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New Exciting Things

January 31, 2014 1 comment

RW_Logo_200x75_2(sorry for the lack of Friday Stray Thoughts today… I was drawing a blank.  Besides, I had something to actually write about.  Hope that’s cool with you)

This one’s been in the works all hush hush like for a while, but now that it’s finally been published on the website, I figure I’m okay to talk about it here to.  Right?  Right!

I’ve joined up with RunWaterloo (aka the Waterloo Running Series) as their shiny new Volunteer Coordinator!

kermit-yay-flail-o

I’m excited!  Can you tell!

Why?  Because I have too much free time on my hands?  (umm… no)

Because I love running events (and triathlon too, obviously).  I love ‘race day’, and this gives me a chance to be part of putting on 13+ ‘race days’ each year.  And I really believe volunteers make all the difference.  They make a good race GREAT.  Races don’t happen without all the volunteers – from the marshals on the course, to the people handing out race kits and food, to the folks who show up at the crack of dawn (or earlier) to set up the course, and stay late to clean up after all of us.  Its a kind soul who shows up to do this work.  And it’s my way of saying ‘thank you’ by rolling up my sleeves and and pitching in.

And to me, RunWaterloo is a great fit!  They do an amazing job of giving back to their community.  They’re accessible to runners of all abilities – from podium finishers to first time runners to families.  They’re a great little run group, and I’m so excited to be part of the team!  Seriously, if you’re ever in the Kitchener-Waterloo area you should come run with us!  Or come volunteer, that works too 😉

I could certainly use some new ideas and experiences to draw on.  So I’d love to hear from you:

Have you ever volunteered for a race (or other event)?  What made it great (or crappy) for you?  Or as a runner in a race, do you have a stand out story about a volunteer there?

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Week In Review

January 26, 2014 Leave a comment

badtriThis may or may not end up being a recurring feature on this blog, largely dependent on how busy lazy I am on Sundays.  We’ll give it a try for a bit and see how it goes.

Looking Back:

WIR 140126

This week was my Grind Week (a term I’ve just come up with over the course of this week) – the week immediately preceding a planned recovery week, where you’re at the furthest point from your last recovery week: you’re mentally and physically tired, and trying to push yourself to get through the week without taking it easy, knowing next week you’ll get some reprieve.

I think I did well.  I added a pair of 2-a-day workouts – my first of 2014 – and managed to keep pushing hard throughout the week.  My focus is still on base work and drills as opposed to speed work.  The speed will come (I keep telling myself)… just stick to the plan…

Looking Forward:

Next week is a planned recovery week.  And I’ve earned it.  In fact, I think this is the first ever recovery week I’ve ever planned into a training session where I truly feel I’ve earned a recovery week (and where I haven’t just slacked off during previous training weeks).  My goal is not to reduce the frequency of training this week – I’m in a good place as far as my morning routine, and don’t want to change that – but to reduce the intensity of sessions.  I’m not really sure what that’ll look like in practice yet.  Anyone have any suggestions of how they handle recovery weeks?

5 Things I Think I Think:

  1. I think taking Friday off work as a “Me Day” was a brilliant decision.  Clearing my schedule at work was a bit tricky, but well worth it.  I find self care days extra important during the shorter colder winter days.
  2. I think I’m tired of this cold weather.  Our house is very drafty, and the heat doesn’t hold up well when the temperature outside drops below -10°C (which seems to be always this winter).  I’m tired of being cold.  It’s starting to really wear on my mood.  I think I’m ready for summer now!
  3. I think that 2-a-day training sessions aren’t as hard as I remember them being.  Going back to the gym after work isn’t so bad.  Getting up in the morning is still the worst part.  It seems that I’m always exhausted and struggle to get out of bed for my morning session, irrespective of if I do an additional evening session or not.
  4. I think we’re entering the dark month for a sports fan like myself.  Football is over, and baseball doesn’t start up for a few more months.  Yeah, there’s hockey and basketball going on – apparently – and I may pay attention from time to time.  But we’re a good 6-8 weeks away from anything exciting happening.  I gotta find something else to pay attention to in the meantime.
  5. I think the best decision I made this week was to spend a pair of evenings sampling craft beers with my wife and some amazing friends of ours.  Even if it did mean two straight nights of a bazillion calories.  I know there’s a huge nutrition component to training (which I’m terrible at – mostly because I tend to abandon healthy eating on weekends), but there’s a balance between training hard and maintaining a life outside of training.  People talk about work/life balance.  The added dimension of work/life/training balance makes it even trickier.  I think for me it’s still a work in progress.

