Friday, November 30, 2012

Areas of Improvement

It's FRIDAY!!! Made it through another week - hope you have too.

At this time of year it is important to look out over the horizon, you know, big picture stuff. Questions to help me assess include:
1) What are my strengths? Weaknesses?
2) Compare my performance at Ironman vs top 15 - where can I can make most gains?
3) Is my equipment optimal?
4) Do I have any imbalances? Potential injury sources?
5) Do I have a good life balance?
6) Am I looking after recovery properly?
I'm sure there are other questions but you get the idea.

For me, if I look at Ironman Lake Placid as an example, I can make the following observations:
1) I have improved my swim (1:07 in 2011) but I need to be 1:03ish. Lake Placid is a fast swim so I need to get over the cable line as soon as possible and get into a fast group of swimmers. The challenge is seeding accordingly and putting up with the rough contact of the cable area especially over the first kilometre.
2) I have been too conservative on the bike. I've gone under 6 hours easily and certainly am capable of going faster without compromising my run. I want to be under 5:40. I did 5:53 in 2011 (minus the bogus drafting call!)
3) My run is solid but I faded in the last 8 miles - Duh! My last 2 Ironmans I've gone under 4 hours (3:57 and in 2011 3:53). I'm confident that I can go under 4 again. I would like to shoot for sub 3:45. In 2011 I started to fade around 18 miles. It is inevitable that pace will slow however I would like the falloff to start a little later, after the 20 mile mark to be exact.
4) Transitions - don't waste time. Controlled urgency to limit lost time.

Reflect, Macroplan, Microplan, Put in the Work!

If I check all my boxes and looked after the small details I will have success. Will I meet all my goals? Hard to say. A lot can happen - injury, equipment failure, etc. At the end of the day our training should put us in the best possible position for a great performance. More importantly, even Ironman, is just one day in the life - not the be all, end all. The sun will rise the next day - enjoy, relax, and take a risk!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas - Let's Get It Started!

Sara, Logan, Emily and I went to Copetown  for our annual tree hunt. This year we've gotten out earlier than we ever had before which ended up a good thing because it wasn't busy.

Only a few more days with the stash!

Logan the Pooh!

I always thought Sara was a little "spacey"  - Hahahahaha

We got to the forest and began our hunt. In years past it seemed like we would pick a tree that was the furthest distance from our truck. The selection this year was excellent and it wasn't too far - bonus!

Lunatic on the loose!

With tree picked out we took it down.

My helpers!


Basking in the glory of a job well done.

Now to carry it back

Cool machine - it shakes the tree to get rid of loose needles.

And wraps it up nice! We spent the rest of the day decorating, having a beer, and more decorating. Great family time!


Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Indoor Waterpark Workout

Sara, Logan and I went to Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls for a couple of days where we had a Great Wolf time, had Great Wolf fun and Great Wolf thrills - it was truly Wolfy Great! (you get the idea - we underwent some brainwashing).

For the indoor waterpark workout we required some fitness equipment. On the menu was the Canada Vortex (pictured above), the Niagara Rapids (below), wavepool, and various other waterslides with Falls in their name.

All of the waterslides required climbing 3 stories worth of stairs - hill repeats, Check!

When there wasn't waves I had to chase Logan and my nephews around the pool while pretending to be a T-Rex. The positon required me to run in the water in a half-squat (for an authentic T-Rex look). Cardio plus quad strength work, Check!

This is the Vortex from above - the drop into it was fast and completely dark. We managed to spin around this 3 times before dropping down a hole in the middle.

The Niagara Rapids from above. I tried to take a couple of shots on the ride but failed miserably and almost lost my camera.

Friday night was also the Vanier Cup. As a proud alumni I was backing my MAC Marauders! There were playing Laval who they beat out last year to win the Canadian University Football Championship in overtime. Sadly Laval dominated this year - in fact it wasn't even close. Still very proud, though, and wore my colours in honour. Maybe a rubber match next year.

Logan and Sara - like the half-snarl!

Back in the water for more goofing around. Unfortunately the vast majority of people at the park were in poor health, overweight and no tone. We had the meal plan with our stay which included buffet meals. So what did I do? I put on a clinic! I ate a ton cause it was all there in front of me. After a dinner the night before plus breakfast I was completely toxic from food overload! North America is awful for this sort of scenario and we need to wake up. More exercise + sound nutrition = improved quality of life. Funny thing is - I did activities over the past couple of days I don't normally do and I can feel the muscle soreness as a result. I liked it and could use a little more variety to prevent plateauing.

Logan did this many times - great workout for the arms, core and legs.

Of course, Logan and his cousin Matthew tried to spray me every chance they got!

Love the establishment they have in the park - appropriately named and has all my favourite items!

Did I not say it's appropriately named?! Here I am rocking the Stash in Movember with 6 days to go - pretty Grizzly, eh?! Tomorrow I will be following my sister Michelle, Jimmy, Sharlene, Chris and Beth at IM Cozumel.

Cheers from the Lodge!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I'm Sick - Boo Freakin Hoo!

Not sure why but there are a surplus of funny "sick" pictures featuring cats. Anyway I felt something coming on as I left for Thunder Bay on Monday and it really picked up yesterday. I've got all the signs of the flu - aches and chills but thankfully no vomiting (yet). Problem is I'm still in Thunder Bay and the prospect of a the 1.5 hour flight home is a little daunting.


I'm trying to look at this objectively and do all the things needed to get healthy again - lots of fluids and rest. Why is it, though, that when I get sick I get grumpy because I'm not getting anything done and missing workouts. I've had a good stretch of training and don't want to lose fitness. Or maybe this forced rest will be a good thing (positive mental attitude).

Probably what my friends would say - pretty funny.

And yes, as men, we carry on as the world is ending when we get sick! I will try to limit the overdramatizing but I can't guarantee it!

Cheers (cough, cough)!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ironman Cozumel 2012

So my sister Michelle and friends Jimmy, Sharlene, Chris and Beth are heading down to participate in Ironman Cozumel. They have had a long season of preparation and are now ready to take it on.

The race uses all of the island, especially on the 3 looped bike.

I've heard the swim is amazing! Being that this is a must-see on a scuba divers wish list you can imagine the scenery will be incredible.

I am sending positive vibes that everyone will race SMART, race their OWN RACE and succeed in making it to the finish line.

After that comes the well deserved recovery!!

So when you arrive make sure you embrace the culture, roll with the punches that come with racing in another country.

Keep your eye on the weather so you're prepared on race day.

 Enjoy the beach but not too much and save the tequila for after.

Pace accordingly. Coming from the fall weather to the heat will mean a rise in heartrate so manage your race accordingly.

Seriously - you've done the work now execute.

Words to live by!

Keep moving forward!

Enough said! Best of luck everyone!!