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Friday, January 29, 2010

Hah! There you go, old man winter!! you're not stopping me!!

Winter is here!  Holy crap, ever heard the expression 'freeze the balls of a brass monkey'?  Tonight was the night!  It was -18C(0F) with a nice solid north west wind(40 kmh)  off of the partially frozen bay!  Most people were driving their cars with all their clothes on and toques still pulled over their ears.  It is by far the coldest day of this winter and I had a run to do.
I talked to e friend on my way up and told him I was heading out for a short run.  His first reply was, 'you are nuts! Why the hell would you go out in that temperature?'  Well, the answer in my mind was clear!  I am going for my run.  
After my short rest this week I seen to have developed an absolute need to get back on track.  Not running today was not an option for the day.  I knew the weather was going to be foul for running so I got prepared, I went and did some shopping.  First idea on mind was a pair of good winter running socks. I got a pair of merino wool winter light running socks on the recommendation of the lady at the store.  The second idea was to a pair of YakTrax.  They are a wire bound thingy tool that you strap onto your shoes!  So, I had a very successful shopping trip, all the tools in hand!
When I got up to the ski cottage this afternoon I got my stuff on to go for my cool winter run.  It was a big day for layers to be ready to tackle to weather. I put on my new shocks and 2 base layers for my legs.  Seems warm enough for the bottom, now the top. ONe base layer compression top(from Lululemon and it rocks!) one mid layer with a fleece lining, one top layer to help stop the wind and one wind shell.  Cant forget my warmest hat possible to help for stopping myself from getting first bite!
As I headed out, the wind was at my back so it wasnt to cold on my face.  The first thing I noticed was my new foot gear.  My new merino socks were keeping my feet totally comfortable.  My YAKTRAX were awesome.  I instantly felt comfortable running on the snow and ice, my feet were not slipping at all as I ran down the icy road.  It is the first time running this winter that my back had not hurt while out for a snow run.  Although the wind was blowing strong, i warmed up fairly quickly.  The run out was comfortable, however when I turned the wind was in my face.  It was wicked cold.  I tried to pull my short up over my face to block the wind, it was a futile effort, shirts arent meant to be pulled up over your ears. So I ran along trying to block the wind with my hands.  At a couple of points I had to wrap my hands around my face to thaw it out a bit.   It was the coldest run I have ever had, but it was awesome!
Old man winter was not getting the best of me today!  I wanted to run and was  not going to miss it because old man winter was out!  I love running in the worst of conditions and today was on top of the scale.  Finishing the run is so much more pleasing than the easy days!  SO day 2 back at it and loving it.  Tomorrow is another great skiday.  It has been sowing all day today and it is freezing cold.  That translate into a crazy great snow day, might even get some powder to start the day.  Tomorrow night for some variety we are going to go out for a full moon snow shoe.   It will be a perfect nigh, it is supposed to be a clear night with no wind.  WIth all the new snow we have had the moon and the stars reflecting on them should make for an awesome night to be out walking through the forest.
I hope that you can enjoy some of the fun things you like to do this weekend! After all that what weekends are for!  
Cheers and happy training!  


Thursday, January 28, 2010

out of self imposed training exhile!

I never thought not training would cause me to be a bitchy, moody slug so quickly!  Holy smokes, am I glad that is over!  This week I went inot a 3 day self imposed training exhile.  I was sick and  every bone in my body ached and I let it get me into a crazy tail spin. 
As I have ramped up training, there are days when I have thoughty, a couple of days off would be great!  Now that I have had those days off, it has put things into a new perspective.  I want to train!  I guess some where in the mind of a want to be IM is an obseesive gene requiring pain in order to keep things in a proper balance!  I am so happy to have discovered that.  I am going to pack it inot  my little mind basket so that when I am exhausted it serves as a reminder of how much I enjoy the stress and pain of training and how miserable I am to myself(and likely those around me) when I am not sweating!

This monring I rolled out of bed at 4:50AM to haed out for my Thursday AM run.  It is currently a short one that I do prior to doing a gtreat Yopga session.  THis morning was particularly easy for me.  I suppose the rest as well as the likley benefits of the periodization effect from being off for a few days.  It was great to be out and trotting down the sidewalk for an early start to the day.  With a couple of others, we are trying to gather a run club for early morning outtings, so far it is tough.  Mind you with the temperature at -6C(20F) not many people want to get out of bed at 5AM to run.  As the waether warms up I believe that we wil get a crowd together as there are a lot of runners in teh neighbourhood.  It wil be great, as well as being runners, it will be a good transition and build to a morning ride group for training and coaching!  Following the morning run was my sacred yoga practive, I love it!  This morning was a bit tougher than usual.  I am blaming it on the remainder of this crazy cold, but it got the best of me!  I had to take 3 rest breaks as I thought I was going to pass out.  The practice is about workoing through pain and discomfort, so each time I tought I could get up, I was apparently a little early.  Being a scuker for alittle more pain, I would force myself to try and get through it, only to find myself seeing the room starting to spin and te lights getting dark.  Oh well, it was still a great practice and I look forward to more.
I have written my post prematurely today as I am so excited to be back on my feet training.  I still have a pool workout this afternoon and then out to a Lululemon Yoga for Haiti event tonight!  I am pumped for the rest of the day and some more pain to come! 
I hope you are having a great day and have a smile on your face!  If you dont, take a step back.  Think about how bad it is.......could it be worse????  How bad is it relative to what others are going through??  Will you get home tonight and see your loved ones and get over it??  Likely the answer is YES!  SO SMILE!  Life is tro short to sweat the small stuff!
Part Deux!

Great swim this afternoon!  Did 1800m in 30min, a bunch of length kind of stuff!  Only challenge was that I was not smart enough to learn my lesson about dehydration earlier this month.  As I did Yoga this morning and it was crazy hot I sweat any water that I have been able to restore since I got back to feeling well.  About half way through practice today I started cramping in my feet and it gradually worked its way up my legs.  I dont know how smart it was, but I figured it could happen in a race so I worked my way through it!  So, overall I was very please with my swim.  I compare notes on swimming from the fall when I did a 30 min swim and it is a great improvement.  I have added 300m to my distance in the same time frame.  I did do some 100 repeats today, and with cramps and all(did a couple of lengths without kick) I was managing 1:40-1:45 for 100 repeats.  I am now using that as a benchmark to grow and improve from.  Using drills I have been able to start to bilateral breath,  it does take a lot of time of of a length and it seems much more efficient. My next few weeks will be to work at refining my ability to swim that way all the time.  As I said last week, I am going to focus on form so that I can gain maximum long term benefit and speed once i start training in March!
Well, now time for some food and rest and off to Yoga for Haiti!  Have a great night!  Cheers!

