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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A proud Canadian Moment!

today was one of those days where you share a moment with fellow Canadians and stand together proud!  We joined with many others today to watch the Olympic torch being relayed through ski country!





The weather today was freezing cole.  The thermometer dipped to -14 celcius with a wind howling at 40-45 k/hr, it felt like it was -30!  We bundled up like true winter people should and made our way to the relay route.  As we headed out we were the only people walking down the road, cars driving the road were looking at us like we were nuts as the wind blew our pom-poms back and the snow blew up a white out!   We looked at each other and asked ourselves a couple of times if we were heading to the right place.  Finally after a we turned a corner onto a main road we saw an 2010 Olympic van parked on the side of the road.  We walked along to the van as more people started to gather.  By the time we got to the van, it was actually busy enough to be called a crowd.  Down both side of the road people were 3-4 deep.  Kids were bundled up like marshmellows, parents with scarves over their face, people bundled like proud Canadians should b to enjoy a part of Canadian history.

After a while longer standing and shivering flashing lights came over the hill, following behind was a another half dozen vehicles with lights and sponsor logos. As they approached they came to a stop near us.  A young lady jumped out of the original van that we saw and was handed an unlit torch.  Another couple of people jumped out of another vehicles with a small lantern, the lantern had the 'official' Olympic flame.  People crowded around as the your girl and 2 people came to meet.    It was a very cool thing to watch, the young girl has a smile on face her that was more absolutely lighting the day.  People were crowding around to watch as her moment in history was started as the flame was officially lit.
To have the opportunity to carry the flame was accomplished by writing as essay.  This young girl had taken time to write about why she as a Canadian should have a moment to carry Canadian history.  Itt was a great thing to see.  As the flame was lit she bounded into the air with joy and pride.  The crown cheered as she smiled and waved to all the proud Canadians around her cheered and enjoyed a brief moment in our history.  She started her jog along the road as people took photos, waved flags and cheered.
I personally thought it would be a truly cheesy moment, one where you take photos and file them to never talk about it again.  I was very wrong.  As I gathered to take photos and watched as the excitement in the crowd built up, I got caught up in the moment.  I took photos and took in every moment as a very proud Canadian, I had shovers down my back is she ran past me with the smile continually growing!  I have to day that it was a moment that I will share with my friends and remember for a long time to come!
I look forward to Canada's moment on the world stage as an Olympic host!
As the weather was cold enough to ' freeze the b%%$ of a brass monkey' skiing was a cool thing today. It is always cool, but today literally as well!  I went out for an hour before some friends called to tell us the had arrived.  Once in a while a break off the hill is a joy.  I had one  of those days!  A few hard core runs enjoying the new snow and then out for some fun!
As you can probably determine by now, no workout today!  I am not panicking about missing workouts right now.  I am skiing my butt off and eating well.  The New Year will be the beginning of a long journey, a couple of days off right now will not kill me!  I hope you have had an awesome day and are getting excited for the start of a New year!  Cheers!

Monday, December 28, 2009

WOW!

So, finished another day of near perfect skiing and geared up to go out for a run.  We woke up this morning to a clear sky and -2 celcius.  There was a promise of some snow over the day.  As we are out skiing that makes a perfect day.  If you are going out for a post ski day run, a little bit of a different story.
The morning was awesome conditions.  We had about 2-3" of new snow last night and colder weather which set up the snow perfectly.  It was a day of lighting fast powerful turns.  As we finished lunch the sky got a little darker and it flurries started coming in.  By 2:30 it was an all out blizzard.  It brought a big smile to my face.  The ski conditions were only going to get a lot better with snow falling like it was.  Within 1.5 hours we got about 3" of new snow and hte temperature dropped about 5-6 degrees.  It was snowing like mad.  As we are by Georgian Bay we do tend to get big water affect snow storms, this was one of them!

Like a good athlete training I sucked it up headed out the door.  I made my way to the main road and started running along!  WOW!  The snow was bowing so hard within 3 minutes I could not see out of my glasses.  As cars drove by they slowed right down and looked at me as if there might be something wrong. I chugged along as if there was no issue with the slightly inclement weather.  then, I turned the corner by the water to run along the highway by the bay!  HOLY CRAP!  pardon the language, but it was insane.  I was getting blown to the side of the road as I ran along.  I was leaning forward in order to have some leverage from the wind but it still literally stopped me in my tracks a couple of times.  I ran along pushing hard to get to my destination.  My goal was a 13-14k run(to my chalet in the next town) As I ran along I had to pull clothing up my face and sip everything I could to the top.  it was nuts!  I ran along until a little more than 2.3k and had to pull the plug.  It hurt!!!  I cant stand backing away from a challenge, especially a winter related one!  So, with my tail tucked in between my legs I ran bck to the lodge.

After all the cold running(way less than planned)n the consolation prize was quite good.  Live music at the base of the hill with a cold beer to rehydrate!  I suppose if you cant run during a blizzard, drinking a beer with friends around a fire with live music will suffice!  I guess all the training days dont go perfectly as planned!  I hope your holiday season is still treating you with warmth and friendship and you are enjoying this wonderful time of year!  Cheers!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

How was your day? Mine was better!

So, today was a rest day, kinda.....No formal workout planned for tri stuff, but it was an awesome day on the ski hill going like a mad man!  So, however good your day was, mine was still better!

As some of you know, I am a ski fanatic!  The sooner in my life I am doing it full time the better it is!  So today was day 1 at my home club enjoying the start of the season.  A bit of a bonus....I am supposed to be teaching a technical performance camp this week, but enrollment is down.  So, guess what, I get to free ski the whole time!  That is a great day of skiing.  Although we had a little rain and then a freeze, the conditions were awesome and the snow was lighting fast.  The entire morning I spent flying up and down giving my new equipment every bit that I could!  I skied the hell out of them and they took every bit of it and then some!  For me this was a day of paradise!  Then, the afternoon was even better.  I was able to spend the day with one of North America's leading race course setters.  We spent the day reviewing technical details on setting and then he allowed me to set while he gave me feedback.  As i will be running a technical performance camp for the winter the timing could not have been any better.  After setting i also got to go and ski the race courses to test my abilities first hand!  I love skiing gates and pushing the envelope that way, it is the biggest rush that you can get.  If I could ski race courses all year around I would not need to do any anaerobic training.  A 45 second ski has you heart ready to burst out of your skin!
Do you know what the best part of today was???  It i the first day of 7 more to come!

I hope the holiday season is awesome for you and you are with your family and friends enjoying the privileged life that you have.  I hope you are able to take a minute and reflect on those who have allowed us to enjoy our freedom!
Whatever you think might be bothering you, stop for a minute and think about  it!  there are many others out there who have it worse!  On that happy note, I am off to was some skis and get ready for another day of not so much fun!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Another family Christmas survived!!!

I hope Christmas was great for all!  Too much to eat, more presents than you deserved, a slight headache today from the eggnog....and for Canadians, energy to go and face the boxing day sales(NOT!!!)
We had a great time with family!  We always head up to my mother in laws as the central spot for all to meet.  We all made our way up on Christmas eve to begin teh ensuing chaos.  Traditionally my mom in law makes dinner for Christmas day.  About 3 weeeks ahead she starts to get wound up about it and drives every one else who has a phone crazy, on the phone to them 4 times a day asking for this that and the other thing.  As soon as dinner was over she generally ended up ion bed sick from running around like a mad woman for 3 weeks  So, we decided it was time to make some changes.  My mother in law was told she was not to set foot in the kitchen.  It works out great, each one of us takes on a part and without to much chaos we have a great dinner.  The best part is mom in law doesnt make every around her mad, and she is not sick the following the holiday dinner.  Yesterday was year 2 following the plan and she seems to be loving it!
Were you naughty or nice??  I have not quiote figured it out based on my gifts.  My wife has had a big smile on her face for teh past week when I have asked her what she got me.  We have played the guessing game whicj got me no where.  Can I use it for sports??  Can I share it?? Does it involve my training?  All answers were given with a funny smile!  It is the most crazy gift  could have ever imagined!  She wrapped up a TOILET!  ha!Ha!  I almost fell off teh couch laughing when I opened it up!  So, I guess I was a good boy this year???
As well as the chaos of dinner, I did manage to get a great run in yesterday.  With my new GARMIN 305, I did a great hill workout.  It was my first true winter run, over teh roads covered in ice and snow, wind blowing hard enough to hold you back.  Crazy enough, I truly enjoyed it running the whole time with a smile on my face.  As I ran down the road each person who passed me looked at me like I was on fire.  They all had a look of disbelief that I would be running in this weather and on Christmas day no less.  That likely added to my enjoyment of the run, waving and wishing people Merry christmas as I ran along.  Another great present is the trainer I am getting for my bike.  If there is anything I can get to make ti easier, I am on it.  So when I get back to the city I am off to the store to get a VR trainer so that I am looking at something while doing my rides.  The only thisng that sucks about that, now I have to start riding!  It's all good!

