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!