Monday, January 25, 2010

PLease support Ride to Conquer Cancer

Today's blog is less about training and more about reflection and helping others!  Sorry about the emotional  tone of this blog, but life is not always about smiling!

This week a very close friend lost his mother to cancer.  Her battle was one that has served as an inspiration to me and many of those who knew her.
Over 7 years ago she was diagnosed with Leukemia and started her treatment.  She was always a person who worked for others so that they could live comfortably and with the least amount of displeasure in their lives.  She worked tirelessly for charities and her family and friends to see that every day of their lives would be spent with a smile on their faces and a 'joie de vivre'.
 In the time that I knew her I  never once heard her utter a negative word or complaint about a thing.  She fought courageously and silently, she went into remission 3 times.  I am convinced to this day she beat the odds  because she had unfinished business , she was not done bringing joy to her family and her friends and enjoying the moments that we are so lucky to enjoy in life.
I am certain that my short story is not a stand alone.  We are all affected in one way or another by Cancer.  Our friends, families and many around us are affected every minute of every day.
In June of this summer, I have entered a charity double century ride to raise money for one of the worlds leading Cancer Research centers.  Princess Margaret Hospital.  I will be riding a double century ride in honor of a lady that should serve as a role model to all of us.  If it is raining, sleeting, if I get 10 flat tires, if I accidently put tiger balm on instead of chamois butter, I will not utter a word of complaint for any of the 200 miles or the run afterwards.  I will remember the years that Sandra fought silently so that others could be able to carry on with a happy day with no burden.
As I do this ride in honor of her and all the others who have and are fighting, please support Princess Margaret Hospital Ride to Conquer Cancer.  I have put a link on the top left of my page so that you can go and enter your donation directly.(tax receipt will be issued at time of entry)
Her family will be grateful, kids and moms and dads will love you for it, and hopefully in the future one of our family members will be spared the terrible battle.


In memory of Sandra Ryder MacDougall

Sunday, January 24, 2010

3-2-1-GO! bed!

So as everyone seems to have has a chance to enjoy a cold in the past few weeks, I was feeling special as I managed to avoid it!  Well as I run into the 4th quarter thinking I missed it......WHAP!  up side the head and I am out!
That's all I have the energy to do right now...every bone in my body hurts so I am going to bed!
Hope everyone is healthy and ready to enjoy a wonderful week ahead!
Cheers to all!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

OK! I accept skiing as cross training!

As always my weekend is spent on snow skiing like a crazy man and sharing my passion with others.  Today was a picture perfect day!  bright sunshine, wonderful smiles from everyone who looked at you, snow that was beyond amazing to ski on!  What a day!  I skied with the groups that I coached and was able to get them to push beyond limits they usually would never try.  I get such pleasure seeing the smile on peoples faces when they move outside of the box and are successful doing it!  I guess it is like a day in the pool for a previous non-swimmer guy!  The joy of victory, even the smallest is awesome!
I have struggled with the whole idea of not training on the weekends while I have been skiing.  Today, I put on a heart rate monitor to see what the result would be, does it actually equal a workout, or is it just another day sitting and burning calories.  Well, much to my pleasure it is a workout.  From 8:30AM to 3:00PM I burned 4100 calories.  I figure if I ran for 30-40 minutes after to day that I was training I could add another 600-700 to my total, but why?  My style of skiing is likely comparable to doing hills or sprints.  Although I m teaching/coaching I complete all of my demonstrations to the groups with a fierce passion and vigour.  I only n know how to show at 100%+ so that it is clear the result of what I am taking about.  I tend to finish lot of lessons with my clothes soaking wet from sweat, I actually bring a change of socks and shirts for lunch as some days I need to change.  I suppose it reflects my overall way of being, if you are going to do something, dont do it half way.  Put your heart into it, commit and do it properly!  Why go half way when you can go all the way!
That being said, my blog today is all about skiing and not a lot about training.  Although one is totally like the other!  I hope you did something today that brought a smile to your face and a memory you can enjoy!
Happy weekend!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A good return to reality!

After a few days out of the office out on the ski hill, I came back to reality today!  WOW! I didn't miss it!  It serves as a great reminder to continue chasing my passions and dreams so that I dont have to rush home on a Thursday to of back to the office and deal with impatient and rushed people.  Coming back after being out working on the ski hill clearly shows why people have heart attacks!  So, if any of you would like to learn how to ski, give me a call.  I am a Level 3 certified instructor, Level 2 certified race coach, trained to teach in a terrain park and love to be out there sharing my passion!  Buy me a beer and I might even throw a 2 for 1 lesson deal!

In my return to reality I did get a great email today that confirms my passion for teaching and coaching to others.  I was informed that I am 'Instructor of the Week'!  Wahoo!  I get a free autographed sweat shirt from Olympian Brad Martin(another sweat shirt)  The best part of the recognition is knowing that my passion is recognized and appreciated!  Knowing that I am getting other people involved and passionate about the sport is a great reward for doing something that is so much fun for me!
Another fun thing about being back to the real world was getting in the pool today.  My schedule was mad, working to catch up on loose ends from the beginning of the week and getting organized for clinics this weekend.  Amongst the rush and chaos getting into the pool was a great outlet and opportunity to practice my swim.  Although the swim today was strictly lengths I was very happy with the feel in the water and my technique.  I only did 1600M, but in 26 minutes.  A great improvement from before the holiday.  I also did a few 100m to see where I am at.  I was doing them in 1:52-1:55  couple of weeks ago, today I was doing 1:38-1:40.  All the drill practice (totally irrelevant photo, but a lot of fun)seems to be paying off quickly. My goal is to continue with drills for the next 3-4 weeks before I get into my full program.
I also started my day today with a great yoga practice.  I have talked about yoga a few times and have to repeat it.  The hour spent is refreshing(eve though it is 38C in the room)  It provides and hour of focused mental training with the great benefit  of strength and flexibility built in.  As I get into my full training I am going to incorporate into my weekly program as I think it will benefit me all the way to the start line.  It is also great that the practice is led my a great instructor who makes certain that each individual in the room gets the maximum benefit.
With reality also comes some moments that are never fun to face.  This evening I went to visit my training partners mom in the hospital. She is facing the last few days with terminal cancer.  She has been an inspiration to me in the last few events that I have done.  When you see a friend fighting such a terrible and invasive disease it makes all my pains seem irrelevant.  She has been a fighter so that others around her would not have to endure any undue inconvenience.  When I am out on my Ironman journey and thinking that it is impossible, I will think of her and how I should suck it up and keep going.  My races this summer are in honour of her and all those who have suffered with cancer.  My thoughts are with her and I pray that she is comfortable and unbothered in there last few moment.  Bless you Sandy!

