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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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Week In Review

January 12, 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

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I felt good this week.  I didn’t fully hit all my sessions from my schedule – I missed one strength session mid week due to a scheduling mix up (I really need to remember: choosing to sleep in and go in the evening instead NEVER works out!!).  I also planned to get a swim in this morning – I was changed and everything – but my goggle snap strapped.  So no swim for me.  I’ve already picked up a new pair of goggles so I’m ready to go for next week!

Looking Forward

Nothing exciting (training wise) on the docket for next week.  Keep on keeping on.  Consistency is, again, my focus.  I don’t have any rest days planned this week (though Friday is scheduled as an easy 1000m swim only).  Really trying to cement the routine: keep pushing the frequency to where I want it, and keeping the intensity manageable.

Thoughts From This Week That I Think I Think

  1. I need to keep working on pacing in my runs.  I’m not good at it.  I’m really prone to starting out way too fast on my long runs – sometimes even faster than 5km pace and slowing way down in the second half of my run.  Need to keep working on consistency.  I think this week I want to focus on negative splits on my runs.
  2. My local YMCA seriously needs some new stationary bikes (either that, or the snow here has to hurry up and melt so I can get my bike back on the road)!  Its incredible how quickly my ass hurts sitting on those damn saddles – even in fully padded cycling shorts.  On the plus side, they all have power meters built in, so the training data I get form them is actually quite good… for stationary bikes that is.  But it’s going to be a long winter doing my bike training on those seats…
  3. Today was New Shoe Day!!!  I love New Shoe Day.  I picked up a pair of Asics GT-2000 this year.  Haven’t had a chance to use them yet.  Maybe I’ll do a review once I’ve worn them a few times… if I think about it.  My Mizunos are now being downgraded from racing/training shoe to general walking around the town shoe.  They did me well – having been laced up for a run 99 times, and having logged 668.47kms.  At my body weight, they’ve done their job well but it’s time for a changing of the guard.

Thoughts From This Week That Have Nothing To Do With Triathlon

  1. Good try Saints.  That was a tough Seahawks team you had to face last night, in crappy weather.  Still a proud fan.  #WhoDat!
  2. Finally watched Despicable Me this week.  Highly entertained.  Will have to watch the sequel at some point… probably when it comes out on Netflicks.  Also need to make sure Date Night with my wife happens more often.  Even if training is ramping up, can’t lose sight of the priorities in life.  It’s a tricky juggling act sometimes…
  3. Speaking of my wife, apparently our cat knows when she’s trying to get schoolwork done.  That’s how Sundays roll around here 🙂

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

Race Recap – Santa Pur-SUIT

December 9, 2013 1 comment

IMG_0403I’m a day or so late getting this post up… after weeks of studying for a course that my work was putting me through, and writing my exam last week, this weekend was all about quality time with my wife.  But now that I have a few minutes (that’s what lunch breaks are for, right?  right!)…

Saturday morning was the 2013 Santa Pur-SUIT 5k run race in support of the local YMCA.  What a great event – great cause to run for, and who can beat hundreds of santas running through the streets of Waterloo?!?

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This race was all about fun and community.  Did I run a PB time?  No.  Did I expect to?  No.  Considering a) I hadn’t trained, or done any form of exercise more vigorous than walking-around-the-office-at-work in over 2 weeks, and b) I was wearing an ill-fitting felt Santa suit, I’m reasonably happy with my 32:29 time.  It was great to see the local YMCA – where I do all my indoor training – be the benefactor of such a great event.  It was great to get my wife dressed up in a Santa Suit and to go for a run with her (even if she did peel away after 1km and finish a full 5 minutes ahead of me 😉

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So that’s it.  My 2013 season is finally finished.  11 races in the books this year:

  • 4 Triathlons (2x Sprint, 1x 750/30/7.5 hybrid, 1x Olympic), including 1 out-of-country race!
  • 1 OW 1.5km Swim Race
  • 1 Road 73km Bike Race
  • 5 Running Races (1x 5km, 2x 10km, 1x 21.1km, and 1x 30km)

For my first “full racing season” (a.k.a. more than 1 race in a calendar year), that was a TON of fun… and way too many races.  As much as I love race day – the start line, the crowd, the music, the atmosphere – my bank account can’t sustain that many races again in 2014, nor can my personal schedule, to be honest.  And really, I think it did me a bit of a disservice racing so often – it was a crazy mix of events and I wasn’t able to get into a training routine focused on long term improvement.  I’m looking forward to 2014, though it will probably include fewer and more strategically selected races.

I’m sure I’ll give some further thought in a future post about my 2014 season (not like there’s a lot else to post about in the winter)… for now, I’m going to enjoy a December filled with no racing, no studying, a loosely scheduled training plan, lots of time with my wife, and lots of food and drink with family and friends!  Let the Holiday Season begin.  Ho Ho Ho!!! (see what I did there?! 😉 )

The 2013 Santa Pur-suit

November 5, 2013 2 comments

Santa-1image credit

I’ve decided to add an 11th race to my 2013 season… ya know, ’cause I’m a bit crazy like that.  But seriously, how could I pass this up?!?

