Monday, August 31, 2009

Weekend in Review

Friday
Short Run Interval workout: 20 minute warm-up, 7x 1min at 3:00km - 3:10km with 2 mins active recovery, cool down after wards. First time doing speed work in over a month but felt really good throughout.

Lunch time was a short 1500m swim focusing on speed workout. I am currently about 20 seconds slower on my 200's than I was about a month ago. Things should come back over the next couple of weeks.

In the evening I rode an 1hr45min at a steady pace. Great evening for a ride with minimal wind.

Saturday
Early rise thanks to Super Sammy. Fed the pups, then we did an hour walk. Home to change into my cycling gear and out the door for a 2hr35min ride. Time was tight as I had to be back to get Sammy ready for his first dog training class. Picked a super hilly route. One of my goals for this ride was to start monitoring my caloric/food intake. No dairy for 24hrs before the ride, first hour on the bike I took in no calories, just drank Nuun water...after that every 30 mins took in 100cal gel with about 60cals of gatorade during the last 25 mins. Finished feeling slightly flat, which was to be expected. Will continue to play with this over the next several weeks to get something in place before Clearwater.

Went to the training class with Sammy...did not enjoy it at all. As to be expected, Sam wasn't able to do the "relax" move (down on all fours) with other dogs in the room. I didn't mind that at all as that is part of the reason we signed up for the class - to train him around other dogs. I was just pissed at the instructor's inability to listen to what I was telling her and her constantly quizzing me on whether or not I did the practice homework. I told her on three times, during our conversation what I had done during the week with him in terms of training. However she either wasn't listening or refused to believe me...the King of Preparation. And if I hadn't done anything I would be the first to admit it.

That is OK though, Sam & I did make some progress doing our own thing. Also, Mel will be with me during the rest of the classes...Mel won't tolerate the shit I put up with during the class...haha.

Sunday
Another early rise to feed the pups and head off to swimming. 2500m swim consisting of w/u, drills, and a 1900m straight set. Felt much better in the water than on Friday. After that it was home to make some much need breakfast and watch a movie I had to get back my noon.

Shortly after noon, I was out walking one the pups followed by the other. Had to break them up separately so I could some training with Sammy. Once walks were done I got ready for my long run of the week. Two main goals for this weeks run was to:

A. Run during the hottest point of the day (simulate the heat I'll experience in Florida)
B. Run the first 55mins at a steady pace and the last 45mins somewhere around my half-marathon pace. Things went relatively well throughout the run. I think my running in Vegas has paid off a little bit as I didn't mind the heat too much throughout the run. Although the last 3km's I had to duck into a gas station and get water as I was completely out of fluids.

To finish off a solid weekend of training I spent the evening watching my friends online at IMC.

Congratz to everyone who was out racing and volunteering in Penticton yesterday.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rocky start to the day...

Super Sammy decided he was getting up shortly after 4am this morning.

The little dude loves his routine but sometimes he falls off the track. Normally he'll wake between 6-7am and will want to go outside to the yard to do #1. He will then race back in side for his breaky after which he will race outside to do #2.

However this morning he got his wires crossed and decided to get up 2hrs earlier. I tried to get him settle down again but nope...he NEEDED to go. So I up with him to let him out. It was dark so I couldn't see what he was doing but I could hear him racing up the steps back to the house for his breakfast.

As he is sitting there bursting with excitement I say:

"Faaak buddy...it is too early to eat...lets go back to bed".

We go back to bed...he settles down but I say awake until 6:23am thinking about a project at work and how I am going to get around a couple of obstacles. I managed to fall asleep for 15 mins before the alarm went off. It felt like I hadn't sleep a wink.

So I get up, get the two little farts outta bed (Jessie and Sammy...Mel is away in Halifax/Newfoundland for the next week and a bit) to feed them. After they eat we get bundled up to go for a walk. The two of these guys together is trouble as they tend to bark at other dogs...one at a time and they are fine.

Most times there is no one out that earlier but this morning, as soon as we left the house, we run into a family jogging with stroller and a little yappy dog. Of course both my little terds start barking like circus freaks. After shoddy nights sleep and no breakfast myself, listening to two beagles go off is like nails on a chaulk board x10!

