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Month in Review

March 2, 2015 1 comment

badtri

Looking Back, February 2015:

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What do you call something that was less than what you hoped, but better than what you did last time?  An improvement?  A poor expectation?

It’s taken me a good 6 months to get back into training after race season ended last year – if you can call what I’m doing right now ‘into training’ – though I do feel I’m starting to turn a corner.  For me it’s all about consistency of routine, and I’m not nearly as consistent as I’d like to be yet, though I’m probably about as consistent as I’ve ever really been at any point in my training past (and certainly more consistent than at any time in the past 6 months).  So maybe that’s good?  I think I’m thinking of it as good, but with a big asterisk.  I know I can do better…

Looking Forward:

… which means March is the time to put up or shut up.  I have 6.5 weeks until a lovely trip down south that I’m very much looking forward to, and is going to wreck all hell and havoc on my training routine, I just know it.  So I’ve got 6.5 weeks to really make that routine solid before I go, and before I come back and right into my first race in early May.  My weekly training routine is pretty standard (the specific intervals, weights, reps change week to week, but the routine is solid):

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So what do I need to do to make this happen?

  1. Strength sessions are priority.  Never short change a strength session.  Get strong before you go long!
  2. Saturday Long Run is the most important workout of the week.  Everything else feeds into (or off of) that
  3. Monday evening’s easy spin and Friday morning’s swim are optional.  Hit them when I’m strong.  Take them off when I need rest.  When in doubt, remember points #1 and #2
  4. Get my ass out of bed and hit my morning sessions.  And leave my crap in the gym locker.  I can’t talk myself out of an evening session if I have to go back to pick up my crap anyway.
  5. Laundry must be done Tuesday and Sunday evening.  It is known.  Lack of clean workout clothes is not an excuse.  This should almost be part of my training calendar.
  6. Monday & Thursday am/pm sessions can be swapped if needed, if I get to the gym in the morning and one of the good stationary bikes is free (the ones with the TV that works).  A good stationary bike is key to surviving a 60 minute workout.  Spring can’t come fast enough!!
  7. I think ‘Get my ass out of bed’ needs to go on this list a second time.
  8. Whenever not training (or working, which I’m pretty good about not doing outside of 9-5) spend time with my wife.  This is my time – the rest is her time.

So I guess that’s what I’m focusing on for March.  That’s a pretty big list…

5 Things I Think I Think:

  1. February 2015 was the coldest month in Toronto in the history of ever.  Fuck that shit!
  2. I’m considering joining the Grand River Cycling Club this summer.  I’ve never cycled with a group before.  One of the things I’ve always liked about cycling (and triathlon in general) is the individualistic nature of the sport.  I like team sports – but a 1-2hr cycle is a great chance for some self time.  But perhaps having a group to cycle with would be a good thing, with regular ride times, routes, and paces?  I think it would help with the ‘consistency’ thing I’m going for here
  3. Sports Geek: As I’m typing this, I’m watching a live tweet feed of the Blue Jays intersquad game.  The season hasn’t even started yet.  The preseason hasn’t even started yet.  And. I’m. Already. Geeking. Out.  Opening day is just 5 weeks away.  It’s not just that baseball is awesome (which, it is), but it’s the start of summer.  It’s sitting out in the sun, drinking overpriced crappy beer, and watching a bunch of millionaire grown men play a game.  It’s baseball.  #SoExcited!!
  4. Beer Geek: My wife had a rare weekend off this weekend, so we had a chance to hop across the border for a romp with some American (and international) craft beers.  I got to sample a whole bunch of things, and we brought a whole lot more back with us.  I think my favorite of the night might have been the Allagash Interlude.  Allagash is quickly becoming a favorite brewery of mine.
  5. It’s just started snowing outside my window again as I type this.  *sigh* I’m so ready for spring.

What do you do to make yourself get out and train during the winter?

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Week/Month In Review

June 2, 2014 2 comments

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:

I’m killing two birds with one stone here, looking back on the past week, and on the Month of May all in one post.  Efficiency!

May 2014:

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(“Sport” is a combination of softball and beach volleyball, or any other team sport I may get myself talked into.  Not “training” per se, but part of the general contribution to how tired I feel in any given week/month)

Last week (May 26th 2014 – June 1st 2014):

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(I did 25 minutes of hill repeats last week.  I didn’t bother to measure how long the hill section was that I did, but I did 6x run up/walk down the garbage toboggan hill at McLennan Park.  So that was that)

Not my best week/month, but certainly not my worst.  I feel like winter is finally behind us, and I’m so much more inclined to get out and train.  And to get outside and train!  Cycling has certainly ramped up over the past two week, due in part to commute cycling.  The swimming and strength numbers look kinda ugly (particularly last week, where they were non existent).  But holy shit – nearly 400km of cycling in May!!  And almost half of that last week alone!! Damn!!!

Looking Forward:

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My ability to get my ass out of bed and train in the morning before work is really what’s going to make or break my training season (and possibly make or break me in the process).  I hate waking up in the morning.  I feel like a fail as a triathlete because I’m not jumping out of bed at 5:15 every morning, pounding a protein shake and a coffee and putting in 100km before going to work.  Isn’t that the stereotype?  I seriously love sleeping in!  But the work doesn’t get done if I don’t get my ass up!  It’s true.  Trying to do everything at lunch or after work – life gets in the way.

