Posts Tagged ‘My Cheering Squad’

Destination: Niagara Falls

October 26, 2013 2 comments

BandDTomorrow morning my wife is running her third half-marathon.  That’s right folks – this time I get to be the cheerleader, not the racer!!

My wife comes out to all of my races.  She’s my rock.  She gives up her weekends, wakes up at the shit-crack-of-early, takes lots of pictures (and drinks lots of coffee).  She cheers for me, and supports me.  And this weekend it’s my turn to cheer for her!  I’m really excited about it!

The race is going to be amazing.  The host city so far is a bit of a let down though.  We’re staying in a Ramada hotel (where apparently “smoke free” rooms are just a suggestion – Strike 1), and had dinner at a TGI Fridays (where overpriced frozen burgers and soggy flavourless quesadillas are on the menu – Strike 2).  To top it off – it’s freezing cold and pouring rain.  Not that that’s the city’s fault, but really the best things to do in this city are all outdoors.  So instead, it’s hotel room cable TV for us.

But that’s not the point (phew!  Thank goodness for editing my posts).  The point is, she’s going to have an amazing race tomorrow morning, rain or shine.  And I can’t wait to cheer her on!!


Friday Stray Thoughts

September 13, 2013 2 comments


Image 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 shout out to all the family and friends who support us through this crazy-assed thing we do called a sport…

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I shared this link with my wife, and any of you who race should share it with your partners and family too.  Or maybe your friends who don’t understand “I can’t tonight – I have a long run in the morning”: The Triathlon Widow, courtesy of Tri Wives Club:

From Urban Dictionary (via the link above):

“A triathlete is any person who was once human, but has now transformed into something super-human, and can no longer hang out with other mere mortals.  They must spend all their spare time swimming, biking, running, and shaving themselves in order to keep their new-found sport god status.  During this time, they are technically still married, but their wife/husband considers them dead due to their lack of normal human function.

Note:  The spouse is only considered a triathlon widow during the time the triathlete is spending all their spare time training, racing, shaving, or thinking about their multi-sport addiction in general.

How to use in a sentence:  I’m a triathlon widow this weekend.  My husband is gone from our family for 3 days to do an Iron Man race 5 states away.  Yes, he had to pay to be in it, and no he does not win anything.”

Cheers to everyone who puts up with me (and every other triathlete out there) during race season… or training season… or any season for that matter…

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Attending a race as family or friend of a racer is a skill.  From waking up at stupid o’clock, to spending the morning with an anxious racer while you’re clinging to your coffee, to several hours keeping yourself occupied in some random park while your racer is on course, to driving home with a tired racer who wants to be appreciative (but also really wants to sleep).  It takes commitment.  It takes dedication.  Luckily the Tri Wives Club has given us a great guide to The Sport of Spectating.  Some great tips here – particularly the tribag.  Definitely worth the read… if you happen to know a racer and ever might want to go cheer them on… ya know… like this weekend… hint hint…

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And what’s a race without a few funny spectator signs.  Spectators are the life of the race – serious love for everyone who comes to cheer on the athletes (even if you’re not there to cheer me, I still find it motivating).

– – – – –

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

Race Day: Around the Bay

March 25, 2013 3 comments


Sorry this post is a day late – I like to do my Race Day recaps right after the race, but sleep and food seemed a bigger priority yesterday.  Also, bad blogger me for not taking any photos on Race Day.  Won’t make that mistake again.  So we’ll have to make do with a few camera phone pics taken by the cheering squad.

Camera phone shot of me, pre-race, courtesy of the Cheering Squad!

Camera phone shot of me, pre-race, courtesy of the Cheering Squad!

I survived.  I think that’s about the best way to put it.  The Race Day event was a lot of fun – my wife ran with me, and a few friends came in from out of town (and even brought cheering squads with them!)  It was fun to have a crew around.

I live only 2 or 3 km from the race start line, so we decided to walk to the start (rather than try to find parking closer).  Great decision at the time – lousy decision once the race was over.

The race had a ton of runners – a much bigger even than I’d ever been part of.  I heard at one point there were 11,000 racers (individual and relay), but the number of finishers suggests maybe a few of them didn’t make it to the start line.  It was still a lot of people.

The race was a bit sluggish getting off.  There’s almost 4 minutes between my chip time and my gun time (meaning from where in the crowd I was standing – and I certainly wasn’t at the back – it took almost 4 minutes from when the start gun went off for the crowd to shuffle and surge forward through the starting line).

My goal time was 4:00:00, which I thought might be a bit aggressive, but might as well try to push myself.  Most of my running team was shooing for times closer to 3:15:00 or 3:30:00.  Yet, for some reason when the race started I ran with them and stayed right on their heels for the first 2km.

My 10km checkpoint time wasn’t too bad – 1:11:29.8 – about 90 seconds off my Personal Best 10k time.  Which would be great if this was a 10k race, but I still had another 20 to go.

