Monday, November 9, 2009

Still Kickin'!

No, I haven't disappeared off the face of the planet! Just haven't been into the blogging lately and I really haven't had anything worthwhile blogging about.
With no races on the horizon and lots of work to do, my workouts have been limited to running and some sporadic cycling. Any chance of a fall marathon disappeared as I suffered through some back pain over the last little while. A couple of trips to the chiropractor have helped but I am still having some impact from it. Mostly I have noticed that my hips and hamstrings are sore. Probably from having shifted my gait to compensate for the lower back pain. But enough about that!
Over the last while my son completed his final session of school and passed his provincial and federal exams and is a full qualified journeyman heavy duty mechanic (off road). We are very proud of him and happy that he has found something that he really loves to do.
This new house has taken up a fair bit of time as well and we are still getting ourselves organized. It seems like the work never ends.
Word on the street is that the pool is about a week away from re-opening. I can hardly wait! The swimming part of my training regime is one that I enjoy immensely. It is relaxing and easy on the body. Even though it can be a struggle I must admit it is the discipline that I am most happy with my progress. From a clumsy, splashing, half-drowning creature I have developed into something resembling a swimmer.
So there is a quick up date. I'm hoping that in the next couple of weeks I will have picked my Ironman race for 2010 and then the training will start in earnest.
Have a great day!

Sunday, October 25, 2009


I still haven't decided on a race for either this fall (which is just about over) or for next year. I was thinking of doing the Seattle marathon but now my calendar has been booked with an arbitration hearing so that is out. There is an interesting trail run in Castro Valley, California that might be fun. It would definitely be a no pressure race as my training is strictly maintenance right now. I am managing about 50 miles a week plus a couple of bike rides so I have moderate fitness. The pool is still closed and is now not scheduled to open until the middle of November. I am going to have to start with water wings again by the time it re-opens!
Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Plugging Away

This relaxed training mode sure has been nice. I have not been following any plan and my runs and rides have been fun again. You kind of forget sometimes how enjoyable it can be to just run without any purpose. It kind of gets you back in touch with the sensations of enjoying the warmth of the sun on your skin, or the wind in your face as opposed to focusing on technique and cadence and everything else. All the while you are still getting the fitness and mental health benefits. That being said, this time of year my running always picks up and I am noticing that I want to run fast all the time. Obviously not a good plan as I know I will inevitably end up hurt so I have to temper that somewhat.
I have been cruising the Runner's World site lately trying to decide on a marathon. It has to be in November at the earliest as I am ready, but with a couple of long runs I could put myself in 3:30 shape. As I have 2 1/2 weeks of vacation yet to use I can expand my range as to where I might want to go.
Today was another nice fall day with temperatures in the mid-teens and sunshine. The leaves have started to change and with a strong Chinook last night there was a covering of them on the trails. I managed to get out at lunch and cruised through a nice 8 1/2 mile run over varied terrain. However, just as I returned the skies opened up and we had just a wicked storm! I still had to walk back to work and I got soaked. Always nice to spend the afternoon in wet jeans!
Things have worked out well at the new house and we are getting used to town living again. As we are the only people in this new sub division we haven't had to get used to neighbours yet. I guess as people start to build and move in we can gradually "re-socialize".
Have a great day!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

What a September!

The weather as of late has been nothing short of spectacular. Lots of sunshine and temperatures in the mid to high twenties and even a few thirty degree days has given us a nice extension to summer. It has also made my runs a whole lot more enjoyable. I am also enjoying re-discovering some of the trails I used to run when I lived in Town. Nothing like a change in scenery to give you a boost and reinvigorate your workouts.
Today I started out slow and meandered through the trails and along hydro lines and picked up 9 miles in 1:01:03. Don't know why I feel I have to be so precise, but there are the numbers. Despite the warmer than normal temperatures the leaves have started to turn and in some cases fall. It makes for some beautiful scenery and as I have mentioned before, really brings me back to the roots of my running. My love of running was developed in high school running cross country in the fall. I can still recall running the trail to Penn Lake from the high school and back through the fallen leaves and breathing the crisp air of fall. For most people in my class having to do that run was a chore and most usually just hid in the woods. But me and a couple of others really enjoyed it and would cover the three or so miles with ease. And that is really where I started with running.
The forecast for next week shows that things will be coming to an abrupt halt as the temperatures will return to more seasonal and perhaps worse. But I am going to enjoy this good stuff for as long as I can!
Have a great day!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Quick Post

My workouts as of late are still relatively short and uninspired. I think not having any race plans has left me in a maintenance mode. Plus I am very busy as well.
However I have been running and cycling and while it hasn't been major miles I am definitely maintaining fitness at this point.
Went into the Oiler's pre-season game last night and the team looks promising. Certainly not a Stanley Cup winner but it looks like we are going to play a more offensive and entertaining brand of hockey. It was great to be back at Rexall Place as it has been a few years since I had my tickets.
This weekend I hope to get out for a double digit run and of course, continue to unpack and organize. I also have the headlight hanging out of my truck as I need to change the bulb. Nicholas said it was easy to do but so far I have spent 2 hours on it and still haven't got to the light!
Have a great weekend!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Getting Organized

It's been a little while since I have posted as my time has been totally occupied with making the move to our new house. And now we are finally in and starting to get somewhat organized.
The move was a protracted affair as there was myself, Angela, Nicholas and Nicole participating. Nicholas was a huge help in moving all the big stuff and Angela and Nicole packed things up. It was nice having 9 days between the closing dates so that we had adequate time to get everything done. It was none the less a major challenge trying to fit 3,000 square feet of possessions into 2,000 square feet of house. It did result in a major purge which was great.
My working out over the last week has consisted mostly of lugging, lifting and dragging with no time for anything else. Friday I did manage to run and it was tough. Yesterday I was able to get a quick six miles in as well and it was also tough. We are having a beautiful September and the temperatures on both days were 28 and 29 respectively. I have never been a good hot weather runner so I suffer in the heat. This week things will get back to normal and I can start trying to cobble together a plan for a fall marathon. My sights will be set significantly lower as I just haven't put in the time or miles, but I would still like to go and run a race somewhere.
The swimming pool is closed for another couple weeks and I am really missing the swimming. The plan is that it should be up and running mid-October. Cycling wise I hope to get out for a ride today. It will be much easier from our new location as I can ride right from the house and don't have to pack everything up and head down the highway. I'm going to enjoy that.
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


According to my optometrists chart I am 49.62 years old today. I don't know why that registered with me but for some reason it did. Firstly I thought it odd that his computerized system had a need to calculate ages to two decimal points and secondly why it would update it everyday. Is there a huge difference in the eyesight of a 49.62 year old male and a 49.38 year old? Maybe, I don't know.
So with only .38 of a year left before I turn 50 I need to get my fall race plan nailed down. Hopefully this week I will decide what race and distance I am going to tackle. More than likely it will be of the 26.2 mile variety, but I may consider some other distance if it was something unique.
Speaking of running I am slowly starting to get some miles under my belt. On Sunday I finally managed a double digit run, the first in quite some time. And it was just that, exactly 10 miles! The pace was okay as I managed to average just over 7:01 / mile. Since then I have managed a 5 miler, 7.5 miles and 7.0 miles tonight. The air is definitely starting to get some fall "freshness" to it which makes the running so much more enjoyable. I also managed a couple of rides, one on the mountain bike and a quick 40 minutes on the trainer. Overall I would say my legs are still feeling tired and I am a tad sluggish. I am hoping after everyone is moved and things settle down I will start to get some energy back for my workouts.
Have a great day!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Close Encounters of the Ursus Americanus Kind

It’s been a busy couple of weeks, between, work, house deals, preparing to move, and moving our daughter back for school. Despite how hectic things have been I have managed to keep some running and a little bit of biking on the schedule. Right now I think I have enough of a base to pull off a marathon sometime in October or November. My right calf is okay, but I still have some doubt about how it is going to act with some added stress on it. I have been keeping my runs to about one hour and a moderate pace and it has been holding up. But you know when you have that feeling that it is still there, ready to come to the forefront at any moment. That is how it feels right now.
This week I had a close encounter with a bear on my lunch time run. I was running the back trails and had decided to take a little more rugged route along a game trail. The trail is off of the main town trails which are well travelled and within the town limits. From where this game trail cuts off of the main trail I could hear kids playing in their back yard so we are not talking about bush whacking into the wilderness. So back to my encounter. I headed up the trail just as a way of making up some time, plus it is actually a nice run. I went for about 5 minutes and then I turned to head back onto the town trail. On the way back, I could hear some loud snuffling noises in front of me and off to the left. At that point I couldn’t see anything as this trail has lots of curves and bends, so I kept going. When I got to the bottom of the hill and about 50 metres from the main trail, I could see a large black bear in the bush to the left of me and about 5 metres away. He was making the noises as he was trying to get a good smell of me. Immediately I stopped as I could see that he had already saw me, however he was not moving. So it became a bit of a stare down. Because he was so close I was not thinking of making any more noise than I already had, plus it was clear he had a number of options for avoiding me if he chose. Usually they are more aggressive if you are blocking their only egress. I was not inclined to go back up the trail, so I just kept my eyes on him and continued to walk toward the exit onto the town trail. The bear was still not moving but he was continuing to sniff the air and raise his head. With every step I am just hoping that he either turns or goes the other way or stays put. While I am keeping my eyes on him I am also looking around for anything that I could use to defend myself, a stick, big rock, anything. Unfortunately there is nothing that looks like it would help me at all. Now I have put about 25 metres between us and I am that much closer to the main trail. Bears can run fast there is no doubt about that, so I am still not thinking about trying to out run him. I just want to get out of his sight without him moving and that is what I did. However, once I was on the main trail I lit it up! Usain Bolt wouldn’t have caught me as I put some major distance between us. So I guess that this workout provided adequate stresses on my body and also introduced a bit of speed into the mix as well.
Hopefully that is my last encounter for awhile. The bears here (Alberta) act a lot differently than those I have run into back in Ontario. These bears never seem to take off once they see you and are either more curious or bold, I’m not sure which.
This weekend will be busy helping my son Nicholas with some repairs on his house. I am fortunate that my brother Blair is available to help us out as who knows what damage the two of us could do left to our own devices.Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Still trying to get motivated

