triathlon and family can mix

Posts tagged “goals

Peer Pressure

Come on man, everyone is doing it.

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Sounds like junior high hey? Well, it does for me.

We were taught, and I continue to teach my daughter, that peer pressure is bad. I don’t think I would have built a ramp then tried to jump my BMX over my firend when I was 10 if it wasn’t for peer pressure. Before you think it, I didn’t end up with any broken bones, although based on my history it was a good assumption.

So when is peer pressure a good thing?

I recently completed a 21 Day Challenge to eliminate sugar from my life; I am sure you saw my numerous posts and twitter updates during the challenge. One of the top reasons that I was able to successfully complete the 21 days was the knowledge that I had people watching me. I announcd my intentions, invited others to join, and encouraged anyone to follow my progress via a blog update each Monday night. With that visibility, how could I just up and quit without some ridicule.

I think that is the point; having someone or a group of people who will make you accountable can be positive. It keeps you focused and honest.

The concept of positive peer pressure reaches futher than just dieting. When I swim with the Tri-Club or join a running collective, I want to gain the positives of training with a group to make me better. Part of that is pushing myself to keep up with or supass the better athletes, and I can’t do that if I stop a set 50m early becasue I am tired.

So embrace the peer pressure. If you want to eliminate sugar, floss your teeth every night, or stop complaining (all three I did in 2012) make sure there is someone who you don’t want to let down and can measure how you are doing.

If you are struggling with just perception on the line, you can sign up at stickK, a website where if you fail your challenge, a donation will be made to a charity of yor choice. The key? You can pick an anti-charity, like ‘The George W Bush Presidential Library and Museum’ or ay other place you would rather not see your money go. Money always talks.

On a side note, I hope you guys wouldn’t have given me too hard of a time if I didn’t make it past day 11…….

Question: How do you motivate yourself to achieve a goal you set?

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2012 Review – Part 2

It was a great year for many reasons.

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I achieved several goals I set for myself and my family became closer as well.

In June, after a coffee meeting with a friend, I decided to give up the java for good. Based on how I felt after each day, the motivation was pretty high. I have to admit, it wasn’t easy especially with the line of work I am in, but I made it through the 30 days and have given it up for good. I feel greet now, especially in the afternoon when I used to get the jitters. I did have a couple of ‘shorts’ of Christmas Blend because, not that I am Superman, but it is my kryptonite.

Nine weeks to the day after I broke my collar bone, I stood on the shore of Ghost Dam getting myself ready for Ironman 70.3 Calgary. It was my ‘A’ race of the year, and all of my training revolved around it. Most thought that I was crazy for starting, but my family stood behind me and cheered me along the way. I learnt alot about myself, triathlon, and how your mental toughness is just as important as your physical. I am pretty sure that I wouldn’t have finished if it wasn’t for them.

It was then my daughters turn for her second Kids of Steel Triathlon; her first open water swim. I swam, ran as she biked, and ran beside her to the finish line. My favorite part of the race? When she grabbed a glass at the aid station and tried to drink while running. I think every person, including myself, were chuckling a little bit. It was so cute.

Pretty much our whole family came to watch, I think we were the annoying spectators that morning.

I said time flies, well we couldn’t believe when time came for her first day of kindergarden. We had to put some effort in her application to the school, so when we recieved confirmation she was accepted, we were ecstatic. She is having so much fun and learning alot. The best part, she is meeting other kids who share her learning style and personality.

The rest of the year was pretty uneventful. We enjoyed the fall and the changing of the leaves; we couldn’t experience it like that in our old house. I began planning my 2013 training plan and race schedule. Sounds like a ton of fun? Only a Triathlete would say “Yes”.

Hopefully 2013 will be just has eventful. Well, maybe a little less eventful.

Good luck to you in 2013.


Did Not Finish

I Am Not Scared of You, or am I?

I had a t-shirt as a kid that said ‘you can’t strike out if you don’t step up to the plate’. At the time, it was just cool to wear, but as I went through my twenties I realized that I have an obsession about not completing a task. Wow, I am done my twenties, for real?

It is an outcome that no one foresees at the beginning of a race, Did Not Finish. I think every triathlete, it is no secret that we are a competitive bunch, fear these three little words. Is it perception, ego, or pure competitiveness that causes it? I reckon a little of each, but perception gets my vote.

