Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sylvan it is!

Well I finally made a commitment and put my money down for the Sylvan Lake Half Iron Man. I haven't left myself a lot of time to fret about preparations as it is this Sunday, July 24th. I'm not feeling terribly excited about it right now as I have not quite felt myself in recent weeks, but I'm sure I will pull it together by the weekend. Sylvan Lake is about 4 hours from Hinton and is a resort town of sorts. The lake is about a good a lake as you will find in Alberta as there just aren't that many lakes. The swim should be alright as I have been doing okay there. I am not that worried about the bike. However, lately I have not felt the running endurance I normally have. I'm not sure if it is a function of the weather or what, but I just find myself tiring easily on the run. Well we will see what the weekend holds and I will report back next week!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

What next?

This summer thus far, has been one of indecision as I can't seem to get my act together and make any commitments to an event. I keep threatening to sign up for various races and then they come and go without me at the starting line.
Time to get committed and get myself entered in some races. Which brings me to my next point, the Sylvan Lake 1/2 Iron Man on July 24th. This is a race I really like so I hope this gets me going again and back into the swing of things. I am just waiting until Monday to make sure that weekend is clear for me and then I will get signed up. Last time I was 5:08 with a really slow run as I had a banged up calf.
I have been training very consistently and feel I am within weeks of being in full IM condition. A bit more time on the bike and a few long runs and I will be there. My cycling has shown some improvements again this summer. I'm not sure I am any faster but I have definitely gotten stronger. I credit that to the SUFFERFEST DVD's I have been training with lately. Their motto is "I will beat my ass today so I can kick your's tomorrow." Brilliant! And they are inexpensive, around $11 / each and you can download them directly from their site. So far they have 5 different ones in the collection and I have all of them.
So far this week I have logged 10 hours of training with one day to go. Today will be a longish run, 20km or so. Weather is not looking great but that's okay as I don't run well in the heat anyway!
Hope you have had a great week and happy training!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Banff Jasper Relay

Last weekend I did the Banff Jasper Relay with 13 of my coleagues from work. We entered a team "The West Fraser Warriors" in the mixed Corporate event.
The relay consists of 15 legs starting in Banff by Lake Louise and making it's way up the Icefields Parkway ending in the Town of Jasper. The race is divided into a south phase and a north phase and each team starts a runner on each of the phases at 0700h sharp. Thereafter there are forced starts on each remaining leg to ensure the event finishes in the daylight hours.
Our team performed incredibly and we ended up fourth in our division. I drew two legs because of a last minute injury and did leg 9 - 15.7 kms and leg 15 - 19.7. A bit of a challenge, but I was able to finish 3rd overall on both legs. The first one was all uphill to the Columbia Icefields. The scenery was breath taking and although it was a grind I was able to manage a 7:44 / mile pace.
The finish was also a beautiful run, and it was nice having the whole team there to support and cheer me on. On this part of the course I was able to cruise comfortably at sub-7 minute miles.
After a couple days recovery I am back to full on training but still no definite plans. I'm feeling great and will have to find something to use up this training on.
Happy training!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Prolonged Case of Writer's Block

I have really struggled over the last few months to blog with any consistency. Trying to find something interesting to talk about is the single largest reason for lack of production. Perhaps I just have to face the fact that my life is terribly boring! But I don’t believe that to be the case so I am going to try some different techniques to keep some ideas on hand to be able to cobble something together.
Despite my best efforts I have only one event on my schedule and that is the Banff to Jasper Relay next weekend. This team event is segmented into two phases, a north and south grouping. Between the two sections there is a total of 15 legs, which covers 259 kilometres. I am doing it with a group of co-workers and it should be a lot of fun. I have drawn the “Big Bend” leg which climbs 1,300 plus feet over 15.7 kilometres to the Columbia Ice Fields. It will be a challenge but one I am looking forward to.
As far as training goes, I continue to build with no particular event in mind. I am considering the Vineman as that is about the perfect time for where I currently am in my cycle. Right now my weekly hours are at just over 11 which is getting to that mid-cycle point. I was having some struggles with the running but as of late I seem to have overcome whatever was affecting my speed and endurance.
So here is to hopefully having overcome this latest case of writer's block.
Happy training!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Time to get serious (again)