I have still been trying to get myself motivated with little luck. The body is obviously telling me the months of pushing it have taken it's toll and it's time to take it easy. The longest run I have been able to muster is a little over 8 miles and the pace was no roaring hell. Even my attempt at a tempo run was not what I would expect. There just doesn't seem to be any response when I push the pedal. Probably just need to re-evaluate things and start back to some base training.
On a personal note things are busy as hell! Our house sold last week and we have bought a new one so we are in the process of getting geared up to move. The time is short as we have a September 11th closing date (no I’m not superstitious!) on our current house and hopefully a possession date of August 31st for the new one. That is providing the contractor can complete the last bits of finish up work. I’m optimistic! As well it is that time of year to move my darling daughter, Francesca back to school. This year’s move is a bit easier as we already have a good portion of her stuff in Edmonton and it just has to be moved from her old place to her new place. Hopefully we will get that done of Friday and also take a load down of her other stuff.
Once all the moving stuff is done I should be able to get better focused and decide on a race and a strategy. I also need to decide on an Ironman race for next year. Originally my thought was to go to Penticton this year to watch the race and sign up for next year, but I’m not sure that is in the cards. The other option would be Arizona again in November 2010.
I would have liked to have done more racing this season, but I just wasn’t able to. All of the races up here are in a tight time frame as the season is short. Once you pick something it is at the exclusion of a number of other great races. I just wish I could get started earlier in the year, but that is not going to happen as long as I am in Northern Alberta!
Although I only raced twice this year, they were both PB’s, so I have to be happy with that. I am also left feeling optimistic that there is more upside given my performance.
Enjoy the rest of your summer!
Have a great day!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Gettin' My Butt Back in Gear

After a good race in Sylvan and a couple of fantastic rest days at my sister’s house on Trout Lake in Ontario, I’m ready to get back at it. I would like to do at least one more triathlon this summer, and it has to be relatively soon. The pool just closed for the annual maintenance and this year it is anticipated to be a bit longer than usual with the re-opening not until the middle of October. That means the swimming is going to be minimal until then. The upside is I will be forced to cycle more which is not a bad thing.
I also have designs on running a fall marathon. Victoria is always a great race, but I may be in the market to try something new. Seattle is also around the October / November time which is when I would be targeting. The seed is planted and now I need to get some training in. My running this spring was as good as it has been in a long time, but since that time things have headed south on me. The calf injury was somewhat unexpected as I thought I had remedied that, but like all chronic maladies, they have a way of sneaking back up on you.
So this week I start the long process of getting in some quality running. Yesterday was the kick off with an easy 8 miler in 56 minutes. The whole run I was just concentrating on my foot plant and watching to see if I felt any pain. Results were good as I felt fine after the run and did a couple of quick minutes with the trigger point.
Today I was able to sneak a run in at lunch time. Although it was short it was effective as I managed a shade under 5 ½ miles in 38 minutes. Again, everything seemed to be holding together although there was that slight feeling of tightening in the calf when I was walking back to the office. This evening I will work it over with the massager and hopefully it will be alright.
The summer seems to be flying past and the month of August looks like it will be busy as well. Lots going on at work with a number of labour arbitration's coming up, development of the 2010 Operating Plan and 5 year strategy as well as some work reorganizations. It should be interesting!
Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

PB in Sylvan Lake

Just a quick update on my weekend race in Sylvan Lake.
I'm not sure if I mentioned it in my last post, but I was having a calf problem that looked like it may be a show stopper. However I did the Trigger Point Massager, lots of ibuprofen and adjusted my race goals and decided to go on with the race.
Sylvan is a half iron man so my adjusted goals were to really put some effort into the swim, bike hard, and hang on for the run. Not expecting too much as I really just wanted to get through. If I toe the starting line I am going to finish, plain and simple. While DNF's are a reality when you really hurt yourself, I have seen a number of cases where people just drop out because it wasn't going to be their day, or they weren't going to run a PB. Lame excuses at best! I think it is a very selfish when you think of all the time you put into the training, taking time away from your loved ones, to just quit cause it's not your day. It would be a different story if you are running for your pay cheque and had to save it for another day, but most of us aren't. So, without even asking, you got my opinion on DNF's!
The moral of this story is sometimes you can adjust your goals and still achieve significant achievements.
Things didn't look so great on the morning of the race as the sky was black and thunder and lightening was all around. However, after a 45 minute delay and a change to the swim course we were in the water. The course was changed to a two loop from a single loop as they wanted to concentrate the volunteers on a smaller area because of the choppy conditions. My swim was tough but I PB'ed by almost six minutes completing the 1.9 KM in 34 minutes. The course was supposed to be 2.0 KM, but it was short by about 70 metres. Even at that I still would have had a major time improvement.
Next up was the bike and after a screwed up transition I was out on the roads and riding very comfortably. The wind was a bit of a challenge but the nature of the course makes it that you are never riding into it for too long. After the 90 KM route I was showing 2:47 and an average speed of just over 20 MPH, another PB.
Last up was the run. Generally my strongest suit, but I knew that I was going to have to watch my leg. I was already feeling it a bit on the bike, but I was still confident that I could get through the 21 KM route without too much walking. In transition I gulped down some water and a couple of Advil and headed out. I quickly found a comfortable pace that I knew was a little slow but sustainable and settled in. After about 1 KM I hooked up with Ross from Lloydminster and he was my saviour. The calf was fine on the flat roads, but when we went off road or on any uneven surface it flared up immediately. When we got to 4 KM I was starting to suffer and wonder if I was going to get through without some major walking. Ross just kept chatting away with me and before you know it I am coming up to the 9 KM mark. Just about through the first half and I am still running. The next half was tough, but still the talking with my new found friend seemed to help keep my mind off the discomfort I was feeling. As it turned out he was 50 so in the next age category so we didn't even have to sprint it out to settle our placing. We ended up strolling through the finish and he had to go back to see what our time was!
Final time 5:08:49 a new personal best and renewed hope of posting a sub 5 hour half. I was 8th in my age while Ross was 2nd in his with a PB of 21 minutes better than his best.
A very successful day over all and now I will give my tired old leg some time to heal.
Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tired Legs or Old Legs?

Ever since IM CDA the legs just don't seem to have any jump in them. They don't feel particularly tired but they just don't want to respond when I try and push the pace. So is it just some residual fatigue from the race or is it just time catching up to me. Over the last few years I have noticed a slight decrease in my overall average pace which is to be expected. Oh well, nothing to get too excited about, I'm still enjoying my runs and that is the main thing.
The last week or so has been devoted to working on some skills in the pool and on the bike.
I was somewhat disappointed with my swim in Coeur d'Alene as I felt that I had improved my swimming. On reflection I would say I just didn't push hard enough. I am content to settle into a spot and just get through this portion of the race. This last while I have been really concentrating on just trying to swim faster and my strategy on race day will be the same.
On the cycling side I have been really focusing some more on using the mechanical components of the bike to make things easier. I have my bike computer back so I can get some feedback again which is nice. A good cyclist is really working his gearing constantly to maintain optimum speed and cadence. In Ironman last month I really felt that I did a better job of this as I was riding exclusively by feel and was using my gearing to keep things steady.
The Sylvan Lake race is less than 2 weeks away and while my running legs seem a little tired, everything else is in good shape. I am really looking forward to this event and hope to achieve some personal goals which won't totally be reflected in my finishing time.
Have a great week!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sylvan Lake Training

Over the last week or so I have been building back up in preparation for the Sylvan Lake 1/2 Ironman on July 26th. This is got to be one of my favourite events as it is just a nice size, usually no more than 400 participants. The lake is quite nice and usually the weather has co-operated.
I haven't really thought about any race specific goals, but I do think I would really like to put in a good performance on the bike. Coeur d'Alene really inspired me as far as I felt like it was a real breakthrough cycling wise. Sylvan Lake will be an opportunity to explore that a little further and see how much an impact pushing the bike harder will have on my run. Obviously there is going to be a break point there between riding harder and still having something left in the legs for the run. However, I haven't even gotten close as I am certain I can ride harder and run harder. It is all a matter of training!
This weekend we took a trip to Radium Hot Springs. It was beautiful and extremely relaxing. And while I was there I found out that they have both a triathlon and a marathon coming up in the next few weeks. Might be worth checking out!
It looks like this week I will be doing some workouts indoors as the weather is going to be lousy. That's okay though as I honestly don't mind it. Always a good opportunity to push a bit harder and know that if it gets too hard you just get off the bike and your home!
Have a great week!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy 142 Birthday Canada!