I am looking forward to the next few days of this year.  I am heading to the ski hill this afternoon for the week.   The photos are the scene from the hottub that I must to endure each night after a day on the hills and a run home!  Kinda sucks doesnt it??   I will be teaching a camp for the week which I love doing.  As well as my activities I have started to reflect on the past year and the things that I have done!  It puts a smile to my face and a giggle in my thoughts.  With wahT I have done this year, it has set the theme for 2010, it should be a year full of fun and adventure!
Off to see if I can find a pool that is open for a swim!  have a great day!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

2.4 down, now 112 and a marathon to to!

MERRY CHRISTMAS, Happy holidays, Joyeux Noel or wahtever other poitical correct term I need to use to wish you a safe and happy holiday time!  I hope that you have a joyous fun filled time with friends and family!  Let's all take a moment and reflect for all those things that we are lucky for and wish the same upon those who may be less fortunate!  I love Christmas as a time to be with family and enjoy the a moment reflecting on the more simple times we can enjoy!  ENJOY IT!

My christmas present to myself???  I set a goal a few weeks ago to complete an IM distance swim before Christmas.  This is a) new personal best for distance b) a miracle that I can actually swim it c) first opportunity to gain the confiednce that the swim is no big thing!  Wahoo!  I did my first IM distance swim in 1:18 with energy to burn when I was done!  I feel a great sense of accomplishment having completed this.  When I signed up for IM I could barely squeeze out 750m(I managed it by calling over a rescue boat for a break or two)  Completing the distance is a great feeling of accomplishement.  One of those, 'nothing is impossible' moments!  It put a smile on my face to head out for some holiday cheer!

I hope all of you have a smile on your face, have been just the rigth amount of nice and the right amount of naughty for Santa to visit you!  Enjoy this time of rest and reflect as a new energy for the year ahead!  Thanks to all of you internet 'friends' for the gift of entertainment and inspiration over the past few months!  I hope over the course of the next year I can offer the same! Cheers!

LIVE FOR YOUR DREAMS!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Back from the busy winter world!

WOW!  I feel like I have missed something not being able to spend some time at the end of the lost few days reading what people have been doing in the Blog tri world! and not spending a little time sharing my stories!  BUT, a cost that had to be paid to hasve the pleasure of ebing on snow for the past 4 days running a ski instructor certification course.  It was a blast!  First, being on snow is what i enjoy most, os you can imgine the pleasure I had.  Secondly, sharing my passion for the snow with potential new instructors makes the time even more fulfilling.  It was a great 4 days with a new group if instructors ready to tackle the winter teaching mew skiers and showing them how winter can be a time to look forward to! 
Being out of commission for 4 days was a great change of pace.  Over that time, I only did resistance training and did not run, ride or swim.  I am looking forward to getting into the pool later today to see what the effects of rest are.  Hopefull it will not have set me back in my training.  My swim goal today is to complete the IM distance.  SO I am eating and drinking well before I head out in hte next 2-3 hours!   Although I did not do any specific training, I skied like a mad man!  Each day we were on snow at least 6 hours, some days a little more.  The time on snow was at times lightning fast and the adrnaline rush that I love to find on snow.  It did serve well in getting my heart rate up and my muscles firing.  I actually had to do a monster stretch session on Monday to loosen up my calves.  I spent 10 minutes in hottun then strectched for 10-15 so I did not feel like I was going to snep a muscle.  After 4 days on snow I think I have fuigured out what I want to so when I grow up.  I think a cool life would be teaching performance ski clinics in the winter(chase the season by travelling teh world) and run, ride swim all summer!  What do you think??  Not a bad life!
Well, I still have not got to that point, so for now I ma going to go and catch up at work and enjoy some time amongst the frustrated late Christmas shoppers!
have a great day!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Winter Wonderland with WIne!


Ho!Ho! ha!HA!ha!  hee! hEE! It's the holiday season and I have been touring the world today, I have been at home then early in the day travelled to a mountain experience.  I headed   to  Mount Chicopee in Kitchener.  Crazy vertical of 330 ft. my day was spent with the future of Canada's ski instructors.  I spent the first day of a four day session leading a certification course.  What a great holiday weekend teaching skiing, being outside and enjoying the holiday spirit. The next three days will be a great experience skiing and coaching this winter's new instuctors.  Another bottle of wine awaits.  Happy holiday season to one and all...... share more stories soon.

Don't you love the Gym!

I am lazy today so I am borrowing a little bit that made me laugh! I apologize for the odd word, it may offend. Guys/Girls, change the sex of the person as required.
Enjoy!
>A WEEK AT THE GYM: ONE MAN'S STORY...>>> >>If you read this without laughing out loud, there is something wrong>>with you.  This is dedicated to everyone who has ever attempted to get>>into a regular workout routine.>> >>Dear Diary:>>For my fortieth birthday this year, my wife (the dear) purchased a week>>of personal training at the local health club for me. Although I am>>still in great shape since playing on my college football team 25yrs>>ago, I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and give it a try.  I>>called the club and made my reservation with a personal trainer named>>Belinda, who identified herself as a 26 yr. old aerobics instructor and>>model for athletic clothing and swimwear. My wife seemed pleased with my>>enthusiasm to get started!  The club encouraged me to keep a diary to>>chart my progress.>> >>MONDAY:>>Started my day at 6:00am. Tough to get out of bed, but it was well worth>>it when I arrived at the health club to find Belinda waiting for me. She>>was something of a Greek goddess -- with blonde hair, dancing eyes and a>>dazzling white smile. Woo Hoo!!!!! She took my pulse after 5 minutes on>>the treadmill. She was alarmed that my pulse was so fast, but I>>attributed it to standing next to her in her Lycra aerobics outfit.  I>>enjoyed watching the skilful way in which she conducted her aerobics>>class after my workout today. Very inspiring, Belinda was encouraging as>>I did my sit-ups, although my gut was already aching from holding it in>>the whole time she was around. This is going to be a FANTASTIC week!!>> >>TUESDAY:>>I drank a whole pot of coffee, but I finally made it out the door.>>Belinda made me lie on my back and push a heavy iron bar into the air>>and then she put weights on it!  My legs were a little wobbly on the>>treadmill, but I made the full mile.  Belinda's rewarding smile made it>>all worthwhile. I feel GREAT!! It's a whole new life for me.>> >>WEDNESDAY:>>The only way I can brush my teeth is by lying on the toothbrush on the>>counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it.  I believe I have a>>hernia in both pectorals.  Driving was OK as long as I didn't try to>>steer or stop.  I parked on top of a GEO in the club parking lot.>>Belinda was impatient with me, insisting that my screams bothered the>>other club members. Her voice is a little too perky for early in the>>morning and when she scolds, she gets this nasally whine that is VERY>>annoying.  My chest hurt when I got on the treadmill, so Belinda put me>>on the stair monster.  Why the hell would anyone invent a machine to>>simulate an activity rendered obsolete by elevators?  Belinda told me it>>would help me get in shape and enjoy life.  She said some other shit>>too.>> >>THURSDAY:>>Belinda was waiting for me with her vampire-like teeth exposed as her>>thin, cruel lips were pulled back in a full snarl.  I couldn't help>>being a half an hour late; it took me that long to tie my shoes. Belinda>>took me to workout with dumbbells.  When she was not looking, I ran and>>hid in the men's room.  She sent Lars to find me, then, as punishment,>>put me on the rowing machine - which I sank.>> >>FRIDAY:>>I hate that bitch Belinda more than any human being has ever hated any>>other human being in the history of the world.  Stupid, skinny, anaemic>>little cheerleading bitch.  If there were a part of my body that could>>move without unbearable pain, I would beat her with it.  Belinda wanted>>me to work on my triceps.  I don't have any triceps!  And if you don't>>want dents in the floor, don't hand me the f&%#(#&** barbells or>>anything that weighs more than a sandwich. The treadmill flung me off>>and I landed on a health and nutrition teacher. Why couldn't it have>>been someone softer, like the drama coach or the choir director?>> >>SATURDAY:>>Belinda left a message on my answering machine in her grating, shrilly>>voice wondering why I did not show up today.  Just hearing her made me>>want to smash the machine with my planner.  However, I lacked the>>strength to even use the TV remote and ended up catching eleven straight>>hours of the Weather Channel.>> >>SUNDAY:>>I'm having the Church van pick me up for services today so I can go and>>thank GOD that this week is over.  I will also pray that next year, my>>wife (the bitch) will choose a gift for me that is fun, like a root>>canal or a vasectomy

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A day is good when????

