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I’m coming home

July 29, 2013 Leave a comment

WaterlooON

I’m coming home
I’m coming home
tell the World I’m coming home
Let the rain wash away all the pain of yesterday
I know my kingdom awaits and they’ve forgiven my mistakes
I’m coming home, I’m coming home
tell the World I’m coming

J. Cole ft. Skylar Gray

Sept 2013.  KW, here we come…

Get Off The Couch!

July 27, 2013 1 comment

GetOffTheCouch

There was a time in my life where the thought of a day lazing on my couch sounded heavenly!  Putting my feet up, eating and drinking crap, watching TV, or playing video games all day long.  Doing nothing at all.

Where did those days go?  (Oh, right.  I graduated.)

Last night I slept like crap.  I woke up this morning feeling like I hadn’t slept at all.  So, with little on the to-do list today I parked my ass on my couch and fired up the old video game system.  “I’ll get my training ride in this afternoon”, I said.  “I’ll do my household chores this later”.  It was around 3:00 when I realized just how shitty I felt.  I’ve been on the couch all day.  Damn.

Beyond the fact that a day sitting on the couch is rarely accompanied by healthy balanced meals, merely sitting all day is pretty bad for youI found the below Infographic to illustrate my point.

As for me, I think it’s time to get off the couch, put a load of laundry on, and hit the gym hard.  That’s enough lazy for one day!

550x-sitting-is-killing-you-1550x-sitting-is-killing-you-2

Friday Stray Thoughts

July 26, 2013 1 comment

Friday

Image by Glenn McCoy

Happy Friday everyone!  For those of you looking for a little light lunchtime mid afternoon internet distraction to tide you over until quitting time, here’s a Few Stray Thoughts for your Friday Afternoon

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badtri

I love this image.  I gotta find somewhere to use this on my blog.  Sometime you kill the race, sometimes the race kills you, amiright?

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TheBlerch

Speaking of funny… but this one I can actually identify with, check out this comic from theoatmeal.com that’s been making the rounds on Facebook and in some blog circles.  Particularly the first strip I can completely identify with: The Blerch!

It’s both entertaining, but at the same time kinda helps me understand myself as a runner.  For sure, worth a read (ya know, if you’re in an Internet surfing kinda mood… which, if you’re reading this post, I’m guessing you are).

– – – – –

Why not end with a classic?

triathlete_what_I_do

I don’t know about the Superman one, but the rest seems pretty damn right.  What do you think?

– – – – –

Have a great weekend everybody!

Race Recap: Cincinnati Triathlon

July 25, 2013 2 comments

3pigs

I had an amazing time at the Cincinnati Triathlon this past weekend!  The decision to incorporate a destination race into my schedule this summer was certainly worth it.  I will definitely be doing so again next summer!  A few early thoughts: ChicagoBostonPEI?

I’ll try to do another post later this week about our vacation surrounding the race… for now, let’s focus on the race itself:

The alarm went off at 5:00am.  My poor wife, having worked late several nights in a row before our trip just can’t catch a break to sleep in, even on vacation.  What a trooper!  At least she had a coffee.

IMG_0310

The best decision I made on this whole trip was to pack a kettle, a packet of instant oatmeal, a Tupperware container and a spoon.  It was a perfect pre-race breakfast, and I found it gave me the perfect amount of energy for the race.  So much better than hotel continental breakfast of day old cinnamon buns, or trying to find a coffee shop in a strange city at 5:00am.

We made it to the transition site by 6:00.  While Cincinnati is in the same time zone as Toronto, it’s sufficiently further west that it’s a lot darker at 6:00 here than back home.  I haven’t yet had to set up my transition area in the dark – not that it was too dark to see – it just made it feel really early.

The gun went off at 7:00… except it wasn’t really a gun, more just a guy at the top of the wall along the river’s edge shouting “GO” into a megaphone.  Whatever, it worked.  The swim was really neat – I’m used to swims in lakes where the swim heads out into the deep water, around some markers, and back to shore.  This swim was in the Ohio river, in a single direction, and all along the river’s edge.  Many of the swimmers were a mere few feet from the concrete river wall the whole length of the swim.  Adding to the experience – spectators were right down at the river’s edge with us, and walking along with their swimmers.  It was really neat each time I took a breath to the shore side seeing my wife walking along beside me.

photo

I swam the 400m stretch in 6:47 (1:42/100m pace).  Not as fast as I know I’m capable of, especially for such a short distance, but at the same time distinctly faster than the 2:00/100m pace I swam in my past two open water swim races.  I’m still not happy with where my swimming is at this summer, but it was good to see improvement.