As I posted my Blog last night Sandy passed away peacefully in her sleep!  My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A day on the skiing Roller Derby track!

Another great day at the WorldCup Ski-Cross event that I volunteered at.  The photos below are some random shots of the insanity that these athletes expose themselves to in the quest to get their chance at the Olympic dream.  A picture may be worth a thousand words, but they dont show the speed the words are traveling at.  These guys and girls are flying at speeds reaching 80k/hr dow the track which was almost solid ice.  As some of the photos show, they are jumping 10-15' in the air, often flying over top of the competitor to get in front of them.  
Some times the Olympic dream is done in a second, the attached photos show it in action.  The 2 girls that are in the accident below, were in 1st and 2nd place up to that point.  ONe girl slips on the ice as she is trying to get in position, and the result is the chaos that the photo shows.  ONe separated shoulder, one pissed off girl, and 2 people not going to the Olympics to race.  The frustration was clear to hear, as the girl got up of the snow her only words were, 'you f*cking idiot' to the other girl.  When she reached the bottom she was in tears having seen her Olympic dream disappear!  I cant imagine the mental agony that she is feeling today, and also the separated shoulder to add insult to injury.
My day was spent shoveling snow and working like a dog, but I would not trade it for the world.  It was a privilege to watch our Canadian athlete who is ranked 2nd in the world on the podium today.  It was cool to have a small Canadian resort host a world event and be a part of it as it went off without a hitch.  
All that being said, I am walking in my sleep after 3 hard days, so good night to you all!  Off for a run at 5AM and Yoga to follow.  Then, I suppose I need to go to work!  Cheers!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Experiencing the Olympic Dream!

My recent absence has been the result of being a volunteer at a World Cup Ski-Cross event being hosted in Canada.  WOW!  It is an awesome experience.
As a result of being at this event and helping out, I have been on hill for 7-8 hours per day making sure that the execution goes flawlessly.  It is a chore when you combine the skill and egos if 110 athletes from around the world(23 counties) with mother nature and the Federation International of Skiing head man from Switzerland.  The only thing that comes to mind is 'prima donna'.   However, I am working with the greatest 30-40 people that could be imagined and it is a blast.
I have missed another day of workouts, but I am not hurt by it.  I spend my entire day working to make certain that the race course is in a safe and fast  condition.  It involved being on my skis all day as well as running up and down the hill in my ski boots.  from an overall physical perspective I am feeling the pain of a workout, so it is a workout!
What is cool about this event is the environment.  It is an  international high stakes game with the best of the best at the table.  As the Olympics are around the corner, this event is the last chance for athletes to make it to the Olympic team for their country.  with the stakes being what they are, the best of the best are on stage.  The media is here from everywhere(the event is being broadcast live to Europe), sponsors are having parties all over the place, fans are pushing to get the best vantage point.
Today the competition was a qualifying round.  It was held in a TT format where racers individually raced the course trying to set the fastest time possible. Out of 110 athletes only 64 get to race tomorrow. If they dont make it past today, almost assured they will  not be going to the Olympics. The intensity reflects the goal that many have chased their entire lives.  Some on the hill have raced on other disciplines  earlier in their ski careers.  As ski cross is in the Olympics for the first time, the stakes are high.  
The intensity was awesome, watching the concentration of the racers is one that could only be world class.  As i watch the racers ski towards me you can see the focus,  it is awesome.  Today was eaSY relatively speaking,  Tomorow  here is the scene;  imagine roller derby on skis.  the course is about 10 meters wide, and 4 people take off down the course at the same time.  They are racing for the finish line. In most cases it is not a bad deal, but remember this is an Olympic year!
If life provided the chance I would do this full timer and loving doing it!
I will post some awesome photos tomorrow of young men and women chasing their dreams!  Until then, I am exhuaset so  I need to get some sleep for an early start!  Cheers

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Another wonderful weekend!

Sunday evening marks the end to another great weekend!(with the exception of the start, se attached photo)  The weekend would be classified as one intense weekend of nothing but cross training. I have to believe that the benefit is totally there, I certainly am tired at the end of the day!
On both days of this weekend, the skiing was amazing.  The weather was a little warmer expect this time of year but the snow conditions were out of this world.  I am a fast and aggressive skier, I ski with what might be considered the intensity of an Ironman.  The past 2 days were perfect days to ski that way, the snow was hard as rock, almost like skiing on a skating rink. When then snow is firm it is great for being able to turn your skis and build energy to send you flying down the hill.  each time I turned it was like a rocket on my skis sending me faster and harder down the hill.  When I get to the bottom, my heart is racing like I have just run a 100m dash at the hardest pace that I could hold, and my body is shaking for the massive adrenaline rush.  In weekends I teach skiing to share my passion for the sport with others, to have others feel comfortable on snow so that they push themselves.  This weekend was great, all my clients showed up with a hunger to ski fast and go hard, so together we were a great compliment to success.

The thing that I find though with weekends is that it makes training virtually impossible.  I am on snow at 8am and ski all day teaching.  I get off hill at 4 and some days only eat lunch when I am on a chairlift during a lesson.  Dont get me wrong, that is not a complaint, I teach skiing to see other people smile when they achieve a new high so it is pure pleasure.  When I am done, I am exhausted.  I struggle with not going for a run because I believe I should be out there building miles.  ALthough everyone says take time off season to do 'fun' things I cant get my head around not pushing it.  Come early March I am packing up my skis for the season to focus, so I suppose until then I should go with it and love the fact that weekends give me the opportunity to do what I love.
This week is going to be a lot of fun.  I am working at a skicross Worldcup ski event. I am a course crew chief which provides me the opportunity to see the event as close as you can get.  This event is great as it is the last Worldcup event before the Olympics, there are 23 countries and 110 athletes.  The results of this event will confirm the official teams that will participate in the Olympics.  It should be a truly entertaining 3 days being on snow next to the worlds leading athletes.
Every time I stop and look at how good my weekend was it brings a smile to my face.  I am privileged to be able to be out on weekends enjoying the outdoors, spending time with great friends.  It is a privilege to be healthy and live the life I do!  Tp my friends who are reading this, thank a ton, you have all made it more fun!  Cheers!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Weekends and cross training!

