Thursday, March 05, 2009


From blogging.

I know. I know. You deserved better, just thought I'd make it official. No big drawn out good-byes, no words of wisdom, I'm exiting the blogosphere and entering the ..

To everyone who's every posted (all 3 of you!).. Thanks and..

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A wise person once told me 'if you don't have anything intelligent to say, don't say anything.' So, knowing my own limitations, it's been rather quiet around here.

I do have a few tidbits of news, probably the most important of which is my occasional training partner, Gary, competed in the Miamiman half Ironman and pulled off a rather studly 4:22 - good enough for 2nd overall! I'm super happy for the guy, as he ended his season on a high note and I'm also super happy that he's not in my age group!

So, it's been 21 years since I last competed in a swim meet. Last Sunday I had a chance to rectify that. I was rusty and am obviously no where remotely close (or ever will be) of setting a PB, but I was very happy I went and had a chance to mix it up with other masters. (of which there were numberous tri-nerds). I competed in the 100FR (:59), 100IM (1:12), 400FR (4:50), 50FR (27.2) and 100BK (1:15), I was also signed up for the 100 FLY and 200 FR, but time was running short and Sally and I had to leave early. Well, I was a tad tired too, so I didn't put up too much of fight about having to leave early.
The competition was pretty good, they seed you according to your expected finishing time. So you are swimming with guys who are at or near level. You may have a 24 year old one one side and a 55 year old on the other side of you. It's all according to time. However, your actual placement is according to your age category. I was fortunate enough to get first in the events I competed in, which is primarily attributed of remembering how to swim fast. (now I just have to learn how to swim fast for long periods!) Always learning.

Run update! The 100 runs in 91 days is progressing well. I'm on track, but it's been tougher than I thought it would. Not physicaly.. more of a mental battle. It's day 48 and I've got 53 runs done, not much room for error, but still plenty doable.

Bike? What bike? It's still a distant memory, but hopefully in Decemeber I'll crank it up another notch and start logging the miles. The more I get into training, the more the blog will updated. I promise. :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

22/100, making a habit.

22/100 runs done. Target of 100 runs in 91 days still very achievable. Swimming 5 days a week. Whoa, the former 'swimmer', sure is swimming alot these days! Well, not really. I still dread going to the pool, but I'm trying to form a habit. I figure if I can keep up the swimming frequency for another 2 weeks, I'm golden.

By the sounds of it, you'd think I'm training alot. All untrue. My swims are quick in/out affairs lasting 30 to 40 min - just enough time for a quick 2k and I'm outta there. And my runs, well they are all short, averaging 40 minutes each, which in all total is a mere 8 to 9 aerobic hours a week. Two goals are being accomplished here: consistency and frequency.

So I finally got off my duff and registered as an unattched swimmer for Masters Swimming. My first swim meet in 21 years is November 16. Should be interesting. I really hope I've been able to talk some other tri-nerds into going, it'll be a hoot.

A quick congrats to two of my sometimes training partners who ran the Toronto marathon last weekend. Cliff, who not only PB'd, he also beat his goal time (by 6min) AND negative split that sucker. Impressive. Aaron, who missed a PB by a mere 1min and 7 sec, but also somehow managed to raise (how many thousands of dollars for the Princess Margaret Hospital?) By hanging out with people who raise the bar and push their limits encourages me to do the same.

Gotta run.. #23 is next.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Turned "On"

I need triathlon more than triathlon needs me. Since Muskoka, I've managed to gain a very quick and alarming 10 pounds. Not bad, 2 to 3 pounds a week! My metabolism just hasn't caught up with my current activity level and I apparently lack the self control to EAT LESS!

So clearly something had to be done. So, on October 2nd, after my shortest 'off season' ever, I started training. VERY light training, but training none-the-less. It's unbelievable how much fitness one can lose in a very short time when reverting to being a sloth. I needed a goal. Including Oct 2, there are 91 days left in the year, the goal is to run 100 times between now and then. A quick nod to ST's Paul Devashish for doing this last year as it's the catalyst for me this year. (a 'run' must be at least 30 minutes in duration)
I'm currently on run 13 and today marks my first day EVER of doing two runs in a day. Hey, if I'm going to address my limiter, I gotta pay the piper.

A brief outline of my training plan:
Oct, Nov, Dec: run and swim, focus on running. Currently running with a HR cap of 140, which reduces me to walking hills. Ug. Planning on doing a swim meet once a month from Nov-Mar.
Jan, Feb: early season "A" race. Chilly Half marathon. Focus on running speedwork and laying the base down on the bike trainer.
Mar, April: back to base building, and hillwork.
May - Sept: Threshold and Vo2 work. Muskoka Chase will a B+ race, Peterborough Half Ironman will be a "A" race and it looks like I'm going to do Muskoka 70.3, though I'm lolly gagging on registering. Race wise, it's almost a carbon copy of last year.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Turned 'off'.

