triathlon and family can mix

Posts tagged “10k

It Is Lonely at the Back

I throw my hands in the air in surrender.

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Swim – 0:00:00 – 0km
Bike – 1:01:20 – 36.8km
Run – 1:02:35 – 12.5km

Total – 2:03:55

Travelling for business is starting to really suck. I spent 5 days on a drilling rig in the middle of nowhere this week. Pretty sure you could tell something was up by the training volume, hey? I don’t like spending time away from my family; partly because when I get home my daughter has taken my spot in the bed, the furniture is never in the same spot as when I left, and the dog has gone pretty much bonkers. More than all of that, I miss the girls.

Being woken up in the morning with a body slam on Saturday or eating breakfast on the couch watching cartoons is all I want to do these days. Being a grown up isn’t all it’s advertised.

I was able to get back to training Friday evening on my bike, opting to take it somewhat easy as I was planning to head outside for the first time on Sunday afternoon. Yeah, the weekend in Calgary was that warm. Alas it was not in destiny and I opted to hang with the girls instead.

I have always joked around with my fellow swim club members that a swim lane is like a peloton; everyone needs to take their turn at the front. This morning I took my turn at the front, and like a rider who made a failed attempt at a break away, I was slowly caught and spit out the back with nothing but regret to keep me company.

When Michael Gustafson tweeted “taking a day off from the pool, you might as well retire” I didn’t really believe it. Well, now I do.

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I missed the St Patrick’s Day 10k road race this past Sunday, and judging by the number of race recaps on WordPress, I am the only one in North America who did. Everyone has that race, the one you always want to run, but something short of a miracle will keep you from lining up at the start line. This seems to be mine.

Not that I really want to run a 10k race these days. It seems silly to me to pay a race entry fee, typically $30-$50, drive half away across town, line up with a bunch of runners (sorry runners, I prefer triathletes), and drive home all sweaty when I could hammer a quick 10k from the house and be done is less than an hour.

Question: Have you taken a significant time away from training? Did you see a drop in fitness?


‘Round the Bunny Ear and Through the Hole

For a simple piece of technology, I sure screw it up a lot.

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Walking to the office this morning, I had to stop and tie my shoe. Let me tell you, it gets annoying after a while. I raced 6 times last year, 2 of those races required shoelace maintenance. Sure it only takes 10-15 seconds to stop, tie, and restart but when I cross the finish line at 45:10 aiming for a sub 45:00…..time to figure this thing out.

I got chatting with a buddy of mine who is the Western Canadian Rep for a major shoe brand; he mentioned that in his experience New Balance shoe laces don’t like to stay tied. Something about the material, or shape, or both I can’t remember. This was a point in our run that I was bent over tying my left shoe lace.

Irony at its finest.

Over the past couple of months I have noticed the frequency of united laces is getting higher. Not sure what I am doing that is different than before and I have changed out any of my equipment. My running shoes are my trusty New Balance Minimus Road Zeros and my dress shoes haven’t been replaced in about 6 months.

Just looked at them, maybe they need to replaced sooner than I thought.

Of course there are products out there that help with the sort of issue; I have a couple at the house. I just can’t seem to get them right and end up with a pain in my foot half way through a 10k run. My daughter, 7, has just learnt to tie her shoes. Right now it is all about shoes with laces; if they have Velcro, back in the closet with them. Sure there was some frustration, it comes with the territory, but she has mastered it.

Maybe I need to take some pointers from her.

On the topic of foot/lace related issues, I had to change the lacing pattern on my shoes to eliminate a pressure spot on the top of my foot. It has helped drastically and since I changed the pattern, no more issues.

Question: Have you had problems like this? Any suggestions?


Race Report – Calgary Corporate Challenge 10k

Sometimes, only sometimes, can a fun run turn into a PR attempt.

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I ran this last year as a favor to my company’s organizing committee, they were short of runners and didn’t want to forfeit. I ended up having a great time and set a pretty decent time. This year was a little different. I planned to participate months in advance marking it up as my attempt at another 10k PR; and my result didn’t disappoint.

Race morning started a little different for me, as any triathlete can attest to. No transition bags, wetsuits, or race nutrition. Simply put, put your shoes on and run; run like you stole something. Oh, the best part of a running race? No 0645 start times.

After registration the team, all six of us, headed to the start chute. I noticed we were lined up at the 50-60 minute pacing banner, but no worries, I would rather start with the ream than shuffle my way up at the last minute. Passed a lot of people in the first 4km, I guess they all had the same idea as I did. I set in for a decent pace, around 4:20/km, and started setting my sights on the runners ahead of me. I continued to pass runners all the way to the finish. My legs started to pack it in around km 7.8, so I had to convince them to continue on. “Keep Calm and Drop the Hammer” right?

The last 700m or so up hill, kinda cruel for the end of a running race. One runner came up along side, fist bumped, and encouraged me to pick up the pace to the finish line. I happily obliged and kicked it up for the last 200m; it hurt, but I had it in me.

