triathlon and family can mix

Posts tagged “injury

Recap – Week 50

It was a ‘tale of two weeks’.

B&W snow

Swim – 3:00:00 – 8200m
Bike – 1:01:32 – 35.4km
Run – 1:22:52 – 16.9km
Strength – 1:30:00

Total – 6:54:24

My week was going great training wise until mid-Friday. I noticed a slight twinge (is that a technical term?) in my inner left thigh and by the end of the night I was having a hard time walking up the stairs. Given I shouldn’t have been piggy-backing my daughter up the stairs, but hey, it is the only way we can get her to go to bed without fussing.

I decided to forego my ride that evening opting for a good roll and stretch. That seemed to do the trick and by Sunday afternoon I was off for a run while the girls were off to the movies. 8 degrees, sun shining, and clear paths made for a great experience. Only in Calgary can you go from a blizzard warning to running in shorts in less than 2 weeks.

I am not complaining; at all.

The path system in Calgary is awesome. There is close to 800km of pathways that connect most of the city together. I typically use the same 20km of it close to downtown as I run at lunch. It is pretty flat along the Bow River, so when I can run from home and rip through ‘blood and guts’ I take advantage. Yeah you read that right, ‘blood and guts’. The famed section tracks along the north section of Bowmont Natural Park with an elevation climb of 99m from the river valley to the top of Silver Springs.

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I love climbing that hill; brings back memories of training for Ironman 70.3 Calgary two years ago. I have a feeling that I will be seeing more of it in the coming months.

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I hesitated on registering for the Hypothermic Half marathon in February and now it is sold out. Crap. This is the second year in a row that I have missed out on the race by waiting to register. So without a half marathon to race in February, I am going to turn my attention to cycling for January, adding at least one more workout to the mix.

Registration opens for the Calgary Police Half Marathon on January 1, 2014. Needless to say I will be hitting that one soon after I recover from New Years Eve.

Who am I kidding, I will be in bed by 2200.

Question: Any specific training or race route bring back memories for you?

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How Far I Have Come

My name is Steve, and I suck at running.

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Less than 3 years ago, I finished a 5k run. I spent the next 6 weeks in rehab. I had decided a week prior that I wanted to compete in a triathlon later that year. Not sure what really got me on the triathlon kick (pun intended) but I needed to figure out a couple of things.

Can I swim? Check.

Can I bike? Did it as a kid, check.

Can I run? Nope.

Like always, I went head first. I ended up with a muscle imbalance in my quad. It was pulling on my knee cap, causing crazy pain every time I bent my leg. Frustrating to no end. My physio, who is a life saver by the way, recommended that I take a look at my foot strike, and implement a run-walk training plan for up to 8 weeks. More on my progression from a heel striker to a mid-foot striker in a future post.

I took his advice, mixing in swimming, biking, and yoga. It took a while to get to a point where I could run a full 5k without stopping for a walk interval; at some points I felt like progression was moving backwards. I trusted him, and was able to start a high intensity training plan 8 weeks ahead of my first sprint distance. Finished 2nd in my age group.

Fast forward to last year, 2012. I am now hooked on this triathlon thing and laying down some pretty decent performances. I finished top 10 in my age group at my last race last year and completed my first Ironman 70.3. Not bad for breaking my collar bone in a bike crash May 26.

I spent the winter season working on my base fitness with the specific goal of increasing my run speed. Check out this post, or this one, for a detailed description of what I was doing. It was hard work at times, especially in mid winter running on Saturday evenings outside. The dark combined with the cold made for some miserable runs. I continued on in spite of the conditions and now I am running faster than I had planned.

Here is how some of the results stack up.

Sprint Distance (5k Run)
Lake Chaparral – 8/2011 – 27:36 (5:32/km)
Airdrie – 5/2013 – 21:52 (4:23/km)

Olympic Distance (10k Run)
Lake Chaparral – 8/2012 – 48:59 (4:54/km)
Chinook Triathlon Festival – 6/2013 – 45:10 (4:31/km)

Now that is what I am talking about.

