Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sinking Feelings

So we got kicked out of the pool last night. I didn't even hear the whistle, Bruce(Road Rebel) had to get my attention before I flip twist-turned. There was underwater Rugby going on in the other pool and it looked like someone was rendered unconcious and sunk. They pulled him out and we waited while paramedics arrived. That's unfortunate and all but I had to bite my tongue from asking whether we can go back in the pool soon. Some guy could be dieing and all I can think about was this is going to cost me 1000m of training.
Allergy Warning - This Blog may contain Feline
Luckily the guy was fine, or so it looked. They did let us back in eventually so I made up for the missed distance by doing 1:30min/100m sets. It varied by plus or minus 4 seconds but damn what a workout! I like this whole speed work thing! I still don't kick as hard because my hips are inflamed from Sunday's race. I'm still holding back a bit while I recover.

While chilling in the sauna, the resident Ironman mentioned there is a 'new' multisport store in the next town over. I had no idea! Strange location I thought, but regardless I can't wait to go check it out! Actually the owner went out of his way to meet me at the Around The Bay Race but I didn't understand what he meant when he said "I own the store in Paris". I figured it was a running shoe store or something. I know where ALL the bike shops are, but apparently I missed out on a few new ones opening. This one has been around for some time now, I'm just late to the party lol.

I almost got excited because it's close enough to join in on their organized group rides except ummm I don't have a bike anymore. I have a Tri-Bike but thats not something they usually group ride with. They are known for alot of cyclocross and road biking, neither of which I have anymore since I gutted my road bike to build the wife's bike. Damn. I don't know what to do here, I can almost kinda sorta justify a cheap cross-bike purchase but this has been an expensive winter of bike buying. I can't fathom buying yet another bike.

I looks like I'll be going it alone, no group rides for me this year..... ? :(

I'll still have my mountain biking at least. I was never interested in road riding until this winter. After watching all those road racing videos while on the trainer, it has peaked my interest. I think my underlying plan of attack here is to keep an eye out for a used cyclocross bike. I'll just swap in a set of road wheels for road riding. Used cross bikes seem to be hard to come by, even online. I'll keep an eye open.


On a side note, I doubled up on workouts agian. Bike morning, swim evening. Nutrition wise I have been a good boy for the past 48hrs so I really really really hope I can continue this trend. I'm hoping the scale is only registering on the high-side because I'm retaining muscle repair water post-race. It's dangerously close to my 'oh $hit' weight. It said 178lbs the other day. Damn. Water, please just be water. If I get to 180lbs I'm gonna go all starvin marvin on myself. I refuse to let it get any higher!

TRAINING:

Bike - 1:00hrs
Swim - 0:50hrs (late speed work)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

FASTing

Fasting.
I am FASTing. The doc told me to fast before going to get blood work so I had to try to completely ignore food for 12hrs. Being a Previously Fat Guy, this is no small feat! So what do you do to occupy the mind and keep yourself from thinking of food?

I trained.

Sure my body is still sore from ATB and I'm craving a Large Pepperoni pizza but I figure the best thing for my body right now is not to be sitting still and stiffening up. I jumped on the bike for an hour and spun the pedals. That actually feels really good after a tough run, it really loosens things up! When I was done the ride I was hungry. I craved fooooood. So instead of sitting around starving to death, I went swimming! I pounded out a 1 hours swim with some great sprint sets of 1:24/100m! This was my first real workout since ATB, so I enjoyed it. My hips are especially sore, the water helps a bit.

When I got home I was really hungry. So I just went to bed. I tried to sleep but my stomach rumbled all night. Around 6am I got out of bed, drank a ton of water and then - jumped on the bike again. This was a solid hour, nothing recovery about it. Luckily I am allowed to drink water so I filled up on as much water as I possibly could. I finished it just in time to shower and goto the medical lab so I had no time to get hungry again. At least that is what I told myself. Feelin' a bit woozy behind the wheel, but I made it!

Touch & Go Baby... Touch and Go...  ;)
This is my last base build week. Starting next week I ramp up to begin the performance part of the training program. 12 weeks of carnage. I warned the wife that is the part where she'll have to be strong. I will not be around much. There will be alot of touch and go (no pun intended! hah) so I need her to be understanding. I need a solid 12 weeks of perfect training. No skipping, no lolly gagging, just lots of pain and suffering. I can't wait!

TRAINING

Bike - 1:00hrs Spin recovery
Swim - 1:00hrs Full on
Bike - 1:00hrs Full on



Week 23 Review

Taper week. The runs were slow and steady, just winding down in time for the race. I completely skipped my bike sessions to ensure fresh legs for ATB. This meant for some really low numbers on the training front. March has been a really lousy month with Illness and excessive Taper resulting in a poor small amount of training.

On the other hand, maybe all the taper and rest has did me well. My results at Around The Bay 30Km race was nothing short of exceptional for me. I am very happy with how it turned out. My biggest worry was that all the pain and suffering of training all winter would not reflect in my performance at my first running race, glad I was wrong.


TRAINING (Race Week, ATB Taper, Set 6 Week 4 Base Maintenance Phase)

Swim - 1:40hrs (Short kiddy pool)
Bike - Nil
Run - 3:35hrs

Total - 5:15hrs

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Embrace It

I don't remember being this sore after my Ironman 70.3 last year. I probably just forgot about the pain, but here I am post Around The Bay Race 30Km Run and I feel like I just did a 1/2 Ironman! Ouch!
Get back to training.
It is just muscle pain.
I really can't complain though. The majority of the 'bad' pain is coming from my hips/joints. The muscle pain I can deal with. I'm happy to say I do not feel any injuries though so I think I got out of this one clean! Yay body! No shin splints, no IT Band, no foot pain - just good old 'I gave it everything I had' soreness.

