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.