Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Birthday, Squirt!



So, blogging has been pretty quiet since IMFL.  I have had a lot of "life" to catch up on but will start up again, soon.  MT 70.3 and IMMT are practically just around the corner!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Major news in our little world

Please help us welcome Squirt (racing name 'Shaula') to our hearts and home!  Her story is quite remarkable and if we think Ironman have tough spirits and are tenacious, well, we don't hold a candle to this little thing.  She is a survivor in the truest sense:


And if any IMFL vets recognize the location - Ebro - well, it's on the bike route on the northwest corner of 79 and 20.  We come northward on 79, then right on 20 and if anyone was around me during the bike portion at that intersection, they would have heard me saluting the survivors and those that didn't make it.  At the time, we did not know we would be adopting Squirt but the universe works in mysterious and there is no question Squirt was meant to join our family.  She has been here 3 days but you'd think she grew up here!  What a treasure!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

IMFL 2011 Race Video


Race report to follow!!  Please let me know what you think?!

Friday, November 4, 2011

The end of A Long Road?

I can hardly believe we are at the eve of IMFL.  Seems like the lapse of sanity occurred only yesterday - you know - the moment you sign up for an IM?  The journey to this day has been like anything else in life worth the wait - full of sacrifice: professional, family, personal, etc.  While you gain so much on the road to Ironman, you are certainly opening yourself up to potential losses as well.  The balance of becoming an Ironman isn't a daily balance, really, it's an overall balance.  While I had many goals along this road, one was to not tip the scales too far in any one direction.  I remember becoming obsessed with training, nutrition management, and shaving seconds during the summer time.  Then I developed this chronic hip problem that sidelined me for 6 weeks and caused me to miss Muskoka 70.3.  And now, a couple months later, I've gained weight on taper (ate anything not nailed down!), still have a hip problem, but learned something pretty important: for most of us in the AG that have careers, young families, or whatever, we have to focus on walking a middle road.  It, too, is a long one, but it's ok to indulge once and awhile, miss a training session or two, etc.  Pushing too hard sometimes sets you back, and in some cases, behind where you were previously.  Equally frightening, being off balance with priorities, which are dependent on each individual and their situation, can end up costing us a lot more than six weeks on a sideline.

Despite the sacrifice, long hours, pain, and all things that come with IM training, I'm glad to have chosen this road and most importantly, my family is too!  OK, so it got me out of their hair many hours a week, but I believe they are very proud of their dad for setting a goal and doing the work it takes to accomplish it.  This has been a one year journey, and tomorrow, it will, with lot's of luck and determination, be 140.6 miles long.
Kinda windy

24 hours door to door, straight.  2,356 km
No explanation necessary

My race plan:

  • Don't get seasick during the swim (like this week during practice).  Don't swallow water, keep mouth closed.
  • Muscle relaxant before bike and run, if needed.
  • Consume 6 servings of Infinite on bike (6x278 cal = 1,668) and 6 gels (600 cals) = 2,268 cal on bike.  Water to wash everything down, will add IM Perform from aid stations if needed.
  • Keep HR around 140 bpm.  If my hip holds up, I should be about 6 hours on the bike.
  • Run easy to start, walk every aid station.  If my hip holds up, I'll be happy.  Ecstatic, actually.  Heart rate approx 150, max.
  • Run / walk / shuffle / whatever 1 mile at a time.  Think about the sacrifices my family made to get me here.  Don't let them down.
  • Believe I can do it and get it done.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

You know you have an IM soon when....


You're tired.  I'm sorry to state the obvious and that isn't meant to be funny.  I know it isn't witty, either. Now that race day is in 23 days and volume has been high this last while, I'm truly tired.  Getting to the pool 2-3 x per week at 5:45 am is early and once you add work and life on top of more bike and run, well, it obviously all adds up.  I haven't been able to write or read much blog lately and my family is feeling the effects of cumulative volume as well.  It all comes down to the wire, doesn't it?!

I'd like to share some great photos / experiences of my last long ride (Canada Thanksgiving Saturday last weekend).  Summer had returned to the North East and we hit highs of 25-27 degrees last weekend.  It was truly special and great to get out.  I rode south of Ottawa again to the St Lawrence river and along it first East to Morrisburg, ON, then West to Prescott before heading back east to Cardinal and then North back home.  How awesome is this section along the river? (dontcha love the sound of race wheels spinning?).

As with any great training ride, I learned something really important on this one....hydrate even if you don't feel like hydrating.  I say this because it was warm, low humidity, and very windy.  I didn't know I was losing a ton of fluids as there were no drips of sweat and my tri outfit was bone dry.  The wind dried me off before I could even notice, but at the 120 km mark, I started to literally feel nauseous.  I had to press on for 20km before I hit a store to buy some water and that's when it really hit me.  Once off the bike and sheltered from the wind, it was HOT and I started to near gag from dehydration.  This was after about 4.5 hours of riding and I had consumed 3.5 bottles of infinit and 600mL of another sports drink already.  And that wasn't enough!

