triathlon and family can mix

Posts tagged “family

Ironman Tattoo

M. Dot.


It seems like a right of passage. Cross the finish line and straight to the tattoo parlour. The more I see them around the gym, pool, path, or beach these days, I wonder if I would get one.

First, to qualify I am sure you have to finish a long distance Triathlon, all 226.3 kilometers of it. Second, you need to be proud of it. How could you not be? Not many people would attempt it, let alone finish it.

I think there is a stigma around people who have an Ironman tattoo. Some opinions say that ‘are they not proud of anything else than finishing that race x years ago’. I don’t think this is the case; starting, let alone finishing a long distance triathlon is a feat. I think it is a celebration of something that they have worked hard at achieving. Trust me, the amount of training hours that come along with the finish can be staggering. Average 11 hours per week with 3 hour bike rides on Saturday and 2 hours runs on Sunday; not to mention strength training and your real life. This is what I averaged in preparation for Ironman 70.3 Calgary, a half distance triathlon.

So back to my original thought.

Would I ever get a tattoo?

I love this sport and all of the tangible and intangible benefits that have come along with it. I am in the best shape of my life, my energy levels are thru the roof, and my daughter is racing as well. I will talk about it with anyone that asks, and hey, alot of people who don’t (sorry if you have been one of the unwilling listeners in the past). The people I have met including instructors, physiotherapists, and fellow triathletes over the past two years have made a positive impact on my life. Thank you for that.

I just find it hard to want to advertise it to the entire world, all the time. I mean having people check out your tattoo, check you out (elevator look?), then make a judgment based on your current physical condition is something I would like to avoid. “He has an Ironman tattoo, he doesn’t look like he could finish the walk up the stairs!”

I am just saying I don’t think that I would get one. Better to leave the memory where it belongs, in my mind.

Just a thought: Do you need to show proof, like a picture of you crossing the finish line or a secret membership card? I sure hope so.

Question: Would you get an Ironman Tattoo?


Calvin and Hobbes

Probably the most insightful and funniest comics I have read. Ever.

I bought the entire works of Calvin and Hobbes when my daugther was about 3 months old. I knew she would not be old enough to read, better yet understand the comic until many years later. I felt this is something she needed to have to grow up normal, I guess as normal as a kid can grow up in our house.

Oh, and it couldn’t hurt for me to read them in the meantime.

The older she gets, I can see where Bill Watterson got inspiration for Calvin. Anyone who has a vicarious 6 year old can attest to the comments, ideas, and sometimes brutal honesty that can fill an otherwise boring suppertime conversation.

I thought I would share some of my most memorable comments from Calvin and Hobbes. Some are funny, some are profound, and some embody our family philosphy. So here they are:

Calvin: As far as I’m concerned, if something is so complicated that you can’t explain it in 10 seconds, then it’s probably not worth knowing anyway.

Calvin: Sometimes when I’m talking, my words can’t keep up with my thoughts. I wonder why we can think faster than we speak?.
Hobbes: Probably so we can think twice

Calvin: Some days even my lucky rocketship underpants won’t help.

Calvin: I wonder why we dream when we sleep?
Calvin: Do our brains get bored? I wonder why we don’t just plain sleep.
Hobbes: I think we dream so we don’t have to be apart so long. If we’re in each others dreams, we can play together all night!
Calvin: Hey, Yeah!
Calvin: Well, I’ll see you in a few minutes ol’ buddy.
Hobbes: I’ll be there.

Calvin: If you can’t control your peanut butter, you can’t expect to control your life.

Calvin: Nothing spoils fun like finding out it builds character.

Calvin: I’ve been thinking Hobbes.
Hobbes: On a weekend?
Calvin: Well, it wasn’t on purpose.

Of course, the family motto.

Now that it is winter here in Calgary, I can’t wait to make snow sharks in the front yard.

Question: Is there any memorable quote that is you favorite?

Recap – Week 48

Time flies……


Swim – 3:00:00 – 9300m
Bike – 1:52:56 – 60.81km
Run – 1:48:09 – 22.99km
Strength – 0:45:00

Total – 7:26:05

Wow, I can’t believe that there is only 4 of these left before the end of the year. November went by in a flash.

I had some pretty decent workouts this week, and trust me, I can feel it this morning. Wednesday’s swim workout was focused on endurance with a little bit of tempo work mixed in. It looked something like this:

Warm Up
400m Swim/200m Kick/400m Drill
Main Set
1x800m Pull with Paddles – 20 strokes or less per length – <12:15
2x400m Swim – Descending – <6:00
4x200m Alternate Swim/Pull – <2:55
Cool Down
Hang on to the side of the pool and die

Seriously, the last 2 sets almost killed me. It is a great feeling to push hard at the end of a workout; I feel that this is where your best fitness it gained. It also helps with the mental toughness, being able to sprint at the end of a 3000m workout takes a little convincing.