T1 was a real gem for me.  In the first triathlon I ever did (September 2011) my T1 time was an ugly 3:19.  I’ve been working on getting that down, and managed to do T1 this race in 1:54.  Win!!

t1

The bike caught me off guard.  I heard from a friend of mine, who’s previously run the Cincinnati Marathon, that Cincinnati is a rather hilly city.  Shit he wasn’t kidding!  The bike route took all of 5 city blocks to get from transition onto an expressway, riding up the steepest expressway exit ramp I’ve ever seen.  There’s nothing like jumping on the bike, working to get your legs under you, and within the first minute having to drop to your easiest gear to get up a damn hill.  And once at the top, I don’t think there was a flat stretch on the whole expressway.  I managed to ride the 20km distance in 43:30 (27.59kph pace).  Again, not as fast as I know I’m capable of – I was hoping for sub 40:00 – but given that the amount of hills exceeded my expectations, even with warning, I’m not terribly unhappy with it.

bike

T2 was another gem.  I think my transitions saved my race time.  I was able to get through T2 in 1:18.

My run was crap!  I just couldn’t get anything going.  The run itself was a little hilly, though not as bad as the bike was.  I felt good in the run – I had strength, I had energy, I had confidence.  Unfortunately, I also had lead legs.  I could not convince them to work any faster.  I didn’t realize how poor my run was until I turned the last corner and saw the finish line clock.  It was pretty ugly.  5km in 36:19 (7:15 min/km pace).  GROSS!!!

run

I thought I should be able to do this race in under 1:30:00.  My final time was 1:29:52.  18/19 in my age group.

I’m happy with the overall time.  I met my goal… but I feel like there were lots of lost opportunities to really knock this one out of the park.  My run was really disappointing.  I know I can do better than that.

Tonight I went out for my first post race run – a 10km tempo run I did at a 7:01/km pace.  A bit better, but still pretty slow (and no bike or hills to blame this one on).  I feel like I’ve lost my run a little bit.  My wife reminds me how much I’ve improved in the past 2 years, and I agree – and it is good to focus on that – but at the same time, I want to keep getting better.

With this race behind me it’s time to turn my attention to my ‘A’ race of the year – the Lakeside Olympic Triathlon on September 15th.  In addition to simply finishing my first Olympic distance race (which itself will be a huge accomplishment), I think I’m going to make my run a priority for this race.  I want to run a personal best split before the off season begins.  I want to wrestle this pig back into the mud! (see what I did there, I tied it back to the pig picture at the top!  Now that’s writing!)

Have you ever gone through a period where you’re run has struggled?  What did you do?

Race Preview: Cincinnati Triathlon

July 17, 2013 1 comment
This, apparently, is Cincinnati

This, apparently, is Cincinnati

I’ve been away from posting for a little while – owing partly to a bit of a training ramp up, and a bit of a laptop crash.  Feels like there’s a lot to catch up on…

This weekend is the Cincinnati Triathlon.  I’m crazy-stoked for this one.  I posted recently about wanting to find my mental strength, and that being a focus these past few weeks.  It’s paid off.  I’ve had some great training sessions!

mrstrongOn Friday of last week I had my first personal training session with a good friend of mine @EmilyMcGray (who is going to school to be a Personal Trainer – she’s legit).  Holy crap did she kick my ass.  We put in a solid 90 minutes that left my abs feeling weak for about 3 days afterward.  But it felt so good to work with a pro again.  It’s been years since I last worked with a trainer – usually I just fumble through the gym on my own.  I had a plan, and together we pushed through it.  #Awesome!

This past weekend I took my bike on the train up to Barrie ON for a little self-guided Triathlon Boot Camp!  Just me, my bike, my running shoes, and the summer heat.  I like to give a good training push the weekend before a race, before beginning my taper week.  First challenge: the 40+ km crazy-hill bike ride from Barrie to Wasaga Beach… with a full weekend’s worth of supplies on my back… in > 30° full sun, mid-afternoon torturous heat.  Bring it!

Bike130713

The ride was a little slow – owing mostly to my father and uncle riding out from Wasaga to meet me half way (and the resulting social visits on the side of the road that followed).  On paper the ride took me 1:48:xx to complete, but I’m sure I spent a good 20 minutes of that standing around chatting.  Nothing beats a good mix of hard training work with a bit of socializing sprinkled in.

The next day I put in a good hard bike/run brick.  It was hot, but I pushed through.  And I’m really glad I did, because Cincinnati this coming weekend looks like it could be a real stinker  (although, Sunday does look like the best day in Cincinnati in the next 5 days)…

Weather130717

I’m really looking forward to this race.  This is going to be my first destination race.  My wife and I are leaving Toronto for the ~8hr drive via Detroit to Cincinnati on Saturday morning.  The goal is to be on the road at 6:00am (ha!… well, we’ll try).  That should put us in around 2:00 – with 2hrs left before race kit pick up closes at 4:00.  Then we have the evening to explore the city.  Any recommendations from anyone out there of how to power see Cincinnati in an evening?  Maybe a Reds game?  Or a walk through downtown?