Having said that, I took Monday off of work. I got out of bed, took one look at the stairs and said 'phuck that' and went back to bed. I am glad I didn't go because just hobbling around the house was killing me. I decided to hit the pool in the evening because I know swimming makes everything better. I only stayed for half the scheduled workout since I stressed my body out enough the day before with dehydration and fatigue. It was nothing but a light splashing of the water and getting my range of motion back. Stretching in water feels so good! I slept like a baby that night!

As a bonus, a package arrived in the mail finally! Unfortunately I got dinged for duty charges, which is not normal since I've had 20 other packages come in without a problem. My guess is that this package contained said 'clothing' on the description? I am just guessing here, but regardless there wasn't any actual clothing in it.  I ordered a new swim mask, same make and model that I bought from Training Payne. I prefer swim masks over goggles since they fit my warped face better, and I like the tinted glass. Also, I picked up a set of Ultegra SPD pedals to go with those Specialized Carbon Pro Road shoes I got at the bike show. This means the wife can have my Shimano SPD's and she can stop compalining about not knowing how to clip into the LOOK cleats. I pretty certain it's user error but she insists the pedals suck. Either way, problem solved! I just have to install/swap everything now. The hard pard is getting the cleat into a comfortable position. There is so much range on this cleat design that finding the sweet spot will be difficult. I also grabbed a set of road tires for the training wheels. They are an ugly white colour but who cares, they are just training wheels. Luckily I put this order in with a coupon code so that helps offset the duty costs, but still. Annoying. In reality I probably just got lucky on the other orders and didn't get charged.

In reality I have to get over the whole sorness thing. Simon once tweet'd me some insight on his wicked training program that got him results, he said, "Just got to put the Km's in and embrace the pain". So it is time to stop whining about some sore mucles and get back to the training program. I am going to lay off the impact workouts but I will get back to bike and swim from here on in. How bad do YOU want it?!

TRAINING:

Swim - 0:30hrs recovery

Monday, March 28, 2011

Around The Bay 30Km Run Race Report

Nervous
This is my first running race.

I have never done a running race before. Not a 10Km, not even a 5Km. This was completely new to me.

I layed everything out the night before. I packed my race gear into a race bag and post-race clothes into another bag. Unfortuntately in the morning I still managed to feel rushed and didn't feel well organized at all. I had a hard time thinking straight because I was very nervous. I wrestled with what to wear since I didn't want to get cold pre-race. I was a mess.


Forgetful

It was to our advantage that I know the area so we had no problem getting primo parking right at the copps colliseum, underground and for only $3! I put all my race clothing on while in the Truck. In my nervousness I completely forget my pre race snacks in the truck. We met up with our new found running team and my pit-babe was kind enough to fetch me some carbs while I tried to stay warm. After a billion pee breaks we were ready to goto the start line. I originally wanted to get to the start line early for a good spot but given my pre-race jitters and inexperience I figured it was best to stick to the running coach like glue and take in the advice and let them guide me through the maze to get to the start line. I just focused on staying calm and let them do most of the thinking for me.


My first chip...

The starting line was nowhere to be found, I did not know where it was. I just followed the coach and the mob of people. All I could think of was "Look at all the people!". I have never seen so many people at a start line before. I think they said over 7000 runners, it was crazy!! I just focused on looking at the ground and not tripping on a pothole or snow/ice, now is not the time to hurt yourself. I had to pee. I really had to pee again, but there no outlets to be found.
I didn't hear the start gun. Probably because the race started before we even got to the start area! We were at the very back, heck I could see the 3hr pace bunny up ahead of me! Nobody was running though, you couldn't if you wanted to. Unlike cycling & tri they had timing mats at the start line so you could get timed from the line instead of from gun time. I like that! It took several minutes of shuffling to finally get to the start line and I started my Garmin.

Start line shuffle



Trying not to trip on potholes

The first 10Km were frustrating. I ran with the coach for a couple of kilometers and then I tried to move up. There were just so many people that there was no way I could reach my running pace. I just shuffled along at a painfully slow speed. I didn't want to be 'that guy' that weaves in and out so I only kindly picked my way through the obvious gaps but didn't force my way. The key was to get past the 3hr pace bunny and stay ahead. At the first feed zone I would have liked to of pee'd but there was no way I wanted to fall any further behind the slow mob. I just wanted to get ahead and into a group that did more my pace. Then it happened - the 3hr pace bunny passed me. The bunny was caught in this mess of people and was getting held back so he forced his way through the crowds to get back on pace. I tagged in behind him and rode his tail as he shouted at people to clear the way. It was great, albeit I was still well behind the pace I wanted to be. At least I was making progress. I went to take my hat and neck warmer off and in the process I dropped my hat. I really liked that hat, it was just the right thickness. I almost stopped to pick it up but I remember being warned that you'll likely get trampled if you try. I had to leave a man behind this day... goodbye hat. You'll be missed!


There I am!

At the 8km mark I left the bunny behind. There was just enough room on the outside of the lane to pass people. I was getting annoyed though, I never practiced this many speed changes. I would speed up but then get blocked by someone and have to slow down. I tried to stay as steady as possible because I figured I would pay for the aggressiveness later. Amongst the thousands of people I caught up to a friend that is a regular marathon runner. She was stuck in the crowd too and just like me had succombed to accepting our times will be greatly hurt by the traffic. One of my Primary goals was to finish ahead of her so now with her in my sights it felt great! Before she realized it was me, I was sure to put some bunny ears on her as we passed a photographer. I hope they got the shot! Since we were stuck in traffic we just talked and even united with other friends for a couple of kilometers. It was fun but as we approached the 10km mark I seen an opening along the side that gave opportunity to get up to a proper pace. I took it. I don't even think I said goodbye, I just went for it. Finally, I was running the pace I wanted to. Again, got cut off quite a bit and had to manouver but for the most part it was good enough.