Of course training, depending on which *expert* you listen to, tells you to ignore negative behaviour and only reward positive behaviour. Eventually they settle down and we continue on our way. Within 5 minutes we come across a mama deer and two youngins. The three of us were caught off guard and just staring at the other group. I pulled my crew in but, by that time, Super Sammy & J-belle lost their heads completely.

OH-MY-FUCK!

It was an all out last minute blitz...both mine were savage over the idea of deer being on their walk way. Like guys, we do sorta live in the country and have to share this area with other living beings. Nope...they were both livid. Both were making sounds I have NEVER heard them make before.

The deer just looked at me...head tilted as if asking:

"What is wrong with your dogs?"

I know...they are two little shits at the moment. After a couple of minutes the deer turned around and bounded down over the hill in which the previously came and my two came down off their cocaine-induced freakout.

15 minutes later...wait for it...we run into the running group again.

OH-MY-FUCK!

Thankfully only Sammy had a slight reaction to the door. The guy used to be fine up to before our trip to Vegas but since we got him back from the kennel...he is like a chicken with it's head cut off around other dogs when he is out with J on the lease.

Rest of walk was uneventful thankfully.

Was suppose to bike to work but decided to drive so I could save my legs for the brick workout this evening. So I left for work earlier today and ended up being 30 minutes later than usual...thanks in part to ongoing road construction and kids being back in school.

I park my car about 2km's away from campus (free parking) and stop into Tim's to grab my morning "soother". The line is enormously long today...thats weird. I get inside and some guy decided to order 3 or 4 boxes of coffee without pre-ordering. Oh wait...it gets better...he orders 7 dozen donuts and would like to hand pick two of the boxes.

OH-MY-FUCK!

I LOL'd at one point.

After 15 minutes I got a coffee and order & balance was restored to my world!

Training was been going well so far this week but I am little tired. The first week back usually is pretty rough but things will get better.

Anyone else have frost on their decks this morning???

Have a good one!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mel & Shan's Vegas Pics - Part I

Our hotel...


Yours truly...


Our hotel again...nice place...expensive to eat though!


View from our room...there were fireworks every night as part of the show in front of Treasure Island


Somewhere in the Palazzo


In the Palazzo/Venetian...


Mel and I - nothing like having a hot wife on your arm to boost your coolness factor!


Margaritaville Part I - the second part of this photo, which came two nights later, will be revealed in the second installment of Mel & Shan's Vegas Pics.


The next two photos were taken almost exactly within a year of each other...within 3-6 days....

Mel in front of Eiffel Tower - Las Vegas, USA - Aug 2009


Mel in front of Eiffel Tower - Paris France - Aug 2008


Ceasar's Palace - Mel and I struck it rich that night...stuck a buck in the slots and she was up to $1.50! I told her to cash it out and I'll take it to collect our winnings. Her response was "No...you are drunk and a dork right now". I had nothing to say in return...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Vegas

Vegas was an absolute blast and I can see this trip being an annual one for Mel and I. That being said, 3 to 4 nights is plenty in Sin City as after that it becomes a little boring and/or expensive.

We left Calgary bright and early on Sunday morning at 8:30am. We arrived in Las Vegas around 10:00am and were at the hotel about 30 minutes later. We couldn't obtain our room early so we checked our bags and crossed the street from our hotel, the Wynn, to the Fashion Outlet mall. Later in the afternoon we returned to check in and were pleasantly surprised to receive a room upgrade. It PAYS to be polite to staff.

After a quick cat nap, we explored the strip for a bit to find somewhere relatively inexpensive to eat. We arrived at the Cheesecake Factor in the Forum Mall and had a great meal. Later in the evening we took in the Sirens Pirate show in front of Treasure Island...talk about cheesy...but hey, it is Vegas!

Monday was spent mostly at the outlets off of Charleston shopping. Mel did really well as did I. I was desperate for some new work clothing...I have spent too much time updating my training wardrobe that everything else was starting to suffer! However, I did manage to snag a few deals on some running attire at the Nike Outlet and Adidas Outlet shops. Later in the evening, Mel and I grabbed some drinks from out outdoor vendor and wandered the strip for the evening taking in the sights and sounds...also checking out the various hotels. At one point, we found ourselves in front of the Bellagio watching the fountain shows...incredible!

