Saturday, March 28, 2015

Bad Ass Older Athletes - Heros on the Back Nine

I went to the pool today to get in a short swim. While there I got to talking with an older guy named Joe. He informed me that he will turn 88 this year and I was amazed. If I were to guess his age prior I would have said 70-72. He definitely looked physically younger than his chronological age. In speaking with him it also became clear that his mind was very sharp due to his exercise and diet regimen of the past 48 years. I say 48 years because at age 40 he quit a 2 pack a day smoking habit and began a lifestyle change that included daily exercise.

He keeps his routine simple. Upon waking he has a coffee then heads to his Concept 2 Rower and rows for 30 min daily. He swims 4-5 times a week. He shared that his own father passed away at 44 and, here he is, almost at double that age. He said that he has exercise goals that he shoots for and he enjoys the social side of activity. I ended up shortening my swim as I really enjoy talking to people like Joe. They amaze me because they are still at it, refusing to slow down and do the stereotypical aging thing highlighted by recliners and card games. Advancing years should not deter people from continuing to exercise. I definitely subscribe to the "use it or lose it" philosophy. I only hope I can be as active as Joe when I get older.

With Ironman there is definitely changing attitudes towards aging and racing. The 70+ age groups are growing and the first participant in the 85-89 mens age group should take place at this year's Hawaii Ironman (see story about Lew Hollander below). Below are some amazing older athletes with links to the stories - read on and be inspired!

 The nun who has redefined endurance pursuits for aging women.

 Skinny as hell but, man, can he run.

 This Dude's unbelievable.

 Me and Lew at Ironman Florida 2014.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Baby Meme Fun!


 I laughed way too hard at this last one!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Last Days of Winter in Ontario

 I've been traveling for work quite a bit lately. No flights this time, just a lot of driving. Whenever I'm on the road I usually consult with to find out where I can get some lane swimming in. Since I started covering the province almost 6 years ago I've tried many pools and have my favourites. Pictured above is an awesome facility - the Newcastle pool. Newcastle is near the exit off the 401 heading towards Peterborough (Hwy 115).

 Here's the inside of the Newcastle pool. They also supply pull buoys, flippers, hand paddles in addition to a hot tub and sauna - all for $4.00 a swim. Sweet deal! It also has tons of natural light and is not busy at all.

 The next day in Ottawa I hit up the Nepean Sportsplex pool for the 50m lane swim. Another bargain at $4.85 per swim, this pool usually has lots of triathletes and pool toys available.

 Later that day I left my hotel in Gatineau to get a 45 minute run in the sunshine. I do the Gatineau-Parliament Hill loop twice which works out to around 45 minutes with a few hills per loop and lots to look at. Pictured above is the Museum of Civilization from the bridge over the Ottawa River.

Looking the other way you can see the back of Parliament Hill. Still lots of ice on the river.

 Parliament Hill - beautiful clear blue sky.

 Heading over the other bridge to complete the loop is this bike sensor. It records the number of cyclists that pass over this point of the bridge. In summer the number on any given day is in the low thousands. With the amount of bike lane infrastructure, Ottawa encourages bike commuting and it shows, even in winter.

 Back home briefly and out for a country run - the snow has melted enough that the shoulders are now bare and dry. I always prefer running in the country - more peaceful and enjoyable.

 Another trip - this time North. I went to North Bay and decided to stay in Huntsville on the way back. I hit up the Huntsville Community Center for another swim. Had my own lane for the entire time. Good main set: 11 x 100m followed by 8 x 50m. In the afternoon I did 9 x 1 minute hill repeats. I was pretty spent that night with 6 hours driving and all that working out!

 This week is the first week of another 3 week build. Recovery went well last week. I got a road ride outside early in the week - the first ride in 2015. It was tough due to the wind and 4C temp but I felt free. My long rides are in the 2-2.5 hour range indoors and my long runs have not exceeded 1.5 hours up to this point.

 My long run today was 1.5 hours and lots of trails. A little slow in parts due to the footing - some areas still have lots of snow and icy in parts. I almost wiped out a couple of times. I enjoyed the trails - I find that time flies by while on the trail. I also generally listen to podcasts while running. My favourites? IM Talk, Legends of Ironman and The Real Starky. These podcasts are usually 1.5 hours in length - perfect for workouts. Download the podcast app off iTunes, search out the above and download away.
Anyway, that's all for now. Gotta get some rest!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Perception - How Do We See Ourselves?