The feed stations were pitiful. On three occasions they handed me water and it was solid ice. No water. The gatorade was not frozen but I already had enough salt/sugar stuck in my tummy so I just wanted to dilute it. No water sucks. I finally settled into my own pace and I just went from Ironman to Ironman. It was coincidence that every couple hundred meters was someone, usually a woman, with an Ironman finishers jacket on so I just reeled them in one at a time. It was fun, I made sure to cheer them on as I passed. They were great motivation!


Try running in that.. pfft..

Now the hills were upon us. I powered up the first few and felt great! The Triathlon club of Burlington had a tent setup along the race course so I shouted 'yay triathlon!' over to them and ignited the crowd. I still had a smile, felt great and was having fun. There were quite a few spectators with stereo's blasting, and every tune was one from my training motivation compilation, it couldn't have been better. By the 22k mark at the top of a hill I had to take a short walk and get some fluids in me. Finally I got liquid water but it was like drinking fire. The water was so cold it felt like someone took a sledgehammer to my teeth and I could feel it burn all the way down to my stomach. It hurt alot but I knew I had to have it. I could only bring myself to drink 2 1/2 cups. I couldn't do it no more.

My pace fell off after that. I just settled in to the pace everyone else around me was doing. No more passing for me, I backed right off. Approaching the 24kkm mark I couldn't no longer, I had to take that pee that I completely forgot about. I eyed an empy one and jumped in. Everything was flowing just fine until some guy ripped open the door and broke the lock. Of course that made me lose concentration and the flow was never the same. I squeezed as hard as I could but it took forever to finish. 50 squirts later I think the lizard was finally drained and I got back at it. Again, I took a painful shot of frozen water. My pace slowed right down and my heartrate began to creep up. I was feeling very tired as I approached the famous Valley hill that everyone talks about. One of my primary goals was to run up that hill, that was extremely important to me. I entered the valley and my heartrate was already approaching critical, even as I tried to deliberately slow down before the hill. Ohhhh the pain. I could hardly breath and as tired as I was, I knew something wasn't right. As coach instructed, I dug deep and ran up that entire hill. I passed quite a few people that succombed to walking and I was ready to join them. I knew that I had family watching along this hill somewhere so I told myself I would at least run as far as them and then I could walk, so at least I get some good pictures! :) Of course, my father was at the top of the hill so I wound up running the entire hill anyways which had my heart pegged at maximum beats per minute.

That hill took its toll. It all made sense once I was at the top. I looked down to my hands and they were a bright red and I could feel I was flushed. I had stopped sweating. Immediately I knew I was dehydrated. It snuck up on me, I didn't see the signs. I knew I wasn't drinking enough but it never occured to me that he last few kms didn't 'feel right'. I wasn't thinking straight by now, I couldn't bare to take another shot of the gel/water mix on my fuel belt. When I took a shot of water at the feed station I almost immeditely tossed my cookies. I could feel a goey mess of hammer gel clash with frozen water in my stomach. I was having pains. I say I wasn't thinking straight because I completely forgot that one of the fuel pods on my belt had plain water in it. I didn't even take it. All I could focus on was finishing.

The last 3km felt longer than the previous 27km. I was well into the hurt locker, the legs were screaming to stop and I could no longer support my upper body and stand up straight. My HR was out of control and I knew that if I began to walk that I would be stuck walking the rest of the course. Death approached. No really, he did - there were a couple of people dressed up as 'death' and they were inviting people to join them in the cemetary we were passing. It would have been cute had I not been in so much pain and had a hard enough time keeping my legs moving. I almost accepted there invitation..
I hung on as long as I could, I just looked at the ground in front of me and tried to keep moving. I passed a guy on the ground who cramped up with just 100m to go. I thought for sure I was going to join him. I never felt like I was going to cramp, it was more like I had to collapse and vomit. I really wanted to.

There is a hot chick with water at the finish line. That's all I kept thinking, its the only thing that kept me going. Approaching the finish line I could see the clock and I knew I had made beat even my most optimistic goals. I did it. I didn't collapse before the finish line.

I did collapse after the finish line. Once I in the atheletes-only area I curled up in a little ball on the ground and sipped water. It could barely keep my eyes open, I was pretty certani I was going to toss my cookies. How stupid of me to allow myself to get dehydrated. Looking back though, I'm pretty sure even if you handed me a big bottle of water I would not have drank it. The water was simply too cold, I couldn't bring myself to drink any more than a shot or two.


So all in all it was a great race. I finished 2:48:32 which is a couple minutes ahead of my best hoped time. Given the circtumstance I easily had a few minutes I could shave off that which makes me very happy! I also won some friendly competition amongst several other athletes which made my day. After reviewing the results I also have found the 'next level' of friendly competition. I am actually surrounded by some darn good runners and I look forward to learning from them and improving my time for next year.

After battling it out with the race directors, they finally gave in to allowing a couple of friends race their wheelchairs on the course. Rob & Rich were the only wheelchair athletes there today and I do not understand how those boys made it up those hills!!?? Those guys amaze me! Rob has been a big inspiration for me, I'm especially proud of everything he has accomplished. He is the essence of HTFU!

Speaking of which, despite injury Peter made it out to the race! Had I pissed just a bit faster I would have had him as he beat me by 30 seconds! hah! He's in a whole other level than I so it would take an injury for me to have a chance but still, I'm going to have to train up some high-pressure speed pissing for next year! hah!


Finish line early in the morning

My training plan, vindicated. All that hard work paid off. I am exactly where I want to be. I have a new found respect for running. I look at the times that guys like Daryl put in and I'm speachless. I hate that guy. He runs way too fast for someone so friendly and humble. I would love to learn to run that fast some day, I'm going to have to torture him for his secrets on how he does it!
For now, this will have to do since the next phase of my training program is all about maintaining my run as-is and now focusing on cycling. It's all about the bike now. I can't wait!

 RACE

Run 30Km - 2:48:32


Saturday, March 26, 2011

ATB Countdown

Its late. I should really be in bed already. I like to check my email before slumber, otherwise I think about all the outstanding messages that might be waiting and it keeps me from sleeping. Yes, its a problem I have.