This morning I got out of bed and did 1,500m in the pool.  An easy swim, but the real victory is in the routine!  Tomorrow morning I’m getting up again and swimming 2,500m.  And Wednesday I’m getting up and hitting the weights.  Every.  Day.  That’s the goal for this week.  Every.  Day.

5 Things I Think I Think:

bike commute

  1. I think I’m really enjoying my bike commute to/from work.  The commuter bike kicks the shit out of my quads (that thing is so old, and heavy, and stiff), but it’s so much nicer riding home from work through the park than being stuck in traffic.
  2. I think I continue to be amazed by the differences between my commuter bike and my road bike.  I’ve been alternating between the two riding to/from softball, depending on if I want to ride in traffic, or on the park paths.  The trip by road is a hair longer, but takes me 2/3rds the time.  And my body is almost more comfortable now in the aggressive road bike position than on a very casual hybrid bike.
  3. Sports Geek: That Blue Jays 9 game winning streak was amazing!  But it wouldn’t last forever, and I’m kinda glad it did end.  A baseball season is a marathon, not a sprint.  Just keep winning series’ boys.  Can’t wait to see how they stack up against Detroit this week.  Go Jays!!
  4. Beer Geek: Had a lovely Hop House Belgian style Pale Ale by Ommegang Brewery this weekend.  That was quite the treat!  I’ve really come to love Belgian style beers lately, but haven’t had many with a strong hop component without losing the typical qualities of a Belgian ale.  This one was very well done.  Ommegang can pretty much do no wrong in my books at this point!
  5. I think I love the way swim training exhausts me in a completely different way than run training or bike training.  Swimming is so peaceful and so killer at the same time.  Love it!

Do you prefer to train/work out in the morning?  Or in the evening?

Opening Day

March 31, 2014 Leave a comment

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It’s the Happiest Day of the Year!!

Opening Day – the truest sign of spring I know.  Summer is on the way.  Baseball is back.  Life is good.  And like every year, it means an afternoon off work!  Happiest day of the year indeed!

And what a perfect day to take an afternoon off work:

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It’s sunny.  It’s warm (relatively speaking).  It’s a great day to get out of the office.  And while I’m currently parked on the couch ready for first pitch in about 5 minutes, I didn’t completely waste this brilliant afternoon:

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Okay – I look really grumpy there.  Selfie fail.  ‘Cause I really wasn’t.  I was outside for a run, without a jacket.  And in SHORTS!!!  I discovered that it’s really hard to take a full body selfie – my arms just aren’t that long – so you’ll have to trust me I’m outside in shorts (besides, nobody really needs to see those pasty legs anyway… let’s get some more sun on those bad boys before they show up in any pictures, right).

It’s spring!  Baseball is back, running in shorts, life is good!  Life is real good!  I think even the bottle in the backyard is starting to realize it’s spring!

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(Last) Week In Review

March 25, 2014 3 comments

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:

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Prior to last week, I found myself in an unexpected 2.5 week break from training.  This week I’m simply glad to be back at it.  I’ve had a few victories this week – I’m 3lbs closer to my race weight goal (though that could be in part due to the less-than-accurate-lately scale I’m using at the YMCA…), and I managed my first long run longer than 10km in almost a year.

Hopefully now that I’m back into a training routine, I can also get back into a blog writing routine.  As goes one, so goes the other, oddly enough…

Looking Forward:

This week is so important to my training – this week is my chance to prove that I’m back into a training routine, and build off of last week’s results.  My goal is to replicate last week’s volume, while stretching out my long run an extra 2km (per my training plan), and introducing some strength training back into my routine.

5 Things I Think I Think:

  1. I think I’m nervous about the Half Marathon I’m planning (but haven’t signed up for yet) at the end of April.  I have run a Half before (and have also run a 30km race before).  But prior to this week I had let myself cap my long runs at 10km.  I think training to run longer than 10km is a psychological barrier as much as a physical barrier.  It’s about convincing yourself that you can keep going.  I think I really enjoy breaking that barrier.  But I also think I have a lot of work to do to be ready for a Half in 5 short weeks
  2. I think the 35 minute run I went for yesterday was my best run of the year!  The sun was shining, the sidewalks were dry.  And I ran pretty darn fast, by my standards.  It was nice to run outside – off the treadmill – where I didn’t have to watch for ice under foot at each step.
  3. I think it would be nice if pools were open for lane swimming at more times that gave me more options in my training plan – particularly options that didn’t require me to wake up at 5:00am.  The alternative is to swim after 9:30pm.  Yuck!  That’s bedtime (I know!  I’m old!)  Everything in between is booked for swimming lessons, etc.  I understand the need to offer family programming at family friendly hours, but the selfish side of me would love to not have to choose between swim training and sleeping in!  Can’t I have both?
  4. Sports Nerdness: I think I’m really excited about the Blue Jays season this year, even though all the media analysts are predicting doom and gloom.  Sure, a lot of things will have to break right for this team to do well, but the point of being a sports fan is to be unrealistically optimistic about your team, especially before the season starts!  We’ve got it this year boys!  Let’s Go Blue Jays!!
  5. I think the wine bottle buried in the snow in our backyard is finally starting to peak through.  Spring will come.  The snow will melt.  I will get to ride outside soon enough…
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See the tiny spot in the center of the picture? That’s the mouth of a wine bottle, standing upright, buried in the snow. It’s starting to emerge! Spring is Coming!!

Is it still winter outside where you live?  Or is it spring there yet?

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