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Friday Stray Thoughts

February 13, 2015 Leave a comment

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

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weight_lifting-300x224

This week I re-introduced strength training into my routine, for the first time in… well… a lot of months.  And by that I mean I lifted a bunch of weights on Tuesday that were WAY too heavy given how long it’s been since I last lifted weights.  My everything is sore, even still today, 3 days later.  I’m familiar with the general gist of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness – I’m not terribly surprised at being really sore after not having lifted in a long time.  But I am surprised at how much I hurt, and how long it’s continued to hurt.  I’ve been walking real funny around the office this week, kinda like an elderly penguin.  Last night I went for a 20 minute hard run, and I could tell near the end when my form started to falter, and my arms started to swing a bit more wildly than normal, because my pectorals started to wince.  I’m clearly broken.

Tomorrow is my long run for the week, and while I wouldn’t normally plan to add strength on a long run day, I’m thinking it’s best to pick up a few (moderately less) heavy things tomorrow as well, lest the muscles relax too much again.

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TriHoodie

I think this came across my Facebook feed this morning – for some random reason – which is totally amazing.  You all need to rush over to teespring.com and spend all your money on this hoodie.  Do it now, before you forget!

Because Sharks!!

(I have absolutely no affiliation with the people who make or sell this shirt.  I just think it’s totally fantastic and happen to have a birthday coming up… in 5 months… hint hint)

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BeerJersey2

Speaking of amazing crap that I totally need but really shouldn’t spend money on, I came across this cycling jersey on Pinterest by way of a link to an amazon store (where, sadly, the link to the store on Amazon is no longer valid, otherwise I would gladly link it here and encourage you all to go and spend your money there).  Nevertheless, this jersey is still AMAZING and totally reminds me that spring is on it’s way, which means outdoor cycling is on it’s way.  And I’m truly in the mood for an awesome new cycling jersey (or 3) to get me through this summer!

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Have a great weekend everybody!  Good Luck to everyone racing or training this weekend!!!

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Friday Stray Thoughts

July 25, 2014 2 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

– – – – –SubaruMy third – and likely final – triathlon of the season goes this weekend.  This time, my first ever Try-a-Tri distance race at the Subaru Grimsby/Niagara Race (they can’t seem to get their marketing lined up.  Is it Grimsby?  Is it Niagara?  Let’s pick one folks!)

Anyway… I’m looking forward to this one:

1) It’s a FLAT course – should be fast, and fun

2) It’s an all-out intensity effort, as opposed to an endurance effort (which is new to me)

3) It’ll be done in under an hour

4) I’m racing with a couple buddies from high school who are tackling their first tri.  Really excited to see them pull this off.  And for the celebratory beer after 🙂

What’s breaking my brain is the 1:15pm race start time.  I’ve not done an afternoon race before.  I’m not sure how to handle this.  I have a morning routine – when to wake up, what (and when) to eat.  What do I do now – do I sleep in?  Do I eat a big breakfast?  Do I eat lunch?  Do I go for a walk or a jog in the morning?  Do I drive down early, or hang around at home in the morning?  I’m being a little OCD here, but my routine is broken and I’m not sure what to do about it!

Anyone out there with any advice for an afternoon race start?

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broken bike

I may have had a little crash last week (about 10 days ago), while bike commuting to work.  A bit scary at the time – fortunately it amounted to just scrapes and bruises in the long run.  All things heal.  My commuter bike, however, needed several hundred dollars worth of repair work.  Yikes!

(no, that’s not my bike above – that’s just a stock picture.  I’m not on the ball enough to have taken a pic of my own bike)

Thus, I haven’t done an ounce of biking since my last race 2 weeks ago (well, if you don’t count the ~3km from my house to the crash site that one morning… which I don’t).  The cuts and scrapes on my arms and legs have kept me out of the pool.  I did manage one training run this week – a quick slow treadmill 5k at the gym on Monday that felt TERRIBLE!  Seriously – it’s a treadmill; I know exactly what speed I’m running at, and how long I’ve run it for.  I KNOW my numbers used to be better than that.  Where has all my fitness gone this summer?!?  Apparently racing every other week, and not doing much of any training in between, does not constitute maintaining the fitness you built in the off-season.  Whoops.