While checking email I finally opened the envelope with my race bib in it. When I pulled it out I couldn't help but get a bit overwhelmed by the fact I'm finally doing a running race. How can I be 33yrs old and have never at least tried something as simple as a 5km running race? Everyone knows I dislike running, but is that a reason to not at least try it once? Why do I hate running so much? Why DID I hate running? I hadn't run longer than 2km when I started out on my triathlon journey. So if I had not done any running whatsoever, how did I develop that dislike for it? Where did it come from? Running was just a necessary evil on the road to Ironman. Running was nothing more than a means to an end.

24 weeks ago I was grateful for a 6:45min/km(10:51min/mile) pace for no more than 5km. That was a good day for me. Going faster, going farther seemed to impossibly far away. I was so slow at running that it was frustrating. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't run any quicker. I disliked running because I sucked at it.

I was determined to improve though, after seeing what an honestly executed training plan did for Rodney's IM Muskoka results. I knew that this is what I wanted. I was here to give running on honest chance. To stick to a plan. To not make excuses. This race bib in my hand is everything I've worked for all winter long. My BHAG (Big Hairy A$$ Goal) of the winter. The mission was simple: turn a 2km shuffle into a respectable 30Km Run in 24 weeks.
Don't see excuses. See opportunity.
At first it was the darkness, I ran.

Then the cold set in, I still ran.

When the snow arrived it took some serious adjustment. Injuries, adaptation, misery, but - I still RAN.

When the snow turned to mud and slush in the pouring freezing rain, I still hit my trail runs.

The snow just got deeper, the blizzards came Every. Single. Phuckin. Weekend. But I still, Ran.

Over 170hrs of training.. Over 65hrs of that running  (650Km) - 3 Times a week. Every. Single. Week.

Sure some workouts were missed, some were shuffled around but that was sparse and I always paid my dues. I executed an honest training plan. I did what I needed to do. I got it done. Without any doubt whatsoever, I can say I am ready for this. I am ready to do my first running race. I'm ready to take on the challenge that has burned in my mind for over 5 months. I have come to realize a new found passion. Something that had aluded me my entire life, until now. Something that I didn't give a chance:

I like to run.

Why didn't I do this sooner?

Race Bib #5377


My Pit Crew (2007)


Friday, March 25, 2011

First Kit

I'm already getting annoyed with this whole 'B' race thing. Given that I've trained all winter specifically improving my running for this precise race, I should feel more excited. I am looking forward to seeing the results of my hard work, but just the same I am looking forward to the next phase of training. I want to workout, I want to ride hard, but I cannot because of this taper thing that I got to do for Around The Bay. I don't like waiting.
I skipped last night's taper run. a measely 5km will not be missed, but I figure I'll make up for it this evening by doing something at least to keep me loose. I think in the future, I'm going to reduce or completely avoid the number of 'B' and 'C' races, they interfere with the training plan too much.


Anyhow I picked up my race package today! My very first Running Race kit! It included a good looking long sleeve technical shirt that might be too short in the arms but I'll wear it anyways. By doing this race, I guess I could say 'I am a runner' now? Or maybe I should wait to see if I finish first, or if my time is anything respectable. I always found it interesting over the polarized opinions on who can/can't or should/shouldn't call themselves a triathlete. If are training for a triathlon, do you get to say you are a triathlete? Or do you have to finish one first? Once you finish, does it have to be a full Iron before you can say you are a triathlete or does a try-a-tri count? Its not uncommon to see opinions that only a 'full' counts. Admittedly I read Slowtwitch, daily, and I think the jaggedness of my opinions are being influenced and formed by the less-than-stellar role models that lurk those forums. Does running have the same problem? What is required to be called 'A runner'?

I met up with Peter from Tripple Yadda, as he was in town to pickup his race kit too. Immediately I could tell I was out of my league. He's way fitter looking than I, as I thought for sure he was 'round' from the photo on his blog. This guy is a runner for sure, he'd totally kick my butt. After some poorly labelled signs guiding us through race kit pickup, we took a quick glance over the expo area. No obvious great deals, and I couldn't find the big bottle of Hammer Gel that I was looking for. Actually, I could barely find anything 'Hammer' at all. It seems E-Load is the new standard. Regardless, I am pretty sure Peter, an economics guru,  has stock in the foam industry - he tried to sell me a $40 peice of foam as a roller. I'm no stranger to foam and I can tell you that the cost to make that roller is likely less than a dollar so you gotta be frickin' kidding me. I think I'll stick to my Nalgene bottle. Heck I would have considered $20 because my rolling pin ('The Stick' substitue) is a little more money than I thought. Who the heck pays $15 for a wooden rolling pin? Its just a peice of wood! So I would maybe consider replacing my rolling pin and nalgene bottle with a $20 peice of foam if it was the right colour and size and some hot blonde was flashing her 'credentials' in my genuine direction to make the sale. Maybe. $40 though, she better get on her knees and... oh nevermind.

TRAINING

None - Taper laziness.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Snow Taper


Unscheduled snow day boredom
Snow Day! Just when you thought it was spring, psych!

I wish I would have noticed the roads ahead of time, so I could sleep in. I got all ready for work and then while digging the truck out I took one look at the car and said forget about it. The snow was so deep on the hood of the truck that there is no way the car is getting through this. I just worked the morning from home instead.

I caught up on blogs and did as little as possible. It was a very relaxing day. Maybe a bit too relaxing. I had my last pizza, alot of it, before the race this weekend. I will eat proper from here on in. It's bad enough I'm carrying a few extra pounds with me, I don't want to add a large pepperoni to the mix.

