triathlon and family can mix

family

Where Have You Been?

So it has been a little while.

dilbert2007114666005

Alright, it has been a long while since I last wrote. Hey, sometimes life gets busy and things fall off the turnip truck. Between training for Ironman 70.3 Calgary, travelling for business, and vacation with the family I have been going non-stop for the better part of 8 weeks.

Bummer? Not really.

You want a real bummer? Race an Ironman 70.3 and realize 4km into the bike leg that your timing chip is no longer attached to your leg. Technically I DNS (Did Not Start) but my hamstrings had something to say about that.

Despite falling short of my goal of sub 5 hours by a whole 12 minutes, I had a great race. My swim was great, coming out of the water in 27:58 (1:28/100m) and my bike was fast as well; 2:35:45 (33.9km/hr). The run is where I died; a 2:03:01 (5:50min/km) run split is no better than I did 2 years ago. I wonder what happened, I figured my fitness was better than that and I could target a 1:50 run split.

Ah well, this is why I do this thing called triathlon; go past that point of failure, figure out where your weakness’ are, then fix em’.

Summer is only 1/3 over, my race season is completely over, and the off season begins. I echo Dave here a little bit saying that it is kinda weird that off-season is already here.

I have decided that a year off from the triathlon world is what I need right about now. I was feeling really tired, and to be honest a little bored over the last couple of weeks leading to Ironman 70.3 Calgary. My motivation lacked even though I finished all of the training sessions as planned (duration and intensity). I was really just hoping for a day off.

So the rest of the summer is dedicated to giving back to the sport which I have enjoyed over the past 4 years. My little one races in the Lake Chaparral Kids of Steel this weekend and I will volunteer the following day at the grown-up race.

Oh, and of course, racking up a crap load of km’s on my road bike.

What lies ahead in 2015 you ask? I have no idea.

Question: Have you taken a year off? What did you do instead?


All Zeros, and I Aient Talking About Shoes

VACATION.

Garfield-VacationTime

Swim – 0:00:00 – 0m
Bike – 0:00:00 – 0km
Run – 0:00:00 – 0km

Total – 0:00:00 – 0km

I know post race weeks are supposed to be about ‘active recovery’ but hagin’ in San Francisco with my family after the race was just to awesome to break up with a run.

That’s right, I swam across the San Francisco bay and lived to tell about it.

Actually, it wasn’t all that difficult. As much as the cold water temperature, potential wildlife, and strong currents are hyped up, it was an enjoyable swim. I even took the chance to turn on my back and take 30 seconds to admire the situation I was in.

Wow, enough about the race. That is what race reports are for.

Speaking of holding on, I reckon I owe you all a couple of overdue posts including Airdrie Sprint Race Report and Drivers v Cyclists. Can’t wait? Neither can I.

So after a full week off, I am ready to get back at it. My performance in Alcatraz gave me the confidence that the CTS Half Ironman plan will get me where I want to go come July 27 at Ironman 70.3 Calgary.

Top Posts
Ironman Tattoo
Swim Etiquette
Recap – Week 50

It is no secret that I dig New Balance shoes, specifically the Minimus Road Zero; they feel like little rocket ships on my feet. After 1490km I have literally run the soles off leaving me with nothing but a search for a new pair.

New Balance changed the design, naming it the Road 10V2. I tired them on and wasn’t overly impressed, though they didn’t have the width I was looking for.

That’s right ladies, big feet…….

I felt I couldn’t cheat on the model that has taken me so far over just shy of 1500km, so I ordered the V2. I just got my first run in this morning, but I will hold on to judgment until I have some more significant km’s under them.

Oh, another post to add to the list.

Question: Do you take full week (or days) off after a race?


Wind, Flats, and Hills

Another week down and not many left…

untitled

Swim – 2:15:00 (p) – 2:15:00 (a) – 5400m
Bike – 5:15:00 (p) – 5:05:58 (a) – 125.37km
Run – 2:40:00 (p) – 2:30:21 (a) – 31.07km

Total – 10:10:00 (p) – 9:51:19 (a)

That is a wrap on week 5 of the CTS Half Ironman plan, and other than missing the total time for the week, training has been going great. Now I have a legit excuse for why I am short.

Tuesday mornings are usually a bike-run brick. They started pretty easy with a 60min EM ride with a 15min ER. No problem. This week, the plan was a 1:30EM (7x2min PI; 3min RBI)) with a 20min ER. About 1:05 into my bike my dog comes barreling down the stairs, and when he is awake, so are the girls. 5 minutes later my daughter comes down and here is the conversation:

S: “Dad, how long do you have left, I want to play”
Me: “About 40 minutes kiddo.”
S: “Okay, I’ll just play by myself until you are done.”
2 minutes later
S: “Has it been long enough yet?”
Me: “Not yet. Did you want to get some breakfast first?”
S: “Nope, I’ll just wait.”
5 minutes later
S: “Aren’t you done yet?”
Me: “Alright, I will stop my bike and go for a quick run. Can you wait another 10 minutes?”
S: “Okay.”

She asked an additional 3 times when I was going to be done. She gets her patience from my wife and her time telling skills from me.

