Friday, December 31, 2010

Routine Chaos

Christmas morning Camera Test - Check Check!
Keeping this short, I need to get a run in today before it rains!

Sitting at my desk yesterday I was looking up some vacation information for staff and by chance looked at my own time sheet to find I had 9 hours of personal time that will be lost if I don't take them by January! Packed my bags and out the door I went, I am taking the rest of the year off ;) Unfortunately I didn't plan for these days off, nor did I want them really. The weather isn't nice enough to bike ride and I have to be careful not to over-do the running. I'm feeling sore muscles from the running, I don't want to hurt myself.

My routine which I was just finally settled into has been messed up with all these holidays. I can't wait for the new year!
I like taking advantage of these days off to get long enjoyable workouts in, but it messed up my scheduled training plans. I think in the future, I will actively plan and schedule workouts to factor in the holidays. My 'cookie-cutter' week-to-week approach is flexible for missed workouts but doesn't do so well when I slip extra long unscheduled bike rides in.

My messed up week at a glance:
Tuesday Holiday: Unscheduled looong MTB ride for fun. Missed my run.
Wednesday: Rescheduled run complete, but missed schedule swim due to car problems
Thursday: Scheduled bike complete, scheduled run missed(Legs sore, didnt want to run 2 days in a row)
Friday: Scheduled rest day, but I think I'm going to skip rest and get my missed run in. runs are important with Around the Bay Race getting closer.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Too Good To Miss

I come from a mountain biking background and pretty much all of it is done solo. For me, I like to do my pace and my distance at whatever difficulty and route I chose. It's rare for anyone to hold my pace or not take frequent breaks so I always end up riding alone. From time to time I like to join the more advanced groups of riders in our area. Luckily I have just enough 'relationship' with some of the best riders around that I can get myself invited to their 'private' rides. Every group has a niche. Some are super-fast cross-county riders, some are crazy all mountain skinny/drops/jumps type riders and then there's a few lone wolves like me that tolerate someone tagging along from time to time. It's great being able to invite myself along on these rides when I feel like it. It can get lonely out there.
Tuesday's ride was nothing exclusive or special, but it was my opportunity to have some fun riding with others. The pace was set for a long slow ride with frequent stops. The ride was expected to last 3 hours in -10Celsius weather! I did a solo 2.5hr sprint on Sunday and my toes were frigid at 1.5hrs-ish. I threw some hand warmers down the top of my shoe to no avail. I don't think they did much for me. So for Tuesday's ride I got official 'toe warmers' and put them on at the beginning of the ride. Afterall the packaging said it's good for 6 hours so that really means only 3 hrs. Regardless, the toe warmers have a sticky backing to go on your sock and under your toes. I put them on the top of my toes so it wouldn't effect my pedal stroke, and the adhesive backing held them perfectly in place. I could feel the warm right away and I am more than happy to say it lasted a whole 3 hrs. They wore out after that, but they worked great nonetheless. I picked up a ton more toe warmer after this test, they are worth every penny! I got them at MEC. This group of riders, Peter's group, had some experience all-mountain riders. They were taking skinnys and drops and risks that I wouldn't normally do. I had my fair share of skinny attempts back in the summer and after a few nasty crashes I decided I would avoid them from now on. I'll work on my plank-riding in the spring. I've never been good at it. The jumps and drops I avoid. My bike is cross-country racing bike, it doesn't have the plush suspension that these guys had. It looked like fun, but again I set limits on my 'risk taking' to prevent injury and effecting my training routine. Peer pressure and all, I felt a bit like a wuss not doing some of the 'easy' looking stuff. While there wasn't really anything 'wuss' about it but still, I would have like to of at least made one attempt on some of the stunts.