Well, where to begin??  I'll make it simple, I woke up this morning and was able to get out of bed to enjoy the adventures that the day were going to hand over to me randomly.  I think that is a great way to start any day!
This morning, I chose a couple of my own adventures.  The day started early with a short run with Trish and Pauline form the yoga studio.  It was a cold morning so it involved a lot of layers to stay warm today.  When we got to the studio Pauline as waiting in her truck for us to get there.  It was kind of funny!  As soon as we got out of our car she said she had already come to the conclusion that we were not going to show up because of the cold weather.  She was actually hoping we would not as she was not ready to go out for the run at all.  She is a trooper, within a couple of minutes she was in her shoes and bundled up to go out for our run!  It was cold!  As soon as we started our skin felt like it was going to crack, the wind was blowing and it kind of ripped at your face as you ran into it.  Within about 10-15 minutes we were warmed up and the run was enjoyable, we continued through the neighborhood sheltered from the wind and enjoyed the morning.  Before long we were done a short 6k run and were back at teh studio.  It is great to get back there as it was going from -10Celcius to +35Celcius, it feels like heaven.  As soon as I get in and change, i set up my matt and lay back to relax for a couple of minutes.  It is only 6AM so relax is quite comfortable, I actually catch myself almost falling asleep.  before long the practice is under way and I am awake.  It is a great session, stretching and focusing on breathing, learning how to be in control of my body and not letting my brain tell me i cant do something.  It is a truly invigorating experience each time!   This morning was a nice finish, as we came to close Pauline opened up the curtains and the sun was rising brightly in the background.  What a great way to get the day to a start!
earlier this week I had seen a sale on at a local store that buys bankruptcies.  I dropped in and they had swim skins on sale of $90.  It was a Luois Garneau Tiger Shark.  This is an ITU legal suit to I can use it at any time in the future that I might do a non wetsuit swim.  So, I decided for that price I should get it.   I had a swim planned for later in the day, so I thought I would check it out and see if it made a difference.  There is a claim that it has a low drag coefficient that will mean  I should go faster.  Off to the pool for the experiment.  Much to my surprise it works really well!  It actually fits well, similar to wearing a compression shirt.  Off the wall on  a push it provides at least another 2 fast meters of distance.  Over the swim it proved itself to be quite a remarkable piece of gear as far a making it a little quicker to cover distance.  Happy I made the investment, I will use it next week for my IM swim distance day!    I had a great 2100 meter swim which was almost entirely drills.  Only one afternoon of drills and I find it begins to make a difference in how I move in the water.  I am going to make a point of sending some time doing them in at least 50% of my practices.  I know the long term benefit will be huge!  My day finished with some time in the gym at Sports Performance centers working on some exercises to prevent any future hamstring problems.  The exercises are certainly not easy, however they will benefit me a ton in the long run as I   build overall strength and proper form!
So, back to my opening statement, a day is good when I do all the things I did today!  I hope you found yours as productive and beneficial as I did!  If you did not, when you wake up tomorrow morning take a different outlook on your day. Smile because you woke up, giggle because you made it to the washroom on your own 2 legs, and continue to carry on with the confidence and knowledge that this is going to be a great day in our quest to fulfill your dreams!
Cheers and happy Friday!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I broke down.....finally got on the trainer tonight!

I tend to dive into the things that I enjoy doing head first and do them with success and intensity!  The things I dont, well, I avoid them for a while and then with reluctance get it done.  The trainer is one of those things that I have managed to avoid until now.  With the great weather up to a couple of weeks ago, i was able to be outside on the bike doing it the way it is meant to be!  Wasn't all that bad a training session.
After work today I went to the ART dude for continued repair to my hamstring.  I managed to build a good mess a month or so back that still has some residual refusing to disappear.  If you have had an ART treatment at any point, you will know how much fun it is and the smile that it brings to your face.  Today was no exception to the rule, WOW, it was so much fun I am sad that it was my last session.  I have been going to the same clinic for a couple of years and they are great.  Today, he offered me some 'free' sessions in order to start a bit of a preventative program to make certain I do not re aggravate my hamstring.  I was pleased that he made the offer, it will certainly keep me coming back.
Now that winter has arrived I am also in the throws of organizing training events for the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance.  With teh delay in the season, it is proving to be a little more challenging than past years.  All of the events that should have happened over the past few weeks are now happening at the same time.  I need to find staff for my events, however they are all working at their own clubs trying to catch up.  I will be pleased once the next couple weeks is done and we are into a normal winter season!  Today was a great start to it with a lot of new snow in ski country and more to follow.  This weekend I also will be out teaching a course which I am looking forward to.  I love skiing and I get a lot or pleasure sharing my passion and coaching the future of the sport, teaching instructor courses is one of the best ways to do that.
With today being a lighter day, tomorrow should test me a little more.  Thursday's is the early morning day, up at 4:45 for a run and then some Yoga,  tomorrow afternoon I am going for another swim.  The good part of it all is the reward tomorrow night, we are heading out to a good friends for a holiday party where a lot of our friends will be, should be a lot of fun!(I am the DD so I wont be dancing...)
Hope you had a great day!  Cheers

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The things that make me Smile!


AahhhH!  Today was much better, I had a workout and did not feel like I missed something today!  That made me go BOOM!  Yesterday was a busy work day, ran around all day getting a lot done, but felt like I didn't finish something without a workout!  Kinda pathetic considering 4 months ago, a workout was wandering to the fridge or cupboard for another snack!  I guess if I am going to have an addiction, this isn't a bad one to be hooked on!
Days like today are the days that feed my quest for the start line.  As the day moved forward today, I went through the typical justification period of going for my workout.  Talking to myself about why or why not, the whole time knowing that ultimately I was going and I wanted to.  Am I different than the rest of you??  I seem to waste time with these internal discussion when I know the answer the entire time.  So, guess what, like planned I went to the pool.  Today I started a new part to my swim workout, I decided I would start to time my swims in order to have a point to build from as I continue the chase!  Up to this point I have been going to the pool with not a whole lot of structure. A couple of workouts were done with a drill routine, but most have been about putting in some miles and building up to a point where I gained confidence in my ability to get out of the water at an IM.  I think that it is somewhat incredible what can be accomplished when you put your mind to something.  Remember, in June I could not swim 25M without the lifeguard being concerned for my well being.  I set my mind to it and now I am doing regular 2500-3000M workouts and looking forward to open water swims in the spring.  It is serving well in fueling my IM fire!
My times workout today was another confidence builder.  I finished a 2500M workout in 49 minutes.   Hey, I certainly am not going to make it to Kona with that, but, I wont be looking for the rescue boat to hold on to at 100m of my swim as I did on a sprint tri last summer.  It served as  good swim to set a benchmark and to set the pace for where I need to get to.  IN my training it is awesome that I can finish the workout fresh.  Within less than a minute after i am done my HR is already down 60-70%, and I feel like I could go and add some more mileage.  My only concern that I am addressing is an old shoulder ski injury.  I am going to do some resistance training and build the muscle which will prevent injury as well as help me in my overall swim.  I am seeing the physio guy tomorrow and will get my list of preventative  'medicine' to keep me going in the right direction.  I have to thank Total Immersion swimming for going from zero to confident over the past few months!  I will get out of the water in Wisconsin with the energy and calmness to finish the event!  This week I have a couple more water workouts and then, take a try and see if I can swim the distance.  I am actually looking forward to the swim!

Well, after a good day and a good workout, I am satisfied at my progress and I have a smile on my face! I am looking forward to my next workout and to continuing on this fun adventure!  I hope that you are all having as much fun as I am!  and if you are not, be happy that you woke up this morning, saw the sun shine and got to the breakfast table!  remember it could always be worse!  Life is Good!  Keep Living the Dream!