I love weekends because I can ski!  However, I miss my training because I am 7 hours on a hill like a crazy man all day.  I will share with you tomorrow the adventures of my weekend!  I hope your is full of friends, fun and smiles because of the privileges that you enjoy!
Smiles and happy thought to all of you!

CHeers from ski country!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Binge workout day!

I love Thursday's! Weekend eve and my day to binge workout! Now that the holidays are done I am able to get back at the Thursday binge workout in the truest form.
Started off at 5am with a short refreshing run. The temperature was -6c and dry cold this morning. The usual crew showed up for our short 6-7k slow run to start the day off. As some know, I hate mornings so this is a chore for me. However, once out and started I am like the president of the glee club! Big smile on my face, encouraging those around me and loving being up and at it so early. The run was slow and short this morning, but overall it felt really good. I did not even pay attention to my HR, but I know it was good otherwise I would have been aware. Binge Thursday is great because the stupid time of the morning run is followed by a great hot yoga class. The studio we practice at is awesome. They practice Baptiste power Yoga, which is a hot flow yoga class which I describe as an experience rather than a 'this is how it is done' class. I enjoy the workout, the spirituality as well as the leadership in the practice. We have invited several friends to try it out and all have stayed for more. The yoga practice has actually become part of my daily routine. I have found that using many of the poses has prevented me from becoming the semi fossil stiff person that I tend to become when I don't stretch. After a run or workout I use the poses to open up what will inevitable stiffen up. I challenge you to try out Baptiste Power yoga, I would be surprised if it was not a great positive experience and a benefit to your training. I am going to challenge some local runners to coming out for some runs followed by yoga to see what they think.
As well as my run and yoga, I still had to get a swim in today. Off to the pool for a 2000m practice. As mentioned earlier, my swim time for the next 6 weeks is primarily technique. Today was no exception, and as I got into the practice I discovered once again how hard drills are. Luckily I am able to recognize the benefit of it and push through. When I do lengths in between some of the drills I can immediately feel the difference. I did cut the practice a little short today. A couple of times in the past I have had some issues with cramping in my feet after turning, today was a maximum experience. Each time I pushed off the wall I found myself having to work to open up my muscles to stop from total muscle lock up. After 6-7 times I figured it was better to get out and stretch and call it a day than continue and hurt myself. Hugh who I was swimming with suggested it could be dehydration. I thought I drank well today, however, yoga and the run this morning likely drained me well. I need to remember in the future to pay more attention to post workout water so that I don't end up in the same boat. Although I stopped 400m short of what I intended to do it was still a great practice. I can feel myself becoming more fluid in the water and gliding with far less effort than even a month ago. Although drills suck, they work!
So my binge Thursday was awesome. A day with great workouts that all will benefit as I move ahead. I hope that you had the same great experience and are looking forward to your feet hitting the floor tomorrow morning like I am!
Happy Friday eve and big thumbs up to all you type A friends! :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Inspiration from the blog world!

As a first year IM person, I am enjoying this time of year!  It seems that a lot of people are getting into gear and setting plans into play for the new season.  I have to say that it is a great time to be reading everyones' blogs and gaining more inspiration from it.  A thank you to all of you out there for adding to my motivation to get tot the start line as  ready, fit and charged.  Reading the goals accomplished by many of you in the last few days is fuel in my tank.  As well, reading about the frustration that some are going through adds to the reality of such a crazy sport.  I have made comments about keeping it all in perspective as I truly believe that we are privileged to be able to enjoy this journey that we are on, I hope when I hit some of the walls that are out there that I can remember my words!
Today was a light training day, again I am trying not to get all charged up now as I am still 9 months out.  I am working to build a base and do some light training for some of the 'races' that I have in the spring.  I have a lot of ski training in the next 8 weeks and I dont want to start my program burnt from working 7 days a week and not able to move.  I am however, putting a method to my madness.  To date I have been doing as I choose, not a lot of structure, just consistent workouts.  This week I have put a couple of goals in place to make certain that the spring races are enjoyable.   I realize that I am not a top ten finisher, so all my efforts are to make myself strong this year so that I have a baseline to work from.  What I have raced in the past has been for fun, now I am ready to see what I can do. A lot of people have asked me what my goal is for my IM..  Here it is, my A goal is to finish, by B goal is to be in 13 hrs  range, my C goal is to be under that.  Backwards you say, I dont think so.  As a first time IM why set myself up for failure.  Should I reach my A goal, guess what, I will be over the moon and have set the bar for the future.  From my A goal forward it is only better.  Imagine when you were in school getting a C and wanting to post it to the world to see.  Well, hopefully I am that dude!  If not, guess what, I will still have reached my number one goal and be on top of the world!  Along the way I am going to have a lot of fun, learn more about myself than most people will ever discover about their own beings and live life ton its fullest!
Today I went out on a short run.  Did 6k at lunch and felt great doing it.  The past few weeks my runs have been i the snow, I discovered today running in the snow SUCKS!  I dont mind running in the freezing cold, but, snow running SUCKS!  It was a short 6k run and I did it at a 4:58k/m pace.  For my previously fat asz that is a great pace.  the best thing about it is that it was not a huge effort.  I guess the training has been working.  I enjoyed running as it was a great day out, not insanely freezing.  My goal for the next 6 weeks is to run at least every 2 days on average, I hope mother nature keeps the snow in ski country and the good weather here for running.
Tomorrow AM is my favorite run of the week.  I get out at 5AM(yeah that is nuts) do my run and then some hot yoga.  Then off to Starbucks for a ripoff coffee to talk and enjoy the start of the day!  I hope all of you have a great start to your day as well!  Happy training and dont forget, we do this for fun!  Cheers!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A little busy at the Swim hole today!

