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Monday, October 25, 2010

Chasin' the dream! NEED YOUR HELP!!!

So, the past few days have been up and down for training!  This work thing seems to get in the way and I cant say that I am lovin that a bunch!  Well, reality is bound to have to come into play from time to time!
I am doing something about addressing that reality!  One of the great pleasures I get is in organizing events and situations which allow others to accomplish the goals that they have for themselves.  I have had a great deal of fun over the year building that opportunity with LULULEMON.  A great opportunity has come available for me to continue to build and develop this!  They are looking for a community guru for eastern Canada.  A person who helps to coordinate and organize events throughout to promote the LULULEMON culture and ambassadors throughout the region.  An opportunity to work at creating, inspiring and motivating others to reach their dreams and goal!  A position and place to train and motivate each and every day!
Hoping you can help contribute to this opportunity!  If you believe that I can motivate and inspire others to reach for the best they can, please leave a post comment that I can add to my list!  I am going to take all responses and forward them to the recruiter who is going to speak with me about the position.  Any positives that you may share would be awesome!  Thank you for being honest and contributing to the accomplishment of Livin the Dream!
This week saw me take one extra day off !  I missed one speed workout, wont kill me though. On the weekend I had a great tempo run and a good long run on Sunday. Although the SUnday run was good I did have some cramping in my legs again.  I am quite certain that hydration is the key reason behind it!  SInce IM I have not been as diligent with my hydration, and towards the end of my run  can not seem to get enough water into me!  So, I am now back on the counting my water to make sure that I can eliminate that possibility as to why I am cramping.  Otherwise the run has been great, felt strong and smooth throughout, like I could keep going for a while!
Another great development this week has been teaching yoga!  I had an opportunity to teach in a class setting.  It was awesome!  Although a short practice, being able to be in a studio with other instructors getting feedback is a great positive.  The feedback was good and has given me some great direction to move ahead and continue to develop.  Come the new year I hope to have my own class one to tow days a week.  An opportunity to share with others my passion will be a great opportunity to continue to grow in both my yoga and overall training!  Further allowing me to chase where I want to be!  You will have to come out and join me for a class once I get started!  Promise it will be a blast!
I hope you training and of season rest is a good time!  Continue to visualize your gaols and remember not to let a small set back deter you from the big vision!  If you believe in it you will conquer!
Thank you all for any comments that you share!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It's HUmp day!

So what?  Hump day comes every week!  Yep, what are you gonna do on hump day this week?  Like every other week  I am going to throw myself as high as I can, out into the world and land somewhere new and strange and exciting.  The great thing with throwing yourself out there is the possibilities that exist in that strange place that you land.  Staying with the tried and true is comfortable, but it leaves no new opportunties for you to explore!  I hope your hump day sees you finding something crazy and scary and new!
On the training front I have had a fun couple of days!  Sunday was my long run, after a week of new trainng methods and intensity! My week before that run as at about 50k total with some of them being at a new level of intensity.  I started my planned 34k run feeling great, running at my planned pace and with a reasonable HR.   The 8k to 15k of the run was a long drawn uphill without much of a break.  I started to feel a little tired as I was running up with my HR catching up with me a bit.  I was still feeling OK and pushed along with the miles enjoying the sun and the weather.  At the 15k I turned inot a stiff head wind and started having to push a little.  I was going through water qiuckly not able to satisfy my thirtst, I guess the 3 pints and 1AM sleep on Saturday may have been catching up to me.  I kept pushing along with the run getting harder each KM that rolled along.  After a couple more small hills I started to cramp up.  I stopped for a stretch to see if I could get it going again, seemed to work but for a short time.
I have done a lot of 'tough' workout over time.  Pushing myself through mountain bike hill climbs, running track workouts til I felt I was going to be sick, lifting like my muscle was going to explode!  I have never given in to a workout before this weekend.  At 26k I pulled the plug!  It took a lot ot do it, but it was the logical thing to do.  Was it a failure, statiscally YES!  I quit!  Do I feel like it was a failure?  NO! 
I went from doing 30-40k run weeks to a 75k run week immediately!  I have a lot of miles on my feet and I dont have anything to prove by pushing through.  I was starting to cramp and could not get myseld mentally out of the zone that I was in, so it was the logical thing to do.  From it I have taken a couple of good lessons!
Even though it is a non IM or event training run, dont drink 3 piints the night before, my body does not work like others, I need to be hydrated and fed to run well.  Mentally, I have learned to review perspective on my run and not stress ,myself out about it!  After all, I did ramp up quick and am in far better condition that I ever have been, why mess with that.  Continue to build and it will come, it will  not come in one afternoon!
Since Sunday I have been out a couple more times and felt amazing!  My runs are getting faster and easier every time I am out.  I am enjoying the build and progress and will continue to push ideally without injuring myself before Hamilton Marathon.  After that race I will push along through some fun winter training and see what the possibilities are!
I hope your training is going well!  And I hope that for hunmp day you are going to throw yourself way out there and see where it brings you!  The possibilities seem to be endless when you end up wherever that place is!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Run, run, run!!! In min/k pace not miles!

