Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sweet, Sweet Sunshine

Gotta get out and enjoy it while we can! Yet another lovely evening last night, and I took advantage by going for a short (30 min) run through Lake Bonavista. (I'm staying away from Fish Creek Park for another week!) It's great when you can go for a run after the hockey game, and still have sunlight!

Run: 30 min, not sure of the distance, because my iPod didn't save the run... (?)

On another note, only 3 more days until T3, my first race of the season, and the start of what should be a pretty intense week. And tomorrow I'll finally be picking up my bike... barring some disaster...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Have Shorts, Will Swim

Anyone who knows me knows that I can be, well, absentminded. I tend to forget or "misplace" stuff. So before I leave the condo, I have to do an inventory, like airline pilots do: wallet, check; keys, check; phone, check; laptop, check; sunglasses, check; inhaler, check...

Last night, I left for the YMCA with plenty of time to get to the swim session. I grabbed my gym bag-- bathing suit, check; goggles, check; cap, check; Y card, check; towel, check-- and started out to meet N at the pool.

When I got to the changeroom, I pulled out my suit, and.... it wasn't a suit at all. It was a shirt of similar fabric and color. I must have left it at home, hanging up. So I rushed home. No suit. The only other place it could be (and it was) was at the Y, in the lost and found.

I was actually only 15 minutes late, which just meant that I had to GO... no chatting, short breaks... and I still ended up staying an extra 10 minutes. All in all, it was a good swim-- the bulk of it being 25 drill, 75 free, three times each of six drills. I'm still fine-tuning my stroke, and I find that doing drills in that pattern is the most effective way of doing that.
2.4 km, 40 minutes
As a footnote, the image in this post is from -- Very cool tool.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Adventure in the mist

When I got home last night around 9:30, it was still light, and the air had that crisp, fresh feeling to it-- I just had to go for a run.

I changed, grabbed my keys and my iPod, and even remembered to take my inhaler before heading out the door. I started out slowly, and was feeling great as I got closer to Fish Creek Park. It felt so good, I thought I'd reverse my "usual" loop, heading across McLeod Trail at the Canyon Meadows train station, then continuing south into the park and over the creek before pointing east, through the flats, back north across the creek, and up the steep hill near Acadia and Canyon Meadows Drive, and back home. Well, that was the plan, anyway.

There was a light fog in the low valley of the park--which made sense, considering all the rain we'd had over the past week, and the fact it had warmed up considerably that afternoon. There were still couples walking in the dusk as I crossed the bridge over the creek and under the road, but most were heading out of the park. The creek was running fast, strong, high, and very muddy, but I thought nothing of it-- it wasn't coming over the banks, and besides, it had stopped raining.

As I flew past the picnic shelters by the parking lot, I noticed the distinct aroma of pot. Well, it was trippy place, between the dead calm, and the quiet mist blanketing the valley. I kept running, keeping a strong pace.

As I ran, it was getting darker and darker. I missed the turn to go north across the bridge, but my legs and lungs were going strong, so I didn't bother turning back. I knew there would be another path. When I did turn north, it was perfectly dusk - the white fog muting any color.

Up ahead, just a few feet from the path, a whitetail deer silently appeared out of the mist, standing at attention, watching me intently. I slowed to a walk, and turned off my music. As I quietly stole past, watching the deer, it watching me, I felt incredibly relaxed, calm, at total peace. The run to that point had been so zen-like, a moving meditation, and the encounter intensified the feeling.

I kept running, past more deer grazing by stands of aspen, and soon came back to my usual path, right at the bridge. It was barricaded-- "Closed - Pathway Flooded". Crap.

I tried to remember the map of the park in my mind. The last time I'd gone outside of my running route was on a bike... but I was pretty sure there was another bridge just a little farther east. So I turned around, ran past the deer again, and headed east towards the ranch.

I kept going, but it kept getting more and more difficult to see, and the only pathways branching north were animal tracks. That would be a good way to end up in the creek, so I kept going. I was halfway to the ranch, near the heron sanctuary before I found a map-- that clearly showed the next bridge at the ranch. Definitely time to turn back.

I decided to head up the south bank of the valley, into Midnapore. At least that way, I'd have the streetlamps. Eventually, I ended up at St. Mary's University College. By then, my 45 minute run had turned into well over an hour, so I walked to the Fish Creek train station. As I crossed MacLeod on the pedestrian bridge, I could see a northbound train, so I sprinted across, only to hear the speakers come alive with "This train out of service". Dammit, I only needed to go one stop!

I finally made it home around 11:15... none too worse for wear. Next time though, I'm bringing a cellphone-- if only to call and say I'm going to be late!

On another note, I'm officially registered for the Tinman on June 7th. (It's full, but I got in as an injury replacement) It's going to be an interesting week, racing at Try This Tri this Sunday, then again the following Saturday in Vulcan, and doing the Betty's run for ALS the next day.

Please donate if you can at my ALS site.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Runnin' in the Rain

Well, I didn't run at C.O.P with Dr. Dan, but I did 35 minutes through lake bonavista. It felt pretty good, even if Milo (the cat) wasn't very impressed when I came back home, dripping all over him as he greeted me at the door!

Went a little too hard out of the gate... gotta remember to warm up first.

I'd like to head out on the bike today, but it's just too wet still. Tuesday is supposed to be drier, maybe I'll head out then before the swim class. Gotta get out at least once before the race this weekend!