I headed for a long bike ride on Saturday morning; 2:45 EM planned. It was a great ride for the first long one of the season. The wind really slowed my down heading west, even keeping my speed below 70km/hr heading down into Cochrane. About 50k into the ride I heard a loud clang, the sound of a rock being shot into the ditch from my tire. I apologized to my bike promising not to hit any more rocks like that. Well, apparently it was too-little-too-late as I looked down at a flat tire.

I swapped tubes and took the opportunity for a “comfort break” and a snack before I got going again. I was pretty happy with myself as it took about 5 minutes to get my tire swapped; a good skill to have but one you hope you don’t use very often.

Top Posts
Ironman Tattoo
I’m Hungry
Finally, The Weekend is Upon Us

I have read all three of Tim Ferris’ books; I have referenced ‘The Four Hour Body’ a lot on my blog. Well I just used some advice from his first book, ‘The Four Hour Workweek.’

He talks about people in your life that don’t add anything positive, or even worse, add negativity. Well, this morning I had coffee booked with a group of Brothers that was arranged by one of them. I showed up at the coffee shop only to realize that the meeting time and place had changed, by 30 minutes and 6 blocks. Not a small change.

This isn’t the first time this individual has done something like this, so I decided after grabbing my coffee solo, that it was about time to cut this relationship.

Tim (we are on first name basis) recommends talking with them and explaining the situation, not taking no for an answer. In this case, I am going to take the other road and just stop communication. Just like that.

Question: Thoughts? Should I put my big boy pants on and chat with him?


One, Two, Ten Not Counting Again

Race week, my favorite kind of week.

images

Swim – 2:15:00 (p) – 3:10:00 (a) – 9800m
Bike – 3:45:00 (p) – 3:47:51 (a) – 99.57km
Run – 2:30:00 (p) – 3:02:46 (a) – 35.74km

Total – 8:30:00 (p) – 10:00:38 (a)

My first half marathon of 2014 is in the books, and all-in-all, it was a great race. I ran it solo in 2013, race report here, and finished with a great time even though I hit the wall at km 15.

2014 was different. I ran it with my brother, helping him finish sub 2 hours. No need to panic, the race report is to come.

As I was training though the race I didn’t taper this week, and good thing. Swim volume was high on both Monday and Friday, and they both went something like this:

Warm Up
400m swim / 200m kick / 400m drill
Main Set
Alternate swim / pull
2x400m on 6:00
4x200m on 3:30
8x100m on 1:45
Cool Down
200m easy

Needless to say swimming 3600m in 60 minutes leaves me a little tired in the office for the rest of the day. Standing desks don’t help with that by the way.

Speaking of tired, have you ever fallen asleep on the couch at 2030? I was sitting on the couch with my daughter, watching a little TV before bedtime. Next thing I knew the show as over, and my little one was poking me in the ribs.

I am noticing that every day that I have a brick session scheduled (Monday, Tuesday, and Friday) I am not only looking forward to my bedtime, I am looking forward to that 20 minutes on the couch before her bedtime.

How sad is that?

Top Posts
Ironman Tattoo
Recap – Week 50
Calvin and Hobbes

Spring is such a great time in Calgary. With the nice weather, the families in our little corner of the community gather once again at the park after supper. It is great to catch up with some that you lose touch with over the winter and seeing how the kids grew.

I got invited by my daughter and her friends to join in a game of ‘grounders’. What an absolute riot, the kids were laughing when I couldn’t hear them on the ground, and screaming when I got close to tagging them.

These kids kicked my butt. I was ‘it’ more often than not, and they had a couple of tricks that took me almost all night to figure out.

Can’t wait to play again this week.

Question: How do you deal with being tired?


Coaching, Weather, and Breaststroke

Yeah buddy, week 2 down and feeling good.

images

Swim – 1:45:00 (p) – 2:00:00 (a) – 5200m
Bike – 3:00:00 (p) – 3:00:25 (a) – 92.92km
Run – 2:15:00 (p) – 2:20:00 (a) – 28.56km

Total – 7:00:00 (p) – 7:20:24 (a)

Things clicked this week, I am feeling efficient in the pool, strong on the bike, and fast on the run. There was no pesky conference calls, meetings, or other distraction keeping me from completing each session and intervals as planned.

Check one for the good guy.

Friday was a holiday, so I was on my own for a swim. I am still surprised that some people feel it is acceptable to swim head-up breaststroke in the fast lane. Come on, when I flip turn and swim 1:20/100m, maybe time to change lanes. Sorry, I digress.

It has been great weather here in Calgary over the past couple of weeks, and as luck would have it, I have had runs planned for the last 2 weekends. Problem you say? Well yeah.

I can run weekday mornings; getting out of the house around 0530 gets me home just as the girls are waking up. I can’t however, do the same on the bike. Most of my rides are on the weekend when I can get up a little later with the sun and head for a couple of hours. No problem though, a little later in the year and I should be able to squeeze in an hour in the morning while watching the sunrise. Not a bad way to start your day I reckon.

