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Monday, March 29, 2010

Where to start?!

It has been a few busy days since I have been able to blog, but a few awesome days it has been! I have done so much stuff, I can't figure out where to begin.  Let me begin by reiterating the purpose of this blog is to capture this experience in as much detail for future reference and entertaining reflection.  If I tend to babble on about stuff, too bad, some day I will enjoy what I wrote and there is a purpose behind it!  I guess I will try and recap the last few days in a chronological time frame so that I ideally get it all in.
Thursday has been my usual day of exercise excess with my usual 5am run followed by Yoga and then the rest of the day's events.  Last Thursday our run was off as everyone had other lat night commitments thte night before.  When the alarm went off for Yoga, I decided to hit snooze.  WHAT?  not do Yoga?  Well I am one to listen to my body and to respect what I have in front of me.  I knew that Thursday was a run(sprints) and run club, a 3500m swim, weigths as well as an evening Yoga class that I was hosting as part of my run club.  So rather than be a hero, I figured I would grab an extra hour of sleep to get me set for the day.
My swim on Thursday was great!  I had not done a long swim in quite a while, putting in some lengths felt great to do.  It was an awesome balance of drills and speed with a gradual and aggressive throughout the whole practice.  It was quite satisfying as I finished with steam in the engine and not burned out from the gradual build of the week.  I suppose it was a good thing as I had a couple more workouts to go.  So from the pool I headed into the gym(the new Y membership is great) for my 'first' official IM weights!  It was a good workout.  Following the structure they have given is positive and has a good full body.  I do think I will modify a bit to hit some more specific areas while keeping the intensity that is set out.  I have several books on run, bike , swim anatomy that provide a ton of good exercises for areas that should have focus.  I am going to use a couple of them in order to do some preventative stuff to protect from a couple of old injuries.  I have a lot of weeks doing weights so it should work well!  My goal is to build both a balanced and appropriate strength balance over this period.  A little weights combined with the push up challenge should add a little strength to the overall equation.  My weights for my 'first' resistance workout called for only 1 set with lighter weight.  even though it was only 1 set the workout is still 30+ minutes.  Overall it is a good effort and I could feel the whole body having been out to work.  I did my push up challenge during this workout, hhhmmmm.....maybe not so smart, it killed me!  But workout one was done and I was feeling an accomplishment.
After the Y part of the day, it was time to head out to Lululemon to lead the weekly run club.  I thought that I would combine my run club with my required workout for the evening.  As soon as I arrived, I left while others were gathering in order to get my warmup done.  It was a sub 5min/k run of 3km to get the blood flowing.  The run for the evening was 6k with 45 second sprints every 2-3 minutes.  I thought I could go out with the group, do the run and add my sprints.  It worked out well.  I did them as planned and after each sprint circles back to run with the group again.  The sprints were great.  It was my first intro back into and intensity in my training.  It has been a productive winter, but for the most part 'lazy' as far as any intensity goes.  The run was a great success!  After the run club I invited a Yoga instructor to join us to complete a short run focused practice that lent itself well to runners.  WOW, what a relief.  After a failrly intense day, it was a treat to be able to do a good focused 45 minute session loosening up and spending some time collecting the days efforts.  I have to say I felt like a million $$ following the class.  Thursday was one of the best workout days that I have spent in a long time.  The time spent the intensity and the quality were awesome.
My pln for Friday, which was a scheduled rest day was to get in my long ride that was supposed to be on Saturday.  The weekend was busy as I was MC'ing a season end ski event and doing my run clinic in the morning.  WIth Friday as on an off day I figured I could knock it off and have more time on Saturday.  Well, Friday morning proved to show me why I had a scheduled off day.  I woke up and I was sore!!  Yep, first time in a long time since I felt that way!  LOved it, a great reminder of what it feels like to be getting into 'fighting' shape!  So, like the training plan says, I took the day off!  So I ran around like a fool getting all my work done for the day.  As I have been invited to be on TEAM RUNNING FREE I spent the afternoon as a race expo with other team mates.  Around the Bay(Americas oldest running race) was held on Sunday and I was there to help out.  It worked out well as I needed to pick up my race packet for the event.  Over all the day was awesome.  I did get some needed rest for a day and enjoyed the excitement of a race event.  I spent Friday evening at the Raptors basketball game, it was a great game(even though they blew it in the last quarter).