Thank you to everyone who is saying that I am running fast!  It feels great to be considered a fast runner, although you all have to know that my pace is in min/k not miles!  If I was running that kinds pace in miles I would not be going to work each day I would be a pro!!
This single event training is for the birds!  I enjoy doing all 3 disciplines for better than a single focus on running!  But, in a short time I am starting to see changes and as I suggested earlier these will translate well into my IMCA training when I switch back to full IM training.  For the rest of the fall and into the early part of the winter my training is going to remain here.  The run will make a big difference in an overall IM time and this is the only way I am going to make some big improvements!
Over the course of the week I did manage to collect a cold to help me out with my training as well.  I woke up on Thursday AM and my throat was the worst I can ever remember it being!  I stayed in bed in a little longer in order to try and help it move along.  Over the rest of the week it kinda stayed calm until last night when it came on a true cold.  Nothing like nose dripping down your face as you run down the street.  What  it did not do was stop me from doing my workouts!  I did allow the little man to tempt me though, thank you for the friend who told me to get my lazy ass running!
Wednesday this week my running/yoga group reconvened for the fall to keep running together.  We are going to keep momentum going into the winter before we turn it up for spring event training.  It is great to be able to keep running with them.  We went out and did a fun 5k at an easy pace to get the training started again!  They are all so keen, I love the fact that 5 people are now runners!  I look forward to bringing many more people along for the run ride and slowly building my triathlete group as well.  It is a blast to see people accomplish their goals from a start point of believing it can not be done!
Thursday was my first 'speed' training day!  I had a 35m run to be done at a <4:50 pace.  Most days my mind stops me from going continuous at that pace.  I can get it going for 2-3k and then I let myself believe that I can not continue.  So, getting ready for the run was a mind test more than a physical test.  I let my cold play into it as well.  Hmmmm!  I have a cold maybe I should not do the hard workout!  No, want going to happen, I knew I should be going out and a little nudge I was out the door!  It was an awesome run!  It was by no means easy!  I was training at what is usually a race pace for me, each step watching my GARMIN and seeing myself keep it up.  WOW!  I finished 35m at a 4:47min/k pace feeling good.  I was very happy with the effort and the accomplishment, and having done it with a cold was a bonus!
Friday was rest day!  Wahoo!  And what a great way to rest, I was at the ski show!  THe season is coming quick and I the show is a great way to get pumped up.  I want to do a couple of trips this winter. The first one being a boys trip that we do at the beginning of each season.  We go to Mt Tremblant and ski and drink!  It is a blast and a great way to get started.  The second trip is the big one!  Ideally be off to Jackson Hole, Wyoming for a week for scary steep and deep skiing!  It is the birth place of extreme skiing and a place that I have wanted to go for a long time!  What could be better than skiing each day down hills that scare the crap out of you!  A week long adrenaline trip.  If anyone out there has an alternate better place to go, please speak! Or if you have been to Jackson Hole, SPILL!  Tell me about your adventure and what I should be looking for! Promise to have some awesome photos and videos from that trip!  I am going to make a goal to scare the shit out of myself at least once every day!
Today was another great run!  Did a 15k at a 5:06min/k pace!  Again, the run felt amazing, my nose running down my face as fast as I was running and I was up to the challenge of staying in front.  I managed to keep steady the entire run and feeling like a runner the whole time.  At no time did I feel like I had to stop because I was tired or could not keep it going.
I dont know if it is a short time of coming back to run only after IM, or all the fitness gained over the summer.  But, something is getting better.  I have been a 'lazy' runner in the past, not pushing myself like a race when out there.  Being out there to finish.  Now, I have shifted to working at it!  Making each run count and having a race gaol mentality to drive me to go hard.  I am liking the mental shift and I am very lucky to have early result to suggest that it can work!  So, I am going to keep running, run til I feel I am going to be sick once in a while, run so it hurts and makes me stronger.  And, run with my legs and body and not my head!
Thank you for the encouragement!
I hope your weekend is absolutely amazing!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Now this is more like it!