Tuesday I woke with a bit of a hang over and was in dire need of something greasy to cure it. Can't remember what I ended up having but it was good. Today was mainly a pool day as we had a show to attend in the evening. We went to see the Cirque du Soleil show Ka at the MGM Grand. Absolutely awesome!

Wednesday was spent at the mall, pool, and the Half Price Tix line to snag some tickets to another Cirque show. We ended up seeing Mystere - also incredible. After wards we snagged a few drinks and made our way to the Bellagio to take in another fountain show. One of the highlights of the trip was listening to Frank Sinatra during a fountain show...amazing!

Thursday we had to check out by 1:00pm after which we checked our bags at the hotel and hung out in the mall for a bit for some last minute shopping. Caught the 8:30pm flight out of Vegas and were home in bed by 2:00am Calgary time.

Overall it was a really great trip. I was surprised how polite most people are down there. I mean, you do run into the occasionally obnoxious fart but they seemed to be far and few between. Both Mel and I were surprised with how many people had kids down there with them...anything from new born babies up to teenagers. Who takes their kids to the Vegas strip for vacation? And allows them to be out at midnight? Call me old fashion but I don't agree with it.

I managed to run a few mornings down there...both times I got out around 9:00am and the temps were 32 and 35 degrees respectively! I was fine for 15 minutes but after that I started to cook. I dunno how runners/triathletes train down there...they must all be out the door by 5:30am to get anything done sensibly.

I ran up through the north end of the strip which was kinda cool as it is the older part. I like to envision the "hay day" of the particular hotel and all the neat memories made there...sometimes I wonder if I was born in the wrong era...lol!

This past weekend I got out for a solid brick workout on Saturday followed by a nice and easy lsd run on Sunday morning. Running still doesn't feel great but I hoping with the extra workouts I have penciled in, that will change before Clearwater.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Randomness

Too much fun and wine this evening...I am going to pay tomorrow...lol...good times!

Chilea makes great merlot!

Performance

Check this out...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vn29DvMITu4

Happy Birthday Keith!

It is Keith's 30th birthday ;)

Happy birthday buddy!

Anyone catch Big Brother last night??? Best ever move in Big Brother history was pulled by my man Jeff when he used the Coup d'etat. Chima's, Natalie's, and Lydia's faces dropped when he busted it out...LMAO! Even if Jeff gets voted out this week those looks were priceless and worth it! However, I'd like to see that biggot Chima tossed first...I know...I'm a reality tv drama queen....what else do I have focus on before I ramp up training again???

It is wet and dreary here in Calgary when I woke up at 4am this morning...a lot like the east coast. Laid there until 6:15am until Super Sammy decided it was time to get up. The little fart wakes up every morning at the same time like clock work. He barrels it downstairs to go outside to use the bathroom and then race back to get his breakfast. Both Mel and I take turns getting up so this morning was my turn. When I pulled out the dog food, Jessie heard it and came ripping downstairs to get in on the action as well.

After the pups were squared away I got dressed and headed out for an easy (hilly) 32 minute run. Didn't feel as bad as the other day. I have been cramming in a bunch of reading since 70.3 on nutrition and run training. Two nights ago I started mapping out my training schedule for Clearwater. My main focus is on run training so my schedule revolves around those key workouts. We'll see how the first training block works before I adjust the next period.

My plan is to write the entire schedule out over the next week so I know it is there and see all my training periods. However, I know as each week comes I'll end up changing it up based on personal/work commitments and how fatigued I am feeling. I absolutely love this stuff. The schedule starts Aug 24.

One thing I noticed since my volume of training as decreased, is that I can only manage about 5hrs of sleep each night. No matter what time I got to bed I wake up within 5 hours and stay awake. I have even decreased my caffeine, limited my sweets, and cut down food portions but none of that seems to help. When I am training, I can't get enough and will/need sleep at least 7 - 8hrs a night.

This weekend not much is happening...oh wait...we're going to VEGAS BABY!!!!