Suprisingly the pool was still open so I went for a very easy swim. I might be over-tapering at this point but oh well. I'm actually trying to stay focused on the race this weekend. I find myself very excited about the post-race training since I start the performance phase of training. More hours, lots of them. I get to concentrate on the bike too, I can't wait!
I find myself inspired by Simon's IM Singapore Race Report. He had a bike split that gives me wet dreams and I just had to know what kind of training plan he followed to make it happen. He was kind enough to share some valuable insight into how he managed to average OVER 40km/h. Needless to say, alot of hard work and then alot more hard work on top of that. Amazing story, I recommend you go read it. When I grow up, I want to bike that fast some day :)

40Km/h Average, was secretly kitty powered
Sooo this latest SCO plan, Simon Cross Online, coupled with my recent discovery of the Road Rebels running group has thrown a frickin' A-bomb into the JPO training program. The program is solid, but the schedule is all messed up and I need to come to terms with how I'm going to fit all these workouts in. I wish our pool opened earlier, it would make life easier. I can get in earlier if I join masters swim club but they want $500 and they can kiss my hairy white a$$ since I only want access to a lane and have no use for a swim coach. It looks like less and less time will be spent with the wife. I have to run my new plan by her first for approval as it mean quality time will have to be cut down to 3 minutes instead of the usual 5 minutes so I got time to train.  No wait.. maybe it will go from 3 minutes to 5 minutes because I'm too tired from training. Either way, she's going to have to bring her 'A-game' to make this work.

TRAINING

Run - 0:35hrs Taper
Swim - 0:45hrs Taper

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Baldy

Lets us just get the obvious million dollar question out of the way cuz you know somebody is bound to ask......   WHY?
  1. Vanity - Excessive pride in one's appearance or accomplishments; conceit
  2. Recovery - Wounds, specifically road rash, heals significantly faster when you can clean them properly without hair to hold/attract dirt and make infection.
  3. Any experienced competitive cyclist will understand #2, otherwise you are either a non-cyclist or ride like a pussy so please refer back to #1 pretty boy.
The wife was not a happy camper. She likes my furry legs and I felt bad that she is not impressed. On the other hand, I would totally RAGE if I had a bout of road rash that didn't heal fast enough or got infected all because she made me not shave. Imagine throwing away 8 months of training and missing Ironman Lake Placid over something so simple. Bring on the razzors!

This is not the first time reverting to silky smooth limbs so I knew what to look for at the store. I couldn't find any paint stripper at the Shoppers Drug Mart so I opted to get Nair yet again. Its rather presumptious of the hair removal cream companies to put a picture of a woman on the front of the bottle or specifically label it 'for woman'. I'm sure some men use this stuff too, why shut off that part of the market by automatically assuming only woman are out to buy this crap? How rude.

Furry Front
Furry Back
Anyhow couldn't find the old school plain Nair-only bottle. All they had was Nair with strawberry scented, B12 fortified, sunflower seed, lavendar extract, Omega fortified, fluffy bunny inspired, laced with smelly shit formula. Damn. I just wanted paint stripper, but I guess the sunflower tea tree oil one will have to be manly enough for now. Oh, and dont forget the pink razors. Actually I love pink razors, I use womans razors on my face all the time. Woman's razors are soooo much better than mens razors. Then again, maybe its because my face is so messed up, but whatever. I picked up the pink gurly blades.
Oh and gum. That way it rounded off the purchase as if the Gum was for me and the pink stuff is for her, which she wasn't present so I got a strange look from the gurl at the cashier.

Mosquito Season
I had to make this quick, I have a swim later in the evening. A quick application of the nair brought back memories of the horrid smell I so vaguely recall. Paint stripper would have smelt much better. I made sure to layer it on thick as last time it practically didn't do anything. 10 minutes later and the stuff hardly done anything. After smelling that crap for 10 minutes straight I pretty much wasted my time. Very little came off. Out came the frilly pink razors and voila - finished just in time to run out of hot water. Perfect timing.

It feels weird. It doesn't feel right. My soft lounging jogging pants don't feel so comfy. The skin needs to toughen up I bet. The wife wouldn't even touch them. She's pissed, however it's been 10 years already and at least one of us has got to start shaving our legs. If it ain't gonna be her, then I may as well do it. hah! In her defence she has romanian blood which were direct descendants of sasquatches, or was that warewolves? No matter, mine are smoother than hers. She's probably just jealous.

Bald
Actually I dont like it, but its a necessary evil. It could be worse - many others shave arms and chest but I gotta draw the line somewhere right? lol

Desperately need a Tan!
Oh my swim was 'ok'. I nearly passed out in the sauna afterwards. I was really nautious, I think its a combination of not eating enough and dehydration. I'm so fixated on my weight problem that I haven't been eating enough. I gotta carb up for the weekend now so I'll feel better later, except for the sack of potatoes I'm gonna have to carry with my for the 30Km running race. Doh!



Can you count the scars?
Yeh my knees are messed up! lol
TRAINING

Swim - 1:00hrs

Monday, March 21, 2011

Week 22 Review

After a week off sick, I was feeling strong and looking forward to getting back to the training program. I decided to play it safe and not do early morning workouts while my body both adjusts to the Daylight Savings Time as well as fights off any remaining illness.
That meant willingly sacrificing a short-pool swim in favour of a long bike in the middle of the week to make up for the missed mornings. It felt pretty good actually, with the exception that it took my entire evening and it felt like I came home, quickly ate, biked and went straight to bed with no relaxation. I felt rushed.
The week would have been perfect if I nailed that long bike on Sunday, but after spending the day at a Funeral, I felt like I would rather spend the rest of the day with my wife rather than endlessly drooling on a long 3hr bike trainer. Alone.
Overall I can't complain since I'm healthy, loved and the luckiest man alive! This week coming up is taper week for my big Around the Bay Race, 30Km run, so I'll be taking it easy. Again, no early mornings this week. Just keeping loose and focused on the task ahead.

I look forward to the big race, but I look forward even more to the training on the other side. After ATB I get to ramp up my cycling and pound out some crazy mileage! I can't wait! ATB marks the end of me concentrating on the run, and marks the beginning of the strong Cycling phase. Swimming will wait until closer to June.