Workouts since Muskoka: 0
Pounds gained: ~2
I guess it's officially the off season. Catching up on lots of stuff around the house, all the things I put off while training throughout the summer. Guess I have to pay the piper sometime.

Other more tri specific things that are on horizon that may or may not happen. I guess you could classify this as mere ponderances at this point.
-starting a Tri-nerd swim club, the goal being to improve our swims and also do a couple of Masters swim meets for fun. Drop me an email if you wish to be updated on this.
-talked with Rich Pady today about the idea of getting a not for profit Triathlon Club/Team off the ground. This could quickly go from a back burner project to a front burner project soon. Hopefully details to follow in the coming months.

Stuff that's going to happen in the near term:
-Octoberfest 100k ride 'for the hell of it'. No HR or power meter allowed! Aaron and I did this last year, it was 5C and rainy - good times. Open to riders of all calibre.
- 3rd Annual Hockley Hike-n-Run. A 22.5k/3.5 hour hike-n-run through some challenging terrain. Probably in the first half of November, traditional pancake lunch at my place afterwards.
Farther down the horizon..
-2nd annual Alton Half Ironman end of January. Upping the entrant cap to 5 this year. With only 5 spots available, you may just want to reserve your spot ASAP, expecting interest to be exceedinly high in '09!!

In regards to training..
-I'm starting to chomp at the bit and I'm looking forward to get back at it, however I've got vacation coming up and lots of non tri stuff to do (possible canoe trip!), so probably won't start any consistant type training for another 2 - 3 weeks. I figure by then, I'll be fat, unfit but raring to go.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Doing the old farts proud.. Muskoka RR.

+1 for the over 40 crowd, but it was oh so close. Six seconds to be exact, which in a Half Ironman, isn't that much!
Putting ones doubts 'out there' for all see, exposes one's vulnerable side, yet I also think it puts a distinctly human perspective on things as it's something we all experience and can relate to. That being said, I'm going to expose myself... (get your mind out of the gutter!), as I was saying, the last 3 weeks before my last and biggest race of year, I was having trouble just keeping it together. Physically, I did OK at keeping some sort training schedule (mostly due to my new found training partner.. Gary - to which I owe a debt of thanks), but mentally I needed break. I was at the point where I didn't know what I wanted more, to race, or to be done racing for the year. It's been a fantastic year, but I really just wanted to chill out for a bit, pack on a few pounds and relax! Yet I had to race, I paid my fee, I said I was going to Muskoka and by golly I sure the hell wasn't going to let some self pity and nagging doubts stop me!

Cool things about Muskoka 70.3:
The volunteers were simply outstanding. A+++++
For an inaugural event, organization, parking, busing of people to the site etc.. again, outstanding.
The course itself, in the words of the Joanna Zeiger (top woman overall): "Brutal".

On the other side of the equation:
The course is.. ahem.. brutal. Ok, the soggy conditions and the intermittent high winds didn't help, the course may not be 'brutal' but make no mistake about it, it's a tough course.
Questionable pavement. Some crappy 'paved' areas and rough sections of road were leaving people covered in specks of tar by the time they got their bikes. You need to be confident on your bike if you plan to do this race next year.
The run course is punishing, and I'm not just talking about the hills. Sometimes you're on pavement, a dirt path, crumbling walkway or just plain gravel.
Being spackled with tar bits, running in the rain on a dirt path I thought I was doing an Xterra race!

Damn, this report is getting long winded. Sorry about that. On to the meat and potatoes:

The Crystal Ball.
After a VERY quick registration procedure (sub 5 minutes has to be some sort of a record), I run into Lisa Bentley manning the Power Bar booth, she's an incredible athlete, but did you know she also can predict the future?? She says, and I quote: " just don't pass me on the bike." I replied: " even if I did, you'll smoke me on the run." Foreshadowing?

The Swim: My age group is wave 4. (did I mention I hate wave starts??) We started 6 minutes after wave 3, which at the time, I thought was plenty. However, after about 1k we ran into wave 3 and had to play a little dodge swimmer. Other than that, uneventful.
Swim 1.9k: AG 3. OA: 35 Time: 29:03.