We'll be getting ready over the next couple of days for our trip. Checking out the weather down there, it is saying 35 - 40 degrees all week. I plan on doing a few earlier morning runs and it is telling me it is about 26 - 28 at 7-8am....crazy shit!

Happy Friday Folks!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Getting back to it

It has been a pretty relaxed week getting back to doing exercise again. I have been swimming/biking/running all week long to my own tune. No set schedules, and no specific goals...just getting out there and moving again. Things feel good for the most part but running is absolutely "horri-awful"! Aahhh well, that will come around eventually.

Mel's birthday was yesterday so I was up early to get Timmy's and make breakfast for us before she got up. After that she had the day to herself. We did go for dinner later that evening which was nice. Once in Vegas, we'll go somewhere nice again and have a few drinks.

Tonight is an EPIC show for Big Brother...so much so they decided to tape it instead of showing it live for fear of one of the contestants going off on the other people in the house.

Have a good one...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Time away

Last week I managed about 30 minutes of cardio work on an eliptical at the campus gym. No swimming, no biking, and no swimming. Lots of beer, sweet treats, and junk foody items - and it felt great to let things go.

Although, after a couple of days of not doing a tap, I started to get a little restless and almost started training again. I had to force myself away by getting busy with some house projects. I managed to knock a slew of them off our list by Sunday evening and felt like I still accomplished something last week.

Been sussing out my past training season in terms of what worked and what didn't. Been looking to the future, and Clearwater, in terms of what goals I want to achieve and what I need to do to get there. Two things that definitely ring clear are a switch up in the nutrition department and better quality brick workouts. My buddy Katie gave me a few good pointers which has the wheels spinning.

In the meantime, this week I am slowly getting back into some sort of unstructured activity. Mainly biking to/from work and whatever workouts I feel like doing whenever I feel like it. However, one thing I am going to focus on immediately is to start doing strength/core training for the next month to build back some of the muscle I lost over the past 3 months.

We are off to Vegas on Sunday(16th) until the following Friday. It should be a great trip and I hope to get out a few early mornings for some easy runs along the strip. Once we are back from that trip I'll start a base building for Clearwater.

Other than that, not much else new...Mel's birthday is on Wednesday so we are have Crave Cupcakes in celebration!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Calgary 70.3 - Never count yourself out

Well...where to begin.

This was definitely my A-race for the season and I was super nervous to boot. I couldn't really pin-point a reason...there were several yet none?

Anyways, the night before the race I was in bed 8:30am reading for about an hour before I doozed off. I fell in and out of sleep for the next several hours until 3:00am rolled around and then I was full on awake.

I got up at 4:00am to load up the car and eat my breakfast which consisted of peanut butter toast with sliced banana on it...YUM! Before leaving I gave Mel and the dogs kisses.

Got down to the Casino around 5:15, got marked, dropped off my T2 bag and hopped on a bus for the trip out to Ghost Lake. I threw on my headphones and listened to some tuneage for the trip.

Upon arriving at the race site I immediately headed to my bike to pump the tires, and do a last minute check over. I ran into Darryl, Mark, and Trevor near my bike and chatted with the gents for a bit.

After that I farted around for a bit...dropped of my T1 bag, chatted with Chris and some other friends and hit the porta potty a few times. (They need way more next time around)

I wore my 2008 Lake Placid Ironman Finisher's Jacket to the race site...and as a result, had a few people come up to talk to me about the race last year. We recounted how much rain had fallen that day and what our experiences were as a result. Kinda cool to run into people, from completely ends of the earth, a year later at another race and location. The triathlon community is global...large yet small at the same time.

Midas's Swim
Around 8:00am I got into my wetsuit for the 8:30am swim. Did a quick warmup around 8:20am and then lined up in the water to get started. I decided to start front row and to the left and had to tread water for a few minutes while awaiting the start.

When the gun went off we hammered to the first buoy to try and avoid the crowd. Within the first 100m I was drafting along side some dude.. I spotted once to ensure he was to the front-left of me...then when I put my head back down and came around to breath I got kicked square in the face. It is the first time I took a full on blow in the face and my right eye took the brunt of it. That really hurt. I popped up to suck in some air before moving away from my draft and eventually passing him.

