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Thursday, April 29, 2010

It's time to ride!

Today was  a little more relaxing on the training front.  With it being a rest week, I have moved a couple of workouts around so today was a little more relaxing than usual. I shifter my weight workout until tomorrow afternoon in order to give myself some time at the office to get some work out of the way.
My workout today was actually quite relaxed. The LULULEMON run club 5k run was the extent of it!  WOW it has been a few days since I did such a light workout, and likely quite a few since I will see another one.  But, it was great.  Another night with some new runners out and we did a great run for them at an better pace than they have done to date.  The runners are all enjoying it as they are seeing progress that they did not anticipate.  For me it was a great night turning my legs over beating out a little lactic from the past couple of days.  They are not sore, but I can feel some junk that needs to be moved out.  So after a short run and a relaxing day, I am getting my tri bike of the trainer for my first decent tri ride tomorrow.  I am looking forward to it as the weather looks to be good and it is a good opportunity to see what the base training period has given me.
This weekend marks the end of the base part of my training, from here on it gets a little more intense.  When I review the training I look at it on a daily and weekly basis.  If I look beyond that time frame it becomes daunting, in small pieces i only looks like a lot of fun over the next few days.
As this journey continues all I can say is 'BRING IT ON!'  I am looking forward to the ride!
Happy training!  Make sure it hurts once in a while!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A good hump day!

As I pile on workouts this week, I  must say that I am looking forward to rest day this Saturday.  But, until then the progress keeps moving forward and I am digging the feeling!
Today was an improvised swim workout.  I have been putting all my workouts in my crackberry so that I have them at a moments notice.  Today, no it was not.  I came home to pick up my gear and got half way to the pool before I realized I forget the book with my practice in it.  So, I decided to pick one of the previous practices that I had done.  Th first one I picked out was a short one at 1500m, I decided that it wanst going to cut it.  A few months back, that would have been a crazy distance for me, today it was going to meet the bill any longer.  SO I ended up choosing a 3100m practice as it seems more appropriate for this point in the season.  It was primarily 100 and 200m repeats with little rest in between.  The swim today was great as I seemed to get better as time went on.  I was watching my repeats and by the end I had take 5-10 seconds off my 100m.  I was happy with that as I should have been tiring out rather than speeding up.  Overall the practice was quite fun and satisfying!  Feeling continued progress on the swim and looking forward to continuing to push the water!
Following the swim was my ROGA clinic(running/yoga).  Tonight speed work was on the schedule.  It was a blast to see the look on the face of the runners when I told them what we are doing.  As I have mentioned these are all new runners who have not followed any structure in teh past.  SO hills was a great treat for them for the past while, they looked even more excited for the speed work to be done tonight.  These workouts for me are all bonus workouts as I have my speed work tomorrow afternoon. So, we headed out to the track via a 2.5k warm up run.. The workout was a small intro to speed work with a 4 x 200m session.  I must say it has been a while since I did real speed work, the kind that makes you feel like being sick when you are done the sprint.  WOW!  it was great!  I found that I was able to maintain form throughout and not lose speed at the end.  As my legs got heavier I was able to suck it up and get to the end with a smile on my face and my legs yelling at me!   Overall the runners were ecstatic with the run and I was proud of how well they did!  Another great workout for me as well as awesome progress towards the start line for the runners training with me!
I hope your day was full of fun and that you did something wonderful for yourself and for someone else!  Cheers!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

WOW! that was a tough workout!

Yep, I think that might be one of the first times I have used those words since I started my training!? TOUGH!  Ah, suck it up butter cup!  And that is what I did.  Today was a 'turbo' workout on the bike and involved some good variety of high heart rate drills. I have 6 x 5 minutes big gear grinds some of them above 90 cadence.  It felt great, I was busting my hump to get to the end of some of them, but it was good. My legs at some point were screaming to stop, that is my key to push a little harder. So I did!  At the end it was the hardest trainer workout I have done.  I don't know if it is related to 8 hours on a trainer on the weekend?  All I can do is control the outcome today, so I pushed and got through it.
My workouts might also be getting a little tougher as  have not had a rest day since last Tuesday which was the travel day coming home and the day after the marathon.  Otherwise I have been going since April 17 without a break, and I have to keep going until this Friday for my rest day.  I am not complaining, just realizing why I might have a little burn on during a workout.
Following my bike grind today was a visit to the run club to do my weekly outing.  It is a beautiful sunny day, but damn it is cold out.  Running into the north it felt like a winter/fall night.  I luckily wore some gloves to fight it off, but could still feel it.  It was a great run though~!  Had a couple of new people out again, and we did a 6 1/2k loop!  They all felt great and I was right along with them.  Each week the club gets a little better and we keep getting stronger in numbers and in running strength.  It is a lot of fun leading/helping out and getting people motivated to be out doing something good for themsleves!
On a more entertaining front today, I was at my first photo shoot in my life!  No my wedding doesn't count, because I did not hire a photographer because I don't like getting my photo taken!  We did end up with hundreds of awesome photos thanks to all of our friends.  My photo shoot today was for my Lululemon Ambassador shot.   It was truly a fun day to be a part of.  I had some great running clothes, a great support team with me, my dog who also smiles for the camera.  We were down on a trail by the lake that I run at a lot, it al made for a perfect event.  In my most 'relaxed' manner possible the photographer took all sorts of shots to choose from.  I am looking forward to the final product to see what it is like.  I hope he feels free to retouch as necessary!!  As a person who is not a camera guy, I did find it to be a lot of fun!  I will post some photos as I am able to get them!
Overall an great day, hope you had a ton of fun and remembered to smile along the way!  Cheers!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Training and reflection day!

Another new week!  Week 6 of my training and Recovery week.  I am still loving this stuff!  Looking forward to each workout, looking ahead to see what is coming up and wanting to be on my game to continue improving.  Another 18 weeks to go, I am hoping the momentum is generally forward, I know I will hit a couple of bumps and wonder why the heck I am doing this, but a little mental stroll down mental alley to the past 6 weeks should move me forward.
I spent a little time last night and this morning looking back at my past few weeks, winter and few years of training.  It brought a great smile to my face.  I have not set any world records, but I did get it done.  Over the past while I have made some choices, and once I did not not let anything deter me from reaching the victory of accomplishment. It is very satisfying to be in that place, having helped myself from 'at guy' to somewhat fit guy.  Helped some others along the way accomplish physical goals, helped out by contributing to the community and charitable causes.  I guess I must be hormonal or something, spending time thinking about all this kind of stuff!  Whatever has prompted me to think it, I am happy with where I am, it is a good place right now!
As well, I am happy at this point with where I am physically.  I have done a some things the past few weeks and months that I was once convinced I could not.  Best thing is, in many cases they seemed easy to do.  The changes I have made in eating and training seem to be having an affect, so, I think I will continue to throw coal into the engine and see where it brings me.  I am enjoying the structure of the workouts, the increasing intensity and the way far away goal that it is for.  Best thing is, without even having experienced the victory of the attempt to the start line, I am looking forward to doing it again.  I want to be out there and see what I can do.  One of my goals is to also bring along a few others for the adventure.  This stuff is way to much fun to enjoy all alone!  Wether it is a friend participating or someone laughing at me for putting myself through it, everyone needs ot check out this game!
Today was a good training day in the tri game.  A 3500m swim with a ton of kicking.  I can feel myself improving on the kick front, actually choosing to do kick drills where I have choice.  I am going to line up the coaching session before to long and bring some new stuff into my practice.
Well, starting week 6 which is a recovery week, then onto the fun stuff.  Aerobic training starts with another little kick in the right direction.  In my next phase I have a couple of races to keep it interesting.  All the races I do are training events.  I may see what I can do on a sprint to see what this training has given me since the bad swim tri's of the past!
Off to have some dinner and enjoy a drink with some friends!  Have a fantastic night!  Cheers!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A fantastic weekend!