Once I started feeling good enough to ride again, I headed out for the final 40km home, thankful the wind was at my back and giving back some energy it had taken from me throughout the earlier part of the day.  I consumed an additional 8 glasses of water once home, further showing me how I misjudged my exertion and sweat rate.  I will NOT make this mistake again.  Had this been Florida in a few weeks, I wouldn't have been running far!

I've been struggling with carrying my tubular flat kit for some time now and I finally took some action.  I had read online that some people carry their kits in an empty water bottle and after a few zip ties and trial and error, I have a relatively aero kit behind my saddle.  As the saddle itself is really forward (most comfortable for me), no "real" cage holder will fit, but nothing beats a good zip tie plinko!  I added a bit of electrical tape to ensure the bottle doesn't launch and I'll clean it up before IMFL.


I'm going to close out with some interesting shots:  The porcupine was on my run, the snake was at our local town fair, the dogs, well, they were chilling in the backyard, and I had to snap the one with the dozer on the massive pile cuz it's one of the weirdest things I've seen in awhile!  Thanks for reading!





Saturday, October 1, 2011

A special houseguest

Meet Jamie.  Not sure what his racing name is, but he's one super retired houndie!  How retired?  Well, in dog years, he is 91 years old...13 years on this planet.  I wish I knew more about him because he's a pretty interesting guy and very spry and playful for his age.

In Ottawa, we have a mailing list for greyhound owners to 'greysit' if the owner goes out of town or needs some help.  His 'mom' posted last week and we volunteered but got very few details.  We knew he wouldn't eat our cats and that he liked kids.  Beyond that, I guess we really didn't need to know anything.  So, he's kind of a mystery dog.
The one thing about greyhounds is that they are used to each other - assuming they raced from 18 months to 4 or so years old, they spent every day of their lives with up to 70 hounds in a kennel.  So, they know their kind and generally tend to be more at ease within their breed than with others.  (Disclaimer: general statement, there are exceptions, of course).

When Jamie was dropped off, his owner was late to catch her flight.  She was here maybe 2 mins.  Keep in mind, we don't know her and never spoke but the greyhound community is so strong that owners will always help other owners.  It's really about helping these dogs when it comes down to it.

We introduced our dogs to Jamie outside in the fenced yard and the three of them quickly got their introductions done.  They accepted each other instantly and came inside.

For a 13 year old guy, he is really light on his feet, trots along nicely, but can only walk about 10 mins....his back legs and hips are just 'old'.  But he plays with any stuffy, sleeps on our boys' beds, and can be a bit of a clown.  Keep in mind this dog doesn't know us from anyone, BUT, he is visibly comforted by having other greyhounds around and will follow and learn from them around the house.  How cool is that?


This past week of training was decent, having swam 3x, biked 3 and ran 2.  My plan called for an easy week, bit of a regeneration of sorts.  Long ride was only 3 hours today, thankfully given the 10 C (50F) temperature and 50 km/h (30 mph) wind gusts.  I found riding with the wind comfortable, but the minute I was against it, I got cold.  Shows what an increase in windspeed will do to you on a bike.  I got 2.5 hours in had to turn back early because of the gusts.  At one point, I was leaning sideways into the wind and when you are on a road with cars passing at 50 mph, it got dangerous.  If the wind died suddenly, you had to be really prepared to shift your weight, otherwise the bike swerved into the lane --> not good!  The touch of rain that was hitting me when I was already cold wasn't pleasant either, so I figured I'd cut it 30 mins short.  No big deal, but I hate 'quitting'.

I posted a couple weeks ago about getting a Big Green Egg.  Well, it just landed and we've already done steaks and pizza on it and tomorrow we're planning to smoke a turkey.  The food has been delicious so far!  My only worry / concern is that I'm going to love 2000 calorie ribs a little too much!

In looking at my September training totals, I'm both happy and disappointed.  The first half of the month was devoted to recovery from my hip injury an is 1000 times better than August, but disappointed in that IMFL is 34 days away.  While I know I missed out on some serious building in August, I think I have enough done already to get me across the finish line.  They say the race doesn't start until the last 10 k of the marathon and sitting from where I am today, I can believe every word of that.  I think I can get the first 20 km of the run done relatively comfortably --> it's the last 22 that are going to be gut wrenchers (I mean leg trashers).  Time will tell, I suppose!


September Totals:

Swim - 23.0 km
Bike - 842 km
Run - 107 km

Thanks for reading!