The 2013 Santa Pur-suit

  • A 5k run, marketed as a family fun run (though with chip timing).
  • All entrants receive a Santa Suit as part of their entry fee, which must be worn during the event
  • Funds raised benefit the YMCAs of Waterloo Region, which I’m totally on board with supporting!

Seriously!!!  Who can pass up the opportunity to run a 5k race IN A SANTA SUIT… WITH HUNDREDS OF OTHER SANTAS!!!

If this isn’t the perfect ending to a race season, I don’t know what is!!

If you’re local (or feel like being local to Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, for a weekend on December 7th) you should totally run with us.  It looks like a great, fun, family event regardless of ability.  Or at the very least come cheer us on as hundreds of Santas take to the streets!!

If you’re less local (or hell, even if you are local), and want to pledge my run in support of the YMCA, you can visit this link > Click on ‘Pledge a Participant’ > search for myself (or my wife, who’s also running) by name).

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In other racing news, this past weekend I ran the Hamilton Road2Hope 10k.  I didn’t do a pre or post race report… mostly because I was lazy… so sneaking in a quick recap here.

It was wet.  It was wet and cold and pretty utterly miserable.

That said, we had a really great time!  I ran with my wife, my cousin, and my wife’s friend from her school (and her husband and even her 3yr old son, who signed up for the 1k kids run!!).  We had a full on team representing.  And even in spite of Saturday morning’s heavy, driving, cold rain we ran.  And I even did pretty good, conditions considering: 1:03:46.  That’s 1min05sec off my 10k PB (which was done on a course 100% downhill – this race was elevation neutral) and 6 minutes faster than my time in the same race last year.  I’m pretty happy with that.

It was actually the first time I’ve raced the same race, on the same course, for a second time.  A perfect opportunity to measure progress relative to last year.  Not factoring for weather (as I recall last year may have been a few degrees colder, but it was dry and sunny and those make a big difference), I’ve managed to drop 6 minutes (or 8%) off my 10k run time in the past year.  I don’t think that’s too bad at all!

Now everyone’s caught up on my recent race news (both past and future).  Anyone else have any fun races lined up to finish off 2013?

Anyone want to come do a 5k race in a Santa Suit with us?  You know you want to…

 

Stop the Couch-fest!!

October 9, 2013 Leave a comment

GetOffTheCouch

It’s been nearly a month now since my race season ended.  It’s been a really sluggish month.  What started out as great R&R time quickly turned into laziness.  Time spent on the couch, watching TV, eating crap.  And I quickly discovered something about myself: I’m not in my 20s anymore.

Seriously – that’s not as dumb a statement as it sounds.  My body can’t take laying on the couch for hours days anymore.  My body can’t eat cafeteria crap and drink beer like it did back in my University days anymore.  My mind still remembers these things as being fun and relaxing, and rewarding.  The mind can stay young, but the body still grows up.  And I have to take care of it differently now than I did a decade ago.

And that’s really why I got into Triathlon in the first place.  Because I sure as shit didn’t get into it to win races!  I got into it as a motivator to get my life in shape – get my body in shape.  To be a healthier me for myself, my wife, and my family and friends.

Last week my wife and I bought gym memberships at the local YMCA.  One of the first things I did on my first trip to the gym was to step on the scale.  I haven’t stepped on a scale in months.  234.5 lbs.  Holy shit.  I haven’t seen a number that low since high school (probably early high school at that)!  It’s easy for me to trumpet about improved running, biking, or swimming times – because I have gotten faster over this past year.  But that’s the number that sticks with me.  That’s the number that I choose to define my race season.  I know weight isn’t the end-all metric of a person’s health, but it’s a metric.  It’s an easy metric.  And it’s improved.

But it won’t continue to improve if I don’t continue to work.  The post race season couch-fest has got to stop.  It’s time to get back to work.  And sometimes it takes a number like this to remind me how far I’ve come, and to keep working.

I’ve added one last race to my 2013 schedule – I’m going to be running the Hamilton Road2Hope 10K with my cousin (and possibly my wife, and a few friends of ours) in a couple of weeks.  On one hand, after the magnitude of some of the races I’ve done this summer, it’s easy to say “oh, it’s just a 10K run”.  On the other hand, it’s so much more to me than that.  It’s symbolic of everything I’ve worked for, and why I do this:

  • It’s the second year we’ve run this race together (that makes it a tradition, doesn’t it?)
  • It’s a run with family and friends, and a chance to share this activity with them
  • It’s a race where cheering each other across the finish line is just as important as the PB time we’re running for

What better reason is there to get off the couch than that!!!

 

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