I have to say that I like the 200m more than any other distance. You can push as hard or as easy as you like, with not too much pain if you give it your all. I am working to get my 200m split to 2:45 by the end of the Winter session. It is going to be a big push, but better to reach for goal than settle for second best.

Winter showed up in Calgary today. About time, said no one, ever. At least we can make snow sharks in the front lawn.


Top Posts
There Are No Walls in Open Water
Ironman Tattoo
Recap – Week 47

My wife asked me if I could stay home in the morning for a couple of weeks to help them get into a decent routine of getting out of the house on time, so I had to skip out on tri-club swim this week. I let my coach know and he graciously sent the workouts for me to follow along with. It was a huge help to keep me motivated in the pool without the team.

I had no problem switching up my routine for the week. It was tough to rearrange everyday and still keep a decent balance and not running ir lifting on back to back days, but I made it work. The girls were able to get a decent routine and as of this morning, she has said I am not needed at home anymore, so I can get back in the pool with the club.

Is it sad that I am excited about getting in the pool at 0600 again?

Question: What is your favorite distance? Why?

Recap – Week 43

It was hard to shampoo my hair this week.


Swim – 3:00:00 – 7200m
Bike – 1:13:37 – 32.11km
Run – 1:14:15 – 15.47km
Strength – 1:30:00

Total – 6:57:52

I got back into the weight room for the first time in about 6 months. it felt great, until the next day; I was walking backwards down my stairs at home. I started with the ‘Pre-Hab’ routine outlined in ‘The Four Hour Body’ by Tim Ferris to identify any muscle imbalances that may have crept into my body over the summer. Good news, everything checked out great.

The rest of the week was uneventful by my standards, logging lengths in the pool, commuting on the bike, and a couple of quality runs. I had planned a long bike ride for Saturday as the weatherman called for 14 degrees, then snow for Sunday. He was right (how often does that happen) but unfortunately I was not. I wasn’t able to squeeze it in, opting to spend time with the family instead. Balance right?


Fall is a great time in Calgary, even if it only lasts 4 weeks. The weather is awesome allowing for some pretty great walks and hikes after supper. Case in point; we headed out on Monday evening with the dog who wanted to go for a walk, and a 6 year old who didn’t. 45 minutes later we were dragging both of them out of the tall grass to get home for bed time. It was so nice out we had to strip our jackets off and t-shirt it all the way home.

With the snow on Sunday it would appear that winter in going to settle in a little earlier than anticipated, meaning that me and the dog will head solo more often than not. That is okay with me, I enjoy the solo time with a good cup of tea and the fresh air.

Top Posts
Guide to Making Lunches
Ironman Tattoo
Winter Training

With the 2014 race season a long time away, starting with Escape from Alcatraz on June 1, I am trying to find some motivation for the winter. The couple of half marathons early in the year should keep me on track, but as most of us struggle with, I want to enjoy my training this year and not just log the hours. It is that darn trainer in the basement

Check back as I haven’t really found it yet.

Question: How do you find motivation in the off season?

Winter Training

“Medals are won in the winter, and picked up in the summer.”


So here I am, races are finished for the year, and I have a decent idea of what my race schedule looks like for next year. As hard as it was to nail that down, I reckon that was the easy part. Now comes the hard part, deciding when to train, what to train, and how long to train each week. Throw in family, job, and free time; the balancing act begins.

Last year I had my balance pretty decent. I peaked at a maximum of 9 hours per week including a couple of strength sessions, and I was happy with my results. I had an adequate amount of rest each week, and my workouts were scheduled to allow me the greatest amount of time at home with the family. Of course, there was times where my wife was chapped that I was off on the bike instead of helping around the house, but I am paying her back with a shinny new bathroom as we speak.

So what does my schedule look like? I am glad you asked, because this post would be pretty short if you hadn’t.

Week of October 21 Workout AM Workout PM
Monday Swim – 1:00:00 Strength – 0:45:00
Tuesday Bike – EM – 1:00:00 Run – ER – 0:40:00
Wednesday Swim – 1:00:00
Thursday Strength – 0:45:00
Friday Swim – 1:00:00 Bike – EM – 1:00:00
Saturday Run – ER- 0:45:00
Sunday REST

The only thing that changes on a regular basis is the length and/or the intensity; I plan this on Sunday based on how my week previous went. For example, I am running in a couple half marathons early in 2014, February being the first. I will gradually increase the length of my run workouts to get in the 2 hour range by mid December. If I miss a long run, or just not feeling great, I will keep everything the same as the previous week and try to change things the following week.

I have to be a little honest, the swim club three days a week kinda messes with the scheduling, In a prefect world I would move a couple things around to run three days a week, probably getting rid of the swim on Wednesday. Here is the thing, I really like swimming and the chance to workout with a group is too appealing to change anything right now.

It is going to be a busy off season, but I am hoping to pick up some medals in the summer…..well, maybe not so much, but you never know.