After a few weeks of 'slacking off' it is back to the program.  I feel that I am now working  in a direction rather than just poking around doing some kind of training!  I guess I need to be working towards a goal to be truly entertained with my training.  Mission accomplished, and it is great!
This week has been good!  Rest day Monday; Tuesday was a great 10k run, the weather was awesome.  I did it a lunch from work which is something I have not done in a while.  It is a great way to break the day up, filled me with new energy to go into the afternoon.  The run was at a 5:10-5:15 pace and felt great along most of the way.  There were a couple of good hills to play on and I knocked them off with no problem and no explosion in my heart rate.  Even though it was a good run, I cant say I really found my groove.
Today was a fun day on the run front.  The group that I coached to the half marathon had a great run for race day and wanted to keep the club going through the rest of the off season.  Tonight we headed out for a great short run as a group.  It was a 5k easy run on a perfect evening.  The temperature with just a little rain coming down.  Tonight I did find my groove, felt like I could keep running for days!  I love those days, wish I could bottle them to trade off for the bad ones.  I have started keeping run notes and studying how I feel and what is going through my head when I have to wonder runs.  If I learn where my head is at it will make it easier to go back to that place when a run is not going so great!
Tomorrow is a tough run day!  A 35m run at a 450 pace, I am getting myself in the groove headspace now, because it is a new effort for me!  The process of becoming a runner is a tough one but,  it is a good thing that I want to be there, I cant imagine anyone wanting to go through the process for fun!  For me as crazy as it sounds and as much as I might sound like I am complaining a bit, I truly enjoy the pain after the workout.  It is a great process in finding new limits and seeing what one is capable of if they don't let the mind tell them differently.  Try it, next time you want to slow down get out of your head space and think about why you want to slow down?  Is it truly because you can not continue, or is it a story you are creating in your head because it is getting tough and is outside of your comfort zone??  I bet it is the story, please share you experiences in how you manage to push yourself when you get uncomfortable.
On another training note, I just finished reading an awesome book!  If you have not read BORN TO RUN, you need to go out and buy it!  It is a wonderful book about running, will inspire you and make you look differently at your training and practice.  It was a great read and I think that any runner needs to put it in their library!
Time to get some rest.  feeling a cold coming on and hoping I can stay one step ahead of it!!  Let me know any secret medicines you know, rest seems to be almost keeping it at bay!  Cheers!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Here we go! Training and mental ramblings....

