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Sunday, August 15, 2010

The best training day yet!

My weekend started on Friday with some great backyard passive training.  As you know I love to teach/coach almost any sport.  After coming back from Yoga teacher training I was anxious to put some new skills to work.  My wife Trish happily agreed to be my first Yoga practice in the backyard.  It was a great time.  Yes, I was a little rough on a couple of parts, however, did manage to teach the class without any significant hiccups!  I am excited to teach again, I have actually offered to teach from friends in the backyard after a run on Tuesday!  ANother great bonus to the practice was my achievement of my first unassisted head stand.  I have been struggling for weeks to get it done on my own. Finally I was standing on my head on the backyard floating without thinking I was coming down every moment.  It was great!

Saturday was the nest training day to date!  I stared the morning with a 3.8k open water swim race in Lake Ontario.   When I first got in the water I was thinking, 'Oh, Oh?!'  what am I in for.  The waves were 2-3 feet and the water was rolling well, it was not the local YMCA swimming pool.  The line of site I was working on was to  point about 300m away which seemed like 4km.  There were 64 swimmers taking place in the swim.  Before I knew it the horn had sounded and I was swimming away.  Much like I had planned, I started my swim focusing on what I was doing and not concerned with others around me.  I wanted to get into a rhythm and stay relaxed for the distance.  Getting into a groove took a while with the rough water.  After the start I hit a couple of big rollers and thought to myself I might be sea sick if the entire was was like that.  Before long my body was accustomed to the rolling and I got into my groove. As I rounded the first sight line, a lighthouse in the distance was the the new marker to sight on.  It seemed like the size of a thimble, holy crap I thought!  I focused on settling into my groove knowing I would get there.
Thank you goodness I figured out bi-lateral breathing.  The waved were crashing on my previously strong side, had I not been able to move to the other side I would have been full of water in no time.
At about 1.5km I found a great rhythm and found myself moving comfortable along without a lot of effort.  As soon as I started to think about it I would get out of that groove and have to re-adjust to get smooth again.  I actually found the swim somewhat effortless with the exception of the odd wave that would crash into my face or roll me high above the water before crashing me down again.  BUt, the water is what it is and there was no point in getting excited about it!
After a relaxing swim the marker was no real, not a dot in the distance!  I picked up my pace a little for the last 700m knowing that I could spend the tank on my way in as it was almost over.  At 1:12:26 I touched the wall on my first open water 3.8k(IM distance swim) I was happy as could be having knocked off that time in those conditions.  The times were significantly slower than last years race(9 minutes consistently) due to the conditions.  My finish was 25 out of 64 with many of the swimmers being veterans in the water, so my day in the water was a total success!
The water was not the end of the day, only the start!  Before long I was on my saddle for a long ride with some friends.  We headed out north of the city to play on some hills and put some quality miles in.  The day was near perfect as we headed out, very little wind slight cloud cover to shelter from the sun.  It made for a nice ride overall.  As we got into the hills, the group started to play apart a bit.  Some newer riders got eaten by the first one.  A nice switch back road that gets steeper each corner you turn. THe last section has to be 15% after 2 other steep sections, it is a real killer but an awesome feeling when you crest the top and roll away!  We did a few other big ones as well, not as nasty but not easy. A great way to build some strength in the legs and to work on good recovery! Overall the day was a 140km ride at a good pace.
As in any big training day, it could not be left without a run.  So, off the bike into the running shoes for a t-run.  It felt great.  I did a short one as I have a long one coming up, but my pace, my HR and my head were into the groove and I had a great finish to an awesome training day!
As I am now 27 days from GO time, yesterday served as an awesome confidence builder leading up.  I have 2 more weeks of hard training to make it better and I am looking forward to them.  WOW!  This trip has been so much fun!
Thank you to all of you who leave comments , write blogs and inspire me to love this like I do!  Cheers!


  1. Great swim!! I will stick to the Y and Gulliver Lake for now. I look forward to following more closely in the next 27 days and I'll be tracking you online, on 'the' day.

  2. What a day for you on Saturday - awesome stuff!! My question is though - if you and Trish are doing headstands - who's taking the picture? It can't be Karma since she's in the picture too! :-)

  3. thank you! every saturday AM we do an open water at Lake Ontario in Oakville. you should check it out, supervised with kayaks and lots of swimmers of all levels! it is a blast! Have an awesome day!

  4. Whoa, you definately had an awesome weekend. I can't wait to hear your race report of the BIG day.

  5. I am green with envy!, OWS and long ride in the sun! AND you can do a headstand unassisted!...

  6. WOW! Awesome weekend! Great OWS...and headstand!

    OH, and you know I will be stalking you on the big day!

  7. Wow, awesome progress John.
    I'm totally envy with you. I am still working on figuring out my bi-lateral breathing ...

  8. Great job J. 9 minutes on average. Wow. You would have killed it if it was better conditions. Kudos.