These long weekends are throwing a wrench into my training routine. I am not complaining though, that was some of the best winter cycling I have ever had! The one hour Bike Trainer ride was replaced with an outdoor mountain bike ride. 3.5hrs of it! In turn, I missed my run since the majority of the day was already spent outdoors and my workout clothes needed to be cleaned. Yes, that is me making excuses for missing the run. I am OK with this since I am going to move the run to Wednesday night after work. I should have enough time to get a run in, eat and relax (warm-up) in time for the scheduled swim. The JPO program is flexible like that, I always have 'bail-out' slots of time that allow me to reschedule things. Although I hate missing ANY workout ever.

Bad news is I'm up a few pounds. Not going to worry about it now, my muscles are sore and I had a tons of salt on the weekend so it's probably mostly water. I'll have a more accurate reading on the weekend probably.

Tuesday: Bike: 3.5hrs (MTB)
Monday: Swim 45mins
Skipped Run, reschduled to Wednesday

Monday, December 27, 2010

Week 10 Review

Toughest Week Yet! Just restin' up
Another pic feature from Mrs. Claus' New Camera
The week started off with some regrets over missing my long ride and long run from the previous week. I threw down some punishment in the form of extra and extended workouts this week. I can thankfully say I made up on everything I skipped.
However, obviously from the totals I may have gone a bit overboard. Nonetheless this should help offset some of the candies and sweets I've been snacking on.
Overall this week's nutrition has been fair to say the least. A few candies here and there but nothing to be overly alarmed about. The biggest concern this week was overdoing it, especially on the runs. I'm running dangerously close to injury zone. This was too much running for one week I think.
The 4Km long swim on Monday is a personal record. That was 1000m longer than planned but again, punishment for the previous weekend's debauchery.

WEEK 10 TOTAL (Set 3, Week 2 - Maintenance Mode)

Swim: 2:05hrs
Bike: 5:45hrs
Run: 4:45hrs
Strength: nil

Total: 12.30hrs

Boxing Ride

DECEMBER 26, 2010 Boxing Day
Our Special Wedding Place
Finally all the parties and gatherings are over with. Only a few more sweets lieing around the house and tucked in the stocking and I should be free from the temptations. Not a moment too soon either, I've been getting sick of all the holiday indulging.

Today was a big frigid, -15 with a windchill. I dressed up warm and grabbed a few of the chemical hand warmers to try them out. I didn't break em' out just yet. I wanted to wait until later to only use them in an emergency.
Detour through memory lane :)
Today is long ride day. The snow covered trails were in perfect condition. Hilton Falls has become the winter mecca for mountain biking. Everyone is diligently doing there part to ride the trails and pack the snow down to keep it ride-able. Today the snow was deep enough to tack the technical edge off most loops, it was a fast flowing race track albeit a jump or two here and there. About 1.5hrs in my toes were getting cold. I stuffered a handwarmer in the top of my shoe and felt very little heat. I could tell that it was slightly warming up the top of my foot but the bottom was so cold from the solid carbon insoles pressed against frozen clipless pedals. It wasn't warming me up. I did have 'real' toe warmer which may be warmed than the hand ones but I couldn't be bothered to try them out this day.
Over 2hrs worth of fun. I couldn't have asked for a better day!
  • I've included some shots from my Christmas run. The last post was image-heavy.
  • You can see a video made a bit earlier in the morning by some cycling buddies of what the trail conditions were like.




Christmas 2010


Mrs. Claus got a New Camera that does Fugly things

Of course I trained on Christmas! Actually, it was one of the best runs EVAR! The roads were dead quiet, the few people on the trails were extra cheery and most said 'Merry xmas' as you went by. To my surprise someone had gone and hung xmas ornaments on a tree branch every Kilometer. It was pure awesome! I'll attach pictures in 'tomorrows' post.
I had to get out for a run, not only was it on the schedule but it was a chance to play with MY NEW TOYZ! As my runs get longer and I break the 90 minute mark there is a need to fuel the motor. Mrs. Claus got me a Fuel Belt! And since I've been using the same lycra cycling tights for like 15 years with holes in em' she also got me new lycra tights! They were noticably warmer.