You want to leave everything you have on the course and give it your best effort. If your goal is too qualify for the World Championships or just cross, the finish line is a definate ending. So not crossing the finish line would be devastating right? I am not sure it would be.

There are numerous benefits to training for a Triathlon, whether it is a Sprint or Ironman, in addition to race day. Don’t get me wrong, race day is what it is all about for me, but my life is sure better now than it was just a couple of years ago. I have met many influential individuals , I am in the best shape of my life, I am eating better, and my daughter has taken up an interest in triathlon as well.

So back up to Ironman 70.3 Calgary. Coming off a broken collar-bone 9 weeks priors, my first 70.3 attempt, and my first experience in a point-to-point race, where was the little voice whispering DNF, DNF? No where to be found. Instead, it was whispering keep going, keep going. Trust in your training, it has not only prepared you body, but your mind as well.

Don’t be scared of a DNF. I believe that everyone standing on the beach recognizes the effort it took for you to get there, it took them just as much effort to do so, and salutes.

Question: How do you perceive a DNF?


Valdez Who?

It started with a text to my wife, it was a picture of a cup of coffee, it read; “Here is my last coffee for the next 30 days”.

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I meant it. This was a culmination of several weeks, who am I kidding, several months of feeling less than optimal each time I drank a Grande Americano. I have read about the positive effects of caffeine for training, racing, and body fat loss.

So why not consume it at will? But why did I feel worse after each cup?

So I had it and decided that for the next 30 days I would not consume a single coffee product. I haven’t drank dairy since January, so no latte, no problem. It was going to be that Grande Americano I grabbed on the way into the office each morning that was going to be the devil.

I was determined to give it a go, so here is what I found helpful for me to kick the addiction:

1 Find your trigger, replace the habit. There is something that triggers every addiction, starting the habit loop. Mine? The familiar coffee shop on my route to the office and the lull at the office at 1000. Solution? I changed my route to work and grabbed a tea or water at 1000.
2 Decline invitations for ‘coffee’. I have a couple of acquaintances who always want to meet over coffee, typically at a good coffee house. I haven’t seen these people for 30 days now. I know if I agree to meet, I will be restarting at day 1.
3 Remove any temptation. Will power is a tricky thing, sometimes you have it, and sometimes you don’t. Put a tray of muffins in my kitchen, and I can resist for about 2 days, then they will disappear in a glorious insulin induced coma. Get rid of the temptation and your will power can take a break.
4 Replace with a different beverage. I had to be careful with this one, replacing coffee with say, scotch, may not be the best idea. I researched the benefits of tea, and found Yerba Mate. The health benefits are too numerous to list on this blog.
5 Announce your challenge. It’s is no secret, if there is someone to hold you accountable, you will be less likely to give up. My wife is great at holding me to my words (and promises for that matter).

As of the date this blog post was published, I have gone 31 days without coffee and have never felt better. I didn’t celebrate the end of the challenge by brewing a 20oz cup of java, that wasn’t the goal of the challenge.

Question: Have you given up coffee? What strategies did you use?


Roll Call

I missed the Chinook 119.1 Triathlon which took place on June 16. I haven’t seen a pool for more than 100m in 5 weeks. Time to figure out where my 2012 race season stands.

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My goals for this year were pretty simple:

1 Remain injury free – Incomplete
2 Increase run speed to 4:30/km by week 20 – Complete
3 Increase power on the bike by 20% by week 30 – Complete
4 Finish Chinook 119.1 (first Half-Iron distance attempt) – Incomplete
5 Finish Calgary 70.3 faster than Chinook 119.1 – Not attempted yet

With the Calgary 70.3 less than 4 weeks out, it goes July 29, my goal is to make it 3 of 5 for goals this year (I guess maybe 2.5 of 5 since I could walk the 70.3 and complete my goal).

My plan is to continue with my training schedule for the bike and run workouts and continue to gain strength in the pool. I will dedicate a future post to my training plan. By the end of July I intend to be on the beach of Ghost Dam shivering, ready for my first Half-Iron attempt.

Question: Has anyone set a similar goal of returning after an injury? Were you able to reach your goal?