Back from another week's vacation in Florida for which my body and mind thank me.
It has been a long, miserable winter that just doesn't seem to want to end. But now I am back, feeling refreshed and ready to start getting serious about some events for 2011.
The training has gone well, other than a little bit of a set back with some Achilles issues again. Seems I like to tempt fate every once in awhile and stray from my tried and true brand of shoes. Saucony shoes just work for me, plain and simple. I pick them up at the local Bata store usually when they have a buy one, get one half price sale on and everything is good. The thing with Saucony is they aren't very sexy. Generally a pretty plain design and the colours are limited to grey and, well grey. However, sometimes I see the flashy Nikes and get sucked into the glitz and I just want to do it. So I buy them and by the time they are broken in, I will have suffered a myriad of issues. The Achilles is usually the first to let me know that these are not right and then the knees. I will swear off the Nikes again and go and get some Saucony's but I know it will happen again. Put something in a nice package and I will get sucked in, it's a guarantee!
So back to the training and the plan. After an easy week of running and swimming in Florida, I'm ready to start ramping things up again. Week one, post vacation and I have logged 9 hrs which is a reasonably good starting point. I haven't done much cycling as of late but it looks like I might actually get to ride outside this weekend so I should start to get some miles racked up.
The only event I am committed to as of now is the Banff to Jasper Relay of which I am doing a 10 mile uphill section. I am currently looking at the Vineman in California for a long distance event and then probably Victoria for my marathon this year.
All in all I'm feeling great and looking forward to another great season of adventure and personal discovery.
Happy training!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Back from a break

After a glorious week of vacation in sunny Mexico, it's back to reality and some focused training.
Mexico was a blast! Nicholas, Nicole, Francesca and her fried Jacqui came with us and made for a very special holiday. I hope we can make this an annual event.
Didn't do too much running, which has left me feeling very refreshed and eager to get back at it.
The first week back I have logged just over 8 hours which is a fairly decent total post vacation. However, I need to get some plan together so that I can start developing a better training schedule. Right now I am just making sure I get at least 3 swims, 5 runs and 2 bike rides in during the week.
The swimming has been fine, although I felt a little awkward in the water this week. For whatever reason, I just felt unbalanced and sloppy. However, by the time Friday's swim rolled around, I had most of it worked out.
I don't know if I have gotten soft or what, but I sure don't like running in the cold anymore. Having said that, I did get out yesterday for a 10 miler and although the conditions weren't great, I still enjoyed it.
So today calls for a longer bike ride so I will have to get my sorry butt downstairs and onto the trainer. I think I need some new spinerval DVDs since I am getting bored with the ones I have. They sure do help pass the time and more importantly really do help your cycling strength and technique. So one more cup of coffee and off I go!
Have a great week and happy training!

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Up bright and early on a Saturday morning, so rather than workout, I'll write about it.
The first month of the year has come and gone and was relatively uneventful. I still haven't got any events firmed up other than running in the Banff / Jasper relay in June. I did this last year with a group from work and it was so much fun. There are some girls in the HR group who have taken to running and their enthusiasm is so refreshing. They organized the team last year and are doing it again this year. The race is not easy to get into and you have register early so they are all over it.
It really is fun to be around them and to see them developing into runners. They have already both run half marathons and are entering races all the time.
As for January I have pretty much stayed in the 8 to 9 hour range as far as the training has gone. A good mix of runs, bikes and swims with the focus just on fitness. February will be more of the same as I try and decide what events to do. I have a weeks holidays in there as well and the break will be nice. Heading off to Mexico with the entire family and looking forward to it.
So after that I will start to kick up the running portion as I will seriously think about a spring marathon. Red Deer and the new one in St. Albert are both possibilities. Then I will have to get some triathlon races sorted out. Today I will put my entry in for the lottery spots at Kona. It is always a long shot, but it is one more possible way of getting into the race.
Enjoy your weekend and happy training.