Sunday morning is race morning.  400m swim, point to point, downstream, in the Ohio river (I think this is the definition of a ‘sprint’ swim) followed by a 20km bike and 5km run along the river banks in downtown Cincinnati.  I’m going to have to keep from gawking at Great America Ball Park or Paul Brown Stadium as I bike by – I’m a sucker for sports stadiums!

I’m feeling, perhaps, the most prepared for a race I’ve ever felt.  I could always have trained more, but I’m ready to go.  I think this is going to be a great race!  My only apprehension is the 7:00am gun start.  God that’s early!  I have to have my transition set up and be out of the transition area by 6:45am.  It’s going to be a really early wake up call in my hotel, I think…

But, the beauty of a 7:00am race gun is that we’ll be back at the hotel in time to grab some free hotel breakfast buffet after the race.  Score!

Go Buckeyes!!!

Go Buckeyes!!!

After the race we’re driving up to Columbus OH to spend the rest of Sunday touring another city – the city I was born in.  I haven’t been back since I was 2 years old.  I can’t wait.  I’m looking forward to touring The Ohio State University, my dad’s alma mater.  After that, we’re letting beeradvocate.com be our city guide.  I’ll be ready for a post race drink or two!

Monday we’ll be road tripping home, taking a lengthy stop in Cleveland OH to visit Fat Head’s Saloon for lunch, and possibly a stop in Buffalo NY for dinner (whatever it takes to avoid crossing the border at rush hour).  I love that my wife loves beer as much as I do – this is going to be a great road trip!

Blue Monk

I can’t wait to do my first destination race.  I’ve been excited about this one since I laid out my race schedule last November.  I’m not fast – I don’t race to win, just to do my best and have fun.  The idea of rolling it into a road trip – a vacation – sounds perfect to me!  This is what Age Group racing is all about!!!

Have you ever done a destination race?  Any tips for this travel rookie?

 – – or – –

Have you ever been to Cincinnati, Columbus, or Cleveland?  Any suggestions of what we need to see or do?

 

Little Victories

July 8, 2013 1 comment

treadmill

Tonight’s bucketing rain kept me away from Run Club (and, I’m guessing, everyone else too… that first picture is just down the street from my building).  So – in keeping with this week’s theme of Mental Strength – I decided to put in a hard and fast 5km on the treadmill.  Nothing like a good ‘ol fashion set of treadmill intervals… amiright? Right!

30:53

I know it was a treadmill, and not outside, and I know that’s not a crazy fast time in the big bad world of running, but I’ve never run a 5km faster than about 33:30 before.  Damn!  I’m a wee bit proud of that shit!

New goal for this summer… I want to run 5km in under 30 minutes.  I’m gonna run a 5km in under 30 minutes!  Damn right I will!

How was your Monday?

 

My Own Worst Enemy

July 7, 2013 3 comments

BoxingRing

Ladies and Gentlemen.  In tonight’s Main Event, we bring you Dave v. himself.  This one promises to go the full 10 rounds!  DING!

Seriously – most days, I’m my own worst enemy.  I’ve done all the online research – learned a thing or two about Brick sessions and HIIT training.  I’ve mapped out my swim, and bike, and run schedule, and sprinkled some strength training into the plan.  I’ve planned my reps, thought through my workout, and I’m ready to go…

Then the alarm goes off, and the excuses begin.

ExcusesI’m my own worst enemy.

I recently read through an interview with Chris McCormack that I found really inspiring.  He touches at one point on the difference between physical strength and mental strength:

Physical strength is easily obtained. This is something that I find very basic. Mental strength is something that needs to be harnessed and understood. It is something that grows and is developed with time. It is something that most athletes and coaches don’t spend enough time developing because it is the most difficult of the training parameters to work on. It is about an athletes character and this is hard to work.

Lately I’ve been finding my mental strength in training has been wanting.  It’s too easy to skip a training session, or to go too easy in a training session.  All the usual excuses come creeping in.  The will to push through when it’s hard – that’s my new focus.  Because it is hard.  Seriously, step back and think about it for a second – completing a triathlon is hard!  It’s really hard!  Be it a Tri-a-tri, or a full Iron Man – it’s really hard.  If it were easy, everyone would do it.  And I’ve always believed anyone can do it – it’s about putting in the work necessary to get there.  It’s about the will to put in the work when it’s hard.  When it really sucks.  That’s how we do this.  That’s how we get better – how we get faster, how we get fitter, how we get better.

Yeah!  Let's Get It!!

Yeah! Let’s Get It!!

My focus over the next two weeks, until the Cincinnati Triathlon is going to be on finding and improving my mental strength.  Digging deeper.  Hitting those training sessions that in the past I might have found excuses for.  Pushing harder.  Building a mental strength base that I can harness coming out of Cincinnati and into the home stretch before my A race at the beginning of September.  I’m going to learn to stop being my own worst enemy.

~ DO’G

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