TRAINING:

Swim - 1:00hrs (Short kiddy pool)
Bike - 3:00hrs
Run - 3:10hrs

Total - 7:10hrs

The Dash

Manage the things that you can control, be strong for the things you can't.
Those were the words delivered by her loved ones on behalf of a beautiful woman who lost her battle to the uninvited invader. Wise words. Experienced words. Words to live by.

All she asked is that we don't just mourn the loss, but to Celebrate Her Life. Celebrate they did,  the building burst at the seams to capacity yet loved ones still poured in for a chance to rejoice.

We spent that Sunday afternoon reminiscing in Kate's 'Dash'

The Dash Poem
by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end

He noted that first came her date of he birth
And spoke the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years

For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not how much we own;
The cars, the house, the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left,
That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
To consider what’s true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect,
And more often wear a smile
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read
With your life’s actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?


Stay true to your Training Plans. Crush your workouts. Execute a flawless Race. Above all else though, hug your loved ones and forgive your enemies for none of us know how long that dash is going to be.

Oh, and Cancer Sucks. Support a local riding buddy as he takes on the Ride to Conquer Cancer!
Please help contribute to this history-making event with a donation. Funds raised in The Ride to Conquer Cancer will support breakthrough research, exemplary teaching, and compassionate care at The Princess Margaret, one of the top 5 cancer research centres in the world.


CLICK HERE TO DONATE



TRAINING:

Sunday: NONE - spent time with a loved one
Saturday: Run - 15Kms

Friday, March 18, 2011

Heavyweight Pro

Yup, I am back to punishing myself. After reaching a record-setting high on the scale earlier this week I have re-doubled my efforts on the weight loss front. Too little too late, but if I could at least shave a couple pounds by race day that has got to count for something! ATB is only one week away and so far the scale is going in the right direction, but not enough. I wonder if I can pull off a solid week of no snacking. I say 'I wonder' because I'm already doubting myself, thus have doomed myself to fail before even starting.
Thing brings me back to the endless hunger. I haven't felt this in awhile. Not since I actively tried to lose weight. I hate being hungry. This sucks.

Anyhow, I came across an interesting tweet from Craig Alexander that had an EBay auction of the outfit he wore when he won the world championships. It was already going for well over $1000, all to charity of course. Interesting, and of course I suggested Chrissy should do the same and she actually replied to me. Rare to 'celebrities' take the time to bother with the little people, but as Fran suspects it was some marketing intern lackey that responds on her behalf. Regardless, I chose to believe she send me that tweet and deep down inside she knows she wants me.


So last nights group run was the first for Fran, second for me and still in our 'try before we buy' phase. Since the group runs short and slow compared to my training plan, I ran an extra 5Km to the starting point at a fast pace to make up for it. I really enjoyed running with people, this group is really nice and it made for a fun time. I would like to make this group running thing work but that would mean I am going to have to throw a wrench into my training plan to accomodate their speed/pace and schedule. Although, admittedly the pace they do is closer to what my Ironman pace will likely be so it probably wouldn't hurt to learn to be efficient and train the HR properly. I'll make a decision post ATB.
Fran seemed to have fun. I think its perfect for her since running with a group will help motivate her I hope.

TRAINING:

Run - 1:10hrs

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Flexible Asia

Luckily I am flexible. Not in the yoga-touch-my-toe-to-the-nose kinda thing, but in the rearranging of my training plan and schedule to accomodate life!

After all that careful studying of events and races and coming up with my original race schedule, I have now dropped a bomb on my entire plan. 'Other' events like epic mountain bike rides, vacation, cottage and newfound triathlon events have taken over my calendar all in the past week. I guess with this brief glimpse of warm weather, people have started to plan out their own summers. In order to mesh with key groups of friends and family, I had to be willing to sacrifice a few things. Win some, lose some.

I need to go back and plan this out on a calendar but as it sits, I've dropped Milton Triathlon in favour of an epic mountain bike ride with an awesome group or riders. Risky, given the insane terrain but I managed to come out of it mostly injury free last year  albeit a permanent scar on my calf.
I shoe horned in a couple cottage weekends that make an Ironman look like a walk in the park. My liver just twitched at the thought.
Tentatively I've taken on the Woodstock triathlon and definitely the Chemong Lake triathlon. There will be a breathalyzer test involved with the Chemong tri and it's not to ensure we're sober! Beer runs are for pussies. Real men do beer tri's! I wasn't kidding about the breathalyzer.
Last but not least, the Muskoka Long triathlon is tenatively scrapped as well.

I'll wait a couple of weeks before re-re-planning things. One this is for sure, all these changes are for the better! This is going to be a crazy awesome summer!


On the training front I also applied my flexibility. The DST change was too much to get up for early morning rides, so I combined 3 workouts into one and did them in the evening. 3hrs on the bike trainer which is exactly one lap of the Ironman Lake Placid 'virtual reality' DVD. Long ride, sore legs, great workout! I am looking forward to getting this Around The Bay running race out of the way, I want to concentrate on my biking again. I'm not feeling as strong as I would like to. Yet. I didn't mind missing my swim, its a short pool anyway since they move the bulkheads to let the kiddy pool be bigger. Not worth training in a 22m pool. Screw that.

I'm a little disappointed today. My carbon water bottle cages still have not come, they were 'shipped' February 7th. The china-man says they're probably lost in the mail and will send new shipment. While I hope BOTH sets show up, that'd be nice, I question if either have been sent in the first place. I'm debating putting a stop on the payment via the creditcard company. The original shipping method did not include tracking number, but I demanded to get one for the re-ship ones. I should have the tracking number by tomorrow. I've had surprisingly great experience with ordering direct from China, this would be the first glitch so far.

TRAINING:

Bike - 3:00hrs

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Rebel Run

That was a maze of a route. That was also my first ever group run!