Monday, December 14, 2009

that was a rest day?????


I have been running around since 6 this AM and I am exhausted!  Good night!  Sleep well!  I will!

PART 2 - Holy smokes, I must have been tired.  Did not hear or feel Trish get out of bed this morning.  My foirst moevement was when the phone wrang at 7:45AM.  Great sleep!  Now, the week begins, I got the rest day out of the way!
Questions for you??  I alawys seem to have this feeling of guilt when I am on a rest day,. I feel that I should be training.  DO you feel teh same way? 
Have an awesome day!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The power of Persuasion!

From time to time I take a step back and wonder why we choose to do what we do?  IN a world full of distractions and pressure we have so many choices to make and so many influences pushing and pulling at us.  It is a world of peer and societal pressures driving us to do things we want to and things we dont, it is a constant challenge to make certain that we do what is the right thing to do so that we are 'accepted'.

My choice to do an IRONMAN has actually been a very cool process in growing up.  Don't get me wrong, At heart, I will always be a kid who makes stupid decisions for the right reasons, the right decisions for the wrong reasons, acting like a 15 year old because I can!  But, making the IM choice has made me appreciate the power or persuasion in the world that we live in!!   What the hell am I talking about?????
As I ramble my thoughts for the world to see on this blog I may tend to jot down some babble.  This days babble is sharing my thoughts on the power of persuasion.
We wake up in the morning and have a brand of coffee and a brand of cereal because we have been persuaded to.  We believe that it is healthier, will make us more energetic, make us prettier, make us run faster.  Why do we believe this????  Because some magazine, TV commercial or friend had persuaded us via the use of pretty pictures and some propaganda put together to satisfy the media's hunger for sex and drama!  We truly believe that we have made the choice consciously, think about it for a second?!  What car do you drive, what bike do you pedal, what energy bars do you eat?  How much time did you spend studying the equipment that you use?  I may be sticking my foot in my bloggin mouth, but I will bet the following.......we use the equipment we do because someone told us it was great, someone famous uses it, the color is pretty, the price was right, the sales person said it was the best because it provides special super powers when you use it for 6 months......we chose it because we were persuaded to use it by an outside influence.
Why the hell am I talking about all of this??  Well, today I realized that choosing to do an IM was about a selfish decision reached for me and by me!!  Although I have not done one yet, I think many of you may confirm, it is a selfish activity that is all consuming and, yes, lets be honest, crazy!   Let's be honest, who in there right mind would allow themselves to be influenced to go out and swim, bike and run for half to 3/4 of a day for no compensation or recognition, only WE can make that decision!  Why did I come up with that realization today??? As I sat on the couch this afternoon(after a Christmas party last night that did involve tequila), I looked at the goals that I has set for training this week.  I had a goal of 7 days in a row of running. even though I am not training I am doing selected self prescribed 'base' training activities to build for the day the fun starts.  I was comfortable as could be on looking out the window past the Christmas tree at the rain falling on the road. After a week of meeting each step of my goal, as well as 2 days of awesome skiing, I thought, Hmmmm, i have done a lot his week, I am not on a program,  I dont need to go and run.  And the battle of persuasion started......I sat and watched 2 useless television programs having a fight inside my head about why I should not go run.  While watching the 2 useless programs I decided that I should by a new Swifter for the house, look at Cialis if I get erectile disfunction and go and by my wife extra wide wing turbo super mild heavy days Tampax.  Why?  Because of the persuasive pretty pictures that told me I would be so much better than I am today if I do that!!  But, the decision to go or not go for my run was no further ahead than it was before the crap TV and new things that I have to go and buy!
Why??  It came to me this afternoon that when you choose to do an IM or start doing tri's it is a bit of a coming of age!  It is a decision to go out and do something for you that can only be influenced by you.  Hours and days and weeks of sacrifices for what, sweaty stinky clothes, blisters, bike problems, physio and all the fun stuff that goes along with it.  Sure we get more fit along the road, but, be honest, do you really want to work out 15 hours a week to accomplish that??  No, probably like me you decided to do it because you could and damn it is fun!
Finally after fighting with myself and telling myself in 6 different ways why not to, guess what??  I got my ass of the couch, put on my gear and headed out the door, 10 steps down the road I continued the argument with myself, my calves were really tight to I should probably go home.....NO! I made a decision without the persuasion of pretty pictures and promises of better days, I was not sent incentives in the mail that I could get a great deal if I did it today, there were no 2 for 1 discounts to go and do an IM!  I did it because I could and because I wanted to!  It is such  a great realization to come to!  I am one amongst a group of 1000's that has chosen to do something because we want to, we are not at the mercy of all of the peer influences and media garbage that fuels the world today.  We are doing something because it is what we want to do and because it makes us  the person that we are!  As I continued on my run I smiled as I ran down the road(yeah, still sore) and thought about the months of training ahead, all the days that I will have the same fight with myself, and as bizarre as it may be, I am looking forward to it!
As we start the holiday season, let's all try and remember why we do the things that we do.  Is it to satisfy the pressure and influences that society deems to be the right things to do???  Or......are we doing the things we do because we want to!!!  Things that will put smiles on the faces of our families and our friends, things that will make the world a better place and things that will lead us to the finish line of the selfish goal that we persuaded ourselves would be great to do!   Happy Holidays!!  

There is a Santa Claus!!!


There is 2400 Santa Claus's at yesterday's Santa Shuffle in Burlington!  What a cool scene, 2400 people all dressed in Santa suits doing a great Santa run.  It is a great way to get you into the Holiday spirit while ding something healthy!  As we drove to Burlington towards the start line, it was entertaining to see the looks on  people's faces as they pulled beside our car and saw us dressed in Santa suits.  Everyone who pulled u beside us had a smile, young kids were pointing and jumping up and down in car seats because Santa was right there!  We were in a Starbucks with another 20-30 Santas, the young girl sat with her eyes wide open staring in amazement, I am certain her father was dancing explaining how that many Santa could be in one place.  It was great to see, Santas were in every shape and size, old, young, parents, kids, strollers, nobody had an excuse for not participating.  It was a great day for a family run, the sun was bright, some people may have said it was a little cool, but, it is winter after all and Santa is from the north pole.  Overall it was a great time running with everyone in the crowd smiling and relaxed.  I did the run with Trish so it was a relaxed run overall.  She had a great run finishing under 30 minutes, which is a new PB for her.  Best of all she did it with a smile on her face!  The Santa jingle was a great way to start the weekend!
Seeing as we were in the Christmas spirit, we picked up our tree on the way home.  Why not take advantage of a clear sunny day to get our holiday chores complete.  Once we got home, I had a one track mind.  For some reason, I was exhausted, all I could think about was laying down a going for a nap!  As we aren't up north skiing on the weekends yet, I took full advantage of the nap option.  I was out like a light for 2 hours!  WOW!  I guess I must have been a little tired?? When I finally got out from my cocoon, it was time to decorate the Christmas tree. I have a lot of fun finishing the tree.  Trish and I have put together all of our ornaments over the last 3-4 years to have a tree that is 'ours'. We have a lot of outdoor ornaments, toboggans, ski related ornaments, skates and everything sports related.  It is fun putting together our tree that we have spent the past few years 'building'.  And, what is a day of tree decorating without some eggnog(and maybe a little rum).  We had a great time getting into teh Christmas spirit and spending a day relaxing.  Usually at this point in the season we have been out skiing for the past 3-4 weeks, we have enjoyed our 'bonus' time at home!  We continued with the holiday spirit into the evening.  A lot of holiday parties are happening so we were able to join-in on the fun last night.  One of the groups that we run with had a get together.  It was a blast.  There was a year of photos of all of the various events and outings that the group had done this year.  It is a lot of fun seeing the memories and reliving the moments that you see in the photos.  As I joined in during the later part of the year, it is also exciting to be part of a group that has a lot of fun and creates so many fun memories from events.
Saturday is also day 6 of my 7 day running challenge.  As the mileage is not high it has not been to much effort to complete, however, with a couple of days of hard skiing in the middle the run on Friday evening was a chore.  Today is a 10k and some Yoga tonight.  This week I am going to work to round out a little more, continue with core training and add a bike ride or two.  I did not spend a lot of time at the pool this week and I do miss it, so off to the pool I will go!
Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Its cold, its snowing, its about time!