That’s my week in a nutshell.  How was your week?

What’s on YOUR iPod?

January 22, 2014 11 comments

My cousin sent me a text this morning: “I found a song that is exactly the beat that I run and I love the song too: Unbelievers, by Vampire Weekend”.  For those of you (like me, until a few minutes ago) who don’t know this song:

Great song (which I had heard before, just never caught the name of).  It does have a great beat for running.  And it’s reminded me to write a post I’ve been meaning to write for a while now… uh… this one…

What’s on YOUR iPod?

See, it’s shitty cold here these days, and I really don’t want to run outside.  So I’m stuck on the treadmill.  Which means I’m super dependent on the tunes in my pocket to get me through my run (then again, I’m super dependent on tunes pretty much all the time).  There’s currently 908 songs on my phone – rock, country, hip hop, musicals… all kinds of things.  I have songs for every mood.  But only the right songs get me through those 6:00am treadmill sessions.

People choose music for working out based on a variety of factors – some like a particular tempo, others like lyrically inspiring songs.  Others just want something they grew up with.  My wife listens to podcasts when she runs… I need something with energy!

I have two playlists I use for training.  One has about 150 songs in it, with a mix of all the reasons for inclusion above.  I throw that list on random each session and get a different mix each time.  The other I call my ‘Race Day’ mix.  This is the cream of the crop folks – 6 songs to get me fired up once my bike is set up in the transition area and I’m pacing around trying to stay lose:

Because seriously – what ‘get pumped’ playlist doesn’t have this song?!

Too cliche?  Too bad!

Shout out to my brother-in-law for introducing me to this one.  It’s the lyrics.  It’s the beat.  It’s the whole package!

My brother-in-law introduced me to this one too.  It helps to have people who follow new music more than I do (otherwise I’d still be listening to Eye of the Tiger)

I grew up with this movie.  It’s The Shit!  This whole soundtrack gets me going, but this song is King!

Honestly, apart from my love for this band, and my love for anything 90’s rock, this song has the perfect beat for running.  I can’t stop air drumming, even on the treadmill (I must look like an idiot at the gym.  m’ohwell).

So there you go folks.  I’m nothing without my tunes, and those are my tunes!  But I’m always looking for new material.  So I’d love to hear your suggestions – any genre, any reason:

What’s on YOUR iPod?

Blue Monday

January 20, 2014 3 comments

blue

Today is Blue Monday, the pseudo-science crap “scientifically” determined to be the most depressing day of the year!  Seriously – check out the calculation formula on the Wikipedia link above.  C R A P!

That being said – even if completely unscientifically founded – there seems to be something to it.  The days are still short, the weather is still cold, and I sure as shit didn’t want to get out of bed this morning for a training session.  I did… but I didn’t want to!  And it was a slug of a session at that.  My legs were screaming at me.  But I did it.

Apparently, this is the third year in a row I’ve written a post on Blue Monday about it being Blue Monday.  You can see people dragging their heels this time of year.  Very few people have a jump to their step – that’s so sad.  I think it’s sad.

So I’d like to ask you (those of you reading this, at least) to do something fun today.  Do something silly!  Do something energizing!  Do something inspiring!  Do something to break out of your routine!!  Do something to make other people happy!  Do something to prove that Blue Monday isn’t science – it’s crap.  Today is a bright, sunny, (cold) day!  Make it a great day!!  Let’s celebrate Blue Monday!!

bright day

What will you do to celebrate Blue Monday?

Week In Review

January 19, 2014 Leave a comment

badtriThis may or may not end up being a recurring feature on this blog, largely dependent on how busy lazy I am on Sundays.  We’ll give it a try for a bit and see how it goes.

