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Sprains, Strains, and Automobiles

One week to go.

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Swim – 2:30:00 (p) – 2:10:00 (a) – 5800m
Bike – 5:00:00 (p) – 4:48:30 (a) – 133.20km
Run – 2:15:00 (p) – 1:45:02 (a) – 22.30km

Total – 9:45:00 (p) – 8:44:31 (a)

This week was a bit of a mash-up, and not in the horrible ‘Glee’ show-tunes meaning of the word. Racing on Sunday, which is my normal rest day, and the unscheduled rest day on Monday threw a bit a kink into my training plan.

I decided to push Monday through Wednesday ahead a day, catching up with my big days Friday and Saturday.

Everything was going great until my run on Friday, a 60 minute Negative Split (NSR) when I felt some pain in my right achilles around the 15 minute mark. I decided to turn around, head home, and if everything felt alright, head for another lap. Yeah, well one lap it was. So maybe a little rest is needed, but hey, no running until Tuesday on the plan. Hopefully 4 days rest will do it some good.

Wednesday morning was the last of my high intensity days, leaving me pretty stoked; stoked because I am not a huge fan of Fartlek intervals. The plan called for 60min ER – 5x3min FI (3min RBI).

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I lost count and ended up doing 6, no wonder I was gassed by the end. I guess I don’t hate them as much as I say….

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Whole 30 – Day 21
Racing Instead of Training
Ironman Tattoo

With the great weather where in Calgary over the past month, wait, did I just say ‘nice weather’ and ‘Calgary’ in the same sentence? I digress. I have been able to get out on the road for an early morning ride for the past couple of weeks.

Sure it is cold, and one morning I came home with frozen toes, but I would rather that than ride on the trainer, again. The early morning air and watching the sunrise almost makes up for nearly being run over.

Seriously, I am surprised at some of the risks drivers will take to get ahead of a cyclist. That is another post for another day.

Question: Do you have a love/hate relationship with Fartlek Intervals?

Racing Instead of Training

12 days and counting.

countdown

Swim – 2:30:00 (p) – 2:10:00 (a) – 5950m
Bike – 5:45:00 (p) – 4:24:23 (a) – 120.08km
Run – 3:00:00 (p) – 2:45:01 (a) – 33.11km
Race – 1:10:00 (p) – 1:13:34 (a) – 25.75km

Total – 11:15 (p) – 10:32:58 (a)

This week was my highest training volume, probably not the best week to schedule a sprint distance triathlon, but hey, who doesn’t like to race?

I really suck at changing my training schedule to fit in a unscheduled event. I get stuck on “things have to go where they have to go” so this week threw a wrench into my plans. No worries though, I was able to get in the bulk of my training sessions, the prescribed intervals, and still have a great race.

Again, don’t fret, the race report is on the way.

Taking down a 1:15 Negative Split and both 1:20 and 1:30 with Fartlek Intervals (5x3min) after my Friday morning swims has given me a lot of confidence. This is one place in my training that I lack, confidence on the run. Am I ready for a Ironman 70.3? Sure. Am I ready to push hard at an Ironman 70.3? Not even close.

I can hang with the power bikers; you know the guys, all quads and calves. Put my next to a runner and I don’t stand a chance. Well I think some of that is changing as I came away with the second fastest run on the day yesterday.

Ah progress.

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Wind, Flats, and Hills
Ironman Tattoo
Finally, the Weekend is Upon Us

With less than 2 weeks now until Escape From Alcatraz, my first race is under my belt, I am feeling pretty relaxed.

The only concern I have is water temperature. I like to get in the water, warm up (literally and figuratively), the get prepared to do battle. In Alcatraz, no such thing as a warm up. It is just off the boat and swim like you stole something.

So this week I am going to grab my wetsuit, head down to the river, and go for a swim. The water temperature may be colder than the bay but I reckon it can’t hurt.

Think of it as a swimming treadmill.

Question: Have you tried swimming in a river? Any thoughts.

Wind, Flats, and Hills

Another week down and not many left…

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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.

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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?

I’m Hungry

and tired. Did I mention that I am hungry?