Sorry if I have offended all of you who have grown to dislike the longest season of the year!  It's really to bad, it is a lot of fun!  I spent my day today on the freezing cold, blowing wind and snow.  After about 20 minutes my right foot was frozen, after about 45 I had to go the washroom(XL Timmy's on the drive up) and then I got to enjoy it for the next 1 1/2 hour in the winter outdoors.  Here is what is so weird, I had a shit ass grin on my face the whole time!  Somewhere in my life I seemed to have embraced the whole winter thing, so I adapt.  Today as part of my evolution to  winter I once again went skiing.  I find myself in the cold,snowy weather wanting to put on my technical gear and wanting to go screaming down the hill on pair of skis.
http://www.rossignol.com/US/classic-70_F0130_product_ski-men-skis-all-mountain.html
 .  I will try it as many times as possible this winter to make certain that I continue to like it, I will be certain to report on my progress, the lounge at the ski club opens next weekend, so some of the stories might be entertaining!
This week was the best week of the year for me!  As soon as skiing starts I find myself in a different frame of mind.  This week has arrived.  Last season at this time I had skied 30 days, I skied in the middle of July and early August, I skied in October in Europe and in November in Ontario.  So, the past days have been great as they were my first days of the season!  I was lucky to ski for 2 days with some of Canada leading instructors and course conductors, it was one of the best learning environments I have participated in.  Over the past 5 years I have completed 15-20 courses and clinics, so it was a cool couple of days!  The bonus is, all of the tools I gained this weekend, are going to be put to work.  I am leading a course with 2 other course conductors for new CSIA Level 1 instructors http://www.skiproontario.com/ 
It is a great experience to be able to share my passion for skiing and influence young athletes to get involved!  It is a great days of teaching and learning!
This week was has also been a god training session.  I set a goal to run 7 days in a row, today was day 5.  This evening was a challenge to head out. I have been skiing hard for 2 days and it was damn cold out.  I got home tonight and laid on the couch for a short rest.  I wrapped myself up in a blanket and I was out like a light.  After 45 minutes, I shook my butt of the couch and got my gear on to get out the door.  It was a good mental game trying to convince myself not to go.  A little backwards, but I have reached a point where I want to do my workouts even though some of them are ridiculous.  It was a great run even with the wind making my face numb as I ran into it.  As soon as I got home I jumped into the hot tub to thaw out, it is also a great place to stretch!
Tomorrow is hte Santa shuffle, we are heading out at 7AM to get out to the start.  Tomorrows photos should be great as this run is going to be great!
Have a great Saturday!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

AAhhh! I'm better now!

What a great day!
4:50AM - out of bed(moaning about it because that is early)
5:00AM - out the door for a 7k run with people from www.poweryogacanada.com (will make this part of routine, Pauline is going to invite others to join us)
6:15'ish - Power Yoga Class(great way to start the day)
7:15 - in the car to drive up to ski hill!!!  traffic was crap, roads were terrible, but, I was going skiing so who cares!
9:15 - boots on, jacket done up, wind blowing; holy smokes, finally getting to go skiing for first time this season!

The day was great, from the early start to the enjoyable nasty weather and all the small stuff that took place during the day!  It is great o get together with the 'winter' friends and work on getting the kinks out of skiing.  Can you imagine, 35 geeks obsessing all day over the planes of balance  and bio mechanics of skiing.  Skiing 6 hours trying to refine the placement of your inside ski in Phase 2 of the turn before moving your center of mass to the inside in Phase 3 to build pressure in the ski........ALL DAY!  It was awesome!   Doesnt the weather look awesome, the photo was one of the brighter moments of the day!
The snow factor was a little less than perfect, with only 2 runs open.  But, with the terrain available the resort did a great job hosting us.  We spent the day working on the training aspects to be considered when we are leading a new instructor certification course.  It is great o be completing the training now as I have a course that I am leading next weekend. The material should all be fresh!
On the tri front, today was day 4 of my personal running challenge.  This morning the run was slower as I was with the people from the Yoga studio and enjoying the freezing cold wind.  Although I hate the getting out of bed part of the day, once I am up and at it, I love the physical and mental feeling of being active before most people have had to get up for a morning pee! Dont get me wrong, if I wasnt training I would not be up!  Trish and I both got up and went for the run this morning.  Our dog was totally messed up.  As we jumped out of bed and made our way out, she was looking at us like we were nuts.  It amazes me how an animal has a routine.  We were going totally against it this morning and she was some confused.  Like any smart do would, she solved it....curled up on her mat and went right back to sleep.
Today, Hugh my training partner did a great favour. This weekend we would usually be skiing at our home club.  Lack of snow has delayed it for another week, which means we dont need to be up norht first thing Saturday morning.  So, Hugh managed to get us registered for the Santa shuffle in Burlington. It should be a cool site.  2000 people doing a run. all dressed in Santa suits.  If that doesnt get everyone in teh Christmas spirit I don't know what will!
Tomorrow is another drive in weather to go back out for some more training.  But, being on the ski hill is like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  SO, on that note, I am going to wrap it up and get ready to close my eyes.  The faster I do that, the faster I will be find the rainbow and get back to the snowy hills!  Cheers

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Athletes Heart??

A couple of weeks ago, Johan at http://tri-stemmet.blogspot.com/ talked about athletes heart as he had a short 'black out'.  You can learn more about the science of this phenomenon at http://athletesheart.blogspot.com/
So why am I taking about all of this?  As a healthy(somewhat healthy) person who considers himself an athlete I try and follow the rules.  Last week I went for a yearly physical and had all the tests done(didnt need the probe though, guys you know what I am talking about)  Last night I am sitting after my workout enjoying the progress and my doctor calls.  She says my blood work was fine, but the EKG was irregular??  What the hell!  was my first thought!  but after reading the articles noted above I am going to pass the irregularities to being healthy(and it was 8am and had not eaten) As a result I now need to go and complete a stress test.  It is kind of ironic that I should be getting a stress test as I am about as relaxed about everything as you will find!  In the interim, I am going to keep doing what I am....I've done it this long and not had a problem, hopefully there is nothing to be concerned about and I can carry on!
So, that was my 'alarming' part of my day to deal with.  The fun part relates to sitting with the lanscape design architect for the 'free' landscape design that we had won.  It was a cool meeting, a lot of creativity and outside of the box thinking.  I thought it would be a few flowers and a decorative rock, maybe a new tree!  Well, no!  They are going to regrade the front, add walkways, new trees, sittting space!!  Holy smokes, a lot more than I ever thought it would entail.  So now he went off with our ideas and his creativity to do his work.   In January the process continues with a review of the design and work towards final approval.  I am so lloking forward to seeing what i will be like. It is a real bonus.  We have worked for 3-4 years doing a full redo of our backyard to make it ours.  This is an instant WOW!  and the greatest thing is, not out of our pocket book!
Oh yeah!  this blog is about training and getting to the start line.  Today was day 3 of my 7 days in a row of running.  As planned today was 6k, adding 1 more km each day.  The run was fun as it was wintery!  I know, I must be nuts!  But, I love the cold and snowy wet as it is the eve of going to do my favorite thing!  I had a good run, a little more effort that the past 2 days.  I still managed to keep it around 5 min/k.  Thanks to http://trainingpayne.blogspot.com for the tip on running faster.  I think that may have been part of my run being a little tougher.  I worked today to have a faster turnover with my feet.  I have a peculiar way that I breath and the higher cadence makes it a little to adjust to.  None the less, day 3 and feeling good!  I followed up my run with a good ab workout as well.   http://kelownagurl.blogspot.com gave me a good reference to an ab workout that is a good start to this get off my butt and do my core training.  It is working well as I also spend a little time doing some resistance training that I have been avoiding as well!  I cant resist a challenge to get me going and the ab challenge is working!
Well, tomorrow is an action packed day!  Up a 4:45 for a run, Yoga at 6:15 then off to the ..........wait, here this........SKI HILL!  Finally I am getting out on the hill for a few training runs!  Wahoo! I am like a little kid for my first day of skiing.  I had all my gear at the door as soon as I got home from work!  I will share the photos and the fun tomorrow!
Cheers and have a great night!  

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

24 hours x 7 days, what am I going to do when??