WOW! January presents the yearly challenge to all those who have decided it is time to get into shape.  This afternoon, every last one of them decided it was the day to go to the pool and swim as the way to lose the first few pounds.  I guess the quest for the beach in June must be in their sites!
I am lucky enough to be able to sneak away from the office in the afternoon to spend some time at the pool.  It has been awesome as this is generally quiet time and I can get a workout done with only one or two others there with me.  Not today!  When I got to the pool there were the same number of people as peak time.  By the time I was done my workout, my lane was like being in rush hour.  It was a line up of people.  Not so bad as most were moving along being respectful however, there is always the odd person who doesnt get it.  Oh well, I survived.
My workout today was tougher than usual.  Most days I have spent my time doing lengths and focusing on being comfortable doing the distance when the day comes.  I have pushed through the water to get to the point that I need to be at.  As I have proven to myslef that I can do the 2.4m swim(1:18), I now am on a quest to make it faster.  I spent 80% of my practice today doing drills.  damn they are hard when all your time is spent focusing on proper form and technique.  I did have a proper practice ready, but like a smart guy I left in sitting on the corner of my desk when I left the office today.  I improvised well and still manager to be able to do close to 1 hour of various drills.  I did come to a quick realization as I did swim some lengths after certain areas of focus.  It works!  As I focused on one area and brought it into my swim, I could feel myself moving more effortless through the water as well as being quicker than I was earlier.  As I am in 'base' training I am going to spend the next 45 days focusing more on technique knowing that the payoff will be there when I do head into my program.  I guess it should not come as a surprise as I have coached athletes on snow for years and preached that the drills and tactics will pay off results if you keep with them.   I did have a small breakthrough today as well.  To date I have been breathing only to one side, as much as I have tried bi-lateral I was not working.  After some of the drills today, I find myself feeling far more comfortable on both sides. Crazy thing....I dont know what drill led to the breakthrough, I suppose I will have to do them all over again 100-200 times to make sure it sinks in and becomes natural for me.  I also started to refine my roll with one of the drills as well.  I have been good at doing it so far, however, my timing with my breath has not been proper.  I suppose that whatever I did today contributed equally to a more timed roll and bilateral breathing.  Whatever the drills was I am happy that is in my toolbox and I look forward to figuring it which it was an keeping it moving forward.  Overall it was a great practice with the rush hour being a little distraction.  I suppose it is nothing compared to 2000 others at the start line.
Today I also found some of my personal aspirations being a motivation to my training.  I have set some goals for myself this year that I have started to work towards.  I am a big believer in reaching for your dreams and believing that they can be accomplished.  Over the past couple of days I have started some activities that are going to see them come into reality.  It is great when work and play begin to compliment one another and motivate you towards the journey that you are destined to follow.  As this blog is to capture my thoughts and feelings of the journey of this year, I am am going to prematurely thank those who will be on this IM journey as well as fulfillment of a dream.  They know who they are and they are a key to this al coming together.  Don't ever forget, 'Live for your Dreams'. They are realistic if you believe in them.  The only thing stopping you from achieving them is you!  Cheers!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Keep it all in perspective!

It seems that stolen text is developing as my blog this week.  But, when I read something that I believe is true to my existence and thoughts, I steal it.(with credit given)  Thanks to Hugh fopr sharing the following!   I think many of us, myself included tend to get caught up in the little stuff for no logical reason.  Next time it happens to you(or me) ask yourself, 'is it going to kill me', 'will this hurt someone else', ' will I still be able to get out of bed tomorrow morning'??  We are privildged to have an ability to do what we do.  We get up in the morning and have the means, resources and self confidence to chase our dreams and enjoy the journey!  So nect time you run a slow race, get a flat tire or stub your toe, suck it up!  it could be worse!  Enjoy reading!


When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar...and the coffee...

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was. The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous "yes." The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.
"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, " I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things, God, family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions-things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car. The sand is everything else-the small stuff. "If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal." Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand." One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."

Hope your week is awesome!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Cross training to the Max!

As it is off season and not time to be officially training, this weekend rocked! I have read all kinds of material that says that this is the time to mix it up, do things that relax you and bring a smile to your face. I can see the overall value of it, as 6 months of focused training will be taxing at times, I am certain of that. This weekend was an awesome weekend for cross training and a smile.
For all you non_winter types you might think it is nuts, but I am not that guy. Yesterday was the beginning of a 9 week camp that I am teaching. I have 3 groups of various abilities over 3 sessions on the weekend. This year I am lucky to have all advanced and strong technical skiing. There in is the cross training. At a balmy -15c, I was out for 6+ hours training in outstanding conditions. With cold weather I tend to ski a lot and talk on the lift. With the advanced skiers it means I can light it up as well, ski like a mad man to demonstrate what I am working on. Yesterday was out of this world conditions to pull it off. Over the day I probably got over 15000 vertical of skiing(for Ontario that is incredible). The day was sunny, so after a great day on snow I put on my gear and headed out for a short run. It was quite cold on the face, but I was ready for it unlike the prior blizzard I ran in. I did a little over 6k in snowy and wet roads. Although it was a great run, I find running in the snow tough on my lower back. I think in efforts of self preservation I tense my back to keep myself up. Oh well, nothing a hot tub when I got home did not fix.
Today was also cross training to the max! Another sunny day, although the wind was screaming at 40-50k making it frigid. But, the conditions were great and my group was also very keen. I spent the day skiing fast with a great effort by those who were with me. The afternoon was spent playing in the moguls which is one of my favorite places to ski.
It has been a long time since I have had sore legs from skiing. So, I can only believe that this weekend was an awesome cross training adventure as my legs are sore! Yahoo! If I could do all my I'm training on skis, I would be in Kona in no time. I am finishing the weekend with a good stretch to maximize the benefit of a great workout weekend! Happy Sunday and I hope you have a smile on your face! Cheers

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Saturday ski day!

The following points were plagiarized from  It is a post that truly represents my thoughts and mist admit, my ideal way to live!  I am going to leave my post today to this because I think it is truly the way the world should live!  Enjoy and have a great Saturday!    Have to share this awesome photo with you as well! this is why I love to ski!  it rules!

2010!  Why not pledge to live this way!
1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants..
4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
5. Make time to pray.
6. Play more games
7. Read more books than you did in 2009 .
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day
9. Sleep for 7 hours.
10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.

11. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12. Don't have negative thoughts of things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13. Don't over do. Keep your limits.
14. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
16. Dream more while you are awake
17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need..
18. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner of his/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
20. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23. Smile and laugh more.
24. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree...

25. Call your family often.
26. Each day give something good to others.
27. Forgive everyone for everything.
28. Spend time w/ people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30. What other people think of you is none of your business.
31. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

32. Do the right thing!
33. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
34. GOD heals everything.
35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change...
36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37. The best is yet to come..
38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
39. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

Last but not the least:
40. Please Forward this to everyone you care about, I just did.

Friday, January 8, 2010

its a winter wonderland!