Most Wicked Awesome Xmas Card EVAR - For Fran of course

My baby's first PEZ. For real, her first lol.

Pain Cave - Before

Pain Cave - After

Rubbin' mah new Nipplez -OooOOhhh AaaaAAhhhhHH


Xmas Babe
What your Annual Sodium Intake looks like but
you have to eat it all in a single sitting.

Her Favourite Gift.
OK, the kids got her that one. They obviously never seen the
Dog House before. Men: Study video below.


Run - 2Hrs 16.5Km Long Slow

Santa Eve

The Goodies - Too pretty to eat!
Friday, Decemer 24 - Rest Day & Christmas Eve

I was proud of myself, I got the bulk of the Christmas shopping done earlier in the week so I just needed to quickly grab some stocking stuffers. That didn't go as quick as I would have liked. With an afternoon to run to Burlington I didn't foresee the running store not stocking Yak-Trax. I was surprised by this, but Joe was nice enough to point me to MEC who had a ton in stock. I don't see why a running specific store wouldn't have them. Strange. Anyhow, it worked out because I was able to get the bulk of the stocking stuffers at MEC.

Christmas Eve as usual is spent and my Father's place. It's a small family but he always cooks like he was feeding an army. I nibbled on a few bad snacks, a few good snacks and ate a well portioned meal. In the end, I felt a bit bad because I didn't indulge nor did I eat any of the pie that was specifically bought for me. I'm a big pumpkin pie fan and would love to polish the entire pie off myself but I am at my indugling limit for this month. I'm kinda sick of it all actually. I felt bad because he was left with several tons of food that just didn't get eaten. Knowing Dad he will freeze it all and we'll finish it at Easter time.
I'm not kidding. He does that. Or at least trys lol.

Santa made his annual visit. My kids are a bit old for it, but I think the adults had more fun with Santa than the kids did. They're too involved with the video games to care. Regardless, we had fun.

She tried to kill me

The evening was not without it's drama. Shortly after Mrs. Claus went to help in the kitchen - the inevitable happened. My sister started screaming and jumping up and down and pointing to the kitchen. Sure enough Fran was trying to burn the house down. Not only was the room filling up with smoke, there were flame a good foot high as an oven mit was brought to a well-done state. Now Fran swears it wasn't her fault, but she doesn have a track record for frequently (nightly) smoking the kitchen. I got dead batteries in the smoke alarms to prove it.

Dont think it was an accident!?

Me & Santa & Some guy in a red costume
Take that for not brigning me mah ZIPP Carbon Clinchers

Bad Santa

Army of Goodies

He TAPED Ironman Muskoka 2010 for me
So we watched it on XMas eve

I wasn't kidding, he TAPED it.
Wow, its been awhile since I seen one of these lol.
Tracking needed constant adjustment - remember that?! lol


 None. Scheduled Rest Day.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Toe Tags

Thanks Anita Adena!
OH MYE GAWD!!$%%#@!!! W00t!

Adena at She Said I need A Goal sent us RoadID gift for xmas! She is the bestestest!

Adena is all about being one tough chick! I remember one of the very first posts of hers when I met her via Training Payne and the Twitter world. I was just getting into my first triathlon and I was struggling to wrap my head around putting three sports together at once. Adena's post caught my attention - here was a chick that was JUST learning to ride a bike and was training to do a Sprint Triathlon at the end of the summer??!! Wow. I read her posts and it made me appreciate just how lucky I am to already have a cycling and swimming background. Imagine not only being completely new to triathlon, but being completely new to each discipline?! Now THIS IS A STORY TO FOLLOW!

Can you honestly remember what it was like to learn to ride a bike? For some of us we've been doing it for so long that you'd swear we were born onto two wheels. Reading Adena's blog I found myself re-living long lost memories and appreciating the little things I now take for granted.