It's Canada Day today and I am enjoying a nice day at home.
The last few months have been action packed with the wedding, the training and then the actual race. But it has all been good. Isn't that what life is all about? Living.
Today we get to count our blessings for living in this wonderful country. And to be sure, it is not perfect, but given the alternatives I am perfectly fine here. Last year at this time I did my little "10 Reasons why I am proud to be a Canadian" and all those reasons still stand.
Happy 142nd Birthday Canada!
I have been reading some of the other race reports from CDA and it is interesting reading other people's perspectives on the race. Shawn and Carrie's report on Tri to Be Funny is really great as you get perspectives from a first timer and a veteran. I saw Carrie just coming out of transition on the run and she looked great and ended up with an unbelievable time of 11:46 or so and Shawn also had a great day coming in just over 14 hours. Great job!
My thoughts now are on doing some shorter races over the summer and then look towards a fall marathon. Victoria is always a good choice but I may try something new as I have done that one three times. Seattle may be a good one to try.
I am definitely up to do another Ironman and since I turn 50 next year I think I want to do one I haven't done before. Maybe something a little more exotic! I'll keep my eyes open and see what the options look like. If I haven't decided by August I will go to Penticton to sign up for Ironman Canada. That is a very challenging race and actually not that far to go.
This weekend Angela and I are going to spend the weekend in Radium Hot Springs. Through all the training she is always my biggest supporter and puts up with the inevitable crankiness as I get close to race day. I can't thank her and the kids enough for their support. You certainly don't make the commitment and succeed without that kind of help.
Enjoy Canada Day and have a great week!

Sunday, June 28, 2009


The Sylvan Lake 1/2 Ironman is only 4 weeks away so any type of recovery will be abbreviated at best. But to be honest, I felt just wonderful since finishing IM Coeur d'Alene a week ago. I had my legs back in no time at all, and while I have not pushed it, I have went for 3 runs, 2 rides and a swim. Admittedly, by the later part of yesterday's 10K run, my legs were starting to feel tired. However, no pain, which is great.
Sylvan is always a great event so I am looking forward to it. As far as the race itself, I'm not quite sure how I will perform. I recall last year that only 5 weeks after Ironman Arizona I knocked off a 2:58 marathon at Red Deer, so that is definitely in the back of my mind. My PB at the 1/2 is on this course (5:11) so bettering that is certainly something I would like to do. But I'll just have to see how the training goes over the next couple of weeks.
The pictures from IM Coeur d'Alene are up if you are interested.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Couple of days later...

After a few days to reflect and an amazing recovery, I must admit I am really pumped to do another IM. There is just nothing quite like the experience of crossing that finish line and hearing Mike Reilly introduce you as an Ironman! The rush and sense of accomplishment is incredible and I’m sure it is the same for the person who finishes in 8 hours and the person who finishes in 17 hours.
I was so happy with so many different elements of my race. The swim was a real battle as conditions were once again very choppy. However I still felt that I performed well despite a much slower time than I was expecting. The bike was phenomenal given that I just about wiped out in the first two miles when I blew my front tire. But I recovered well and did the change in record time. It certainly helped having the tech support show up, as he buttoned things up while I packed up and re-organized my stuff. From that point on I rode strong and my legs felt remarkable. The other amazing thing is my bike computer did not work right from the start so I was strictly riding by feel. I had no idea of my speed, cadence or distance (other than the major course markers). So I think the countless miles I have endured on the trainer etched an indelible pattern into my muscles which allowed me to crank off the distance in precisely the goal time I had set for myself.
On the run, I purposely chose to go low-tech and left the Garmin in my gear bag. I just wore my $19 Timex Triathlon watch and just added 8:30 every time I passed a mile marker. While that was not my final pace I certainly stuck close enough to it bring me in below 4 hours.
There are still ample opportunities for me to further better my time. All three disciplines present some elements for improvements and with continued training and racing I will get there. But it is important to continue to enjoy the journey and savour these significant milestones along the way.
On the recovery front I have been absolutely pain free despite driving the 11 hours back on Monday after the race. Tuesday I did a short swim just to flush things out and then last night I went out on the mountain bike for 45 minutes and 10 miles. Today I am going to do a nice little run / walk and then next week it is time to set my sights on the half iron man event in Sylvan Lake next month.
Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Race Report - Ironman Coeur d'Alene

The Race Report

My race report is not going to be your standard blow by blow account of my day in Coeur d’Alene. I will give you the Reader’s Digest of the event, but the most of this blog will be reserved for the observations surrounding the race.

The Reader’s Digest Version

The swim was slower than expected. Rather choppy conditions and my first swim in my new wet suit didn’t help. Still I don’t think I would have done much better either way.
Swim time 1:29:26 T1 7:48
The bike was great! Despite having a front flat two miles in I rode very well. Strong legs and felt extremely comfortable.
Bike time 6:13:44 T2 3:32
They had been calling for afternoon thunderstorms but nothing developed until 22 miles into the run. Even then it wasn’t too bad. I started out too fast but managed to get myself wound down and managed a strong pace. I still had lots at the end which gives me confidence that I can do better yet!
Run time 3:55:48
Final time 11:50:15 – over 1 hour and 13 minutes off my previous best!

The Observations

Triathletes never cease to amaze me with what they will buy. The last time I was there I bought the Trigger Point massager, which while I swear it helps me, still looks like a cloth covered rolling pin and a hacky sack. And all for a mere $100 US! The recent push was for compression socks. I am sure they work and someone is getting paid good money to push them, but has anyone looked in a mirror? I would have gotten beat up in gym class if I showed up like that. Now I think there is an opportunity here to complete the outfit with some Bavarian shorts with suspenders. I’m sure I can fabricate a reason why they would make you faster.
As I mentioned in the swim portion I bought a new wet suit. Cardinal rule of any endurance event, “race with the equipment you use all the time.” If I had a nickel for every new piece of equipment on the course on Sunday, well I would have a lot of nickels. Of course I swam miles 1, 2, and .4 in my new suit. I don’t think it hurt me as my other suit was just not going on!
Ladies, what happens to you guys in the swim!?! Does every guy out there look like your husband or ex-husband and you finally get your revenge. If I had a nickel for every time I got kicked in the nuts by a lady in the swim, I know I would have twenty cents. Yup, got “Jewelled” 4 times and every time there was a white cap on the perpetrator. If that is truly your aim, get me on the beach as it is much easier to recover there.
Despite the issue, mentioned above, I am always impressed by what a kind and caring community the Triathletes are. People are always quick to say something encouraging when they are passing you or when you pass someone. I like that and it makes me proud to be counted amongst those folks.
Energy gels should only come in two flavours, chocolate and vanilla. It never fails when I have to take one that is supplied by the race it is some new bizarre flavour. I’m not quite sure what flavour I picked up, pineapple and orange or something but it was disgusting. Trust me, vanilla and chocolate are just fine. If Power Gel is working on a jalapeno cheddar flavour, please stop all development now.
Coeur d’Alene has to have some of the best fan support I have ever seen at any event. All along the course there are people cheering, playing music, banging on drums, you name it. And believe, when you are feeling a little low it certainly helps to buoy your spirits and keep you going. Thanks to all those folks!
After all the months of training, I always owe a big thanks to my family for the support and encouragement they provide to me. They are very understanding of my routine and never complain when I pass up on one thing or another to get another run, ride or swim in. I know I could never do any of this without them!

So there you have it, another Ironman in the books and I am certain I want to do more. Next on the agenda is a half in Sylvan Lake next month. I’ll take a couple days to recover and then back at it again.

Have a great day!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I'll Get the Race I Deserve

First off thanks to everyone for the words of encouragement after my less than positive post last week. I had my brief visit to "Pity City" and now I am pumped and ready to go!
The title of my post is actually a twist on a quote I read a while ago which said "You live the life you deserve." So I modified it to fit my situation but I think an interpretation of the original quote is in order.
I can't remember the author of the quote, but I recall initially after reading it that it was pretty harsh. How can people who have unfortunate things happen to them deserve it? But after thinking a little more about, that is not really the proper context to view the quote it. It more or less understands that some people have bad hands dealt to them in life and it is how you handle them that determines the life you deserve. Yesterday would have been my Dad's eighty second birthday. He was a classic example of a guy who lived the life he deserved. Right to the very end of his life he was kind, polite and a gentlemen even though he was suffering with a terminal disease. And in return he was surrounded by people who would do anything to help him in any situation.
Now to apply this to my race. I will get the race I deserve based on the training I have done and the preparations I have made. If the conditions are bad (windy, rainy, etc.) I will get the best race I can out of those circumstances. So at the end of the day, wherever I took a short cut or didn't put the effort in, I will get the result I deserve. And now that I have reconciled myself to that I am feeling great about the race next weekend! It also didn't hurt that I had an amazing week of workouts leading up to this final rest week. Nothing like some positive training sessions to boost the confidence.
All that is left to do now is pack and get my bike in for one last tune up and I am good to go.
Have a great weekend!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Final Struggle

Trying to get geared up for the race now is becoming a daily struggle. My workouts are a real chore to complete which is rarely the case for me. Obviously the stresses of the last few months have caught up with me, but it is really an inopportune time. Between the wedding preparations, the wedding itself and some of the family events that went on around it, I am toast.
This morning I tried to ride before I head into the city to take my in-laws back and it was a waste of time. My legs felt like stone and I just couldn't get any flow to happen at all. As with every training cycle I always come up short on the biking component. Without beating the subject to death, I am a runner first and still struggle with the bike. Between the less then optimum weather and the inconvenience of having to load my bike up in the truck to ride anywhere, I just don't enjoy it. I have managed to get through the races on sheer will power, but that will only get you so far. If I am ever to really improve I need to get some real cycling done.
Okay, so that is my rant for today. Time to suck it up, put all the crap I have been dealing with behind me, and get ready for IM Coeur d'Alene! No excuses, no complaints, just get my ass in the water on June 21 and take it from there. Hopefully after the weekend I will feel refreshed and get that final ride in that will boost my confidence. All I can do is hope!
Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

What a Week!