 Perception is an intriguing concept. We all come from different backgrounds, different genetics and experiences unique to no one but ourselves. I come in contact, like everyone else, with different personalities, different ways of seeing the world and I sometimes wonder what makes them tick (when I can't figure them out). I can admire others based on what I see in them for their positive traits.
 Nice pic - I'd be shitting bricks personally. We've all been in situations where we encounter obstacles, roadblocks and wonder how we can overcome. By adopting a positive attitude where you seek to grow and learn, we can use challenges to develop, face fears and work a solution.

 Very interesting quote. I know people who I feel are bogged down in the details, people who exhibit a high level of self-importance, people with trust issues and insecurities as well as people who are eternally optimistic, sees the good in others and generally are genuine and sincere. My point is - am I seeing these people as they are or is it my perception of them based on my beliefs and life experiences? I don't know the answer. I'm sure there are people that view me in a different light than I view myself.
  It's not just people. Events shape us. I make no secret of the fact that doing 4 Ironmans in the past 2 years was, for me, a mistake. I went into each of those events with a thought in my head that I needed to "conserve" for the next one thereby holding back in training while still over-fatigued, anxiety about the grand-scale effort and making it all work. I found myself unsatisfied and unsure whether I enjoyed it anymore. I vowed to get rested and focus more on the fun and why I love multisport so much.

 Again I would shit bricks! Maybe he is smiling though...

 Are you reading the message?! Huh?!

 Narcissism. Everyone knows someone that they would consider narcissistic. We are all probably narcissistic in some way. The true narcissists, in my opinion, tend to think that everything they do is great, everything they endorse is the best, challenges they overcome "have never been done before" but due to their unique talents were able to come out victorious. If they come up short the narcissist focuses on environmental factors - not something they did.

 I believe the best of the best in sport are narcissistic. In fact, in most cases, they have the unwavering belief that they have no equal. There are exceptions - the athletic elite who are confident without arrogance and respect their counterparts. Examples could be Federer and Nadal in tennis, Whitfield and Alexander in triathlon. In some cases, however, it is a negative. An example would be people you go training with that compete during every workout. Going for a social long ride ends up with very little communication and a ton of half-wheeling. Half-wheeling is the term which describes when one person attempts to ride side by side with another but one person has be "just a little ahead of the other." We all have come into contact with these kind of people. I'm all for training hard but I'm equally interested in the social side of the sport where I can spend hours chatting away about life and having a good laugh. It makes the time pass by.

 Pessimism/Optimism. This is the glass half empty, half full group. For myself I tend to see myself as more of a half full kind of guy. It does not mean that I don't exhibit pessimistic behaviour. Sometimes when things go wrong or I'm fatigued, pessimistic thoughts can creep in. The key for me is awareness. I try to be aware of how I'm feeling and maintain a proper perspective of most situations despite how difficult they can be. For the most part I've always believed "things will work out." I'm finding that my mindset is returning to the way of thinking from pre-2013 and that's a good thing. It does guarantee that I will be successful in my racing but it does guarantee that I will enjoy the process a hell of a lot more!

 Seeing more of this thankfully!!!

 Sara and I got out for a 12k run together in the country on Saturday - it was peaceful and enjoyable and it went by quickly as we talked pretty much the whole way. Perfect!

 We stopped to say hi to the horses.

 On Sunday I had a 2.5 hour trainer ride to complete. I managed 2:20 which I was happy with then got in some strengthening - another good training day. If you're looking for good Ironman videos and other vintage tri race videos go to 156JTS on Youtube - he's got every Hawaii Ironman from 1986 to 2013 in a playlist. Check out some of his others, especially the sprint series from the early 90s in Australia - it's amazing and you will not notice the time.
Anyway, I hope, with this post, you will have some food for thought (optimism). I know that you will be better for it given that I provided the information! (narcissism). You are certainly all better for knowing me! (ok, enough with the narcissism Rob!!)
Note: This post reflects observations from my travels - it DOES NOT reflect my friends and family so don't go speculating! Got it?!