Monday, December 29, 2008

Bigger than a pork barrel

I made it home on time on Christmas evening - the on time part is a first for me b/c as long as I can remember my flights in/out of Halifax airport have been delayed due to weather. I'll take that one as a win!

Stepped off the plane to be greeted by Mel, Jessie, and Mel's sister Barb outside waiting for me. We jetted off into Halifax to one of their brother's place for dinner for the evening. Had a grand time but by 9pm I was starting to fall asleep. [aside: I had to get up a 4am and drive myself to the airport in Calgary]

It has been great seeing Mel and Jessie again as it has been too long...we've been doing alot of walking, working out, eating, drinking, and watching season 4 of the Gilmore Girls. Mel is a huge fan of the Girls...but I'm really not that big of a fan...really I am not :)

My hip/lower back/SI joint seems to be getting better. I have been running everyday on the treadmill and steadily increasing the time I run. Things are feeling good and I am slowly easing back into it.

Currently reading "Training and Racing with a Power Meter" by Hunter Allen and Andrew Coggan. I bought this book a couple of months ago but never sat down to start reading it until last week. For anyone curious about training with a power meter this is a must read. Very well written and easy to follow. I can't wait to implement some of the stuff I have learnt into my training schedule in the new year.

At the moment, one of my indoor trainers has power output on it and I am searching for one to put on my bike. IG has been using iBike for the past several years and it has been working well for him so that is what I am leaning towards. The SRM's are about $4000-$5000 and the power tap are at least $2000 and you can't easily swap it with another wheel set so both of those are out. I believe Polar make a power product as well...yeah, both the Polar and iBike may not be as accurate as the other two but they are more then good enough for the common age grouper like me - and with a reasonable price tag. Besides, the money I save I hope to put towards a new bike next year...K-Bes, if you are reading this, I need you to keep plugging away at Mel about getting me a new bike!

Not much else on the front lawn is green and I'd be outside riding my bike at the moment if my bike was here. I'll have to snap some pics tomorrow and post them.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Pretty easy going day today...we were let go around noon so I ran a few errands on the way home. Worked some of the afternoon, watched a movie, rode the trainer for a bit and are just finishing up my packing. I am heading back to Nova Scotia tomorrow and are really looking forward to seeing Mel and Jessie...can't believe it has been a month already.

Visited Miranda this afternoon for another treatment...despite feeling a little sore today, things overall are progressing well. She gave me a couple of core exercises to do over the break until I see her of em called "dead bug" and I LOL'ed at that. I remember vaguely Katie and Jill trying to show me how to do that one time after a bike workout. All I could think about was "Where did they come up with the name dead bug???"

I was hoping to get out and try some cross country skiing with Mel when I get back to NS but I can see it is raining there at the moment - which obviously will kill all the snow. My friends Chris & Jill are big time cross-country skiers and have invited me out to ski with them in Canmore. Only problem is I have only been on cross-country skis a handful times...that being over 20 years ago. I'd at least like to know I can stand upright on those things before I show up to ski with them...hehe.

Mel, Jessie, and I have nothing planned other then daily Timmy Ho runs and lots of walks. I'd imagine we'll visit some of her family if they are around.

Anyways, I hope all you guys have a relaxing and enjoyable holiday. Merry Christmas and take care.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

One step at a time...

I spent most of the weekend working on my work project and/or some contract stuff I am doing on the side. I didn't mind so much as I am really interested in what I am doing...finally something I can sink my teeth into that I really enjoy doing. For a while there I was losing interest in my field...change is good.

Managed to hop on the bike for a 60 minute spin on Sunday and my back was OK. I couldn't go into my aerobars but I was fine just pedalling away sitting up. Overall, my SI joint, lower back, & hip are getting better. I am still having trouble moving/twisting in certain positions which cuts swimming out at the moment. I tried running this AM on the treadmill and got 20 minutes of solid running before I had to stop. The jarring was starting to shoot the pain into my glute which is a sign I am irritating the disc again. I did a 10 minute warm up, 20 minute low intensity jog, then 5 minute cool down. I followed it up with some core activation exercises my physio Jody, in Dartmouth, showed me earlier this year.

This past week of "inactivity" has really lit the fire under me to start training. I am anxious to start some structured workouts in the New Year and knock off a couple of goals I have been chasing for awhile.

At the moment though, I am really looking forward to seeing my Wife and my dog Jessie and spending Christmas with them.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Stuffed to the gills!

Mel hates it when I say, she tells me I sound like a hick. In some ways I am and YMT!

I got up super early this morning for my chiro was like waking up to Christmas morning in some ways. My Chiropractor, Miranda, is really cool and I like her approach...get me better so I don't have to keep coming back - and she'll provide me with exercises to strengthen the weaken areas. My issue is with my SI joint being jammed up pretty good and at the same time a disc or two have been pushed out of alignment. She slapped a muscle stim on it for 10 minutes to try and relax the muscles around the area before manipulating my lower back and hips. After the session my back definitely felt a little looser and the pain itself not as intense. I am back for two more sessions next week before I jet back to Nova Scotia for Christmas. Saturday I get to attempt some riding and Sunday a short run.