The newly weds!

After months of planning the big day has come and gone! And what a day it was; perfect weather, a beautiful venue, a great family and unbelievable food and service. The day went off without a hitch and I think that was largely due to us not having everything planned down to the minute. There was some built in flexibility and casualness which helped to keep things moving but not at the expense of stressing everyone out.
Thanks again to everyone for coming and sharing the special day.
Our family with the latest addition.

And now back to our regular scheduled programming……..
Obviously last week was a write off as far as any training. I ran home from work on Monday which is about 10 miles and then got in two other 10 k runs the rest of the week. At this point in the schedule I should be tapering anyway so it really won’t hurt me. However after the big build up to the wedding, I must admit my excitement for the race has waned. The next three weeks will be to work on getting my head in the right spot as well as to keep working the kinks out. Lately I have been getting a lot of strange cramping, in my feet, hamstrings and calves. It has been weird for sure, and with any luck, nothing that will have any impact on my race.
Enjoy the wedding pics and have a great day!

My brothers and sister with Nicholas and Nicole

Nicholas, Angela, Francesca, and me.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Full Speed Ahead

I started holidays yesterday and it is great! The weather is beautiful and all my family is starting to arrive for the wedding tomorrow. I am sooooo excited to see everyone!
Tonight is the rehearsal party and then tomorrow, bright and early, Nicholas and I will head out to the lodge in Jasper to do some last minute preparations. Generally I think everything is in order and if it isn't it is probably too late to do anything about it anyway.
With all the activity, the workouts will take backseat for this week. If I can get out for something I will but I am not going to stress about it. This is a very special time and people have made great efforts to come here so I am not going to be taking off to go for long runs or bike rides. By Sunday everything will have settled back down and I can prepare for the final push to IM CDA.
Have a great day!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

One Month to Go

Coeur d'Alene is exactly one month away. Hard to believe but it is true. For some reason it has just seemed to sneak up as I busied myself with other things. But now it is staring me in the face and the inevitable doubting begins. Have I done enough? Did I do the right things? What about the bike? All good questions but if I don't have the right answer it really doesn't matter. Bottom line is right now I feel excellent. My training as far as consistency has been good and right now I am as strong as I have ever been. As with my last two IM's the biggest issue I will have is with the bike. I have done a lot of cycling, just not as many long rides and essentially none outside. But last year it was the same story for IM Arizona, and I rode quite well given the conditions.
So with less than a month to go, I will try and get a few good rides in and just try and stay healthy. All else being equal I think I can have a decent race in Coeur d'Alene and I am looking forward to it. It will be a bit anti-climatic after the wedding which happens in a week.
Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

More Winter!

"Got a little chilly comin' through the pass, huh Harry?"

The weather here over the last few days has just sucked. Between gale force winds and snow it feels like we have been drawn back into the depths of winter. I don't often let these things get to me, but this is really been a royal pain in the ass!
Sunday I tried to ride outside but after 3 miles into a head wind that was pushing my bike all over the place I ended up coming home and riding on the trainer. Average pace out 13 MPH, average pace on the way home 35 MPH! Crazy!
Yesterday was even more bizarre as the snow started and just kept coming. So it was on the trainer for 3 hours. I am pretty disciplined but this is getting tough.
All things considered, though I am feeling confident with my training. I could always have done more, but why? June 21 I will know if I did enough.
Have a great day!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Quick Run Down

Here is a quick run down of my recent workouts:

May 6 - Up tempo run 8.16 miles @ 6:52 Pace
Biked 22.6 miles 95 RPM

May 7 - Swam 2,500 metres 54:41

May 8 - Day Off - went to the city for the day

May 9 - Biked 31 miles

May 10 - 15 miles 1:49:03

May 11 - Swam 57:03 2,650 metres
Biked 22 miles

May 13 - Swam 2,800 metres 1:00:42
Ran 10 miles - 65 minutes

So it has been a busy week. Body feels great, although I am starting to get a little tired. Also we are only two weeks away from the wedding and there is still lots to do.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Eating the Elephant

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time and that is as close as you can come to summing up how you race an Iron Man. It is a daunting looking experience from the outside, but once the gun goes off, it seems to shrink in size. Suddenly you are in the moment and focusing on directly what is in front of you and not the last mile of the 140.6 that needs to be completed. And that is partly how you learn to enjoy and appreciate the race is by experiencing it one mile at a time.
Coeur d’Alene is a beautiful course and I am looking forward to going there again. The swim is two loops of a 1.9 kilometre rectangle in Lake Coeur d’Alene. Last time they actually made the swim optional due to very windy conditions. There were some rather large waves which made for a challenging swim.
The bike course is scenic and a bit technical. Driving the course the day before was one of the best decisions I made as I got a sense of some of the hills and tight turns. You really have to watch your gearing. There are some steep declines with sharp turns and all of a sudden you are heading back up a hill. If you haven’t made the proper adjustments you can find yourself in the wrong gear trying to slug it up a hill with no momentum.
To be honest I can’t remember much about the run as I was pretty knackered by the time I got to it. I do recall it being fairly flat with only one hill of any consequence. I do remember that there were a lot of people on the course and they were awesome. Coeur d’Alene really makes a big deal of this event and the support is fantastic.
Last week I finished up with 12 ½ hours of good quality training, broken down as follows:
7,100 metres of swimming (3 swims)
47 miles of running (4 runs)
101 miles of biking (4 rides)
Although I am light on the biking I am still feeling like I am putting in quality sessions and getting the most out of my limited time.
The race is now 7 weeks away so the plan is to keep the volume in this range, stay healthy and start trialing my race day nutrition plans. I am going to the city on Friday to get some supplies so I will pick up some of the supplements I will need.
Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dangerous Bears and Problem Cougars

Yes it is spring finally. And with spring comes the awakening of all the critters from their winter slumber. I know cougars don't hibernate, but the bears certainly do and now the signs are starting to pop up on my favourite running trails.
Yesterday I went for a leisurely 9 miles on the trails that meander along the perimeter of Hinton. About a mile and a bit into the run I noticed an area ribbonned off and a sign which indicated the presence of a "dangerous bear". Off to the side of the trail was a baited bear trap. Fortunately I wasn't hungry as the trap was loaded with stale donuts from Tim Horton's. It would have been embarrassing making a 911 call from inside a bear trap! But I resisted and continued on. Obviously this bear has been causing some major problems to be labelled a dangerous bear.
After about another 6 miles I came upon another sign behind a lake that advertised a problem cougar in the area. Now if I have my choice I would prefer to come upon a bear. Generally the will take off as soon as they see you. Cougars on the other hand are sneaky buggers and by the time you notice him it will be too late. They are stalkers and opportunists. This trail runs along the backyards of a lot of houses so I suspect that this particular cougar is finding that cats and small dogs are a lot easier to take down then deer and other larger prey. It is also the time of year when the two year old cougars are starting to get chased away by their mothers so they start looking for their own territory. After seeing that sign I did pick up the pace and ran with heightened awareness.
It is eight weeks away from Coeur d'Alene and I feel pretty good. Supposedly the weather is going to change on the weekend and I should be able to start riding outside.
Thus far this week I have run twice for a total of 20 miles, one 10.75 run at 6:54 pace and a 9 miler a more pedestrian 7:30 rate. I also have two swims in, a 2,900 metre swim on Monday and a quick 1,200 metre dip today. Too many boneheads in the pool today to do a longer workout so I will have to try again tomorrow after work. On the bike side I have two rides in a 29 mile ride and a 33 mile ride. So with three days done in the week I am off to a good start.
Hope you are having a great week!

Friday, April 24, 2009

I'm Still at it!

