Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Into the Intensity Again

Lately I've been feeling a little slow and as if I haven't had an opportunity to really push hard in the water or on the run. Today was a different story. Usually I save my intensity for bike class but today I just felt as if I needed to release some pent up energy. I found out that my Grandfather passed away today and although I'm really sad to see him go, he just was not the same guy I remember when I was a kid. He was 92 years old and in really bad health. He lived a terrific life, taught me that you can accomplish anything in your life if you work your ass off for it and that is exactly what he did every day. He loved everyone around him and he was one of the funniest guys I've ever met, not that he intended to be funny but he just had such an "old school" approach to life that things he said just made everyone laugh. I'll miss you Grandpa.

3.5km swim in 60 minutes and 12 x 400m intervals in 1:20. Tough work, but my tribute to Grandpa.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Back in the Routine

After taking it easy in GP, it was nice to be home and get back to a regular training routine. Amber suggested a 2hr trainer ride and seeing that we missed our usual long run on Sunday, I was definitely up for it. We watched coverage of the 2002 & 2003 Ironman and the coverage is really starting to get annoying! It's obvious that they are trying to appeal to a larger audience but for a couple triathletes who just want to see the elites jockey for position, all the "inspiring" stories are starting to get redundant. The 2003 DVD was especially poor, the race did not actually start until 45 minutes into it and even then they only showed short clips of the leaders. I definitely prefer the earlier coverage, the epic races of Mark Allen and Paula Newby Fraser in their prime. I just wish they had the same coverage of Peter Reid and Lori Bowden in their glory days. I'll be thinking of all their strength throughout training for Louisville, only 214 days to go, I can't wait!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Found a House!

I'm really lucky to have such a great girlfriend that did an awesome job searching for and finding a house for us in Grande Prairie. It's a great place and I'm looking forward to moving in as soon as possible. The weather up here will take us some time to get used to and we'll have to meet some connections from the triathlon/ running/ biking community but it's a great move for my career and a chance to really get established financially. Amber's also looking forward to making a change in her career and I'm excited to see her do well here.

We went for a swim in the small Grande Prairie pool today and a bike at the leisure centre yesterday. Not much training while we're here but it's a good time for a recovery weekend.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Back on the Bike

Two days back on the bike and my legs feel pretty good. I pushed it for a full hour last night and for 90mins with AD tonight. I can tell my form is getting better and my speed is increasing with less effort, I just have to keep this up until IM Louisville!

We're off to Grande Prairie tomorrow to look for a house which I'm really excited about. It'll be nice to get settled up there and estabilish a routine we're both comfortable with.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Start of Week 1 of 13

The 13 week training program for Boston starts today and it was a great start to a long process. I've been concerned about the fact that I've gained 7lbs since Ironman, I was 170lbs at one point but I weighed myself today before the run and I was 166lbs! Sweet. Even nicer was the fact that my weight after the run was 160lbs! I guess I shouldn't be as concerned as I thought. Although I am going to pay more attention to what I put in my body, I should be doing that anyway.

I had a great 2hr treadmill run, Amber downloaded some new music and I was rockin' out for the entire run. I felt a little weak after 90mins but maintained my focus and held on to 9 miles/hr for the whole thing. Ended up doing 30kms in 2hrs 5mins. I'm going to smoke my personal best time of 2hrs and 48mins.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

How to Turn a Triathlete into a Runner in 13 Weeks

Today was quite a test, my legs were still sore from our weights/run on Wednesday and bike class on Thursday and it was our long ride this morning. Three hours watching the IM world championships for 1999 and 2000, in '99 Lori Bowden won for the women and in 2000 Peter Reid won for the men. Althought now it seems like the race coverage is getting less and less and the inspiring stories are becoming more frequent. On the bike it's just nice to watch the race. AD kept me going for most of the ride as I was starting to fade with an hour to go. We had a nice suprise and Alan (a fellow trail runner) joined us for the last 90mins of the ride, thanks for keeping us going Alan!

I've started detailing my marathon training schedule for the next 13 weeks. Amber printed off a schedule from runner's world detailing a perfect marathon peak. It looks great and I'm going to follow it closely, I tend to do a lot better in races when I know I've done everything possible to prepare and peak properly. So the next 13 weeks are going to be mainly about running but of course the main race this year is IM Louisville. It'll just be a real lifetime accomplishment to beat Lance and that's exactly what I'm going to do!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Extra Motivation to do Well in Boston!