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weight-loss-scale

The nice thing about that one trip to the treadmill (and the gym in general) is that I got to step on the scale there.  I am losing fitness, for sure, but I’m also losing weight (proof, I’ll assume, that weight loss is much more driven by diet then by exercise).  My weight is at an all-time post-highschool low, and dropping.  Which is good.  Which is really good.

Except it coincides with lost fitness, and I don’t like that.  It probably suggests I’m losing more muscle mass than I should.  I don’t like that either.  Which isn’t to say that I’m not totally ecstatic about losing weight, and really happy that my eating habits (in general) are finally supporting this rather than hindering it.  But it also tells me I really need to get my ass back in the gym and do some strength work.  I find it very easy to remember to get out for a run, or a bike ride.  Well, relatively easy, at least.  Those are directly relate to my training goals (plus, going faster is fun)!  I need to remember to continue to hit the weights.  I think that’s going to be this off season’s #1 priority.

Yes – it’s mid July, and I’m talking off season already…

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Have a great weekend everybody!  Good Luck to everyone racing or training this weekend!!!

Friday Stray Thoughts

July 11, 2014 Leave a comment

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

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Never give up on your dreams

I love this pic!  I want it on a t-shirt!  I’ve seen this floating around Facebook lately – no idea who the owner is.  If anyone knows, please let me know so I can give them credit.  And ask if they have this on a t-shirt!

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dodont

This weekend is race weekend.  Only 2 sleeps away.  I’ve decided, based on my own experience this week, I’d compile a list of tips of things not to do the week before your ‘A’ race:

  • Do not avoid any and all training whatsoever in the week leading up to your race.  Tapering is good.  Doing nothing is bad.  Keep the body moving!
  • Do not try to play in 3 softball games in a 4 day span the week leading up to your race.  This is not a substitute for race week training.  It’s just making you tired!
  • If you are going to play though, do not play in 3 games that each end at 11:00pm when you have to get up for work the next morning.  Maybe you could get away with that when you were in your 20’s – not any more!
  • Do not let your boss put you on 2 new projects the week before the race.  Okay – maybe I couldn’t control this one, but it didn’t help!
  • Do not let your diet completely fall apart.  Pre-race fueling matters.  Pizza, cookies, cake, cola, waffles, and more pizza DO NOT constitute proper pre-race nutrition (see again comment above about what you used to get away with in your 20’s)
  • Do not resort to after work power naps that leave you completely unable to sleep at night.  Especially when you’re a bad sleeper to begin with – better to push through and go to bed early than to trade a 60 minute nap for a night of insomnia!
  • Do not get too hard on yourself when life trumps your training plans.  You’re a Weekend Warrior, not a pro.  Training isn’t your job – it’s your hobby.  Roll with the punches and giver the best you can on race day!

 

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TTF

The Toronto Triathlon Festival is finally here.  I’ve been looking forward to this race for over a year – ever since I learned about it last year, but couldn’t sign up because it conflicted with a race I had already signed up for in Cincinnati (which was a great road trip, BTW.  I highly encourage any budding triathlete to consider a road trip race as part of their season – what a great weekend).  This year I’ve made it the centerpiece of my race season.  And now it’s here!

I’m a bit anxious about it – labeling it as my ‘A’ race puts a little extra hype on the event.  I have mixed feelings about how my last Olympic Distance race went, which was only 3 weeks ago, and ‘real life’ has stomped all over my training plans between races.  Do I think I can race a Personal Best?  Yes – if only because a) the course is flatter, and less rolling than Guelph Lake was, and b) the run course is the exact same running path I used to train on when I lived in Toronto last summer, so I know it very well.  It’s flat, and fast, and familiar.  All good things on race day!

On the plus side, my wife is able to get the weekend off work, so I’ll have a cheering squad.  And I’ll be staying at my cousin’s the night before, so I’ll get a nice visit in as well.  Both good things.  I think it’s going to be a good weekend.  I’m mentally ready (even if physically a bit ill prepared).