Top Posts
Always Be Attacking
Ironman Tattoo
Recap – Week 50

My daughter starts ball this week, Tuesday and Thursday nights. Somehow I got talked into being an assistant coach this year. By somehow I mean I volunteered.

I played ball competitively as kid making it pretty high in the league before I graduated high school. Now I didn’t have to turn away a college scholarship or anything, but I was pretty good.

I always decided to not coach my little one until she was 9 or 10, wanting her to enjoy playing for the first couple of years before I got my competitive hands in the mix.

Well, here I am. She is 7. I am coaching. Let’s see how well I do.

Question: Are you able to get an early morning weekday bike ride in? How?


Weaselhead Hill, Trends, and Hippos

Back at it, in more ways than one.

untitled

Swim – 3:00:00 – 9100m
Bike – 2:02:51 – 61.0km
Run – 2:25:25 – 26.48km

I said in my last post “Wow, Wednesday already. I wish every week would go this fast.” Yeah, well it is now almost 2 weeks since then. Jeez time flies.

This was my last week of semi structure in my training. I always have a plan, but for the next 8 weeks I am going to live and die by my training schedule. There is something comforting about having a plan written and all you have to do is hammer it.

Easy enough right?

The Half Ironman plan from “The Time Crunched Triathlete” will be my main stay for the next 8 weeks, peaking for Escape From Alcatraz June 1. I then have a couple of weeks to recover before cycling through the plan again for Ironman 70.3 Calgary.

I am tired and hungry just thinking about it.

Saturday afternoon was perfect for a rip on my bike; the earliest I have been able to get on the road and it was awesome. It was so great to have the fresh air, wind, and dust in my face rather than the stale air of my 70’s inspired basement. You read right, even dust is better than the trainer.

Sunday afternoon I took my brother to run part of the Calgary Police Half Marathon course as he has never run the race before. No one should ever run the Weaselhead hill for the first time at 14k into a half marathon; that is just cruel. It was a great run with great company. I don’t usually get the opportunity to chat much while training, so it was a welcome change.

Top Posts
Ironman Tattoo
Recap – Week 50
Whole 30 – Day 26

Some really odd trends in my top posts. I wonder what it is about Recap – Week 50 that has people interested. I can see Ironman Tattoo, that is a good post…..

Friday afternoon we made an impromptu trip to the zoo here in Calgary. Not sure if you knew, but the zoo was almost washed away by the floods last year and this was our first time there since.

What a blast. I forgot how much fun it can be to just let the afternoon run by without much of a plan. Fortunately for us we received an invite for supper around 1730, so no need to rush home and utter our favorite phrase, “what should we make for supper?”.

Question: Now spring is here, has your training ramped up for race season?


Headstands and Spring in Calgary

Wow, Wednesday already. I wish every week would go this fast.

comfort-zone

Swim – 3:00:00 – 9400m
Bike – 2:15:05 – 68.3km
Run – 2:24:09 – 28.9km
Strength – 0:45:00

Total – 8:25:14

That was a good week, training went really well and I had a great time with the girls. Our swim volume ramped up Monday and Wednesday with 3400m on each day. Friday was no slouch either, it was only 2600m but with 600m of sprints it was every bit as tough. Wednesday looked something like this:

Warmup
400m swim / 200m kick / 400m drill
Main Set
4x600m on 10:00
Swim / Pull / Pull with Paddles / Pull
Cool Down
Showers

We were able to hit the wall under 9:00 for each set taking a decent amount of rest. One thing I have learnt in my time with lane 3, I need to improve my pull. I can leave most of the guys in my wake (I was gonna say dust) on a swim set, but when the pull buoy hits the water, I am literally lost off the back. Reminds me of this post from SwimSwam. Which one are you?

Ah, the warm weather last weekend lulled us all into a sense of false security. I was planning on taking my bike onto the road, the sunshine and crisp spring air was calling my name saying “hey, it is never to early to start working on those cyclist tan lines.” I had to give it up as family engagements called and reserved to ride the following weekend. Yeah, not gonna happen with -10 degrees, snow, and wind-chill to boot.

Everyone in Calgary is complaining about the weather, and I can see why. Spring arrived last week and the forecast calls for more snow this coming week than we got in all of January. But hey, in Calgary you can’t discount snow until after the May long weekend, so I am not throwing my hands in the air just yet.

Top Posts
Finally the Weekend is Upon Us
Recap – Week 50
Ironman Tattoo

I enjoy doing things that are out of my comfort zone; I always joke with my wife that I will “try anything once”. This is how I have come upon some of the best things in my life, including triathlon.

On Saturday afternoon was my little ones last gymnastics class. Why so important you ask? Well the last day is when all of the parents are invited down with 20 minutes left to compete in a competition. Nothing crazy like trampoline, but how cool would that be? This time around was a headstand competition between the Moms and Dads.

With my girls on the sideline, I waited for the countdown, and lifted into a headstand, elbows on my knees. It was actually pretty easy to hold and after a 12.5k run, it felt great on the legs. After a couple of minutes or so, they told us to raise our legs straight into the air. Cool.

Next thing I know, I am on my side, laughing. Apparently I need to work on my core strength.

Question: Have you gotten out of your comfort zone lately?