This weekend is one that I have marked down in the mental book as one to remember, now I have to capture it here as I can't usually remember what I had for breakfast!  It was AWESOME!
The fun started bright and early on Saturday morning with my Running clinic out for our weekly Saturday run.  The entire group was there although a couple still reeling from Friday evening wine. It was great to see that they are committed to getting to the goal that we set together as we get close to the race date of May 15.  The group is falling together well and many of them are asking if a summer session will be held.  Many of them want to grow the goals they are currently working on and go to the next level.  It will be a very fun summer working with them and a new group of athletes as well!
After a great Saturday morning run, it was off to help make a difference.  As some of you may have seen, there is a banner for the Ride to Conquer Cancer on the top of my page.  This is a double century ride that I am doing in June to help raise many for one the worlds leading cancer research centers.  It is a ride I am very passionate about, knowing to many people who have died of cancer or are currently in treatment.  I ask you to help by clicking on the link and making a small contribution to my efforts.  Remember the statistics, 1 out of 4 will get cancer, that could be you, me, our kids or best friends!  Make what difference you can!
On Saturday, in effort to raise awareness and my fund raising efforts, I rode my trainer for 7 1/2 hours.  I was lucky enough to be in the LULULEMON store front and able to ride from 10AM until 2pm, went out for a 20 minute transition run, got back on my bike to eat lunch and continued to 5:40PM when I went for another run.  People could not believe what I was doing, sitting on a bike all day.  When I told them why, they quickly understood what it was all about and the importance of it.  It was a tremendously satisfying thing to do! Hundreds of people came up to me and shared stories and thanked me for doing it.  For me it is a pleasure and a way that I am hopefully making a difference.  A big bonus to the day??  I got the longest time in the saddle that I have ever recorded on a single day and 3 great runs to go along with it.  I felt great off the bike onto the street, better than I thought I would after a 'long' ride at this time in the season.   I did sleep like a rock, I dont think my whole body had hit the bed before I was asleep.  Sunday AM was an impending mystery to me.  I felt good Saturday, did that mean Sunday would be nasty??
Sunday AM I volunteered for a community 10k race with the LULULEMON store.  A simple task, give out finishers medals!  I woke up early to get to the 7:30 set up time.  When I awoke, without thinking I popped out of bed and went about my morning.  It wasn't for a couple of minutes that I relaized that I did that totally pain free.  I had a little residual, but not 7:30 hours worth.  I was very pleased at how I felt and how I managed food and hydration the previous day.  It is very early, but a sign that I might be on the right track.
I headed out to the event start.  It was a blast.  It is fun to watch people coming in, the hundreds of expressions!  Joy, anger, frustration, elation, pain.....  You name it I saw it.  The only downfall, it was pouring rain.  I met all sorts of great people, first timers, elite athletes, walkers, friends....  It is quite different being on the that side of the line.  I aslo saw Bryan from .  He was out to do a lost tune up race before he heads out to IMSG this week!  He looked good, spirits were high and had a good run!  I think IMSG will be a great race for him!  GOOD LUCK BRYAN!
Overall, the rain did not put any damper on the day, seeing people cross a finish line is awesome satisfaction!
After my race post, it was time for me to head out and support some runners.  A couple of people in my group that have set 1/2 marathon as an upcoming goal are having a tough time with the long runs.  So, earlier this week, I suggested I would organize the long run and do it with them.  It was great!  Ran the whole thing with the clouds spitting on us, but got it done!  They were happy to put in the miles, I was happy to put in the miles!  It was a fitting way to end a weekend of training, helping and having fun!
I am tired now, so, GOOD NIGHT!

I hope your weekend was as fulfilling as mine was!

Happy MOnday!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Mid day update

I am now 5 hours on a trainer with a 4k transition run behind me. Another 3 hours to go! This is an awesome training day for an awesome cause! Please support the Ride to Conquer Cancer!
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

Friday, April 23, 2010

I love this stuff!

Another great 'recovery' day after Boston!
So, my recovery has been great from the run this Monday. All I have is a little pain in my quads and two big toes the size of grapefruit. I no I can handle the quad pain, isn't the first and certainly won't be the last workout feeling it. However, I was a little worried about the super size toes and running. Stay tuned for more on that one!
Today was a good swim day at the pool. I must say I am looking forward to an open water swim soon, but, I am still loving pool practice and getting better at this game. The session today seems to be starting to add more distance drills. Rather than all 50-100, a lot of it was 200, with cool down being 500. I like the added distance as I feel it will get me stronger and help me develop my form in the long run. Overall it was a 3000m practice and it felt awesome. At no point in 80-90% intensity swims did I start to 'choke' or want to slow down. I am please with post race swim from a nutrition perspective as well. Having done a decent workout a lot of potential for dehydration exists, I tend to be able to dig that up quick when swimming, today was a charm with no issues!
Ahhh! The dreaded first run! I did a Lululemon run club, they are a great way to get running again. The pace is not super fast and the distance is only around 6k. It is a perfect way to test out my super toes and see how aerodynamic they are. When we started the run, I did find a couple of small spots in my quads that needed to be hammered out. Within a quick 1k that seemed to work well. As I ran my toes seemed to give me no issues either. I was happy about that and I hope that is stays that way. One of the good parts of the run is the impromptu speed work. As I run with a mixed group I want to work with all of them to see that they are enjoying the run. So, I run forward and return to the slower group to see how they are doing. When I head back to the faster group it is always a decent sprint session. Last night I managed to put in a couple that were close to 700m at a pace that was around 4:10 min/k. I felt great and my sprint recovery was very strong. I was surprised as I thought it would slow me a bit with post race muscle repair! So overall it was a great run with 2 more new runners joining us. The momentum keeps going forward which is great.
Tomorrow is a good training day for me. As you may have seen form the banner on the top left of the page, I am doing the Ride to Conquer Cancer. It is a cause that is very important to me with so many people affected by this, some of us will be one day as well, it is a brutal reality to have to face. Tomorrow I am doing an 8 hour trainer ride in a store front to bring attention to the cause and to raise funds In support. If you are in Oakville, please stop by the Lululemon store and say hi, I will be the guy on the bike! If you are not, please click the link above and support this important cause. It is a charitable donations and you can print a tax receipt from the site. Thank you to all of you who have generously supported me to date.
Happy Friday and a great training weekend! Cheers
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Training time doesn't stop!