Saturday turned out to be an action packed day!  I started the morning hosting my run clinic. It was dame cold after a few days of warm weather, but after 5 minutes it is all warm again!  After my run I had to drive 2 hours north to my event. I still needed to get my ride in, so I packed all my gear and my bike and started the trek!  I figured out if I got there fast enough, I could do some intro's, and while the first couple of events were taking place I could get a ride in for 1:15 minutes.  It was a little less than the 2 in the program, but excusable as I was going to to a 3 hour run on Sunday instead of the 1 hour on the program.  So off I went into the sunny day for my ride.  Someone told me there was no wind, yeah right!  I headed south into a straight head wind for the first 20k of my ride(all uphill as well).  It was a grind but, a good bike ride will always have a grind so I loved every minute of it!  It was also better than having to sit indoors for the ride on my trainer.  The day worked out well!  I finished my ride, finished my event and managed to get home for 7pm to get ready for the race the next day.  I am particular when it comes to pre-race prep.  I like to have my stuff out and organized and enjoy my routine breakfast!  So being home by 7 allowed me to be set for the day!
I had a good rest and was up and ready to go for the race bright and early.  I had never done the race before so was not familiar with the scene.  It was a great race to be at.  The finish line of the race is in a hockey arena which is a cool finish to a race. I had planned on doing the race at a 2:45 pace.  This is a new pace for me. My last distance race was at a 6min/k pace and it was 4 years ago.  I have done one long run, 21k this winter  Otherwise my runs have all been 8-10k and twice a week. I have done quite a bit of short distance but not proper training for this event.  So off I went with teh 2:45 pace bunny!  A few minutes into the event I thought it was a little much, as this was supposed to be a slow run and a training day of 1 hour, I should have been taking it easy.  I thought I might drop back a take it easy!  After  few more minutes, I figured out that I was feeling OK and that I would run it out.  SO I trotted along and enjoyed the day.  The course is great, but the second half is all hills.  The last hill was especially fun, someone told me it is nicknamed suicide hill!  The race was a great one for me.  Although I did cramp up in the last 4k, I managed to get enough Gatorade in me to get it done.  I stopped my watch at 2:41.  That was an awesome result for me, although I have never done the race, it is a 30+ second per KM improvement for a distance race for me.  I felt great knowing that all the cross training and work from the winter have been of benefit at an early point in the season. Although I had completed a great result, it was a little against what I was supposed to do.  And I have to say, I was already getting stiff from the run.   Oh well, a little pain will only be future gain.
Monday AM proved to be quite an adventure.  The little sore I was feeling on Sunday was now a good old hurt!  OUch!  I guess that is what running a little faster than I am used to will get me!  So I hobbled out to the office.  It was a productive day at the office, but all I could think about was the fast that I had a swim in hte afternoon.  OUch, I was sure it was going to hurt like hell!  Too bad, I would have it suck it up!  As soon as I got into the water, I was relieved.  Although I felt a little better than the morning, I did still hobble to the pool deck.  As soon as I started to to swim the 'pain' left me.  I had a great swim!  It was short, 2000m but I did not feel like the practice was held back at all because of my run!  So, I did my 2000m with a smile on my face and a relief that I did not have slow down or cut back!
So, the last 5 days have been awesome.  I have knocked down my first week of IM training!  I felt some pain, covered some miles, did all my workouts and a little bit more.  I have finished my fisrt week with a smile on my face and the knowledge that I am going to get stronger.  I did learn that at some point this is going to hurt!  But, that is only a good thing!  As always, this is one fun adventure and I look forward to the next 23 weeks!  Wahoo!  Cheers!


  1. great few action packed days there John! you did really well at the race and as always, with a smile on your face. yeah, it's all gonna hurt but that's why not everyone will be an Ironman (or woman)...ya gotta learn to love some pain!

  2. Great Job J. You know you left it all out there when you have hobbly sore legs. Keep up the great work.

  3. My wife and I did the Around the Bay race on Sunday, too. Miha actually saw you on the course, but she couldn't remember right away your name. By the time she remembered it, you were already far away. She said that you ran relaxed and you were talking to a friend.

    We were both impressed of how well the race was organized. One thing that I especially liked was those quotes posted along the course. One of the funniest one was when we passed the cemetery and the Grim Reaper was saying that "The end is near".

  4. Great Work!! excellent report on all the workouts I was especially interested to read about the swimming and weights - D