Oh, and yes, I posted a picture of a gold medal from Sydney in 2000 in honor of Simon Whitfield; he represented Canada then and continues to this day. I am proud to be a Canadian triathlete because of athletes like him.

Question – How is your winter scheduling coming along?

A Century of Posts

I reckon a century, no matter the type, is an accomplishment.


So here I am, 18 months since I broke my collar bone, which was my inspiration for starting my blog; 100 posts. I have had a lot of fun writing about my triathlon career (as boring as it may have been), my family, and some of my crazy and often mistimed challenges.

Over this time, there has been a lot of people who have supported me along the way. This post is for them.

This post is for all of my family and friends that have showed up at a race at an ungodly hour of the morning, just to wish me luck and watch me pass by once or twice. It means a lot that you guys are there.

For the guys and gals in lane 3 at the YMCA Tri Club; getting up a 0500 three days a week and swimming like we stole something is excellence at it’s finest. I wouldn’t push myself like that on my own.

Anyone who reads my blog, whether this is the first time you have stumbled on my little corner of the interweb, or you are a follower, thanks. I can’t measure success by how many visitors, likes, or comments, but they sure help me to keep going.

Race volunteers, you are the greatest people on the earth. I hope that next season I will be able to pay you back. Actually, I will pay you back next year, mark my words.

To everyone I have met through this sport, thanks for getting me to where I am today. Hopefully in the near future I will be able to return the favor.

Last and not least, my two girls; they put up with my triathlete crap day in and day out. I am talking missed events because I am “on the bike”, scheduling vacations around race season, and listening to me when I am cranky because of over-training. Without their patience, I would be a lunch time runner, that’s it. It is a real treat that my daughter is excited about triathlon and has allowed me to participate with her during her races.


Hopefully she will go pro and help mom and dad retire early……

Recap – Week 32

Race week. My favorite kind of week.


Swim – 1:13:37 – 3440m
Bike – 2:18:53 – 65.15km
Run – 1:26:42 – 17.81km
Race – 2:23:23 – 51.5km
Total – 7:22:34

I have been kicking around the idea of a weekly recap for a while now. Like I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I am not sure if my life is interesting enough to fill an entire post each week, but I reckon it is worth a go.

My triathlon season came to a close this past weekend with a great race for both me and my daughter in Lake Chaparral. I didn’t hit my goal of sub 2:15:00, but with the slight issue I had on the run, I am happy with my result. I may have gone too hard on the bike, or I may have slacked a bit on my run training the month previous. Vacation can do that to you. I still improved on my time from last year by a full 8 minutes and placed in the top 10.

Monday was a holiday, so I used the day off to head for a long bike ride. To sum it up in one word, wind. It was a slow ride out at 25km/hr, but with the wind at my back coming home, it was much better. I averaged 55km/hr peaking at 62km/hr heading into Calgary. Had a great time. Run Tuesday with 3x3min Fartlek intervals. I had a hard time jogging between the intervals and ended up walking between 2 and 3 for about 2 minutes. This was my first indication that my run fitness may not be as good as I had planned. No matter, I finished the run strong and chalked it up to a rough day.

Began my taper on Thursday with a short run to loosen up my legs and started to get ready mentally for my upcoming race.

Race weekend started on Saturday with the Kids of Steel for my daughter. We had a great time even though she didn’t rush too much. Hey, if it isn’t fun for a 6 year old, why even do it. Right? After her race, I slung the wetsuit on for a quick swim around the course to get my sighting targets and take my equipment for a test run. All good. Race went decent on Sunday morning, even though some kids (I assumed kids) knocked over the portable toilets and smelled up transition. Placed 8th overall with a decent swim and great bike. Mentioned my run fitness, yeah, I struggled there.

So that is the end of my 2013 Triathlon race season. I had a good year racing, with decent performances in all of my races. I still have a bunch of run races scheduled for the remainder of the year, including my attempt at a 10k PR in early September. We are heading out for a well deserved vacation in the coming weeks and this time I am going to leave the bike and shoes at home. I think I earned the upcoming days off.

I have read a lot about the Whole 30 program over the past 6 months. It makes a ton of sense, but while I was training hard, I shied away from it as I was concerned about the restrictiveness of the program. I have hit the non optimal foods pretty hard over the past months as mainly my will power has lacked along with my planning. I think it is about time to hit the ‘reset’ button and give the Whole 30 a rip, so starting September 1, I am in.

I will create a separate page dedicated to my challenge, charting my progress and some of my meals along the way. You all helped me complete the 21 Day No Sugar Detox, so I am calling on you again to help me this time around.

Top Posts for the Week
Ironman Tattoo
Hotels, Family, and Training
Calvin and Hobbes

Seems to be a pattern over the past 3-4 months. Ironman must be in full swing as that post has been top spot for a long time now. Congratulations if you became and ‘Ironman’ over the past year; I can’t imagine doing it myself right now. Possibly in the future.