I will start by saying how happy I am with my post Boston recovery.  Last night when I went o bed my body was hurting, this morning I seemed to have beat a good deal of it away and I am feeling great physically.  I actually can stand on my own without holding the chair and make it down the stairs without feeling my legs are going to give out!  So, that means one thing!  Time to get on my bike for my turbo workout!  WAhoo! SO tonights workout was great, a lot greater than I thought.  Although my quads were still sore I am pleased with what I got out of them today.  The physical recovery has also been a good mental boost, it is proof of the base that I am building is working.  Todays workout was a bike turbo workout:
Avg Speed:  35kmh
Avg Watt:    216
Avg HR:     139
Avg Cad:    84
Distance:    29k
Time:          49m33s
In summary, after one day recovery from the marathon my rides is equal or better than the last ride I had!  I did skip the T-run tonight to allow my run muscles to recover a little more(and my toenails are beating like my heart) Stupid race move in wearing new shoes!
So, my race report!
Monday AM started with a great luxury.  Rather than hop on the school bus to go out to Hopkinton to the start, I was able to get on a luxury highway coach to get to the start line.  The opportunity came up for me to travel with the Boston Police and Mass State Police in their buses.  We proceeded from the Boston Athletic Club with a full highway patrol escort that stopped all traffic as we moved down the highway.  As we past on ramps on the freeway, the traffic was lined up for dozens of cars that were stopped  by motorcycle police who travelled ahead to stop them for out convoy.   As we made our way down the highway we were also being filmed from above my a police helicopter so that a souvenir video of the travel and start of race could be produced for the people who travelled on these buses.  As we approached the town of Hopkinton, cars and buses were lined up everywhere, we proceeded to a parking lot right next to the start coral.  At that point out 'tailgate' party was set up.  We had all the luxuries you could enjoy.  Coffee, Gatorade, water, fruit, bagels, name it, it was out for us to enjoy.  As much as travelling on the school bus would have been surreal, this was absolutely over the top as a way to get to the race for my first time.
As it was my first time at a big race, the start area was over the top, so many people.  Both ahead and behind it was awesome the see the tons of people lined up.  As we started to move, it was like a massive wave moving forward together.  It was so full of energy it was incredible.  As we past the start line and headed down the first long hill, it was amazing watching so many people moving at the same pace.  everyone there was a qualified runner, so there are no people blowing past you in the race.  As we got to about 3-4 km it hit me that I was running a marathon.  Here is a summary of my training:
1 marathon 4 years ago
1 half 3 years ago
1 20k run this winter
buch of 5-10 runs over winter
1 30k race a few weeks ago
tons of short <10k runs over past 2 months
A lot of miles but no real distance to talk of.
I started to wonder how I would manage later in the race.  I remember at 34k in the marathon I ran, I hit a wall that was huge!!  ALl that was going through my head was hitting that!  Then, I said forget it!  I decided to accept the bib as a training run, go out and have fun and learn from the experience.  So, I pushed the bad thoughts out and moved along enjoying the run.  I was blown away by the support.  At no point along the entire route was it empty. People were everywhere, having tailgate parties, giving out water and fruit, offering beer if you were so inclined, they were everywhere!!!  In the small towns they were lined up 2-3 people deep on the sidewalks.  They gave so much energy to the race it was incredible.
Along the route, there were some great memorable events.  The Wellesley girls who give out kisses for no reason at all.  I took advantage of it.  As I gave high fives all the way down the line of them(100's of them) I figured I was not racing so I would stop for a quickie, it was fun!  they are so high spiritied and added a lot of fun to the event.
Shortly before the kiss stop, I started running with a lady by the name of Donna from ThunderBay, Ontario.  It was her first Boston as well.  We seemed to be at the same pace and moved along the road keeping each other honest and sharing stories.  It was great to be able to enjoy the race with someone who was as thrilled to be enjoying the excitement of the day.  After a lot of downhill we finally hit a couple of bumps, a couple of small uphill section, but they were nothing to speak of.  I felt great as I moved along the road.  A couple of times I slowed myself down a bit as I was getting under 5 min'k which was not what I had set out to do.  SO Donna and I kept the pace in check to make sire the whole day was enjoyable.
I seemed in no time we arrived at the famous HeartBreak hill.  It is aptly name being at 34k being the symbolic WALL!  Earlier in the race I wondered how it would treat me.  I knew at the top the LULULEMON group has a cheer dance going, so I focused on getting to that spot with a smile.  The hill was less than I expected.  In little time and a few oranges from spectators I felt great arriving to the great cheers of hundreds of people.  Seeing the LULULEMON group and all the others put shivers down my back.  I was at teh top of Heartbreak hill, that meant the rest of the course was downhill.  I still felt like a million dollars!
Donna and I kept moving along having a great time.  I passed the symbolic wall and stuck my tongue out at it because I felt so good!  I felt like I was dancing along.  As we got to bigger crowds, I rallied to get them to make more noise to feed some energy!  They always responded with loud cheers!
When we got to mile 23 Donna started to hit a bit of a wall.  We had run together for the whole race and I was not going to let her give in to that feeling.  She was still looking physically strong, so I knew her mind was taking over.  She suggested I run ahead, NO WAY!  We had gone that far and I was sticking with her to the end.  SO we moved along a little slower, I kept telling her she was doing great and to stay with me.  She stuck by me the whole time.  I know she wanted to see me fall away, but, at teh same time I know she was wanting to keep moving ahead with giving in.  And she did move long with me, we turned left onto Boylston Ave and saw the finish line, and with a last surge we moved down the road.  I stopped along to smile for my friends who were close to the finish, and then with head held high, I finished my second marathon ever with a 10 minute improvement, tons of fuel in the tank and a new running friend from Thunder bay!
What a day!  Beyond any thought that I had about the race. It is one that everyone should enjoy one day.  It doesn't matter from what side of the fence.  If you like running and seeing victory, this is the place!  Boston is an awesome city, they put on a wonderfully organized event and this was a day I will always remember in my sports memory!
My run served as a great momentum for me as well.  A post IM goal is to qualify for Boston.  Feeling the way I did on this run without any serious distance training, I know with miles and training I can take the 40 minutes that I need to off my time.  I know, a lot of you may think I am nuts, but guess what!  That makes you crazy as well, did you ever think you would do an IM, no!  So, here I go, a quat to become a better runner, a better athlete and to enjoy another day on the racer side of the fence at Boston!
I am tired now, sleep is calling!  Cheers and Happy Training!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

It's been a while!

I have been out and around for the last few days, and what an awesome few days it has been.  I guess I should start where I ended last week as it is all very tri relevant and part of this fun time I am having becoming a triahtlete!
Once a month I get a massage to allow all the work to sink in and to take the knots that I am to lazy to work on out for good.  Getting a massage this time was a benefit in many ways!  It turns out my massage therapist is very modest when she speaks of her triathlon experience.  She has been to teh worlds a couple of times and was a competitive swimmer.  So, the swim coach I was searching for seems to have come along.  Then, we talked about my upcoming weekend.  I told her that I was heading to Boston to cheer on many friends who were doing the marathon.  In the course of discussion I mentioned my desire to qualify for Boston after IM and that I needed to get some good direction and coaching. Having only run one prior marathon at a 4:06, I need some solid direction to get me to 3:20.  It seems she comes by her athletics well. Her dad has brought 5+ athletes up to the Olympic level as a Level 4 running coach.  He was the winner of some big league races when he was an athlete and is well respected in the community.  Best part, he is accepting new athletes, as long as you are committed to your gaol and to working for it!  I am committed!  Actually I should probably be committed!  SO 2 strokes of luck in one good massage and discussion!  I am finding things that I have searched for and they are kind of falling on my lap!  I am looking forward to the next 12 months and the transition that takes place!
As I mentioned above, Saturday was a day of driving to get to Boston to support our friends at this awesome race called the Boston Marathon(ever heard of it?)  A group of 10 friends were down there to give the race another good run.  For the second year in a row I was there to cheer them on and enjoy the event.  Saturday night the whole group went out for dinner and then continued on for some pre race  celebration.  Some of the runners were very well behaved, others, well NOT!  We ended up out until 2:30 drinking beers and tequila!  I had nothing to lose as I figured I was cheering after going out for a long run.  No pressure for me, no need to behave!  We had a great night, Boston is an awesome city to play and party in.  We listened to some great music and had a ton of fun!  not in the way that marathon runners do, but I was not one of them!
Sunday morning we all gathered to go and do some group pictures.  As we walked to our photos, one of the people in our group asked if I might know of anyone who needed a bib.  Why I asked?  It turns out she was injured and thought she might still be able to do the run, unfortunately the injury would not allow her to, so she had to bail.  As she told me more I started to think about the race.  I have not done any training to run a marathon, no miles other than the 30k i did last month.  Otherwise I have done a lot of 5-10k runs, a few hills and cross training.  But, I continued to think that all I could do was go out and run it easy, use it as a good training run.  As she continued to tell me more, I finally said that I would take her bib!  Not how you are supposed to get to Boston Marathon, but what the hell, I was there and someone else was going to take it, so it was worth it!  WAHOO!  I was in for Boston!  Holy crap!  All the beer and tequila from the night before was not that great an idea now!  Oh well!  Time to shift gears and get into race mode!  SO I went back to the expo bought some gels and a Boston Marathon shirt!  With that taken care of, I needed to get some water into me, so started drinking and gettting rehydrated.  Oh, did I mention I had a head ache at this point?  I was so excited to be able to enjoy the experience of a Boston Marathon.  I had been talking for 3-4 days about the work I am going to put in to get myself a qualifying spot for the event.  Now, I get to run one before the real deal!
We spent Sunday afternoon watching  Redsox games(them getting beat) and relaxing.  Yes, I did have a beer at teh game, but focused on getting water and electrolytes into myself at the same time.  It was an awesome afternoon.
After the game it was time for a pre race dinner, as you can imagine it was going to be pasta and lots of it!  We all headed out and I had a great dinner, and then off to bed.  I was exhausted, barely keep my eyes open.  Less than 10 hours and I would be on my way to the start!
I will give you a race report tomorrow with the great details of what I consider to be one of the funnest events that I have been at.  I did finish the run, with tons of fuel in the tank and with a PB by almost 10 minutes!  More to come on the day and the fun details!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Another awesome Friday!