My 15km split was 1:49:03.7 (by the way, the race winner ran in 1:35:44.1 – the race was won 10 full minutes before I was half done).  I did the math and knew I was in great shape to meet my goal.  My 20k split was 2:30:06.6 – almost exactly on the same pace as my Half Marathon time from last month.  Again, a little quick math told me I had 90 minutes to run the last 10k.  I was going to kill my goal…

… and then the wheels fell off

The race is notorious for the hills in the final 1/3.  I had trained for them (sort of).  I knew that part of the route well.  I was ready for them.  But I wasn’t ready for them after a full half marathon distance, at race pace.  I crashed!  I think I walked pretty much the last 9km (with the occasional shuffle for 100m or so to remind myself I was still in a race).  Kinda disappointing, but that’s how it goes sometimes.

I was able to shuffle across the finish line in a time of 4:02:48.1.  373/377 in my age group – 3352/3426 Male overall.  Only 2.5 minutes slower than my goal (which, to be fair, I thought might have been aggressive at the outset).  I kinda have to be happy with that – although it would have been really nice to have been 3 minutes faster.

2 more finisher's medals for our wall... and some pretty sweet race shirts!  'Cause that's why we really do this...

2 more finisher’s medals for our wall… and some pretty sweet race shirts! ‘Cause that’s why we really do this…

I felt a little guilty last night that I didn’t have any real photos of my own for this post (Bad Blogger, Dave!), so I took a quick shot of the finisher’s medals and race shirts my wife and I got from the run.  The race did well by us that way!

After the run my fellow runners, Cheering Squad, and I went out to a freaking far away local Southern BBQ restaurant.  It was pretty good – I’m sure not as good as real Southern BBQ (Note: some day I need to get down to the southern US to try “real” southern BBQ), but it’ll have to do for Ontario.  It’s fun to celebrate with the crew, although that probably was more calories than I needed, even after a run like that.

So there we go – another race in the books.  I’ve run a 30k race.  I’ve run the 119th Around The Bay – the race that market’s itself as “Older than Boston”.  Next up for me is the Sporting Life 10k on Sunday May 12th.  I’m looking forward to turning my training from Running Far to Running Fast… though I may wait a few days to let my legs recover before that training begins…

– DO’G


Cold, Long Run

December 23, 2012 2 comments
Re-using my Wetaskiwin picture... just to emphasize the cold

Re-using my Wetaskiwin picture… just to emphasize the cold

Today in Siberia Wetaskiwin it was -19°C with a wind chill of -28°C.  Fucking cold.  Nevertheless, and thanks to a wonderful pep talk from my wife, I went out for my long run.  7 laps of a 2.01km city block.  Mid way through the 2nd lap I stepped awkwardly off  a sidewalk curb completely masked by unshoveled show and rolled my ankle a bit.  By the end of the 4th lap my water bottle was frozen shut.  By the end of the 6th lap the sweat on my eyebrows had also frozen.  What an experience that was.  But in the end I completed my 14km run in under 1:45:00.  I’ll take it.

In fact, I’m actually pretty happy with it.  I stuck to my plan and executed the whole distance.  I didn’t bail out.  Not due to cold, or discomfort, or cold, or frozen water, or cold.  I didn’t quit.  I finished strong.  As a Weekend Warrior, that’s what we shoot for – finish strong!

The run also put me over the 100km mark for the month with a full week to go.  Holy Hell!  That’s the first time I’ve eclipsed that milestone by a long shot.

No biking this month

No biking this month

It actually feels really good to look at those numbers.  I’m sticking with the plan.  I’m getting my long runs in (even when it’s crazy-cold).  I’m actually improving.  This is pretty damn sweet!

Now, if it’s all the same to you, I think I’ll avoid using my legs in any way for the rest of the night.


Christmas Vacation

December 16, 2012 3 comments
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.  Best.  Christmas.  Movie.  Period.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Best. Christmas. Movie. Ever.

Holy shit, it feels really good to be on vacation!  Not gonna lie, I’ve done little more than sleep and sit on the couch since my vacation started Friday morning (and eat cookies – cheers to my cousin for leaving a bag of cookies here Thursday night.  Hooray for other people’s cookie exchange parties!)

Okay, I did go for an 8km run yesterday.  That felt good.  And I’m planning a 14km run today if the rain lets up.  So that’s something more than sleeping and sitting.

