Monday, January 30, 2012

Excellence Through Rivalry

Every now and then significant events in sport come about through tense rivalries between athletes at the top of their game. Take Dave Scott and Mark Allen in triathlon. Dave Scott owned Hawaii Ironman with 6 wins - for a few of those he ran Mark Allen down on the marathon. Mark Allen for his 7th attempt at Hawaii put in some epic training - he theorized that if he was going to race 8+ hours he needed to train on occasion for that long of a period and then slightly more. He also decided to mark Dave the entire race. As it turned out Mark followed Dave on the swim, the bike and 24 miles of the marathon without the two of them speaking a word. On the last hill heading back into Kona Mark pulled away from Dave and went on to win his first World Championship. Both Dave and Mark knocked 20 minutes off the previous Ironman record time - including both running under 2:40 for the marathon. This race was in 1989 and no one has run faster there since. These two great athletes pushed each other to new heights.

Lance Armstrong vs Jan Ulrich. For most of Lance's Tour de France wins Jan Ulrich placed 2nd. They marked each other, were both strong in the mountains and were amongst the best in the time-trial. To outperform Jan, Lance made famous his reconnaisance rides on the key mountain stages beforehand, usually in crappy springtime weather, so he would know every turn and where to best attack Ulrich during the Tour. His attention to detail became his key to victory.

Most recently the men's Australian Open final between Djokovic and Nadal was absolutely incredible. These guys battled for almost 6 hours with incredible athleticism and no-quit attitude. Djokovic prevailed but Nadal almost had it. This was the finest sporting performance I've seen in a while and likely to repeat as both these players enter their prime - should be fun.

I don't exactly have a rivalry with anyone but I generally enjoy when someone doubts me or tries to play mind games. These tactics always have the opposite effect and fuels my effort to have a good performance. The negative mind game attempts are welcomed cause it motivates me to do more. The ironic thing is that person doing it has not quite figured out how ineffective it is and, stubbornly, keeps working on it. I hope they never stop cause it definitely works for me. Here's hoping you find you're own fuel for the fire!


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Embrace the Journey

The best part of triathlon is the signup. By signing up for a race, whether it's a sprint race or an Ironman, the commitment is made. Finishing the race is rewarding but, for me, the journey to the start line is what makes it worthwhile. 

Before I can race 2.4 miles in the water, I have 
to do many laps in the pool. I must admit I got a little dizzy with all the flip turns in this pool!

I must also commit to many miles in the saddle. The mountain may seem high but you take it one step at a time.

It's also important to reflect on the day's events. Here's Beast telling me I should ride harder next time and to get a Cervelo!

Take me to your aero leader!


Monday, January 16, 2012

Freakin Cold - What Happened to Global Warming!

Alright I shouldn't be whining since the roads have been dry and the temperatures mild this winter so far but this past weekend I wasn't into getting out for my long run with this cold spell. I opted, wimpily, to do a 90 minute hard trainer ride with the Beast while watching the sci-fi classic Blade Runner. I am going to try to run today as it is supposed to warm up. I may have to wear some extra "garments" to protect vital areas.

The other motivation is simple - jump on the scale and that will motivate me to HTFU!

No shite Sherlock!! Anyway I need to get out cause my first race will be in Hawaii. They have a free race series called Peaman where people show up and do a half-mile swim followed by 3.9 mile run. It's real grassroots and there's no T-shirt or post race meal - just show up and have a blast - love it!

I would like to give a huge lovely shout-out to my better half Sara who turned 36 this past weekend! She is getting more lovely with every year and I am a better man for capitalizing on a weak moment when she decided to stay with me (gents this is blatant kissing up - a ploy that works 99% of the time and results in significant race signups!) Happy Birthday Sara!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Chop Wood, Carry Water

"Houston, we have a dork siting!" There's a phrase used by Simon Whitfield and a lot of the tri community out west in Victoria - "chop wood, carry water." The phrase signifies that consistent daily work, over time, will take you to where you want to be. Since the holidays ended I am doing just that. I'm going on vacation in early March and I'd like to be 7 lbs lighter for the trip. The only way to do it is eat right and exercise consistently - no real big secret there! With this in mind I want to run 4-5 times per week and ride 3 times per week. Since I'm not riding outside that means spending quality time on the trainer in my Dungeon of Excellence!

My scottish friends call me "Leggy McChunky" and that's no yolk (look in the background)
I've got the sweat platform in place.
The old Cannondale Road bike locked into the cyclops trainer.
And fluids to keep me hydrated.
Today I got a hilly 10k run in - the weather was damp and cool but still dry - awesome!
The road to excellence is long and lonely but the journey is worth it - dork philosophy.
Take me to your leader!
Basking in the glory of a job well done! Hilly 10k complete in 50 minutes. Another workout in the bank - I can feel the poundage melting off. Why do I crave a beer?!


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Why Can't New Years Be Everyday?!

New Year's Day found Sara, Logan and I in Huntsville as I had to work January 2nd in North Bay. Huntsville certainly is in winter mode and it's always beautiful despite the cloudy day. These first few pics were from our room at Grandview Resort.

Check out these homes across the lake - awesome!

 One of my resolutions included getting Logan physically active on a daily basis. With all the sedentary distractions kids have today - tv, XBox, computer - I worry about his future quality of life. Since Logan is not a team-sports guy we do a lot of activities together which is always fun. In Huntsville we did some tubing - climbing up and down the hills was a great workout.

No way in hell I'd try this pose!
Although we stayed at Grandview, we couldn't pass up dinner at Deerhurst Resort's Eclipse Restaurant.

Here's Logan "makin it look mean" - he's got his Slapshot-style gameface on while playing his Nintendo DS.

My Chinese friends call me Lots-ah Chin-Fat! Time to lose a few lbs!!

The next morning was gorgeous but at minus 32 Celsius we chose not to be outdoors. We headed back home where there was absolutely no snow.

I took Logan skating in Glanbrook and had a blast - he was really into it.

My posture looks like A) I've got back problems or B) I'm passing gas

Check out the beautiful beach in the lush tropical locale of Hamilton Beach. With the crazy mild weather we headed down to Lake Ontario. We walked, climbed the breaker rocks and skimmed stones.

We found a park that worked with my dorky tropical theme.

Now time to get my sorry arse in shape - Cheers!!