Today was a light day on the training front.  But, nonetheless totally productive towards my goals and ambitions!
All that was on the schedule today was some time in the gym.  I have been following teh resistance training plan which to date has been light.  Today it started to get turned up a notch.  It feels good to get a good hurt on in the gym!  Also up to this point I have been wimping out and using  weight 'machines' for some of my  exercises.  No, not today.  I was at a different gym today so, I had to use what was there.  So, my usual leg press instead of real squats, GONE!  My usual seated bench press, GONE!  What the day did do for me is make me decide that the machines are now a thing of the past.  I felt so much more work and so much more opportunity for strength doing the 'real' thing.  Hence, moving forward the real thing it is.
Outside of training today, I scheduled my monthly massage.  As well as making sure you are building, allowing the muscles to get some new life and untangled in important as well.  I was in the visit Laura who is aslo a triathlete.  In the past we have talked a bit about tri's and she was quite modest in what she has done.  She suggested she did a couple last year and a few in the past but was injured recently.  Well, today I found out she is an awesome triathlete with some injuries.  She was to teh worlds in Vancouver in 2008 and is on her way back.  As we talked and I asked questions I learned that she was once a competitive swimmer and is working on getting her swim back.  She is currently working towards getting to a consistent 115 x 100m as well as a sub 20 min 5k.  Her sprint goal is to be under 1:10.  Hmmm!  She is quite the athlete and the swimmer.  Guess what I have been looking for in the past while.  A good swim coach and someone to provide assesment and development for me! GOT IT!
And check this out!  She comes by it naturally.  Her dad has is an NCCP level 4 running coach having brought many athletes to world level events in many different run disciplines!  I am pumped!  I have also looked for a running coach, not a clinic, heck I can lead those!  Someone who can make me hurt for the right reasons and make some significant differences in my running.  So, I will be contacting him shortly to discuss my current Ironman goal as well as post Ironman ideas that I am looking to get to.
Overall it was an awesome day!  Some good gym time, a little treat for my muscles for the work they have given me.  And, some awesome resources to keep this momentum moving in a forward and strong direction!  WAHOO!
Tomorrow AM I am off to my run clinic to have some fun with the group.  The progress has been awesome and I look forward to the run.  As soon as my shoes are off, it is off to Boston!  No, I am not running it(YET). I am going down to cheer on some great friends who I train with and to support them in their race.  I was down there last year and I am going back to remind me how cool a race it is and that I need to get a qualifying spot soon!  So, I hope you have friends that are heading there as well and that they have an awesome race!  I promise to cheer them on for you!  HAve a great weekend!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Let's call it Lululemon Thursday!

Why?  I am very proud to have been invited this evening to be a Lululemon Ambassador.  It is an honour to be recognized by a store that places a tremendous value on hte fitness community and chooses leaders and roll models within the community to act as ambassadors to the stores.  I am pleased to be a part of this community and able to share my passion for running and triathlon with an organization that is as passionate as me about reaching goals and encouraging and facilitation others to do the same.  Over the next year I will enjoy spending time developing the run club as well as other events that promote a healthy and active lifestyle in the community.
I learned of my acceptance as an ambassador at the end of my run club this evening.  We had one of the nest crowds ever this evening.  We had some new people join us this evening which is great.  The word is beginning to spread about what the run club is about and new people are coming out to see what it involves. One of the new runners from last week was out and extended her run after only one week.  She shared with me that she was actually looking for someone to run with over the week since our time out last session.  Another new runner tonight found herself running better than her normal pace with our group.  Overall it was an evening of running success for the club 'members'.  At the end of the run, as I approached the store, there were many people gathered out front.  There was a sandwhich board out on the sidewalk as well.  As the store was closed I could not figure out what was going on.  As I got closer, the sign said, JOHN WILL YOU BE OUR NEW AMBASSADOR?  The staff of the store was ll there to great me and welcome me to their community!  It was so cool to be recognized by them for ding something that I love to do!  I look forward to being able to continue to do the same and be involved in the LULULEMON community!
My evening was the culmination of another good training day.  My run before run club was a speed workout.  I did a warm up of about 15 minutes, then 7 minutes in HR3+, the a 3 minute cool, then 6 minute in HR3+ then 3 minute cool down......and so on!  I must say it felt great!  Pushing my limits is something I like to do and this was one of those workouts!  I thought i would struggle a little more with the sprints, but I quite enjoyed it.  for a great deal of the time i was pushing a 4 min pace.  ON hte last set I cant lie, I did slow down, but still kept it at a 445 pace.  Overall a great feeling of progress!
So overall it was an awesome day!  I am feeling in a good place right now!  My training is on track and seemingly working!  I am helping others reach gaols that they have set!  And most of all I am having fun along the way!
I hope your day was great! Happy Friday eve! Cheers!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


That was a good day of training!  Yeah, I got the order wrong but it all worked out at the end!
Today's swim workout was awesome!  the distances are climbing and the intensity of the workout is growing.  Today was 8 x 100 on 15 second rest, then 1500, 150 easy then 50 fast repeat, then 6 x 150, 50 easy 50 fast, 50 easy, then 12 x 25 1 fast 3 easy with 15 seconds(I skipped some of the 15's).  My total time in the pool was 1:17 including the required rest!  It was an awesome swim.  My swim recovery during the 1500 was great, i did not find myself gasping at all and was able to keep form throughout the entire time.  As I got into the latter part of the workout the swim form actually improved and I found myself improving my time.  It is the first swim in a while that I do distance and I found it quite satisfying.  All the practices seem to have some sort of benefit coming through.  Only 149 more days of practice to the start, hopefully ti only gets better moving forward.
The next part of my tri training day was the run!  With my run clinic it was hill night, so I had to join them to show the example!  It was not part of my training today, but  figured it could not hurt me to join.  So I did 6k of hill repeats and loved it!  I dread the warm up knowing it is going to be gruelling, but once I start I am a sucker for punishment, I push hard and harder each repeat.  Although the hill is not super steep, many of my repeats were at sub 4 min k pace!  loved it, feeling like I was going to b sick at the top of each hill but looking forward to the next! It was another great part of the workout day!
Part 3, I guess it is not a mystery!  Well, on the way to part 3, that little guy from last night jumped on my shoulder and tried me out for size!  NO WAY!  didn't even let him get close, even tough it was the dreaded trainer he was not getting near me!  So on the bike I got and started my journey, the little guy tried me on again!  this time I sent him flying across the room.  The ride was as good as a trainer ride gets.  Please tell me that the speed and power ratings transfer to my benefit on the road.  Riding indoors sucks and if it was not for the benefit I would rather weigh 400 lbs and walk than ride a bike!  DONT like it!  I did catch a good movie while I was riding, and the data that my trainer collects and shows me is awesome to show that I am progressing.  If you are a skier, find the movie SWIFT, SILENT, DEEP!  It is an awesome story about the birth of extreme skiing, probably one of the top movies on my ski porn list!  Back to the ride, once again I averaged 35kmh and 215W for the hour.  I added in a few hills today so staying at the same speed and watts was good!
Overall it was a great training day!  I am squeezing in the odd extra because of the run clinics, but they can only help me out!  Once I get to the heavy part of my training I may need to bow out of the odd run in order to avoid burnout, but until then I will do the miles!  When the time comes, I will still be there with bells on to help people and continue to motivate people to get it done!  I really like working with people to move them forward, it is great to see the smile when they are done the day!
So, tomorrow is suoer Thursday, so it is time to get some rest to make it a good one!
Hope you had a great day and tomorrow is even better!  Cheers

