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Consequences of Monday Morning Decisions

Kings-Bridge-Park, Niagara Falls

Kings-Bridge-Park, Niagara Falls

Story Time!!

This weekend, an announcement came out from MultiSport Canada (organizers of most of the triathlon races I race in locally) that they are adding an exciting new race in late September 2014 – a Half Ironman in Niagara Falls.  Admittedly, my interest was peaked…

Which is kinda silly, really.  I mean – I’ve finished one Sprint distance triathlon (should have been 2, but the 2nd one was turned into a duathlon by mother nature mere minutes before the starting gun).  Sure, I’m signed up for 3 more races this season – one of which being an Olympic distance triathlon… but to start thinking about a Half Iron?  Is that not putting the cart before the horse a little bit?

Well, let’s think about this:

  • September 2014 is at the end of NEXT race season – I have this whole season, an off season, and another race season to train for it
  • I can swim 2000m.  At least I think I can (though I don’t know if I ever have before)… swimming’s my strong suit
  • I can bike 90km.  I’ve biked a century before
  • I can run a half marathon.  I’ve run a half marathon before (hell, I just “ran” a 30k race a few weeks ago).
  • … and sign up doesn’t start until mid summer this year, so I have time still to decide.  Though I suspect this one may fill quickly

I definitely spent last night thinking about it.  Could I do a Half Ironman?  Could I be ready that soon?  How totally awesome would that be?!?

My hour long drive to work

My hour long drive to work.  I kept Toronto and the US border on the map in case anyone has been wondering all this time “where the heck is this ‘Hamilton’ place?” he says he’s from

Fast forward to this morning.  Every Monday morning I drive from my home in Hamilton to my work in Waterloo.  My alarm went off at 5:45.  I made my lunch – a healthy lunch – and got into my car.  In Waterloo, I meet up with my sister for a morning “swim”.  I say “swim” because it’s often much more social than a hard workout – lots of hanging off the edge of the pool and “recovering” while catching up.  But this morning my sister couldn’t join me, so I swam alone.  I decided instead of doing drills (with “recovery” time in between) that I would do a distance swim since I had no one to chat with anyway.

Normally my distance swims are based around my race schedule.  I don’t race anything longer than a 750m swim until late in the season, so I would normally aim for 1,000m.  But that Half Iron was still in the back of my mind.  I started off smooth and easy – focusing more on form than on power.  I finished 750m in 12 minutes, which is pretty fast for me.  I guess there really is an argument to technique in the water (as opposed to thrashing as quickly as one can).

I decided to keep going.  No rest break.  I finished 1,500m in 24 minutes.  My pace was holding.  I kept going.  I finished 2,000m (the Half Iron swim distance) in 33 minutes, or a 1:40/100m pace.  I was pleasantly surprised with that.  Apparently I can swim 2,000m just fine.

As I hauled myself out of the pool I thought “Would I be up for a 90km bike right now (and a half marathon after that)?”  I think I smiled a little at that point – though if I’m being honest with myself, my core and arm muscles were pretty tired and I think I’d run out of gas pretty quickly on the bike… but we’ve got time to work on that.

I drove into work today feeling pretty damn happy with my swim.  2,000m at a 1:40 pace.  Shit that’s good for an early season time!  What a great idea that was to go for it and swim that whole distance!  I was so convinced this was a great idea I didn’t even notice as I sat down at my desk and put my lunch bag right beside me.  By 11:30 it was all gone – the sandwich, the fruit, the muffin.  All gone, and I was starving.  Yep, I’ve already been to the cafeteria for a coke, bacon cheeseburger and fries.  Holy cow I’m hungry.

Lesson learned today: planning for long training sessions really matters, unless you’re okay with impulsive greasy cafeteria food (which, after today’s swim, I sure as hell am!)

Happy Monday Everybody!

– DO’G


  1. April 8, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Sounds like you have already decided but have not committed yet. Good luck, sounds like you might have an interesting year ahead.

    • April 8, 2013 at 3:01 pm

      I think I’ve decided it’s something I’d like to do… but not sure that I’ve decided yet if it’s something I should do… if that makes sense?

  2. sweatingforit
    April 9, 2013 at 8:47 am

    That’s so exciting! I’ve been toying with doing the New Orleans HIM next year but I’ve only done a handful of super sprints. Must get over my open water phobia before I can commit. Id love to do a few Olympics this fall though. Can’t wait to hear your decision!

    • April 9, 2013 at 8:58 am

      Open water is a whole different beast. Do you get much opportunity to train in open water living in New Orleans?

      I’m signed up for an Olympic distance this September, and a hybrid distance this June (750m swim, 30k bike, 7.5k run) – I think training for those will go a long way to helping me decide.

      • sweatingforit
        April 9, 2013 at 9:05 am

        I don’t have a wetsuit so I haven’t gotten in the lake yet here. My swim coach says he will swim with me in the lake when it gets warm enough. I was trying to wait until I get into the lake before I sign up for an Olympic or full sprint distance.

      • April 9, 2013 at 9:16 am

        I don’t have a wetsuit either, so no open water swimming for me until at least June – it’s too cold here before then

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