Crossed the line with a 43:36 (4:22/km) finish time. I have no idea how I placed, there were timing chips, but no posted results.

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I had fun. It is refreshing to race without the added pressure of a full training season hanging in the balance.

I think that is where some of the ‘after race blues” come from; knowing that your season is over, and 200-300 hours of training ends with a 2-3 hour event.

I will be back again next year, hopefully with another PR under my belt.


Recap – Week 36

Another week down. Man, these weekly recaps are coming almost faster than I can write them.

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Swim – 0:55:00 – 2500m
Bike – 0:49:57 – 21.9km
Run – 2:09:17 – 27.22km
Total – 3:54:14

My swim and bike suffered this week, but it isn’t all my fault. Brace yourself, here come the excuses. The pool was closed for maintenance on Friday and as much as I wanted to dive in, there was nothing but air to dive into. Sure, I could have gone to another pool, but I am not a huge fan a busy lanes; at a strange pool? No thanks. Besides, swim club starts up again on Monday and a day off isn’t a bad thing.

I woke up Saturday morning to rain, actually, rain like that can’t be called just rain. It was almost like ’40 days and nights’ or ‘build me an ark’ kinda rain. So the bike stayed in the house and I took the day off. Kinda.

I was able to squeeze three runs though, with one being a 10k race on Sunday morning. The race was a great success as I set a new PR of 43:36 (4:22/km); almost a full minute faster than last year. Race report to follow (stayed tuned). I was the first on my team to finish, with all of us coming in under an hour. A great result all around.

Just about 2 years ago, going against the grain, we moved into a older community in Calgary from our suburban community. Our friends thought we were a little crazy, and I am the first to admit we are. It has been awesome so far being close to the Bow River, Bowmont Natural Park, and having trees that are taller than our fence. The downside you ask? Well, the house was built in 1976 and hasn’t really been updated since.

So I started renovations this weekend by demolishing our ensuite bathroom. Man, you want a decent cross training workout? Rip up a sub floor. My hamstrings, triceps, and wrists are killing me. I mentioned that I kinda took Saturday off, well, no triathlon specific workouts, but I was sweating pretty hard on Saturday afternoon. It went better than expected, and we are ready to close up the walls pretty soon.

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My Whole 30 Challenge has reached Day 12 as of today, and I am glad to say it is going pretty well. I am starting to crave certain things, but more than anything I am just getting a little hungry. I think the challenge makes you think that if you snack, you fail; there are certainly people out there that have than opinion and I call them the ‘Elitist Paleo’. I say eat when you are hungry make a decent snack choice, because it sucks being hungry. For me, cashews are not a decent choice.

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Image via the Oatmeal

My wife has left the room.

Question. Now that triathlon season is over, will you still race? What are you racing?


Recap – Week 35

I already cheated on my Whole 30 Challenge. Oops.

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Swim – 1:45:00 – 4900m
Bike – 3:00:00 – 80km
Run – 1:13:23 – 15.43km

Total – 5:58:33

I got back into the swing of things this week. I am attempting a 10K PR on September 8th at the Calgary Corporate Challenge road race; I finished last year in 44:20 (4:26/km). I have been slacking on the run training over the past 4 weeks, so I am not sure how it will go, but why not give it all I got.

Training has been decent, all except I showed up at the YMCA on Monday morning for swim club only to find out that the session ended the previous Friday and the club is taking a 2 week break. That will teach me for not reading the class schedule. Had a great swim anyways, the club is pretty intense so most of the athletes showed up anyways. We swam a 2400m broken ladder with a decent pace.

I took my bike out on Saturday afternoon determined to tackle the Glen Eagles hill. For those not in Calgary, you should be, it is one of the steepest and longest hills around; 3.1km long with an elevation change of 200m. My calculation puts it at a 6.5% grade. I appreciate it is not much compared to Alp d’Huez, but for an amateur triathlete, it is a tough climb. So I biked the 21km to the top from my house, stopped to eat a banana and check the wind, and decided to descend. Being this was my first time, I sat up about half way down as I didn’t know what was around the bend and at the bottom. A short tour around Cochrane to turn around, and I was on my way back up.

It was hot and the climb was tough. Come to think of it, it wasn’t as tough as I thought it would be. It can be intimidating when you hear the vehicles, especially the trucks, accelerating past you. At some points I had to just keep looking forward and hope I didn’t get run over. Below is the GPS track of my ride. A couple of things to note, (1) I was nervous on the way down, but my heart rate was not 240, and (2) my GPS died at the top of the hill.

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My GPS died twice this week; it has a habit of doing that on a critical training rides. I need to figure out a way to remind myself to charge it when it needs to be charged. Seems simple right? Well, I have proven that it is not.

So this past Sunday was supposed to be the start of my Whole 30 Challenge. Instead, after eating a huge piece of pie at my parents house on Wednesday for desert, I decided to start the following day. So I cheated and started early. Sorry. I am enjoying it so far. Nothing really huge to report in the cravings department, except I really wanted a cookie the other day while I was ordering a coffee at Starbucks. The White Chocolate Macadamia is fantastic.