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Got it done!

What a busy day!  With work I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off!  Somehow I managed to get to all the places I needed to be without crashing!  And, all the visits were productive.  Enough of the bring stuff!  I luckily enjoy my work, but it certainly is not the first passion of any of my days!
Now to the thing that I am passionate about, you know, that swim, bike, run thing.  Well, I went through a little exercise relating to that this afternoon.  As I drove around like a mad man, I knew I had a crazy bike workout ahead.  I was wondering if I had the time to get everything done, get on the trainer, get a T run in, do my drills and still be on time for my run club.  So, as the afternoon wore on and I sat in traffic I started to figure out I could skip one ride and catch up tomorrow.  As the thought came into my head, I used my ninja skills and let it slide right by. Oh, but, it came right back!  Damn it!  Well, after a lot more rushing, I decided that there was no way the little guy on my shoulder was going to get anything close to the satisfaction of me missing a workout.  So, when I finally got to it, I had to put 70 minutes into 45.  So, I got on the bike and started rolling.  A little slope and a little more power output, then a good sprint.  A little more slope a fast spin and some one leg drills.  I worked at doing the whole thing without letting my HR get out of hand.  What a workout!  I was sweating like I had been on the bike for 70 minutes and the satisfaction of having it done was amazing.
Right off the bike into my shoes and out the door. MY T-run was a little shorter than usual, but I turned it up a notch to see how it felt to get off the bike and light it up!  It was great, I felt strong and the transition was very good. I finished off the run with some ABC's!  OUch, those things are tough!  I think my HR was higher doing that than any other part of my workout!
Tonight LULULEMON was a  good change of pace!  Rather than the slower run that I have done for a couple of weeks.  Tonight I had a few faster runners, so we went out a little quick than we usually would.  It felt great!  A short run, but none the less a great one to get the legs moving and the group working out of the comfort zone.  Lululemon is a great training group and it gives me a lot to help out in my own development.  I am planning a couple of cool events with them this summer to make sure that we are always challenging ourselves.  Stay tuned for the fun and exciting details!
Well, off to bed as I have a couple of crazy days ahead!  I am cramming a bit this week, fitting in extra workouts as I am out for the weekend, so I dont want to miss any workouts due to travel!  Rest time before another awesome day of living the dream!
Cheers to you all!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Let's get it started!

This week is the start of Week 4 of my program.  A few of the days this week are 'testing' days to see where I am at as a start point.  I have done some of these tests earlier via my lactate threshold test, but the bike workout will be one that I look forward to.  I have not collected a good baseline for biking as yet, so as biking is what got me into this IM adventure, I look forward to the baseline test and subsequent tests as the summer unfolds and my training builds up!  As I may have said a couple times in the past, WAHOO!  bring it on, I really want to improve so having a baseline point is great as I can see how much has changed and what I may need to adjust to keep going in the right direction.  I know that my cycling has changed a lot from last season, but I know there is a ton more in these legs to move me forward!  So this week should be fun!
Today was a good drill day in the pool! Yep, it was one of those dreadful kick days, more than 50% of 3000m.  It started with 300m kick and other 300 m repeats.  Then all the rest involved kicking in one form or another!  It hurts like hell, but I find that after 3 weeks of focused kick drills that my legs are starting to work a bit!  So, as much as it makes me anxious knowing I have them coming up, it does the truck for me! I discovered that of it hurts and if I try and figure out how I could avoid it, DO IT!  those are the ones that are giving me the greatest gains!  Never mind the sissy stuff that everyone does all the time, give me the hard drills and lots of them!  I will say that the practices with kick in them   do take a lot longer to complete.  But I am not going to get to the start or the finish without putting in my time!  
Today I took a minute to review one of the great products that I use .  Over the winter, both skiing and training my skin takes a beating if I dont take care of it.  In hte summer the wind, the water and the sun makes me dry up like mad!  BUT, I found DERMATONE a while back, it is awesome.  I wrote a testimonial a while back, and tonight I found it on the website.  It is great to be there with many other athletes and outdoor enthusiasts when it is for using such a good product.  The photo on the link is a ski trip in South America I was on a couple of summers ago, the sun there was wickedly damaging without something to protect.  The skiing was also over the moon awesome!  If you need good stuff while you are outside running, riding, swimming, try it out!   DERMATONE IS SOUTH AMERICA
Well, tomorrow is a nice day and I have a bike test to pedal out, so, I hope you all had an awesome day and tomorrow is all the better!  

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A wonderful weekend!

