Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Back On Track

Last week was a tough week and so my goal for this week was to get out, put time in and not worry about pace.

I was in Grimsby and decided to get a medium length run in. It was a nice day and Lake Ontario  was looking good despite the spring we've had.

Dork on the beach!

The following weekend was a good training weekend. On Friday I did a 15 mile run, Saturday a 56 mile bike and Sunday a 43 mile bike. The first half of Saturday's ride I could feel quad fatigue from the previous day's run but came around. Sunday I rode with Beast and I kept decent pace for the ride with tired legs.

The weather was around 20C on Saturday and 16C on Sunday and dry!

View of Lake Ontario from the escarpment.

Saturday also meant family ride time. Logan decided that we had to do 8 laps around the 400m bike loop as punishment. I asked what was the punishment for? He said no questions - keep an even pace!! I responded with "Yes Coach!!"

I'm currently in Sault Ste Marie. Cool sighting - Hall of Fame goalie Tony Esposito (formerly of Chicago Blackhawks) was in the lounge and I'm watching the Chicago game. I didn't know he lived in the Sault. Got a 2K swim in and 6 mile tempo run. Another one in the bank! Looking forward to the next few days of good weather.


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Tribute to Don Olson - Rest In Peace

We received the terrible news that Don Olson passed away Thursday night after a lengthy battle with cancer. Don was an absolute joy to be around. He loved, I mean, LOVED to talk triathlon so he had a friend in me. In the above pic (from L-R) - Susan, John (Beast), Don, and me.

Don joined us for our annual Muskoka Training Weekend in 2011 and 2012. We were introduced to him by Beast - they worked at Husky together and had a great training group there. My initial impressions of Don were that he was a positive happy dude who was incredibly strong. He could really power on the bike!

Here's Don after a great day of training on the dock at Clyffe House on Mary Lake in Port Sydney. Beside him is Linda (Don's lovely wife), then Sheila (wife of Beast) and me. I remember the day well - it was absolutely gorgeous. Don has a book in his hand - he was reading Ironwar which detailed the famous 1989 Hawaii Ironman battle between Mark Allen and Dave Scott. We talked at length about that race and the amazing performances of these Ironman legends. It was a great afternoon of beers and triathlon talk!

The next day was long run day. From L-R are Linda, Don, Beast, me and Sheila. The plan was 20k. We found a 5K loop that we would do rounds of. It was great because the ladies could tag along on bikes for as long as they'd like and the terrain was not too bad. Don went for a couple of laps as well. Despite fatigue from his treatment he was always game to get out and bike and run.

Here we are on the run. Muskoka, as usual, does not disappoint. It's beautiful!

Linda had some bike issues but Don quickly got things repaired and we were back on track. An amazing couple!

This pic is actually from the 2011 weekend but I like how happy we look after an epic 100 mile ride. From L-R: Tom, Beast, me, Evan, Peter, and Don (great pic of him).

With each Muskoka Training Weekend we always go out to dinner on the Sunday night. We all went to Deerhurst's Eclipse restaurant (sight of G-8 meeting). Great pic of Linda and Don and Sheila and Beast out front. This picture was in late May 2012 and Don, despite all his health challenges, did Ironman Florida in 16:44. He clearly could not train properly for the race but had the will to overcome and complete the challenge. I admire his strength, his positive nature, and the joy he demonstrated in his pursuit of endurance sports. I only knew Don for a short time but his memory will remain with me for a long time.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Mother Nature is Pissed!!

What the hell is with all the rain?!! This royally sucks. Not only is it raining it's also cold. We definitely got spoiled the last couple of years with mild winters and great springs. Oh well, HTFU as they say.......

........Or hit the liquor store!! Stay dry!


Monday, April 1, 2013

Small Steps

Like this quote. My Around the Bay race yielded the result I deserved. I did not put in the work and, as a result, I suffered through the 30K. Mentally I did not want to do this race - I felt it only a few km into the race. I walked, albeit short walks, 9 times during the race. I was spent. I considered bailing at 20K but struggled through it and am glad I did.

I vow to remember "how" the race felt, remember the discomfort, the negative thoughts, how I didn't enjoy it. I will carry this with me because I do not want to go there again. I can't quite put my finger on what went wrong. I had some good runs in January, felt good. February and March, however, were brutal - I just didn't "have it." Was it work demands and travel? Family stress? Weather? I can't specifically recall anything but somewhere along the line I lost motivation and my longer workouts became a struggle.

The week post race has been good but I still feel residual fatigue from last Sunday's race. I had a couple of 5 mile runs at 8 minute pace and back-to-back 42km rides outside. I rode with the Beast on Saturday after a 4 mile run. It was a flat ride and a little windy but I was not comfortable - I was still a little tired from doing a 30K race undertrained. That's okay though. I did another 42km ride yesterday as active recovery. I went SLOW - my average for the ride was 25.5K. I did not care. The goal was to loosen up, flush the legs. It took at least 45 minutes before my body came around - I was not going to stop riding til my body came around.

So from this point on I am commiting to the small steps. Instead of looking at the big picture of 2 Ironmans this season, I'm going to chip away at the mountain and take each day as it comes. The last time I did Lake Placid my training was quite simple. During the week I had Mondays off, Tuesdays to Fridays were designated quality-work days, and weekends reserved for the long stuff. I listened to my body and took extra days of rest when necessary. This brought me success. The consistency was key and I committed to building my strength and endurance. The difference this time around is the lack of foundation due to not preparing properly for the Bay race. Good news is I have time and don't have to cram the training in. IM Lake Placid is also a week later this year which helps.

Another great quote. "Keep moving forward" will be my new mantra. It's not that complicated - no reason to make it so.

Truth!! After yesterday's slow recovery ride I began to feel better. I'm not yet in the mental mindset to "fight" but it's coming. In fighting I mean the ability to dig deep during the hurt, to focus when the race becomes painful. It's ironic that a slow ride might be a tipping point to getting back on track but it provided me with clarity. I'm going to look after the small details, strive for balance and enjoy the process.

It can't all be sunshine n' rainbows! I move forward remembering the hurt of the Bay race but, more importantly, knowing the feeling of satisfaction in getting to the start line with optimal preparation and putting myself in the right position for success. One day at a time....small steps.