Each week goes by with a ton of fun and the opportunity to learn new things, meet new friends and enjoy the fact that in the morning my feet hit the floor and I can love life for another day!  Friday's in the winter are particlarly awesome!  At the end of that day, a whole new adventure starts....the crazy drive north, the usual white out conditions....the joy of getting to ski country!  Ladies and gentleman, it's FRIDAY!  Ski day eve!
This week seemed particularly nuts so my ride up this afternoon was a great pleasure.  It marked the end of getting back into the routine, putting up with some stressful moments and the start of what is going to be one of the greatest years of my life!  I guess it goes without saying that it is a week that I enjoyed.  This weekend also marks the start of the winter ski teaching and coaching season.  Tomorrow I start teaching a technical ski program for the next 9 weeks as well as 2 other groups of advanced skiers looking to turn it up a notch!  This winter I have taken a particular keen interest in knocking the socks off off those that I am teaching and coaching!  Tomorrow is going to be a great day!
This week was a great week getting into the swing of a training commitment.  Early in the week I was kind of hesitant after a less than committed holiday season.  I did keep at it, but, food and drinks were not seeming to cooperate.  But as I started the week and kicked it into gear it all flowed together nicely.  I had a tough workout on Tuesday in the pool. only to be followed by a smooth effort 2 days later.  I spent more time than ever stretching, I already feel the benefits of it.  I officially started weights this week, a truly satisfying effort.  After day one with weights I thought my workouts would suffer, they only seemed to be easier!  Today i had a great run after a couple of days off(since the Jan 2), I thought it would be nasty and slow.  I am not a fast runner by any means, today I knocked off 5k tempo run in under 5min/k.  Quite happy with that as I start to train for a couple of early spring races!   As a whole this week, I feel that the efforts of the past 2-3 months are starting to pay off a little.  And to top it off, I got on the scale tonight.  Wahoo!  As some may know, this whole IM thing started as the result of a bet that I could not lose weight.  Well, I did kick the pants off of the bet and then some.  It was a great moment.  When I was 20-25 I was likely in the best shape of my life, I had a vigour and excitement and a lack of bad habits and excuses.  I worked out every day and loved doing it, I missed the days that I could not.  I ate well and paid attention to my body and how it reacted to what I did. Most of those years I did not change my weight at all, I  was at a steady 187.  It has been a long time since my weight started with 18....  This afternoon I got on the nasty machine....I weighed 189!!!  This is awesome, without a conscious calorie effort I have reached another benchmark, I like the progress!  As I start my weight training and continue to gradually ramp my workouts this should translate into some great long term results.  I do have a couple of chips on my cycling shoulder that I need to settle, losing this weight while gaining strength should certainly help to settle that score(you know who you are)
As the day tomorrow is going to be outstanding, I now need to go and tune a pair of skis.  Tomorrow is a day for lighting fast and I want to be ready!  Happy weekend!  Cheers

Thursday, January 7, 2010

another day, another great workout!

Today was swim day and Yoga day!

I love yoga as it is both physically beneficial as well as a great mental and spiritual training session.  Boo!  I  missed it this morning!  I am a person who can usually take any kind of stress and let it roll off my back and move forward.  I can come home, forget about it and have an easy night sleep without any further thought.  Last night was different.  I have a couple of large projects that are ongoing and last night they hung in my head and came back to bite me every 20-30 minutes.  As the night went on I became more frustrated at the fact that I could not relax and put it away for the night so that kept me up as well!  Boo!  I slept 20 minutes at a time for the whole night. In between the naps I was awake for 20-30 minutes stewing over the ridiculous issues that I could do nothing about at that time of night!  So, I woke up at 5AM to go for a short run and yoga and decided that a little sleep was more beneficial.  Good but bad!  I dont like skipping workouts, however, lack of sleep will get me down the road.  Oh well!  I guess I will get over it and have lots of time to get workouts in.  :)  I did get my problems solved as the day went on and now it all seems insignificant, a lesson learned!  It isnt heart surgery, next time I wont worry about it until I can solve it and it will get done!  No more skipping workouts because of stress induced lack of sleep!
This afternoon I did have an awesome swim!  As suggested earlier I plan on doing at least 50% drills in the pool for the next while.  Todays workout was 2300m with at least 1800m being drills.  I find that when I do drill workouts and then put some distance in, I can feel it being easier in the water.  Today was no exception.  I did start somewhat hesitantly, I was beginning to feel some small aches as a result of last nights weights.  As the workout moved forward I felt better and better after each length.  When I am doing drills I dont time myself, it takes the passive stress out of the workout.  The only clock I focus  on is my rest stops.  I am very strict on following my rest and use it as a good guide as I progress in my practice.  I am still loving the pool, even after my workout on Tuesday where I felt like I was sinking to the bottom.  I am confident that by the time my training comes along, I will be prepared for the hard workouts and able to push through them for maximum benefit!
I spent some time talking today with a co-worker who has completed 4 IM's.  Although I dont work for a huge company, we have offices across Canada so you dont actually meet everyone you work with.  Today I took the time to call him to introduce myself and hear about his experiences.  It was a great talk. He has done IMCA, IMLP x 2 and IMWI once.  His hardest race was Wisconsin which he shared with me.  I enjoy hearing of all experiences, good or bad.  This one happened to be bad as he crashed on his bike and ran a 6 hours marathon.  But, there is something to be learned from every race and my discussion with him was nothing less than educational!
Time to go for some dinner and then enjoy a little hottub time!   Cheers!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A little resistance!?