I just found out Lance will be running the Boston marathon! Awesome now I get a chance to try to beat him in person. Our personal best times are pretty close so it will be a great challange; his is 2:46:43 in the New York Marathon in 2007 and mine is 2:48:00 in the Kelowna Marathon in 2006. I'm definitely going to be well prepared for this race, it's game on baby!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Run that Just Wouldn't Stop Hurting

Today was a long run, and right from the start I knew it was going to be a tough one. After yesterday's race my legs were obviously feeling fatigued but I did my best to try to maintain as strong a pace as I possibly could. I kept saying to myself, "this is how your legs are going to feel in Ironman so get used to it now." That seemed to help because I remember looking at my watch and seeing 38mins and feeling like it was 2hrs and 38mins. I toughed out the first hour and held on for another 30min. It was definitely a character building run, it's good to have those every once in a while just to remind yourself that you are still capable.

21km in 90mins.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Great Race Followed by a Tough Bike

Today was the second last x-country race for Amber and I and we went out feeling good after a fairly tough training week. We were back in bike class on Thursday and it was a tough 4.5km TT and some other drills. Friday was our usual long swim, although they haven't been regular lately, we usually try to get in the water on Friday night 3.3k.

The race was a real mess at the start, a very narrow path which was very crowded and dangerous but I managed to navigate through the confusion and be in about 6th or 7th. I gradually made my way through a lot of the field and tried to stick on Trev Williams but he was just a little too much after all the climbs. I felt a lot better than I normally do during those races and it is really great to see all the training is paying off. I finished in 3rd, 2nd in my age and so did AD, a great race!

We came back home and jumped on the bikes for a tough 90min effort while watching the 1997 Ironman, a great race for the women. Paula finally appears to pass the torch on and Sian Welch and Wendy Ingram crawl to the finish for 4th and 5th places. My legs were not all there and it was really tough to get over 100RPMs but I knew that it was going to help flush them out. Tomorrow is a 90min run, life as an Ironman athlete.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Tough Training Weekend

Well this weekend I was not at my best but I'd rather have a bad day or two in early season training than during a time when it really matters. Saturday AD and I hopped on the bikes to do our usual Saturday morning long ride and planned to complete 2 1/2 to 3 hours, we had Ironman 1994 and 1995 as entertainment so I was excited to get going. About 30 minutes into the ride I could tell my legs were not going to give me the effort I was hoping for. Seeing Greg Welch win his first Ironman world championship in 1994 kept me going but it was a hard 90 minutes. I was drinking a lot more than I usually do and was really starting to slow. I had a tough run Friday night so it was no surprise it caught up to me that morning.

The second half of the bike was absolutely excruciating and it didn't help that 1995 was the year that Paula Newby Fraser completely broke down 400 yards from the finish line and went from 1st to 4th. I was feeling lightheaded and weak, thank God for AD, she was my strength that morning and kept me going, although she was feeling rough too and said she kept going because I was there. We're such great training partners and the drama of the 1995 race was absolutely great to watch.

This morning I pinched a nerve in my neck and I've been having trouble moving all day but I decided to do a run with Amber and take it easy for a couple hours. We went down towards Stanley Park and then back towards Heritage Park. It was a great recovery run and I'm really happy to do a run with AD every once in a while, 1hr 50mins completing 20k.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Run Baby Run

Today AD and I had plans to go for a swim and hit the weights for a while but after a poor night of tossing and turning for Amber, she wasn't up for it. I was in the mood for a run anyway and after work I did a 15k jog out towards the South Glenmore sailing club. I started out strong but the legs started to really go on me at the turn around point. I still managed to complete the loop in under an hour, I can tell that constant training is helping, although it's also hurting.

Great plans this weekend, long ride tomorrow and long run Sunday. I'll keep the updates coming.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Every Little Bit Helps

Sometimes it's hard to stay motivated for a goal like Ironman when the race is eight months away but I have to keep telling myself that the work that I do now is really going to pay off in August. Noticing gains in fitness is really difficult especially when you feel like you've reached a potential you never thought was possible very recently. I used to be in awe of people that completed Ironman in under 10hrs and now that I've done it too I've set a new bar for myself, I want to complete Ironman Louisville in sub 9hrs and 30mins.

I can definitely improve on my bike by 10mins and my run by 20mins. My running has been getting better but it's hard for me to notice any changes, I'm still giving everything I can during races and it's hard to compare times between different x-country races but the results are getting better. The biking is still going well, however it's hard to gauge your progress when you're not outside. I just have to keep doing what I'm doing and remember to accomplish something every day and all of those little goals will eventually add up to one great accomplishment!

Training so far this year has consisted of one hour riding on the trainer yesterday, 3km swimming and one hour running today. An easy start to the year but the volume will definitely pick up in the coming months.