Road Rebels. No, not the Alliance.
At the pool we met a few people that knew each other from some kind of sooper-seekrit running group that we couldn't figure out how to join them. There are no 'running stores' in Brantford so this was a close-knit group of people that train together and if you didn't know the secret handshake then you cannot join in. Well that's what I thought anyways. After picking the brain of the resident pool Ironman I got the necessary info and tracked down the organizer of the Road Rebels to see if we could tag along.

Mrs. LoTC decided to skip the workout in favour of going to the movies with her friends. Priorities. She's doing it wrong! :)  Anyhow I thought it would be a good idea to join the group by myself and make sure my wife could handle the pace/distance since I had no idea what they had planned.

Upon arrival, everyone was very friendly and I could tell right away personality wise we would fit in just fine. From experience on the cyling side, I've been to ALOT of cycling clubs ranging from Race Teams that deliberately try to drop the new people, to immature childish groups that fool around rather than work out, to the bike snobs that are too good for you. Since I have no running experience it was pertinent to meet these people before paying to join. Oh yes, there is some kind of pricey fee to join the group instead of just a secret handshake. So, the initial taste test passes. Everyone was fun and friendly and the organizer was full of information, I like the enthusiasm.

6KM. OK, well that is half of what I had planned but it would do. The pace, immediately very slow. Actually it worked out well since got to chat with people and have some fun. Not a problem, again this was taste testing not training crunch time. The group started breaking up into the different paces, great except I lost sight of the guy out front because there are a ton of turns. It was like a maze of back streets. I'm not used to that, I only train on country roads where I can run non-stop in a straight line and zone out. This was constants turn turn turn cross cross a street. Different. So I just ran with the girls up front. It was fun, except I kept getting 'the gurl smell'. You know like when a pretty woman walks by and you get that perfume-ish girl scent that catches your attention. Distracting. Guys know what I'm talking about. It wasn't a big deal but it was definitely not something expect. My first group run and all.

I had a good time. Too short by afair margin and even the guy out front didn't go my pace. Thats not to say there isn't someone that is more my pace that will show time to time. I guess my concern right now is that I dont understand their routes so for me to run out front means getting lost. I'm at the mercy of the quickest runner there. This might not be for me. Although I could augment the run by running from home to and from the starting point which should give me an extra 5Km-ish which is acceptable. I was more excited that we finally found a group that Fran can really fit in. There are people at her pace, our age and lots of woman. She'll love it!

So later this week I'll bring Fran out to give the group a try. I guess my biggest concern is the hefty club fee. I think the website says ummm $120ea which for Fran might be worth it but for myself it might not be a good fit. I'd rather we both join. I'll worry about that after the wife gets to taste test.

I'm stoked to find like-minded people, I hope it works out. We dont know anyone in this city and we've been here a few years. Oh and just today we found our neighbour is selling his house. They've been great, keep to themselves and quiet. I hope the replacements are just as good. I told Mrs. LoTC that if we get bad neighbours I won't hesitate to sell our pile of bricks. We've had really bad neighbours everywhere we have lived except when we moved here a few years ago. I figure we could peek out the window to see who's at the open house and scare off the ones that look iffy by running around naked on the front lawn or something. I just got to get Fran on board with this idea.

TRAINING:

Run - 0:35hrs Super slow fun group run

Healthy Start

Foam Roller - Wonderful Pain! I think.
Now that I am feeling 93.5% better, I decided to hit the pool. I couldn't wait to get a workout in, I haven't done anything in a week!

Upon arriving though, something didn't look right with the pool. I didn't notice exactly what it was but then the resident Ironman mentioned we'll be getting dizzy tonight. Wait, THE POOL IS SHORTER! The moved the bulkheads and our section of the pool was a good 2 meters shorter. WTF!?

March Break. They extended the kiddy pool to accomodate all the kids off school. Damn.

Oh well, I just didn't push off the wall at all. It required me to pull hard to get 'up to speed' and by the time you got into a rythm you'd smack your head off the other end. Short pools suck, it makes you dizzy. There's a first for everything so I made the best of it and swam for the hour. I took a couple breaks here and there, thats unusual for me but this was the first workout in a week so I forced myself to take it easy.

Nutritoin wise I'm not where I wanted to be. I ate alot of 'comfort' food, AKA sweets, during my illness. Tonight would have been good eating but the wife and I went out to celebrate her hard work as she got a well deserved promotion at work. She's so awesome! I ate like a pig at East Side Marios and wrote off yet another day of dieting. Maybe two's worth. hah!

The time change messes with my schedule. Given that I'm not 100% healthy yet, I decided to skip morning workouts this week. Technically I would be up at 4:30am to get a workout in an I'm not interested in getting ill again. Besides Around the Bay 30Km race is next week, I don't want to screw this up!

When leaving the pool that resident Ironman guy, who I found his name was Ian, told me about the running/tri group he works out with. I looked up the group and contacted the guy who runs it. I'm hesitant to run with other people since I can't run worth a damn and its not good practice to run someone elses pace. Regardless, it wouldn't hurt to check it out and see if I can find a better runner than me to help get me to that next level. Just the same, my wife and I do not know anybody in Brantford to workout with so this might be a good opportunity to meet like-minded people. I am all about the athlete community! I say athletic community since we've been in the city for a few years now and I still dont know my neighbours names, nor have any friends in this town. Go figure :)

TRAINING:

Swim - 1:00hr

Week 20 & 21 Review

Bad Week
Can we just pretend the last two weeks didnt happen?

I didn't just fall off the wagon, I catapulted off and then got trampled by it.

W20 was going perfect, I had just come off a recovery week and was nailing every workout. I may have pushed too hard but I was full of energy and felt good! Then the weekend happened. An extremely long day at the bike show meant I missed my long bike, followed by missing a long run the next day. When I went to make up for the long run I realized I got more than I bargained for at the bike show - Illness. Caught a cold and the rest of the week was a write-off.