With ski season fast approaching I am now finding myself having to squeeze a few extra things into my week.  So, although I am not 'training' I am at the pool 3 times, running 3-4, core/resistance 3 and need to get my butt into the saddle a couple of times.  Those things individually are part of teh routine.  Now I need to throw in 2 days of ski teaching per week, one evening of apres ski, hanging out in hot tub with friends, tuning equipment and running a ski training series for Canadian SKi INstructors Alliance!  Oh yeah, I forgot to make sure I go to work as well.    I love winter and would not trade the chaos for anything in the world!!   Come summer time when most others are running to get into traffic to go to teh cottage, I am at home relaxing doing my workouts and enjoying my friends and family!!
This week is off to a good start.  My goal is 7 days in a row of running,I was off to a good start yesterday with a great tempo run.  Running has never been my strength, and as I was 30 lbs heavier not so long ago I could not improve a bunch.  Now that I am losing lbs, I am finding it easier to speed up and progress.  Last week I purposely did not run with teh goal of doing 7 days stragiht this week.  The periodization on day 1 seems to have worked.  I ran a short 4k at a 4:40 and felt great.  Today I did 5k at at a 450/k pace and quote enjoyed it!   I followed it by a great swim, although I was a little more tired than usual.   Right now I am loving the pool.  Aftert his past weekend and the clinic I am hoping to contniuue to improve over the winter.  I wish I could find a running clinic that worked on tecnhique and speed.  I know that patience and practice will get me there, but I have been known to be impatitent at times!
on my way to my workout today I got a great phone call.  My neighborhood is part of a region wide initiative to create a more water wise environment.  They have set an initiative to create landscapes that use as little water as possible while still providing a vibrant feel and setting.  The project involved an application to the Region to describe your current space and your vision of the space for the future.  Call me metro-sexual, but I have a definite feel for what I want and how to describe it.  Well, apparently it was clear enough to be selected as one of 5 homes in our neighborhood to be completed as the pilot showcase homes for the initiative.   This is awesome!  I chalk it up to a 'what come around goes around' karma!!  Two summers ago we spent a great deal of money to have the front yard landscaped.  It was beautiful when it was all done and we were very proud of it.  Oops, as soon as our first winter passed and spring came around, it was all dead!!!  The landscape who put it in would not stand behind any of his work or, after a while not  even answer his calls.  So, I guess this is our turn to get a good one to enjoy!  We have our first consultation tomorrow with  http://www.kentforddesign.com/ to begin the process and have a new front yard in the spring!  I love winning!!
On another good note, I get to ski Thursday this week!  Wahoo!  I am a course conductor(CC) with the Canadian Ski  Instructors Alliance, this week is CC training prior to a course I am teaching next week!  Cant wait to get out there, and to top it off it is with some of the best coaches and instructors in Canada.
Off to get some dinner and relax now.  Actually, to look outside to see if Snowmagedon is arriving!
Drive safe, have fun, and remember we do this because we choose to and we can!
Cheers

Monday, December 7, 2009

Is it time yet???


So, for those who read my blog you know that I am rather impatient about now waiting for the ski season to start.  So today, in southern Ontario a lot of people were moaning and bitching because it was SNOWING!  Get over it, it is December, it is Canada and guess what, its going to happen some time anyways!  Suck it up!  As you might imagine, I had a shit ass grin on my face all day as the snow fell and the radio talked about the impending snowmagedon this week!  I hope the weather sucks and it snows 2 feet!  I will give all of you who are calling me unmentionable names right now a hint, it is Canada and winter is not going away!  take up a sport or activity that allows you to enjoy the season.  It is the longest we have and you might as well take advantage of it.  Snowshoeing, skiing, cross country, ice fishing, skiing, skating, hockey, hell....we are adults and most of us have lived here are entire lives, you can figure it out!  Stop moaning about, only 3-4 more months!  Enough about that, as you can see from the photo I am ready to go.  ROSSIGNOL provides me skis each winter and today I picked my new ones up, so I am extra excited to get out!
Today wasn't only about good weather.  Over the past 3 weeks I have been pursuing an career opportunity that had somewhat fallen upon me.  It was for a International Sales Director position.  When I started the process I did it to learn about what it involved without a lot of thought.  As the process went forward I became very intrigued with the position although it was a reach from a couple of technical skill sets for me.   I was provided an opportunity to justify the gap and did it effectively.  The process was a great experience to go through.  I participated in 4 interviews that were more detailed that any I have ever done.  In the end the client organization was stuck on wanting an individual that filled one particular skill, which quite honestly I dont have.  I am pleased to have gone through the process, i am still gainfully employed in a position that is awesome.  Thanks to those who gave me the input on the sales manager question a while back!
I started out today on my weekly goal.  Last week I did a ton of swimming without any running.  This week I am going to run 7 days in a row adding 1k to my run each day.  If I do a day and add more, I then have set my new benchmark.  As well as my runs I am going to do at least a couple of swim workouts and continue with the resistance training!   As I am getting further into the training I am seeing where the resistance training will pay off.  Although I hate that workout, I know it will help out in the long run!
Tonight I started out on the core/resistance training.  As much as I hate it, when I start I love the intensity and grueling part of the workout!  Now that I have put it out there, I guess I will have more opportunity to enjoy the feeling!  I also had a great run.  As I said, this week I am going to do 7 days. I started today with a short run(real short) 4k, but, my pace was decent, I was a 4:45-4:50.  for me that is record setting running, something I could  not do 4-5 months ago.  It was a great way to start off my goal for the week.
I hope that your week has started off positive with new challenges to push your limits !  All I can say is embrace them, enjoy them and learn from the experience!
Cheers

Sunday, December 6, 2009

There is a Santa Claus!!

All the news in my part of the world talked about today was that is was snowing like hell north of the city, that is in ski country!  Yes, you heard it, Santa Claus has trumped mother nature and brought the snow along.
Very short post tonight, I am up to my eyeballs in alligators and have to get some work done....will finish up tomorrow AM early!
Cheers and Happy dreams!
.......so last night I got all my work done, almost!??  I was exhausted!  We went to some good frineds for dinner and I had to pull the plug and come home.  I knew I had work to get done and was a walking Zombie!  So, after a great dinner and lots of laughs went to my desk to fight sleep and get things done.

Yesterday was the culmination of a great week for training.  As I started on this quest I could not swim at all.  This week I set a goal to complete 10000m of traning over my workouts.  So, yesterday feeling relaxed I cruised to 11000m accomplishing my swim goal.  It is a bit of a personal victory.  When I signed up for IM I did not know how the hell I would get to the finish of the swim without some type of floation device strapped to my ass.  Well, after this week of great traning results, I am confident that I can get to the end of the swim and feel great getting onto the bike.  Best part is, each workout I still seem to be inproving.  I will keep at it unitl my training program begins without strssing too much, keep doing drillsa to improve efficiencey and technique and I am certain it will get me out of the water in decent shape.  I have set one more benchmark for my own satisfaction, before the holiday season is over I am going to do an IM distance swim as a practice!!  This week I am cutting my training distance by half, next week slowly increase with each workout and then just before Christmas, put it out there! 
In my swim training this past week, coupled with a crazy week at work I did not run at all.  No guilt for not doing it as I was training.  Strategically I am going to see how it worked, this week my goal is to run each day of the week and add 1k each day.  Start tonight with 4k and finish on Sunday with 10-11k.  Should make fro an interesting week as I have 4 days of ski traning to receive as well as provide.  Lets see how a rest week works out!
This week I am wiating to hear on a couple work related items that could make the next few weeks interesting.  I have been getting much busier at work and other opportunties keep coming to me to keep it exciting!  I look forward to what the week brings!
I hope that your week is awesome, full of exciting crazy new things and that you find your dreams and chase them!
Cheers!

First Clinic a success!