Despite the lack of posting I am right on target with training. I am still shy on the cycling miles but as of yet the weather has not co-operated to allow for the longer outdoor rides. That being said everything else proceeds at or beyond expectations.
A whole host of things has prevented me from regular blogging or even reading the ones I usually follow. Congratulations to Mike, Thomas and Jerry on fantastic efforts at the Boston Marathon on Monday. I think at the end of the day you have to go to Boston for the experience. It is really not one to expect to race, but more to relish. It is unlike any other marathon and is what all others are measured against. My hats are off to the above mentioned gentlemen and all others who raced on Monday. Great job!
Back to my training. The swimming has been a bit of a surprise as of late. Because I do a lot of drills and intervals it is really difficult to note the improvement where it counts which is over the longer distances. But lately, due to crowded pools, I have been forced to swim longer distances with out any breaks. And that is where I am noticing that I am starting to shave some time off. We're not talking tens of minutes, but it is minutes and they all count.
Despite the fact I am still not getting any really long rides in, I am getting lots of saddle time in and have also noticed improved cadence and higher wattage. Again signs of strengthening and improvement. My workouts really have focused on technique and finding that perfect gearing, cadence and power balance. I did try and ride on the roads last Sunday but after a mile and a half it was just too darned cold and I retreated to the trainer.
The running, well, just seems to be steady and solid. I have been using my brick workouts to focus on getting myself up to a reasonable pace and then settling in. Arizona was by no means a race to measure myself by. It was just too hot and I chose survival. In CDA 2007 I struggled to settle into a pace on the run. I really want to get the run done in less than 4 hours.
The next 9 weeks leading up to the race are busy with birthdays, a wedding, anniversaries, and general life happening. The key will be to keep the race in perspective, but to enjoy all the other life events happening. I am blessed that so many of our family is making the effort to come out to the wedding and if it means backing off on the training for a week or so, I'm fine with that.
Have a great day!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter!

It was another good week with some decent workouts completed. I continue to march towards Ironman Coeur d'Alene with growing confidence. Not that I think I am going to knock off any great time, but I do feel I will perform well and complete the race strong.
I should probably finish this week with between 14 and 15 hours providing all goes well with my weekend workouts. I have had a little flare up of the Achilles after last weekend's longer run. But I know how to treat it and if nothing else it will force me on the bike!
It finally appears that spring has arrived as the snow has gone and we are experiencing temperatures in the low teens right now. The layers have been shed and it is nice to be out in shorts and t-shirts. Hopefully I can get on the road with the bike this weekend. I still don't like the fact that there is a lot of sand on the road as it really takes a toll on your chain.
Happy Easter everyone and have a great weekend!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Process Check

The last few weeks of training have been quite encouraging. Although I don't track my progress with a lot of science I can just tell that my strength and mental focus are right on track.
I am feeling distinct improvements in my swimming and while I have not done any time trials, I am sure that I am faster. Maybe not a lot faster, but faster all the same. Last week I had a total of 8,700 metres in the pool, with two 3,000 metre swims.
Cycling has also been on the upswing and I have been able to endure a couple of 3 hour plus rides on the trainer. The long range forecast says that the weather should be improving so I am really hopeful that I can get outside soon. Having said that I also feel the cycling power is coming along. Again I don't have a lot of evidence to that effect, but it is just a feeling.
Lastly the run. The legs have been great and seem to be able to recover very quickly. I did 18.5 miles holding 7:03 pace and I am good to go today. Which is a good thing because I have a long bike ride on the agenda.
I am 11 weeks out from CDA and there is still a lot of work to be done. But at this point in the process I feel pretty good. There will be some interruptions in the plan as we prepare for the wedding and all of the family visits, but life happens. The training is important, but certainly not the most important thing. We are very excited about the fact that almost everyone in the family is going to make it for the big day. I am lucky that I have a very close family and we always make every effort to be there for one another in any circumstance.
Speaking of CDA, I best book myself some rooms or I will be staying in a van down by the river!
Have a great weekend!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Trying Something New

Lately I have had a real tough time setting my butt down in front of the computer and chronicling my latest training episodes. It’s not from a lack of anything to write about. I have definitely gotten back to firing on all cylinders on the workouts. Last week I was above the 14 hour mark with significant workouts in all three disciplines. It just seems that my days have been drifting away so quickly that there seems to be little or no time to jot down a few notes. Which then leads me to my solution, perhaps that it what I need to do. When I think of something just put it down and then all I would have to do is cut and paste it into a blog later on. This is the first attempt at doing that.
As mentioned last week I was back on track logging just over 14 hours with a definite increase in the cycling. I managed to do a mind-numbing 3 hour plus session on the trainer this Sunday. Although it is not the most interesting way to do your cycling it is necessary and also yields great benefits. Fortunately for me the weather co-operated on Saturday and I was able to do my 2 hour run outside. Other than getting chased by a stupid dog, the run was uneventful. I was a little slow; partly because of some of the trails I chose and partly because I was just slow and probably the largest contributor, not a drop of water. I have never been very good at carrying anything with me but I really need to carry at least a little drink of water. At the end of the day I managed to run 16.27 miles in 2:02.
The start of a new week and I am off to a good start with a 3,000 metre swim under my belt already. I was expecting a pool full of people today since it is Spring Break, but it was actually not too bad. Hopefully everyone has gone away on holidays!
Have a great week!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Write Off!

I think the cold is behind me now, and while last week was a bit of a write off, I am stoked to fly at it again this week.
Monday I was off to the pool for a good 2,900 metre swim. I felt really good in the water and my work out was 800 metres of warm ups and drills. Then it was 20 x 100 with 10 seconds rest and a brief 100 metre cool down.
The evening run was 7 miles in 48:00. I would really like to do a race sometime soon, but there hasn’t been anything available. There was a ½ marathon a couple of weeks ago in Edmonton but it was sold out. The next events are in May which is going to be a busy month so I am hesitant to sign up for anything right now. For all the good things about living out in a smaller community that is the one complaint I would have. Most of the events are in either Edmonton or Calgary which are 2 ½ hours and 5 hours away. I have driven in before to race but it means leaving here at 5:00 a.m. for an 8:00 a.m. race if it is in Edmonton. It doesn’t necessarily leave you poised to run your best!
At lunchtime today I was able to squeeze in a little over 8 miles in just under an hour. The trails are still a tad icy so the footing was tricky. I was over dressed as well so together they conspired against me running any pace.
With 13 weeks to go to Coeur d’Alene, my focus needs to shift to more cycling and a few longer runs. The running doesn’t concern me as I know with a few more mid-distance runs I will be okay for that section of the ordeal. It is the damn bike again! Further complicating things is that it is still going to be awhile before I can get the bike on the road. So I will just have to do the best I can and hope my discipline can get me through a few long rides on the trainer.
Have a great day!

Thursday, March 19, 2009


After a brief stint of feeling better, my cold came back resulted in some half-hearted and missed workouts this week. Not to worry though, I am sure I will be back up to speed sooner rather than later.
This cold has dragged on though, and it probably doesn't help that I continue to push through it. Hopefully it is not a sign of anything more sinister.
Today I finally felt some strength in my legs and I was able to knock off an even eight miles in just over 55 minutes. We'll see if the legs agree with me tomorrow.
There are also some promising signs that spring may be on it's way. Temperatures were in the double digits today and on the plus side to boot! The sun is also beginning to feel like it has a little more strength in it and did a good job polishing off the last of the snow. I am really hopeful that I can get on the roads pretty soon with the bike. The trainer rides, while highly efficient and effective, do start to wear a little thin right about now. As much as I despise fighting the wind outside, I am actually looking forward to it now.
So while this week won't be the banner week I was looking for to kick off the final phase of training, it will have to do. I am feeling optimistic about the next few weeks and I should be able to start making up some ground.
I just got a bunch of new books from Chapters this week so I will fill you in once I start reading them. I just started reading "The Logic of Life - The rational economics of an irrational world", by Tim Harford. It looks interesting and appears to be an easy read.
Have a great week!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

It was inevitable!

With all the coughing, sneezing, and runny noses around our office it was only a matter of time before I would catch a cold. And sure enough I did! By Wednesday of this week I was a sniffling mess with a red nose and bleary eyes. Usually I am pretty lucky and manage to avoid catching colds, but this time it was not to be. But after a few days rest I seem to be back to normal today. I managed to run 8.5 miles today in 62 minutes so I think I am on the mend.
Prior to catching the cold I was doing quite well with couple of runs a bike ride and a swim under my belt by Tuesday, but that was it until Saturday when I managed to run an easy 5 miler.
But I am feeling good now so I should be able to pick up pretty close to where I left off. With 14 weeks to go until Ironman Coeur d'Alene I am starting to get to the real meat of the training. The weather should be improving as well so I can start getting some riding done on the roads. That will be a welcome change from the trainer which can often be a challenge to get through the longer rides on.
Have a great week!

Saturday, March 7, 2009


I have kind of felt that way about the blog lately. Nothing really exciting to report on and I feel like blabbing about the same old workouts wears thin after awhile. It's not that I am bored, not by any stretch of the imagination! Life is great! The workouts are progressing along just dandy and I have never felt better about wear I am at this point in the cycle.
Work is great with lots of interesting things happening. Having my younger brother here now has also been nice. It is good to talk with someone who can give you a frank assessment of the operations and people. By and large I think he has generally been impressed but he also sees a lot of opportunity for us to improve.
Wedding plans are also moving along at an appropriate pace. Everything is booked, invitations are out, cake ordered, all that is left is for Mom and Dad to pick up some new duds! It is going to be a family affair with about 60 people at Pyramid Lake Lodge in Jasper, Alberta. Unfortunately with the untimely recession and resulting uncertainty some of my family will now be unable to come. The recession is the first one that has gotten personal as two operations where I have family working have permanently closed. That sucks big time! However, as previously mentioned I have one brother already here and another one interviewing next week, so who knows they may all end up out here.
Anyway back to the blog and lack of inspiration. I read a lot of really good bloggers out there. People who seem to be able to turn the mundane reporting of workouts in spell-binding reading. Unfortunately I have not been similarly blessed. Mine reads more like an article out of the Accountants Today Journal! However I will keep trying and maybe I will get struck with some new and creative ideas!
Okay, now back to the numbers, the week went down something like this:
Swam 4.7 miles
Biked 91.6 miles
Ran 35.3 miles

Total of 11 hours and 42 minutes.