I started running with a buddy this week as well. I have a hard time finding someone to run with as most think that I am too fast for them. Little do they know that isn’t the case, but try to convince someone of that is like pulling teeth. It is a different experience running with someone, and I am not sure if I like it, but I will take a couple of more sessions to make up my mind. I like to talk; okay understatement, sometimes I can’t shut up. Get me talking about foot strike, bikes, or pretty much anything to do with triathlon and I can run your ear off. The problem with running with a buddy, most of the time you don’t have the ability to talk because you are out of breath.

Kinda makes me think; what is the point?

Question: Do you run with a partner? Do you find it beneficial?


Recap – Week 34

Ah, rest and relaxation

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Swim – 0:15:10 – 1310m
Bike – 1:00 – 27.9km
Run – 0:34:53 – 6.99km
Total – 1:50:04

Alright, this should catch me up after missing a couple of scheduled recaps due to vacation.

This week was our annual pilgrimage to Sicamous, a place my family has gone for about 20 years now. The weather was decent, with a couple of days of scorching weather that we took full advantage of.

Leaving Calgary on Saturday, we got out of the house at a decent time. I have two girls and a dog; being on the road at 0900 is decent. After a couple of stops for bathrooms, we arrive in Golden to find that the Highway between Golden and Revelstoke closed due to a vehicle incident. Fast forward 5 hours, several coffees, and lunch we are on the road again. I can’t complain about having to wait, better to wait in Golden than be part of the vehicle incident.

Getting in later than we expected threw us for a loop, but we managed to get setup in order to enjoy our first day without to much running around. I mentioned that I had borrowed a ‘speedsuit’ from my swim coach to test out in the water, and on Tuesday afternoon I had a chance to test it out. Man, I l really liked the feeling of my arms bare. It let me feel the water better than a sleeved wetsuit and the range of motion is much better.

The rest of the week was uneventful, just as we planned it. We ended up leaving a day early as the weather turned to rain, but all in all it was a good vacation. The extra day at home allowed me to sneak in a quick hour on the bike Sunday afternoon. It was great to get out and feel the wind again.

I am prepping for the start of my While 30 Challenge by studying ingredient lists of some of the food in our house. Most products are pretty decent, but the one that scared me the most is Sweet Relish. I never realized how many artificial colors are in it; not to mention the sugar. Wow. I never ate the stuff, but I will now try to limit the amount my daughter eats.

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So back to a semi-structured training plan. I am participating in the Calgary Corporate Challenge 10K road race in a couple weeks time. I was aiming for a sub 40min finish, but I may have to pull that back just a bit based on my performance over the past 4 weeks.

Question: How do you spend your first couple of weeks after the race season?


Mother’s Day Run and Walk

14,875 people, 1 single purpose.

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This was the 36th annual Mother’s Day Run and Walk in Calgary; the first I have been part of. As you can tell from the participation, the event is huge and supports a great cause; the Neonatal Intensive Care Units. Up until this year, I didn’t really have much reason to support the NICU. After Oliver was born, though he didn’t make it to the the NICU, we can now appreciate the situation families are in when their newborns do.

So me and my brother decided to crush a quick 10k in memory of all the little guys who either rely on the NICU, or maybe with our help, someday will be able to being born at 22 weeks and 6 days.

Being a triathlete, there is not many times that I start my run bunched up. Most of the time, I am heading thru T2 with one, maybe two other runners. Starting with 14,875 others makes for quite a different experience. At least I am not getting kicked in the face.

The first 2k were tough as we needed to navigate some of the slower runners, people looking at their phones, and groups running 4 or 5 wide. Once we got out on the road, the course opened up and there was room to run comfortably. The course takes you through some of the most expensive neighborhoods in Calgary, and I couldn’t help but stare and wish that I was able to walk to the race start, instead of drive. Alas, maybe one day.

My goal was to have a great time, run with my brother, and support a great cause. It was tough not to crank up the speed, but reminding myself of my goals, I stuck with my brother and let him pace.

At km 5, the course takes a slight uphill turn, and at this point I noticed a lot of runners struggling. I tried to motivate a couple on the way up, not sure it worked as well as I hoped. I crested the hill, stopped to tie my shoe (still need to figure that one out), and waited for my bro to catch up. The people that I passed on the way up must have thought “Wow, sprint up the hill then have to catch your breath? Learn to pace man.” Little do they know…..

The rest of the course was great. The volunteers were awesome, clapping and encouraging everyone one. I clapped for them as I passed, letting them know how awesome they are. I even high five’d a cop who was monitoring the intersection.

We crossed the finish line in memory of my son, Oliver. I know that he was there watching.

I hope he was proud.

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Result: 51:14 (5:08/km) 70/278 Age Group 290/2004 Overall

Every year, we will be on the start line Mother’s Day morning, supporting the NICU’s across Alberta. Until next year….