Ok, so the experienced cyclists right now are probably laughing and the Inexperienced are probably cursing me right now for appearing to be a big meany. We're not laughing at her, we're laughing with her. Really :) This was a journey that was sure to make you laugh! Admitedly I wondered if she would make it. There were so many 'little hills' for her to climb that the real 'mountain' of goals seemed like Everest. I watched her subbornly get back on the bike and try again and again. Alot of support came her way, Coach Nancy sounds like she had a hand in that. I tried to support Adena in my own special way by suggesting her first road ride should take her in the direction of 6th Line, up Steeles avenue (In the direction of the summit of course) and maybe a Snake Road ascent. She quickly figured out that I probably wasn't the best person to take advice from. I was going for the 'sink or swim' approach. Will this chick really tough it out or will she throw the towel in?

TOUGH. IT. OUT. She Did!

And A RoadID

I was honored to be the one to High-Five her at her very first Triathlon! Adena came so incredibly far in such a short time. I vividly recall her coming out of the water before Mrs. LoTC and I thought W.T.F.?! Either One of two things just happened, my wife has drowned or that Adena chick has been training something fierce! She looked great out there! I especially like the part where she was a good sport about me haggling her on the run course. Oh my cheer squad was the loudest most obnoxious bunch there and Adena was one of our bestest targets! Everyone had a blast! Good Times!

Did I mention the time she touched my penis and I slept in her bed? She's a great hostess too! :) lol

Merry Xmas!

Now with RoadID they can identify our bodies!


Run Ninja

Almost over. Just two more sleeps. I can't say I'm a big fan of Christmas. I don't like the commercialization of it, not that I would like it even without the pressure to spend spend spend. Everyone gets so warm and cheery and fake that it's just a bit too much to swallow. Not a day goes by that I don't think about how lucky I am to have a loving hawt babe of an athlete for a wife and be thankful for healthy strong-like-bull boys that make me proud. Why do people wait until Christmas to show thanks and all that stuff. I make sure I tell my wife every day of the year, granted I could probably say it more to the kids. Seems kinda fake to me to wait until Christmas. Now toss in the necessary evil of extended familly gatherings and who can blame me for dreading Christmas.
Yes I am scrooge. I'll be the first to admit it. However I came across a little something to help me through the holidays. It was on a blog, and it wasn't a one-liner mantra or a complex training plan. It was just a frame of mind. It said something along the lines of Don't waste time dreading the inevitable, just take it one day at a time and go through the motions - Make the best of it!. Those weren't the exact words, but that is what I took from it.

 Knowing that there is really no way to skip Christmas, I should just embrace it. In this spirit, I have made an effort to put a smile on and not resist or dread the numerous gatherings that dot every single frickin' day of every weekend in December. I really made an effort this year to try to socialize. I think the biggest help has come from my training routine. Going for a hard workout and then attending a party doesn't seem like a big waste of time all of a sudden. I treat it as a recovery time. I sit on the couch and love the feeling of taking the weight off them legs, they feel especially good when I get to bend my knees and get a bit of stretch to the muscles. I curl my toes and appreciate a pair of soft warm socks and make a point to make myself as long as possible and stretch out the whole body from time to time. All of a sudden these parties dont seem like such a waste. I can strike up a conversation with the most know-it-all-jerk on the planet and be perfectly content pretending like I care what he is saying. I'm in non-active recovery, this conversation is part of the training. I'll even crack a smile and laugh at your stupidity a couple times. Don't push it though.

It's not until after each party that I realize it wasn't such a bad time afterall. I was actually kinda glad to see 'those' people again. They might not be so bad afterall. I guess if I didn't see them at Christmas, eventually I would miss them. Maybe this Christmas crap isn't such a bad idea afterall. Don't push it though, cuz if I see one more 'Snuggy-Blanket' commercial I'm gonna Slap-Chop someone.