We had a potluck at work today and then another one this evening after Greg's cycling class. I feel like a stuff much great food...I think I am going to have to walk back to Nova Scotia for the break in order to burn some of these calories off.

Here are a few pics from this evening at Laura's place...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

There is a lesson (or two) in there somewhere

It has been extremely cold in Calgary over the past several days and I've been freezing my arse off waiting for buses that are often late. Monday night I waited an hour in -35ish degree weather for my bus home in the evening. I have never been that cold in my entire life. When I got home, my feet were still numb in places so I immediately took off my boot/socks and ran luke warm water over them in the bath tub. It stung that bad it actually brought tears to my eyes...that is how effin cold they were.

On Tuesday I had some off-site meetings to attend at a location just past COP. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending how you look at it) Calgary Transit didn't offer service out there. So I had ordered a cab for 7:20am the morning off. 8:00am rolls around and no cab and I can't get through to the company or any of the other 4 cab company numbers I took for back up...all busy. My meeting was suppose to start at 8:15...thankfully my roomate Mark gave me a drive out there...thx dude.

By the way, the cab company who I booked with and failed to show were Associated Cabs Ltd. Don't ever use these gals/guys.

I had to come back to campus after the meeting to take home some work. 5:05pm I am out at my bus stop...7:15 rolls around and the bus finally shows up.

I shit you not.

There should have been 4 or 5 within that time frame. During the wait I called Calgary transit and was on hold for 30 minutes...after that I hung up as I was just wasting my minutes on my cell phone. I cycled through my list of cab companies...all lines busy. Now, if I wasn't such a gimp I could have walked the 4km home but unfortunately my back is still is not cooperating so I can't walk very far without getting that delightful shooting pain down my leg into the foot.

So I am standing there freezing my arse off *again* and began to weigh my options. As I completating life and who I should be angry with - with my current predicament, the sidewalk cleaner is coming towards me blowing up a storm as it brushes the snow away. The guy driving the rig waves at me to get out of the way so I step out onto the street and that is when I saw stars.

I stepped on some ice, slipped, and landed square on my back.

Again, I shit you not.

I lie there for a second saying to myself that this can't really be happening. I pick myself up and head back to the bus stop. Thankfully, I messaged IG earlier in the day to say I won't be riding...after that spill I'll be lucky to be riding any time before Xmas.

In the end I made it home and picked up a $5 hot n ready Little Ceasar's pizza for my troubles.

I was pretty frustrated with everything last night but you'd be surprised at what a great night's sleep does to heal the mind. Today I am laughing at the irony...last night I would have put a sailor to shame.

I have an appointment tomorrow morning with a Chiro and I CANNOT wait. I have never messed up my back this bad before so I am anxious to hear what she has to say.

Think I'll hitch down 14st tonight ;)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

7 things about me...

My friend Keith over at tagged me in the "Reveal 7 Random Things About Yourself" game currently making it's rounds in our blogging world:

  1. Every single triathlon I have raced since I began in 2003, I have taken a momento with me of one of our dogs that have passed away. Usually it is their collar - each race morning I say a quick prayer to them and either race with it on me somewhere or have it stashed in transition.

  2. I had a try out with the Peterborough Petes of the OHL back when I was in high-school. My Dad didn't let me attend training camp - for years I never understood why until I discovered triathlon. Some paths you are meant to follow - others you are not.

  3. I constantly have to pee! After getting some unusual (and painful) tests done about 6 years ago it was determined I have an itsy-bitsy bladder - go figure!?!

  4. Building on point 3, I can pee on demand on the bike. As you can imagine, over the course of an Ironman bike ride that does save me quite a bit of only if I could do the same while running...

  5. Whenever I cook steak and/or chicken, I always cook one for me and one for Jessie, our dog. (Mel is a vegetarian)

  6. I am really sqeemish around matches - to the point where I can't touch them. They REALLy gross me out.

  7. Since a kid, I have held a deep fascination of Greece, its culture and mythology. While in university, I said to Melinda that we are going to visit Greece the year the Olympics are held there. Fast-forward almost 10 years later (Oct 6, 2004 - year of the Greece Olympics) we are both standing across from each other on the cliffs of Santorini at sunset being married (main blog picture). During our ceremony, the wind picked up and knocked over a wine glass and smashed it. In the Greek culture, that is a sign of good luck and prosperity.

Iron Greg (, y'er up buddy!


Slept awkward last night and woke up to a nice Sciatica. It actually got worse as I moved around more. Chris/Jill came to pick me up so we could do a ride together over at Katie's house. By the time I got there it was completely unbearable. I stretched for a bit which did not seem to relieve it at all. Hopped into Katie's inversion table for 10 minutes and that seemed to help relieve the pain/pressure.

We had a solid workout - my total ride time was 2hr15mins. Got suited up to run - took a few steps and the pain started firing down into my glute/legs so I pulled the plug and decided to spend some more time in the inversion table before we jetted off to the Lazy Loaf for some much needed food.