In case you haven't seen it, I've got a calendar at the bottom of the blog, that shows my planned training (not very detailed) and races. Let me know if you're entering any events, or if you want to join me on a run/ride!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Back to square one with a swim

See, this is why I need to shoot for 30 minutes every day. I've missed two days this week! But I did get back in the pool today for 2.5k... felt okay, but kind of heavy. Just wasn't pushing very hard-- too much on my mind, I guess.

We had a great weekend out at Wasa. Did two runs around the lake; one with N and B.A, and the other with Mr. A. Both felt really good-- it was hot, but not too hot in the mornings. Perfect running weather.

Of course, now that we're back in town, the weather is pretty nasty. I was thinking about doing the trail run at C.O.P with K.V and Dr. Dan, but I don't think my shoes would survive!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Days 8 and 9 - and a Surprising Weigh-In!

Yep... I'm up to 9 days in a row in my quest to do 30 minutes of exercise each day.

Last night was the usual 1 hour swim at the Y... about 2.5 km. The program was almost intervals-- most of it was "50 hard/50 ez", and a lot of pull drills.

I kept thinking about my 500m time from the Tinman last year. Am I faster than I was? Can I pull off a sub-10 minute 500? Or will I blow that time out of the water? I really have no idea, as I'm told the pool I'm training in now is actually 25 yards, not 25 meters. So I guess I really won't know until June 1.

I'm more worried about the bike. I haven't been training for it at all... (kind of hard when you don't own a bike!) I might have to borrow dad's bike again for the week, just so I've got something to train with. At least I know I'll have the bike before the race.

I also weighed myself last night at the Y (we're a no-scale household)... 234! That's pretty awesome, considering I was 246 a month ago! And it means I'll have to get a little more specific with my weight-loss goal of -20 lbs by Christmas. I'm told my healthy weight is closer to 210, so that's my revised goal. I will be 210 by Christmas.

Oh, almost forgot...this morning's workout was day 2 of my weight program-- chest/ triceps/ core. I'm definitely feeling stronger, but the iPod was absolutely crucial this morning! I like to think I'm a morning person, but doing core work at 5:30 am requires some loud, pumping music.
We're off to Wasa Lake for the weekend. I'll probably do two runs, one long and one with N (she says she's going to run around the lake with me-- I think she can definitely do it!). I'm also bringing my swim gear, but I haven't had time to rent a wetsuit, so if I do make it into the water, it will probably be sprints out from the dock and back! I'll probably wait until Monday, just to give the sun time to heat it up a little.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Betty's Run for ALS

I'm running 5 miles on June 8th, 2008 in support of the ALS Society.

If you don't know what ALS is... well, let's just say IF I had it, I would not be able to run, bike, or swim very shortly after being diagnosed. I would be completely lucid, intellect untouched whilst neuromuscular control deteriorates. If I'm "lucky", I might live five years. ALS is also known as Lou Gherig's disease. (And no, I don't have it)

Please visit my Fight ALS site to learn more or to donate.

I'm aiming for a personal best time- under 40 minutes.

The time to beat

Last year, the only tri I entered was the Vulcan Tinman-- it was what got me hooked. And to think, the only reason I entered was because I couldn't get into the YMCA program I originally wanted (weights for snowboarding, I think?), and ended up doing a Tri training program instead.

It will be interesting to see how my races go this year, since I haven't been training regularly since last June, and I'm only getting coaching in the pool.

As long as my bike time is better, I'll be happy.

To make it a little easier to read:
Pool Rank 75
Pool Time 9:42
Bike Rank 270
Bike Time 35:49
Run Rank 127
Run Time 26:03
Overall Rank 158
Overall Time 1:11:33.4

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Run: Bonavista-Fish Creek loop

**(sidebar) Ok, apparently the Nike+ site is experiencing some bugs with it's "run sharing" functionality.... you are supposed to be looking at my run from earlier today! I did 7.82kms in 45:07, avg pace 5:45/km

I've decided this is my standard loop. Target time 45 minutes, head to Fish Creek, in at Acadia Dr, down and across and head west under the train bridge, back across the creek and up to Canyon Meadows train station, chug home and end with a 2 block walk to cool down. Nice!

I'm not so sure the distance is accurate, though. I calibrated my Nike+ on a treadmill, then read the instructions after (which, btw, say don't use a treadmill to calibrate!)

All in all, it felt pretty good. Once again, I forgot to take my rescue inhaler before going, so I was a little wheezy in the last five or so, but not too bad.

Yeah, that's another thing. I really need to get the athsma under control. I've been taking the control inhaler twice a day like I'm supposed to, but I need to take it on a stricter schedule. First thing in the morning is okay, but waiting until 10 at night is not good. And again, need to remember to take the rescue inhaler before exercise-- especially cardio. I guess that's another goal to add.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


3 km, 1 hour ... in flippers.

Saying it out loud

They say that when you say your goals out loud, tell people about them, you stand a better chance of reaching those goals.

That's what this blog is all about. Me putting my goals out there into the world. Sure, the only people likely to read it are my wife, my family, and the friends I tell about it, but so what. If anything, I'll be able to find the words in a year or five easier than I would if I were to write them down in a notebook like I usually do.

I'm a strong proponent of "S.M.A.R.T" goals. Even if I can never remember what the "R" stands for-- I always think "Realistic", but then "A" as "Attainable" doesn't make much sense, because they're kind of the same thing. Thank you, wikkipedia. So RELEVANT!

Anyway, here's the goals (and for now, these are just the ones related to fitness)

1. I will exercise for 30 minutes every day
2. I will compete in two triathlons this season: one sprint, one olympic
3. I will lose 20 pounds by Christmas
4. I will .... set a more specific goal related to eating better sometime soon

Yeah, #4 isn't very "smart". Whatever.