Another weekend in the books!  This chapter in the book will read quite well!  Why?  Just because, what was wrong it?  It was sunny, spent it with family and friends, weather was cooperative, got some good training in, and whatever bad may have happened, a little perspective puts it all back into place!  My Life is good!
So Friday was a rest day and I took full advantage! Did nothing, caught up on work and spent some quality time with my wife.  Friday evening we headed out for dinner to a great local fish restaurant that we like.  We know the owners of the place so we like to support them.  as well as that the food is great, the staff is friendly and it is a comfy place to unwind and enjoy. Fridays' also has great music which makes it all the better to hang out.  We shared some wine, ate awesome food all while listening to some great live blues/jazz in the background!  can't think of a better way to spend and evening.  As i get into my training and obsessed with races and associated stuff, these evenings will become a great way to catch up and spend time with my most awesome support woman!
 Saturday AM was no longer rest day, so up and at it early.  My schedules workout for the day was my bike ride.  But, I started my day out with my Running/Yoga - ROGA clinic.  It was a beautiful morning with the entire group out for a run.  This week marked 1 month to the race that they have set as a goal.  Over the past weeks we have worked at building miles and experience for those who are new to running.  Yesterday's run marker a benchmark for them.  As they are building towards a 10k run, yesterday was a pivotal kind of run for them.  We did a 7.5k run at an increased pace(for the group) and finished it feeling good.  I let the group know that this was the day that they should know they can do the 10k race.  From here forward it is a matter of building up strength, increasing speed, and most of all learning how to stay healthy as a runner.  It is a great feeling knowing that all the participants in the group I have lead are able to meet the goal they set out to do.  It brings me back to my first 10k race and  the feeling of accomplishment getting to the line!   hope that they all continue in the next session and push on to a half marathon goal!
After a very satisfying morning session I went home and got bundled up for a bike ride!  It was still damn cold out.  As I was getting dressed it was only 5 celcius.  Although it was cool, the sun was shining bright so it was a good day to be out on a ride.  Mentally I was in a good space to go out.  I wanted to do a route that had some hills but nothing to crazy. The ride is to be a HR1-2 ride so relax was the theme for the day.  As I got out on the bike, the wind was blowing strong, straight in a direction that would be in my face for the first half of the ride.  As I said last week, I have myself in a good mental space when it comes to wind!  I am going to suck it up and not be bothered as it is going to be that way and it is not worth wasting energy.  SO I rode out to meet a friend to do the day ride.  Once we got out, the first half was a bitch, under 30kmh with the wind howling in my face, not only windy but the first 30km was uphill.  But the sun was awesome and I was happy to be out.  When I turned with the wind to my side the ride changed.  My speed went up over 40 kmh and my heart rate was consistently under 140, I was flying.  I actually left my buddy a little behind as I got into an awesome groove and wanted to ride it out.  I rode about 25-30k over 40 kmh with a rate of perceived effort of 3 out of 10 and a HR of 135. It was an awesome feeling of a few weeks of hard work and good base training.  It was one of those days that makes me want to sweat and work hard and intense through my workouts!  21 more weeks or work here I come.  The total ride was a little over 70k and a pleasure.  ddi some hills, flew the speed of traffic and felt like I am an athlete!  Love it!
Saturday night was a little more entertainment!  A copy of Friday night although it was not a rest day!  Some good friends who travel a ton for work were home so we all gathered for dinner.  We started with a hottub before dinner, with the required beers to make it more relaxing.  The hottub beer was followed by pre dinner beer, then some dinner wine, then some after dinner beer.  Needless to say, it was a lot more beer than I planned on having, but, what the heck!  ONce in a while it isn't going to kill me!  I plan on abstaining for the most part of my training.  I don't recover well from beers, so why bother.
This morning my plan was my run.  As yesterday evening moved along my thoughts were of this morning, probably why I was at home in bed by 11:30.  It all worked, entertaining night with friends and still home for a good night sleep for my run.  I love Sundays after ski season, it is a treat to be at home and not have to be up and at teh hill for teaching at 8AM.  So this morning I was in bed until 8:15.  WOW!  I slept in!  I had a great morning!  The temperature was great for running, beautiful sun and no wind.  My day was a HR1-2 for one hour.  So I headed out feeling like a million $$.  I ended up doing a 12k run in 63 minutes with a 140 HR at a 5:20 pace.  Another one of those workouts that confirm the base I have worked on.   A year ago that same pace would have had my HR at 160 and likely a lung on the sidewalk!  I probably could have kept going for another 2 hours!  Following my run, I took advantage of the optional swim on my workout schedule.  I spent 30 minutes in the pool swimming to swim.  I did not do any drills, just thought about my form as I slid through the water enjoying the relaxing time in teh pool. I followed my calm swim by some resistance training.  I spent 30 minutes with light weights doing the prescribed program I have.  I am actually going to change my program a bit based on some studying I have done and training that will provide me far more direct benefit on some of my areas of weakness.  I will say that the resistance training i have done is showing results in my training areas.  It is incredible how following a little direction provides such quick benefits.
Overall the weekend was full of mental and physical positives.  I was able to feel the benefits of the work I have done and spend some time developing some training strategy for the weeks ahead. I am looking forward to the coming weeks and the increase in intensity that it brings.  I have a couple of workouts that should prove to fit that bill this week.  Looking forward to it!
Hope your weekend was full of fun and entertainment!  happy Sunday and a great week ahead to all of you!  CHeers

Friday, April 9, 2010

Two for 1!

Yep, did not get to my post yesterday, so I thought I would get both today!  It has been a good couple of days as they generally are!
Yesterday from a training perspective, it was a 'restier' kind of day.  What the heck is 'restier', just like it sounds, not busier, but less busy, 'restier', you get it!
As it is a recovery week, the only thing on my schedule was a fartlek run.  But it was Thursday, so I also had to do my morning Yoga practice.  On Wednesday night, I did a 2 hour yoga practice that was a bit exhausting.   I have attached some photos of the group of near 100 people doing Yoga.  It was a very cool session which we did in the center court of a huge regional mall.  The looks that we got from the shoppers were quite interesting.  Yes, it was a great stretch but some of the poses got me 'real good!'  I can still feel them today.  So, yesterday morning's practice was a little more restorative than usual.  I am at a point with my practice where I actually think of an intention before I begin and make it my focus during the whole time.  It makes the class very mentally productive, it takes my mind away from all of the other things that tend to interrupt.  Yoga is becoming an integral part of my training both on and off of the studio floor.
My run last night was again fairly restful.  As well as my part of the run for training, I also lead my regular LUlulemon run night.  It was a great night with a couple more new people out.  One of the people who joined us was an absolute noon runner, she had never put a pair of running shoes on to hit the street.  She explained to me that she was the girl in school that everyone waited for, not athletically inclined at all.  She is in great physical condition practicing yoga several time a week, but nothing like hitting the pavement.  Before we went out I told her a little about our run and what we would do.  As I want her to be back out, we did 3 and 1's for the run.  At 3 minutes she was quite surprised that we had already done 3, but we stopped for 1 and continued along.  Before we knew it she had run her first 3k!  She was happy and proud as could be that she had accomplished her first run.  I was quite pleased as well as she was talking about getting out again.  It is great to get someone new to join  a sport that they were reluctant to do!  So, from 2 perspectives it was a successful night!
Today was a lazy day, a day off!  It is not my usual self to sit back and take it!  BUT, I am taking advantage of the fact that I can and using the rest! Although I am very early in the process, I am keenly aware that the body needs rest and that periodization is a science not a thought to try out!  SO I had a productive full work day, a couple of awesome projects closed and an evening out with wifey on the way.  We are heading out to a restaurant by the lake for a some food and some good jazz/blues music.  I am quite please about this rest thing today.
Tomorrow is run time again as well as a 2-3 hour HR1 ride.  It is supposed to be a sunny day so it is all good.  I think I will even throw in my optional swim tomorrow as I did not have 3 pool workouts this week.
Happy weekend to all of you!  Cheers!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Yep, that is a good way to describe my day!  A lot of satisfaction!
I got a ton of work done to start the day which allowed me to get out to my Lululemon design session this afternoon without any guilt that I was leaving stuff behind.  That was the start of a good thing today.
The session started off with 2 staff from the design center in Vancouver visiting our local Baptiste Power Yoga studio and introducing the history of Lululemon.  Cool story, it started off as a design center/yoga studio/retail store in a small spot in Vancouver.  They would design clothes that they would then test for performance and feel at the Yoga studio.  Once they arrived at something that felt like it was right and performed, they would put it in the store.  The concept flourished and they became the rage in the market place.  The store still follows the same concept for the design of all the clothes they put out in the market.  They speak to the customer and ambassadors at the store to determine what people are wearing, why and what are the most functional elements to the clothes.  They then incorporate it into the clothing that they introduce in the store.  Today a big part of out focus was on running clothing.  We were asked to bring in our favourite piece of non Lululemon performance gear and talk about why we liked it.  We spent over an hour talking about various pieces and how they would function.  It is cool that a brand that is gaining global recognition is still taking care of what the customer wants in the clothing that they sell.  I am happy to be assocaited with the store as it represents an honest and true service company who cares about its customers(yeah, the shareholders are also getting rich in the process)  The session was a ton of fun and I was happy to be a part of it!
My afternoon continued with a great session at the pool.  As the training continues the practices are getting longer and the sessions more productive each time.  Today it was a 3600m session, without any programmes kikcing. Most of it was lenghts with growing distance as it progressed.  It was the kind of practice that let me build  a rhythm, just as I did it would knock me down and throw a different part and swim.  It was an awesome overall swim, I finished it in 1:20 including all the 10-30 second breaks I was allowed, so overall for a drill session it was great time.  I did see Training Payne at the pool today.  He is swimming awesome, he is amazingly smooth in the water, looking as though he is gliding through.  Once again he is serving as an inspiration in my practice,being able to flow that way would make A) my time much quicker B) likely a whole lot less tired!   Way to go Bryan!  I can see a god result coming in IMSG.
The last part of my day was taking part in a charity Yoga session hosted by Lululemon and power Yoga Canada.  It is a project called Yoga for Africa.  The purpose of the charity is to raise funds and introduce a medium for less fortunate people to be able to navigate through a life that is very difficult.  I will leave at that and simple, we live a life of absolute privilege in comparison to the people who benefit from this effort.  It was a super cool session to be able to help out with and to be a participant.  It was done in the courtyard of a major mall.  there were more then 80 people doing the session with 100's of people watching and listening to the practice from all of the levels about the courtyard.  It was a tremendous success in raising both awareness and funds for this awesome cause.  It was a great thing to be a part of, a great benefit is also the people that I met that may join us in future run clubs that are building up.
So, yes, SATISFACTION is how I describe my day, I built my sport with a god practice, I helped out in a business endeavour that I think is the way that customer service should be.  And I was able to help with and participate in a charitable cause that is of great value!  What a day!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Turbo Tuesday!