I finally made it out of the office early this week. This should buy me just enough daylight to try a new route that included some large peice of trail run that is all uphill. There is no streetlights on the trail in the bush so I was under the gun to get to it in time.

Pitstop - Melting snow is so much fun.
Plus Mrs. LoTC appreciate non-yellow socks.
Like running on sand ughhhh

Would have been nice is my crappy
camera phone would focus.

By the time I made it to the furthest point in the run, I realized I might have bit off more than I should chew. The snow trail took alot out of my legs as it was a deeper than I anticipated. Now I had a long way to get back home, at least it was all road from here. I did get out of the trail JUST in time for it to be too dark. I don't know what I would have done if I rolled an ankle or something. For a change, I brought my cell phone with me just in case. I put in in an upper hidden pocket on my vest - this helped limit it bouncing around in my jersey pocket. It wasn't too bad.
I need to cut back on the distance for the weekday runs and work on speed in shorter sprints. These long ones are going to cause me injury. I think I'm still punishing myself for last weekend's debauchery. I think I'm all caught up now.

1 hour indoor Bike Tempo
14Km Run w/ part snow trail

Watch this whole video, I luv it -

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Crazy Sacrifice

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Every day? Are you sure about that? That sounds painful. Actually I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that doing it every day is not good for you. You're prone to injury.
I'm talking about Sex Running.

A gurl at the pool says she runs about 10Km pretty much every day. That sounds crazy. And train for a marathon? I thought you should max out at 4 maybe 5 times a week at most? I guess if you're not injuring yourself, why stop eh? Needless to say, I'm a weak runner so I'll stick with my 3 days a week. Sometimes I'd like to slip a 4th in but I'm so afraid of running injury that I don't want to risk it. The last couple took forever to heal.

Mrs. LoTC actually came swimming with me last night! I'm very glad for that, as I could take a few rests and help her out with her stroke. I needed an excuse to take it easy last night since I overdone it earlier this week and was feeling burnt out already. I felt great the next morning, rejuvinated!

Which leads me to an interesting article that Rodney posted. You know the 'fever' you get after a workout? When you're laying in bed in the middle of the night with no covers on you cuz your internal furnace is cooking your insides? Feels great doesn't it? That's the feeling of a great workout. However, all this time I thought I was getting a little extra burn but apparently it is not the case. You're not burning calories with that 'fever'. Actually, they don't seem like they know what it is. I'd like to believe it's from my body repairing itself, but again this article makes you wonder. I can't comment on it's credibility so I'll leave you to decide on your own. Interesting nonetheless.

 On the nutrition front - I've been a very good boy all week. Only one minor exception but I can justify it. I was tempted by some pumpkin pies that my mother sent home with us, so we tossed them in the garbage. Then I was tempted by the homemade macaroons, an entire tin! I ate more than a fair share of them on the weekend but barely put a dent in the large tin she gave my for xmas. I haven't had any all week but they keep calling my name so I brought them to the office and put them out for the staff to eat. Not before taking a couple for myself, afterall they were made by mom for me.

Indoor Bike Training Sucks for you?
I'm going to share my SooPer SeeKreT training material with you. I've read alot of posts about people struggling with the mental games played out on stationary trainers. Some have tried music, others have tried movies & TV shows but most don't seem to work. Watching a show is just not the same when you're breathing hard and sweating profusely, it's hard to make the emotional attachment to the characters and you lose the plot regularly because your mind wanders.
Anyhow I use a combination of the two, Music Videos. Ok, not the crap you see on MTV that never quite matches what you thought it may have looked like - I'm talking about Triathlon Music Videos! Yes, the gooood schtuff! I haven't got them all, but I did add the majority of the very good ones to a playlist. I jump on the trainer and hit play and I'm pumped! Now not everyone has the same musical taste, but these video's do it for me so I figure I would share. You can find the playlist Below.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Clueless Calories