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Swim – 2:15:00 (p) – 2:15:00 (a) – 6500m
Bike – 4:30:00 (p) – 4:28:29 (a) – 150.03km
Run – 2:30:00 (p) – 2:34:18 (a) – 31.02km

Total – 9:15:00 (p) – 9:17:47 (a)

Great numbers this week. I was able to hit all of my planned intervals and even survived a 2:30 EM on the trainer. I had planned on a great route for Saturday morning, but mother nature had other plans.

Ah, spring in Calgary.

Saturday’s ride called for Power Intervals, the workout looked like this:

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Each PI was at 310W and each recovery at 180W. Let me tell you, that second hour went by pretty fast though it was hard to keep my legs turning for the last 30.

With my volume ramping up over the past couple of weeks, I am noticing that I am hungry; all of the time. Most of my workouts are scheduled for early morning; I am usually out of bed by 0500 and on the bike or run by 0530 or in the pool by 0600. This doesn’t give me much time to eat prior.

When my workout was 60 minutes long I had no issues; I could finish strong and eat my recovery meal (eggs and sweet potato) before I hit the showers without my stomach giving me grief. Now that I rarely have a single workout, brick sessions anyone, I am looking for some workout energy that has some protein included. I reckon if I can figure this one out, then Ironman Calgary should be a breeze.

Tops Posts
Ironman Tattoo
Cops and Joggers
Calgary Police Half Marathon – Race Recap – Extended Version

The Giro d’Italia starts tomorrow, oddly enough in Belfast. The first of the three grand tours kicks off with my favorite kind of stage, the Team Time Trial. As a triathlete I love the TT and the pain associated with it. I reckon no one can get on a TT bike and pedal anything less than 100%; I know I can’t.

This years’ race will be pretty awesome as some of the big names have decided to forgo the Giro in favor for the Tour de France. With Nibali, Froome, and Contador all missing, the race is open for many contenders. My hopes lie with Hesjedal from Garmin-Sharp; a fellow Canadian and winner of the 2012 edition he has to be my favorite. Along side Dan Martin, who had a great spring season, I wonder how much damage Garmin could do.

Question: How do you increase your calorie intake during training?

Cops and Joggers

Second year in a row I have ran this race, this year I convinced my brother to run with me.

Great choice.

Ah yes, the start line selfie.  Losers hey?

Ah yes, the start line selfie. Losers hey?

Race morning was a touch chilly; it was 0 degrees when we parked. I was carrying a GU Salted Caramel gel, and with the yeti on the package, seemed fitting. Our goal was simple, start together finish together (hopefully under 2 hours).

We started off pretty fast at 4:30/km. Keeping in mind the first 3k is pretty much downhill, I slowed our pace to hopefully save our legs for the return leg. We found out later that our attempts were futile.

I ran through the fist aid station at 5k, my brother opting for a glass of water. Well by 8k he had a stitch in his side and nothing helped; breathing on alternate sides, slowing down, and eventually walking. The next aid station provided a chance to stop, grab some energy, and keep chugging along.

We ran down into the Weaselhead, I opened up and cruised down the hill slowing down at the bottom to let my brother catch up. Onward to the bottom of the biggest test. I went to grab my gel looking for some energy for the climb, only to find that my hands were numb and I couldn’t grab the gel from my pocket. My brother gave me his, saying that he wouldn’t need it. Awesome, thanks dude.

I hammered up the hill, clapped for the bagpipe band at the top, and stopped at the aid station to wait for my brother. Not much to report in the last 5k, except for anyone who maps a half marathon course with an uphill finish sucks.

Coming around the last bend, I stopped and let my brother go ahead. He worked so hard in the last 4k that crossing the finish line first seemed pretty rude. Our official time was 1:52:52. Needless to say we were stoked, not only meeting our goal, pretty much smashing it.

yyc police half 2014

I love this race, it is always well organized and the route is probably the best in Calgary. Sure, I can run the reservoir any time, but there is something special about running it with a couple hundred others. Bring my brother along, and man, what a great way to spend a Sunday morning.

I was also able to rest my nutrition plan along the Ironman 70.3 Calgary run course. I understand that running a half marathon differs greatly from running an Ironman 70.3 half marathon, but I reckon any testing is better than wingin’ it.

So there you go; a PR for my brother, half marathon under me for 2014, and triathlon season right around the corner.

One, Two, Ten Not Counting Again

Race week, my favorite kind of week.

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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.

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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?