shouldnt because they are perfectly fine with it. And I worry sometimes because I know whats ahead for the next year and a half or so. I will get through it though.

We all have stress and we all deal with it in our own way. Despite all of these items that cause stress they also are my biggest enjoyments. The trick it to find the right balance of them all. I will let you know the year that happens ;).

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wahooo free time!

Not really sure what free time is anymore. My wife and son are gone for a few days to visit her family and I am home alone! Truth is I miss them alot, lol. But while they are gone I am taking advantage of and relaxing.

Training was a bit off for a couple of days...I had a bit of an infection in one of my toes. Putting on my shoe was painful to say the least. Luckily after a couple of days the toe is just mildly inflamed at this point. Despite the toe issue, my training days yesterday and today have been really good.

Yesterday started off meeting Greg at the pool for some swim coaching. Its been a while since we had made it too the pool. I was anxious to get some feedback since I have been working pretty hard at it lately. After some observation it was good to hear that my progress is noticeable. My stroke was not perfect, still room for improvement and that's what we worked on. After some corrections I noticed a huge difference...where the hell did that glide come from, lol. I can feel it in my shoulders today but its the soreness that is welcomed.

After the swim it was off time indoor cycling that night. I am feeling really good about my cycling too. I can't wait to get outside this year. My legs feel much stronger than at this time last year. I am always curious at to what surprises Greg has in store for us!

Today was a long run that was to be all about the form and low heart rate. I started in Edworthy park and headed east along the north side of the bow until I hit Crowchild and then went over to the southside. I love running along the pathway when its sunny out. I kept a nice slower than race pace the whole time. Not a huge amount of people on the paths so it was nice. I had crossed the Center street bridge and stopped for a drink and gel. It was nice to walk for a minute and just relax.

It was just as nice on the way back. A nice easy run, listening to tunes and not pushing things. I love my tempo runs but this was a nice change. I think my form held up pretty good. I made sure I kept it going. In the end it was 15.5km in 1:35. I think my next long run I will do the Glenmore reservoir. I will be running the police half so I want to get a bit more elevation change in my runs.

The family comes back tomorrow and so will my "bachelor" time, lol. I have another swim and cycling day on the schedule and I am looking forward to it. But I have to admit that I am looking forward to seeing my wife and son more, lol. I am finding a better balance of everything as of late. I think now its time to play some Xbox and get some of that relaxation in.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Hypothermic Half

Last Sunday was my second time running the Hypothermic Half in Calgary. There is something about the potentially adverse conditions that appeals to me. You can't get much easier of a run, the pathway along the Bow is pretty much the flattest run you will get here in Calgary. It is also nice to have an "off season" half marathon to break things up in the winter. did it go....

The venue had changed this year from Eau Claire to Fort Calgary. During race package pickup they said to get there early because parking was limited. I decided to heed this and arrived just after 8am (9am start). Not sure if this was totally necessary and turned out to be a P.I.T.A . The Fort Calgary building was not open so it was either stand in the cold or sit and wait in my Jeep.....I chose the latter.

Around 8:40 am I decided to head on over to the start and pee before the race start. I was a bit surprised to see the line up for the port-a-potty. Seriously.....2 of them for 200 registered runners in my wave. One thing that always annoys me...the lack of facilities. I was in line up before the start of the race but they delayed the start a few minutes because of the number of people waiting for the john. No problem...I will just stand here and freeze my ass off ( I dress for the running conditions not the waiting conditions)

Anyway....a few minutes later and we are off. I always try to "seed" myself where I think I should be in the line up....obviously many others don't. Pet peeve here....if you are slow stay near the back!!! I spent the first km getting around people. I find it frustrating when I am getting held up because slower runners are running 3 or 4 across. I am not trying to be an A-hole or making myself out to be a "contender" for the win but come on. Even bigger pet peeve....if you are running with a dog (and not talking about a aid dog) get to the very back. Sorry, rant over.