I had so much fun yesterday I didnt get around to some time for my blog.  I like to capture my thoughts each day as it allows me to recall some fo teh detail of what took place that day.  When I read this in the future it will be a lot of fun to see what happened at this point in my life, and the more detail that I can have in it the more fun I am certain it will be.  from time to time I go back and read old travel logs that I had kept and it is the silly detail that only I can remember that brings the smile to my face from the moment past!
Yesterday was an awesome day at my first ever coached triathlon clinic.  I have searched all around for an opportunity to attend some type of clinic for a little direction on various skills aspects.  This clinic was a hit form the swim perspective for me.  We started the day with a decent warm up and an opportunity to meet other athletes that were at the clinic.  It is a great environment being with other like minded people.  Like most group activities there are all levels attending.  It was cool to speak with people who could barely swim, and to the others who have completed multiple IM and are there for improvement.  Once the warm up was over, the format was quite simple. They set up a video and asked each of us to do a 25 meter all out swim.  Fairly simple and seemed a little to easy to start out.  After we all had video complete we joined together to review video of our swim in a group environment.  As a coach(skiing) I find it very useful to gather with a group to do assessment and development exercises.  It helps in learning more about your swimming(or sport) as well as an overall development of the technical aspects of the sport in general.  Over the course of the analysis, it was quite consistent amongst all of the swimmers were our greatest opportunity for improvement was.  Almost all showed a cross over of the arm(s) at some point in the stroke, for some it was at entry for others, under the body at the end of the stroke, but, it was a consistent area for improve.  The second area was swimming to flat.  Although many of the group showed use of the hips to lead a rotation, many stopped as soon as they started.  As the coach suggested, your hip should be almost facing the wall at 90 degrees to each side.  For me, I need to show more rotation, as well as making certain that my fingers face the bottom of the pool throughout the stroke.  I will continue with the swim content and go back to other parts of the day later.  When we returned to the pool later in the day, the format was awesome.  Sean Bechtel, who is an elite level long course trialthlete led the session(he is coached by Barry Sheply who is a Hall of Fame Tri coach, ie, Simin Whitfield and others) who introduced the session.  We did a 15 minute warmup and then it was followed by a series of drills. each drill was designed to address the most critical factors in the body balance and swim stroke.  Here is the great part with the format;  he introduced and reviewed the drill.  then we were in the pool to practice it.  Each of us had an individual coach who was observing our practice and giving 1-1 feedback.  As an athlete with zero swim background, I found the 1-1 to be extremely helpful and produced some immediate results and sensations to keep me progressing in my swim.  As we completed the drills, Sean as well as other phenomenal athletes and coaches made there way on the pool deck and gave individual feedback as they could observe.  Although the time spent was not long, it was a tremendous success from my dollar spent in having some tools and concepts to take with me to continue to improve my swim.(it was also great to have high level coaches acknowledge my swim, remember 4 months ago I could not swim a length)  Thank you to Tim sauve, Sean Bechtel and Taylor(McMaster swim coach) for the time and attention in a great swim  sesssion.
As well as swimming we spent some time with Nat Faulkner who is a leading elite cyclist.  he currently holds a record for Race across America which was set in 2004.  He spent an hour with us talking about the facts and science of cycling.  With winter coming for most of us, indoor trainer riding begins.  If you are like me, I would rather experience a root canal than sit on my bike for 2 hours.  SO, as he put it, make all of your indoor training excellent.  He reviewed some key drills and training concepts to bring us through the indoor training winter. A very interesting part of his talk was on the concepts of bike fit and aero dynamics.  In the sport a lot of emphasis is on being in aero position.  Well, why the hell are we are bent over for 6 hours on our bike, to get out of the wind, right??? He talked in more detail about the finer points of bike fit and why we stay in the position we do.  I am lucky to be at a shop that is committed to fit the bike for me, I highly recommend that every triathlete should make the investment.  It will make you faster and it will prevent injuries.
The third and valuable session to our day was a Yoga session.  I say it is valuable, however, the content for me was light.  As I have been doing Baptiste Power Yoga for a while now, our session yesterday was on the light side.  BUT, I believe that any form of yoga or stretching/strengthening practice is an integral part to long term tri success.  I have taken my Yoga time into my running and swimming now as a tool to help my breathing as well as to 'suck it up' when it gets tough.
Overall, yesterdays clinic was a resounding personal success for me.  Not that I am not normally enthusiastic about going for a workout, today i am particularly pumped to go and work on my drills and enjoy progress in the pool.  Thanks Barrie and team for a great day!  Being in the presence of excellence has served to stoke my fire more than ever!
With every great day comes the rewards at the end.  Yesterday was so plentiful I did not have time to get to my daily blog!  It started with a cold beer watching the world cup downhill from Lake Louise Canada.  As you might know, I am a ski nut, yesterday stoked my ski bug huge as Canada for the econd day in a row had podium finished from the girls team!  Go Canada Go!  This is awesome on home turf and leading into the Olympics to see the team progressing!  Cant wait until February to see the team on stage!
The next great part of the day is not having to go shopping with Trish and her mom and sister.  The stories they shared with me were crazy.  People pushing each other with carts,   shoving each other out of the way, being rude....WOW doesnt that sound like fun.  Too bad I had to miss it!
then we had a bunch of friends over for dinner yesterday evening.   Trish and I love to entertain, it is great to share stories of our week with people and to sit and unwind after the chaos that we run around and do all week.  I an earlier post I mentioned Trishmas season(my wife;s birthday), this was also one the many gatherings in order to observe the season!  :)  Hey, if she wants to have a party every night, so be it!  She puts up with me and that in itself is deserving of whatever she wants!  LOL
And one other great thing about yesterday........wait, what is it........can you  guess.......MOTHER NATURE has pulled her head out of her a%^ and started the snow in ski country!  Sorry for all you warm weather people, but it is winter where I live and the only way to do that properly is with snow!  Wahoo!  By the end of this week I should on the snow doing turns.  Next weekend I am part of a group leading training sessions for instructor and the following weekend I am one of the course conductors for a CSIA Level 1 instructors course!  It's about time, winter is here!
I hope that all of your weekends have been full of fun, stories and some training.  I have to run and get the honey-do list done and off to the pool!
And remember, the snow dance is a form of training!  Start shakin' friends!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Ho...Ho...Holy Smokes the Holiday season is Here!

I love the holidays and all of the fun times that come along with it!  Spending time with family, friends, all the bright lights and excitement.  What drives me bonkers.....everybody on earth is out and seemingly pissed off because I am standing in front of them.  I went out with Trish for dinner tonight and it was a gong show.  The drive downtown(which I do about 3 times a year) was bumper to bumper.  Once I got down there parking was a full time job, and then the restaurant was nuts.  Lucky for me I enjoy the company of my mother in law and sister-in-law so I got over it.  I have to say I would rather experience the pain of the hitting the wall than endure impatient people during the holidays!  Oh well, I guess I should suck it up as the fun has just started.  I think I will extend on open invitation for the month of December for all our friends to drop by our house so I dont need to experience the traffic and impatience!
Today was my second rest day this week.  I am taking advantage of not being on a 'program' at the moment and taking days when I feel like it.  So far I have been quite diligent with several workouts a week and meeting goals that I have set.  I also am recognizing that I have a long road ahead and not to burn myself out before I set out on it.  One good thing about my day relating to training was my ECG that I had done this morning as part of a yearly physical.  It was very cool when the nurse decided she should double check my heart rate because she thought that 44 was an error.  I feel good that I have done the work to get down to a resting heart rate that as a medical professional questions because it is low.  It motivates me to keep working in order to meet some of the other physiological benchmarks that indicate good conditioning!
Today is a short blog day as I am up early to a great tri clinic tomorrow.  I am sure that I will have all sorts of great stories from my experience with some world class coaches and a lot of triathletes to inspire me to push like mad going forward!
I love this sport and all the fun things about it!  Cheers

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The power of the Human Mind!!


Every day I spend hours upon hours why the hell people do what they do!!  As a sales manager, I spend my waking hours trying to determine what motivates people to do what they do.  One moment it will be a support staff who has promised to get something done and not finished it.  The next moment is a sales person who is blaming the customer for an order that he lost.  Next it is a customer on a visit coming up with some crazy excuse why he is going to wait until tomorrow to place his order.  What the hell makes people do what they do???
Think about it for a minute.....we decided one day that we would go and do an IRONMAN!  Who the hell in their right mind would choose to do something as ridiculous?  Because we can!  We all believe that we have the physical ability to train, the supportive families to allow us the time required, the resources to get the gear and the nerve to take the plunge.  That is the power of the human mind.  A tool that we carry with us every day that goes through some method of reason to allow us to make educated and seemingly logical decisions.  We make those decisions with somewhat of a notion of the potential and eventual outcomes as well as the path that we need to take to get there.
I have read all sorts of race reviews since I started this journey to the IRONMAN start line.  It amazes to learn about the power of the mind.  Stories of athletes feeling like they are going to puke on the swim and working through to the end without losing it.  Getting on the bike and truly convincing themselves that they will never finish the race because they are out of gas, only to cross the line hours later to hear, 'you are an IRONMAN', being on the side of the road during the run thinking it is all over, and 30 minutes later moving forward towards the finish line!  Let's face it, physically those people were at the end of the road.....but the mind takes over.  We look back in a flash moment at the months of training and sacrifices made, the thought of giving up and having to repeat it, a reflective moment on why we decided to do this in the first place, a million things run through in every grueling second of a race.
The power of the mind is amazing!  The ability as humans to put aside the feeling of total exhaustion, physically as well as mentally and using your mind to move you forward!  Most of the weaker people of the world just say that we are nuts.....I don't think so!!!
We get up each morning(and bitch about it) because we make the choice, we run in the snow and freezing weather because we want to.  we push ourselves to the point that we are going to be sick because it is good for us, we go to the start line because we made the choice and we cross the finish because the power of the human mind does not allow us to accept the circumstances of any other choice.  The process is a constant process, justifying each step along the way, re evaluating why we made the choice, pushing harder because we should, not training because we can, training twice because it feels good.....and it goes on.