The current weather forecast doesn’t look so great though for a Sunday morning race… oh well, what can you do.  Game on!

weather140711

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Have a great weekend everybody!  Good Luck to everyone racing or training this weekend!!!  If you’re in the Toronto area Sunday morning, come brave the rain and cheer me on!!

Friday Stray Thoughts

May 16, 2014 1 comment

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

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With apologies to those who follow me on Facebook (and who’ve already seen me link this) – here the latest cartoon from The Oatmeal.  Seriously – maybe the funniest stuff online.  Go read their website, and buy all their stuff (if my budget wasn’t so tight, I sure would… hmmm… if only I had a birthday coming up…)

Sorry – I digress.  Their latest cartoon, which actually has some relevance to learning to get off the couch and into shape.  And it’s kick-ass funny:

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/what_you_see

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RedshiftBars

I’m now a few weeks into riding my bike semi-reliably to work.  And I’m realizing how different my racing bike is from The Iron Pig that I ride to work.  My commuter bike is HEAVY.  It’s old, and the derailleurs don’t really want to shift when I ask them to.  It seems the more I ride it – even predominantly downhill rides – my thighs are KILLING me by the end.  It is the ultimate pedal-mashing experience.  It really makes me long for my racing bike.  But, on the plus side, I’m going to have the strongest legs I’ve ever had by then end of this summer!!

(and apparently I need to get a better picture of my racing bike… Bad Blogger Dave!!)

 

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weather140516

This past week has been an utter shit show for me.  Extreme emotional highs and extreme emotional lows.  I feel like I’ve been all over the place.  Where I haven’t been, though, is training.  I’ve allowed myself a bit of an excuse of post-race recovery, but really, 4 days is too long of recovery for a 10k run.  It’s time to get back to work.  And I’m really excited to get back into a training groove.  With this past weekend’s race now in the rear view mirror, I feel like it’s finally triathlon season!  Now if only we could get some consistently nice weather to work with!  C’mon Summer!!

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Have a great weekend everybody!  Good Luck to everyone racing or training this weekend!!!  A special shout out to Brittany from The Fit Formula who’s taking on her first Ironman at IMTX this weekend!  You got this!!

Friday Stray Thoughts

April 25, 2014 1 comment

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

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Yesterday morning I went for a treadmill run.  I realized it was the first time I’d been for a pre-work early morning treadmill run in a long time (lately I’ve been focusing on swimming during my early morning sessions, and saving my running for outdoors after work or on weekends).  Getting on the treadmill means going to the gym.  Going to the gym means stepping on the gym scale.  Apparently I’ve gained 4 not-happy lbs since I last stepped on the gym scale.  Not impressed, but what can you do.  Keep moving fighting the good fight, I guess…

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In other possibly related news – Easter chocolate is really tasty.  It’s possible I’ve had more of it than I should these past few days…

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16 days to go until my first race of the year: The Sporting Life 10k.  I’m not sure if I ever mentioned on this blog that I signed up for this race?  Well, I did.  And I’m really looking forward to it.  My Personal Best 10k time is from this same course in last year’s race.  And in my training runs so far this spring, I’m running a reliable 30 seconds/km faster than I was this time last spring.  Does that mean I’ll beat my PB time by a full 5 minutes?  Doubtful.  But maybe it means I have a real shot at giving my own PB time a run for it’s money (sorry – every Friday needs a bad pun, amiright?)

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16 days is really not so far away.  Though my running splits may be faster, my running overall has been less consistent than I would like.  I’m getting 2-3 runs in per week… I guess that’s really not terrible.  I keep planning to do 4 runs each week, but it never seems to work out that way.  I’m thinking hoping the realization that my first race is right around the corner will help with the training motivation.  Nothing like a race coming up to kick your ass into gear, right?

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Have a great weekend everybody!  Good Luck to everyone racing or training this weekend!!!