Tomorrow we fly out to visit my wife’s family in Northern Alberta.  My mother-in-law sent us a lovely email this morning, with a link to get us excited for our trip…

Geez... doesn't that make you want to rush right out there! ;-)

Geez… doesn’t that make you want to rush right out there! 😉

Almost makes our current slighly-above-freezing-and-rainy weather seem tropical… almost…

I’m really looking forward to the trip.  I’ve never been to Edmonton before (my parents-in-law just moved there about a month ago), and I always love visiting family.  I can’t wait for the next 10 days of great laughter, great food, and great fun (and maybe a few great beers too)…

And for 10 days of running in the freezing cold.  But I think it’s better than running here, in the rain.  I hate running in cold winter rain.  At least snow is nice and fluffy, and doesn’t leave you soaked (not in the same way that rain leaves you soaked).  Even if it is going to be 20°C colder there than it is here…

What would you rather run in?  2°C and rainy, or -12°C and sunny (or snowing)?


December 10, 2012 5 comments
... so tasty

… so tasty

One of my best friends growing up has a French Canadian mother.  Every year (in the rough vicinity of Christmas time… or was it the start of winter?  or maybe just when the grocery stores had them?) she would have a tin of Pirouline cookies at their house.  Loved it.  Ever since I moved out on my own I’ve always treated myself to a tin (or three) at the start of the holiday season… or, ya know, when I saw them in the stores…

Tonight I had a great run with my wife.  Only 6.5km, but she helped me push the pace faster than I would normally run.  My body responded well.  It was a fantastic cardio workout.  I love runs where my heart rate is the limiting factor of how long I can push before a walk break, not the aches and pains in my legs.

So in reward for my good run, while at the grocery store tonight I picked up my first tin of the season.  Such a yummy treat!  Now it feels like the holiday season has begun!

In other unrelated news…

Happy 100th to me!

Happy 100th to me!

… apparently, this is my 100th post.  Cool.  Who would have thought back in January of last year when I started a blog on a whim that I’d stick with it long enough to write 100 posts.  My readership is small (though I love to see where my readers come from – I know there’s a bunch of you lurkers out there… don’t be shy!  I love comments!  I try to respond to them all… except when I get busy or distracted, which happens… a lot.  Best of intentions, right?)  I’m grateful to everyone who takes a moment to read about my adventure.  Slowly but surely, I’m making progress, and I love having you all along for the ride!  Here’s to the next 100 posts!

A pictorial representation of where my blog hits come from... I wonder if I'll ever get to visit all these places.  That'd be amazing!

A pictorial representation of where my blog hits come from… I wonder if I’ll ever get to visit all these places? That’d be amazing!



Back on the horse

October 14, 2012 1 comment


This past weekend was a bit of whirlwind weekend up to Montreal for the last of our many weddings this summer (congratulations Devin & Sarah – lovely service, great party).  I’m not making much of a post of the trip to Montreal – we got in at 2:30am Saturday morning, went to a wedding, and left again at 7:30am Sunday morning.  I didn’t take a single picture, nor did I go for a run.  And the beers, while good, weren’t post worthy (although I do love being able to buy from a selection of Unibroue at the local corner store… ahh Quebec).  We saw enough of the city that my wife and I have decided we need to go back and visit again sometime, but not enough to have any stories.

The funny thing about driving so much in a weekend (8hr trip each way) is that it leaves you really tired.  My couch has never looked better than it did this afternoon when I got home.  So while sitting on said couch, partially paying attention to the football on TV, I contemplated how much I’ve fallen off my training plan these past two weeks.  That’s not to say that I haven’t trained these past two weeks, but it’s been sparse, and unplanned.  One quote I once heard (and I apologize – I don’t remember where I heard it, so I’m not trying to take credit for this, but I don’t remember who to give credit to):

If it’s not planned, or measured, it’s just exercise – not training

Yep, that’s my problem.  I’ve fallen back into the old habit of deciding each day, on a day-by-day basis, if I feel like training… and how much I feel like training.  And as a recovering Couch Potato, it’s always really easy to justify not training.  There’s always an excuse (and rarely a good one, even on the spectrum of excuses, which by definition aren’t good to begin with).

So I need to get back to the plan.  This feels like a bit of a tired refrain – Dave makes plan, Dave does well.  Dave gets lazy and falls off his plan, Dave stops doing well.  It’s almost like a relapse (which seems wrong to say, as most times when we talk about relapsing it’s falling back into something much more significant than being sedentary, but it’s the best analogy I’ve got tonight).  It’s time to get back to the plan.

Here’s what I’m thinking for this fall.  I may drop the Thursday run after work in November once my 10k race is behind me.  References below to “Iron Workout” are resistance training sessions that I take from The Athlete’s Book of Home Remedies – seriously awesome book to have on hand!

I guess the new plan starts tomorrow morning with a Yoga session before work.  I’ve done this a few times lately (one of the few things I have been doing during my 2 week relapse) – YouTube is a great source of yoga classes on demand without having to leave the house.  I’m all about convenient and cost effective solutions to keep me going forward – anything that remove excuses is a good thing!  What I like about doing yoga is the focus on stretching, flexibility, and core strength – possibly the 3 things I need to work on more than anything else.  I’m hoping it will help make my run stronger.


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