It took me a good 500m to get the heart rate settled down. My chest felt tight and I couldn't get enough air in. As a result, I was breathing every second stroke. Eventually things settled and I was golden.

I found sighting the buoys really difficult as they were too far apart. A couple of times I had to stop and pop up to take a peek at where I was and where I needed to go. I deviated off course twice but were able to correct myself before going too far.

I was on my own with no draft for about 90% of the swim. On the way back I eventually caught up to the heat in front of me before the last turn to shore. At that point the waves were huge and I slowed down a little bit because I was having trouble breathing between the waves.

When I got back to shore I hauled ass through transition as best as I could. Once changed I felt like I was running forever down to get my bike, then forever back out the other end to begin the bike.

Blue's Bike
Beginning the bike, I lost part of nutrition but didn't stop to pick it up as I had enough to get by anyways. The first 65km went well. I rode steady but not too hard. Between 65km - 70km I hit a little bit of a rough patch but I think that was mainly due to not taking in any nutriton recently. From there to about the 90km mark I felt awesome. Once I hit 90km I started to get some pains in my lower abdomen. The last 6km into tranistion two were a little rought. I felt, thirsty, bloated, and had some stomach pains.

By the time I reached T2 I believe I was somewhere around 3rd in my age group. But at the point I knew I was in trouble as I wasn't feeling too good. Had a super slow transition before starting the 21km march.

Mabel's Run
The first 1.5km into the run were absolutely painful. It felt like someone was squeezing my lower abdomen while stabbing a knife into each side. I stopped into a porta-potty after the first aid station but did nothing to relieve my abdomen woes. I trugded on for the next several km's...jogging and walking. I got the opportunity to see Chris shortly after the first big down hill. I was excited to see a friend on the course and we high-fived as we passed each other. Shortly after that I ran into Keith and wished him luck.

At the 7km Darryl came ripping by me. He looked super strong and was on his way to a well earned 3rd spot overall in our age group!

Around 9km I had a little bit of a panic attack. I couldn't get my stomach to settle down and the sharp stabbing pains were becoming a little frightening. I gave consideration to just calling it quits but for some reason let the idea pass.

Meanwhile, I was trying everything at the aid stations...water, coke, powerade...nothing seemed to work. After a few minutes of drinking, I would get sick.

At km 16 I made myself throw up along the pathway to see if that would ease something. After emptying the tank I still felt like shit. Oh well, only 5 more km's to go.

I walked a lot of the last little bit - with 1km to go I figured I would try and run. With a about 100m to the finish line I saw a couple of people in my age group and figure I would try and beat them to the finish line. You never know, maybe the extra spots will get me a roll down to Clearwater.

The finish was a blur...at that point I was a total over-heated bag of shit. I drooled all over my catchers and as a result earned a chair in the med tent with a couple of ice packs and a COLD glass of water. [The water on the course was effin warm!]. After several minutes I was good to go and wandered around for a bit to find some familiar faces.

I eventually gathered up my belongings and made my way back to the casino to my car. I dropped everything in the parking lot, got in the car, started it, and just cranked the AC for a few minutes.

I called a couple of family members before making my way back down to the race site. Our friend Jill had won her age group so I wanted to stick around and see her get her award. During the awards ceremony/roll downs it became clear that I might actually get lucky and get a spot to Clearwater.

After much anticipation, I was one of the lucky ones to get awarded a roll down spot to the World Championships in Clearwater, Fl in Nov. Thank-you to the 8 people in front of me who, either didn't take the spot, or weren't there to claim one.

Even without a Clearwater spot, I was oddly satisfied with my race performance. I exceeded my expectations for the swim and bike.

The run was a whole other beast that I have to tackle. I am going to be working with my friend Katie to go over my nutrition and if it is contributing to my stomach issues on the run. She has a wealth of knowledge on the subject so I am really thankful she is going to help me out with this.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Ready to Roll

Time for bed shortly...everything set up as best as I can. Can't wait to race tomorrow and seeing all my buds out there. Looking forward to the post-race festivities...

Good luck everyone!