A little resistance......a lot I must say!  I have put off starting to follow a very productive resistance program until today!  Finally got off my butt(with my nice organized gym space and got to it)  And it felt great!  I started light today as I am 2 months ahead of schedule for this program.  I think I will take the time to build gradually making certain that I use proper form.  As well as doing weights  I added in my hamstring 'rehab' exercises.  It feels great to do the workout, I am still in the convincing myself how good it i phase. Over the next 2 months it should make a big difference in my overall training as it will wake up some sleepy muscles.
Over the past couple of years I have had a small back issue.   It stems from the all of my core muscles not engaging when I am skiing, running, swimming etc...  When I say core, I consider my hamstrings a part of that, followed by glutes and all the other abductor muscles and small stuff around.  What tends to happen is that my back essentially acts as the full support therefore reducing all of the other muscles firing properly.  As a result after a couple of days of hard workouts, or a couple days on the hill my back starts to hurt and eventually does a bit f a 'snap' thing.  For the next 3-4 days it is nearly impossible to walk.  So, I have been doing a prescribed program that helps to awaken all the muscles around so that they share in the work.  By the time I start training in March it will be 3 months doing this regularly, the results should  ideally show in my training as I ramp up the intensity at that time.  One of the exercises that I do is called a Nordic.  It is crazy!  you kneel on the floor and someone sits on the bottom of your legs.  You then, with a stiff core begin to lower your body towards the ground.  while you are doing this your quads and hamstrings load and you have top support yourself as far down as you can, and then allow your self to repeat.  I have to repeat this twice a day doing 10-12 each time.  The goal is to be able to drop yourself all the way to the floor without collapsing.  So far i am not there, but, I wont stop until I can. My goal is to be able to drop and pull myself back up!
So far the start of the year has been fun from a work and 'training' perspective.  I am busy as can be at work, which is great.  I look forward to all of the challenges that 2010 is going to bring if this first week is an indication of what's ahead!
Off to get some work done!  Cheers!

Blub! Blub!

That is how my swim practice felt last night!  Very bizarre considering how great I felt just before the holidays.  I did my pratice last night 100% off of the clock, my main intent was to praticce technique.  Following the clinic that I completed in December I have relaized the importance of how much the techincal will help my swim overall.  The past 2 months I have spent little time on technical(10 of pool time max) and most of the time bilding distance.  As I head into the stretch before I start nmy official IM program I am going to put a heavier focua on technical so that I start off correct.
As I got into the pool last night I did 10 x 25m warm up with 10 s rest.  When I was doing them I felt like I was flying, teh bottom of the pool was miving far faster than before.   As I contmiued with drills I felt most of them progress well with an ease that I had not experienced in the past.  Then I thought I would do some 200m repearts to finish off.  The first 100m was strong, then the second it felt like someone was pulling me back.(with no colck I can not confirm) but it did feel like hell!  I was struggling to keep up my forma nd pace and simply feeling like I was struggling the entire time.  luckily I am a big believer in  teh time that I have put in to date and will chalk this one up to getting abck at it!  I am not going to lose sleep as I know over the next few weeks and months I am going to kick some butt in the pool and back into open water!
I did intend to finish my workout in the pool with some resistance training!  Oops!  Ended up meeting some friends and going for some beers instead.  Again, I am not ging to sweat it.  I know come March I will be craving the moments to do nothing, and at that time it will not be a choice in my scheduel.  So for now, a beer here, a missed workout there, I'll say I am paying it forward!
One big accomplishement last night was a frame of mind.  I have set some goals for 2010 and I am strengthening my resolve to get them done.  I had a discussion with a great friend last night who is teh only person I have shared this with.  He knows me better than anyone and agrees with what I am doing!   As the year moves forward I am sure I will share what I am chasing as it turns into reality! 
As I have been known to say or preach,  "Livin' the Dream"  or as my RoadID says 'Live for your Dreams'  Off to go and influence my destiny!
Cheers and Happy training!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Away we go!!!

Today was a rest day as I get myself organized to start to hit it hard!!

I spent the evening putting my resistance training program put together so that I can get started in an organized fashion on my weight training.  I now have some method to my madness as I begin to add resistance to my training.  I am excited about this new element to my training.  In the past I have responded very well to this type of routine, I am hoping the result will continue.  As I begin to study my upcoming training program(starts in March) resistance training is a very important part of what I will be doing.  By getting started now I should have a good base established and be able to continue without the initial shock of the impending pain of doing weights.
I also spent the evening getting my home gym space in order.  I am a visual person and wanted to create an environment that is conducive to working out while using my most effective methods of both motivation as well as training tools.  In order to do this, I put up a cork wall.  Yep, from the ground to the ceiling I now have a giant bulletin board to post my latest and greatest ideas, tools and tips.  This will be a great way to be able to look at a glance and make certain that I am following my routine as well as using it to post some variety and motivation to keep me moving forward.  While setting up the gym space I also scouted out the space I need to set up my new trainer that I am getting at the end of this week.  I am getting a Tack Fortius trainer with VR.  This should be awesome to motivate me while I am riding as I will be pushing through an actual course as well as having the trainer talking back to me by automatically changing the resistance.
I also sent time this evening planning my races for 2010.  Most of the races will be 'events' for me.  I am doing them to get into the race environment and to work on making sure that I dont get all race horny and think that I can go like a mad man(I am not going to KONA so I need to take it easy) I often need to remind my self to slow down!!  The only race that I am going to 'light it up' is the sprint tri.  Now that I have trained for a while, i want to see what I can do on the course!
Although today was not a training day, I have accomplished a ton that is going to help me get to the start and the finish as well.  I am quite excited to get started now that I have a little logic about what I am doing.  In the necxt couple of days I am going to continue to plan out teh next couple of months.  Although I am not 'training', with work during teh week and teaching ski camps on teh weekend, I need the structure to keep me going!
I hope that I can keep this 'buzz' moving forward.  Time to go and get some Zzz, cheers!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Oh, it's 2010! And the New year now begins!

I hope the first weekend of 2010 was full of fun, friends and family!
after being out skiing for 7 days, I am back home and to reality.  The New Year starts now! Over the past week we had such a relaxing and enjoyable time we were at the point we did not know what day of the week it was.  A week with no watch on and and enjoying every minute of it was a a great way to end one great year and start a new one.

The start to my New Year was as I intended it to be.  New Years morning I organized a 5k Resolution Run at our ski club.  So bright and early after a calm and collected New years eve I headed out to the club for the Craigleith Inaugural 5k Run/Walk.  I planned the run to start this year off on a good note for the training I have ahead.  The run was awesome!  It was -5c and snowing big snow flakes(like the ones on Christmas card photos) with all the trees covered roads ankle deep in snow.  There were families with children, coaches and athletes from our race program, ski instructors and friends.  The route was great, running along the base of the ski hill and then down towards the bay.  Most people ran the route with a few walkers as well.  After the runners finished the first loop, I went back out and ran the route again to make sure everyone was back safely.  After starting the year off on a healthy foot with the run, we changed into our ski gear and had an amazing day skiing!  There was all sorts of new snow, enough to call it an Ontario powder day. We went like crazy all day,  the conditions were near perfect, temperature was not freezing.  Then we all went back to your chalet for a hottub, from the tub we watched the huge waves crashing on shore!  A few friends joined us and we had a big healthy dinner!  It was a perfect start to the year!
I am looking forward to getting back to work after a refreshing break!  With batteries recharged, a new drive to live and chase my dreams!  2010, here I come!