Yep, Turbo Tuesday!  that is what the program calls it, it is the trusty TURBO workout on the bike.  To summarize, warm up for 15-20 minutes, the pedal like a mad man through a series of technical drills then cool down. It is a wicked bike session and the benefits are already showing.
I was smart this winter when I bought the TACX trainer that has all of the measures that I could possible want to review for training.  So after a short 3 weeks, I have been comparing notes from one week to another. As I reviewed my notes from this week the feedback is good.  The ride I did today showed my that my average speed is increasing, while the power output is lower than previous weeks. My HR is also dropping from previous workouts of the same intensity.  So, the method to the madness of what I am doing is already falling into place.  My pedal today was a 35kmh average with a 220 watt output and average HR was 140.  I am quite happy about that!  Statistically it is an improvement over the past sessions!
Following my TURBO session it was time to shoe up and get over to LULULEMON to do the weekly run club.   Another successful night, there was once again some new participants and all of the previous weeks runners joined us again.  The weather was a little different than last week, but it did not deter any of the group.  Even with the threat of rain, it seems that the group is motivated to come out for the weekly group run session.  Another success is the fact that many of the group was also out running on the weekend.  It is great that the group is taking from what we are doing on run night and continuing it on their tome at home.  WIth any luck a few more obsesses athletes could come out of this club.
Tomorrow I have been invited by LULULEMON to join in a design input session.  The store works hard to create clothing that is both practical and lasting for the people and athletes that wear them.  As someone who runs in the clothes and uses them for skiing and yoga, I have been asked to come out and meet with one of the designer from the head office.  It is cool to be asked to come out to this as I know first hand that the input that is given is taken into account in the design and ideas of future clothing.   Should be a fun session, I have never been part of a session for clothing, something new is always exciting!
Another great day of building done, and another one to look forward to tomorrow!  I hope the world is treating you well and you are living for your dreams!  Cheers!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Is it Monday again!

I dont know about the rest of you, but this Monday thing is not so cool any more!  After a weekend of great training and relaxing weather, what the heck does the routine have to start for again!!
I have to say that I am going to at some point in my life have the liberty and enjoyment of training when I please.  The context of doing it may be while out training others for the passion that they are chasing, one way or another Monday's are no longer going to be part of a routine. They will become part of the life long ambition of doing what I want to do! I guess after such a great weekend of outdoors and the things that I love to do, this Monday seemed a task to get to(until the end of the day when I went to the pool)
I am now starting week 3 of my program and this is the first official recovery week of my training.  As I review the workouts, the idea that it is recovery seems a little lost in the hours and workouts that are planned for the week.  But the program says it, so somewhere within it must be recovery, maybe it is the less than 2 hour ride on Saturday?  Or the key bike ride without a T run afterwards?  From what I can see the rest is all growing on what I have done so far.  I am not complaining, I have to say that I am enjoying the growing intensity and I am getting into the groove.  I have already discovered the value of a nap.  This past weekend, I was lucky enough to sneak one in both days.  In hte past if I had a nap my wakeup was ugly, yep, ugly.  I would drag my tail and be bitchy for a half hour afterwards.  No this weekend, I had my 30 minute nap and woke up refreshed and happy to go.  It felt great and my mind and body felt rejuvenated!  I guess that is one of the benefits of working a little harder, maybe that is why I was on bed by 10PM all winter after skiing.
Day one of recovery was a 3200m swim.  No, not any normal 3200m swim, one that will have about 30% kicking drills to make it a lot more fun!  The practice started with a 300m freestyle and then right into it, kick young man, kick!  Every part of the practice had some feet work in it!  I must say that it does help to point out that I am lazy when it comes to kicking.  Some of the drills bring it out immediately.  As I might not be well balanced in the water at times, the kick will get me through a transition, when both are off, oh, it is bad!  I feel like I sink a foot into the water while changing from one side to another.  It helps a lot as it makes me get my technique together, get balanced and kick like I am supposed to.  Over the course of my practice today I did break through with my pull and bi lateral breathing.  Although the bilatreal still needs improvement, it worked well today.  With that breakthrough it evens out my pull and allows me to move through the water far better balanced as well as seemingly a lot faster.  I did not do any timed 100 today, maybe try that on Wednesday.  I do know that my kick has improved a lot as well, as I am zooming by my training pal when we are doing the same drill.  Altough kick practices do kick my butt, they are awesome!  So another good training day, and I suppose another lesson learned from the  training that I am doing!
Hope you had a good day and some new accomplishments!  Have a great night!  CHeers!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Two down, 22 to go!

What a great end to a week of training!  I must admit it was a little more in tune than last weekend that ended with doing a run 2 1/2 longer than scheduled!  Not that it was a bad run/race, it was just off the program! I ended this week, right where I was supposed to be, having completed every workout as scheduled.  I am pleased with the way that I am feeling and the level of 'tired' that i am or am not at.  I am looking forward to continuing to increase the intensity and doing some good hard core building.
Today was another awesome day.  The Easter Bunny was apparently in a great mood.  He brought some chocolate, some good European mother in law food for brunch and another healing basket full of awesome weather.  It was a great day for a run.
After our brunch we packed up and started out raod trip home.  Rather than the rush down the highway we tok the back road home.  It is far more relaxing than driving 130 racking for your life all the way home. It was a fitting end to a great weekend with family, relaxing and taking some time to smell the roses.  We were home at a decent hour and able to get organized for the week.  And then, head out for the ever important run.
Today, I though I would try something new, run without any socks in my shoes.  STUPID!  The first 3k were no problem, then I started to feel a little rub.  Another KM and it got worse, then it just became STUPID!  What a dumb mistake on my part, I have never had issued with socks so why the heck would I change it today.  My saving grace, one again, my wife!  I had a meeting this afternoon in a town an few KM away from home.  Trish wanted to do  run as well, so, we were smart about it.  We decided she would drive out to where my meeting was and drop off the car.  She would run home and I would get the car after my meeting  So, lucky for me, I ran into her about 6k into my run,  She was an angel and gave up her sox for me!  SHe is the greatest, once again she saved my butt!  So, I finished along on another awesome day, enjoying the sun and the warm weather finishing another week on the training ride.  I must day that I still feel like I am using training wheels on this journey, but I am having fun learning how to get it done!  My run was 11k at a 5:30 with a 143 HR.   I did it feeling great, started off a little tired, but got into an awesome groove and smiled along.  Another successful run feeling progress  and feeling like I am improving.  As I said yesterday, I am still going to continue to push myself a ton as I have a spot that I would like to achieve over time, so, on goes the game.  If it takes a year, if it takes 3 I will get to the place I want to be!
What a cool week!  Pushed myself to some new levels, turned up the intensity a bit.  I am learning a lot about how your body reacts to training and to rest.  Learning that it needs it and dont ignore.  I did manage this week to get the beginning of a cold.  With proper food, and required rest, so far I seem to have beat it.  I hope the week proves to be true and that I dont get sick to start this journey.
So, off to get some rest, geek out on some anatomy books and learn a little more!
Hope your Easter was awesome and your week was a treat!  Guess what, there is another here already, another week to chase our dreams and live life to its fullest!  Cheers

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Super Saturday!

