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Posts Tagged ‘Moving’

Moving and The Iron Pig

September 4, 2013 1 comment

Moving Boxes

I’ve been off the grid for nearly the past week as we moved from Toronto ON to Kitchener-Waterloo ON.  It feels like a home coming – my job is in KW, my wife and I met and went to school here.  My life is here.  But that doesn’t make moving any less of a beast of a job!

I haven’t had a lot of time for training in the past few days.  I suppose I could have prioritized it more, but that would have taken time away from packing and unpacking.  And I really just want to get the house settled.  Thank goodness for our MacGyver friends who were able to get our box springs (and our couch) up to the upper floors through the windows!

MovingBoxSpringWhile not getting out much for ladder swim sets or brick runs, I have been reunited with my Hybrid bicycle, which has been in storage (or disuse) for nearly 2 years.  My wife gets primary use of the car for her program, and we’re trying to avoid becoming a 2-car family, so I want to bike commute as much as I can.  And I dislike commuting on my road bike – they’re great for racing, but I worry it’ll be damaged or stolen when locked up, or that my route might end up off of well paved roads.  And cycling shoes are a pain when running errands.  So the Hybrid and I are becoming reacquainted.

What a pig it is!  Okay – context matters here: it’s a pig in comparison to my fast, light, fitted road bike – which I’ve gotten quite used to in the two years my Hybrid has been in storage.  And that’s not what this bike is designed to be – it’s designed to get you around town for a lot less money than a racing bike.  It’s actually really good for what it’s designed for – I’d recommend it for anyone looking for something a little nicer than a Walmart bike.  But my legs have become accustomed to my road bike – and comparatively, this thing is a slow, heavy pig.

In fact this morning, during my first 13.2km (per direction) bike commute to work, while struggling to hammer my heavy Hybrid up a hill, I decided it needs a name:  It’s now The Iron Pig.

I think I’m going to enjoy commuting on The Iron Pig.  It sure beats the 70+km commute I did from Hamilton, or the congestion of downtown Toronto.  And while I wouldn’t call it training in the purest definition – more like cardio cross training – it’s a bit of extra time on the bike every day.  And will continue to be time on the bike every day after the race season is over.  26km/day is nothing to sneeze at – especially when that’s on top of your daily training plans (or lack thereof).  Plus, there’s something really satisfying about riding a bike to work – I’ll take the morning air over a seat in a car any day.

Do you commute to work?  Could/Would you commute to work?  Why or Why not?

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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…

Finding Balance

April 23, 2013 1 comment

finding balance

 

It’s been a week since my last post, eh?  Crap… gotta work on that…

Truth is I don’t have a lot to say these days, which really is a testament to how little training I’ve been doing.

See that blank space above 4/22... it's been a slow start to the week...

See that blank space above 4/22… it’s been a slow start to the week…

Life has been a perfect storm in the past few weeks – work has gotten uncharacteristically busy for this time of year, and the house has transformed into the organized chaos that comes in the week leading up to a move.  I’m struggling to find the balance between training and life’s other commitments.

My kitchen is quickly filling up with boxes

My kitchen is quickly filling up with boxes

The picture above is actually a few days old.  I have the best of intentions of frequent blogging – but boy am I low on energy when I do get down time.

I had a conversation with my wife the other day.  We talked about a paradigm shift in our training.  Up until now, I’ve only ever trained for races of increasing distance… A sprint Tri with a 5k run -> a sprint Tri Du with 5k & 2.5k runs -> a 10k run -> a Half Marathon (21.1k) -> and finally a 30k run.  The goal has always been to finish (and hopefully with a bit of dignity while doing it).

My next race is the Sporting Life 10k run, which is a little under 3 weeks away.  I’ve done a 10k distance before – hell, I’ve run longer than that.  It’s very tempting in my training to think that this will be easy. “I’ve done that distance before!  I can do it again”

But the goal is no longer to finish.  For the first time in my life, I’m not guaranteed a Personal Best simply for crossing the finish line.  The goal is to get better – to get faster.  And that’s a whole different way of training than when your goal is simply to finish.

I’ve started doing targeted training (well, when I do any training that is… see the graph above with NOTHING so far this week and very little the weeks before).  No longer doing only steady state runs each time I go out the door – now there’s a plan: LSD (long slow distance) runs, fartleks, tempo runs – these are all now my friends.  My time in the pool is no longer just about fitness and endurance – technique drill work, sprints, kick drills – these are my friends too.