So, my BQ goal is now in motion!  Holy smokes, I think I like the years of running like I was on a stroll better!  The runs this week have been tough and are only going to get tougher.  I suppose it is good that somewhere within my fabric I am a masochist, otherwise the effort would get packed in real quick!
As I start this speed training and effort to become a 'fast' runner, I can't help but questions what the result will be?  I think about my abilities as an athlete and seem to talk myself into the fact that maybe I am a slow and steady kind of guy.  Ask myself if I have what it takes to go from 3:57 to 3:20?  The short runs that I am doing now seem to be tough and I have another 35km to go at that pace, the questions roll around my head more and more.
Well, that is enough of that crap!!!(pardon the expression)  I have spent far too much time in my life challenging societies virtual impossibilities to be defeated by this small goal!  The fact that it is tough and the little man is dancing like a teenager on prom night only ads more resolve to my desire to get this done.  It means a few months of juggling a few balls, probalbly a few weeks of living on the borderline to over training and another change in what I once accepted as 'the way it is' taking place.  I do like training that hurts, and this is the time to put my money where my mouth is.
A friend has run a 3:25 Boston and she followed a program that she swears by.  She used it to qualify for New York as well.  So, I have the first few weeks of training working on a similar methodology to get me there.   based on the results she has pulled off I believe that with the work I should be able to get there as well.
One of the great things with wanting to BQ is all the run training it will take.  It means that at the end regardless of the result I will have changed a bit as a runner.  When I put that into my overall training and apply it towards an IM it should help me get to the finish a little faster.  However, it makes training a little longer leading towards IMCA.  This year I did a 24 week program that was all IM focused, next season it will be a hybrid leading up to May 15th race and then switch to IM gear.  Not sure what it looks like today, but over the next few I will draw something that makes sense.  I will be able to spend a little less intensity over the summer with running having built a strong base so My focus can shift to a stronger swim.
Speaking of swim, I am lucky to be training an athlete who is a spectacular swimmer.  So, I am gaining a lot of new tricks and drills to get me going faster this season.  I spent this year learning how to swim and not a lot of time on swimming fast.  So now that I can swim a little, time to turn on the jets.  This week I am back in the pool after my tattoo break.  I have missed it which is entertaining seeing as a year ago I hated the pool.  I would argue with myself before every practice about why I should not go.  Not now, I want to ge in there and get it done!
So after a few short fast runs this week, today was the first from the program!  I did a 20k fun run!  The area that I was running was tons of hills! Holy crap, it was non stop hills. The circuit that I ran seemed to be non stop hills.  But overall it was a great day out.  I did the first 14k at a 5:25 pace then the last 6k I ramped it up to a 4:50-5:00 to finish.  It was tough towards the end but happy to have done it.  At this point I question if I have fully recovered from IM.  The hills today were a reason for an elevated HR, but it was higher than I normally would be.  Maybe the higher intensity is what is pushing it, hopefully not getting sick. Regardless it is in the books now and it was a blast.  Day one of the new running John!  Look out, I am on a mission!
I hope your weekend is full of fun and great times!  Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving!(in Canada)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Ughh! What a week!

This work thing is proving to be busy in a big hurry!  I have spent the entire week working on a huge proposal for an old customer. It will come down to the next couple of days.  I really enjoy the challenge and it is a great way to learn what I am doing.  In the course of this week I have learned more about the product and the specifications than I could in 2 weeks of manuals.  The deal would be a great way to start at my new job.  I am enjoying the learning curve and being able to push myself towards a new goal direction.
That being said the week has served to help me realize that I am not where I am going to end up in my career.  I do enjoy the challenge, however the end result does not satisfy my ambitions!  I need to see a growth in what I deliver, a product and an attitude change in what I am working towards!  Confusing....yep!  Let me just say that I am inspired to reach my ultimate goal sooner than later, so Monday to Friday right now serves to pay the mortgage and to continually remind me that I should be doing something else!
On a training note, I have started the training towards building my speed so that I can get to BQ qualify!  Training for IM was long hours and slow and steady!  This is going to hurt!  I have been good at staying out of my head with long and steady training, I have to change mental gears for this stage of training.  I am confident over time I will get there, I guess I am not quite in the head game of the work yet.  I have done 3 runs this week that have all been at 4:40 min/k to get me started.  This is a minute faster per km that I could run last year, so it is still pushing it. I do love the feeling when I am done, but the journey is tough!  I am looking forward to seeing what this produces over the coming months.  In January I will start the marathon training for a May race which will ultimately show how this all works!
Regardless of the result, it will lend itself very well to a stronger IM as well as short distance tri's  next year.
As we are moving into winter, I will add a new twist to my blog!  It seems that there are some skiers out there.  So, as the snow starts to fly I will add some skit tips as part of my blog.  It serves a couple of purposes; ideally some of you can use the tips and have a better ski experience, and I will develop my teaching skills as I work towards my ultimate goal!  So far I have some questions on skiing bumps or moguls, keep them coming and I will talk about them!  Cant wait to get my skis going!
Tonights blog was a tough one to write and I will not dare proof read it!  The scattered nature of the post is about where I am tonight so it is all good!
I hope you are all having an amazing week!  Cheers to all!

Question:  What or who inspires you to do what you do?  Why??  please share your thoughts and insight with me!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

What a great weekend!