I am starting to get some decent cycling sessions in now and my swims have been really good. It is interesting to see that people who were cruising past me in the pool are now sucking my wake! I seemed to have really improved my pull and my average stroke count is between 16 and 19 per length. All good stuff.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Making Progress

Over the last few days my training has started to feel like I am making progress again. I was especially pleased with my Saturday ride and then a hard Sunday run. They were good tests of my fitness and I would say I passed.
On Saturday I did a 2 hour ride on the trainer with relatively high resistance and was able to average 21 MPH and 91 RPM for the workout. My legs felt good and I was good about taking on lots of fluids and one gel. Generally I am guilty of not looking after myself in that regard, but I am making an effort to correct it. Also I have been using a different sports drink, NUUN which is a tablet that mixes up nicely and has a mild flavour. The tablets look like Alka Seltzer and fizz up like them as well.
Sunday I came back with a hard run, doing 13.2 miles at an average pace of 6:51 / mile. Again the legs didn’t complain too much and everything seemed to be working fine on Monday.
So with those two workouts under my belt I feel quite encouraged at this point as to where I am fitness wise. Now it is about increasing the volume without getting injured. Always a tricky balance, but it is somewhat easier with 3 sports as opposed to just 1.
Wedding plans are starting to become front and centre over the last few weeks. Thank goodness Nicholas and Nicole are so laid back and not into a royal wedding. They just want a good family party, lots to eat and drink! That makes planning a whole lot easier and the lodge in Jasper has been very helpful in setting up menus and all the other stuff that has to happen. The wedding falls right about the time I should start tapering, May 28th so it won’t hurt if I take a little bit of time off during then. So far it looks like we are going to have almost all of my family here including nieces and nephews. We are very thrilled about that!
Music wise there has not been a lot of new stuff out that has interested me. I did pick up the new Red Jumpsuit Apparatus – Lonely Road and it is kind of interesting. I also got an old Crossfade album.
Have a great day!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Green Binder

The Green Binder is where I store all the tid-bits of training information and plans that I come across over the years. And it is invariably where I turn to when I struggle with getting myself on track. As mentioned in my last post I was at that point a week or so ago and so I dug the old binder out and started looking through it again.
What I was looking for was just to introduce a little more variety into some of my workouts, especially around the swim. As is always the case, we tend to start doing the same thing over and over again because it is either easy or because we can’t think of anything else to do. More than likely I was in the latter camp, as I just wanted to get the metres logged.
Now, armed with some new options, the first couple swims this week have been much more challenging and enjoyable. The funny thing is sometimes it is just some small little changes that make a world of difference. Giving yourself some options as far as distance or choice of stroke or using a swim aide, all can contribute to making the session different and more enjoyable. One of the key concepts to any work out success is based on the 4 “S’s”. Basically this rule of thumb is that you need to cover off four elements in a coaching plan:
Self directed – you have to feel you are somewhat in control of the planned workout
Sensory – there should be things in the work out to stimulate the senses, be it visual, auditory or feel
Social – try and make it involve other people
Success – structure the workout so that you will achieve a measure of success when you are done. This can be done in a variety of ways but generally if you give yourself a range of outcomes you can ensure a measure of satisfaction when you are done.
So this week I have been thinking about making sure my workouts have some or all of the elements.
Monday – Swam 2,400 metres – 51:33 – Ran 6.25 miles – 41:36
Tuesday – Swam 2,600 metres – 1 hour
Wednesday – Ran 6.2 miles – 45:15 – Biked 21.1 miles – 1:05
Thursday – Swam 2,200 metres 46:43 – Ran 7.5 miles – 50:57
The week has gone good with a good mix of workouts so far and a variety of intensities. The weekend I will focus on bike work and at least one long run.
Have a great day!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Last Week

It’s been well over a week since I have had time to jot down some thoughts on my training. Things have been quite hectic with the arrival of our latest addition to the family. He is a bouncing 180 pound, thin haired, 47 year old boy! Actually my younger brother, Blair is living with us and working in our plant. It is great having him here and he is no trouble at all. Actually because he is quite handy I am expecting I will get a lot of nagging little jobs completed around the house. Also last week was Reading Week for the University of Alberta so Francesca was home for the week as well. When she comes home, the house just bustles with activity as she is on the go all the time and always after us to do things with her.
Workout wise I short changed myself a little bit as I had to defer a couple workouts. The pool has been crazy busy lately so I only got 2 and a bit of a swim done. On Friday I got too frustrated and cut short my swim after 14 minutes. First off someone was in my lane and then we ended up with six in the lane that I had to go in. Just too much bother dodging people and I couldn’t get into my workout at all. I did manage two other decent swims of 2,500 metres and 2,250 metres respectively.
Monday I did a good brick workout, completing 18 miles on the bike and then pounding out 4.6 miles in 30 minutes flat. Tuesday was a one of the swims and a 10 k run. There was nothing really special about the run other than I have been feeling really strong. Wednesday and Thursday I biked and also did a good long hill run. The hill run was just a course I chose which covered a lot of elevation. Friday I had the abbreviated swim and then did nothing in the evening. We ended up going out for sushi with Blair and Francesca. It was fun and the food was great as usual.
Saturday I went for a run on the trails. I thought the footing would be better because of the long stretch of warm weather but they were still icy. It took me 1 hour and 25 minutes to cover 10.5 miles as I spent a lot of time dancing around puddles and ice slicks. It was still a nice run, just really slow.
Sunday was the end of Francesca’s break and we drove her back to the city. The weather was nice which made for an easy ride.
I have re-jigged my loose plan this week as I found I was getting a bit too caught up in the running and not getting enough cycling in. The plan I have has better defined cycling workouts so that may help me get better focused.
Have a great week!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Slow Mo' and Fast Forward

My week was a mix of good and not so good workouts. Looking in the rear view mirror at the week I am generally satisfied with how I fared. This week was a planned (kind of) cut back week as I have done 3 weeks of 11 hours plus. My goal for this week was to get around 8 1/2 which is exactly where I am sitting this morning.
The title of today's post is in reference to my Thursday and Friday runs. On Thursday I went out at lunch time for a quick tour of the trails. Over the last two weeks we have had plus temperatures so I was anticipating good footing, but I was quite wrong. The trails are still relatively sheltered from the sun and were dangerously icy. I was running rather gingerly along the pathways and there were few opportunities to open up my stride and really run. As a result I completed a 6.3 mile run in 50:30.
On Friday I had an up tempo session in mind when I got home from work. Unfortunately I had limited time so in those circumstances, the treadmill it is. I don't really do a lot of speed work, or should I say I don't do any speed work. As recently mentioned I just run, however on the treadmill a progression type run works quite well. Everything is controlled and using the proper mix of speed and incline you can give yourself a solid work out. That is what I did yesterday. I only went 5 miles, but it was at 6:24 pace with the incline set at 2%.
Overall the week went well with 4 swims, 3 rides and 4 runs with a longish ride or run planned for today.
Four weeks into the training and things are going well thus far. As usual, the cycling still needs the most attention, but I was happy to get in 3 rides this week. Hopefully the good weather continues and I can soon get outside for an occasional ride. I am also looking at seeing what running events there are in Edmonton in the next little while as I am anxious to see how I would perform in a race situation. I know there is a 10 mile race in April but I am hoping to find something a bit sooner.
On the reading front I am just about finished reading "Young Stalin". It is a very interesting book, but he was one nasty dude right from the get go!
Musically I have not found much lately that I want to add to the iPod. I did pick up a greatest hits compilation by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, but that has been it.
Have a great weekend!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Older I Get The Better I Used to Be!

Have you ever heard that? A friend of mine once mentioned it in a hockey dressing room as someone was going on about their past triumphs. It is amazing what time and a faulty memory can do for your athletic prowess.
I run into this on a regular basis, usually at the pool for some reason. Someone will start asking me how many lengths I am doing or how far I am going to run. My usual answer is "I don't know, I'll see what happens." That's usually when the story starts. "Yeah, well I used to run a lot but you know, the knees gave out." If I had a dime for every time I heard that one. So now your exercise consists of bringing a bottle of water to the pool and sitting in the hot tub? And it seems to be working for you since you can no longer see your feet.!
Or the other one is "I used to work out a lot, but the doctor told me to stop." Who is this doctor and why did he tell you to stop. Were you getting in too good of shape, or was it the wrong shape. Perhaps the shape you are in now is more what he was looking for, 240 lbs and 5'7".
Unfortunately the pool was full of more than a few of these yesterday. For some reason the "resolutioners" have started later this year. Not quite sure of the reason, but I think the nicer weather has suddenly got people out and about. There had to have been 16 people in the pool and another bunch waiting on deck or in the hot tub. Now as I have mentioned before I am happy when a person decides to make a positive change in there life. That is absolutely the right thing to do. But you know what, keep the goals modest and to yourself. The old "Don't write a cheque with your mouth that your ass can't cash." would be the proper approach. I had to listen to one guy go on and on about the program he had set up and was going to follow. Six days a week, running, weights and swimming. And this all from a prone start, with a bag of Cheetos in one hand and a Coors Light in the other. C'mon man! Get real! How about I am going to limit myself to one bag of Cheetos a week and I am going to walk 15 minutes a day, and build from there. I can guarantee that I will see this guy until it either gets cold again (which it will) or until you can get 2 Teens for $6 at A&W. Point about all this is just be realistic, set achievable goals and build on them. Nothing too scientific or profound, just some common sense.
Anyway I have to go as I have a billion mile run and a 23 hour workout planned on the bike!
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Quick Recap