I was going to attempt a swim workout this afternoon but decided to rest up and see how things go tomorrow.

Bike: 2hr15mins

Friday, December 12, 2008


Since coming to Calgary I have been experiencing transient insomnia. I wake up every morning between 4:30am and 5:45am and cannot for the life of me fall back to matter what time I go to bed the night before. I have been staying up later this week in hopes it would help me sleep better but I still wake up on Nova Scotia time...ugh!

The past two days have been write-offs in terms of workouts b/c I am so tired and unmotivated when I get home in the evenings. I got 20 minutes into my bike workout last night before pulling the plug.

Anyways, thank heavens it is Friday and I can try and catch up on my zzz's with some cat naps throughout the weekend. Tomorrow I am riding with some friends in the AM and plan to swim in the afternoon here on campus. Sunday will be a long run and another ride.

Swim: 30 mins during lunch
Run: 50 mins

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Weights: 25 mins
Running drills: 15 mins (A's & B's)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

That pool smell...

Busy couple of days at work as I am knee deep in a cool and fun project. I took work home with and stayed up until 1:00am researching and coding. I can't remember the last time I did this. Anyways, I thought today was going to be a write off but brought my swim gear to work regardless. Felt good nearing lunch so I decided to hit the pool on campus for a 30 minute swim. Drills, drills, and more drills...added some 100's at the end on 2 minutes - times were 1:31, 1:30, 1:28. I am glad to see the speed is coming back but the endurance is obviously lacking.

Tonight we have a time trial at cycling class. Should be fun.

Swim: 30mins
Bike: 1hr15mins

TT results:

- 20 mins
- Heart Rate: 158 - 167bpm
- Power: 293 - 307watts
- Cadence: 90 - 95rpm

Monday, December 8, 2008

Semi rest day

Did a 30 minute upper body weight routine today during my lunch break.

Weights: 30 mins (upper body)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Let it snow

Started with Day 1 of the onehundredpushups challenge that Jenna got us all onboard with. I started on Week 3 - Column 3 and my results were:

Set 1: 14
Set 2: 18
Set 3: 14
Set 4: 14 - struggled to hit the last one
Set 5: 22 - crashed on the last one!

Holy shit, I totally under-estimated how difficult this is. I was a heaping mess by the 4 set and took a little longer then 60 seconds to reover before attempting Set 5 and going for max - which by the way my arms were quivering like two pieces of jello.

It has been snowing non stop here in Calgary today. Ran for an hour along the Bow - had plans to catch the bus up to campus to do a swim and upper weight session. However, after waiting 45 minutes for a bus I pulled the plug on that idea. I am not sure if all the routes were running but when my bus was 40 minutes pass due I got tired of waiting. Spent of the rest of the day doing a little gaming, some research for work and a small core workout.

Run: 60 mins aerobic
Core: 25 mins

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Initial Push-up test

Had a great bike workout over at Greg's place - afterwards we hit a local pub for some food and beverages.

Core Work: 25mins
Bike: 2hrs

Holy snapping turtle arses! I finally got around to starting the push up challenge and managed to sqeak out 35 good form push-ups before the ole guns gave out. Time for some core work before IG picks up me to go do a bike workout over at his pad.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Beat to a snot

Weights: 30 minutes lower body and come core
Run: 50 mins aerobic. Iced knee afterwards - just a little achy.

I blame my roommate Mark for my tiredness. He has an Xbox 360 (which I never played before until recently) and picked up a new game where we can both play co-op. It has been a ton of fun but we have both been up until Midnight playing the past 3 nights. Regardless, it was fun, tomorrow the weekend starts, and I can sleep in an extra hour - YEAH!

I swam during my lunch break yesterday - noone swims during lunch so it super nice having a full lane to one's self. Last night, Iron Greg picked up me up for his cycling class. I told him immediately I'm going to be lazy tonight and his reply was "Yah, we'll see about that".

Sure enough, he was able to get us all fired up as the workout progressed. I've gone from consuming 4 bottles of liquids to 3 now AND my max HR last night was only 171bpm compared to 191bpm my first class - so I am slowly adjusting to altitude and the intensity of the workouts.

On today's plate I'm hitting the weight room on campus for a quick noon hour workout. This evening I plan on getting out for a run - depending on my zombie state by the end of the day.

Happy Trails!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Swim: 30 mins during lunch
Bike: 1hr35mins

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Yesterday was an off day for me. In lieu of adding a little more structure to my training I decided to stick to Mondays instead of whenever I feel like it. Truth-be-told, I would have gone for an easy 30 minute swim at lunch if I didn't have a meeting. Even when I got home, I had a terrible itch to get dressed up and go for a 30 minute run/stretch. But, I reminded myself to stick to the plan and to also give a day in between runs as I don't want to overwork my knee.

Today's plan is to hit the pool during lunch and do a drill session. At least 65% of the total yardage in any one of my given swim workouts is geared towards drills during the off-season. I try to add a few 50m's and/or 100m's threshold sets in there to keep the feel of an elevated heart rate.

Tonight is cycling class with IG and the gang.