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!