T1: Uneventful. Ha! Not really. It's long, it's uphill, it's on pavement and by the time I got to the bike I was hoping my feet weren't bleeding! Time 3:40. (no, I didn't stop for a sandwich)

The Bike: Challenging under dry conditions. Very wet roads, intermittent rain and the occasional wind gust made this bike the toughest I've done so far. Rough patches, freshly tarred stretches of pavement and slick cornering compounded the challenge. I took advantage of my new found bike fitness and rode comfortably hard. At one point, I got into a little back and forth action with a young'un who really didn't like getting passed by a 40 year old. He'd hammer up a hill, pass me, and then on the downhill and even stretches, I'd pass him. We went back and forth a bit and I think he realized that he was just smashing himself and eventually let me go. I was pretty sure I had my age group lead at this point, but with the wave starts it can be hard to tell. I started passing some pro women and by the time I hit the 70k mark, the ride was VERY lonely, I was starting to think I took wrong a turn! I think I went for 20 minutes without seeing another rider. In the late stages of the ride, guess what? I passed Lisa Bentley...
Bike: 94k AG: 1 OA: 13 Time: 2:36:58

T2: Mr. Announcer says 'and here we have our first age grouper coming off the bike!' I'm like.. huh? He can't be talking about me, there must be some mistake. Nevertheless, the crowd went crazy and I, for about 2 minutes, felt like a star! Naturally I started out too fast! (but at the time, I didn't care) :)

The Run: Oh, how I envy the people that can run well. They flow, it's effortless and they are fast. I held that flow, for about 8.. maybe 9k and then I could feel wheels starting to fall off. Suck it up, hold it together and don't stop. I get passed once and only once, by guess who?
Lisa Bentley. The prophecy is complete. She's in the zone. So focused. So intense. I borrow some of that strength, buck up and soldier on. The 16k mark is where the real fun begins, in a sadistic sort of way. The brochure says 'run through the gentle rolling terrain of a beautiful Muskoka golf course', the reality is: 'oh my God is this ever going to end, the ups, the downs, the twisty turny... is going on and on. Oh yea, must give honourable mention to the ... rain.
One more twist, one more turn, one more little jaunt up a hill and back down and finally.. finished!
Run 21.1k AG: 5 OA: 41 Time: 1:34:41. (owie!)

Finally the end of this report is almost in sight! Cheers for getting this far. The bottom line:
Time: 4:45:37 AG:1 OA: 17. The kicker: scored top age grouper by a mere 6 seconds. So this race is dedicated to all the 40+ old farts! Yea Babay!

Quick sidestory: Sorry for the name dropping, but this is cool. Briefly, ran into Joanna Zeiger post race and congratulated her on her win. You know what her first words were?? " Thanks!, how did YOU do?" No ego, real humbleness and what appeared to be a genuine interest in a fellow athlete's race. Yea, that's what I'm talking about, man I dig this sport.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Psssst! Wanna tip?

It's been 5 years since I got off the couch and ran a marathon for the 'hell of it'. In hindsight, that definitely falls in the 'what the hell was I thinking department!'. Running a marathon with 3 months of 'training'.. Is. Not. A. Smart move. I took the lessons learned from that mistake and jumped into triathlon the following year. Made some more mistakes, learned some more lessons and of course, repeated some mistakes. Eventually, (ok, so I'm not the fastest learner) I started making fewer mistakes and as a result, this year has been an excellent year. Why is that? Well, hold on to your chair, because I'm going to spill the beans...

Stuff I learned this year:
1) Protein is your friend. Don't short change yourself in this department, your body needs protein to help rebuild from all the damage we do to ourselves from training. Having a serving of protein with every meal has made a noticeable difference in my recovery and general well being. Less/no sickness, giving the body the fuel in needs for repairs = better recovery, which in turn = more training = more fitness = faster times!

2) Intervals. Holy crap, my cycling has improved HUGE this year. Why? Intervals. Riding fast to get fast. Now keep in mind I have a massive 3+ years of base building, so when I started to incorporate speed work into the plan, the effect was huge. Why? The engine was built, it just needed tuning. Once or twice a week, I'd hit the hills or do interval work. I never really got around to do doing V02 workouts (that's for next year!), but I did get alot of time spent at just below FTP - usually 30 to 40 minute sessions. The result? FTP went through the roof and I'm currently able to sustain much higher speeds on the bike for a longer duration. I had the base, I just now had to teach myself to go fast.

I'm trying to come up with a 3rd thing I learned this year, but I'm drawing a blank. They say you should learn something everyday.. hmmm, I think I'm behind the curve on that one. Anyway, if those 2 things make a difference in your future training - then I'll be a happy guy.