Yep, you saw it!  It is Super Saturday!  The weather is 27 degree(celcius) and awesome!  What a beautiful Easter weekend.  With no race tomorrow, it was a great day to do my training according to my program, and a great day to follow it properly.
Today was a low heart rate ride followed by a T-run.  So did the morning family visits and got ready for my ride.  I have been discovering that my sodium needs to be addressed as I do longer distance events, after my cramps and near bonk last weekend I wont let it happen again.  So today I cheated, I had a half a bottle of Gatorade to start the day.  As well, I took some and mixed it in my water to get a little more, I also took a pinch of salt and added to my water.  With 27 degrees the sweat factor was going to be in play!
My ride was another damn windy one.  I will be honest, I am not letting it defeat me mentally, last year I would let it get me right down to the point that I was ready to quit.  This year, no way!  Hey, dont get me wrong I swear like a trucker while the wind is almost blowing me down sideways, but, it is followed b a smile and another push forward to get stronger with it!  My ride today was an uphill all the way out, and a strong wind in my face.  The traffic was quite heavy, but everyone seems to be in a good driving mood, only one person tried to drive me off the road.  Not to worry, he knows what I think of him now, glad he wasnt coming back in my direction any time soon.  So my ride out was blowing like mad, right into my face as I pushed up the hills.  My average speed on the way out was 26kmh.  As soon as I turned to head home it picked up with most of the ride home over 40kmh, it was a balst, the wind at my back flying!  The ride ended up as a 2hr ride at 60km total.  Average speed of 30kmh.  My HR stayed at 140average which is good for me, as a year ago I would have been pushing well over 155 on that kind of ride.   I finished the ride with a short T-run which was also not bad.  I have to watch as I tend to want to push myself and my training is strictly time and HR.  So I did the run at 143 at a 535 pace.  It is a dramatic improvement, but not where in my mind I want to be.  I have to continue to tell myself where I have come from and that I will get there one day, it is not tomorrow.  I guess somewhere in my mind I have decided that I am doing a few of these.  I hope I am not premature in my thought!  I will get to the point where I satisfy my own time goals, Rome was not built in a day! Stay tuned, I guess I have a few years of blogging!
I hope that all of you are having a great Easter weekend, and that you are enjoying time with your family and friends!  Cheers and Happy relaxing!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday! Yes it was!

If you enjoyed a holiday like I did today, hope it was excellent!  If you did work, mine was excellent for you.
Friday is a rest day so I was looking forward to chllin out and gettting some little rest.  But, the weather was looking awesome so my mind started to look at teh possibilities.
Easter weekend for me and my better half is a family time.  My mother in law treats it like the feast of feasts, she cokks for weeks ahaed to feed everyone.  SO this morning we were up early to get organized to head up north for our weekend.  Before heading out I had to do a little seasonsal adjustement for gear.  I spent the early morning toaking off my ski box from the roof of the truck and putting all my ski gear away.  It is pathetic, between Trish and I we have 6 pairs of skis!  If yu ever want to get out skiiing for a weekend, call us before you rent, we can likely help you out!  Once the winter gear was packed, out with the bike racks!  Wahoo!  the day was awesome, bright sun and warm.  It was a perfect morning to be out and getting bike gear ready to go.  Before my coffee was done, the roof racks were on and the truck was loaded with my bike gear.  Mom in law lives up on Gerogian Bay which is a great spot to ride.  THe traffic is relatively light, the scenery is awesone and it is hilly as hell!  As WIsconsin is my race, it is a great place to do rides.  Before long we were in the truck amd doing our ride up north.  For those of you who have not been, most people describe it as `god`s country` It is beautiful!
When we got up there the weather was even better than in the city.  I unpacked the truck and healped mom in law out with a couple of household chores.  When I stepped outside again, it was like a true summer day!  So, the rest day thingy kind of fell off the rails!  Even though I have a ride tomorrow, a short slow ride today would not kill me!  I got my gear together and headed out.  It was awesome!  THe wind was blowing like stink, but, wind is one of those things(usually I curse like a truck driver) today I rode with a smile on my face and ate it up.  It did seem whatever direction I was going the wind was in my face though!..  THe hills were plenty, it was the kind of ride that was never flat, always some up or down.  Most of the hills were long and moderate, but not all easy.  In between was the odd one that was steep and kicked you in the butt!  Fun stuff!  It is April 2 and it is 27 Celcius, what a day!  After a while I figured out I was lost, so I kind of rode in circles through country roads, not asking for directions like any typical male.  Then, I had to break down and ask, glad I did!  I was going entirely in the worng directoin.  So back I went up and down along the road I had travelled.  Overall it was an awesome ride.  Slightly under 30khr, 45k with average heart rate of 138!  Good day overall! NOt the rest day it was supposed to be, but one of those you could not pass up!
I hope that you have an awesome Easter weekend!  CHeers

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Terrific Terrible Thursday!

What??  Terrible??  In a good way!  Holy smokes was my swim today a killer!
Over the course of the week my training gets increasingly more intense each day. A little more miles and a little more hurt with those miles!  The increase in intensity with running and turning pedals is something that I am used to doing.  The swim is a different game.  It will all come together so right now I suck it up and keep pushing!
Today is a normal thursday for me, more to do than the hours allow!  Oh well! I sign up for it and push myself along the merry-go-round loving the ride!  Today started with a short speed workout.  The weather was golden this afternoon, bright sun nice temperature, ideal for outside running.  I went out knowing that later in the evening I was doing a Lululelon run club and it would be at least a 5k run, so my mileage was set accordingly.  It was good, I did a warm up and then 45 second sprints, followed by a 2-3 minute cool and more sprints.  After only 3 workouts like this, I can feel an improvement coming on.  The workout was short at about 40 minutes, only to be followed by a swim.
Today's swim is about the hardest I have done to date!  Last night I did a Yoga class that was 100% upper body strain!  I pushed beyond reason, to the point of failure 3-4 times.  Well, today I could feel it in the pool.  the practice started off great with a couple of 1:40-42 x 100m, I was happy as a clam about that.  As the day went on and I continued through my work, my arms became increasingly exhausted.  By 2/3 of the way through I found it a challenge to pull through efficiently.  But, I pushed and got through it.  Next week I know that my priority is swimming and not to be a hero at Yoga.
Today, the swim was followed my a good weight session.  I am still in the build so it was not super intense, it does feel awesome to get a good pump workout going.  
After a great day of workouts, I always look forward to my run club event at Lululemon!  Tonight was awesome. Any time there are new people it is exciting, tonight, a total of 7 new poeple came out to run.  There were all levels of runners and all speeds came out.  It is great to see new people coming out and a community forming around the sport and the  store. They are a great store for creating a strong community for everyone to participate in!  I think that the run club can turn into a great community event and a lot of people will be out for the health and fun of it!  It certainly pleases me to be a part of it!
This weekend is a holiday weekend starting with tomorrow.  SO, I am off ot bed as I am hosting my ROGS run tomorrow so that we can all have a long weekend!  If you are off tomorrow, enjoy!