Looking Back

WIR 140119

Nice to finally get a bit of everything into the same week.  Though I was a bit skeptic posting some of these numbers – they feel really slow.  I’m starting to add in focused drill work – particularly in the swim, and to a lesser extent on the bike – to work on my technique.  Funny thing is, when you start swimming drills like tombstone kick drills, you don’t go very fast.  I guess I just have to get over myself and remember that no one else really cares how fast I go in training.  You don’t care, do you? (do you?!?)

Looking Forward

Right now I’m not thinking much further ahead than this afternoon, and trying not to take a nap (to make sure I sleep nice and well tonight).  I’ve had crap for sleep all weekend, and it’s really been wearing on me.  This week I want to make sure I sleep well and am rested for each of my sessions.

Thoughts From This Week That I Think I Think

  1. I had a lovely long run yesterday.  My running app wasn’t working properly, so I had no GPS indication of distance or pace, and therefore no data indication of when to speed up, slow down, or take a walk break (or stop taking a walk break).  So I just ran.  It was really nice to run by feel and perceived effort alone.  In the end, I took less walk breaks than I normally would, but also ran a bit slower than I normally would.  And I didn’t go as far as I would have liked for a “long run”.  But it was a very enjoyable session.  A great winter run!
    140118 A Perfect Running Day
  2. The pool is much busier on weekday mornings than is the gym.  The swimmers there are very friendly and chatty.  A nice social crowd.  I need to keep reminding myself I’m there to get some work done.
  3. The bike saddles at the gym still suck, but they suck distinctly less when you’re focusing on paying attention to a drill and the gym TVs have the Raptors vs Lakers game on than when you’re just spinning an easy 60 minutes and the TV is playing crap.  Then you have nothing else to think about other than how much your ass hurts!

Thoughts From This Week That Have Nothing To Do With Triathlon

  1. Denver vs. New England.  Seattle vs. San Francisco.  I think I’m both cheering for, and expecting a Denver vs Seattle Superbowl?  I think?  Or maybe I’m just hoping for a good Superbowl party.  Anyone out there have a particular strong interest?
  2. After having an unintentionally beer-free week last week, this week I got to enjoy a lovely bottle of Fin du Monde.  In fact, I even had a second!  Lucky me!!!
  3. My wife and I, having finished watching the 3rd season of Sherlock, are now re-watching the first 2 seasons on Netflicks.  Really great show.  Too bad there’s only 3 episodes per season (although at 90 minutes long they’re almost mini-movies…)
  4. I love tacos.  I love tacos!!  Friends of ours made tacos for a dinner party this weekend!  I don’t think there’s any better surprise than surprise tacos!  #The #Best  What’s your favorite guilty-pleasure-food?

That’s my week in a nutshell.  How was your week?

Bloggin’ Ain’t Easy

January 18, 2014 Leave a comment

OatmealHead

Read the Comic here.  The Oatmeal is amazing!!!  This about perfectly sums up how I feel sometimes about being a blogger!  Read it!

– DO’G

 

Friday Stray Thoughts

January 17, 2014 4 comments

FridayImage by Glenn McCoy

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

This week, a few quotes I’ve been saving up, that have made me smile recently.  Hope they make you smile too.

– – – – –

Jesse Thomas

A great link to the Best Triathlon Quotes of 2013.  Most of these are very Ironman-winner-specific, but this one really jumped out at me:

“It’s easy to get caught up in our little world (what?!) of triathlon, talking about the relative dorkiness of specific activities and attire choices. But I’ve got news for you guys. According to the 99.9 percent of the population outside of the sport, we’re all big ’ol dorks. The coolest triathlete out there hovers somewhere between captain of the chess club and Steve Urkel on the world scale of coolness. Don’t worry — I don’t think it’s entirely our faults. It’s the nature of our sport, being the outcasts of not one but three more popular and established sports. That’s a lot of nerds jockeying for position.” Jesse Thomas

– – – – –

And this one from BeginnerTriathlete.com:

DFL > DNF > DNS

Dead Last is better than Did Not Finish, is better than Did Not Start

I’m sure you can figure out what the missing F stands for…

– – – – –

And possibly my favorite tweeted quote of 2013:

Some days it feels like that Gorilla has endless stamina… and therefore so must I…

– – – – –

Have a great weekend everybody!  Good Luck to everyone racing or training this weekend!!!  Hope the sun is shining, the air is warm, and the sidewalks are shoveled where you live!

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