Friday, January 1, 2010

2009......A year of.....

WoW!  another year in the history book!  I feel a little like a bottle of wine(not to drink, metaphorically speaking), each year that goes by in my life seems to get better and more enjoyable.  Like any good wine, it is enjoyed with friends and the memories are with you for ever!
2009 has a ton of memories and was a year that will likely be remembered as a key moment in my future. I want to record a few of the times and trials that are ones to remember and the ones that will lead me into 2010 which is going to be a banner year!  I have a feeling that it will be one of action and accomplishments and that 2009 set the ball in motion to accomplish the dreams and goals that I have set.
Early in 2009, the year started with a bang as I went out and completed my Development Level Canadian Ski Coach certification.  What a great course it was.  It brought me back to the competitive environment that i enjoyed in ski racing when I was young. It was a week of fast skiing, technical development and 'learning the ropes'.  As a die hard skier, any certifications and courses I can take bring me pleasure, this one was no exception. With this certification I have now moved forward within another stream in the world of skiing and competitive coaching.  Later in the month, the courses continued and I became a certified park and pipe instructor as well.  Now, here is something nuts, a 40 year old guy in a terrain park teaching 15 year olds how to do tricks.  It was a blast to complete, but, I'm not teaching kids how to jump!!!  I like my body parts where they are currently attached!  In the ski world I also had an awesome winter coordinating a Professional Training Series for the Canadian ski instructor Alliance.  I put together a series of 6 events for ski teaching professionals throughout Ontario and it was received with sell out enthusiasm and enjoyed by all.
Professionally 2009 was a satisfying roller coaster of a year!  The first 3 months of the year started with the continued tenure with a company.  As the year started I felt that it was not going so strong so I started to look at opportunities.  Lucky for me i did come up with what seemed to be a great development opportunity in my career.  Very lucky!  The day I received an offer for the new opportunity, half of the company I was working for were packaged due to poor financial results. Lucky for me I dodged an unemployment bullet.  So off  I went to my second job of 2009.  While I was working towards this new job I actually turned down an offer form a company that I had previously worked for, more on that later!
Off I went to get start on my new job.  Within the first week I discovered that my due diligience was lacking.  The company I was working for was managed by idiots.  Not your regular garden variety type of idiots, total 'f'n idiots!  I made my bed so I figured I better sleep in it for a while.  It is not my nature to give up because of adversity, so I pushed ahead.  On the 3 month anniversary I decided I was not going to stick this one out.  Working with morons was not in my list of things to accomplish so I made a decision to get out of there.  Lucky for me the original job offer was still somewhat in the wings.  I called the VP and had a great discussion with him about what had taken place, he told me that he would make a spot of me in the company.  So, by July I was on to my 3rd career change in a year.  I am with the company and moving ahead very well rigth now.  It is a great place to be, it provides me the flexibility of working flex hours which is a perfect fit for the following year of IM training.
One of teh more memorable events of the summer was my bet weekend.  A have a great friend that is a little older than I am. I have kindly called him 'old fart' for a number of years.  In June I weighed in at a comfortable 222lbs I had truly earned the nickname 'fat f*cker' from him.  In my kindest manner after a couple of beers, I suggested to him that he would always continue to get older but, I could lose weight whenever I chose.  HHHmmm!  Sounds like a good bet to me!  There were 5 of us at around the fire that night, the might the bet was born.  Here it goes, if I got under 200 lbs between June 1 and September 1 he had to buy dinner for all of us at a great Toronto restaurant.  The first bet was not enough, another friend said it was fine that I could lose it, but I would not be able to maintain it past December.  What a great night!! I am not a gambler and will only take a sure bet!  Losing 20lbs is something I needed to do and now i had a great incentive.  With my calorie counter, a pair of running shoes I danced off with a big grin an my face to lighten my friends wallets by a few hundred each!  What a good time!
Another big moment was my participation in the Guelph Lake II tri.  Every year my buddy challenges me to do this silly tri.  I always waited to the last minute hoping it would sell out.  The year before I was in the water 26 minutes for 750m, called a rescue boat 3 times, held 2 corner markers and had my wife coach me to the end. Well, this year I decided I might want to actually figure out how to swim.  Rather than doing a month of drills I would add  a couple of lengths in to my training.    So I signed up and headed out to the start of Guelph.  A good race it was, I could actually swim without a lifesaver guard following me.  I got out of the water in 18 minutes and cut my time by 26 minutues overall. I was happier than a clam, I had finished the race in a time i was not embarrassed to look at.  The finish of this race was my big moment in what 2010 has in store.  As I figured out I could swim 750m, I figured 3.8k would not be insurmountable.  After a little thought(and discussion with my wife) I decided I should take IRONMAN off of my bucket list.  I decided IM Wisconsin would be my 2010 A race.  I am looking forward to this as it will be the accomplishment of a dream. The road along will be an awesome experience and one filled with a tremendous opportunity for growth and memories!  I need to thank my friends who bet me.  As a result, I lost weight by running and swimming.  I liked to ride so I did more rides that usual, the net result is IRONMAN was a logical step to move to!  I look forward to this like no other event that I have participated in before!
I have gone on a bit about some of my events that I have done in 2010.  I need to recognize my wife for her unending patience and support.  She is awesome, she supports me and pushes me in all the ridiculous stuff that I do.  Without her I could not complete half of the things that I do and would not be going to to Wisconsin!  Thank you Trish, you are awesome!
After registering, I went on a  little swimming find myself.  I could not survive a IM swimming, so I had to figure that out quickly.  I am happy as Happy could be that I have completed an IM distance swim now and can focus on the whole event rather than only the swim!
As I look ofrward to 2010 I look at it as a year of opportunity and one for a huge change.  I am a believer in living for your dreams, this year is the launch to my life's ambition!  It will be a long journey, but I believe in it and it is time to move forward towards it.  I have the greatest friends and family that anyone could ever ask for.  I am blessed with my health and a comfortable roof over my head.  I have a carer that allows me to grow and become a better person.  With all of the stars line up it is time to move towards 'the impossible'.
I want to end 2009 by thanking all of the people that have supported me and listened to my endless stories.  Those who are behind me as I start a new year of adventures and obsessions.  Thank you to you internet people who inspire me to be stronger faster and get my ass of the couch!  I look forward to 100's of stories and an awesome tatoo to talk about in my 2010 year end!

Happy New Year!