The weather this weekend has been fantastic!!  WHAT??  Most people are asking, is this guy nuts!!  It has been cold and wet and just not super conducive to doing much outside.  Well, all those signs point to fall, which in turn points to winter.  And that rocks!
As people who have been on my blog for a while know, I LOVE skiing!  It has been, is, and will continue to be my number one sport to participate in.  Ultimately, all activities that I do, wether it is directly intended to be or not started to get into better shape for ski season!  So, all you non winter people, to bad about your luck.  It is only a month or two from that time when most Canadians forget that winter comes every year and it is going to snow! When you wake up in the morning and it is freezing cold and the tires on your car feel square as you drive away.   When, for 3-4 months, almost each day you will bitch about the weather.  IT ROCKS!~  Buy some skis, send me an email for a lesson and get over it, the winter is a beautiful time and isn't going away in our lifetime.
This winter I am going to also feed this crazy IRONMAN drug that I seem to be particularly fond of.  I am going to take my love for snow and use it further to my advantage.  I downhill ski every weekend from the time the snow is here until spring arrives, and then I will often chase the snow gods.  While I am waiting for the weekends I swim and run and do bike trainer stuff to feed the addiction.  This winter I have challenged a couple of friends to some alternate snow activities after skiing.  The first is a 10k circuit at the ski hill that involved running uphill and around the resort through trails.  I figure that is a good 'run' circuit to get the blood moving and build some new muscle and better endurance.  I will use that as a short run/hill training alternative some weeks to keep the training exciting.
The second self imposed challenge is cross country skiing.  I have read and heard that it is one of the best all round forms of cross training for triathletes.  It gives a full body workout without the impact and constant pounding of running.  Luckily my chalet is 12k from the mountain with a great ski trail along the entire way.  So, for fun I will put on my woolies and ski home at the end of the day!  It will be a great adventure!!  Throw on a head lamp and push through the snow to get home rather than driving or running.  The run is not a bad journey, however most days it is dark and I have to run along the highway.  Running along the highway at 6pm in ski country is not advisable, as much as the drinking and driving laws are tough,  quite a few pops are shared amongst friends before the drive home. It is also right along the bay and therefore the wind is usually screaming in my face.  The ski home is on a sheltered forest trail perfect to be out of the wind.  One thing that I kind of like doing as well is being out in nasty storms!
A beautiful thing about this winter as well!  Due to the warm summer it appears that it is going to be a colder and snowier winter than normal!  So, get your boots ready, put your mitts by the door and get used to it!  Like the past 100000 years, its coming again!
FYI:  if you want to get out for a ski at any time, let me know!  regardless of your skill level i am up and qualified to teach!  Love doing it and any excuse to get out is a good one!
See, how bad is winter!  With a little imagination and a lift ticket it can be a pretty cool thing to do!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

1-2-3- GO!

OK!  Rest time is over!  Enough of the sitting around, time to be an athlete and get a hurt on again! Even though I am out of the pool for another week to let tattoo heal and 'resting' my ITB, its time to get moving!
I have been out for a few short runs, 5k at decent pace to start to ease back into things.  I am going to try some longer stuff this week and then it is time for a fast ramp up for a marathon in early November.  I am going to do it to see where I am at, NO, I am not racing it. Some people don't get what I mean when I am going to run it without racing.
As I have been building my run for IM I have made some big strides in speed.  I ran a full(Boston, on someone else's bib) and had a good run without any training.  This time I have been training but not specifically for the event so I want to determine where my fitness has brought me without crippling myself. Essentially I am going to treat it as a hard long run to see where I finish it, then I know what I need to do over the following months.  I am hoping to finish it decently so that I can do a rounded program over the fall rather than have to d speed work the entire season. I do know whatever I am up to, my plan is to make it hurt!
I did all my IM training with very little hurt and gained some strength and made some changes.  Now, I have to shirt gears a little and try to build more.  My current plan barring having to spend all my time doing speed will be to combine run, swim and weights until Christmas.  I want to build much more strength overall than where I currently am.  I would ideally like to see if I can gain a few pounds of muscle mass heading into the winter.  As spring comes around and I go into big training for an attempt at BQ I will need as much as I can have to start as it will be a punishing time of training.  I am looking forward to seeing what this part of this adventure provides.
I hope that your weekend is amazing and that you are in the throws of a great off season cold beer!  I think I might go enjoy myself!
Thank you for all your replies and comments over the year, I am putting each and every one of them in my Blurb book that I am preparing as a reminder of my IM Wisconsin adventure!