Basic Nutrition
I woke up with one killer headache. I may have overdone it on the 4000m swim the night before. I spent the morning with my eyes half shut because they were still red and irritated from the chlorine. I didn't think to use eyedrops in the morning, I should make a habit of it though.
One of the nice things of working in an office with a mall below is that you can always make a quick trip to the pharmacy! I grabbed some much needed hydration and advil. Actually I didn't get advil, I got the no-name stuff for several buck cheaper. I don't know what the difference is but according to the ingredients it looks like the exact same thing, except for the fancy label and marketing costs. I have been meaning to try our the G2 gatorade with 0 Calories. I took a look at the label to see that it actually did have calories,  about 20. Not a big deal, but my goal was to replenish the electrolyes without the carbs and 'energy' part of the drink. They had Powerade Zero which really didn't have any calories, nor did it have any sugars whereas the G2 had 5 grams. The ingredients looks fine, except for something called Sucrose which sounds too much like artificial sweetener. Sure enough when I got back to my desk I looked it up and confirmed that suspicion. I don't think it was all that bad, since it is made from actually Sugar rather than an oil product. Now I might not be making sense here, I don't know very much about nutrition and ingredients.
To my knowledge I follow the general outlines of HFCS/Glucose/Fructose is bad ingredients. We get more than enough in a regular diet so avoid overdosing on it. Extremely difficult I might add but I make a concious decision to avoid it as much as possible.  Artificial sweeteners while no calories is bad bad bad. I am under the impression it's actually an Oil based product. As is Dairy Queen icecream apparently? Soft icecream is not even Milk? I don't know where I heard that one but I'd like to avoid that kind of garbage. Even though it tastest soo good. Of course the tried and true Deep-Fried is bad for you. Self explanatory.
So as I said, I have only a few rules to my diet and clearly I don't know what I am talking about. I don't buy into the Omega-69-B4-Electrialis-Marketing-Buzz-Word-Of-The-Week commercials. If you eat a somewhat balanced diet, you shouldn't need to 'tune-up' the digesting system with crap. Again, do as I say, not as I do. lol ;)
Soooo back to my headache. Having the mall is also a bad thing. It means it is waaay to easy to pop downstairs for a quick snack. Of course there is no such thing as a healthy snack to be found so it's always chips or chocolate bar or something. I've made friends with the Deli owner downstairs and he has apples and bannanas and a whole variety of salads. A lifesaver, albeit expensive snacks lol.

So last night's run was gorgeous. My headache never went fully away but I wasn't about to skip my run, especially after last weekend's fiasco. It was such a beautiful and warm night out (-5 Celsius) that I didn't even put on a mid-mid-layer. My original plan was to duck out of work early to go scope out a new route that included some trail while it was still kind-of-light outside. Unfortunately this plan got interrupted by a surprise. I was presented with a non-xmas-related gift from the company in light of 'all my hard work'.
I just picture Adena spitting coffee all over her monitor after reading that statement. For Brian's case, it was probably scotch. Despite appearances, I guess the more than couple hundred hours of overtime went noticed. I do work hard, especially since alot of maintenance and downtime must be done at 'odd' hours of the night to minimize interruption of 24/7 operations. K, enough bullshit for one post - back to regularly schedule programming:

So anyhow, back to ducking out of work early - it just wasn't going to happen so I'll make a note of trying the new route on Thursday instead. Since the weather was so nice, I added in an extra Km side track with a big uphill. Even before the uphill I was getting some awkward tension in the top front of my leg near my hip. I couldn't figure out how to stretch it out, it almost felt like a cramp but more like a fatigued soreness. I haven't felt this before. I wonder if the time on the bike is effecting my run? Or maybe I was pushing too hard. Either way, I hope it goes away. Incase it's inflamation I've been downing the 'advil'. A little extra advil never hurt anyone... I think. Wait, I feel my headache coming back.

It was a long day after getting up at 5:30am to get a Trainer ride in. I hit the sack at 9pm and wish I had went sooner. I was passing out I was so tired.


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