I used the downtime to completely unplug from triathlon. Obviously that meant unplugging from my blog as well, to help clear my mind and not stress about missing training.

I am happy to say that I feel much better, maybe 93% better and plan to resume training this week. I guess I should be glad that in 20 weeks this is the first time I've had a major failure in my schedule. It was also pointed out that I may have been over-training which likely contributed to my illness. I've learned my lesson, I think.

I look forward to putting these couple weeks behind me.

WEEK 20 TOTAL (Set 6, Week 1 - Base Maintenance)


Swim: 2:00hrs
Bike: 2:00hrs
Run: 2:20hrs

TOTAL: 6:20hrs *Missed long bike, long run*


WEEK 21 TOTAL (Set 6, Week 2 - Base Maintenance)


Swim: Nil
Bike: Nil
Run: 1:45hrs

TOTAL: 1:45hrs *Deathly Ill, no Training*

Friday, March 11, 2011

ABC's of Me

A- Age 33 going on 12

B- Bed Size: What's that? Oh, well she gets a Queen and I'm left with a single at best.

C- Chore you hate: Putting laundry away. But thats the only thing I do so I really cant complain.

D- Dogs: I've been attacked and bitten more times than you'd like to know. It comes with the territory mountain biking and dogs off leashes with lousy owners. They sense the fear and attack like clockwork, dogs hate me. It's mutual.

E- Essential Start your Day Item: Water. I always wake up dehydrated.
F- Favorite Color: Blue. Well it was purple but thats just not 'manly' enough nowadays.
G- Gold or Silver: Silver. Gold is overplayed...

H- Height: 6ft 4in, Nothing is made for tall people, thus the neverending back pain. Being tall does have alot of advantages though but I'd trade that in any day if it meant getting rid of back pain

I- Instruments you play: None. I did do the French Horn in highschool but thats only cuz the chicks blowing on the horn were hot
J- Job Title: Network Administrator, computer geek turned middle management

K- Kids: 3 boys, 19, 18, 14.  No, thats not a typo, and I am 33. Do the math *pause*

L- Live: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada area

M- Mom’s Name: Lets not go there...

N- Nicknames: None now, and it will remain that way

O- Overnight Hospital Stays: Yes.

P- Pet Peeve: Stupid people. Mouth breathers. Droolers.
Q- Quote from a Movie: "Ohhhhhh Billy" *Rubbing of the nipples* <- disturbing, but stuck in my head 4ever, can you guess the movie? I swear I'm mentally scared from that scene *shudder*

R- Right or Left Handed: Right preferred but I can most things with my left as well. That sounded kinky...

S- Siblings: Younger brother, Younger sister

T- Time you wake up: 5:30am

U- Underwear: Boxxers of course

V- Vegetable you Dislike: All of them. I eat what I have to now, I never used to at all.

W- What Makes You Late: Waiting for other people... ohhh thats a pet peeve for sure

X- X-rays You’ve had Done: All of them. I don't think there's a part that hasn't been zapped, I lead a crazy mountain bike career. Comes with the territory.

Y- Yummy Food you Make: Nope. That's the woman's job. I dont do kitchens.

Z- Zoo Animal Favorite: Flashlight fish. The ones that self-illuminate from super deep in the ocean, most zoo's have an aquarium with them in it. Amazing! That or the Moray Eel.

I'll help out the slower people like Matty-O and do the math for him, Yes it would have made me 14yrs old.
My favourite part is carrying on a conversation while the other party does the math in there head. The reactions people have are hilarious. You can see there eyebrows raise and eyes bulge out of there heads after they do the math but I just continue on the conversation like there's nothing out of the ordinary. Usually followed by an 'awkward' silence on there part. It's funny, I love it :)  Oh, plus my wife is very young looking. She's a really hot 3*yr old but looks like she's 22, so people damn near drop there jaw on the floor when they find out we've got a 19yr old hah!

Disclaimer: Technically my son turns 19 in a few days actually
Punch Line:  I adopted. That's why lol. But I like to tell people that I was 14 and that she was my babysitter and took advantage of me. It's more fun that way hah! j/k

Sunny Days


It could have been worse...

I took a couple days off work. My sore throat continued to get worse and I just wanted to rest. Plus it hurt too much to talk and I do waaay too much of that at the office.
Surprisingly I have had little to no ambition to workout. Not that I could even if I wanted to. The thought hardly crossed my mind. I've been perfectly content taking my naps and breaking into season 5 of ST:Voyager.
I'm not worried about missing the workouts. Last weekend I was a bit freaked out that being sick means missing workouts, but instead I'm finding its more like a super-duper recovery phase. I'm feeling better, not completely healthy again, but my legs have stopped screaming at me and my back has finally loosened up. I figure another day or two and I'll be ready to ease back into the training routine.

I hope your loved ones are safe!
Be thankful for what you have.

I did try to go see a doctor to get tested for strep throat but the line-up was 5hrs long at the walk-in clinic. I waited an hour but had to leave, people disgust me. I felt like I would die from exposure just being the same cramped little room as 23532532 mouth breathers. I'm not sure it should be a first-come-first-serve basis. As a previously fat guy, I'm all for making the morbidly obese and smokers, among others, automatically move to the back of the line. If you have that much contempt for your health then why make those that care about themselves wait? Just a thought...

Bad Kitty. Just cuz MattyO misses the kitties

On the bright side we've had slightly warmed temperatures and lots of rain. Perhaps just enough to melt the ice layer off the railtrails so I can get a mountain bike ride in. While railtrail is boring, its a great workout and we just so happen to have hundreds of kilometers of it nearby. I'm thinking a century on a mountain bike, I can't wait to try!
Oh and the clocks change this weekend so now there is enough light in the evening to go for trail runs! w000t! Except it will be a bit muddy, but who cares - bring on the sun! yay!

Eathquakes suck. Don't take life for granted.


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