I should mention that my goals for the race was just to go sub 2hrs again and to not take any walk breaks. My running is just starting to feel good again so I was looking forward to the longer distance. I decided just to run the pace I needed to get sub 2 and enjoy the day.

The pathways were a bit sketchy for the first 1.5km or so. Some ice patches covered with light snow. The rest of the run was fairly clear with the exception being the under passes. The first 10k went pretty uneventful. Once I hit the turn around I took in a gel and some water. I was feeling pretty good!!

I hit 14km and then my stomach started to grumble. Ohh yeah, I forgot to mention, I ran out of the house this morning and didn't eat breakfast. Total oversight on my part. I just ate some sharkies before the start. After a few minutes the stomach grumbling went away and all was good.

Now at 17.5km my legs started to feel a bit heavy although my lungs felt great. I thought my pace was going downhill in a big way but after looking at the data from my garmin I actually stayed pretty consistent ( I knew I was going to be around 2 hours so I didn't really care to look at my pace at the time). I love the auto lap feature on the garmin 310xt...I really like the vibration feature telling when i hit each km and the pace...sweet.

At km 19 I started to feel good again and picked up the pace again (I am guessing because I knew the finish was coming up). As I came around the turn up to the finish I saw that the clock was getting close to 2 hrs. Even though I knew my chip time was under 2 hours I still wanted to be sub 2 on the clock, hence my sprint to the finish. I made it with 5 seconds to spare, lol. My time was 1:59:23, not my fastest by far, but I was happy with that time.

Overall I enjoyed the race. I was not a fan of the venue this year. Being in the first wave was crappy as there was not place to keep warm and the limited "washroom" access. I didn't think the finish was very spectator friendly. But as always you have to give thanks to the volunteers that give up their time to help out your race, even more so on a cold winter morning. I am already looking forward to my next race!

Monday, February 8, 2010


Life moves pretty fast. You don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it....Ferris Bueller

Wow, it has been a while since I blogged. Between my family, work and training there isn't much time left to do anything else. I have sat down and started new posts and then have to go feed the boy. My wife is great about letting me get my workouts in but I really try to let her get some free time. I absolutely love my time with my son, but it is nice to get some alone time in there.

The beginning of the new year marked my return to a formal training schedule. I took a couple months off after my son was born and I am glad I did. Quite a change in lifestyle! But with a big race season coming up I knew it was time to get back into the swing of things. Luckily Greg started me out fairly easy and the workouts are slowly getting back up to speed.

Swimming is slowly getting better. It is still my least favorite discipline and I am sure it will remain there. But it is progressing....slowly, lol. Did I mention that it is slowly progressing? I am impatient and want to be way ahead of where I am...eventually I will get there.

Cycling is coming along quite nicely despite not having been on a road in what seems like forever! The indoor classes have been awesome. I am feeling pretty strong on the trainer and don't feel like my cycling will suffer over the winter months. My mantra for the season...pass everyone and be passed by no one. Usually that is the case anyway...they were already ahead of me coming out of the water, lol. Bottom line is I want to excel on the bike.

Running has suffered a bit but that is my own doing. My running volume had declined over the last 6 months. Part is due to the new family addition but it seems lately I have not been a fan of running in the colder weather nor running on the treadmill. I miss running in shorts and a tshirt in the SUN! I have noticed my run times slipping a bit too. Totally my own fault. However, in the last few weeks I have been getting back into the running mood. I decided to HTFU! I want my running to get back to where I want it! Going out and giving a half assed attempt won't help. I will not be a person that complains about a race result when I didn't put in the training effort.

Hmmm what else....I picked up a garmin 310 xt and so far I love it. I like the fact that it has a vibration feature. During my intervals today I was about to run and not worry about looking at my watch, the garmin vibrates and I knew it was time to switch (although I could hear the beep over my music). Big thing is not having to deal with the touch bezel of my garmin 405. I might write a review of the garmin 310 after more use.