Wednesday, October 28, 2015

October - What A Month!!!

 First off there's Thanksgiving - which in my house means many hours watching the Hawaii Ironman on my TV via the computer. For trigeeks this is a must - 17 hours of live coverage.

Although I do not have pics a huge shout out must also go to my TCoB teammates Helene Desrosiers and Chris Jocelyn who both raced Kona after qualifying in Mont Tremblant in August - quick turnaround by the way!!
Helene finished in 12:41.44 and Chris did his first Kona in 10:47.31 - outstanding efforts by both and I can't wait to pick their brains!

 On the training front I've been enjoying the fall weather. Some days have been absolutely spectacular.

 Picked up some new shoes - the Hoka One One. I got 2 pair for $84 US including taxes. I like them so far. I usually prefer a little more cushioning in the winter when the ground gets hard. My Kinvaras provide less.
 Finally the REALLY BIG NEWS - Sara and I, after 18 years together, are engaged!!! Yes, we do everything ass-backwards. I like to remind Sara that I was about to buy her a ring many years ago and she wanted a bike instead at that time. What a woman! Technically we were supposed to get engaged a couple of days after this but I launched a preemptive strike. Sara RARELY gets surprised. I had wine and cheese, got dressed up, made a photo album of our history together - all the mushy stuff!

 When we were MUCH younger.

 Celebrating with the favourite daughter (and only daughter) Emily.

 Enough of the the mushy stuff. How about this for a pic. I stopped to answer the phone on my ride and this fella came over to see what I was up to. What a beauty!

 Stunning colours

 Ok back to mushy stuff. For our engagement weekend we did the MEC 10K at Confederation Park. This is the before pic with our new TCoB hats.

 Post race where we switched up the sunglass wearing. We ran 50 minutes for the 10K and all of it together - how ro-mantic!

 Back home, quick shower and on to the wineries. First stop Foreign Affair. Great little winery near Beamsville.

 I was the driver so I didn't drink but sampled a little to get the taste. Great wines.

 Next up - Megalomaniac. It was very busy so we weren't there long. After that we were Niagara-on-the-Lake bound to Colineri Winery. Colineri is quite good and we enjoyed their wines. After a way overpriced meal at Ruth Chris and a sleep at the Sheraton we got up Sunday to do a little shop at the outlet mall before heading for home.

 While shopping we ran into the Great One Wayne Gretzky who congratulated us on our engagement and toasted us. Full disclosure it's not really Wayne but a cardboard Wayne - we still were excited though. Full disclosure - I was really excited; Sara was trying not to know me at this time.

Finally our youngest, Logan, turned twelve-teen on the 25th!! I think we should call it twelve-teen because, by age twelve, most kids are already behaving like teens. The voice change, the height gained, the size 10 feet - holy cow!

 For the birthday we had this dangerous crew out for some serious Go-Kart action. It had been raining so the track was a little slick but it was a blast fishtailing.

 Once done racing the kids took the paintball guns and shot 100 shots at a bunch of targets. They all got their call-of-duty on.

 Back to the house for some pizza and cake and all was good. Logan had a fabulous time and has some really great friends - we're very proud!

Now it's time to prepare for the long winter ahead....BOO!!

Friday, October 9, 2015

It's Hawaii Ironman Time!!

 Before I get to my Kona picks...some random ramblings. Here's Bunny - yes that is what I've named him or her. Bunny, from our estimation is the 5th generation of rabbit to live in our backyard. The rabbits have become so used to us that we can pretty much get within a couple of feet of it before it scurries off. Bunny also only eats grass and weeds. As you can see from my pic I have lots of weeds. Bunny eats weeds, Bunny can stay!

 If you're in my age bracket (pushing Fitty) then you know about Thrills gum. I stumbled upon some in a variety store. Love their marketing - just acknowledge that it tastes like soap.

 Work travel took me to Huntsville. I took a couple of pics on my morning run. Look how beautiful it is - no filter. Awesome!

 Back at home. Craft beer update - tried Naughty Neighbour. Citrus-style pale ale. Yum!

 Check it out! My Durango, aka the Redneck Vessel, made it to 400, 000km. I love this truck although it's definitely on borrowed time. It's taken me on so many trips and to so many races.

 Now on to the festivities! It's Hawaii Ironman time!! This year's field is probably the most competitive in history. The former ITU guys and gals have upped the game. So, without further ado, my picks. First the men:
 Jan Frodeno. Last year he was third despite a flat tire and a penalty on the bike. He dominated both Germany and the 70.3 World Champs. He really has no weakness and if he didn't have the flat (which led to the penalty) he'd have likely won the race last year.

 Sebastien Kienle. The uber biker is the defending champ so you can't count him out. His biking is outstanding but what really stands out is his run this year. He has outrun Frodeno in their head-to-head meetings this year. If he can limit the damage of his slower swim he may repeat.

 Brent McMahon. Going with the Canadian Kona rookie. Former ITU that has proven the long distance suits him. His first 2 ironmans? How about sub 8 hours for both! He really has no weakness. If he can manage the hype and pressure there is no reason he can't be a factor at the front.
Now for the women:

 Daniela Ryf. Since her 2nd place to Carfrae last year in Kona, Ryf has gone on to dominate every race she's entered. Most recently she crushed the competition at the 70.3 Worlds by 12 minutes, a massive margin for the distance. While Carfrae ran her down late in the race last year, Ryf will be prepared to go a little quicker and close out this year's race.
 Mirinda Carfrae. Like Kienle it's hard to bet against the defending champ given how she "routinely" knocks out 2:50 marathons to close out her wins. What will make the difference is where her swim and bike are at. If there's some improvement there you can definitely swap Ryf for Carfrae in first. At any rate it makes for some awesome racing!

 Angela Naeth. Going with another Canadian Kona rookie. Her breakthrough win at Ironman Texas under hot and humid conditions bodes well for Naeth. She did not wilt and handled the pressure well. If the conditions on the bike are difficult it will help her. She is amongst the best riders and handles running in the heat well.
On the local side there are some athletes representing the Golden Horseshoe.
 Sharlene Christiansen, who lives just up the road from me, is racing Kona for the first time. She qualified in Cozumel where she place 2nd in the F50-54 AG with a time of 12:12. She's #750
Helene Desrosiers, a TCoB clubmate, is racing Kona for the 2nd time. Helene won her F50-54 AG in Mont Tremblant with a time of 10:52. She's #754
Chris Jocelyn, another TCoB clubmate, is racing Kona for the first time. Chris qualified with a 4th place finish in the M45-49 AG in  Mont Tremblant with a time of 9:49. He's #925.
Best of luck to all these athletes - have a great day! I will be cheering from afar and yelling at my computer screen. Get er done!!