The first "official week" of training for IM CDA is just about in the books and it has gone relatively well. Actually it has gone quite well.
Sunday - Cross Country Ski - 1 hour and then a 10 mile run @ 7:05 Pace
Monday - Biked 1 hour - big gears - 17.5 miles - Swam 2000 metres easy
Tuesday - Swam 2,700 metres
Wednesday - Ran 9.2 miles @ 7:20 Pace - Biked 1:10 20.5 miles - high cadence 94 RPM average
Thursday - Swam 2,800 metres - Ran 6 miles @ 6:57 Pace
So the total for the week thus far is just over 8 1/2 hours. This will be my third week at 11 plus hours so next week will be a bit lighter.
Swimming continues to be fun because of the distinct improvement in my times. I am almost afraid to miss a day because I know how fleeting the improvements can be. It seems you can lose them as fast as they came.
The cycling is gradually coming together, but it is a chore with every workout on the trainer either staring at "Coach Troy" or trying to read from a sweat-stained page. But that it what it will take to get to where I need to be.
And running has been great as our weather has been perfect. Sunny skies and temperatures ranging from +8 C to +12 C. There has also been a fair bit of wind, but at least it is not cold.
Have a great day!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Lottery

Normally I am of the mind that lottery's are taxes on fools. The odds of winning are generally ridiculous and I am better off keeping the money in my pocket. But what if that lottery was for a chance to go to Kona and compete in Ironman Hawaii? The odds are just about as ridiculous, there are only 50 spots, and the ticket price is $35.
After shelling out the $35 and filling in the page long application I have now entered the lottery! I am officially a fool for those of you who don't know me, and for those of you that do, have confirmed it!
My odds of qualifying for Kona are long at best. If the perfect day came together I might be on the fringes, but the damn guys my age are still doing ridiculous times. So it has come to this. apply to a lottery. The other option is to outlive everyone in my category.
The other thing I have been thinking is maybe with the economic downturn fewer people will enter the races. Maybe all the fast guys will lose their jobs and won't be able to go. It's an evil thought, but it could happen!
So my name is in the hat and the $35 is out of my bank account. Now I just need to wait until April to find out.
On another note today I went cross country skiing. It has been awhile and as a result it took a while to get ready. I skate ski so I needed to do a hot wax ( of my skis) prior to going. I was a little out of practice, but it did turn out fine and my wax was ideal for the conditions. Cross country skiing is quite a workout and I forgot how tiring it is. However it felt good and I was still able to do a 10 mile run afterwards.
Today is the first official day of training for IM Coeur d'Alene. A little less than 5 months to the race.
Have a great day!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Breakthrough!

The swimming part of my trio of sports has always been a challenge. While there are limited gains to be made in the swim part of the race for me, you still have to work hard to maintain what you have. And the options of not being a decent swimmer are not good, as my brother once told me, if you can't run, you can walk, if you can't ride, you can coast, if you can't swim, you drown!
Lately I have mixed my swimming up a bit, adding a little more interval and drill work and when possible, another swim per week. And yesterday I definitely noted a breakthrough! Under race conditions my 1,500 metre time is 32 minutes plus. Yesterday I did a rather relaxed swim, which included 50 metres of breastroke in 30:20! So I am quite confident that I could have went under 30 minutes easily. Unfortunately I know holding on to my gains is the difficult part. Because swimming is so technical, it doesn't take much to revert to your old habits. But that was one good thing about yesterday's swim is that I really wasn't thinking too much about what I was doing.
Now if I can get a breakthrough on the bike!
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Workouts this week

So far the week is proceeding along quite nicely from a workout perspective:

Sunday was a brick with a break - I rode 1:35 or just over 30.5 miles and then after a little break I ran 6.5 miles at a 7:05 pace
Monday was a 2,000 metre pool workout.
Tuesday - 2,650 metres in the pool and then a 9.5 mile run holding 6:56 / mile pace
Wednesday was a short run 5 miles on the trails at lunch.
Thursday - 2,900 metre swim, 1:00 bike ride for 17.1 miles using big gears and 6 miles in 41:08. The bike / run workout was done as follows 30 minutes on the bike, 20 minutes running, 30 minutes on the bike and 20 odd minutes on the run.
Thus far this week I am at 8.5 hours so I am well positioned to have another 10+ hour week.
Everything is rolling along quite nicely right now. I just need to keep reminding myself it is still early and not to get too far ahead of myself. I think I need to seriously consider some events prior to Ironman Coeur d'Alene. I also need to consider booking accommodations in CDA or I "will be living in a van, down by the river", to quote Chris Farley.
Have a great day!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Running Man

As much as I love triathlon, I am first and foremost a runner.
I have always loved to run, and have been a distance runner since high school. Back then, our phys ed teacher would start us running in the fall for cross country. There was a route that ran from the high school to a little lake and it was probably 2.5 or 3 miles at best round trip. On the way to the lake was a gas station and most of the guys in my class would take off from the school running at a great clip, once the teacher was out of site, they would duck into the gas station and buy a pop and some chips. Then they would head off into the bush and hide. I usually had no money so I ran to the lake and back. The rest of the class knew it was time to come out of the bush when I went by!
So through high school I ran cross country and played soccer which was really just running for me as I can't recall touching the ball that often. After college and when I started working in an office is when I really got serious and decided I would like to run a marathon. After a couple of ten milers I finally did my first marathon in 1985 in Duluth, Minnesota. My older brother and I trained religiously for the race and had modest expectations of finishing in under 4 hours. Both of us did considerably better and we were hooked! Since that time I have run quite a few marathons, halfs, ten milers, you name it. Unfortunately I am not much of a record keeper so I can't give you a litany of PB's, other than I know my best marathon was a 2:49:49. I only remember that one so well because I had a goal to go to Boston but I would only go if I qualified with the original qualifying time of 2:50. I can still remember watching the clock ticking down as I was running down the last straight stretch at Grandma's Marathon, wondering if I was going to make it!
Which leads me to the point of today's post. It has been almost 30 years of running for me and I still look forward everyday to my workout, some days more than others. My goals have always been modest, and I think I have always been pretty balanced in my approach to training. And I have tried all the different methods of training and found what I believe to be the sweet spot for me. Any more than 60 miles a week and I can guarantee that I will get injured. Also I like to run when I go out! My miles are mainly done at higher intensity because that is what I like to do. I don't hill train, and I don't necessarily speed train. I just run! And for anyone thinking of starting to run that is all you need to do......just run.
Have a great day!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

January has gone missing

Where has the month of January gone? For me this month has passed by quicker than any January in recent memory. I know they say this happens to you as you get older, but this month really slipped away. Usually it is the one month that seems to drag on forever. With cold weather, post Christmas blues and the like, it seems like a 45 day month some years. However, not this year as we have it licked!
But that poses a bit of another issue, as I am now approaching the start of my official training for IM CDA. I believe the start date for my 20 week program is February 1. I am already in good position for that as I have started conditioning the body for two a days and longer weekly hours. This week will end up just over 11 hours, which is probably a little more than I should have. One of the obvious issues we face is that we charge out of the gate and plunge into big weeks right off the bat, only to be dragging our sorry asses in late May. Then I will be complaining about how burned out I am, sick of training, blah, blah, blah, whine, whine, whine. So that is the one caution.
As mentioned in my last post I am going to try and mix things up a bit more than I usually do. I might even try swimming in a different lane at the pool! Wait a minute, that's just crazy talk! But I may start at the opposite end of the pool one day.
This week, thus far, I have managed 4 swims for a total of 8,600 metres, 4 runs with one more today, and 3 rides. I tweaked my right calf on my Wednesday run, so I skipped Thursday. With the help of the Trigger Point massager I was able to get the knots out and I blasted through a 10K run on the treadmill last night in 41:27 running at between 2 and 3% grade.
I also got some great news on Friday as my younger brother has chosen to join our company and move to Hinton. It is really exciting to have some family right here again. I am also excited because he is a very talented guy and will help our facility out in numerous ways.
On the reading front I am still struggling through "The Spiritual Brain", it is some tough slugging and I kept hoping it would get better, but with 30 pages to go it hasn't happened yet! I am also reading a biography on Joseph Stalin. Hopefully I can learn some tips on how to manage my people more effectively. Torture, murder, and banishment to Siberia seemed to work effectively for Uncle Joe!
Musically, I have picked up a few good albums lately, Susan Tedeschi, Back to the River, and The Derek Trucks Band, Almost Free. Both are blues albums and Derek Trucks actually plays a bit on the Susan Tedeschi Album. He is an awesome slide player and has also played with the Allman Brothers Band.
Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Changing it Up