But where I’m coming up short so far is the bike.  My poor bike – still hasn’t had it’s tires pumped up yet from the winter.  Between the weather (which really hasn’t agreed that winter is completely gone yet, though I keep hoping we’re getting close… please?…), and the busy schedule there just hasn’t been time.  I’ve gotten a few spin sessions in on a stationary bike at the gym – good for a bit of leg strength, but not nearly the same as time in the saddle.  I actually miss my bike.

from my September 2012 duathlon...  I haven't been on my bike sine...

from my September 2012 duathlon… I haven’t been on my bike since…

Last year I emphasized my run training at the expense of time on the bike.  It did wonders for my running skill, but my bike split suffered.  This year I need to give the bike a little bit of love.

Today the sun is bright and it’s going up to 15°C – a perfect afternoon to break her out for the first time this year… if only I wasn’t stuck in this cubicle.  *sigh*  Maybe with a little luck I can sneak out of work early avoid being stuck in the office late and get home with enough time for a quick 20k on the bike before packing a few more boxes.  It’s all about finding balance in life, and in training.  I’ll feel a lot better if I can finally get my bike on the road (and my wife will feel a lot better if I pack a damn box or two).

– DO’G

Destination: Toronto (For Keeps)

April 9, 2013 Leave a comment

TorontoHome

Sometimes life takes us down strange and unexpected paths.  Sometimes those paths cause a great deal of anxiety and stress at first, but they usually work out well in the end.  I’m going to trust this is one of those “work out in the end times”…

My wife and I are moving to Toronto.  We found out about 2 weeks ago of a change in her summer placement and have been scrambling to find a place to live (and deal with our current home).  With less than 4 weeks’ notice until her placement starts, it’s been a whirlwind – thinking through the unexpected task of packing (and downsizing), arranging for all of our service providers, and changing all of our summer plans.  We need to be moved and settled by the end of April.

At times it’s been a schedule strain.  We’ve made 4 separate trips into Toronto to view apartments.  This has led to a lot of canceled training sessions, a few canceled date nights, and even a few rescheduled work meetings.

At times it’s been an emotional strain.  Facing moving to a new city that we neither expected nor asked for – rationalizing the implications of an unexpected change on our finances, our social life, and our home.  There has been tears, and there has been ice cream (more of the latter than the former, thankfully).

My wife has been a trouper – her life has been turned upside down.  In addition to our home relocation, she’s had to adjust to a new job: new clinic, new city, new preceptor.  I’ve tried to be helpful and supportive – not always sure I’ve done a great job, but I keep trying.  I’ve noticed the impact to my training.  I’ve missed quite a few training sessions because of last minute apartment hunting trips (or having to work at odd hours due to apartment hunting).  My sleep has been off, and my mood has been turning sour as the stress and reduced exercise take their toll.

Sometimes I just want to sleep... anywhere

Sometimes I just want to sleep… anywhere

I’m not concerned about missed training from a race perspective – sometimes life > training.  But I notice the impact it has on me.  An experience like this reminds me how much I enjoy training, as a hobby as much as for race preparation.  It reminds me how much I use training as my own thinking time (or non-thinking time, as is sometimes more needed).  Sometimes I need my training time not only to keep moving faster, but just to keep moving.

Today we got confirmation of our new apartment in Toronto.  After several search sessions (and anxiety all weekend waiting to hear we were approved – we knew we would be, but the waiting game is still tough) I feel like I can turn a corner.  I can start making plans, knowing we have a new home waiting for us.  I can start getting excited about Toronto.

I can start to look for jogging trails in my new neighborhood.

I can start to look for community centers with pools in my new neighborhood.

I can start to figure out where the hell I’m going to store a bike in 700 square feet of space (I’m going to miss having a house with a basement)!!

I can start looking for a pub for post-training carbs 😉

There are lots of positives to take from this unexpected experience.  My daily drive to work will suddenly disappear – our new home is walking distance to our Toronto office.  Though we had a few great friends in Hamilton, we have more family and friends in Toronto who we will get to catch up with.  And I’m looking forward to a summer in the Big City, with all the pubs and cafes and activities and culture the city has to offer.  I think this will be a good thing for us (if not an expected thing).

We now have 2 1/2 weeks to pack, and purge, and plan, and get the hell out of Hamilton.  It’s going to be busy and anxious and stressful (and will probably continue to wreck my training plans), but once we get there it’s going to work out in the end.

~DO’G

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