This post is likely a bit of a ramble, but it is an attempt to capture the respect I have for the decisions that athletes and humans  make to do the race and the victory of crossing the finish line.
I have not done an IM yet, but at this point of my training towards the start line it is not only a physical evolution, but a great brain game as well!  I am having the time of my life and I cant wait to continue to push my limits, be forced to make decision because they seem so wrong but are the right thing to do and continuing to have those 5AM arguments with myself about why I should get out of bed.  I hope all of you have as much fun as I am in your IM world!  If not, oh well.....not my decision to do it....it's yours!  Cheers!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

beers and wings....and swimming!

What a great day!  what did I do?  well, the title should pretty much say it all!  if you want an idea of how much fun I had, watch the video on the previous post!
After a great rest day yesterday I was feeling like it was time for a good workout.  I find myself wanting to do  workouts rather than struggling to get out to do them.  After any rest day I look forward to getting at it.  Today, I had put off a swim as I forgot that I had a meeting that I forgot about, and it was  at my usual pool time.  I was kinda bummed about it, but, hey life goes on so I changed it up for a run after my meeting instead.  Guess what, I was meant to swim today. As much as I wanted to get this meeting done, it was rescheduled until Friday.  Get the flippers out, off to the pool I go!!  Me being enthusiastic about swimming is a bit o a stretch for me to grasp.  Four months ago, I dreaded going for a swim, the pool, the lake what ever it was, if it involved swimming I had a list of excuses longer than my arm.  Now, after some studying, a lot of practice and an open mind, it is my favored workout to go to.  Maybe it is because I am french and the water is starting to bring out my frog qualities!  Todays workout was another PB for me.  each time I go out I work to push the limit a little further.  Today was a 2750m swim, that is the furthest distance to date.  The greatest thing is that I find the swim an easy one to complete.  So, I decide this week I would finish y week with 10km of swimming complete.  Also, as a blog friend calls it, my BHAG(big harry audacious goal) is to complete an IM distance swim before Christmas!  I love this IM stuff, pushing yourself every day to get to a new limit!  I am looking forward to coming out of the pool able to swim 3875m more in a practice than I was able to in June of this summer!
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-DS-pIqcs8
After a great swim today came the reward.  Once a month we have a 'group' night to go out and share some time together.  About a year ago we discovered that all we ever did was talk about getting together.  It never happened!  So, after a great night at a local pub that has the best wings north of the 49th, we decided that it would be a monthly affair.  Tonight was the December night!  Before the night is done we plan the night for the next month so that no one has any excuses!  As always the night was great.  Getting together with friends and sharing stories of our adventures from the last month.  It is amazing at that can happen in a short time.  New jobs, new adventures, new challenges.....it is truly entertaining!  I look forward to our night every month. Tonight was a different night as well.  Since June, when my bet to lose weight started, I had not ordered my own wings.  that is torture because the wings at this place are amazing.  Tonight, I was back in for some wings.  I figured with a good swim tonight and a run and yoga tomorrow, hell, I could indulge!  and I did and liked it! dont
As I finish my day the last goal is my quest to get off my butt and start my resistance training.  Luckily I am not the only one who is challenged to meet some of the parts that I enjoy.  So, with the help of some others out there we are going to push each other along.  If you want to jump in and be part of the pushers or be pushed, jump in, the more the merrier.  As I have progressed with the rest of my workouts, I know that this little push will help produce great results.  SO, here goes the next part of the adventure!
Until then, have a great night, Hope your dreams are dreamie and you wake up believing that they are there for you to achieve!
Cheers!

South America Powder day

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sports 101

The beginning of Trishmas season was a ball of fun! Trish, Rick, Silva and I had a blast at the Bball game! I am waiting for the train and I still don't know who won? Ho hold on, just heard, we didn't! Boo! Still a great night!
Today was a rest day and I think I rested well! Started my day staying in bed until 630AM. Pulled my sorry asz out of bed and went for a walk to Timmy's with Trish and my dog Karma to get a cup of morning addiction. It isn't often that we have breakfast together this was a great day, sit down while reading the paper and have a morning meal together. I think we have paid for 3 years of newspapers and read r months worth! Oh well! Its the cost of looking like you know what is going on!
I have been reading a few race reports from I'm Cozumel the past couple of days. First, congrats to all the participants for being there and pushing yourself to the limit. Secondly, thank you for being an inspiration for all those who have not been to the start line yet! Every blog I read, every finisher I talk to pushes me more towards the start and the day that I can hear, 'Fortin, you are an Ironman'! To all of you people that I read about every day, keep inspiring me and keep pushing yourself to the limits you accepted yourself to go to! I look forward to getting to the point that I can say I am there, I am part of your group!!!
As my rest day comes to an end, once again I will say that it has been awesome! Another day of learning, training, sleeping, having fun and learning more about the world of I'm and everything else that is so cool about it!
Cheers and have a great night!


and to finish off a truly entertaining evening, we were so caught up in chatting with friends, we missed out train stop and ended up spending $20 to get a cab back to the car! good thing they were cool people! :)

I win!.jpg


Well, it is confirmed. The previously growing guy has been victorious in the second part of his bet. To make it exciting I ate lots and didn't do my morning business before my weigh in. So like the stock market I have been dropping since the bet started. And, like the stock market I expect a downward adjustment over the coming months before I stabilize at some width significantly smaller than where I started!
Thank you all for the challenge and the ongoing chatter! Any other best you amy want to extend may be considered!
Cheers and bon appetit!

For those not familair with the purpose of this picture, it is to capture on my blog the challenge that started my quest for Ironamn.  June 1, this year I was pushing 222lbs and growing.  My training partner High and another good friend Craig challenged me to lose weigth.  What an awesome bet, I continue to drop weigth, registered for an IRONMAN, and best of all......teh bet was for dinner for all the gang that was present when the bet was made!  I hope they are all hungry!

Monday, November 30, 2009

hey everyone, it' Trishmas eve!!


What the hell is Trishmas eve?  Yeah, that is what I said the first time I heard it as well!  Well, it is the night before December 1, 2009.  And in December is the birthday of my awesome wife, Trish.  Yeah, I know it is one day so what is with the Trishmas stuff.  I tried, you guys have a talk with her!  So, for most husbands, December 7 would be the day to have breakfast ready, dinner out, flowers and all of the other romantic things that go along!  Well, yeah, sure, my darling milks it for all its worth and had dedicated the entire month of December as hers!  Everyone take a moment in wishing Trish and Happy Trishmas!
I hope that she has the greatest season of all!  Tomorrow I am going to start by treating her to dinner and a basketball game, oooo, lucky her!  Then on Wedesday she gets to go for Wings and beer, Thursday she has a night out with the girls and then on Friday, well that will be her day again.  To be totally honest, she deserves anything on the planet that she wants.(OK I am going to gush about my wife)  She is the coolest most patient, supportive, did I say patient, understanding, enthusiastic person in the world.  If I was a girl i would still want to be married to the she is so damn cool.  She is 100% behind this IM chaos, has supported me through 5+ years of obsessing over ski industry stuff, she makes my lunches, washes my clothes, organizes my mess!  and she has a full time job!
She is the most awesome!  Happy Trishmas trish!  I love you!

PS  when I am done Ironman(and maybe a couple more events, I will clean up the garage...)

Cheers as the beginning of the holiday season is here!  Take time to thank the ones who stand behind us as we ride our days away, our friends who dont see us as we go run, our spouses who take care of stuff because we go to the pool.  It is a time of the year to reflect on how lucky we are to be who we are and the lives we have the privilege to enjoy, take a moment to remember how it is we got here and lets all celebrate a happy, healthy and safe future!