I am really happy with my progress. I am dangerously close to achieving my goal for this year of breaking 2:15:00 at the Lake Chaparral Olympic Distance; based on last years results, this puts me on the podium for my age group. If I can sneak a couple of extra minutes, I would be on the podium for the overall results. Before you say “that was last year dude”, I know that everyone ahead of me was training over the winter with the same goal I had, getting faster. I just have to believe that my training is far superior.

We will find out in a couple of months.

Question: How have you progressed from season to season? What have you done to get there?


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.


2012 Review

‘Time flies when you are having fun’

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We must have been having a crap load of fun then; I can’t believe it is 2013 already.

For our family, the last couple of years have been a whirlwind. In 2011, after staying grounded for 4 years, we took out first trip out of Canada, then went on another one, then another one. I completed my first year of triathlon, 2 races in total, and got ‘hooked’. Finally moved; we had talked about it for 4 years. We decided that we wanted to keep the momentum going in 2012, mainly because we were doing better than ever as a family. We were happy and growing physically and mentally.

So this post is dedicated to the progress my family and I have made in 2012. .

Technically we moved in 2011, October to be exact. Although we didn’t realize how it would impact our life until the spring, we were nonetheless excited. Change is always awesome. Our new home was completely different than our old house. Built in the mid 1970’s, it is in a neighbourhood with large trees, established roots, and close to the river. More on the location in a bit.

We decided on New Years Day to get a dog, Franklyn. I was against it, but the girls promised to walk, feed, and otherwise take care of him. Yeah, that lasted long. I have to admit that now I enjoy having him as part of the family, even if he still barks at everything that passes the house.

He gives me an excuse to explore the numerous paths the surround my neighbourhood and the Bow river. We even swam in the river over the summer, both of us. Being able to get out on a regular basis has been a contributing factor to my progression and success to a Paleo lifestyle.

As I have discussed in prior posts, Paleo is no than a ‘diet’ to me, it is a way of life. Slowing life down, playing more, and connecting with nature has been the greatest addition to my life over the past 12 months. I am lighter, more energetic, and overall happier.

In Febrauary I challenged nine coworkers and friends to a ’21 Day No Complaint Challenge’ inspired by a old blog post by Tim Ferris. The first to finish the challenge was offered an award by me. I finished on April 15, a full 58 days after the challenge began. It was totally worth it, and I still catch myself in a complaint and offer a solution as per the challenge. I now look at the positive, instead of the negative, in every situation. By the way, no one has come forward to claim their prize yet.

Looking at the positive was tough sitting in triage at the hospital May 26. Broken collar bone and the prospect of surgey the day before my daughters first Triathlon, nice timing. It did give me two positives, the ability to watch her race and the chance to start this blog. Watching her race was not really a positive until I raced with her in August. I loved racing with her, but you miss the smile at the finish line.

Not to make a post too long, um boring, I will break it up into two parts.

So until part two……

Question: How did your 2012 go?


On the Mend

It has been 6 weeks since I broke my collar bone. Time to see the Doc and find how I am healing.

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When I first took the ortho’s advice and decided against surgery, I wasn’t 100% on board with my decision. I kinda wanted to get it fixed the next day, rehab, and get on with the rest of the season; that sounds like a triathlete….

Throughout the next 6 weeks, I felt better and better about my decision, especially after hitting the pool for 100m in week 4. I also increased my power output on the bike by 15% over a 90min session. Fringe benefits I guess.

So when I began having pain around the break last week, I knew that surgery was going to be my doc’s diagnosis when I followed up with him 6 weeks out. Was I wrong. Not only was I healing better than expected, he was surprised at the range of motion and my muscle tone. Looks like his advice was spot on.

So I am renewed, I can jump back into the water and start getting ready for the Calgary 70.3. I know I can bike, I know I can run, now let’s see if I can swim.

Question: Not many times hindsight is 20/20, what is your experience?