Friday… err… Thursday Stray Thoughts

February 13, 2014 Leave a comment

FridayImage by Glenn McCoy

I know… it’s not Friday… but I really wish it was.  And I didn’t feel like writing a full post on anything below on it’s own – I just don’t have the energy for that right now…

– – – – –coke

This feels like deja vu.  Have I written about this before?  Once?  Twice?  More?  Maybe?

Anyway, I’m off the Coke band wagon again (for the bazillionth time, it feels like).  I don’t know why I can’t kick this.  I suffer in caffeine and sugar withdrawal for a few days, feel good for a few weeks, and then fall back into my old ways.  I’m doing okay avoiding the irritability this time, by my co-workers say I definitely look tired.  And I sure as hell am dragging ass around the office this week.

I think I’ve covered it in depth here, and here, but we’ll giv’er a go again.  Shit, one of these times, it’s gotta work – right?  I’m a grown-up, right?  I can choose not to drink a soft drink, can’t I?  (can’t I?!?)

*sigh*

Edit: I actually started this blog post yesterday, and wrote the above yesterday.  Today, I had a coke.  Maybe I should try a weening processes rather than a cold turkey process?  Or maybe I’m just enabling myself?  Or maybe I’m just over thinking the whole damn thing…

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dodgeball

Did you know this is an actual thing?  That grown-ups do?!?  They play dodgeball, as a rec sport!  It’s pretty amazing!!!  Friends of mine play dodgeball, and their team was short Monday night, so they asked me to sub in.  I said to them: “So, what exactly are the rules to Dodgeball?”, and they said back “Oh, you know, just like you used to play it as a kid”.

Awesome!

So I played dodgeball Monday night.  It was a lot of fun (Note: it’s surprisingly difficult to aim where you throw a basketball sized ball of foam!!)  And I was shocked at how much exercise it was – all that jumping, and running, and dodging, and ducking, and dipping, and diving… and dodging (I had to!).  I was thinking to myself: I already did a lift session in the morning, and a bike session after work.  And now this (Note: this could also be why I’m dragging ass this week).  I hope I don’t hurt myself…

… which of course, I did.  One ill attempt at dodging had me land hard on one foot.  I thought for sure I had hurt my ankle, and was actually pretty frustrated at myself for doing so.  It’s now 48+ hours later.  I can put weight on it and walk without a limp.  But it’s sore – really sore.  And more so half way up my calf/shin than at the ankle itself.  My gut tells me running on it is a bad idea (since walking hurts).  I really don’t want to take any time off from running right now, but I also don’t want to really hurt it and have to take any prolonged time off of running.  What do I do?!?  If only I had a crystal ball…

What is it with me and stupid injuries playing non-competitive rec sports?!?

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TPMotivation

I found this great article this morning on TrainingPeaks: What’s Your Motivation?

If you’re like me, and struggling through this long cold winter: Read it!  Then read it again!  Then probably read it a third time for good measure!  I found it really hit the mark for me.  It sums up well why we do this silly training thing in the first place.  Because it’s not silly: it’s a lifestyle!  In particular, for me, the money quote:

When you have a super awesome, really cool goal for the season and you reach it, typically you’ll ask yourself, “Now what?” We see this all the time. As a coach, I constantly remind my athletes that it’s a lot easier to get to the top of the mountain than it is to stay there. Where’s that intrinsic motivation going to come from once you’ve reached the top?

The top of my mountain was the end of 2013 – having finished my first Olympic distance triathlon.  That was my goal – to finish.  And I did it.  I couldn’t believe I did it, but I did.  Goal accomplished.  Now what?  Last year I finished, having done the absolute bare minimum amount of training necessary to run crawl across that finish line.  Is “finishing” still the goal?  Do I not want to do better?  Do I not want to go faster? And should that not be my motivation to push harder – to set a goal, to be faster?

I think it’s about time I set some goals for 2014 – something other than the ambiguous “be faster”.  I need to get on that shortly…

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Have a great weekend everybody!  Good Luck to everyone racing or training this weekend!!!

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.

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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

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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…

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And possibly my favorite tweeted quote of 2013:

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

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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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