Saturday, November 29, 2008

Delinquent Blogger

Yes it's been a while since my last post but it seems that in the winter the focused training just isn't there. It's okay (and actually healthy) not to be too dedicated in training this time of year but this week I completely took a break. I did my usual 90 minute run with Harley on Sunday but after that, I didn't do a thing until Friday. I was on the road for most of the week so I didn't beat myself up too much for taking time off. I thought I might get in a couple swims this week but I'm in the middle of taking a course and the combination of studying and working eats up the majority of the day.

It was nice to come home Thursday night to Amber and Harley, I always miss them when I'm away. Harley and I had our usual Friday night run and I'm making progress in teaching him to run along side me and not freak out every time he sees another dog. Amber is the best 'doggy momma' she really does a lot of research and education about dog training and it's helpful to learn from her. He's a real happy member of our family and we love having him in our lives.

Today we went out for a group run with the GP running club and Harley loves running with the everyone. He soaks up the attention and is in his element when he's running, he must be a Hunter!! After the run we had a group of 6 other athletes in our basement for the weekly trainer ride and we are getting real close to capacity. It's great to have everyone over but I would hate to have to turn people away, it's so nice to have other people around to keep you motivated when you are struggling. This week was an "Aero Base Builder" ride so it wasn't too bad. Everything was in the aerobic zone, which was great for me this week. We'll have two more weeks of focused training rides with everyone and then we decided to spend the weekend of December 19-22 in Jasper. Get Harley out in the mountains and try out some x-country skiing again!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Great Week of Training

This week was a good training week, I did quite a bit of biking and running during the week and one swim on Wednesday but the real tough day was today. I took Harley out in the morning to meet the Saturday morning running group and he was really funny to run with. He always needs to be in front and he's always really excited to be running with a group. All the guys like to have him around as much as he likes to hang with the boys. We did an easy 11km run and he was ready for more but I new I had a tough bike in our basement so I took it easy.

When we got home Amber had everything set up and ready to go, today was "Have Mercy part 2" and I knew it was going to be very, very tough. We had four other GP triathletes join us in our basement for the 2 hour workout but they started dropping like flies after an hour and a half. In the end it was just Amber, myself, and Robert another hardcore athlete with a great love for triathlon. Coach Troy really made us suffer today, 2 hours of some tough and long intervals (without a lot of rest) and it was capped off with some power sets, ouch!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Weekend Fun With Other GP Athletes

This weekend was great, Amber and I met up with the Grande Prairie running crew on Saturday and had an awesome time hanging out with a group of great athletes. We went for a little 12km run at 8:30am and afterwards had a meeting with about 20 other triathletes at a local coffee shop. They really want to start a tri-club here in town and based on the interest, it should take off very quickly. They also want to get a race back and so far it's a go for May 17th!! That would be great and Amber and I are there to support any triathlon interest in 'red neck central.' I have to say I'm getting a little used to it and actually enjoying it, there are some terrific people here it just takes a while to see through the rough Grande Prairie exterior.

After the run we had four people join us at our place for a sufferfest courtesy of coach Troy. 90 minutes of pain, "totally time trial" was the workout and all 6 of us were hurting afterwards. There's always something nice about suffering with other people, it makes it seem like your pain isn't as bad.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Running With a New Training Partner

Well it's been a week since we got Harley and it definitely has been fun. I feel a little bad at times because Amber takes on the brunt of all the work but he's a good dog and a great companion to both of us. I took him for his first run with me on Friday and he is really, really excited at the beginning but tends to tire out after about 12kms. He can hold on for a little while but by 14kms I'm dragging and urging him to "keep going! Only 1km left Harley!"

I thought he might just have been tired that day so I took him out again on the same route on Sunday and just like clockwork, right at 14kms he slows down almost to a crawl. He's a very strong dog with a lot of energy but I'm definitely going to work on his endurance over the next couple of months. I know he has the ability to run 25-30kms with me, I just need to have him learn to; "pace yourself Harley, pace yourself." It's been a lot of fun having him around and I think he probably thinks Amber and I are a little crazy because we dote on him so much but we both love having him around and it adds an entirely new dynamic to our typically serene lives.

Saturday we had a group of three other riders join us in our basement for an easy spin. It's nice to meet some other triathletes in the area and for such a small community I'm quite surprised to see a great group of people who love to train. I'm trying to make it a regular Saturday session and so far we are in week 3. I need to have that extra motivation of having other people around to push me in order to get through the long-cold winter here. I've still been running outside but I'm really glad we bought a treadmill, things are getting pretty cold already and training with other people helps me keep the winter weight off!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

New Addition to the Family!!!

Only two weeks into our marriage and AD and I are welcoming a new addition, Harley. He's a beautiful 2 year old Boxer/ Lab cross who is really, really well behaved and such an incredible joy to have in our lives. It took Amber to convince me to agree to having a dog but after she found him on-line and I saw his picture, I relented. He looked like the perfect addition to our little family!

When we met him he was perfect, very well behaved but very independent. He will run all over the place out of sheer curosity but he never causes any trouble. He gets along with other dogs and children and seems to love his new home. We are going to try to be the best new parents we possibly can but it's always a little scary at first. Fortunately we have an incredibly well behaved dog who I think is going to love our lifestyle, he definitely is a dog who needs a lot of exercise.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Saturday Suffering

This morning was the second week of hard training courtesy of Coach Troy and it was one of the toughest sessions I have ever done!!! I woke up and met a few of the Grande Prairie running crew for a good steady 7 mile run and it was nice to hang out with some like minded athletes. Everyone is really friendly and they are an unbelievably committed group. They said they run all winter; rain, snow, sleet, whatever. The toughest run last year was a -30 degree 1 hour run and quite a few of them showed up. That's dedication!

It was just AD and myself for the spin at 10am and it was a 2 hour sufferfest called "Have Mercy" and that's exactly what I was saying about an hour into it. I was absolutely soaked with sweat and there was a huge puddle under my bike. My legs were absolutely screaming for the full 2 hours. Coach Troy knows how to mix it up and he is an expert at not allowing you to fully recover before ramping up the pain again. One of the toughest sets was a five minute effort of 4 seconds all out, 4 seconds rest. You would think 4 seconds is not a big deal but by the end the constant acceleration and deceleration you are ready to puke! When there was 30 minutes left I was hoping that the pain would stop but in fine Coach Troy fashion he kept us hurting until the final 2 minutes! Tomorrow is a long run and it'll be interesting to see how my legs are going to respond I'm going to give it my best effort but it'll be a slow and steady effort.

Congrats to my good buddy Chris Daniel who posted a 9:34 in Ironman Florida, amazing!! Great job Chris! Unbelievable considering he wasn't sure if he'd ever be able to compete in another Ironman again because he has no meniscus in his left knee.