Since I started training for triathlons some years ago I have always followed roughly the same pattern for my workouts. Swims on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at lunch. On those days I run in the evening. On Tuesday and Thursday, I run at lunch and bike in the evening, and on the weekend it is long run on Saturday, short bike, and long bike, short run on Sunday or I take Sunday off. Going into this training cycle I am going to try and mix it up a little and try and do a few single, concentrated workouts throughout the week.
Yesterday I had to go for blood work which required 12 hours of fasting. For me going 12 hours without food is a challenge and I need some distractions. My problem is I wake up starved and can't wait for my breakfast so I needed something to keep me occupied from 4:30 AM when I get up until the lab opened at 8:00 AM, so I went for a morning swim. Surprisingly I was quite pleased with my workout as I was able to really work on some drills and not worry about taking up a lane. After an hour I had done a little over 2,000 metres and it was 7:30 AM and I was ready to get the blood withdrawn. In the evening I ran a nice 6.25 miles in 44 minutes. The legs were pretty fresh considering I had done eleven miles on Saturday and 9.5 on Sunday, both a around a 7:05 pace.
Today I swam again, logging 2,600 metres. Tuesday is a less busy day at the pool as apparently most people follow the same schedule I do for their swims. Again it was nice to have not too many people in the pool. Swimming back to back left me feeling pleasantly tired, but not totally bagged. The added bonus was I hit the bike for a challenging workout tonight with fresh legs and it really was evident. I whipped off a 40 km ride in 1:11 with lots of intervals and some big gear work.
So I think I may have something here. My big issue with the big may be related to the fact that I am attempting too many ambitious workouts on tired legs. With that in mind I will try and mix things up a bit and keep it a little more varied. There are some limitations with swimming pool hours but there are still some opportunities to work within those limitations.
Have a great week!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Annual Physical

Every year at this time, I schedule my annual physical. Timing wise it works out well as I have my birthday on January 8th as reminder and it is the start of the hard training for any event I am going to do.
I have always looked at the checkup from the perspective that I take my vehicles in for a service appointment after every 5,000 kilometres, wouldn't it make sense to do the same for my body? Especially given the fact that I ask a lot of it in a year.
The only thing about going for my physical is that as I age I am forced to suffer more indignities each year. Also given my family history (my father died from colon cancer, and several uncles from prostate cancer), well you get the picture! Having said all that, this is my plug to make sure that you go for a check up and get all the diagnostics done. In my case it has turned up things that, despite the candy coated outside, lurk inside and need to be managed. I believe my Dad would still be alive with proper screening and treatment. So if you haven't done it in awhile go out and make that appointment!
I am lucky that my doctor is a triathlete and marathon runner so he is great about understanding that side of me and treats me accordingly. He understands the obsessive nature of endurance athletes and helps to find courses of treatment that allow me to continue training without doing more harm.
So that is the public service announcement portion of today's blog!
On to the training or lack thereof.
Yesterday I laid an egg as I just was too tired to get out to do anything. A couple of late nights and a bit of lingering tiredness from the travel on Monday and Tuesday left me just wanting to kick back and relax. And that is what I did! It was a bit unfortunate as the weather has really taken a turn and temperatures have soared. Today we are looking at +10 C and sunshine so it will be time to run outside and enjoy.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Reality Bites!

After another glorious week of vacation in the beautiful Mayan Riviera, it is back to reality, and as we all know, REALITY BITES! My biggest decision for the last seven days has been whether or not to go up for another helping at the all inclusive buffet.

However, a return to normal is not all bad either. I am actually happy to be home and get back to my training regime. Although I did manage to run 5 out of 7 days and get in a couple of swims, and that doesn't include the laps at the swim up bar!
The wedding was a blast and it was great to see my brother and his family. My niece and her husband made it a very memorable event treating us to an afternoon of sailing, snorkeling, snacking and snarfing beers in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, as well as another morning of deep sea fishing. Along with a beautiful wedding ceremony and reception it was just a fantastic time and we really appreciated the incredible hospitality.

Times like these really make you appreciate your family. We have been blessed with a close family and we have a great bunch of nieces and nephews. They are all interesting, funny and really caring people and we are proud of all of them.
My brother and his family on the sailing trip.
So now it is time to starting eating this elephant better know as Ironman Coeur d'Alene. My training base is quite strong right now and I feel like I am in a good position both mentally and physically to kick things up a notch. They key, as usual is balance and moderation. Since I got back on Tuesday I have managed two swims of 2,000 metres each, a 5 mile run last night and a quick 40 minute ride tonight. I am still feeling the effects of an lack of sleep due to our travel arrangements on Monday. We left Cancun at 10:00 PM Monday night and arrived back in Edmonton at 3:00 AM Tuesday morning. Sleep was not an option on the plane as we had some crying babies and a pregnant women vomiting in the seat behind us. When we arrived in Edmonton we hopped into our truck and made the 300 Km journey home, stopping at the dog kennel along the way to pick up our pups. Then it was a quick shower and off to work. I finally hit the sack at 8:00 PM on Tuesday night! No worse for the wear but a little on the punch drunk side. Anyway after a few more days to catch up on some sleep I will be ready to get back to the ten hour level next week.
Captain Ang as we head out for a three hour cruise!
Now it is time to catch up on all the blogs I have missed reading.

The little guy in the front is my youngest blog reader, Emilio!
Have a great day!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Heading Back on Vacation

Well I am back off on vacation for a week and this should be the last one until Nicholas and Nicole get married in May. I don't really need the rest, but the escape from the cold will be welcome. Winter has really settled in over the last few days and I have been stuck inside as the temperatures have been -30C and lower. Coupled with the wind it makes for less than optimal running conditions!
So I will be off to sunny Mexico for 7 days of pampering and also some light training. I am usually good about getting in a run everyday and I will also go to the gym and swim. Once I get back though it will be time to start kicking things up a bit. Last week was a good jump off point as I managed to log just over 9 hours with some good runs and a few decent bike rides. Yesterday I rode 32 miles averaging 20 MPH with cadence in the 90+ range. That is where I need to be on the bike if I am going to make any noise at the races. The bike legs do feel like they are coming back as I have really not rode the bike that much over the last few months.
Music wise I am not finding much new these days. I have put the new Hinder and Nickelback albums on, but there hasn't been anything else that has captured my attention. My 30 GB iPod is full now, so when I add something new, something has to come off. There have been some tough decisions as of late! I think it may be time to graduate to the 120 GB model.
Have a great week!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Musings of My 49 Trips Around the Sun

On January 8th I will have completed my 49th trip around the sun.
Now while some people on their birthday spend time thinking about all the things they haven't done, I will spend my being thankful for all the things I have done. I have had 49 great years and have gotten to do some amazing things! No mid-life crisis for this dude.
There are still lots of things I would like to do, but I really don't have a "bucket list" so to speak. I have really learned to embrace the things I have been able to accomplish and be thankful for them.
This year I would like to do a few more races. I had planned on doing more last year but it never really worked out for me. Coeur d'Alene is the feature race of the season and that will happen June 21. I felt I made considerable improvement in my IM racing last year despite the fact my time was almost the exact same as my first IM. Conditions in Arizona were beyond what I could have reasonably prepared for, so the fact that I gutted it out and finished was a feat in itself. So this year, hopefully with some co-operation from Mother Nature, I can pull together a better race.
On the running front I did have a good race in Red Deer, clocking a 2:58 on a rather challenging course. I haven't really set my sights on any particular marathon yet, but I will definitely do at least one.
Next week it is off to Mexico again for my niece's wedding. With bone chilling temperatures having settled in again (-37 C today!) I am looking forward to the sun in the Mayan Riviera. Temperatures there have been in the 28 C range so that will be a relief.
Today I managed to swim 2,000 metres at lunch and do a 7 mile run (7:08 pace) this evening.
I should finish the week with just over 9 hours so the slow climb has started.
Have a great day!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Sorry no charts or graphs!

Unlike someone else, I am unable to provide you with any charts, graphs, or statistical analysis of my training in 2008. I'm not even sure I can accurately provide you with any information of what I did last year. My training logs are half-assed at best with large holes where I have either forgot or didn't bother to log anything. Years ago I was quite diligent about the whole thing, but in recent years I really haven't been too interested in keeping up with the details. I know I should, and right about now I should be saying that is my resolution for 2009. But I don't do resolutions either so it probably isn't going to happen.
The last couple of days have been sort of test workouts as I begin my training for my next assault on the Ironman distance. I have done a couple of short brick workouts and those have went well. My legs are really feeling quite strong and the transition from bike to run has been really smooth.
On the running front I continue to feel good and log moderate miles. The cold weather has kept me mostly inside but last Saturday I was able to run in the sun and did a brisk 8.6 miles in 1:00.
Then there were a couple of swims which were kind of lame. The pool has been full of kids lately which has made it difficult to do any sort of workout. With the Christmas break, parents feel that they should bring their kids to the lunch time lap swim. So you end up with a hodge podge of people swimming with no purpose or direction. I usually end up getting frustrated and rather than drowning someone's child, I have opted to bail on the swim after about 1,200 metres. Drowning other people's children carries heavy penalties in Canada.
To finish off 2008 I ran a nice 13.25 miles in 1:32 yesterday. I really had no intention of going that far or fast, but I had a great playlist that really motivated me.
So with that, on we charge into 2009! Today was a 26 mile bike ride followed by 3.5 miles of running. Everything feels good and now I am getting prepared to have a 'nog and rum and start cooking supper!
All the best to everyone in 2009. I hope you achieve all your personal goals and that your lives are filled with peace, happiness and prosperity!
Have a great New Year!